John Melton Watkins was the eldest son of Isaac Jones Watkins (1788-1840) and Margaret Jane (Peggy) Chamberlain (1799-1877), of Jefferson Co., TN. He first married Belvadra N. Combs (1830-1865). The couple had seven children: Isaac Nelson; Wirt Crampton; Sarah Alice; Mary Geraldine; Margaret Barsheba (Barshie); Tompsey; and Louisa Adeline (Lou A.). After Belvadra's death, he married Mrs. Ann Eliza (Chamberlain) Chapman (1823-1900), the daughter of Ninian Chamberlain (1792-1877) and Margaret Watkins (1790-1863), of Corryton. A daughter, Katherine (Kate), was born to this marriage. John and Ann were divorced in the 1870s. His middle name is often given as "Milton."
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