Philemon Perkins & Obedience Cox
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PHILEMON PERKINS, who died 1769 inventory of his estate was filed June 19, 1769. See Goochland Deed Book 9, page 204) married OBEDIENCE COX, who is mentioned as "OBEDIENCE PERKINS" in her father's (Richard Cox's) will, July 13, 1734 in Henrico County, Virginia. In Henrico County deeds for November 21, 1746, PHILEMON PERKINS and OBEDIENCE, his wife deed to Francis Redford a tract of land reserving "10 feet square where the said PHILEMON PURKINS Child lys buried." In the Goochland Order Book for April, 1769, it is recorded that "OBEDIANCE PERKINS comes into Court and makes oath that HILEMON PERKINS deceased died without any Will as far as she knows or believes and on her motion Certificate is granted her for obtaining Letters of Administration thereof in due form." OBEDIENCE PERKINS died 1771 leaving a will (Goochland Deed book 10, page 122).

PHILEMON PERKINS died without leaving a will, but his wife

OBEDIENCE (COX) PERKINS left a will written September 6, 1770, and proved April 15, 1771 (Goochland Deed Book 10, page 122.


Will of NICHOLAS PERKINS Henrico County Febry Court 1712 p. 185-6 lists son Phill Perkins. Will is found under Nicholas Perkins - 954.


Deed 1771 Goochland Co., Va between Abraham Perkins & Thomas Hatcher says in meanders to the beginning which said land by PHILLIMON PERKINS being devised by his last will and testament to the said Abraham Perkins... Copy of this deed is found under Abraham Perkins - 929.



PHILEMON PERKINS was born in 1680's in Henrico Co., Va., and continued to live there until 1746 when he moved up the river to Goochland County, where he died about 1769. He married OBEDIENCE COX.

That he did not buy and sell land and is rarely mentioned in the records would imply that he settled in one place, stayed there, and led a quiet life. The fact that he served the last four years of his life as sexton of the Beverdam Church would fit with such a characterization.

His name (accented on the second syllable) came from the Childers family as he was named after his mother's brother, Philemon Childers. In the Childers family the name Philemon was sometimes shortened to Lemon.

PHILEMON PERKINS is first mentioned in the Henrico records in his father's will, recorded 1712, by which he inherited the land between "Springey Branch and Abraham Childers line". This land adjoined that of his brother Abraham Perkins. Other neighbors were John Woodson, Robert Blaws, John Redford, Philemon Childers, Thomas Bethel, Abraham Childers, and John Simcock (pp. 281, 303, 313 Part 2 Henrico Records 1725-1737). In the reports of the procession of 1739 and 1743 his land is recorded as being in the Ninth Precinct of Henrico County.

On December 30, 1733, PHILEMON PERKINS, Joseph Atkins,

William Daniel witnessed the will of William Feayser (p. 429 Part 3 Henrico Records 1725-1737). In 1742 he was named executor of his brother's will. In October 1743 he was a witness in the suit John Scott vs. John Redford (p. 237 Henrico Oders 1737-1746). In February 1744 he acknowledged his deed to John Fraisure (p. 295 ibid.). In May 1746 PHILEMON PERKINS instituted suit against John Cox for debt but there was no prosecution (p. 378 ibid.).

By this time most of his relatives were living in Goochland County and PHILEMON PERKINS decided to join them. Accordingly on Nov. 21, 1746, he sold for L47 the 130 acres bounded by Springey Branch which he had inherited from his father to Francis Redford. The deed describes both parties as being of the parish and County of Henrico and states that the grantor reserved "10 feet square where the said PHILLEMON PURKINS Child is buried." The land adjoined that of John Frayser and Robert Scott and was the land the said PHILEMON PERKINS then lived on. The deed was witnessed by William Finney, John Cox, and Charles Ballow. "At a Court held for Henrico County the first Monday in April 1747 PHILEMON PURKINS acknowledged this Deed with the Livery of Seizin Endorsed to Francis Redford to be this Act and Deed then OBEDIENCE his wife she being first privately Examined relinquished her Right of Dower in the Land by the said Deed conveyed all which was Admitted to the Record (p. 248 Henrico Records 1744-1748).

