Joe Turner & Wife Emma Turner Convey Land – 1872

Deed Record Book H. Click each image to enlarge.

Recently I went to the nearby Family Search Center to look at some Lowndes County Alabama property records from the 1870s on microfilm. I hoped to find more details about  Joe and Emma Turner, my 2X great grandparents. I also planned to look at records for other formerly enslaved Turners mentioned in Wiley Turner’s probate record.

There were five rolls of microfilm waiting for me. It was by no means a large research center.  It is actually a few rooms in the educational part of the Church of Latter Day Saints. In a small room there were three computers. Next to it was another small room with a microfilm machine. A local Family Search volunteer opened the building for me and got me started. She loaded the roll into the reader, showed me how it worked and advised me to put a phone book under a piece of paper if the document was hard to read. Then she went to the next room to work on her family history.

After scrolling through to page 238, which I thought was the page I was looking for in Book H, I discovered that there was nothing about the Turners on that page, nor on the pages before or after. I scrolled back to the index. At this point the scrolling was making me feel slightly motion sick but I chewed some gum and kept going. Looking at the index, I found the Turners listed with the “Ts” under a letter “O” on page 97. Very confusing. However, that was actually the page I was looking for and it was full of information about the land deal. There was even a drawing of the property that changed hands. I took photos of the various pages, not very good ones it turned out.

Index with page number for the record I wanted.

As the next roll of film was being loaded, a thin belt separated from wherever it was supposed to be.  The microfilm machine was broken. It was the only machine there and it was ancient. The volunteer said she will try to get it repaired and call me when it is. She also said I can keep the rolls of film there as long as I need them. That is only good if I have a machine to view it through.

Family Search plans to digitize all of their records during the next two years.  They also plan to discontinue sharing microfilm in August of this year. I do not hold out much hope for the repair of the machine, unless a local volunteer can do it.   Below is what I found.

 

Know all men by these presents that we, Joe Turner and Emma Turner his wife of said state and county for and in consideration fo the sum of one hundred dolars to us paid this day by Edward H. Herbert and Louisa Herbert his wife do hereby bargain, sell and convey to the said Herbert and his wife Louisa the following described lots or parcels of land lying and being within corporate limits of the town of Hayneville in said county to wit a lot of about one acre lying west and broadside of the lot now owned and occupied by the said Herbert extending west to a street running north and south by the residence of John P Streety, a lot a strip of land about twenty yards wide south of the above described lot and the said lot owned and occupied by the said Herbert containing one half acre more or less; also a lot known as the Stewart lot commencing at the south west corner of the lot on which H a Rinadi’s house stands, running east thirty five yards, thence south to a street running east and west from the residence of John P Streety by the County jail and up by the Methodist Church, thence west thirty five yards thence north to the beginning containing one acre more or less, also a lot of three fourths of an acre mor or less bounded east by the said Stewart lot south of the street running east and west from the residence of John P Streety up by the jail and Methodist Church, west by a vacant lot owned by the said Streety and north of the east half of the strip of land above described; all of said lots containing three and a half acres more or less to have and to hold to them and their heirs and assigns forever.

Witness our hands and seals this 9th day of January AD 1872.

Signed and delineated in presence of W.H. Taigler  R.McQueen

Plat map with easy to read additions by me.

Joe X (his mark) Turner. Emma Turner

 

 

Joe Turner Constable -1871, Lowndes County Alabama

In 2003 I purchased a copy of the book “Lowndes Court House – A Chronicle of Hayneville, an Alabama Black Belt Village 1820 – 1900”, a book of reminiscences by  Mildred Brewer Russell. In the chapter “Reconstruction And After, 1865 – 1900 I found my great great grandfather, Joe Turner, mentioned as one of the Negro (sic) politicians.  After that I tried to find what sort of politician he was, what office he held.  I could not find anything.

From “LowndesCourt House – A chronicle of Hayneville – an Alabama Black Belt Village 1820- 1900” Page 127 By Mildred Brewer Russell

Last week on Ancestry.com, I found the following information. Joe Turner was elected as constable on November 7, 1871.

