Thursday, October 4, 2012

Obediah, James, and John

In Early Settlers of Tidewater Virginia, Volume 3, by Elise Greenup Jourdan, Michael Turpin is shown as the father of Obediah, James, John, and Mary “Polly” Turpin.  I’ve been working to tie the James and John of Owen County, Indiana to Halifax County, Virginia and also to determine if the family shown in Jourdan’s book is mine and is correct.  

Another Turpin researcher Anne Washburn and I have put our heads, and research notes, together on this and it appears there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  (And as they say, we hope it’s not a train…)

Here is a short timeline of Turpin activity in two counties:  Lunenburg and Halifax Counties in Virginia.  The counties are tied together in that Lunenburg is the parent county.  In 1752 the General Assembly of Virginia divided it into two counties, Halifax being the new county.  In 1766, Halifax County was divided with Pittsylvania being the newly created county.   The dates are from the Halifax County website:

1752  Halifax County is created.

1779  Obediah Turpin, age 18, enlists with Capt Worsham's Company in Lunenburg County (1840 census of Owen County IN lists him as an 81-year-old Revolutionary War veteran.)

1783  Records of Lunenburg Co., VA
Tithables list shows Michal, Obadiah Turpin, 7 property taxable, 4 tithable, 12 souls.

1785  Halifax Co., VA, Deed Bk 13, p. 181
Apr 20, 1785 from Joshua Adams of H, to Michael Turpin of the County of Lunenburg, for 500 lbs, a certain tract of land containing, by deed, about 274 acres in H on Banister River and Sandy Cr, and bounded by Chappell, Huddleston. Signed-Joshua (X his mark) Adams. Wit: James McCraw, Joseph Hunt, David Chisholm. Recorded May 19, 1785. Phebe, wife of the sd Joshua Adams, relinquishes her right of dower.

Halifax County tax lists:
1785: no Turpins [but Richard Carter was tithed; he may be Elizabeth Carter’s brother]
1786: Michael Turpin [Richard Carter was next door neighbor]
1787: Michael Turpin
         William Turpin
1788: Michael Turpin
         Obediah Turpin
1789: Michael Turpin & two sons [not named in the tax list]
         Obediah Turpin
1790: no Turpins
1791: no Turpins
1792: Michael Turpin
         Obediah Turpin
         John Turpin [appears for the first time]
1793: Michael Turpin
         Obediah Turpin
         John Turpin
         James Turpin [appears for the first time]
1794: Edith Turpin [Michael died ca. 1793/4]
         James Turpin
         John Turpin

1794  Halifax Co., VA, Will Bk 3, p. 96
Will of Michael Turpin of H, very sick and weak of body but of perfect mind,
To my wife Edith--all my stock and my household furniture and the land which lies the other side of the creek, during her natural life, and then to descend to my sons John and James. I also give my wife the mill and half the profit (the other half to son Obediah Turpin).
To my son Obediah Turpin--the remainder of the land. If the rent of the land does not pay for the land at the end of 4 years, then each of the boys before mentioned to pay equally what is due.
Executors: sons Obediah, John and James.
Signed--Michael (+his mark) Turpin. Wit--Allen Whitehead, Benjamin Clements, Josiah (+his mark) Shelton. The will of Michael Turpin dec'd was OR at H Court of Jan. 27, 1794.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Will Turpen in "Families of Rippey"

Will Turpen was the son of James Turpen and Janey (Nancy Jane) Carter, born in Virginia in 1790 and 1813 respectively.  He married the Louise Anne Turpin, the daughter of Robert Newton Turpin, referred to in this articles as "Uncle Nate". 

“Families of Rippey", 1990 reprint of the 1956 "History of Rippey”

Families of Rippey, published in 1956, pg. 107:

William Turpen was born January 20, 1844, in a log cabin in Owen County, near Spencer, Indiana, and died May 18, 1923, at his home near Rippey, Iowa. At the age of 20 he became possessed of he spirit of Greeley, "Go West, young man, go West". So he left Indiana by rail and made the trip as far as Keokuk, then traveled by stage coach to Des Moines. He started to make the rest of the way to Greene County on foot when he was overtaken by a stranger who kindly asked him to take a ride. This man proved to be "Uncle" Sammy Rhoad who was on his way from Des Moines, the nearest trading post at that time.

The first year in Greene County, William made his home with his uncle, Nate Turpen. His parents and brothers came to Washington Township the following year. With the exception of one year spent in Arkansas, Washington Township was always his home.

On March 10, 1869, he was united in marriage to Anna Turpen. To this union were born five children: James, Mary, Susie, Kate and Carrie. James died in infancy and Mary Turpen Thornley died November 24, 1895, one year after her marriage to Frank Thornley.

