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)

Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 5

Surname Saturday
Howell/Vinson
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.After completing looking at the census records in a Surname Study, I like to look at Death records, particularly death certificates. They are usually accurate about the death date for an individual. Often, they contain accurate information on the current spouse. Occasionally, they include the names of parents, and least reliable the birthdate of the individual. On birthdates, I think the month and day are usually accurate but the year can be way off.

North Carolina Death Certificates, 1909-1976


Birth, Marriage & Death Collection
To continue working on my Vinson Study, I decided to search Ancestry.Com’s search All Collections for people surnamed “Vinson” and any event in “Halifax County, North Carolina.” The results included 897 records. Then I selected Birth/Marriage/Death records (476 records), then Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries which brought the number down to 171 records. Finally, I selected “North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1976,” which yielded 36 records. For this study, I was only interested in white people born before 1880. Ancestry allows you to select for Race, so I decided to enter white. That query which yielded 23 records. Luckily, the results provide the birthdate so I can ignore individuals whose births were after 1880. The result was only 7 Records.

Record = Theodora Garret Vinson – 14 Feb 1859–28 Dec 1918.
I do not have Theodora in my tree or research yet. She was widowed and there is nothing on the record indicating who she was married to. I decided to add her to my tree as an unrelated individual. I’m sure that Theodora will show up elsewhere.

Record = Mortha A Vinson – 25 Mar 1829–10 Nov 1913.
This record is for Martha A. Vinson, (nee Smith). My files had her birth, death, and burial information previously.

Record = Thomas L Vinson – 1854-18 Feb 1923
My records had Thomas L. Vinson’s birth, death, and burial information previously.

Record = William Jaseon Vinson – 1860-1 Apr 1937
My looking at the name suggests to me his name was William Gastin Vinson. I will definately need to find his middle name written elsewhere to feel confident regarding his middle name.

 Record = Mrs. Susie Vinson – 18 Aug 1862-23 Oct 1939
The Widow Susie Vinson’s spouse was John Vinson. I have several other John Vinson’s in my records. However, I can’t associate Susie to any of them. As such, I’ve created a new unrelated tree for Susie and John in my database.

Record = Benjamin Hunter Vinson – 20 Feb 1875 – 21 Jul 1966
This record was a treasure trove of information. I learned B. H. Vinson’s name is Benjamin Hunter Vinson. I also learned that his father first name was John; I’ve long had it as J. Robert Vinson. I also learned his mother was Leah Hunter. I also learned the day and month of his birth. For the year, previously, I had his birth year as being between 1873 and 1874. Considering his birthday was in February, that would indicate that earlier census records suggest he was born in 1874, however his death certificate states the birth year of 1875. I’ve decided to split his birth into two separate facts, one in 1874 (based upon census records) and one in 1875 based on his death certificate.

Record = Emmitt Vinson – 19 Feb 1877- 20 May 1972
This record provided more previously unknown information. I learned Emmitt’s birth, death, and burial dates and locations. I also learned his mother’s maiden name, Leah Nicholson Hunter.

Conclusion

Although several of the records I found regarding the Vinson’s in the Death Certificate records didn’t shine any new information onto my tree, however, several other documents helped greatly. Ancestry has many more death records that can be searched; however, they appear to be indexes and not actual documents, so I’ll continue on with my study. Next time, I will look at the marriage records for the Vinson family of Halifax County, North Carolina.


Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 4

Surname Saturday
Howell/Vinson
By Don Taylor

During Part 3 of this study, I examined the Vinson family of Halifax County, North Carolina during the 1850 Census. This week I step back to the 1840 Census.

1840 Census

The 1840 Census contained the name of the head of the household, the location of the home in 1840, and the number of individuals in the household in various age groups. A search for Vinson in Halifax County, North Carolina yielded four Vinson families. Based upon my research of the 1850 through 1880 Censuses, I would expect to find the following individuals

  • A household that includes Elizabeth Vinson (age 55) and would including 23-year-old John and 15-year-old Nancy.
  • A household that included Robert Vinson (age between 10 and 16).
  • A household that included Littleberry Vinson (age 24 or 25).

