Family Trees are in constant flux. Leaves fall off when someone dies. New branches are formed when a couple marries and a new family is begun. New leaves sprout when babies are born.
When I began this blog, I had one grandson. He is now 10 years old. As a new grandmother, I wanted to leave a legacy to my grandchildren, so they could know from whom they came, and so I searched.
I figured there would be more, as I have 4 children, and I was sure more of them would marry and start families of there own. All of my children now have reached adulthood and my family continues to grow. On July 14, my sixth grandchild arrived. I now have 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. He has a big sister, Felicity and a big brother, Maddox.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD ASHER GREY COLLIER!
And welcome to the new leaf on my family tree.
Having discovered George Washington Turner's mother and her father, it was now time to try to find as much information on James Turner and his family as possible. Somewhere in there, might be some information on who G. W's father was. Having the same surname as his mother, there were two possible occurances that led to his existence. First, Mary Turner could have married another Turner, as I had seen recently in the case of John Lee's daughter, Winnie Lee, who had married twice, the last time to James B. Lee, who was the father of her children. That was a cousin marriage, which was not at all uncommon in those days. The second possibility was that Mary Turner was unmarried, thus her child took her maiden name. As her father was desirous of securing her future and security, and that of her son "Washington" in his will, this was most likely the case.
An old shed near Jack's Branch, Anson County. Cellphone picture
There were more than one James Turners in Anson County in the 19th Century. One of them passed away in 1812, left a will, and the location of his grave is known. This James also had a son named James, who is always seen as "James S Turner". They lived in a different location in the county.
So the first trace of my James that I know of is a land grant dated 1809 for a tract of land on Jack's Branch joining the properties of "Drue" (Drew) and "Kindol" (Kendle/Kindle/Kendall), and his own lines, meaning he already owned some property on the spot.
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other:
James appears in the 1820 census with a household of 8. He would most likely be the male over 45 and the female over 45 could safely be assumed to be his wife. There are 2 young males in the household, between 10 and 15, one female between 10 and 15 and two between 16 and 25.
Current view of Jack's Branch. Cellphone picture.
He acquired another 195 acres through Grant No. 2503, issued November 19, 1818, Entry # 198
Entered Jan. 6, 1817 Book 132 Page 319 On Cedar Branch.
There were two James Turner's in the 1830 census. One was a young man in his 20's with a teenaged bride and lots of slaves. This was probably the son of the James Turner who married a Marshall and died in 1812. He could have inherited the slaves from his parents or inlaws. I suppose it could have been James the son of our James, but I doubt it. First, where did the slaves come from and second, our James still has 2 young men in his household.
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):
Anson, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:
Free White Persons - Males - 50 thru 59:
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59:
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:
Total Free White Persons:
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):
And Axum, most likely the oldest son due to the time frame when he begins appearing in records on his own accord, was the head of his own household in 1830.
James is now between 50 and 59, giving him an estimated birth year of between 1771 and 1780. His wife is in the same age range, and still alive. He has two young men and two young women in the household in their twenties. The females are probably Mary and Martha, and the males, Lazarus and James, meaning Nancy, Sarah and Susan have already married.
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):
Axum is between 30 and 39, giving him a birth year of between 1790 and 1800. His apparent wife is in the same age range. There are 8 children in the household: 1 boy 5 to 9, two boys under 5, two girls 10 to 14, one 5 to 9 and two under 5.
Axum Turner had fought in the War of 1812. As such, he was eligible for Bounty Land in payment.
First Reg. Mr
NC 1812-1814 Muster Rolls
In 1825, he had recieved his own land grant in Anson County.
100 acres Grant # 2777 Issued 14 Dec 1825 Entry $ 426
Enrty Jan 13 1824 Book 136 Page 300
Joining James Barber on waters of Lanes Creek.
Sometime in the early 1830's, Axum moved to Sumter County, Alabama
A picture of modern Jack's Branch, Cellphone photo.
The 1840 census of Anson County lists the following Turners:
James - Our James
Lucy - Mother of George Turner of Arnetts Branch, whom I had been led to believe was my ancestor.
Milly Turner - daughter of Treasy Turner who marries Burwell Braswell
Lazarus Turner- son of my James and brother of Mary "Polly" Turner
William Turner - son of Treasy and brother of Milly, another brother Jesse moved to South Carolina per land records.
And the following Turner whom I have no clue who they were:
Nelson, a man in his 60's with a wife also in her 60's and several young families: Richmond, Ferry and Garry N.
There is no sign of James' son James Jr. who was mentioned in the 1843 will. He may have also been in another state.
