~ Roland Watkins ~
ROLAND WATKINS was born in the state of South Carolina in the year 1825, according to information listed on the 1860 Fayette County, Alabama, census. Later census records state that Roland's father was born in Virginia and his mother was born in South Carolina. The names of Roland's parents are unknown.
Roland married Melinda Roberts, the presumed daughter of Josiah and Mary Roberts of Rutherford County, North Carolina. She was born around 1835 in Alabama. Melinda's brother was named Amos Roberts, who married into the Andrews family of Fayette County. No record of their marriage can be found in Fayette County, however the birth of their first daughter, Sarah in 1849, indicates they were married around 1847-1848.
Roland and Melinda had 12 children: Sarah Watkins, born in 1849; John Roland Watkins, born 1851; Iba Jane Watkins, born 1853; Evaline Watkins, born 1854; William Watkins, born 1855; David Andrew Watkins, born 1857; Mary Watkins, born 1861; Nancy Watkins, born 1863; twins, Ezechial and Howell Watkins, born 1864; James B. Watkins; born 1865; and finally Rhoda "Sally" Watkins, born in 1868.
Roland farmed land he bought in the 1850s located in both Tuscaloosa and Fayette counties in Alabama. He seems to have been a poor uneducated farmer like many others in the community. Nothing is known of his family. It is thought that he may have had a brother named Malcom Watkins, who owned land that adjoined Roland's farm. He sold his farm land in 1867 and moved to Conway County, Arkansas.
Many families of Fayette County were suffering after the Civil War ended. They also made the move to Conway County, Arkansas, with Roland Watkins. Among the families who made the move with Roland Watkins were Amos Roberts and his wife, Mary Andrews Roberts; Mary's father and mother, Roland and Mary Andrews; and Ezechial and William Andrews, sons of Roland. Daniel Andrews and Nancy Andrews Howell, a brother and sister to Roland Andrews, also made the move, as did Martin and William Hopson; the Papazans (Papisans) who married into the Roberts family; Thomas Papisan, who married Margaret Jackson; William Poe and his wife Jane; and Andrew Morris and his son, W.D. Morris. Many of these families settled in Conway County, Arkansas, others settled in Logan County, Arkansas, and still others went further west into Oklahoma.
Roland and Melinda purchased land in Conway County in a small community known as Lick Mountain. They remained there until their old age. A son later took them out of Conway County to live with him. It is unknown when Roland and Melinda died or where they are buried. Many of Roland and Melinda's descendants still live and work in Conway County, Arkansas.
If anyone knows the names of Roland Watkins' parents or the names of his brothers and sisters, please contact the compiler. Any additional information will be greatly appreciated:
110 Brown Street, Plumerville, Arkansas 72127
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