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Elizabeth Ann Watkins

(1841-1913)

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At a Glance

Lizzie was one of two Watkins sisters who attended the Burwell School. She later married “the boy next door,” Thomas Reade Carrington, of Oak Cliff Plantation, the oldest brother of Betty Carrington, who also attended the Burwell School.

Story

Lizzie Watkins and her sister Lucy were among the “Halifax girls” who attended the Burwell School from the close-knit plantation communities of Halifax County, Virginia, about forty miles north of Hillsborough. Lizzie was the eighth, and Lucy the ninth child of Richard Venable and Mary Anne Baskerville Watkins of Mayo plantation, established by Richard V. Watkins in the 1830’s. The sturdy large house sat on a hilltop with beautiful views all around into eastern Virginia and North Carolina.

Richard Venable Watkins, born in 1812 in Charlotte County, VA, married three times and had 18 children by his second wife. Lucy and her older sister Elizabeth (Lizzie) were the eldest daughters. Based on their ages, the two sisters must have attended the Burwell School in the early 1850’s. According to memories set down in 1962 by Richard Venable’s granddaughter, Helen Watkins, the busy, lively family valued education for the sons and daughters alike. “In spite of such a large family all of the sons and daughters except one, an invalid, attended college. The home was 12 miles from town so they were sent in carriages and buggies through the country, baggage in the wagons. There was a grand school for “young ladies” at Hillsboro, NC and a college in Norfolk, VA. The boys went to Hampton–Sydney or the University of Virginia. My father ran away from Hampton-Sydney to join the Confederate Army. He had been made a captain just as the war closed. Two brothers were killed during the war. [(Lucy’s older brothers, William and Richard.]

“One of the nephews [from Mary Anne Baskerville Watkins family) spent the winter at “Mayo” where a boy could get the benefit of the good tutors my grandfather always employed to live in the home and teach his numerous family.”

(Helen Watkins was likely the daughter of John S. Watkins, Lucy and Lizzie’s brother).

On December 21, 1859, at 18 years of age, Lizzie Watkins married Thomas Reade Carrington, the “boy next door” – or at least nearby, the oldest son of William and Jane Carrington of Oak Cliff plantation, only a few miles from Mayo plantation. Thomas’s younger sister Betty also attended the Burwell School. She and Lizzie were born within a few months of each other and would probably have been at the Burwell School at the same time – perhaps even traveling to school together.

Lizzie and Thomas moved into Granville County, NC, south east of their homes in Halifax, VA. In 1861, with baby daughter Jane at home, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate Army and served for an unknown period of time.

In 1860 the couple appeared in the US census for Abrams Plains, Granville County, NC., as T.R. Carrington, wife Lezzie, and Benji Wilkins, age 25, presumably a farm worker. Thomas’s personal wealth is stated at $8,760, and real estate valued $13,960 – modest but reasonably comfortable for that period. A year later, Thomas entered the Civil War.

He survived the war, returned to farming, and the couple ultimately had 11 children – all living to adulthood except the last, Richard V. Carrington, who died an infant, born when Lizzie was 47 years old.

In the 1880 census the family was listed in the Sassafras Fork Township of Granville County, NC. as Thomas, 44, “Elisabeth”, 38, Jennie W., 15, Clemment, 12, Mary A. E., 10, Thomas R., 8, William W., 6, Alice B., 4, Lizzie W., 3, and Susan M., 10 months. Perhaps daughter Jane was married by then, as she is not included in this household listing. Included in the household are a servant and her baby, and an 18- year-old nurse. The three oldest children are listed as “at school” so the Carrington/Watkins families’ emphasis on education for boys and girls was clearly carried forward.

Also living in Sassafras Fork in 1880 were Lizzie’s older brother Thomas Algernon Watkins, his wife Mariah and daughter.

Thomas Carringtondied in 1896; Lizzie died 17 years later on Sept 2, 1913, five months before her younger sister Lucy. Presumably Lizzie and Thomas are interred in Granville County, NC. but the location of their graves is unknown.

Sources:

“Some Recollections of My Youth in Old Virginia,” Miss Helen Watkins, July 18, 1962 (Written by request for Mary, Jimsie, and Helen Oeland and others who may be interested.) --- provided by family member, name unknown.

US Federal Census for 1880 for Sassafras Fork Community, Granville County, VA, accessed through Ancestry.com, 12 – 6 - 2010

J.D. Eggleston, “The Misses Carrington’s Sunny Side School for Young Ladies; 1872 – 1908. Near Clarksville, VA.” 1946. Copy provided to Burwell School Research Committee by Jean B. Anderson.

US Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles about Thomas R. Carrington, accessed through Ancestry.com 12 – 6- 2010, NC Troops 1861 – 1865, “A” roster.

US Civil War Soldiers, 1861 – 1865, about Thomas R. Carrington, accessed through Ancestry.com, Source, National Park Service, film kept at Provo, Utah, #m230 roll 6.

Miss Helen Watkins recollections, see item “I”

1860 US Federal Census for Abrams Plains, Granville County, NC. Accessed through Ancestry.com 12 – 6 – 2010.

Coles, William B.; The Coles Family of Virginia: its Numerous Connections from the emigration to America to 1915. Page 302. (taken from copy of pages in volume owned by Robert. G. Pottage, III, Halifax, VA)

[from Mary Anne Baskerville Watkins family) spent the winter at “Mayo” where a boy could get the benefit of the good tutors my grandfather always employed to live in the home and teach his numerous family.”

(Helen Watkins was likely the daughter of John S. Watkins, Lucy and Lizzie’s brother).

On December 21, 1859, at 18 years of age, Lizzie Watkins married Thomas Reade Carrington, the “boy next door” – or at least nearby, the oldest son of William and Jane Carrington of Oak Cliff plantation, only a few miles from Mayo plantation. Thomas’s younger sister Betty also attended the Burwell School. She and Lizzie were born within a few months of each other and would probably have been at the Burwell School at the same time – perhaps even traveling to school together.

Lizzie and Thomas moved into Granville County, NC, south east of their homes in Halifax, VA. In 1861, with baby daughter Jane at home, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate Army and served for an unknown period of time.

In 1860 the couple appeared in the US census for Abrams Plains, Granville County, NC., as T.R. Carrington, wife Lezzie, and Benji Wilkins, age 25, presumably a farm worker. Thomas’s personal wealth is stated at $8,760, and real estate valued $13,960 – modest but reasonably comfortable for that period. A year later, Thomas entered the Civil War.

He survived the war, returned to farming, and the couple ultimately had 11 children – all living to adulthood except the last, Richard V. Carrington, who died an infant, born when Lizzie was 47 years old.

In the 1880 census the family was listed in the Sassafras Fork Township of Granville County, NC. as Thomas, 44, “Elisabeth”, 38, Jennie W., 15, Clemment, 12, Mary A. E., 10, Thomas R., 8, William W., 6, Alice B., 4, Lizzie W., 3, and Susan M., 10 months. Perhaps daughter Jane was married by then, as she is not included in this household listing. Included in the household are a servant and her baby, and an 18- year-old nurse. The three oldest children are listed as “at school” so the Carrington/Watkins families’ emphasis on education for boys and girls was clearly carried forward.

Also living in Sassafras Fork in 1880 were Lizzie’s older brother Thomas Algernon Watkins, his wife Mariah and daughter.

Thomas Carringtondied in 1896; Lizzie died 17 years later on Sept 2, 1913, five months before her younger sister Lucy. Presumably Lizzie and Thomas are interred in Granville County, NC. but the location of their graves is unknown.

Sources:

“Some Recollections of My Youth in Old Virginia,” Miss Helen Watkins, July 18, 1962 (Written by request for Mary, Jimsie, and Helen Oeland and others who may be interested.) --- provided by family member, name unknown.

US Federal Census for 1880 for Sassafras Fork Community, Granville County, VA, accessed through Ancestry.com, 12 – 6 - 2010

J.D. Eggleston, “The Misses Carrington’s Sunny Side School for Young Ladies; 1872 – 1908. Near Clarksville, VA.” 1946. Copy provided to Burwell School Research Committee by Jean B. Anderson.

US Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles about Thomas R. Carrington, accessed through Ancestry.com 12 – 6- 2010, NC Troops 1861 – 1865, “A” roster.

US Civil War Soldiers, 1861 – 1865, about Thomas R. Carrington, accessed through Ancestry.com, Source, National Park Service, film kept at Provo, Utah, #m230 roll 6.

Miss Helen Watkins recollections, see item “I”

1860 US Federal Census for Abrams Plains, Granville County, NC. Accessed through Ancestry.com 12 – 6 – 2010.

Coles, William B.; The Coles Family of Virginia: its Numerous Connections from the emigration to America to 1915. Page 302. (taken from copy of pages in volume owned by Robert. G. Pottage, III, Halifax, VA)

Biographical Data

Elizabeth was called Lizzie.

Important Dates

Elizabeth Ann Watkins was born on September 2, 1841. She died on July 5, 1913, and was buried in Granville County, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

Relatives