Joe Turner in the 1853 Estate File of Wiley Turner – Lowndes County, Alabama

Recently I decided to find the plantation where my 2X great grandparents, Joe and Emma Turner were enslaved. I started by looking at white Turners in Hayneville, Lowndes County, Alabama where my family lived in 1870. I found Wiley Turner and his brother Thomas Turner. Both died in 1851. Wiley’s estate file contained several lists of those enslaved on his plantation.  I found a Joe. I believe is my Joe because there was only one Joe Turner in the area and because he was described as light complected, which my Joe was. I have posted the most complete list that includes names, ages and monetary worth.  There is also an Emmaline who may be my Emma.

I will be writing more about the Turner plantation and those who were once enslaved on it, as I continue to try and piece together the lives of Joe and Emma  Turner and others in their community.

Wiley_Turners_plantation
The rebuilt plantation house of Wiley Turner. You can see more photos and information here.  No photos of the slave quarters survive.  In 1860 there were 15 slave dwellings for 75 enslaved people.  Five members of the Wiley Turner family lived in the big house.
Inventory; and Appraisement of the Est. of Wiley Turner, Deceased. 1853

        Sex            Name              Aged about     Worth
1.      Boy        Andrew                    20       $850.00
2.      Girl       Fanny                     20        750.00
3.      Boy        Lewis (Tyus)              24        750.00
4.      Girl       Amy                       29        550.00
5.      Boy        Mordicai                  20        875.00
6.      Girl       Leah                      20        650.00
7.      Boy        Billy (Tyus)              22        850.00
8.      Girl       Martha                    20        700.00
9.      Boy        Toney                     25        600.00
10.     Woman      Ellen & child             40        400.00
11.     Girl       Abby                      14        550.00
12.     Girl       Little Margaret           13        500.00
13.     Boy        Alfred                    22        700.00
14.     Woman      Maria & child Ranson      30        500.00
15.     Girl       Little Jane                9        250.00
16.     Girl       Louisa                     4        250.00
17.     Girl       Adella                     2        175.00
18.     Man        Doctor                    55        240.00
19.     Woman      Mary                      50        175.00
20.     Girl       Eliza                     14        600.00
21.     Girl       Minerva                   12        450.00
22.     Girl       Amanda                    10        350.00
23.     Man        Lewis                     18        750.00
24.     Woman      Lucy                      30        400.00
25.     Man        Adam                      22        500.00
26.     Girl     Mary Ellen & child Edward   18        800.00
27.     Man        Jack                      30        350.00
28.     Woman      Big Margaret              25        650.00
29.     Boy        Jesse (Tyus)              20        900.00
30.     Woman      Elizabeth                 23        650.00
31.     Man        William                   50        400.00
32.     Woman      Rachell                   50        200.00
33.     Boy        Little Charles             8        450.00
34.     Girl       Susan                     18        700.00
35.     Girl       Eliza                     34        400.00
36.     Girl       Harriett                   5        225.00
37.     Man        Sam                       35        400.00
38.     Woman      Lyddy                     30        400.00
39.     Boy        Henry (May)               19        900.00
40.     Woman      Ellen Brown               25        500.00
41.     Man        Robbin                    25        800.00
42.     Woman      Cherry & child Louisa     36        400.00
43.     Boy        Prince                     5        350.00
44.     Woman      Rachell (Patten)          28        700.00
45.     Boy        Robert                    11        500.00
46.     Boy        Frank                      6        300.00
47.     Woman      Maria Ann                 16        700.00
48.     Man        Charles (Rugely)          23        850.00
49.     Woman      Rose & child Gabril       28        650.00
50.     Boy        Washington                14        700.00
51.     Man        John                      24        800.00
52.     Woman      Nelly                     49        200.00
53.     Boy        Abram                     16        900.00
54.     Man        Big Jesse                 26        450.00
55.     Girl       Jane                      18        700.00
56.     Girl       Hager                     23        500.00
57.     Girl       Abegail & child Ema       23        400.00
58.     Woman      Old Rachell               60        100.00
59.     Man        Frederick                 23        850.00
60.     Woman      Clara & child Alford      35        500.00
61.     Girl       Sylvia                    12        500.00
62.     Girl       Lucy                      12        450.00
63.     Girl       Alice                      8        350.00
64.     Boy        Freeman                    6        350.00
65.     Boy        Harrison                   6        350.00
66.     Girl       Julia Ann                  3        200.00
67.     Boy        Henry (Turner)            18        875.00
68.     Man        Old Jim                   45        400.00
69.     Woman      Menty                     45        300.00
70.     Boy        Daniel                     3        200.00
71.     Man        Ben                       33        800.00
72.     Woman      Mary McQueen              28        500.00
73.     Boy        Harry                     12        550.00
74.     Woman      Hannah                    55        200.00
75.     Boy        George                    13        600.00
76.     Woman      Betsey & child Caroline   23        800.00
77.     Girl       Phillis                    8        375.00
78.     Girl       Peggy                      3        225.00
79.     Man        Achilles                  43        650.00
80.     Woman      Mariah Mosely             35        450.00
81.     Girl       Elvira                    14        650.00
82.     Boy        Jim Swagert               18        800.00
83.     Man        Wilson                    28        850.00
84.     Woman      Yellow Jinny              45        400.00
85.     Man        Martin                    26      1,100.00
86.     Woman      Letty                     21        300.00
87.     Man        Hardy                     56        250.00
88.     Boy        Nelson                    15        750.00
89.     Boy        Cary                      13        700.00
90.     Boy        Lloyd                     17        700.00
91.     Boy        Austin                    16        800.00
92.     Boy        Long George               19        350.00
93.     Boy        Isaac                     10        350.00
94.     Boy        Joe (white)               15        650.00
95.     Boy        Jim Patton                14        700.00
96.     Woman      Milly                     55        150.00
97.     Man        Edmond                    38        600.00
98.     Man        Tom                       40        600.00
99.     Boy        Ned                       11        475.00
100.    Girl       Emeline                    9        350.00
101.    Man        Yellow John               24        875.00
102.    Woman      Yellow Milly              30        800.00
103.    Boy        Anthony     infant    (included with Milly)
104.    Boy        Little William            10        450.00
105.    Boy        Carter                     6        350.00
106.    Boy        Braxton                    4        250.00
107.    Woman      Alcey                     40        200.00
108.    Old Man Turner                       65          1.00
109.    Boy        Frank (blind)             18          1.00

