The Family of Steven and Mary Watkins

INTRODUCTION

This page created September 12, 2009.

The family of Martha Jane Watkins, who married my great-grandfather Jack Whitten, is the one branch of my family about whom I know the least. In June 1983 and again in May 1990, I interviewed by great-aunt Lura Reeves. Lura Whitten Williams Reeves was the last surving child of Jack Whitten and Martha Watkins. She was my main source of information on the Watkins family, and my grandmother Girtha Whitten (Lura's sister-in-law) was my other significant source. I don't have much, but here is what I have on this family.

Aunt Lura told me that her mother was from North Carolina. This statement seems to be substantiated by the 1900 census of Winston County, Mississippi as Martha, her parents, and all but the youngest of her siblings listed on that census show North Carolina as their birthplace. One must always take the information on any given census with a "grain of salt", but since it is the only official source I have at the moment, let's assume for now that the census is fairly accurate.

According to the 1900 census of Winston County, Mississippi, Steven Watkins was born in North Carolina in April 1859 to parents who were also born in North Carolina. His wife Mary was born in January 1863 in North Carolina to parents native to North Carolina as well. They married about 1882, and daughter Martha Jane was born in August of that year. Between 1882 and 1900, four more children were born. They were Bessie (1884), Anna (1888), John (1889) and Daisy (1889). It seems that Mary had a child every 2-4 years except for between 1889 and 1899. That seems odd to me. But Aunt Lura told me about her mother having a baby brother named Julius Franklin Watkins who died when he was one year old and who was buried in an unmarked grave in Noxubee Hill Cemetery in Winston County. There were two more children born after Daisy who were born 2-4 years apart: W.H. "Hut" (1902) and Henry (1906). I am inferring that Julius Franklin was probably born during the 10-year span between John (born 1889) and Daisy (born about 1899). If the census is accurate, then one could infer that the family left North Carolina after June 1889, the date given for John's birth, and arrived in Mississippi before August 1899, the date given for Daisy's birth.

The timeline for the Watkins' arrival in Winston County is only one missing piece that I have. I am also uncertain of the maiden name of Mary Watkins. Aunt Lura told me in 1990 that Mary's maiden name was Lyle. She did not know anyting else about her. But a few years later, while visiting the Mississippi State Department of Archives and History, I viewed a microfilm copy of Martha Watkins Whitten's death certificate. The death certificate confirmed her father's name as Steve Watkins, but it listed her mother's name as Mary Foulks. There is nothing similar in the names of Lyle and Foulks. It seems this is a line of research that needs to be pursued further.

I have only very little other information on this branch of my family. The oldest child, Martha Jane, married Jack Whitten in 1902, the same year her brother W.H. "Hut" was born. Perhaps the large age gap between the siblings was one cause for my not knowing many stories. I hope that by posting my little bit of information here that other descendants of this family will contact me.

FAMILY TREE

Steven Walker Watkins
Born: April 1859 in North Carolina
Married: About 1882, probably in North Carolina
Died: After 1906, probably in Mississippi [based on birthdate of youngest child]
Buried: Unknown
Father: Unknown, but possibly born in North Carolina
Mother: Unknown, but possibly born in North Carolina
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Mary E. Lyle or Mary E. Foulks
Born: January 1863 in North Carolina
Died: After 1906, probably in Mississippi [based on birthdate of youngest child]
Buried: Unknown
Father: Unknown, but possibly born in North Carolina
Mother: Unknown, but possibly born in North Carolina
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  1. Martha Jane Watkins
    Born: August 04, 1882 in North Carolina
    Married: September 13, 1902 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Pleasant William Jackson Whitten
    Died: September 1, 1943 in Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi
    Buried: Poplar Flat Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi
  2. Bessie C. Watkins
    Born: April or September 1884 in North Carolina
    Married: Unknown, probably in Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: John B. Carroll
    Died: September 08, 1908, probably in Winston County, Mississippi
    Buried: Murphy Creek Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi

    Two birth months are listed for Bessie. The April 1884 date is per the 1900 census of Winston County, Mississippi. The September 1884 date is per her tombstone. According to Lura Reaves in 1990, Bessie and John Carroll had the following children:

    After Bessie died in 1908, John Carroll remarried to Emma Rogers. They had a daughter named Ruby, a son named Lawrence (also called Todd), and two or three other children whose names Aunt Lura could not remember. Bessie, John, and Emma Carroll are all buried in Murphy Creek Cemetery in Winston County, Mississippi.

  3. Anna (Hannah) L. Watkins
    Born: February 1888 in North Carolina
    Married: January 15, 1911 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: F.B. Eichelburger
    Died: Unknown
    Buried: Unknown
  4. John Simmons Watkins
    Born: June 23, 1889 or 1891 in North Carolina
    Married: October 03, 1916 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Mattie Sullivan
    Died: January 18, 1949, probably in Mississippi
    Buried: Murphy Creek Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi

    The 1900 census of Winston County, Mississippi shows John's birthdate as 1889. His tombstone shows June 23, 1891.

