Joe Turner was my 2X great grandfather. I have been able to follow him from the age of twelve in a slave census; through several lists of the enslaved in Wiley Turner’s probate record. Joe Turner was my maternal grandmother Fannie Turner’s grandfather. When Fannie was about three, her father Howard Turner and his father, Joe fell out over a land deal. Howard was murdered at a bar-b-que and ties were cut between my grandmother and her father’s family. Therefore I have no family stories or photographs of them.
I first found the Turner family in the 1870 census. I was able to follow them through various records both before 1870 and after.
Joe Turner’s birth year changes through the records from 1852, when he is listed as 15 and so would have been born about 1837; to 1843 in the 1870 census; 1841 in the 1880 and 1900 census; 1848 in 1910 and 1839 on his death certificate. I have used the earliest date to estimate his age over the years.
Sources for the information below is in italics at the end of the entries. All took place in Lowndes County Alabama, mostly in the Hayneville area. The links will take you to blog posts.
I first published a timeline in 2016. I have uncovered more information since then so decided to re-do it.
- 1837 Born into slavery in Alabama.
- 1850 slave census – 12 year old male mulatto listed among Wiley Turners enslaved. Possibly Joe Turner, as the only male mulatto in the right age range to appear below at 15 in 1852.
- 1852 Age 15 – Appears as “Joe (white)” (number 94) in 1st list of enslaved with ages and valuation. Wiley Turner estate file page 657.
- 1856 Age 18. 2nd List of enslaved and livestock divided for heirs. Wiley Turner estate file page 717.
- 1857 Dec Age 19 3rd “Valuation of entire slave property of decd- names of…” Joe appears as “Yellow Joe” Wiley Turner estate file page 796.
- 1860 slave Census
- 1861 11 Jan. Age 24 Alabama seceded from the Union.
- 1861 Age 24 – Marriage to Emma Jones (1842–1901) – during slavery. 1900 US Census
- 1862 Age 25 — Birth of Daughter Lydia Turner (1862–) 1870 US Census
- 1864 Age 28 — Birth of Son Howard Turner (1864–1892) 1870 US Census
- 1865 9 June Age 29 – Bill from Dr. W.H. Haigler for Quinine for Joe. Wiley Turner estate file page 637
- 1865 Age 29 – Final list of enslaved. Joseph (#27) Wiley Turner estate file page 544.
- 1865, April Age 29 – Civil War ends.
- 1865 December 18 – Slavery legally over in Alabama.
- 1866 Age 30 – Birth of Daughter Fannie Turner (1866–1880) 1870 US Census.
- 1866 Age 30 – Alabama State Census Hayneville, Lowndes County. Joe Turner: 1 male under 10 (Howard); 2 males 10-20 (Who are they?); 1 male 40 – 50 (Joe) 2 females under 10 (Fannie & Lidya) ; 1 female 30-40. (Emma)
- 1867 Age 31 – Birth of Son Joe Turner (1867–1920) 1870 US Census.
- 1867 Age 31 – Residence Lowndes, Alabama, USA Alabama Voter Registration Records.
- 1868 August 27 Age 32- Land Transaction
- 1968 Letter from an agent of the Alabama Freedman’s Bureau about intimidation happening in Lowndes County.
- 1869 Age 33 – Birth of Daughter Anna Turner (1869–) 1870 US Census.
- 1870 Age 34 – Residence Hayneville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1870 US Census.
- 1871, Nov. Age 35 – Elected constable Hayneville, Lowndes County, AL
- 1872 Age 36 – Land transaction
- 9 Jan 1876 Age 40 – Birth of Son Alonza Turner (1876–1944) 1880 US Census.
- 1880 (before) – Death of Daughter Fannie Turner (1866– before 1880)
- 1880 Age 44 – Residence Prairie Hill & Gordonsville, Lowndes, AL. Farming 1880 US Census and 1880 Agricultural Census.
- 1890 -1891 • Age 54 — Turner v. Turner Probate Court land dispute. Hayneville, Lowndes County, AL.
- 1891 Age 55 — Death of Son Howard Turner (1864–1891) Mentioned in court case above and news article.
- 1900 Age 64 — Residence Gordonsville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1900 US Census.
