The Longs of Martin County – Part 1 of 3 – The 1850 Census

Census Sunday

The parents of my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather, Samuel Aquilla Long, are unknown. Some researchers indicate that his father’s name is John. However, I can find no source for that suggestion.  FamilySearch and Ancestry have no other suggestions nor hints about his family. Without any clues to his parents, I decided to do a quick locational surname study and see what I can find.

What I think I know

Martin County, NC

Samuel was born about 1817 in Martin County, North Carolina.  He married Martha Ann Bryan in 1844 and appeared in the 1850 Census living in Martin County.  Because of that, I suspect he was enumerated in the earlier censuses 1820-1840, which only shows the name of the head of the household.

The 1850 Census, which provides the names of individuals in a household, although not relationships, is a good place to begin.

1850 Census

The Joshua Long household appears to be a traditional family, parents and six children. His is a new household to me. I do not know how they are related, so I entered them as an unrelated household with estimated birth years,

Joshua Long Household[i]

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Joshua Long M 59 North Carolina
Nancy Long F 50 North Carolina
John Long M 25 North Carolina
Wm Long M 24 North Carolina
James Long M 18 North Carolina
A. I. Long M 16 North Carolina
Mary I Long F 13 North Carolina
Ann P Long F 10 North Carolina

The Sam C A Long (Samuel A. Long) household appears to be a traditional family, parents and four children.  Samuel is my wife’s 2nd Great-Grandfather’s household in 1850. I confirmed all entries were in my database already. Approximate Birth Year, Birthplace, and Residence on 1 June 1850.

Samuel Long Household[ii]

Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Sam C A Long[iii] M 33 North Carolina
Ann Long F 27
John Long M 9
Jas Long M 7
Wm Long M 5
May Long F 2

(Note: Ditto marks were not entered on this page; I assumed that the Birthplace was North Carolina for the other members of the household.)

William Long – Next Door to Samuel Long[iv]

Next door to Samuel Long is William Long. Samuel is dwelling 638 and Family 503. William is dwelling 639 and family 504.  William is 28 years old and owns the property valued at $1300. By the census, within the same family unit are three additional dwellings with the following occupants.

  • 660 Thos (Thomas) Parmer (age 65)
  • 661 George Rawls (Age 33) apparently with wife Gatsy, and 4 children.
  • 662 Elizabeth Johnson (age 60) with apparently three adult children.

Certainly, it is likely that William Long is related to Samuel Long. With Samuel being 33 and William being 28, I guess that they are probably brothers or 1st cousins.  The people in the three additional dwellings are also possibly related. But for now, I’ll enter William Long as unrelated into my system but leave a note about the other individuals in his file.

Living with Sheriff Mooring[v]

Finally, there is the household of A. S. Mooring. He is the 33-year-old Sherriff. His household, #29, consists of 14 people. Six of the people are Moorings and appear to be the Sheriff, his wife, and four children. Besides them, there are three females, Mary A C Long, A. E. Long, and Cindarilla Whitaker. Finally, there are five males in their 20s and 30s. Mary A. C. Long is 30 and A E Long is 12.

Next, I’ll look at the 1840 Census and see if I can place some of these individuals into households….


[i] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( – 12 April 2016), Household of Joshua Long, Martin county, Martin, North Carolina, United States; citing family 624, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[ii] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( – 12 April 2016), May Long in household of Sam C A Long, Martin county, Martin, North Carolina, United States; citing family 503, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[iii] My reading of the census entry is that it says “Sam’l” which was indexed as “Sam C.”

[iv] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( 12 April 2016), William Long, Martin county, Martin, North Carolina, United States; citing family 504, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

[v] “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (  April 2016), Mary A C Long in household of A S Mooring, Martin county, Martin, North Carolina, United States; citing family 29, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

The 1830 Census and Burket Vincent

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Following families in the early census records is always difficult and when a census’s information is completely unexpected, it makes things really difficult. Such is the case concerning Burket Vincent and the 1830 Census.

