Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Treasure Chest

A page from the Turner Family Bible

The most wonderful thing about blogging, in fact, THE most wonderful thing about blogging, is that it allows people to find you.

Since I've began, I've been contacted by multiple distant cousins, whom I never knew personally, who've discovered we have common kinship. 

From these contacts, I've made wonderful lifelong friends, and tremendous discoveries. 

Robert James Turner, brother of of Great Great Grandfather, William A. Turner

Sometimes, I knew things they didn't know, and they are excited to find out. And they know things I didn't know, and am extactic to find out. 

I've been contacted by descendants of those siblings of my ancestors who had migrated away, taking information from them. 

I've been contacted by a descendant of my Grandmother's grandmother from her legitimate children who knew the identity of the father of her firstborn son, who was born out of wedlock when she was very young. This was a fact I don't believe my grandmother ever knew. 

I've been contacted by individuals who had or had seen documents, journals, family bibles and such, that cleared up a few mysteries, or gave extra information. 

George Samuel Turner and wife, Maggie Crawford Turner

Recently, I recieved the blessing of being contacted by another one of these distant cousins. She had came across posts concerning my research and digging on my Turner family line, the family of my maternal Great Grandmother, Penny Wayne Turner Davis. 

Penny's father had died young, and I never knew a great deal about him or his family. Several people had already "done" the Turner tree, and I had found some excellent information (or so I thought), at the Anson County Historical Association. By my little addendum, it was accurate for actual descendants of "Wrong George", but not for me, or my line of Turners. 

The above page says:
James Turner (illegible word) on the 12th day of August 1843.
Susan Turner wife death occured on 3 (could be an 8) of May 1843.
The next two lines are the same thing, lighter, like before it faded all the way out, someone had written in darker, just above. Thank you unknown Turner family member. 

George W Turner son of G. W. Turner died the 15th of August 1862. (This was a son who died as an infant that I did not know about. In the cemetery, between the stone of G. W. Turner  - Sr- is a small unmarked grave, with three childrens graves out to the side. This may be the grave of tiny George. 

Mary Turner died May the 21 1881 
aged about 84.

This made perfect sense as the last census record Mary appeared in was in the 1880 census. 

The biggest treasure, to me personally, in this page, is the naming of the wife of James Turner as Susan. I have been tracing a neighboring family of James Turner around in my research, as they lived on the same little creek at the same time, and he named his firstborn son the last name of this family. Also, children of this surname end up being raised in the home of Reddick Drew, who married his daughter, Martha. So many ties to this name. I chased them back to their origins in Edgecomb County, and their father to Isle of Wight County, Virginia before that. In this grouping, a sister of these neighbors, named Susannah or Susan for short, married a James Turner. Of course, there were dozens of James Turners in NC, even in that day and time. But due to all of the connections, I thought that this might be our James. Knowing his wife's name was Susan, just corroborates my suspicions. 

The above page from the Turner Family Bible says"

W. A. Turner son of G. W and E. W. Turner was bornd March the 21 1869. (This is my line)

Sus. V. Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd March 31 1871. (This was Susan Vashti Turner)
E. M. Turner son of G W and E W Turner was  (arrow up) born  October 31 1872 (Ellerson Mallory or Maldred Turner)

Sarah Chancey Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd January 12 1875 ( Also seen as Sallie Chonsie).

Lillie Virginia Turner daughter of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd August 21 1880.

This were in the younger group of children of George Washington Turner and wife, Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner, excluding the very last, Thomas Jefferson Turner. 

The back of the Tombstone of Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner

There is a short poem etched into the back of the tombstone of Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner, my 3rd Great Grandmother. I can't make out but a few words. One day, I'm going to have to go down with some shaving cream and a sqeegie and see if I can render it more legible.  What I can make out is " ? ? are past her war? done.
And she is  fully? blest
She's fought the fight the 
victory won
? entered  into rest"

Anyone else have any ideas about what it may say?

The above tombstone is that of William A. Turner, my 2nd Great Grandfather. He lived to be 36, nearly 37.  I have yet to find his cause of death. 

