I would like to suggest that we take a whole new approach to researching this Utley line. I think we are much more likely to make some real progress this way.
First, we need to eliminate and ignore all the assumptions that have been made previously since they will only impede our progress. We also need to learn to refuse to accept all the various "claims" we see online without any real proof to support them. For too many people, genealogy has become a game of collecting gossip. It should be based on records and proof.
There is no proof that William's wife Elizabeth was a Turner. The fact that Augustus Balthazar Turner and Jasper Melchior Turner witnessed William's will does not prove anything. They could have been neighbors. They could have been Elizabeth's children by a previous marriage. They could have been William's stepchildren by a previous marriage. They could have been the sons of the man who wrote the will for William. The possibilities are endless.
There is no proof that Elizabeth was the mother of William's children. We do not have a 1740-50's deed or birth record that names wife Elizabeth or anyone else. We only know that Elizabeth was William's wife when he wrote his will. Maybe she was his only wife - maybe she wasn't. We need to keep an open mind. We have no proof as to the mother of his children. The children could have been by two or three wives.
It's all over the web now that William Utley was the son of James Utley and Annah b 5 Feb 1724/5 based on Connecticut Town Birth Records. There IS a birth record. But I have seen nothing that connects that child in Connecticut to William Utley later in NC. William Utley in NC didn't name any of his children James or Annah. You can't just jump on a record 600 miles away and expect to make the connection with nothing more than the name. If he had brought some of his siblings with him to NC, that would help.
We do have a record that no one seems to have paid any attention to - and it's a really important record. It's one of the earliest records for William Utley in NC and it obviously reflects another relative.
Abstracts of Deeds Edgecombe Precinct Edgecombe County North Carolina 1732 through 1758 by Margaret M Hofmann, p 201, 202
John Utley Sr (co. not identified) and William Gulledge, Jr of Edge. C. to William Partin of Surry Co, Va. 23 Feb 44 11 pounds current money of Va. 100 acres on a branch of Conoconarah on the lower side of Jumping run, joining Gilbert Kinkhead and 50 acres near Hux, joining Rounding branch Wit: Montfort Eelbeck, William Utley. Reg. Edge. Co. Feb Ct. 1744 Robert Forster C. Ct. Edgecombe DB 5 p 373
The usage of Sr/Jr was different then. It didn't imply father/son and it didn't stay with you for life. It only meant the oldest and second oldest and was used to distinguish 2 men with the same name. Might be uncle/nephew, grandfather/grandson, father/son, older cousin/younger cousin, or no kin at all. When Sr died, the previous Jr became the new Sr since he was now the oldest, and the next oldest became the new Jr. The same happened if one of them moved out of the county. Children weren't involved in this - only men old enough to leave records so they wouldn't be confused with each other in the records. It usually included only men who lived in the same county, sometimes adjoining counties. The fact that this man was referred to as John Utley Sr tells us there was a living John Utley Jr who was an adult that this John Sr shouldn't be confused with. Couldn't have been William's son John Utley - he was just an infant at this time.in
It's very possible this John Utley Sr was William's father and John Jr was William's brother. Possible, but not provable. They could also be uncle/nephew or similar. But at least we can see a connection. Same county where William was living and William witnessed the deed. William appears to have named his oldest son John.
This John Utley Sr and John Utley Jr may or may not have been residents of Edgecombe Co. They did not appear in the Edgecombe records again, so that seems unlikely. If they can be found and identified, we will be that much closer to proving William Utley's ancestry.
More might be learned by studying the land records for the others mentioned in this deed. How and when did John Utley Sr acquire this land? What was his relationship with William Gulledge Jr?