Ezekiel Turner  1814  - 1888.


Children of Ezekiel - to view tree & life for descendants of Ezekiel

Hazel [nee Lyons] at Simpkins 2008.

In 1841, 2 Farmers, name of Prance, & families living here, with 6 other labouring family groups, including Ezekiel's , lodged somewhere around. But, interestingly, a Richard Turner of Thaxted had bought Simpkins in 1697. Seemingly there was still no mains water here in 1945 when the artist, Kenneth Rowntree 1915-1997, was living here. Simpkins is now a Grade 2 listed building

1814. Baptised 20/02/1814, Lindsell.[ D/P 110/1/3 ERO]    Fourth of five children of William Turner & Mary ?. His father's occupation is given as "Parish Clerk" on his baptismal record. I have a book on Lindsell written by the vicar in the 1950s. The font, shown below, is 15th century and is being included on a database of Mediaeval fonts by the University of Toronto: Baptisteria Sacra Index. "Noted in the Royal Commission of Historical Monuments (Essex,  1916-1923): "Font: octagonal bowl with quatrefoil panels, alternate  panels having plain shields; stem with buttressed angles, panelled  sides and moulded base, 15th-century."  Noted in Pevsner (1976):  "Font. C15, octagonal, with quatrefoils and shields."  In Bettley &  Pevsner (2007), with much the same information."

It is a type of font very popular from the 14th through the 16th  centuries, and hundreds and hundreds were made with some variations.  Then came the Victorians, picked up the same design and continued  making them. Even today is still a much-liked font design.


1841 Census.  Living with his father, William Turner, 65, brother, Shadrack, 25, & Shadrack’s  wife & daughter at Simpkins [ map], Lindsell. Ezekiel's half brothers or 2nd cousins, Peter, 40,  & Abraham, 38, & families are living adjacent .(Peter & Abraham are children of a William & Sarah but I do not know which William was the husband of Sarah: ours, 1775, or his uncle, 1764. I have not found any marriage record of William to Sarah or Mary, nor a death of a Sarah in 1803/4. Do those who attribute their births to William, 1764, have any real evidence? The missing marriages could be in surrounding parishes ).. Apart from the Turners there are also 3 other Agricultural Labourers and families plus 2 Prance families, the farmers, living at Simpkins.

Interestingly, there is a conveyance-Seax - of Simpkins Lindsell in 1697 to Richard Turner, junior, gentleman, of Thaxted; this ~3 miles to the north of Great Easton on above map. But I cannot link us definitely to this Richard.. But, - now, 2014, allowing for the 1775 flaw of 2 William Turners from Lindsell! - have traced our line definitely to a Richard Turner 1726 [father a John Turner~1693 m.1718 Lindsell] - see Earlier Turners . This is surely more than a coincidence, so I feel that close relatives of our Turners did originally own Simpkins, although after 150 years they were just labourers there.

William  Turner   65    Ag.lab. born Essex.
Ezekiel    26   Ag. lab. born Essex.
Shadrack   25 Ag. lab. born Essex. bapt 7/05/1815. This Shadrack marries the Blacksmith's daughter Anne Farrow in 1838
Ann  30 born Essex.
Ann       born Essex.


Ages often rounded down to the nearest 5 in 1841Cs, but do not seem to be here.

1841. From ERO fiche- D/P ?. . His father,William Turner, 66, is buried in Lindsell Church,11/7/1841, 'For 30 years Clerk to the parish'. So only started being clerk ~1811. Do not have state d.c. No mention of clerk on 25/3/1810 baptism of William's son Mark.

1842 Lindsell Rates . . . . . . . . .A . . R . . P

Jan 1842 Abraham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 . .35

. . . . . . . . Shadrack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

. . . . . . . . William . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2 . .35 [I am not sure who William is here, as Ezekiel's father died in1841; maybe not yet amended and would have been Ezekiel who paid this ]

. . . . . . . .Peter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

. . . . & 2 Prances . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 . .0 . . 0 . part of S. Farm

Apr.1842 William . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 . .10 . . .Viscount Ch.Maynard's land.

. . . . .Abraham, Shadrack & Peter had the same rates as in Jan.

Several more entries up to Sep.1844 , much as these and with no mention of Ezekiel.

What I thought was interesting in this is the absence of Ezekiel, who was a year older than brother Shadrack. But, as he is not married [unlike brother Shadrack], this is probably normal - he is labouring for his father William Turner. Alternatively, he could have been absent from from Lindsell for up to 3 years before marrying Rhoda in Oct. 1844?: probably the former but could he have been in the Militia? .

