William Turner 1840 – 1910

1840  Born 27/12/1840. He was baptised in Lindsell Parish Church on  2/02/1841,  as the son of Rhoda Wilkinson, single woman, abode Stebbing. He was baptised "William Wilkinson" in the church. There was no father mentioned, so one assumes he was illegitimate. [ All this from ERO fiche D/P 110/1/3 ] . And became "William Turner" in 1844 following his mother's marriage to Ezekiel Turner. William thus assumed a ‘father’, who most likely was not his biological father. He had a natural sister or, maybe, half sister, Esther Wilkinson, 1836, also illegitimate, who died in 1860 [ no baptism found for her on the above Lindsell fiche]. Cannot find a State Birth Certificate for him - see comment below . For his Wilkinson ancestors see his mother's page. For his Step father's Turner ancestors see Ezekiel's page .

1841 Census, William Wilkinson, 5 mths old, is living with his mother, 'sister', grandparents and uncle at Duck End, Stebbing (next to Poplar Farm [Stebbing Dist 3 p12 of 15] , farmed by a Joseph Carter}. All born in Essex.

William Wilkenson  65   Ag. Labourer
Rebecca  60  
Rhoda    25  
Joseph   15    ( he is a sibling of Rhoda’s.)
Esther 4  
William     5mths  


Esther was also a child of Rhoda’s , who died in 1860. She was born before’ Sep’1837, when state records started & I have found no baptism for herin Lindsell nor in Stebbing - could it be on Congregational records D/NC 43/4/2? .

There seems to be no official birth cert. for William: I have searched repeatedly - in case it was not transcribed, or not transcribed properly  - & the only birth, in the ‘Dec’, 1840 [ though very unlikely to have been registered within 4 days] or ‘Mar’, 1841 quarters, of which there are 10 & 20 resp. in Dunmow, that does not seem to tie up with the subsequent 1841census is that of a William Hitching in ‘Mar’, 1841 Dunmow 12.84.. I am not helped in my detective work in that no 1851 census exists for the districts concerned. I cannot find this name in 1861 census, so he just might be our man.But, there is a Death Jun 1848 Hitching William Dunmow 12 60. But have now got b.c. for William Hitching and it is NOT our William. [A thought Sep 2009: there is a birth of a William Wilkerson, Mar 1840 , but this too early!!! in Royston - and our William's 1910 d.c. says William Wilkerson otherwise Turner! . Have re-searched all William Essex births, 1840/1, over 1000, no inspiration . Probably just not registered .]

1844. His mother Rhoda Wilkinson marries Ezekiel Turner on 20/10/1844 in Stebbing Church. Have m.c.  MT1 . Brother Joseph Wilkinson is a witness, but there is not a member of Ezekiel’s family as witness. Actual image on Ezekiel Turner page   This seems to be the first Turner event in our family to have transferred from Lindsell Church to Stebbing Church.

1844. His brother, Joseph is registered as born on 26/10/1844. He was baptised on 24/11/1844 in Lindsell Church as were subsequent offspring up until 1850. I have the birth certificate BT2. Actual image on Ezekiel Turner page ..

I would surmise that they decided to get married when Rhoda was in advanced pregnancy with Joseph, had the banns read, necessitating 3 weeks, and then married just after the birth, forward dating the latter when they registered it, on 20/11/1844. Record of Banns do exist - D/P 110/1/5 for Lindsell & D/P 86/1/14 for Stebbing - INVESTIGATE

1851 Census. Does not exist for 'Dunmow'.


Duck End Cottages 2008 - no proof [ or likelihood!] that William lived in these, but certainly nearby in 1861. And old 1912 photo

Any Church Rate Books for 1844-1861??

1861 Census. Living at Duck End, Stebbing [Stebbing Dist 2 p22 of 27]. All born in Stebbing. Though Ezekiel, Rhoda & elder children all baptised Lindsell!

Ezekiel  Turner  46  Lab. b.Stebbing  (Turner is wrongly transcribed as ‘Inmes’)
Rhoda  45  
William     20  Lab.    (born  27/12/1840, bapt. 2/02/1841)
Joseph     16      Lab. (born 26/10/1844, bapt. 21/11/1844)
John        14     Lab (born 16/08/1846, bapt 08/11/1846)
Sam          10      Lab (20/06/1850, bapt 21/07/1850)
Alfred    8   (born ‘Sep’, 1852)
Shadrach  5   (born ‘Sep’1855)
Jemma    3         (born as ‘Sarah’ ‘Mar’, 1858)
James     6wks.   (born  ‘Mar’ 1861)

Abraham born 11/08/1849, bapt 11/02/1849, died in 1850.

