Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jarrett Turner Family in Union By 1834

Examining the first census of Union County, Georgia is a source of fascination. The census was completed on March 24, 1834. At that time Union County was geographically larger than now, containing land that became Fannin County in 1854 and Towns County in 1856. The total population of the two-year old county of Union was 903 in 1834. Listed as a head of household was Jarrett Turner with two males and three females in the family.

Moving to the brand new Union County had some enticement for this young couple. Jarrett Turner and his wife Sarah Collins Turner moved along from Habersham County with her parents Thompson and Celia Self Collins. The children Jarrett and Sarah had in their family in 1834 were daughter Celia, born in 1831, named for her Grandmother Collins; Nancy, born in 1832; and son Francis, a baby, born in 1834. The couple had married in Habersham County, Georgia July 19, 1830.

Turner is an English or Scottish occupational name meaning "the maker of objects of wood, metal, or bone" by turning a lathe to shape them. Jarrett Turner had lived in District Ninety Six in South Carolina before migrating to Habersham County, Georgia. His father was Micajah Turner, born about 1775 in Virginia and died about 1871 in White County, Georgia. Jarrett Turner was born in 1806 in South Carolina and died in 1857. Some reports are that his parents Micajah and Nancy were buried in the Tesnatee Baptist Church Cemetery in White County. Jarret and Sarah Collins Turner were buried in the Old Choestoe Cemetery, Union County. Sarah Collins was born about 1812 in Buncombe County, North Carolina

Jarrett Turner and his father-in-law, Thompson Collins, cleared land and farmed along the rich creek bottoms. Some of the land they farmed had already been used to grow maize, pumpkins and other crops by the Indians who had left the land just prior to the white settlers moving in. The major exodus of all Indians did not occur until 1838, so the Turner and Collins families may have had Indian neighbors when they first settled on the land they acquired.

Jarrett and Sarah Collins Turner had a large family of thirteen children. They were:

(1) Celia Turner (b. 1831) married William Jackson Hood.
(2) Nancy Turner (b. 1832) - no record of her marriage
(3) Francis Turner (b.1834) - lived in Lumpkin County, GA
(4) Elizabeth Turner (b. 1836) - no record of her marriage
(5) Ruth Turner (b. 1837) married Bluford Lumpkin Dyer
(6) James Turner (b. 1840) married Elizabeth Dyer
(7) Sarah Turner (b. 1842) married Rev. John Henry Lance
(8) Phoebe Turner (b. 1845) married James H. Lance
(9) Micajah Turner (b. 1847), named for his Grandfather Turner - no record of marriage
(10) Olive Turner (b. 1849), married Joseph G. Dyer
(11) Marion Turner - birth date and marriage unknown
(12) Thompson Turner - birth date and marriage unknown
(13) William "Bill" Pruitt Turner (b. about 1854, White County, GA) married Margaret Harkins on December 24, 1870.
Many claiming kinship to the first Turner family in Union still reside in the county today. Among Jarrett and Sarah Collins Turner's descendants are people of many occupations. Some remain close to the soil and still enjoy farming. Several followed careers in education and counseling. Others entered business and professional work.

Like the occupational title from which their surname derives, they make their work count through diligence and service.

c 2009 0by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Aug. 6, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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