Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 3

Surname Saturday
Howell/Vinson
By Don Taylor

During Part 2 of this study, I examined the Vinson family of Halifax County, North Carolina during the 1860 Census. I determined 3 Vinson lines were of interest.

  1. Unknown and Elizabeth Vinson (b. 1784-1785)
  2. Robert (b. 1824-1830) and Martha Vinson
  3. Littleberry (b. 1815-1816) and Fanny Vinson

1850 Census

A search for Vinson surname during the 1850 Census located two families with the surname.

Littleberry Vinson

Littleberry Vinson and family consisted of Littleberry, Fanny, and two children.

  • Littleberry Vinson, age 32
  • Fanny Vinson, age 29
    • Laura Vinson, age 5
    • Robert Vinson, age 2

This family coincides with my known Littleberry Vinson (b. 1815-1816) and his two children Laura and Robert.  However, Fanny Vinson, age 29 (b. 1820-1821) does not coincide with Elizabeth [Vinson] (b. 1815-1816]. I attribute this to Littleberry Marrying twice. Once to Fanny with whom he had two children, Laura and Robert, and again to Elizabeth. Because the gap between Robert and Littleberry (Jr.) is ten years, I suspect that Fanny is the mother of the first two children and Elizabeth is the mother of the second two children.

Robert Vinson

The other Vinson family in Halifax County during the 1850 Census is Robert and Martha Vinson. Robert is 20 and Martha is 21. This is the same Robert and Martha as identified previously before they had any children.  Robert’s being 20 suggests a birth in 1829-1930. As such, I’ll adjust his birth entry as between 1824 and 1830.

John Vincent

The John Vincent family is consistent with my findings for the John Vinson family. It describes that:

  • John is 33       (b. 1816-1817) – Consistent
  • Leonora is 32 (b. 1817-1818) – 8 years younger.
    • Virginia 5       (b. 1844-1845) – 1 year younger.
    • Elizabeth 3     (b. 1846-1847) – Consistent
    • Susan 1           (b. 1848-1849) – 1 year older.

The 7-year gap between John’s wife between the 1850 Census where Lenora is 32 and the 1860 Census where Ellenor is 35 suggests they are two different individuals. If that is the case, the four-year gap between Susan and James would sensibly be the place where one wife died, and he remarried. Also, during the 1850 Census, living with John and Leonora is 30-year-old Eliza Beasley. I have previously accepted that Eliza is Leonora’s sister.

Elizabeth Vinson

Elizabeth shows in the 1850 Census as Elizabeth Vincent, age 64. Living with her is Nancy Vincent, age 25. They are living next door to John.  I believe Nancy to be John’s sister.

Other Vincents

The 1850 Census also enumerated six other Vincents. One is family consisting of Michael, Rebecca, and Walter. They were born in Northampton County, North Carolina and appear to be transitory to Halifax County.  Likewise, James and John Vincent were born in Northampton County and seem to be briefly in Halifax County. Finally, a Phil Vincent is living in a home with several people surnamed Snow. The entry for Phil does not give a birth location. I guess that he is also transitory in Halifax County.

Conclusion

The 1850 Census provided information regarding a first wife for John Vinson and a first wife for Littleberry Vinson. It also suggests Elizabeth had another child, Nancy. The 1850 Census is the earliest census which provides the names of all household members. The 1840 Census only provides the name of the head of the household and numbers of household members in various age groups.

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)


Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 2

Surname Saturday
Howell/Vinson
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.During Part 1 of this study, I followed the Vinson family through the 1880 and 1870 Census records. In doing so, I established four Vinson family units in Halifax County during the 1880 Census.

1870-1880 Family Units

Looking at the 1870 and 1880 Censuses together I previously identified the following families:

Widow Elizabeth Vinson (b. 1815-1817)

  • Littleburg Vinson (b. 1857-1858) Married J. D. Unknown (b. 1858-1859)
    • Unnamed Vinson girl (b. 1879 – d. April 1880)
  • William G. Vinson (b. 1858-1959)

J. Robert Vinson (b. 1847-1848) – Wife, L. N. Vinson (b. 1853-1854)

  • R. Vinson, (b. 1871-1872)
  • Fannie Vinson, (b. 1872-1873)
  • H. Vinson, (b. 1873-1874)
  • Emmett Vinson, (b. 1876-1877)

Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1825) – Wife, Martha, (b. 1828-1829)

  • John H. Vinson (b. 1850-1851)
  • Thomas L, (b. 1853-1854)
  • Albert L. Age 14 (b. 1855-1856)
  • Laura E “Lizzie” Vinson (b. 1865-1866)

Littlebury Geo Vinson (b. 1815-1816)

1860 Census

The 1860 Census again shows the names of individuals in a household; however, it does not provide relationships.  The following individuals were identified, the relationships are either guessed by me or come from subsequent Census records:

Littleberry Vinson

Halifax County, North Carolina.

There were three Vinson families during the 1860 Census.  The Elizabeth Vinson of the 1870 Census is with Littleberry Vinson during the 1860 Census. This seemed extremely strange to me.  Upon further investigation, it appears that the Littlebury and Elizabeth Vinson were enumerated on two separate pages during the 1870 Census and were not noted as such.  That suggests that Littlebury of the 1870 Census was still with his wife and children and Elizabeth was not widowed until after 1860. With that in mind I have consolidated the Littleberry (b. 1815-1816) entries.  The 1860 Census adds two more children to the Littleberry and Elizabeth Vinson family.

A second connection is also apparent from the 1860 Census.  Robert Vinson, age 12 appears to be the same person as J. Robert Vinson of the 1870 Census.

Littleberry Vinson      44        Connected
+ Elizabeth Vinson        44

  •             Laura Vinson             14        New
  •             Robert Vinson             12        Connected
  •             Littleberry Vinson      2
  •             William Vinson          11/12

Robert Vinson


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The Robert Vinson Family adds Turner Vinson as a youth.  It appears that Turner may have died before 1870. Another interesting entry for the family is that a Susan Wilson is living with them. Her age is 22 and she is a seamstress.  Her relationship is unknown. She might be old enough to be a sister of Robert. Hopefully, the 1850 Census will shed light on her place in the family. The Robert Vinson family unit is:

Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1825)
+ Martha, (b. 1828-1829)

  • John H. Vinson     (b. 1850-1851)
  • Thomas L,             (b. 1853-1854)
  • Albert L. Vinson   (b. 1855-1856)
  • Turner Vinson   (b. 1858-1859) – New
  • Laura E “Lizzie” Vinson (b. 1865-1866)

John Vinson

This family group is the really important group for my research. John Vinson is my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather. None of the individuals in this 1860 Census appear in the 1870 or 1880 Census records for the Vinson surname in Halifax County, North Carolina.  The 1860 Census indicates the following:

John Vinson                43
+ Ellenior Vinson          35

  • Virginia Vinson          14
  • Elizabeth Vinson       13
  • Susan Vinson             12
  • James Vinson             8
  • Benja Vinson              5
  • Barkhead Vinson       2

Elizabeth Vinson       75

This family unit appears to be a husband, wife, six children, and John’s mother. The question is where are they in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses?

The family unit is “Vincent” in the 1870 Census. The 1870 Census shows the head of the household is Leanora living with five children,

  • Elizabeth, Age 23
  • James W., Age 17
  • Benjamin I, Age 14
  • Joseph B., Age 12
  • Ellen B., Age 9.

With that in mind, the new John Vinson/Vincent family consists of

John Vinson              (b. 1816-1817)
+ Ellenior/Lenora [Vinson]  (b. 1824-1825)

  •             Virginia Vinson       (b. 1845-1846)
  •             Elizabeth Vinson     (b. 1846-1847)
  •             Susan Vinson           (b. 1847-1848)
  •             James W. Vinson     (b. 1851-1852)
  •             Benjamin I. Vinson (b. 1854-1855)
  •             Joseph Barkhead Vinson   (b. 1857-1858)
  •            Ellen B. Vinson        (B. 1860-1861) (from 1870 Census

(It is also likely that John is the son of Elizabeth [Vinson]. I will pencil that in for now.)

Elizabeth Vinson     (b. 1784-1785)

Conclusion

I was able to reduce the Vinson Family lines in Halifax County from four to three in the 1860 Census.  My wife’s Elizabeth/John/Susan Vinson line (bolded below), A Robert Vinson line. Robert is the correct age to potentially be a brother to John. Thirdly, a Littleberry Vinson line which is also potentially a brother to John.  Next time, I’ll roll the 1850 Census into the study.

Vinson Families in Halifax County 1860 thru 1880.