One day, I decided to look again at my Turner line. This happened after I gave a tour of Davis lands and burial places to some distant Davis cousins who had came in to research.  We were looking for the John Lee cemetery where our ancestor, Henry Davis was buried.  Henry Davis was the grandfather of William Hampton Davis, my Great Grandfather, who had married Penny Wayne Turner. 

During this search, what we found instead, was the old George Turner cemetery, which was, by description, not far from the John Lee cemetery. George Turner is not far removed from the Davis family, because there are Davis's buried in his cemetery, his daughter Elizabeth Turner Davis, and her toddler daughter, Rebeth Davis. Elizabeth Turner, daughter of George, had married Marriott (sometimes seen as Merritt) Freeman Davis, a brother of Henry Davis. 

I'd always heard that Penny Wayne Turner Davis was a niece of this Elizabeth and that this George was our ancestor. That is when I decided to take a closer look at my Turner line. 

This is the tombstone of Robert James Turner and his wife, Hyla Pope Turner.
Robert James Turner was the brother of my William A. Turner. He lived in the Turner Homestead I had the pleasure and opportunity to tour. 

Penny Wayne Turner was clearly the daughter of William A. (taken as Alexander) Turner. William A. Turner was clearly the son of one George Washington Turner. 

The problem was, I could not connect George Washington Turner to the George Turner family in anyway. I researched the George Turner family up one side and down the other. What I determined was that all the Turners descended from George in this area were descended from his son Wilson Pinkney Turner. He had another son who migrated west and left only one son, and that grandson has descendants in Tennessee. George Turner did have a daughter named Mary, but that Mary never married and never had children. She owned property and left a will. She died some time before our Mary. George Turner himself was the son of a Jaspar Turner. 

Other descendants of my George Washington Turner, in their quest to hook our G. W.  to George's family wagon, had somehow blended two Mary's into one, and since they knew we came from a James, had even renamed Jaspar Turner, "James Jaspar Turner", when I have NEVER seen a document or anything to suggest Jaspar was a James. His correct name was "Jaspar Melchor Turner", and we are not descended from him. Only the Davis descendants of Marriott Freeman Davis and Elizabeth Turner Davis's only son, Millard Filmore Davis, are descended from this Turner line. 

Tombstone of Joseph Atlas Turner, another son of G. W. and E. W. Turner. 

What I found, as told in other posts, was that George Washington Turner, my accurate ancestor, was the son of a Mary Turner, and she was the daughter of a James Turner who had died and left a will in 1843 in Anson County.

Tombstone of George Washington Turner

The distant cousin who contacted me via this blog, was an actual researcher who had traced her lineage systematically, with documentation. Not like so many who had just copied someone else's tree off of ancestry, someone who had made the jump from George Washington to George without a bridge. She had discovered the same facts that I had, that George Washington was the son of a Mary Turner, who was the daughter of a James Turner. 

But she knew things that I did not. She had toured the old homeplace. She had seen portraits of several family members, including George W. Turner and his wife Wincy. She had seen.....The Family Bible. 

A painting of the Old Red Hill Baptist Church which sat to the left of the current one, by Hyla Pope Tuner. 

Treasure. A Family Bible is one of those rare documents that are hard to find and can help a great deal with family trees. Anyone who holds these treasures should copy them and give copies to hold on file in county history rooms, libraries or museums, so other descendants can share in this treasure. This inheritance belongs to us all. 

George Washington Turner was one of the founding members of Red Hill Baptist Church. His father-in-law, Samuel Parsons Morton, who was once a cleric in Stanly County, and was a roving minister to several local churches in both Stanly and Anson counties, was integral in its conception. 

Hyla Pope Turner, wife of Robert James Turner, was a very talented artist. She painted the above picture of the original Red Hill Church. Her art hangs in the homes of her descendants. 

The above portrait was drawn, and not a camera portrait. It's very old. We believe it was possibly the portrait of Mary Turner, mother of George Washington Turner. 

