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The Martin Family Genealogy

Diana Lehman

My great-great-grandfather, the Rev. George Henry Martin, though a native of Emmitsburg and in his time a prominent clergyman of the German Reformed Church, has apparently been unknown to local historians and is omitted from most accounts of his fatherís family. Born in 1816, he was the son of John Martin and Mary Groff of the Tomís Creek district of Emmitsburg and grandson of the early settler Matthias Martin and his wife Anna Barbara Troxell. Rev. Martinís obscurity in Frederick County can be explained by the fact that he was educated in Pennsylvania and spent most of his professional career in Virginia, where many of his descendants still reside.

Rev. George Henry Martin was born on October 21, 1816 in Emmitsburg, MD and confirmed at the Church of the Incarnation in Emmitsburg by the Rev. Elias Heiner on July 23, 1835. Although no birth or baptismal record has been found in Frederick County, an article written in 1897 by Rev. Martinís colleague, the Rev. N.H. Skyles (who was also father-in-law to Rev. Martinís son John William Henry) states: "Rev. George Henry MARTIN, D.D., son of John and Mary (Groff) Martin, was born at Emmitsburg, Md., October 21, 1816."

Further evidence of his parentage appears in the will of John Martin of Emmitsburg (1860), where the testator states, "My Son, George H., I charge with the sum of Nine hundred dollars having expended that sum for his Education". George H. Martin did in fact receive what was undoubtedly an expensive education. He studied at the classical Institution of the Reformed Church in York, PA and then at Marshall College, in Mercersburg, PA (later to merge with Franklin College to become present-day Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA), from which he graduated with an A.B. degree in 1838. After further study at the Seminary of the Reformed Church, he was licensed to preach in 1841. He was ordained in 1843 and received a D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) degree from Mercersburg College in 1876.

A Minister of the German Reformed Church, he led congregations in Maryland and Virginia. From 1843-1848 he served as minister at New Hope, VA; from 1849-1865 at Lovettsville, VA; from 1866-1884 at Woodstock, VA (St. Paul's Church); 1884 at Burkittsville, MD; and from 1885-1887 at Timberville, VA. Rev. Martin was responsible for construction of a new Reformed church in Woodstock, VA in the aftermath of the Civil War. He successfully raised money locally and from congregations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and served as pastor at the new church, St. Paulís, for 19 1/2 years.

The Church, still an active congregation, has stained glass windows commemorating both Rev. Martin and his grandson, George Robert Martin, who died at age 13. Rev. Martin was married to Esther Gailey on May 16, 1844 in Rockingham Co., VA . They were the parents of two sons, John William Henry Martin and Robert Nevin Martin. Rev. Martin died on September 18, 1887 in Timberville, VA and was buried in Massanutten Cemetery, Woodstock, VA.

The parents of Rev. Martin were John Martin of Emmitsburg and his wife, Mary Groff. John Martin was born on May 21, 1771, probably in Upper Dublin Twp., Philadelphia County, PA. The 1850 census records John Martin, age 80, as a native of Pennsylvania. A farmer and blacksmith, he was identified as "son of Matthias" in the 1798 tax assessment of "Tomís Creek Hundred."

He appears on the 1800 Frederick County census for Emmitsburg Election District #4 as the head of a family consisting of 1 male 26-45, 1 male 16-26, 1 female 26-45, and 1 female under 10. On April 20,  1805 for the sum of 616 pounds he purchased 112 acres of land in Frederick County, part of "Diggs Lott," from Matthias Martin. This same tract of 112 acres (a.k.a. Alta Vista)was sold on February 5, 1862 by Abia Martin, executor of the will of his father John Martin, to Samuel Maxel for the sum of $2,240, and then repurchased by Abia Martin from Maxel on February 7, 1862 for $2,300.

Although no record has been located to document the marriage of John Martin and Mary Groff, Maryís father, Henry Graff/Groff, corroborates the family tradition in his will where he mentions "my daughter Mary wife of John Martin". Mary Groff was born on July 21, 1775 and died on May 1, 1856 in Emmitsburg. Her father, Henry Groff, described as a native of New Jersey in the notice of his death in the Frederick-Town Herald was born March 31, 1751 and died January 31, 1824. Henry Groff of Emmitsburg was the son of Henry Groff, an early settler in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, NJ, and Mary Harly.

John Martinís 1860 will, in addition to mentioning his son George H. as discussed above, also names his other children, who were as follows: Elizabeth Martin, wife of Samuel Valentine, born in 1799 and died in 1872 in Emmitsburg, MD; deceased son Joseph Martin, born on October 14, 1800 and died on July 16, 1860 in Emmitsburg, MD; and Barbara Martin, wife of William Black, born on June 8, 1808 and died on February 23, 1887 in Emmitsburg, MD. John Martinís will was witnessed by Joshua Motter, Mathias P. Zacharias, and Samuel Motter and was proved September 3, 1860. John Martin died on August 22, 1860 in Emmitsburg, MD and was buried in the Emmitsburg Lutheran Cemetery. The dates of birth and death inscribed on his tombstone are May 21, 1771 - August 22, 1860.

