Wish I could offer some help on this, it's always such a puzzle to figure out census records. I can only tell you that in Person County, Winstead is a VERY popular name and Winston is not. However, that's only based on my looking in the Heritage Books published by the Historical Society and it may be just coincidental, maybe the Winsteads all responded to the requests for articles for the books and the Winstons didn't.
There are several articles in the Heritage Books about different Samuel Winstead familes. The first one mentioned is Samuel Winstead who was probably born in 1780 and wife Elizabeth may have had the last name Sergant, born 1784. Then there is a Samuel Byrd Winstead family, he was born 1847, married Maria Ida Edward Satterfield.
Samuel seems to have been a popular Winstead name, it shows up repeatedly, so it's hard to say how that compares to your census record findings. There were probably several Samuel Winsteads in Person County through the years. I don't think you could make the assumption that the Winsteads you are finding are actually Winstons. I'm afraid I'm not much help! KK
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