The Pickens Family Archive

Martin and Harrison Family

The Lines of Pierre Martain and John Martin
Benjamin Martin and Diana Harison

Dear Reader:

Most of the following information was obtained from Chapter 4 of "Simpson and Billingsley Martin and Edwards – Their Allied Families" compiled and privately published by Mrs. Ulys Jackson (Mary Ruth) from 1978-1980. However, the information presented here, in electronic form, is in a completely different format. 

The original book is a precious resource, granted to my temporary use and safe keeping by my paternal grandmother, Laverna Pickens. Armed with a digital scanner and a word processor, I have managed to capture a small portion of this labor of love, and recast it in a way that I hope continues to reflect the essence of Mary Ruth’s writing while organizing the presentation in a way that meets the needs of my family investigation and yet preserves useful information for other researchers interested in related geneological investigations.

Much work remains. 

David Pickens - July, 1999


Martin Historical - The French Huguenots

The families of Peter Martin and his wife, Mary Rapine Martin were French Protestants called Huguenots. A massacre of these French Protestants began in Paris early in the morning of the feast day of Saint Bartholomew, August 24, 1572. This massacre was the result of many years of strife between the Roman Catholic and Huguenot (Protestant) parties in France.

The Edict of Nantes, one of the most celebrated royal decrees in history, was the first formal recognition by a great European country of the Principle of Religious toleration. It was signed by King Henry IV of France in the city of Nantes on April 13, 1598; it marked the end of a struggle between the Roman Catholics and Protestants that had long harassed the Kingdom. By this decree, the Huguenots were given the same civil rights as the Roman Catholics and granted liberty of conscience in religious matters, under certain conditions.

The Edict remained in force until its revocation by Louis XIV in 1685. Then, continued the great exodus of French Huguenots from France.

Refuge in Great Britain was sought by the Huguenots early in the sixteenth century, and steadily increased. They became useful citizens of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Germany. Their skill, industry, and worth speedily secured recognition, and prosperity and there is scarcely a branch of literature, science, and art in which they have not distinguished themselves.

Many of these Huguenot refugees turned their eyes to America and sought a home in Virginia. Many families took their residence along the James, Potomac, and Rappahannock Rivers. The Huguenots carried with them industry, intelligence, prosperity, truth and happiness. England helped bear the expense of transporting these fine families to its Colony in America.

The Martin Family is among the forty-nine "best families" selected by the American Historical-Genealogical Society for whom the Society has published family histories during the past years. The Martin family has been prominent in the British Empire and in the United States, its members having played important roles in War and in Peace.


Origin of the Martin Family Name

The surname Martin has its origin in the personal name made illustrious by St. Martin. Many places in Normandy were dedicated to St. Martin and from one of these sprang the great family who came to England.

The name is variously spelled, even in the records of the same family, such as: Martin; Martyn; Marten; Marttin; and Martain.

A total of 1789 Martins served in the American Revolution from the respective colonies. Montgomery Seaver names the number of Martins serving from each of the thirteen Colonies.


The Peter Martin or Martain Family – First Martin Immigrants to America

In the Book "Our Heritage" Mrs. Margaret Walker Freel wrote:

"Peter Martin was the first of the family to come to America. He came from Germany and built a home in the Chickahominy Swamp in Virginia."

A copy of a newspaper article (date unknown) by Miss Ruth Linney, a Martin family historian, now deceased, states that Peter Martin came from France and settled in Virginia at Chickahominy Swamp or river. James Martin wrote that he came from Germany, but Julius Martin discovered by research that he was Piere Martin of France. These writers agree that Henry Martin was the son of Peter Martin. Peter Martin had several children, though there is record of only three: James, John and Henry."

According to Mrs. Freel, Benjamin Martin - who married Diana Harrison and migrated to Wilkes Co. N.C. in 1782 - is said to be a descendant of Peter Martin. Miss Ruth Linney reported that Peter Martin married Mary Anthony Rapine of Goochland Co., Va., that their son Henry married Sarah - a daughter of John Bryan - and that Benjamin, son of Henry and Sarah Bryan Martin, married Diana Harrison. The Martin / Martain and Rapine families were French Huguenot refugees who settled around 1700 in Mannachin Town, King William Parish, Virginia, on the James River.

