Page 3 of 4
I have been thinking about writing a chronology of my branch ofthe Rollins family for some time now.The problem is where does onestart. Do we start with me and go back or do we start with the earliestperson we have a record of and go forward?I think I will combinethose two options.First I'll introduce myself, say a little bit about howI got started on this project and then go back to 1667 in AnneArrundel County, Maryland to Virginia to Kentucky and finally toScotland County, Missouri.
Rawlings to Rollins
CHRONOLOGY OF THE ROLLINS FAMILY
My name is James Stanley Rollins, the fourth child of eight childrenborn of John Benjamin Rollins and Marie Irene Downing/Rollins.Ilive in Bettendorf, Iowa but was born in Kirksville, Missouri.
Both my parents were dead when I decided to find out who myancestors were so I couldn't ask them for any information.I talked tomybrother, Jack, and sister, Betty, and together we got as far backas our grandfather.Betty had already compiled all the vitalinformation on our immediate family. This is when we decided to trythe Internet.The wealth of information that is on the Internet is trulyunbelievable. Jack actually found a cousin we didn't know we hadwhile searching the net.
We want to give credit and thanks to Beverly R. Allan who, alongwith Margaret E. Smith, compiled and authored a manuscript entitled
"Stephen and Elizabeth (Tyler) Rawlings and Their Descendents".
Most of the information we have on the Rawlings line comes fromtheir manuscript. I thank them and applaud their efforts.
Since Beverly and Margaret provided so much information, thebiggest problem we had was determining who and when the spellingchanged from Rawlings to Rollins.It happened about the same timethe family moved from Kentucky to Missouri so, humorously, Ithought they might have changed it to elude the Posse.They didn't.Another version is they changed it because there were so manyRawlings's that even the postal service was delivering mail to thewrong people etc.I think I like that explanation better, but I don'tactually know for sure.
Now let's go back in time to Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Straight line descendents are underlined.
was born in 1667.He married Susannah Jones,daughter of Dr. William Jones.I cannot prove who his parents are yet.It has been proven who they are not.This quote is from Beverly Allan's research."If you ever come across a claim that Aaron was the son of Anthony Rawlings, son of Henry Rawlings who came to America in 1653 with his wife, sons Anthony and John, and servants, and settled in Maryland
please disregard. This is one of those claims that has been around for over 100 years and has been proven incorrect.I call it a myth as there is no record of any kind to give it credibility."She continues "I do have information that proves it wrong.It is still accepted and passed along as fact by some persons."I accept Beverly's research and will continue to search for Aaron's ancestors.Aaron and Susannah amassed quite a lot of land in Anne Arundel County.A large portion of Aaron's land holdings was lost in a foreclosure by a William Hunt of London, England.Subsequently one of Aaron's sons, Jonathan, brought suit against William Hunt's foreclosure of the land in question after the other heirs of Aaron renounced their claims and agreed the property should go to Jonathan if he was successful in the suit.Jonathan finally won the suit but the final judgement did not come down until a short time after his death.It appears that Jonathan died the same year the judgement came down, 1784.Aaron Rawlings died 06 Apr 1741. A photocopy of his last will and testament is in my files along with my translation because it is so hard to read. There were a lot of swirls and flourishes in the writings of that day. Aaron and Susannah's children were;Aaron Rawlings Jr.b- ??-d-c1757Ann Rawlingsb- ??-d-1762Moses Rawlingsb- ??-d-after 1741William Rawlingsb- ??-d-after 1772Daniel Rawlingsb-1695-d-after 1772Jonathan Rawlingsb-c1720- d- 1784Stephen Rawlingsb-1721-d-1783
- Aaron Rawlings
Stephen Rawlings was born c1721 in Anne Arundel County and Married Elizabeth Tyler c1740 in Prince George's County, KY and moved to Frederick County, Virginia in 1747.He died in 1783 in Berkeley County, Virginia.Stephen was a planter (farmer) by profession but he was alsosomewhat of a wheeler-dealer. He bought, sold and traded land inVirginia for a number of years.He was also in and out of court mostofthose years.On one of the court records Stephen'slast name wasspelled Rollings.Stephen Rawlings' Granddaughter, Elizabeth, who was a daughterofEdward, was born c1766 and married Miles Hart c1780. They hadseveral children by June of 1790 when Indians attacked and killedMiles.Elizabeth and the children, including a son, Joseph, weretaken captive.Joseph became separated and was rescued by hisuncles, the Hartbrothers. The Indians evidently killed the otherchildren. The Indians tookElizabeth to their encampment in Detroitwhere she was held captive. Enroute to Detroit she gave birth to ababy who died about six months later.After several years ofcaptivity Elizabeth was able to persuade a Frenchtrader to buy herand return her to her home in Kentucky. She went onto marryPeter Gunterman in 1797 and raised three children of thatmarriage. Elizabeth died in 1844 in Hardin County, Kentucky.