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):
Anson , North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9:
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:
2 Mary and Martha
Free White Persons - Females - 70 thru 79:
1 Must be James, gender error.
Slaves - Males - Under 10:
Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:
Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:
Persons Employed in Agriculture:
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write:
Free White Persons - Under 20:
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:
Total Free White Persons:
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:
The 70 year old female has to be in error, and it must be James. The age is right, he didn't die until 1843, and the only male in the home is a small child, too young to be head of household, but just the right age to be my George Washinton Turner. James has acquired 5 slaves.
James Turner died about 1843 and left a will. In his will, he made provisions for his two youngest, single daughters, Mary "Polly" Turner and Martha Turner. He split his remaining property between them and willed for Polly's share to go to her son Washington after her demise. He also mentioned his children Axom, Lazarus, James, Susan, Sarah and Nancy. Axom probably pre-deceased his father, but since he had migrated to Alabama, his father was unaware.
The will was witnessed by Allan Carpenter and John Martin.
Several names were continually showing up in the Turner transactions, those of neighbors Allan and William Carpenter, Hull Threadgill, Reddick Drew, John and James Martin, Brooks and Watson.
One of the earliest mentions of whom I believe was my James Turner was in the 1809 Divison of Property of John Colson, deceased. Assigned to perform the division was a corp of local men: Hull Threadgill, Deputy Sheriff, Joshua Allen, James Turner, William Marshall and Isaac Carpenter, to divide the paoperty of John Colson between Thomas Colson, Kirby Colson, & Harriett Colson, heir of Jacob Colson, deceased.
Book S Page 412 : Aug 6, 1811 John Kendall of Anson (this is probably the Kendall mentioned in the land grant "adjoining Drue and Kindol") to James Turner of the same place, for $55 100 acres on Jack's Branch, a prong of Brown Creek, joins Drews line, John Whitmill Eason's first corner of his 50 acres tract, crosses Jack's Branch and joins Eason's spring. Signed John Kendall and witnessed by Azum Turner and Hamilton West.
Same page: Jan 15, 1810 Richard Allen of Anson County to James Turner of the same for $200, two tracts, One, a 50 acre tract on the East side of Lane's Creek Road joins 'his third line of Lick Branch tract and Jack's Branch. B) 250 acres, borders Chambers corner and a branch above the 50 acre tract. part of 500 acres granted Dec 17, 1801 to Dennis McLendon. Signed Richard Allen. Witnesses were Paul Allen and Axom Turner.
Axom Turner makes a purchase of his own land on July 7, 1821 from Reddick Drew of Anson to Axom Turner of the same for $750 he sold 75 acres beginning at a 150 acres survey. Signed by Reddick Drew and witnessed by M. W. Mask.
In 1825 Axum Turner recieved his own Grant: Book X Page 460. Gov. H. G. Burton to AxumTurner, Grant #2777 for $10 per 100 acres, Granted 100 acres beginning at Joshua Brooks corner pine, joins James Barber & Lick Branch. Signed by H. G. Burton and William Hill, Secretary.
Book Y Page 102 , on November 22, 1831, James Turner Sr. transfers to James Turner Jr, "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which he bears for his son James Turner.....50 cents in hand.....a certain tract of land in Anson County, bordering Hull Threadgills property and adjoining William Carpenter's corner, of 103 acres. Witnesses were Allen Carpenter and Lazarus Turner.
Then...just a few pages later....
Book Y Page 107 William Carpenter sold to James Turner (both of Anson County) 11 acres, a very small amount for the day and time that began at a stake in Allen Carpenter's and Axum Turner's line on the west side of the road, no road named, and joined a drain. Signed by William Carpenter and witnessed by J. S. Kendall and George Dunlap. January 5, 1832.
My own photo of beautiful Anson County
July 13, 1823 Sheriff Joseph Medley sold to Grove W. May for $2.56, 140 acres on Jack's Branch, from Anson County land deeds, Book V Page 29. It began at John Drew's corner stake, joined Kindall (probably John Kendall), near Morris & joins Ball, except 75 acres sold July 7, 1821 by Reddick Drew to Axum Turner which begins at a small post oak and joins James Turner; sold July 13, 1823 due to an execution for $23.71 from Anson County Pleas and Quarter Sessions Court by William Marshall against Reddick Drew and Thomas B. Drew for $20.91 principal which was secured by William Marshall against Redick Drew & Thomas B. Drew, land sold because no goods or chattels found. Signed J. Medley, shff. Witness D. A. McRae.
