John "Jack" Turner, Sr. was probably born around 1740 in eastern North Carolina or perhaps in south-eastern Virginia. John Turner appears to have been a slave, once owned by a Thomas Weathersbee, a planter in Halifax County, North Carolina:
On 22 Jul 1769 Thomas Weathersbee, Senior, Planter of Halifax County, sold to Patience Turner, of same place, for 60 pounds, a mulatto man named John. Witnessed by Jonathan Cain, Jesse Bryan, Henry Medford, and William Bryan. (Halifax County, North Carolina Deed Book 11 page 144)
This same deed was also recorded in the Marion Co., SC Court House about 30 years later. The Turners apparently brought it with them to South Carolina as proof of John's emancipation. And because their children and grandchildren had to deal with the issue of their racial origins in the antebellum South, several statements were filed in the deed books and court minutes that address this subject:
22 Apr 1822 Willis Finklea Senr sayeth he lived with a woman named Olive Simmons near the Cape Fear River who often told him she had seen Patience Turners mother, wife of John Turner Sr, decd and Mrs. Simmons often told him she was a white woman of the Irish breed & the mixed blood came by a black man & heard old Mr. Abraham Dew say the mother of Patience Turner was a white woman. S: Willis (X) Finklea Senr before B. Moody, QU. Recorded 4 May 1822 by Thos. Harllee, RMC.
21 Mar 1840 Marion Dist., SC Judgment Roll # 4344 concerning Robert Hussey's race, whether he has to pay special tax or not: Robert Hussay vs. the State. "We find that the relator is a free mulatto." (from jury). Says he is a free white ... not a negro or mustezo but a free white. His great grandmother was a free white woman named Rachael Smith of Irish descent of Halifax Co., NC. She died leaving a female child named Patience Turner. Around the American Revolution Patience Turner removed to Marion Dist., SC. She has since died leaving several children including Mildred Turner who married Samuel Hussey a free white man of English descent. They are parents of Robert Hussey, your petitioner. Sarah Martin was a daughter of Penny Turner a daughter of Patience Turner; who married John Martin. I've been recognized as a white, been on patrol duty, muster duty, maintained good character... and has voted without denial of rights until October last. Wit: Ed. B. Wheeler, John Blackman, John Ward, Henry Berry, Hugh Godbold, Alexander L. Gregg, H. G. Fladger, Moses Mace, Barfield Moody, Isham Watson and Joel Fore.
09 Aug 1860 State of S.C. Marion Dist., Before me George Fairlee, Magistrate, come John Blackman, Sr. and James Lane, SR. ... sworn says they knew John Turner alias Jack Turner that he was a free man so treated and received that he was a mulatto one half white and one half colored and that he married Patience Turner and they lived together as man and wife. Patience Turner passed and was received as a free white woman not having more than 1/4 Negro blood that Milly/Molly Turner was their child and passed as a free white woman that she married Samuel Hussay, an Englishman and that John Hussey now of Montomery Co., N.C. was their child and was treated as a free white man.
There is very little information about the Turners between 1769 and 1790. John Turner is listed on the 1786 tax list in Georgetown District in Prince Frederick Parish (in which he was taxed for 100 acres) and in the 1790 census for Georgetown District in Prince George Parish.
In April 1794, a petition was circulated and signed to ask the government to repeal the poll tax that was then levied against people of color. Among the signers are: William Turner, John Turner Jr., John Turner Sr., Mildred Turner.
John Turner's signature mark is found on another petition in 1796 - "Petition of the Inhabitants of Georgetown District" to locate a courthouse closer to where they lived and he is mentioned in three or four deeds and court documents in 1797 and 1799 and in the 1800 Census for Marion District, South Carolina.
His date of death is uncertain, but he is referenced as deceased in an 1807 Marion County deed.
Patience Smith & John Turner:
Born c. 1760/1765 in Halifax Co., NC (now Martin Co, NC) He died in 1830/1840
Died c. 1830/1840 in Marion Dist., SC (now Dillon Co, SC)
Married Dorothy Martin bef. 1790 in Georgetown Dist., SC (now Dillon Co., SC)
Born c. 1765 in Halifax Co., NC (now Martin Co., NC)
Died c. 1840/1850 in Marion Dist., SC
Married Juda Hathcock bef. 1790 in Marion Dist., SC
Born c. 1767/1768 in Craven Co., SC (now Marion Co., SC)
Died c. 1855/1860 in Marion Dist., SC
Married Catherine Martin bef. 1800 in Marion Dist., SC
Born c. 1773/1774 in Georgetown Dist., SC (now Marion Co., SC)
Died aft. 1850 in Covington Co, AL
Married Barnabas Hathcock c. 1790/1794 in Marion Dist., SC
Penelope "Penny" Turner
Married John Martin in Marion Dist, SC
Mildred "Milly" Turner
Died c. 1814/1819 in Marion Dist., SC
Married Samuel Hussey c. 1790/1792 in Georgetown Dist., SC (now Marion Co., SC)
Born c. 1790/1800 in Marion Dist., SC
Died 4 May 1859 in Houston Co., GA
Married John G. Powers on 4 Jan 1813 in Marion Dist., SC
Halifax County, North Carolina Deed Book 11, page 144.
Marion County South Carolina Abstracts of Deeds Volume Two, Books F-I & K 1811-1823, Lucille Utley & Alita White Sutcliffe, 1997.
Selected Marion County Judgment Rolls 1803-1859, Lucille Utley, 2005.
"South Carolina Indians, Indian Traders and Other Ethnic Connections," Teresa Hicks, p. 325.
Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware, Paul Heinegg
1790 US Census, Georgetown Dist., SC, Prince George Parish
1800 US census, Marion District, Liberty County
Marion County Deeds Book I, pp. 104-105, John Carmichael.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John: