Laborer up to 1820 and , from 1824, as a carpenter.
Christening: 1)Parish Record 1673-1793 Banwell, Somerset, England Source no. 1517681, Item No. 43. 2)Bishop's Transcripts Source No. 1278896 Item 15 1606-1812 Banwell, Somerset, England. The record reads "Baptism July 24th 1792 Richard, son of William & Mary Watkins."
Marriage: 1)Film #1702100 Eng St. James Marriage Index Researched by Roxeanne Clark.
LIFE OF RICHARD WATKINS and RUTH HAMLIN WATKINS
In my brief talk this afternoon to the descendants of RICHARD WATKINS and his wife, Ruth Hamlin, of Wrington, Somersetshire, England, on incidents about them with which I am familiar, I want to say that I feel highly honored that this gathering is being held on this my 75th birthday, and before speaking of these incidents, I wish to say a few words concerning my departed cousins, Hyrum and Frank Watkins. I was unable to attend Hyrum's funeral, for which I am very sorry; however, I was able to attend Frank's. I listened with much interest to each speaker and I, with each of them, and all who had contact with them, can say that Frank was truly an honest man, as I can say of Hyrum; and more they were charitable to men to their own material detriment. Their words were their bonds--what better tribute could be paid to any man. My firm belief is that both of these men are at the present time, mingling happily in their spirit body with their progenitors in a spirit world unencumbered by any physical or material matter and are still conscious of this life and happy in their present condition, awaiting the time of reunion with their own loved ones remaining here.
My father has told me he was the first in the Watkins family to embrace Mormonism, being baptized by Elder George Haliday, at the age of 17 years in Bristol, England. He being very religiously inclined, converted James Bartlet and his mother and several members of the family, also my mother's parents and some brothers and sisters, all of whom were baptized.
It remained, however, for my Uncle John and family and Uncle Ralph, widower of Aunt Sarah Ann, our cousin and two sons, Robert and Fred, to pioneer the way to these valleys. (To me it is a goodly land and a good and wonderful people to dwell among.) Personally, I would prefer to live in Hades with my people, right or wrong, to that heaven as taught by so very many of her so-called Christian sects. I have, especially in my latter and more matured years had a feeling of deep gratitude to my Uncle John's family who provided the necessary means to emigrate my father’s family here.
Now, concerning some incidents in the lives of RICHARD AND RUTH WATKINS, our grandparents; I never saw Richard, whom, I was named after — he died many years before I was born. However, I have visited Grandmother Ruth many times each year at her home in Wrington, from my birth until I was 10 years old — when our family left Bristol, where I was born for Chester and then to Utah, arriving here September 26, 1872. I was 14 years old.
Concerning our Grandfather Richard; I speak from statements made to me by my father, who informed me that his grandfather or great-grandfather, William Watkins, I think, came from Wales to Taunton, or perhaps Banwell, Somersetshire, and was there employed as a coachman. He married his employer’s daughter which caused much family trouble to the extent that the daughter was disinherited. After Richard and Ruth were married, they moved to Wrington. An aunt, I am informed whose name I never knew, took compassion on Richard, who was a carpenter and cooper. She bought and had built the old home, called LAVENDER COTTAGE at Wrington and presented it to them. Some of Uncle Thomas' family still live there. The old home in a quaint, old-style English country home, being a two story stone building, slate roof with lower floors of stone slabs. It contains five rooms in all and a wood shed attached and a stone carpenter shop nearby. It is erected on a triangle shaped lot of about one-half acre, a beautiful setting, elevated, and along side of the highway or turnpike road (as it is called there). The shop is in the corner in front of the house and close to the road. This was used by Grandfather as a carpenter and cooper shop. Grandmother's oak coffin boards were kept there in plain sight until she died. It was rather awe inspiring but a custom in those days.
There was an incident which happened before Ruth was married to Richard that may interest you. She and her sister bought two war jugs, agreeing that whoever married first should keep them both. Ruth was married first and kept them; later the jugs were used for everyday purposes and to carry water from the oaken, moss-covered buckets which hung in their well. By the way, it seemed to me to be nothing but moss in and around this well. Grandfather made those oak buckets and also the well covering. Grandmother gave the jugs to my father before her death, and he gave them to me, and I have recently bequeathed them to my own son Richard, who also has a son Richard, and I wouldn’t wonder if many Watkins boys unborn, will be Richards, if only to obtain the old jugs. They are somewhat damaged through use. As a boy, I have carried water from the oak buckets in them. I prize them very much as an heirloom, as I also do our grandfather's Bible and Testament. This Testament contains many items inscribed therein by him. I am informed by my son-in-law John W. Young, who visited Uncle Tom while on his mission a few years ago, that this same well and moss-covered buckets are still in use at this time. I would think the moss has now grown so thickly it would be difficult to sink or raise the bucket.
Grandmother died about six months before we left Chester for Utah. Father went to her funeral from Chester. She was buried along side Grandfather Richard in Wrington Churchyard; a very beautiful church indeed, surrounded by pretty grounds with trees and shrubbery in abundance. I have seen and read the epitaphs on Grandfather's grave stone.
As a matter of records, if you care to keep in yours what I have said, I would go somewhat further by stating that the property of the disinherited William's wife, through some neglect, I am told, of his brothers, was placed in Chancery at London to remain 99 years before further disposition. The date I know not; however, my Father told me that when I was 65 years old we may hear about its disposition. I have heard nothing to rely upon. The deeds of this estate Father brought to Utah. I have seen and handled them. I am told my Uncle John took them to England many years ago and perhaps left them in this Chancery office. Uncle John found relatives working in this office, but they were not interested in him when they found he came from Utah. This information may or may not be of value to the decedents In their work along genealogical lines.
Richard Charles Watkins