THE DESCENDANTS OF JOSEPH CLARK ATKINS
1776 - 1830
SOUTH GARDINER, KENNEBEC CO., ME.
JOSEPH CLARK ATKINS was born about 1766, birthplace unknown. As early as 1785 he resided in and around South Gardiner, Kennebec Co., Me. He built his home on Capen Road in South Gardiner and lived there for the rest of his life. He died in South Gardiner on 1 May 1830. According to Family tradition, in addition to being a farmer he was a mill worker, and a raftsman, handling logs on the Kennebec river for the mill and lumber yard.
On 20 Nov 1785, at the age of 19, he married JANE TODD BLAIR of Woolwich, Sagadahoc Co., Me. She was the daughter of James and Jane (Todd) Blair of Woolwich. At this time he was noted in the records as being "of Gardiner". Nothing has yet been found concerning him prior to his marriage. His wife Jane died in South Gardiner, her birth and death dates are not known.
As to where Joseph C. Atkins originated nothing has been discovered. There were Atkins familys in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. If he wasn't from Maine then he was one of the multitude of New Englanders and foreign emigrants who arrived in Maine immediately after the Revoultionary War.
George T. Little, in his "Genealogy And Family History Of The State Of Maine", 1909, seemed at first reading to shed some light on Joseph's origins, he stated that Joseph was English and the first of his family to settle in this country. This may well be correct, however, the credibility and/or motives of Little's unknown source become suspect after considering another bit of information presented, that "he (Joseph) died when his children were young and no family history was handed down". In fact Joseph died at the age of 64 when his eldest child, Mary Atkins Mooers, was 42 years old, and he had at least twenty grandchildren at the time of his death.
In the late 1960's and 1970's in Maine, the eldest of his descendants questioned on the subject of his origins had no idea where he came from. There seemed to be no family tradition at all that would place his nativity or parents. Several made vague refrences to England but it appeared upon further examiation that Little's biography in "Genealogy And Family History Of The State Of Maine" was the source. Its quite obvious that Joseph had ample opportunity to pass on his family history to his children, and, despite what George T. Little had to say on the subject, due to the fact that most of the material in Little's book seems to have been provided by descendants and not his own research, you can't believe eveything you read. Whoever provided Little with the Atkins material for his "Mug Book" gave him incorrect information. This was either unintentional, in the belief that it was true, or intentional for any number of reasons. It could be that Joseph himself didn't have anything to say on the subject, or maybe he did and his children felt they didn't care to pass it along. Whatever the reason may have been - the end result is that the question of where Joseph C. Atkins originated is still unanswered. CHILDREN:
1. Jane Atkins, b. S. Gardiner, m. Francis Rittal Call of Dresden, Me. 16 Nov. 1826 in S. Gardiner. He was b. 22 Sep. 1800 in Dresden, Lincoln Co., Me. and died in Jan of 1859, lost at sea. They had:
1. Francis E. Call, b. 13 May 1827 in Gardiner
2. Laura J. Call b. 12 Oct. 1829 in Dresden
3. Ezekiel S. Call b. 3 Feb. 1830.
2. MARY ATKINS*, b. 26 Oct. 1788 South Gardiner, Me., d. 27 Aug 1851 South Gardiner, Me., m. THOMAS MOOERS Sr. 01 Jan 1808 in South Gardiner. He was b. 01 Mar 1784 in Pittston, Lincoln Co., Me. and d. 08 Jan 1864 in South Gardiner. See Mooers line for descendants
3. John Atkins, b. 11 Nov 1790 South Gardiner, d. 13 Apr 1855 South Gardiner. He m. Sarah (Sally) Eastman of Pittston, Lincoln Co., Me., who d. 17 Apr. 1841. She was the daughter of Samuel Eastman and Sarah Stevens. No information on Children.Vital Records of Pittston, Maine, births, p. 736l Vital Records of Gardiner, Maine, marriage p. 528, death p. 199
