Family tradition holds that Frederick Turner, my British Great-Grandfather Leonard’s only brother, was killed in action in India during World War I. Adding charm to the story that I heard frequently as a child was the idea that Leonard, distraught over his brother’s death and wishing to honor his memory, decided to drop his own given name and assume his dead brother’s, both in day to day living as well as on legal documents. Although my Grandfather and his sisters never knew their Uncle, they did know the story of his heroic death and grew up thinking of their father as “Frederick” L. Turner.
The notes from my earliest attempts at recording my British genealogy reflect this family lore, however as my own research began to reveal more of the details of the Turner brothers’ lives, the accuracy of the story came into question.
I knew from my grandfather’s (…more)