Family names most certainly matter if a researcher is seeking to identify persons in more than a single household or location because the reality about families is that such an entity spans more than a single generation ie more than thirty years or so.
A woman with a baby or children does not generally represent a family in generation unless one or more of her offspring enter into partnership (marriage) that can establish an audit trail of family generations. Such was the case with African-American Adkins/Atkins generations traceable back to at least one female African slave named Silvey and another named Anaka (Ann).
Who are African-American Adkins/Atkins and what are their maternal and paternal roots that DNA now confirms to have been both African and European; and, even East Asian/Native American. Any analysis of names in America has to comprehend the geographic and sexual conquests that flowed from the amazing British Isles located to the east of America and north of Africa.
Exploration and exploitation of places and people, whether free or slave, was the essence of colonization before and after slaves were imported from Africa in accordance with the political dictates and dogma of Europe.
Slavery was especially enticing to robed men of might that defined Africans as suitable prey for enslavement in the cause of extinguishing evil in the name of Christianity while expanding wealth of church and state, bishops and aristocrats. And it occurred throughout most of the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries by some 16 generations of passions and power in bed and conference rooms.
So, what does all that jazz have to do with people using the name Adkins/Atkins?
In fact, why do so many folks using the name range in color from black to brown and tan with reddish hair; and light to White also with red to reddish hair features. The genetic realities are that such common traits did not come into existence in a single generation or via a single male or female, and certainly not in a single geographic place or American century. Our interests are all about what the various people using the name, ... did with their lives, passing on what characteristics and traits that matter in the spirit of goodness.
The below link offers background on origins of the surname Adkins/Atkins in English history; but, keep in mind that Englishmen in moving west conquered Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the process of conquering and settling the Caribbean and North America via generations of mixed heritage in all the aforementioned lands. We are curious to know from wherein the name came to be shared by our ancestors.
It is silly to imagine the Adkins/Atkins of cause, color and kind today are descended from nothing or lacking a human history not worth knowing. Our quest begins with what we do know about the 20th century Adkins and using same to work backwards to origins in body and spirit wherever it might lead, Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Like all other human beings on earth, their moral worth is inherited and none can claim to exist solely on the basis of merit; and, neither can the White Adkins/Atkins descendents whether or not knowledgeable of ancestral slave ownerships in their farming, coal mining and other endeavors including the making and selling of whiskey.
We dare to speculate that origin of African-American Adkins/Atkins began with the arrival of a woman named Annaka and subsequent enslavement in Sussex County (eastern area of Virginia) during first half of the 18th century by descendents of Robert Adkins who migrated from Ireland to Virginia in the decade before year 1700 wherein a son Joseph Adkins was born in Goochland County.
Indeed, the English, Welsh and Scot over-power and occupation of the Celt tribes in Ireland included a lot of Protestant evangelization of otherwise Irish Catholics and so-called miscegenation of men and women who eventually migrated and/or emigrated to Virginia where land was cheap and slave labor to be had in pursuit of what is now called "the American dream" several generations before the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King.
In fact and fatal fancies of hundreds of thousands of migrants like Robert Adkins/Atkins, ... their lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness very quickly meant doing more and worse to Native Americans and Africans than the Normans did to the Saxons and Celts of British Isles during the previous 500 years.
Pursuant church and state since at least Henry VIII, women of any class and color, as bequeathed or chattel of husbands or masters were sexually obedient subjects evidenced by their offspring. The classical "fallacy of the consequent" according to Aristotle in matters of sex included millions of children born to mothers and masters; but fathers unknown in eyes of laws by church or states of man.
The self-evident consequent of chattel slavery in the United States was a Civil War that killed a million men of all colors due to the fallacy that five million White southerners had god-given, constitutional and state rights to hold four million Black and Mulatto southerners as slaves. Black, White and Mulatto Adkins/Atkins died in the war that DNA confirms was brother against brother, cousins against cousins and uncles and fathers against nephews and sons known and unknown, north and south.
The horror of the matter were of such consequence that few historians dared to even address the possibility of divine intervention in making righteousness prevail. As reflected below, the White male Adkins/Atkins, as with the Black and Mulatto male Adkins/Atkins, did not remain fixed in a single geographic location.
It is for certain that generations, slave and free, experienced their young male offspring leaving places of birth and nurture for movements to distant locations and work as breeders, bargemen, leased property, liverymen, lumberjacks, traders, pioneers, sailors, soldiers, coal and salt miners, ferrymen, and other activities beyond the well-known stereo-type of plantation laborers.
