In the News
Howell, Vincent (Vinson)
By Don Taylor
“In the News” is my reporting of newly discovered newspaper articles regarding the ancestors I am researching. The information found in newspapers often raises more questions and more research areas, but invariably suggests new avenues for research plus providing texture to the life of an ancestor.
Hiram Vincent Appointed Guardian
Hiram Vincent is my wife’s 3rd great-uncle. He is the son Berkett Vincent (c. 1776 – c. 1845) and the brother of John Vincent (1817-bef. 1870), my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather. This set of four articles show Hiram being appointed and maintaining his guardianship for two of his sons.
From the Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Friday, 6 March 1874.
“Synopsis County Court, March Term | 1874.” Guardians Appointed.
Hiram Vinson Guardian of his children.
It seems strange to me that Hiram would be granted guardianship of HIS children. I wonder if it was a legal thing or if there is more to the story. Certainly, the County Court Records should talk about what may have occurred.
Two years later, the following ran in:
TheBolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 13 April 1876.
Hiram Vinson for J H and T A Vinson.
“J H Vinson” and “T A Vinson” must be Hiram’s two sons, Joseph Hiram Vincent and Thomas Anthony Vincent. In 1876, Joseph, the older of the two, would have been 15 years old and Thomas, 13. Yes, they are minor children, but I would not expect that a formal guardianship by their father would be required. There must be something else causing this. Court records should tell the story.
Two years after that, the following ran in:
TheBolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 11 April 1878.
County Court Synopsis of Proceedings April Term 1878
Hiram Vinson renewed his bond as guardian of his children.
Finally, two years later the following ran:
TheBolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 15 April 1880.
Venire July Circuit Court
Hiram Vincent renewed bond as guardian J H and T A Vincent.
Once again, the articles highlight that the surname Vinson and Vincent are used interchangeably. As a note, I use Vincent when speaking of the family line and use Vincent when talking about an individual. I use Vinson when a particular document uses the name. In 1880, the two boys would have been 19 and 17 respectively.
Determine why Hiram needed to be granted guardianship of his children in 1874. (Get copies of the court documents.)
All “In the New” entries used in this posting came from Newspapers.Com, their Tennessee Newspapers collection.
My wife’s third great-grandfather, Burkett Vincent, may have had 12 children, or he may have had eight. He apparently had two wives, Elizabeth Rose and an unknown first wife. To attempt to understand the Vincent family of Halifax, North Carolina, I thought I’d look closer at the children of Burkett (and Elizabeth).
Known Children of Burkett & Elizabeth Vincent
William Hiram Vincent
There were also two boys and two girls who were born between 1810 and 1820. It is unclear if these are William, John, Elisha, and a heretofore unknown girl. There was also another girl born between 1804 and 1820 that is presumed to be Burkett’s oldest daughter.
I’ll take a look at each of the children, in turn, starting with:
William Hiram Vincent (1814-1893)
1890 Census (Not Available)
1880 Census[i] – Hiram Vinson was a farmer living with three of his children in District 9, Hardeman County, Tennessee. With him are his daughter, Francis, and two sons, Joe and Tom.
1870 Census[ii] – Hiram Vincent was a farmer living with seven implied children. The oldest one and the youngest two were his children according to the 1880 Census, so I’m confident ascribing the other four children as his. This adds, James J., William, McAllister, and Martha to his list of children. It also provides a first name for his daughter Mary Frances, and middle initials for Joseph and Thomas. All the children were born in Tennessee, so I’d expect to find the family in Tennessee during the 1860 Census.
1860 Census[iii] – Hiram Vintson [sic] and his wife Catherine are living in Hardeman, Tennessee, with their children, Mary, James, William, Elisha, and Martha. Elisha wasn’t enumerated in the 1870 Census, so he is assumed to have died between 1860 and 1870. Mary and James attended school. All were enumerated as having been born in North Carolina, although later censuses all suggest they were born in Tennessee.
