ELKINS, Ralph, of Henry Co VA

Ralph Elkins (ca 1693-aft 1776)

Researchers say without citing references that this man is Hannah and Mary’s father. Neither woman had a known son named Ralph. There is a DNA match between this writer and several of his descendants.

1767 Pittsylvania Co VA tax list of Thomas Dillard-

Joshua Ashton and Edmond Turner – taxed together

John Ashton listed below Joshua

1767 Pittsylvania Co VA tax list of Peter Perkins-

Ralph Elkins Jr- this name on 1782 Montgomery Co VA

Richard Elkins

Nathaniel Elkins and son Jessy

James Elkins- on leather wood 

Jesse Elkins

Ralph Elkins (Richard2, Ralph1) born ca 1693, Stafford Co, Virginia, married Frances Browne, born Stafford or Richmond Co, Virginia, (daughter of Maxfield Browne and Sarah Newman), died Henry Co, Virginia. Ralph also died Henry Co, Virginia

The Ralph Elkins who married Frances Brown was a grandson of the immigrant Ralph Elkins. Richard #1 Elkins and Elizabeth Bryant had several children, and there are records which seem to show an association between Richard #1 and the family of this Ralph’s wife Frances Brown. Also, the Elkinses who moved to southern Virginia in the 1740’s were Ralph and Frances and their children, plus a Richard Elkins who is believed to be the son of Richard #2. Because of these associations, Ralph is shown here as the son of Richard #1 and the brother of Richard #2.

The first record we have for Ralph (the first record of a Ralph Elkins after the death of the immigrant Ralph) was in 1724, when he gave testimony regarding a matter in court. 

The first record we have which includes Ralph’s wife Frances is in November 1733, when they have a son Nathaniel who is old enough to be named with them on a lease agreement: “RALPH ELKIN of the Parish of Brunswick, King George Co., planter, …for term of the natural lives of said RALPH ELLKIN, FRANCES, his wife, and NATHANIEL, their son ….. Elkins to pay yearly rent of 600 pounds of tobacco in casque.” 

Ralph and Frances Brown Elkins and their family moved to southern Virginia in the mid-1740’s. In 1747, Ralph and Richard Elkins, then Ralph’s son Nathaniel start showing up in the records of Lunenburg/Halifax County, Virginia. This is west and south of King George County, in the southernmost part of the state. We see records for them in Lunenburg, Halifax, Pittsylvania, or Henry counties because of new counties being formed. They lived in the same general area during that time, only the name of the county changed. That land was just being opened up for settlement. They were among the very first white people to settle in that part of Virginia. The English government was almost giving away property as it tried to advance its borders, prompting the settlement to those areas.

There are land records for a Ralph and a Richard Elkins beginning in 1747. In 1749, Nathaniel starts showing up as having land. Nathaniel was Ralph’s oldest son and must have been a young teenager when he was listed on the rental agreement with his parents in 1733. Not many years later, the names Ralph, Jr., Richard (the younger), Jesse, and James show up in the records. These were sons of Ralph and Frances, who were the only Elkins parents old enough to have sons that old. (Nathaniel also had a son named Jesse, but the younger Jesse doesn’t show up on the tax lists until 1767.) The land records for the Elkinses are mostly concentrated around the Smith River and Leatherwood Creek areas.

On Sept. 15, 1753, Thomas Callaway, Merry Webb and Henry Lansford returned a signed report on the improvement on Leatherwood Creek made by RALPH ELKINS, viz: 26 acres of cultivated orchards, 20 head of neat cattle, buildings and other improvements with expenses to value of 396 pounds. (The History of Pittsylvania County Virginia, Chapter V, A Part of Halifax County, 1752-1767, page 61)

Later, about 1769 to 1771, one part of the family moved still further west – to southwest Virginia – to the New River area of Botetourt County, which shortly became Montgomery County. Other parts of the family in Henry County moved to other states such as North Carolina, Tennessee, or Kentucky. James, son of Ralph and Frances, born about 1735, stayed in Henry County, in the part that became Patrick County.

The following article mentions the Elkins brothers (sons of Ralph and Frances) who lived in Pittsylvania Co. in 1767 and were later long hunters at the New River settlement in southwest VA:

 THE NEW RIVER SETTLEMENT, by Patricia Givens Johnson. Chapter on The Long Hunters, pp. 152-153: “The Wallens, Blevins, Coxes and others lived as squatters in western Pittsylvania (later Henry County) on land owned by speculators. 1767 Pittsylvania County tithables, LATER NEW RIVER hunters were, John Ward, Joseph, Thomas and Elisha Wallen, John Cox, Rowland and Nathaniel Judd, Thomas, Charles, Richard Calloway, Charles Scaggs and the ELKINS BROTHERS, RALPH, JESSE, RICHARD AND NATHANIEL.”

 Shortly after 1767 – between 1769 and 1771 – the above four sons of Ralph and Frances moved west to the New River settlement in southwest Virginia. Sons Jesse and Nathaniel were seen in the records in southwest Virginia for only a brief time. Sons Ralph and Richard (and their families) settled in southwest Virginia.

SUMMARY of the CHILDREN of RALPH ELKINS and FRANCES BROWN: Nathaniel is named as the son of Ralph and Frances Elkins on a deed in 1733 before they left King George County, and Ralph, Jesse, and Richard are named as Nathaniel’s brothers in the above chapter on the long hunters of the New River settlement. James Elkins (born 1735) was another brother, but James didn’t move to the New River settlement, but stayed in Henry County. Hannah and Mary Elkins who married Pedigo brothers, as well as Ruth Elkins, were daughters of Ralph and Frances. There was no other Elkins couple besides Ralph and Frances who lived in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, who were old enough to have children who had been born in the 1720s and 1730s.

compiled by Vanessa Stafford Allen

Published on July 18, 2021 at 10:15 pm  Comments Off on ELKINS, Ralph, of Henry Co VA  
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