Sunday, December 8, 2019

And Another Leaf Falls

Two new leaves were added to my family tree in the form of two new grandsons. Now today, as the Christmas season is upon us, another leaf has fallen. I've lost my Daddy.


Robert W Thompson was born March 10, 1935. He was the only child of William Joseph Thompson and Hattie Helen Hudson Thompson. They were not my biological family, but they were my family nonetheless. 

Momma and Daddy started dating the year before I started school. They married when I was 5 and when I was 7, Daddy became my legal father and I was issued a new birth certificate.

He never knew an enemy that I ever knew of. He was kind and giving and loved by all who knew him. 

He spoiled me. When Momma said "No", Daddy would say "Yes". He was always there for me through thick and thin, through good times and bad times. 

When I was widowed very young with 3 small children, he was there for me. For all of our celebrations, our ups and downs as a family, he was there. 

He served in the Army during the Korean War, returning home to pursue a career with the State Department of Transportation, first in the Right of Way Office, as a Surveyor and moving up after taking classes to become an engineer. 

His children were born handicapped and he fought for their right to an education and helped found the GHA ( Group Homes for the Autistic). In honor of his work, one was named in honor of him. 

He retired from the state in 1997 with 35 years of service.

The Earth has lost a good man and heaven has gained an angel. 

We lost my mother 3 years ago. He mourned her so and would visit her grave every day as long as he could and sing to her. Theirs was a true love story. 

They were married for 51 years.

RIP Daddy.

He's survived by 3 children, 4 Grandchildren, 6 Great Grandchildren, many cousins and numerous friends.

I love you! Thank you for being my Daddy!

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Turners: From Sumter County, Alabama to Houston County, Texas

William P. Turner seemed to be the first of Patience Turners offspring, and by my calculations, Axom Turners as well, to relocate from Sumter County, Alabama to Houston County, Texas.

Why the move? And did all of the family also make this move?


1859 Houston County, Texas Map submitted to Rootsweb by Drew Beeson
William Turner married Mary Caroline Proctor on 1853. The "T" is an error, or transcription error.


Name:William T. Turner
Gender:Male
Spouse:Mary C. Proctor
Spouse Gender:Female
Marriage Date:27 Aug 1853
Marriage Place:Sumter
Performed By:J. P.
Surety/Perf. Name:J. J. Shield
OSPage:204



By 1860, he was living in Texas, in "Beat 8" Houston County. There were only 12 pages for Beat 8 and the Turner family was only one page over from the family of James McIntosh Porter, who was the Postmaster and namesake for the town of Porter Springs. This tells me that the Turners were living in Porter Springs. As all of the children were seen as being born in Texas, they had probably been there over 4 years (Rebecca's age), so they arrived between the date of the 1853 wedding and Rebecca's 1866 birth.

ame:Wm Turner
Age:30
Birth Year:abt 1830
Gender:Male
Birth Place:Tennessee
Home in 1860:Beat 8, Houston, Texas
Post Office:Alabama
Dwelling Number:675
Family Number:633
Occupation:Farmer
Real Estate Value:320
Personal Estate Value:630
Household Members:
NameAge
Wm Turner30
Caroline Turner25
Rebecca Turner4
James Turner2
Jno Turner1


I am not sure why William P Turner chose Porter Springs, Texas, but he seems to have been drafted into the Civil War back in Alabama. Perhaps he went there to visit family and help move his unmarried and widowed sisters to Texas with him. His two brothers, James and Doctor Lewis Turner, were both deceased by 1860. D. L. Turner was single, but James left a widow and four children.

William P Turner's Calvary enlistment in Crocket, Houston County, Texas



William shows up as absent without leave in Alabama, but he was serving with the calvary in Texas. He provided his own horse and at the end of the war, had to be reimbursed for the horse, who became a casualty of the war. 




The surving members of the Turner family, in 1860, remained in Sumter County, Alabama.

