John Vincent (click HERE to find out when the spelling of John's surname changed from "Vincent" to "Vinson")
b. 1787 probably in Johnston County, North Carolina, United States
m. 1811 Lincoln County, Georgia, United States (as far as we know. See note on marriage BELOW)
d. 13 May 1871 Vincent, Shelby County, Alabama, United States
Buried at Salem Church Cemetery in Talladega County, Alabama, United States (near the town of Vincent)
Nicey gave birth to 16 children:
Some of John's descendants have expressed an interest in creating profile pages for more of John and Nicey's children and their descendants. We do know a lot about them thanks to Kelly Family Research and the research of other Vincent descendants. For instance, we know that child #5 Peyton (infant death) above "was accidentally scalded and died as a baby" (according to the family group page for Peyton Vincent in the Vincent notebook from Maud Kelly and Sarah Bullock). Research experience has shown it was not uncommon for parents to give the same name to another child after the death of a previous one. I eventually hope to create more such pages giving some of these details along with Maud Kelly's research notes.
John's tombstone says, "SOLDIER IN THE INDIAN WAR 1813." See the story of his military service below.
John could sign his name and most likely could read and write. His signature is on 1808 and 1811 deeds as well as on an 1859 deed to his daughter Euzebia. 1
Farmer and Methodist Minister.
John Vincent's grandfather, John Vinson, had died on or by the year his grandson was born. John Vincent's father, Aaron Vinson, died when his son was only 4 years old. Johnston County, NC Probate Court records, loose records (1781-1807) abstracted and edited by Elizabeth E. Ross in 1988 says there was an "Acct. of John VINSON, minor son of Aaron VINSON, dec. with Drury VINSON, dec. Admr. 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796" (#122, page 36). Drury was his father's brother. In 1801, John was still a minor with his brother Peyton as administrator, "Report of Peyton VINSON guardian to John VINSON orphan of Aaron VINSON, dec." (#28, page 49). Peyton was over 25 years old at the time while John was only 14. In Nov. 1801 & Feb. 1804 as well as other dates, Freeman Killingsworth was mentioned as his guardian (#59, page 50 & #230, page 58). I'm not sure what John's relationship with him was. The last date mentioned was in 1806. John was of age by 1808.
John was born in North Carolina in 1787. This was just after the American Revolution and the same year our U.S. Constitution was written. John's father was a patriot during the revolution, serving as a Justice (law officer) for the rebel government of the Continental Congress. The British were none too content with their superior forces being defeated by the rag-tag Americans and refused to recognize our new government. After we won our independence, they harrassed our seaman and ships in international waters and furnished weapons to our enemies.
Soldier in Creek Indian War - 1813
In July 1813, with £400 provided by the British, a group of rebellious Red Stick Creek Indians purchased arms from the Spanish governor at Pensacola. When they returned to Alabama, until 1817 part of Mississippi Territory, the warriors encountered a small force of the U.S. soldiers from Ft. Mims at Burnt Corn Creek. The American Army chased off the Indians then let down their guard whereupon the Indians routed the Americans. The Creeks had already been at war amongst themselves. A party of peaceful Indians who opposed the Red Sticks fled to Ft. Mims for safety. The Red Sticks pursued them and on the 30th of August, 1813, they slaughtered over 400 men, women, and children at Ft. Mims.
The Tennessee legislature authorized Governor Willie Blount to call out a force of 5,000 men. 2,500 came from west Tennessee volunteers under the command of Colonel Andrew Jackson. General William Cocke gathered the same number from east Tennessee. Jackson was joined by 200 friendly Cherokees. At the age of 25, on Oct. 4, 1813, our ancestor, John Vincent, enlisted in General Joseph Graham's North and South Carolina Brigade. According to Wikipedia, this brigade saw little action.
The Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27th, 1814 was decisive for Andrew Jackson. The Red Sticks never prevailed afterward. Our John Vincent was discharged April, 30, 1814. A treaty between the U.S. Army and the Creeks was signed in August. The War of 1812 was in full swing by this time and Jackson moved on to fight the British in New Orleans, January 8, 1815. The battle was fought before either side learned a treaty of peace with the British had already been signed the previous December. News travelled slowly back then.
John Vincent's war experience may have led him along the Federal Road along which the North Carolina volunteers marched. Begun as a 5 foot wide path, it was expanded in 1811. This road eventually went form Milledgeville, Georgia through present day Phoenix City in Alabama then south. The North Carolina vols were protecting the Georgia frontier. One of the forts to which some were stationed was Ft. Jackson near present day Montgomery, Alabama. Many who served in the war later settled former Indian lands in Alabama. For instance, in Dec. 1832, 10,000 people travelled this road in a just a couple weeks according to The Federal Road by Leon Southerland. 2
Post-war and Marriage
Maud Kelly says John and most of his siblings moved to Lincoln County, Georgia. After he married Nicey Hawes he moved to Alabama. According to Maud Kelly's research 3, John was living in Lincoln County, Georgia in 1811 when he sold land he owned back in North Carolina.