  5. Julius Franklin Watkins
    Born: Unknown, but probably between 1891 - 1900, probably in Mississippi
    Died: When one year old, probably before 1900, probably in Winston County, Mississippi
    Buried: Unmarked grave at Poplar Flat Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi
  6. Daisy B. Watkins
    Born: August 04, 1899 or 1900 in Mississippi, probably Winston County
    Married: September 24, 1926 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Clinnie C. Stanley
    Died: March 30, 1966, probably in Mississippi
    Buried: Murphy Creek Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi

    The 1900 census of Winston County, Mississippi shows Daisy's birthdate as 1899. Her tombstone shows 1900. The only story I have about the Watkins family is about Daisy. I was told that after Daisy finished eating a large meal that she would push back from the table and say "Daisy's gotta sit up straight."

  7. W.H. Watkins
    Born: February 22, 1902 in Winston County, Mississippi
    Married: April 02, 1927 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Stella Stanley
    Died: January 14, 1957, probably in Mississippi
    Buried: Campground Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi

    Were Stella Stanley and Clinnie C. Stanley related?

  8. Henry J. Watkins
    Born: March 11, 1906 in Winston County, Mississippi
    Married: October 30, 1943 in Louisville, Winston County, Mississippi
    Spouse: Mavis May
    Died: September 02, 1958, probably in Mississippi
    Buried: Mount Carmel Cemetery, Winston County, Mississippi

    Winston County, Mississippi Chancery Minutes 5 1916-1924: (p.143) Watkins, Henry J. vs. Lucille Watkins--Henry asked for divorce from Lucille. One child born and in care of Lucille. Child was born since bill was filed. Divorce ordered September 28, 1936. Is this Henry J. Watkins the son of Steven and Mary Watkins?

FAMILY HISTORY

1900 Winston County, MS Census:
Beat One North of Robinson Road, Enumeration District 96, Sheet 7, Page 251A, 6/15/1900, Dwelling 105, Family 106:
Watkins, Steven W. -- head, white male, born April 1859, aged 41, married 18 years, born NC, parents born NC, farmer, employed all year, can read/write/speak English, rents farm
Watkins, Mary E -- wife, white female, born Jan 1863, aged 37, married 18 years, mother of 8 children with 5 living, born NC, parents born NC, no employment listed, can read/write/speak English
Watkins, Marthy J. -- daughter, white female, born Aug 1882, aged 17, single, born NC, parents born NC, farm laborer, not employed 2 months per year, in school 3 months per year, can read/write/speak English
Watkins, Bessie C. -- daughter, white female, born Apr 1884, aged 16, single, born NC, parents born NC, farm laborer, not employed 2 months per year, in school 3 months per year, can read/write/speak English
Watkins, Anner L. -- daughter, white female, born Feb 1888, aged 12, single, born NC, parents born NC, farm laborer, not employed 2 months per year, in school 3 months per year, can read/write/speak English
Watkins, John S. -- son, white male, born June 1889, aged 10, single, born NC, parents born NC, farm laborer, not employed 4 months per year, no school during year, cannot read/write, can speak English
Watkins, Daisey B. -- daughter, white female, born Aug 1899, age 9/12 months, single, born MS, parents born NC, no employment, no school, no read/write/speak English

Death Certificate #13196 -- State of Mississippi
Place of death: Philadelphia Hospital inside city of Philadelphia, Neshoba County, MS
Length of stay before death a) in hospital: 4 days b) in community: 4 days
Residence before death: Popular Flat (rural precinct) in Winston County, MS
Full name: Martha Jane Whitten -- female, white, married
Not veteran, No social security number
Husband: John Whitten, age 66
Birth date of deceased: Aug 4, 1882 -- age 61 yrs, 0 months, 5 days? Birthplace: City: DK State: NC
Occupation: housewife
Father name: Steve Watkins
Father's birthplace: City: DK State: NC
Mother's maiden name: Mary Foulks
Mother's birthplace: City: DK State: NC
Informant's signature: John Whitten
Informant's address: Louisville, Miss
Burial/cremation/or removal? Burial 9/1/1943 at Poplar Flat Cemetery
Signature of funeral director: Blon Harris     Address: Louisville, Miss
Date of death: Sept 1, 1943 at 12:35 a.m.
Physician certified he attended deceased from 8/28/1943 to 9/1/1943, that he last saw her alive on 8/31/1943. Immediate cause of death: intestinal obstruction due to strangulated hernia. Duration: 7 days

GENEALOGY RESOURCES

LINKS & CREDITS

| Family of Jack Whitten and Martha Watkins | Main Whitten Page |

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