A most confusing and prolific (and therefore confusing) group of folks are the Collinses. I am descended from this family down two lines that reconnect in my paternal 4th great-grands in Tattnall County, GA. The two lines are denoted here.

My chronological notes for Collinses in North Carolina -

My chronological notes for Collinses in Georgia (related to the Tattnall County Collinses only) -

1. John Collins, (c1690 - 1752)

The birth year of John Collins is again an estimate based on a 1716 deed in Bertie County, NC. It is believed that John Collins married to Martha DEMPSEY, who is believed to be the mother of all of his children. John's will written in 1749 does call his wife by name, but his estate papers in 1752 name his wife as "Mary" indicating a second marriage.

John Collins wrote his will on 27 December 1749 in Bertie County, NC. His will states that some of his sons are underage and should receive their estate at age 18. He also names eight sons, then specifically re-lists six of them. John Colins' estate went to probate on 18 March 1752 in Bertie County.

John and Martha Collins are credited with ten children:

  1. daugther Collins - married to George KEEN
  2. Martha T. Collins - 1m. Edward BRYANT; 2m. Humphrey HARDY; her will went to probate in 1812 in Bertie County, NC.
  3. David Collins -
  4. William Collins - m. Margaret RHOADES, he died in Tyrrell County, NC in 1764.
  5. Joseph Collins - see the next section.
  6. John Collins - may be the John Collins granted land in Washington County, GA in 1784.
  7. Michael/Miel Collins - b. by 1729, he died in 1799 in Nash County, NC.
  8. Dempsey Collins - d. 1805 or 1810 in Marion District, SC.
  9. Absalom Collins - was in Chowan County, NC by 1780.
  10. Jesse Collins - was in Bertie Couty, NC in 1771.

2. Joseph Collins, (c1730 - 1802), called "Old Joseph Collins"

Various dates are listed for the birth of Joseph Collins, from 1724 to as late as 1736. Joseph is also credited with marrying at least three times: Rachel BUNCH (d/o Henry BUNCH), Sallie/Sarah, and Elizabeth (perhaps BENNETT) the widow of James PENNY. Rachel BUNCH was the wife of Joseph Collins when her father Henry BUNCH wrote his will in 1776 and appears to have been the mother of most of his children. The name "Sallie" appears on a DAR record as a wife of Joseph and stories exist that she was perhaps the widow of one of Joseph's brothers and brought additional children into the marriage home. No other record of the marriage of Joseph and Sallie has been found. Elizabeth Collins definitely had PENNY children in the Collins home, and was the wife of Joseph at the time of his death in 1802.

Joseph Collins wrote a will in Bertie County, NC on 2 JUN 1799 naming in that document as his family: his beloved wife [unnamed], son Bennett, son David, daughter Ann WILSON, sons Joab, Jesse, Williby [sic], and Henry, and also Jonas and Elizabeth SUMMERLIN. Joseph's estate went through probate in Bertie County, NC in 1802.

Elizabeth Collins died in Bertie County, NC before 8 NOV 1802 when her son James PENNY is appointed Administrator of her estate. James PENNY is also found listed as guardian to his brother Bennett Collins.

Joseph and Rachel (BUNCH) Collins are thought to have had ten children:

  1. John Collins - m. Kerenhappuch WHITE; he died before 1791 when two sons were apprenticed out to learn trades in Bertie County, NC.
  2. Josiah Collins, Sr. - see the next generation, section 3A.
  3. Joab Collins - m. Zilpha, d. 1823 Tattnall County, GA.
  4. David Collins - in Bertie County, NC in 1799
  5. Jesse Collins - m. Sarah Moses KEEN, he d. 1842 Tattnall County, GA.
  6. Henry Collins - m. Penelope BAZEMORE, he d. 1817 Tattnall County, GA.
  7. Ann Collins - m. Edward WILSON
  8. Joseph Collins, Jr. - see the next generation, section 3B.
  9. Elizabeth Collins - m. Jonas SUMMERLIN
  10. Willoughy Collins - m. Angelica BROWN, he d. before 1802.

