He initially traveled to the Valley in 1848. At some point, he returned to the East with his family. They were at Fort Leavenworth, preparing to travel to Utah when his father, Jesse Turpin, died of cholera. They must have made the journey back to Utah in 1854 or 1855 because his mother, Eliza Ann, remarried in Salt Lake City in February 1856. The family made another trip to the East, this time returning with his step-father, Peter Van Valkenburg, and family in 1862.
His birth date is confirmed by the inscription on his gravestone.