TURNER, Wilson, of Franklin Co VA

Wilson Turner was born in Virginia in 1776, the son of Elijah and Sarah (possibly Haynes) Turner.[1] He died 27 Aug 1827 in Franklin Co VA.[2]

            On 12 Apr 1796 in Bedford Co VA,[3] Wilson married Elizabeth Doss, the eldest daughter of Azariah and Lydia Anna (Ayres) Doss.[4] She died 8 Sep 1844, near Bremen Muhlenberg Co KY.

            Wilson Turner was a Baptist minister.[5] In 1810, he was living with his family in Franklin Co VA, p 308, Wilson Turner: 11011/11110/00. In 1820, they were in the same county, Franklin Co VA, p 166, Wilson Turner: 001110/00110. Elizabeth was the head of a household in 1830, probably with an unmarried daughter: Franklin Co VA, p 95, Elizabeth Turner: 0/00010001. In 1840, she was living with her son Wilson Turner Jr in Muhlenberg Co KY, p 333, W[ilson] C Turner: 110001/111001001.

            An 1822 deed connects Wilson and Elizabeth to their son Greenville (or Greensville) P. Turner.[6] Rev. Wilson officiated at the marriages of his four children.[7]

            According to the 1810 census, Wilson and Elizabeth had as many as four daughters; only those whose marriages are in the Franklin Co VA records are known.

            Children of Wilson and Elizabeth (Doss) Turner include:

1. Greenville Person TURNER was born on 15 May 1797 in Franklin Co VA. He died in Putnam Co IN, on 8 Oct 1877 and was buried in Turner Cemetery, Fincastle Putnam Co IN. On 19 Oct 1815 Greenville first married Deborah WEBSTER, daughter of Samuel WEBSTER & Susannah BAGBY, in Franklin Co VA. Born on 11 Jun 1796 in Franklin Co VA, Deborah died in Putnam Co IN, on 22 Nov 1836. They had the following children:

                        i.            Samuel S (Twin) (1816-1877)

                        ii.            Adeline (Twin) (1818-1900)

                        iii.            Wilson C (1820-1827)

                        iv.            Elizabeth (1822-1877)

                        v.            James W (1825-1877)

                        vi.            Silas G (1827-<1877)

                        vii.            Reuben Webster (1829-1905)

                        viii.            Mary Jane (1833-1888)


On 1 Aug 1837 when Greenville Person was 40, he second married Rhoda FIELDS, daughter of Daniel FIELDS & Rebecca HICKS, in Putnam Co IN. Born on 20 Mar 1806 in VA, Rhoda died in Indiiana on 12 Jun 1885. They had the following children:

                        i.            John A (1838-1935)

                        ii.            William Henry Harrison (1840-1863)

                        iii.            George W (1842-1865)

                        iv.            Julia America (1846-1930)


            2. Lucinda TURNER was born about 1799 in Franklin Co VA. On 20 Jan 1816, she married George DODD in Franklin Co VA. He was born ca 1776 in Franklin Co VA, the son of William and Rebecca (Griffith) Dodd. In 1820 they were in 1820 Franklin Co VA, George Dodd: 100010/10100. They have not been located further.


3. Sarah A TURNER married John PRICE in Franklin Co VA on 26 Nov 1823. Nothing more is known of them.


4. Wilson C TURNER Jr was born about 1804 in VA. On 8 Mar 1824 Wilson married Elizabeth NOFTSINGER in Franklin Co VA. They had the following children:

                        i.            Greenville P (ca1832-)

                        ii.            Susan (1836-)

                        iii.            Martha (1838-)

                        iv.            John (1840-)

                        v.            Wilson (1842-)

                        vi.            Sarah (1844-)

                        vii.            Daniel (1846-)

viii.         Owen W (1848-)


© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Hopkins, Walter Lee. Leftwich-Turner Families, Harrisonburg VA: C J Carrier & Co: 1980, pp. 199-200, 288.

[2] Rev. Wilson Turner, Sr., Will (1827), Franklin Co VA, probate records, pp. 129, 130, 131.

[3] Marriage record found by Ramona Duff, see letter dated 12 Jul 1982.

[4] From Nathan W Murphy, author of Descendants of Azariah Doss and His Wife, Lydia (Ayres) Doss, 1998: I have good circumstantial evidence including the marriage record in Bedford County, Virginia to place Elizabeth Doss as the daughter of Azariah and Lydia (Ayres) Doss. First, I believe that it was a rule in Virginia at this time that brides marry in the county where their parents lived (not so for grooms). The only eligible males in Bedford Co VA to have been her father at the time of her marriage were Azariah and Joel Doss, brothers (both of whom were Revolutionary War Soldiers by the way) who had settled there years previously and married Ayres sisters. Joel’s children are pretty well accounted for and seem to have all moved to Pulaski Co KY together. Elizabeth does not seem to fit into this group. On the other hand, she would fit as being a daughter of Azariah Doss who signed the surety for the marriage.