Burket died about 1847 and the 1850 Census shows his (apparent) widow[i] and daughter living in Halifax County, North Carolina. Next door to the widow is his oldest (Known) son, John, John’s (apparent[ii]) wife and three children.

Going through the census records for Burket, I have found the following:


The 1840 Census is very straight forward. Burket’s surname is Vinson in this Census, and most of his children appear to be enumerated.

  • Males – 60 thru 69: 1 – Presumed to be Burket Vincent
  • Males – 20 thru 29: 1 – Presumed to be either John or James, Age 23 or 22. (b. 1816 or 1817). John is not seen living next door, so this is most likely John, but it could be James.
  • Males – 15 thru 19: 1 – Presumed to be Burket (Jr.?), born about 1824.
  • Females – 50 thru 59: 1 Presumed to be Elizabeth (wife)
  • Females – 15 thru 19: 1 Presumed to be Nancy, age 15 (b. 1825).
  • Elisha would be 20; I assume she was elsewhere; likewise, 18-year-old Susan appears to be moved out by then.
  • William, who would be about 13 is not enumerated, I believe he passed before the 1830 Census.


In the 1830 Census, all of the children seem incorrect. Burket and his wife seem to be there just fine. However, the children are NOT as I would expect. It seems that they are all 10 years too old. Certainly, it is possible the Census Taker got it very wrong, but I don’t think so.

What I see in the 1830 Census:

1830 Census – Burkett Vincent – Males
1830 Census – Burkett Vincent – Females


  • Under 5          0          William Appears Missing.
  • 5-10                0          Burket Appears missing.
  • 10-15              0          John & James appear missing
  • 15-20              1          Unknown
  • 20-30              2         Unknown
  • 30-40              1          Unknown
  • 50-60              1          Presumed to be Burket b. 1770-1780 – Right Age.


  • Under 5          0          Nancy appears Missing
  • 5-10                0          Susan & Elisia appear missing.
  • 10-15              1           Unknown
  • 15-20              1          Unknown
  • 20-30              1         Unknown
  • 40-50              1         Presumed to be Burket’s first wife.

For a while, I thought I might have 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 sure it is the right family unit. That and Burket is such an unusual name.

1820 Census

The 1820 Census[iii] shows the family as I would expect to see them based upon the 1830 Census results. 


  • under 10        2          Unknown
  • 26-45              1          Presumed to be Burket (1775-1795)
    This census entry indicates Burket’s birth to be between 1775-1780 (vs 1770-1780 that I had previously).


  • under 10        2          Two unknown females
  • 10-16              1          Unknown
  • Over 45          1          Unknown (Elizabeth should be 35)

To me, these census records suggest a first wife much closer in age to Burket. With her, it is possible that they had three daughters, and two sons all born before the 1820 Census. One of the daughters might be Elisia and the two sons are possibly John and James.

The 1830 Census only makes sense if Burket had a first wife who died sometime after 1830 and his new wife, Elizabeth, had Burket, Nancy, and Susan with a previous husband. This would also suggest that Burket and Elizabeth had no children together.

1810 Census

The 1810 Census supports my two wives theory. It shows:

  • Males: 26 to 45            Clearly Burket Born  1765-1784
  • Females Under 10       1 Unknown Female born 1800-1810 (This would be the same unknown female over 10 years old during the 1820 Census.)
  • Females 26 to 45         1 Appears to be his wife born 1765-1784


I have the following hypotheses:

  1.             Burket Vincent (of Halifax County, NC) was born between 1775-1780.
  2.             Burket had two wives Unknown and Elizabeth.
  3.             With wife 1, Burket had 5 children, two males and three females none of whom are the names known.
  4.            Elizabeth had 7 children when she married Burket. They were John, James, Elisha, Susan, Nancy, Burket, and William. (None of those children appear to be in the 1830 Census but all appear to be enumerated in the 1840 Census.)


The biggest ramification of this hypothesis is that the father of John Vincent, my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather, may not be Burket Vincent as I’ve believed for many years. Rather, it would appear that John’s mother was an unknown woman who had John during a previous marriage.


