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Please Help Trace Ancestors of Family Bible - Turners/Cowlishaws

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  • DeeDee39
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  • Joined Feb 2019

I'm trying to trace the relatives of a large family-bible (well over 100 years old) that was passed onto me by someone who purchased it at a car boot sale in Eastbourne.  There are 2 letters enclosed within the bible, the first one is in very good condition and is dated 1919.  This was written by a Mr Joseph Turner (born 19th December 1881) when he was headmaster at Firs Hill Boys School, Sheffield.  The letter is a 'copy of a testimonial' - basically a work reference that he wrote to recommend his sister Harriet Turner (nee. Cowlishaw) for a promotion.  


The second letter is a touching personal letter from Harriet to her husband which is barely legible and starting to fall to pieces.  The date is July 31st but no year is given (possibly between 1908 - 1924 as she mentions their two young children, William and Ann).  At the top of the letter it says 'Sheffield Manor' which must have been where they lived at the time and she signs off as 'Harriet Cowlishaw'.


Harriet was born 10th Feb 1884 as the birth dates of all the siblings are recorded in the family bible.  Their parents are listed at the front as Thomas Turner, born 28th April 1856 and Mary Jane Cowlishaw, born April 9th 1858. 


It's a long shot but if anyone has any information that could help me trace the relatives of the above I would like to return the bible and letters to them.  Even though the bible was sold at a car boot sale it is possible that no one was aware that the letters where hidden inside.  


Please contact me by email at dianeg96uk@yahoo.co.uk if you have any information that could help me return this small treasure from the past to its rightful owners.   Many thanks in advance.

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This seems to be the family in 1891, FreeCEN,


Piece: RG12/3826 Place: Sheffield -West Riding of Yorkshire Enumeration District: 9
Civil Parish: Sheffield Ecclesiastical Parish: St Johns
Folio: 83 Page: 31 Schedule: 184
Address: 37 Manor

  Surname First name(s) Rel Status Sex Age Occupation Where Born Remarks 

  TURNER Thomas Head M M 34 Machine Tool Fitter(Em'ee)  Yorkshire - Hepworth   

  TURNER Mary J Wife M F 32   Yorkshire - Sheffield   

  TURNER Annie Dau - F 11   Yorkshire - Sheffield   

  TURNER Joseph Son - M 9   Yorkshire - Sheffield   

  TURNER Harriet Dau - F 7   Yorkshire - Sheffield   

  TURNER Nina Dau - F 3   Yorkshire - Sheffield  


if so burials on,



Try nina taylor then same grave.


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Thank you for your replies, the Sheffield Indexers has been an amazing source of info.  Some of it sad reading though as little Nina apparently died at 3 years and 5 months and her brother Joseph died at 28 years old in the South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum (later known as Middlewood Hospital).  It's just a matter of tracing the relatives of Harriet's children, Ann & William (Cowlishaw?) that will prove a bit trickier... 

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There was still a William Turner,  b1897 -son of Thomas? at 346 City Road Sheffield in 1973.

Also on the 1939 register was William and Dorothy at the same address.

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At 115 City Road in 1911


Thomas Turner 44 mechanical engineer tool maker

Mary Jane Turner 42

Annie Turner 21

Joseph Turner 19 mechanical engineer apprentice

Herbert Harriet Turner 17 pupil teacher

Nina Turner 8 b Sep 1892

William Turner 3


At 234 City Road in 1911


Thomas Turner 54 ie    born 1856 b Holmfirth

Mary Jane Turner 52               1858

Anne Turner 31                           1879

Harriet Turner 27                      1884

Nina Turner 18                            c1893

William Turner 13                     c1898


Joseph was a patient at the Royal on West Street


At 269 City Road  in 1939:


Thomas Turner          26/04/1856      Married           Retired Private Means

Mary J Turner             09/04/1858      Married           Unpaid Domestic Duties

Annie Turner               04/09/1879      Single                Unpaid Housekeeper

Harriet Turner           10/02/1884      Single                 Teacher-elemantary School


Your information that Harriet was born 10th Feb 1884, Thomas Turner, born 28th April 1856 and Mary Jane Cowlishaw, born April 9th 1858 fits with this group, except that Harriet was single. She could have divorced and reverted to her maiden name (rare at the time for a teacher).


Nina Turner born  22 July1892 died, unmarried 1970 Rother Valley


Joseph Turner wrote to recommend his sister Harriet Turner (nee. Cowlishaw).  Was this Harriet would be an in law?.

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My aunt was a Cowlishaw .  Father was Harry (?)  and  had Nunnery farm., I think he was a milkman, his son Jack was a coal merchant.  My auntie was Joan.  I am always interested when i hear the name as it's not a very common name.

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Hi DeeDee39   


Just to let you know I have got back onto Sheffield Forum and have been reading all the interesting posts on this thread.


Yes, I am Harriett's gt gt granddaughter via Thos Henry Cowlishaw.


Would like to hear from Scousemouse if you do not have many Manor Park Cowlishaw details and would like them.  I have quite a large tree of around 400 individuals in that area and would like to add you on !


There was also an Elaine in Ottawa who may be connected, but I don't see her post on this thread.  If anyone can put me in touch, I'd be grateful.





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Hi All,


Sorry I haven't checked the forum for a while, I also started a thread on the Sheffield Indexers which was inundated and led me to find a direct descendent of Harriet Cowlishaw's within a week!  Thank you to all for your contributions and I will paste a link of the thread from the Indexers below if you are interested in reading it - 




Kind Regards,





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