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Ancestor of the Month 

October 2009 

 

Martin Martin

b.1665     d. 20 Mar 1745

 

We wouldn’t have a McCarter/Hatcher ancestor if we didn’t have some kind of controversy.  Martin Martin, generally considered “The Immigrant” of the Martin branch of our family tree, holds true to this characteristic.  His controversy concerns his birth and parentage.   

 

Two Versions of Lineage

 

According to the traditional story, Martin Martin was born in 1678, the son of Thomas Martin, Sr. and the grandson of Nehemiah Martin.  These Martins lived on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.  The other version says Martin Martin was born in 1678 in New Kent Co., VA, the son of George, Jr. and Susannah West Martin.  Story two says Martin’s grandfather was George Martin, Sr., from Bristol, England.   (Actually I prefer the Scottish version, but DNA tests seem to favor the second story.)  In addition to the “who’s your father?” question, if the second story is true, then Martin is not “The Immigrant”; his grandfather, George, Sr. who arrived in this country first can claim that honor.  (George, Jr., like his son, Martin, was born in VA.)  On the Isle of Skye there is a proverb, “Clan Mhartain, siol Shionnach,” which means, “The children of Martin [are] a tribe of foxes.”  In keeping with this saying, maybe the spirit of Martin Martin is hiding the secret of his ancestry until a clever descendant can figure it out.

 

Those opting for the traditional Isle of Skye version of the Martin family will find a long and illustrious history of Scottish lore.  First, the Martins were a sept of the Clan MacDonald, wore the MacDonald tartan, and supported and swore allegiance to the MacDonalds.  Martin/MacDonald lore in Scotland contains tales of heroes and daring-do.  Some stories are even humorous.

 

Angus of the Storms

 

For example, during the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1553-1603), one Martin warrior had an unusual situation with his MacDonald chieftain.  The Martin in question was named Aonghas na Gaoithe (Angus of the Storms); he was a soldier, sailor, and poet of some renown.  In addition, he had two wives at the same time.  One was a Danish princess named Biurnag (Bernice); the other was the sister of his clan chieftain Donald Gorm Mor MacDhomhuill.

 

The unusual story concerned Chiefain Donald’s wife Mary MacLean MacDonald.  Angus of the Storms detested her.  Apparently she did not realize his feelings, for she intensified his dislike of her by continually pleading that he write a poem dedicated to her.  In fact, she pestered him.   Finally Angus complied.  He wrote a scurrilous poem to Mary which has been described as “some [of the] most abusive lines in Gaelic.”  The scandal caused by the poem meant that Angus had to “get out of Dodge” (or in this case, Skye).   (Possibly Mary’s relatives were not amused.)  Chief Donald, however, helped Angus leave Skye.  He apparently liked Angus better than he liked Mary.  Angus left with 1000 warriors and spent the next few years in adventures that added to his fame. 

 

Finally Mary MacLean MacDonald died, and Angus returned to the Isle of Skye.  His first act upon his return was to write a new and even more scathing poem for Mary which he had engraved on the stones marking her burial place.  Rather than being offended, Donald merely said, "We" [the MacDonald clan] "never obtained any benefit from this marriage.”  The marriage had apparently been arranged between the MacLean and MacDonald clans.

 

Whichever Martin family history story is correct—the Isle of Skye version or the New Kent County version—the facts beyond time and place of birth and parents are exactly the same.  Thus, as long as we stick with Martin and go forward in time, we are okay.  Going backwards in time provides the controversy.

 

Public Works

 

According to parish records, in 1689 Martin was a processioner for St. Peter's Parish in New Kenet Co.  He was 24 years old at this time.  A processioner was a person appointed by the vestry to walk, mark, and measure property.  These people were needed because

the property boundaries for the early settlers' tracts were poorly defined or temporarily marked. Every four years, by law, the boundaries of each landowner were required to be walked, marked, and measured.  The results of the processioners’ endeavors were preserved in processioners records which described this walking and marking of land.  The  records themselves are found in Anglican church vestry books, and Martin’s service is duly recorded for 1689 in St. Peter’s Parish.