The above excerpt from the 1860 census of Sumter County, Alabama shows W. H. Threadgill in No. 149, with his wife Charlotte and oldest two daughters. This is William Hull Threadgill, whose father was Joshua Hull Threadgill from Anson County, NC and whose landed adjoined that of James Turner, father of Axom Turner. He had migrated to Alabama and married the youngest Turner daughter, Charlotte, on March 24, 1857 in Sumter County.

William H. Threadgill was in Anson County, N C, living with his parents in the 1850 census. He wasn't the only Threadgill to migrate to Sumter County, Alabama. Several of his cousins migrated to Sumter, Marengo, and surrounding counties in Alabama as well.

Allen Threadgill, who was born in Anson County, NC in 1812, moved to Marengo County, Alabama around or before 1834. He married Alice Hildreth, the daughter of Lewis Hildreth, and granddaughter of Reuben Hildreth, whom I hold as key in this whole mess of a puzzle. In 1840, Allen Threadgill and family were found in Sumter County, 10 years later, in 1850, they were in the bordering county of Choctaw, Alabama and by 1860, they too, had moved to Texas, but are found in Angeline County.
Allen was the older brother of William Hull Threadgill.

In the deeds of Sumter County, Alabama, Book T, Page 49, William and Charlotte sell a tract of land to a lady named Nancy Lockhart on January 1, 1870. I believe this is when they set off for Porter Springs.

The oldest known daughter in this family of Turners, whom I believe to be the children of Axom and Patience Turner of Anson County, NC, was named Rebecca. I say oldest known, because comparing the 1830 census in Anson, NC headed by Axom and the 1840 census in Sumter, AL headed by Patience, there appears to be a daughter older than Rebecca, born about 1818. Whether she married of died before 1850 is unknown.

Rebecca, however, did marry before 1818 to a much older widower, Marshall Minor, or Myner. They married on November 17, 1848 in Choctaw County, Alabama.


Marshall Minor was orginally from Granville County, North Carolina. He  had previously been married to a Susan Brewer and they had had 9 children together over a course of 20 years, beginning with Clarissa in 1811 and ending with George Washington Minor in 1831. Susan had died in 1840.




Rebecca Turner gave Marshall Minor two more children, Amanda in 1855 and D. Seals Minor in 1862. It is interesting to note that there was an age gap of 51 years between his oldest and youngest child. The older children had grandchildren older than their youngest half-sibling.  Amand and Seals  are named in their father's (and mothers) estate records which were not settled until April of 1891, after the death of Rebecca. Until the death of Rebecca, she held title to all of the Choctaw and Butler County, Alabama lands, despite living in Porter Springs, Texas with her family.

Amanda L. Minor and D. Seals Minor are named as living in Houston County, Texas in 1891. The above clipping, from the 1860 census of Choctaw County, Alabama, show Marshall as 74, Rebecca as 39 and 'Manda" as 6. They are living next to his 8th child, John Minor.

John Minor
John Minor as an old man


The persons remaining in probably what was the Turner Homestead in 1860 Sumter County were the unmarried daughtes, Penelope, Susan and Polly. Eliza, or Elizabeth was the widow of James Turner, who had passed away sometime between 1855 and 1860. He is shown in the 1855 State census of Alabama as having dependents. His brother D. L. whose estate was settled in 1858, had no heirs or dependants. The 4 children shown, W. A. , John M., Mary and James, were the children of Elizabeth and James A. Turner.


1870 - I believe the census takers skipped the entire community of Porter Springs, Texas. Not one of the Turners family is to be found in 1870, and neither is the family of James McIntosh Porter, the preeminate family of Porter Springs.

So we have to skip 20 years ahead.

Image result for back to the future


1880

The below grouping of the Turner family is from Houston County, Texas.




It begins with William Threadgill, 47 , wife Charlotte, 46, daughter Beckee (Rebecca), daughter S. J. (Sarah) 16, son William 14, and daughter Lizzie (Elizabeth) 12 in Household 142.

