McMahan/Kilsdonk Ancestors

Entries: 24196    Updated: 2014-08-15 14:39:04 UTC (Fri)    Contact: Kent McMahan

Our GEDCOM focuses mainly on direct ancestors of my wife and me. I also have lines who were believed to be ancestral but later found to be unlikely.

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  • ID: I6799
  • Name: James * (parent theory) Turnbull , Sr.
  • Sex: M
  • Change Date: 11 FEB 2010
  • Birth: 18 DEC 1788 in TN 1 2
  • Death: 6 AUG 1865 in Lincoln Co., MO (probably) 3
  • Occupation: Farmer & deputy constable 4
  • Note:
    The household of James Turnbull is found in the 1817 Census Enumeration of Dardenne Twp., St. Charles Co., Missouri Territory. Jax Zumwalt found his household next in the 1819 census of Upper Cuivre Twp. about the time that Lincoln Co. was possibly formed from that part of St. Charles Co. in Dec. 1818. He is next listed in the 1821 Tax List for Monroe Twp. of Lincoln Co. His household is included in the censuses of Lincoln Co., MO, through 1860.

    James Turnbull purchased and was granted a U.S. patent to 40 acres of Public Lands situated in the SW 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of Section 27 of Township 49-North, in Range 2-East, on 13 Oct 1835. This tract was adjacent to tracts in the same section purchased over 20 years later by likely sons, George W. Turnbull and John M. Turnbull. James Turnbull purchased another 40 acres in the NW 1/4 of the NE 1/4 of Section 19 of the same township on the same date.

    J. Turnbull was taxed on 40 acres in Monroe Twp. of Lincoln Co., MO in 1836 described as: SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of S-27-T49N-R2E. In 1836, I. Creps was taxed on the above section 19 parcel of 40 acres in Monroe Twp. purchased by James Turnbull on 13 Oct 1835. J. W. (only record with a middle initial) Turnbull was taxed on another 40 acres in Monroe Twp. described as: SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of the same section. I don't have a copy of the latter deed or patent. This J. W. Turnbull may be the subject James but it's also possible it was instead his likely son, John Morgan Turnbull, whose middle initial M. was apparently miswritten as W in his 1870 census record.

    A fascinating incident entitled The "Slicker" War, which involves the family of James Turnbull, is recounted by Dr. Joseph A. Mudd in his 1878 History of Lincoln County, Missouri. The account describes James as a very peculiar man but that none of his neighbors doubted his honesty. See notes for his sons Ezekiel, James Jr., and Squire that give the key points of the gunfight that occurred in the spring of 1845 at James Turnbull's log home, generally known as Turnbull's fort. One of his daughters (some say daughter-in-law, Sarah, wife of son George W. Turnbull) also took part in the incident. Mudd says that James lived on Bob's Creek, in Section 32 of T49R2E, on land that he bought in 1840 from Dominique Francois Burthe, of New Orleans, and Marguerette Susanne Delor Sarpy Burthe, widow of the Baron Andre Burth d'Anelet, of Paris, France.

    Present-day Lincoln Co. resident and school teacher, Ezra Tillotson, researched James Turnbull many years ago for a possible book on the Slicker War. Tillotson learned that James Turnbull served as Lincoln Co. deputy-constable during the late 1830s and early 1840s. He signed his name with an X. He carried an annually renewed warrant for the arrest of his own son, Ezekiel, also known as Zeke.

    James Turnbull's (and wife Jane's) birth and death dates are recorded in a family bible that appears to have been started by their daughter, Cassandria, and her husband Berthier Jameson. Unfortunately, there are no extant probate records for James or ANY of his family in Lincoln Co. I'm told that many such records were apparently removed from the County records collection years ago.

    The origins of James Turnbull remain unproven. I found only one James Turnbull in the 1810 census, that for Charleston, SC. My James gave his birth (c1788-89) in TN in the 1850 & 1860 Lincoln Co. census. His likely oldest son, George W. Turnbull, said for census records that he was born c1811 in TN. Another likely son, John Morgan Turnbull, gave census records that he was born c1815 in TN or KY, depending on the census. William L. "Bill" Turnbull, my correspondent and descendant of Ezekiel Turnbull through his son Squire Morgan Turnbull, tells me that his family tradition has that his line of Turnbulls came from Scotland through Illinois & Missouri to Arkansas. The surname of Turnbull certainly has its origins in Scotland but Bill is my only Turnbull descendant who speaks of the Scotland connection.

    A Turnbull male direct-descendant of James, whom I'll refer to as HCT, had his Y-DNA (kit #101472) tested by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) in Nov. 2007. His 25-markers tested exactly match those of a male Buhl descendant of John Bull, Sr. (see more on John Bull below), This match indicates that there is an 85% probability that he and the Buhl testee both descend from a most recent common ancestor within the past 8 generations. As discussed below, I believe that common ancestor is John Bull, Sr. Surprisingly, the 26-37 marker test panel for HCT in early 2008 had three mismatches which lowered the probability that he descends 7 generations from John Bull, Sr. to only 38%. DNA statistics for a 34/37 marker match indicates that HCT and the Buhl testee now have an 89% probability of having a MRCA within the past 15 generations - roughly 390 years ago! My experience with another FTDNA surname project tells me that the 25-marker exact match is the most reliable indicator and that the 26-37 marker test panel is much more likely to have more mutations originating in more recent generations.

