The Norman doctrine of first sons inheriting everything almost assured that second, third and other sons would generate tens of thousands of young men to not only conquer and occupy points west like Ireland but also colonies in America and elsewhere. We are inclined to believe Robert Adkins was likely a second or third son of a sailor or soldier in service to the English crown and occupying lands and female liberties taken from the hapless Irish Catholics who opposed them.
Below data indicates that he was an Englishman born in Ireland not likely the first son of a landed subject of the English king, and pursuant custom joined his majesty's army, navy or merchant fleets in pursuit of happiness abroad, ... and by age 30 years earned and established himself well enough to marry an English woman, Helena Parker. It is not clear from the below research when and if he ever relocated to the Virginia colonies but speculation is that perhaps both William and Joseph Adkins of Virginia were his sons or grandsons.
At age 50 years, Robert Adkins apparently had sired a second son Joseph Adkins, born in Goochland County Virginia where he likely had migrated and established a James River plantation to grow tobacco using slave labor. The beginning process for most non-aristocratic origin slave owners was work as an overseer or hired man for a man who owned slaves and land. Most immigrants did not have capital as we know it but rather gained money by service to those who had it, ... such as the Governors and royal agents including customs officials and ship owners.
If on the other hand, Robert Adkins was able to bring his wife Helena Parker to live in the colony, ... it is an indicator that he was likely in some official capacity that afforded him the rights and privileges of an English gentleman, maybe even a pension for services to the royal crown that personally owned one or more James River slave plantations in addition to ownership of several slave castles (factories) in The Gambia and other places like Elmina slave castle, Cape Coast Castle or one of the other slave buying and selling places of human degeneration in modern day Republic of Ghana.
Another possibility is that Robert Adkins was an officer of the British Crown government or even a merchant seaman and trader who found his life's work in Virginia where he apparently died around 1724, ... after buying Caribbean 'broken and trained' slaves to labor on his small plantation in Goochland County on land and slaves purchased perhaps from the more established Randolph family. Aristocratic families such as the Carters and Randolphs in Virginia held their monopolies in the slave trade and land-holdings on the basis of royal charters, friendships and relationships that allowed them to sub-rent or sale to lesser men such as the Adkins and Jefferson aspirants in the colonies.
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