1850 Census[iv] – Hirum Vincin [sic] and his wife Catherine are living in Hardeman, Tennessee with their daughter, Mary. Hirum and Catherine had been married within the past year. Hirum is listed as “Overseer” for an occupation. Of Interest, Hirum is listed as 32 years old, suggesting birth between 1827 and 1828, where other census records suggest he was born between 1825 and 1826.
1840 Census – In my initial review of Burkett Vinson, I ascribed the male, 20 to 29 years old, as presumed to be John Vinson. Upon further research, I have learned that John had two brothers also born between 1810 to 1820, Hiram and James. The male, 20 to 29 years old in the household of Burkett Vinson could easily have been any of the three. A look through the other Vinson’s in Halifax County yielded four results. Only Burkett and Robert had households that included a 20 to 29-year-old male. Further, Paul Vincent of Hardeman County, Tennessee was the only household with a 20 to 29-year-old. So, Hiram could have been the young man in the household. Alternately, Hiram could be elsewhere, or he could have been missed completely.
1830 Census – In my review of Burkett Vincent, it appeared that the teenager, age 15 to 20, in the household of Burkett Vincent is Hiram (William Hiram Vincent).
1820 Census – In my review of Burkett Vincent, it appeared that one of the children, a male under 10, in the household of Burkett Vincent is Hiram (William Hiram Vincent).
William Hiram Vincent is in the FamilySearch tree as ID LHCZ-XB8. Census records before 1850 do not appear to clearly identify William Hiram Vincent as being enumerated. No new information regarding his parents was discovered.
[i] 1880 Census, Family Search, 1880 Census – [William] Hiram Vinson – District 9, Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MD7D-QFM : 15 July 2017), Tom Vinson in household of Hiram Vinson, District 9, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district ED 58, sheet 474A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,260.
[iii] 1860 Census, Family Search, 1860 Census – [William] Hiram Vintson [Vincent] – 7th District, Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8TD-4ZK : 18 March 2020), Martha A Vintson in an entry for Hiram Vintson, 1860.
[iv] 1850 Census (NARA), 1850 Census – Hirum Vincin – Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCDF-P2G : 4 April 2020), Mary Vincin in household of Hirum Vincin, Hardeman county, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States; citing family 676, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
Martha Melinda Montgomery Haley Midyett had a rough life. She married young (17), had six children who she saw die. She also was widowed – twice. There was no informant for her death certificate, and she was, apparently, buried without a marker.
4th Great-grandfather: Leonard L. Montgomery (1814-___)
Martha’s birthdate is one of the most confounding set of birth information I’ve encountered. I am confident that she was born on 5 October 1839 in Tennessee, probably Bedford county. Her parents were Leonard L and Syrena (Meadows) Montgomery; she was the third of seven children born to Syrena. The 1850 Census is the record that was closest to her birth and it indicated she was ten years old at the time. The following census records suggest her being born in 1838, 1839, or 1840.
The monument (marker) for her first husband indicates her birthdate as 5 October 1835; however, there is no corroborating documentation. Likewise, her death record appears to say her birthdate is F. 1st 1836. That record also indicates her age at death as being 77 years, 11 months, and 22 days, suggesting a death date of 30 or 31 July 1836.
The 1840 Census didn’t indicate individual’s names, only the head of household’s name was enumerated. In this case, her father, Leonard L. Montgomery, is living in Bedford County, Tennessee. Living with him is a young boy, two very young girls, and a young woman. That fits with what I believe the family unit should have included
Leonard Age 20 to 30 – He should be 26.
Syrena Age 20 to 30 – She should be 25.
William Age 5 to 10 – He should be 5 or 6.
Mary-Ann Under 5 – She should be 2.
Martha Under 5 – She should be 1.
The 1850 Census is the first census to list names in a household. The Leonard Montgomery household of 1850 consisted of the following:
Name Sex Age Born
Lenard Montgomery M 36 Tennessee
Syrenia Montgomery F 35 North Carolina
Wm G M Montgomery M 15 Tennessee
Mary Ann Montgomery F 11 Tennessee
Martha M Montgomery F 10 Tennessee
John H Montgomery M 9 Tennessee
Thomas J Montgomery M 6 Tennessee
James H Montgomery M 5 Tennessee
Harriet J Montgomery F 0 Tennessee
This has the appearance of a traditional family.