OBEDIENCE, his wife, mentioned in the above deed was OBEDIENCE COX, daughter of Richard Cox and Mary Trent. Richard Cox in his will of July 13, 1734, bequeathed to "my Daughter OBEDIENCE PURKINS one shilling: (p. 466 part 3 Henrico Records 1725-1737). Mary Cox in her will of Feb. 2, 1735, bequeathed to "my daughter OBEDIENCE PURKINS two suits of my Cloaths" (p. 513 ibid).

Having sold his land in Henrico County, PHILEMON PERKINS on

Dec. 15, 1746, bought 100 acres in Goochland County from William Moore, whose wife Hannah relinquished her dower (p. 244 Goochland Deed Bk. 5). The land adjoined that of Richard Cocke, Abraham Purkins, John Curd, and David Walker. The Deed was witnessed by John McBride, John Woodall, and Richard Moor.

In 1764 PHILEMON PERKINS was appointed sexton at the Beaverdam Church and received "500 tobacco" annually for his services (pp. 92, 95, 98, 102, 105 Vestry Book 1744-1850, St. James Northam parish, Goochland Co., Va.).

According to the Goochland Order Book for April 1769, "OBEDIENCE PERKINS comes into Court & makes oath that PHILEMON PERKINS deceased died without any will as far as she knows or believes & on her motion certificate is granted her for obtaining Letters of Administration thereof in due form. Abraham Perkins and John Goode, entering themselves Securities for the Same. ordered that Richard Oglesby, Robert Poor, John Curd, and Richard Curd, or any three of them (being first sworn before some Justice of the Peace for this County) appraise the Estate of PHILEMON PERKINS decd & that his Administratrix do return an Inventory thereof to the next court." This she doe on Jun 19, 1769 (p. 204 Goochland Deed Bk. 9).

His widow OBEDIENCE survived him by less than two years. her will, written Sept. 6, 1770, was recorded Apr. 15, 1771, on p. 122 Goochland Deed Bk. 10:

In the name of God amen. I OBEDIENCE PERKINS of Bever dam Goochland County being well in Sense and Perfect in memory but Sick and weakly in body do make this my last will and testament--Renouncing all other wills or Legacies Whatsoever. Item my Soul to God I give who first gave it me my body to be buried in a decent manner at ye discretion of my grand Children and to be paid first out of the Estate and next my debts.

Item I give my bed and all the furniture and beding belonging to the said bed to Sarah Nowling my grand daughter. Item I give and bequeath all the Rest of my estate to David Nowling the son of Stephen Nowling my grandson and to Elizabeth Nowling the daughter of Stephen Nowling and my granddaughter and to Wm Moore Junir my grandson I make and leave my whole and sole Executor. This I acknowledge to be my last will and Testament Whereunto I have set my hand and Seal () this Sixth day of September In the Year of Our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and seventy.

Witness our hands

John Mayes                                 OBEDIENCE PERKINS

David (his mark) Nowlin, Junr         her hand and seal

Her estate was appraised May 20, 1771, by Richard Pleasants,

Thomas Pleasants, and Richard Pleasants, Jr.

The deed PHILEMON PERKINS made in 1746 (see above) indicates he had a child who died and was buried in Henrico County. The will of OBEDIENCE PERKINS reveals that she had a daughter who    married a Moore and another daughter who married Stephen Nowling.

The will of Abraham Perkins #37 written in 1742 states that PHILEMON PERKINS had a son Abram. There is no question about these four children. Nor is there much doubt that the John Perkins who settled in Caswell Co., N. C., was also a son of Philemon. Quite likely there were other children. Possibly some of the "unknown" Perkinses of Goochland County were children of PHILEMON and OBEDIENCE PERKINS. However as the evidence is not conclusive, these "unknowns" are not included in the list of their children.


1. a daughter, who m. Stephen Nowling (Knowling)

2. a child who died young and was buried in Henrico Co., Va.

3. John Perkins (ca 1718-ca 1791) m. Rachael Ferguson

4. Abram Perkins (ca 1720-1793) m. Cecily Turpin

5. Sarah Perkins m. William Moore

6. possibly others.