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Michael and a twin brother James were born 30 September 1810 and baptized 28 October 1810 in Hobkirk, Roxburghshire, Scotland. James later died of Typhoid.

As a youngster Michael became engaged in the lumber business, going to Canada, where he distinguished himself for his energy and business capacity. Records show that he lived near his sister Isabella Bryden while there. Returning to St. Lawrence County, he was connected with his brother, Thomas, in the sawmill in Wegatchie.

Michael became a U.S. citizen 8 October 1834 in Madison County, New York. In 1835 he married Margaret Beatty Laidlaw, a daughter of Alexander and Elspeth Mitchell Laidlaw. (Margaret B. is a sister to Isabel Laidlaw, wife of brother, Adam). Soon after their marriage, Michael began acquiring land in 1837 for his Oxbow homestead farm. Additional land was acquired over the years including the adjoining farm of his brother Adam after the death of Adam's descendants, The farm is still in the Michael Turnbull family line today.

In 1871 Michael purchased a residence in Oxbow, across from the Presbyterian Church, where he died nine years later at the age of 70. His wife Margaret died in 1844 at the age of 73. They are buried in the new Oxbow Cemetery.

Michael and his wife Margaret had eight sons:

Michael lived to see all seven of his remaining sons marry and prosper. ; His first son, Thomas Laidlaw never married and died Christmas Day in 1863 at the age of 27. The three sons, Alexander, William and Michael had a boot and shoe manufacturing business in Elmira, New York. Adam was in the agricultural implement business in Rochester, New York and had two sets of twins. (The first set died at birth with their mother). James B. had five children. John M. had two children. James and John had an insurance agency in Utica. (The Turnbull Insurance Agency still exists today!). Andrew F. lived on and operated the old homestead farm outside Oxbow and had four children

It is believed that the last time Michael saw all seven of his sons together was at his home in November 1876 (Presumably for Thanksgiving). Their ages ranged from 20 to 38 years at that time.

    Michael and his wife Margaret had eight sons:

  1. Thomas L.
  2. Alexander Z.
  3. William P.
  4. James B.
  5. Adam W.
  6. John M.
  7. Andrew F.
  8. Michael A.

1) His first son, Thomas Laidlaw never married and died Christmas Day in 1863 at the age of 27. in Oxbow, NY.

2) Alexander Z. married Lucy Van Duzee but had no children. He died in 1904 in Gouverneur, NY. Lucy donated her family home to the community of Gouverneur, NY for use as their first hospital in memory of her father, Stephen B. Van Duzee.

3) William Peronius married twice: first to Catherine Dickson and second to Jennie Grant/Gant. He and Jennie had two children. He died in 1886 in Elmira, NY.

4) James Beatty married Margaret Dickson and they had five children. He died in 1917 in Utica, NY

5) Adam W. married twice: first to Candace Dewey. Candace died in childbirth along with their twin boys. Secondly to Susan Ballintine. They also had a set of twins. Adam died in 1903 in Rochester, NY.

6) John Michael married twice: first to Matildia Gardner and secondly to Elizabeth Roberts. Two children were born to John and Elizabeth. John died in 1928 in Utica, NY.

7) Andrew Fletcher married Margaret Rutherford and they had four children. Andrew died in 1901 in Oxbow, NY.

8) Michael Angelo married Margaret MacGregor and they had one child. Michael A. died in 1887 and was buried in Gouverneur, NY.


An 1876 Newspaper Article

A Fine Family.

Oxbow, Nov. 27, 1876

We have the pleasure of reporting a visit to Mr. Michael Turnbull, who resides in this village, from his seven boys. This is the first time they have all been at home in thirteen years; it can be truly said of them that they are an ornament to society and the brightest hopes of their parents are fully realized in the manner of training up their children.

Mr. M. Turnbull could have been seen going to church with his family every Sabbath for at least thirty years, unless prevented by sickness or some other cause. Father and mother believed that if you trained up a child in the way he should go when he is old he will not depart from it. To illustrate this truth you could have seen yesterday, Sunday, the seven boys quietly seated in the house of God, being, I believe, all members of the Presbyterian Church of this village. They all voted for Hayes and Wheeler save one. The younger brothers who can be counted for Hayes and Wheeler should their administration be as successful as President Grant's has been and they desire the 2nd term. Those residing away from the village left this morning with their father for the early train at Antwerp. When I saw the good feeling among them this morning I thought how true it is that a wise son maketh a glad father. All the boys are enjoying good health, weight is 1,410 lbs. All are engaged in the honorable pursuits of life. We will be glad to welcome you back again when you can make it convenient to return. With our best wishes for your success in life, we bid you good bye.


Michael Turnbull Obituary (The Utica Observer)


Death of a Venerable Resident of Jefferson County

The Observer of Saturday briefly announced the death of Michael Turnbull, which occurred Friday at Oxbow, Jefferson County. Michael Turnbull was born in Jedburgh, Scotland in 1810 and was the son of Thomas and Sarah Turnbull. His father died when he was very young and at the age of 10 he came to America settling in the "Scotch Settlement" in the town of Rossie, St Lawrence County. He became engaged in the lumber business when yet a lad, going to Canada where he distinguished himself for energy and business capacity. Returning to St. Lawrence County he was connected with his brother Thomas in a sawmill in Wegatchie.

In 1835 he married Margaret B. Laidlaw and soon after bought the large farm near Oxbow which he always retained. In 1871 he purchased a residence at Oxbow and there he breathed his last on Friday night. Deceased had eight sons, seven of whom, with his wife are now living. Thomas L. the eldest son died in 1863. Alexander L. and Wm. P. Turnbull are boot and shoe manufacturers in Elmira and J.B. and J.M. are insurance agents in Utica. December 18, 1879, forty-four years from the date of his marriage, Michael Turnbull and his wife witnessed the marriage of their youngest son at Hammond, St. Lawrence County. He lived to see his sons grow to manhood and become engaged in prosperous business connections. A few months ago the venerable man visited his sons J.B. and J.M.Turnbull in this city. He was then in good health. Returning home, he was prostrated by a severe cold and in February he suffered a stroke of paralysis, and since that time he has failed rapidly. Deceased was a man of devout life, whose daily dealings with his fellow men exemplified the religion he professed. He was beloved by his family and respected by the community in which his life was so worthily spent. The funeral will occur at Oxbow to-morrow afternoon.


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