NICHOLAS PERKINS was our immigrant ancestor. The best single account I have seen concerning him is: THE DESCENDANTS OF NICHOLAS PERKINS by William K. Hall (only portions of which is quoted):
By 1641 Virginia was well established. Many men eager for land would bring friends, relatives, servants, workers, and others to Virginia in order to qualify for the land grants. The fact that NICHOLAS PERKINS arrived in Virginia in 1641 under such circumstances does not reveal much about his background. However the entry is of interest as the first record of this PERKINS family in Virginia, it is on p. 783 of Land Patents Bk. 1 (1623- 1643) that the name of NICHOLAS PERKINS first appears. On Oct. 10, 1641, Bryant Smith was granted 100 acres in Henrico County for the transportation of two persons into the colony: NICHOLAS PERKINS and Gringall Delahaye.
Whether NICHOLAS was old or young, rich or poor, there is no way of knowing. The extant records reveal very little about him. Nevertheless, whether he had means when he arrived or whether he acquired means by thrift and industry afterwards, he was able nine years later to pay transportation costs of four persons into the colony and for this he was granted 170 acres. The patent is recorded on p. 262 of Land Patents Bk. 2 (1643-1651) and reads:
To all etc whereas etc Now Know you that I the Said Sr Wm Berkeley etc give and grant unto NICHOLAS PERKINS one hundred and Seventy Acres of Land lying in Bermuda hundred in the County of Henrico Bounded Viz:-beginning at a marked Oake in Coles his swamp and Running a Long Cunicott Path west forty Chaynes thence North west by North one hundred and twenty Chaynes thence along the Cart Path to the head of Coles Swamp and Soo along the Said Swamp to the Place where it Begun, the Said Land being due unto the said NICHOLAS PERKINS by and for the transporting of four persons etc to have and to hold etc which payment is to be made seven years after the first grant or seating thereafter etc dated the 30th of August 1650. Mary Perkins, William Owen, Richard Hues
The Mary Perkins mentioned in the patent was very likely the wife of NICHOLAS PERKINS. If so, either she was returning from a visit to England or else NICHOLAS had returned to England after his coming in 1641 because the children of NICHOLAS and Mary were born during the 1640's--but whether in England or Virginia is not known.
A hundred was a political subdivision of an English county which originally contained about a hundred families. The term was formerly used in Virginia and in Maryland and Pennsylvania and still survives in Delaware. Bermuda hundred was located where the Appomattox empties into the James. It is on the south side of the James River and not included within the present boundaries of Henrico County. When the original counties were formed in 1634 James City County included Jamestown and the site of Williamsburg. Next up the river was Charles City County, and above that was Henrico County.
Although NICHOLAS PERKINS' land grant was to 170 acres in Henrico County, he seems to have lived in Charles City County and it was there that he died probably in 1656. On July 31, 1656, Richard Parker, intending to marry the widow of NICHOLAS PERKINS, signed an agreement confirming to her the estate of her late husband: "...I Richard Parker do freely give and consent to and with Mary Perkins that she shall make over unto herselfe all the estate wch her late decd husband left for & by his will doth appt both here & in England and further I do injoyne myself to bring her children up to Larning to ye true intent and meaning hereof..."
This writing was produced in the September Court and recorded on p. 63 of Charles City Records 1655-1665. This record indicates that NICHOLAS PERKINS possessed property not only in Virginia but also in England and it tends to support those who claim that NICHOLAS PERKINS was a man of some means even prior to his arrival in Virginia. The document of Mar. 17, 1656 (the end of the Julian year), which speaks of other things or servants which shall be sent for his widow further at anytime, also indicates property in England.
Probably in August 1656, shortly after the agreement of July 31, was signed, Dr. Richard Parker and the widow Mary Perkins were married. Certainly NICHOLAS PERKINS was only recently dead--his will was not even offered for probate until the September Court--but with the scarcity of women in the early days of the Colony and the economic difficulties which faced a widow with children prompt remarriages were the rule of the times.
The will of NICHOLAS PERKINS was presented to the court at Westover in September 1656. Page 67 of the Charles City Records reads. "A probate of the last will and testament of NICHOLAS PERKINS Decd this day proved in cort is granted to Richd Parker who married the relect and exex of the said decedt." Unfortunately a copy of the will has not been found in the existing records.
Nicholas married Elizabeth HARDYNGE (HARDING). He also married a second time, and his widow was named Mary (possibly ‘Burton’)
Nicholas and Elizabeth had the following children: \
1) Nicholas (II) PERKINS * (b.11 Oct 1647-Charles City Co.,Virginia d.Abt 1711-Tuckahoe Creek,Henrico Co Virginia Col.)
| sp: Sarah CHILDERS * (b.Abt 1649 m.Abt 1670 d.Abt 1721)
2) Elizabeth PERKINS (b.1643)
3) Lydia PERKINS (b.1642)
NICHOLAS PERKINS (II/Jr) was born 11 October 1647 in Charles City Co., Virginia. After his father's death he moved from Charles City County with his mother and stepfather and settled in Henrico County where he spent the rest of his life. In 1674 (when he was 27) he and Philemon Childers (who was to become his brother-in-law) patented 537 acres of land. In 1686 he owned land on Four Mile Creek adjoining Robert Sharp. In 1688, he was one of the executors of the estate of Derby Enroughty. There are several instances when he was on the Grand Jury Henrico County, VA. On June 1, 1694, Nicholas Perkins bought 100 acres of land on the north side of James River beginning at Cole's Run from John Davis son of John Davis of Longfield. He was a planter, owned 500 acres in 1705, and obviously was involved in the community, where he served on juries and often administered estates. He died by 1711, at Tuckahoe Creek, Henrico County, Virginia Colony.
