A Family Photograph – 1892

This photograph was taken in Montgomery during 1892 while the family was in mourning. Jennie holds two year old Daisy while four year old Fannie stands beside her.

Howard Turner and Jennie Virginia Allen were married in June of 1887.  Howard’s father, Joe Turner gave them land to farm in Lowndes County, Alabama. Joe wanted the land to stay in the family forever. By 1892 Joe and Howard were arguing constantly about Howard and Jennie’s desire to sell the land and move to Montgomery. The day of the fateful bar-b-que the arguments had been particularly violent. Jennie was in Montgomery visiting her parents , with their two young daughters, when word came that Howard had been shot dead at the bar-b-que.

Jennie moved back to her parent’s house with her children, Fannie and Daisy. She took the title to the land to a lawyer and asked him to make sure all was in order so she could sell. When she returned the lawyer told her that the title was not clear and she didn’t own the land. Jennie believed that her father-in-law had paid the lawyer to get the land back for himself. She cut ties with the Turners and went to work as a seamstress, the trade her mother Eliza had taught all six of her daughters.

Many years later, when Fannie was grown, she ran into one of her Turner cousins. She asked the cousin about what her mother believed – that Joe Turner had his son killed to keep the land. It wasn’t true. The lawyer had stolen the land for himself. They didn’t know who killed Howard.

Fannie was my maternal grandmother. Howard and Jennie were my great grandparents. Joe Turner was my great great grandfather. I didn’t know his or wife’s name, nor any of Howard’s siblings names until I found them in the 1870 and 1880 census in Lowndes County, Alabama when I began to do online research in the 1990s. Joe and Emma Turner lived on the farm with their children, Lydia b. 1862, Howard b. 1863, Fanny b. 1864, Joe b. 1867, Anna b. 1869, Alonza b. 1873.

4 thoughts on “A Family Photograph – 1892”

  1. What a phenomenal story. It must have been very emotional also. Non- genealogists don't understand how we can become so attached to ancestors we never knew.

  2. It was very emotional to find the Turners. I spent so much time up and down the road they lived on in varies censuses that I feel like I did know them. Joe married a young woman after Emma died and had another whole family.

    i did know my great grandmother when she was very old and i was very young. I knew my aunt Daisy until I was in my early teens and my grandmother until I was 27. I have driven through Lowndes county and plan to find where the farm was and what happened to it.

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