Indeed, it is almost silly to view history without movement as though men and women are born and live in a single place and timeline doing a single task such as picking cotton or planting tobacco.
Movement is part of life itself! Many White men came to America as indentured servants to aristocratic families such as the Carter, Fairfax and Randolph blue-bloods,
... or as soldiers and sailors for the British crown and its militia organizations serving the royal governors such as Governor Shirley of Virginia who commissioned George Washington as a colonial militia officer.
Faithful service to the British crown over England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales opened doors of opportunities to acquire land and slaves; and George Washington's grand-father like many other immigrants came in such service to their sovereign Lord, ... fought the Native American, Dutch, French and Spanish competitors in the new world to rise up as living Lords to others such as "the least of us."
They were richly rewarded for conquest. On eve of the American Revolution in 1775, Lord Dunsmore (paint above) was British Crown Governor of Virginia, and Parker Adkins or one of his sons likely owned Annaka and her daughter Fannie. We do not know for certain. The below linked sites may offer further insight to the fact that she did exist in the reality of her generation and is not a make-believe figment of our imagination.
We make this comment because almost without exception, anytime an African-American descendent of any slave at anytime anywhere makes comment about their inheritance, ... descendents of slave owners and traders often times find it necessary to critique such writings to be superficial as though they somehow know better by virtue of their superior birth, being, education, etc., etc., back to a past we too remember.
Researching the facts and drawing educated and enlightened conclusions are both time-consuming and tedious to pursue, including travel and inquiries to persons with pertinent information such as the files and legal petitions of former slave owners and leasers. Below links may prove interesting to Adkins/Atkins research.
"p. 31 – Lucy Adkins – of Sussex – leaves negro slaves David and black Hannah to her brother William Harrison – whereas there is a suit in the high court of Chancery at present depending between myself and Thomas Adkins of the County of Sussex respecting the right and title of certain Negro slaves namely Anaka and Fanny and their increase. Now in case the said suit shall terminate in my favor and the right and title to the said Negro slaves be fixed and vested in me I give and bequeath to my brother William Harrison the said Negro slaves Annaka and Fanny to him and his heirs forever and as to the increase or children the said Annaka and Fanny now have I lend them all to my brother William Harrison in the following conditions, vizt.
All of them that may be twenty years of age or upwards at the time of my decease I lend to him for the term of five years from and after my decease and at the expiration of the said term of five years I leave them and their increase to be emancipated forever and those of the said children of Annaka and Fanny that may be under the age of twenty years at the time of my decease I lend to my said brother till they each arrive to the age of twenty five years and as they arrive to the age of twenty five years I leave them to be emancipated forever, all which said Negroes I lend to him and his heirs on the before mentioned terms.
I lend to my brother William Harrison the following Negro slaves, namely Sarah, Frank, Milley, Mike, Joe, Pat, Beck, Jenny, Fanny, Patience, Jemima, George, Washington, and Burrell, all of them that may be twenty years of age or upwards at the time of my decease for the term of five years from and after my decease and at the expiration of the said term of five years I leave them and their increase to be emancipated forever and those of the said negro slaves that may be under the age of twenty years at the time of my decease I lend to my said brother till they arrive to the age of twenty five years and then they and their increase to be emancipated forever, all which said Negro slaves I lend to my said brother and his heirs on the above mentioned terms. – 26 Sept 1795 – rec. 6 July 1797. – inventory p. 50 lists 40 slaves."
The above date more or less confirms that Lucy Harrison Adkins was a sister to William Harrison who later relocated to the area of Pittsylvania, Franklin and Roanoke Counties in western Virginia wherein the 1880 census lends support to our belief that Fannie, daughter of Anaka, likely was used to breed offspring related to the African-American Adkins in Sussex County (eastern Virginia).
The Harrison family in Virginia had long and historic roots and properties in eastern and western Virginia including towns and a President of the United States, William Henry Harrison.
For African-American Adkins/Atkins who might wonder about origins of their reddish hair such as existed with Luther Adkins and many of his siblings and descendents, ... the best answers are buried somewhere in the cemeteries such as Penhook. In fact, in the not so distant past, African-American Adkins in Franklin County were best known by friendly Whites due to hair color rather than skin colors that ranged from near White or bright in some to deep brown/ebony in others.
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