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Mary Elizabeth Merkert Turvey
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Birth: Mar., 1864
Death: Dec. 11, 1933
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA

It's rare for me to say that I love someone when I never knew them, but it is true that I love this woman because she was a survivor who continued through difficult odds. Look at her beautiful smile; though she had cause to show it, you see no trace of bitterness.

Mary E. Merkert (Kimpel Fullerton) Turvey was my great great grandma, that is, my mother's father's mother's mother. No doubt there is a genealogical term for this, but since I don't know it yet, this is as clear as I can be.

It was not until 2009 that I saw any pictures of Mary, and I knew little about her. Mary was widowed three times, having kids with all her husbands, so I could only assume she was reasonably attractive, fertile, and had faith in the future. Though I have learned more, she is still just coming into focus. May God bless you, Mary. I hope to learn more about you.

In her marriage with Valentine Kimpel, her first, she had at least my great grandma Rosena, and a baby who did not live long, Valentina. She also reportedly had John, Frank, and Mary (whose birth is verified by city records as occurring August 23, 1886).

Her second marriage with Aaron Fullerton in 1893 produced Laurence, George and Lavinia, the last of whom was probably named for Mary's mother. Recently, a death certificate was found for yet another child with Aaron, a daughter Jane, who did not live out the year of her birth, 1896.

Her last marriage (1902) with J. T. Turvey was blessed with John Thomas Jr., Anna Mae, and Charles Roy.

On one census she was reported as saying she had borne 15 children, of whom 10 were alive, so clearly there were more.

Once I knew about her life, I was simply in awe of her ability to move forward. What does it say about a person who experiences the loss of husbands and children to keep trusting, keep loving, and keep having children? She must have been quite something.

There was a family tale about Mary that said she enjoyed listening to serial stories on the radio. One show she followed featured a woman who had been widowed three times like herself. Spurred by the show, one of Mary's daughters supposedly asked her when she got to heaven which husband she would choose to be with there. Mary is said to have replied "I'll pick the first one, because I know damn well the other two won't be there."


Odds and ends:

Mary appears as a young girl in the 1880 census with her parents and siblings in Philadelphia's 21st ward (Manayunk/Roxborough) thusly:

Relation to head of household
Marital Status
Father's Birthplace
Mother's Birthplace

John W. MERKERT Self M Male W 47 BADEN Works In Paper Mill BADEN BADEN

Levina MERKERT Wife M Female W 37 PA Keeping House PA PA

Frank L. MERKERT Son S Male W 18 PA
Works In Cotton Mill BADEN PA

Mary MERKERT Dau S Female W 16 PA
Works In Woolen Mill BADEN PA

Annie MERKERT Dau S Female W 12 PA
Works In Cotton Mill BADEN PA

Julie A. MERKERT Dau S Female W 10 PA
Works In Cotton Mill BADEN PA

Katie MERKERT Dau S Female W 8 PA
At School BADEN PA

Johanna MERKERT Dau S Female W 5 PA BADEN PA

Josephine MERKERT Dau S Female W 3 PA BADEN PA

Maggie MERKERT Dau S Female W 2 PA BADEN PA

The state index confirms the date and place of death, and soon the death certificate should tell us more.
Family links: 
  John W Merkert (1831 - 1904)
  L Lubold Merkert (1841 - ____)
  John Thomas Turvey (1851 - 1921)
  Aaron Fullerton (1851 - 1901)*
  Valentine Kimpel (1853 - 1890)*
  John Frederick Kimpel (1884 - 1962)*
  Francis Nicholas Kimpel (1886 - 1966)*
  Rosena Katterina Kimpel Storkey (1888 - 1984)*
  Mary E Kimpel Muller (1889 - 1982)*
  Valentina Kimpel (1891 - 1891)*
  Jane Gumphert Fullerton (1896 - 1896)*
  Lavinia Mary Fullerton Brown (1900 - 1955)*
  John Thomas Turvey (1903 - 1969)*
  Frank Lawrence Merkert (1861 - 1936)*
  Mary Elizabeth Merkert Turvey (1864 - 1933)
  Julianna Merkert Garforth (1870 - 1947)*
  Katherine Merkert Weir (1873 - 1953)*
  Elizabeth Merkert (1874 - 1876)*
  Johanna Merkert Schick (1875 - 1942)*
  Josephine Merkert Eichenhofer (1879 - 1943)*
  Joseph Francis Merkert (1880 - 1940)*
  John W Merkert (1881 - 1884)*
  Lavina Clementine Merkert Miller (1885 - 1950)*
*Calculated relationship
Leverington Cemetery
Philadelphia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: sr/ks
Originally Created by: Donna Elliott
Record added: Jul 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 38990280
Mary Elizabeth <i>Merkert</i> Turvey
Added by: sr/ks
Mary Elizabeth <i>Merkert</i> Turvey
Added by: sr/ks
Mary Elizabeth <i>Merkert</i> Turvey
Added by: sr/ks
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Happy Birthday Mary...
- Diane Miller
 Added: Mar. 1, 2014
To dear Mary.
- sr/ks
 Added: Mar. 16, 2013
Happy Birthday to a wonderful, funny lady. I love your attitude!
- Rose Chandler Royals
 Added: Mar. 1, 2013
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