Elijah Joseph Eakins was born in 1739 in Tyrone County, Ireland. He parents were Samuel Eakins and Mary Wilson. He went by the name Joseph throughout his life.
In 1773, Joseph emigrated through Charleston, South Carolina to the United States, along with his brother John. Biographical sketches suggest that the brothers emigrated to avoid being taxed by the Catholics in Northern Ireland, suggesting that they were protestants.
In 1774, Joseph married Isabella Walkup in Abbeville, South Carolina.
They went on to have seven children together:
- Thomas A Eakins (b. 1774 – South Carolina – d. 1840 – Lewis, Missouri)
- Sarah Eakins (b. 1778 – South Carolina – d. 1862 – Rutherford, North Carolina)
- Isabella Eakins (b. 1779 – South Carolina – d. 1860 – Oakflat, Tennessee)
- Samuel Eakins (b. 1780 – South Carolina – d. 1825 – Rutherford, North Carolina)
- George Eakins (b. 1783 – Rutherford, North Carolina – d. 1850 – Robards, Kentucky)
Noah Eakins (b. 1787 – Rutherford, North Carolina)
- John Eakins (b. 1789 – Rutherford, North Carolina – d. 1868 – Geneva, Kentucky)
In approximately 1782, the family moved to Rutherford County, North Carolina where they owned a plantation on Robertson’s Creek.
In 1790, Joseph is living in New Hanover, North Carolina, while the family is not listed as living with him. The family is mostly likely living in Ruthorford County while he is either managing property in New Hanover or perhaps they had two plantations and the family was separated during the farming season.
By 1800, the family is living all together in their plantation home in Morgan, Rutherford County, North Carolina.
In 1810, the family is living on the plantation though many of the children have either obtained their own land by now or have moved westward towards Kentucky and Missouri.
The same can been seen in 1820 as even less family members living at home at the plantation.
In October of 1825, Joseph passed away at his home and is buried in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Joseph left a slave girl, Caty, to his wife in his last will and testament.