Grandmother’s Family

As I wrote yesterday, William Turner and Alice Watchorn were married in Bruce County, ON — Alice’s home — on April 18, 1877.

This couple had seven children, six born in Keppel twp, Grey County, Ontario:

William John…………..born April 7, 1878
Annabelle……………………….May 13, 1879
Elizabeth Jane………………..June 23, 1880
Charles Archibald……………Nov.10, 1881
Alice Dorothy………………….Sept.  ? ,1883
Emily Priscilla…………………Apr 28, 1885
George Henry…………………Oct.  3, 1888

They moved to near Souris, Manitoba, when our grandmother Emily was about three years old.
— William John would have been the “Uncle John Turner” mentioned in the last post. He married Mary Abigail Dobson; they left no descendants.
–Annabelle married Anderson Boyd, a grain buyer from Bethany
— Jane never married.
— Charles homesteaded around Roblin or Grandview MB (More on his family later)
— Alice went to Sask to teach school. Sad to say she fell for some sweet-talking romeo who “left for parts unknown” when he learned there was a baby on the way. She died in disgrace during childbirth and her twins were given to some other family member to raise.
— Emily went teaching school in the Spy Hill, Sask, area and there she met an extremely handsome young man named Allen Vance and married him in 1907.
— It looks like George was born at Souris, Man. He married Katherine Dillabough of West Hope.

From our Family Record:

William Turner came west with (brother?) Archibald Turner, then went back to Wiarton (Ontario) in 1884 for his family. He brought them out to Manitoba in 1885 to the Carroll district and they lived in a log shanty not far from the Souris River. (Someone said 9 miles East of Souris, MB.)
The school the Turner children attended was called “Riverview.” In 1895 the Turner family moved to Muschison (?) district NE of Bethany in the NW part of the province. then they bought a farm in the Franklin disttrict in 1899.

Comment by Steve Vance on one a tape recordings 1985:  The family picture, taken in Minnedosa in 1893, is about the time they left their homestead at Carl, Man. and moved to

Uncle Steve remembers:

The family had come from Ont about 1885 and lived there when mother, Emily Priscilla Turner, was about three years old.  Their homestead at Carl (?) was about a half mile north of the Souris River.
At that time the Indians under Louis Riel were on the warpath.  Every night the war drums sounded up and down the river bank.  The family was afraid for its safety and they expected to be scalped at any moment.  William and Alice decided to get out of there and they took their brood to Bethany, where young John got a homestead.
A few years ago I stood on a hill beside the old homestead buildings and as I looked toward the river I could almost hear those drums.

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About Christine Goodnough

Sixty-something wife, grandma, home-maker and nature lover at home on the Canadian prairies. My blog, Christine's Collection, is a catchall of prose and poetry, fiction, articles, inspirational thoughts. I write about life with a dash of humor and from a Christian perspective. My books: The Rescuing Day, a story for children ages 4-8. Available from PrairieView Press. Silver Morning Song, an anthology of short fiction stories and poems. Available in print copy and e-book from Amazon.
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