In 143 is J. F. H. Turner, 23. His mother, Elizabeth 50, and his Aunt Penny 65.

In 144 is Rebecca Minor, 60, daughter M. S. (Amanda L or S), 25, and son, D. S. (Seals) 18.

In 145 is W. A. Turner, 25 oldest son of Elizabeth in # 143, his wife M. J 23 and their oldest daughter, Rebecca E, age 1.

The other Turner sisters, Susan and Mary (Polly), either married right after 1860 and we do not know to whom, or they died before 1880. I can't find record of either.


Name:W.P. Turner
Age:52
Birth Date:Abt 1828
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Houston, Texas, USA
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital status:Widower
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Farmer
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
W.P. Turner52
James Turner22
John Turner21
W.T. Turner18
R.S. Turner15
Louis Turner13
Geo. W. Turner10
I.P. Turner7
Oscar Turner5


The other block of Turners entails only two households.  In 116 is W. P. Turner, age 52. He is now a widower.






In the Porter Springs Cemetery, Houston County, Texas is a double Tombstone. One side is for Mary C. Turner, no date of birth, died December 27, 1878. Blowing it up, its legible stating:

Mary C     Wife of     W P Turner     Died  Dec 27 1876    Aged 40 years


The other side is for Mary Turner, daughter of W P and Mary C Turner. After that it says:

Born  Feb. 13 1862           Died      Dec 16, 1876

The inscription across the bottom is:

Wife and daughter sleep sweetly here.

There must have been an illness that took both 40 year old mother and 14 year old daughter. What a sad year 1876 was for the family.


Name:Beckie Turner
Age:24
Birth Date:Abt 1856
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1880:Houston, Texas, USA
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:John Turner
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:Alabama
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
John Turner25
Beckie Turner24
Mary Turner8/12



In household 117, right next to the family of W. P. Turner, was his oldest daughter, Francis Rebecca Turner. She had married John Wesley Turner, son of his brother James, and his wife Elizabeth. Their oldest daughter, Mary Caroline, had been born. She was most likely named for Becky's mother, Mary Caroline Proctor Turner. She was not the firstborn child. In the Porter Springs Cemetery is the stone for Albert L. Turner, born December 23, 1877 and died April 15, 1878, 7 months old.

 Albert L. Turner


 In the next generations of Turners, there were so many duplications of names, especially John, James and Mary, it's like trying to pull apart a spider's web.

So far in 1880, every living person has been accounted for, except for the only daughter of James and Elizabeth.



Name:M.A. Cook
Age:23
Birth Date:Abt 1857
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1880:Houston, Texas, USA
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:D.R. Cook
Father's Birthplace:Alabama
Mother's Birthplace:South Carolina
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
D.R. Cook24
M.A. Cook23
James Cook1


Mary Louise Turner had married Dock R. Cook about 1878 and in the 1880 census, they were living right next door to her husband's family, who was living right next door to the Porter Springs postmaster, James M Porter. Their firstborn son, named James Franklin Cook,  had been born.

D. R. and Mary Louise were living next to two other families of Cooks, which turned out to be, predictably, his family. They also lived in Porter Springs. The Porter Springs cemetery is as full of Cooks as it is Turners.


1900

Jumping ahead another 20 years, this is the last stop for this whistle-train in tracking the Turner family from Sumter County to Porter Springs. After that, they spread out far and wide, a few remaining local, and submerse in the general diaspora of modern America.

Beginning with the oldest child:

1) Daughter b about 1818. It is not known yet if she died before 1850, or married an unknown individual, more research to do.

2) Rebecca Turner Minor born about 1820, died about 1885 according to the estate papers of her husband, Marshall Minor. 2 children:

     A) Amanda L. Minor - Fate unknown. Was alive in April of 1891. Is mentioned in the estate papers of  her father, which wasn't fully settled until after the death of her mother, and probated in 1891, where it was mentioned that she lived in Houston County, Texas. She was young enough to have married to a yet unknown individual, or otherwise passed away before 1900.

