Sturkie Family History
Gone to Texas

Benjamin Joshua Sturkie, the son of Richard Benjamin Sturkie, was born in Gaston, Lexington Co, SC, in about 1831. He was the eldest of the fifteen children of Richard and Jerusha Sturkie. There is a lot more we need to know about BJ Sturkie but our family story is thus:

Part of the story states that Benjamin Sturkie owned and operated a grist mill before the Civil War and when he went to the front to fight with his neighbors--he was sent home to man the mill and take care of the women and children. (We have so far been unable to substantiate any of this story.)

BJ Sturkie and his wife Margaret Alta Elizabeth (Roberts) headed for Texas sometime around 1860 with at least two children, John Ira (b. 1859) and Lloyd Olen (b.1856). (He may have had another child with him but we are not sure.) Margaret drove the tar-pole wagon that BJ had built himself and he, on foot, drove two milk cows. Although the family story says the trip took three months, facts indicate that it took up to ten years. And during that time, three additional children, Mary Alta Elizabeth, Jr. (b. 1861), Florence (b. 1865) and Viston (b. 1867) were born. The 1880 Erath CO census lists their places of birth as Mississippi. Two of Benjamin's grandchildren said that the family went through Tennessee. (We have no TN or MS records to substantiate any of this.) W. D. Sturkie said that after Benjamin and family crossed the Missississippi they nearly starved to death. The money they had when they sold the grist mill did not hold out. They lived entirely on wild game arriving in Cleburne, Texas, where they stayed for two years and then moved to Erath County, Texas. (This has not been substantiated.)

Benjamin J. died in 1911 and is buried next to his son, Viston, who was bitten by a rabid dog and died at age 18. They are both buried in Cottonwood Cemetery in Erath County. Margaret Alta, Benjamin's widow, apparently moved in with youngest daughter Lydia Victoria who married Thomas M. McCarley. They moved to Fresno, California. Margaret Alta, we believe, died in 1923. Florence Sturkie married Ernest F. Stanton and they also moved to California. We are currently trying to learn more about this branch of the family. If you have any information on this family, please contact us.