4. E. (Ezekiel?) Atkins, b. 17 May 1794, d. y?.
5. Joseph Clark Atkins Jr., b. 21 Aug 1796 South Gardiner, Me., d. 30 Dec 1866 South Gardiner. He m. Lucinda Wade Newall of West Gardiner on 6 Jan 1821. Lucinda was b. about 1800 in Massachusetts, and d. 25 Oct 1868 in Gardiner. Joseph was a farmer, inheriting the house an land of his father. In 1850 the tax valuation on his property was $25. They had the following children, all b. in Gardiner, Me. Children:
1. Lucinda Atkins, b. 18 Jun 1823 South Gardiner
2. Joseph Clark Atkins III, b. 19 Jul 1825 South Gardiner, m. Esther A. Atkinson, b. 1829, d. Gardiner.
3. George Wade N. Atkins, b. 27 Jan 1827, m. Helen Elvira _____., b. abt. 1829, On 1880 Census of S. Gardiner, George and his family were living on Capen Rd. with children Edward and Louisa M., George was a farmer. ("Vital Records of Gardiner, Maine to the year 1892", Births, p. 27-28, Gardiner, 1914). Children:
1. Edward Foster Atkins b. 06 May 1860. (ibid., p. 27)
2. Charles Atkins, b. 14 Aug 1862 (ibid., p. 27)
3. Maria Louisa Atkins b. 10 Apr 1857 (ibid., p. 27-28)
4. William Wallace Atkins b. 03 Dec 1863 (ibid., p. 27-28)
4. Drucilla Atkins b. 23 Nov 1828, no further info.
5. Robert C. Atkins b. 27 Mar 1831
6. Hubbard C. Atkins b. 05 May 1833
7. Catherine N. Atkins b. 27 Jun 1835
8. Francis I. Atkins b. 27 Oct 1837
9. Harriet E. Atkins b. 16 Jan 1840
10. Mary J. Atkins b. 05 Jun 1842
11. John Atkins b. 22 Jul 1844
6. Sarah Atkins, b. 06 Oct 1799 South Gardiner, d. 21 Dec 1873 South Gardiner. She m. Ezekiel Sawyer 19 Jan 1825 (int. 24 Dec 1824) in Christ Episcopal Church S. Gardinerin South Gardiner. He was b. abt 1798 and d. 21 Sep 1877 in South Gardiner at the age of 79. Both Sarah and Ezekiel were buried in Hount Hope Cemetery in S. Gardiner. Children:
1. Mary Adeline Sawyer b. 15 Jan 1827
2. Charles Sawyer b. 09 Aug 1829
3. Henry R. Sawyer b. 13 Apr 1833
4. Ezekiel Sawyer b. 03 Dec 1836, d. 25 Feb 1847
5. Augusta Sawyer b. 15 Aug 1840
7. LEVI ATKINS*
8. Matthew Atkins b. 11 Jan 1803 South Gardiner
LEVI ATKINS was born 12 Aug 1801 South Gardiner and died 21 Dec 1861 in S. Gardiner. He married his cousin ANNA BLAIR of Woolwich, Maine. Their intention to marry was published 21 Oct. 1827 in Woolwich. Anna was born abt. 1805 in Woolwich and died 15 July 1882 in South Gardiner at the age of 77. She was the daughter of WILLIAM BLAIR and REBECCA KNOWLES .
Levi was a lifelong resident of South Gardiner living first on Capen Road in the house built by his father Joseph C. Atkins. Later in life he built a house on River Road and lived there until his death. The house was owned by a family named Weston in the 1970's.
Levi was a farmer, but also worked as millhand and logger. In the summer he worked on the Kennebec River as a "Raftsman", collecting logs driven down the river from northern Maine. I was told by Wallace Atkins that in the winter Levi worked on the river as an ice cutter, but this would have been before the huge ice business was established on the river. Levi is buried in the River Road Cemetery, South Gardiner, Me.
In 1850 he was listed as a farmer, age 49, living with him were his wife Ann, age 45; son William H. Age 19, a sailor; Ezekiel, age 14; Levi W. 10; and Silas age 6.
In 1870 Levi had been dead nine years, The Census shows Annie Atkins, age 67, keeping house on River Road. Living with her were her two youngest sons Levi W., age 30, a farmer, and Silas M., age 27, sawmill worker.
In 1871 the combined City Directory of Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner, finds Annie Atkins, "widow of Levi", living on River Road. Boarding with her were David S. Atkins and Frank Atkins, painters; Silas and Wesley L. Atkins, both raftsmen, and still unmarried, were also living on River Road, probably still with their mother as thay had been the previous year.
