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George Wilson Valantine Sr. and Caroline Turner

George Wilson Valantine, Sr.

And Caroline Turner


Ruby Potter Valantine


                                    I have often wished that our ancestors had left to posterity some records of themselves or that their children had been more interested in their parents’ lives.  It would have been of great value in history writing and genealogical research as well as most interesting.


Very little is known of George Wilson Valantine.  He was the only child, as far as is known, of James Valantine and Mary Wilson.  He was born 12 May, 1815 in Laughton en le Morthen near Sheffield, Yorks, England.  Exhaustive search has been made in Sheffield and neighboring parishes to locate James and Mary but all have been unsuccessful.

James Valantine was a knife cutter in the Sheffield Cutlery Worsk.  A great grandson of his, Vernon Valantine, as a boy remembered seeing an intricate knife in his home.  It had about two dozen blades in it, each serving a different purpose.  He thought the knife was made either by James or George Wilson Valantine.

George married Caroline Turner on the 15th of February, 1841.  Her parents were Thomas Turner, a mason by trade, and Ann Whitman.  George and Caroline were married in Laughton, Yorks.  George was listed as a laborer, yet his children later thought that he had also worked in the cutlery works and had done carpentry work.

They were the parents of the following children: Thomas, b. 13 Nov. 1841; Charles Henry, b. 10 May 1844; Mary Ann, b. 20 Oct. 1846; Sarah Wilson, b. 31 Mar. 1849; James b. 22 Feb. 1852; Eleanor, b. 2 Mar. 1854; Caroline Annie, b. 1856; Harriet, b. 13 Sept. 1858 and George Wilson Jr. b. 18 July 1863.

The family heard the message of the restored church and several of them were baptized while in England.  Harriet was baptized in 1869, as was Sarah Wilson; Mary Ann and Eleanor were baptized in 1869, as was Sarah Wilson; Mary Ann and Eleanor were baptized in 1871; the mother, Caroline, in 1870; and the father, George in 1871.  It was thought that young George was also baptized while in England, but there is no record of it.

When the family decided to emigrate to America, the two oldest boys stayed in England.  Thomas married a widow, Mary Mattram (Mullins), who had five children.  They also had five children.  Charles Henry never married.  Neither boy every joined the church.

For awhile the family kept in touch with those in England, but quite soon lost all knowledge of them.  A great grandson of George senior, on returning from a mission to France in 1952, stopped in London for a few days.  There he found the address of a George Valantine living in Sheffield.  Through correspondence when he came home, he found George was his second cousin and a descendant of Thomas who had stayed in England.  But they knew very little about the family’s history.

The Valantine family came to America sometime in the year 1872.  Young George, in order to save passage money, came with his Aunt Eleanor Turner, who had married Charles William Wilden.  When they arrived in New York he continued to travel with the Wilden’s to Utah, and then south to Beaver.  His sister Harriet had come with Sarah Wilson and they too went on to Beaver.

The parents, George and Caroline, stayed in New York so George could earn money for their westward trip.  Caroline had a severe illness while they were there.  Finally they too, with all the children, settled in Beaver.

George, Senior worked on the Salt Lake Temple for about a year and worked on the St. George Temple also.  After that he did some farming and any other work he could get.

There was a Government Fort near the mouth of Beaver Canyon in the mountains east of Beaver.  It was located near the sparkling waters of the Beaver River.  Soldiers were stationed there for many years to protect the settlements from Indian depredations and from lawless men for Beaver, at that time, was a wide open town.

After the fort was abandoned, George was made custodian of the buildings.  He held this position for about eight years.  Later these buildings were used for a church school which was called the Murdock Academy, but is now abandoned.

George Junior lived at the eastern edge of town with open fields stretching from his home to the mountains.  There were a few scattered homes built along the main road leading to the canyons, but mostly the country was unsettled.  One evening, 14 Dec. 1896, when George, Senior was returning from Beaver, a terrific blizzard was blowing snow in all directions.  His son George wanted him to wait until morning before going back to the fort, but he felt he should go on home to keep his wife from worrying.  Instead of going by the road he cut across the field, lost his way in the blinding snow, and froze to death.  He was found the next day, and was buried in the Beaver Cemetery.

He was of medium height and weight, had dark skin and black hair.  He was a friendly man, everyone who knew him thought well of him.  He must have loved music and the folk ballads of his native land, for his son, George, used to sing them to his children, and they in turn to theirs.  He also bequeathed another talent to his son George, that of being able to play almost every musical instrument.  He enjoyed the accordion most of all.  He had a home in Beaver and lived there when not at the fort.  He loved his daughter-in-law, Eunice Ann, because she could harness horses as well as ride them, and was a pal to him.  When Eunice Ann and George lost their little boy, Charles Henry, by death, he cried and said the child had gone ahead to prepare a place for him.

Caroline Turner, wife of George, Senior, was born 15 July 1820 in Laughton en le Morthen, Yorks, England.  She died 12 Dec. 1900 and was buried beside her husband in the Beaver Cemetery.  She was shorter than her husband, medium size, and had dark hair.  She was a typical English woman, energetic and quick moving.  She was kind to her family and friends.  She was a midwife and brought many babies into the world.  She used to tell her Grandson, Vernon, that she kept the babies in bottles down in the cellar.  There are some family traditions that have never been confirmed.  One) is that James Valantine was a gardner on big estates, had met Mary Wilson at one of them, two) that Mary was of the Wilson family that owned the Sheffield Snuff works, and three) that Mary had deposited money in Chancery for anyone who would take the name of Wilson.  None of these have been proven.

Their son George and his wife Caroline left a fine family to perpetuate their memory.

Owner/SourceRuby Potter
Linked toCaroline Turner; George Wilson Valantine

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