This page follows the generations of the Turner family, as I descend from them. The following links operate within this same page - click on the Turner you want to see. Also see this home page for the descendants of Shadrack Turner.
FIRST GENERATION: John Turner
SECOND GENERATION: Shadrack Turner
THIRD GENERATION: William Turner
William Turner, the third son of Shadrack Turner, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, on January 19th, 1753. He married Jane Hunter three weeks shy of her 14th birthday, on April 17th, 1773 (Jane was born on May 7, 1759, to William and Charity Hunter). This union produced 14 children, 9 boys and 5 girls, among them a Captain (son James) and a pair of Reverends (sons Elkanah and John). From the inventory of his estate taken after his death, William seems to have been engaged in farming, although in 1778 one Joseph King was apprenticed to him in Henry County in the trade of blacksmithing.
In 1781 William Turner was engaged to serve in the cause of the American Revolution as a member of the Virginia Militia. William was a member of John Cunningham's company, which included 10 men total (William's brother Josiah as well), which was one of 21 companies called to assist General Nathaniel Greene, at the battle of Guilford Court House.
William Turner died on the 11th of December, 1845, at the age of 92 years, and was outlived by his wife for another 6 years, when she died at the age of 92 as well. William Turner's will was recorded in Franklin County, Virginia, on January 5th, 1846 (Franklin County Will Book 6, p. 29), and an inventory of his estate was taken in the same January (Franklin County Will Book 6, p. 49). His inventory provides an excellent historical viewpoint on the way of life of Franklin County residents of the day - they were by necessity very self-reliant, and most property served some practical purpose. Among the items in William's estate:
1 set of Smith's tools
1 old still
5 Bee Stands
1 Tub of fat
1 Lot of plow geer (sic)
2 flax wheels
700 lbs. Tobacco
1300 lbs. pork
2 barrels flower (sic)
William was also a slaveowner, as the same inventory lists 13 slaves in his estate. View text of William Turner's will.
FOURTH GENERATION: Meshack Turner
Meshack Turner was born on August 16th, 1799, in Henry County, Virginia, and twenty three years later (12/9/1822), he married Nancy Martin, the daughter of William and Sallie Dodd Martin. An interesting account of William Martin and Sarah (Sallie) Dodd's early history appears in the book "Early Virginia Families":
William Martin and his wife Sarah Dodd Martin lived in Henry County.
The romantic love story handed down in the Martin family, is that the
young and pretty Sarah Dodd, of Rockingham County, North Carolina, was
travelling along the North Carolina road, by stage coach with her
father, to White Sulphur Springs. Mr. Dodd who had lost his health,
while in service in the Revolutionary War, was on his way to the
medicinal springs, known even in those early colonial days. As evening
came on, the Dodd family stopped for the night with the Martins. Young
William Martin of this household, and Miss Sarah, became so interested
in each other, that Miss Sarah was not in as big a hurry to continue the
journey, the next day, as was the sick old soldier father. On their
return trip, after some weeks at White Sulphur Springs, the Dodds again
enjoyed the hospitality of the Martin home. The second visit was
prolonged, as Miss Sarah persuaded her father that he needed, not a few
hours rest, but several days. This well known North Carolina road was
the mail route in those days, and infrequent letters passed between the
young people, after Miss Sarah returned to her North Carolina home.
William Martin, Sr. gave William Martin, Jr., permission a year later to
go to North Carolina and bring home a bride. She brought withe her
china, books and furnishings that were luxuries in those days.
**They married in Rockingham County, NC, May 28, 1794.
Meshack and Nancy produced 11 or 12 children. Meshack, having a father who served in the Revolution and at least one son fighting for the Confederacy, was born at a time such that he would avoid the warfare, and that apparently allowed him to focus on the farming. He acquired a good bit of land in Franklin County, north of the village of Henry in Franklin County, to the east of Town Creek (which I believe used to go by the name Beautiful Creek). Below is a picture of a dairy farm occupying some of his lands, as pointed out to me by Henry resident Dr. Harry King. The location is Route 764 in Franklin County, as it veers away from Route 606 and Town Creek. The brush in the foreground of the picture is another creek (not Town), the far side of which Dr. King pointed out as the site of an old Indian village. Apparently some items of archaeological interest in that regard have been found there.
