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.

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)