Saturday, July 27, 2013

Surname Saturday - John C. Turnage

I am related to John C. Turnage through my maternal line. He was born May 18, 1851 in Missouri to Jesse C. Turnage and Esther Odell. According to Esther's obituary, the couple had 8 children, but I have only been able to determine six.
Jesse and Esther were farmers in Ray County, Missouri. When John was 13-years-old his father was murdered by members of the Bloody Bill Anderson gang on July 18, 1864. It's hard to even fathom how this affected the young teen. Soon after the death his mother Esther married Samuel Colley.

John followed in his father's footsteps becoming a farmer. I have found no record of John Turnage owning land, however, his mother had land up to at least 1897. I believe John worked that land with his mother. John married Emley O'Dell, his first cousin, on June 25, 1874.

John and Emley had four known children.
It didn't take me long to realize that I know very little about John Turnage. He was a farmer that lived near Rayville, Missouri. There you have it. Emley O'Dell died on June 24, 1916, the day before their 42nd wedding anniversary. John went on to marry a woman named Nora sometime between 1916 and 1920 and lived in Howard County, Missouri. He died November 20, 1937 in Howard County. However, he was buried next to his first wife in Ray County, Missouri at the Crowley Cemetery. 

The headstone states that he was a reverend, but all of the census records list his occupation as farmer. However, his death certificate states that he was a retired minister. His grandfather was a prominent minister so it is not a stretch to believe that he followed in his footsteps.

Due-outs for John C. Turnage:

1. Try to locate an obituary, either in Ray or Howard County, Missouri.
2. Research his religious affiliation and determine when he became a minister.
3. Reach out via message boards and local genealogy society to try to find a photo of John.


Wendy said...

You're doing good work. But seeing this post is a painful reminder of what I'm NOT doing. I want to do this, but I don't. Gotta get on it!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Wendy. Sometimes these posts are hard to crank out, but I find that they are really helping me outline what information is missing!

Kristy Rice said...

I'm glad I found your blog, Heather. Jesse C Turnage is buried with children you are missing. Cornelia A. Turnage died May 30, 1857, 6 months 2 days old. Virginia A. Turnage died Dec. 13, 1860, 4 years 11 months 11 days old. They are buried with Jesse, Esther, and Samuel Colley. They are in Crowley Cemetery, Rayville, MO. You can contact me on Find a Grave under Kristy Rice. Or email I have photo's of all of them. I would love to post your story about Jesse. Thank you