Some Internet sites variously say that Joseph and Sallie had five children together, OR that Sallie already had five children when she married Joseph COLLINS. I, personally, have found no documentation of these children:

  1. Cassie
  2. George
  3. America
  4. Nathan
  5. Henry

Joseph and Elizabeth probably had only one child, who is often listed online as a son of Rachel:

  1. Bennett Collins - Bennett died in 1813 in Bertie County, NC without children. He brothers and sisters, the children of Joseph and Rachel (BUNCH) Collins had dealings with his estate and lands. These Bertie County deeds include the oldest two brothers, John and Josiah Collins, although Joseph's will did not mention them. There is no mention of the supposed Joseph-Sallie children in these records.

3A. Josiah Collins, Sr. (1750 - 1809)

Josiah is listed in 1771 in Bertie County as a "free mulatto" in his own household. Josiah's mother Rachel (BUNCH) Collins belonged to a family long identified as "mulatto" or "free people of color". They were of the people group called Melungeon.

Josiah is not named in Joseph Collins's 1799 Bertie County will, but he does appear in deeds in 1813-1815 that show him as a full heir in the family.

Josiah Collins is said to have married Nancy BUNCH, a daugther of Jeremiah BUNCH, and surely a cousin of his in some manner. This Collins family was in Montgomery County, GA by 1805. Josiah died in 1809 in Lauren County, GA when his estate paperwork identifies his whife Nancy and seven children:

  1. Hardy Collins - 1m. Eleanor, 2m. Penelope (BAZEMORE) Collins, wife of Henry Collins above.
  2. Josiah Collins, Jr. - see the next generation, section 4A.
  3. Penelope Collins - she m. Hardy SUMMERLIN
  4. James Collins - m. Frances ?SUMMERLIN?
  5. Acceth/Axeth Collins - m. Daniel HOWARD and was a widow by 1805.
  6. Kiziah/Kissiah Collins - m. Thomas NEWBURN, Jr.
  7. John Collins - m. Mary Elizabeth STUBBS

3B. Joseph Collins, (1760/70 - 1843), called "Joseph Collins Sr."

Joseph Collins, later in life known as Joseph Collins, Sr., was born between 1760-1770 in Bertie County, NC. He married Frances "Fanny" BAZEMORE on 7 October 1787. She was the daugther of Jesse BAZEMORE and Frances ?WHITFIELD?.

Joseph and Fanny started their family in NC and seem to have moved to Tattnall County, GA by 1800. It is not clear when Fanny Collins died: some say she died after having Frances in 1804. The children of Joseph and Fanny Collins are:

  1. Penelope BAZEMORE - the baseborn daughter of Frances BAZEMORE before she married Joseph. Penelope grew up to marry first Joseph's brother Henry, and then later his nephew Hardy.
  2. Horatio Collins - m. Sarah, he d. 1833. Horatio is sometimes listed as b. 1797, but b. 1787 is more likely
  3. Mary Collins - b. 1788 d. 1805
  4. Joseph Collins, III - bc 1795 m. Susan Lavinia/Luvicy COOK in 1815 in Tattnall County, GA.
  5. Miel Collins - b. 1798 m. Elizabeth HOLLAND.
  6. Frances Collins - b. 3 AUG 1804, m. Wiley ADAMS. Frances may be the daughter of Joseph's second wife.

Joseph Collins married second to Mary "Mollie" SIKES, daugther of Daniel SIKES and Elizabeth Dabney CAWTHON. As a child Mollie Sikes survived a scalping in an Indian attack that took her father's life. This family is beleived to be the "backwoods" Georgia family who hosted British traveller Capt. Basil Hall in 1828 as described in his book, "Travels in North America, 1827-1828, Volume 3". Joseph Collins is captured in a camera lucida image created by Hall, along with some of his sons.

Joseph Collins died sometime after the 1840 census and before 19 January 1841 when his oldest son Joseph was dismissed from being guardian to his two youngest brothers. Joseph Collins apparently died intestate, and has probate papers in the Tattnall County courthouse from 1843 and 1844. His widow Mary Collins died before July 1844 after writing her will on 29 MAY 1844 in Tattnall County, GA.

Joseph and Mollie Collins had six or seven children:

  1. ??Frances Collins - b. 3 AUG 1804, m. Wiley ADAMS?? The same Frances listed above, it is unclear who Frances's mother was.
  2. Sikes Collins - bc 1806, d. before 7 FEB 1833.
  3. Sarah Collins - bc. 1808, m. William A COURSEY 11 October 1827, d. 1880.
  4. Ziba Collins - bc 1811, m. Flora FERGUSON, d. 1855-1860.
  5. George Washington Collins - b. 1812 m. Temperance "Vispy" COLLINS, believed to be the daughter of Hardy Collins (son of Josiah Sr. #3A above) on 10 March 1833.
  6. Andrew Jackson Collins, (CSA) - bc 1818, m. Mary Ann HOLLAND 14 July 1845, died after 1905 in Toombs Co., GA.
  7. Robert R. Collins, (CSA) - see the next generation, section 4B.