Another notable entry on December 14, 1826, is a Grant from Govenor Burton to an Ezekial Winn (or Winn), #2803 for 50 acres on Jack's Branch, beginning at Hull Threadgill's corner pine in William Threadgill's line, joins Turner & widow Drew, signed by Govenor H. G. Burton and Secretary Hill.
Ezekial Winn or Wynn will be an interesting one to follow. Each deeds describes the building of a neighborhood. Turner was of course, James Turner. Widow Drew referred to Mary, widow of John Drew, father of Thomas B. and Reddick, who left a will, and his wife Mary, shows up as head of household in the 1830 census. Ezekial Wynn would migrate to Obion, Tennesee. As people more often than not, migrated in groups, it will be interesting to attempt to determine if anyone else in the neighborhood went with him. Often the families that left treasured family history information than the ones left behind. Sometimes pioneering families are featured in biographies in their communities with information on their orgins that we do not have access to. It's worth a look.
MAP: Migration Routes to KY and TN 1779-1796. SOURCE: http: Pinterest
Skipping ahead a decade, Lazarus, obviously a younger son than Axum, begins to come into play.
On April 5, 1838 Lazarus Turner made a sell to Hardy Perry because he was in debt to Green W.Dunn with Hardy Perry as security. Lazarus also gave a note to Malcolm A. Ferguson for "between $20 and $30". Hardy Perry had also served as security on that debt. The document stated that Lazarus owed Perry 2 notes for $12 'or thereabouts". So he sold interest in a number of personal property including 2 cows and calves, 30 hogs, a yoke of oxen, a sorrel horse, 7 sheep, a bed & furniture, a fan & thresher, & all household goods & Kitchen furniture owned by Turner. The document indicated that if the debts were not paid, Perry could sell it after advertising for 10 days and using the proceeds to pay the debt. (Book Z Page 612). That seems like an awful lot of stuff to put up for $12, even in 1838.
Just a few months later, In Book 11 Page 472, Lazarus Turner sells to John Martin, both of Anson County, for $200, 103 acres; the border begins at Hull Threadgills corner pine and joins WilliamCarpenter. Signed by Lazarus Turner with Allen Carpenter & Robert Wall as witnsess. December 1, 1838.
This sounds like the very same property that James Turner Sr. gave to James Turner Jr. How did Lazarus end up with it to sell?
There was a great deal of interaction between Lazarus Turner and the Carpenters, particularly William Carpenter and Allen Carpenter. Lazarus even named a son Allen Turner. In William Carpenters will, he alots off Lot 10 to his daughter Sarah Turner. Sarah appears to be the wife of Lazurus Turner, although Lazarus is not named in the will. Due to the location and transfers of property following, it seems to fall into place. This would make Allen Carpenter and Lazarus Turner brothers-in-law and William Carpenter his father-in-law. This is speculation on my part, but it all points in that direction.
On October 5, 1839, Allen Carpenter sells to Uriah Staton (whom George Washington Turner purchased land from) for $230, 103 acres beginning at James Turners corner post oak stump and joins the middle of the Winfield Road, Reddick Drew, the second corner of the Kiker tract, Chambers and Bryan McLendon. Signed by Allen Carpenter and witnessed by Burwell Braswell & D. Oswell. Book 10 Page 106.
Again, 103 acres, however, it doesn't mention that it borders Hull Threadgills line or William Carpenters corner.
Map showing Winfield Ford From around 1795
It is worthy of note that Burwell Braswell would later marry Milly Turner, daugther of Treasy Turner. Early census records of James Turner and his known sons show them livng near the Winfields, who are also my ancestors. And there's that Reddick Drew again. The Winfield Road wound north to south from Stanly County into Anson County, crossing the Rocky River at Winfields Ford, which would become Davis Ford. It's odd that both transactions involved 103 acres.
James Turner Sr. wrote his will in April of 1843. He must have been ill and anticipating death, because it was proved just a few months later in July of the same year. Within, he seemed most concerned for his unmarried daughters, Mary and Martha and ensured they had the land and property to maintain them. He also mentioned in the will that upon the death of his daughter Mary, also called Polly, that her share of the property to go to her son, his grandson, Washington Turner. Washinton Turner is my third Great Grandfather.
James also mentioned his sons Axom, Lazarus and James and other daughters, Susan, Sarah and Nancy. It can be assumed that James Jr. was alive at this point, but I can't determine were he went after this, or if he even lived to 1850. Or, possibly, which James Turner he was, as there were many. He could have moved to an adjacint county, like Stanly or Richmond. Or he may have migrated to Tennesee or Alabama, like his brothers.