Most of Stephen and Elizabeth's children were born in BerkeleyCounty, Virginia.They were
Stephen Rawlings IIb-1749/1754 -d-1830
Mary Rawlingsb- c1745
Pricilla Rawlingsb-??--d- after 1818
Ruth Rawlingsb- 1757--d-1814
femaleRawlings (believed to be Sarah)
Aaron Rawlings was born in Berkeley County, Virginia andmarried to Nancy "Ann" ?? by 1780 probably in Berkeley County.He was living in Breckenridge County, Kentucky in 1800 and diedthere in 1827.During the American Revolution Aaron Rawlings,spelled Aron Raulings provided wheat for public use per a certificatedated Sep. 27, 1780. He apparently lived in Berkeley County until1781 or 1782 when he moved to Nelson County, Kentucky. Sometimebefore 1800 he moved to Breckenridge County, Kentucky.All of hischildren except Elizabeth were born in Kentucky.Elizabeth was bornin Virginia in Nov. 1780.
Aaron and Nancy's children were
Elizabeth Rawlingsb- 1780--d- 1840
Stephen Rawlingsb-??--d- 1853
Robert Rawlingsb- 1783--d- 1845
Edward Rawlingsb- 1788--d- 1837
Aaron Rawlings Jr.b- 1790/1794-d- 1843
Aaron Rawlings Jr. was born about 1790 in Breckenridge County,Kentucky. He married Marinda Hardin, daughter of Daniel Hardinand Alice Jolly in 1819. Hardin County, Kentucky was so named forDaniel Hardin. Aaron and Marinda had three children, Stephen,Nancy, and Robert. It gets kind of fuzzy here because Aaron's nextchild, William, was born of his second wife, Sarah "Sally" ???.William and one sister, Sarah,were born close together, about 1828.They could have been twins, but I'm not sure of that.William died at ayoung age, 24, in 1852.Aaron and Sarah had six children altogether.I don't know what happened to Marinda. She may have died andAaron remarried.Aaron's Three children by Marinda and six bySarah were
Stephen Wells Rawlingsb-1820d- ??
Robert Rawlingsb-c1825d- ??
William Rawlingsb- c1828d- 1852
Sarah Rawlingsb- c1828d-??
Davis C. Rawlingsb-c1837d-??
Mary Francis Rawlingsb-c1840d-??
Stephen Wells Rawlings was born in 1820 probably inBreckenridge County, Kentucky.He married Keturah Francis Knott(Kitty) on Oct. 26, 1850.Keturah was the daughter of Joseph P. Knottand Maria Irvine McElroy. Keturah's brother was James ProctorKnott.Knott County, Kentucky was so named for James ProctorKnott.He was also Governor of Kentucky from 1883 to 1887.Hewas prominent in Kentucky State politics as well as Missouri Statepolitics.
Soon after Stephen and "Kitty" were married they moved toMissouri, settling near Memphis, Scotland County. Keturah's brotherhad just entered a law practice in Memphis in 1851, so both familieswere there at the same time.James P. went back to Kentucky in 1863and continued his political career there.He died in Kentucky in 1911.
