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Watkins-Spencer connections, Charlotte Co.
Posted by: James Blair (ID *****4801) Date: May 21, 2006 at 06:47:30
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The will of William Watkins of Charlotte Co., written 1781, was witnessed by Col. Thomas Spencer Jr, Gideon Spencer, and Lucy Watkins.

I descend from William Watkins. I would like to know more about the connections between the Spencer and Watkins families.

Here is a summary of what I've been able to glean. Not all of it is proved.

1. It is said (not proved) that the witness Lucy Watkins was a granddaughter of William Watkins, and that she was the same Lucy Watkins who later married Col. Thomas Spencer Jr.

2. Col. Thomas Spencer Jr was the son of Col. Thomas Spencer and Elizabeth Julia Fluornoy. In addition to witnessing William Watkins' will, he married a Lucy Watkins, possibly William Watkins' granddaughter. It is said (not proved) that Lucy Watkins was his second wife and that he was first married to a Sally Watkins who was Lucy's sister.

3. Col. Thomas Spencer Jr. and Lucy Watkins had a daughter Susan who married William Benjamin Watkins. William Benjamin Watkins (1780-1850) was an Assemblyman and prominent citizen. He built the Watkins House that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places ( I have not been able to discover whether he was related to the William Watkins whose will was written in 1781.

4. The third witness, Gideon Spencer, was presumably the brother of Col. Thomas Spencer Jr. Another brother, John, married Salley Watkins in 1765. I have not been able to discover whether this Salley Watkins was related to William Watkins whose will was written in 1781.

Does anyone have anything to correct or add to the above? Proof of any of these or other connections would be very welcome.

I would especially like to unearth any clues as to the identity of the wife of William Watkins. An indenture of 24 Oct 1765 names her as Martha but her maiden name is not known. It is often claimed that she was a Martha Herndon, but that claim turns out to be purely guesswork. In view of the evident closeness of association between the Watkins and Spencer families, I wonder whether Martha might have been a Spencer. Any evidence either to strengthen or refute this possibility would be equally welcome.



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