By Patricia Saxton
In November we had some very interesting guests, all the way from California. A very young 89 year old- Miss Lolita “Lita” Taylor and her traveling companions, Alma Hayes and Ron Roth came to the Museum to see we had any information about Lita’s great-great grandfather Reverend John Turtle.
Rev Turtle was the first Methodist clergy, and had come to Grand Turk even before the church was built! Unfortunately he passed here in Grand Turk at the young age of 32 from “consumption”. We know this because we were able to bring up the death notices from 1825. We believe he is buried on the “island within and island” grave site, where many people were buried before the government cemetery was built.
Lita has done extensive research on her relative, which has taken her to the UK, where she found original letters, which were housed in the School of Oriental and African studies library at the University of London. Ms. Taylor also transcribed the letters and has donated copies of the originals and the transcriptions to our archives. Transcribing these letters is a very tiresome job, so the National Museum commends our new found friend for all of the hard work! It was such a pleasure to meet with Lita, Alma and Ron and to spend time with them. I am hoping we can we can see all of them again soon!