A portion of Meshack Turner's old property in Franklin County, VA-
now home to a dairy farm
Apparently, Meshack's land bordered his brother Captain George Turner's land: George was just to the south. Further along Route 764 there is an area that Dr. King called 'Racetrack Bottom' - a flat stretch with a creek running through, that was the site, in years past, of horse races, jousts, and other medieval-type games that were attended by Meshack, his family, and other nearby residents.
Meshack Turner died in 1878, but unfortunately his burial site has been plowed under or removed for some type of construction. An inventory of Meshack Turner, deceased, was recorded November 19th, 1878, in Franklin County (Franklin County Will Book 18, p. 154). He had many of the same farming-related items as his father William, but interestingly a Family Bible is also listed. The estate sale, which occurred on November 20, 1878, was attended by Meshack's children and neighbors, and this Family Bible was purchased by son John D. Turner for the sum of $3.50. (The sale is itemized in Franklin County Will Book 18, p. 182, and takes up six pages). It would be interesting to know what became of that.
View text of Meshack Turner's will.
FIFTH GENERATION: Andrew Harden Turner
Andrew Harden Turner was born on February 10, 1827 in Virginia, the first son of a large breed produced by his parents. He reamined at home until at least the age of 24, as he is listed with dad Meshack in the 1850 Franklin County census, but was married in August of 1852. In that year, Joshua Adams joined Andrew and Martha Prillaman in matrimony, whereupon they embarked on a parenting spree that resulted in a brood of nine children (There is a good Prillaman home page that lists the children of this union). At least two of their children died young: John Turner died on June 3rd, 1890, of meningitis, in his 17th year, and Lucinda Turner died of diptheria in 1862, her 8th year. Andrew farmed the Franklin County soil like his father until the outbreak of Northern aggressions, when, despite his relatively advanced age of 33 (at the start of the war), Andrew joined Company B of the 57th Virginia Regiment (Stewart's Brigade). There is a record of his enlistment (probably re-enlistment) on October 8, 1864, in Franklin County, and it is known by the below letter that he was serving in Norfolk in 1862 as well. A.H. Turner, Private, Company B, 57 Virginia Regiment "appears on a List of Prisoners of War, belonging to the Army of Northern Virginia, who have been this day surrendered by General Robert E. Lee, CSA, commanding said Army, to Lieut. Genl. U. S. Grant, commanding Armies of the United States. Paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 9, 1865." (from Compiled Confederate Service Records, Virginia Tech Library, Blacksburg, VA). A Civil War letter written in Norfolk, Virginia from Andrew's cousin Meshach Turner (son of Josiah Turner, and grandson of the William Turner above), to his wife Sally, mentions Andrew:
Letter from Meshach Turner to wife Sally, Norfolk, Virginia, April 15th, 1862. Transcribed: "April the 15th 1862. Sally I will write you a few lines this morning to let you now that I am well an hearty an hope when you get these lines they will find you all enjoying the same Sally all of my connection from franklin is in the other redgement over at the entrench camp a bout a mile an a half off they march over one hundred an sixty over to our camp an volentwerd (volunteered) yesterday cosen Andrew Turner was with them he said they was a heap of sickness in that redgement he said they had seven or eight dide at the hospitle brother John has the measels but they say he is getting a bout agin Captain Jim Turner is down with the fever very low Clayton Stone is very sick..." I found this letter in Harold G. and Helen L. Turner's research: 6322 Andrews Ave. NW; Lawton, OK 73505. (Note: Meshach Turner served in Company E, 64 Regiment, Virginia Militia)