Elizabeth Vinson     (b. 1784-1785)

  • John Vinson              (b. 1816-1817)
    + Ellenior/Lenora [Vinson]  (b. 1824-1825)

    • Virginia Vinson          (b. 1845-1846)
    • Elizabeth Vinson       (b. 1846-1847)
    • Susan Vinson           (b. 1847-1848)
    • James W. Vinson        (b. 1851-1852)
    • Benjamin I. Vinson    (b. 1854-1855)
    • Joseph Barkhead Vinson       (b. 1857-1858)
    • Ellen B. Vinson           (B. 1860-1861)

 

  •  Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1825)
    +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)
    + Elizabeth [Vinson]   (b. 1815-1816)
  • 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)
  • Littleberry Vinson (b. 1857-1858)
  • William Vinson (b. 1859)


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Surname Study – Vinson – Halifax County, NC – Part 1

Surname Saturday
Howell/Vinson
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Researching families in pre-Civil War North Carolina is often difficult.  Many records were “lost” and many families used the same first names in families often. I have found one way to make sense of the family lines is to do a surname study in a particular location. Often, many of the people with the same surname in the same area are related. By doing a surname study, I can sometimes determine the relationships between individuals with the same surname.  I like to begin with the 1880 census as it provides relationships to begin with. Census records before that don’t provide the relationship so you must guess about the relationships.

Using Ancestry.Com, I started with a search of the 1880 Census, all people with the surname Vinson, in Halifax, County, North Carolina. I downloaded the images for all the findings, but for the purposes of this study, I’m only interested in Name, Age, and Relationships. After I am able to connect any of these individuals to my Howell/Vinson line, I’ll integrate the documents I found into my sources.

1880 Census

Halifax County, North Carolina.

I found three families and three individuals with the Vinson surname during the 1880 Census in Halifax County[i].  They were:

  1. L. Vinson, Age 22, with his wife J.D. Vinson, Age 21. They had an unnamed child in 1879 that died at age 9 months (April 1880). (See the 1880 mortality schedule for details.)
  2. Robert Vinson, Age 32 and his wife L. N. Vinson, Age 26 and their four children
    1. R. Vinson, Age 8
    2. Fannie Vinson, Age 7
    3. H. Vinson, Age 6
    4. Emmett Vinson, Age 3
  3. Martha Vinson, Age 51, a widow and her two children,
    1. Albert Vinson, Age 24
    2. Lizzie Vinson, Age 14
  4. Elizabeth Vinson, Age 63
  5. G. Vinson, Age 20
  6. Geo Vinson, Age 64

1870 Census

I would expect to find all individuals over the age of 10 in the 1870 Census. A search of the 1870 Census found four white family groups.

The indexed version of the census indicates a very unusual household consisting of a black woman, Elizabeth Vinson, age 34, with two white children living with her. The two children are Littleburg Vinson, age 12 and William G Vinson, age11. The two children are clearly #1, L. Vinson and number 5, W. G. Vinson from the 1880 Census. Upon a much closer look at the image, it appears to me, that the indexer mistook the age and the race for Elizabeth. I read the image as race white (same as Littleberg and William, and an age of 54. That would fit the 1880 Census record for Elizabeth Vinson.



Next is J. Robert Vinson, aged 22. This is clearly number 2, J. Robert Vinson, in the 1880 Census.


Robert Vinson, Age 45, wife Martha, Age 41. With apparently four children.

  • John H. age 19
  • Thomas L, Age 16
  • Albert L. Age 14
  • Laura E, Age 4.

This is clearly the Martha Vinson family of 1880 before she became widowed.


Littlebury Vinson, Age 54 is obviously L. Geo Vinson in the 1880 Census.

Family Units

Looking at the 1870 and 1880 Censuses together I see the following family Units.

Widow Elizabeth Vinson (b. 1815-1817) & Children:

  • Littleburg Vinson (b. 1857-1858) Married J. D. _____ (b. 1858-1859)
  • Unnamed Vinson (b. 1879 – d. April 1880)
  • William G. Vinson (b. 1858-1959)

J Robert Vinson (b. 1847-1848) – Wife, L. N. Vinson (b. 1853-1854) & Children:

  • R. Vinson, (b. 1871-1872)
  • Fannie Vinson, (b. 1872-1873)
  • H. Vinson, (b. 1873-1874)
  • Emmett Vinson, (b. 1876-1877)

Robert Vinson (b. 1824-1825) – Wife, Martha, (b. 1828-1829) & Children:

  • John H. Vinson (b. 1850-1851)
  • Thomas L, (b. 1853-1854)
  • Albert L. Age 14 (b. 1855-1856)
  • Laura E “Lizzie” Vinson (b. 1865-1866)

Littlebury Geo Vinson (b. 1815-1816)


ENDNotes:

[i] Note: I only considered white families.

