The Jenkins
Rappahannock VA
to Mason Hall TN


William Jenkins 1675 - 1720
William Jenkins, born about 1675, is the earliest Jenkins in our family that has been positively identified. We have been able to trace our roots back to him and no further. His parents and place of birth have never been, and probably never will be determined. Only two hand-written documents of any type have been found in the last 300 years mentioning our William Jenkins. No pictures, books, or stories passed down through the years have provided anything more about William's family or life other than from the two records that were found and those of his father-in-law.   

Note: Some Jenkins researchers believe a Thomas Jenkins born in Lynn Castle, Wales about 1642 may be the father of our William. A marriage record was found for a Thomas Jenkins marrying a Susannah Spauling in Jamestown Virginia before 1675 but no recording of their children has ever been found. The Thomas name is certainly found many times in our Jenkins line.

William's wife Elizabeth was the daughter of a Dutch immigrant Harmon Skeldeman, or Kelderman, and wife Martha Norton was born in the Northern Neck region of the Colony of Virginia. Elizabeth's father was born about 1638 and was naturalized 20 September 1671 in Charles Parish. Harman had recieved a land grant of 800 acres 11 July 1666 in Old Rappahannock County between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers. Old Rappahannock County was formed from Lancaster County in 1656 and the portion east of the Rappahannock River became Richmond County in 1692.           


Harmon's will, recorded 12 March 1683 in Old Rappahannock County left his land to his daughter Elizabeth and her two sisters. Her sisters, Ann Skelderman married Henry Haws, and Mary married Thomas Grimstone.

William Jenkins and Elizabeth married about 1698 and lived on her plantation in Sittenburg, later Lunenburg Parrish, on the Rappahannock Creek near the Rappahannock River. William died at a fairly young age in 1720 and did not leave a will. The inventory of his estate dated 29 August 1720 and recorded in the Richmond County Will Book 4 on page 159 did not list his children. However, the will of Elizabeth recorded 28 June 1736 in Richmond County Book 4 on page 348, when Elizabeth died years later, named all her and William's seven children. 

The Second Generation

♦ Martha Elizabeth Jenkins born about 1700 in Richmond County, married Walter Davis

♦ John Jenkins born 1706 Richmond Co died 1741 Prince William Co VA, married Sarah Thomas

♦ Mansfield Jenkins born 1708 Richmond Co died 1755 Richmond Co, married Patience Ford about 1737. She died 1778 Warren Co NC

      * Mansfield and Patience, our ancestors, see next page

♦ James Jenkins born 1710 Richmond Co, married Elizabeth Lynch

♦ Harmon Jenkins born 1714 Richmond Co died 1785 Richmond Co, married Hannah Ann Taylor

♦ Sarah Jenkins born 1718 Richmond Co died before 1736 Richmond, married James Story

♦ Mary Jenkins born 1720 Richmond Co, married Unknown Carpenter


The Will of Elizabeth Jenkins


"In the name of God Amen, I ELIZABETH JENKINS of Lunenburg Parish in Richmond County, Virginia being sick and Weak of body but prais'd be God of perfect sense and memory Do make this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.That is to Say first and Principally I Commend my Soul to Almighty God Hoping for his mercy an Ye Remission of all my Sins tho' ye merits of Jesus Christ my only Mediator and Advocate and my body to be Buried at the Discretion of my Executors herein after Named and as for Such Estate as it has pleased God to bestow upon me I dispose thereof as followeth. My Will is that all just Debts & funerall Charges be pay'd and Discharged- -

I Give and Bequeath unto my three sons JOHN, MANSFIELD, and JAMES JENKINS all my Land Containing one Hundred & Fifty Acres Estimation to be the same more or less to be divided among them as followeth.To my son John that part of my land adjoining to the lands of HENRY HAWS, THOMAS GRIMSTONE, WALTER DAVIS, AND JAMES MORTON and separated from my other Land by a line of marked trees Extending froms HAWS' line Between my now Dwelling house and kitchen to the main run Including my Orchard the Remainder of my Land to be Divided between my sons MANSFIELD and JAMES by a line which I have marked for that purpose MANSFIELD'S part including the Tobacco House and JAMES' part including my now Dwelling house, which said Land So divided I give to them my Three Sons and their Heirs for Ever- - -

I Give and bequeath unto my son Harman Jenkins one Thousand Pounds of Tobacco now due to me from JOHN NEWMAN, to be paid to him at his coming by my Exet's herein after named:

I Give and bequeath the Tobacco and other Debts due to me and my horse Colt to my Daughter ELIZABETH, She first paying my Just Debts- -

I Give and bequeath to my Daughter SARAH STORY the pistol in my Chest- - -

I Give and bequeath all my wearing apparell to my Daughter MARY CARPENTER - -
I Give and bequeath to my Grandson EDWARD DAVIS one heifer aged three years- - -

I Give and bequeath all the Residue and remainder of my Estate of what kind or quality soever to be equally divided among all my children- - -

I do hereby constitute and appoint my three sons, JOHN, MANSFIELD, and JAMES JENKINS Executors of this my last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 28th Day of June Ann: Dom: 1736- - "

Elizabeth Jenkins

Modern map of the Northern Neck region of Virginia, Richmond County, and the Rappahannock River


The StoryTellers

My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called as it were by our genes.

Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors you have a wonderful family you would be proud of us? How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do.

It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it.

It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today.

It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that they fought to make and keep us a Nation.

It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are them and they are us. We are the chosen.

So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take their place in the long line of family storytellers.

That, is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh on the bones.

Author unknown