Lewis William Turner from Smallacombe Farm, Dawlish, Devon.

Update 7 Jan 2020. This wonderful old photo taken at the front of Smallacombe Farm is now also on it’s way to its new home, it’s going home! See update Blog dated 7 Jan 2020.


I found this wonderful old photo at Chard Market last Thursday, on the cart is written L.Turner. Dawlish. The photo was glued to a half inch thick piece of broken glass, so had obviously been in some sort of frame. It was a devil of a job picking all the glass away and still keeping the photo intact, but my husband made a great job of it!

I posted it on my Twitter account on Sunday and Simon Last of Charnwood Genealogy, @charnwoodgenie on Twitter, his blog link here Charnwood Genealogy   kindly did some research and came up with Lewis William Turner of Smallacombe Farm in the census records. Smallcombe 1911.jpg

Plus he found a super bit in the newspaper archives about the farm on the British Newspaper Archive, link in next paragraph. Huge thanks Simon!


Newspaper Smallcombe
Dated September 1906


Also huge thanks to Sarah @eastmarple1 on Twitter, who found the same Lewis William Turner also using the British Newspaper Archive      and linking it up with the census information, see above. Then she found on a Blog some super up to date photos of a Wedding at Smallacombe Farm. Link here with whole article including more photos Wedding at Smallacombe Farm   The Farmhouse matches perfectly!

Front of the Farmhouse hasn’t changed a bit!

Lewis William Turner was part of a huge family, as you can see below..

His father was Richard Turner who was born in 1814 in Bideford, Devon, England. When he was 20, he married Elizabeth Stapledon/Stapleton on 11 Sep 1834 in Bideford, Devon, England (Says STAPLEDON not Stapleton. Devon records on FMP. She also signed with Stapledon).

Census Records. Richard Turner lived in Abbotsham, Devon, England in 1841. He lived in Abbotsham, Devon, England in 1851 (Relationship: Head). He lived in Dowland, Devon, England in 1861 (Relationship: Head). He lived in Dowland, Devon, England in 1871 (Relationship: Head).

Richard Turner and Elizabeth Stapledon had the following children:

1.Richard Turner was born in 1836 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.
2.John Turner was born in 1838 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.
3.Charles Turner was born in 1839 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.
4.Elizabeth Turner was born in Oct 1841 in Abbotsham, Devon, England (TURNER, ELIZABETH STAPLETON Order GRO Reference: 1841 D Quarter in THE BIDEFORD UNION Volume 10 Page 64 ).
5.William Turner was born in 1844.
6.Jane Turner was born about 1847 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.
7.Caroline Turner was born in 1850 (TURNER, CAROLINE STAPLETON Order GRO Reference: 1850 J Quarter in TORRINGTON UNION Volume 10 Page 303 ).
8.George Turner was born about 1850 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.

When he was 44, after Elizabeth his wife had died in 1857, he married Mary (Snell) Hooper in 1858 in Barnstaple, Devon, England.

Mary I’m assuming was a widow, only having been married in 1856 to John Hooper, although her children were born before this, not sure exactly when John died, but she brought the 2 children, twins, to the marriage.

1.Louisa Mary Hooper was born in 1855 in Torrington, Devon, England (HOOPER, LOUISA MARY SNELL Order GRO Reference: 1855 D Quarter in TORRINGTON UNION Volume 05B Page 430 Order).
2.Frederick Hooper was born in 1855 in Torrington, Devon, England (HOOPER, FREDERIC SNELL Order GRO Reference: 1855 D Quarter in TORRINGTON UNION Volume 05B Page 430).

Richard Turner and Mary Snell had the following children together:

1.Mary Turner was born in 1856 in Abbotsham, Devon, England.
2.John Snell Turner was born in Apr 1860 in Dowland, Devon, England. He died on 30 Jul 1913 in Torrington, Devonshire. He married Emily Rendall in Jul 1887 in Devon.
3. Lewis William Turner was born in Apr 1862 in Torrington, Devon, England (TURNER, LEWIS WILLIAM SNELL Order GRO Reference: 1862 J Quarter in TORRINGTON UNION Volume 05B Page 503). When he was 36, in April 1898 he married Selina Mary Ash, daughter of William Hubert Baker Ash and Harriet(Damerell) in Apr 1898 in Kingsbridge, Devon, England. He died on 24 Mar 1918 in Newton Abbot, Devon, England (Lewis left £1,788 to his widow Selina when he died). I have found no children from this couple.
Census Records for Lewis William Turner, he lived in Dowland, Devon, England in 1891 (Relation to Head: Brother). He lived in West Dawlish, Devon, England in 1901 (Relation to Head of House: Head). He lived in West Dawlish, Devon, England at Smallacombe Farm on 02 Apr 1911 (Marital Status: Married; Relation to Head of House: Head)

4.Mark Turner was born in Jan 1865 in Dowland, Devon, England (TURNER, MARK SNELL Order GRO Reference: 1865 M Quarter in TORRINGTON Volume 05B Page 539 ). He died on 11 Feb 1941 in Bridgwater, Somerset, England. He married Mary Elizabeth Dawe in 1886. I have found no children.

Richard Turner died on 18 Apr 1875 in Downland, Devon, England (Left all, under £1,000 to his wife Mary in will) Mary died in 1882.

Here’s the Link to the small family tree I’ve compiled Lewis William Turner Family Tree    on Ancestry, you can register for free.

I found several references to Smallacombe Farm in the Newspaper archives on Find My Past/British Newspaper Archives, looking for a Good arm Horse etc all up to Lewis’s death in 1918, then in 1919 adverts in the newspapers were for a surname Knight.

You’ll find some super information about the area at  Dawlish History Online  Plus lots more great links to the history of Dawlish.

I also found another Blog online with more wonderful photos of the Smallacombe Farm Wedding last year, Photos Wedding Smallacombe Farm  a Horse Drawn carriage was lovely to see just like the photo I found.

If you are a descendant of this family Turner from Devon, I would love to hear from you.

Till next time then…………..





  1. Hello…don’t know if you still check this page but my last name is Smallacombe and we believe our family came from this region of England. We’ve heard about the Smallacombe family farm but have never gotten the chance to visit there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Bruce
    Yes I see all comments.
    You’ll have to do some research into the connections! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you do have connections! Do let me know what you manage to find out, that would be fascinating.
    Kind Regards Lynn


  3. Hi Lyno, I found this really interesting. I’m a Turner, my fathers father called Clarence Howard Turner had his parents in Devon. Just doing some research on the history.. I’m living in sunny Worcestershire x Emma

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for getting in touch Emma, that would be interesting if you found out you are related to this family. Do have a look at the small tree I compiled on Ancestry. Good luck! Lynn x


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