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Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 1:10AM GMT
Classification: Query
I have an ancestor that resided in Accomack County from 1710-1748. She looked to be an indentured servant perhaps, and had several children that were bound out. She is mentioned in the Court Abstracts from that period, but I can find no other information about her, including who her partner may have been or her father. If anyone has any information regarding her, I would appreciate hearing from you. She had some connection to Thomas Blair, who paid a court fine for her. Thanks

earl perkins
earl.perkins@gmail.com

Re: Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 6 Jul 2012 12:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello Earl and Alice,
My name is Connie. I descend from Hester Netta Perkins, who married a Dyson. I recently read Patricia Waak's book "My Bones are Red". She seems to have done quite a bit of research, going all the way back to Esther and Thomas Blair. If you can't find a copy, I got mine @ googlebooks for $9.99. They just downloaded it direct to my computer.
While I know many of us who thought we were 100% white are now questioning the DNA results, we shouldn't have paid for it if we can't believe the science. I've read some of the other blogs, and I, too, have a brother who does not have any gray hair yet (at 65+).

Re: Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 8 Jul 2012 11:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Perkins
Hello Connie,
I have read the book as well. I trace my lineage as best as I can tell from Esther as well. My 23andme.com DNA test came back as being only 3% black, with 4% Asian-American and 93% European. It doesn't matter to me about whether I have African-American lineage, I'm just trying to sort out who Esther's parents were. I've hired a genealogist to work on finding it out, they should be finished fairly soon, I hope. They seem to feel that the Thomas Blair angle is important as well. We'll see. I did find out that Esther had 2 brothers, and she also had a daughter that she named Esther also. We'll see what happens.

Re: Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 9:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Perkins
Did you hear back from your genealogist re: Esther and her parents and children? Connie

Re: Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 2 Apr 2014 12:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes I did, but they were unable to find any additional information. I have a report from them, but it doesn't appear to shed any additional light. I would surmise that Esther is tied in some way to Thomas Blair, who paid for her fine in court for having an out-of-wedlock child, but I don't know if it's because he is the father or if it is simply because she worked for him as a maid. you're welcome to the findings (below).

MyGenealogist.com
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August 2012

The Perkins Family

The search for Esther Perkins and her children began in Virginia libraries and historical repositories for bonds, wills and inventories, and other records regarding the family in Accomack and Northampton Counties (Northampton split from Accomack), but very little information was found. The investigation then moved to the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

Esther Perkins had a child with Thomas Blair, who paid the fine for her bastard child (Orders 1724-31, p 201) because she was a white woman. However, there were no records of fines paid on her other children who were bonded out. They were listed as mulatto.

Mr. Blair was a practicing attorney. His name was shown throughout court orders for other cases, but only the one fine for the bastard child was found. A court order found in Orders 1731-36, p 133, lists Esther as a white woman giving birth to a mulatto child.

No records were found to shed light on Esther’s parentage, siblings or marriage. There were no marriage records or banns found for Esther’s marriage to anyone.

Mr. Blair owned a considerable number of slaves, but no records or bonds were found to indicate that Esther was in servitude to the Blair family. His last will and testament does not mention Esther or their child by name. The will leaves all of his “Negroes” to his wife Anne. Since Blair had a will, there was no inventory of the slaves because they went directly to his wife. The files on Bonds, Commissions and Oaths also did not show Esther as a servant.

She was listed as a white woman having mixed race children in the aforementioned court order. The mixing of races was not unheard of during this time period, so it is very probable that there is Negro blood in the Perkins ancestry. Ms. Perkins's descendants are listed in the available documentation as free blacks, though there are court documents of some her descendants claiming to be white and then later declared Negro.

Esther had several children and the others may or may not be of mixed race. The blood line of mixed heritage makes it clear why some descendents may have been considered to be free blacks and others to be white.

Male DNA is passed down from father to son and can be traced back many generations. This can identify Negro blood if there are any Negro males of that line. Female DNA only goes back one or two generations, so this will not be of help.

Microfilms from the Library of Virginia

Roll 109 – Accomack County, VA Court Minutes, 1729-1730. A print was found of the case where Thomas Blair, a gentleman, paid a fine for the bastard child of Esther Perkins. A copy is attached to this report. There was no mention of the child’s sex or date of birth, or the amount of fine paid. A search for indentured servants turned up no one by the names of Perkins. Her brothers William and Hugh Perkins and her father were searched with no result. Minutes of the Bastards Court also yielded no information.

Roll 123 – Accomack County, VA Orphan’s Accounts 1741-1780. This file contained all documents for children who were orphaned and inherited property, slaves and other collateral from deceased family members. These records show an annual accounting of their affairs, naming the child and guardian. Thomas Blair appeared only as an attorney representing a family.

Roll 008 – Accomack County, VA, Deeds, Wills, Etc., 1729-1737. Thomas Blair showed up as attorney representing various clients with claims for monies owed but there was no legal matter that associated him to the Perkins family in terms of debts or indenture. Thomas’s will makes no mention of his daughter Esther with Esther Perkins. Copies from this film are attached, but they are not very legible.

Roll 011 – Accomack County, VA Deeds, 1737-1746. By this time Thomas Blair, Gentleman, is deceased but the relevant records show no one by the surname of Perkins owning property.

Microfilms for court minutes 1724-1731 and 1731-1736 were not available for viewing, which is odd, since there was a film for 1729-1730. It is possible that they did not survive the test of time or were never microfilmed. However, some original information was found on p. 33 of Accomack Co., VA Court Order Abstracts, Vol. 15 [1724-1731] by Joann Riley McKey.

A careful search was undertaken in the section on Fornication and Bastard Bearing. Since Ms. McKey’s books emphasize this topic, there might well have been a genealogy of Esther and her progeny, but the surname Perkins never appeared.

Re: Looking for information on Esther Perkins, c. 1710, Accomack County

Posted: 2 Apr 2014 12:25PM GMT
Classification: Query
Looks like the search covered all known bases in VA. Wonder if Del. or Md. would have anything? Thanks for the info.
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