Searching for Peter M Howell’s father

Once again, I’m back to trying to determine Peter M. Howell’s father.

Available through Amazon.com

What little I do know about Peter’s father was gleaned from Peter’s book, The Life and Travels of Peter Howell by Peter M. Howell. From it, we know that Peter was born 15 July 1805, so there is a presumption that Peter’s father lived in Charlotte County, Virginia, in 1805. We know that the family moved to Buckingham County, Virginia in 1807. We also know that Peter’s father died when Peter was 12 years old (c. 1817). Finally, just for ballpark purposes, I conjecture that Peter’s father was likely somewhere between 20 and 45 when Peter was born. That gives the following:

Unknown father of Peter M. Howell

  • Probably born between 1760 and 1785.
  • Resided Charlotte County, VA. 1805.
  • Resided Buckingham County, VA 1807.
  • Died Buckingham County, VA 1817-18.

1810 Census

In 1810 Peter M. Howell’s family should have been in Buckingham County. The family would have consisted of at least his father, his mother, and him, being under 10 years of age.

An Ancestry Search revealed the following households:

James Howel No Males Under 10
Gideon Howel 1 Male Under 10 Candidate
Isaac Howel Other ???
Jane Howel No Males
John Howel No Males Under 10
Pleasant Howel 1 Male Under 10 Candidate
Stephen Howel 1 Male Under 10 Candidate

So, that leaves three candidates remaining from the 1810 Census. Peter Howell’s father died in 1817, so he should not appear in the 1820 Census.

Isaac Howel shows as a Free Person of Color in the 1920 Census. Stephen Howl is in the 1820 census so it can’t be him. That leaves Gideon and Pleasant as potential candidates as neither show in the 1820 Census.

Stepping back to the 1800 census, Peter Howell’s father should be in Charlotte County, not Buckingham County. Sadly, the 1800 Census for Virginia doesn’t appear to exist. Ancestry has a reconstructed census but it appears to only include Accomack County. So, the 1800 Census is a dead end.

I am quite certain that, based on the 1810 Census, James is not the father of Peter M. Howell as some researchers suggest. Rather, I believe Peter M. Howell’s father’s name is either Gideon or Pleasant.

Peter M. Howell mentions he “brother” Gideon in his book. If his brother was Gideon, could his father be Gideon also?

In any event, material is being added to the Internet constantly. It is possible that sometime in the future a key document proving Peter M. Howell’s father’s name will become available online. I’ll keep a lookout for it.

Future Actions

  1. Contact Charlotte County Historical Society regarding the Howells in Charlotte County between 1780 and 1809
  2. Contact the Buckingham County Historical Society regarding the Howells in Buckingham County between 1800 and 1830.
  3. Do a surname study of Howells in Charlotte and Buckingham counties, Virginia.
  4. Hire a professional genealogist in Charlotte and/or Buckingham county to search for materials regarding the Howell families there.
  5. Visit Charlotte and Buckingham County and search for records myself.

 

 

 

Hypothesis: Lenora Busbee’s Parents

Howell/Vinson/Busbee Line
By Don Taylor

[Occasionally, I am asked about my process of solving difficult genealogical process and breaking through brick walls. The following describes one of my methods.] 

Lenora Busbee is one of the brick walls I have on my wife’s Howell/Vinson line. Lenora seems to have been called by several names, Eleanor, Ella, Elnora, and Lenora. When I have a brick wall I try to take a logical approach to breaking down the wall. Sort of shake the tree and see what might fall out. My steps include:

  1. Determine what my genealogical question is.
  2. Define what I know.
  3. Define what I surmise and/or what my hypothesis is.
  4. Develop an approach to answer my genealogical questions.

My Question

The simple genealogical question is what are the names of the parents of Lenora Vincent (Née Busbee).