The 1880 Census, two years prior to her death, shows Annie, age 76, still living in the house on River Road, but Wesley was married and listed as the head of a household.
1. William H. Atkins b. 21 Dec 1829 South Gardiner, d. 31 July 1853 South Gardiner, aged 23 years 7 months. Never married, no issue. His occupation was listed as "Sailor" on the 1850 Census where he was living with his parents, age 19. Buried River Road Cemetery, South Gardiner, Me. "Vital Records of Gardiner, Maine to the year 1892", Births, p. 27-28, deaths, p. 528, Gardiner, 1914
2. EZEKIEL ATKINS
3. Levi Wesley Atkins b. 18 Mar. 1839 South Gardiner, Maine. On 1870 census of South Gardiner he wa listed as a farmer, age 30. There was no wife. Living with him were his mother Anna Blair Atkins, age 67, and his Brother Silas Atkins, age 27, a sawmill worker. On the 1880 Census he was listed as Wesley Atkins, age 38, laborer, broken ankle. His mother Anne (sic), age 76, keeping house. In addition the census notes that Anna Blair Atkins' mother (Rebecca Knowles Blair) was "b. Eng."
4. Silas H. Atkins b. 22 Jan 1843 South Gardiner, Maine. He m. Mary Caroline Lawrence 15 Jan 1874. She was the daughter of William Lawrence and Mary Luce. In 1870, before his marriage, he was living with his brother Levi W., and working in a sawmill. The 1880 Census gives their residence on River Road in S. Gardiner. Silas was a Farmer, Silas and Mary's ages were noted as 38 and 51 so Mary was evidently around thirteen years older than Silas. Living with them were Herbert Page, age 13, at school, and William Lawrence, age 85, Mary's father.
EZEKIEL ATKINS was born 1 September 1835, died 7 Jan 1913 in South Gardiner, Kennebec Co., Me. He was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery. In 1862, a year after the death of his father Levi, Ezekiel married LOIS ANN MOOERS. Intent to marry was published 20 Jan 1862 in South Gardiner. Lois was the daughter of Capt. Thomas Mooers Jr. of Pittston, Phippsburg, and South Gardiner, and his wife MARY ANN FURBUSH Of Webster, Maine. Lois was born 12 Oct 1836 on Capen Road in South Gardiner, and died 11 Jun 1907, at home in South Gardiner. She is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Ezekiel and Lois raised their family in the house on River Road built by his father Levi. In later years, after most of his children were grown, he built a house and barn on Johnson Lane in South Gardiner. This house went to his heirs. It still stands though it is no longer in the family.
At various times during his live Ezekiel worked as a millhand and carpenter. In his early adulthood he worked the Kennebec River as had his father and grandfather, rafting logs during the summer for the lumber companies and sawmills. He also engaged in the seasonal work of cutting ice in the winter for the huge ice houses that lined the Kennebec River in the last quarter of the 19th century. In middle age he settled upon house painting and paperhanging, and continued at this work until he retired.
The 1870 Census shows Ezekiel Atkins, age 34, a log collector (raftsman), living on River Road with his family which consisted of Lois, age 33, "keeping house", Delia, 8; Nellie, 5; and William, 2.
In 1871, and 1880 the combined City Directories of Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner showed "Ezekiel Atkins, raftsman, living on River Road".
The 1880 U.S. Census lists Ezekiel Atkins, age 44, house painter, living on River Road. Residing with him were Louise (sic) A., age 43, wife, keeping house; Delia M., age 17, daughter, works in paper mill; Nellie F., age 15, daughter, at School; William H. age 12, son, at school; Sadie C., age 8, daughter; Ada, age 5 months, daughter; and Mary A. Mooers, age 64, widowed, mother-in-law. It is interesting to note that on the same census Delia Atkins, age 17, paper maker, boarded in Gardiner at the West Street residence of Lucy J. Stevens and her son Alvah B. Stevens age 19, who worked at a plaining mill. In 1889 Delia and Alvah were married.