THE WILL OF NICHOLAS PERKINS:
On June 13, 1711 (when he was about 64 years old), NICHOLAS PERKINS "being sick and weak of body" made his will. It was presented in Court Feb. 2, 1712--indicating that he died probably in 1712. His will reads as follows (p. 185 Part I Henrico Records 1710-1714):
In the name of God amen. I NICHOLAS PERKINS being sick and weak of body but of a sound mind and perfect sense and understanding thanks be to Almighty God for the same, therefore have thought fit to make ordain and constitute this my last will and testament in manner and form following--
First I give and bequeath my soul unto the Mercifull hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body to the Earth to be decently buried according to discretion of my Executor hereafter Mentioned and as for the Worldly goods as it hath pleased allmighty God to bestow upon I have thought fit to bestow them as followeth.
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Phill Perkins all that my land between the Springey Branch and Abraham Childers line, to him and his heirs forever, and my will is that he the sd Phill:Perkins do pay unto my granddaughter Eliz:Perkins daughter of my son Nicho:Perkins decd: five pounds of currt Mony of Virga in Consideration of part of the sd land being Designed for her father whereon he once dwelth before his decease.
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Perkins the plantation whereon I now live to him and his heirs forever allsoe one fether bed and furniture two breeding sows one iron pot on gun one chest two puter dishes.
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Abram Perkins that plantation I bought of Jno Pledge by estimation one hundred acres allsoe that pece of Land I have Lying between the sd plantation I bought of Jno Pledge and springey brainch by Estimation fifty acres by the s....other wet tracts I give and bequeath unto him and his he...one fether bed and furniture two breeding sows one Iron pot one (gun one chest and) two puter dishes.
Item I give and bequeath unto my (daughter Sarah Perkins) one fether bed and furniture allsoe two puter dishes.
Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Perkins one fether bed and furniture allso two puter dishes.
Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Ladd wife of Amos Ladd two Ewes one brass Kettle gt about 10 gall: after my Wive’s decease.
Item I give and bequeath unto my son Constantine Perkins five shillings in curt money of Virga.
My will and pleasure is that all my cattle be Equally divided between my Wife my two sons Richd and Abraham and my daughter Eliza and my will is that Each of my children shall have their shear when they arrive to Lawful age or the day of Marrage of my daughter of what Cattle shall be then Livering.
All the rest of my personall Estate I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife whom I make ordaine constitute and appoint my whole and sole Executor of this my Last will and testamt hereby revoking and disanulling all former will or testaments of any kind or Nature whatsoever In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and affixed my Seal this 13th day June Ano Dom: 1711 his
Signed Sealed and Acknowledged as his last NICHOLAS N PERKINS will in presence of: mark “N”
WITNESSES: Joseph Pleasants, Tho: Childers
Abra: Childers, Jr.
At a Court held at Varina for the County of Henrico the 2d day of Febry 1712--SARAH PERKINS presented this will upon Oath and Same being proved by the Witness thereto it is admitted to record.
Nicholas married Sarah (Childers?). Nicholas's wife is not proven as Sarah Childers, but it is inferred in "Descendents of Nicholas Perkins" because two of her sons were named Abraham and Philemon. A "Sarah" as the wife or widow of Nicholas is also mentioned in several legal documents. The will of SARAH PERKINS is not recorded in any of the extant Henrico records. However the following entry (p. 226 Henrico Minutes 1719-1724) shows that it was presented to Court in January 1722 indicating that she died shortly before that time:
January Court 1722. The last will and testament of SARAH PERKINS deceased is presented in Court by Abraham Perkins her Executor who makes oath thereto and the Same being proved by the oath of Edward Enroughty and solemn affirmation of Thomas Childers a Quaker it is admitted to record and on the motion of the said Executor Certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form. Thomas Childers and Constant Perkins entering themselves Securities for the same.
Nicholas and Sarah had the following children:
1) CONSTANTINE PERKINS * (b.Abt 1682 d.Dec 1779-Goochland,Virginia)
| sp: Anne (not proved) POLLARD * (m.1716)
2) Nicholas (III) PERKINS (d.By 1711)
| sp: Elizabeth
3) Richard PERKINS
4) Abraham PERKINS
5) Philemon PERKINS
| sp: Obedience COX
6) Mary PERKINS
| sp: Amos LADD
7) Elizabeth PERKINS
8) Sarah PERKINS