Google defined a constable as “…a peace officer with limited policing authority, typically in a small town.”

In 1874 Reconstruction ended in Alabama, resulting in loss of voting rights and the ability to hold elected office for black people.

Here is an interesting timeline that traces how the right to vote and hold public office was taken away from black men in Lowndes and neighboring counties. “The More You Know: A History …”  It wasn’t until 1970, 99 years from 1871, that African American John Hulett was elected  sheriff in Lowndes County.

You can read more about Joe Turner in these posts:

Timeline for Joe Turner

Joe Turner in the 1853 Probate Record for Wiley Turner

Joe Turner, Land, Mules and Courts

Emma and Joe Turner of Gordensville, Lowndes County

Joseph Turner’s Will

There were at one time 4 flourishing schools…

 

Two Coffins Betsy and Austin – 1859, Estate of Wiley Turner

Betsy was about 26 years old when she was listed with her daughter Caroline in the inventory of the estate of Wiley Turner. It was February 2, 1852. Betsy and Caroline were valued at $800.00. On the list below them were eight year old Phillis ($375) and three year old Peggy ($225). They seem to be a family group.

Further down the page Austin is listed. He was 16 years old and valued at $800.

Two pages from the 4 page list of the enslaved on the Wiley Turner plantation. Joe, age 15 was my 2X great grandfather.

On January 26 and 27 of 1859, Betsy was visited by Doctor Pritchett. The cost of the visits was $2.50. On February 6 and 7, Doctor Pritchett visited Austin.

On January 29, 1859 a coffin was purchased for Betsy.  She was 29. On February 8, 1859  A coffin was purchased for Austin. He was 22. Each coffin cost $5. I do not know what they died of.

I found the two coffins listed in the estate file among a list of payments given out from the estate in early 1859. If I had not gone page by page through the file, I would have missed these, as I did when I looked through it last year and only looked for lists of the enslaved.

I found all of these documents in the Estate file of Wiley Turner, deceased, on Ancestry.com.  My 2 X great grandfather, Joe Turner came off of this plantation. Click on the documents to enlarge.

Enslaved & Freed Turners from the Wiley Turner Plantation

For the past week I have been immersed in the Turners who came off of Wiley Turner’s plantation in Lowndes County Alabama.  My 2X great grandfather, Joe Turner, came off of that plantation.  Wiley Turner died in 1851 without a Will and so his estate was probated. The case dragged on for twenty years. There are multiple lists of the enslaved, the first in 1852.  I wrote about the one from 1853 here. The others were from 1856, 1857 and 1865.  There were also the 1850 and 1860 slave censuses, which give no names but age, sex and color (“mulatto” or “black”)

There are also records of doctors visits, some patients named and some not. There are records of how much and what was sold from the plantation during this time. There were several changes of administrators due to deaths and some disputes among members of the family about what was due them.

After the Civil War was over and Freedom came, there were new records for the formerly enslaved and now free, the 1866 census for the first time named the formerly heads of households. In the 1870 census, the whole household was named. In 1880, relationships to the head of the household were given. There were also marriage and land records.

By investigating the community and households, I want to see what happened to the people and families, both before and after slavery. Right now I am going through the material and figuring out how to present it. At first, when going through the probate record, I just looked for the names of the enslaved.  Going over it again, I realized that I could not give a picture without knowing more about what was going on around them, what crops were grown, what was sold,  what was bought and the rest of the turmoil swirling around them during that time period.  Maybe I need to start by printing out the whole file.

I have never done a project like this outside of a time crushing challenge, so we shall see how it goes.

 

Fannie Mae Turner Graham Obituary – 1888 – 1974

Grandmother Clock
From top, clockwise: My grandmother Fannie in the 1950s. My grandmother Fannie was 4 holding her hat. Her mother Jennie holding Daisy. Her father, Howard Turner had been killed. 1894. My grandfather Mershell pointing at Fannie about 1917. My grandmother holding my mother Doris up, 1923. My grandmother in the back, her mother in the front holding baby Howard, on the left my mother Doris and on the right my aunt MV, 1930. My grandmother with her daughters MV and Doris, about 1934. My grandparents Mershell and Fannie (Turner) Graham, about 1945.

