There are many Eivens (or Evans), of ancient Welsh descent, recorded in the early history of Virginia. A Richard Evans, age 35, came to Virginia in the ship "Neptune" in 1618. One researcher of the family believes him to be the grandfather of the Richard Eivens who died in Perquimans County, North Carolina in 1693.
During the reign of Cromwell between 1648 and 1660, the Eivens, who had been Royalists in the English Civil War, either went into voluntary exile or were forced to leave. Their first refuge was the Island of Barbados in the West Indies.
An early English Barbados charter states, "On August 11, 1663 a group of Gentlemen and Persons of Good Quality, desirous of settling the goodly land of Florida at Cape Faire [now Cape Fear in North Carolina, south of Wilmington and about 30 miles above the border of South Carolina] made petition for a Charter of Corporation as Barbados Adventurers, Inc. to settle there with their negroes and servants." One of the promoters and signers was "Mr. Richard Eivens, Gent." In 1664, the first settlers arrived at the settlement, named Charles Town. Later, Richard Eivens was aboard a ship sent from the settlement to Virginia for supplies; the ship foundered off Barrier Beach, north of Cape Hatteras. The shipwrecked passengers and crew finally reached land around Albemarle Sound and stayed there. The colony at Cape Fear broke up in 1667, some of the settlers joining those in Albemarle Sound, others leaving for Port Royal in South Carolina.
This Richard Eivens, immigrant from Wales and Barbados, is thought to have been the father of Richard Eivens Jr.(c. 1658-1693) of Perquimans District in North Carolina (north of Albemarle Sound, east of Chowan County, and about 15 miles south of the Virginia state line). Richard Jr. received a grant of 240 acres on the northeast side of Perquimans River, near Castleton's Creek, in 1684. He was married to Elizabeth Perry (?-1705) and they had four children: Richard III, Jonathan, Rebekah, and Ann. Another daughter, Sarah, was born three months after her father's death. Her mother, in a Perquiman's deed, makes Sarah an equal beneficiary with her siblings. Two years after Richard's death, on September 11, 1694, his widow Elizabeth married James Oates . They had a son, Joseph.
Jonathan Eivens (who is bequeathed James Oates's favorite hat in his will) seems to have remained in that area, but Richard Eivens III moved to Beaufort, North Carolina, where he died in 1753. Nothing is known of daughter Ann, but Rebekah Eivens (c.1687-?)married William Wyatt.