The children of Henry and Sarah Bryan Martin were: Randolph, John, William, Jesseh, Henry, Benjamin (b. 4/8/1746 d. 10/31/1821), Diane, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary.


Participation in the American Revolution

We find four of the sons of Henry and Sarah Bryan Martin serving their country in the American Revolution:

"Ensign Benjamin Martin, a man of sterling patriotism constantly extended himself to encourage his people to make every needed sacrifice and to put forth every humble exertion in defence of the liberties of their country. He lived in Fluvania County, Va. and the Court Order Book of this county shows that Benjamin Martin was appointed Ensign and sworn into office Sept. 4, 1777. His brother, Henry Martin, was appointed First Lieutenant by the Fluvania Co. Va. Court on the same day, Sept. 4, 1777. Two other brothers, John and William Martin, were also recommended Sept. 4, 1777 as second Lieutenants."

Therefore the four Martin brothers were officers in the Fluvania County troops in the War of the Revolution. Lieutenant Henry Martin is also mentioned as being in command at Cabin Point, Va. in 1780.


A Look at the Continental Navy of 1777

"Let us understand when the Revolutionary War began there was no such thing as a Revolutionary Navy. During the years before the war the colonists had developed an intensive fleet of small privately owned merchant vessels but there were no armed ships to protect either the trading fleet or the coast line. Moreover the merchant ships had become exceedingly important to the economy of the colonies. The little sloops and schooners, handy and fast, carried on a highly profitable commerce between the coastal towns, the Bermuda Islands, and West Indies going out with cargoes of horse and cattle, salt, beef and pork, lumber, and Indian corn, and returning with molasses, sugar, rum, and wine. They also provided the earliest means of communication between the various settlements, for what roads existed were poor at best, and in bad weather were virtually impassable.

Because the merchant ships were the very lifeblood of the colonies, England's first act of war was to dispatch a number of war vessels to America to bottle up the ports and cruise up and down the coast to capture or destroy what American ships were able to elude their blockade, and it became obvious to the Americans that if Britain succeeded in her purpose the war would soon be over.

General Washington early recognized the need for armed vessels, both to protect the coastline and to support the land forces. The Revolutionary Navy, as it finally evolved, was a hodgepodge of continental ships, state ships and privateers.

The continental ships were those authorized by the Continental Congress, but the first squadron did not get to sea until early in 1776. The state ships were those authorized by the individual colonies, and operated them independently to protect themselves. The privateers were privately-owned ships which were granted a license or "letter of Marque" by which it was permitted to carry armament and, in the course of its trading voyages, to attack and capture enemy ships.

Early in 1777 the first of the thirteen Continental frigates was ready for sea. There was a shortage of men for crews for the seamen preferred service in the Privateers, where the pay was thirty to forty dollars per month as against eight dollars per month in the navy, and the chances for prize money were doubled."

Such were the conditions of the Continental Navy when Benjamin Martin was appointed ensign and sworn into office on Sept. 7, 1777. Fluvania, Co. Va. Benjamin Martin's spirit of 1777 was inherited by his descendants. We find his descendants serving ably in all the American conflicts of war.

Martin Family Outline

In order to understand the lineage of the Martin Family an outline is included at this point.

[Editor note:  Mary Ruth Jackson - the original compiler – outlines two distinct lineages of the Martin Family; however the preceeding discussion only mentions that of Peter Martain, traced in the left column in Table 1 below. The two Martin lines merge with the marriage of John Martin Jr. and Diana Martin Martin. The second Martin branch begins in the right column and traces from a John Martin:  wife unknown, history apparently unknown. I am researching this line.

