Our earliest known Howell ancestor, McKinney Howell, migrated from North Carolina to Georgia sometime in the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. The McKinney Howell family appears in the U.S. Census records as follows:
1820 Census – Hancock County, GA
1830 Census – Taliaferro County, GA
1850 Census – Greene County, GA
The various counties do not necessarily mean that the family moved between the census dates – Georgia was very new, and the county lines were constantly being re-drawn as new counties were born. For example:
Washington County was created in 1784 from Creek Indian lands.
Greene County was created in 1786 from Washington County
Hancock Country was created 1793 from Greene and Washington counties.
Taliaferro County was created in 1825 from Green, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren, and Wilkes counites.
1863 Greene County, Georgia
1822 Greene County Map (Note that Taliaferro County (created 1825) does not appear)
Cir 1792 Map of Greene County, Georgia. Note that Hancock (created 1793) and Taliaferro county (created 1825) do not appear.
So it is quite possible that the location of the family in 1820 in Hancock County, was physically in the same place as when it is recorded in 1830 in Taliaferro County. The 1850 location in Greene County means the family probably moved to Greene. The likelyhood of more than one McKinney Howell family exists, but a point against that is that if the counties mentioned above are taken as a group, only one McKinney Howell family appears per decade.
Unfortunately the 1820 and 1830 censuses do not provide the names of the household members – only the name of the head of household is given – so it is impossible to determine if there is a match in the names of the household members.