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 ————-

 

Howell – Surname Saturday

By Don Taylor

Origin

According to the Ancestry.Com, there are two main sources for the Howell surname. The first one is Welsh, coming from the Welsh personal name “Hywel” meaning ‘eminent.’ The second one is that Howell is an English habitational name coming from an Old English ‘hugol’ meaning ‘mound’ or ‘hillock.’ In particular, it has come to be a habitational name from Howell, Linconshire.[i]

Forebears indicates that it probably derives from an old Welsh word, hoew meaning ‘alert’ or ‘sprightly.’[ii]  The most famous historical bearer of this name was a 10th century Welsh prince, Howell Da.

I have not been successful in determining an immigrant ancestor in the Howell line to confirm the likely origin of this line, however, family oral history indicated they are of Welsh descent.

Geographical

The United States has the most incidents of the Howell surname. There are over 123,000 incidences of the surname in the United States, and only 172,000 worldwide or to say it another way, about 72% of the individuals named Howell live in the United States. The highest frequency of Howell’s in any country is Jamaica, with 1 in 989 having the Howell surname.

The 1920 Census indicates that the greatest number of Howells lived in New York. Likewise the largest number Howells lived in New York during the 1880 and 1840 censuses.[iii]

Howell Ancestors

Peter M. Howell

My wife’s Howell ancestors were in Virginia in the late 1700s. In the mid-1800s they located to North Carolina and in the mid-1900s her branch moved to Maine.

My wife’s earliest known Howell ancestor is probably James Howell. I’m not confident that he was Peter M Howell’s father, but he was in the right place at the right time and died about 1817 when Peter M Howell’s father died. If correct, James Howell would be my wife’s third great-grandfather.

Peter M. Howell is my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather.  He was born in Buckingham County, Virginia.  He married in Cumberland County, Virginia, and died in North Carolina. He was an itinerate preacher. He published a book, The Life and Travels of Peter Howell, in the 1840s that chronicled his life. The book had an illustration of Peter Howell, which is the earliest image that I have of any ancestor.

Peter Fletcher Howell

Peter Fletcher Howell is my wife’s great-grandfather. He was born in Buckingham County, Virginia, but lived most of his life in Halifax County, North Carolina. He was a civil war veteran (CSA). He fought at “The Crater” and many other battles.

James Dallis Howell was my wife’s grandfather. He was born in Halifax County, North Carolina. He too was a preacher and lived most of his life in North Carolina, although he died in Maryland.

My wife’s father, Clarence Fletcher “Pete” Howell, was also born and raised in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and became an engineer. He located to Washington, DC in 1939 and lived there until the 1950s. In the 1960s he moved to Maine where he started several businesses that continue to this day. Pete passed in 1999.

DNA

James Dallas Howell

In hopes of a breakthrough in the Howell ancestor research, Jerome Howell has taken a Y-DNA test. His nearest Y-DNA matches are surnamed “Howle,” but no link between the families has been discovered. It appears that the common ancestor between them is more than five generations ago and, apparently, before a Howell/Howle surname split. The Howle line ancestors were in South Carolina in the 1780s while the Howell line ancestors were in Virginia at that time.

Known relatives.

My records have 138 direct-line descendants of James Howell identified over eight generations. This is about 5% of my Howell-Darling research.


Endnotes

[i] Ancestry.Com – Howell Family History – Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. See: https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Howell

[ii] Forebears – Howell surname and meaning – Source: Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison – See: http://forebears.io/surnames/howell

[iii] Ancestry.Com – Howell Family History – Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press. See: https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Howell


We’re Related – Johnny Depp – OMG

Famous Friday
Roberts Line & Howell Line
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My fifth look at possible relatives using the “We’re Related” showed Johnny Depp as a potential cousin. I immediately thought, “Oh – My – Gawd.”  I had looked at my wife’s relationship with Johnny Depp last spring. If she is a 7th cousin three times removed to Johnny Depp, and I am an 8th cousin twice removed to Johnny Dep, then it would suggest that my wife and I are 10th cousins.  Could it be?

“We’re Related” suggests that John Pinkard (1647-1690) is a common ancestor of Johnny Depp and myself. The lineage goes up my paternal (Roberts) line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts (1926-1997)
  • Bert Allen Roberts(1903-1949)
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts(1882-1908)
  • Asa Ellis Roberts(1835-1887)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867)
  • David Blackwell (1755-1841) *
  • Elizabeth Steptoe (1713-1761) *
  • <Private> Apparently Elizabeth Eustace Pinkard. *
  • John Pinkard (1647-1690) *
Photo of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp – Cousin?

My wife and Johnny Depp supposedly share a common ancestor Jean Panetier with a lineage of:

I did a brief look at the descendants of John Pinkard (1647-1690) and didn’t find any children named Jean nor did I find any daughters who married a Panetier or Pankey.

Even though I haven’t found anything, so far, to support the “We’re related” suggestion that my wife and I are related I haven’t seen anything that disproves it either.  In both cases, I need to do much more research into the Pinkard, Pankey, and Panetire families. It is possible my wife and I are related through this connection.