This is where it got a little fuzzy. My wife, Sue, and I are going tovisit Scotland County, Missouri to research whatever records we canfind to prove out the connection between my Grandfather and StephenWells Rawlings. In the meantime let's talk a little about the women'sfamilies who married these Rawlings men.
Keturah Francis Knott and her brother, theGovernor James Proctor Knott, were children of Joseph Percy Knottand Maria Irvine McElroy. Maria was a daughter of William ElderMcElroy and Keturah Cleland. William Elder McElroy was a son ofSamuel McElroy and Mary Irvine. Samuel was one of three brothers,(Hugh, Samuel and James) who married three Irvine sisters, (Esther,Mary and Margaret). The brothers married the three girls insouthern Virginia where the girls lived at that time. The girls were thedaughters of Rev. John Irvine so I suppose he could have presided overthe ceremonies. All three families later moved to what is now MarionCounty, Kentucky and that was the beginning of The KentuckyMcElroys.
We're back from our trip to Missouri.We discovered someinteresting facts in Scotland and Adair Counties.The 1860 census ofScotland recorded Stephen and Keturah and four of their five childrenwith their last names spelled "Rawlings". That was the last referenceto the "Rawlings" spelling we could find. An obituary for KeturahRollins death in 1901 indicates the spelling was changed sometimebetween 1860 and 1901. The 1860 census for Jefferson Township inScotland County contains the following Rawlings'. Stephen W. age 40,Keturah H. age 35, William R. age 6, Joseph P. age 4, Ann E. age 3,Marian T. age 1. The H in Keturah H. appears to be a mistake.Marian T. is probably Minnie and Mattie wasn't born until 1861. The1900census contains an Edward W. Greever, born 1860, MattieGreever born 1861, and Nina Greever, their daughter, born 1889.Keturah Rollins' obituary mentions William, Joseph, Minnie andMattie as sons and daughters. Marriage records show Mattie Rollinsmarried toEdward Greever on October 24, 1888. This recordndicates the name change happened before 1888. No record ofStephen has been found after the 1860 census.One entry in the IrvineLine (section 7) which was published in 1908 indicates he was "longsince deceased" by that time. Keturah Rollins' obituary also confirmsher brother was J. Proctor Knott of Kentucky. This should erase anydoubts about the spelling change from Rawlings to Rollins.
Stephen and Keturah's children were;
William Robert Rollinsb- Jan. 1, 1851-d- Apr. 1, 1923
Joseph Proctor Rollinsb- Nov. 8, 1855 -d- Sep. 25, 1949
Ann E. Rollinsb-1856-d-??
Minnie Francis Rollinsb- Jul. 10, 1859--d- May 14, 1932
Mattie W. Rollinsb-1861-d-??
The Joseph Proctor Rollins, underlined above, is our Grandfatherwe mentioned at the beginning of the Chronology.
After we had established a possible link back to Stephen WellsRawlings Jack remembered an incident when he was in the Air Force.In 1953, soon after he enlisted, he was assigned toTechnical School inAmarillo, Texas. Dad asked him to look up his cousin, Wells Rollins,
while he was there. He did that but could not recall much of the visit.He decided to do a name search on the internet for anyone in Texasnamed Rollins. The name, Wells P. Rollins was discovered in AustinTexas with an address and telephone number. Jack was getting readyto leave onvacation so I was designated to try to contact him.I calledthe phone number two or three times but no one ever answered soI decided to write to the address listed. To my surprise I received aphone callfrom his son, Stephen Wells Rollins.
