Nathaniel Turner

Nathaniel Turner (1600 - 1646)

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Captain Nathaniel Turner
Born in Englandmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in At Seamap
Profile last modified | Created 27 Jul 2010
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Categories: Puritan Great Migration | Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Nathaniel Turner migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
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Although often cited as the son of John Turner, a Mayflower passenger, Nathaniel was not. The John Turner that sailed on the Mayflower sailed with two sons (first names not known). According to Wikipedia, all three died in the first winter at Plymouth, likely between January and March 1621.



Nathaniel TURNER - b. England; d. Jan. 1646, aboard ship. Arrived in New England with the Winthrop fleet 1630 and settled initially at Lynn, Massachusetts. He requested to be admitted as freeman on Oct. 19, 1630 and was admitted July 3, 1632.

"The gap between the request for freemanship in October 1630 and admission in July 1632 may indicate that Turner made a brief trip back to England in 1631. (The record in MBCR 1:94-95 which is apparently dated 6 March 1631/2 is a duplicate of the record correctly dated 6 March 1632/3.) "[1]

Constable 1632; representative 1634; deputy 1635. Having been a soldier in England, he became an original member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston. Appointed Captain of the Saugus train band 1633, and commanded it during the Pequot War 1636-1637. Moved to New Haven, Connecticut 1637 after his home at Lynn was destroyed by fire. He was an original signer of the New Haven Agreement and took the oath of fidelity on July 1, 1644. He became a member of the New Haven First Congregational Church; assistant to the Governor 1639; deputy in the Connecticut Assembly; and served on numerous committees both in New Haven Colony and previously in Massachusetts Bay Colony. On Sep. 1, 1640 Nathaniel was appointed Captain of all martial affairs of the New Haven Colony. He was on the ill-fated "Lamberton's Phantom Ship" which sailed from New Haven on a voyage to England and was lost with all on board in Jan. 1646.[2]

Marriage & Family

Nathaniel Turner married by 1626 Margaret Leachland. Children:

  1. Mary Turner, d. Oct. 15, 1704, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT. Married about 1645 Thomas YALE (b. about 1616, Plas Grono, Wales; d. Mar. 27, 1683, New Haven, New Haven Co., CT), brother of David YALE, and of Ann YALE (wife of Gov. Edward HOPKINS). Thomas YALE was the son of Thomas YALE (d. 1619) and Ann LLOYD (d. 1659), who married second Gov. Theophilus EATON of Connecticut.
  2. Rebecca Turner b. 1629, Lynn, MA; d. Jun. 14, 1731, New Haven, CT. With "Thomas Meekes," called before the court 3 July 1649 "to answer to their sinful miscarriage in matter of fornication, with sundry lies added thereto by them both in a gross and heinous manner" [NHCR 1:469-71]; m. by 4 September 1649 Thomas Mix [NHCR 1:480].
  3. Abigail - b. 1631; d. 1693. Married Sep. 2, 1651, New Haven, CT John HUDSON.
  4. Nathaniel - b. 1633; d. Jan. 13, 1661/2. No issue.
  5. Hannah - bap. Nov. 17, 1639, New Haven, CT. Married on Dec. 5, 1667 at New Haven, CT to Samuel HOPKINS.
  6. Isaac Turner bap. Jun. 7, 1640, New Haven, CT; d. Mar. 27, 1699, New Haven, CT. Married Aug. 19, 1668, New Haven, CT Mary TODD (bap. Sep. 16, 164?; d. May 3, 1676), daughter of Christopher TODD and Grace MIDDLEBROOK.

One source[3] gives the wife's name as Elizabeth Rigby, possibly daughter of Alexander. The author, however, has Nathaniel as the son of Humphrey Turner of Scituate.

Nathaniel, husband of Rebecca Mix(?), was first in Lynn.

As widow of Capt. TURNER, Margaret married Samuel VANGOODENHOUSEN about 1647. They lived at New Haven, CT.

Margaret died by 1662, for on 11 November 1662 Samuel Vangoodenhausen m. (2) at New Haven Elizabeth Parris[4]

Y-DNA Haplogroup

I! per DNA tests listed at

Lynn, Massachusetts

Nathaniel Turner lived on Nahant Street and owned the whole of Sagamore Hill. He applied to be admitted a freeman, 19 Oct. 1630, but did not take the oath until 3 July 1632. He was representative in the first seven sessions of the General Court, and a member of the first County Court at Salem, in 1636. In 1633, he was appointed captain of the militia, and in 1636 and 1637 had a command in several expeditions against the Pequot Indians. In 1637 his house was burned. In 1638, he became a member of the Ancient Artillery Company (he was 12th on the Artillery Roll), and the same year sold his land on Sagamore Hill to Mr. Edward Holyoke, and removed, with others, to Quilipeake, where a new settlement was begun, and called it New Haven (Conn.).