1863 William Turner marries Susannah Perry in Stebbing Parish Church on 13/04/1863. Have m.c. MT3.  Parents given as Ezekiel Turner & James Perry, both are labourers, as is William.   Witnesses are Jane & Alfred Gowers.  Both William & Susannah could write.

george Turner marriage 1863

The historic building (built in 1326) of Stebbing Church has been senstively adapted to enable modern formal and informal worship and fellowship to take place with ease. The stone rood screen is one of only three in the world. The puritans put paid to the stained glass, but this has left a wonderfully light and open building, with a lovely atmosphere.

1865 Son George Turner is born at Tanners, Stebbing 14/08/1865 . Birth is reg. on 15/09/1865. I have the birth certificate, and William is given as "Farm Labourer" on it. No baptism found in main churches, nor in Cong. Church - Methodist??, Independent meeting house?? White's 1848 Trade Directory for Great Dunmow gives Jane Sweeting being the farmer - but not owner - of Tanners


1865-1881. William Turner does not appear as renting any land himself in Stebbing or Lindsell, suggesting that he was working mainly for his father, Ezekiel, during this period and only branched out by himself in 1881. .

1871 Census.  Living at Tanners Farm, Bran End , Stebbing. All b. Stebbing [Stebbing Dist 2 p13 of 25]

William  Turner    30 Ag. Lab  (Turner is wrongly transcribed as ‘James’)
Susan       28  
George   5      scholar
James Perry 60   (f-in-law)    Ag. Lab.  


Tanners Farm - cerca 1950 . Photos of Tanners Farm in 2011 on George's pages.


1881 Census.  Living near Green Man, Bran End, Stebbing. All born in Stebbing. [Stebbing Dist 2 p13 of 25] . He has moved from Tanners but not very far

William    Turner   40   Grocer & chicken worker
Susan 38  
George     15 son of Grocer & chicken worker
Joseph   37  brother. Ag. Lab.       

Edwin Wicks, son of the miller David Wicks at Tanners, is living with/visiting the family. His half brother John Turner 1846, with wife Julia and 3 children, is living next door one side, his mother's brother, John Wilkinson 1825 the other side, with an imbecile & dumb? daughter!.[ imbecile from birth in 1871C]

So it would seem that William & Susan Turner only had 1 child (or only 1 that survived the first 10 years of life). This was very unusual for the times.

1882-1888. Stebbing Land Tax records give W. Turner as renting 6 holdings [house & land & 5 cottages] 1882-4, and house & land 1884-1888, on which he paid between 12s, going up to £3.3s 1884, owner being Alfred Byford in 1882 and Cutts in 1884. Why would he rent 5 cottages?

1884. W Turner, rent at £15 15 00 - to pay £ 3 3s, owner A, Byford for house and land

1885. Lindsell rates D/P 110/1/8 William Turner had pasture land nr Church End 1A 0R 38P , gross rent £1 , to pay 2s.

1888. In Q/RPr Electoral Register Stebbing, William Turner is listed as Duck End Farm House, Duck End [ his son George is not listed]

1888. His father, Ezekiel, dies 30/11/1888. On 24/12/188 his son George marries Charlotte Parchment. Stebbing Church.

1891. In Electoral Register Stebbing, William Turner is listed as Duck End Farm Stebbing; land & house; Duck End Farm, Stebbing [ his son George is not listed?] - this from Graham Jolliffe. Other Turners mentioned are John, Bran End;

 1891 Census. Living at Carter’s Farm, Bardfield Rd. Stebbing. [Stebbing Dist 4 p9 of 17] . Grandson William G.Turner is staying with them.

William Turner      50 Farmer   
Susan         48  
William G 1          (grandson)  b. Lindsell.

Carters Farm August 2008 - with owner Karen Hill

1892. April Lindsell Rates D/P 110/11/9 William Turner had pasture land nr Church End 1A 0R 38 P est rent £1 to pay 2s.5d.