The cousin who contacted me got me in touch with the Anson County Turner cousins, whom have access to the homestead and to the genealogical treasure. 

I made arangements to meet up with them. What a wonderful day! We toured the homestead, the lands where George Washington Turner farmed, which were right at Red Hill. We toured the Red Hill cemetery and two other cemeteries where Turner relatives were buried, Union and Brown Creek. 

I was in genealogical heaven!

Robert James Turner. I can say, he favored the Morton side of the family greatly. 

The beautiful and talented Hyla Pope Turner, wife of Robert James Turner.

Elizabeth Wincy Morton Turner

Wincy was the wife of George Washington Turner, and my Third Great Grandmother. 
She was the daughter of Rev. Samuel P Morton and his first wife, Vashti Calloway Morton. 
Samuel P. Morton is also buried at Red Hill Baptist Church. He lived with George and Wincy in his last days. 

George Washington Turner

The above is my 3rd Great Grandfather, George Washington Turner. He appears to me to be wearing his uniform, as he was a Confederate soldier and injured multiple times. He was very handsome as a young man, in my opinion. 

William A. Turner

The above is my Second Great Grandfather, Will, son of G. W. and Wincy. This portrait is not with the others, I just added it for comparison. I believe he looks more like his father than some of his brothers, but he definately had his mother's dark, deep-set eyes. 

The Turner Homestead I toured was not the original homestead. It was the home of Robert James and Hyla, not George and Wincy. Theirs was located on the land that George farmed near Red Hill, which is still in the Turner family. The cousin who gave me the tour stated that recently some deer hunters they leased the property to had came across an old chimney. The chimney probably belonged to the original homeplace. 

A painting of the Turner Homestead in its Hey Day by the talented Hyla. 

The Mill as painted by Hyla Pope Turner.

I didn't know Wadesboro was on a hill until I drove down to meet my Turner cousins. But it obvious is. 

The above is remaining outbuildings from the Homestead. 

Hyla Pope Turner in her older days. Fashion changed a great deal in her lifetime.

Upon arriving I met some of the nicest and warmest distant cousins I have ever met. I intend to stay in touch with them. They are wonderful people with a wonderful family. 

A different painting of the same Turner place.

Portrait of one of the Turner Children. We don't know who she was, exactly, but possibly one of the ones who passed as a child. 

Another page from the Turner Bible

The above document says:

G. W. Turner the son of Mary Turner was Bornd in the year of our Lorde March the 29 1835.
E. W. Turner was bornde in the year of our Lord January the 22 1839.

Then it repeats the line about G. W. Turner.

It also repeats the line about E. W. Turner, but adds that she was the daughter of Samuel P Morton and J. Q. V. Morton. I know that she was Vashita "Vashti" Calloway Morton, but I do not know what the J and Q stand for. That's something to look into.

The left side, which is cut off on this shot, is written:

"G. S. Turner son fo G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd in the year of out Lord April 6 1856.

James Stevenson Turner son of G. W. and E. W. Turner was bornd in the year of our Lorde August 10 1858.
Robert J Turner was born Decr 7 1859.

George W Turner son of  G W and Wincy Turner was born the 19th of June 1862.

Jos A Turner son of G. W and E. W. Turner was born the 4 of November 1864.

Mary Elizabeth Turner the daughter of G W and E W Turner was born the 15 of October 1866."

The above is the written copy of the Will of James Turner, grandfather of  George Washington Turner. He mentions his grandson, Washington Turner, son of his daughter Mary, in his will. 

The above is one page of the pension application of George W. Turner for benefits, from his injuries he recieved in the Civil War. It states, "Gunshot Wound of the Head, the ball entered behind the right ear, came out beneath right eye, partial blindage and discharge from nasal cavity. "

Wow, are we lucky to exist. I'm amazed he survived this. 

Making contact with other descendants and being able to share information is vital in our researched. I am blessed that this blog has allowed me to do this, and I'm triply blessed to have met my distant Turner cousins in the process. 

1 comment:

  1. see the poem on this page; next to last paragraph