Unknown Turley (c. 1675- )
Bibliographical note: Much of the information in this section was obtained from a privately published 766 page volume, Turley Family Records, compiled by Beth Mitchell and others (Alexandria, Virginia: Turley Family Historical Research Association) 1981.
The Earliest Turleys in Virginia
Turley Family Records identifies the first Turleys of record in the colony of Virginia, who appeared in the lower James River area in 1669. In an index of Virginia land patents, 1666-1695, names of five Turley men are listed as headrights for claiming land:
- 30 October 1669. Robert Johnson received a 300-acre patent in the Upper Parish of Nansemond County for transporting six persons: Charles Duthkaies, Jno. Turley, Jane Cresdall, Ann Williams, Tho. Russ, and Susan Broughton.
- 1677. Warren Godfrey received a patent in Lower Norfolk County. One of those transported was Georg Turly.
- 30 May 1678. John Williams was granted 925 acres in Isle of Wight County for the transportation of nineteen persons, including Fra. Turley
- 16 March 1663. Thomas Fenwick was granted 3,000 acres in Lower Norfolk County for transporting sixty persons, including Jone Turley (or Turby).
- 20 April 1682. Capt. Henry Applewhaite received a patent for the transportation of twenty-six persons, over half of whom also appeared on the list of persons transported by John Williams (see above). Since Francis Turley in on this list, it is probable that there was only one Francis Turley who emigrated. Obviously, some names were submitted on more than one occasion.
Other than the persons listed above who turned up as headrights for land granted in the Norfolk area in the seventeenth century, the earliest Virginia Turleys were all concentrated in what is now known as “Northern Virginia”. Since many of the early records vital to genealogical research have been burned or lost in Virginia, a search for early Turley family records is problematic, and connections among these individuals, if any, are difficult or impossible to establish with the evidence at hand. Hence, the fate of the early Turleys, who arrived during the seventeenth century, is unknown, and we do not know whether the above-named individuals, who arrived in the lower James River area of Virginia, were the forebears of the Turleys who appear in Stafford County in the early eighteenth century.
Their first documented appearance of the Turley family in Stafford County is in 1716, in the will of John West, which mentions Ann Turley, John Turley and James Turley as legatees and James Turley was a witness who proved the will in court.
John West’s second wife was Elizabeth. It is this Elizabeth who was probably married first to a Turley, although no proof has been found. Because John West bequeathed 300 acres to Ann Turley, naming her as daughter-in-law, it has been assumed that she was a step-daughter. This was generally the meaning of the term when it was used in the eighteenth century. The will makes clear that Ann was under sixteen and unmarried, so it is believed that Ann Turley may have been the daughter of John West’s second wife, Elizabeth, who may have been married first to a Turley. The important fact is that the Turleys were known to John West and were legatees in his will. The will places James Turley in Virginia in 1716, and it is assumed that the legatees Ann, John and James lived in the vicinity (in Northern Virginia or possibly, but less likely, on the other side of the river in Maryland).
The 1749 Truro Parish tithable list compiled by Rev. Charles Green designated as formerly papist: John Turley, Vestryman Lower Parish; James Turley; Paul Turley; Peter Turley and John West, lately Vestryman, Justice and Captain Lower Parish. After the names of James, Paul and Peter Turley, Rev. Green added, in addition to formerly papist, now churchman Up. P. This suggests they were all baptized Catholic, but at some time in their lives had changed religions. There were forty-six individuals listed as papist and eight individuals listed as formerly papist on Rev. Green’s list. After some of the names listed as papist, Reverend Green noted comes sometimes to church or often comes to church. Sampson Turley, son of John and Jane Turley, and Charles Broadwater, son of Capt. Broadwater and Elizabeth (Turley?) West Broadwater, were not listed as formerly papist. Elizabeth’s third marriage, to Broadwater, was not to a Catholic. The Reverend Charles Green did not list their child, Charles Broadwater, as papist or formerly papist.
John West probably had strong feelings about the Catholics. In his will he displayed concern and wanted his son John West brought up and educated in the reformed religion according to the Church of England. He asked his good friend Rev. John Frazer to take care to see that his son John West received a sound education.