1844.  Marries Rhoda Wilkinson on 20/10/1844 in Stebbing Church. Have m.c. MT1  Parents William Turner[ not given as deceased!]& William Wilkinson, both ag. Labs., as is Ezekiel. Witnesses Joseph Wilkinson X( Rhoda’s 18 yr. old brother), Susan Cannon X & John Glafscook

William Wilkinson had been born illegitimately to Rhoda on 22/12/1840, and I doubt that Ezekiel was the father. Baptised 7/02/1841 in Lindsell Church.  So, with this 1844 marriage, William became the eldest sibling of the offspring of this marriage and presumably became known as William Turner from the age of 4. Oddly I cannot find the BMD birth certificate for this child - I have searched the relevant 'Dec'1840 & 'Mar'1841 pages for him on both Ancestry & FreeBMD & I have looked at all boys called William born at the right time in Essex. So, did Rhoda just not register him?, or did she leave Essex for the birth; unlikely,'cos his birth is always given as Stebbing.

Lindsell Church . John Turner married Anne Savel here 1718
Font in Lindsell Church where many Turner baptisms took place from at least 1740: Ezekiel in 1814, of 5 of his children 1844-50 & of WilliamWilkinson /Turner 1841.

1844.  Joseph Turner born 26/10/1844 ( or registered as such on 20/11/1844) at Stebbing. I have birth certificate. BT2. Father, Ezekiel, given as labourer. Baptised 21/11/1844 in Lindsell. The birth date is just 6 days after the wedding!! - I suspect he could have been born up to about a month earlier. Presumably Ezekiel was the biological father as he has married Rhoda [ who already had two - Esther Wilkinson 1836 & William Wilkinson 1840 - illegitimate children] . But with Ezekiel's possible absence from Lindsell 1842-1844, it is not altogether impossible that he was William's father too, but he was in Lindsell in April 1841.[ If I were to find a male Turner descendant of a definitely legitimate son of Ezekiel - a descendant of Hugh Turner 1915 or Arthur Turner 1916 say - and compare his DNA with that of one of my male Turner cousins , then I might find an answer!!!]

Baptised 21/11/1844, Lindsell.[ERO- D/P 110/1/3 1813-1881], but abode down as Stebbing!


1845. 26/9/1845 Ezekiel Turner, 32, & family receive 3s due to illness - this from Lindsell Paupers D/P110/18/6

1846.    John Turner b. 16/08/1846, baptised 8/11/1846 in Lindsell. Father labourer, abode Stebbing. Thus Ezekiel & wife have moved from Lindsell to Stebbing

1849. Abraham Turner born 1/01/1849. Baptised 11/02/1849 at Lindsell., father labourer, abode Stebbing. He dies in 1850.

1850. Abraham buried, April 11, aged 15 mths , of Duck End, at Lindsell.

1850. Samuel Turner b.20/06/1850. Baptised 21/07/1850 in Lindsell.

1851 census. No Census has survived from 1851.

1852. Alfred Turner born 07/09/1852, Stebbing. Baptised 22/03/1857 at Congregational Chapel, Stebbing..

1855. Shadrack Turner born 21/08/1855, Stebbing. Baptised 22/03/1857 at Congregational Chapel, Stebbing.

1858. Sarah Turner born 13/01/1858, Stebbing. Baptised 21/03/1858 at Congregational Chapel, Stebbing.

1859 Rebecca Turner born 30/08/1859, Duck End. Baptised 9/10/1859 at Congregational Chapel, Stebbing. Buried 31/03/1860 at Congregational Chapel, Stebbing

1860.25/04/1860 Esther Ann Wilkinson dies of Brain Fever, 4 days,at Duck End, Stebbing ,aged 23, daughter of Rhoda Wilkinson, now the wife of Ezekiel Turner, farm labourer. Informant was Eliza Gowers, also of Duck End. This from a fiche in ERO. Investigate where Eliza Gowers living in 1861C.

1861. James Turner born 20/02/1861, Stebbing. Baptised 14/04/1861 at Congregational Chapel, Mill Lane, Stebbing

These baptisms would suggest a split from the Anglican Church around 1851, as the first 5 [including William Wilkinson] had been baptised in Lindsell Parish Church. Rhoda Turner, of Duck End, joined the Congregational Church, Mill Lane on Nov 4 1858 [ERO].,surprisingly 18 mths after she had had 2 children , aged almost 5 & 2, & another as a babe, baptised there.

Stebbing Congregational Church [facade & roof only remaining] taken August 2008. Now, 2010 converted into flats.

Family is complete with 7 surviving [ of 9] children, plus the 'adopted' William, plus Esther, who kept Wilkinson as her surname and succumbed to jaundice/brain fever, aged 24, in 1860.