What I think I know:

Lenora went by several name, Elnora, Eleanor, Lenora, and Ella. She was born between 1817 and 1827 in North Carolina and she married John Vincent/Vinson about 1844. All records I have discovered indicate her maiden name was “Busbee.”

What I surmise or hypnotize:

Because she was born in North Carolina and was married in North Carolina, I assume she was in North Carolina during the 1840 Census and she will show in the 1840 Census as a child between 13 and 23.

Approach

My approach is to look at the 1840 Census for Busbee/Busby families and analyze which family she is likely to have been a part of and determine if her likely parentage. With some luck, I thought I might even be able to determine which family is hers.

Results

For this type of search, I like to use Ancestry.Com. For search criteria, I used:

  •             Last Name: Busbee (Exact & Similar) and
  •             Location: North Carolina, USA (Exact to the Place)

The search yielded four results showing Busbee/Busby families in North Carolina during the 1840 Census.

Name              County             Females

Jas F Busby     Gates County 1 female under 5
1 female 20-29

James Busbee Wake               1 female 15-19
1 female 40-49

Mary Busbee – Wake              1 female 15-19
1 female 20 to 29
1 female 40-49

Johnson Busber – Wake          1 female 15-19
1 female 20 to 29
1 female 40-49.

(Note: The Mary Busbee household of 1840 also included one male 10 to 14 which I will use below.)

Analysis

Start LookingJas F. Busby – Unlikely
The only male in the house from 30 to 39 years of age. The 1 female 20 to 29 is most likely his wife.

James Busbee – Possible
The female age 40-49 is likely James’ wife, but the female 15 to 19 might be Lenora.

Mary Busbee – Very possible
It is likely that Mary Busbee is the female 40 to 49. That leaves two females in the household, one 15-19 and one 20 to 29.

Johnson Busber – Possible, but unlikely.
The surname is similar but not the same sound; however, Johnson does have females living with him that could include Lenora.

So, I am going to assume that James Busbee or Mary Busbee is likely Lenora’s parent.

1850 Census

James Busbee shows in the 1850 Census with his apparent wife Elizabeth, and two boys. The female 15 to 19 could still be Lenora.

The only Mary Busbee in the 1850 Census in North Carolina is the 24-year-old Mary living with an apparent husband, Larking Busbee. No help there.

1830 Census – In 1830 I would expect Lenora to be identified as a female aged 3 to 13.

The Alford Busbee family consisted of two females one under 5 and one 20 to 29. Mary Busbee would have been 30 to 40 years old then so Alford is not likely the father.

The Polly Busbee family consisted of one male under 5, one female 5 to 9 and one female 30 to 39. This family has the exact same makeup as the Mary Busbee family of 1840.

The Ransome Busbee family consisted of one male under 5, and two females under 5 and one female 15 to 19.  Again, this could not be the Mary Busbee family of 1840.

Finally, there is a William Busby living in Northampton county, who has two females under 5, one, female 5 to 9 and one female 20 thru 29 living with him.  The female 20 to 29 is unlikely to be the Mary who would be from 30 to 39-years-old.

Conclusion

My look at the potential parents for Lenora are down to only two likely sets.

  1. James & Elizabeth Busbee of Wake County, North Carolina. A well-to-do family consisting of three boys, 2, ages 5-9 and one age 15-19 and one girl age 15 to 19.
  2. Unknown & Mary/Polly Busbee, née unknown of Wake County, North Carolina.
    A modest family consisting of a single mother, one boy, age 10 to 14, and two girls one 15 to 19 and one 20 to 29.

There is one more bit of information which may help. In the 1850 Census, there is an Eliza Beasley living in the John & Lenora Vinson household. I have long thought that she is probably related to either John or Lenora. Beasley is close enough in sound to Busbee that she could be a spinster sister of Lenora. If so, she would have been 5 to 8 years older and would fit the older girl profile in both the 1840 and 1830 census records for Mary/Polly Busbee. The 1840 Census indicates that living in John’s family was a girl who is presumed to be his sister Nancy, so this Eliza is unlikely a sibling of John.

Future Action

  • Determine the names of the children of James and Elizabeth Busbee of Wake County, North Carolina.
  • Determine the names of the children of Mary/Polly Busbee née unknown of Wake County, North Carolina. Mary/Polly appears to have died or remarried before 1850.

I’ll look closely at these families as my next step the next time I research the Howell/Vinson/Busbee line.

————- Disclaimer ————-