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  (This Is a reprint from the genealogical Journal, Volume 4, December 1975, Number 4 written by Richard A. Clifford)*1


  The purpose of this article is to share with genealogists some useful analytical tools. To show how these tools may be used, they are presented in an actual research situation. An example of each tool is given as a table or figure. A brief commentary explains how each analysis tool is used. Where it is not obvious, the significant facts brought to light by each analysis tool are summarized.

The Problem

  The problem is that the author's fourth great-grandparents (the paternal grandparents of Samuel Turnbow) had not been identified after a century of research. Samuel Turnbow, son of Isaac, started his genealogical record book on 20 July 1870. *2 He used the simple bookkeeper's ledger method of listing in columns the following information: item number, relationship to the named person, name, and place and date of death. Occasionally a birthplace and date would be mentioned. Each entry was dated. This ledger method of keeping genealogical records is not as efficient as using pedigree charts and family group sheets, but it is a systematic method.

  Careful analysis of Samuel Turnbow ledger indicates that he did not know his uncles' names or his grandparents' given names. He apparently attempted to obtain his paternal grandparents' given or Christian names, but after over twenty years of entries, he simply entered Grandfather Turnbow and Grandmother Turnbow. *3 This problem of not knowing the grandparents of Samuel Turnbow has plagued his numerous descendants attempting to build upon the work he started.

  This article deals with the problem of locating Samuel Turnbow's paternal grandparents.


*1 Attended University of Utah; Engineering Assistant; President of Southern States Chapter, Utah Genealogical Association. Address: 448 Colorado St., Salt Lake City, Utah 84116.

*2Samuel Turnbow, Genealogical Record Book, Item 1.

*3Ibld., Items 198, 199, 241 and 242.

 The Conclusion

  Although numerous people had collected a large amount of information about those bearing the Turnbow (Turnbough) surname. It was not until this information was organized into a useful form that the paternal grandparents of Samuel Turnbow could be identified. The format used to organize this information was the tabulation and the map. Use of the aforementioned tools enabled the author to conduct an interim analysis. The most significant conclusion of this analysis is that the unknown grandfather of Samuel Turnbough was probably John Turnbough, a native of Alsace-Lorraine, who was born between 1725 and 1740. Documentation has been found that John Turnbough's wife had the given name of Margit. *4 The 1790 census of Greenville County, South Carolina, shows John, his wife and seven boys living in his household. The same county census lists a second John Turnbough and a William Turnbough living in separate, households.

  The second John has been documented *5 to be a son of John, and the William is concluded to be John's oldest son. One of John's sons, under 16 years of age, appears to have been living with William.

Organization Out Of Chaos

  The preceding conclusions did not come suddenly, but they are a result of collecting, organizing, and finally analyzing a massive amount of information on those who bore the Turnbow surname with its many variations (Turnbaugh, Turnbo, Turnbough, Turnbow, Turnbeau, Turnbeaugh). These sources of Information were as follows:

(1) Turnbow - Turnbough Family of U.S.A. by Stone. *6

(2) Records from others who have done research on this family.

(3) Family group sheets from the Archives and Patron Sections of the L.D.S. Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City.

(4) Research by the author


*4 Deed Book B of Adair Co., Ky., p 398, dated 20 August 1810.

*5 Fredrick A. Virkus, The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy, (Baltimore, Maryland) Genealogical Printing Co., 1928 Vol. III p. 293.

*6 0live Guymon Stone, Turnbow - Turnbough Family of U.S.A., 605 pages.

  Preliminary analysis of the preceding information led the author to believe most persons bearing the Turnbow surname born prior to 1800 were closely related, but their relationship was not readily apparent.

  It was also recognized that "direct evidence documents" normally used in genealogical research were not available in the same quantity or quality for the frontier regions of the Southern United States and the preceding colonies where these ancestors lived. The reasons for this are numerous, the key ones are as follows:

(1)Pioneers and colonists were more intent on survival than documentation.

(2) Frontier governments and other organizations which normally kept records on those persons over which they had jurisdiction were not as close to the people as those in more established regions.

(3) The keeping of vital statistics had not yet been started.

(4) The majority of the population were illiterate and kept no personal records.

  "Direct evidence documents" (i.e., those documents that do not require any reasoning process or inference to prove the family relationship of two or more persons) have not been located on the problem. By turning to the family records, tradition and many "indirect evidence documents" (i.e., circumstantial evidence that is not direct, but points to a particular conclusion about the family relationship of two or more persons) were found through additional research.

