Thanks for your reply, offer to share info & your questions.
I was beginning to feel like all the info that I've posted all over genforum was not much help to anyone but me (it always helps me post such info, because I have to "organize" my notes, first).
In the probate records of Thos S Adkins's estate, it gives the name of his widow as Elizabeth E. Adkins (now Winston). Her name was never given as Eliz. E. J. Adkins (now Winston). That would seem to indicate that Ensley was her middle and not her maiden name.
Also, in same probate record, the name William Adkins as the only surviving child of Thomas S Adkins, is given between 1817 & 1823, or from time Wm was 2 until he was 8.
Back in those days, it was nothing to change a persons name. For instance, my own father was b in 1913 & listed in a state census of 1915 as Donald James. Since I only knew his name as Donald Ormand, I was quite surprised to find 1915 census listing, and so was my mother & only bro, Donald Ormand Jr. My subsequent inquiries led me to a story of how a family member offered to make him a suit of clothes, for his first day of school, if his middle name was changed to her father's given name, since her father did not have a namesake. As they say, the rest is history. I'm sure it's stories like this one that make family history research so fasinating to me.
Of course, many of us Americans can relate to the changing of German names in our families, during WWI & WWII, to a more English version of the name. The German spellings & pronounciations were often wrong anyway. Also, I have a few names that were changed, however slightly, of returning CSA veterans of the Civil War.
I was not intending to ramble on so, but it appears to me, and I have no proof at all, that there is a great possibility, and even a probability, that William Adkins, son of Thos S Adkins, and step-son of Joel Walker Winston, used the name of Joel Walker Adkins, rather than William Adkins. There is no evidence, as far as I have found, of another Adkins being b abt 1814 TN, whose parents would have a reason to name him Joel Walker Adkins.
Also, I seem to recall Joel Walker Winston was a veteran of the War of 1812, and that one or more of his daus were "Real Daughters" of the War of 1812. Knowing the feelings of respect for such honored veterans, at that particualar time & place, and not knowing if Joel Walker Winston & Elizabeth Ensley Jones Adkins Winston had any sons to carry on his name, I can easily see where William Adkins may have used the name of "both" of his fathers. Adkins for his surname, and Joel Walker for the father who raised him.
In the absence of any info or proof to the contrary, which I would certainly welcome, I think it is safe to assume that there is a good probability of Wm Adkins b abt 1814 TN & Joel Walker Adkins, Sr b abt 1814 TN being the same idividual.
Thanks again for your reply & comments, and I hope this kind of dialogue helps you & also helps future Adkins & Winston researchers. Maybe, someday, we will find proof.
Richard & Joyce Lawson
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