Steven Butler's Family History Website



The Jenkins Family
William Jenkins [1] | William Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [1] | Francis Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [3]
Lorenzo C. Jenkins | Thos. William Jenkins | William N. Jenkins | William Ollie Jenkins

Francis Jenkins [3]
b. 1764-d. between 1825 AND 1830

Francis Jenkins [3] was the second child of Francis and Cassandra (Grafton) Jenkins of Baltimore County, Maryland. He was born on December 15, 1764.

Francis [3] spent at least some of his childhood, we may assume, on his father's tobacco plantation in Baltimore County. When he was still quite young, his family apparently moved to what is now York County, South Carolina (see preceding section).

Our earliest public record of Francis Jenkins [3] is the 1790 federal census for York County, South Carolina, which shows him living close by his mother, Cassandra Jenkins (shown in the census as the "Widow Jinkins), with one female (name not given and age unspecified) in his household. This raises a question because according to an old family Bible, Francis [3] did not get married until 1800 at the earliest. There are two possible explanations: Either Francis was married twice and his first wife died sometime before 1800, or the one female in his household in 1790 was one of his sisters.

Our next earliest public record of Francis Jenkins [3], dated November 2, 1795, is a State of South Carolina land grant, for 223 acres "surveyed for George Anderson on the 2d of August 1788, situated in Ninety-six District on Tugaloo River." It is recorded in Land Grant Book 41. p. 475. A similar grant for William Jenkins is recorded on the preceding page (474).

Jenkins land grant map

A second grant, this time for 500 acres "situated in the District of Ninety-Six on Choestou Creek in Pendleton County" is dated May 2, 1796 and recorded in Land Grant Book 40, p. 430. Below is a plat of the grant, recorded in South Carolina Land Grant Plat Book 32, p. 617.

Jenkins land grant

There are also five land transactions on file in York County, South Carolina, in which Francis Jenkins is either a buyer or seller. Here they are, in chronological order:

  1. York County, South Carolina Deed Book C, pp.190-3. On January 10, 1793, for $125, Francis Jenkins bought a tract of land "on the north branch of King's Creek, bounded So and Wst by Wm Jenkins' land and north by Thos Russell's. land and est by Vacant Land."
  2. York County, South Carolina Deed Book E, 82-3. On December 17, 1794, Francis Jenkins paid his brother, William Jenkins, twenty shillings Sterling for a tract of land on the west side of King's Creek.
  3. York County, South Carolina Deed Book E, pp.71-2. On February 3, 1796, Francis Jenkins sold the land referenced in No. 1 above, to William Price for 150 Pounds "current money."
  4. York County, South Carolina Deed Book E, pp.72-3. Francis Jenkins bought a tract of land "on the north branch of King's Creek," adjoining the land of William Jenkins and Thomas Jenkins, from Jesse Ponder, paying $125.
  5. York County, South Carolina Deed Book F, p.24-5. On September 18, 1795, Francis Jenkins sold the parcel of land he inherited from his uncle, Thomas Jenkins, to Nicholas Wisenhant for forty-five Pounds "good and lawful money."

Francis Jenkins also witnessed several deeds in York County, in which his brothers, William and Thomas, were either a buyer or a seller. According to an old family Bible, Francis Jenkins [3] was married on August 4, 1800, at the relatively-advanced age of thirty-five. His bride was seventeen-year-old Dorothy or Dorothea Henrietta Maria Edmondson Orme, who was reportedly born in Maryland on October 15, 1782. . Tradition holds that the couple were married in Maryland, either "near Eastern Shore" or Sharpsburg, Washington County. Unfortunately, there seems to be no evidence to confirm either place. If Francis Jenkins was living in South Carolina in 1800, which it appears that he was, it seems more likely they were married there instead.

There's a further problem in regard to the bride: At some point in the not-too-distant past, one or more researchers began to infer that Dorothy or Dorothea's parents were Robert Orme and his wife, Priscilla Edmonston (not Edmonson), of Prince George's County, Maryland, most likely because 1.) an old Jenkins family Bible gives Dorothy or Dorothea's last name as "Orm," 2.) because census records show that Dorothy or Dorothea Jenkins was born in Maryland, 2.) because Francis [3] and wife had a son that they named Archibald Edmonston Jenkins and 3.) because Robert and Priscilla Orme had a son named Archibald Edmonston Orme. Although making the connection seems like a logical inference, the problem is that according to an old Orme Family Bible, Robert and Priscilla Orme did not have a daughter named Dorothy Henrietta Maria Edmonson Orme born in 1782. They did have a daughter named simply Dorothy but she was born ten years earlier, in 1772. So, was the wife of Francis Jenkins [3] related to Robert and Priscilla Edmonston Orme? My guess is that yes, she was somehow related, but she was clearly not the daughter of Robert and Priscilla Orme. In that case, whose daughter was she? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is presently unanswerable.