In 1892 the city directory showed only Ezekiel living on River Road, and in 1901-02 showed no Atkins residing on River Road. Ezekiel was listed on Johnson's Lane, with the additional note that, "Miss Ada Atkins, aged 21, boards at his home."
On 25 May 1895, for the sum of two hundred dollars, Lois A. Atkins purchased from Benjamin Johnson a parcel of land on Johnson St. measuring four by eight rods. On 2 July 1895 this same property and the "buildings thereon" were mortgaged for the period of one year by Lois to William M. Wood of Gardiner for the sum of $200.00. Ezekiel at the time relenquished all rights to the property. This note was paid in full and the mortgage discharged on 22 Sep. 1895. On 6 March 1905 this property was again mortgaged by Lois, this time to one H. Mabel Cobb, of Gardiner for the sum of four hundred and fifty dollars and the period of one year. On 28 Mar. 1906 the note was paid in full and the mortgage discharged.
A newspaper clipping from the Gardiner paper which was found in a family bible belonging to Sarah Atkins Annis reads:
"Mrs Lois A. Atkins, wife of Ezekiel Atkins, passed away at her home in South Gardiner yesterday. She was 70 years of age. Mrs. Atkins was a woman who won the hearts of all who met her by her many endearing ways and she will be mourned by a large circle of friends...".
On 15 June 1907, four days after Lois died, Ezekiel mortgaged the property to Sadie C. Annis, his daughter, for the sum of $550.00 and the period of one year.
Another newspaper clipping found in Aunt Sade's bible reads:
"Ezekiel Atkins died, Tuesday forenoon, at his home on Johnson Street, South Gardiner, aged 77 years. Mr Atkins was an old and respected resident of South Gardiner, a painter by trade and for many years was employed as Sexton at Mount Hope Cemetery...one brother, Silas Atkins survive(s).".
Another clipping reads:
"The funeral of the Late Ezekiel Atkins was held from his late residence at 2 O'clock, Friday afternoon. Rev Robert Lawton, pastor of the Congregational church, was in charge of the service...".
On 11 January 1913, four days after Ezekiel's death his heirs signed a Quit-claim deed with Sadie Annis, "in Lieu of foreclosure of a certain mortgage given by said Ezekiel Atkins to said Sadie C. Annis, dated June 13, 1907.". The signers of the quit-claim were Delia M. Stevens, William H. Atkins, Ada F. Twitchell and Nellie J. McPhee. The spouses who signed were Alvah B. Stevens, Mrs. W.H. (Susie) Atkins, and Elden E. Twitchell.
Great Aunt Sade owned the house until 26 July 1932 at which time she sold it by Warrenty Deed to Marion M. (McPhee) Paterson "of Gatineau, Province of Quebec, Canada.", for the sum of "one dollar and other valuable considerations". Marion was her neice, the daughter of her sister Nellie Atkins McPhee. Concerning the other "considerations", one was that "the said Sadie C. Annis shall have, without compensation or liability, a home on said premises as long as she may live or desire". Another consideration was the "taxes for the year 1932, which said grantee, Paterson is to pay". On 18 January 1935 Sadie C. Annis gave a quit-claim deed to Marion Paterson reaffirming her deed of 26 July 1932. Sadie C. Annis died in 1941. Marion owned the property until it was sold by her in the late 1960's.
1.Delia Mooers Atkins b. 9 Dec. 1862 and d. in Oct. 1930 South Gardiner, Me. She married Alvah Burton Stevens on 18 Sep 1889 in South Gardiner. He was born 24 Nov. 1860 in Gardiner the son of David M. Stevens and Lucy Peacock. Delia and Alvah had no children. Delia died at the home of her sister Sarah Annis in South Gardiner. With the exception of several years spent in Augusta where her husband Alvah was in the Grocery business she was a lifelong resident of South Gardiner. Alvah was called "Uncle Button" by all of the nieces and nephews a name supposedly arising from the inability of very young speakers to pronounce the name Burton. I suspect it was actually caused by the Maine accent which transformed the name "Burton" into something almost sounding like Button, at least to a young child.