Susie married John Underwood and to this union were born two children, Walter and Bessie. Walter married Bertha Marks and they had two children, Beryl and Ruby. Beryl married Betty Willenen and their four children are Gari, Gretta, Linda and Billy. Ruby married Ronald Marshall and had one son, Rodney. She afterwards married Paul Metzler. (Rodney went by the Metzler name)

Bessie Underwood married Lew Martin of Rippey and now lives on the original Wm. Turpen farm 3 miles west of Rippey and is the third generation of Turpens to live on this farm. Their son, Dale Lewis Martin, gave his life in the service of his country in the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. Kate Turpen never married and is now deceased.

Carrie Turpen married Orrie Thornburg of Rippey and they had six children; Mildred, Glen, Catherine, Raymond, Wilbur and Delmer. Glen married Reva Percell and they live in Dawson, Iowa. Catherine married Frank Cannon and they with their children, Francis and Virgene, live in Perry, Iowa. Raymond married Dorothy Alexander and they have no children. Wilber lost his life in Italy during the Second World War.

At his death Mr. Turpen owned 260 acres of well improved Washington Township land. Mr. Turpen paid for the first 80 acres of land he purchased by trapping prairie chickens and shipping them to the Chicago market. 

On July 2, 1925, Delmer Thornburg was drowned in the Raccoon River while in swimming with other boys. This tragedy took place in the Pleasant Hill vicinity near where the family lived at that time.

Remembrances of Robert Newton Turpin from "Families of Rippey"

These remembrances were passed on to the descendants of the Turpin Family living in Greene County, Iowa.  It provides us information about Newt and the family that can not be verified by primary sources.

“Families of Rippey", 1990 reprint of the 1956 "History of Rippey”

From page 106

Newton Turpen -- One of the earliest settlers of Washington Township, Greene county, Iowa, was the Newton Turpen family who settled here in 1855. Newton Turpen was born near Richmond, Virginia, June 10, 1821, and his wife, Elizabeth Lowry Turpen, was born there on January 13, 1823. They spent their youth near Richmond and were married at an early age. Early in her life Elizabeth’s father had become a slave holder, over the protests of his wife. Thus, Elizabeth, agreeing with her mother, was raised with a secret hatred of slavery.

After their marriage her dislike for slavery and her husband’s longing for a new country led them to decide to come west, so they packed their few possessions and came to Indiana by wagon train. Here they lived for some time before moving to Illinois. Not seeming to do as well financially as they wished, they again decided to move -- this time to Iowa. When their youngest child was three weeks old, they loaded their goods into wagons and set out. This was a long, hard journey, marked by the tragedy of Newton Turpen’s mother dying and being buried in a lonely grave by the wayside. They came by way of Des Moines, then a small fort, and on across country to Greene County where they built their first log house on the farm in northwest Washington Township. This farm is now owned by their granddaughter, Mrs. Ocy Dorris. Later Mr. Turpen bought a farm about a half a mile west and lived there. Besides breaking the prairie sod and farming, Newton Turpen served as blacksmith in the pioneer settlement. Mrs. Turpen spent long hours of the day at her loom weaving cloth from the wool they had taken from their own sheep. The children of the family spent many lonely days on the prairie guarding the sheep from he wolves that were always ready to prey upon them. It was not unusual for him to load what produce they might have to sell into the wagon and make the long overland trip to Des Moines to sell the produce and bring back supplies. Newton and Elizabeth Turpen raised a family of eight children, 7 daughters and one son.

The only son, Thomas Benton Turpen enlisted in the army when Lincoln called for volunteers in 1861. He was among 32 volunteers from Greene County. His brief military record on file in the State Adjutant General’s Office showed that he enlisted in Co. H., 10th Inf., Iowa Vol., August 23, 1861, was mustered into service September 7, and died of measles on December 25, 1861, on his 18th birthday. He was buried in the National Cemetery near Mound City, Illinois. Although the exact grave has not been found, officials state that he must have been buried in one of the many marked unknown. Elizabeth Lowery Turpen passed away January 26, 1872, and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Newton Turpen moved on west to Nebraska and was buried there.

Of this large family, only [Louise] Annie, who married Wm. Turpen, and Emmazetta, who married John Groves, remained in Washington Township to raise their families and spend their lives. The other daughters were: Margaret who married Wilson Van Horn, Sally [Sarah Jane] married Warfield Paul, [Mary] Amanda married Wm. Porter, [Nancy] Elizabeth married Joe Bell and Hannah [Catherine] married Douglas Bell.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Did John Turpin marry Elizabeth, the daughter of John Carter?