Joe and Emma Turner were the parents of Howard Turner who was my grandmother Fannie Mae Turner Graham’s father. You can see other posts about my Turner’s below.

Joe Turner – Land, Mules and Courts

Emma and Joe Turner of Lowndes County Alabama

There were at one time 4 flourishing schools in this county

15 thoughts on “Joe Turner in the 1853 Estate File of Wiley Turner – Lowndes County, Alabama”

  1. I was talking to some new found Lowndes County family and they were asking if I knew any Turners from Lowndes County.

    Do you know what happened to Joe Turner Jr.?
    Did he get married? If so, what was his wife’s name?

    1. Joe Turner Jr. married Emmaline Williams, which made it quite confusing for a minute as his parents also were Joe and Emma.

      Joe Turner Sr married his second wife around 1901 after his first wife Emma died. Her name was Luella Freeman. She was quite a bit younger than he was and they had 9 children together before he died at age 80 in 1919.

      I have never been able to find any of my Turners. Recently I did find a descendant of Luella’s sister Annie. We both lamented the fact that we can find no Turners.

      Who did you find? Do you know how they fit into the family? Please give them a link to this post!

      1. I found a Rosie Dean who married a Joe Turner Jr in 1899 in Lowndes County.
        Rosie was my 2x Great Grandmother’s niece.
        Rosie remarried in 1917 in Ottawa County, OH

        1. I found the marriage record for Rosie Dean and Joe Turner in 1899 and a marriage record for Joe Turner and Emmaline Williams for 1900. In 1900 I found Joe Turner living alone, Emma living with her parents and her and Joe’s daughter, Fanny Turner who was born in 1888 (same name and birth year as my grandmother but different parents. They were cousins). In the 1910 census I find Joe and Emma together in Lowndes County and it says they are both in their 2nd marriage. If you could email me at kcleage at gmail dot com and give me some more info about Rosie – parents, birthdate, Ohio husband. Maybe we can figure this out!

  2. Extraordinary research as always Kristin! Have you come across any plantation records detailing the day to day operations of any plantations noted in your research yet? I haven’t, but would love to. But again, I’m not sure just where I would locate those records especially with university libraries clamoring to find them first to add them to their special collections.

    1. In the estate file, which encompassed over 10 years, there are several sheets itemizing doctor visits, who he treated and for what. I will be posting those as soon as I get them transcribed. I have not come across any diaries by enslavers that talk about the day to day operation of the plantation. I have a letter that Sam Cleage wrote to the overseer on the Cleage plantation here http://findingeliza.com/archives/4

  3. I had a strong emotional reaction when I saw the listed values of these individuals. They all made me feel sad. And, even thought it was many years ago, the $1 for “Old Man Turner” and the blind boy really made me worry about their welfare.

  4. I find it heartbreaking to see so many people identified as “property.” Even Thomas Jefferson kept his own children by a slave he owned as property. It boggles the mind. So terribly sad.

    @Kathleen01930 Blog

  5. I’m with the others above – reading through the list of people, ages, ‘values’ made my stomach hurt. Thank you so much for doing this work and sharing it.

    1. When I first find records listing my enslaved ancestor, or sometimes when I’m going over information, I feel emotional about it. Usually, I’m going over and over the information trying to get a picture of the lives that were being lived even during those times.

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