Turrentine Family History

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With appreciation to Don Turrentine for his kindness in loaning me his copy of The
Turrentine Family by George Ruford Turrentine (third edition revised by Edgar M.
Turrentine). What a wonderful treasure.  Nancy
The following is from "The Turrentine Family."

The name, Turrentine, is an unusual one; however, as research has proven, it is an old one.  From
whence it is derived is not clearly established.  From a pedigree developed by Galiffe (Notices
Genealogiques sur les Familles Genovoises, depuis les premiers temps jusqu a nos jours; Geneva,
1829-1908), the first usage appears around 1300-1354 when a certain Bernardo named his son
Turrettino.  Father and son had not acquired a surname in the modern sense of the word for they
were identified as being "de Nozzano"-of Nozzano (Nozzano was and still is a tiny village five or six
miles from Lucca, Italy, up in the mountains.)  Turrettino's son, Jacopi, was known in official
records as Jacopi Turrettini, in other words, "Jacopi, son of Turrettino."  Jacopi's son, Nicolao, also,
was known as Nicolao Turrettini; thus, indicating that, some time in these two generations, the
family had achieved enough status to acquire a surname, since, in 13th and 14th century Italy, only
the upper classes had need of a surname.  Whatever its origin, the name appears all over western
Europe and the British Isles.

Samuel & Alexander Turrentine:
Founders of an American Family

When the calendar changed to the year 1745, Europe was engaged in the War of the Austrian
Succession.  England and Austria were aligned against France, Spain, Prussia and Bavaria.  War
was not only being waged on the European Continent but, also, in the New World; here, the war was
known as King George's War.  Each side was contesting for land control; but, also, each was
battling for sea control.  Although traditional naval battles were fought, much of the battle for sea
control was carried on under the guise of privateering.

In "A List of Privateers" published in the January, 1745 issue of
The Gentlemen's Magazine, the
brigantine Kouli Kan was noted as "fitted out" in London with a Mr. Barker as the commander.  It is
recorded in the Admiralty Court records that this ship, shortly after being "fitted out," was caught in
a hurricane off the coast of Jamaica and was "stranded."  Later, in the spring, the Kouli Kan
captured a French ship off the coast of Nova Scotia and took fifty thousand English pounds worth of
furs ($250,000 in today's dollars).  At about the time Bonnie Prince Charlie was launching his
ill-fated invasion into England, the Kouli Kan was docking in Newcastle-on-the-Delaware and on
November 14, 1745 was "entered in" at the Custom House in Philadelphia.  On November 26, 1745
Alexander Torrentine, a servant from Ireland, who had arrived on the Kouli Kan, was taken before
the Mayor of Philadelphia, James Hamilton, by James Templeton, who assigned "Torrentine's"
indenture to Neal McClaskey of Chester County, Pennsylvania for the consideration of eighteen
English pounds and customary dues.  On November 29, 1745, Samuel Torrentine, a servant from
Ireland, who, also, had arrived on the Kouli Kan, was taken by James Templeton before the Mayor
and his indenture was assigned to John Dicky, also, of Chester County, for the same eighteen
English pounds and customary dues.  The December 15, 1745 issue of
The Pennsylvania Journal
reported the Kouli Kan "cleared out" for Belfast that week.  Thus, with the arrival of Samuel and
Alexander Turrentine on the privateering brigantine Kouli Kan, another family was established in

Will Durant, in his
Story of Civilization, writes of the years 1714-1756:  "The Irish scene was one of
the most shameful in history."  Political oppression and religious persecution, combined with
periodic famines, made the lot of the majority of the Irish population a desperate one.  Thousands
left Ireland for the New World, arriving and settling, most usually, in Pennsylvania, where they
wished to take advantage of William Penn's promise of religious freedom.  Many of these
immigrants financed their journey to the New World by selling their labors for a period of time.  This
procedure was known as "indenture."  Samuel and Alexander Turrentine had "indented'
themselves in Ireland,how James Templeton, an influential Philadelphian, came into possession of
their indentures is not known.  He may have purchased them from the captain of the Kouli Kan, or he
may have been acting as an agent for Irish business interests, or agents in Ireland may have been
acting for him.  At any rate, Samuel and Alexander Turrentine were assigned to John Dicky and Neal
McClaskey for a period of four years, from November 1, 1745.  Presumably, they served out their
indentures and were "on their own" by the end of 1749.  Alexander is listed as a "freeman" on the
1753 and 1754 Tax Lists of West Nottingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  However,
some time during the late summer or fall of 1754, Samuel and Alexander Turrentine had planted a
"wheat patch" in what is now Menno Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.  This "wheat patch"
was located on Kishocquillas Creek, a tributary of the Juniata River, across the Allegheny