New Haven, Connecticut

In 1639 he was one of the seven members of the first church at New Haven. In 1640 he purchased for the town of Ponus, the Indian Sagamore, the tract of land which now is the town of Stamford, for which he paid in "Coats, shoes, hatchets, & etc."

In 1639, Capt. Turner, in connection with Rev. Davenport and 4 others, at New Haven, was appointed to "have the disposing of all house lotts, yet undisposed of about this towne, to such persons as they shall judge meete for the good of the plantation; and thatt none come to dwell as planters here without their consent and allowance , whether they come in by purchase or otherwise." In 1640, Capt. Turner, as agent for New Haven, made a large purchase of land on both sides of the Delware River---sufficient for a number of plantations. The purchase was made chiefly with a view to trade, though the establishment of Purtian churches was an object. Trading houses were erected, and nearly fifty families sent out. In all fundamental matters the Delware colonies were to be under the jurisdiction of New Haven. In the same year he made the purchase of the Indian territory of Rippowams-Stamford--as noted by Mr. Lewis, partly of Ponus and partly of Wascussue, another chief. He gave for the whole, "12 coats, 12 hoes, 12 hatchets, 12 knives, 2 kettles, and 4 fathom of white wampum." In a sale to the people of Wethersfield, a while after, the tract was valued at 30 pounds of sterling. In a list, made in 1643, giving the names of a hundred and twenty-two New Haven planters, with the number of their families, including only parents and children, and the value of their estates, the family of Capt. Turner is put down at seven, and their estate at f800, the latter being as high as any on the list, with the exception of ten.

Dumberton's Phantom Ship

Land speculations of New Haven do not seem to have turned out in any degree profitable. The Delaware trade was not successful; and the Dutch were troublesome at Stanford. And she seems literally to have struck a vein of ill-fortune, in which she was destined to struggle for some time. It was under a desperate effort to retrieve her fortunes, that the planters sent to Rhode Island and had a ship of a 150 tons built, hoping to open a profitable foreign trade. By joining their means, the planters were able to freight her in a satisfactory manner.

In January, 1647, Captain Nathaniel Turner sailed for England, with Capt. Lamberton, in a vessel which was never heard from again. [5]

Governor Winthrop informs us that in June, 1648, the apparition of a ship was seen under full sail, moving up the harbor of New Haven, a little before sunset, in a pleasant afternoon, and that as it approached the shore, it slowly vanished.[6] This was thought to have a reference to the fate of Capt. Lamberton's ship. The following epitaph was written to the memory of Capt. Turner:

Deep in the Atlantic cave his body sleeps, While the Dark sea, its ceaseless motion keeps, While the phantom ships are wrecked along the shore, To warn his friends that he will come no more. But He who governs all with impulse free, Can bring from Bashan and the deepest sea, And when he calls our Turner must return, Though now his ashes fill no sacred urn.


On 7 December 1647 Mrs. Turner declared to the court that she conceives her husband made a will and left all he had to her dispose, as two of her daughters can testify the same. Rebecka Turner saith, that when her father was to go away, her mother desired him to make a will, but he answered that he would make no will, but he judged her faithful and had found her faithful, therefore left all to her and wished her to be good to the children, and wished the children to bear witness. Abigaile Turner testifyeth the same [NHCR 1:337].

On 7 December 1647 "Mrs. Turner delivered into the court an inventory of the estate left by her deceased husband, Mr. Nathaniel Turner, which was read and delivered to the secretary to be recorded" [NHCR 1:336]. The estate totalled £457 7s. 3d., including £154 in real estate: "the house & lot & land at the town," £44; and "the housing, land & fences at farm," £110 [NHPR 1:15-16].[7]

On 4 September 1649 Mr. Samuel Goodanhousen was called to give security for the portions of his wife's children. He said he had paid Mr. Yale £35, which he accepted in full satisfaction for his wife's portion, and that he had offered Thomas Meekes nineteen acres of land "for the portion of Rebecca Turner, now his wife" [NHCR 1:480]. [8]

On 13 January 1661/2 a special court was held "for the issuing and settling the business concerning the portions remaining due to some of the children of Captain Nathaniel Turner deceased," which recounted the actions of the court of 5 March 1649/50, when portions were given to Nathaniel, Isaac, Abigail and Hannah Turner. "Nathaniell the eldest son ... being deceased, the court did now judge that it should be divided betwixt his brother & 4 sisters, in equal proportions.... Mr. Yale, Mr. Hudson, & Hannah Turner, resigned their parts to their brother Isaac ..., but Tho[mas] Meekes declared that he expected to receive what was his due out of the estate of his deceased brother-in-law, for the discharge of what was due to Isaac Turner" [NHTR 1:508-09; see also NHTR 1:15]. [9]


