The Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church

Howell/Hobbs/Long

As so often occurs, I get behind. Last summer I received an email from Carrie MC about the Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church. She had fresh information about the church’s status and some photos of the building that I haven’t had a chance to review, catalog, and incorporate into my genealogical files until now.  I had mentioned the church in my biographical sketch of Annie Deborah Long Hobbs, which she read. Then she contacted me as a person interested in Hamilton history and the Long family. My wife’s great-grandmother Annie Long was probably a church member when the church was built about 1888 and Annie remained friends with the people there even after she and her husband, James Ashley Hobbs, moved 13 miles away to Williamston.

Annie’s brother, Dr. Benjamin Long, built a house in Hamilton about 1885 and the church was built next to it, on Dr. Long’s property, about 1888, on Long Street. After the minister of the church died in 1913, Dr. Edgar Long (Dr. Benjamin Long’s son) sold the church to the Hamilton Colored Disciples. In 1939, the building was moved a few blocks away to South Street.[i]

Hamilton (NC) Primitive Baptist Church – Photo by Carrie MC

In 2004, Isabel Bernfeld of Hamilton purchased the church with the hope to restore the building.[ii] She apparently did some work. After her death, the building was purchased in 2016 by Carrie MC. Carrie hopes to return the church to its original location and hopes to restore the building. She and I have been in contact and she has let me know about some of the work that has been done including major tree trimming to reduce the risk of tree damage. She also sent a few photos of the church.[iii] The original louvered tower has been replaced with a tower with two louvered panels on each side instead of the original three louvers panels on each side.

It is so nice to see historic buildings restored. These old buildings are often places that had significant importance to our ancestors. They are just so precious to our history.

Finally, I’d like to mention, there is an interesting blog, “Generations Ago Blog” written by Dan Leigh, who is a 3rd cousin to Mary-Alice (Grandson of Edgar Miller Long). His article, “A Doctor in the Family”, is a beautiful description of his family line and what he learned at the Martin County Historical Society and about country doctors during the early 20th century.


Endnotes:

[i] Boykin, Jacqueline R. 2006. Martin County’s historic churches: National Register and National Historic District churches. Williamston, N.C.: Martin County Historical Society. 
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Email correspondence between Carrie MC and Don Taylor 30 July 2018. [Don’s files – Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church.

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:

1840

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.

1830

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

Males

  • 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.

Females

  • 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. 

Males:

  • 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).

Females:

  • 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

Hypotheses

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.)

Conclusion

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.

Follow-up

  • 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.

Sources

  • “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.
  • “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH59-67P : 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 (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.
  • “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.

Endnotes

[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.

Bryan – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Bryan is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say, based upon where a person lived or came from. The Dictionary of American Family Names[i] indicates it derives from either of two places called Brionne in northern France (in Eure and Creuse). It also has derivations from the Celtic personal name Brian as in “O’Brian.”

It has been my experience that Bryan and Bryant seem to be interchangeable in my wife’s family line and that occasionally, a Bryan might be known as a Bryant.

Continue reading “Bryan – Surname Saturday”

Peter Howell, Wild Man & Eccentric Minister by “Divine Permission”

Indeed, Madonna Montran’s vaudeville career is very interesting to follow. In my wife’s family tree, Peter M. Howell is probably the most interesting of her direct ancestors. Peter was a “Wandering Missionary” who preached throughout Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He walked everywhere. Much of his preaching was documented in the 1848 book, The Life and Travels of Peter Howell by Peter Howell.

I’ve not known much about Peter’s life after his book. I’ve found him in the 1850 Census, but I have not found him in the 1860 Census. Nor had I found a death record for him. I suspected that he died sometime in the 1850s. I know that a lack of evidence doesn’t provide evidence of a fact, but it is hard not to have a suspicion. Sure enough, I was researching in via Newspapers.Com and found newspaper articles about Peter long after his book including one from March 1869, which provides clear evidence he was still preaching.[i]

From the Wilmington Post, Wilmington, North Carolina 11 March 1869, Page 1, Column 1.
Wilmington Post (Wilmington, N.C.) 11 March 1869, Page 1. via Newspapers.Com

Peter Howell, the “Wild Man,” preached to a promiscuous congregation at the Market House, Sunday and Monday mornings and afternoons. We do not know how many converts he made.