  • Do a complete family unit study and determine if this hypothesis is correct.
  • Search for probate and land records for Burket and see if those records provide insight into the relationships.
  • I should further research Burket’s 2nd wife, Elizabeth, further and determine her first marriage.


  • “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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.
  • “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 22 August 2017), Brkett 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.
  • “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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.
  • “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 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.


[i] The 1850 Census does not indicate widows or widowers.

[ii] The 1850 Census does not indicate relationships.

[iii] Neighbors are undeterminable because there is an alphabetical arrangement of entries in the 1820 Census.

Charles Selefsky & Family in the 1900 Census

Dion-Spry Project

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes when you at a census closely, you realize something in there is just not possible. Such is the case of Charles Selensky (aka Selefsky, Selefske, & Seleske) as he appears in the 1900 Census. His step-children just aren’t right.

1900 Census – Michigan, Wayne, Detroit – Charles Lelensky [Selefsky]


Selensky, Charles      Head       May 1855          45         Married for 10 years.

___, Hattie                Wife        June 1857         42         Married for 10 years 3 Children, 3 Living

___, Otto                   Son         Jul 1880            19

___, Adelia                Dau.        Dec 1883          16

___, Albert                Son         Mar 1886           14

Sauli, Anna                Step-Dau Jan 1887           13

___, Walter                Step-Son Mar 1888           11

___, Hugo                 Step-Son Nov 1897            2       

Salensky Louise        Mother    June 1818         82         Wid 4 Children, 4 Living.

At first glance, it appears that Hattie had three children with a previous husband, and unknown Sauli (or Sante) There are three children with another surname and she had had three children, all of whom were living. Then I noticed that Hugo was only two years old but Charles and Hattie had been married for 10 years. Even though Hugo is identified as a Sauli, and is identified as a step-son, I’m confident that Hugo must be the child of Charles and Hattie and that the enumerator made a mistake.

So, I’m tentatively putting Hugo’s parents as Charles and Hattie and the other three children, Otto, Adelia (Ottilia), and Albert as the children of Charles and Unknown.

If you can think of another scenario that makes sense of this Census Record, I’d love to hear it.

The 1820 Census and Robert Maben

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Following families through the pre-1850 Census is always a challenge. I was researching my 4th great-grandmother, Deborah Buel Maben. She married in 1824 and I’ve been able to follow her through her husband in the census records during her married life. I began working to find evidence of her in the 1820 Census. I knew she was married in Greene County, New York and I quickly found what appeared to be her father, Robert Maben (Mabin in the census Record).

Next, I mapped the family out with what I believed I knew about the family. Do the children I know about fit the Census record?

1820 Census – Robert Mabin [Maben]

Robert Mabin   2 1 1 1 1 – 2 2 – 1 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to be Addison T,. Age 3
Presumed to be John, Age 9
10-16             = 1      Unknown Child –
16-18             = 1      Presumed to be James, Age 17
16-26             = 1      Duplicate of above person (James)
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Robert Maben, Age 39
Over 45 –

<  10               = 2      Presumed to include Mary E. Maben, Age 5
Presumed to include Electa Maben, Age 2 months.
10-16             = 2      Presumed to Include Deborah Buel Maben, Age 15
Presumed to Include Sarah, Age 13
16-26 –
26-45             = 1      Presumed to be Electa, Age 38
Over 45 –

In this case, every child I know about appears to be enumerated along with Robert Maben and his wife, Electa, fit the age ranges given in the census. Now, I’m confident that the Maben family was in Lexington, Green County, New York in 1820.

And what so often happens with records, there are new questions. Who is the unknown male child from 10 to 16 years of age? I know of no child in the Maben family who fits that criteria. Could this be a cousin, an adoptee, or a child of Robert and Electa? I don’t know yet, but it will definitely cause me to keep an eye out for other records that suggest another child.

A child between 10 and 16 in 1820 had to have been born between 1803 and 1810.

  • James was born in 1803
  • Deborah in 1805
  • Sarah in 1807 and
  • John in 1811.

The only gap in that series is 1809. So, I suspect this unknown boy living in the household of Robert Maben is a heretofore unknown son. I’ve added him to my tree as a hypothesis with the above information. It is certainly possible that this person is possibly some other and I will keep that possibility in mind.

