The name LUMPKIN is an uncommon and unusual one; it appears to have originated in England in very early times, from an Old English nickname or pet name, "Lambkin." It is also sometimes spelled Lampkin, Lamkin, or Lumkin, or any of these variations with an "s" on the end. In searching the parish registers of England, it appears that most of the Lumpkin families lived in the county of Lincolnshire, near the central eastern coast of the country. As for the Lumpkins in America, there have been no records found so far antedating the time of Col. Jacob Lumpkin's arrival in Virginia.
Northeast of Richmond, inland from Chesapeake Bay, on the Mattaponi River in King & Queen County, St. Stephens Parish, Virginia, there is an old church, built perhaps as early as 1690, known as the "Mattaponi Church." A marble slab lies near the north door of this church, which is inscribed as follows:
JACOB LUMPKIN Obit 14 die September 1708 Aetatis 64 Dux Militum Victor Hostium Morte Victus pax adsit vives requies Eterna sepultis.
The inscription is in Latin, and if correctly copied, is defective. The translation is as follows:
JACOB LUMPKIN Died on the 14th day of September 1708, 64 years of age A leader of soldiers; conqueror of the enemy Conquered by death. May peace be with him; you (he) shall live. Eternal rest for the buried.
Family traditions say that there also used to be a monument for a Dr. Thomas Lumpkin at the same church, which had a horse's head on it and a hand holding the reins, but this area of the "crypt" was covered over by cement when the Baptists bought and renovated the old church. There are conflicting opinions as to how Dr. Thomas Lumpkin was related to Jacob, but Thomas was probably the son of Jacob Lumpkin. Very near the Mattaponi Church was the home or estate of Col. Jacob Lumpkin, known as "Newington." The foundation walls of his residence may still be seen from the church door. "He was evidently a man of wealth and station, and doubtless preceded by a line of honorable ancestors before coming to America." Traditions say the stone that covers his grave was brought from England; the work of inscribing having been done after its arrival in America. He was born during the Cromwellian Era (about 1644), and reached his majority soon after the accession of Charles II. His wife's name was Ann.
A record in Middlesex Co., Virginia dated Oct. 2, 1677 reveals that 13 men were sent out of that county to join Capt. Jacob Lumpkin's command. Later he received from the King three considerable grants of land situated in what became King & Queen County. In 1690 a charge was filed against Jacob Lumpkin in the court of New Kent County, stating that he uttered seditious charges against their Majesties and the present Governor. He was evidently cleared, as the King gave him two grants of land later. We do not have the names of many of his children, but Jacob Lumpkin and his wife Ann raised at least three or four to adulthood:
A more recently published book, The Lumpkin Family of King & Queen County, Virginia (1990); says that there were actually two Jacob Lumpkins in early Virginia (probably cousins); so the Jacob Lumpkin in New Kent County was not the same as the one at Newington. Other early Lumpkins who came to King & Queen County, Virginia in the 1600's were Anthony (probably another brother of Jacob), Robert, and Matthuw Lumpkin. Since the surname is not too common, it is likely that all of the Lumpkin immigrants to Virginia were closely related, especially since they settled near each other. I hope I can do some more research and straighten out all of the relationships.
A will was recently discovered by a professional genealogist in England hired by someone to do research on the family. It was the will of an Anthony Lumpkin, in Tunby-Woodside, Lincolnshire, England; dated 6 April 1662; listing wife Mary, eldest son John (who inherited most of the estate in Lincolnshire), other children Anthony Jr., Jacob, Mary, Margaret, Alice, and Robert. No inheritance was given to Jacob in the will, so it is reasonable to assume that he had gone to America; perhaps haps his father had given him his inheritance before he emigrated. It appears that Jacob's brothers Anthony and Robert also went to America, so this fits in with what we know about the Lumpkins in early Virginia. Perhaps the other Jacob Lumpkin in Virginia was a cousin, and Matthew and Thomas were his brothers.
