Name: William Eakin
Died: March 1780
Place: poss Virginia
There is enough circumstantial evidence to seriously consider that
William Eakin was the father of William Akins. (See
the article for him regarding that.) And it's appearing more likely that
this William was the son of William Eaken of Bucks
county PA. Further work needs to be done.
Beargrass Station and Louisville were small, brand new Kentucky
settlements in 1780.8 It's not surprising that famed Kentucky
Floyd would have known William, Robert and Samuel Eakin. John recorded
the death of William Eakin [as Easkins] in 1780 and was mortally wounded
alongside Samuel Eakin, who was instantly killed, three years later. Robert
Eakin was a witness to John's will. We do not presently know whether the
three men were brothers, but it is a notion worth pursuing.
Much of what is known about the Akins/Eakins comes to us from the 19th
century notes of William Eakin's descendant, economist and writer Henry
Clay Richie (1844-1914). According to family legend, William was born
in Virginia and was killed in 1782 during an Indian ambush at Beargrass Creek.
Email correspondent and researcher Laura S Civey states that Richie had
written that William was killed at present-day 8th and Main Streets in
But "Billy Easkins," killed in 1780—as reported by John Floyd—is
probably the same man. This is from "Early Louisville and the Beargrass
The white settlers were not the only ones who were active in
the spring of 1780. [John] Floyd reported on March 23 that a man named
Billy Easkins was killed on his way to Louisville. During the attack
"Billy" Breckenridge was thrown from his horse and spent six days in the
woods before he returned to the station.1
And from "Virginia's Western War: 1775-1786":
A few Indians were seen along Beargrass Creek in March, and one
party of travelers was ambushed on its way to the Falls. A man named
Billy Easkins was killed. Another, Billy Breckenridge, was thrown
from his horse but managed to escape. Roaming around the woods for six
days, he finally found shelter at Floyd's Station. About the first of April
three men were killed and scalped near Levi Todd's station.2
William's estate record is found on page 56 of Early Kentucky
Settlers: The Rcords of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from the Filson Club
History Quarterly (1988) by James R. Bentley.
A List of goods, & chattels, being the whole of William Eakin
deceased, approved by Philip Lute, John Thickstow & Robert Gilmore, for
William Goodwin adminstrator this third day of July 1782.
At a Court held for Jefferson County, on the 3d July 1782--The above
Inventory returned & admitted to record
Test Mer'th Price Clkk Jeff Cur
This notice is found dated three months earlier.
[Page 23] Administration of the estate of Robert Eakin granted William
Goodwin and bond entered into of One hundred pounds, Specie, with William
Spangler, & Robert Eakin Securities.
In 1783, the will of John Floyd was witnessed by his brothers, Charles
and Robert Floyd, and Robert Eakin. It was proved and recorded on 3 June
But it gets even more interesting than that. The following description of
the incident that killed Floyd is transcribed and edited by Pat M
...a small party of Indians opened fire...The Colonel was the first one hit,
Sam Aikens was killed instantly, and Charles Floyd's horse was shot
out from under him. Seeing his brother falling, Charles jumped up behind
him, turned the animal around, and holding John upright, galloped back the
way they had come to Colonel Moore's cabin at the Fishpools.6
Here's another account of the story:
[John Floyd] was killed on the 12th of April, 1783, a short distance from
his station on Beargrass. The settlements were not without their own
superstitions at that time, for, according to Shane's pioneer notes, Floyd's
wife did not want him to leave home, because the day before he started "a
bird flew round his head seven times and flew off in the very direction he
had to go, and that night a chunk of fire popped out and went by Samuel
Finally, "The Goodwins of Clark Co., Indiana" says that a purported niece
of William Goodwin, Polly Goodwin, married Ware Eaken in Louisville, KY on 4
William Eakin is known to have been the father of Josiah Akin, born in
Virginia, 15 March 1777. (Josiah's son, Ransom
Wallace Akin, was an Indiana state legislator.) Other than that, the
relationships between these men are not described. But since there were two
Robert Eakins—one who was dead by spring 1782 and one who witnessed
the will of John Floyd a year later—we could assume that they were
father and son. Might we have something like this? Perhaps not, but it is
a reference from which to conduct research.
| | |
William Eakin Robert Eakin Sam Aikens
| | |
Josiah William Ware Eaken
A cursory earch of the Web finds a family with the siblings William,
Robert and Samuel, children of William and Isabel (Morrison) Eakin:
Little is known about the three men but something is known about brothers
Joseph and Redmon. Redmon willed his land in Kentucky to his daughters.
The wills for Redmon and his father are found at the same website.
William Eakin married Mary Wallace, one would guess
in Virginia during the 1770s. After William's death, Mary married William
Goodwin, the administrator of her late husband's estate, and had at least
five more children. The Goodwins, possibly along with the Akins, moved
across the Ohio into Clark county IN in 1801, where the younger William Akin married Rebecca McClintick
Although the proof that Josiah had a brother William isn't in, it's worth
|Josiah T Akin
||Married Rebecca Stewart
||poss m1 Polly Goodwin m2 Rebecca McClintick
A great deal of information is known about Josiah. Laura Civey provides
this at http://lauracivey.tripod.com/Akin.html:
Josiah was major in the Home Guards in New Albany, IN. His parents came to
Kentucky from James River, VA. His father William Akin was ambushed in 1782
by Indians and killed on his way to the mill, which was located near the
falls of the Ohio Rr. in Beargrass,VA. (now Jefferson Co., KY.) His mother
Mary Wallace was born 1745 and died Nov. 1824. After the death of her
husband, she remarried William Goodwin, who was born 1758 and died Aug.
1825. He was a neighbor & good friend of James Stewart, Jr. (father of
Rebecca Stewart), whom he served with under Gen. George Rogers Clark. He &
his brother, Amos Goodwin were witnesses to James Stewart, Jr.'s will.
Josiah was in War of 1812; 7th Regiment (Barbee's) Kentucky Militia.
Descendants of William and Josiah Akins.
Y-DNA test results for the Aiken/Akin surname are found at Akins
Family DNA Project.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -