Hot off the Press: Ed Payne’s Article on Sarah Collins

I’m pleased to announce that Ed Payne’s long-awaited article on Sarah Collins (aka Sarah Collins Walters Parker) is now in print! Look for “Kinship, Gender, and Slavery in the Free State of Jones: the Life of Sarah Collins,” in the spring issue of the Journal of Mississippi History.

Sarah Collins was Ed’s GGGGrandmother, and Ed is one of the leading experts on the history of the Collins family of Jones County, Mississippi. Here, he tells the unique story of a woman who was the sister of several members of Newt Knight’s Knight Company. Prepare for some interesting surprises that remind us that history must be told in all its complexities, and with judicious use of evidence.

Congratulations, Ed!

7 replies »

  1. Here’s a mixed blessing for you: Ed, I hope they turn it into a movie!

    Can’t wait to read it. I’ve learned so much from postings. Your authority on the topic is evident.

  2. And I should add that Sally Collins was also the sister of the three brothers–Warren Jacob, Newton Carroll, and Stacy Collins Jr.–who led the Civil War jayhawkers of the Big Thicket in East Texas.


  3. Vikki, I have found names for Stacey Collins parents and am wondering if you think they could be valid. The source that I came upon says Christopher C. Collins born about 1768 in North Carolina was his father and his mother was Rachel Hendrick born about 1769 in Georgia. It also states that there are 7 more generations from this one. What do you think????

  4. Hello Merrillyn,

    Most Collins researchers believe that the Christopher C. Collins who married Rachel Hendrick(s) was Stacy Collins Sr.’s brother rather than father. The two men were about 18 years apart in age, but that was not unusual in large families from the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Shirley Insall Pieratt, author of The Ainsworth/Collins Clan in Texas, 1836, is the descendant of James P. Collins, who she claims was a son of Christopher and Rachel. She lists his other sons as Jacob, Hendrick H., Robert, Joshua, Christopher B., Benjamin, Joseph, and Eli. Pieratt agrees with other researchers that Christopher had brothers, including Joshua, Jacob, and Stacy. These four men and their wives all attended the same church early in the 19th century, and are discussed in my book, Free State of Jones.

    I also speculate in FSoJ that the Jones County Collinses descended from Jacob and/or Joshua Collins of Anson Co., N.C.; documentation is lacking, however.

    About ten years ago I obtained several Collins Wills from the NC State Archives, but was unable to make any definite links between Stacy Collins and the men who left those wills. His parentage is a dilemma that has frustrated his researchers for many years, and is likely to continue to do so.

    I’m interested in learning what evidence this latest researcher cites. Could you share it with us?

    Thanks so much for initiating this discussion; maybe we’ll learn something new!


  5. Ed,
    Can’t wait for your book on Sarah Collins! My gggrandfather was Morgan Columbus Collins 1846. He named one of his daughters Sarah Elizabeth Collins b.1883 or 1880? who is my ggrandmother. I just started researching about my grandmothers side of the family, Collins and find it very interesting.
    Cynthia Dotson

  6. Cynthia:

    No book on Sarah Collins Walters Parker. I wrote a fairly lengthy article about her that appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of the “Journal of MS History.” I can send you a photocopy if you provide your mailing address to Vikki, who will pass it along to me.

    Morgan, as you know, was a son of Simeon and is listed on the Knight rosters along with two brothers (Matt and Benjamin). Since his aunt Sarah (aka Sallie) sheltered the band, it makes sense he would name his daughter after her, especially since it was also the name of his grandmother (Sarah Anderson Gibson Collins).

    The two waves of Collins migration to Texas (1849-1854 and 1876-1879) are an interesting case of ‘what if?’ Sarah, who became a widow during the first migration, stayed in Jones County. Two of her grandchildren moved to Texas with their mother and stepfather soon after the 1870 census but returned to live with Sarah following their mother’s death in the mid 1870s. One of these was my gr grandfather: Warren Vinson Walters.

    The article has a fair amount of genealogical information tucked into the footnotes.

    Ed P.

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