Burket Vinson

The Burket Vinson family consists of three males and two females. It is the only family that fits the Elizabeth Vinson family line.

  • 1 Male 60 to 69         Burkett Vinson
  • 1 Male 20 to 29         John Vinson (Age 23)
  • 1 Male 15 to 19         <unknown>
  • 1 Female 50 to 59     Elizabeth Vinson (age 55)
  • 1 Female 15 thru 19 Nancy Vinson (age 15)

It is possible that Robert is that male from 15 to 19.

Peter Vinson

The Peter Vinson family consists of three males and two females.

  • 1 Male 40 to 49         Assumed to be Peter Vinson
  • 1 Male 10 to 14         Possibly Robert, age 10 to 16.
  • 1 Male 5 to 9              unk
  • 1 Female 30 to 39     Presumed to be Peter Vinson’s wife.
  • 1 Female 5 to 9          unk

Laban Vinson

The Laban Vinson family consists of three males and four females

  • 1 Male 70 to 79         Assumed to be Laban Vinson
  • 1 Male 15 to 19         Possibly Robert, age 10 to 16.
  • 1 Male 5 to 9
  • 2 Females 50 to 59    1 is presumed to be Laban’s wife.
  • 1 Female 15 to 19
  • 1 Female 10 to 14

It is possible that Robert Vinson, Age 10 to 16, is the male shown above.

Robert Vinson

The Robert Vinson family consists of two males and two females.

  • 1 Male 50 to 59         Assumed to be Robert Vinson
  • 1 Male 20 to 29         Possibly 23 year old John
  • 1 Female 50 to 59     Possibly 55 year-old Elizabeth
  • 1 Female 15 to 19.    Possibly 15 year old Nancy

It is also possible that Littleberry, age 24 or 25 is the Male 20 to 29 identified in the Census.

Conclusion

None of the 1850 Census households can be traced with certainty as being one of the 1840 Census households. This is disappointing but not unexpected. With that decision, I feel confident I must find some other kinds of documents to determine the family units of the Vinson families of Halifax County, North Carolina. The 55-year-old Elizabeth could be the wife of Burkett or Robert.

I believe I have exhausted the Census records for now, so I must continue my study using alternate (non Census) records. The ultimate purpose of the census work for this study was to know enough about the families involved so that Birth, Marriage, and Death Records will have a context and make sense.

Vinson Families in Halifax County 1850 thru 1880.

  • Elizabeth Vinson       (b. 1784-1785)
  • John Vinson                (b. 1816-1817)
  • + Lenora [Vinson]   (b. 1817-1818)
    • Virginia Vinson          (b. 1844-1846)
    • Elizabeth Vinson       (b. 1846-1847)
    • Susan Vinson             (b. 1847-1849)
  • + Ellenor [Vinson]    (b. 1824-1825)
    • James W. Vinson        (b. 1851-1852)
    • Benjamin I. Vinson    (b. 1854-1855)
    • Joseph Burkhead Vinson       (b. 1857-1858)
    • Ellen B. Vinson           (B. 1860-1861)
  • Nancy Vinson                       (b. 1824-1825)

 

  •  Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1830)
  • + Martha, [Vinson] (b. 1828-1829)
    • John H. Vinson           (b. 1850-1851)
    • Thomas L Vinson       (b. 1853-1854)
    • Albert L. Vinson         (b. 1855-1856)
    • Turner Vinson           (b. 1858-1859)
    • Laura E “Lizzie” Vinson (b. 1865-1866)

 

  • Littleberry Vinson      (b. 1815-1816)
  • + Fannie [Vinson]     (b. 1820-1821)
    • Laura Vinson (b. 1845-1846)
    • J. Robert Vinson (b. 1847-1848)
    • + L. N. Vinson (b. 1853-1854)
      • C.R. Vinson, (b. 1871-1872)
      • Fannie Vinson, (b. 1872-1873)
      • B. H. Vinson, (b. 1873-1874)
      • Emmett Vinson, (b. 1876-1877)
  • + Elizabeth [Vinson]   (b. 1815-1816)
    • Littleberry Vinson (b. 1857-1858)
    • William Vinson (b. 1859)