Ancestor of the Hot Springs, Arkansas GodwinsWilkerson/Wilkinson Godwin was born 15 May 1786 and died 24 Jan 1837 in Union Co., IL. He married Nancy Beggs (b. 12 Mar 1790) on 11 Apr 1809 in Logan Co., KY. He was one of the first settlers of Union Co., IL in the early 1800s. Here is a copy of a transcribed census page of the 1818 State Census of Union Co., IL showing “Wilkson Godwin” on line 6:
The children of Wilkinson and Nancy Godwin were:
1. Alexander Godwin, b. 26 Mar 1810, KY, md Jemima Echols, 15 Aug 1832 in Union Co., IL; He died about 1858. Their sons Benjamin and Finley Thompson Godwin moved from IL to AR (Hot Springs)
2. Josiah Godwin, b: 8 Aug 1813 in Illinois, md. Louisa Jane Blocker, 29 Jun 1837, Randolph Co., AR; 10 Children. 1st child, William Riley Godwin born 8 Jan 1838 in Union Co., IL. 2nd child Martha M. Godwin, b. Aug 1842 in Stoddard Co., MO; Other 8 children born bet 1846-1862 in Arkansas, with one child born in Texas in 1856.
3. George Godwin, b: 16 AUG 1815
4. Willis Godwin, b: 17 Jul 1817 in IL; Lived in Cape Girardeau Co., MO 1860-1880; Married Dorcas Hill, 25 Feb 1841. 1 child listed: Hezekiah Godwin, b. 9 Mar 1851, MO.
5. John Godwin, b: 20 AUG 1819
6. Sally Godwin, b: 20 DEC 1820
7. Henry Godwin, b: 29 OCT 1821
8. Lucindy Godwin, b: 20 JUN 1822
9. Nelly Godwin, b: 9 APR 1830
10. Nancy Godwin, b: 19 FEB 1833
I had been corresponding with a descendant of Wilkerson Godwin for a few years. We thought he might have been tied into my ancestor, Elijah Godwin’s line because they were both living in Illinois in the 1830s and 40s. Wilkerson’s sons and Elijah Godwin both settled in Arkansas.
The mystery was finally solved when a descendant of Wilkerson Godwin took a DNA test. His results came back and were not close to my Godwin results at all, therefore our two lines were not connected, at least not within any significant genealogical timeframe. You can see from the screenshot on the left here that we differed on many markers (I put an aqua box around them).
Wilkerson’s family was not without hope, however because his descendant’s DNA did match up with two other Godwin families – descendants of John Godwin and possibly Thomas Godwin of England! It will be up to them to compare paper trails in order to determine who their common ancestor was.
I’m glad we did the DNA test because otherwise we would have continued with the incorrect assumption that the family of Wilkerson Godwin and Elijah Godwin were connected simply because they were both in Illinois about the same time.