    I am now convinced by Y-DNA results and circumstantial evidence that the subject James Turnbull, Sr. is PROBABLY (but not certainly) a son of John Bull, Sr., patriarch of the Grainger Co., TN, and Knox Co., KY, Bull clan. The widow of John T. Bull, Jr., (s/o John Bull, Sr.) and their son, John T. Bull/Turnbull, settled in Texas Co., MO, where James' sons, John Morgan Turnbull and James Turnbull, resided in 1870, though in a different township. See notes for James Bull, s/o John Bull, Sr., who I now believe changed his name to Turnbull, as did John T. Bull Jr.'s widow and children of John Bull, Sr., when they came to MO by 1840. I have not learned why so many of the Bulls, though not all, changed their name to T. Bull and then to Turnbull. Since John Bull Sr. is said to have been a Revolutionary War patriot, it may be related to the British use of the mascot "John Bull" in the way that Americans used "Uncle Sam" starting in the War of 1812.

    Also see my database notes for Nicholas Turnbull, who's almost certainly another son of John Bull, Sr., who changed his name from Bull to Turnbull by the time of his 1822 marriage in Whitley Co., KY, and who settled in Lincoln Co., KY by 1846. Like my ancestor James Turnbull, Nicholas also named a son George W. Turnbull b. ABT 1828 KY. Y-DNA test results of a Turnbull male from Nicholas Turnbull's line also supports Nicholas' placement as a son of John Bull, Sr.

    I therefore believe that James Turnbull was the first of the Knox Co., KY, Bull clan to come to MO in 1817. I suspect that he was drawn to St. Charles Co., MO, by the legend of Daniel Boone, who had migrated there from KY in 1799. Daniel Boone was the son of SQUIRE Boone & Sarah MORGAN, and James MAY have named sons in honor of the Boone family. Daniel Boone died at St. Charles Co., MO, in 1820. My ancestor and son of James Turnbull, George W. Turnbull, named sons John Morgan Turnbull and Esquire "Squire" Turnbull, probably to honor his uncles.




    Father: John * (parent theory) Bull , Sr. b: ABT 1754
    Mother: Unknown b: ABT 1755

    Marriage 1 Jane * unknown b: 20 AUG 1794 in NC or VA
    • Married: ABT 1810 in TN 5
    Children
    1. Has Children George * Washington Turnbull b: ABT AUG 1811 in TN
    2. Has No Children Squire Turnbull b: ABT 1813 in TN or KY
    3. Has Children John Morgan Turnbull b: ABT 1815 in TN or KY
    4. Has No Children daughter Turnbull b: ABT 1818 in MO (probably)
    5. Has No Children son Turnbull b: ABT 1821 in Lincoln Co., MO
    6. Has Children James Turnbull , Jr. b: ABT 1821 in Lincoln Co., MO
    7. Has Children Sarah Turnbull b: ABT 1823/1824 in Lincoln Co., MO
    8. Has No Children daughter Turnbull b: ABT 1827 in Lincoln Co., MO
    9. Has No Children daughter Turnbull b: ABT 1827 in Lincoln Co., MO
    10. Has Children Ezekiel Hezekiah "Zek" Turnbull b: ABT 1830 in Lincoln Co., MO
    11. Has Children Cassandria "Cassey Ann" Turnbull b: 11 OCT 1832 in Lincoln Co., MO
    12. Has No Children Margaret (doubtful daughter) Turnbull b: ABT 1839 in MO
    13. Has Children Martha "Marthy" Ann Turnbull b: 12 DEC 1839 in Lincoln Co., MO
    14. Has Children Mary Ann Turnbull b: 12 DEC 1839 in Lincoln Co., MO

    Sources:
    1. Abbrev: Lincoln Co. MO U.S. Census 1850, 1860.
      Note:
      Lincoln Co. MO U.S. Census 1850, 1860. Jameson-Cheely family Bible, LDS film 1697580 item 38.
    2. Author: Tom Caulley, transcriber
      Title: 1836 Tax List Lincoln Co., MO
      Abbrev: Lincoln Co., MO Tax List 1836 per Tom Caulley.
      Publication: RootsWeb mail list Lincoln Co., MO post, Sept. 2008.
    3. Abbrev: Lincoln Co., MO, U. S. Census 1850, 1860, 1870.
      Note:
      Lincoln Co., MO, U. S. Census 1850, 1860, 1870. Jameson-Cheely family Bible, LDS film 1697580 item 38.
    4. Abbrev: Lincoln Co., MO, U.S. Census 1850.
      Note:
      Lincoln Co., MO, U.S. Census 1850. Ezra Tillotson e-mail Nov. 2004.
    5. Abbrev: Based on birth of first child.

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    A moderate portion of my data has been verified. The bulk was compiled from other sources, with consideration for the authority of the source, consistency with data from other sources, and reasonableness. Comments, corrections and upgrades are very much welcomed.

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