The Public Records of King & Queen County, Virginia have twice been destroyed by fire; once in 1828, again in 1864. For this reason, all information relating to many of the earlier Lumpkins has been lost. The first family after Jacob's of whom there is authentic record consisted of four brothers: George, Joseph, Anthony, and Henry Lumpkin, believed to be the sons of either Robert or Thomas Lumpkin. They were born in the 1720-1740's in King & Queen County, and the first three moved to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Most researchers agree that George, Joseph, Anthony, and Henry were great-grandsons of Jacob Lumpkin, probably through his son Thomas Lumpkin, because these two names come down by strong family tradition; although some of the information is contradictory (probably because there were two Jacob Lumpkins at the same time, as mentioned above). George, Joseph, and Anthony Lumpkin moved to the Halifax/Pittsylvania County, Virginia area about 1760, and later, in about 1778, left from there with their families and slaves and traveled south and west, some of them eventually going to Georgia, others to Tennessee, Kentucky, and elsewhere. Henry Lumpkin remained in King & Queen County, Virginia and served as a Captain during the Revolutionary War. The author of The Lumpkin Family of King & Queen County, Virginia emphasizes that many of the Lumpkins were soldiers and took pride in their military service and honors; she mentions their service in all U.S. wars even down to the present day.
The author of a book called The Robert Lumpkin Family writes that he and his wife visited King & Queen County, Virginia in 1965 and went to a Lumpkin family reunion there. He says that, "The first person we contacted was Grace Lumpkin, author and lecturer, who lives just outside the village near the old mill and mill pond. Grace spent the major part of the day with us, showing us "Newington" and the church and "Tomb of Jacob." The Tomb is as it was in 1708 with the inscription perfectly legible. The house at Newington was burned during the Civil War. Nothing but the bricks of the foundation are in evidence. Parts of the box hedge still persist. A powder house still stands. The house stood on a knoll a block or so from the landing on the bay, which is about a mile wide at this point. It must have been a beautiful place when Jacob and his family lived there. Newington was probably occupied by members of the Lumpkin family for over 150 years."
Grace Lumpkin, the author and lecturer mentioned (who has the same name as our grandmother although they are only very distantly related - 4th cousins, I believe) wrote among other things a book called Full Circle, which I (Karen) read several years ago. It was a novel based on her life, and told of being raised in a strongly religious home but becoming dissatisfied with her beliefs. (A biography of her life states that) after graduating from college in Georgia in 1911, she volunteered in France for a year, and then returned to Georgia where she worked for the YWCA, taught school, organized night classes for farmers and their wives, and worked as a home demonstration agent. She became aware of the injustices and abuses suffered by poor workers in the South on farms and in factories, and the evils of racism and the sharecropping system suffered by blacks, and got involved in social reform and in helping to organize unions. She moved to New York to further her career as a writer, taking evening courses at Columbia University, and was soon caught up in left-wing political movements of the day, becoming involved in the activities of the Communist Party in America during the 1920's. She did not join the party but helped raise funds and recruit followers for them, and she married (but later divorced) a man who was much involved in the communism movement. "There was an innocence about Grace Lumpkin's sympathies with communism," (and) after she discovered the truth behind their ideology; she found that they weren't really what they claimed at all, and became disillusioned, realizing that she had been seriously misled. She "became increasingly concerned with righting what she saw as her earlier political wrongs." She began seeking the truth and went back to the teachings of the Bible, which she had earlier rejected, gained a very strong testimony of Jesus Christ, and thereafter became a devout Christian, writing and lecturing about her faith and experiences. It was during this period that she wrote Full Circle, although the critics said it was disappointing as a novel. (They liked her earlier, liberal, social-protest fiction better). In 1953 she testified before a Senate committee investigating Communist activities. "When she died in Columbia, S.C. on 23 March 1980, survived by her sister, the noted sociologist and writer Katherine DuPree Lumpkin, Grace Lumpkin left behind the work of a minor yet distinctive writer. Her novels lacked the ... ironic wit of Flannery O'Connor, or the historical sweep of Margaret Mitchell ... but at their best they succeeded in portraying -- simply, directly, and in realistic detail -- both the hardships of the southern poor and, in The Wedding, the manners of the small-town, middle-class South."
George Lumpkin (abt.1727-1800), one of the four brothers mentioned above, married Mary Cody (1729- ?), daughter of James Cody (who came from Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland, and settled in Virginia) and his wife Sarah Womack. Most of their children died in infancy; four married:
George Lumpkin's wife Mary Cody came from "an ancient Irish family". Their son Robert (our ancestor) did not go to Georgia; he remained in Halifax County, VA until at least 1798, and by 1800 he had moved to Tennessee.