To discover my true Turner roots, I will start at beginning of them in my family tree and go backwards. My Turner roots began with my Great Grandmother, Penny Wayne Turner Davis. Penny was the mother of my maternal Grandfather.
There really is no doubt as to who her father was, although he died when she was about 9 years old. She lived into my own lifetime, her children and grandchildren, for the most part, all knew, and were told, who her father was. Her marriage certificate to William H. Davis and her death certificate name her parents as Will Turner and Fanny Falkner, expanded, William Alexander Turner and Sarah Frances Falkner or Faulkner.
|Name:||Wm A Turner|
|Birth Date:||Mar 1869|
|Home in 1900:||Albemarle, Stanly, North Carolina|
|Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation:||181|
|Relation to Head of House:||Head|
|Spouse's name:||Fannie Turner|
|Father's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Mother's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Occupation:||Cotton Mill, Drawer|
|Months Not Employed:||0|
|Can Speak English:||Yes|
|House Owned or Rented:||R|
|Farm or House:||H|
The 1900 cenus is the only census that Penny shows up in with her father. Her sister Bessie, was born later this year, so Fannie was likely pregnant during this census. Ella Smith was the sister of Fannie, and Virgie, her child. The family had lost several children already at ages from 5 to less than a year old. Between Will's tombstone in the Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, near Ansonville, and that of Sarah Frances "Fanny" Falkner Turner are the graves of 5 small children. Three are marked, Viola, Willie, and Luanna. The other two are not. One must be the grave of Mary, who was remembered by her sisters who made it to adulthood, and the other, an unknown daughter who was born after the death of Will Turner
Will died January 3, 1902. I am unsure from what disease or disaster, as I have not found an obituary for him. He was only 35 years old. His widow, Fanny, would remarry to Brantley M. Thompson and have a son, Bennett. She would not live a very long life, either, dying at age 51. Her youngest daughter to make it to adulthood, Bessie, would also die very young, at 18, which you can hardly call adulthood, but she was married, and left behind a son. Her second child, born a year later after her son, died the same day he was born, and Bessie died 3 days later.
Fanny, although having remarried and becoming a Thompson, was buried in the Turner section of the Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, and whomever erected the marker omitted the "Thompson" part of her name.
So from where did William Alexander Turner come?
|Age in 1870:||1|
|Birth Year:||abt 1869|
|Home in 1870:||Ansonville, Anson, North Carolina|
|Inferred Father:||Geo N Turner|
|Inferred Mother:||Elizabeth Turner|
William Alexander Turner was born on February 18, 1866, the year following the close of the Civil War. He first shows up in the home of his parents, George Washington and Wincy Elizabeth Morton Turner in the 1870 census. The "N" in George's name is a transcription error. They were living in Ansonville Township. Will was the sixth child in large family.
|Name:||Wm. A. Turner|
|Birth Date:||Abt 1869|
|Home in 1880:||Ansonville, Anson, North Carolina, USA|
|Relation to Head of House:||Son|
|Father's name:||G.W. Turner|
|Father's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Mother's name:||E. Winey Turner|
|Mother's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
By 1880, the family had expanded to 11, with the oldest son, George Samuel Turner, already out on his own. This time around, the family also included 82 year old Mary Turner, whose relationship to the head of household, George W. Turner, was given as "Mother".
|Name:||William A Turner|
|Birth Year:||abt 1867|
|Marriage Date:||26 Jan 1887|
|Marriage Place:||Anson, North Carolina, USA|
|Father:||George F Turner|
|Spouse Mother:||Susan Falkner|
Will and Fannie were married on January 26, 1887. He was 20 and she was 19. These ages were typical for the times. His parents were George and Winey. Hers was given only as Susan Falkner, as her father had passed away. The Faulkners have proven to be even more elusive than the Turners, if that is possible.
|William Alexander Turner - family photo|
But we had some very definate clues. One true and certain thing that had been passed down was that Wincey Elizabeth or Elizabeth Wincey Morton, wife of George Washington Turner, was the daughter of Samuel Parsons "Crying Sammy" Morton.
