Individual Details

John Turkle Sr

(24 Oct 1789 - 13 Aug 1872)

John Turkle (1789-1872) married Mary Farmer (1797-1853) in Ireland. They immigrated in 1820 through Canada to Ohio.
see a printed book 260 p.
Title The John Turkle folk
Stmnt.Resp. by James McClenahan Beall and Mary Beall Root
Authors Beall, James McClenahan, 1917- (Main Author)
Root, Mary Beall, 1923- (Added Author)
Call Number: 929.273 T847b
Location: JSMB US/CAN Book
Language: English
Publication: Baltimore [Maryland] Gateway Press, c1996
Subject Class 929.273 T847

Dale Turkel confirmed:
Who was this couple, where did they come from, and how do we know? That they were Irish there was no doubt. We know this from the family Bibles of two of the sons, James and Frank. Each states that John and Mary Farmer were married in Ireland by Rev. Reynolds on 25 January 1818. "Landed in New Brunswick, Canada in August 1820 and arrived in St. Clairsville, Belmont County, Ohio November 1820. Removed to the old homestead 3 February 1825. Where he remained until his death."

Peggy Kelso (John', JameS2 , Edgar 3) in searching at Mormon Church Archives in Salt Lake City found on their roll of film #830,231
"List of the Passengers arriving from Foreign Countries at the Port Alexandria from any foreign Port from the 15th day of April until the 31st day of December 1820," This list included some of the early families that settled in the Fairview, Ohio area.
Listed were Joseph Barrett 38, his wife Ann 38 and a daughter Mary of four: John Turtle 27, his wife Mary 24, and a son George of seven; Joseph Turtle 37, his wife Margaret 27, and a son Charles and a daughter Christine; and finally, Jackson Gracey 27, his wife Ann 24, two sons James 7 , Richard 4. (Notice the spelling of the name, Turtle. We will discuss the name change below.)

In exchanges of letters between two of John' Turkle's grandchildren Mattie Turkle Henry (John', Jame S2 ) and Stella Turkle Larrick (John', Francis 2 ) additional data are added. (These letters are in the possession of Mary B. Root.) They agreed that they had heard that the trip across the Atlantic took 13 weeks. Margaret Turkle, the second child of John and Mary, was Born on the high seas 7 May 1820, close to the continent. Mary 0. B. Schuler a descendent of the Barretts reports that Benjamine Barrett, a son of Joseph Barrett, was born on the high seas near New Brunswick. Whether this group took a coastwise boat from New Brunswick or the ship discharged and took on passengers and cargo then proceeded to Alexandria, Virginia is not known.

John' Turkle, Joseph Turkle, and Jackson Gracey all gave their trade as Weavers to the immigration authorities. It should be noted that Jackson Gracey's wife was Ann Turkle. Whether she was a sister or a cousin of John or Joseph, or how she was related is not known. This group of Irish settlers bought land close together in the area of Fairview from the Land office in Steubenville at very low prices. They must have ridden their horses from St. Clairsville to their land to build log houses then proceeded to clear the land. There were no Indians in the area, but wild life was abundant and wolves were a menace. As the family Bibles show they lived in St. Clairsville from November 1820 till 3 February 1825. They were included in the 1820 census as living in St. Clairsville on McMahon Creek. 'Me census was taken in the spring of 1821 in that part of Ohio.

From what part of Ireland did they come?
Mary B. Root (John', Frances 2 , Ella 3 , Eula 4), joined the Ulster Historical Foundation hoping to find out. She was not without clues to this mystery. First, there was an essay, widely circulated to the Turkle Clan entitled "The Pilgrimage of the Heart" by the Reverend Alonzo John Turkle (John', Francis2 ) dated 5 September 1931. Mother's (Eula McClenahan Beall) copy which is reproduced in Annex A. Alonzo states that his grandfather made yearly trips to a notary to certify that he was still alive. This was required by the Irish authorities to enforce a land lease that was made between Mr Lawless and Joseph and John Turkle for the life of survivor of the latter. With these meager clues Alonzo found the house that John Turkle had left to come to America. It is located some 6 miles southwest of Newry in the Longfield valley an area now called Jonesborough in County Armagh, Northern Ireland.

