Michael, I believe we have corresponded before. I descend through Richard and Margaret's son Randall.
I have more than 50,000 names in my database. More than 2,000 are Adkins/Atkins names. I have spent a lot of time trying to solve this mystery. No one in my data is a likely father for Margaret. In addition I have searched for any Adkins family in VA or NC that had a daughter named Margaret near that date. It might be helpful if a marriage record for her marriage to John Whitton could be found. At least it would establish her name when they married. We would know if her maiden name was Adkins.
A related piece of info, has established that Margaret also had a daughter named Rachael Whitton b abt 1827. I found this note on her, "At the age of 85 Rachel returned to Missouri from Alene, Oklahoma to tend her mother in her last illness. She was the widow of George W. Webb, formerly of Gentry county, Missouri."
An astute deduction by another cousin solved a mystery related to Rachael. Richard and Margaret brought a 7th child with them from TN when they traveled to MO. His name was Howard Huston Adkins - his marker in Lamar Cemetery. I always marveled that Margaret had to have been over 49 when she would have given birth to this child. However, a census record was turned up that shows that Rachael Whitton gave birth to a male child that same year. It would appear that Howard was that child, and that he was raised by Richard and Margaret as it appears that he may have been born out of wedlock. Howard apparently shared the ill health of the other children. He was living at home in 1886 when he died. Jim Adkins