 

On Being 12 & 70

My maternal grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham, was born 129 years ago  on March 12, 1888, in Lowndes County, Alabama. She died on August 13, 1974 in Detroit, Michigan.  You can read more about my grandmother in this post  Fannie Mae Turner Part 1.

1958 augkris&fan
I was 12 and my grandmother was 70.  1958 in my grandmother’s backyard.

I am the same age as my grandmother was when we posed together on her back steps.  Looking at the photograph below of me and my granddaughter made me think about the endless circle and the passage of time.

My granddaughter was 12 and I was a  a few months shy of 70. 2016, we were at the beach in St. Petersburg, Florida and the water was freezing!

 

 

Through the Years

"Jennie Allen Turner funeral"
In 1892 my great grandfather Howard Turner was shot to death at a bar-b-que. This is a photograph of his wife and children in mourning. Twenty six year old  Jennie Allen Turner holds two year old Daisy Pearl Turner while four year old Fannie Mae Turner stands beside her.  Fannie was my maternal grandmother.
"Jennie Allen Turner and Daughters"
Jennie and daughters in Montgomery, Alabama. Fannie, Jennie and Alice in the front. Daisy in the back. About 1916.
"Daisy, Jennie and Fannie"
Daisy Turner, Jennie Turner and Fannie Turner Graham standing outside of my grandparent’s fence for a photograph, probably on a Sunday after attending service at Plymouth Congregational Church.
My grandmother, Fannie Turner Graham and my oldest daughter, Jilo. Detroit, 1972.

 

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Joseph Turner’s Will

While looking for a death record on Ancestry for Elizabeth Turner, daughter of Joseph and Luella Turner, instead I found the Will of her father, my 2X great grandfather, Joseph Turner of Lowndes County, Alabama.  I had looked for his Will before without finding it.  Below are the Will and a transcription.

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The Will of Joseph Turner appears in Will Book D,page 248,  Lowndes County, Alabama.

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Will of Joseph Turner

State of Alabama County of Lowndes

Know all men by these presents that, I, Joseph Turner, of said county of Lowndes, being in good health, and of sound mind, realizing the uncertainty of life, and wishing to provide for my younger children during their minority, do make this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time made.

First

I will that ll my just debts be paid by my executrix here – in after named, as soon after my death as she can conveniently pay.

Second

I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Luella Turner all of my estate, both real, personal and mixed in Trust for the use and benefit of herself and my minor children, during their minority, equally, until my youngest child then living shall have reached the age of twenty-one years.

Third

After my youngest child then living, shall have arrived at the age of twenty one years, my will is, that all of my estate of every description be divided equally, share and share alike, between my said wife, Luella Turner and all my children, and in the event any of my said children die, before such division takes place, leaving a child or children, him or her surviving, then such share as my said child should have received if living, shall go to his or her children.

Fourth

I do nominate and appoint my said wife, Luella Turner to be the executrix of this my last will and testament without band. Expressly exempting her from all liability to any person or court for any misuse of any personal property belonging to my estate, and for any and all rents which may accrue during the said minority of my youngest then living child. Except, my said wife again marry, in that event, and from the date of such marrying again by my said wife Luella, she shall be held strictly accountable for the proper use and distribution of my estate as herein before set out.

In testimony whereof I set my hand and seal, this 11 day of December 1909.

Joseph (his mark X) Turner (Seal)

Signed, sealed and published as his last will and testament by the said Joseph turner in our presence, and we in his presence, and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses, at his request, on this the 11 day of December 1909.

Jos. R. Bell

S.M. Salley

Filed for Probate in office this the March 10, 1919

W.H. Lee,

Judge of Probate Court

Testimony of Joseph R Bell.

The State of Alabama, Lowndes County } Probate Court

In the matter of the Probate of the Last Will and Testament of Joseph Turner Deceased.

