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.