Although we aren't sure who her parents were, we know that Mary was born in Virginia and her family was living in Georgia when she married Richard Turner in Wilkes County*, probably about 1799 because their first child was born the following year.
Unfortunately Richard Turner is an extremely common name and we haven't identified the right one in U.S. Census records until 1820 by which time the family was living in Jasper County, Georgia, now numbering thirteen free white persons and three slaves. Five members of the household were engaged in agriculture.
[Ancestry.com. 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fourth Census of the United States, 1820. (NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.]
In the next two U.S. Census enumerations, the Turner family expanded its holdings in human property from seven in 1830 to twelve in 1840** by which time they were in Newton County, which had been created in 1821 out of parts of Henry, Jasper and Walton Counties.
At last in the 1850 U.S. Census, Mary had her own listing which names her birthplace as Virginia.
[Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls); Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C.]
Beginning with this census, "Slave Inhabitants" were enumerated but not named on a separate schedule. Richard Turner was listed as the owner of fifteen persons--four adult males, four adult females and seven children no older than ten.
[Ancestry.com. 1850 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.:
National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls.]
In his will signed on January 3, 1851, and presented in court for probate on April 5, 1852, Richard Turner's first bequest was to ensure that his "beloved Wife Mary Turner" had a comfortable home "during her natural life or widowhood." To that end he not only gave her household and kitchen furniture but also three slaves: "Charles a negro man, Viney a negro woman and Mourning a negro woman" along with "horses, cows and hogs."
["Georgia, Probate Records, 1742-1990," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-30463-13550-21?cc=1999178&wc=9SBS-YW5:267728901,267884801 : accessed 28 April 2015), Newton > Wills 1823-1871 vol 1-2 > image 167 of 350; county probate courthouses, Georgia.]
Richard's estate was valued at $10,479.49 in the appraisal filed with the court on April 14, 1852. Charles was judged to be worth $500; Viney, $450; and Mourning $100.
The final record we have referring to Mary Turner is on the 1860 U.S. Census - Slave Schedule for Pike County, Georgia, where S. Turner (almost certainly her son Shadrack) is named as her agent in regard to two enslaved persons. Charles is undoubtedly the 53 year old mulatto man but we don't know if the 48 year old mulatto woman is Viney or Mourning.
[Ancestry.com. 1860 U.S. Federal Census - Slave Schedules [database on-line]. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.:
National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls.]
Mary is not part of Shadrack's household in Pike County in the U.S. Census for that year and I haven't been able to find any record for her anywhere else.
We don't know when or where Mary Turner died, nor do we know where either she or Richard are buried.
*Possibly in the part of Wilkes that is now Lincoln County.
**You can see these census records in my post about their daughter Lizzie Turner Freeman.
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