So many possibilities exist. Another one revolves around Robert & Electa’s eighth known child, Charles B. Maben.  It is possible I have his birthdate wrong and he was really born much earlier than the 1824 date, I have for his birth.

On to the 1810 Census….


The Three Missing Children of Anson Bickford.

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Sometimes it is an odd little note that can send you off researching an entirely new aspect of a person’s life. While I was researching my sister-in-law’s great-grandfather, Anson Bickford, I ran into an odd entry in the 1910 Census.

1910 Census showing children of Anson Bickford

What made it odd is the Instructions for the 1910 Census told the enumerators that the question about the number of children born “applies to women who are now married, or who are widowed, or divorced.” I wondered, why did the census taker include information about the children of a man, Anson Bickford? Also, it indicated that he had 11 children, eight of whom were living. The 1900 Census had a similar question and his wife reported having had 8 children, 8 of whom were living. The question arose in my mind, who were the other three children?

1900 Census showing children of Jean Bickford

The eight living children were easy. The 1880 Census and the 1900 Census provided the names for all eight children living in 1900. Jennette, Ralph, Edwin, Matilda, Everett, Estella, Maude, and Erna. Jennette and Ralph were born in California, so I looked for Anson in California and found him and Jean living in San Francisco during the 1880 Census. Then I found Anson married before he married Jean. There were newspaper articles and death records that spoke of sadness in 1866. In 1865 he and his wife Henrietta had twins, a girl and a boy—A.W. and Nettie. They were born in October 1865.  Seven months and 28 days later, on 28 May 1866, both Henrietta and their youngest son died. Henrietta died of “Consumption” and I can’t quite read exactly what A.W. died from. Nine days later his daughter Nettie also died. Again, I can’t quite read exactly what from.

Cause of Death – A. W Bickford. Cause of Death – Nettie Bickford

[Can anyone who can help me decipher the cause? If so, please leave comments below.]

I searched at length for other information regarding a third child for Anson and Henrietta in California and was not successful. I returned to looking at Maine records and found where Anson and his second wife, Jean, had a heretofore unknown 9th child.  On 10 November 1880, Anson and Jean had a daughter, Mertie Alice, who died five days later. That accounts for the 11 children suggested in the 1910 Census.


The death records for Henrietta, A. W. [Anson Wayne, Jr.??], and Nettie indicate that all three were buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery. Lone Mountain is no more. It opened in 1858 but changed its name to Laurel Hill Cemetery in 1867. With San Francisco real estate at such a premium,Laurel Hill Cemetery was relocated. People that didn’t pay extra for a private reburial were buried in a common grave in what is called the Laurel Hill Mound in Cypress Lawn Cemetery. Likewise, if the tombstones weren’t paid to be moved, they ended up with Public works and were repurposed for a seawall at Aquatic Park, a breakwater, rain gutters, and erosion control.[i]

There are still a few frayed ends to this story.

Frayed Rope – Photo by Tom Bech (CC BY 2.0)

I wonder why Jane failed to report her dead child, Mertie Alice, during the 1800 Census.

The newspaper article of Henrietta and A. W.’s death mentioned A. W. was their youngest son. Is there another child I can’t find any references to?  I don’t think so, but it still a frayed end.



  • California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 (California Department of Public Health), com, Death – Henrietta Bickford & A W Bickford – 29 May 1866. California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2017. Original data: California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1830-1980. California Department of Public Health, courtesy of Digital Images.
  • California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980 (California Department of Public Health), com, Page 329 – Bickford, A.. W., Page 329 – Bickford, Henrietta. California Department of Public Health, courtesy of Digital Images.
  • Weekly Alta, San Francisco, California, (via 2 June 1866, Page 8 – 5th column, “Died” – 12th paragraph – Henrietta & A W Bickford.


[i]  Internet: Curbed San Francisco – Article “Hidden Histories: Laurel Hill Cemetery by” By Alex Bevk – Posted Jul 2, 2012, 11:00am PDT – Accessed 24 May 2018.