Turvin Family came to Covington County circa 1866

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Turvin family name is not heard in Covington County that often at present, but in the past, there were quite a few members of this family in the area. Elijah Douglas Turin is the ancestor who will be featured in today’s narrative.

The earliest Turvin ancestor to be found on Ancestry.com for Elijah Douglas is William Tarvin. Notice the spelling of the last name changed from Tarvin to Turvin with Elijah Douglas’s generation. William Tarvin was born in 1727 in Charles County, Md., and died in 1785 in Columbia, Ga. He was married to Nancy Tarvin who was born in 1726 in Wilkes County, Ga., and died in 1812 at Fort Mims, Baldwin County, Ala. They had a son also named William who was born in 1764 in Charles County, Md., and died in 1813 during the massacre at Fort Mims. His wife, Mary Miller, also died in the 1813 massacre. She was born in 1765 in Burke County, Ga.

It is not known how William and Mary’s son, Elijah Tarvin, escaped from the massacre. He would have been about 11 years of age as he was born in 1802 in Baldwin County. He died as a fairly young man at 43 years old in 1845 and was still residing in Baldwin County. He was married to Elizabeth Tate (1802-1852), daughter of Daniel Tate (1778-1829) and Mary Louise Randon (1784-1813). Among their children was a son named Elijah Douglas Turvin, who is the main subject of this family story. Some family records indicate he was a member of the Creek Indian Tribe.

Elijah Douglas Turvin was born in 1820 in Huntsville, Ala., according to one record. By 1830, he was living with his parents in Baldwin County, Ala. During that year, he purchased 40.09 acres of land in Baldwin County through the St. Stephens Land Office. Ten years later in 1840, he was married to his first wife, Eliza Alexander, who apparently died young. Circa 1843, he was married to his second wife, Harriett Martin, who was born in 1816 in Georgia. In 1845, he bought 80.23 acres of land in the Baldwin County Township.

In 1860, Elijah D. and Harriett were residing in Santa Rosa County, Fla., with four young children. In 1864, Elijah D. enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private in Company I, 15th Confederate Cavalry, Alabama and Florida. He served throughout the war and was living in Covington County in 1866. His wife, Harriett, died in 1900, so he moved to live in the home of his widowed daughter, Sarah Jane Corkins, which was in Copperas Head, Williams Precinct, Covington County. He was married for the third time in 1904 to Mary Margaret Grantham. Eight years later in 1912, Elijah died while living in Crenshaw County. He was buried there in the New Providence Cemetery.

At some point in time, Elijah had owned land with his son, Charles David Turvin, near Harmony Baptist Church in Covington County. They operated a cotton gin at that location, which was on Turvin Mill Creek. Some of the Turvins were buried in the Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery.

Elijah Douglas and Harriett Turvin were the parents of the following children: Charles David “Crock,” b. 1844, d. 1936, m. (1) Mary J. ?; Sarah Jane, b. 1846, d. 1930, m. 1870 William Corkins (1849-1880); James Richard, b. 1848, m. Catherine ?; George W., b. 1858, d. 1919, m. 1879 Clarinda D. Turvin; and Nancy J., b. 1863.

The oldest son, Charles David “Crock” Turvin, homesteaded 120.21 acres of land in 1897 in the Antioch Township. He was married in the early 1870s to Mary J., but her last name is not known. Their first son, William S. Turvin, was born in 1875. William was married to Frances Virginia Wright, and he died in 1957. A second son, C.E. Turvin, was born in 1879 and died in 1900. Charles David was next married to Sarah C. Turvin, and they were the parents of four children: Mary L., b. 1884; Harriet E., b. 1888; Allen F.C., b. 1891, d. 1988; and Ella F., b. 1895.

The oldest daughter, Sarah Jane Turvin, was born in 1846 and was married first to Elliott Hicks, with whom she had one child, Sarah J. Elliott, who was born circa 1862 and recorded by that name in the federal 1880 census. (Question:  Is Elliott Hicks her father and her Elliott name a mistake?) Then in 1870 Sarah Jane was married to William Corkins, who was born in 1849, but he died fairly young circa 1880. They were the parents of at least two children: Emma S., b. 1872; and Richard, b. 1875. Some records show a third child who was born and died circa 1880.

The next son, James Richard Turvin, was born circa 1850 and was married to Catherine ? They had at least one son, William Turvin, who was born in 1869. The family resided mostly in the Rose Hill community of Covington County.

The next and youngest son, George W. Turvin, was born in 1853 and was married in 1879 in Pike County, Ala., to Clarinda D. Turvin, daughter of John James Turvin and Even H. Stygens. At their deaths, John and Clarinda were buried in the Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery. They were the parents of the following children: Richard T., b. 1880; Samuel “Sam,” b. circa 1880, d. 1952, m. 1899 in Andalusia, Susan A. King (1877-1935); John B., b. 1883, d. 1963; Callie, b. 1886, d. 1904, m. Richard Owens Quincy; and Fannie Lou, b. 1904, d. 1974; m. 1921 William James Hicks; and there may have been another child or two.

George W. Turvin’s oldest surviving son, Samuel “Sam” Turvin, was born in 1880 in Andalusia where he was married in 1899 to Susan A. King, daughter of Wiley Abner King and Martha Elizabeth Heulin. The King family was in Covington County by 1850. Sam and Susan were residing in the Davis Shop Precinct in 1900, in Sanford in 1910 and Andalusia in 1920. They were the parents of the following children: Olie, b. 1899, d. 1900; infant, b.&d. 1900; Henry, b. 1901, d. 1916; Dempsey James, b. 1902, d. 1937, m. in Ohio where he was stationed during World War II; Fannie Lou, b. 1904; Jessie, b. 1906, d. 1998; Joseph Daniel “Joe,” b. 1909, d. 1984, m. Mary E. Farrell (1917-1990); William Richard, b. 1910, d. 1990, m. Loretta A. Bernhardt; Lewis A., b. 1923, d. 1993, and several more who died in infancy.

George W.’s daughter, Fannie Lou Turvin, was married in 1921 to William James Hicks, son of Ashley Hicks and Alcey Reader/Reeder. William Hicks was 13 years old when his family came to Covington County from Coffee County in 1911. William or Bill operated a barber shop in Rose Hill during the 1920s. He also taught singing using the old-style shape notes as he traveled from house to house. He and Fannie Lou were the parents of the following children: James Farris, d. 1995 in Ohio; Mary Gennett, d. at 13 months due to pneumonia; William Foster, b. 1924; and Odean, d. 2000, m. Herman Helms.

The sources for this family’s genealogy included Ancestry. Com and a family story written by a family descendant, Jan Hicks, and published in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who may find an error in the above data is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email: cthomasson@centurytel.net.