Children of John Wilks, Sr., & and Elizabeth Mead

Francis "Your old Uncle til Death" Wilks of Lawrence Co., OH

1.1 Francis3 Wilks was born between 1759 and 1760 at Loudoun Co., VA. It is likely that Francis provided either supplies or civil or military service during the Revolutionary war, for at its end he was given a Land Office Treasury Warrant. In 1795 he received a Virginia land grant for 618 acres in Franklin Co. "by virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant No. 21,704 dated 1 Dec 1783"and moved SW from Bedford to Franklin Co. The land was surveyed 25 Feb 1794, between Black Water River and Gille Creek.

Click image for larger view:

 Land Office Grants No. 31, 1793-1795, p. 626 (Reel 97). Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office. Grants 125- , reels 369-. Library of Virginia, Richmond, website. 


In Franklin Co., VA, Francis Wilks (late of Franklin Co.) was deeded land adjoining John Wilks, from William Martin of Franklin Co. for 60 pounds (no acreage given) on both sides of Gill's Creek. Recorded 5 Jun 1789. William Martin Sen. of Franklin Co. had sold to John Harris of Franklin Co. for 40 pounds, 10 acres more or less on both sides of Gills Creek, it being part of a Larger Tract of land marked and laid of by agreement of the said parties and Joining the lines of John WILKS, John Divers, Joshua Starkey, and Francis WILKS, Recorded 5 May 1789.

Francis also bought land on 1 Jun 1789 at Franklin Co., VA, "from Elijah Dehart to Francis Wilks proven and ordered recorded on 29 Mar 1804 at Patrick Co., VA." He was on the taxlist for 2 white males, 0 horses, 1 slave; Israel Wilks listed for 1 white male, 0 horses, 2 slaves (taxlist microfilm) in 1810 at Patrick Co., VA. He deeded land in Patrick Co. to Israel Wilks and Ben Wilks, acknowledged and ordered recorded on 29 Mar 1810 at Patrick Co., VA. Francis Wilks by his attorney made a motion to ask the Court to stay proceedings of judgment against him by James Anderson on 31 Oct 1811 at Patrick Co., VA. He served on a Grand Jury on 30 Jun 1814 at Patrick Co., VA, on 27 Oct 1814, and as a juror on 16 Jun 1815. A deed from Francis Wilks to Benjamin Wilks was proven and ordered recorded on 14 Sep 1815 at Patrick Co., VA. He appeared on the census of 1820 at Southern Dist., Bedford Co., VA. He was Plaintiff in a lawsuit, Wilks vs. Anderson, continued on 16 Aug 1822 at Patrick Co., VA. He was on the 1830 census of 1830 at Mason Co., VA (now WV), and on the 1840 census at Union Twp., Lawrence Co., OH. He died after 1840.

After a visit to the family in Bedford Co., VA, Francis wrote the following letter on 10 Apr 1837 at Quaker Bottom, Union Twp., Lawrence Co., VA. to Henry Wilks, Liberty, Bedford Co., VA [postage stamps for 18¼ ¢]:

"Cosen hennery Wilks
thes comes with my best lov and complements to you all hopping that theas few lins may find you all in good stat of helth as they live ours in we are all in good helth at this time thanks be to god for it. We had a long tiersom jorney. was most thirteen days on the rodd for the rodd was in bad order as I ever seen. land has ris very much and all the vacan land is tacen up and produse is all high and I wold a wrote you sooner but we had a hard winter and the river has been frose so much that it has bin hard to cros and I never got about tel in janury and I wanted to know whether I shold or not and a few days before I got home my hors got in the creek and drowned. I dont know that I have more to inform you about PRICHARD WOLNDER. I stophed at JAMS WILKS and hee sot in with to work and said that hee would come and settle him with mee and that the last of him. I want you to demand three dollars of him and give him the recet fore the same. For wee wish to be rememerd to brother and sister and my wife desires to be rememerd to JABBES and wife and LUCE WODFORD and the rest of the family and brother and his wife and all the rest of our friends for which it to tedeus to menshon and to you all the rest of your family. I have got so I can work in stil. I hant had a high sence I lef your hous and I must conceed at pressant and remaining
your old uncle tel death FRANCIS WILKS
and my wife desired in purteckler to Hennery and wife wonted to be remberd in stil to you all but I made such a lick of a hand of it that I am ashame of it."

"JABBES and wife" were Jabes Beard and wife Sally Wilks (daughter of Samuel), who moved from Bedford County to Lauderdale Co., AL. This was one of numerous family letters kept by Henry Wilks in Bedford Co., VA, and preserved by his family placing copies of the handwritten originals in the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake City. (Transcripts are in my Wilks & Young Families.)

Some of his children moved eastward across the Ohio River to Cabell Co., WV, and many more descendants are now known than in 1984 when I published Wilks & Young Families. My favorite sister-in-law, living in Ohio, turned out to be Francis's great-granddaughter. One of Francis's grandsons was living in Cabell Co., WV, in the 18__ census with one wife, one concubine, and children by both. In the next census he lived alone, occuption "hermit." Francis may have had a large family, but the following lived in Lawrence Co., OH, then moved to Cabell Co., VA (now WV): James (born ca1783), Samuel (born ca1805), and Benjamin Wilks (born 1807, lived in Lawrence Co., OH). Peggy Wilks (ca1785), was "daughter of Frank Wilks" when she married Chasteen Doggett 1801 in Franklin Co., VA.

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