Martin W. Turner (c1816) and Elizabeth (---) of Marion Co, SC
There were three men of this name in old Marion District, South Carolina. The oldest moved away pretty early, but the other two remained. They were almost exactly the same age as each other, and one married an Eliza, the other an Elizabeth. One has a "W" middle initial, the other an "M" which is often misread as a "W" so confusion is almost certain. The older man was Martin Turner (c1790). His parents aren't identified. The next oldest is Martin W. Turner, discussed on this page, born ca 1816, a proven son of William Turner and Catherine Martin. The youngest is Martin M. Turner (c1820), a proven son of Martha Turner.
Martin W. Turner lived in what later became Moody Township, just east of Catfish Creek, probably about halfway between the creek and the Temperance Hill community. Martin M. Turner lived in Kirby Township (now Dillon County), just on the opposite side of Catfish Creek, not far from Martin W. Turner.
Martin W. Turner was born ca 1815/16 per his age on the 1850 census (34), and the 1860 census (44), and the 1870 census (54). In 1880 he was 65 (ca 1814/15). These are remarkably consistent, very unusual for census records! He was born in Marion Dist., SC (per 1850 census), a proven son of William Turner and Catherine Martin per two 1855 deeds and an 1860 Court record). Martin was probably named after his mother's family. I don't know what his "W" initial stood for.
He seems to be home with his parents for the 1820 census aged under 10 (ca 1810/20), and probably home in 1830 though everyone else was a little off on that census in his father's household. He may be the one aged 10-14 (c1815/20) which fits, but that leaves no room for his older brother Theophilus, so Martin may be the son aged 5-9 (ca 1820/25) which doesn't quite fit, but census analysis isn't an exact science.
Martin W. Turner married Elizabeth --- before ca 1838, presumably in Marion Dist., SC. She was born ca 1823/24 per her age in 1850 (26). Her 1860 and 1870 census records give her an approximate birth date of ca 1817/18 which works with her 1840 census entry as well. She was listed as "Betsy" on some of her census entries. That is a common nickname for "Elizabeth." I don't know what her maiden name was. The death certificate of her daughter Frances lists her as "Elizabeth Turner" so she could be a Turner also, but it is a common problem with death certificates to put the mother's married name instead of maiden name as requested.
Martin W. Turner was listed on the 1840 census in Marion District, SC. He was listed near several other Turner families, including his brother Theophilus Turner, just two houses away. Other neighbors in the same area, are known residents of Moody Township area near Ebenezer Cemetery, west of Temperance Hill, between there and Catfish Creek.
1840 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)
1840 Marion Dist., SC page 141 Martin Turner 0000100000000-1000100000000 Slaves=000000-000000
1 Male 20-29 (1810/1820) Martin W. Turner (c1816)
1 Female 20-29 (1810/1820) Elizabeth (---) Turner (c1818) wife
1 female 0-4 (1835/1840) Frances Turner (c1838) daughter
Martin and family were listed on the 1850 census in Marion District just two houses from his father William Turner. This is roughly the same area I described for the 1840 census, being in what later became Moody Township. Martin was next door to Robert Turner, relationship unknown: # 1268/1273 Martin Turner 34 Farmer, born Marion; Elizabeth 26; Frances 12; Cherry 10; Eli 8.
On 2 Nov 1855 William Turner gave land to his son Martin W. Turner. This was 34 acres on the North East side of the Public Road and Catfish Swamp, being part of an original patent to John Sanders. Bordering land owners were R(obert) Hussey (a son of Milly Turner Hussey), James M. Bryant, Catherine Parker (Martin's sister). William signed with a mark. Witnesses were James W. Bass and B. Moody. (Marion Co, SC Deed Book X page 279).
On 2 Nov 1855 William Turner gave more land to his son Martin W. Turner. This was 93 acres on the North East side of Catfish described as where he (Martin) currently lived. William signed with a mark. Witnesses were James W. Bass and B. Moody. (Marion Co, SC Deed Book X page 280).
For the 1860 census, Martin and family were still in Marion District. Robert Turner was just five houses away, and the elder Robert Turner was six houses away. Other Turner's were fairly close by as well: Marion District, Reedy Creek PO, # 1343/1330 M. W. Turner 44 mulatto, Farmer $5000/2000 SC; Isabella (sic), 42 mulatto; Frances 25 mulatto; Eli 16 mulatto, Elijah 11; M. Turner 2 (female), mulatto.
