Name: Josiah Randolph Atkins 1
Birth: 16 APR 1804 in North Carolina 2
Death: 30 SEP 1854 in Weakley County, TN 2
Records indicate that Josiah R. Atkins was born in North Carolina. According to a family history written by Oscar T. F. Atkins in 1945, the Atkins were of Scotch-Irish descent and came over from England to America about the time of or just prior to the Revolutionary War to settle in North Carolina. In about 1823, he and a brother, Jack, joined a wagon train to go to West Tennessee. It was on this overland trip that Josiah met Miss Rebecca Jones. He and Jack first settled in Henry County, Jack in Paris and Josiah and Rebecca went down near the western side of Henry County, about two or three miles northeast of Como. They lived there for a few years and later moved about five miles further west into Weakley County, just north of the Middle Fork of the Obion River and about one mile west of the Henry County line. It was there that they raised their eight children. Their children were: Ephram J.; Frances; John; Thomas J; Martha Jane; Mary Louise; James Jones; and Josiah Jr. (Josiah Jr. is mistakenly identified on early census records as Joseph.)
Josiah first appears in Weakley County by the 1831 tax records. They list Josiah R. Adkins as being assessed taxes on 30 acres of land in Range 2, Section 7, Surveyor's District 12, Civil District 6. The Occupant Entry Book (1827-1833) also lists him as receiving 63.5 acres in Civil District 6. Civil District 6 is described as being north of the Middle Fork of the Obion River, is above District 11 and borders Henry County.
The 1840 census of Weakley County list on page 295, line 25: J. R. Adkins (note: Atkins is alternately spelled Adkins in some records.) 121001-111001. This would account for a total of nine in the household and equated to:
1 white male under 5 (born 1835-1840=James 1839)
2 white males 5-10 (born 1830-1835=John 1830; Thomas 1832)
1 white male 10-15 (born 1825-1830=Ephraim 1825)
1 white male 30-40 (born 1800-1810=Josiah R. 1804)
1 white female under 5 (born 1835-1840=Mary 1837)
1 white female 5-10 (born 1830-1835=Martha 1834)
1 white female 10-15 (born 1825-1830=Francis 1827)
1 white female 30-40 (born 1800-1810=Rebecca 1803)
The census says that two persons were employed in agriculture and one white person over 20 could not read or write. It would be safe to assume that Rebecca was the family member listed as not being able to read or write. The children were not old enough to fit in that category and Josiah is listed in several court documents as being appointed as Executors and Administrators of different individuals estates. In order to be placed in this position it would be assumed that he could read and write.
On February 3, 1845, Josiah R. Atkins and Charles Powers were appointed as Executors for the Estate of Isaac Olliver. Isaac Olliver made his will 24 July 1844 and says, "I do hereby appoint my esteemed brother, Charles Powers, and my neighbor Josiah R. Atkins, Executors of this my last will and testament." Again in 1845 (November 3), Josiah is called upon to administer an estate. This time it is because Elisha Thorgmorthon had left no will. April 6, 1846, the court recognized that Josiah R. Atkins was to be appointed as Executor for the Estate of Gray Gillam, who had left a written will. In the will Gray states, "I do hereby appoint my esteemed neighbour and friend Josiah R. Atkins, executor to this my last will and testament." It was dated November 19, 1845.
The next record that we have at this time of Josiah R. Atkins is the 1850 Weakley County Census. He and his family are living in District 6 and are family number 47.
J. R. Adkins 46 M 1372 NC
Rebecca 47 F TN
John 20 M TN
Thomas 18 M TN
Martha 16 F TN
Mary 13 F TN
James 11 M TN
Joseph 8 M TN
Ephraim and Francis are both married by this time with their own families.
In the Oscar Atkins, "The Atkins Family in America" family history, he states that Josiah Randolph Atkins was born in North Carolina on 16 Apr 1804 and died at this home in Weakley County, TN on 30 Sep 1854.
Rebecca Jones b: 15 JUL 1803 in North Carolina
in TN 2
- Ephraim Atkins b: 27 MAY 1825 in TN
- Frances Elizabeth Atkins b: 14 OCT 1827 in Weakley Co., TN
- John G. Atkins b: 21 DEC 1829 in Weakley Co., TN
- Thomas Jones Atkins b: 27 APR 1832 in Weakley Co., TN
- Martha Jane Atkins b: 2 APR 1834 in Weakley County, TN
- Mary Louisa Atkins b: 27 MAY 1837 in Weakley County, TN
- James Jones Atkins b: 31 MAY 1839 in Weakley County, TN
- Joseph R. Atkins b: 11 JAN 1842 in Weakley County, TN
- Title: 1850 Weakley Co. Tn Census Records
Note: 1850 Weakley Co. Tn Census Records
- Title: The Atkins Family in America by Oscar T.F. Atkins 1945-edited and arranged by John W. Lawrence