Before me, W.H. Lee, Judge of Probate Court in and for the County and State aforesaid, personally appeared in open Court Jos. R. Bell, who having been by me first duly sworn and examined, did and doest depose and say that he and S.M. Salley subscribing witnesses to the forgoing instrument of writing now shown to the said affiant and which purports to be the last Will and Testament of Joseph Turner, deceased, lat an inhabitant of this count; that the said Joseph Turner since deceased signed and executed said instrument on the day the same bears date, and declared the same to be his last will and testament, and that affiant set his signature thereto, on the day the same bears date, as a subscribing witness to the same, in the presence of said testator and at his request, and in the presence of each other, and that said testator was of sound mind and disposing memory and understanding, and, in the opinion of affiant, fully capable of making his said will at the time the same was so made as aforesaid. And deposent further states that said testator was, on the day of the date of said will, of the full age of twenty-one years and upward and a resident of this county.

Jos. R. Bell

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 28 day of April W. D. 1919.

W.H. Lee

Judge Probate Court, Lowndes County

Filed in office April 28 – 1919:  The State of Alabama, W.H. Lee Judge of Probate

Lowndes County,    I, W.H. Lee, Judge of the Probate Court in and for the county and State aforesaid, do hereby certify that the within instrument of writing has this day in said court and before me as the Judge thereof been duly proven by the testamony of Jas. R. Bell subscribing witness, to be the genuine last will and testament of Joseph Turner, deceased and that said will, together with the proof thereof, has been recorded in my office in Book No D of Wills at page 248.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Probate Court on this the 28th Day of April A.D. One thousand nine hundred and nineteen.

W.H. Lee Judge Probate Court Lowndes County

 

Timeline for Joe Turner, Hayneville, Lowndes County AL (1849 -1919)

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Wiley Turner plantation Hayneville, Lowndes county, Alabama. Man plowing with a mule. Chickens under a house. My great grandmother Jennie Allen Turner with her children Daisy and Fannie Turner after the death of her husband Howard Turner. Lowndes county Courthouse, Hayneville, Lowndes County. Click to enlarge.

Joe Turner was my maternal grandmother Fannie Turner Graham’s grandfather. This is his timeline as I continue to investigate his life and that of his community in Hayneville, Lowndes County, Alabama.

I found the Index of Deeds, Mortages etc. for Lowndes County online at familysearch.com. Joe Turner is listed both buying and selling and mortgagine propery, as are several others who were formerly enslaved on Wiley Turner’s plantation. When I order the microfilm of the actual records I will be able to see dates and names and other information.

Sources for the information below is in italics at the end of the entries. All took place in Lowndes County, most in Hayneville area.

