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The Turner Family

Part 2

The Journey West with a Stop in Pennsylvania

Around May or June 1800, most members of the Turner and Beltz families moved to Pennsylvania. We can precisely date this move because Turner family members appeared on the 1800 List of Tithables in Loudoun Co., Va. and the 1800 census records in Pennsylvania.

1800 List of Tithables - Loudoun County [Tithables Record]
DatePersons ChargeableMale Tithables 16+BlacksHorsesTax
May 1Michael TurnerMichael Turner-2.24
May 1Michael Turner, Jr.Michael Turner-1.12
May 2Ludwick TurnerLudwick Turner-2.24

The above List of Tithables for Loudoun Co., Va. shows Michael, Sr., Michael, Jr. and Ludwick (Lewis) living there on May 1, 1800.

A short time later, Michael Turner, Sr., Lewis Turner and Andrew Beltz appeared in the census records for Greene Co. and Bedford Co., Penn. Michael Turner, Jr. and family appear to have moved to Pennsylvania after the birth of their son John in early 1802. Here are the 1800 census records for Michael Turner, Sr., Lewis Turner and Andrew Beltz.

1800 Census - Morris Township, Greene County [Census Record]
Michael Turner111
1800 Census - Bedford and St. Clair Townships, Bedford County
Lewis Turner111
1800 Census - Providence and Coleraine Townships, Bedford County
Andrew Beltz221111

On Jan. 13, 1806, Michael Turner, Sr. purchased 380 acres in Greene Co., Penn. On June 18, 1807 Michael and his wife Margaret (Peggy) sold 100 1/2 acres in Greene County to John Spencer. The records were signed with an X for Michael and Margaret Turner with Isaac Turner as a witness. In an invoice linked to the probate of the last will of Martin Heckathorn who died in early 1808 (will signed on Dec. 23, 1807 and recorded in Greene Co., Pa. on March 3, 1808), it is stated that on "May 13th, 1808 then received of Cateren [Catherine] Hekkethorn [Heckathorn] two Dollars and fifty Cents for the use of Michel Turner it being the full Price of a coffin that I made for him.... received by me Elias [Darby?] Conger." It appears this transaction marks the approximate date that Margaret (Peggy) Turner died. It's not clear, however, how this transaction got tied up in the accounting of the Heckathorn estate. Carpentry proved to be an avocation of the Conger family, particularly in later generations, but it's not known how Catherine Heckathorn got involved in this transaction. In the 1810 Census for Greene County, Michael Turner, Sr. appears to be living with his son Isaac, Isaac's wife Sarah Jane and their three children. On Oct. 20, 1815 Michael Turner sold 97 1/2 acres in Greene County to Michael Conley and on Oct. 24, 1815, he sold 97 1/2 acres to Richard James. On Oct. 16, 1818 Michael Turner sold 84 3/4 acres in Greene County to John Spencer. As we'll see below, both Michael Turner, Sr. and Isaac Turner moved to Ohio around this time.

On to Southwestern Ohio by Flatboat

A Flatboat on the Ohio River
A Flatboat on the Ohio River

In 1808, Michael Turner, Jr., Elizabeth (Beltz) Turner and their four children left Pennsylvania and headed to Ohio. In a history of Clermont Co. and Brown Co., Ohio, there is a biographical sketch of their son Daniel Turner which says the Turners "left Pennsylvania in the year of 1808 and came down the Ohio river in a flat boat to Columbia, then the most noted place for eastern emigrants to disembark."

Michael Turner's land purchases and sales (see below) paint a clear picture of his movements after he came to southwestern Ohio. We can be sure his main residence was in Hamilton Co., Ohio until 1817 when he purchased the farm of Rev. Moses Frazee who lived in Clermont Co., Ohio. At that time and in earlier land purchases and sales, he had been described as a resident of Hamilton County. The purchase price of the Frazee land and its premises and appurtenances suggest it had a farmhouse large and comfortable enough to accommodate Michael and Elizabeth Turner's growing family. All of the properties that Michael Turner bought and sold over the years were located just south of Milford, Ohio, and south and east of the East Fork of the Little Miami River in Union Township.

Michael Turner's Deeds - Clermont Co., Ohio - 1811 to 1833
Jan. 17, 1811Christian Biggal [Bickle] and Mary, his wife, of Michael Turner of 106+$371Part of tract bought from Henry Massie
Hamilton Co., OhioHamilton Co., Ohio
April 1, 1813Thomas Skinner and Hannah, his wife, ofMichael Turner of100$550Skinner bought from Christian Bickle, Dec. 9, 1802
Clermont Co., OhioHamilton Co., Ohio
April 1, 1813Michael Turner and Elizabeth, his wife ofJohn Heltman29$145Part of tract bought from Christian Bickle
Hamilton Co., OhioClermont Co., Ohio
April 16, 1817Moses Frazee and Priscilla, his wife, ofMichael Turner of217$4,000
Clermont Co., OhioHamilton Co., Ohio
Sept. 2, 1822Michael Turner and Elizabeth, his wife, ofJohn Heltman of29+$145Part of tract bought from Christian Bickle
Clermont Co., OhioClermont Co., Ohio
Dec. 8, 1823Michael Turner and Elizabeth, his wife, ofShadrack Lane of182$1260Original survey of Francis Peyton conveyed by
Clermont Co., OhioClermont Co., OhioChristian Bickle and Thomas Skinner
April 2, 1830Michael Turner and Nancy, his wife, ofDaniel Turner16+$132
Clermont Co., OhioClermont Co., Ohio
Jan. 15, 1833Daniel Turner and Susan, his wife, ofMichael Turner of16+$132
Clermont Co., OhioClermont Co., Ohio

Michael Turner, Jr. and Elizabeth Beltz had the following children:

This is how the Michael Turner, Jr. household looked in the 1820 census in Clermont Co., Ohio, at least according to the enumerator who showed up at their farm that year.

1820 Census - Union Township, Clermont County [Census Record]
Michael Turner411111221

The male, age 45+, was likely Michael Turner, Sr. who had migrated to Ohio around 1816 with his son Isaac who settled in nearby Hamilton Co., Ohio. Comparing the list of children of Michael and Elizabeth Turner above with the 1820 census, we see that the overall number of living children lines up well. The ages of the male children are distributed correctly across the census age ranges; however, the female children are off slightly. This may be just a mistake by the enumerator in placing the children in the correct range, or it could be that we do not have the correct birth dates for Julia Ann, Mary Anna and/or Mary (Polly). The important takeaway is that all of the children listed above, with the possible exception of Amanda who had not been born before the census was taken, were likely the children of Michael and Elizabeth. We'll discuss this further in Turner, Part 3.

Elizabeth (Beltz) Turner died on Sept. 1, 1824 in Clermont Co., Ohio. We're not sure where she was buried, but her headstone was found in the Vault House at Greenlawn Cemetery in Milford, Ohio. At the time she died, the Greenlawn Cemetery did not exist, but there was a Gatch family burial ground on that site. Elizabeth Turner's headstone indicates she was "Aged 43 years, 2 months and 24 days" at the time of her death. If accurate, this would mean she was born on June 8, 1781.

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