Sallie John Turner, my third great-aunt, was effectively lost around 1896, when she was taken to Liberty, MO by Presbyterian minister, William Frost Bishop, D.D. (1852-1913), to live with his family.
Sallie was never seen by her family again. In 1936, her mother, Josephine Turner Hoxey, issued a clarion call to locate her daughter, via an ad in the Norfolk Journal and Guide newspaper. Sadly, Josephine passed away less than two years later without resolution.
Around 2012, older cousins relayed the story of Sallie’s loss to the family to me and I immediately began searching, querying, and even placing a social media call to action to help find out what happened to Aunt Sallie.
Many thanks to the many people who have taken time to help find answers, and special thanks is given to Ms. M. Jeanne who located and shared that 1936 Norfolk Journal and Guide news article from Sallie’s mother, Josephine, with me.
In the autumn of 2014, I was able to connect with a descendant of William Frost Bishop, the minister who took Sallie to Missouri. This descendant, Mr. R.A., was kind enough to respond to my queries about Aunt Sallie with very helpful dates and information taken directly from the personal papers of William Frost Bishop.
Most poignantly, R.A. provided me with a picture of Aunt Sallie. It is a portrait of her along with William Frost Bishop’s children, Judith Joyce Bishop (1887-1978), Henry Roper Bishop (1889-1972), and the family dog, Diana.
The photo of Sallie John Turner, as shared by R.A., is the only photo that we have of her. In the midst of questions untold, there is absolute appreciation for the gift of her visage. It was so moving to be able to see her face and to share with my older cousins who grew up hearing the hushed conversations of the elders discussing Aunt Sallie.
While we continue to search for whatever happened to Sallie John Turner, the genealogical journey is aided tremendously by this beautiful portrait of her.
I employ the photo of Aunt Sallie as my profile photo on various DNA and family history platforms in the hope that someone will recognize her face.
There is a certain enigmatic power in pictures, especially historical family photos. Refer to them and please share them so that we can continue to make strides in our genealogical searches.
We have a situation. We need to find our people…
The Genealogy Situation Room