__________________

  • 1841 Born into slavery in Alabama.
  • 1853 Age 12. Appears as “Joe (white)” in list of enslaved with ages and valuation. Wiley Turner estate file page 657.
  • 1855 Age 14. Lists of enslaved and livestock divided for heirs. Wiley Turner estate file page 717.
  • 1857 Dec Age 16 “Valuation of entire slave property of decd- names of…” Joe appears as “Yellow Joe”  Wiley Turner estate file page 796.
  • 1861 11 Jan. Alabama seceded from the Union.
  • 1861 Age 20 – Marriage to Emma Jones (1842–1901) – during slavery. 1900 US Census
  • 1862 Age 20 — Birth of Daughter Lydia Turner (1862–) 1870 US Census
  • 1864 Age 22 — Birth of Son Howard Turner (1864–1892) 1870 US Census
  • 1865 9 June Age 24 –  Bill from Dr. W.H. Haigler for Quinine for Joe.Wiley Turner estate file page 637.
  • 1865 Age 24 – List of enslaved. Joseph  Wiley Turner estate file page 544.
  •  1865 December 18 – Slavery legally over in Alabama.
  • 1866 Age 24 – Birth of Daughter Fannie Turner (1866–1880) 1870 US Census.
  • 1866 Age 25 – Alabama State Census Hayneville, Lowndes County.
  • 1867 Age 25 – Birth of Son Joe Turner (1867–1920) 1870 US Census.
  • 1867 Age 26 – Residence Lowndes, Alabama, USA Alabama Voter Registration Records.
  • 1869 Age 27 – Birth of Daughter Anna Turner (1869–) 1870 US Census.
  • 1870 Age 29 – Residence Hayneville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1870 US Census.
  • 9 Jan 1876 Age 34 – Birth of Son Alonza Turner (1876–1944) 1880 US Census.
  • 1880 (before) Age 38 – Death of Daughter Fannie Turner (1866– before 1880)
  • 1880 Age 39 – Residence Prairie Hill & Gordonsville, Lowndes, AL. Farming 1880 US Census and 1880 Agricultural Census.
  • 1890 -1891 • Age 49 — Turner vs Turner Probate Court land dispute. Hayneville, Lowndes County, AL.
  • 1892 Age 51 — Death of Son Howard Turner (1864–1892) Mentioned in court case above and oral history.
  • 1900 Age 59 — Residence Gordonsville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1900 US Census.
  • 1901(about) Age 60 – Death of Wife Emma Jones (1842–1901) Lowndes County. Emma disappears from records and Joe remarries.
  • 1902 22 Jan Age 60 – Marriage Luella Freeman (1880–1977) Gordonsville, Lowndes, AL. “Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957″
  • 1903 Age 61 — Birth of Son John Van Turner (1903–1943) Lowndes County AL. 1910 US Census.
  • 1904 Age 62 – Birth of Daughter Anna E. Turner (1904–1924) Lowndes County. 1910 US Census.
  • 1906 10 Oct  Age 65 – Birth of Son Daniel Turner (1906–) Lowndes County. 1910 US Census.
  • 1908 Age 66 – Birth of Son Buck Turner (1908–1931) Lowndes County Alabama 1910 US Census
  • 1909 Age 67 – Birth of Daughter Josephine Turner (1909–1915) Lowndes Cty 1910 US Census
  • 1910 Age 69 – Residence Precinct 4, Lowndes, Alabama. 1910 US Census.
  • 1911 Age 69 – Birth of Daughter Elizabeth Turner (1911–) Hayneville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1920 US Census.
  • 1912 25 Feb Age 70 – Birth of Son Talmadge Turner (1912–1987) Lowndes County Alabama. 1910 US Census.
  • 1914 21 Aug Age 73 – Birth of Daughter Luella Turner (1914–1916) Lowndes County Alabama. 1910 US Census.
  • 1915 19 Feb • Age 73 – Death of Daughter Josephine Turner (1909–1915). Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59.
  • 1916 23 Mar Age 74 – Death of Daughter Luella Turner (1914–1916). Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59.
  • 1919 7 Feb Age 77 – Death Lowndes County. Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59.
  • 1919  Birth of Daughter Selena Turner (1919–2011) Lowndes County AL. 1920 US Census.

 

 

 

1854 Doctors Visits to the Turner Plantation

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Turner Plantation house – Picking cotton – Slave dwelling – Lowndes County Courthouse, Hayneville AL

There are four lists from different dates for doctors visits to the enslaved on the Turner plantation. Sometimes those treated are named and sometimes they are just referred to as “Negroes”.  I have added the ages of those who are named based on other lists from the estate files.

Dr. C.B. Lampley was the doctor listed for this time period.  Lampley was born in 1830 in Richmond County, NC. His family relocated to Alabama by 1850. He married Thurza Rudolph of Lowndes County.  They had two children. In the 1860 census he enslaved four people, a 35 year old mulatto woman, a 30 year old black man, a fifteen year old mulatto girl and a 14 year old black male. They lived in two dwellings. He joined the Confederate Army where he became a surgeon. He was lamed and later resigned due to diabetes and general debility.  During 1854 and 1855 he visited the Turner plantation to treat the enslaved – pulling teeth, lancing abscesses, bleeding and dosing with medication.

Click on images to enlarge for easier reading.

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