The other daugthers, Nancy, Sarah and Susan, may have been married upon the death of their father. If so, he did not mention their married surnames. I've not been able to determine any more about them. A few possibilites, but nothing definite.
Five years later, on April 12th, 1848, Martha Turner would sell to John Martin, 58 acres on Jack's Branch at the corner of McLendon's Old Grant and bordering Martin's corner that followed the coursed of a branch, for $125.05. That 5 cents must have been important to her for some odd reason. This deed was witnessed by Allen Carpenter and Uriah Staton. Book 13 Page 525.
Just a few pages later, in a deed dated December 23, 1851, is a division of the property of James Turner, deceased, between his two daughters: Polly Turner and Martha Drew.
In the 1850 census, Martha is single, a Turner, and living with her sister Mary aka Polly. So between April of 1850 and April of 1851, Martha Turner married Reddick Drew. He is mentioned later in the deeds.
Book 13 Page 531: December 23, 1851 Divison of the land of James Turner deceased between his two daughters "Polly" Turner & Martha Drew; (a) Lot #1 or 42.5 acres to Martha Drew; border begins at Martin's corner stake, joins his old line, & Jack's Branch, together with 58 acres heretofore sold by Martha Drew makes total of 100.5 acres and (B) Lot 2 to Polly Turner, border begins at third corner above lot in Jack's Branch, crosses the big road, joins Reddic Drew, Martin & Martha Drew's second corner. Signed Allen Carpenter, surveyor.
"We agree to ratify above division & relinquish claimto any other claims to James Turner's land."
signed: Mary Turner's "X" and Reddic Drew
Witnesses: Lazarus Turner & Kinchen Wesson.
The land must have burned a hole in Reddick Drew's pocket, because just a year later, on January 12,. 1852, we find another transaction:
Book 13 Page 532 (next document after the above)
Reddick Drew & wife Martha Drew of Anson County to John Martin of the same; for $127.50 sold 42.5 acres on the head waters of Jack's Branch, border begins at Martins' corner stake & joins the branch; being Lot 1 laid off by Allan Carpenter from lands of James Turner deceased in division between Martha Drew and Mary Turner.
Signed Reddick Drew & Martha's "X" mark.
Witness: N. D. Boggan (Reddick's nephew)
"1852" acknowledged; dower renounced January 12, 1852 by Martha Drew before Augustin Shepherd.
So Martha Turner clearly married her neighbor Reddick Drew, although I have yet to find a marriage certificate.
The 1860 census is a little confusing however, but a huge jump in research. The wife living with Reddick Drew in 1860 is identified as "Mary". Did Martha die and he remarry another woman, named Mary? In 1864, he does marry a woman from Union County named Mary, Mary Stegall. But this is not Mary Stegall. First of all, she was much younger than Reddick Drew. Second, I found her living with her father, James Stegall, in Union County, as she had since she was a girl. Or, another possibility, was this Martha and the census taker had just made a mistake and written "Mary" instead of Martha. Martha herself would have never known, she couldn't read or write, considering the "X" on the signature on deeds.
The children living with Reddick Drew were also a novelty. I have looked into them enough to learn a little bit about them, but it's still ongoing. Jonas and Thomas Axom were brothers. Jonas also appears in the 1850 census living with Reddick Drew. Ruth Shepherd was the daughter of a neighbor. In each census, Reddick Drew has a number of young people and children living with him. Many are mistakenly recorded as Drew's, although I've discovered that they were not, most of them anyway, I've not yet determined all of their origins. All of this I will cover more in a closer look at Reddick Drew and the Drew family.
Jonas and Thomas are a very dear clue. Thomas was actually William Thomas Axom and he would settle in Union County and form a very close bond with Reddick's last wife and surviving widow, Mary Stegall Drew. I suppose she was like a mother to him. He married in Union County and raised a family of his own and gives us a very interesting clue. In his marriage certificate, his parents names are given as "Thomas Threadgill and J. A. Axum".
Birth Year:abt 1800
Home in 1850:Diamond Hill, Anson, North Carolina, USA
In the 1850 census, a young woman named "Julia Ann" is living with Reddick Drew, as is Jonas, Thomas's older brother. William Thomas Axum has not been born yet. I believe Julia Ann to be an Axum and the mother of Jonas and Thomas by Thomas Threadgilll. Reddick Drew is single in this census, soon to marry Martha Turner. The first 3 persons listed after him were actually Axum's, Julia A., Cornelius and Jonas. I believe Jonas to be the son of Julia. And the next 3, William, Ennis and Jeremiah were, as named, Watkins.