 

Marriage and Family

 

Nine years later in 1698 Martin married Sarah Hix, daughter of our ancestors John Hixe and Sarah Preston.  Sarah was born in Williamsburg, and her father, John was Doorkeeper for the House of Burgesses.  (Read more about John Hixe in the Archives.  Click the link for previously published articles at the top of this page.)  The marriage took place 10 February 1698 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA.  At the time of their wedding, Martin was 33 and Sarah was 16.

 

Normally our colonial ancestors wasted no time in beginning a family.  For some reason, however, Martin and Sarah were different.  Perhaps it was because of Sarah’s age or perhaps there were stillbirths, but eight years passed before the couple had any children.  Their first child was born in 1706, and new children arrived until 1726.  In all the couple had 8 children over a 20-year span.

 

  1. Ameson Martin (b.6 Apr 1706 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA-d.?) (Ameson was a girl.)  

 

  1. Elizabeth Ann Martin, our ancestor, (b. 9 Aug 1708 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA-d. 03 Sep 1781 in Henrico co., VA); married Meredith Wenn Webb, II (b1698 in Martinville, Henry  Co, VA-d. 1774 in Camden Parish, Henrico Co., VA)   Elizabeth and Merry had 9 children.

 

  1. Valentine Martin (born 18 June 1710 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA; died 21 May 1758, Cumberland County, VA); married Jane Bridgewater (1715 in Henrico Co, VA-d. 1778)  daughter of Thomas Bridgewater and Hester Cox.  Valentine and Jane had 11 children.  Valentine is buried in Burnt Tree Cemetery, Cumberland County, VA,

 

4.      Orson Martin (born 1713 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA) d. 1785/86 in Wilkes, GA.  Married Susannah Gannaway b. 30 Dec 1716 in Buckinham, VA-d. after 1773 in Wilkes, GA.  She was the daughter of John Gannaway and Zadia Larriateui.  Orson and Susannah had 4 children.

 

  1. Martin Martin (born 1715 in New Kent Co, VA)

 

  1. Henry Martin (born about 1717 in New Kent Co, VA)

 

  1. Thomas Martin (born 4 June 1720 in New Kent Co, VA)

 

  1. Lucy Martin (born 20 August 1726 in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent Co, VA; died after October 1793 in Franklin Co, VA); married William Amos

 

Land Dealings

 

Martin and Sarah lived in New Kent Co. for most of their married lives.  By  1689, several years before he and Sarah were wed, Martin owned land in New Kente Co., VA.  Also on the New Kent Deed books are Henry Martin, Thomas Martin, and William Martin. These men may or may not have been relatives.  In any event they knew each other, for they and several others were listed in the St. Peter’s Parish vestry book as being responsible for clearing roads in the area. 

 

In later years records for the county show Martin Martin paying quit rents in 1704 for 150 acres of land.  (Other Martins on the same list include:  James Martin, 100 acres; John Martin, 400 acres; Thomas Martin, 100 acres, and William Martin, 230 acres.)  On 24 Mar 1725, Martin Martin patented 358 acres of new land In Henrico Co., VA, on the south side of the James River and on west side of Fine Creek

 

Martin had several other land dealings.  At least one of these is a bit confusing.  On 28 Sept. 1730. Henry Vanderhood patented 400 acres of new land In Goochland Co., south side James River, near Mr. Stoaner's land, near Fine Creek, adjacent to Martin Martin and Watkins' land. On 16 Nov 1731, Henry Vanderhood sold this same 400 acres, in Goochland Co., to Daniel Stoner, bounded by Stoner, Martin Martin, and Watkins. On this same date, 28 Sept. 1730, Stephen Woodson of St. James Parish, patented 358 acres of lapsed land in Goochland Co., south side James River, west side of Fine Creek, add. [adjacent to] Jos. Woodson, granted Martin Martin, 24 March 1725, on condition of seating, 40 shillings.  (I have no clue as to what “condition of seating” means.) 

 

Later, when Stephen Woodson  made his will, 14 Jan. 1735 (proved 20
July 1736, Goochland Co., Va.) he made a bequest of 50 shillings to
Martin Martin, late of New Kent.” The 50 shillings presumably had something to do with the 358 acres of land mentioned above. (Late in this case means formerly, not deceased.)  

