Children of John Wilks (Sr.) and wife Elizabeth Mead, continued:

Son's Name Unknown & wife Sarah

1.2 "Name Unknown Son" Wilks was born circa 1761? at Loudoun Co., VA. His wife Sarah is said by a descendant to have been Sarah Bertrum, married before 1780? in VA. Perhaps the source of her maiden name is the uncle Reuben Burchum [Bertram] from whom her son Peyton Wilks purchased a coverlet in Indiana on their way west to Oregon. If this Unknown Son was father of the following six Wilks-Wilkes children, he must've died, leaving Sarah unable to provide for their children, by June 1789 when the first, Archibald, was bound out by the Overseers of the Poor in Bedford Co. Orphans Court to Wilks in-laws and neighbors. Three more were bound out in Dec 1790. Peyton Wilkes, born 1791, was bound out at age seven in 1798.

Apprenticeships were a way for children to earn their keep while learning a trade.

Matching DNA of a descendant of this Wilks son and a descendant of his brother John Wilks (Jr.) in Texas proves the paternal lineage was Wilks, not the maternal lineage through the wife Sarah Wilks. If she'd had these children out of wedlock, there would have been charges of bastardy filed against her and their father, as seen in the Tidewater region's early records.

1. In Jun 1789, the Bedford Co. Court "Ordered that the Overseers of the Poor bind Archibald Wilks to Anderson Melton." Archibald is assumed to be son of Sarah Wilkes and his father deceased, because of the following bound out in the same time period. (Anderson Melton's brother Allen md. one of John Wilks Sr's daughters). Archibald was born 1781, a descendant says, and married Lucy Burnett.

2. Anna Wilks was bound to Joseph Rhodes in Dec 1790. Anna married Samuel Williams.

3. Jessee Wilkes was bound to Joseph Rhodes in Dec 1790. Jesse married in 1799 so was probably born abt 1780 and married at 19. His first wife was Faney Guldin, and his second wife was Judith Pratt.

5. Archelaus Wilkes was bound to Anderson Melton in Dec 1790; and in 1794, Archelaus "son of Sarah Wilkes" to Anderson Melton. This implies all three of those bound over in Dec 1790 were sons of Sarah. I do not know who Archelaus married or where he went and have often wondered whether he and Archibald were the same person.

4. Peyton Wilkes, "son of Sarah Wilkes," was bound to Stephen Martin in 1798. His tombstone has his birthdate as 1791. In Jun 1810 he was bound to George Walker, a tanner. Peyton married Anna Dallas. An implausibility in Peyton's descendant L. E. Wilkes' book, By an Oregon Pioneer Fireside, is that Peyton was born in Grayson Co., VA. Nimrod Newman was granted land in Nov 1783 by Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson, but it was not surveyed until Jun 1806. In 1789, no member of the Wilks or Newman family had moved to Grayson Co. But, later, Archibald Wilkes had a son Peyton W. "Waddy" Wilkes, born in Grayson Co. ca 1805, who was in the 1830 Grayson Co. census.

6. Henry Wilkes was bound out by the Overseers of the Poor abt 1790. He married Lucy Smith and by 1837 lived in southwestern Missouri.

If the father of the first four children was dead by 1789, how did their mother give birth to Peyton in 1791, if his tombstone is correct?

Ever since I've known researchers of the Wilks-Wilkes family of Bedford Co., VA, there were good genealogists trying to determine the name of their unknown great-something grandfather, to no avail.

Fifty-plus years ago when Peyton Wilks's great-grandson L. E. Wilkes was writing By an Oregon Pioneer Fireside (published in 1950), he assumed Peyton's father was Samuel Wilks. Why? Because Samuel's Revolutionary pension application in the National Archives was one of the few clues available to people who couldn't travel to Bedford to search court house records. But today it is clear Peyton was not Samuel's son; that Samuel never had a wife named Sarah, and that Samuel raised his children without the intervention of the Overseers of the Poor, for he was prosperous and land rich.


 Arlene Johnson Marble of Corbet, OR, a descendant of Peyton, and Doris Ross Johnston, visiting from TX, Oct 1985

Others have assumed that Archibald or Jesse was the child of John Wilks, Sr., and Elizabeth Mead. It is true the Orphans Court record names the mother of Archelaus and Peyton, but does not name either parent of Archibald, Anna, Jesse, or Henry. But it is a logical assumption the six children were siblings in the same circumstances. There is no evidence that John, Sr., and Elizabeth were unable to care for their own children.

Because the father was not mentioned, I think it is likely the parents lived in another county until the father's death left his widow destitute, and she came with her children to Bedford Co. to be aided by their family. It is possible she died, causing all her children to be supervised by the Overseers of the Poor. A search of county tax records might reveal the father's name among unrecognized Wilkses.

Perhaps the father was killed in the Revolution, she cared for them as long as she could, but took sick and died in Bedford Co., leaving the children orphaned and therefore under the Court's supervision. The only way this might be revealed is through tax lists, if they are extant.

It is difficult to find indivuals before the Revolution, for there was no census until 1790, and then several Virginia counties' enumerations were lost. A reconstructed census called "Heads of Families" was done based on tax lists 1782-87.

