Two years ago, I wrote a post about some of the maternal ancestors of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, using research I had begun the previous year after his team’s Super Bowl victory. The post followed some of his white mother’s ancestry from Texas back to New England, showing distant kinships to three U.S. presidents. Readers asked about his African American ancestry through his father, and I referred them to Rich Hall’s website, which provided some additional information. This year, with two Black head quarterbacks squaring off in the Super Bowl for the first time in history, Lindsay Fulton asked me if I could provide further information about Mahome’s paternal ancestry. Later this week, we’ll publish a separate piece from Sarah Dery on the ancestry of Jalen Hurts.
Rich Hall’s tree adds Mahomes’s four paternal great-grandparents, three great-great-grandparents, and his patrilineal great-great-great-grandparents, Cuma/Que Homes/Mahomes and his wife Nellie Adkins. The surname Adkins was of interest to me. A recent post by Michael Dwyer discussed the New England couple, Chief BlackHawk (born Robert Harvie Clark) and his wife Princess Snow Feather (born Captola Adkins). Both born in Virginia, I noticed Captola was a second cousin (twice over) and third cousin to John Dandridge Adkins (1890-1989), who is the great-grandfather of my first cousins’ wife. I have been able to trace this Adkins family, of African and Native American descent, back to early 18th-century Virginia. Unfortunately, I was not able to do the same for Nellie (Adkins) Homes/Mahomes, but I’ll tell you what I found.
The Adkins family of Smith County, Texas is first found listed in the 1870 census with the head of household as Arnold Adkins, aged 45, farm laborer, born Alabama, with $200 valued of personal estate. Following Arnold is May, 44, born in Alabama; Jacob, 21, born in Mississippi; and Dennis (17), Nellie (14), Anderson (10), Albert (9), and Henry (4), all born in Texas.
An intriguing clue provided on WikiTree indicates that the Adkins family was enslaved by Isham Kendrick (1795-1865) of Smith County. This page abstracts the 1860 slave schedule and notes which enslaved people are members of the Adkins family, with one four-year-old female alleged to be Nellie. I have not been able to independently verify if the Adkins family were enslaved by Isham Kendrick. In his will dated 25 April 1864 , he specifically mentions two individuals as his human property—Mariah and her oldest son Bob—and wills their ownership to his wife Nancy. Isham’s will was written during the Civil War but after the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared freedom for individuals enslaved in Confederate-controlled areas. He died 16 August 1865, two months after General Order No. 3 enforced the Proclamation in Texas (the event which is celebrated on Juneteenth). His will was probated in September 1865, but records do not include any language referring to the legality of his human property.
Nellie Adkins appears next in 1880 , with her husband Cuma Homes—a laborer, aged 26, born in Alabama—and their four children, including their five year old son Wilburn, whose 1950 death certificate lists his father as Que Mahomes. I have not found Nellie or Cuma/Que after this census, although Nellie’s widowed father Arnold Adkins (1825-1901) is enumerated in the 1900 census in Lindale, Smith County, between his sons Anderson and Jacob. The Mahomes family remained in Smith County through the birth of Patrick Mahomes. Wilburn Ben Mahomes (1875-1950), worked as a farmer; his son William Pierce Mahomes (1910-1976), is listed as a farmer in the censuses and an employee of Tyler Pipe in his obituary ; his son Johnny Wayne Mahomes (b. 1947) worked for an oil company. His son, the baseball player Pat Mahomes (b. 1970), although born in Brazos County, Texas, likewise attended school in Lindale, and his son Patrick Mahomes (b. 1995) was born in Tyler, Smith County. Thus, Patrick Mahomes’s paternal ancestors have lived in Smith County for seven generations, through at least the 1850s.
I should point out that I have not watched a football game in many years. The Chiefs are the team closest to my mother’s home state of Kansas, and the Eagles play in Philadelphia where my father was born. So, similar to my genealogical connections to countries that played in the recent World Cup , I have divided loyalties.