Henry Atkins was born England say1617 (based on typical age of men at marriage). He immigrated to Plymouth Colony by 1643 when he was on the Plymouth list of men able to bear arms. He settled in Eastham on Cape Cod before 1655. He is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.
He married, first, Elizabeth Wells at Plymouth on 9 July 1649. She was born likely in England about 1621. They had children Mary (died young), Samuel born Eastham 1651 (died in 1675 fighting in King Phillip’s War) and Isaac born 1657. Elizabeth died at Eastham in 1662.
Henry married, second, Bethiah Linnell at Eastham on 25 Mar 1664. They had eight children, all born Eastham: Desire b. 1665, John b. 1666 (died young), Nathaniel b. 1667, Joseph b. 1669, Thomas b. 1671, John b. 1674, Mercy b. 1676, and Samuel b. 1679. I descend from Joseph who married Martha Pease. Henry would have been in his early 60s when Samuel was born.
I wrote about Joseph and Martha Atkins here.
Bethiah Linnell was born 1641, the daughter of Robert Linnell and Peninah Howes. She married, second, at Eastham in 1701, Stephen Hopkins, the son of Giles and Katherine (Whelden) Hopkins. Giles and his father Stephen Hopkins were Mayflower passengers. Bethiah and Stephen removed to Harwich, in an area that is now Brewster, where she died 25 March 1726 at age 85.
Henry Atkins is mentioned among the freemen of Eastham 22 May 1655. He served on juries in 1653. He was Eastham constable in 1657 and 1659, and surveyor of highways in 1674, 1675, and 1676.
On 12 May 1655 John Morton of Plymouth conveyed to Henry Atkins of Eastham his dwelling house, etc. in Eastham bought of Mr. John Major, Sr., sometime inhabitant of Eastham.
He bought much of his real estate in Eastham of Mr. John Mayo, 21 April 1659 when he purchased five acres lying near John Mayo Jr., 4 acres of cedar swamp, and a lot of meadow at the harbor's mouth toward Rock Harbor. His other purchases, a piece of meadow at Great Meadow and Boat Meadow were confirmed 25 April the same year.
In 1659 Henry witnessed a receipt, signing with his mark.
Henry died before 21 August 1700. He made a will that was proved 13 Oct 1700. His estate was valued at 181 pounds 11 shillings. His inventory was presented August 1700. He desired to be buried in the old burying ground at Eastham. He remembered his children in his will, although only Isaac by name, giving each just a shilling. His wife “Bethya” was named as executrix of his will.
The Mayfower Descendant, July 1937, printed a transcription of Henry’s inventory and a summary of his will.
[p. 113] On 21 August, 1700, The estate "of Henry Atkins late deceased praised att Eastham" by "David Melvil and Thomas Paine Junr".
"his housing Lands and meadow" in Eastham valued at £100; "one bed in the garrets" £2, 16s. The total was £181, 11s. The estate owed £6.
On 28 August, 1700, "Bethya Adkins Widow .... of Henry Adkins" made oath to the inventory.
The will of "Henry Adkins of Eastham" was not dated. Bequests were as follows:
To "my son Isaac Adkins one shilling in money"
To "all the Rest of my Children on shilling apeice in money"
"I do give unto my loving wife Bethya all my whole Estate both Reall and sonall for to be att her dispose"
"I do make .... my loving wife bethya my whole and sole Executor"
The witnesses were Jonathan Sparrow and Samuel Treate.
On 3 October, 1700, "Then Samuel Treat Gent and Jonathan Sparrow Esq." made oath that they saw "the above named Henry Atkins signe and Seale this Instrument" and it was probated.
Simeon L. Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890
Josiah Paine, Early Settlers of Eastham, Book 2, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 32, 1916
Rev. Enoch Pratt, A Comprehensive History, Ecclesiastical and Civil, of Eastham, Wellfleet and Orleans, County of Barnstable, Mass. from 1644 to 1844, 1844
Gary Boyd Roberts, NEHGR 9:282, Mayflower Source Records p. 598
Torrey’s New England Marriages to 1700