Carter is a fairly common name.  For that reason, researching that part of the Turpin family has intimidated me.  There are benefits to finding out who Elizabeth’s family members were.  The Carters show up with the Turpins repeatedly.  If we feel certain that our Turpins came from Halifax County, then the Carter research can begin there.   We can trace both families together.
Map of the Area of Halifax County, Virginia in about 1795
The Area of Halifax County, Virginia in about 1795
My first find has been the will of John Carter, dated 1781.  It is documented in Will Book 1 1773-1783 Halifax County Virginia compiled by Marian Dodson Chiarito and A History of Halifax County (Virginia) by Wirt Johnson Carrington.  Found in Book I on page 370, the June 18, 1781 will says:

I, John Carter, of Halifax county, Virginia, being indisposed in body but of perfect mind & memory….I lend to my beloved wife Mary Carter during her widowhood for her use & the bringing up & educating my children the land & plantation whereon I now live & the following slaves – Jack, Charles, James, Baker, Tamor, stock of all kinds, household furniture &c.   To my daughter Ann Waddill Twenty-five shillings.  To my daughter Elizabeth Carter one negro boy Same & feather bed & furniture & to her heirs & assigns forever.   To my daughter Mary Carter one negro boy Crafford & feather bed & furniture & do.  To my daughter Judith Carter one negro girle Hannah & feather bed & do.   To my daughter Salley Carter Seventy-five pounds specia in gold or silver & feather bed & furniture & do.  To my three eldest sons Richard, Theoderick & Robert Carter my Creek land I purchased of Geore (sic) Ridley containing 450 acres to be equally divided between them,  also a good feather bed & furniture apiece & if either die before the come of age the survivors to inherit the land by equal division to them & their heirs & assigns forever.  To my son James Carter the land whereon I now live & a good feather bed & furniture & do.  To my son Francis Carter 290 acres lying out on the road adjoinin the land of W. Hobson & a good feather bed & furniture & do.   If either of my two youngest sons Francis or James die before age 21 years the survivor to heir the dec’d brothers share of land.  If either of my daughters Elizabeth, Mary, Judith or Salley Carter should die before they come of age or marry their legacy should be equally divided among the survivors.  At the coming of age of my youngest son the above mentioned slaves, Jack, Charles, James, Baker, Tamor with future increase & all the rest & remainder of my personal estate should be equally divided among my beloved wife & children afore mentioned, my daughter Ann Waddill excepted.

The Executors named were his beloved wife Mary Carter, also Capt. James Turner, Mr. William Boyd, his brothers Richard and Theo. Carter.  Witnesses were Benja. Hobson, David Bates, Chas. Carter, Noel Waddill, Theo. Carter.   The will was probated the same year, on 20 September. 

We can tie our Elizabeth Carter to the Elizabeth in the will through her and John Turpin’s 1797 Halifax County marriage record.   Elizabeth’s father would have been dead when she married.  The bondsman for Elizabeth was a Richard Carter, who could be her brother or her uncle.  In that set of marriage records an annotation was made when the bondsman was a father or mother.   That is not noted for Elizabeth and John’s record. 

Elizabeth was born about 1775 if the 1850 census recorded her age correctly.   That would make her six years old when her father John Carter died.  She would have been 22 years old when she married 27 year old John Turpin.  

Interestingly, looking back at the Halifax County tax lists, Richard Carter lived next to Michael Turpin, the father of John Turpin in 1786.   Elizabeth and John would have been about 11 and 16 respectively.   Most of the tax lists were ordered alphabetically so any other tax lists would not indicate how long the Turpins and Carter lived near each other.    My next steps are to look for land records. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Evidence of Turpins in Halifax County, VA before 1820

During the War of 1812, British troops entered Washington, DC in 1814 and burned the White House and other public buildings in retaliation for the American attack on York in Ontario.  Amidst that destruction, Virginia’s 1790 and 1800 census reports were destroyed in addition to some 1810 census reports -- including those for Halifax County, Virginia.  So the "census substitutes" for genealogists researching those years are the land and personal property tax lists.  In the early lists, the tax commissioner recorded alphabetically the names of the person being taxed, specifically white males over the age of twenty-one.
1789 VA Tax List showing Michael and 2 sons, also Obediah
Anne Washburn, a fellow genealogist and perhaps a distant cousin, has been working on a Turpin project and recently we've been comparing notes.  Anne shared a list of the Turpins who appear in those pre-1820 tax lists.  (Anne used Binn's indexes of the tax lists.   Here's a link if you'd like to see this source

NOTE:  John Turpin first appears in the lists in 1792.  If that is when he was 21, it adds evidence to his birth around 1770.

