I am grateful to Forehand Descendants, Karl Forehand, Jr. and Henrietta Ferree for providing most of the information found in the short biography.
Martin and Narcissa Watson Forehand
According to information provided by Forehand descendants, John Forehand,
the father of Martin, settled in Davidson County, Tennessee around 1800.
Martin was about five years old at the time.
Bible Records of the Watson Family indicate Narcissa Watson was born 10
August 1801 and married Martin Forehand on August 1, 1822.
Narcissa Watson, born in York County, South Carolina, was living with her
parents, John and Martha Watson, on Hardin Creek in Hardin County, Tennessee, at
the time of the couple’s marriage. Neither the death of Narcissa nor the births of any of the
couple’s children are listed in the Watson Bible Records, which would indicate
that Narcissa lost touch with her family in Hardin County, Tennessee.
The names and number of Martin and Narcissa’s children varies according
to the source. A possible list of
children includes Richard Neely, born May 4, 1823; Elizabeth, born about 1824;
Fenley, about 1825; Sarah, born March 1825; John Watson, born July 10, 1825;
Martha Lee, born May 15, 1828; Phebi Caroline born March 21, 1832; Thomas DeMoss,
born about 1833; Martin Pitts (Phipps), born about 1834; Nancy Virginia born
February 10, 1836; and William Dempsey, born April 4, 1842.
By 1830, the History of Davidson County listed Martin Forehand and
John Davis as the two most prominent men of the first half of the 19th
century in the ninth district of Davidson County.
Martin was a
blacksmith, served two terms as Justice of the Peace, a distiller, a real-estate
agent, and served as an administrator for a number of people.
He and a man named Dempsey Sawyer lost $1500.00 on a “Big Hawg
Drive.” He also was a partner in
the Richland Turnpike Company and built about five miles himself.
By 1846 Martin was bankrupt. Martin’s
first administrator was James S. DeMoss, and later Dempsey Sawyer was appointed
administrator. In 1847/8, Martin
went to Marshall, Harrison County, Texas leaving instructions to turn over any
monies left from the sale of his assets to his son, Richard Neeley Forehand.
While in Marshall, he made preparations to set up a grocery store in the
town, and then returned to Davidson County, Tennessee.
Around 1849, Martin, Narcissa, three children and the couple’s married
daughter Martha, along with husband Sterling Brown Sawyer, moved to Texas.
The 1850 Texas census lists Martin as a grocer.
Listed as living in Martin and Narcissa Watson Forehand’s home were
Elizabeth Forehand Stroud, husband B. F. Stroud, and their son, R., born 1845
Texas and daughter, V. born 1849 in Texas; another couple E. Brown, age 24,
male, born Virginia and a wheelwright, his wife C. Brown, 18, female, born
Tennessee; and another person G. Ramsay, 24, male, born Tennessee.
Martin purchased land in Texas and owned at least three slaves.
By 1852 Martin and Narcissa had likely moved to Bastrop, Texas.
A “Family Record” dated September 12, 1848 and signed by S. B.
Sawyer, Martha Lee Forehand’s husband, stated that Narcissa died on December
26, 1852 in Bastrop. TX. Narcissa
Watson Forehand is probably buried in Manor Cemetery, Bastrop, Texas.