1861 Census.  Living at Duck End, Stebbing. [Stebbing Dist 2, p22 of 27]. All down as born Stebbing.. Family was probably living here 1844-1861.

Ezekiel   Turner  46  Lab.   (Turner wrongly transcribed as ‘Inmes’)
Rhoda  45  
William    20  Lab.
Joseph   16  Lab.
John  14 Lab.
Sam     10  Lab.
Alfred    8  
Shadrack    5  
Jemma  3   {Must have been misheard or a nickname for Sarah)
James   6mths.  


1863.    Son William marries in Stebbing church. Presumably his wife, Susan Perry , wanted the wedding in the Parish Church.[as opposed to Rhoda's Congregational Church]. Have m.c. MT2, Ezekiel given as labourer.

1867 Stebbing Sunday School Admission Book. Congregational. D/NC 43/5/1

. . .May 7 . Sarah , parent Ezekiel , labourer , Duck End ... Then Left [ no notice] July 4 1875. . [From age 9 to 17 ]

. . Jun 15 . James , parent Ezekiel. labourer , Duck End. . . .Left July 25 1875 . . . [From age 6 to 15]

So obviously the Congregational Church was using Sundays to educate young adults with moral guidance.Rhoda was not able to make the 12 yr old Shadrack attend!


1871 Census.   Still living at Duck End Stebbing. [Stebbing Dist 2, p25 of 32, approx centre of Duck End area in census] All born Stebbing.

Ezekiel  Turner 56  ag. Lab.  ( wrongly transcribed as ‘James’)
Rhoda    55    both born Lindsell.
Shadrack  15   ag. Lab.
Sarah      13  scholar
James   10   scholar
Joseph 27  ag. Lab.  


 So,  John, Sam, & Alfred have left home. I think Alfred died in 1866, and Samuel could have died 1864. Their burials would presumably be in the Congregational Chapel, and from 1864 I could find no burial records! John reappears in Bran End in 1881C.

1868-1883. In Stebbing Land Tax Records, Ezekiel Turner is renting a house/cottage [& land from 1884], paying from 3/6d up to £3.3s in 1885, from Chas. Fowkes / A. Byford / W.Thorogood/Cutts

1878. Wife, Rhoda Turner, dies, aged 63, on 1/3/1878, at Duck End Stebbing. She is not buried in Lindsell or Stebbing Parish Churches, so I assume she is buried in the Congregational Church for which no Burial records seem to have survived for the years 1870-1910. I visited the graveyard there in August 2008 as they were redeveloping the building [ retaining just its facade & roof] but found no Turner graves. [Stebbing Historical Society has noted any legible gravestones and there is only one Turner grave: Emma,1878 & John 1909]. The family were extremely poor and would have managed a small wooden cross, of which there were many, at best.

Stebbing Congregational Church graveyard August 2008.

1881 Census.  Still living at Duck End, Stebbing.[Stebbing Dist 2, p20 of 29]

Ezekiel Turner  66  widower   Ag. Lab.   b. Stebbing
Walter   Perry 17 companion  Farm Bailiff, b. Stebbing
    ( prob. a brother or nephew of daut.-in-law, Susannah)

Walter is the son of Susannah's brother Joseph, 1838 ; family in Stebbing 1871C, Joseph 44, Eliza 45, Harry 12, Walter[Wattie!] 7. Thus Susannah's nephew.


1888. Ezekiel Turner dies, aged 78, of Senile Gangrene 6 months, 30/11/1888 at Gatehouse, Stebbing. Informant was Sarah Ann Lagdon, daughter, present at the death, Gatehouse, Stebbing. Have d.c.DT1.. From this I am able to trace the children of Sarah, 1858, Ezekiel's youngest daughter , through the 1881, 1891 1901 & 1911Cs. Ezekiel is not buried in Lindsell or Stebbing C of E. Probably buried in Stebbing Congregational Church: see 1878 comment on presumed burial of Rhoda in this church..

This daughter died Mar 1922 Lagden Sarah A 64 Dunmow 4a 1253

Places he lived:

1814 - ~1841. Lindsell, definitely Simpkins in 1841 and probably there from birth.

1844 - 1881+. Duck End Stebbing - not actually very far from Lindsell across the fields.

1888. Died at the Gatehouse Stebbing, his daughter's home

gatehouse-farm .gatehouse-farm-gate

2011 photos of Gatehouse Farm

The pages on William Turner 1840, George Turner 1865, have pictures of Stebbing and Lindsell churches

Earlier Turners


A Lindsell/Stebbing Turner History. An article I wrote for the Stebbing Historical Society in 2008.. Italic type is 2011 additions!