1891-1900. 7 yearly entries for W. Turner as the tenant of Duck End farm, with sums between £3 [1891-1895], £2 [1897] and £1.18s [1898-1900] to pay to the owner Alfred Byford. - from Stebbing Land Tax records. Samuel Adams was the farmer at Carters Farm in 1863

1894. In Lindsell Poor Rate books - D/P 110/11/10 - for April & for October, William Turner had pasture land near Church End of 1A 0R 38P on which he had to pay rent of 17/6.[ At this time his son George had much more land in Lindsell and was paying rent of £12 .10s. - but then William also had land in Stebbing [ Carters?Duck End Farm lying in Stebbing]: even so his son George was paying out at least 3 times more each year so was obviously doing better]

1898. A Henry Braid, 55, labourer, died from lockjaw after falling from a wagon at Bran End. He worked for William Turner, farmer. On August 22nd, he was loading wheat , ~7.30pm,. He came into the farmyard on top of the last load. The load had been stationary but suddenly moved. An Inquest was held at the Green Man: he died on Wednesday, the accident having been on Saturday. He would not see a doctor. Another labourer called Gowers was in the yard. from Stebbing Newscuttings in the ERO. An Alfred Gowers was witness at his 1863 wedding. Cannot find this event in the Chelmsford Chronicle - FMP

1899   1/06/1899 Wife, Susan dies, aged 58, at Duck End, Stebbing. Cause of Death: Mitral Disease 10 months.[ a problem with one of the heart's 4 valves]. Informant was Julia Little of Bran End. Have d.c.- DT2 . Actual image on her page. Not buried in Stebbing or Lindsell C. of E. churches. Seemingly no Burial Records for this period for the Cong. Church. Methodist Church a possibility, as granddaughter Dorothy Lily was baptised in that 1894.

1901 Census. Living at Duck End Farm [same place as Carters Farm], Stebbing. [Stebbing Dist p14 of 19]. Note Carter was the farmer here from before 1841 to after 1861.

William  Turner  60   Farmer , widower. b.Stebbing
George 35    son.  Horseman on farm. b. Stebbing
Charlotte C. 31     daut-in-law.   b. Bethnal Green
William G 11   g.son   b. Lindsell
Harold   11     g.son   b. Lindsell
Dorothy 6 g.daut. b. Stebbing

1901-2. Stebbing Land tax has W. Turner as the tenant of Duck End Farm, Rental value £38, to pay £1.18s, owner Alfred Byford . Interestingly, Alfred Byford ,83, of Hill Farm Stebbing, died 1908, leaving £ 31496.

Electoral Rolls C/E 1/2/16 has William Turner at Duck End Farm in 1904 & 1905

1905 . 5/11/1905, William Turner, full age, widower, labourer, son of Ezekiel Turner, labourer, marries Elizabeth Ann Cracknell [ nee Lewis, father was William Lewis labourer] in St. Stephen's Church ,South Lambeth, by banns. Residence at time of marriage just says South Lambeth. Witnesses were Edward John Seaman & Martha Ellen Seaman[she was the daughter of Elizabeth Cracknell, he the son-in-law]. It says 'his mark' for William, yet he had seemingly signed in 1863 for his first marriage to Susannah Perry.! Could he have suffered a stroke?

It seemed a mystery what they were doing in Lambeth. Also William's occupation now says just labourer. But, further investigation shows that Martha Ellen Cracknell m. Edward J. Seaman in Lewisham in Dec 1898. And Martha was born in 1875, the eldest child of Thomsa Cracknell & Elizabeth A. Lewis, who married in Sep 1874," Dunmow". The family are in the 1881C in Stebbing under the name of Crackling. Thomas & Elizabeth Cracknell had the following children: Martha 1875, Kate 1877, Sidney 1879, Minnie 1881, Lewis 1883, George 1888, Edith 1890, Evelyn 1893 & May 1895, & maybe others that died in infancy. Thomas' pauper mother, Ann Cracknell, is also with them in the 1881C, aged 77[ dies in 1895, aged 91]. In 1901C, Elizabeth Cracknell, widow, washerwoman, is at at Poults? Farm,[between The Poplar and Pages Farm], youngest child aged 8. Martha Cracknell is a servant in 1891C, and as Martha Seaman is a visitor in S.Lambeth with a James Secaurable, 44, no occupation given, in 1901C. Thomas died in 1897, age 56. So now we know that William Turner & Elizabeth Ann Cracknell went up to Lambeth to marry due to Elizabeth's eldest daughter, Martha, living there. An Elizabeth Ann Lewis was born Mar 1855 Dunmow 4a 318 .

