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
Age, Place of Birth
Age 75, NC
Living with her son John.
Age 64, Halifax
Her daughter, Nancy, was living with her.
Age 50 to 59
In household of “Burket” Vinson.
In household of Burket Vincent.
Age over 45
Should be 35 – Probably not Elizabeth.
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.
Once I learned that Philip died between 1805 and 1808 (See Article) and that his wife’s name was Mary, it became easy to find Mary in the 1810 Census and gain a glimpse of what her household looked like. And sure enough, her household is as we might expect.
Mary Vincent – – 1 1 – | – – 2 – 1 | – 1
1 Male 16-26 Probably Peter, born between 1784 and 1794.
1 male 26-45 Probably Jarrett, born between 1774 and 1784 (Dec 1778)
2 Females 16-26 Probably Child 5 & Child 6 of Philip Vincent (Names still unknown)
1 Female over 45 Mary
Mary’s son, Burkett Vincent, shows in the 1810 Census with his own household.
That leaves one boy born between 1781 and 1784 whose name I still don’t know.
Also, there is one more female, born between 1784 and 1790, whose name we don’t know. She might have been married or possibly passed between 1800 and 1810.
Halifax County State of North Carolina September 23rd 1805 in the name of our God Amen! I Phillip Vinson of the State and County aforesaid being porely in body but in my perfect mind and memory thanks be to God. but calling to mind the mortality of men that it is
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Is appointed for them to die I first recommend my body be buried after a decent manner and my soul unto God who gave it hoping and trusting he will rain both soul and body to life eternal in the morning of the resurrection and for my worldly goods that it has pleased god [blep?] me with I desire all my just debts and for the residue of my property I dispose of in the following manner. Items I lind unto my beloved wife Mary Vinson my land and plantation during her widowhood. I further lind her one bay horse Dumplin one may mare Pal, four cows and yearling my stock sheep, two sows and pigs one work team and ally my beds excepting two which give them two one to Benay and the other to [Mammey?]. I further leave to my wife as much of any household and kitchen furniture and plantation utensils as is nesary for her support I further hive her as much corn and meat as will support her and family one year and for the residue of my property I desire all of it to be sold excepting my still to be disposed in the manner following to wit. I give my son Peter one year schooling and this residue to be equally divided among all my children share and share alike and for the property that I hind to my wife after her death I desire my and all my property to be sold the land to be sold and giving two payments the first twelve months credit and the last twelve months credit and the money to be equally divided amongst all my children share and share alike I fur[thur] leave my friend Marriott Davis and my son Jerrot Vinson Executors of my last will and testament abolishing all others as witness my hand the day and year within written.
Test, his Jos Burt Phillip + Vinson Rubin Griffin Mark
August Session 1808 then this will was exhibited in open court and duly probated by the oath of Joseph Burt witness thereto and a motion ordered to be recorded.
Witness L Longbil
Source: North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 Halifax Wills, Vol 3, 1781-1824
Ancestry Source Citation & Information
Halifax County, North Carolina, Wills; Author: North Carolina. County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (Halifax County); Probate Place: Halifax, North Carolina
Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts.
Philip Vincent/Vinson was living on 23 September 1805.
Philip Vincent/Vinson died before August 1808.
Philip’s wife’s name was Mary.
Philip has a son named Peter.
Philip has a son name Jerrot (Jerrett).
Philip has a close friend, Marriott Davis
The 1800 Census indicates only one Philip Vinson household in Halifax County and that household consisted of Philip and his wife, three females between 10 and 16, and four males, one under 10, one between 10 and 16 and 2 between 16 and 26.
From the text of the will, I suspect that Peter was the youngest male because he needed additional schooling. I suspect that Jerrott (Jerrett) was probably the oldest child, probably between 21 and 31 years-old when the will was written. That suggests that Burkett was the second oldest child after Jerrett.
The 1810 Census has no Philip Vinson/Vincent in Halifax Count; however, there was a Mary Vincent who was the head of a household that household consisted of 2 females between 16 and 26. That is consistent with the 3 females between 10 and 16 in the 1800 Census. Likewise, the 1810 Census entry for Mary suggests that the youngest child was still at home, now age 16 to 26, probably Peter, and one of the two children between 16 and 26 in 1800 was still living with Mary as that child was between 26 and 45 years old.
