Martin Forehand

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. 

     In 1853 Martin married Phoebe Payton, a widow with several children living in Bastrop, Texas.  The 1855 Tax Records of Bastrop County, Texas list Martin Forehand as owning 177 acres, 3 slaves, seven horses, and 90 cattle.   Martin Forehand died on January 20, 1854 and is buried in Manor Cemetery, Bastrop County, Texas.

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Information on this website belongs to Jane Watson Ellis and descendants of the families included.  It is intended for the personal use of the guest.  Please note that all material has not been verified by me.  To include your related line and/or make additions or corrections,  please e-mail me at jane_helv@hotmail.com.  You may also contact me at P. O. Box 524, Bald Knob, AR  72010.