At some point in time, Francis and Dorothea removed to that portion of Pendleton District, South Carolina that later became Pickens County (if they were not already living there at the time of their marriage). It was there, so far as we know, that over the next twenty-five years, Dorothea gave birth to at least thirteen children:

  1. Cynthia Elizabeth Jenkins, born June 19, 1801
  2. Andrew Jenkins, born June 14, 1804
  3. William Jenkins, born December 12, 1805
  4. Francis Jenkins, born October 29, 1807 (died October 31, 1809)
  5. Thomas Jenkins, born May 27, 1809
  6. Jesse Jenkins, born March 26, 1811
  7. Eliza Jenkins, born March 1, 1813
  8. John Milton Jenkins, born December 11, 1814
  9. Lorenzo Clark Jenkins, born December 4, 1816
  10. Alvin Jenkins, born September 26, 1818
  11. Archibald Edmondston Jenkins, born April 29, 1820
  12. Nancy Jenkins, born April 17, 1823
  13. Francis James Jenkins, born February 10, 1826

Map of Pendleton District, South Carolina
Map of Pendleton District, South Carolina, showing confluence of Tugaloo River and Choestoe Creek.

There's another problem with which to contend when looking at the life of Francis Jenkins [3]: On September 5, 1801, a man named John Gibson sold 167 acres of land in Pendleton District, South Carolina to a man named Francis Jenkins. The land was described as being "where Jenkins now lives on S. fork of Beaverdam of Toogaloe River, part of tract granted to Samuel Watt by Chas. Pinckney." However, the purchaser was not "our" Francis Jenkins [3]. There was another Francis Jenkins who came to live in this area around the same time, who had a brother named James. Later land records reveal that James Jenkins had married a daughter of John Gibson. The presence of this second Francis Jenkins initially caused me no end of confusion, until I had the opportunity to carefully examine the records. It was only then that I realized that there were two men with the same name living in the same area at the same time. This, unfortunately, is not the only such case I have come across. Such instances are a family historian's nightmare.

Two years later, we find a Francis Jenkins as witness to a sale of land in the same general area, from Duncan McKinzie to Benjamin Hickman. We can't be sure, however, if this was "our" Francis [3] or the other Francis.

On December 2, 1801, Francis Jenkins-presumably "ours"-received another land grant, this time for 187 acres in the Pendleton District "on the branches of the Choestoa Creek waters of Tugaloo River," bounded in part by land he already owned. This grant is recorded in South Carolina Land Grant Book 48, p. 74.

There are also nine deeds now on file in Anderson County, South Carolina that record Old Pendelton District property transactions in which a man named Francis Jenkins was either a grantor or grantee. At least four are "not ours" and it's possible, but not proven, that none of them were. Here is the list:

  1. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book G, p. 195. September 5, 1801, John Gibson to Francis Jenkins, 167 acres, $255; on fork of Beaverdam Creek. Wit: Thomas Russell and Matthew Pinkerton. NOT "OURS."
  2. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book H, p. 275. Francis Jenkins to Thomas Harbin. 175 acres, Beaver Creek. March 24, 1806. Wit: John Clayton and Thomas Harbin, Jr.
  3. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book K, p. 207. William Richards to Francis Jenkins. August 8, 1810. 18 acres, Oconee Creek. Wit: Ephraim Maysop? and Abner Filer?
  4. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book P, p. 317. Thomas Kennedy to Francis Jenkins. September 3, 1821. 539 acres, Oconee Creek. Wit: Thomas Russell and James Kennedy.
  5. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book P, p. 514. Francis Jenkins to William Hammond. 293 acres. Oconee Creek. September 6, 1822. Wit: R. Kell and Samuel McCarley.
  6. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book Q, p. 265. Osborne Russell to Francis Jenkins. October 27, 1823. 262 acres, Cane Creek. Wit: Thomas Lamar and Richard Adams.
  7. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book R, p. 189. Abner Jenkins to Francis Jenkins. April 30, 1825. 112 acres on a branch of Cox's Creek. Wit: James Jenkins and Nancy Jenkins. NOT "OURS."
  8. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book R, p. 229. Francis Jenkins to John Sharpe, Jr. 120 acres, Oconee Creek. September 1, 1825. Wit: James Jenkins and Nancy Jenkins. NOT "OURS."
  9. Anderson County, South Carolina Deed Book S, p. 307. Francis Jenkins to William Yeatman. 112 acres, Cox Creek. September 1. 1828. Wit: James Yeatman and Thos. S. Reese. NOT "OURS."

In 1810, the federal census-taker found two men named Francis Jenkins residing in Pendleton District, South Carolina. One was "our" Francis [3]. The other was almost certainly the Francis Jenkins referred to earlier, who had a brother named James. This "other" Francis Jenkins also had a wife named Polly. The 1810 census also enumerated the families of a Jesse Jenkins and a Thomas Jenkins. "Our" Francis [3] had brothers named Jesse and Thomas and these men were likely them. At this time, we do not know to whom the other Jenkinses found in this particular census - Lewis, two Richards, and a man named Shepherd Jenkins, were related.

