Help Needed on my Turner Brick Wall

+7 votes
Need  HELP establishing the parents or siblings of                                    John William Turner-10956 and wife Sarah Nancy ??Banks/Hanks/ Canks-2 .

We have copy of the Turner Bible transcribed, but it was such a stage of decay that it had to be read by ultra violent light and turn pages with a spatula. The last name of Sarah cannot be made with confidence.  But other than Sarah/Nancy being in the household with some of the children as head of household, and later as living in their household, there is no other way to determine what her maiden name was.

John and Sarah married May 17, 1817 in South Carolina.

Census records indicate that they both were born in SC. Their son William T. had sisters named Matildia (Thrower) and Jaine (Haywood), (Campbell), brothers John F., James "Jim" , Andrew Jackson, Little Berry, Newberry/Euberry, Simon Berry, Thomas David."

The first few children were born in SC, next few in Georgia, and they migrated on into Alabama, 1840/1850 where Sarah/Nancy Turner can be found as head of household and in later years living in household of her children or grand children, up until the 1880 Census.  Yet we have not been able to find deaths of either John or Sarah, or births, or marriage records.

I want to solve this mystery in our family lineage in 2018, it has been along time working and piecing together facts, and a sincere desire to be able to document each generation .   CAN YOU HELP?
WikiTree profile: John Turner
in Genealogy Help by Deborah Dunn G2G6 Mach 2 (21.5k points)
retagged by Deborah Dunn
Please consider joining the Turner one name project here ( and contributing to the project
Thanks to all that answered and commented.  I now have found out that the Surname is incorrect. There definitely was a John W. Turner that married a Sarah Elizabeth Kants, but it was in Alabama in the year 1877. Very possibly it is part of the Turner family, but it is a marriage of possibly grand child of John and Sarah Turner.  So back tot he drawing board for the Maiden name of Sarah.  John and Sarah's first three children were born in SC, as well as John  and Sarah. Since this research is into records prior to 1850 census when only Heads of households are listed, I am almost in waist deep water, and don't know what to do now.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

Well, I searched the 1800 census in South Carolina and located no family with a surname of Canks. There are a bunch with Hanks, which seems more likely to me (or Banks).  It would help to know the county where they married.  Have you ever located a marriage record (other than what was written in the bible)?

There are a lot of Turners in SC in 1800 and 1810 census.  I suggest you start looking at them and see which are possible (ie had a FWM 10-15 on the 1810 census) as John's father.  Narrow it down to those, making note of the counties.  Then do a search for Hanks and Banks on the census & look for them in the same counties as your list of possible Turners and with a daughter in the age range of Sarah/Nancy.  If you come up with both a Turner and Banks or Hanks in the same county, work with those.

I did a quick search at the South Carolina State Archives online database in their will transcript section.  There are none with the Canks surname, but again many with Banks and Hanks.  You may want to try several searches of their database.  It's located here:

Obviously this isn't going to be easy.  I wish I could have located something for you, but I can see it will take a lot more searching and looking at records than I have time for at present.  I wish you all the best in solving your mystery!

by Darlene Athey-Hill G2G6 Pilot (401k points)
selected by Deborah Dunn
Thank you Darlene Athey-Hill, it isn't easy, especially since I am working to unravel TALES that have been handed down form generation to generation.  And along comes Dunn and decides I want to research and I have disproved much more than I have proved, but at least, I have sources and documentation of my finds.  (Not very popular) Still digging up bones in 2018.
This is what happens when you try to validate information that has been given you by different family members wishing to connect with someone of notiratity.  (The Benton County AL Legislator John W. Turner died 1837)  See there were children born to my Turner family after 1837.  They have taken the marriage record of John W. Turner and Sarah Elizabeth Kants in Talladega, AL on the date of Nov 15 1877...not 1817!! This marriage is very likely to be part of our Turner lineage, but it is definitely not the parents of Matilda, born 1819, Jane b 1820, James b. 1822, William b. 1825, for this marriage took place well after the father died therefore it certainly cannot be him.  This is the very reason I am trying to find source and documentation of the parents of this Turner family, or even their siblings.  Census records show that Sarah/Nancy Turner can be found in 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 either as head of household, or living in the household of her children.  Census records indicate that  Both Sarah and her husband were born in SC, as well as her first 4 children.  Then the next place where a birth is recorded is in Gwinette County GA.for sons Simon Berry Turner, and twin brothers Little Berry Turner and Newberry Turner, But  have come up with a brick wall when I try to find the proof and  anmes of the parents, their parents or any siblings.  Ths family married into the Vaughn, Campbell, THrower, Williamson, Harris, Teague, Tennison, Haywood, McDaniel, Harper/Hopper, Bell, Kelley, Ellis, But none of theselines have anthing any further back that I have been able to find.  There is plenty of other genealogies out there that show this Turner line is connected to other Turner lines, but DNA halagroups show that they have been attached to lines that they are not connected to.  Still Looking to find the information that will break down this wall. Any help and ideas are welcome.
+4 votes

I found this with the last name of Kants.  But the date is way off.

John W Turner

 in the Alabama, County Marriage Records, 1805-1967


Name: John W Turner
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 15 Nov 1877
Marriage Place: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Spouse: Sarah Elizabeth Kants
Film Number: 001639299

Source Information Alabama, County Marriage Records, 1805-1967 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.

Original data: Marriage RecordsAlabama Marriages. County courthouses, Alabama.

by Patricia Stockley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
Wow! That marriage date is way off since there first child was born in 1819., and this was just a few years before Sarah died.  Our William was dead prior to 1850 Census also. I am no longer a member of ancestry, so I cannot see the records there.   AS in my own gleanings, this is not the John and Sarah Turner born in SC in 1790's.

But thank you for the efforts!!

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