I descend from a Bradley Collins born in 1787 in North Carolina who married as his second wife, Jane Ray in 1817 in Orange County, NC. Bradley's father was Meredith Collins and Mary (Polly) Holloway--marriage place unknown. Meredith was born about 1760. Meredith's parents were John Collins b. about 1720 and maybe Jemima Bowens. Jemima Bowens was a wife of John's but the descendants of Bradley (that we know about) have never been certain she was John's first or second wife and thus whether she was Meredith's mother or not. Meredith was supposedly one of John's youngest children. We only have Meredith and Whitfield listed in our records but have heard they had other brothers and sisters.
John Collins' father was Joseph Collins III and he had brothers named Thomas, Isaac, Enoch and James. Thus I believe the Collins who arrived in Orange County about 1755 are mostly this family. John and his four older sons are credited in interviews in the Draper collection of records as having been founders of Lexington, Kentucky but Meredith did not settle in Lexington. He lived in Floyd County, KY most of his adult life and then died in Pike County KY in 1841. John seems to have moved around a bit, because he was in Orange Co. in 1790 and 1810. Bradley does not appear, for certain, in Floyd County until about 1820. I think he may have been living with his grandfather, John, and a likely uncle, Andrew.
Bradley Collins had at least four wives but only the first two had children. I have the names of all of his wives, except the first, which of course I descend from through his third son Andrew.
Essentially I would like to communicate with someone who has, or has access to all the Orange County records of this family, wherever they all might be. I'd like to know who I'm missing among the names and dates of children of Joseph, as well as all of the same for the children of John (and their spouses' names) and whether the Joseph and John in Orange Co. were brothers or father and son.
I'd like to know who Bradley Collins' first wife was, her birth and death data who her parents and siblings were, and who his second wife's (Jane Ray) parents were, and who her siblings were. As through my Landrum family I also descend from Reuben Landrum who was originally from Orange County, also and his second wife, Mary Ray, I'm wondering if Mary and Jane were sisters. For all I know, Bradley Collins may have married two sisters surnamed Ray in short succession. That has happened in other families, especially when there are infant children left behind by the first wife, as there were in Bradley's case. He apparently had 4 children, by his first wife, all still quite young when she died about 1816.
Are there any will and probate records for Joseph and John? Did John marry Mary (Polly) Holloway in Orange County and if so, who were her parents. As many of the Holloways were Quakers, and I have found no Revolutionary War records for Meredith Collins, were these Collins Quakers also? Are there any newspaper notices regarding deaths and marriages in the Collins families besides county marriage records that might help? Are there any cemetery records for this family? They apparently lived near Hillsborough. Any real help on this family is appreciated.
Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker, San Jose, CA
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