Turley Familty Records summarizes the state of research as follows: Since John West’s will contains the earliest mention of Turleys in Virginia, it is important to find out: (1) why the Turleys were living with, or close to, John West, (2) when the Turleys of Fairfax County and John West, listed in 1749 as formerly papist, changed religions and (3) whether there were Catholic records kept in Maryland in the late seventeenth century. If some of the Turleys moved from Maryland to Virginia, they may have first settled in Westmoreland County and moved north as the frontiers were settled. Or perhaps they moved across the Potomac directly to the Hunting Creek area. Despite many years of research by members of the Turley families, the answers to these questions are unknown and the immigrant Turley ancestor or ancestors remain unidentified. The relationship between the Turleys of Virginia and the Turleys of Maryland is not known. It will take a careful examination of known facts to establish where the search should continue. Virginia records pertinent to the search are: Westmoreland, Stafford, Prince William, Fairfax and Loudoun.
John Turley, Vestryman of Truro Parish
The immigrant ancestor in my Turley line is unknown to me. The earliest ancestor in this line that can be positively indentified is John Turley, who was born about 1700 and died 1756 in Fairfax County, Virginia. He married Jane [surname unknown], and she died in 1769. Their only heir was Sampson Turley.
John Turley appears to have been a man of comfortable circumstances. He served the Crown as a tobacco inspector when the first effective inspection system was implemented in the 1730s. His service on the vestry of Truro Parish placed him in a select group; he served with George Mason, William Fairfax, Daniel McCarty, William Payne and other prominent citizens of Fairfax County. He probably knew George Washington, who was elected to the vestry five years after John Turley‘s death. John Turley had the added responsibility of serving as churchwarden for the year 1755.
When Charles Broadwater was sheriff, John Turley served as under-sheriff in 1751 and they took an oath, which declared that there was no transubstantiation in the sacraments at or after the consecration. It was necessary to sign this oath before assuming public office. Sampson Turley, son of John, signed the oath the following year.
In 1752 John West, Daniel McCarty, William Henry Terrett, John Turley, Lewis Ellzey and Charles Broadwater were commissioned as captains. John Turley served on juries and grand juries. He viewed “the most convenient way” for roads, inventoried and appraised estates, and served the court in other ways. He was not sued during the time that court order books for Fairfax County have been preserved, although in 1754 a summons was issued to Charles Green to appear and testify on behalf of John Turley in the suit between Daniel McCarty and John Turley.
John Turley held the important public office of “Tobacco Inspector” in Prince William County and later in Fairfax County, Virginia. Tobacco was the cash crop of the colonial era in Virginia; it served as a medium of exchange, officials were paid in tobacco, fines and tithes were levied in tobacco and accounts were paid in tobacco.
Governing bodies of Virginia attempted many times to regulate and control the trade in tobacco trade, which was first cultivated by the English settlers of Virginia in 1612. By 1709 tobacco production was 29,000,000 pounds. Tobacco planters were plagued with the problem of overproduction and the resulting low prices. In order to protect the market for tobacco, many laws and regulations were established. No serious attempt was made to set up a comprehensive inspection system until 1730, when the General Assembly passed a detailed inspection bill that finally won the support of planters and merchants. Although this bill was frequently amended during the colonial period, the essential features were not changed.
Governor Gooch appointed commissioners to build the inspection warehouses and then carefully chose the tobacco inspectors, selecting them for their skill and integrity. On 22 Oct 1732, the Governor with the advice of the Council was pleas’d to niminate & appoint the following Persons to be Inspectors of Tobacco at the Several Warehouses…. The list that followed contained sixty-six warehouses with two persons nominated for each warehouse. John Turley and Thomas Osborne were appointed for the Quantico Warehouse, which was located at the head of Quantico Creek upon the land of Richard Brit in Prince William County.
After John Turley was appointed inspector he probably took an oath at the Prince William County Court House: Carefully to view and examine all tobacco brought to any public warehouse whereof he is appointed an inspector; and to the best of his skill and judgment not to receive any tobacco prohibited by this act or that is not sound, well-conditioned, and in his judgment, clear of trash, sand, and dirt; and faithfully to discharge the duty of his office according to the directions of the same, without favour, affection, partiality, or other by-respect. John Turley then had to enter into bond, with good security, in the penalty of one thousand pounds for the true and faithful performance of his office and trust. His duties and responsibilities were set forth in great detail in the legislation passed in 1730.
