Monday, October 31, 2011

Civil War Pension Records

Back to Child #1, Thomas, for a minute.  Thomas died in the Civil War and one might think that there would be no pension documents.  However, there is an application!

Application for Civil War Pension

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sarah Jane Turpin, Third Child

Sarah Jane was the third child of Robert Newton Turpin and Sarah Elizabeth Lowery.  She was born 9 October 1848 in Owen County, Indiana. The family moved to Illinois and then Iowa where Sarah met Warfield Paul who was a neighbor.  

According to Past and Present of Greene County, Iowa by E.B. Stillman, Warfield lived with the John and Alvina Hall family.  The 1860 census of Rippey, Washington Township, Greene County, Iowa shows the Halls and the Turpins as neighbors. Like the Turpins, the Hall family members were natives of Virginia.  The "do" that you see on some lines means "ditto"  --

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Margaret Golden Turpin, Second Child

When Thomas died while serving in the Civil War, he had seven little sisters at home.  Margaret Golden Turpin was the next in line -- the second child and first girl born to Newt and his wife Sarah.   She was born in Indiana on 13 April 1846 in Indiana.  She came to Iowa as a young girl when her parents settled there. 

Margaret married into the Vanhorn family which had an Owen County, Indiana heritage like the Turpins.  She married Ralph Wilson Vanhorn on 17 October 1864. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thomas Benton Turpin

Tonight was the last session of the Beginning Genealogy class that I'm teaching this quarter.  I shared with students some of the things that we can do with our family history findings...picture books, reunions, histories, blogs...and how one family, like the Turpins, can get us totally addicted to this endeavor.  So, there are 5 freshly-hatched and very enthusiastic genealogists on the streets this week. 

Thomas Benton Turpin was the oldest child of Robert Newton and Sarah Turpin.   So this is a good place to start with that first family. 

Thomas born 14 February 1843 in Owen County, Indiana.  On 23 August 1861, at age 18, Thomas enlisted to fight for the Union in the Civil War with approximately thirty others from Greene County.  It was passed down to through the first family that the Turpins were not in favor of slavery and that might have been part of the reason they left Virginia.  And here is Thomas enlisting. 

He was mustered in at Camp Fremont near Iowa City with the 10th Infantry, Company H of Iowa. His group embarked for St. Louis on September 24th where they received their arms, uniforms and camp equipment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Trail Back to Iowa

My mother Letha Turpin Stewart about 1943
When I first started seriously working on the Turpin history, I had my mom, Letha Turpin Stewart, as a source.  My mom was proud of her family and knew all the currently-living relatives, all her aunts and uncles, and she knew who her grandfather and grandmother were.   What she did not know about her family didn’t seem to bother her – but she did say something to the effect that I may not want to dig up those skeletons.  I think she was kidding (although I’d already done that on my dad’s side) and just basically wasn’t too interested.
One of my first questions to her was about where my great grandfather Robert Newton Turpin was born and where did he live before Nebraska.   She vaguely remembered something about Jefferson City but wasn’t sure at all. 

John and James

In the previous post, I included a clip of the 1830 Halifax Co., VA census showing John Turpin and James Turpin recorded next to each other.   John was 50-60 years of age with a wife and family.  James was 20-30 years of age with a wife and a son under age 5.
John and James can be traced through 3 censuses – 30 years.  The ages are consistent.  The families are generally consistent.  Besides a marriage record for a John Turpin and Elizabeth Carter in Halifax County, Virginia, this is the best evidence I have to tie our Turpins to Halifax and to tie John Turpin to James Turpin/Turpen.  It’s indirect evidence but it seems fairly solid.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Carters

I'll talk more later on about Jim Turpen and John Turpin who always lived nearby each other, and about the Carters.   But cousin Julie G. brought up a good topic today:

Out of curiosity do you have RN Turpin's mother as Elizabeth Carter??? His father as John.

I find the Carter part hard to believe considering the 1850 census in Clay, Owen, Indiana.

Monday, October 10, 2011


1872 Nebraska Map

When the Turpin Family arrived in Nebraska in 1878, there was no Rock County. 

According to family stories James Robert Turpin, the third child of Robert Newton and Mary Ellen (Leonard) Turpin, was born in Iowa in April 1877 and celebrated his first birthday in Nebraska. A history of Rock County From Oxcarts to Orbits: A Brief History of Rock County, Nebraska and Its People, published by Diamond Jubilee Committee in 1962, backs up this story

Willowdale Cemetery

In June 2010 I drove up to Rock County, Nebraska to visit the Willowdale Cemetery north of Newport.  This is where Newt Turpin is buried.   His tombstone is marked with a Masonic emblem which I had not noticed years ago when I was there.

It's amazing to me that this is my great grandfather.  He was born 190 years ago!  But my grandfather Will Turpin was one of the youngest of his 19 children.  Newt's oldest was Thomas Benton Turpin, born in 1843, who died of measles while serving for the Union in the Civil War.  His youngest was Nelle Turpin, born in 1893, who married Wilson Clark and lived in Stratton, Hitchcock County, Nebraska.  Nelle died in 1966 in Denver, Colorado.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Newt Turpin

Robert Newton Turpin was born June 10, 1821 and appears to be the youngest child of John and Elizabeth Turpin.  Various censuses indicate he was born in Virginia however we find the family living in Indiana.

Grandma Turpin's Box of Photos

When I was about 5 years old or so, my Grandma Jennie Elizabeth Beck Turpin and I shared a bedroom.  At bedtime we oftentimes would look through her chest of treasures -- a mix of old photos and cherished hankies that had been hand-embroidered and given to her as gifts.  Grandma had a story with each item.  I think that was the start of my interest in genealogy.