Theodore Turley had five wives over the course of his lifetime, three of whom were considered “plural” wives. Traditionally, the family understood Theodore Turley to have had twenty-one biological children, one adopted child, and two step-children. Historical records have now raised questions about the paternity of some children in his plural marriages with Mary Clift and Eliza Clift.

Frances Kimberley

Frances Kimberley (1800-1847) was married to Theodore Turley in 1821 in their native England. Frances and Theodore had ten children together.

  1. Theodore Turley, Jr. (1822-1837)
  2. Frances Amelia Turley (1825-1846) m. Cyrus Daniels
  3. Mary Ann Turley (1827-1904) m1. Brigham Young (divorced), m2. John Cook
  4. Priscilla Rebecca Turley (1829-1904) m. Amasa Mason Lyman
  5. Frederick Turley (1832-1875) m. Amelia Louisa Counsell
  6. Obia Turley (1834-1834)
  7. Sarah Elizabeth Turley (1835-1914) m. Stephen Franklin
  8. Isaac Turley (1837-1908) m1. Sarah Greenwood, m2. Clara Ann Tolton
  9. Charlotte Turley (1840-1899) m. Jacob Bushman
  10. Johnathan Turley (1842-1846)

Mary Clift

Mary Clift (1815-1850) was married as a plural wife to Theodore Turley in Nauvoo, though the date is unknown. Her first child, Jason, was the illegitimate son of Gustavus Hills. Mary had three additional children in her plural marriage with Theodore Turley.

  1. Jason L. Clift (1842-1843)
  2. Ephraim Turley (1845-1845)
  3. Theodoreus Turley (1848-1848)
  4. Frances Kimberley Turley (1850-1914) m1. Benjamin Franklin Parsons (divorced), m2. Thomas Wilson McIntosh

Eliza Clift

Eliza Clift (1813-1882) was first married to George Gardner Fidler. She claimed in 1859 that she had two children, both daughters, with this husband. Traditionally, those two daughters were understood to be the children of Theodore Turley in his plural marriage with Eliza.

  1. Henrietta Fidler (1845-1846)
  2. Emma Georgianna Fidler (1845-1902) m. Peter Napoleon Littig

Eliza did not have any more children by her later husbands, George Summerfield and John McArthur. Note: Eliza adopted the middle name “Georgianna” after settling in Scott County, Iowa.

Sarah Ellen Clift

Sarah Ellen Clift (1817-1847) had two sons from a relationship in England prior to her arrival in the United States. The older son remained in England. Sarah Ellen brought her younger son with her to America.

  1. Congreve Clift Selwyn (1839-1882) m. Alice Herbert
  2. George Augustus Clift Selwyn (1841-1894) m1. Lucy Anna Fischer, m2. Jennie H. Stewart

Sarah Ellen Clift and Theodore Turley entered a plural marriage together in April 1844. They had three children.

  1. Princetta Turley (1845-1846)
  2. Joseph Smith Turley (1846-1847) – twin
  3. Hyrum Smith Turley (1846-1847) – twin

Ruth Jane Giles

Ruth Jane Giles (1812-1880) had one son, Joseph Orson, prior to her 1850 marriage with Theodore, but his biological father is unknown. He was later adopted by Theodore. Ruth had two more sons with Theodore.

  1. Joseph Orson Turley (1845-1916) m. Elizabeth Lightner.
  2. Jacob Omner Turley (1852-1924) m1. Louise Ann Woodhouse (divorced), m2. Addie Bellus (divorced).
  3. Alvin Hope Turley (1855-1872)