  These "indirect evidence documents" include county tax lists, U. S. census records prior to 1850, military records, court records, land records, etc. When direct evidence is not found in a document, one should not overlook the valuable indirect evidence that may be awaiting the alert researcher.

Analysis of Problem

  The author first became aware of the problem through the book *7 complied by Olive G. Stone, a distant cousin, Mrs. Stone's compilation was well organized into sections, with each section devoted to the descendants of certain individuals or those families bearing the Turnbow surname found in different geographical areas. There were also subsections in the book which listed persons unconnected to any certain family. In addition to the family group records, which made up approximately ninety percent of the book's contents, there were also the following types of materials found in the compilation: photographs, biographical and historical sketches, and extracts from census, land, marriage, church and probate records.

*7 0p Cit. Turnbow-Turnbough Family of U.S.A.

  After study of the above material, it appeared that most of the persons born prior to 1800 were closely related; but their relationship was not readily apparent. It was felt that additional research would furnish the few key pieces of Information necessary to solve this relationship problem.

  A survey of other relatives who have done genealogical research on this family showed some had identified Samuel Turnbow's paternal grandfather as Andrew Turnbow, but no information source was listed. An attempt to verify that an Andrew Turnbow was the father of Isaac Turnbow and grandfather to Samuel Turnbow was unsuccessful. The research did reveal an Andrew Turnbough, approximately ten years younger than Isaac Turnbow, and Andrew's father John living near the same areas as Isaac Turnbow.

  After six months of searching for those few key pieces of Information, a file eight inches thick had been complied on the Turnbow family. At this point, John Turnbough and some of his sons had been properly placed on a pedigree chart through tax list information, but little else was accomplished.

  After expending all of the above effort, the author realized that the massive file of information and the book on the Turnbow family had to be reduced to its simplest form to be understandable. At this point, analysis of the problem and assembled Information actually began.

Analysis Tool Number 1--Tax List Tabulation

Table 1

  The first analysis tool found to be useful was a tabulation of tax list information from Adair County, Ky., and its parent county, Green County. Careful analysis of this information on Table 1, coupled with other previously known information, revealed the following:

(1) John Turnbough and six of his sons settled in this area in 1796.

(2) George Turnbough, apparently the eldest son of John Turnbough, had a Samuel Turnbough living with him in 1804. This Samuel was first thought to be a son of George, but it was later concluded that Samuel was a brother to George and son of old John.

(3) Approximate birth years were obtained for four sons of John as they became eligible for poll tax, at age twenty-one.

(4) Marriage bonds were found for two of John's sons in the county records during the period the Turnboughs lived in the region.

(5) Jacob, a son of John, lived outside of Adair County during the period 1803 through 1805. (Jacob was later found on Logan County tax lists living near Isaac Turnbow).

(6) Old John and his youngest son James left the county in 1810.

          (a) James paid the 1810 taxes on Old John's 195 acre land grant property, so James was probably working his father's farm.

          (b) Old John and wife Margaret sold the above 195 acres on 20 Aug. 1810.

(7) Jacob was the last Turnbough to leave Adair County in 1811.

(8) Joseph was taxed for property in 1811 and 1812, but was not living in the county.

  Similar tables were later prepared on the Turnboughs of Logan and Ohio Counties, Kentucky, and an analysis was performed on each.

Analysis Tool Number 2--Tabulatlon of Persons Unconnected to Parents

Table 2

  The next analysis tool found to be useful was a chronological table of Turnbows whose parents were unknown (Table 2). The purpose of this tabulation is to summarize on one sheet the most distant ancestor of all known lines bearing the Turnbow name. This tool is simply a series of columns.

  Each column on the table has a twenty-year span, which is the approximate span of a generation. Each person is entered in the column is all known information on the person including dates and places where these persons lived. When the parent of any person on this chart is known, then the parent should be entered on the chart and the child deleted.

  It would only be a coincidence if all the children of a family fell into a single column, but the children of most families would fall in adjoining columns. This tool is an excellent working document that can be used to exchange information with others working on the same lines and helps point out persons whose lives coincide, like relatives do.