Sammy was a gifted minister, whose sermons were colorful and joyous events. Sammy was given to joyous and spirted outbursts of emotion. Tears were a result of his fervor, thus the moniker, "Crying Sammy".
"Deacon Uriah Staton, a large land owner of the Rocky River section and a leader in both the first church there, and a later one at Red Hill, usually went to sleep when Uncle Sammy preached. When asked about this, he is said to have replied, "I know I can trust Uncle Sammy, but the stranger I have to watch". Morton was born in Stanly County in 1805 and lived near Badin. He was an earnest, good man, filled with the spirit, and lived a meager life bordering on poverty. He requested that the words on his tombstone be, "S. P. Morton, A sinner saved by Grace."
History of Anson County, North Carolina, 1750-1976 –
Samuel P. Morton deserves his own post. He was not merely a minister. He served as clerk, registrar, and Justice of the Peace in Stanly County. He was born in the eastern part of Stanly County, near the current town of Badin, but lived far before the town was even considered. He probably grew up attending the old church called Ebenezer, that became Badin Baptist, but was in existence long before the town grew around it. He may have listened to sermons of the "Old Scotch Preacher", another of my ancestors, Rev. William McGregor, or his son-in-law, Bennett Solomon, at the "Mouth of Uwharrie Baptist Church", whose congregation became Stony Hill. He was tied in with the Callaways, and his first wife, Vashti, was a daughter of Isaac Calloway and sister of Job Calloway.
Sammy was a minister and an evangelist and served at several churches in multiple counties. He taught at Kendall's, in Stanly County, and became a schoolmaster at Rocky River Baptist in Anson. The below ancedote comes from "The History of Rocky River Baptist Church", by E. M. Brooks, circa 1928
Once when Elder Samuel P. Morton was in charge, a big boy needed the rod of correction, and as was the custom with teachers, sent the boy out with his knife to get the switch. While out the boy pealed the loose bark off a pine log and lined the inside of 'his shirt, thus forming an armor against the impending switching by the teacher. The boy deliberately walked and handed the switches to the teacher, turning around and bending over apparently in perfect submission and humility to receive his just desert. Uncle Sammy was in the right mood to proceed and began letting the rod fall fast and heavy. But what a noise? Was he killing the (boy or not? Nobody understood; not even the teacher. Too much thunder for the lightning he thought. A careful examination revealed the facts. Uncle Sammy was outwitted. The boy went free. But again the same boy offended. He was given to fun. It was his main purpose in going to school. He was good hearted; the teacher River Baptist Church 11 loved him. But he must be punished; he might ruin others. This time Uncle Sammy gave orders for quiet and this time went out after the switch himself. On returning "Snole" couldn't be found. None would explain. The teacher finally thought of the big old chimney as a possible hiding place He was sure enough up there. He was given or- ders to slide down. This he did to the amusement of teacher as well as pupils. Again he had out- witted Uncle Sammy. He went home none the worse save the mark of Ham upon his features. He was as black as any slave on his father's farm. Yet 'tis said the boys and girls were better, then."
Samuel P. Morton.