It is evident not every man providing goods or service to the Revolution was on a list of soldiers. Example: Uncle Francis Wilks, son of John Sr. and Elizabeth, was given a land grant in 1783 in Grayson Co. as compensation owed him. That was the end of the war. No other record of Francis's service has been found.



1.2.1 Jesse Wilks was born circa 1780? at Bedford Co., VA. He and Anna (must've been his sister), were bound to Joseph Rhodes ca 1780. He married Faney Guldin on 8 Jan 1799 at Bedford Co., VA. Because of his continued association with the family of John Wilks Sr. and Elizabeth Mead, they must have been his grandparents. He followed them to Oglethorpe Co., GA, between his marriage in Jan 1799 and the census taking in 1800 in Georgia. He was enumerated there 1810 and served in the War of 1812 from Oglethorpe Co., GA. He married 2nd Judith Pratt by 1822 in Bedford Co., VA, when he was mentioned in a deed for 770 acres from commissioners of his father-in-law Joshua Pratt's estate. Jesse left a will when he died ca 26 Aug 1830 at Lauderdale Co., AL.

1.2.2 Henry Wilks was born circa 1781? at Bedford Co., VA. He bound out by overseers of the poor circa 1790? at Bedford Co., VA., He married Lucy Smith on 25 Feb 1811 at Bedford Co., VA. He and Lucy Smith appeared on the census of 1820 at Bedford Co., VA. He was probably the brother Peyton Wilks visited en route to Oregon? in 1837 at southwestern, MO (By an Oregon Fireside, by L. E. Wilkes, descendant of Peyton).

1.2.3 Archibald Wilks is said by one descendant to have been born in 1782 at Montgomery Co., VA. He married Lucy Burnett, daughter of Joseph Burnett and Mabel Melton, on 16 Jun 1803 at Bedford Co., VA. He sold land, his only deed in the county in 1808 at Bedford Co., VA. He and Samuel Wilks appeared on the census of 1810 at Bedford Co., VA. He immigrated in 1817 to Bedford Co., VA. He appeared on the census of 1840 at Southern Dist., Bedford Co., VA. He and William E. Wilks appeared on the census of 1860 at Franklin Co., VA.

1.2.4 Anna Wilks married Samuel Williams. She was born circa 1784? at VA.

1.2.5 Archelaus Wilks was born circa 1785? at Bedford Co., VA.

1.2.6 Peyton G. Wilks was born on 16 Jul 1791 at Bedford Co., VA. He was "Ordered that Peyton Wilks, son of Sarah Wilks, be bound by the Overseers of the Poor to Stephen Martin, according to law" on 22 Jan 1798 at Bedford Co., VA. "Ordered that Peyton Wilks be bound by Overseers of the Poor to George Walker according to law"; he was 16 and George Walker was a tanner in Jan 1810 at Bedford Co., VA.

Peyton's date of birth, 16 Jul 1791, Bedford Co., VA, is known from his tombstone in Oregon and from the book, By an Oregon Pioneer Fireside, by his descendant L. E. Wilkes in 1941. Peyton began military service on 8 Sep 1813 at Shingle Blocks on Goose Creek, Bedford Co., VA, enlisted as a Pvt. in Capt. Wiley Jones Co., Virginia Volunteers; he was firstg a drummer and later was in the artillery, War of 1812. When living in Oregon he applied for and drew a pension. He ended military service on 10 Mar 1814 at VA.

He married Anna Dallas, daughter of John Dallas and Sarah "Sally" White, on 25 Mar 1815 at Bedford Co., VA., He appeared on the census of 1820 at Bedford Co., VA. He and Samuel Wilks appeared on the census of 1820 at Southern Dist., Bedford Co., VA. He and Anna Dallas immigrated after 18 Feb 1821 to KY. He was a witness "of Co. of Bedford" sold part of his Grayson Co. land, the first was 175 acres on Wolf Glade Creek to brother-in-law Samuel Williams for $100, the second to Harry Winset for $15, 70 acres on waters of Wolf Glade Creek waters of Crooked Creek. Recorded 29 Jul 1828, witnessed by Anthony Newman, David Williams, Payton Wilks, and Benjamin Wilks with Samuel Wilks between Oct 1827 and Nov 1827 at Grayson Co., VA.

Peyton was enumerated on the 1830 census in Grayson Co., VA, then started moving west, first to Hendricks Co., IN, then to southwestern Missouri in 1837. He purchased a blue coverlet (descendants have a scrap) from his uncle Reuben Burchum [Bertram] for $7.50, his wife having spun and woven the coverlet in 1839 at VA. Peyton and family made the long and arduous journey to Oregon in 1845. They were with the first wagon train to chop its way around Mount Hood. They settled onto his donation land claim in the Columbia River Gorge area, on the west fork of Dairy Creek where oak timber abounded so he'd have a plentiful supply of tanbark for his tannery in 1847 at Banks, now Washington Co., OR. A school near the Gorge is named for one of Peyton's sons. Peyton, his wife Anna Dallas, and several of their neighbors formed a caravan to see the Pacific Ocean in 1870 at OR. He died on 25 Nov 1889 at Banks, Washington Co., OR, at age 98.

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