Joan Turner

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7 years · 5 months · 15 days
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I was born in Tippah County, MS, near Ripley, on Feburary 27, 1941 and educated at Northeast Mississippi Community College, Booneville, MS and Blue Mountain College, Blue Mountain, MS. My parents were James Richard ("Jim") and Larsie Etta Riley Turner. I am a writer published under the pen name Shannon Riley, a combination of my mother's and my paternal grandmother's maiden names. I have been interested in my family's history since an early age due in part to the mystery that surrounded my mother's paternal family, the Rileys. Her father, Samuel Clayborn Riley, had been disowned by his family upon his marriage to my grandmother, Eliza Matilda Alsup Riley, and my mother and her siblings grew up never seeing or knowing anything about their Riley kin. My mother, especially, felt a great sense of loss because of this. I began researching the Riley family after my late husband, Melvin Cissom, discovered the grave of the Revolutionary War soldier John Riley in Smith Cemetery, near Blue Mountain, MS in 1986. Public records and other documents proved him to be my great, grt., grt., great grandfather. John Riley (Sr.) was married three times, outliving all three wives. He was father of fourteen children, and lived to be 103. After the Revolutionary War ended, he moved south with several of his children to settle near Blue Mountain, MS around 1840, becoming one of the first white settlers in Tippah County, MS. He lived in the house with daughters Nancy and Francis until his death in 1852. My research on the Rileys continues, and includes John's younger brother, James, also a Revolutionary War soldier, who moved south to settle in Marshall County with his daughter and her family in the 1840s.

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