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December 25, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: William H. Perkins (1824–1892)

Maysville Presbyterian Church.

Sketch by Margaret Pennington. Courtesy Historic Buckingham.

Many members of the Perkins family belonged to Maysville Presbyterian Church.


According to the obituary of Rev. Caesar Perkins, William Harding Perkins (1824–1892), son of William Harding Perkins, Sr. (1740-1806), was his former master.

The details of Caesar Perkins’ emancipation are unclear. It is possible that he purchased his freedom or that he was freed by the Perkins family prior to emancipation. To date, however, no evidence has appeared that he was freed before the general emancipation.


Private collections often hold Buckingham County treasures. The “Perkins Family Papers, 1806-1874” is an excellent example. Part of the Robert Alonzo Brock Collection at The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, its contents are available on microfilm from the Library of Virginia.

The Library’s finding aid provides the following genealogical information about the family:

William Harding Perkins (1780-1826) was born in Buckingham County, Virginia, to William Perkins (1740-1806) and Elizabeth Lee Fearn Perkins (1750-1839). William H. Perkins established his home at “Solitude” in Buckingham County. Perkins was a tobacco farmer and served as deputy sheriff in Powhatan County, Virginia, and as sheriff of Buckingham County. He married Mildred Walker Merry (1794-1841), and they had five children: Thomas Fearn Perkins (b. 1820), Catherine Merry Perkins (1821-1889), Eliza Mildred Perkins (b. 1823), William Harding Perkins (1824-1892), and Anne Frances Perkins (1827-1907). William Harding Perkins represented Buckingham County in the House of Delegates in 1853-1854.

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