     B. D. Seals Minor - His father Marshall Minor is seening living near a B. F. Seals family, so his name could have come from a family connection to that Seals family.  D. Seals Minor married Mertie J. Estill on February 16, 1896 in Houston County, Texas. Remember that name, Estill or Estelle, as it is seen multiple times in the Turner family tree.


Name:Mirtie Minor
[Mirtie Aminor] 
Age:23
Birth Date:Jan 1877
Birthplace:Texas
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 4, Nacogdoches, Texas
House Number:1
Sheet Number:11
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:194
Family Number:196
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Sister
Marital status:Widowed
Father's Birthplace:Texas
Mother's Birthplace:Texas
Mother: Number of Living Children:1
Mother: How Many Children:1
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
George Estel35
Mirtie Minor23
Ida Minor3



In 1900, Mertie is shown as widowed, and living with her brother George, with her 3 year old daughter, Ida Minor. Ida would be the only known grandchild of Rebecca Turner, unless we find that Amanda married.

In 1901, Mertie Estill Minor would marry William C. Wiggins. They would have 4 children and Ida Minor is a 13 year old in their househole in 1910. We can safely assume Seals Minor passed away before 1900. His gravesite is unknown.


3) James Turner born about 1825, died between 1855 and 1860.
      Married Elizabeth. The death record of a son lists Elizabeth as a Threadgill. The death certificate of their daughter, Mary Louise Turner Cook lists her as a Proctor. Still researching this. 4 children.

     A) William Axom Turner born about 1851, died prior to 1910.
         

Name:William A Turner
[William Turner] 
Age:49
Birth Date:Jan 1851
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 6, Houston, Texas
Street:F
Sheet Number:4
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:74
Family Number:74
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Mary E Turner
Marriage Year:1875
Father's Birthplace:South Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:Alabama
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
William A Turner49
Mary E Turner45
Mary A Turner19
James E Turner15
Sarah W Turner12
Fannie Turner6
Nannie Turner6
Joseph Proctor20

      In 1900, William and his family are living in Porter Springs with a Joseph Proctor, listed as a cousin, staying with them. This gives creedence to the theory that his mother was a Proctor. William and his wife, Mary Jane Elizabeth Corder, would have 6 children, with twins Nannie and Fannie being the youngest, and oldest daughter, Rebecca Elizabeth, dying as a child. The descendants of William have his middle name in their records as "Azom". I believe it was meant to be "Axom" after his grandfather. They also have his father, James, with the same middle name.


B) John Wesley Turner born March 3, 1852, died January 21, 1919. John would marry his first cousin, Frances Rebecca Turner, the daughter of William P. Turner.



Name:John W Turner
[Johnson Turner] 
Age:48
Birth Date:Mar 1852
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 6, Houston, Texas
Street:F
House Number:1
Sheet Number:15
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:268
Family Number:269
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Francis Turner
Marriage Year:1875
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:Alabama
Occupation:Farmer
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:O
Home Free or Mortgaged:F
Farm or House:F
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
John W Turner48
Francis Turner44
James W Turner19
Annie G Turner16
Lizzie M Turner15
Nassine Turner13
John F Turner11
Thos A Turner9
Babe Turner7
Walter Turner4
Oscar Turner4




In 1900, their large family was also living in Porter Springs. Next to them are his brother James and his first cousin, James T. F. Turner. Living with John Wesley and Francis Rebecca are the 9 youngest of their 11 children. Mary Caroline had married a Murray in 1898 and their firstborn, Albert, died as an infant and is buried in the Porter Springs Cemetery.

C) Mary Louise Cook Turner, born December 18, 1854 and died Jan. 3 1944, married Dock R. Cook.