1782:  no Turpins
1783:  no Turpins
1784:  no Turpins
1785:  no Turpins [Richard Carter, tailor, was tithed there that year]
1786:  Michael Turpin [Richard Carter was next door neighbor]
1787:  Michael Turpin
          William Turpin
1788:  Michael Turpin
          Obediah Turpin
1789:  Michael Turpin & two sons [not named in the tax list]
          Obediah Turpin
1790:  no Turpins
1791:  no Turpins
1792:  Michael Turpin
          Obediah Turpin
          John Turpin [first time listed, some evidence of his birth year]
1793:  Michael Turpin
          Obediah Turpin
          John Turpin
          James Turpin [not the same as our James Turpen of Owen Co IN]
1794:  Edith Turpin [Michael died ca. 1793/4]
          James Turpin
          John Turpin
1795:  James Turpin
          Edith Turpin
1796:  James Turpin
          John Turpin
1797:  John Turpin
          James Turpin
1798:  no Turpins
1799:  James Turpin
1800:  James Turpin
          John Turpin
1801:  James Turpin
          John Turpin
1802:  James Turpin
          John Turpin
1803:  John Turpin
          James Turpin
1804:  John Turpin
1805:  John Turpin
1806:  John Turpin
1807:  James Turpin
          John Turpin
1808:  missing from Binns
1809:  John Turpin
1810:  John Turpin
          James Turpin 
1811:  John Turpin
1812:  John Turpin
          James Turpin
1813:  John Turpin
          William Turpin
1814:  John Turpin
1815:  John Turpin
1816:  John Turpin
          Thomas Turpin
          Josiah Turpin
1817:  Thomas Turpin
          John Turpin
1818:  John Turpin
          George Turpin 
          Thomas Turpin
          Josiah Turpin
1819:  Thomas Turpin
          George Turpin
          Thomas Turpin
          Josiah Turpin
          John Turpin
1820:  Thomas Turpin
          Josiah Turpin
          John Turpin 
          George Turpin
1821:  John Turpin
          Josiah Turpin

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Why Halifax County, Virginia?

Most of everything I was told or had read indicated that Robert Newton Turpin came from Richmond, Virginia or just Virginia. There are Turpins in Richmond but nothing that I can connect to Robert Newton Turpin specifically.   No one in the family ever mentioned Halifax County and I find nothing for Robert Newton Turpin that traces back to Halifax County.   

Through my research, I found suggestions that stepped me back to Halifax County.  Since I have no single document to prove the connection, listing those clues is important.     
In the 1850 census of Owen County, Indiana, I found Robert Newton Turpin living next to his mother, Elizabeth, and brother, John Turpin. They lived a few dwellings away from the James Turpen family. In a land transfer document dated 19th November 1840, I found the clues to make those family associations.  
John and Elizabeth's Land Transfer - 1840
The document from the Owen County, Indiana county recorder states that John Turpin and his wife Elizabeth grant their land to Mary, Robert N. and Henry W. Turpin taking into consideration that these three will care for John and Elizabeth and their son, John Jr. who is "partially incapable of procuring" a living for himself.  The land involved was the Southwest quarter of the Northwest quarter of Section 5, Township 9-N and Range 3-W which Elizabeth purchased in 1839 (see my May 2012 blog post). It was located in the southeast area of Owen County, along the northern border of Clay Township and just south the White River and the town of Spencer.  It could be assumed from this document that Mary, Robert N. “Newt”, and Henry are John and Elizabeth’s children.  John Jr. is an older child and a brother to Mary, Newt, and Henry.  

Owen County marriage records provide a wealth of information on the Turpins and using cluster research techniques, it’s possible to trace many of the Turpin in-laws and other Owen County residents back to Halifax County, Virginia.  

John (born about 1770) and James (born 1790) both live in Owen County in 1840 according to the 1840 census. On both the 1840 and 1850 censuses we see a flurry of surnames that are found in Halifax County, Virginia such as Arnold, Carter, Dunn, Franklin, Lowery, and Mills.

Before 1840, James and John can be found in Halifax County.  They are there in the 1820 and 1830 censuses.  Their ages match.  In 1820, that particular page of the census also shows Carters, Franklins, and Mills.  Going to other Halifax county records of the time period, one finds Arnolds, Carters, Dunns, Franklins, Lowerys, and Mills.  

The Halifax County, Virginia marriage records include a marriage for John and Elizabeth Carter dated 8th March 1797.  There is a marriage bond record for them showing a Richard Carter as bondsman...a clue to Elizabeth's family.  There are other clues I'm following up with as time allows.  Is the March 1797 marriage John's first marriage?  (That would mean that James is not their son. If he's a brother, there's a 20 year gap in their ages.) There's a Mildred Turpin living near James and John in Halifax County in 1820 and 1830.  She is still there in 1840.   Obediah is another member of the family.  He lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Owen County, Indiana, and Hendricks County, Indiana.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

James Turpen Family

In previous posts, I have mentioned another Turpin who seemed to migrate with my great great grandfather John Turpin.  John and James are in Halifax County, Virginia and Owen County, Indiana.  After John died, John’s son Robert Newton “Newt” Turpin and James move to Greene County, Iowa. This family used an “e” instead of an “I” in their surname frequently.  

Here is an outline of what I’ve learned about James’ family.   