 

Records concerning Martin’s patent on Fine Creek in Goochland Co. during 1725-1730 contain the last mention of him in the area.  However, there was a Martin Martin who lived in Henrico Co. in 1734.  He might have been our Martin, but this is doubtful.  This Henrico Co. Martin owned some land adjacent to a parcel of 180 acres sold by Edmund Allen to Joseph Mayo in 1734.  This same Martin Martin was still living in Henrico Co in 1737, and in 1760 was living on property adjoining an Allen family.  If this Martin were ours, he would have been 95 years old in 1760.  Possible, but unlikely.

 

Move to Washington County

 

At some point after 1735, most researchers agree that Martin and Sarah Martin moved to what is now Washington Co., VA where they spent the remainder of their lives.  Martin died in 1745 when he was 67 years old.  Sarah’s date of death is unknown.  The two are said to be buried in Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, VA.  This is a likely burial spot since Sarah’s father John Hixe was also interred in that church cemetery.

 

Martin and Sarah Martin were not heroes; they did nothing that will go down in the history books.  However, it is people like them who led ordinary lives that we can thank for helping establish this great country of ours.

 

Martin Martin was Mamaw McCarter’s 5 great grandfather.  If you are Mary Elizabeth Hatcher’s great great grandchild, Martin Martin is your 9 great grandfather.

Line of Descent from Martin Martin to Mary Elizabeth Hatcher

Martin Martin (1678-1745) + Sarah Hix  (1682-?)

Elizabeth Martin (1708-1781) + Merry Webb, II (1698-1774)

Merry Webb IV (1747-1816) + Elizabeth Davidson (?-1827)

Merry Webb V (1779-1864) + Mary Nancy Couch (?-?)

Elizabeth Webb (1808-1881) + Israel McInturff (1805-1845)

Mary Elizabeth McInturff (1837-1915) + James H. Hatcher (1839-1911)

Israel Alexander Hatcher (1860-1950) + Susan Sutton (1886-1903)

Mary Elizabeth Hatcher  (1889-1969) + Rev. Eli McCarter (1886-1955)

 

Sources:

 

“Ancestors of Joseph Clifford  Carden, Jr. “ http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/c/a/r/David-Carden/PDFGENE2.pdf

 

“Ancestors of Patrick Martin Stevens, Jr

http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/s/t/e/Pat-M-Stevens-iv/GENE2-0034.html

 

Ancestry.com message boards:  http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.northam.usa.states.virginia.counties.newkent/12/mb.ashx

 

“Definition of Vestry.”

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&defl=en&q=define:vestry&ei=lojBSf4LhqQ13b2sqQ0&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

 

“Family History of Martin”

http://www.fhsofmartin.co.uk/cgibin/talkrec.cgi?submit=lt&baseurl=http://www.fhsofmartin.co.uk/fhsbulletin&msg_num=1182

 

Hix Family Genforum   http://genforum.genealogy.com/hixe/messages

 

Martin Family Genforum  http://genforum.genealogy.com/martin/messages

 

"Martin Martin of New Kent Co., VA."

from Martin Family Quarterly.  Vol. XII, No.1 (May, 1986), pp. 13-15.

 

“Martin Martin,” Generation I http://appalachian_home.tripod.com/martin_martin.htm

 

“Martin Martin, Sr.”  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jennycase/ps02/ps02_135.html

 

Martin- L Archives:  http://listsearches.rootsweb.com/th/read/MARTIN/2001-06/0993041517

 

MARTIN-L Archives  http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/MARTIN/2003-11/1070110038

 

MARTIN-L Archives

http://listsearches.rootsweb.com/th/read/MARTIN/2008-05/1210612977

 

“Research Notes #6 “

beta.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn6_countycity.pdf

 

 “Sarah Hix”  http://www.myfamilylineage.net/getperson.php?personID=I9180&tree=one

 

Stevens, Marshall, Mitchell, Washington and other Families

http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=stevensp&id=I00075

 

“Valentine Martin”

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jennycase/ps02/ps02_091.html


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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