“Promiscuous” must have had a different meaning then than it does now because if he was able to assemble a “promiscuous congregation” by today’s meaning, I’d really be impressed.

The Daily Journal from the Saturday before indicated that Peter was staying at the Fulton House in Wilmington.

Next, an article in the Greensboro Times, 29 May 1856[ii] said:

PETER HOWELL—This eccentric minister of the gospel, is we learn, preaching at Lexington S. C. with much success. He still travels on foot, and preaches in Churches, private houses, in the open air, and every where, as opportunity presents itself.

Finally, there was also an ad for his preaching in Cary, North Carolina on 1 March 1857[iii] which advertises:

BY DIVINE PERMISSION, PETER HOWELL Wandering Missionary, will preach at Macedonia, Wake County, on next Sunday, 1st of March,—two discourses, one at 11 and one at 3 o’clock

I have known that Peter talked to God often, but I didn’t know that God gave permission to him to preach.

I learned that Peter M. Howell was alive in 1869 and that he preached at the following venues:

  • 29 March 1856 – Lexington, South Carolina
  • 1 March 1857 – Macedonia (Cary), North Carolina
  • 7-8 March 1869 – Market House, Wilmington, North Carolina

He was considered eccentric and was known as the “Wild Man.” I also saw some articles indicating he was arrested for preaching in Petersburg, Virginia, but more about that another time.


ENDNOTES

[i] The Greensboro Times (Greensboro, North Carolina) · Thu, 29 May 1856 · Page 2. Via Newspapers.Com

[iii] Semi-Weekly Standard, Raleigh, North Carolina (online archive) -1857-02-25 – First Edition · Page 3 – PETER HOWELL via  Newspapers.Com

Price – Surname Saturday

Howell Research
Howell/Hobbs/Long/Bryan/Price Line

By Don Taylor

Origin

The surname Price originated in Wales. It is a corruption of the name Ap-rhys, meaning ‘son of Rhys’. The first name “Rhys” is thought to derive from the Old Welsh, meaning ‘ardour’[i].

The name is also found very early in parts of England far removed from Welsh influence. In such cases, it presumably derives from Middle English, Old French pris ‘price’, ‘prize’, perhaps as a metonymic occupational name for a fixer of prices.[ii]

My Wife’s Price Ancestors

Thomas Price who married Mary (LNU) is the earliest Price ancestor for whom I have a name. I do not know when or where he was born.

His son, William Price was born about 1729 in Martin County, North Carolina. According to the Sons of the American Revolution records, he was a patriot serving as a Sergeant with the North Carolina Troup.[iii]

His son, also named William Price, was born on 14 Feb 1762 in Martin County, North Carolina. According to SAR records, he too was a patriot serving in North Carolina.[iv] It is said he was the last Revolutionary War soldier in Martin County when he was buried in 1848. He would have been 86-years-old.

William’s (1762) oldest daughter, Cherry Price, was born on 3 March 1793 in Martin County, North Carolina. She married John W. Bryan on 16 August 1810 and was the last of the Price ancestors.

My wife’s ancestry in Martin County, North Carolina, runs deep with many generations who were born, lived, and died in Martin County.

Today, Price is the 82nd most common name in the United States and the 46th most common name in North Carolina with over 15,000 individuals with the surname there. There were 143 people with the Price surname in Martin County which makes it the 24th most common name in the county[v].

Direct Price Ancestors

Further Direct Descendants

Known relatives.

My records have 281 direct-line descendants of Thomas Price identified which is about 10% of my known Howell-Darling Family Tree. If you are a direct descendant of any of the above ancestors, I would love to hear from you and connect your tree to this one.



ENDNOTES

[i] Internet:  Forebears Surname Search: Price (https://forebears.io/surnames/price)

[ii] Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press as cited by Ancestry.Com at https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Price

[iii] Sons of the American Revolution, Ancestry, database (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2204), SAR Application – James Hardy Price – National Number 41262.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Internet:  Forebears Surname Search: Price (https://forebears.io/surnames/price)