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Briley Genealogy » research, Surname Saturday » Surname – Elkin(s)

Surname – Elkin(s)

My featured surname this post is Elkin.  A few generations back, it was Elkins, but a great-grandfather changed it.  We are not sure why.  I am going to focus on the line I descend from.

The oldest ancestor I have found, and that many of the Elkin/s researchers I have worked with, tend to agree it is John Elkins of England.  He lived and died in England.  His son, Ralph Elkins, came to America while the Virginia Company was still transporting people over here.  He was lucky because he must have had some wealth.  He was granted land in what is now Stafford County, Virginia.  He died in Stafford County, Virginia and his handwritten will is preserved in the archives at the Library of Virginia.  He was my 10th great grandfather.

Ralph’s children stayed in the Stafford area and his grandson, Richard Elkins (II) moved to Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  He died in 1751, so at the time he moved Pittsylvania was on the frontier.  A few generations later his grandchildren Elkins are living in the Logan County area of Virginia (now West Virginia).  At least 3 generations live in the Logan County area.  My ggg grandfather, Martin F. Elkins, joins the Confederate Army (Virginia) and pulls canons back and forth to battles.  He was older when he joined and his son served with him.  After the war, he packs his family up and moves to Grundy County, Missouri.  He dies soon after.

Martin’s son, Edward Eldridge Elkins, takes the Oregon Trail out to …Washington, Clark County now.  He settles in with the wife he brought from Missouri, Margaret Elvira Marrs (actually a cousin of his).  They were my grandfather’s grandparents.  After the generations of slowly spreading across America, my grandfather settles back in Virginia after a career in the Navy.

I have always enjoyed the Americana of this family history.  First settlers, following the frontier, taking the Oregon Trail to settle another frontier.  Also, I like to think about the fact that my family had been here for generations before Independence.  They were the first settlers in their area.  Can you imagine going to a strange area, sparsely populated, and having to start from scratch?  Knowing the area, it was heavily forested and there must have been a substanial Indian population.  When I think about my ancestors, I feel pride in their gumption and stick-to-itiveness.


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