Born:   6 April 1790   in Virginia
Marr:   2 Feb 1837    
Died:   6 Dec 1886  
Bur:     Greene Co., IA 


Nancy Jane CARTER (known as Janey)
Born:   10 Mar 1813, in Virginia
Died:   23 May 1910   Greene County, IA 
Bur:     Greene Co., IA 

Their children:
1. Susa TURPEN, born about 1838 IN
2. William TURPEN, born 1844 IN and married Newt's daughter Louise Ann Turpin
3. Luke born 1848 IN and married Emily Babb 
4. Isaac Newton TURPEN, born about 1848 in IN.  Followed Turpins to Nebraska
5. Henry Watson TURPEN, born about 1852 IN married Emily Marie "Emma" Bennett
6. Samuel Allan TURPEN, born Mar 1853 IN, married Lydia Jane Thornton
7. George Washington TURPEN, born 26 Dec 1856 IN, married Mabel Davis 
8  John TURPEN

James and Janey are supposedly buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, however Find-a-Grave does not list them.  I may need to revisit that topic to see if I can locate them.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Warfield and Sarah Paul Obituaries from Jan Hensley

Sarah Jane Turpin Paul tombstone in Franklin Twp Cemetery of Greene County, IA

Warfield Paul tombstone in Franklin Twp Cemetery of Greene County, IA
Warfield Paul's Life
Exemplary Citizen is Gone
End Comes After Week's Severe Illness at His Home in Jefferson on Wednesday

Warfield Paul, resident of Greene county for about seventy years, died at his home shortly after six o'clock last Wednesday evening. He had been seriously ill for about a week with diseases incident to old age. The funeral was held on Friday, with services at the M. E. church in Cooper at 2 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Swick, of Jefferson. Interment in the Cooper cemetery.

Warfield Paul was a native of Old Virginia, having been born on August 7, 1851, and passed away at his home in Jefferson January 23, 1929, having lived more than 77 years.

His mother died when he was a baby, and he was raised by his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Hall. They moved west and settled a mile southwest of Rippey when Warfield was a small boy.  Mr. and Mrs. Hall were the parents of J. B. Hall, or "Brown" Hall, as he was familiarly known in later years, Mrs. H. R. Myers and Mrs. Philip Lock, former residents of Green county, were aunts of Mr. Paul.

He was married on December 22, 1871, to Miss Sarah Turpin, who was a daughter of Newt Turpin, one of Greene county's early residents. They went to housekeeping on a farm about a mile west of what was formerly the Brand school house in west Washington township. With the exception of one year they resided in Nebraska, in the late "seventies," all their married life was spent in Greene county.

To them were born four children, one of whom died in infancy. The surviving children are: Mrs. Ella Paul Morden and John Paul, both of Jefferson and Dolly Paul Wiggins, of Cooper.

Owing to failing health Mr. and Mrs. Paul moved to Jefferson eight years ago. Here they have formed a highly honored part of Jefferson's citizenship. Mr. Paul became a member of the United Brethren church 42 years ago, having joined that body during the pastorate of Rev. Hicks, who conducted services at the Union school house, east of Cooper. He remained devoted to the beliefs and ideals as taught in the Holy Bible, and his life has been an exemplification of his faith. He was careful in speech, quiet in demeanor, never given to anger, and to know him was to be his warm friend. He made it his daily duty to be honorable in all his dealings, faithful to friends and to his God, and leaving to earth a record for devotion and service that is rarely equalled. He never held public office, but did his part as a man and citizen to make the world a better place to live in. He was a member of the Modern Woodman lodge, and the members of this order, together with countless, friends, and also those near and dear to him, now sorrow deeply at his passing.

He is survived by his wife, and his children mentioned above, and 23 grand children and great grand children.

Jefferson Bee, January 30, 1929, Page 1

Death of Mrs. W. Paul
Occurred at Home Saturday

Highly Respected Lady Answers Final
Summons After Long Illness,—
Funeral Held Monday.

Mrs. Warfield Paul, one of the community's oldest and most highly respected citizens died at her home in this city Saturday afternoon from illness incident to her advanced age.  Services were held at the Methodist church in Cooper Monday afternoon in charge of Rev. W. J. Fowler of Jefferson.  Burial was in the Franklin township cemetery.

Sarah Jane Turprn, daughter of Newton and Elizabeth Turpen, was born October 9, 1848, in Indiana. She come to Greene county, Iowa, at the age of six years and has made this county her home since that time with the exception of one year spent in Nebraska.

On December 22, 1871, she was married to Warfield Paul. They went to housekeeping on a farm a mile west of what was formerly the Brand school house in west Washington township, To Mr. and Mrs, Paul were born four children, one of whom died in infancy.  The surviving are Mrs. Ella Morden and John Paul, both of Jefferson, and Mrs. Dolly Wiggins of Cooper.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul moved to Jefferson fourteen years ago, where Mr. Paul preceded his wife in death on January 23, 1929. Mrs. Paul was a member of the United Brethren church, having united with that faith in Cooper in young womanhood. She leaves suriving her three children, twelve grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren besides other relatives and many friends.

