Sunday, July 11, 2010

Pearl Turner escaped the chains of slavery

Pearl (Pearlie) Turner was the daughter of William Turner and Josephine Elizabeth Daniel Turner. She was born May 10, 1888 or 1884 in Bastrop, Texas or “near” the county, which was not a part of Travis County at the time. William Turner's occupation is listed as farmer, as were the majority of "Negro" males. He apparently worked on the farm of someone as a sharecropper, given the dates he and Josephine were born.

Pearl was born 23 years after slavery was abolished in Texas. Her father was born around 1850, give or take a few years as is the case with delayed birth records. If this estimated birth date is close to a true date, William was a slave. Genealogical records (delayed births) show that Josephine was born close to William’s birth date.

On December 10, 1898, great-grandma Pearl Turner married Olly (Ollie) Powell. He was born around1882 (delayed birth estimation). When he got married he was around 16, maybe 15 years old. He and Pearl were probably close in age, take a year or two off her estimated her age. They continued to live near rural Bastrop, where they started their family. Pearl’s occupation was listed as housewife; Ollie was a farmer. Leola (Leora) was the first born of six living children.

A 1910 United States Census Record show that Ollie Powell was 28, Pearl 26. The children were: Leola, 10; Ollie Powell, Jr. 8; Minnie Powell, 6; Maurice Powell, 4; Leory Powell, 3 and Colonel Powell, 1. They were still in Bastrop, Justice Precinct 1. As of 1954 Pearl lived at 1609 Chestnut, phone number 346-J; that number was later changed to 174.

I am not sure if Ollie and Pearl divorced or if he died. Whatever the case Pearl got married again to Marshall Brown. I do not, nor could I find in my search if there were any children from this union, or how old Pearl and Marshall were when they married. Marshall died January 7, 1985. Pearl died April 28, 1959.  Marshall was listed as “informant” on her death certificate, meaning he furnished information to fill out the death certificate.  The cause of Pearl’s death was a cerebral hemorrhage due to a hypersensitive heart disease and generalized arteriosclerosis. Both Pearl Turner Brown and Marshall Brown are interned at Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop,
Texas.

Pearl and Ollie's daughter, Leora, 
one of several sisters and brothers.

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