I was looking at Turpin marriages this week after cousin Dennis Bell shared a great find. He was researching in FamilySearch and came across an Iowa marriage index that now contains something that we've been wanting -- evidence of R.N. Turpin's marriage in Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
Here’s the story:
Newt Turpin’s first wife Sarah died suddenly in 1872 after being ill for only 42 hours. Newt and Sarah had nine children together, most of them grown by the time of her death. Three young daughters remained at home: Emma Zetta, Nancy, and Hannah. Sarah is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery which is northwest of Rippey, Greene County, Iowa.
Mary Ellen Leonard’s family moved to Hardin Township, Greene County, Iowa sometime between 1870 and 1873. They had lived in Grafton County, New Hampshire and in Cedar County, Iowa. Her father was employed as a railroad worker and a farm laborer. After living in Greene County just a short time, the 17-year-old Mary Ellen met Newt Turpin who was about 52 years old and raising his three youngest daughters.
On September 16, 1873 Mary Ellen and Newt married according to Pottawattamie County, Iowa marriage records. The marriage records list them as R. N. Terpin and Mary L. Lenord. The marriage is recorded in the family Bible and according to family they were married by Justice of the Peace Washallkey.
|Turpin Family Bible Record|
It appears Newt and Mary Ellen remained in Greene County or at least in Iowa for more than a few years after their marriage. Mary Ellen gave birth to her first three children in Iowa. Francis, their first, was born in 1874. Their third child, James, was born in Iowa in April 1877.
Going back to Newt’s first marriage with Sarah Elizabeth Lowery, their marriage record is found in the Owen County, Indiana records: Robert Newton Turpin to Sarah Elizabeth Lowery, 1 May 1842. He would have been 21 years old then. Newt was born in Virginia in 1821, so we can place the Turpin family’s arrival in Indiana between his birth in 1821 and 1839 when Elizabeth bought their land.
As for Newt’s father, there is a marriage bonds record for a John Turpin and Elizabeth Carter in Halifax County, Virginia dated 27 February 1797. A History of Halifax County (Virginia) by Wirt Johnson Carrington shows the actual marriage taking place 8 March 1797 or 8 March 1798.
See also TurpinTraces, 11 December 2011 for more about Mary Ellen: http://turpintraces.blogspot.com/2011/12/mary-ellen-leonard.html