Jefferson Bee, March 5, 1935, Page 1.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Warfield Paul, Husband of Sarah Jane Turpin

I received a comment this week from Jan Hensley regarding my blog post of  "Sarah Jane Turpin, Third Child".  Jan has had a breakthrough on her research of Warfield Paul, the son of J. M. Paul and Matilda Hall.
If you recall, Sarah Jane was the third child of Robert Newton Turpin and Sarah Elizabeth Lowery.   She was born in Owen County, Indiana on 9 October 1848 and moved with the family to Illinois and then to Iowa.   There she met her husband Warfield Paul.

Jan tells us that Warfield Paul is an interesting project, "After years of repeating hitting my head against the wall, I'm happy to be able to FINALLY shed light on it. Warfield was the grandson of John Hall & Elvira Smith Hall and his [Paul's] mother, Sarah Matilda died when he was an infant.   His grandparents were his guardians and they loaded him on the oxen cart, along with their children (save one - my 3rd great grandmother who was already married) when they headed West in the 1850s."

Jan continues to say that Warfield's great great grandfather Jacob Smith was a Revolutionary War soldier.   Jacob was one of about 2,000 trops with General George Washington when he crossed the Delaware for the Battle of Trenton.  

For more on Jacob:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

John M Turpin Family in Rock County in 1940

The 1940 census for Nebraska is now indexed and available on   I found the John M. Turpin family in Kirkwood Precinct of Rock County on "islands in the Niobrara River".  It's interesting to note that John was born in Nebraska, as was his wife Cora and all the children.  This was not a first for the Turpins -- Susie Turpin and husband Ben Brown and family were all Nebraska-born too.  In so many censuses, we see the Turpins being born in a procession of states from east to west. 

John M Turpin Family in Rock County, NE in 1940 Census

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Follow-up on Fletcher Arnold

In the last post, I talked about Millican Arnold who was the son of Mary Turpin and Carter Arnold.   

Milikin had a brother Fletcher and the death record (abstracted below) indicates that he could also be a Turpin descendent.    His mother is listed as Mary Fuspin.  This could very likely be a case of bad handwriting or difficult transcribing.   I think that Fuspin is probably not a real name.   It is probably Turpin.  (Note that Millican's death record recorded his mother as Mary Carter, not Mary Turpin.)

This would place Mary Turpin Arnold’s death after November 1852. 

Fletcher appears to have never married and I find no evidence of children.  Millican had no children either.  

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Newt Turpin’s Sister: Mary Turpin Arnold

Robert Newton Turpin had at least one sister.  Mary was born about 1813.  We find enough records for Mary that we can begin to know about her.  But the records are scarce enough that her and her family’s lives are a bit of a mystery.  The story is one that makes you wish that time travel was possible!

The first record we find of Mary is the land document where John and Elizabeth leave Elizabeth’s land to the children in consideration that they will care for John and Elizabeth and their son, John Jr.  Then we find her marriage record in the Owen County, Indiana records: 

Mary Turpin to Carter Arnold,
24 June 1848

Carter Arnold was previously married to Ailsey Carter in 1837 in Owen County.  With Ailsey we find another person from the Carter family!  I believe Ailsey Carter Arnold probably died and then Carter Arnold married Mary Turpin.

So on to the censuses!  I love census records!   Just a single census page can give you so many clues and lead you on many different research paths!   Look at the 1850 U.S. census of  Owen County, Indiana.   It shows that the newly married Carter, age 55, and Mary, age 37, are living with a full house! 

Carter and Mary in Franklin Twp, Owen Co, Indiana

First there is Elizabeth, age 27, and Eliza, age 19, who were born in Virginia before the 1837 Indiana marriage of Carter and Ailsey.  A little research on Carter Arnold reveals that there is a marriage record for Carter Arnold and Elizabeth Carter 3 March 1817 in Halifax County, Virginia (Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850  by Jordan R. Dodd).  This gives us another tie to Halifax County, Virginia.  But more interesting, it tells us that Carter married an Elizabeth Carter and then an Ailsey Carter, both born in Virginia.   Or could Elizabeth and Ailsey be the same person?  Is Ailsey a from of Elsie or Elizabeth?  But if so, why two marriages, one in Virginia and one in Indiana?   And are these Carters related to John Turpin’s wife Elizabeth Carter?

But we digress.  Let’s go back to the children shown in the census. 

Child Elizabeth would have been born about 1823, when Carter would have been about 28 years old.

Eliza would have been born about 1836, when Carter would have been about 36 years old. 

