Commentary on Marion County, SC Turner Families Home > Genealogy > Turner > Families > Commentary

"Turner" is a fairly common name, so it is an unsafe assumption to think all families of this name are related, even if in the same county. They all could be related, but probably not.

It appears that there are two distinct sets of Turner families in old Marion County, South Carolina. There were the Catfish Creek Turners and then the Effingham Turners. The two sets did not seem to be connected in any way, as far as I've been able to determine. There were also some "miscellaneous" Turners as well who have not been positively connected to either the Effingham or Catfish Turners, though are probably tied in somehow.

Catfish Creek Turner Families - Resided in the Catfish Creek area in the general area of Sellers, Latta and Temperance Hill in both present Marion and Dillon Counties.

Effingham Turner Families - Resided in the Lynches Creek area in the general area near Effingham, SC in present Florence County.

Catfish Creek Turner Families

The Catfish Creek Turner families all seem to be descended from, or somehow related to old John Turner and Patience, his wife. They were the patriarchs of the Marion County Turners. Besides being early settlers to the region (pre 1790), they also have the distinction of being very interesting! They were, get this, part black (as in African-American). Now I know this kind of information is not welcome news to everyone, but I for one am tickled to find out about it (I'm fairly sure these are my ancestors as well). Many of their descendants have a tradition of being part "Indian" (Native American), but Im reasonably sure this is not true, but merely an attempt to "cover up" the embarrassment of being part black, as Marion County (like much of America) was a very racist place in the old days. Of course there is always the possibility that there is some Indian blood in the family as well. (Perhaps some DNA testing is in order!)

Affidavits made by several prominent men state that old John Turner was "half" African and half white, and that his wife Patience was about one quarter African. These statements were not made to belittle the Turners at all, but were made in conjunction with high praise for their character and citizenship, and how they had always been received as free whites and were respectable citizens of the county. Refer to their web page for abstracts of these affidavits and more commentary on that subject.

Old John and Patience Turner had seven proven children including three sons John Jr, Reuben and William, all three born in the 1760's. They may be the ancestors of all (or most of) the Turners in what is now Marion and Dillon Counties, and even those in neighboring Marlborough County. (The Effingham Turners are in an area that became Florence County). They lived and owned land on Catfish Creek. Their proven children:

  1. Reuben Turner (c1760/65-1830/40) Lived on Catfish Creek, on the East side, probably in the area just west of Temperance Hill, in what is still Marion County (though close to the Dillon County line). He married Dorothy Martin.
  2. John Turner (Jr) (c1760/65-1840/50) also lived on the East side of Catfish Creek, probably in the exact same area as Reuben.
  3. William Turner (c1767/68-1850/60) also lived on the East side of Catfish Creek, probably in the same area with his brothers.  He married Catherine Martin, and second: Mary ---.
  4. Catherine Turner (c1774) married Barnabas Hathcock, moved to Alabama.
  5. Penelope Turner, possibly married John Martin.
  6. Milly Turner, married --- Hussey.
  7. Sarah Turner, married John G. Powers.

The main problem with sorting out all of the Catfish Creek Turners is a lack of primary evidence. Of the three brothers just mentioned, the census records indicate the each had a large family, but unfortunately, only a few of their children are actually proven by primary documentation. I have attempted to sort them all out, but without primary evidence, all I have to go on are census records and "gut feelings".

Go to the Turner Families page for a complete list of documented Turner families in the area.

Effingham Turner Families

There  were several older Turner families in this region early on. This area was near the border lines of three counties (Marion, Williamsburg, and Darlington) and the families were found in all three counties. This entire region later became Florence County (in 1888). The early Turners, though in different counties, were all quite close together, and their children frequently crossed the county lines and were living near, or associated with, children of the others. I haven't yet been able to find a common ancestor for all of these. Lynches Creek provided the boundary between Marion and Williamsburg, and between Williamsburg and Darlington, but Marion and Darlington had a regular, non physical border.

The Effingham Turners consist of the following family groups, probably somehow related to one another. It is highly possible (but far from proven) that old Amos, Benjamin, Elias and George are brothers. See their own family pages for more details.

1. Amos Turner (bef 1755) lived in the area near Cain Branch near Hannah community

  1. Benjamin W. Turner (c1806/07-1879) and Cecilia Coleman of SC (Marion, Florence)
  2. James Dura Turner (c1814/15-1895) and Charlotte Cox and Mary Cox of SC (Marion, Florence)

2. Benjamin Turner (c1755/65) and Phebe --- lived on Williamsburg side of Lynches River

  1. William Turner (c1774/84) lived on Williamsburg side of Lynches River
    1. William P. Turner (c1806/07-1886) and Mary Carter of SC (Marion, Florence)
  2. Reuben Turner (c1794/1804)
  3. Hugh Turner

3. Elias Turner lived on Darlington side of Effingham

  1. Hugh E. Turner (c1793/94-after 1870) and Frances Cusack of SC (Darlington, Marion, Florence)
  2. Elias D. Turner (c1799/1800) and Elizabeth Cusack  of SC (Marion, Darlington, Florence)
  3. Isham Turner (c1800/10) and Martha Cusack of SC (Darlington, Marion, Florence)

4. George Turner (bef 1755)

6. Reuben Turner (c1784/85-after 1860) and Catherine Cox of SC (Marion, Florence)

  1. Elijah Turner (c1825/26) and Jane --- of SC (Marion, Florence) Home > Genealogy > Turner > Families > Commentary