Panetier is similar enough to Pankey that Pankey could be a derivative. Likewise, Pinkard could be another derivative name. So, I have seven or eight individuals I need to research further to confirm both of us are related to Johnny Depp, and each other. This research could be fascinating and fun to do.

Once again, “We’re Related” proves to be an interesting application that causes me to ask new questions and suggests new areas for research.


Footnotes:

[* = Italic entries are “We’re Related suggestions that are unknown to my research.]

 

J. D. Howell – Beulaville Minister 1917 & 1918

Howell-Darling Research
Howell Line

“Pete” Howell was born in Limestone Township, Duplin County, North Carolina on 10 Oct 1918. At the time of his birth, we know that his father, James Dallas (J.D.) Howell was a minister in Beulaville. (Beulaville is a town within Limestone township.)  I knew that his father’s tenure at the Baptist Church was short, but I never knew how long it was for sure. We know that Pete’s next older brother Frank Armstrong Howell was born in 1916 in Bladen County, NC, and his sister, Mary Elizabeth was born in 1925 in Onslow County, North Carolina. So, J.D.’s time in Beulaville must have been less than 9 years.

October 9 and 10, 1917

The Minutes of the Annual Sessions of the Eastern Baptist Association provide the answer and, luckily, it is available through Archives.Org[i]. According to the Minutes,

  • In 1916, J. G. Bostic was the pastor at Beulaville.
  • In 1917, J. D. Howell was the pastor at Beulaville.
  • In 1918, J. D. Howell was the pastor at Beulaville.
  • In 1919, Geo. W. White was the pastor at Beulaville.

Beulaville was a self-sustaining congregation. Brother Howell also preached at “Cedar Fork, Hallsville, Springfield, Sharon, and some other stations at school houses.”[ii] During 1916-1917, his church gained 6 individuals by baptism and lost four, three by letter and 1 by death.  Membership was 118, 65 men and 53 women.

James Dallas Howell

James Dallas Howell attended the Seventy-Fourth Annual Session of the Eastern Association, held with the Baptist Church at Piney Grove, Duplin County, N. C. on October 9 and 10, 1917

He is mentioned on several pages of the minutes of the proceedings.

During that first year at the Annual Session, J. D. Howell addressed the Association regarding the Layman’s Movement, the temperance movement and the Report on the Biblical Recorder.[iii] He spoke to the assembly regarding “Time for your best.”[iv]

Church gained 6 individuals by Baptism and lost four, three by letter and 1 by death.  Membership was 118, 65 men and 53 women.

October 29, 1918

J.D. Howell attended the Annual Session a second time in 1918. He had been very busy working on the Laymen’s Movement Committee.[v]  Brother Howell also worked for the Executive Committee for the year 1917-1918. He resigned from that position in 1918[vi]

As Laymen’s Movement Committee Chair, he reported on the Laymen’s Movement.

REPORT ON LAYMEN’S MOVEMENT.

The day has been when the idea generally prevailed that the work of the Sunday Schools and churches was only appropriate for and should be left in the hands of women and children. That was the once prevalent idea with regards Kingdom building for the Master. We are mighty glad to say that that day has passed in many sections. Indeed we are fast coming to realize that Sunday Schools and church work – the work of Kingdom building – is the work of our clear-headed, progressive thinking business men. It is a man-sized job, for the best we have in our midst.
The Laymen’s Movement has possibly done as much or more to bring about that change as any other agency. They have done a great work, but their task is not yet finished. In some places they have scarcely touched the hem of the garment. There is a great deal yet to be done in securing the progressive co-operation of our leading business men, with or without the pastor, for the doing of several things, viz.:

  1. Taking an annual inventory of your assets in the individual churches to see what you have to do business on that year for the Lord, make an every-member canvass.
  2. Instituting systematic giving to all the needs of the Kingdom, (if they are farmers, prepare in Fall so they can give all the year).
  3. Learning for ourselves and teaching others that the tithe is a means of contributing to the Master, and enables us to help in saving the world.

Since these things are vitally essential to the proper growth and development of the Kingdom in our Association, and since I am quite sure the people would be more ready to follow the lead of laymen along these lines; therefore, be it resolved,

That the Association ask the Executive Committee to put on foot as early in this Associational year as practicable a campaign of that nature over the whole Association, utilizing the best material possible among the laymen, both in and outside the Association to successfully carry out this plan.

D. HOWELL.[vii]

During his 1918 tenure, his Beulaville church report showed the church gained seven members by letter, and lost two by exclusion and 1 by death finishing the year with 123 members.  The Pastor’s salary was $300/year.


Endnotes:

[i] The Minutes of the Annual Sessions of the Eastern Baptist Association 1911-1920 via Wake Forest University, The Z. Smith Reynolds Library – Digitized and available online through Archive.Org.  https://archive.org/details/minutesofannuals1120east.
[ii] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 7.
[iii] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 9.
[iv] Ibid. October 9 and 10, 1917 – Page 13.
[v] Ibid. October 29, 1918, Page 7.
[vi] Ibid. October 29, 1918 , Page 10.
[vii] Ibid. October 29, 1918 – Page 13.