I have edited the information in order to follow my family tree, rather than Mary Ruth’s. Children in my direct family line are shown in bold type. Once the two Martin lines merge, through the marriage of John and Diana, the lineage is continued in a single column, as the Martin name is inherited from both the mysterious John Martin (wife unknown!) and the only slightly better documented Pierre Martin lineage.

The fact that much work remains for investigation is evident from the hyperlinks within the table. In the present on line edition, detailed information on a single couple - Benjamin Martin and Diana Harrison, and their descendants, is available.]


Table 1: The Peter Martain and John Martin Lineage
Peter / Pierre Martain & Mary Rapine

French Huguenots b. in France before 1700

Children: James, John, Henry, & others

 John Martin wife unknown

John d. CA 1783

Children: Mary, Bridget, Christian, Ann, John, Isaac, William, Henry, Ambrose

Henry Martain & Sarah Bryan

Henry b. in VA; Sarah in PA or VA

Children: Randolph, John, William, Jesseh, Henry, Benjamin, Diana, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary

Issac Martin & Peggy (Margaret)

Issac b 14/2/1728 d. 25/7/1798; Peggy b. 30/10/1730 d. 29/7/1798 

Children: John, Fanny, Elizabeth 

Benjamin Martin & Diana Harrison

Benjamin b. 8/4/1746 in VA d. 31/10/1821 in NC; Diana b. 1/10/1744 in VA d. 11/5/1817 in NC

Children: Robert, Patsy, Benjamin Harrison, Sarah, Meredith, James, Ann, John, Elizabeth, Amelia, Diana

John Martin & Elizabeth Green

John b. 23/8/1756 in VA d. 29/6/1810 in NC; Elizabeth b. 11/10/1757 d. 13/8/1844 in NC

Children: Fanny, Thomas, John, Issac, Sallie, William

John Martin & Diana Martin Martin

John b. 12/9/1786 d. after 1860; Diana b. 5/4/1788 in NC d. 1/10/1838 in NC

Children: William, Benjamin, Sally, Patsy, Isaac, James, Elizabeth, Thomas, Robert, John Harrison, Alfred, william, Milly, Harrison, Edwin, Child, Hugh, Diana

John Harrison Martin & Mary Jane Edwards

John b. 10/12/1821 in NC d. 21/10/1879 in AR; Mary Jane b. 4/1/1829 in NC d. 1/1/1912 in AR

Children: David Tom, Nannie D., John Isom, Alfred W.W., Sowel Edwin, Sallie Mary Amelia





















Benjamin Martin and Diana Harrison

Benjamin Martin, son of Henry and Sarah Bryan Martin was born April 8, 1746 near the Chickehominy River Va. and died Oct. 31, 1821 in Wilkes Co. N.C. He married Diana Harrison (b. 1, Oct. 1744, in Va., d. 11, May 1817 Wilkes Co., N.C. Verified by DAR number 81010).

The marriage of Benjamin Martin and Diana Harrison on the on the 21, Aug. 1766 in Goochland Parish, Va. is recorded in DOUGLAS REGISTER, of Goochland Co. Diana,was the daughter of Benjamin Harrison and his first wife, said to be Pricilla Cary. See HARRISON EXCURSUS. Benjamin Martin was living in Albermarle Co., at the time of his marriage. Births recorded in DOUGLAS REGISTER: Benjamin Martin & Dianah Harrison, a son named Robert born Aug. 1, 1767. Baptized Sept. 13, 1768 - page 78. Benjamin Martin and Dianah Harrison a daughter named Sarah Meredith, b---- Baptized Feb. 14, 1774.