4 SEP 1632 Constable of Lynn
7 NOV 1632 committee to set bounds between Charleston and Cambridge
4 MAR 1633/4 captain of military company
4 MAY 1634 deputy to Massachusetts Bay General Court
Place: Lynn, Massachusettes
4 MAR 1634/5 customs officer
25 MAY 1636 magistrate for Salem Court
Place: Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
25 MAY 1636 deputy to Massachusetts Bay General Court
Place: Massachusetts
25 OCT 1639 deputy to the magistrate in all courts
3 APR 1640 arbiter
Place: Massachusetts
1 SEP 1640 captain of all martial affairs of the plantation
19 OCT 1640 deputy
Place: Massachusetts
7 SEP 1642 abriter
Place: Massachusetts
26 OCT 1643 deputy to the court of combination
25 MAR 1644 deputy
1 MAY 1644 viewer of lands
Place: Massachusetts
19 AUG 1644 deputy
Place: Massachusetts
31 MAR 1645 deputy
Place: Massachusetts


  1. Anderson
  2. Virkus
  3. Rixford
  4. Anderson, citing NHVR 1:17
  5. Lineage Papers
  6. See Anderson, citing WJ 2:336-37
  7. Anderson
  8. Anderson
  9. Anderson
  • Rixford, Elizabeth M. Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service: Their Part in making American history from 1495 to 1934 (Tuttle Co., Rutland, VT, 1934) This seems to be the source that confuses him as son of Humphrey Turner.
  • Virkus, Frederick Adams. The Compendium of American Genealogy (Chicago, A.N. Marquis & company, 1925-)
  • Savage, James. A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1862)
  • Ancestry Family Trees (Provo, UT, USA: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.

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No known carriers of Nathaniel's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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Images: 2
Nathaniel Turner Image 1
Nathaniel Turner Image 1

Nine Squares of Ancient New Haven transcription
Nine Squares of Ancient New Haven transcription


On 21 Oct 2017 at 14:26 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

First cleanup pass completed, removed duplicated narrative and facts. Some re-organization. Still a Loy of copy-paste that needs re writing. Source citations need more cleanup

On 21 Oct 2017 at 13:29 GMT Jillaine Smith wrote:

Going in.

On 21 Oct 2017 at 03:58 GMT Anne B wrote:

I am of the impression that the ship was headed to England, not New Jersey at all, so It would probably be best to change it to just At sea.

On 21 Oct 2017 at 02:53 GMT Seán Donovan wrote:

Should this "Died Jan 1646 in Atlantic Ocean, enroute to New Jersey", be '... enroute New Sweden.' or '...enroute to New Netherland.' ? Area first settled by New Netherland Co c. 1614-1618, then by Dutch West India Co c. 1621. The British did not enforce claims (using military) to that area until 1664, Renaming it Province of New york, and splitting of the Province of New Jersey in late 1664.

On 7 Jun 2017 at 01:40 GMT Anne B wrote:

I will be disconnecting Margaret Leachland as wife and mother of his children. See her profile for arguments why she is not his wife. Objections?

I'm going to give his profile a makeover also (remove copy/paste)

On 30 Sep 2016 at 18:58 GMT James LaLone wrote:

Turner-13826 and Turner-149 appear to represent the same person because: They are the same person as wife and dates are the same - Nathaniel is considered b. c. 1600 in England, not CT, the pilgrims didn't settle till 1620. As far as I know Nathaniel's parents are unknown. Nathaniel and his wife Margaret had no children that I know of but he 2m to an Ann and had at least 6 children.

On 31 May 2016 at 18:13 GMT James LaLone wrote:

What is the documentation for Nathaniel's parents? What is the documentation for him being a brother of Humphrey? The DNA reports do not seem to support those statements -

On 22 Apr 2016 at 16:20 GMT James LaLone wrote:

Turner-149 and Turner-13826 need to be merged as they are the same.

Alsowhat is the documentation for Nathaniel's parents, thanks.

On 22 Apr 2016 at 16:19 GMT James LaLone wrote:

Turner-149 and Turner-13826 need to be merged as they are the same.

On 4 Mar 2016 at 12:56 GMT James LaLone wrote:

Nathaniel TURNER is not a son of Humphrey TURNER & his wife Lydia GAMER. They were married in 1618 in England. Nathaniel is considered b. c. 1600 in England, not CT, the pilgrims didn't settle till 1620. As far as I know Nathaniel's parents are unknown. Nathaniel and his wife Margaret had no children that I know of but he 2m to an Ann and had at least 6 children.

Nathaniel is 25 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 15 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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