SHEFFIELD Chess History



Andrew McTurk

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Made in Sheffield




1800/01, Scotland




28/04/1876, Sheffield




Identity of the Chess-Player




Non-Chess Life


Andrew McTurk was born in 1800/01 in Scotland.  He and his wife Helen Fraser McTurk (born 1803, Scotland) had at least the following four children, all born in Sheffield:


Robert Murray McTurk

born 1828/29

Catherine McTurk

born 1832/33

John McTurk

born 1835/36

Helen/Ellen McTurk

born 1838/39


The places of birth of the children shows that the McTurks had arrived in Sheffield by 1829.


White’s Sheffield directory dated 1833 listed Andrew and WaIter McTurk, travelling. drapers, based at 7 St James Street, Sheffield.  It also listed John McTurk, travelling draper, based at 23 Burgess Street, Sheffield.  Andrew and John were perhaps related.


White’s Sheffield directory dated 1837 listed Andrew McTurk, draper, as 5 St James Street (had he moved from no. 7?), and John McTurk, draper at 23 Burgess Street.


The 1841 census found the parents and four children living with one servant in St James Street, in the centre of Sheffield, presumably living behind and/or above a shop.  Andrew was a draper.


A Catharine (= Catherine?) McTurk died in Sheffield in 1841, but her relationship to our man, if any, is unclear (niece?), as daughter Catherine was listed in the 1851 census and after.


An Andrew Johnston McTurk was born in 1844, in Sheffield, but thereafter seems to disappear from records.  Whether he was born to Andrew and Helen is unclear.


The 1851 census found the family of six McTurks and one servant living more specifically at 21 St James Street, next door to fellow chess-player John Carson, also a draper, at number 20.  Andrew was still a draper.  Robert was a merchant, and John was a merchant’s (his brother’s?) apprentice.


Catherine McTurk married Walter Spencer, in 1855, in Sheffield.


The 1861 census found Andrew, wife Helen, daughter Helen and one servant living still in St James Street (presumably no. 21).  Andrew was still a draper.


Daughter Helen McTurk married in 1867.


The 1871 census found parents, son John, and one servant, living at 264 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield.  Andrew was now a retired draper.  John was “out of business”.




Andrew McTurk died 28/04/1876, aged 75, at Broom Parade, Sheffield [Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 29/04/1876].


He is listed in an inscription in memory of about 12 members of the McTurk family on a stone at plot 32 of Kirkdale cemetery, near Creetown, Kirkcudbrightshire (now Dumfries and Galloway), those mentioned having died in Scotland, England or the West Indies.  It records Andrew McTurk d. Sheffield 28.4.1876 in his 76th year.  Two more Sheffield McTurks are listed: Johnston McTurk d. Sheffield 5.1.1831 age 36, and John McTurk d. Sheffield 29.5.1842 age 54.


After Death


Helen Fraser McTurk died in 1890/91, in Rotherham.




Andrew McTurk appears to have been a founder member of the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club, being recorded as paying his subscription in 1848 and 1849.


He was then a member of the short-lived Sheffield Athenaeum & Mechanics Institution Chess Club (not to be confused with the similarly named Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club) in 1850 and 1851.


After the demise of the Sheffield Athenaeum & Mechanics Institution Chess Club he re-joined the Sheffield Athenaeum Chess Club, after which he seems to have been a member, on and off at least, to 1872 and more probably to his death, although his name is lacking from the treasurer’s records between 1852 and 1872, and thereafter.





Copyright © 2015 & 2017 Stephen John Mann

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