Elijah Martin

(ca 1793 TN - 6 Jul 1859 KY)

(Note: Three recent DNA tests have matched; mine (I descend from Elijah), plus two others who descend from Benjamin J. Martin.  We had 45 out of 45 markers that matched.  There were no markers that did not match.  This is a very good match.  Without a doubt, Benjamin and Elijah were very closely related.  The simplest solution would be that Elijah and Benjamin were brothers.  After all, they lived within a couple of miles of each other at one time.)

     Elijah Martin, my ancestor, first appeared in the official records in 1814. He was listed as a white male over 21 in the 1814 Montgomery County, KY tax list. This would place his birth date around 1793-1794. If my theory is correct, this would make him the eldest known child of Luke Martin. Elijah's death record showed him to be several years younger.  Several papers in the War of 1812 pension file showed him to be several years older.  However, I think the 1814 tax list reflects his actual age best.  In other words, he may have been born before 1793; however, to be 21 in the 1814 tax list, he wasn't born after 1794.  Elijah appeared in most of the tax lists between 1814 and 1859.  He appeared in all the intervening Montgomery Co, KY census records.  Key tax lists and census records can be found at the bottom of this page.

     1814 was also the year that Elijah married. He married Phoebe Hutson on 16 Jul 1814 at her father's residence (Thomas Hutson). Now, the names Phoebe and Hutson are spelled numerous ways throughout the official records. I suspect none of them could read or write, so I just picked versions that appeared "correct" just for consistency. Elijah did serve for a short period of time during the officially designated time frame to be recognized as a veteran of the War of 1812. Why do I say "officially designated time frame?" Well, he served after the war was officially over. However, due to the travel and information restrictions of the time, military units were not aware of the peace treaty until several months after it was signed. Based on pension papers, Elijah served Feb-Mar 1815. He enlisted in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, KY and was discharged at Urbana, Ohio. Muster rolls showed that he was sometimes camped near Newport. Though the papers never state where Newport was, it more than likely was Newport, Kentucky. Why?  In the pension papers, Elijah stated that he could have gotten his discharge papers at Cincinnati, but due to distances involved he chose instead to travel thru Maysville.  Cincinnati is right across the river from Newport, KY.  It would be safe to say that his service (marching, riding, training) was conducted in Kentucky and Ohio. I think it would be very doubtful that he ever engaged in actual combat. Elijah served as a Private in the 17th Kentucky Militia with an infantry company organized by Capt Simon Gillaspie.

     These pension papers are a wealth of information. They showed when and where Elijah and Phoebe were married and the minister, Edward Kindred (this may help to understand what religious organization they belonged to at the time). They gave the death date for Elijah; unfortunately, they showed different dates. I suspect the actual date was best represented in the vital statistics death record of 6 July 1859. (Note: Though he doesn't appear in the 1860 Federal Mortality Census...and he should have.) Phoebe filed numerous papers, at least thru 8 July 1881. It appeared she was trying to collect a pension or his last land warrant. One paper does mention that he no longer had the first land warrant, but the second land warrant was never mentioned while Elijah was still alive (from what I could find...those papers may be missing). One of the papers seemed to indicate she passed away before 26 April 1884. Thus, her death occurred between these two latest dates. Rarely did the official records state her age with any consistency. Based on an examination of all these records, it would be safe to say that she was born between 1796 and 1799. Both Elijah and Phoebe were probably born in Tennessee.  As I mentioned before, one area that needs further research is the fact that one of the papers show that he received two bounty land warrants for the War of 1812 service. They were: bounty land warrant 54459 (from the 1850 Act of Congress) for 40 acres and 63452 (from the 1855 Act of Congress) for 120 acres. He obviously did not move, so if he received these land warrants as indicated, he must have reassigned them to someone else (probably for cash). This needs further research and will probably only be resolved with a National Archives search. Luckily, Elijah's death was not only recorded in the vital statistics, but that particular document survived. A copy can be found at the bottom of this page.

