08 May 2017

Lucy ________ Martin...Confusion. Speculation. Misconception. Facts. Still a Brick Wall

Lucy  ____ Martin
3 December 1761 (Virginia) – 2 January 1834 (Jessamine Co., KY)


With so many people diving into family history, without any instruction, many on-line trees are copied and repeated.  That said, every one of us started as a newbie/fledgling genie at some point.  Unfortunately, new researchers, who grab anything on-line as truth end up tangled in briers.

There are several married Lucy’s to John Martin’s in Virginia before 1800. So what is fact about this Lucy ___ Martin?

Lucy was born 3 December 1761, as carved on her gravestone on what in the 1960’s was called the Clyde Hayden Cemetery on Logana Road in Jessamine County, Kentucky.  On-line databases call it Bronaugh Cemetery. I visited the cemetery and photographed all the stones in the mid 1970’s.  I can provide relationship to Lucy to all ten stones within the small burial plot.  George Bronaugh married her daughter Sarah.  Lucy died 2 January 1834 in Jessamine County.

Lucy resided in Spotsylvania County, Virginia with her husband, John Martin. They had at least 10 children between 1780 and 1813. Martin died there in 1813. Four of their children were still underage when he died and Lucy became their guardian. 

Lucy is named as James Hawkin’s granddaughter in his will in Orange County, Virginia, written 26 February 1786.  There are a few other deeds for James Hawkin’s.  Many Hawkins researchers have suggested he was the son of Nicholas Hawkins but give no further information. James Hawkins, along with John and Lucy Martin witnessed a deed by Mary Poteet, wife of John Poteet and mother of John Penny in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1784. (Vol 1, Wm Crozier, 1978 p 378 Mary m---Penny 2 John Skeaths/Skeats…3….)

Lucy, along with the Bronaugh’s and other family members are in Fayette County, Kentucky, by 1820, while probate matters are still being settled back in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.  A daughter Phebe, died before August of 1824 in Fayette County. 

In March,1821 she agreed to exchange land in Spotsylvania County, Virginia for land in Shelby County, Kentucky with a George Baggott. (Spotsylvania dbk W-384 & Shelby, KY dbk S-155) Son, John B. Martin acted as POA and it appears the land was for the benefit of the younger sons William and Thomas.  I have yet to finalize a title search in Shelby County on how the property was disposed or when.

By 1823 Lucy Martin appears on the tax lists of Jessamine where she lives out the reminder of her life.  She received several slaves from her Grandfather Hawkins and several from her marriage with John Martin.

Misconception!  On-line trees, as I mentioned in paragraph one state that John Martin married Lucy TODD.  It is fact that a John Martin did marry a Lucy Todd but this marriage nor Lucy Todd are the Lucy in Jessamine County, Kentucky.  The Martin-Todd marriage took place 5 November 1742 in St. Paul’s Parish which at that time was in King George County, Virginia.  That John Martin resided in Caroline County, Virginia.  The Lucy ___ Martin of this study was not even born at the time of this marriage.  Remember she is born in 1761.  A horrible blunder to attach to the Spotsylvania John and Lucy Martin. Two separate families. Lucy would be 19 years old when her first son, James H. Martin was born circa 1780.   

There is also a deed in 1780, the year the first son, James H. Martin is born, citing John Martin and wife. However, the deed leaves the wife’s name blank which can only leave us to use  speculation that this is Lucy.  1780, April 20 John Martin Spotsylvania County and [BLANK] his wife to James Marye of said county 800 pounds for 100 acres in St. George Parish. No witness. 

Yes, Lucy was thirteen years younger than John Martin and thus he may have had an earlier marriage. However, his probate records, census count and deed documentation do not mention any other children before 1780.

Speculation. Even if the tombstone of Lucy has been repeatedly misread, it is very worn, and she was closer in age to John Martin, she still could not be the Lucy that married in 1742.

Confusion. There is another John Martin - Lucy marriage.  This marriage takes place between John Martin and Lucy Layne August 1779 in Goochland County, Virginia by Rev. Douglas. Thomas Martin witnessed the marriage.  This marriage is closer in time frame to our subject, but again, is NOT the Lucy of this blog post.  Lucy Layne’s father, Jacob, consented to her marriage to John Martin of Goochland County.  Thanks to the Douglas Registry we also know that John and Lucy Layne Martin had three daughters baptized in the 1780’s – Judith, Sarah and Molly.  Judith married a Benjamin Duvall in Goochland in 1816.  I have found no Duvall in any of the documents reviewed for our subject, to date. Our subject’s daughter also named Sarah was not born until 1789 (married George Bronaugh). The Bronaugh’s were in Spotsylvania along with our subject.
The Martin’s of Goochland County are extensive and there have been several early studies of the various John Martin’s in that county. Much was reported in the now defunct Martin Family Quarterly.  During the time frame of 1780-1813 I find overlaps and variants that lead to the conclusion that this family cannot be in both counties at the same time.  Nor did I find any interaction with a Hawkins family.

When I began genealogy, I itched to fill in every blank on the largest pedigree chart I could obtain.  The years of have marched by and I learn more each day.  The goal is much more exciting. It is the story of each individual.  Lucy, granddaughter of James Hawkins, traveled from Virginia to Central Kentucky with her family, leaving her husband's grave and most likely other family behind.  Seven generations later my roots are deeply planted in Kentucky.  Each Martin story is colorful. 

The day I stood over Lucy __ Martin’s grave I felt peace.  We later visited her grandson, Wilson Martin’s farm, in Lincoln County.  Again, I had that feeling of being at home. It does sadden me that careless grasping to fill a blank have led many down the wrong path about who she is. I am sure there are more clue’s and stories to be told. I will not give up on Lucy nor that stone wall (in central Kentucky we have beautiful stone fences not brick walls).  Please feel free to email me at deliverancefarm@gmail.com.    


1 comment:

  1. Very good read! I have noticed in my own research that in family trees online, many people copy and paste the family tree without sourcing information. In fact I saw one with a parent that died 5 years before the children were born, not to mention there being no sources!

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