Turnage Family Association
"The Children of Thunor"
Welcome to the Home page of the Turnage Family Association. If you are a Turnage -Turnidge or descendant of a Turnage, this is YOUR family site. We have already heard from many relatives asking if they are "connected". The answer to all is yes. If you are descended from a white Turnage, then you are part of the family represented by this family club. It is for all descendants of this old family that originated in southeast England.
This site is sponsored by the Turnage Family Association, a national, non-profit family club for all descendants of the Turnage family. The Turnage Family Association is the first national family club ever founded for the Turnage family. It was founded in 1978 by Robert Earl Woodham, the Turnage Family Historian and son of Norma Turnage. He also founded the Turnage Family National Reunion. Robert Earl has been doing research on our family as a hobby for more than 56 years.
The family website includes an online version of our family newsletter with news about your kinfolk, including obituaries/deaths, births, weddings, engagements, anniversaries, school news, etc. Click on "NEWS" in the INDEX below.
We also have a section on our family history. We will post basic information about our family and change it often to help you learn more about our ancestors. The section also has a brief description of the origin of our family name and why our motto is "Children of Thunor [Thor]". If you have questions about Turnage family history, contact our historian directly. Click on "HISTORY" in the INDEX below.
If you are really interested in your Turnage family history, the Association has published several books about our family; you can read more about these below.
We have a Memorials section where members of the Family Club may post memorials to their lost loved ones or to honor living relatives. You can include poems, information about the relative, a photo and memories in your memorial. Click on "MEMORIALS" in the INDEX below.
In 1978, Robert Earl helped some distant relatives in his father's family organize a reunion of their branch of the family after they learned about Robert Earl's research through a newspaper article about him. The success of the reunion gave him the idea to establish a national reunion for his daddy's family. When his mother arrived and saw the huge crowd of about 1,600 kinfolk, her first words were "You have GOT to do this for our Turnages also!" He was already working on it.
So in 1980, at the same state park in Eufaula, Alabama near where Turnages had crossed the Chattahoochee River and settled in the 1840's, Robert Earl held the first Turnage Family National Reunion. Unfortunately, three sisters began a campaign of divisiveness from the moment they arrived. They dismissed Robert Earl's efforts at family history research by stating they already knew our ancestry: "We came from Wales". And that was that. (Wales?) Their campaign called to mind the tactics of "tricky Dicky" that brought about the resignation of Nixon. But it backfired when one cousin from Mississippi announced "What we need is a Turnage to run this show," and he didn't mean a woman!
The relatives ended up split into two groups by the end of the first Turnage Family National Reunion--just the opposite of what Robert Earl had dreamed of and worked so hard for. He had hoped to reunite all our scattered and divided family for the first time in more than 200 years. One of the three sisters first tried to talk Robert Earl into doing all the work on the family newsletter and "you handle the stuff about all those dead folk", because none of them were interested in family history. He declined and declared he would continue with the Association rather than join their group. After several years, they realized many of the new people attending their gatherings were coming just to learn about their family history: they needed this to keep kinfolk coming. They set about duplicating years of research already done by Robert Earl. The family is still divided into two family clubs today.
The Turnage Family Association continues to work toward the goal of reuniting our scattered family. Our main goal however, is to gather and preserve our family's heritage--so that future generations will not have to wonder about their past. Our Turnage Family National Library will be donated to a major public library.
The Turnage Family National Library is the largest collection of copies of public documents, records and family information in the world on our Turnage / Turnidge family. The collection was begun 56 years ago by the Turnage Family Historian, Robert Earl Woodham, when he began his research on our family as a 12 year-old child. Over the years, he has visited dozens of local courthouses, libraries and state archives and libraries in many Southern states and talked to or corresponded with hundreds of Turnage kinfolk.
The most important type of record we have is information on individuals and their immediate family. Our historian designed a family group sheet years ago on which we include the full names of the father, mother, their parents and paternal grandparents, their children and who they married and dates and places of birth and death for each person and dates of marriage. This provides four generations on each page.
The Library includes copies of or information on marriage licenses and bonds from all over the nation.
Our historian has been researching US and state census records for the past 40 years. The collection includes most of the Turnage's listed on all the census records from 1790 to 1930.
Our Library now includes xerox copies of or hand copies of wills on our family dating from the 1500's up to today.
Colonial governments and later the state governments issued citizens grants of land which cost little or nothing to obtain. The federal government later issued homesteads to settlers at no cost or for a small fee. The government also granted former military veterans land on the frontier through "bounty warrants". We have copies of land grants to our Turnage ancestors dating back to the early 1700's. Many deeds, especially "deeds of gift", can be a good source of information on our ancestors.
Birth and death certificates are modern documents and among the most accurate. Tombstone inscriptions are often the only record left on a relative. Obituaries were rare in most newspapers until after World War I. Between the 1920's and 2000's, they are one of the best sources for information on the personal lives of folk. The Library also includes tombstone inscriptions from cemeteries all over the nation.
We are trying to gather military records from all wars, from Colonial times up to the present. We already have several notebooks of records dating from the mid-1700's up to the present. This includes copies of the registration cards for most of the Turnages who registered for the Selective Service draft during World War I.
Published records from books and newspaper articles; family community ties and honors (copies of school diplomas, school, club and church memberships; awards and certificates. Old letters from the 1800's up to the present. These are valuable to tell us about family history, our ancestor's everyday life and events that were important in their lives. Church records: until the 1900's, these are rare and not easy to locate. Some can be real gold mines of family history, for they can record marriages, births, burials, baptisms and other pieces of prized info.
You are urged to make xerox copies of any of these type records you can find on Turnage kinfolk and send these to us to preserve in our Turnage Family National Library. Future generations will be able to find one central source of information and records on all our family--without having to visit courthouses and libraries all over the nation. Give your future great grandchildren the gift of their family heritage.
The following books have been published by the Turnage Family Association. They are the first books ever written solely about our Turnage family. Copies can be ordered from the address listed below. All books must be paid for in advance. Our historian can no longer work because of poor health and thus has no funds to pay for printing costs out of his own pocket.
After nine major heart attacks and several major surgeries, Robert Earl can no longer write any new books.
Turnage Family History, Volume I the first book ever published on the earliest history of our family. This reveals our proud English ancestry and includes copies of records dating from the early 1500's up to the 1700's. It also contains detailed research on the origins and meaning of our family name. $40
Add $3 postage for each book. Make checks payable to Turnage Family Association and mail to the address below.
If you are a Turnage (Turnidge) or descendant of a Turnage, you are invited to join and support the Turnage Family Association. Help support the Turnage Family National Library and our other programs, as well as this family Internet website. Our family club and these projects cannot exist without MEMBERS.
Annual membership dues: $15
send your membership dues to the address below
Click icon box to go to those sections
Our official family newsletter, founded in 1979, with news and history
click above to view the current issue of our online version
Learn about your family history
Post a memorial to a loved one here
Our Editor and family historian is Robert Earl Woodham,
son of Norma Turnage. He has been researching our family for more than 56 years.
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