The following is the result of a year's voyage of discovery for me. Last autumn I decided to profit from my retirement to find out about my mother's, Joan Turner's, Essex ancestors. I knew that my gran, a Mead, had come from Dunmow and I had actually taken her to Dunmow in her twilight years in the late 1960s, but I had never heard of Stebbing or Lindsell. So the following shows what it is possible to discover with just a computer ,a lot of perseverance and some luck. Visits to the ERO, walks round Lindsell and Stebbing and now joining your Society are just the icing on the cake that make a family's past seem very real.

The first of my Turner ancestors to hit Lindsell was John Turner who married Ann Savel there in 1718: he had wandered in from Finchingfield almost certainly incorrect!. I now think John Turner was baptised in Great Easton in 1695. Thereon each generation married, and had their children baptised, in Lindsell Church until Ezekiel Turner married Rhoda Wilkinson in ,yes, Stebbing Church in 1844. But even so, they still had the first of their numerous children baptised up the road at Lindsell. Ezekiel was living at Simpkins, just outside Lindsell, in 1841, with his father [actually the Parish Clerk for Lindsell Church for 30 years] and brother, 2 other Turner families [probably his half brothers], and 3 other labouring families. But not in the lovely house that still stands there today: that was the domain of the Prance families, the actual Farmers. Where the labourers had their shacks is a matter of speculation.

Picture of Simpkins

My gggrandfather, William Turner,1840 - 1910, was almost certainly not a real Turner at all: he was the second illegimate child of Rhoda.Wilkinson. Even the first of his half siblings, Joseph Turner, was born a mere 6 days after his mother's marriage in 1844. After that there were 8 more births, 2 of these children dying in infancy. Rhoda seems to have fallen out with the vicar of Lindsell around 1852, and after that had her children baptised in the Congregational Church, Mill Lane. And she actually became one of the few[ less than 80] members of that Church in 1858 . And I suspect she was buried there in 1878, and Ezekiel too in 1888, but no burial records have survived for that period. The informant of Ezekiel's death , at the Gatehouse ,by the way, was his youngest daughter, Sarah Lagdon, and her family was still in Stebbing in 1901 & in 1911.

William Turner married Susan Perry in Stebbing Church in 1863, and my ggrandfather,George Turner,1865, was the only child of this union, a rare event for those days. They lived ,in turn, at Tanners, at Bran End, and at Carters Farm [alias Duck End Farm at times] for 20 years at least, from 1891 -1910. Picture of Carter's Farm.

George himself married, again in Stebbing Church, in 1888, a Charlotte Parchment, a weaver's daughter, from Bethnal Green. How did these two meet? Her father had moved from Braintree in 1855 to pursue his trade in Bethnal Green, where, I suspect, conditions were even more atrocious than those of the impoverished labourers round Stebbing. Her mother had died when she was 5, so she could have perhaps spent part of her childhood with her maternal Bennett grandparents back in Braintree. George and Charlotte then lived near the Mill in Lindsell until moving to the Down, Stebbing, in 1894, and, then moving,[ probably on Susan's, George's mother's, death in 1899 ] in with his father at Carter's Farm. During this time they had 3 children, the eldest, William George,1889, my grandfather. Little snippets from the ERO reveal that both he and his brother were enrolled in Lindsell School at the tender ages of 3. Also they seemed to have joined a Methodist Church, as their daughter was baptised on the 'Braintree Circuit' in 1894.

Stebbing School photo

Both William and George seemed to have pulled themselves up from agricultural labourer level to farmers of a kind. But when William died in 1910, George,45, and his wife obviously decided that life could not be any tougher in Australia. They and their 2 younger children set sail for Melbourne in 1911. My grandfather, who was soon to marry, in 1912, stayed. And I have recently heard that his bride to be refused to leave her widowed mother, still running the Wheatsheaf Pub in Dunmow [even though her unmarried sister lived with this lady till her death in 1928]. This Australian flight of my ggrandparents was news to my sister and I [ though obviously not to my mum - oh, why hadn't I started my research earlier?], but I was now able to discover second cousins down under, and I even met up with one of them in June on a remote campsite in the north of Australia. How rewarding genealogy can be! But, beware, it should carry a Health Warning: Genealogy can be Addictive.
Picture of Carol and me. Picture of George & Charlotte.

Should anyone be interested , or have any extra knowledge that might help me[ like with the Methodists] , in any of these people or places, they can learn more at http://www.lyons-family.co.uk/fan-chart/index.htm. Just click on a person to see all I have found out about them. And I can be contacted at chris@corisande.com.


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