Building on Research: 2015 Writings

From my 2015 findings:

Henry “the carpenter” Turner, my 4th great-grandfather, was listed in the 1853 last will of Edward P. Turner (who actually passed in 1863). Henry was listed as a beneficiary along with his probable sibling, Elizabeth “Betsey” Turner.

Several cousins and I have connected to descendants of Betsey via DNA testing results. These connections further strengthen the case that Henry and Betsey were related, if not siblings. {As of 2020, court records confirm that Henry and Betsey were indeed siblings.}

Enter Southampton County Will Book #20, page 308-309. There appears the Estate of Elizabeth K. Turner (1797-1884), sister of Edward P. Turner (1805-1863). I located this record in 2015 and it immediately yielded clues about our Turner family connections.

An itemization of accounts paid on November 19, 1877 includes the name of Betsey Edwards (the former Betsey Turner-now wife of Pompey Edwards). Pompey is also listed as a recipient of funds from Elizabeth’s estate. Also, Henry Turner’s name is listed, as well. {Interestingly enough, there is a 65 year old Cherrie Turner living in the same household as Pompey Edwards.}

The administrator of the estate was J.B.Prince. Earlier in the year, on the 2nd of February, 1877, J.B. Prince was the notary public for the land deed in which Henry purchased land from J.W. Claud.

In three years, the trajectory of the Turner family would be forever changed. Henry and his wife, Eliza, were enumerated in the 1880 US Census together with Eliza’s 78 year old mother, Eliza Gay. Henry and Eliza’s son (my 3rd great-grandfather who was a theological student/minister), John H. Turner, was there with his young bride, Josephine, and their first-born child-Sallie John Turner. {Sallie would be lost to the family, as she was taken to Missouri by Presbyterian minister, Rev. W.F. Bishop around 1896.}

By 1900, my 3rd great-grandmother, Josephine, was in Norfolk and newlywed again. Rev. John H. Turner had passed away before 1899*, when Josephine had remarried John W. Hoxey. It’s pure mystery, in terms of detailing what happened to Rev. Turner, his parents, or the land. We do know that Sallie was somehow lost to the family and it seems that our family’s oral traditions of Southampton County were just as “lost,” but the records remain and will no doubt continue to yield clues. That is to say, the story unfolds… {Further research has revealed that Rev. Turner actually remarried to a certain Bettie Grace Johnson in 1893.}

A NOTE FROM 2021: Be sure to make notes while you research and keep them as you journey in learning more and more about your family’s history. It’s very interesting to look back at old notes, writings, and compare/contrast what you’ve since been able to confirm/disprove.

For example, since 2015, I’ve been able to confirm the name of my 5th great-grandmother, and thereby confirmed the sibling relationship between Henry “the Carpenter” and Betsey Turner. This was confirmed with the discovery of the 1840 last will and testament of Henry Harrison, of Southampton County, Virginia.

The Genealogy Situation Room

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