In my research for my wife’s 3rd great-grandfather, Burkett Vincent, I was looking to find his parent’s names. I wondered if the Census records might shed some light on that inquiry.
I knew that Burkett was born in Halifax County, North Carolina from other records. I have also followed Burkett Vincent through the censuses from 1810 thru 1840. The 1810 Census indicated he was between 26 and 45, suggesting a birth year from 1765 to 1784. Likewise, the 1820 Census indicated that he was still in the 26 to 45 age group, suggesting a birth year of 1775 thru 1794. Comparing the two censuses, Burkett should have been born between 1775 and 1784. Add in the 1830 and 1840 Censuses which both indicate his birth was between 1770 and 1780, and we get the census indicated his birth as being between 1775 and 1780.
Additionally, the 1810 Census suggested a family consisting of Burkett (age 26-45), a wife (age 26-45) and one child under the age of 10. That suggests to me that in 1800, he was probably not married and probably living in the household of another, probably his parents.
Next, was to take a look at the 1800 Census for Halifax County. I confirmed that Halifax County existed in 1800 and did a search for anyone with the surname of Vincent in Halifax County. There was one – MacAlester Vincent. He was over 45 and, from all appearances, his family appeared to consist of himself, an apparent wife (over 45 years old) and two children – a girl under 10 years of age and a male, from 10 to 16 years old. In 1800, Burkett should have been between 20 and 25 years old. So, I’m not seeing him in the MacAlester Vincent household.
I’ve encountered that the surnames Vincent and Vinson seem to swap about in the family tree, So, I searched for anyone with the surname of Vinson in Halifax County during the 1800 Census. There were three results: Willys Vinson, Philip Vinson, and Lucian Vinson.
Vincent and Vinson’s in the 1800 Census, Halifax County, North Carolina
|MacAlester||Willys Males||Philip Males||Lucian Males|
|10 to 16||1||0||1||0|
|16 to 26||
|26 to 45||0||1||0||0|
|45 & Over||1||0||1||0|
The Willys household consisted of only one male child and that child was under 10 years old.
Likewise “Lucian’s” household consisted of only one male child and that child was under 10 years old. Clearly, neither of these households appeared to have Burkett in them. As a side note, “Lucian’s” household had no adult males. As such, I believe the 25 to 45-year-old woman in the household was the head. Looking closely at the name in the Census record, it does not appear to be “Lucian’ to me. I’m not sure what the name is, but I don’t think it is Lucian. See image below:
That left the household led by Philip Vinson. That household included one male under 10, one male from 10 to 16, two males from 16 to 26, and one male over 45 years old. That is the only Vinson/Vincent household in Halifax County that contained a male from 20 to 25 years of age. It seems to be a household which might contain the 20 to 25-year-old Burkett. If it is, then head of the household, Philip, is Burkett’s likely father.
I’ve seen where other researchers have indicated that Burkett’s father is Willis. If Burkett was born between 1775 and 1780 he should be represented in the 1800 Census as being between 16 and 26. Willis’ household does not have such a child in 1800.
I’ve also seen where other researchers indicate that Burkett’s father is MacAlester (McAllister Vincent). Again, if Burkett was born between 1775 and 1780, he should be represented in the 1800 Census as being in the MacAlester Vincent household as between 16 and 26. There is no such child in the household during the 1800 Census.
Does this prove that Philip Vinson is Burkett’s father? Not even close. All is speculation; however, it does provide a name which I can use in future research hypothesizes. I can now ask “Is Philip Vinson Burkett’s father?” rather than wondering, “Who is Burkett’s father?” A lot more research is needed, but it is a start.