Although there were clearly two men named Francis Jenkins living in Pendleton District, South Carolina in the early 1800s, the 1820 federal census lists only one of them and though the ages of the parents match what we know about Francis [3] and Dorothea, the ages and number of children do not. This means there was either some mistake on the part of the census-taker or that this entry was for the "other" Francis Jenkins. If so, where was "our" Francis? The answer is that he may have been there and that somehow, the census-taker did not find him. This was not uncommon. It was equally uncommon for some individuals to be listed twice (although that is clearly not the case here).

Map of Pickens County, South Carolina.
Map of Pickens County, South Carolina.

The 1830 federal census for Pickens County, South Carolina, which was carved out of Pendleton District in 1825, lists Dorothea Jenkins, clearly "ours," and "Francis Jenkins, Esq.," age 50 to 60. The subsequent two censuses (1840 and 1850) also list both Dorothea and a Francis. For this reason, I assumed, for several years, that "our" Francis [3] and his wife had either separated or divorced. I now realize that was an error. In the first place, divorce was uncommon during this period of our nation's history. In the second, the available evidence makes it clear that the Francis Jenkins listed in the 1840 and 1850 census records was the "other" Francis referred to earlier. My conclusion then, is that "our" Francis Jenkins [3] died sometime between 1820 and 1830 and that the date and circumstances of his demise went unrecorded in any official record.

Part of my initial confusion also arose from the fact that both "our" Francis and the "other" Francis had daughters named Eliza. In 1850, the first census which named all individuals in a household (rather than just the "head"), we find an Eliza Jenkins living in Pickens County, South Carolina with her father Francis, obviously taking care of him in his old age. He was then seventy-four years old. Eliza's age was twenty-four. In contrast, "our" Francis, if he were still alive in 1850, would have been eighty-five years old and his daughter Eliza would have been thirty-seven. We also know that "our" Eliza Jenkins married J. M. Dean and although we do not know the date of their marriage, it's a fair bet that it occurred well before 1850. The "other" Eliza Jenkins married a man whose family name was Stewart.

In one of those occasional instances mentioned earlier, Dorothea Jenkins was listed twice in the 1850 census for Pickens County, South Carolina. On page 401 we find her as the head of a household that includes Alvin, Archibald, and Nancy. Her age is given incorrectly as seventy. (Andrew Jenkins and his wife Elizabeth are the family listed immediately preceding.) On page 415 of the same census, we find Dorothea listed once again, her age correctly given as sixty-eight, living with her son Archibald, who is named as head of the household, and her daughter Nancy. Alvin Jenkins is also enumerated twice. On page 409, he is listed as a head of a household.

Dorothea Jenkins died in Pickens County, South Carolina in 1855 at the age of nearly seventy-three. County court records dated June 28 of that same year provide us with a list of Dorothea's heirs as well as an inventory of her possessions. The former is revealing. We know, for example, that she kept bees (she owned several hives). We also know that she had five cows, two steers and a mule, that she spun and wove her own cloth (two spinning wheels and loom were on the inventory of items sold), and that she could read, presumably, since she not only owned a Bible, but also a dictionary, and a copy of "Witherspoon's Works." Because a petition by Jesse Jenkins to sell the property of "Francis Jenkins, deceased," dated August 3, 1855, is included in the same file, some researchers have concluded that Francis Jenkins [3] died in July 1855. This petition describes the land that Francis owned as 240 acres, "more or less," located "on Choestoe Creek water of [the] Tugaloo River adjoining lands of Richard Dean [a son-in-law, husband of Cynthia Jenkins] and Samuel Verner." This is almost certainly the 223 acres that Francis was granted by the State of South Carolina on November 2, 1795. But if so, that begs the question: What became of all the other acreage he was granted, or that he may have purchased?

In any event, the county court approved Jesse Jenkins' petition and promptly ordered that Francis Jenkins' land be sold at auction, so that the proceeds from the sale could be distributed to his heirs-at-law equally. Accordingly, the sheriff of Pickens County advertised the sale, which was held at the courthouse on the first Monday of January 1856, where Francis's son, Archibald Edmonson Jenkins, was the highest bidder, paying $1,103.50 for the property.

The estate of the "other" Francis Jenkins, who appears to have died about 1859, makes it clear that he was an entirely different person from "our" Francis [3]. The land the "other" owned is described as "122 acres on Cane [or Cave] Creek waters of Little River." This property adjoined land owned by "W. H. Stribling, T. J. Hall, and others." None of the names of his heirs were the same as the names of the heirs of "our" Francis, with the exception of the aforementioned Eliza.

Presently, we do not know where either Francis Jenkins [3] or Dorothea Jenkins were buried.

Archibald Jenkins, who never married, held on to his father's land until 1889, when he was forced by law to forfeit it, as the result of a lawsuit brought against him by Calloway R. Davis, whose grandfather was Thomas Davis, the first of three faithers-in-law of Archibald's brother, Lorenzo Jenkins. Unfortunately, the details of the suit and the subsequent sale of property are unavailable.

The Jenkins Family
William Jenkins [1] | William Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [1] | Francis Jenkins [2] | Francis Jenkins [3]
Lorenzo C. Jenkins | Thos. William Jenkins | William N. Jenkins | William Ollie Jenkins

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