Samuel P. Morton was born November 23rd, 1805. He was most likely born in Stanly County, but this is not positively known. He lived near the present town of Badin, where a part of the chimney at the west end of the house still re- mains. From here he moved to Anson, but this alone does not establish the place of his birth. He took his letter from Ebenezer near by on December 23rd, 1848. The letter was signed without a moderator, but with: "Daniel McLester, Clk. by William Solomon, Clk. protem." Elder Morton had very likely already moved to Anson as he had been pastor continuously for several years. His first marriage was to Miss Vashti Calloway, daughter of Isaac Calloway, probably of Montgomery County, as 'he belonged to the church at the mouth of Uwharrie and was a delegate to the Sandy Creek in 1805 and again in 1811. His wife was a sister to Job Calloway, who for years held his membership at Rocky River. This Job Calloway lived at what is now the Davidson Talbert place, three miles north east of Albemarle. This put him just twenty miles from the church. But he attended and kept in good standing. He it was, who rode these twenty miles in 1830 to ask the mother church to send a presbytery to constitute Kendalls into a regular church. The presbytery consisting of "Elder Ralf Freeman, Thomas Allen, Amon Yarborough and Wyatt Nance." This was Saturday before the fifth Lord's Day in May, 1830. From this first marriage of Bro. Morton, there were several daughters and one son. One of the daughters married G. W. Turner of Anson, who raised a large and creditable family of sons and daughters. With this daughter Bro. Morton 56 History of The Rocky spent his last days. Another daughter married brother Thomas Hall, of Stanly, who also raised a large family. The one son, George Morton, having lost his own mother, tired of home, went to Texas and never returned. Uncle Sammie was often called the "Crying Preacher." He was unusually tender hearted and seldom ever preached without shedding tears. It is thought he had the best education of any pastor up to this time. He first planned to study and practice medicine but abandoned this for the ministry. He was the first preacher remembered by the writer of this little history. From now on most that is written will be from personal knowledge. Uncle Sammie, while not specially gifted as a revivalist, had the pleasure of baptizing hundreds, both white and slaves. He was also popular as a marrying parson. He would often after supper play a few innocent games with the young people and then slip off to bed early. He knew the young people wanted a Scotch-Ramble Cotillion or at least a "Steal-Partner." He usually fell asleep at once and never knew anything more that night, so the young people thought. A better man then or now would be hard to find. Once in his latter days he was spending a cold Saturday night with a family near Norwood. To protect his head from the cold he had kept on his hat till they went to prayer. In kneeling he placed his hat too near the fire, on arising he and his friends discovered that his hat had burned to ashes. Pie said, "What shall I do, I have an appointment for tomorrow?" The hoys said, "Never mind, Uncle Sammie, the Lord will provide." Early next morning without his knowledge they rode out to Norwood and a kind merchant walked down to his store and selected a nice hat for him. But for his teaching a few months each year he never could have lived wihile serving the churches. When his age prevented his teaching anymore, some of (his churches never paid more than fifteen dollars a year and didn't pay a cent of that till the last meeting before the association. This is neither hearsay nor guess work, there were no poundings in those days either. He was largely to blame for this as he was too humble and tender hearted to tell his people their duty. There are two ex- tremes. He was at one end; some of us today are at the other. Where is the "happy mean?" Uncle Sammie used chaste and correct English. He was logical in the arrangement of his sermons. He was neither a fluent speaker nor an orator. His first year at Rocky River was in 1841. Elder Culpeper had served through 1840. Owing to the river being in the way Uncle Sammie was unable to meet several of his appointments that year, for this probably he dropped out and was followed by Elder William A. Morris, who lived only six miles away on the Anson side and had no streams to hinder him. He served three years and was followed by Elder Dwight Hayes for 1845. Then Uncle Sammie takes charge again through 1846-1875, twenty-nine years in all. His second wife preceded him to the grave by five years. As said before, he spent his last days with his daughter or near her, apart of the time possibly in his little humble home almost in sight. He died very poor in this world's goods, but rich in grace. He had requested that this line be engraved on his headstone: "S. P. Morton, a sinner saved by grace." After some years the Anson Association placed 58 History of The Rocky a monument to his grave and put the words he requested on as a part of the inscription. He was buried at Red Hill Church, which was near his ihome, two or three miles West of Ansonville.
"The History of Rocky River Baptist Church", by E. M. Brooks, circa 1928
There is no doubt that Samuel P. Morton was my ancestor by way of his daughter, Wincie Elizabeth Morton Turner. Her husband, G. W. Turner, is mentioned in the Rocky River book, but not his ancestry.
George Washington Turner, being born in 1835, was the age to serve in the Civil War. He did, and he was injured. Unlike his contemporaty, John W. Turner, son of old George Turner, he survived.
|Cellphone picture of Red Hill Baptist Church, May 2019|
|Tombstone of George Washitngon Turner|