In 1860, Martin W. Turner and his cousin Martin M. Turner (c1820) both appeared in Marion District Court to defend their rights as free white persons. They had both been ordered to pay a "capitation" tax, which was only levied against "Free Colored" persons. They both brought their cases to court, and both won. In each case prominent citizens came to their defense and made character statements as well as gave valuable genealogical data.
On 17 Sep 1860, in Marion Court, the case of Martin W. Turner vs. R. J. Gregg, Tax Collector was brought. In the case this statement was made:
On the same date, William H. Moody (son of Barfield Moody and Sally Crawford) made a statement for Martin, but didn't mention any of Martin's ancestors names. However he did say that Martin had Martin had been in his Militia unit (Cross Road Beat, 32 Regiment SC Militia) he also said that "Turner, though somewhat stained, has always been received in the Community as a free white man."
On the same date, James W. Bass (son of Joseph R. Bass and Mercy Crawford) also made a statement for Martin, though named none of his ancestors, but said he had known Martin for many years and he "has enjoyed the rights and immunities of a white man".
Also on that date, James Lane Sr made a statement and repeated much of what John Blackman had said. Here is James Lane's statement, confirming John Blackman's:
For the Civil War, one of the Martin Turner's enlisted in Company D, 25th Regiment Infantry as a Private. He was listed by Sellers as "Martin Turner", and he said he "died since the war", meaning he was dead before 1898-1901 when his book was being written. This could be either man. (W. W. Sellers, A History of Marion County, South Carolina, p. 635).
In his service records, Martin Turner is listed as age 57 on a hospital record dated 1864. That puts his birth at ca 1806/07 which is too old to be either of the Martin Turners.
Martin Turner and family were listed in Marion County for the 1870 census: Moody's Township, Cat Fish PO, # 2/2 Martin Turner 54, Farmer $1000/300 SC; Betsy 52 Keeping House. They were both listed as white on this census, though it looks like Martin was marked as Mulatto first, then that was marked out.
For some reason Martin and wife weren't in the same household for the 1880 census. Both of their marital statuses were listed as married. She was living with a Christmas family, relationship "none" and she was listed as being blind. He was living by himself several pages away. Hers: Moody Township, # 42/42 William Chrismas, 25 married, Farmer, SC-SC-SC; Arnettie, 19 wife, Keeping House; Aurthe M. 5 son; Alberta 1 daughter; Bettsy Turner, mulatto, 53, relationship = none, married, SC-SC-SC. His: Moody Township, # 252/252 Martin Turner, mulatto, 65, married, work on farm, SC-SC-SC.
For the 1880 census, Martin Turner was listed in Moody Township, living alone, but with his marital status listed as "M" (Married). In the same township (but not near by) was Betsy Turner, close to right age to be Martin's wife. However, she was listed as Single. I don't know if they were separated, or if this Betsy Turner is someone else. But here are both listings:
I didn't find Martin or Elizabeth on the 1900 census. They were probably both dead by then.
Children of Martin W. Turner and Elizabeth (---). Martin and Elizabeth had three children as proven by the 1850 census, and two more as proven by the 1860 census. One of their sons (Eli) died in the Civil War. The other children have been difficult to trace, and I know very little about them. I found a death certificate for daughter Frances "Frankie" Turner who died 6 Jan 1916. Her married name was Christmas, but her husband's name wasn't given. William Christmas was the informant, he could be her husband or her son. I wasn't able to find out which Christmas she married.
Frances Turner was born ca 1837/38 per her age on the 1850 census (12), or born ca 1834/35 per her age in 1850 (25). Her tombstone gives her birth date as 4 Sep 1834 which matches her age in 1860.
Frances was not with her parents in 1870 so probably married then.
I found her death certificate accidentally while looking for someone else. She died on 6 Jan 1916 in Marion Co., SC and is buried at Sardis Cemetery in Dillon Co., SC. Her name at death was "Frankie Christmas." The death certificate shows her parents were Martin W. Turner and Elizabeth Turner so this is clearly her though her age was given as 90 (born ca 1826). William Christmas was the informant, no relationship stated. She was listed as married and not widowed, so her Mr. Christmas was still living in 1916.
Who was she married to? The Christmas family was neighbors to the Turners over several generations and there were several intermarriages between them and various Turners, but I haven't been able to determine which of them married Frances Turner.
One complicating factor is that another Frances Christmas died just a year later on 21 Jun 1917. She was listed as married (no husband named), but a daughter of William Christmas and Mary Foxworth. If she was married and her parents were named Christmas, she must have been married to a cousin also named Christmas. G. W. Christmas was the informant. She was listed as born 7 Aug 1833 which isn't correct. She was with her parents on the 1850 and 1860 census and was born ca 1847/48 in Williamsburg Dist., SC. G. W. Christmas, the informant, was her brother. Her tombstone lists her as born 1849, died 19 Jun 1917.
