Southern Roots: My Great Grandparents

Hugh D. Turner, Sr. and Willetta Montague are my paternal grandfather’s parents.  Both families have strong ties to colonial America. Through them, I have uncovered many stories of Civil War veterans, a dozen or more Revolutionary War Patriots, a line straight to Jamestown, and among others, but first their story.

Hugh Davisson Turner Sr.

Hugh Davisson Turner was born on July 23, 1867 at the home called Rose Hill in Culpeper County, Virginia.  He is the first born child of John Roberts Turner and Sallie Alice Armstrong. By the 1880 US Census, he is 13 and his family is living in Warrenton, Virginia.  His father, John Roberts Turner, is the deputy clerk of circuit court. 

Willetta Montague

Willetta Montague was born on August 29, 1869 in Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Virginia. She is the 11th child of William McClanahan Montague and Henrietta McKelvey Kyle. 


Hugh D. Turner and Willetta Montague were married in the Presbyterian Church in Warrenton, Virginia on November 20, 1889. His parent’s family bible was passed on to Hugh & Willetta to add the next generation. They moved to Newport News, Virginia and raised their family there.

Hugh and Willetta Turner

They had seven children. 

1. Helen Montague Turner – (1893-1965)

2. Lucy Armstrong Turner – (1895-1983) She married Howard Allen Armstrong.

3. Alice Lewis Turner – (1898-1978) She married William Edgar Cosby.

4. John Roberts Turner – (1900 – 1901)

5. Elizabeth Kyle Turner – (1905 – 1987) She married Hugh Alexander Bell.

6. Hugh Davisson Turner, Jr. – (1909 – 1976) He married Edith June Weller.

7. Willetta Montague Turner – (1912 – 1994) She married Robert William Milligan.

Helen, Lucy, Alice, & Willetta
Lucy & Helen
Willetta, Alice & Elizabeth
Willetta, Hugh, Hugh, & Elizabeth

Willetta passed in 1932 and Hugh in 1939. They are buried in Greenlawn Park, Newport News, Virginia with several of their children.

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