When I first discovered the name of my wife’s 3rd great-grandfather on her Vincent line, I thought I had found the most unusual first name ever, the document I found indicated “Barkhead.” Now, I know it was Burkett, but for a while, I was intrigued thinking of what the origins of the name “Barkhead” were.
4th Great-grandfather: (Possibly Philip Vinson[i])
Burkett Vincent (c. 1778 – 1847)
It is not clear when Burkett Vincent was born. The 1810 Census indicates he was between 26 and 45 years old suggesting a birth between 1765 and 1784. The 1820 Census shows he was still between 26 and 45 years old suggesting a birth between 1775 and 1795, thus narrowing his likely birth year to between 1775 and 1784. His ages during the 1830 and 1840 Censuses indicate he was born between 1770 and 1780, narrowing his likely birth year further to having been born between 1775 and 1780. I choose to use c. 1778 as a date in the middle of the range.
Halifax was a hotbed of revolution during 1775. Moore’s Creek Bridge, in Halifax, was the site of the first battle for independence in North Carolina. The county also gives its name to a resolution that was a precursor to the Declaration of Independence on April 12, 1776, now called “The Halifax Resolves.” It was the first formal call for American sovereignty.[ii]
I believe that Philip Vincent was Burkett’s father. If true, it is likely that he had at least three brothers and three sisters. One of his brothers was named Jarrett and was close to the same age as Burkett. A lot more research is needed to understand The Burkett’s family of Halifax, North Carolina.
During the 1790 Census the Philip Vincent family of Halifax, North Carolina consisted of eight individuals. Philip, the only male over 16 in the household, three males under 16, and four females appear to have made up the family. Burkett should have been between 10 and 15 in 1790 and fits nicely as one of the three males under 16 years of age in the household.
During the 1800 Census the Philip Vinson[iii] Family of Halifax, North Carolina, consisted of 10 individuals. Along with Philip, who was over 45, there were four males. Two were 16 to 26 years of age. Burkett should have been between 20 and 25 in 1800 and fits nicely as one of the three males in that age group.
It appears that Burkett married sometime between 1800 and 1810, most likely after 1806. The name of his wife is still unknown.
The 1810 Census shows the Burket[iv] Vincent family of Halifax, North Carolina consisting of Burkett, an apparent wife, who was the same age as Burkett, and one daughter under ten years of age.
The 1820 Census shows the “Perkit” Vincent family of Halifax, North Carolina consisting of Burkett, and an unknown woman over 45. If Burkett and his wife were the same age group in 1810, I would expect them to be in the same age in 1820. Because his apparent wife of 1810 appears to have been replaced by a different woman over 45 years of age in the 1820 Census, I suspect that this individual is either a second wife, older sister, or a mother. Living with Burkett are five children – two boys under 10, who I presume to be John and James, and three girls. One is possibly Elisha, and two are still unknown.
The 1830 Census is just a mess. The census indicates that Burkett’s four boys are missing and four older children are in the household. Likewise, the three daughters of Burkett and Elizabeth appear to be missing, but three older children are enumerated in the household. For a while I thought I had the wrong family, the surname change between Vinson and Vincent occurred several times for this family line, and maybe this wasn’t one of those times. However, a look at the neighbors during the 1830 Census found several of the same people are still neighbors in the 1840 Census, so I’m reasonably sure it is the right family unit. It is just that the enumerator got his marks off. The number of children and the respective ages of the children are correct.
The 1840 Census finds the Burket Vinson of Halifax County, North Carolina consisting of:
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 – Presumed to be Burket Vinson (Senior).
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 – Presumed to be John Vincent, Age 23. (b. 1817).
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 – Probably Burkett (Junior?), age 16.
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 Presumed to be Elizabeth (wife of Burkett)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 Presumed to be Nancy, age 15 (b. 1825).
Death & Burial
I am yet to find any definitive death information regarding Burkett. Other researchers indicate he died about 1847. His death in 1847 is consistent with the 1850 Census that suggests that his wife Elizabeth and daughter Nancy are living in the same location (next door to John Vincent – Elizabeth’s son) without Burkett.
