John Turner

Birth Name: John Napier Wyndham Turner

Date of Birth: 7 June, 1929

Place of Birth: Richmond, Surrey, England, U.K.

Date of Death: September 19, 2020

Place of Death: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ethnicity: English, as well as Irish and Scottish

John Turner was a Canadian lawyer and politician. A member of the Liberal Party, he served as the seventeenth Prime Minister of Canada, from June 30, 1984 to September 17, 1984. He was also Solicitor General of Canada, from April 20, 1968 to July 5, 1968, Minister of Finance, from January 28, 1972 to September 10, 1975, Leader of the Liberal Party, from June 16, 1984 to June 23, 1990, and Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament, from September 17, 1984 to February 7, 1990, among other duties. He was an MP from St. Lawrence—St. George (QC), from June 18, 1962 to June 25, 1968, an MP from Ottawa—Carleton (ON), from June 25, 1968 to February 12, 1976, and then an MP from Vancouver Quadra (BC), from September 4, 1984 to October 25, 1993.

His father, Leonard Hugh Turner, was an English journalist. Prime Minister Turner’s mother, Phyllis Ross (born Phillis Marie Gregory), was an economist, civil servant, and the first woman Chancellor of the University of British Columbia and in the Commonwealth of Nations. She was born in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada, of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.

His father died in 1932, and he then moved to Canada with his mother and siblings, living in Rossland, and then in Ottawa, Ontario. His stepfather, Scottish-born Frank Mackenzie Ross, was Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, from October 3, 1955 to October 12, 1960.

Prime Minister Turner was married to businessperson Geills McCrae (Kilgour) Turner, until his death, with whom he had four children. He was Catholic. Geills is the sister of human rights activist, author, lawyer, and politician David Kilgour, and a great-niece of poet, physician, author, artist, and soldier John McCrae, author of the 1915 poem In Flanders Fields.

Prime Minister Turner’s paternal grandfather was Frederick Illsley Turner (the son of Walter Samuel Turner and Matilda Fanny Ilsley). Frederick was born in Lambeth, Surrey, England. Walter was the son of Frederick James Turner and Mary Ann.

Prime Minister Turner’s paternal grandmother was Ada Mary Clisby (the daughter of Joseph Clisby and Martha Wilson). Ada was born in Camberwell, London, England. Joseph was the son of Charles Henry Clisby and Harriet Owen Freeman. Martha was the daughter of James Wilson.

Prime Minister Turner’s maternal grandfather was named James William “Jimmy” Gregory (the son of William Gregory). James was born in New Glasgow, Pictou County, Nova Scotia, to an English father and an Irish mother.

Prime Minister Turner’s maternal grandmother was named Mary Margaret Macdonald. Mary Margaret was born in Mulgrave, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. Her father was a wealthy shipowning sea captain, and she had Scottish roots.

Source: Genealogy of John Turner (focusing on his mother’s side) –

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