The only son of John Martin to remain in Emmitsburg was Abiah Martin, who, according to his gravestone, was born on February 19, 1803 and died on December 31, 1882. A biographical sketch of Abiahís son, George Thomas Marshall Martin, notes that Abiah Martin was born on his father's homestead, where he learned blacksmithing, his father's profession. After his marriage to Ann Sophia Currens, born February 14, 1820 and died February 22, 1889, Emmitsburg, Abiah Martin resided for a time in Adams Co., PA, then purchased a farm along Beaver Branch in Emmitsburg, where he worked as a farmer and blacksmith until his death. He was buried in Emmitsburg Mountain View Cemetery. Abiah Martinís will, dated December 28, 1882, proved January 15, 1883, mentions his children George T.M. Martin, James P. Martin, John W. Martin, A. Harny Martin, and Mary M. Martin.

John Martin of Emmitsburg was the son of Matthias Martin, a native of Pennsylvania. The gravestone of Matthias Martin in the Emmitsburg Lutheran Cemetery indicates age at death (which occurred February 25, 1815) as 69 years, 7 months, 16 days. Based on this information, his date of birth calculates back to July 9, 1745. Matthias Martin was confirmed on April 4, 1760 in the Germantown Reformed Church ("Matthew Marten, 14 years"). Germantown Reformed Church records further indicate that Matthias Martin married Barbara Traxel/Troxell on April 24, 1770 in Germantown, PA: "Matthias Martin m. Barbara Traxel, Whitpain, on April 24, 1770". Philadelphia County Tax Lists published in the Pennsylvania Archives show Matthias Martin listed directly beneath the name of his father, John Martin, in the 1769 Proprietary Tax Assessment of Upper Dublin Twp.

On September 18, 1773, Matthias Martin of Upper Dublin Twp. was recorded as having indentured one Christopher New as servant for the term of 4 years, 6 months and in the amount of 20.3.0 pounds. The 1774 Provincial Tax Assessment for Upper Dublin Twp. shows John Martin taxed on 120 acres, 1 horse, and 2 cattle and Matthias Martin taxed on 1 horse, 2 cattle and 1 servant. Matthias Martin lived in Upper Dublin as late as 1776, when the Tax Assessment of Upper Dublin Twp. records him as paying taxes on 75 acres, 1 horse, and 1 servant and his father, John Martin, taxed on 75 acres, 1 horse and 1 cow.

Matthias Martin migrated to Frederick Co., MD, sometime between the date of the 1776 Upper Dublin Tax Assessment and May 31,1777, when he is recorded as purchasing from William Fout two tracts of land, 171 acres of "Resurvey on Digges Lott" and 33 acres known as "Martinís Intent" in Frederick County. Matthiasí relocation to Frederick Co. was probably part of a family migration of members of the Martin and Troxell families of Upper Dublin. His sister Elizabeth, who had married John Troxell, his wifeís brother, and his father-in-law, Johan Peter Troxell, became residents of Emmitsburg at roughly the same time.

J.T. Scharfís History of Western Maryland notes that Matthias Martin, from Germantown, Pa. settled near the tract of land that John Peter Troxell had bought from Indian Tom. The farm was later owned by Peter Sebold. As mentioned previously, in 1805 Matthias Martin sold to John Martin for 616 pounds part of the tract "Diggs Lot" consisting of 112 acres; the deed was acknowledged by Barbara Martin, wife of Matthias.  

Matthias Martin's will mentions his wife Barbara Martin; sons George Martin, Peter Martin, and John Martin; and daughters Elizabeth Sheets (wife of George Sheets), Magdalena Motter (wife of Lewis Motter), Barbara Smith (wife of George Smith), Mary Wampler (wife of Leonard Wampler), Catharina Ott (wife of Frederick Ott), and Margarete Firor (wife of Daniel Firor). The will also mentions his property of about 160 acres "known by the name of part of the Monocacy on Diggs Lot & Martin Intent," which he willed to his son George. He appointed his son in law Daniel Firor and son George Martin as executors. The will was witnessed by George Flack, Isaac Wilson and Frederick Crabs and was dated July 9, 1813. Matthias Martin died on February 25, 1815 in Emmitsburg, MD. 

Anna Barbara Troxell, wife of Matthias Martin,  was born on September 8, 1750, probably in Bucks Co., PA. The Germantown Reformed Church records indicate the confirmation at Easter and Pentecost, 1765, of "Maria Barbara Drachsel, 14 years, 8 months". Anna Barbara Troxell Martin would have been 14 years, 8 months at Easter 1765. In the same listing, John Draschel, 16 years, is mentioned. This is probably a reference to Anna Barbara's brother John Troxell , who would have been 17 years old at Easter 1765.