Events by Location
Halifax County, NC – All events in Burkett Vincent’s/Vinson’s life take place in Halifax County, North Carolina.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Determine or verify the BMD information on all of Burkett’s children who are believed to be John, James, Elisha, Susan, Nancy, Burkett, and William Hiram.
1790 Census (NARA), Family Search, 1790 – Philip Vincent – Edgecombe, Halifax, North Carolina. “United States Census, 1790,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHK1-WJ4 : accessed 27 April 2019), Philip Vincent, Edgecombe, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 461, NARA microfilm publication M637, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 7; FHL microfilm 568,147.
1800 Census, 1800 – Philip Vinson – Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. “United States Census, 1800,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHR7-XNF : accessed 27 April 2019), Philip Vinson, Halifax, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 348, NARA microfilm publication M32, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 30; FHL microfilm 337,906.
1810 Census, NARA, 1810 Census – Burket Vincent – Halifax, North Carolina. “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLM-2NW : accessed 22 September 2018), Burpet Vincent, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 121, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 38; FHL microfilm 337,911.
1820 Census, 1820 Census – Burkit Vincent – Halifax, North Carolina. “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHGS-FNW : accessed 18 September 2018), Perkit Vincent, Halifax, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 168, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 85; FHL microfilm 162,801.
1830 Census, 1830 Census – Burkett Vincent – North Carolina, Halifax – Page 321. “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH59-67P : 22 August 2017), Berkett Vincent, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing 321, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 121; FHL microfilm 18,087.
1840 Census, 1840 – Burket Vinson – Halifax, North Carolina. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHTJ-T71 : 24 August 2015), Burket Vinson, Halifax, North Carolina, United States; citing p. 2, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 362; FHL microfilm 18,094.
RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project, Copeland, Harris, Lawrence, Neville, Pittman, Turner, Wheeler. Entries: 176239 — Updated: 2017-08-05 04:27:43 UTC (Sat) — Owner: Jesse Jr. Lawrence — Home Page: Ancestors and Descendants of Jesse Macon Lawrence Jr. — 1 Burkett Vincent b: Abt 1795 d: Abt 1847.
The 1790 Census drives home the notion that Vinson and Vincent seem to be interchangeable in this family line. The Philip Vinson of the 1800 Census is clearly Philip Vincent in the 1790 Census. His family unit consists is identified as 1 3 4 0 2 10. That is 1 male over 16, 3 males under 16, and 4 females. All three males between 10 and 26 during the 1800 Census are represented in the males under 16 in the 1790 Census. Likewise, all the females listed in the 1800 census are represented in the 1790 Census.
Philip Vincent 1 3 4 – 2 10 (Left Column – 11th entry down)
So, from the two censuses I believe:
Philip Vinson/Vincent was born before 1755. (He was over 45 during the 1800 Census)
The suspected wife of Philip was also born before 1755. (She was also over 45 during the 1800 Census.)
They appear to have had six children, three boys and three girls.
1 boy born 1790 to 1800
1 boy born 1784 to 1790
2 boys born 1774 to 1787 – One appears to be Burkett (born between 1775 and 1780)
3 girls born 1784 to 1790 – No names.
The 1790 Census also includes five households with the surname Vinson. Willis is clearly the same as Willys in the 1800 Census.
John Vinson – 1 1 1 – – 3 (left column – 3rd from bottom)
Benjamin Vinson – 1 2 2 – – 5 (right column – 2nd from top)
Charles Vinson – 1 3 2 – – 6 (right column – 10th from bottom)
Hanna Vinson – 0 0 4 – – 4 (right column 14th from bottom)
Note: The numbers above represent Free White Males 16 and up, Free White Males under 16, Free White Females, all other persons, slaves, and a total number of people.
If Burkett was born between 1775 and 1780, I would expect him to be reflected in this census as a Free White Male under 16 years of age. All of the households have male members that fit that criteria except for Hanna Vinson.
Based upon the 1800 Census[i], I had tentatively considered Philip to be Burkett’s father. There is nothing in the 1790 Census that would dissuade me from that hypothesis.
If you have evidence that Burkett’s father is not Philip, I would love to hear from you and learn what you have.