Martin Turner (c1790) of Marion Co, SC and Izard and Marion Co, AR Home > Genealogy > Turner > Families > Martin

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I (Marty Grant) don't know how (or if) I'm related to the Martin Turner family, but I am very interested in him though.

Special thanks to Billy Higgins for data shared on this family. Without his help, I would probably have never noticed this family, for I have found no records of them in Marion County, SC.  Billy found Martin and James Turner in Izard Co, AR associated with his ancestor Peter Calder. All of them were originally from Marion Co, SC as proven by their War of 1812 records, and all were "Free Colored" per the census records. When he first contacted me about them, I immediately realized they were probably part of the John and Patience Turner family.

Martin Turner was born ca 1789/90 (per his age of "29" given on his military discharge papers dated 28 Aug 1819). His place of birth was listed as "Marion, South Carolina". This means he was technically born in Georgetown District (now Marion or Dillon County), probably in the general vicinity of Sellers, or between there and Latta.

I don't know who Martin's parents were, but he is closely connected with James Turner (c1796) who was with him in Izard Co, AR and who served in the Army with him. They could be brothers or cousins. Also, John Turner (c1805) showed up in the same area a little later on. He might be another brother, or cousin or even a nephew. My personal belief is that Martin Turner is either a son of John Turner (1760/70) or more likely a son of Reuben Turner (1760/65) and wife Dorothy Martin. Note her maiden name, as that might be the source for Martin's given name. It should be noted that John Turner did have an apparent unknown son that roughly matches Martin's age. I'm more partial to Martin being Reuben and Dorothy's son, because of Dorothy's maiden name being "Martin". They also had an otherwise unidentified son in Martin's age group.  Furthermore, they also had an unidentified son James Turner's age, thus helping the case that Martin and James were brothers. John Turner did not have room for both of them as his sons. However, all of this is speculative, based only on census analysis, which is not an exact science.

Martin would have been about 1 year old or less by the time of the 1790 census, so he should be enumerated in the "under 16" age group (born 1774/1790). Both John Turner (1760/70) and Reuben Turner (1760/65) had an apparent son that age with them in 1790.

In 1800, Martin would have been about 10 years old. He could have been enumerated in the "under 10" group (1790/1800) or in the 10-15 age group (born ca 1784/90). However, all the suspected Turners in Marion District, SC were listed as "Free Colored" in 1800, meaning their households were not broken down by age and sex, so it makes identification difficult.

In 1810, Martin would have been about 20 years old, so he should be enumerated in the 16-25 age group (born ca 1784/94). Reuben Turner (1760/65) had two apparent sons that age with him in 1810. John Turner (1760/70) was "missing" in 1810, so I don't know if he had any sons that age or not.

On 29 Jun 1812, James Turner, his probable brother Martin Turner and possible relative Peter Calder enlisted in Captain Elisha Bethea's Company for the War of 1812. This was a company made up of (mostly) Marion District men. (Thanks to Billy Higgins for this data).

In the years after 1812, Martin and James Turner (and Peter Calder) left Marion District, South Carolina and moved west to the Arkansas region, which was still part of Missouri at that time.  They were apparently still in the United States Army, though I don't know why they remained in so long after the war ended.  Billy Higgins shared some tidbits from their military records, and for Martin Turner's discharge papers (dated 28 Aug 1819) he was described as being 29 years old, and being five feet nine inches tall with dark eyes, dark hair and dark complexion. He was discharged at Fort Smith (Arkansas). The War of 1812 was long over, so they must have both reenlisted at least once or twice.  For a very thorough and interesting article, please read Billy Higgins article on Peter Caulder published in the "The Arkansas Historical Quarterly" Vol LVIII, No. 1, Spring 1999. This article focuses on Caulder, but also includes much data on the two Turners as well as John Turner (c1805).

In 1819 (the year of their discharge from the Army), Arkansas Territory was formed from southern Missouri Territory). I don't know where they were living at this time, though if in the same area they were found later (Izard and Marion), then they would have been in old Lawrence County, Arkansas.

There is no 1820 census for Arkansas Territory or none that I've seen.

In 1820, Independence County was formed from western Lawrence County, and probably included the area the Turners lived.

In 1825, Izard County was formed from northwestern Independence, and this is where the Turners lived.

Martin Turner was listed on the 1830 census in Izard County, Arkansas. His brother/cousin James Turner was two houses away as was probable relative Peter Calder (their constant neighbor, and also from Marion Co, SC). This census shows Martin with a wife and young son, so he apparently had married in the late 1820's. I don't know who his wife was. Martin, and James Turner and Peter Calder were all listed in the "Free Colored" columns.

1830 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1840 Izard Co, AR pg 110 Martin Turner 0000000000000-0000000000000-FPC=10100-01000
1 FC Male(s) 24-35     (1793-1805)	Martin TURNER (1789/90)
1 FC Male(s) 0-9       (1820-1830)	Son?
1 FC Female(s) 10-23   (1805-1820)	Wife?

According to Billy Higgins, Martin Turner was listed in Izard Co, AR on the 1832 and 1833 tax lists. I've not seen these records yet.

In 1835, Searcy County was formed from western Izard County, and this encompassed the area where the Turners and Calders resided. For some reason "Searcy" County was renamed "Marion County" the following year (1836). Probably made them all feel right at home being back in "Marion" again.

Martin Turner was not listed on the 1840 census in Marion Co, AR, nor was his brother James Turner. His former neighbor Peter Calder was still there, and he was listed next door to John Turner (c1805). I did not find Martin nor James in other counties or other states in 1840, though there were numerous men named "Martin Turner" around at that time, but none that seems to be this same one.

My belief is that Martin Turner (and possibly James also) died in the 1830's, for by 1850 there were quite a number of young, apparently orphaned Turners around Marion County, Arkansas. These could be the children and / or grandchildren of one or of both of them. Several of those children were born in the 1840's though.

It seems to me that some of these children must belong to Martin Turner: Fanny Turner (c1835), James (c1838) and John (c1842) all residing with John and Harriett Bowman in 1850; Sarah (c1829), Jesse (c1832), Leonard (c1842), Joel (c1847) and James H. Turner (c1849) all living with Rachel Bowman in 1850; Lydia Turner (c1833) with Clarrisa Bunn in 1850; Rachel Turner (c1842) with Francis and Sarah Nesbitt in 1850; Reuben Turner (c1832) and Elisabeth (c1835) with John and Nancy Hall in 1850. All of the above were neighbors to each other and to Peter Calder and to John Turner (1805) in 1850, so they are all clearly of the same extended family.


I have not identified any children for Martin Turner yet, though refer to the list given above for a list of possible children.

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