The only known child of John Turley and Jane is Sampson Turley, born about 1725 and died between 1810-12 in Fairfax County, Virginia. Sampson‘s wife was named Martha, but no record has been found which proves her surname. The date of her death is also not known.
Early Fairfax County Court records show that Sampson followed his father as inspector of tobacco. He served at Pohick warehouse in 1749, and over a period of years served at Occoquan and Colchester inspection warehouses. Tobacco, the primary money crop, was the principal medium of exchange. John Turley and Sampson were closely associated with the inspection procedure in Fairfax County. In 1752 the court ordered that John Turley, John Graham, Sampson Turley, or any two of them, contract with workmen to repair the tobacco warehouses and prizes (presses) at Occoquan. Sampson was appointed in 1756 to adjust the scales.
From 1748-68, Sampson Turley voted in every election of burgesses from Fairfax County for which records have survived. Twice he voted for George Washington and John West. Sampson Turley received votes in the election of the vestry of Truro Parish in 1749, where he received only sixty-seven votes. John Turley and Charles Broadwater were elected to the vestry that year. The election results, copies form a paper said to be in the hand of George Washington, have been transcribed and the Turley names have been copied as Furley. This should be Turley since there was not a Furley family in records of Fairfax County at the time, and the Truro vestry records show that John Turley was a member of the vestry. A few years after the election of the vestry in 1749, Sampson Turley probably lived in the borderline area, which was part of Cameron Parish and could have been active in the affairs of that parish. He does not appear in the Truro vestry records except in 1770, when he and Peter Wagener gave bond for Pierce Bayly, who had been appointed to collect the parish tithes.
Sampson served the county government in many ways: he served on juries, was active in laying out new roads, appraised and inventoried estates and took the list of tithables in Truro and Cameron parishes. When he was appointed under-sheriff in 1752, he signed the transubstantiation oath.
Sampson Turley took the oath and was sworn as Justice for Fairfax County on 17 July 1755. He served as a gentleman justice during the following courts: July, August, September and December 1755; March, May, August, September and October 1756; November 1757 and July 1758. The court was normally in session for several days during the third week of the month.
The year 1755 was an eventful year for Sampson Turley. He was made a Gentleman Justice in July, and in the fall of the year took his oath for a military commission. His father, John Turley, had been commissioned Captain in 1752. Sampson served as a Lieutenant in the county militia. The militia was drawn into service in 1755 for the defense and protection of the frontier of the colony against the incursions and depredations of the French, and their Indian allies… Many companies from Prince William, Fairfax and Culpeper counties served on the frontier during this time but were not paid for their services. The Assembly voted in March 1756 to pay them in pounds of tobacco for their services and provisions. Lt. Sampson Turley served under Capt. Lewis Ellzey and was paid 1,250 pounds of tobacco. Samuel and James Tillet served as corporals. Ellzey was paid 1,500 pounds of tobacco, and the Tillets were paid 1,100 pounds of tobacco each.
The Assembly pointed out that it was necessary that the militia be paid so that they would go out freely to the defence of the country with a certain assurance of being paid for their services. At various times from 1752 to 1820 members of the Turley family received military commissions in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. There is no record showing that Sampson Turley served during the Revolutionary War. He would have been in his fifties, and it is more likely that his sons served. Sampson Turley did, however, support the cause. He was paid for providing supper for 14 men driving cattle to camp and for pasturing 280 head of Cattle and Horses.
In August 1757 there apparently was some difficulty in establishing the boundary between Fairfax and Loudoun counties and Sampson Turley was appointed to view the boundary… A few months later, in December 1757, Sampson Turley, with a surveyor and other persons, was ordered by the Fairfax County court to run the line between Fairfax and Loudoun counties. This seems to be a case in which Fairfax County lagged behind Loudoun County since a survey of the boundary in dispute was inserted in the beginning of the Loudoun County Deed Book B. It shows that in July 1757, the surveyor of Loudoun County, George West, ran the dividing line in the company of Fielding Turner, Sampson Turley and James Hally. They ran the course from the head of Difficult Run to Sampson Turley‘s fence and adjourned the Survey. Not until 18 Oct 1757 did they finish the survey and run the courses to the mouth of Rocky Run. This survey shows S. Turley’s house, and D. Carrol’s house and the main road to Winchester. It was presented at the Loudoun County Court 8 Nov 1757 and was recorded. The Fairfax officials may not have been satisfied with some part of the survey since they ordered another survey in December of that year.
