Richard Wilson Aiken (2 Aug. 1807-[30 Dec.?] 1865)

Born in Chesterfield County, Virginia, Richard Aiken was the son of Pleasant Aiken (1769-1847), a War of 1812 veteran, and the owner of Varina Plantation, which he purchased from Thomas Mann Randolph. [N.b. The name is also spelled Aikin and Akin in the sources. — JLC]

He attended the University of Virginia in session 2 (1 Feb.-15 Dec. 1826) although a note in the Matriculation Books states that he “left here in July.” Richard Aikin became a farmer in Prince George County, VA. On 15 May 1834, he married Johanna Winifred Chappell (b. 1814). According to the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses, the couple had several children: Hester A., Richard P., John, George E., Laura J., Martha E., Octavia E., William W., and Emma W. Aikin.

Richard P. Aiken died 27 Jul. 1862 of disease while in Company B of the 12th Regiment of Virginia Infantry, CSA. George E. Aiken also served the Confederacy in Company I of the 12th Regiment of Virginia Infantry. Richard Wilson Aiken died soon after the Civil War. By the time of the 1870 Census, only George, William, and Octavia were living at home in Prince George County, VA, with their mother.

When the W.P.A. Historical Survey was done in 1937, the Aiken House in Petersburg, VA, was located on the grounds of the Central State Hospital. In the descriptive materials about the house, it says, “The Aiken House was on the battle ground of the battles of June 22, 1864 and August 18, 1864, when General Grant attempted to capture the Weldon Railroad, and it was called the oasis in the desert because the members of the Aiken Family, particularly the daughters, had been kind to both the Northern and Confederate soldiers. The family was supplied with food by the Federal Army.” The house was sold to Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Lawrence by Johanna W. Aiken in 1877. (WPA, 1937)

[Note: Birth date from U.Va. Matriculation Books; death date from Hallet/Aikin Family tree and Schele de Vere.—JLC]


  • carter hallett. Hallett/Aiken Family Tree. [database online]
  • Pleasant Aikin grave, Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, VA.
  • “Pleasant Aiken,” Muster rolls, p. 190, in Pay Rolls of Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850 (Richmond, 1851) and: Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812 (Richmond, 1852). Library of Virginia.
  • Schele de Vere, Maximilian. Students of the University of Virginia; a semi-centennial catalogue. Baltimore, MD, 1878.
  • “United States Census, 1850,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 May 2014), Richd W Aiken, Prince George county, Prince George, Virginia, United States; citing family 369, NARA microfilm publication M432.
  • “United States Census, 1860,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 May 2014), R W Aiken, [Blank], Prince George, Virginia, United States; citing “1860 U.S. Federal Census – Population,”; p. 61, household ID 506, NARA microfilm publication M653; FHL microfilm 805372.
  • “United States Census, 1870,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 February 2015), J W Akins in household of Geo E Akins, Virginia, United States; citing p. 80, family 233, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 553,172.
  • United States. Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903-1927, documenting the period 1861-1865, Virginia. Record group 109. Microfilm roll 0514.
  • University of Virginia Matriculation Books, 1825-1904, Accession #RG-14/4/2.041, Special Collections Dept., University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Va.
  • “Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Apr 2014), J W Aiken in entry for Martha Lawrence, 08 Dec 1891; citing Petersburg, Virginia, reference p 12 ln 417; FHL microfilm 2048594.
  • “Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 February 2015), Richard Aiken in entry for Geo E. Aiken, 01 Jan 1883; citing Petersburg, Va, reference p 1; FHL microfilm 33,443.
  • “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 Apr 2014), R. W. Aikin in entry for V. W. Lanier and Emma W. Aikin, 24 Feb 1870; citing Pr. Geo., Virginia, reference Pr. Geo. Image 455; FHL microfilm 2048470.
  • WPA. Aiken House. Virginia Historical Inventory survey report: VHIR/22/0374. (Located at the Library of Virginia.) Report: Report Home Page. Photograph: Photograph
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