Notes for James Turner, Sr.
!Virginia County Records SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY 1721-1800 DEEDS: DEED BOOK C 1734-1742 page 132; Jany. 30, 1733. Isaac Norman of Spts. Co., planter, to "James Turner, my son-in-law, planter, and Kerenhappuch Turner, my daughter, of ye said County," etc., deed of gift and 50. 100 a. in Spts. Co._part of a pat. whereon sd. Norman now lives, etc. Augt. Smith, Joseph Stapp, Joseph Henderson. May 7, 1734.
According to D.A.R. #134684, James Turner was born 1712 and married 1732. According to D.A.R. #120805, James Turner was born 1716 and married 1734. According to D.A.R. #743583, James Turner was born in Maryland. According to Steve Norman, James Turner was born about 1690 in Prince William Co., Virginia.
!"History of the Culpeper County Normans": In 1765 James Turner and wife Kerenhappuck sold their dwelling and former residence with 100 acres of land to William Lightfoot. This was described as the land Isaac Norman gave James Turner, 1733, on his marriage to Isaac's daughter, Kerenhappuck. According to their descendants, they moved to Halifax Co., Virginia. Kerenhappuck Norman Turner was a heroine of the Revolutionary War. A monument erected in her honor stands in Guilford Battlefield Park, Guilford, North Carolina. The History of the Morehead Family tells of her organizing the hospital corps after the battle of Guilford Courthouse and of how she found her grandson on Guildford battlefield and nursed him back to health in the New Garden Quaker Meeting House. In her old age, she is said to have spent much time with her daughter Sarah on Little River in Richmond Co., N. C. She rode horseback and hunted with her grandsons. It was on one of these hunts that she was said to have been thrown off and her neck broken.
!Material from the web site of Robert M Williams; 8211 - 136th Ave. S. E.; Newcastle, WA 98059-3208; United States; 425 271-1127; robglynis@@home.com :
"Historians are undecided about the exact birth date of Kerenhappuch Norman, but it seems fair to assume that she was born in the north central part of the Colony of Virginia, probably in what was then Spotsylvania Co., in about 1715. She was the daughter of a well known tobacco planter, Isaac Norman and his wife, the former Frances Courtney. In about 1730 she met James Turner, the son of a prominent Maryland family and also a tobacco planter, and they were married in Spotsylvania County in 1731. Deed records show that following the wedding, Isaac Norman deeded a portion of his home plantation to his daughter and her new husband. It was on this land that the first child, James Turner, was born in 1732, and he was followed by four sisters - Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth and Susan.
Within a few years the growth of the Colony resulted in a division of the Co., and the Norman and Turner land became a part of Orange Co., and in 1749 it became a part of Culpeper County. It lay on the banks of the Rappahannock River near the present day town of Remington, and there the two James Turners cultivated tobacco for many years. The new county was surveyed by George Washington, and it was probably during this time that Kerenhappuch and her family met and became devoted to the man who was to become the father of our country. These were happy years for James and Kerenhappuch; they raised their children and taught them the skills of riding and hunting; skills which were not just enjoyable but indeed, necessary for survival in this frontier land.
At a point prior to the revolutionary war the elder James Turner and his wife moved to Halifax Co., Virginia, and when the revolution began, the younger James became active in the Virginia militia and was soon a captain. Family tradition holds that Kerenhappuch, ever mindful of the dangers of war, told her son and grandsons that if they were ever wounded, they should get word to her and she would come to their assistance.
Records of the revolutionary war indicate that Captain Turner's company went south and was in the sieges at Halifax County and Fort Ninety Six, and also fought in Pittsylvania County. In March of 1781 the company was posted to guard duties in Guilford Co., North Carolina. Of course, Kerenhappuch personally assisted the American side by riding as a courier - apparently the British didn't suspect that an older lady such as she could give them any problems. However, on one occasion when the ferries over the James River were tightly guarded by the British, it is recorded that Kerenhappuch swam the river on horseback to elude detection.
Guilford Courthouse had been the seat of government for Guilford Co., North Carolina since 1774, and it was toward this site that, on March 15, 1781, the 1,900 man army of British Lord Charles Cornwallis was marching. Unbeknownst to Cornwallis, a 4,400 man army of colonial troops under Major General Nathanael Greene was lying in wait, well hidden in dense forest foliage. The ensuing battle was fierce; when it was over more than 27% of the British had suffered injury or death compared to only 6% for the Americans who claimed victory in the battle. Although neither side gained a decisive advantage in this battle, the British loss of troops was so great that it forced them to abandon the Carolinas, and this eventually led to their defeat at Yorktown.
Eight descendands of Kerenhappuch Turner fought in the battle; her son and seven grandsons. Captain James Turner and one of the grandsons were gravely wounded. When word of this reached Kerenhappuch, she rushed on horseback through hostile lines to administer to her kin and others who had suffered injuries in the battle. When she started out for Guilford she was carrying a sick infant with her on the horse. At some point during this journey, the infant died and was buried alongside the trail. By risking her life in this manner, Kerenhappuch Turner had become a true heroine of our first war. A monument was erected in her memory at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and dedicated to her memory on July 4, 1902. Its granite base is crowned with the bronze figure of a woman clad in the costume of her time carrying in her hand the symbol of her ministry on the battle field, a folded towel over her arm and a tea cup and saucer in her hand. It is believed that this was the first monument ever erected to a revolutionary war heroine.
When the war had been concluded Captain Turner, now fully recovered from his wounds, relocated to Halifax Co., Virginia and later to Montgomery Co., North Carolina. When her husband died in about 1785, Kerenhappuch Turner moved south to live with her son. Evidently upon her husband's death much of his property passed to his son in the 18th century custom. The son, in a show of love, respect and affection for his mother, gave much of it back to her as described in the deed which is recorded in Deed Book 13, Pg. 138, Halifax Co., Virginia.
Kerenhappuch Turner died in 1805 in Richmond Co., North Carolina. Family tradition says that while hunting with her grandsons she fell from her horse and died of a broken neck. It is not known where she is buried.
She rode from Maryland to North Carolina on horseback to care for her son (or grandson) who was wounded at the Battle of Guilford Court House, North Carolina, in the Revolutionary War. Her monument is erected on the battlefield there (outskirts of Greensboro). She rigged a bucket of water from the rafters of a cabin to allow water to drip on the wound of her son so as to eliminate the infection.
According to Steve Norman, Kerenhappuch was born 1715 in Halifax, Virginia and died 1807 in Guiford Co., North Carolina."
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