I’m really excited about this Family Tree Fact Check! I’ve been curious about who the parents of Turner Nelson were ever since I realized he wrote a letter from Indiana back home to Craven County in which he kindly mentioned my ancestor Laban Morris and expressed his concern for him. 

All over the internet people have listed that his parents were William Nelson and his wife Rachel Rogers of Rockingham, North Carolina. 

But that made no sense to me. There were plenty of Nelsons in Craven County. Surely, Turner had to come from one of those Nelson families. I finally spent some time last night and this morning looking into the matter and have learned not only who Turner Nelson’s father really is, but also that he had a brother, Hazel Nelson. Both of them went to Posey County, Indiana. 

And we learn their middle names!

Here’s the proof of their family relationships from Craven County Deed Book 37 pp 904-905: 

 

More from Craven County Deed Book 42, pp 282-283.

On the next page John Nelson sells his land to Hasel for $10, the same amount for which he sold the land to Turner. 

 

Was their mother a Denbey? 

It would be reasonable to consider the possibility that John Nelson’s wife and the mother of Turner and Hazel was a Denbey since both of them have that for their middle name. I know a John Nelson who was likely a contemporary of this John was married to Elizabeth Kemp, daughter of Matthias Kemp, but that may be a different John. There were several! 

What about William Nelson and Rachel Rogers? 

Well, I suspect William Nelson is also from this Craven County group of Nelsons. Turner had a son named William, but in addition, one of the oldest Nelsons in Craven County was William Nelson. As for whether or not Rachel is really a Rogers, I have no idea, but there was a Rogers family in nearby Pitt County. 

To read more about Turner Nelson on this site, here are some links you may enjoy.