1857 – Marriage
If the Montgomery family lived on the eastern side of Bedford County, the nearest larger town to them would have been Manchester in Coffee County. That is where the 17-year-old Martha was married to Andrew J. Haley on 20 August 1857 By L. F Dillard, Justice of the Peace.
The Haley family of 1860 consisted of:
A.J. (Andrew) Age 23
Malinda Age 21 May (aka Mary) Age 1
Ben Age 81
Nancy Age 70
I believe that Benjamin and Nancy Haley (ages 81 and 70) are likely his grandparents.
Andrew was 25 in 1860. For Andrew to be Nancy’s child, she would have had to have him at age 45 and Benjamin would have been 56. Possible, but it is much more likely that Benjamin and Nancy are Andrew’s grandparents. Further research will be needed to prove that.
Sometime between 1860 and 1870, they moved the 235 miles from Manchester, Tennessee, to Ewing, Franklin County, Illinois. During that period, Franklin County grew nearly 35% to 12,653.
The 1870 Census finds Martha keeping house and has two children, Mary and Amanda, living with her and Andrew. Later, we will learn that Martha had eight children; only three lived to adulthood. The 10-year gap between Amanda’s birth and the 1870 census suggests that that decade was horrific for Martha and Andrew with several children dying.
Martha’s daughter Mary married Theodore Edward Curry; they had a child, Martha (Mattie). Mary and Mattie are living with Martha and Andrew as well as daughter Serina. Mary is listed as “Confined.” The nature of her (Mary’s) disability is not listed.
The census taker entered the age of the individuals in years and months. So, the household included the following people:
Name Age Suggested Birthdate
Andrew J. Hailey 44 5/12 Dec 1835
Martha M Hailey 40 8/12 Sep 1939
Mary F Curry 21 8/12 Sep 1858
Serina J Hailey 9 2/12 Mar 1871
Martha L Curry 1 5/12 Dec 1878
The 1900 Census is where we learn what a tough life Martha had. It indicates she had eight children and only two were living. With her and Andrew are two granddaughters, Clora and Laura, two of the daughters of Martha’s daughter, Amanda. Amanda died in 1889 at the age of 28.
Living in the household was a boarder, Budge Casey, a farm laborer.
1905 Death of Andrew
Andrew died in 1905, leaving Martha a widow.
1906 – Marriage to Lacy Midyett
The 67-year-old Martha quickly remarried a widower, Lacy Meadows Midyett.
1910 – Martha lived with Lacy in Goode Township (a change from Barren township where she lived with Andrew). The household consisted of 75-year-old Lacy and 70-year-old Martha. Living with them was a granddaughter of Lacy, Ema Sweet.
1912 – Martha’s husband, Rev. Lacy Meadows Midyett, died in Chicago on 5 December 1912.
1914 – Martha died in Goode Township, Franklin County, Illinois, on 22 July 1914.
Green Birth, Blue Marriage, Read Death.
Tennessee, Bedford County – Birth, 1840, 1850,
Tennessee, Coffee County – Marriage 1, 1860
Illinois, Franklin County – 1865, 1870, 1880, 1900, marriage 2, death.
Blackwell is a habitational name, that is to say a place where people lived.[i] Durham, Cumbria, Derbyshire, and Worcestershire in England are examples of places where there is a Blackwell, England.[ii] Wikipedia lists about 100 “Notable Blackwells,” including Alexander Blackwell (c. 1700-1747) (Scottish Adventurer) to Ben Blackwell (born 1986 – musician and founder of Cass Records).[iii]
World-wide there are approximately 82,742 people who bear the Blackwell surname. The vast majority, over 63,000, live in the United States, with England and Australia being distant second and third (about 10,000 and 4,000 respectively) place majorities. In terms of frequency, Wales has the greatest proportion of people with the Blackwell surname, where one in 3,947 people have the surname. The United States is the second most frequent country where people surnamed Blackwell live (1 in 5,738).