They could be children from the marriage previous to Ailsey or perhaps other relatives of Carter.  The 1850 U.S. census does not indicate the relationships of members of a household. 

Also living with them is George Turpin, age 12, and another Elizabeth, age 13, whose last name is not listed – it is likely Turpin.  So many Elizabeths!  This makes us wonder if Mary Turpin was married previously since she was about 35 when she married Carter Arnold.   Or is George a nephew or cousin?  

Finally, there is a 10-month-old Milikin Arnold who appears to be the child of Carter and Mary.  Milikin would be the first Turpin descendent in this branch of the family. 

In the 1860 census, Carter Arnold is residing in Owen County, Indiana but Mary is not there. It’s assumed that Mary Turpin Carter died before 1860 in Owen County however her grave has not been located.  So now it seems Milikin may be the only Turpin descendent in this branch!

In 1870 we find Carter Arnold, his sister, and several of his children living in Hoosier Prairie Township of Clay County, Illinois.  The graves of Carter Arnold, his sister Kiziah Moury, his son David, and his daughter Elizabeth Arnold Franklin are in Number Four Cemetery in Sailor Springs, Clay County, Illinois.   

As for Milikin (Millican). We can follow him through time until his death 4 October 1924 in Clay City, Illinois.  His death record states his parents were Carter Arnold of Virginia and Mary Carter of Virginia.  He was a farmer and married to Lydia.   And true to the nature of this family, the census tells such a story!   In 1910, “Miligan” and Lydia’s household consisted of brother Fletcher Arnold, mother-in-law Julia Pierce, and John McCallister, nephew!   From a review of the censuses, it appears that Milikin and Lydia never had children.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Turpin Land Records in Owen County, Indiana

Back in an October 2011 blog, I mentioned the relationship of John and James Turpin.  

I’m sure they are related but I don’t have original documents that say what the relationship is.  One source that is a compiled history of some Virginia families states they are brothers but provides no evidence.  But John and James stick together over the years.   They are listed next to each other as Heads of Households in the 1830 Halifax County, Virginia Census.  They show up in the 1840 and 1850 Census in Owen County, Indiana.   After John’s death, his son Robert Newton Turpin and James Turpin both moved to Greene County, Iowa.  That is where James died and is buried, but Newt Turpin moved on to Nebraska.

The property where John and James lived in Indiana is on adjacent land south of the town of Spencer.  There are patents for these pieces of land, digital copies of which can be found at the Bureau of Land Management’s website with General Land Office records:  (If you have not used this website for genealogical research, it's quite useful -- take a look at it.) 

John lived on land that was patented by his wife Elizabeth, specifically from the 2nd Prime Meridian, Township 9 North Range 3 West,  SW 1/4 NW1/4 of Section 5.  James' land was Township 9 North Range 3 West, NW 1/4 NW1/4 of Section 5.

They were next door neighbors in Indiana just like they were in Virginia. 

Elizabeth Turpin's Land Patent in Indiana in 1839

James Turpin's Land Patent in Indiana in 1852

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1940 Dundy County, Nebraska

In between indexing pages of the 1940 census of Nebraska, I took a look in Dundy County, Nebraska to see what Robert Newton "Tom" Turpin (Child #18) was doing in 1940. 
Haigler is a small town so I thought this should be a quick look up.

I came across a surprise.  I found a Robert Newton Turpin on the 3rd and 6th pages!  

Not only are 47-year-old Tom and Mamie Turpin living in Haigler, but first I found a 42-year-old Robert Newton Turpin.  He is the son of Francis Charles Turpin (Child #10).  

Newton (Tom) Turpin in Dundy County, Nebraska in 1940
Robert Turpin in Dundy County, Nebraska in 1940
Tom is working as a janitor in the public schools to support his wife and the two children at home.  He’d been a butcher and a farmer. We know that he and Mamie would be leaving for Colorado in the 1940s.   Times were hard. 

Tom’s nephew is working as a plumber.  The census lists him as married but there is a 7 in the census marriage status column meaning that his wife is not living in the house.  Robert was first married to Lela Margaret Pearson until after 1930.  He later married to Mary Frances Holt.    In 1940, he is sharing a rental with William Palmer a 74-year-old man from Connecticut, so this might be between marriages.   

Robert and Lela Turpin
Good finds -- I love the censuses! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More on Doris

Turpin cousin Dennis Bell has been researching descendants of Robert Newton Turpin.  There are SO many!   It’s a huge endeavor.  After I published the 1940 Census findings for Turpins in Kirkwood Precinct, Dennis followed up on young Doris Turpin who was single and working as a housekeeper there at the time.  

