The Collins Family History:
Notes on the Paternal Ancestral Line of Effie Lorena Collins Dunn (1879-1962) in America, by Michael Collins Dunn

John Collins
A note to relatives: in order to get the text of the Collins history up over the Christmas holidays I have had to leave the maps, photos, and document copies to be added later. I hope to have them up as soon as I can. At one optimistic point I promised to have them up by February   The sheer weight of workload from my two publications was a problem, and now, the fact that the genealogy is growing downward as well as upward with our July trip to China and adoption of our daughter Sarah Grace Dunn,  has left me with no time to do so.  Then, as a Middle East specialist, I must confess I've been totally swamped since the horrible events of September 11. I'll get it up as soon as I possibly can, but have stopped making promises.  Meanwhile I hope that you find the text, which includes all the footnotes, useful. (There may be some notes referring to page numbers; these are leftovers from the printed version and will eventually be converted to hot links.

Michael C. Dunn

What is the Collins History?

 If You Already Know What it Is:
Click Here to Go Directly to Table of Contents

   For over 30 years, I have worked on the history of my Collins family line. My great-grandmother, Effie Lorena Collins Dunn (1879-1962), came from a line of Collinses who first settled in Tidewater Virginia in the 1660s (or earlier), then moved to Franklin County, Tennessee, to Georgia, then to Marshall County, Tennessee, then to Texas and to Christian County, Missouri, where my grandmother and father were born.

    As a historian by training, I set myself the task some years ago to try to write the Collins family history on the main Collins line in as thorough a manner possible, seeking to recover all the details that can be recovered for people who were by no means famous or prominent in their own time. The draft history is slowly being written. The written draft runs more than 200 pages, single spaced, with pictures and maps, and goes so far only to the death of my great-great-great-grandfather Henry Collins (1795-1860).

    Because I work at two jobs, as Editor of both The Middle East Journal, the academic quarterly published by The Middle East Institute, and of The Estimate, a biweekly newsletter on the Islamic world which I founded in 1989 and continue to publish, opportunities to work on the Collins history are rare, especially now that we are at war in the Middle East. I have also been spending a lot of time working on the genealogy in the other direction, since our adoption in July 2001 of Miss Sarah Grace Dunn. And the next generation, that of my great-great-grandfather John Collins (1819-1888: portrait at the top of the page), the pioneer to Missouri, will be quite lengthy: he was the patriarch of the Missouri family, Sheriff of Christian County during the Civil War, and otherwise a fascinating man; furthermore he left a journal of his journey from Tennessee to Texas, which I eventually intend to publish in full with editor's notes.

    I have also worked for some time on all the intermarried lines: my own Dunns, and the Collins collateral lines: the Alexanders, Chestnuts, Cowdens, Martins,  and Vinsons, some of whom are likely shared by other Collins descendants depending on their relationship to me. I have temporarily put up some general notes on the collateral lines and will eventually provide full histories like this Collins one.  You should also check out our database  of family data. It does not include dates or places for living persons, but does show realtionships.

    In the meantime,  and it may be a lengthy meantime, those parts of the Collins history which have already been distributed to family need to be available to Collins relatives. I have therefore decided to put the text online. Please note that this material is copyrighted. I am delighted to grant permission to relatives to reproduce it for their own families, but it may not be distributed or reproduced for any commercial purpose.

    For those of you who already have seen the printed version, the following differences need to be noted:

I hope you enjoy reading and using the Collins history. Please read my introduction for more details, and the database for relationships.

All material copyright 2000, Michael Collins Dunn

Tables of Contents

Brief Table of Contents (Chapter Headings Only);
for Full Table of Contents Click Here.

Full Table of Contents

Introduction: 330 Years (Plus) of Collinses in America

I. Collins Origins: Name and Nationality

II. Collins Virginia Roots and the Search for the Immigrant III. The First of Our Collinses: The Collinses of Kingsale Swamp IV. William Collins (d. 1767/1768) 53 V. James Collins (Died 1815-1819); Esther (Died After 1820) VI. James Collins "II" 1758-1838; Temperance Vinson Collins 1764/65-1848

James Collins in the Revolution
Guns and "Towmawhacks"
Guilford Court House
Locating Collins' position at Guilford Today
After Guilford
James Collins After the War
James Collins: The Marital History Problem
The Peter Collins Problem
Census Evidence of an Earlier Wife
The 16 Children of James and Temperance (Vinson) Collins

The Collins Land
The David Vinson Land
A Glimpse of James Collins' Farm: The Estate Sale
The Collins Family's Slaves
The Pension
James' Death and Tempey's Life Thereafter

VII. Henry Collins 1795-1860; Frances Martin Collins 1797-1841

The Biography
A Collective Biography
The Scattering of the Clan
The Collins Brothers (and Cousins) in Georgia
The Brothers in the War of 1812 and Indian Wars
The Georgia Census Evidence
Frances Martin
Holland's Move to Kentucky: Another Sandy Creek Settlement?
The Re-Gathering of the Clan: The Move to Tennessee
The First Land Henry Owned
A Forgotten First Attempt to Settle in the Ozarks
Henry Rejoins His Brothers in Tennessee
The Land and the Neighbors on Spring Place Pike
The Glenn Connection
Where Was the "Crossroads at Henry Collins'?"
Notes on the Crossroads' Likely Location
The Children of Henry and Frances (Fannie) Martin

Frances Dies and Henry Remarries
Henry's Second Marriage and a Problem in the Records A Personal Letter to His Brother
Henry Collins Personally
A Note on Books and Religion
Henry Collins' Slaves
Other Glimpses of the Farm from the Inventory
Henry's and Nancy Elvira's Deaths
The Next Generation

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