4A. Josiah Collins, Jr. (1775/80 - before 1840)

Josiah Collins was the son of Josiah and Nancy Collins, and was born between 1775 and 1780 in Bertie County, NC. He married to Susannah SUMMERLIN, daughter of Elisha SUMMERLIN, on 9 February 1801 in Bulloch County, GA.

There are several Josiah Collinses around and about in Georgia from 1800-1820. It is difficult to sort through them and keep them straight. A Josiah Collins Sr. and Jr. lived in Montgomery County in 1805 and 1806 according to the tax lists. A Josiah Collins died in Laurens County in 1809 and had connections to the Summerlin family [he was Josiah Sr.]. Another Josiah Collins seems to have died in Tattnall County in 1813., but another Josiah Collins is recorded on the tax lists in 1817. And still one more lived in Tattnall and is recorded in census records in 1820 and 1830 before being replaced by his widow Susan in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 records. Because of Susan's appearance following Josiah's disappearance, I believe this is my family in the census records. I am trying to sort out all the other references above. Along those lines, there apparently once was a family Bible dating from Joseph Collins [Old Joseph #4 here] that covered the family of Josiah Collins and Susannah Summerlin. This Bible is now lost, but I would love to know if a transcription exists anywhere.

Josiah Collins disappears from records in 1831; no estate paperwork has been found to date. Susannah Summerlin Collins lived until at least 1860 in the household of her youngest son Matthew. She died before the 1870 census. I do not know where Josiah or Susannah are buried.

Josiah and Susannah Collins had ten children:

  1. Eliza Ann Collins - b. 1 January 1804 m. Mathias or Asa Lemuel ADAMS, she died 1 June 1905 at 101 yeas of age in Montgomery County, GA.
  2. John Collins b. 16 April 1806 m. 25 March 1839 Mary Ann KENNEDY, d. 3 December 1885.
  3. Lewis Collins b. 1804-1810, m. Linney/Linna SUMMERLIN 18 February 1831, died March 1880 in Emanuel County, GA of pneumonia.
  4. Seaborn Collins - b. 1810 m. Nancy COURSEY.
  5. Joseph Martin Collins, Sr. - b. 1812 m. Weltha Ann KENNEDY COLLINS, widow of his cousin Josiah.
  6. Mary Polly Collins - b. 1817, m. Stephen HOLLOWAY.
  7. James Perry Collins - b. 14 February 1815, m. 5 February 1849 to Sarah EVERETT, he died 30 June 1891.
  8. Berrian Collins - see the next generation, section 5A.
  9. Matthew Collins, (CSA) - b. 1824, m. 5 February 1854 to Sarah ROGERS, he died before 1880. Sarah Rogers was the step-daughter of Matthew's brother Berrian.
  10. daughter Collins

4B. Robert R. Collins, (1820 - 1880s)

Robert R. Collins, son of Joseph Collins, Sr. and Mary "Mollie" SIKES was born in Tattnall County, GA in 1820. He married to Elizabeth "Litta" WARREN about 1842 and began his family. Litta WARREN's parentage is not known.

Robert Collins had land, but lost it in a Sheriff's Sale in 1858. I do not have records of him owning land again. Litta Collins died before the 1880 census, and Robert Collins died before the 1900 census, presumably both in Tattnall County. I do not know where they are buried.

Robert Collins and Litta WARREN had nine children:

  1. Sarah Elizabeth Collins - b. 1843-1846.
  2. Joseph W. "Joe" Collins - b. 1 January 1847, m. Jincey BIRD 16 October 1878, he died 1 November 1914.
  3. Adamson William Carnegie "Base" Collins - b 1849, 1m. Anna BIRD, 2m. Catherine Elizabeth "Kitty" ROGERS on 13 June 1880, he died 22 September 1922.
  4. James Rance Collins - see the next generation, section 5B.
  5. John Washington Collins - bc. 1853.
  6. Clementine Collins - bc 1855.
  7. Robert R. Collins, Jr. - bc. 1856.
  8. Jinnie Collins - bc 1858.

5A. Berrian Collins, (c1817 - 1885)

Berrian Collins was born about 1817, the son of Josiah and Susannah (SUMMERLIN) Collins. He was named for John Berrien, a U. S Senator and Attorney General during the Presidency of Andrew Jackson. The given name "Berrian" is found spelled: Berrian, Berrien, Berry, Berryan, and Berryann. I am sure there are more variations.

Berrian Collins married on 4 January 1848 to Catherine Ann "Katie" TILLMAN. Katie TILLMAN was born about 1820 to Joseph Isaiah TILLMAN and Catherine CHEWNING. She married William D. ROGERS on 13 June 1837 in Tattnall County and had 3 children before his death; they were:

  1. Joseph Tillman Rogers, (CSA) - b. 1838 Bulloch County, GA, d. 2 July 1863.
  2. Sarah Rogers - bc. 1840 m. Matthew COLLINS on 5 February 1854 in Tattnall County. See above for information about Matthew Collins.
  3. William C. Rogers bc. 1840.

At one time, Berrian Collins seems to have had money. In 1864 he bought 2,250 acres of land from his brother-in-law Jimerson KENNEDY for $14,000.

Berrian and Catherine Collins are both in the 1880 census in Tattnall County. The next few years see them dividing their land amongst their children in deeds of gift. In 1880 J.C. Collins received land. In 1883, J.B. Collins received land and was to care for his parents in return. In 1884, Susan got land. In 1885 Eliza and Mary got their shares. The 3 March 1885 deed is the last reference I have for Berrian Collins. I have a Catherine Collins selling land in Toombs County (Created from Tattnall) as late as 1909, but I am not sure this is my Catherine. I do not have burial information for either of them.

Berrian and Catherine Collins had seven children:

  1. Josiah Clayton "Cy Berrien" Collins - b. 7 January 1849, m. 24 February 1881 to Missouri COLEMAN, he died 29 May 1910.
  2. Susan Collins - b. 1850, m. Adam Perker BIRD.
  3. Eliza Collins - b. 1852 d. 1915. She never married, but might have had children.
  4. Elizabeth Jane Collins - b. 1 March 1858, m. 18 September 1875 to Thomas Jefferson BIRD, she died 20 May 1926 in Tampa, FL.
  5. Mary Ann "Granny" Collins - see the next section 6A.
  6. James Berrian Collins - b. 1857, d. 1913.
  7. Catherine Queen Collins - b. March 1859, m. 3 June 1882 to William A BIRD, she died in 1905.

5B. James Rance Collins, (1849-1929), AND 6A. Mary Ann Collins, (1851-1949), called "Granny Collins"

James Rance Collins was born 4 March 1849 in Cobbtown, Tattnall County, GA. He was the son of Robert R. and Litta (WARREN) Collins.

Mary Ann Collins was born 2 September 1854 in Tattnall County. She was the daughter of Berrian and Katie (TILLMAN) Collins.

James Rance Collins and Mary Ann Collins were married on 18 December 1876 in Tattnall County, GA. They helped to raise my grandfather and his younger siblings when they were orphaned in 1910. "Granny" Collins has been described to me many times. She had health problems and so used a wheelchair. Later in life, she was senile, and often asked the same questions of a visitor over and over again. I have a few photographs of her.

James Rance and Mary Ann Collins had 7 children:

  1. Emma Collins - b. 9 September 1876, d. 20 November 1958.
  2. Carrie Elizabeth Collins - see the next section for details.
  3. Leinner Esther Collins - b. and d. 30 July 1880 in Bulloch County, GA.
  4. Daisy Lee Collins - b. and d. 4 May 1883 in Bulloch County, GA.
  5. Mary Clyde Collins - b. 3 September 1885, m. Joe Howard DONNELL, d. 18 DEC 1911.
  6. Eudelle Laurence Collins - b. 3 March 1889 m. Daniel Thompson GIBBS, she died 11 January 1969.
  7. Eddie Collins - b. and d. 6 October 1891 in Montgomery County, GA.

6/7. Carrie Elizabeth Collins, (1878 - 1910)

Carrie Elizabeth Collins was born 4 May 1878 in Bulloch County, GA. On 7 January 1895 she married to Olin Jamina GILSTRAP in Tattnall County, GA. Their lives are outlined on the GILSTRAP Family page.

Last Revised: 2 MAY 2013