  Exchange of the information on Tables 1 and 2, with Alva S. Turnbow provided additional indirect evidence to conclusions previously made by Mr. Turnbow. In this exchange, information was received that traced John Turnbough and his sons both before and after they lived in Kentucky. *8 Many names were deleted from the table of persons unconnected to parents through information received from Mr. Turnbow. Additional correspondence has been beneficial to both parties, as information is continually being exchanged.

Additional Research and Analysis

  From the Logan County tax records and other records, a tabulation was complied similar to Table 1. Analysis of this table revealed the following:

(1) Isaac Turnbow lived in Logan County from 1797 to 1809.

(2) Thomas Montgomery, a brother-in-law who married Mary Talkington, also lived in the county.

(3) Jacob Turnbo lived in the county two years on land originally granted to A. Turnbo, *9 then surveyed for J. Turnbo *10 and finally sold or assigned to Isaac Turnbow by Power of Attorney. *11

(a) Jacob was only taxed in the county for the years 1803 & 1804.

(b) Isaac Turnbow named his son born 1805, Jacob.

(4) Isaac Turnbow sold his land in 1808 but was still taxed for horses and poll tax.

    (a) In 1808 he was taxed for 6 horses.


*8 S. Turnbow, letter dated 19 July 1974.

*9 Tax lists of Logan County, Ky. 1804 and 1805.

*10 Ibid.

*11 Deed book of Logan County, Ky., Book B, p.31, dated 12 Nov. 1808.

       (b) In 1809, last year on tax list for this county, he was taxed for 13 horses. Overland travel for this area *l2 at that time was by foot or horse or mule backpack.

  The number of horses indicated Isaac was preparing to move overland. This was also the last year Thomas Montgomery (item 2 above) was on this county tax list. Indicating he and Isaac may have moved together.

  A table similar to Table 1 was prepared from Washington County, Kentucky, records and it yielded the following bonanza of information:

(1) Washington County was used as a stopping point for Isaac Turnbow, his in-laws, John Turnbough, and John's sons during their migration from Greenville County, South Carolina, to lands south of the Green River in Kentucky.

(2) John Turnbough and his son Jacob were found on the 1794 tax list. Jacob was also found on the 1795 tax list and was married late in the year in Green County, Kentucky.

(3) Isaac Turnbough (Turnbow) was also on the 1794 tax list. This was the first time the author found his ancestor directly associated with John Turnbough in the same county.

  At the Salt Lake Genealogical Society Library, searches were made of the remaining available tax lists in those counties where Turnbows were known to reside. This search helped to locate some of the Turnbows during different times and at different localities.

Analysis Tool Number 3--Chronological Location Table

Table 3

  Again it became necessary to reduce the known information to a more simple form. This was accomplished by using the "Tax List Tabulation" format and adding horizontal divisions beneath each name to identify the county and state where located versus years. With a span of one hundred thirty years and ten persons this chart was of a size impractical to be reproduced here in the Journal. A simplified bar graph showing the known location by year for John Turnbough and those believed to be his sons is shown in Table 3.

The original tabulation recorded other significant events in the lives of this "fiddle-footed" family.

*12 Beverly West Hathaway, Kentucky Genealogical Research Sources (West Jordan, Utah: Allstate Research Co., Inc., 1974) p. 17.

  This document, aids in research and analysis of genealogical problems in the following ways:

(1) It points out persons whose lives coincide (like relatives' lives coincide).

(2) It serves as a guide where additional research should be performed.

   (a) Marriage of Isaac Turnbow and Margaret Talkington probably took place approximately 1791 in Greenville County, South Carolina.

   (b) Death of John Turnbough of Alsace-Lorraine took place at Forked Deer, Tennessee, where probate records may provide identity of unknown children.

(3) It provides information necessary to map probable migration routes of the Turnbows. (See Figure 1).

(4) It is a working document useful for exchange of information.

   A tabulation with a different format, using the same parameters, has been useful to other researchers. *13 This method simplifies comparison of the lives of two persons to determine if they are close relatives. All known events in a person's life are listed in chronological order with the date in a column to the left. The place and documentation for each event is entered in columns to the right of the event. Similar tables are prepared on other persons suspected to be closely related. Then, by chronologically aligning the tables on two persons, it should be found that some places and possibly events should be the same for closely related persons.

Analysis Tool Number 4--Map of Migration Routes and Areas Settled

Migration Map

  It is not possible to do systematic genealogical research without knowing where to look for your ancestors. By knowing the places where they lived and their migration routes, a researcher can intelligently determine jurisdictions *14 under which his ancestors lived.


