We know that Colour Sergeant William (“Billy”) Flack married Lucy Moran nee Turner in Bellary, India on 17 January 1844. Their Marriage Registration appears below.
Who was Lucy Moran, 24 year old widow, daughter of John Turner, and what was she doing in Bellary in 1844?
It will be noted that the marriage was solemnised by Henry Taylor the regimental Chaplain and witnessed by “P.A.Turner”, “I.Stewart” and “S.Stewart”.
The first piece of evidence as to where she was born comes from the 1861 Census for 3 West Gate Road, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire which includes a listing for a Lucy Flack, wife aged 41, “out P. of Chelsea”, born in Leicestershire. A copy of the listing appears below.
The Census record of the Habergham Eaves Flack family in 1861
A search of the Birth records available from FindMyPast database and from FamilySearch revealed large numbers of persons by the name Lucy Turner born c. 1820, in Leicestershire – too many possibilities to be useful without other information to narrow down the search.
A search of the Overseas Marriage and Death registrations and Army Marriage and Death registrations during the period 1835 to 1844 for a person named Moran who could be Lucy’s deceased husband revealed
A search of the graveyard records for Bellary revealed the following relevant memorials:
“Church of England Cemetery
1844 – 3 September. – Peter Augustus Turner, late Leader of the Band, HM’s 63rd Regt., aged 29 years and 5 months.”
1845 – 23 May. – Francis Henry Moran, aged 2 years and 9 months. Nephew of P.A. Turner, Band, 63rd Regt.
1845 – 19 June. – Elizabeth Catherine Flack, aged 1 month and 12 days. Niece of P.A. Turner
Roman Catholic Cemetery
1845 – 27th May. – Catherine, aged 56 years, wife of John Turner, formerly Drum Major, H.M 63rd Regt., who died at Thomar in Portugal on 23 July 1827, leaving 4 sons and 2 daughters.”
A search of the British Library’s website in relation to india family history revealed a record of the birth of Lucy Catherine Moran, born 31 October 1840 at Dinapore, Bengal, father Francis Henry Moran, Sgt HM 21st Fusiliers, mother Lucy and a baptism on 18th November 1840 containing the same particulars (N/1/56f.a58). A further baptism for Francis Henry Moran, baptised 10 October 1842 at Dinapore, born 27 September 1842 is also confirmed.
A search of the “England Births and Christenings 1538-1975” records available from Family Search revealed that a Lucy Turner, daughter of John Turner and Katherine Turner was christened on 15 September 1819 at St Margaret’s Church, Leicester, Leicestershire, England. (Batch No. C04321-0, GS Film No. 592557).
From these findings, it appears that Lucy Flack, formerly Moran nee Turner born c. September 1819 at Leicester, was was a member of the Turner family travelling with the 63rd Regiment after her 1st husband, Francis Henry Moran had died and that she was traveling with her mother, Katherine Turner and with at least one of her four brothers, Peter Turner.
A Draft family tree can therefore be constructed to describe the family relationships as follows:
Further searches are under way tofind out more about Lucy Flack, formerly Moran, nee Turner’s first husband and other members of the Turner family.
Other searches revealed the Birth Registration of Elizabeth Catherine Flack (Army Returns – Births – 1796-1880 at Madras 1844-46 Page 343) and the military records of 390 Drummer John Turner of 63rd Regt born c.1811 at Witwick, Leicestershire who served from 24 February 1824 until 25 October 1849 (extracts WO 97/770/118 are reproduced below).
Further enquiries are under way to identify John Turner, formerly Drum Major, H.M 63rd Regt., who died at Thomar in Portugal on 23 July 1827, but it would appear that he is identical with the John Turner, husband of Katherine and father of Lucy, Peter and George, all baptised in St Margaret’s, Leicester between 1815 and 1819.