By Don Taylor
Women were only identified by name if they were the head of the household in the early (before 1850) censuses. So, following women in the early census records is often conjecture. Elizabeth (Rose) Vincent was born about 1785; she married Burkett Vincent sometime and she died after 1860. In the case of the spouse of Burkett Vincent, I’m not convinced that Elizabeth was the only wife of Burkett or Burkett wasn’t Elizabeth’s only wife. The census records suggest another scenario.
Birth of Burkett’s Wife
|Census Record||Age, Place of Birth||Comments|
|1860 Census||Age 75, NC||Living with her son John.|
|1850 Census||Age 64, Halifax||Her daughter, Nancy, was living with her.|
|1840 Census||Age 50 to 59||In household of “Burket” Vinson.|
|1830 Census||Age 40-49||In household of Burket Vincent.|
|1820 Census||Age over 45||Should be 35 – Probably not Elizabeth.|
|1810 Census||Age 26-46||Should be 25 – Probably not Elizabeth.|
During the 1860 Census, 75-year-old Elizabeth was enumerated in the household of her son, John and his apparent family of wife and six children in the Western District of Halifax County, North Carolina. Her post office was Weldon, NC.[i]
Elizabeth is the 64-year-old head of household, and 25-year-old Nancy Vincent, presumably her daughter, is living with her. Both were born in Halifax and were enumerated in Halifax County in 1850.[ii]
Elizabeth’s husband Burkett Vinson, died about 1847, so Elizabeth is presumed to be the female 50 thru 59 in the household of Burket Vinson in Halifax County. The household consisted of Burkett and four others. With Burkett and Elizabeth are three apparent children. Burkett (Jr.), age 16; Nancy, Age 15, and either John or James, age 23 or 22.[iii]
Elizabeth is presumed to be the female 40 thru 49 in the household of “Brkett” Vincent in Halifax County. The household consists of Burkett and four others. With Burkett and Elizabeth are three apparent children. Burkett (Jr.), age 16; Nancy, Age 15, and either John or James, age 23 or 22.[iv]
The 1820 Census is somewhat problematic. It shows the household of “Perkit” Vincent consisting of a household with a woman over 45. Elizabeth should be 35 during this census. So, I’m wondering if this woman is a first wife for Burkett. If so, that would suggest that Burkett possibly had five children with a first wife and that Elizabeth was a step-mother to the older children.[v]
Again, the 1810 Census is problematic. It shows the oldest female in the household of Burket Vincent is 26 to 45 years old. Elizabeth should be 25 at this some, so I suspect that the person enumerated in the 1810 Census was not Elizabeth.[vi]
I’m comfortable that Elizabeth was the spouse of Burkett in 1830. I also suspect she was not the mother of Burkett’s children born before 1820. Alternately, she might be the mother of the children born before that by another man and that, after she married Burkett, the children took his surname.
I have been unsuccessful in discovering a document which indicates provides evidence for Elizabeth’s parents. About 75% of other researchers suggest that her parents were William Rose (1759-1801) and Sarah Crawley (1775-1863). Twenty percent suggest that Elizabeth’s parents were Elisha Rose Sr. (1753-1795) and Hannah Sellers (1758-1812). The final 5% suggest her parents were Elisha Rose and Pheroby Powell. A quick look at these other researcher’s trees failed to reveal a document which would provide evidence regarding Elizabeth’s parents. Next, I’ll take a look at Elizabeth’s possible parents and try to determine which pair I believe to be correct.