*13 Floren Preece, "Pedigree Analysis," Lecture at Utah Genealogical Association Annual Convention, 2 Nov. 1974.

*14 Vincent L. Jones, Arlene H. Eakle, and Mildred H. Christensen, Genealogical Research--A Jurisdictional Approach (Genealogical Copy Service, Revised 1972) PP. 131-133.

  An 1816 Trails Map of the southern states region was selected to chart the migration routes of "Old John" Turnbough and his sons. Regions where they and their descendants settled are also shown on this map (Figure 1). This analysis tool and the previous analysis tool have proved to be valuable aids in conducting additional research.

Analysis Tool Number 5--Hypotheses

  In an effort to convince the many relatives who for years have wrongly believed that an Andrew Turnbow was the father of Isaac Turnbow, the following hypotheses was written:

HYPOTHESIS; John Turnbough is the father of Isaac Turnbow.

EVIDENCES: (1) A large percentage of German-speaking people gave their sons the Christian name of John and a middle name. These men were known by their middle name, John was from Alsace-Lorraine's, a German-speaking province so his name may have been John Andrew. However, he went by "John" and not "Andrew" in America.'

(2) Isaac Turnbow was found living in three different counties of two different states with John and/or his sons, as follows:

Person Place Time Document
(Isaac With) John Turnbow Washington Co.,KY 1795 Tax List
(Isaac with) John Turnbow Washington Co.,KY 1795 Tax List
(son of John)
Jacob Turnbow Logan Co., KY 1804-1805 Tax List
(Isaac with) Joseph Turnbow Monroe Co., Miss 1816 Miss. Territorial
(son of John) Terr. (Alabama) Census

(3) Isaac Turnbow received power of attorney in 1808 from Andrew Turnbow of Adair County, Ky. for land in Logan County on which Isaac was then living. This Andrew is probably John's son Andrew (b 1779, married Gracie Coffee), as the tax lists of Adair Co., Ky., 1806-1808 show the following Turnbows (Turnboughs); 1) John, 2) George, 3) Joseph, 4) Jacob, 5) Andrew, 6) James, and 7) Samuel.

(4) Samuel Turnbow, a son of Isaac Turnbow, stated In an autobiography that his grandfather Turnbow served In the Revolutionary war. John Turnbow served 114 days in the Revolutionary War on horseman's duty, in the South Carolina Militia in 1781. *16

(5) Old John of Alsace-Lorraine had 10 sons according to the 1790 census. The names of eight of these sons, not including Isaac Turnbow, are known. The approximate year of birth for Isaac Turnbow coincides with the year of birth for one of the unknown sons (1769).

(6) The sons of Old John Turnbough of Alsace-Lorraine often named their sons the names of their brothers. Of the sons of John (traditionally 10 in number) the names of their families are known for seven. If it is assumed that Isaac Turnbow (born approximately 1769) is the son of old John (Table 4). Names of the sons of John's sons William Eli and Jacob are unknown. An unknown son was born about 1777.

(7) John Turnbough of Ohio County, Ky., a known son of Old John, of Alsace-Lorraine, is believed to be a brother of Isaac Turnbow, according to many stories and a statement of Emma Shingleton. *l7

(8) Jacob Turnbo *l8 a known son of John of Alsace-Lorraine, assigned to Isaac Turnbo 400 acres of land granted to said Jacob.


  The proceeding hypothesis does not prove that Isaac Turnbo is the son of Old John Turnbough of Alsace-Lorraine, but it does show that they were closely associated and logically suggests that they could be father and son. This Interim analysis used as a guide to future research should eventually lead to documentation that solves this century-old genealogical research problem.

  The reader should take note of the principles used in the various tabulations, the mapping of migration routes, the use of hypotheses, and indirect or circumstantial evidence; then he can use these tools in solving his own genealogical research problems. Keep these tools in mind and use them when appropriate in your genealogical research.


*15 Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy, Vol. 3 P. 293

*16 Revolutionary War Folder No. 7944, South Carolina Archives Department, Columbia, South Carolina.

*17 Stone, p. 502.

*18 Deed Book of Logan County, Ky.,Book B, p. 13, Power of Attorney, dated 12 November 1808.





From the book "The Texas Turnbo's"
By: Charles A. Turnbo

Page  82 - 95

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