Some items about the early Collinses.
1. There are no Collins taxed for land in Nansemond County, Va., between 1782 (the start of available records) and 1796.
2. In the 1790 census in Gates County, NC, there is a “Lamuel Collings” listed as the head of a household of one male born before 1774, three males born after 1774, and two females. This unlikely our direct ancestor, as our Thomas Collins was born in 1769. There is also a “William Collings” with the same constellation, 1 male born before 1774, 3 males born after 1774, 2 females. Does this mean that neither of these men are our ancestor?
3.In the 1800 Gates County census we find Sarah Collins, born before 1755, and another unidentified female who is born 1775-1784. This could be the widow of the “Lamuel Collings” listed in 1790, assuming that he is dead. There is also a Thomas Collins, born between 1756 and 1774, six females under 16, one born between 1756 and 1774. I cannot determine if this Thomas is the son of William Collings listed in 1790. Note that in both households in 1790, there were three males born after 1774 — that would make for six men with the name Collins who were born between 1774 and 1790, but who do not show up on the 1800 census in Gates County.
4. In 1800, William Collins had already been listed on tax records in Nansemond County for four years.
5. A 1789 record from Gates County references a “Samuel Collins” but I cannot find records for any “Lamuel Collins.” Perhaps the ‘L’ in ‘Lamuel’ is a mistake.
So, I am thinking at the moment, that Samuel/Lamuel Collins (died circa 1790) is a generation older than William Collins (died circa 1810), and that William Collins (died circa 1810) is a generation older than our Thomas Collins (born about 1770).
That would make a timeline like this Samuel Collins (born about 1720), William Collins (born about 1745), and Thomas Collins (born about 1770). It would make sense to look in Chowan, Bertie, and Perquimans records for Samuel Collins and William Collins.