The Turner Family

The Turner Family.

This Turner Family story starts at Port Adelaide in 1855 with the arrival, from Ashton-Under-Lyne England, of Timothy Turner and his wife Sarah, nee Garside. They had been married since 1 January 1844 and brought five young children, James, David Henry, Levi, Alice and Joseph with them to start a new life in the colony of South Australia.

Several of their sons made their way up north and found jobs on pastoral stations or at some of the mining towns. One of them was David Henry. He worked for some time on Mount Lyndhurst Station, a pastoral property on the Strzelecki Track, and got to know the daughter of Joseph Hisgrove. The big day came at the end of 1876 when on 12 December, at the residence of Joseph Hisgrove, David Henry Turner, born 10 July 1848 in Lancashire, England and seventeen year old Elisabeth Hisgrove were married.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev Carter, who as one of very few church representatives in the north had to travel straight back to Sliding Rock to perform a similar ceremony the next day between John Tamblyn and Sarah Annie Walkom. David and Elisabeth's wedding was witnessed by the station's overseer A.E. Ditherby and David's younger brother, Levi who was also working on Mount Lyndhurst Station. Unfortunately David's parents were not at the wedding. His father Timothy and mother Sarah, had died within two months of each other in 1875. David Henry and Elisabeth Turner were to have eight children.

Their first child, a boy, was stillborn on 2 November 1877. The next child was Margarite born at Quorn on 1 May 1879, followed by Elizabeth Jane on 3 August 1881, Rose Mary on 1 March 1884 and Joseph Henry on 5 May 1886 at Wilmington. After having moved to Farina their last three children were all born there. Leah Ellen on 5 October 1888, William Levi on 7 October 1891 and last but not least Marion Valerie on 9 July 1896. David Henry died on 11 July 1922 at Olive Road, St Peters and Elisabeth died in 1943. Their son Joseph Henry, who married Violet Oliver, would later become Director of the Ooloo Silver Lead mine at Murnpeowie.

William Levi Turner, Willie to his parents and Bill to his mates, was not all that impressed with the surroundings of his early childhood. In later years he used to say that Farina was the last place on earth the Lord built and where rabbits were so thick that one had to knock them out of the way to be able to walk about. His parents later moved south to Quorn where William started his apprenticeship as a carpenter at the age of fourteen. His starting wages were ten cents a week until his mother gained him an increase of another three cents a week. He later qualified as a Millwright and built Flour Mills in South Australia and, after his marriage to Katie Agnes O'Donnell on 28 January 1915, also in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

Another son of Timothy and Sarah Turner who found his way north was Levi, born on 29 April 1850. He married Rebecca Hill, first daughter of Samuel and Sarah Hill, born at Woodside on 17 September 1860, at the Beltana Hotel on 29 February 1880. This ceremony was performed by Rev JP Buttfield and witnessed by TJC Hantke. During their short time together they had three children, Ellen Dorothy born 1881, Levi 1883 and Emma in 1888. Levi died at Quorn from a heart disease on 29 March 1889, one month short of his thirty-ninth birthday. Rebecca, who was not even thirty yet, remarried to Charles Marcus Moore in 1891. Rebecca died, while pregnant, at Waukaringa on 30 September 1905, as a result of being kicked by a cow.

A third son of Timothy and Sarah to find work in the north was Joseph Henry, born 10 July 1854 and younger brother of Levi. Joseph was employed for some time at the Blinman mine. While living at Blinman in 1880 he married Rebecca Hill's sister Elizabeth, born on 13 August 1864. Joseph and Elizabeth had six children. One of their boys, born on 17 December 1888 at Teetulpa, where Joseph worked as a miner at that time, was named Samuel Hill. One of their daughters, born 11 June 1891 at Quorn, was named Sarah. This Sarah would, on 18 October 1911 at Quorn, marry Reube Dunn Davison, a Hawker who was born in Blinman, on 26 December 1887. Reube's parents, who lived at Parachilna, were Henry George Davison and Willmet, nee Berryman. Joseph Henry Turner died at Pinkerton, near Quorn, on 8 April 1894, aged thirty-nine, like his older brother from a heart disease.


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