Benjamin and Dianah Harrison Martin and children migrated from Fluvanna Co. Va. to Wilkes Co. N.C. in the winter of 1781-82. Two of Benjamin Martin's brothers, John and William also migrated from Va. to N.C. at the same time as Benjamin, winter of 1781-82. William settled in Iredell Co. N.C. (John's whereabouts not determined) Benjamin and Dianah Harrison Martin's daughter, Elizabeth b. 1783, Wilkes Co. N.C. married her first cousin, John Martin, son of William Martin of Iredell Co. N.C. Quote from the late Ruth Linney of Wilkes Co. N.C. A Martin Family Historian. Benjamin Martin is listed on the 1782 Tax List of Wilkes Co. N.C. in Capt. Wm. Rennolds Dist. along with his brother-in-law, Capt. Thomas Thurman, who married Sarah Harrison a sister to Benjamin Martin's wife, Dianah. Benjamin and Dianah Harrison Martin settled within a mile of the present Brier Creek Baptist Church, probably at the Ben Martin or Douthit farm, where he and his wife, Diana, were buried. Besides their being buried at the Douthit place, other evidence pointing to that as their home is that the framework of the Douthit house is thought to be that of Ensign Benjamin Martin's house of pioneer days, and the abandoned barns of huge logs on that farm are thought to have been built by him. Benjamin Martin's land extended several miles along the Yadkin River until it met the farm of Major John Bryan, an Irishman who had fought in the Revolution. Benjamin Martin's third son, James, married John Bryan's oldest daughter, Elvira.


Brier Creek Baptist Church

Brier Creek Baptist Church is located on the south side of the Yadkin River, 16 miles from Wilksboro, in Wilkes Co. N.C. It was organized in 1783 and observed its 150th Anniversary in 1933. The Church was constituted from George McNeil's Church by Lewis Shelton, George McNiel, and John Cleveland, with eleven members: Benjamin Martin, John Parks, Benjamin Toney, Gooding Sicking, Jacob Madcalf, Charles Bond, Diana Martin, Elizabeth Tony, Sarah Thurmond, Hannah Garrison, and Mary Caloway. Descendants of Benjamin Martin

and some of those of John Parks still live near the church. Brier Creek Church has been in constant use up to and including the present time. The building is now of brick and a highway has come between the church and the cemetery, but the location is the same. It is on the south side of the Yadkin River, a few miles across the river from the village of Ronda, in the area commonly known as the Dellaplane co nit . It lays claim to being the oldest church in Wilkes County that has operated constantly. The Brier Creek Church minutes show that many, many descendants of Benjamin Martin and of Isaac Martin have been members of this historic church. Also the Martin negroes belonged to this church. Brier Creek Baptist Church minutes (1783-1860) have been microfilmed by Historical Commission, Southern Baptist Convention, Nashville, Tennessee, And Genealogical excerpts abstracted from film by Mrs. W.O. Absher, G.R.S. have been published in WILKES COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY BULLETINS. P.O. Box 1629, North Wilkesboro, N,C. 28659.

There are many interesting items in the Church Minutes, such as:

Jan. 26, 1816 Benjamin H. Martin guilty of getting drunk, repented and was forgiven. (He was son of Benjamin Martin)

Sep. 22, 1821 Reports are out about Abner Wooten taking potatoes from Colonel John Martin's potato patch; he was found not guilty. (John was son of Benjamin Martin)

Jun. 22, 1821 Benjamin Martin reported trouble between his negro, Peter, and another of his negroes. Negro Peter forgiven. (this was only a few months before Benjamin died)
1787 N.C. Census of Wilkes Co. N.C. Capt. Carrell's District BENJAMIN Martin:
White males from 21 to 60 years 1
White males under 21 years and over 60 years 5
White females of every age 7
Blacks of each sex from 12 to 50 years 5
Blacks under 12 years and over 50 years 7
The Martin Families became one of the prominent families of Wilkes Co., N.C. They were connected through-marriage with the families of: Parks, Bryan, Edwards, Rousseau, Cleveland, Jones, Petty, Hubbard, Calloway, Wright and others. The Wright family were cousins of General George Washington (proven by DAR lineage.) The County Court Minutes of Wilkes Co., N.C. shows that Benjamin Martin and his brother-in-law, Thomas Thurman served as Jurors many times. The 1790 U.S. Census of Wilkes Co., N.C. shows Benjamin Martin with 13 negroes, which constituted a fortune in those pioneer days.



