We here in northeast Tarrant County have a Civil War veterans monument in place, and are posting biographies and photographs of the men at our Genweb site. If you can add to the following biographical sketch, or could share any photos you might have of this veteran, his wife, or his home, we’d be happy to have them. Thanks for taking the time to read our query. Mike Patterson, Colleyville, Texas.
John Younger Turnbill was a Confederate veteran who lived in the Keller area at the time the 1910 census was taken. He was a Tennessee cavalryman during the Civil War. He was a cousin of the Pickett brothers who are also a part of this biographic series.
Family sources at ancestry.com say Mr. Turnbill was born in Greene County, Tennessee in October, 1844. They also report his marriage to Anna M. Berry, who was born about 1844.
The 1850 census of Subdivision 10 of Greene County, Tennessee suggests he may have been the son of a blacksmith, James J. Turnbill, and his wife, Rhody. Judging from the occupations of the Turnbills’ nearest neighbors, it appears that they may have been living in a town at the time. James J. Turnbill and Rhoda B. Landrum were married in Greene County, Tennessee on July 3, 1835.
John’s official records in the National Archives say he was a corporal, enlisting June 28, 1862. He was captured May 30, 1864 at Greeneville, Tennessee, and was released June 12, 1865 at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana upon taking the oath of allegiance.
The following account of his Civil War service, probably written by Mr. Turnbill himself, appeared in Mamie Yeary, comp., Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray, 1861-1865, (McGregor, Texas 1912): "J. Y. TURNBILL, Keller, Texas--Born October 8, 1844 at Warnsburg [probably Warrensburg], Tenn. Enlisted in the Confederate Army Aug. 8, 1861. at Midway, as Second Sergeant in Company H, Twenty-Ninth Tennessee Infantry, Zollicofer's Brigade, McCowen's Division, Army of Tennessee. Henry Coulter, first Captain and Powell, first Colonel. I served my time out (twelve months) in the infantry, then changed to Wheeler's Cavalry under Capt. Arnel. Was wounded at the Battle of Murfreesboro in the hip. Was captured at Greenville, Tenn., in 1864, and sent to Camp Morton, Ind. Was in the battles of Rockcastle, Big Bill, Richmond and Perryville, Ky., Murfreesboro, Tenn., Chickamauga, Monticello, Sweetwater, Louden, Bull's Gap, and Greenville, Tenn."
The 1870 census taker found the family living in Precinct 1 of Collin County, Texas.
With John was his wife, Anna (born about 1846 in Kentucky); and children Mary Turnbill (born about 1859 in Texas); Edward Turnbill (born about 1862 in Texas); Susan Turnbill (born about 1867 in Texas); and Nancy Turnbill (born about 1869 in Texas).
When the 1880 census taker came to their home in Precinct 1 of Collin County, Texas,
he found Mr. Turnbill and his wife, A. M. Turnbill (born about 1844), with three children in their household: Susan Turnbill (born about 1868); Nannie Turnbill (born about 1871); and James Turnbill (born about 1877). There was also living with them a stepson, Edward Willingham, who was born about 1862 in Texas.
When the 1910 census was taken, J. Y. Turnbill, his wife, Jennie, and their son, James (born about 1880 in Texas) were living in Precinct 4 of Tarrant County, Texas. This census confirms that Mr. Turnbill had been married twice, while Jennie had been married only once. His next-door neighbor was another of our veterans, Thomas A. Neace.
J. Y. Turnbill of Route 1, Box 78, Roanoke, Tarrant County, applied for a pension in 1913. He was sixty-nine years old, born in Greene County, Tennessee, and had been in Texas forty-six years. He said he had been twenty years at Roanoke. He said he enlisted August 8, 1861 and served four years. He was a soldier in Co. B, 12th Tennessee Cavalry. One affidavit in his pension file says Turnbill was living in Collin County in 1877. He died on February 17, 1914 in Tarrant County. No death certificate was filed for Mr. Turnbill.
Mrs. Jennie Turnbill applied for a pension in 1925 more than ten years after her husband’s death. She said she married him in Tarrant County on August 1, 1905. She was seventy-eight years old, and born in Springfield, Tennessee. She had been in Texas seventy-two years, and was living at 1303 Lee Avenue in Fort Worth at the time of her application.
Mrs. Turnbill’s death certificate says she died on July 31, 1930 at the Fowler Home in Dallas. She was born March 5, 1846, and her body was sent to “Ft. Worth” for burial; no specific cemetery was named. No readable headstone for him or his wife now stands in northeast Tarrant County.
Family sources at ancestry.com report that one of his children was Susan Rebecca Turnbill, born February 1, 1866 in Collin County, Texas, died October 14, 1939 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, and who married Francis M. Shewmake.
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