Anna Barbara Martinís gravestone in the Emmitsburg Lutheran Cemetery indicates she was the wife of Matthias Martin and died Sep 13, 1823, age 73 yrs, 0 months, 5 days.She signed a will on September 15, 1819 in Frederick Co., MD that was witnessed by Jacob Danner, John Troxel, and Isaac Baugher. The will was proved September 30, 1823 and mentions her daughters Elizabeth Sheets (wife of Geo. Sheets), Mary Magdalena (wife of Lewis Motter ), Barbara (widow of George Smith ), Mary (wife of Leonard Wampler), Margaret (wife of Daniel Firor), and her late daughter Catherine (wife of Frederick Ott ); sons John Martin, Peter Martin, and deceased son George.

Pennsylvania records indicate that Matthias Martin of Emmitsburg was the son of John Martins (John Marten/Johannes Mertens) of Upper Dublin Twp., Philadelphia (later Montgomery) County, PA. John Merten of Whitpain Twp. (situated directly southeast of Upper Dublin Twp.) died March 6, 1799 at 77 yrs, 10 months, 9 days of age, with a calculated date of birth of April 27, 1721. As previously noted, tax records of Upper Dublin Twp., Philadelphia County, establish the residence of both John and Matthias Martin in that township in 1769, 1774 and 1776.

Records of the Germantown Reformed Church include several additional references to John Merten/Martins: John Martin and wife Anna Barbara were sponsors at the baptism of Anna Barbara, daughter of John Kohler and Maria Agatha on May 9, 1758; John Marten and wife were sponsors at the baptism of John, son of William Clauss and Anna Cunigunda, on September 18, 1763; and at the First Reformed Church of Philadelphia, John Mertens and his wife Elizabeth were sponsors at the baptism of Catharine, daughter of John Beck and Elizabeth, on September 18, 1776. Johannes Mertins is also recorded as witness, along with Ellis Lewis and Nathan Cleaver, to the will of Phebe Walton of Upper Dublin, Philadelphia Co., on 8 mo 7, 1773.

The marriage of John Martin and Elizabeth Schubart on February 23, 1773 appears in the records of the German Reformed Church of Philadelphia. This record and the 1758 baptismal record listing John Martinís wife as Anna Barbara suggest that the 1773 marriage to Elizabeth Schubart was a second marriage, with first wife Anna Barbara the likely mother of Matthias and Elizabeth, both born long before 1773.  

John Martin of Upper Dublin Twp. may have been a passenger aboard the Palatine ship Loyal Judith, which arrived at Philadelphia on September 3, 1742. The passenger list as transcribed by Prof. I. Daniel Rupp includes a "Johannes Mertens" among the passengers. Strassburger lists "Hannes Martins," age 20 years among those imported on that arrival. John Martins of Upper Dublin Twp., Montgomery Co., PA , would have been 21 years of age on Sept 3, 1742, making him a reasonable candidate for the Johannes Mertens/Hannes Martins who arrived aboard the Loyal Judith in September 1742. The will of John Martins of Upper Dublin Twp., dated April 9, 1798 mentions his wife Elizabeth and children 'Matthis Martins' and 'Elizabeth Trexler.' The will was witnessed by Daniel Shoemaker and Peter Steriger on April 9, 1798; the executors were John Martins' "trusty friend" Robert Loller and Baltzer Ernst and was proved April 27, 1799.

Johan Peter Troxell, the father of Anna Barbara Troxell Martin, was born on April 3, 1719 in Wolfersheim, Germany and was baptized there on April 7, 1719. He emigrated to America with his father Johannes aboard the ship Samuel, which arrived at Philadelphia on August 30, 1737. The Trachsels settled in the town of Egypt, Bucks Co., where Johan Peter Traxel resided when he was naturalized on September 5, 1748.

He built a stone house in Egypt, near Coplay Creek, that still stands and is an historic landmark. Johan Peter Troxellís first wife, Barbara Saeger, was mother of his children Anna Barbara Troxell Martin and John Troxell. She died and he remarried to Magdalena Schreiber by 1761, and they were the parents of six children. He moved to Gwynedd Township (now Montgomery County, PA), where he is recorded as paying taxes in 1769 on 170 acres and a grist mill and saw mill.

Subsequently, he moved to Frederick County, MD, where on May 18, 1785, Peter Troxel of Frederick County, farmer, purchased a 4 Ĺ acre tract, part of the "Resurvey of Digges Lott," from Wm. Digges Esq. In his will, dated December 15, 1798, Peter Troxel of Frederick County left 5 shillings each to his "beloved Son John Troxel" and his "beloved daughter Barbara Martin," with the majority of his estate going to his wife Modelena Troxel and to his sons Jacob, George, Frederick, and Peter, and to daughters Modlena Coon and Elisabeth Crise. He died on January 25, 1799 in Emmitsburg, and is buried in Tomís Creek Lutheran Cemetery.

Data sources available from Diana Lehman from Needham, MA, who can be reached via e-mail at dclehman@rcn.com

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