Judging from court records, Sampson Turley had accounts with many of the leading business firms. The only known account records which survived for Sampson were with the Glassford Company store. Sampson traded with Alexander Henderson at the Glassford store in Colchester. Henderson later became a partner and the firm was called Glassford & Henderson.
The balance carried forward in Sampson‘s account for the year 1768 with Henderson shows that he had traded for some time at this store. He had been brought to court for his accumulated debt and gave bond for the payment of the debt plus interest. Despite regular payment on the debt, this debt had increased during the decade covered by the account books. No particular extravagance can be identified, but the description of the items purchased frequently included the finest and best. Sampson‘s family was large and his six daughters undoubtedly were interested in the latest fashions. Virginians of this period were often in debt and many times the debts simply were passed on to succeeding generations. No particular stigma seems to have been attached to the problem and appearances in court for debt were commonplace.
There are more records for Sampson Turley in early Fairfax records than any other Turley. The first viewing of the court records might seem to indicate that Sampson was in debt more than normal. Many of the judgments against him, however, were small. Glassford & Henderson, Benjamin Grayson, John Mercer, Messr. Maxwell & Guthrie & Co. and William Carr Lane were the only firms or individuals who received any substantial sum.
Sampson Turley appeared on the tax rolls of Fairfax County, Virginia from 1782 to 1812. During the last fourteen years he was taxed only on the original 453-acre Northern Neck grant made to his father in 1726. Sampson was listed with four black tithables in 1749. By 1782 he was listed with thirteen slaves and his sons held five slaves. From 1788 to 1812 Sampson was listed with 10-12 slaves. These are named in the inventory filed by the appraisers of Sampson‘s estate.
Sampson Turley‘s will, dated 7 Apr 1810, was recorded at court 20 Oct 1812. At that time John Arundle, Charles F. Ford, Richard Simpson, William Offutt and George Simpson, or any three, were appointed to inventory and appraise the estate. The inventory and appraisal were recorded at court 15 Feb 1813. The sale of the estate had been held 12 Dec 1812, but the account of sales was not returned and recorded until 16 Aug 1813.
Sampson named his son James Turley as his executor. In October 1812, James Turley, Henry L. Halley and James Sangster posted a bond of $6,000, and James Turley was obligated to administer according to Law and make a Just and true account of his actings and doings and was to truly pay and deliver all the legacies contained and specified in the said will…
Sampson Turley bequeathed all of his moveable property to his wife Martha during her natural life. After her death his property was to be sold and equally divided among the following of my children to wit, John Turley, Giles Turley, Sampson Turley, James Turley, Jane Gibbs, Elizabeth Gunnell, Susanna Bunn, Peggy Turley and the Children of my deceased Daughter Henrietta Waigh to receive their Mother’s part of said division.
Martha Turley and Ann Turley, who were named as grandchildren in Jane Turley’s will, were not listed and were not included in the division of the estate of John Turley, son of Sampson, which named his brothers and sisters. It is assumed therefore that daughters Martha and Ann Turley had died before 1810.