1905. William Turner made a Will, leaving one third of all he owned to his wife, and the remainder to his son George . The executors were James Lockett of Bran End Stebbing, miller & William Appleton of Andrews Farm Dunmow, farmer. On 16/3/1909 he added a codicil to this will leaving all the furniture in the house to his wife

1907. William Turner is in the Stebbing Electoral register, C/E 1/2/19, with 'House & Land, Duck End Farm' , whereas his son George Turner has 'Dwelling House, Duck End Road': does this mean they were in different houses??

2013 - I must look at the Stebbing Land Tax records 1908-1911: D/Z 2/18/42. Had the rent of Duck End Farm risen considerably with the death of Alfred Byford in 1908?

1908/9 W. Turner at Duck End Farm, owner A Byford has to pay £1.17 2 and for land owned by Fowkes 4s.9d.

1909/10 W. Turner at Duck End Farm, has to pay £ 1.17. 2 for property owned by a Mrs Prime and 4s. 9d for that owned by Fowkes

1910/11 . It is G. Turner who has to pay the same 2 sums, same owners and ditto in 1911/12.

1910  Died 18/02/1910 . Death certificate states a 'William Wilkerson otherwise Turner' : this is odd as his 1863 marriage cert. just gives William Turner. Aged 69 , farmer, at Duck End Farm, Stebbing, of Hemiplegia,[= paralysis, so maybe he had suffered a first stroke by 1905] 1year 8 months and Mollities Cerebri, ?? softening of the brain ? informant being E.A.Turner, widow of the deceased, of the same address. Have d.c.DT3 .. 2 entries in Bmd: one for William Wilkerson, the other for William Turner . Probate of £271 10.9d to William Appleton, farmer

william wilkerson death

The Will made no mention of the name Wilkerson. Probate was granted just to William Appleton of Andrews Farm, Great Easton, Dunmow, James Lockett having renounced probate: he seemed to have moved to Neatishead, Norwich by 1909 when the codicil was added

1911C. And Elizabeth Annie Turner is not living with George & Charlotte Turner [ still at Duck End Farm] in 1911C. She, 56, widow, sick nurse, is living with an Ellen Jane Knight, 70, head, single, in High Street ,Great Dunmow.[ Ellen Jane Knight spinster of North Street, Dunmow died 23/11/1918, leaving £950, probate to Henry Knight, retired jeweler].

1918. An Elizabeth Anne Turner is living in New Street. Dunmow Electoral Roll -Seax

1934. An Elizabeth A Turner died Mar 1934, aged 79 Dunmow 4a 1226. This agrees with her having been born in 'Mar' 1855, as Elizabeth Ann Lewis. No will in National probate records. Looked up her burial in SEAX: no burial in G.D. and Stebbing Burials only go up to 1927

The new discovery, Nov 2008, that William had remarried was a mystery at first. But Frank Howlands' book gave me this clue; The next farm, Carters[= Duck End ] Farm, on the left before going up the hill, was owned by an old fellow named Wilkinson. I do not know whether he was married or not but a man and his wife and family named Turner lived with him. They went abroad and then the old chap married a widow named Cracknell. Up the hill is the farm known as Poplars. I felt that Frank must have been mistaken with his time sequence and that the 'marriage' took place before 1910!. But, thought maybe George Turner and his family left Stebbing several years before they went to Australia?[ but now know they were still at Duck End Farm in 1911C]. In the 1901C Elizabeth Cracknell, 46, washerwoman. widow, with 5 children ,8 - 22, is living at Pratts Farm, next door but two to Duck End Farm.[ She had been married to Thomas Cracknell and her maiden name was Elizabeth Ann Lewis, father William - info. from 1891C. And in 1881C the Cracknells -mistranscribed as Crackling - are ag. labourers at Duck End Farm and that census is full of Turners]. And then we found a Turner-Cracknell marriage in Lambeth. But it is still a complete mystery as to why 'Wilkerson' should surface on his d.c. after his 1865 m.c. stated only Turner.? And also interesting that Frank Howland knew him as Wilkinson.Was he distancing himself from his son, George Turner?- seemingly not as he left 2/3rds of his 'estate' to him

Where is he buried??- see 1899 comment on his first wife. Not buried in Stebbing nor Lindsell C of E

Summary. Places he lived.


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