I mentioned in the post about John Perkins that Halifax County, Virginia was a great county in which to research. It also helps that the Perkins family believed in writing wills!
Henry Perkins was born c1745, probably in Essex County, Virginia, the son of Henry Purkins, as he was known, and Elizabeth Gatewood. He married Mary Ransone, the daughter of Flemstead and Mary (MNU) Ransone, c1780, possibly in Buckingham County, Virginia. It appears that Henry married (1) Unknown and had two sets of children.
Henry died in Halifax County, Virginia between 11 January 1803, the day he wrote his will, and 25 July 1803, when his will was proved in court.
Halifax County, Virginia Will Book 3:506-507
In the name of God, Amen, I, Henry Perkins, of Halifax County, being weak of body, but of sound mind and memory, blessed be God for it, do make and ordain this, my last will and testament, in manner and form as followeth, to wit.
First I lend unto my beloved wife, Mary Perkins, the tract of land whereon I now live on, and all the stock of every kind that is my property at this time, to wit, three head of horses, eight head of cattle, twelve head of hogs, and also three feather beds and their furniture, also all my household and kitchen furniture, and also all the plantation utensils that belong to me at this time, in during her natural life.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Elizabeth Hubbard, one shilling.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son, William Perkins, one shilling.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son, Henry Perkins, and to his heirs forever one shilling.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my son, Daniel Perkins, and to his heirs and assigns forever 50 acres of land whereon he now lives, to be laid off in such a manner that will not include any part of the open land whereon I now live.
Item: I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Mary Perkins, and to her heirs and assigns forever, one feather bed and its’ furniture, which bed she claimith, also.
Item: It is my will and desire that all the property that I lent to my beloved wife, Mary Perkins, and their increase, at her decease, may be equally divided amongst my six children, to wit, Flemstead Perkins, Mary Perkins, Gabriel Perkins, John Perkins, James Perkins, and Elijah Perkins, or to their heirs. Now if any one of my last mentioned six children should depart this life without a lawful heir, it is my desire that my son, William Perkins before mentioned, shall have the share of the deceased or his heirs.
My will and desire is that my estate may not be appraised. This being my last will and testament hereby revoking and disannuling all other wills by me heretofore made either by word or in writing, ratifying and confirming this to be my only last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have wherewith set my hand and seal this eleventh day of January in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand eight hundred and three. Sealed published and declared by the said Henry Perkins for and his last will and testament in the presence of
Henry his (X) mark Perkins
Witnesses: Henry Purkins, William Hubbard,
Gabriel Purkins, Reubin Smith
At a court held for Halifax County the 25th of July 1803
The within written last will and testament of Henry Purkins, Sr., deceased – unexhibited in court – and proved by the oaths of three of the witnesses thereto subscribed and ordered to be recorded.
Children, by first wife (These birth years are all very much estimates):
1. Elizabeth, born c1768; died after 11 January 1803, the date of her father’s will; married Mr. Hubbard, probably Halifax County, Virginia
2. William, born c1770; died after 11 January 1803
3. Henry, born c1772; died after 11 January 1803
4. Daniel, born, c1774; died after 11 January 1803
Children, by second wife, Mary:
5. Flemstead, born c1781
5. Mary, born c1783
7. Gabriel, born c1785
8. John, born c1787; died before 1 January 1845, Dade County, Missouri; married Rhoda Walters Woosley, 10 October 1808, Halifax County, Virginia
9. James, born c1789; died after 8 March 1814; married Jane Turner, 8 March 1814, Halifax County, Virginia
10. Elijah, born c1791; died 26 October 1878, Appomattox County, Virginia; married Nancy Hurt, 10 March 1814, Prince Edward County, Virginia
The Perkins family had ties to Buckingham County, Virginia, which lost almost all of its records in an 1862 fire. With Virginia missing its censuses before 1830, it is difficult to trace these other children.
However, there is a lengthy lawsuit filed in Cumberland County, Virginia, in Ransone v. Ransone, available on Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. Henry Perkins is one of the people who gave depositions. The squabble was apparently over the sale price of enslaved persons in the Ransone estate in 1797.
Next family sketch – Henry Purkins & Elizabeth Gatewood