Mary B. Root engaged a researcher from the Foundation in 1982 to give her all the information they could find about the Turkles and the Farmers that were in that part of Ireland at the turn of last century. Well, it seems that much of the relevant material had been lost in a fire in 1922 during the Irish uprising, in Dublin where the records were stored. Nevertheless, they found the Indenture made by Mrs. Susannah Barton of County Louth in 1790 for the lives of Charles, the lessee, of Joseph his son, and of John Thurkill, son of the lessees' brother John. The letter from the Foundation goes on to say, "Thus John and Joseph Turkle who emigrated were almost certainly first cousins, sons of John and Charles Turkle of Longfield." A copy of the lease is shown in Annex B.

This brings up the subject of the spelling of the family name. In the Indenture, the signatures were clearly spelled Thurkild. In Ohio they were spelled Turkle. Other variations of the spelling in Ireland were Thurkell, Turtle, Thurkeld, Thurkld. It would appear that the cousins John and Joseph agreed on the spelling Turkle and used it exclusively in the US. In the prayer book mentioned by Alonzo in his "The Pilgrimage of the Heart" now in the possession of his granddaughter, Sue Clinton, there were a number of places where the signature John Thurkild was written. A copy of two page is shown in Annex C. Was the prayer book a gift from his father John and were the signatures those of "our" John or his father? In any case there was a change in the spelling of the name to Turkle when they came to the United States in 1820.

Another haunting question is, how were the Barretts related to the cousins John and Joseph? We know that Jackson Gracey's wife was Nancy Turkle Gracey and that there were subsequent marriages between the children of the four immigrating couples. For example, mother, Eula (John', Francis2, Ella3) McClenahan, had always heard that her great uncle George (John ') and his wife Catherine Barrett were cousins, but she did not know how.

For further information see private communications with Dale Turkle.


Birth24 Oct 1789Longfield, Forkill, County Armagh, North Ireland
Marriage25 Jan 1818County Armagh, North Ireland - Mary Farmer
ImmigrationBef 1820from North Ireland to Canda
Immigration1820from Canda, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Property5 Apr 1822Ohio Land Records
Residence1850Age: 60 - Oxford, Guernsey, Ohio, United States
Residence1860Age: 70; Occupation: Farmer; PersonalEstateValue: 700; RealEstateValue: 4000 - Oxford, Middlebourn, Guernsey, Ohio, United States
Residence1870Age: 81; FatherForeignBirth: Yes; MaleCitizenOverTwentyone: Yes; MotherForeignBirth: Yes; Occupation: Infirm - Oxford, Fairview, Guernsey, Ohio, United States
Death13 Aug 1872Fairview, Guernsey, Ohio, United States
Burial14 Aug 1872Pisgah Cemetery, Antrim, Guernsey, Ohio, United States
Alt nameJohn Thurkeld
Alt nameJohn Turkle


SpouseMary Farmer (1790 - 1853)
ChildGeorge Turkle (1818 - 1900)
ChildMargaret Turkle (1820 - 1830)
ChildAnne Turkle (1821 - 1820)
ChildJames Turkle (1823 - 1893)
ChildMary Turkle (1824 - )
ChildFrancis Turkle (1826 - 1888)
ChildJohn Turkle (1827 - 1840)
ChildCatherine Turkle (1829 - 1917)
ChildJoseph Turkle (1830 - 1918)
ChildCharlie Turkle (1832 - )
ChildJohn W Turkle Jr2 (1833 - 1860)
ChildWilliam Turkle (1835 - )
ChildJane Turkle (1836 - )
ChildElizabeth Turkle (1838 - 1840)
FatherCharles John Thurkld (1760 - 1840)
SiblingJoseph Turkle (1781 - 1855)
SiblingMary Turkle (1785 - 1855)
SiblingNancy Turkle (1788 - 1869)