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)

 

 

 

 

 

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.