Although the 1748 Peace Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had supposedly brought the War of the Austrian
Succession to a conclusion, competition in America between the French, who wanted to maintain
control of the land west of the Allegheny Mountains for their fur trade, and the English colonies, who
wanted more land for their settlers, still was acute.  In 1753, the French had built a series of forts on
the Allegheny and upper Ohio Rivers.  This, of course, was a challenge to the Colonies and George
Washington was sent to protest but was unsuccessful.  However, settlers continued to cross the
mountains and "take up" land.  In the summer of 1754, representatives of eight of the thirteen
English Colonies met in Albany in order to secure the cooperation of the Six Nations against the
French.  They, also, purchased a great tract of land from the Six Nations representatives in what is
now western Pennsylvania.  This land is known as the "Albany Purchase."  It was land in this Albany
Purchase on which Samuel and Alexander Turrentine planted their "wheat patch."

Alexander and Samuel Torrentine, brothers, had warranted land in what is now Menno Township on
February 5, 1755, having been among those who entered the county immediately after the Albany
Purchase was made, for they had planted a wheat patch in the fall of 1754.  During the spring of
1755, they built a cabin and cleared more land, only to be driven out when the French and Indian War
broke out.  They never returned, but sold their claim to John McDowell, telling him, according to
tradition, that they buried two mattacks, two axes, and a jug of whiskey in the northwest corner of
the cabin floor before leaving.  McDowell came to Kishcoquillas Valley with the return of the settlers
about 1761.  He found the mattocks, axes and whiskey, although the cabin had been burned. (From
Cochran's History of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, 1879).

According to the records of February 5, 1755, Alexander and Samuel "Torringtine" were both issued
warrants, signed by Robert H. Morris and directed to Nicholas Scull, Surveyor General, for 50 acres
of land and when the surveys were returned in August, 1765, Alexander's land actually amounted to
99 acres, 4 perches and Samuel's to 113 acres, 3 perches.

Settlers continued to "take up" land in the Albany Purchase in increasing numbers, yet the French,
through the Indians, continued to harass the settlers.  Finally, in the summer of 1755, General
Braddock and his troops were sent toward Fort Duquesne to secure the peace of the land.  
Braddock was defeated, thus, began the French and Indian War.  The settlers in this area soon had
to abandon their settlements in order to escape the guerilla war waged by the Indians.  The
Turrentine brothers, also, fled and their activities between 1755 and 1761 are unknown.

Presumably, Samuel and Alexander Turrentine joined the migration down the Shenandoah Valley to
North Carolina and settled on land in the Little River area of Orange County.  On January 29, 1761,
Samuel "Torrenton" was granted 394 acres of alnd at the "Fork of Little River."  Alexander
"Torintin" was granted 275 acres of land, "Both sides of Buffalo Creek," on January 9, 1761 and he
was, also, granted 369 acres of land "beginning at a Black Jack" on February 9, 1761.  Here they
established themselves, took part in the affairs of the community and county, and lived out their
lives.  On March 2, 1763, the two men severed their relationships with Pennsylvania by selling their
land in the Juniata Valley to John McDowell, Yeoman, of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  Each
received two pounds, twelve shillings, and six pence for his property.

By 1764, the Turrentine's were so sufficiently established in Orange County as "solid citizens" that
the February Court appointed Samuel "Torringtine" as "constable in the room of Wm. Hullams."    
Court Minutes and the Index of Deeds, to the end of the century, indicate that members of the
family were active in the official life to the
Orange County Lists of Taxable Property, 1780, "Allexr
Turrentine" was in possession of 800 acres of land and "Samuel Tarrentine" had 724 acres, these
men had, indeed, become "solid citizens."  During the Revolutionary War Alexander served 84
months as a private in the North Carolina troops.  For this, his heirs were granted 640 acres of land.  
Samuel, after the War, was reimbursed for cash and supplies furnished the North Carolina Militia.