     This vital statistics document contains quite a bit of interesting information. It showed that Elijah was born in Tennessee. It also showed that he died of "gravel." Well, no one generally dies of "gravel" or kidney stones, but it does seem to indicate that he had kidney problems and may have died of kidney failure. But the most important, and also most frustrating, bit of information concerned his parents. The document clearly showed that his mother was Polly Martin. As you know, Polly was a nickname for Mary. But the father's name, to this day, remains elusive. Here are some favorite guesses: Luely, Lucky, Lusby, and Surley. If anyone has ever done any research during this time period, they know that even when the handwriting was clear (not sloppy, faded, scratched, or otherwise damaged), the "style" can actually obscure the name. Such is the case here. I always tell folks that Elijah's father's name contains about 5 letters; 1 tall, two short, 1 tall, and 1 below the line. The first letter looks like an "S." However, it is more than likely an "L." A lot of writers of this time period wrote the "L" and the "S" virtually the same when they were cursive and capitalized. I used to believe the name was Lusby and that it could be a middle name and could also be the last name of his mother. Even though I have found "Lusby" families in Kentucky, none ever came close to hinting at a relationship to the Montgomery County Martins. I have never seen anyone called Luely or Surly/Surley, though anything is possible. I've settled on Lucky. For that matter, I've never found a "Lucky" in the local area of research for this time period. However, I look at the name differently. I suspect it was actually pronounced as "Luke" with a "y" on the end. In other words, it was a nickname. Like "Tom" and "Tommy" This makes me believe that his father was Luke.

     Now a brief diversion for a discussion of the Hutson (Hudson) family. As previously mentioned, Elijah married Phoebe Hutson, daughter of Thomas Hutson. The  Hutson family first showed in the Montgomery County tax lists in 1809 (no land mentioned). A David Huston, 1 white male over 21, was listed. A David and Thomas Huston showed in the 1810 tax list, both over 21. David had 57 acres and Thomas had 159 acres, both located on Lulbegrud Creek. Now one could be concerned that their last name was spelled Huston...they could be a different family. However, they both also showed in the 1810 census. In this case, their names were spelled Hutson. David was over 45 years old; Thomas was between 26 and 45 years old. Just down the road you can find a James Danaca, Thomas Donaga, and Benjamin Wilaby, all between the ages of 26 and 45 (this will become important in just a bit). In the 1798 Greene County, TN tax list district of Capt James Guthrie, we find a Luke Martin listed. We also find all these other names listed (though with slightly different spellings). It may very well be possible that Elijah knew these families. Some may have been his kinfolk. If Elijah was indeed the son of Luke, as we suspect, this may be the reason why he came to KY (on his own) around the 1814 time frame. He knew quite a few of the families already there!

     From a compilation of source information, it looks like Elijah and Phoebe Martin had at least 12 children. Two daughters are still unknown (only mentioned in early census records). These children were: Unknown daughter, born between 1815-1820; Lucinda Martin, born about 1817; Elsberry Martin, born about 1823; unknown daughter, born about 1825; William Shepherd Martin, born 13 Apr 1824; Susan Martin, born about 1828; James H. Martin, born about 1830; Mary Eliza Martin, born about 1831; Sarah Martin, born about 1833; Clinton Martin, born about June 1837; Benjamin F. Martin, born Sep 1838, and Riley Martin (my ancestor), born January 1842. Since Elijah shows in most of the tax records between 1814 his death, I suspect all children were born in Montgomery County, KY. Also, based on the 1840 census, all children were alive (except, obviously Riley, born in 1842). Ten children are still living at home. Lucinda Martin is living next door with her husband Benjamin Conkright. Any help find the names of the two unknown daughters would be appreciated. They either died after 1840; else, they married, probably in Montgomery County, before the 1850 census.

More information will be included as time permits.

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