I originally started researching my father's family in 1977 doing things the hard way. I was working full time and I did not know our local family history and the Mormon Church existed. I did searches for family members in a 5 year period. The only thing I knew from my father, (he unfortunately died a couple of years after I started researching), was that the family arrived in 1830 in Tasmania.
I was lucky enough to get a copy of the 1848 census as Tasmania was the only State that kept census records.
From that I did 5 year searches with Tasmania and Victorian Birth, Deaths and Marriages. It took a very long time and it wasn't until I retired in 1999 that I learned of the local Family History and Mormon Church records.
I bought myself a computer and research started in earnest and I found 4 generations in the one day.
My 5xgrandfather Barnard Turner 1741-1784 was born in France which made researching difficult. By chance, I stumbled on the web site for the Honourable Artillery Company of which my Barnard was an Officer. Through it I found he was involved in the Gordon Riots and was knighted for his efforts and received a cenemonial sword. By that stage there was a lot of information available on him.
An ancestor of my 4xgreatuncle did research in England and produced a number of booklets to correspond with the ceremony to return Barnard's painting, that had travelled to Australia with his son, back to the HAC.
The family were from Therfield in Hertfordshire and after the dissolution of the monastries, acquired land and appeared to be successful landholders. It was also said that no land in Therfield, apart from that owned by the Church, was held continuously by one family for so many centuries except that of the Turner family who has lived in Therfield for more than 400 years.
Only a small piece of land remains in the ownership of a Turner descendant.
Sir Barnard was an interesting character, being among other things a great grandson of Ann Lee an illigitimate daughter of Charles Sackville 6th Earl of Dorset.
After the family returned to England he started his education.
He joined the Navy where he distinguished himself by saving members of a crew. He was sent to meet the Bey of Algiers. After resigning from the Navy, he made his money by owning a number of sugar mills in the London area.
His life, when he was Sherrif of London and an Alderman of Southwark, came to an untimely end when he was critically injured when his horse threw him against the shaft of a passing carriage. He died 2 days later on 15.6.1784 leaving a wife and 6 children. It was learned that this carriage was involved in a further fatal accident in 1787. His funeral was quite an affair with a large possession made up of members of the HAC. The procession was to make its way from London to Therfield where he was to be buried. On the way, his creditors 'arrested' his body and it took 3 hours and assurances from his friends that they would pay his debts before the procession was allowed to continue. There was reference to this event in Ecclesiastical Law (i) 259.
A massive square monument was erected by the HAC on his grave.
One of his children was the son of his second marriage. William Swiney Barnard Turner 1783-1836 was indicted and appeared at The Old Bailey in 1821 for defrauding The Bank of England where he had worked since 1803. He was found not guilty and left the country for France in 1822 where he had a successful business but the revolution of 1830 sent him broke. His wife and child died and he returned to England in 1835.
He spent some time in debtors prison in York where he solicited the Royal clemency. A letter dated 3.12.1835 from Sir H Wheatley contained a £5 donation from his Majesty. He was found dying in the hallway of The Crown in Newmarket Street with his only possessions (personal papers and a book) on his person.
Another son of Sir Barnard was my 4xgrandfather William Sackville Turner. He studied law but took up brewing instead. He married Elizabeth Winter whose family came from around Great Ealing. Elizabeth's divorce from her first husband cost the family a great deal of money.
They went to Rio de Janeiro hoping to make money but when that failed they returned to England and took up brewing again. They eventually retired to Tasmania to live with their 3rd eldest son dying in 1845.
Another son, William Sackville Jnr and his new wife left England for Australia arriving in Tasmania in 1830. He purchased land but he could not make a success of it. He purchased 2 breweries which were eventually auctioned off due to ill health and large debts.
At the age of 70 he wrote to the New South Wales Education Board hoping to get a position in teaching saying that life on the land was 'not the sort of life for an education man' . He died 2 years later.
My 3xgrandfather born in Tasmania moved to Queensland and seemed to have been a successful landowner. His son, my grandfather tried the land, owning and selling a few properties but never ended up with much success. The only thing he seemed to excel at was as a horsebreaker and as a jockey in country races. That was the end of the family being landowners except for settling to be a homeowner.
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