I mention the other Frances because they were of similar age and are both buried at Sardis Cemetery, and I'm having trouble finding who either was married to.
Frances Turner was with her parents (in Marion) in 1850 and 1860 but gone by 1870. Frances C. Christmas was also with her parents (in Williamsburg) in 1850 and 1860 and gone by 1870.
I didn't find anyone named Frances, Franky, Fanny (etc.) Christmas on the 1870 census in Marion or Williamsburg, nor in 1880 or 1900.
In 1910 I found a Frances Christmas in Marion County. I'm not sure whether it is Frances Turner Christmas or Frances Christmas Christmas: Legette Township, no house or family numbers, Jarret C. Christmas, Head, 75 married once 55 years, SC-SC-SC Farmer; Frankie, wife 81, married once, 55 years, 6 children born, 5 living SC-SC-SC, Laborer.
Which Frances is this? It is confusing because Jarrot C. Christmas was listed as a widower in 1900, and had no wife with him in 1880 or 1870. He did have Orphy Ann (---) Turner with him those years, widow of Willis Turner. She was listed as his wife in 1880, but in 1900 listed as his cousin, also widowed. In 1910 he was listed as having been married for 55 years (married ca 1854/55), which doesn't work with either Frances since both were still with their parents then ... unless one of them did marry him, but they lived apart all those years, coming back together late in life. Just a thought, but it could explain it. It still doesn't explain which Frances it was.
"J. C." Christmas died on 23 Apr 1915 in Marion County and is buried at the Sardis Cemetery. His death certificate lists him as married, but the wife's name isn't given. I'm not positive this is Jarrot C. Christmas, but it fits. W. A. Christmas was the informant (his cousin William A. Christmas). He was listed as 82, born ca 1833 in Marion Co., SC a son of Nathan Christmas and Kate Christmas.
There is a Jariet Christmas buried at Sardis born 10 Feb 1822 died 15 Oct 1909. I don't know who that is unless there were two Jarrot Christmas's in the area.
I haven't been able to figure this out.
Cherry Turner was born ca 1839/40 per her age on the 1850 census (10). She wasn't home in 1860. I have no further record of her.
Eli Turner was born ca 1841/42 per his age on the 1850 census (8). He was with his parents for the 1850 census ("Eli" age 8) and with them in 1860 ("Eli" age 16).
For the Civil War, Eli Turner enlisted as Private in Company E, 23rd South Carolina Infantry (Hatch's Regiment Coast Rangers). He joined on 22 Oct 1861 at age 18 in Marion District for 12 months service.
Eli died at Winchester, Virginia on 29 Oct 1862. A document in his civil war record shows that his father M. W. Turner made claim as next of kin for his final pay as administrator of his estate.
Elijah Turner was born ca 1848/49 per his age on the 1860 census (11). He was not home with his parents in 1850, so he probably wasn't born yet, his age in 1860 notwithstanding. He was with his parents in 1860 ("Elijah" age 11).
I didn't find him on the 1870 or 1880 census. He must have died in the 1860's.
|M. Turner was born ca 1857/58 per her age in 1860 (2). She was home with her parents in 1860 ("M. Turner" age 2, female). She wasn't with them in 1870. I don't know her name, though Mary, Margaret or Martha may be the most likely.|
1. Martin W Turner was born in 1815/1816 in Marion Dist, SC. He died after 1880 in Marion Co, SC.
Martin married Elizabeth before 1838 in Marion Dist, SC. Elizabeth was born in 1817/1818 in Marion Dist, SC. She died after 1880 in Marion Co, SC.
They had the following children.
2 F i. Frances Turner was born in 1837/1838 in Marion Dist, SC. She died 6 Jan 1916 in Marion Co, SC. She is buried at Sardis Cemetery, Dillon Co., SC. She married --- Christmas.
3 F ii. Cherry Turner was born in 1839/1840 in Marion Dist, SC. She died after 1850 in Marion Dist, SC.
4 M iii. Eli Turner was born in 1841/1842 in Marion Dist, SC. He died on 29 Oct 1862 in Winchester, VA, Civil War.
5 M iv. Elijah Turner was born in 1848/1849 in Marion Dist, SC. He died after 1860 in Marion Dist, SC.
6 F v. M Turner was born in 1857/1858 in Marion Dist, SC. She died after 1860 in Marion Dist, SC.
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