Andrew Harden Turner shows up often in the Franklin County Order Books, and some of the more interesting records occur around the Civil War years - in one case, the June 1860 court session, in tallying its' allowances to tax the populace, grants $2.00 to Andrew H. Turner for his role as 'captain of patroll' (Order Book 12, p. 13). There are allowances to others who actually did the patrolling. This leaves it to speculation whether the patrolling that was going on in 1860 was a regular police-type feature, or maybe there were concerns of a Northern presence at that time. It should be noted further that in the same court session, Andrew was allowed $1.00 for 'killing 1 fox'. Foxes must have been enough of a problem that killing one earned you half the patrol captain's salary. (In a historical note, I found it interesting how the court assessed taxes. They made all necessary allowances, totalled the amount needed, and then split the bill equally among all tithable persons in the county. The tax bill from this particular session was $6465.88, split over 5932 tithables, for a per-person bill of $1.09)
Another interesting record comes from the July 1864 court session (Order Book 12, p. 386). Apparently, the Southern cause was urgent enough at this point that Virginia's Governor drafted slaves into Confederate service. The record from July 1864 concerning Andrew is as follows:
Sufficient cause having been shown to the court why Andrew H. Turner, George Teel, & Sutherland Ross should not furnish the slaves allotted by the court on the 13th of this month to be furnished by them for the public defence, they are released from furnishing said slaves and the same is ordered to be certified to the Governor of the Commonwealth.
Other records of the time allow Andrew money for his services as a surveyor for roads being built in the county. Interestingly, in all records I have seen, Andrew Harden Turner never once failed to include his middle initial, even though I haven't seen any other Andrew that he might be confused with at that time.
Andrew made a laudable run of 91 years, but in 1918 he died, though I do not find his will in Franklin County so he may have spent retirement years elsewhere. He is buried with his wife Martha in his father-in-law George Prillaman's family plot, near the Horseshoe Point Recreation Area on the north side of Philpott Lake (Franklin County). The plot is on a hill above George Prillaman's old log cabin, which is still standing.
Andrew Harden Turner's gravesite, in a small family plot on a hill above Philpott
Lake in Franklin County, VA. Great great grandson Bob Ingram does the pointing.
SIXTH GENERATION: Nancy 'Nannie' Turner
Nancy Turner was the second child of Andrew and Martha Turner, born March 7th, 1856, but the first to live to adulthood. AJ Cassell united 'Nannie' and Nathaniel Claiborne Ingram in matrimony on May 1st, 1878, in Franklin County, Virginia. Patrick was the first child born to this pair, on March 17th, 1880. He was followed by George (b. 1881), Samuel (b.1883), Posey Meshack (b. 1887), Andrew Harden (b. 1890), John B. (b. 1892), and Martha Maude Ingram (b. 1897). Nannie died three weeks short of a new century, on December 10th, 1899. She is buried in a small family plot on Route 623 in Franklin County, just north of Smith River/Philpott Lake on Route 623. The gravesite is along the road, and further behind the site, Nathaniel Claiborne Ingram's old house is still standing, though unused.
Nannie Turner Ingram's gravesite
PLEASE NOTE: I stopped updating the web page around 2001, but I've continued to work on my project. My family history is now in Word document format, with the goal of publishing it once I consider it to be as complete as I'm going to get it. While I'm greatly indebted to those who have assisted me in my research, I'm finding that the demands of everyday life don't allow me to consistently respond to email inquiries. So, I'm offering my most up-to-date volume for sale, at a price of $19. For those interested, it is at 118 pages right now, printed by a laser printer on 8.5x11 32-lb./98 brightness paper, and wire bound. The table of contents, revision history, and index are available at the following links. To order a copy, please email me at [email protected], and I'll send it within 3 days of payment. If you indicate the family line you are interested in, I'll send you a new bound copy if and when I update my research for that line. Thanks,
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