Samuel Turrentine evidently had married in Pennsylvania for, at least one of his children was born
arou d 1755, at about the time he was "taking up" his land in the Juniata Valley.  There is no record
of his wife's name.  There were five chldren of record of this marriage.  Later, around 1768 or 1769,
after establishing himself in North Carolina, he was married a second time to Mary (Mollie) Bryant.  
Of her antecedents nothing has been discovered.  To this union eight children of record were born.  
Samuel was quite evidently a successful member of the Orange County community for he was
regularly called upon to serve the Court as juror and attained some degree of affluency, for he was
regularly buying and selling land.  In 1784, he was recommended as "a proper Person to be exempt
from payment of Public Taxes" by the Orange County Court.  However, the North Carolina Senate
and General Assembly rejected this recommendation and exempted him from paying Poll Taxes,
only.  Samuel died at the age of 84 years.

Samuel Turrentine; b. Ireland, 1717; d., Orange County, NC, 1801;
married, 1st, ___;  issue of this marriage:
John, c. 1755 - 1821
Mary, c. 1760
Jane, c. 1762
Martha, c. 1764
Married, 2nd, Mary (Mollie) Bryant; d. June 6, 1828; c. 1768-69; issue of this marriage:
James, c. 1770 - 1831
Sarah, 1772
Samuel, 1774 - 1845
Lydia, 1776 - 1827
Susannah, c. 1779
Nancy, 1782 - bef. 1801
Absalom, 1784 - 1856
Daniel, 1788 - 1854

From an old Bible record, it may be deduced that Alexander Turrentine may, also, have married
before he left Pennsylvania, as his first child was born on January 29, 1759.  This wife's first name
was Deborah, but her last name has been lost to posterity.  
[The name of Alexander's wife was
Deborah Spence, as identified by Dr. Chester Kennedy in "Our Baldridge Forebears."  NB]

Deborah.....died on October 6, 1799 in Orange County, North Carolina and is buried in the family
cemetery.  She left a will which was proved in May, 1800.  To this marriage were born eight children
of record.  Alexander, too, acquired much land and property during his years in North Carolina.  
Alexander died in 1784 and an "Inventory of the Estate" was recorded in the November
Minutes Orange County Records
, 1784.  His will, if he left a will, has not been found.  His birth date is
somewhat questionable.  His gravestone, which was found in the old family cemetery, is weathered,
yet legible, except for one of the numerals of his age.  The one numeral, 9, is legible, but, the
numeral before, can be interpreted as a 5, 6 or 8.  On the basis of his service in the Revolutionary
War, the best guess of his birth year must be 1725.  It would be unreasonable for a man born in
1705, or even in 1715, to serve 84 months as a private in the Revolutionary War.

Alexander Turrentine; b. in Ireland, 1725; d., Orange County, NC, 1784; m. Deborah ___, around
1757-1758;issue of this marriage:
Elizabeth, b. 1759
[my 4-g-grandmother; m. Francis Baldridge in Orange Co. NC;
    d. Jefferson Co., MS.....NB]
Martha, b. 1761
Samuel, 1763 - 1824
Jean, b. 1766
Daniel, 1769 - 1825
Alexander, b. 1772
James, 1774 - 1848
Mary, 1777 - c. 1799

Baldridge and Turrentine Family Page   (Includes Inventory of Alexander
Turrentine's Property and Supplementary Inventory of Estate given to Francis
Baldridge at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Turrentine.)

Power of Attorney signed by Francis and Elizabeth Turrentine Baldridge, to
their son to settle her share of her brother's estate.

Turrentine/Baldridge Family Folder - Some Family Photos

Turrentine/Baldridge Miscellaneous Records

                                   My G-Grandfather's Attic - Home
The Turrentini home in Geneva,
Switzerland, built in 1620.