I am going to have to dig through old court records to find out how and why these kids were living with Reddick Drew. Was he appointed Guardian of them? I still have many questions with no answers...yet.
The fact that James Turner named his oldest son "Axum" could be a significant clue to the families orgins and possible ties to this elusive Axum family who had lived in Anson County in the early days.
The 1860 census record for Reddick Drew would prove another important clue in the search for my Turner ancestors. If you will remember from the land records that the property of Martha Turner Drew, and that of her sister Polly Turner, adjoined, or bordered each other.
The Page in the 1860 census on which Reddick Drew was listed was enumerated on June 12, 1860 by William Hammond. They were listed in the Diamond Hill District of Anson County, with the Post Office assigned being Ansonville.
The page begins with House No 176, with the Charles Sullivan family, a Miller.
No. 177 is occupied by Mary Lilly,53, owner of farm, with a 16 year old Maniza Staton who owns her own property and whose personal property exceeds that of Ms. Lilly. Also in the home is a one year old boy named James.
No. 178 is occupied by the James Sanders family, a day laborer with what looks like a wife and 4 children.
No. 179 is occupied by Reddick Drew and his wards.
But then there is Household Number 180. This family has been recorded with no last name. Mr. Hammond indicated it with dashes, possibly because there were familial ties with the Drew family.
The transcribers with ancestry.com, which I find very useful to be able to look at the actual documents with, named this family "Shepherd", because, I assume, that the last person named in the Drew household was Ruth Shepherd.
The individuals were:
The next 3 Households were the famil of John Martin. The same John Martin buried in the Red Hill Baptist Church Cemetery near George Washington Turner. The same John Martin to whom Martha Turner Drew, and then Martha and her husband Reddick Drew sold her inherited property to.
181 John Martin, 52, Farmer, with his younger children: Ann, Martin, Andrew and Isham.
182 John Martin Jr. , 35, Farmer with wife and children.
183 Lemuel Martin, 27, Farmer with wife and children.
Between Reddick Drew and John Martin is exactly where George Washington Turner would be. So this was him!
The names and birth order match and the ages correlate closely enough.
Washington, 24 -George Washington Turner, born 1835.
Wincy, 22, Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner, born 1839.
Mary, 60, Mary "Polly" Turner, born sometime between 1815 and 1820- Washington's mother.
Sam, 6, George Samuel Turner, born 1856.
Jim, 4, James Stevenson Turner, born 1857.
Robert, 2, Robert Johnson Turner, born 1859.
So, I now had George Washington Turner and his mother Mary covered from the 1850 census to the 1880 census.
Mary did not live with him in the 1870 census, but had returned by 1880. It may have been an odd and insignificant coincidence that an actual Washington Shepherd witnessed one of the Turner deeds a few years before the birth of George Washington Turner. But could it have also been an omen? It will take diving into those court records to see in Polly Turner was ever taken to court concerning her obvious fatherless child, Washington. As her father seemed to take interest in the boy and was concerned about his welfare, the family may have avoided the concern of the county in wanting his care provided for.
In 1880, she is again living with her only son. She is labeled a widow, and this is entirely possible, if she married another Turner. However, I've seen many cases in which a woman who never married would tell the census taker she was a widow, out of shame and embarrassment, as it was very taboo and frowned upon to have a child out of wedlock in those days.
Mary "Polly" Turner lived past 1890, so she lived a very long life for the era. Her exact age is unknown as there is a pretty significant variance for her age given in the various census records. It sways from a birth year of 1802 to one of 1820. I believe the closest estimate of the year of her birth was around 1814, as given in the 1850 census, when she was younger and therefore closer to an identifiable age. That would put her 21 at the birth of George Washington Turner, which works.
She was on support as a pauper, an older person no longer able to care for themselves, in 1890. It was most definately George W.'s mother as the other Mary Turner, sister of George Turner and daugther of Jaspar M. Turner, died and left a will in 1878. She was probably buried at Red Hill Baptist Church and may be in one of the unmarked graves near those of G. W. and Wincy.
Red Hill Baptist Church. My own cellphone photo.
So, what I have determined so far concerning my Turner family tree is that George Washington Turner was the son of Mary Polly Turner. He was the grandson of James Turner who died in 1843. James Turner also had sons Axom, Lazarus, James Jr. and daughters Martha, Sarah, Susan and Nancy.
The only two whom I can trace with any amount of certainty are Axom and Lazarus, and that will be my next post.