John Martin of Halifax, Virginia
I must admit that I know very little about this family. Almost all I know comes from other peoples' research. I, as a general rule, am always hesitant about solely relying on others for my solutions. I like to do my own research (and as I gather my own information, I will post sources here); however, lacking that, here is what I have so far on this family. We do know that the Elijah and Benjamin Martin lines of Montgomery County (presumable sons of a Luke Martin) match with the DNA from one of the lines of a Frederick Martin of Warren and Ohio Counties, Kentucky. A Frederick and Luke are both mentioned in the John Martin probated Will (see below). This leads us to believe that the Luke of Montgomery County and the Frederick of Ohio County are the two brothers mentioned in the Will. This is the simplest solution, though not the only solution.
Almost all I know about the John Martin of Halifax, Virginia comes from the probated Will and some information on his children. Some researchers claim that his parents were John and Catherine Martin. They claim that this John and his son John both lived to be over 100 years old. Researchers also show John's middle name as "William" (the one whose Will is listed here). I assume that all this is true; however, I have no documents that show these facts. These other researchers also say that he was married to a Martha Metcalf. Others say that he was married twice. Regardless, she was not mentioned in his Will. Thus, one can safely assume that she died before the Will was written in 1820. Some researchers claim he was born around 1717. Others show a later date, usually around 1734. His death date is generally listed as sometime in 1824. I, for one, do not know. Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to go to Halifax, Virginia and look for source documents. Until that time, I won't go into more details on his early life. You can find what little there is on other on-line queries and family trees.
This leads us to the main document which is, of course, the Will. I don’t know who transcribed the Will, but it came to me via an e-mail from a fellow Martin researcher, Rebecca Webb. I don’t have a source (though it may have been originally transcribed by the Herb Scott family, researchers and descendants of Frederick Martin), my notes show the Will written on 24 Sep 1820 and proved in the 26 Feb 1827 Halifax Co, VA Court. I do not have a record of his death date. If he did die in 1824, one must wonder why the probate was delayed until 1827. Generally speaking, Wills are proved in the next court session after the death, but don't really know if that is the case for this instance. I guess legal "wrangling" could have held up the process; however, nothing was mentioned when the Will was finally probated.
There are three, possibly five other documents associated with John Martin's Will. Per microfilmed documents, the Will is located in Book 14, page 517. I have included a copy of this Will below. I have not seen the other documents (as of 30 Apr 2009); however, I intend to order them in the next few weeks. The inventory is listed in book 15, page 136. There are two, possible four Accounts. It's hard to determine the actual total since the books are listed in such a way that two of the entries (book 24) are not associated with any name. I'm only assuming at this time that they match with John Martin. Anyway, the four Accounts are listed in: book 18, page 387; book 21, page 520; book 24, page 199, and, book 24, page 256. If anyone has access to either the documents or the microfilm, let me know so as to save me some time and energy tracking them down.
Based on the Probated Will, John Martin was fairly well off and had several children. Those mentioned in the Will were:
1. Unknown daughter who married a Ferguson (mentioned grandson, David Ferguson)
2. Warner Martin
3. Lucy Martin Wyatt
4. Unknown daughter who married William Ferrell (mentioned granddaughter Nancy Thomas, formerly Nancy Ferrell)
5. Luke Martin
6. Frederick Martin
7. Benjamin Martin
8. William Martin (mentioned grandchildren, Polly, Chesley, and William)
John Martin had at least 13 slaves (based on those specifically mentioned in the Will), but he could have had more. Nowhere does the Will show what was in the estate, other than the 13 slaves. One should look for the estate/inventory settlement papers, if they are available. What can we surmise from the Will? The two unknown daughters were probably deceased. One son-in-law, William Ferrell, was liked well enough to be given 5 pounds. His son William Martin was probably also deceased. John only gave Warner 5 pounds. This could mean one of two things. He didn’t care much for Warner; else, he had already given a lot to Warner while he was still alive (though this is usually mentioned in well-written Wills). Unfortunately, the Will does not mention where any of these children live. Again, would be interesting to see if Halifax has any other related court documents.
