Our Watkins Family

This Web page is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother

Christine Watkins Hudson.

May 18, 1920 - February 14, 2002

Christine's Eulogy

The Watkins homeplace is located in the south part of Henry County, Virginia near the North Carolina border. The photo below is of the one of the Watkins homes on this land. Although, there are three other houses within walking distance that were also Watkins homes, this house in particular is in the best condition and appears to be the oldest of those remaining. Although it contains updates and additions, the original structure was most likely built between 1790 - 1820. As you walk through the woods behind it, you can see what used to be the old wagon road leading to the other houses. In these woods there lies the Watkins Family Cemetery, where only two headstones remain that are legible, the graves of Hiram S. Watkins and his wife Susan Watkins. Around them are small stones marking other graves, but none with identity markers.

John Watkins (b. 1800) married Nancy Moore, daughter of James Moore and Elizabeth Mays. The couple resided in Henry County, VA where they raised eight sons and three daughters. Nancy must have felt like she was giving quite a lot to the Confederacy, including most of her heart, as she probably kissed all eight of her sons goodbye. They each served together in the Civil War. Fortunately, five of her sons eventually returned, but they were all forever changed, mentally, emotionally and physically. Two of her sons were both my ggg-grandfathers, Hiram Watkins, and his brother Horseley Watkins. Hiram married Susan Payne January 12, 1860. Horseley married Ruth Watkins in 1853. For a more detailed summary of their experiences in the war, See the Watkins Confederate History

View Hiram's Eulogy

James R. Watkins, son of Hiram Watkins and Susan Payne, married Mary Emma Watkins, daughter of Horseley Watkins and Ruth Watkins. James was born during the Civil War in 1862 in Henry County, VA. He was a textile worker and lived to the age of 81. He died in Guilford County, NC and was buried at Proximity Cemetery. Mary Emma Watkins, who went by her middle name "Emma" was born 1870 in Virginia. She is also buried at Proximity Cemetery.

My grandmother loved to tell me stories of how Emma used to rock her and sing gospel hymns to her. She said Emma never allowed her to visit without feeding her a good, home-cooked meal or giving her food to take home to the rest of the family. My grandmother described Emma as a "dear, sweet soul." Emma gave my grandmother the nickname "Tina". Apparently, she was the only one who called her by that name.

Mary Emma Watkins (b.1870)

Judson Hersley Watkins, son of James and Emma Watkins, was born in Stokes County, NC in 1899. According to their marriage certificate, Judson married Sallie Harris July 10, 1917 in Guilford County, NC. She is the daughter of Michael Clingman Harris and Sarah Gregory. Sallie was born in 1900 and lived until the year 2000. She was from Wilkes County, NC. Judson was drafted during WWI and served as a private. The picture below is of Judson in uniform with Sallie. Here, they were just married and neither looked happy about his leaving.

Judson seemed to have a mischievous streak in his character. The picture to the right shows him pretending to hit his father-in-law unaware with a large stick in hand. Unfortunately, Judson didn't live very long and my father does not remember him. Those who do remember him tell me that he was always laughing and very happy. According to his obituary, Judson collapsed on his job at White Oak Finishing Mill of the Cone Mills Corporation in 1956. He died of a massive heart attack at the age of 57 and was buried at Lakeview Memorial Park in Guilford County, NC.

Michael Harris & Judson Watkins

Sallie Harris on left (b.1900)

Judson Watkins & Sallie Harris in 1917

Judson Hersley Watkins (b.1899) & dau Christine Age 2

Together, Judson and Sallie had twelve children. Their oldest child was a little girl named Gussie who died at eighteen months. My grandmother, Christine Watkins is their oldest surviving child. She was born in 1920 and married my grandfather, Lee Thomas Hudson, in Danville, Virginia in 1940. Christine worked as a lifeguard when she was young and raised five children. I was fortunate in that I was very close to my grandmother and over the years grew to know her very well. She has made such a huge impact on my life. Most of my childhood memories include my grandmother, as well as many significant moments in adulthood. Everywhere I go there is something that reminds me of her. A simple flower, a ride in a car, the beach, shopping, icecream specific TV shows, and her favorite color - purple. In my home there's clocks, bedroom furniture, an antique sewing machine, jewelry, flowers and so many things that I am fortunate to have that belonged to her. I cherish all that she taught me, and all the moments we shared together, and every time she ever told me she loved me, especially those simple words she managed to mouth when she was too weak to speak them out loud on Valentine's Day, the day she died. To read more about the family that Lee Hudson and Christine Watkins created, please see The Lee Hudson Family.

Gussie Watkins

Christine Age 17

Lee Hudson & Christine Watkins in 1938

Christine Age 18

The Watkins Brothers - A site dedicated to the Confederate history on all the sons of John and Nancy Watkins.

This page was updated last on August 24, 2002.