Joseph Proctor Rollins was born in 1855 in Scotland County,Missouri. He married Martha Louise "Mattie" Walker October 29,1890.Joseph was 35 and Mattie was 22 years of age. Joseph and Mattiewere farmers and probably rented land in Scotland County beforemoving to Kirksville, Missouri. I believe all their six children wereborn in Scotland County. Joseph died in 1949. He was nearly 94 yearsold. Mattie died in 1923, the same year my mother and father weremarried, she was 55 years old. I remember very little about mygrandfather. My father once told me that Grandpa ran into JesseJames, the famous bank robber, and several members of his gangwhile hauling a load of wood in a horse drawn wagon. Jesse supposedlysaid to him "do you live around here?" Grandpa, scared almostspeechless, replied "yes" and Jesse and his gang just rode on theirway. To where I don't know. Maybe to Corydon, Iowa where theJames Gang robbed the Ocobock Brothers Bank in 1871. Corydon,Iowa is near Centerville and about one hundred miles from ScotlandCounty, Missouri. Grandpa would have been sixteen years old at thattime, so the story could be true.
- Stephen's father had died just several months before and since he wasthe oldest and lived closer to his father he was taking care of the estate.Stephen and I talked by phone and corresponded by e-mail and regular mail. We discovered Stephen's great grandfather was William Robert Rollins who was a brother of my grandfather, Joseph Proctor Rollins.
- All of the information on William Robert and his descendents came from Stephen Wells Rollins of Texas. Stephen has two brothers who also live in Texas. All three are unmarried and have no children.
- About this same point in time I subscribed to a newsletter called Rawlings/Rollins Family History Association. A woman from Pensacola, Florida wrote to me after seeing my name in the newsletter and said "I think we could be cousins". Her name is Marilyn Kay Walker and it turns out she is a great granddaughter of Minnie Francis Rollins who was a sister ofmy grandfather, Joseph Proctor Rollins. Marilyn also discovered another cousin in another branch of Minnie Francis Rollins' family who lives in Raleigh NC.Marilyn supplied me with all the information on Minnie Francis Rollins and her descendents and I certainly thank her for that.
Sometime after 1905 the family moved to Kirksville, Missouri inAdair County, about thirty miles to the southwest.
Lee Joseph Rollinsb- Oct. 6, 1894---d- Aug. 27, 1979
- Children of Joseph and Mattie Rollins were
John Benjamin Rollinsb- Jan. 3, 1901---d- Jan. 21, 1963
All eight children of John and Marie Rollins are still living as of thisdate, December, 2000. Mary lives in Arizona with her husband, Jack.She hasthree children. John lives in Iowa and is widowed. He has twochildren. Betty lives in Arizona and is widowed. She has one child.James lives in Iowa with second wife, Sue. The mother of James'sthree children, Jacki, died in 1982. Robert lives in Arizona. He wasnever married. Jackie lives in Angeles City, Philippines with his wifeNenita. They have four children. Paul lives in Arizona with his wife,Mary. They have no children. David lives in Mass. He has two children .
- John Benjamin Rollins was born Jan. 3, 1901 in Scotland County, Missouri. He married Marie Irene Downing, daughter of Charles Thomas and Nancy Catherine Downing of Green City, MissouriMar. 17, 1923 in Kirksville, Missouri. She was born Oct. 17, 1902. Marie's parents never gave her a middle name so she adopted Irene for her middle name. John served in the U.S.Navy before he married Marie. He worked for International Shoe Company for many years before he died of a heart attack in January, 1963. Marie was a stay at home mom. With eight kids to care for you can understand why, or maybe wonder why.
- After John died Marie married Fred Zeigler, a retired farmer from Missouri. They moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1965 where she lived until her death in 1994. John was 62 when he died and Marie lived to be 92 years old.
- Children of John and Marie Rollins are
- Mary Louise RollinsDec.4, 1923--
- John Benjamin Rollins Jr.Aug. 14, 1926--
- Betty Lee RollinsFeb. 14, 1928--
- James Stanley RollinsFeb. 13, 1930--
- Robert Leroy RollinsDec. 18, 1932--
- Jackie Lee RollinsJan. 28, 1935--
- Paul Albert RollinsOct. 13, 1939--
- David Eugene RollinsOct. 28, 1941--
As of this date descendents of John & Marie Rollins are
END OF CHRONOLOGY, December, 2000.
Notes: Robert died September 22, 2002 in Tucson, Arizona.
David died February 3, 2005 in Boston, Mass.
John now lives in Arizona
Page 3 of 4