AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
James Nickens was head of a Lancaster County household of 9 "Blacks" in 1783 [VA:55] and was a "Mulatto" taxable in Culpeper County from 1789 to 1796. On 24 July 1789 he rented 100 acres in Culpeper County from William Allason of Fauquier County for 5 pounds rent per year and agreed to build a 20' square house, 16' square kitchen, stables and a barn. The deed named his wife Sarah and son James who was not yet 21 years old [DB P:249-55]. He was taxable in Fauquier County in 1797, listed as a "free Negro" there in 1807 [PPTL 1782-96, frames 1797-1807, frames 13, 116, 137 819]. He and James Nickens, Jr., were sued for debt in Fauquier County court by William Allason on 22 May 1797. They acknowledged they still owed him 4 pounds of an original debt of 49 pounds, 15 shillings from 5 November 1796 [Orders 1797-8, 97]. He was a "F. Negroe" head of a Fauquier County household of 8 "other free" in 1810, called James Nickens, Sr. [VA:368]. On 3 September 1834 James Nickens, Elizabeth Nickens, and Judy Watkins appeared in Frederick County court to apply for the survivors' pension of their father James Nickens and their brother Hezekiah Nickens, a seaman in the Virginia State Navy who died during the war.
Judy Watkins was the wife of Moses Watkins, a "Mulatto," who rented 100 acres in Culpeper County on 13 July 1789 from William Allason on the same terms as James Nickens. The deed names Moses' wife Judie and their son Robert who was not yet 8 years old [DB P:243-8]. Moses descended from a white woman named Catherine Watkins who lived near the Nickens family in Northumberland County.