- 1901(about) Age 65 – Death of Wife Emma Jones (1842–1901) Lowndes County. Emma disappears from records and Joe remarries.
- 1902 January 22 – Age 66 – Marriage Luella Freeman (1880–1977) Gordonsville, Lowndes, AL. “Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957″
- 1903 – Age 67 — Birth of Son John Van Turner (1903–1943) Lowndes County AL. 1910 US Census.
- 1904 – Age 68 – Birth of Daughter Anna E. Turner (1904–1924) Lowndes County. 1910 US Census.
- 1906 October 10 – Age 70 – Birth of Son Daniel Turner (1906–) Lowndes County. 1910 US Census.
- 1908 Age 72 – Birth of Son Buck Turner (1908–1931) Lowndes County Alabama 1910 US Census
- 1909 Age 73 – Birth of Daughter Josephine Turner (1909–1915) Lowndes Cty 1910 US Census
- 1910 Age 74 – Residence Precinct 4, Lowndes, Alabama. 1910 US Census.
- 1911 Age 75 – Birth of Daughter Elizabeth Turner (1911–) Hayneville, Lowndes, Alabama. 1920 US Census.
- 1912 Feb 25 – Age 76 – Birth of Son Talmadge Turner (1912–1987) Lowndes County Alabama. 1910 US Census.
- 1914 August 21 – Age 78 – Birth of Daughter Luella Turner (1914–1916) Lowndes County Alabama. 1910 US Census.
- 1915 February 19 • Age 79 – Death of Daughter Josephine Turner (1909–1915). Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59.
- 1916 March 24 – Age 80 – Death of Daughter Luella Turner (1914–1916). Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59.
- 1918 – Age 82 Joe Turner owned 240 acres, according to a news article in The Emancipator.
- 1919 7 Feb Age 83 – Death Lowndes County. Alabama, Death Index, 1908-59. Death Certificate.
1919 April 28 – Joe Turner’s Will
- 1919 Birth of Daughter Selena Turner (1919–2011) Lowndes County AL. 1920 US Census.
16 thoughts on “Timeline for Joe Turner, Hayneville, Lowndes County AL (1837 -1919)”
Your work highlights why there is an obsession with official America insisting on “looking forward.” I think of you every time the Detroit bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes insists on not having an audit of Detroit Public Schools, which are broke due to state control and malfeasance.
When the future of the education of every Black child in Michigan has been diminished as a result of the dissolution of all Black school districts in Michigan, it becomes clear. Looking back, even months, not centuries would shine this dangerous light of debt.
Stealing education from future generations will delay this debt, but it will never disappear.
Thank you for your research and stories.
May no one ever be forgotten.
Thank you Elena.
It’s great that we still have access to so much information from this far back. You’ve got a lot of details there.
Tossing It Out
It’s very difficult to document the life of enslaved people and I was so glad that Wiley Turner died before 1865 and had such a detailed estate file. I would now like to find something to tell me who Joe Turner’s parents were and if he had siblings.
The timeline is wonderful. It really provides a lot of rich detail about Joe Turner and the larger historical context. The birth of a daughter after his death was a wonderful and unexpected last entry in the timeline.
It must have been awful hard for the mother though, all those young children.
Great timeline Kristen!
Thanks Terrence. Working on his wife Emma Jones now. I don’t believe she came off of the Turner plantation so I’m looking at some Jones plantations nearby.
If you get a chance you may want to read “The Penalty for Success, My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County Alabama ” by Josephine Bolling McCall. Josephine’s great Aunt Galvester was married to Alonza Turner.
I will get it and read it. I have heard about it. I am still looking at Lowndes County, trying to find Joe’s wife Emma during slavery. I was looking at some McCalls yesterday. Wait, who was Josephine’s grandmother?
Josephine’s grandmother was Nelley Nowden.
I have family that married McCalls, but I have not been researching their lines.
I have McCalls that married my great grandmother’s sister. Thank you for that information. Does she have any photos of the Nowdens?
There are photos of her mother and other people from Lowndes County in her book. I will ask her if she has more photos.
I ordered the book yesterday. Can’t wait for it to arrive.
Remarkable research. You’ve done a great job.
I am so glad I was able to find so much information.
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