Note: ?? = Tentative, possible.[iv] Note: ??? = Very tentative and probably incorrect.
My most recent Blackwell ancestor is Elizabeth Blackwell. She was born in 1796 in North Carolina. She married John Calvin Roberts in 1816 in Roane, Tennessee. She and John had sixteen children. She died in Roane, Tennessee in 1867.
Her father, David Blackwell, was born about 1757 in Virginia. I haven’t had a chance to research David’s life yet, but I believe he was probably in Tennessee during the 1840 Census. If so, his household would have been one of the 65 Blackwell families living in Tennessee. He is probably the David Blackwell in Roane County who was an 82-year-old pensioner whose household included one female aged 30 to 40.
Two other Blackwell heads lived in Roane County during the 1840 Census, Alpha and Hugh. Both were heads aged 30 to 40 and both had females aged 20 to 30 living with them. Both also had children living in the household, so both appear to be typical family units.
David had several sons. Hugh that fits this criteria; another son, identified as “Dicy” in my records, could be the “Alpha” that was enumerated. I need to do more research into these families.
I have not had the opportunity to research any of the other Blackwell ancestors, but it appears that all of my known Blackwell ancestors before David were born, lived, and died in Virginia.
My known Blackwell relatives.
My records have identified 398 direct descendants of James Blackwell (the eldest) in my research, so far.
I have also identified 19 people whose DNA is a known match to mine who also share James Blackwell (the eldest) as an ancestor.
Ancestry’s ThruLines suggests that I share DNA with11 matches through William Blackwell.
Research the Blackwells of Roane County, Tennessee.
Analyze Ancestry ThroughLines for matches through William Blackwell.
[iv] I’m pretty sure I have something wrong in this line. Luckily it is very tentative as I haven’t done an in-depth look at any of these ancestors. I expect they problems should sort themselves out when I can look line closely.
Andrew married Martha Melinda Montgomery in Manchester, Coffee, Tennessee in 1857.[ii]
Andrew and Martha lived in Manchester, Coffee County, Tennessee in 1860.[iii]
The 1850 Census indicated one Haily family in Coffee County with children in the proper age group. It has two children, Charles & James, born in 1836 plus/minus a year. Neither seems to be a candidate for my Andrew.
However, in Bedford County, (next to Coffee County) there was a Madison Hailey family with a male in the household of the right age named “Anderson.” Also, both apparent parents were born in Tennessee as I would expect.[iv] Could this “Anderson” by my Andrew?
A close look at the census image doesn’t either confirm or refute it. Indeed, what the enumerator wrote looks more like “Anderson” than “Andrew,” but it is so poorly written, it is difficult to tell, it could be “Andrew.”
The 1850 Census doesn’t provide relationships; however, the household looks like it might be a typical family unit with Madison and Anney Hailey as the apparent parents of six children.
Household Sex Age Birthplace
Madison L Hailey M 33 Tennessee
Anney Hailey F 35 Tennessee
Anderson J Hailey M 16 Tennessee
James C Hailey M 12 Tennessee
Elizabeth M Hailey F 10 Tennessee
Mary Ann Hailey F 8 Tennessee
Hester Ann Hailey F 7 Tennessee
John R Hailey M 3 Tennessee
If this “Anderson” is my Andrew, and my Andrew was living in Coffee County with his wife, I would expect I can’t find Anderson in any census. The 1840 Census doesn’t have names except for the head of the household. Going back to the 1860 Census, I have scoured the 1860 Census and have been unable to find an Anderson Hailey anywhere. So, I believe that either Anderson died or Anderson J. Hailey is Andrew J. Hailey.
I am going to take the leap and ascribe Anderson as Andrew and Madison and Anney as his parents in my records tentatively. I’ll be able to back it out at any time. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue searching for information to corroborate or refute this tentative association.