Second, the fact that Elizabeth married into the same Turner family that the Ayres family did (in-laws of both Azariah and Joel Doss). Wilson Turner had a brother named Richard Turner who married the sister of Lydia & Hannah Ayres (wives of Azariah & Joel Doss) and in many difficult areas to research in my personal family tree, this has been a great indicator of where the person fits in with others of their surname, when they are seen intermarrying with the same families.

Third, the fact that Elizabeth moved to Muhlenberg Co KY after her husband Wilson’s death in Franklin Co. VA. There several children of Azariah and Lydia (Ayres) Doss had been established for a decade as the only Doss family in Muhlenberg County. They included Azariah Doss Jr, George Washington Doss, Gabriel Doss, Mrs. Lydia Ann (Doss) Hines, John A. Doss, and Joel L Doss (son of James A Doss). It would seem very appropriate that she settle where her relatives lived after being widowed. It must be noted; however, that one of her other main motives was to accompany her youngest son, Wilson C Turner, to obtain his wife’s inheritance to her grandfather, John Noffsinger’s estate which was near the Bremen area of Muhlenberg Co KY, but I think if she knew that her relatives lived in the area that could’ve helped to motivate her in her move to Muhlenberg Co KY at ca age 55. This land lied about 10-15 miles from the Pond Creek area where the other Dosses lived. I have not, however, seen any connection between the Turners and Dosses in Muhlenberg County records, but I would not say that that discounts the probability of the Dosses as her siblings.

[5] History of the Baptists in VA, reference ca 1802: Wilson Turner was a Baptist minister.

[6] Hopkins, Deed, Franklin Co VA, 6 May 1822, between Wilson and Elisabeth Turner and Greensville P. Turner.

[7] Marriage Bonds of Franklin Co VA, 1780-1858, by Marshall Wingfield, reprinted Baltimore, 1973, p 227. This book gives date of marriage as 19 Aug 1811; the actual record, per Ramona Duff, states 1815.

Published on September 5, 2008 at 9:20 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. Wilson Turner’s grave is located near the house where he lived on sunnybrook lane, boones mill, va. Part of the current house contains the original log house where the Turner family lived. Ceramic fragments have been unearthed from this time period.

    • Do you have any photos? It would be wonderful if a local newspaper printed anything about this place. I wish I could visit.

  2. Hi Kathy;
    I have put some photos on my blog:
    for dec 4 2011 so you can get an idea of what things look like. The stones are in bad shape as this area was a shady place for cows to lounge at one time plus the stone isn’t that great. If you want to visit the site it wouldn’t be a problem. I suspect that he may have preached near gogginsville as there is a creek crossing and old trail pointing directly toward that crossroads, in fact if the trees on a ridge were not there, you could see gogginsville church from the grave.
    If anyone is interested, I will try and get more info from the stones.

    • Thanks.

  3. My Great Grandfather was Ellsworth Turner. I believe that he may have lived in Virginia before moving to Kentucky. He was born in 1861 and died 1927. His Father was Addison Turner and Mother Caroline Ellison. He married a Cherokee Indian named Zora Ella Morris around 1890. Their Daughter Minnie Turner married my Grandfather Harry Lee Brown in 1911. My 3rd Great Grandfather Nathaniel Brown was born in Franklin Co. Virginia around 1789. He moved the Brown Family to Muhlenberg Co. KY in 1822.

    • Tom, I don’t know if you will read this but I am a descendent on the Turner side. Ellsworth Turner is my great-great grandfather. Do you have any info on Addison Turner or Caroline Ellison? Please respond if you see this.

      Collin Turner

      • Collin Turner, thanks for the information. This is what I have. Addison Turner was born about 1825, and died about 1890. He Married Caroline Ellison 18 Dec. 1851, in Depoy, Kentucky (Muhlenberg County). She was born about 1830 and died about 1895. That’s all I could find on Addison and Caroline. The other Children of Ellsworth Turner and Zora Morris were: John Turner, married Lizzie Turner. Minnie Turner, 1893-1945, married my Grandfather Harry Lee Brown. Melvin Turner, born about 1897, died 5 Nov. 1964, and Denzel Turner, born 25 Jan. 1906, died 30 Jan. 1976. I did find that Addison Turner served in the War Between the States (1861-65) as a 1st Liutenant in the Union Army, H Company, 11th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment. There were other Turners who served in this same Regiment; Thomas J. Turner, PVT, Co. D, Thomas H. Turner, CPL, Co. K, Richard Turner, PVT. I found another Turner related to me, H. H. Turner, born 1879, Died 1961 in Hopkins County, KY. He was married to Dora Pendley of Madisonville, KY. My Grandmother was a Pendley (my Mother’s Mother, her Father was a Cornell). If I find any more info, I’ll let you know. Tom Brown,

  4. Hi, Tom. My name is Don Turner – I am the father of Collin Turner that sent you the previous question. I have photographs of the tombstones of your grandparents (Harry Brown and Minnie Brown) as well as Minnie’s parents Ellsworth Turner and Zora Turner. My email is turner-don@att.net if you want to email me then I can send them to you. I do have some military records for Ellsworth’s father Addison which I can send also. Glad we could connect. I was just in KY last week.


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