2. Nellie F. Atkins b. 30 Oct. 1863 South Gardiner, d. 9 Oct. 1918 in Worcester, Mass of the Flu. On 8 Nov. 1886 in South Gardiner she married Fred McPhee. They had two daughters 1. Delia Florence McPhee who m. William Pool. He was killed at the very end of WW1. They had no children. 2. Marion Catherine McPhee who d. 15 sep 1975 in Gardiner, Me. Marion married (1) Orian T. Patterson who died in the 1940's in Gatineau, Que. Canada, and (2) Wendell Wilson.
3. William H. Atkins born 4 July 1868 South Gardiner, Me., m. Susan Emma Brown. They had Millard, Wilma, Edward, Frances, Wallace, Gertrude and Ada.
4. Sarah Corina Atkins (Sadie or Aunt Sade), born 26 Aug. 1872 South Gardiner and d. Mar. 1941. On 18 Jul 1894 in South Gardiner he married Jessie T. Annis, born 29 Dec. 1862 and d. 8 Mar. 1903. No children. Sadie was a practicing midwife and after she took possession of her parent's house women would stay there to have their babys. There were quite a few children in South Gardiner from 1913 until the late 1930's who were born in the Atkins house on Johnson Lane.
5. ADA FLORIS ATKINS*, b. born 15 Jan. 1880 South Gardiner, Me., d. 17 Jan. 1926 Rumford, Oxford Co., Maine. On 21 Dec 1902 in South Gardiner, Maine she married ELDEN ELI TWITCHELL of Hollowell, Me., the son of ELI ALVAH TWITCHELL and DELPHINA REYNOLDS of Hollowell, Kennebec Co., Maine and Burnham, Waldo Co., Maine. Eli was born 06 Dec 1879 in Hollowell, Maine and died 1 Jun. 1928 in Rumford, Maine.
SOURCES FOR THE ATKINS LINE
1. Interview with Wallace Atkins, Winter 1977
2. Interview with Wallace Atkins, Spring 1977
3. Gravestone Records, River Road Cemetery, South Gardiner, Kennebec Co., Me.
4. Gravestone Record, Mt. Hope Cemetery, South Gardiner, Kennebec Co., Me.
5. "History of Dresden Maine", Charles Edward Allen, 1932
6. "Genealogical And Family History Of The State Of Maine", George Thomas Little, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., N.Y., 1909.
7. "Vital Records Of Gardiner, Maine, V. 1, Births, Pub. by auth. of the Maine Historical Society.
8. Ibid., V. 2, Marriages.
9. Ibid., V. 3, Deaths.
10. "Vital Records of Pittston, Maine", Pub. by Auth. of the Maine Hist. Soc.
11. "Vital Records of Topsham, Maine", Pub. by Auth. of the Maine Hist. Soc.
12. Family Bible of Sarah Atkins Annis.
13. Augusta, Hallowell and Gardiner, City Directories 1871-1902, Gardiner, Me. Public Library.
14. Family Register of the Capt. Thomas Mooers Jr. family, in the possession of Wallace Atkins, South Gardiner, Me. Photocopy in my possession.
15. Warranty Deed from Benjamin Johnson, 25 May 1895, Kennebec Registry of Deeds Book 406, page 522. In my possession.
16. Mortgage Deed from Lois A. Atkins to William M. Wood, 2 July 1895, In my possession.
17. Mortgage Deed from Lois A. Atkins to H. Mabel Cobb, 6 March 1905, Kennebec Registry of Deeds, Book 458, page 484. In my possession.
18. Mortgage Deed from Ezekiel Atkins to Sadie C. Annis, 15 June 1907, Kennebec Registry of Deeds, Book 482, page 60. In my possesssion.
19. Quit-Claim from Delia M. Stevens Etals. to Sadie C. Annis, 11 Jan 1913, In my possession.
20. Warranty Deed from Sadie C. Annis to Marion M. Paterson, 26 July 1932, Kennebec Registry of Deeds, Book 688, page 95. In my possession.
21. Quit-Claim Deed from Sadie C. Annis to Marion Paterson, 18 Jan 1935, Kennebec Registry of Deeds, Book 706, page 138. In my possession.
22. 1850 U.S. Census, Kennebec County, Town of Gardiner, pp. 313, 318.
23. 1870 U.S. Census, Kennebec County, Town of Gardiner, pp. 64, 105.
24. 1880 U.S. Census, Kennebec County, Town of Gardiner, pp. 8, 32.