Other sources (primarily from Rebecca Webb’s e-mails and other on-line family trees) show John’s children as:
1. Jane Martin was born about 1752. She married Hugh Furgeson, son of Nimrod and Rebecca Hudson Furgeson about 1772. Hugh was born about 1752 and died about 1787 in Halifax, Virginia. Jane died before 1820 in Halifax, Virginia.
2. Warner Martin was born 26 Sep 1759 in Halifax, Virginia. He married Martha Bailey (daughter of William and Sarah Lanier Bailey) on 6 Oct 1783 in Mecklenberg, Virginia. She was born about 1761 in Mecklenberg, Virginia and died after 1850, probably in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Warner died 5 Oct 1808 in Blount County, Tennessee.
3. Lucy Martin was born about 1765. She married James Wyatt on 30 Nov 1785 in Halifax, Virginia. He was born about 1762 and died about 1835. Lucy died after 1815, probably in Kentucky.
4. Frances Martin was born about 1767 in Halifax, Virginia. She married William Ferrell, son of James and Millicent Edwards Ferrell, on 16 Aug 1787 in Halifax, Virginia. He was born around 1752 in Virginia and died sometime after 1820, probably in Virginia. Frances died about 1795 in Halifax, Virginia.
5. Luke Martin was born between 1770 and 1770, probably in Virginia. He married a Polly. She died sometime after 1840, probably in Montgomery, Kentucky. Luke died around 1845, probably in Montgomery, Kentucky. (Note: This information is from my research. I had never connected my Luke to this family until recently. The DNA match was what convinced me that he may be the same Luke identified in John Martin's probated Will. It must be noted that no one has any solid information on this Luke, son of John Martin.)
6. Frederick Martin was born 2 Mar 1772, probably in Halifax, Virginia. He first married Elizabeth Brown, daughter of Frederick and Mary Brown on 28 Dec 1795 in Halifax, Virginia. She was born about 1780 in Lunenburg, Virginia and died between 1811 and 1820, probably in Hardin, Kentucky. His second marriage was to a Rebecca Snell, daughter of John and Peachy Snell, on 25 Jan 1827 in Sumner, Tennesee. Rebecca was born about 1807 in Virginia and died 1893, either in Kentucky or Indiana. Frederick died 2 Jun, 1857 in Ohio County, Kentucky.
7. Benjamin Martin was born 11 May 1774 in Halifax, Virginia. He married Sarah Ragland on 25 Dec 1795, probably in Virginia. She was born 26 Apr 1780 in Virginia and died 23 Sep 1851 in Warren, Kentucky. Benjamin died 27 Oct 1849, also in Warren, Kentucky.
8. William Martin was born 25 Aug 1777 in Halifax, Virginia. He married Susannah “Suky” Daniel, 4 Mar 1809 in Halifax, Virginia. The official marriage index shows her name as "Luckey" Daniel (will need to check the actual marriage record). She was born about 1790 and died between 1830 and 1840, probably in Halifax, Virginia. William Martin died between 1809 and 1816. I suspect he died closer to 1816 since there was a Will probated for a William Martin of Halifax, Virginia in 1816 (will need to check the actual Will).
So, based on other people's research, it seems most likely that this Halifax family had members who eventually lived in Hardin, Warren, and Ohio counties in Kentucky. It also seems most likely that some of them stopped off in eastern and east-central Tennessee (specifically Sumner and Blount). It just needs to be seen as to how this family exactly relates to the Greene County, Tennessee and Montgomery County, Kentucky Martins (other than the DNA test). Would be nice to find some primary documents such as deeds, marriage records, etc.
I will include more as time permits.
Links to supporting documents for John Martin of Halifax Co, VA:
Links to a copy of the actual Will (from Will Book #14) of John Martin of Halifax Co, VA (caution...large files):
Links to supporting documents for Frederick Martin, son of John and Martha Metcalf Martin (assuming they are the same Frederick Martin):