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).
299 South Main Street Suite 1300
Salt Lake City, Utah USA 84111yy
Toll Free 800-416-3497
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.