Name:Mary L Cook
Age:46
Birth Date:Dec 1854
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 6, Houston, Texas
Sheet Number:2
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:24
Family Number:24
Race:White
Gender:Female
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Dock R Cook
Marriage Year:1879
Father's Birthplace:South Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:South Carolina
Mother: Number of Living Children:5
Mother: How Many Children:7
Can Read:Yes
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
Dock R Cook45
Mary L Cook46
James F Cook21
William L Cook15
Westley W Cook13
Edgar Cook9
Ollie A Cook3
Henry Adair35
Freddie F Adair24







In 1900, they are still living in Porter Springs with 5 of their 7 children. The census states that she was the mother of 7 children with 5 living, so the other 2, Wilson and Nora, were already deceased.


D) James F (Franklin?) Turner was born Feb. 18, 1856 and died Jan. 13, 1917.
     He married Florence Vann Murray in 1894.



Name:James F Turner
[James Turner] 
Age:44
Birth Date:Feb 1856
Birthplace:Alabama
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 6, Houston, Texas
Street:F
House Number:1
Sheet Number:15
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:269
Family Number:270
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Florence V Turner
Marriage Year:1894
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's name:Elizabeth Turner
Mother's Birthplace:Alabama
Occupation:Farmer
Can Write:Yes
Can Speak English:Yes
House Owned or Rented:O
Home Free or Mortgaged:F
Farm or House:F
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
James F Turner44
Florence V Turner27
Alton E Turner4
Elizabeth Turner72



In 1900, he was living in Porter Springs with his wife and firstborn son, Alton. His mother Elizabeth was also living with him. The census notes that Elizabeth was the mother of 5 children with 4 living, so James Sr. and Elizabeth had an unknown child who passed away before 1860. Florence had also lost a child, as she is noted as being the mother of 2 children, with 1 living.

4) Mary "Polly" Turner b abt 1826. Not seen past 1860. May have married an unknown person. May have passed away before 1880, as none of the family are found in the 1870 census. No other information.

5) William P. Turner  b about 1827 Died after 1900, before 1910, most likely in Porter Springs, Texas. Stone in cemetery not found. W. P. Turner was the most prolific of the Turner children. His first wife, Mary Caroline Proctor Turner, died in 1875, and oddly, her stone is found in the Porter Springs Cemetery. Why there would not be a stone there for William, who lived past the turn of the century, I don't know. There should be. In 1883, William married Mollie P Creps. Mollie was the niece of his brother-in-law, William Hull Threadgill. Her mother was his sister, Eliza Jane Threadgill Creps.  William Hull Threadgill and Eliza Jane Threadgill had grew up on the farm next door to the Turner family of James and Susan Turner, and their oldest son, Axom, who had migrated to Sumter County, Alabama in the 1830's, speculative father of William P. Turner, based ont he preponderance of circumstantial evidence and land records.




Name:William P Turner
[William Turner] 
Age:73
Birth Date:May 1827
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1900:Justice Precinct 6, Houston, Texas
Street:F
Sheet Number:6
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:96
Family Number:96
Race:White
Gender:Male
Relation to Head of House:Head
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Mollie Turner
Marriage Year:1883
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Farmer
Can Read:No
Can Write:No
Can Speak English:No
House Owned or Rented:O
Home Free or Mortgaged:F
Farm or House:F
Neighbors:
Household Members:
NameAge
William P Turner73
Mollie Turner44
Joseph A Turner15
Willie E Turner13
Lizzie Turner10




The 1900 census would be the last for William P. Turner. At this point, he was 73 and Mollie was a much younger 44. They had been married 17 years and had 3 children, Joseph A. Turner, Willie E. Turner and Lizzie.  Mollie is shown as having had 3 children with 3 living. I am still searching for what happened to these children. Mollie is seen in the 1910 census living with one of her stepchildren.


6) Susan Turner b 1828 Not seen past 1860.
7) Doctor Lewis Turner b 1830 d - Estate settled in 1858. Single.
8) Penelope Turner b 1832 Not seen past 1880.
9) Charlotte Turner b 1832 Died before 1900 in Porter Springs, Texas.

The next genreations of the Turner family spread out, as families do, with a few remaining in Houston County, Texas.