Who was Theodore Turley?
Theodore Turley (1801-1871) was an early member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon pioneer. Theodore helped oversee the evacuation of the Saints from Far West, Missouri, during the Mormon-Missouri War of 1838, and he later built the first Latter-day Saint home in Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1839, he accompanied the Twelve Apostles on their mission to his native England. Theodore crossed the plains with the Silas Richards Company in 1849. He was one of the original settlers of San Bernardino, California, in 1851. After the Saints were called back to Utah in 1857, he resided in Cedar City, Washington, and Minersville before finally settling permanently in Beaver, Utah. Theodore died in 1871.
Additional biographical resources:
- Life Sketch: Overview of Theodore’s life.
- Theodore’s Autobiography: An autobiographical sketch by Theodore Turley likely written during his mission in 1839–1840. NEW: Includes images of the original handwritten document.
- Theodore’s Biography by Ella Mae Judd: This biography was written by descendant Ella Mae Judd in 1951 and updated in 1997. Although some of the stories are likely family folklore, it’s still a valuable resource.
- Other resources:
- Theodore’s biography at the Joseph Smith Papers website.
- Theodore’s biography at BYU’s Mormon Missionary Diaries database. (Don’t forget to check out images of Theodore’s missionary journal while you’re at it!)
- Theodore’s profile in the Church History Department’s Early Mormon Missionaries database.
- Photos, documents, and stories about Theodore uploaded to FamilySearch’s Family Tree database (login required). Theodore’s personal ID is KWJV-HKX.
- Stories about Theodore at Ann Lewis’ family history blog.
Theodore Turley: A Biography by Richard E. Turley, Jr.
Begun in 1995, this continuing series of articles by Richard E. Turley, Jr., will form the basis for an official biography of Theodore Turley. These installments will eventually be revised, incorporating newer data from the Theodore Turley Papers project prior to publication.
This page has an ongoing collection of links to images and/or transcripts of original records relating to Theodore Turley. Records are arranged in a roughly chronological order and grouped by location. Links go to pages on our site as well as other websites. Note: links to Theodore’s photo page and the Theodore Turley Papers page are now included in this list.
This page is a resource that we’ve wanted since the website was created in 2019. It’s a list of locations important in the life of Theodore Turley. Eventually, each location on the list will have a link to its own page providing photos, historical overviews, timelines, and descriptions of places to visit.
This is a timeline of Theodore’s life according to the latest research by family members and others. The timeline is still under construction and will continue to be updated as new data becomes available.
Fact vs. Fiction
Was Theodore really friends with the King of England? What about his involvement in the White Horse Prophecy? We might need to reexamine much of the family folklore we grew up with. Learn about some of the more common myths and misconceptions about Theodore.