It’s such a great time to be a genealogist!  There are so many online resources and one of those is Find-a-Grave.  Find-a-Grave literally can trim miles off your research.  In this case, Dennis found the burial of Doris Turpin’s husband Dave McClintock in Bassett (Nebraska) Memorial Park Cemetery.  You don't always find this, but this time Dennis found David's obituary was attached.  Thanks to Dennis for the research and thanks to the volunteer who added the information to the Find-a-Grave entry.   

Dave McClintock of Ainsworth

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kirkwood Precinct, Rock County, Nebraska in 1940

So after Robert Newton Turpin was dead and Mary Ellen had remarried and moved to Dundy County, Nebraska, it might be tempting to think that we, as genealogists, are done with Kirkwood Precinct.  But a visit back there via the 1940 census makes it clear that Turpins are still there.

I found three instances.   Jim and John, two of the older sons of Robert Newton Turpin and wife Mary Ellen, still live there with their families.  And we find Doris Turpin who is one of John Turpin’s daughters.   She is working as a housekeeper for the widow Kati Hasch. 

James and Lida Turpin in 1940

John and Cora Turpin in 1940

Doris E. Turpin the daughter of John and Cora

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nebraska's Grand Master of Wild Turkey Hunting

Dick Turpin of Lincoln
From the Nebraska Game and Parks Facebook page at

Greg Wagner brings his turkey hunting mentor and Nebraska's grand master of wild turkey hunting to his one-of-a-kind Great Outdoor Radio Show this week. Don't miss longtime turkey hunter, veteran turkey call maker and hHumorist Dick Turpin of Lincoln, NE Saturday morning with Greg from 9-10 a.m. CST on Omaha's KOZN RADIO 1620 AM "The Zone" and online at

Dick Turpin is a great grandson of Robert Newton Turpin and Mary Ellen Leonard. And, he's on the 1940 Census living in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Nineteenth Child: Nelle

Nelle and Wilson Clark

Nellie "Nelle" TURPIN was born 20 July 1893 on her parent's homestead in Rock County, Nebraska shortly after her father’s death.  She was the last child in Newt and Mary Ellen’s family.

She was nine years old before her mother remarried.  James Estlack became her step-father and the family, with only Nelle and Newtie at home, then moved to Haigler in Dundy County in western Nebraska. 

Nelle married Wilson Clark on 19 April 1919.  Wilson was born 24 Oct 1897 on his parents’ homestead outside Stratton, Nebraska in Hitchcock County.  His parents were Percy Bennet Clark (1865-1938) and Alta Estella Price (1874-1963).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I found the Turpins and Stewarts in Ogallala in 1940

E.D. 51-10
I found my parents Walt and Letha living in Ogallala in 1940.  They'd told stories about relatives coming to Ogallala to look for work and the relatives would stay with them.  There was only one bed, so they'd all just like up line sardines on the bed to get a good night's rest.   

Friday, March 30, 2012

The 1940 Census

Walt Stewart Family about 1940
The 1940 Census will be released in 2 days and 12 hours.  It will be exciting to “catch up” with my parents.  

In the previous census they were both 15 years old.  My mom lived in Kirkwood Precinct in Rock County, Nebraska with her parents and only brother.  My dad lived in Valentine, Cherry County, Nebraska with his parents and their family.  Mom and Dad did not know each other yet.   What a difference those ten years made in everyone’s lives including my parents!
My Mom in the 1930 Census

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vigilantes: Chelsea Regulators / Niobrara Mutual Protective Association

Governor Thayer

I wanted to write just a bit more about the vigilantes from the early Nebraska days.  In the area of the Niobrara River where Newt Turpin resided, it was well-known that vigilantes existed.  The area included Brown, Rock, Holt, Boyd, and Keya Paha counties.  After doing a little poking around, it seems that the spirit of the vigilantes played an immediate role in the Turpin family’s life in Rock County.   I’d mentioned before that neighbor suspected neighbor sometimes and that law enforcement was a scarce commodity.  In analyzing Louis Goochey’s story that he told to grandchildren, I could see that Goochey was incorporating some facts of local history into his own tale of woe to enhance it and justify what he did.   

So here is a bit of what I discovered.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Turpin Family Bible

The Sept 16, 1873 date is across the book from Mary Ellen's name. 

I don't know the history of this Bible but it was from Robert Newton Turpin's second family.  Newt's death is the first listed, but the family is listed in order of birth on both the births and deaths page.  I believe the Bible was passed down through Nellie, the youngest child. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goochey's Story About Vigilantes

Doc Middleton
In a February blog I shared the transcript of one version of the story Louis Goochey told his grandchildren about the Turpin shooting.  I promised more information to help sort through the story.  This is a start....

Goochey told his family that “shortly after the family moved to their claim on the Niobrara [he] was approached by a committee from the neighborhood. They stated that the area was rife with horse thieves, and, since law authority was tenuous at best, they had formed a vigilante committee to protect their property from these thieves.” 

How true is this?  Let’s look at what was going on.