The children of Sampson Turley and Martha are listed as follows (many additional details are available in Turley Family Records): 1) Jane, born 1748 probably in Fairfax County, Virginia and died before 1822, probably in Loudoun County, Virginia. She married James Lewin Gibbs after Sep 1768, for the estate account of her grandmother, Jane, shows that the legacies mentioned in the grandmother’s will were paid to James Lewin Gibbs for his wife Jean [sic]. 2) John, born 1750 and died about 1822, probably in Loudoun County. He married Mary Ferguson, daughter of Joshua and Mary Ferguson. 3) Henrietta, born about 1752 and died before 1810. She married James Waugh. 4) Giles, born 1754 in Fairfax County and died 31 May 1831 in Rockingham County, Virginia. His wife was named Nancy. She died 3 Dec 1833 in Rockingham County. 5) Martha, born 1756 and died before 1810, 6) Ann, born 1758 and died before 1810, 7) Sampson, born 1760 in Fairfax County and died after 1822, probably in Christian County, Kentucky. He married Sally Bronaugh, daughter of Thomas Bronaugh. The marriage bond, dated 25 November 1793, was recorded in Fauquier County. Sampson and Sally had ten children, six born in Virginia, three born in Tennessee and one born in Kentucky – seven daughters, four of whom died young and three sons. 8) James, born 1762 in Fairfax County and died there in 1825. He married Ann [surname unknown]. 9) Elizabeth Turley, born 1764 and died 1813. 10) Susanna, born 1766 and married [unknown] Bunn before 1810.
Elizabeth Turley married Allen Gunnell (1735-1826), the son of William Gunnell (1705-1794) and Margaret (1725-1787). U.S. Census records show him resident in Fairfax, Virginia in 1810, reporting a household of 22 persons, including 12 slaves. He was born blind, according to the memoir of his grandson, Thomas Allen Gunnell. John Turley Gunnell (1796-1867) was born in Virginia and is the son of Allen Gunnell (1735-1826) and Elizabeth Turley (1740-1813). He was born in Virginia, but migrated to Kentucky, where he married Elizabeth Redd Major in 1820 in Franklin County. She died in 1821 following the birth of her only child, Thomas Allen Gunnell, and John Turley Gunnell subsequently married (2nd) Catherine McKenzie (1809-1891). The lineage of John Turley Gunnell and Elizabeth Redd Major is continued under the heading of William Gunnell (1676-1742).
 My grandmother, Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901-1982) (listed as Elizabeth H. Hylbom) is listed as a charter member of this organization.
 In order to encourage settlement of Virginia, the Crown offered fifty acres of land to each person transported into the colony. Persons of all social classes were listed as headrights, including nobility, gentry, yeomanry, indentured servants and blacks. Claims for land as a result of transporting persons to the colony were not always made immediately after the arrival of the headrights in the colony. Persons on the list were not always immigrants, but might have made a voyage to England and returned. The area where the land was granted or the area where the persons receiving the patent lived was not necessarily where the headrights settled. If the transportee was unable to pay for his passage, then the person who did pay claimed fifty acres for paying the passage. Usually the headright served an indenture of four to seven years to pay for his passage to Virginia. After completing their indentures, some transportees acquired land and became farmers for themselves.
 Nell Marion Nugent. Cavaliers and Pioneers; Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Vol. 2, I666-I695 (Virginia State Library) 1977. The citations for patent books 6 and 7 at the Virginia State Library, are Jno. Turley, 6:283; Georg Turly, 6:622; Fra. Turley, 6:644; Jone Turley, 7:114 and Francis Turley, 7:119.
 As originally delineated, Stafford County included a much larger area than its current borders, and in fact encompassed what would later become Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties and the City of Alexandria. It is part of the area now considered Northern Virginia.
 Is James, legatee, also James, witness? Or is James, witness, an older person and James and John, legatees, his sons or nephews? We don’t know. A witness to a will in the early eighteenth century could also be a legatee since under English law, as only a person receiving real property was prohibited from being a witness to a will.
 Rev. Charles Green’s “List of Tithables”, 1749. Fairfax County Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
 There is a street in Fairfax, Virginia named for John Turley: John Turley Place (Middleridge community), ZIP code 22032.
 Some sources report that Jane’s surname was “Tillett”. Further investigation is needed.
 i.e. between 7 Apr 1810 (the date of his will) and 20 Oct 1812 (the date his will was recorded at court)
 The list of children of Sampson and Martha Turley was compiled using the order listed in the wills of John and Jane Turley. The children are listed in two year intervals. No records have been found which give the birthdates.
 Her maiden name might have been Sangster, but documentary proof has not been found.
 Gunnell, Thomas Allen (1821-1906). Memories of a Grandfather “From Twilight to Twilight” (written about 1902-03 for his granddaughter, Seddie); from the papers of his great granddaughter, Elizabeth (Hamlin) Hylbom (1901-1982).