NOTE: No record of John and Nicey's marriage exists as far as we know. My wife and I took a trip to Lincoln County in February 2015 trying to locate such a record. For a photo essay about the trip, CLICK HERE.
In 1818 he is shown having paid taxes in Lincoln County, GA. By 1835 he had moved to Alabama. His name appears:
- Jan. 19, 1835 in Chambers County Deeds (also 1837 & 1839)
- 1840 in Montgomery County
- 1850 Census in Montgomery County
- 1850 Census (also) in Coosa County
- 1860 Census living in Talladega County with his daughter Louisa Vincent Bledsoe from age 70 to 80.
According to my Aunt Evelyn Vincent Farris, her great-grandfather John was a Methodist minister. He is buried at the former Resin Hill Church, near Vincent, Alabama (the town is not named after John's family4). Aunt Evelyn pronounced the name of the church "Rosum Hill." The church there is now known as the Salem Presbyterian. Maud Kelly wrote Nov. 24, 1943 that, though John was Methodist, he was buried at the Presbyterian Church because it was the "nearest churchyard when he died." 5
On May 17, 1859, when John was 72 years old, he bequeathed 3 slaves to his youngest daughter, Euzebia (see below). We have to wonder what surname these folks took after they were freed and whether they remained with Euzebia's family. Some free blacks serving as nurse to Vincent children, were called "Mammy", and were much loved by the kids they helped raise.
In letters dated Tuesday, November 17th and Wednesday, November 18th, 1942, Maud Kelly arranged for her and her brother Richard to set the gravestone for John Vincent. She met with my grandparents Oakley & Oma, who showed her the location of John Vincent's grave. Oakley's father, Aaron, was a sibling of Maud's grandmother, Louisa Vincent Bledsoe. Those two are children #14 & 15 above.
1- John's 17 May 1859 deed of gift PAGE 1 The deed gives 3 slaves to his daughter Euzebia, (child #16 above).
John's 17 May 1859 deed of gift PAGE 2 (Posted by a descendant on Ancestry.com).
2- Henry deLeon Southerland, Jr. and Jerry Elijah Brown, The Federal Road: through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama, 1806-1836 (The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa and London, 1989), 90.
3- Maud Kelly's notes on John Pg.1. (From LDS Church microfilm - digital by Ron Vincent, originals at Samford Univ.)
Maud Kelly's notes on John pg.2.
A transcription by Maud Kelly from Deed Book G-2, pg 134, Johnston County, N.C. says, "John Vinson of the County of Lincoln and State of Georgia" sold land that he owned in "the County of Johnston [North Carolina]." The deed was proven in Open Court during the "February Term 1811." An even earlier deed from Deed Book F-2, pg 160, Johnston County, N.C. says he was living in Lincoln County, GA by the time he came of age (age 21) in 1808. Abstracts of these and another land transaction can be found in selected pages from Kinfolks of Johnston County by Elizabeth E. Ross and Zelda B. Wood if you CLICK HERE.
4- When I was doing research in the 1980s, I stopped by the local library of the Town of Vincent, Alabama and asked how the town got its name. I was told it was originally a railroad whistle stop. When the railroad annexed part of a local land owner's property as right-of-way, they offered in exchange to name the town after the family. Their surname was Vincent (See the Vincent Township Website) but his lineage does not match ours. I compared ours to his granddaughter's who lived on the hill behind the library.
5- Nov. 24, 1942 photo of tombstone which has the text enhanced for easier reading. There are multiple copies of ths. My copy is from a microfilm of Sarah Bullock's records (descendant of Marion Kelly, Maud's sister. Cousin Caroline sent me a copy from her mother's notebook (descendant of Richard Kelly, Maud's brother) which is posted here. On the copy not shown here are the words, "pictures taken 11-24-1942" and "Presbyterian, but the nearest churchyard when he died." The reason for this note is because John was a Methodist minister.
Click HERE for a 1942 photo of Salem Presbyterian Church, formerly known as "Resin Hill" (which my Aunt Evelyn always pronounced "Rawzum Hill"). Click HERE for a 1942 photo of Richard Kelly who helped set the tombstone in place or Click Here for the same photo which has been edited to show Richard better and to read the words on the stone. For the best view of this tombstone, see note #9 below.
6- Aug. 22, 1905 letter from Ida Vincent to her cousin Marion lists John's children (click HERE for a transcript).
7- John's 1813 Indian War enlistment record from National Archives (click HERE for a transcript).
8- John Vincent's 1828 Family Bible containing his death date and the names and dates for his children.
For a printable PDF copy of John Vincent's 1828 Family Bible and its story, click HERE.
9- Ron Vincent, his 3 sons, and one grandson visited the grave of John Vincent June 29, 2013.
10- Wilburn (Hap) & Doris Vincent also visited the John Vincent grave May 30, 1990. Click HERE for a photo
captured from a video taken the day of this visit.