The 1840 United States census is the earliest census record we have for Theodore Turley. Family members should remember that Theodore Turley spent the majority of the year 1840 on his mission in England or returning to Illinois with a company of British Saints.1 They arrived in Nauvoo, Illinois, on Tuesday, November 24, 1840.2 Luckily for us, the census wasn’t enumerated in Hancock County, Illinois, until March 1841.3

The 1840 census, like the prior U.S. censuses, only named heads of household. Other household members were marked according to their gender and age. Theodore Turley (written as Thedr Turley) is the third name down in this cropped image of Hancock County, Illinois, residents.4 Some may recognize names of other early pioneer members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living next to Theodore, including Levi Hancock, Lucy [Mack] Smith, Joseph Smith, and W[illiam] Law.

The marks next to Theodore’s name indicate the various members of his household sorted by gender and age:

  • one male under 5 years of age (Isaac Turley)
  • one male between 5 and 10 years of age (Frederick Turley)
  • one male between 40 and 50 years of age (Theodore Turley)
  • one female under 5 years of age (Charlotte Turley)
  • one female between 5 and 10 years of age (Sarah Elizabeth Turley)
  • two females between 10 and 15 years of age (Mary Ann Turley and Priscilla Rebecca Turley)
  • one female between 15 and 20 years of age (Frances Amelia Turley)
  • one female between 40 and 50 years of age (Frances Kimberley)

Full census page:

  1. For detailed accounts of Theodore’s mission and travel with the British Saints, see the installments of Theodore Turley: A Biography by Richard E. Turley, Jr., on this website.
  2. William Clayton journal Vol. 1 1840-1842, p. 94, digital reproduction of original, Mormon Missionary Diaries online database, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, accessed 8 April 2020, See also “45: Nauvoo,” an installment of Theodore Turley: A Biography by Richard E. Turley, Jr., and a related blog post “From the Inbox: Bringing British Converts to Nauvoo.”
  3. Stanley B. Kimball, Sources of Mormon History in Illinois, 1839-48: An Annotated Catalog of the Microfilm Collection at Southern Illinois University, 2nd ed. (Carbondale, Ill.: Central Publications, 1966), 19, accessed 8 April 2020,
  4. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 August 2017), Thedr Turley, Hancock, Illinois, United States, accessed 8 April 2020.