Will of Benjamin Martin


[Editor note: Mary Ruth had this document; I have no information concerning its current whereabouts.]

Benjamin Martin'S WILL

In the Name of GOD amen. I, Benjamin Martin, of the State of North Carolina and County of Wilkes being in good health of body and sound of mind and memory, thanks be to GOD for the same, calling unto mind the mortality of my body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do this sixth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen make and publish this my last WILL and Testament in manner following, that is to say. First, of all, I commit my Soul to God who gave it, my Body to be buried in a decent Christian Burial at the disposal of my Executors. Secondly, I desire that all my just debts should be paid out of my money and property. Thirdly, I give to my four sons, the following Negroes, to wit: Negro John to my son Robert Martin, Negro Sam to my son Benjamin Harrison Martin; Negro Joe to my son James Martin and Negro Casar to my son John Martin; and to my Daughters, Patsy Parks I give the following Negroes, Sarah, Andrew, Sam and Ambrose, and to Sarah Meredith Rosseau I give Jinney, and her incerase, and to Anne Bagby I give Winney and Cate and their Increase, and to Elizabeth Martin I give Lillar and Tom, and to Diannah Martin I give Sarah and Dianah and their Increase to them and their heirs forever. I also give to my two sons James Martin and John Martin the tract of land whereon I now live. (to wit) the upper end I give to James Martin and the lower end I give to John Martin, the Division line to run as follows, (to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Spring Branch thence a straight line to a marked poplar at the foot of the Hill whereon I now live thence along the foot of said Hill so as take in a part of said branch of for the benefit of Watering the lower tract, thence to a Marked Oak near the foot of the Hill beyond the Gate, thence with said Marked line to the Road that leads to Robert Martin's old School House, thence with said Road to the back line to them and their heirs forever: - Also I give to my Son James Martin one hundred acres of land where my Shop now stands to him and his heirs forever: -- Also I give to my son John Martin a tract of land lying on Roaring River known by the name of the Horse Shew containing one hundred and forty acres together with all entries I may have adjoining thereto to him and his heirs forever. -- I give to James Martin the Shop tract and John Martin the Roaring River tracts in consequence of their having no benefits of the tract whereon I now live during my life. -- I also give and bequeath Negro Abram and Pimas, and one tenth part of all my property hereafter to be disposed of, to my Executors herein after to be appointed in trust to keep for m daughter Amelia Cleveland and the profits of said property to pay over to my said Daughter for her own use and benefit during her life without the Interventions or disposal of John H. Cleveland her husband, and after the death of my Daughter Amelia Cleveland it is my request and desire that my Executors and Trustees as aforesaid shall divide the afore mentioned property Willed to them in trust as aforesaid amongst all the children of the body of my said daughter Amelia Cleveland equally - and in case any Child or Children of my daughter Amelia Cleveland should died in her life time leaving Issue, then such Issue to have such part or parts of said property as his or their father or mother would have been entitled to, provided he or they would have been living at the death of my said daughter Amelia Cleveland - I give and bequeath one tenth part of all my property to be hereinafter disposed of to my Executors herein after to be appointed intrust to keep for my daughter Elizabeth Martin and the profits of said property to pay over to my said daughter to her own use and benefit during her life without the disposal or Intervention of John Martin, her Husband, and further to bedisposed of in every respect to her and her heirs as I have above directed respecting my daughter Amelia Cleveland and her heirs. And finally I give and bequeath to my other children, (to wit) Robert Martin, Patsy Parks, Benjamin H. Martin, Sarah M. Rousseau, James Martin, Anne Bagbey, John Martin and Diana Martin, one tenth part each, of all the property both real and personal not already disposed of, that I may died ceased and possessed of, and the other two tenths to be held by my Executors in trust as above directed. And I do hereby make and ordain my beloved Sons Robert Martin, Benjamin Harrison Martin, James Martin and John Martin, my Executors and Trustees strictly enjoining it on them to carry into effect this my last will and testament. In Witness whereof I the said Benjamin Martin have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal the day and year above written.

Signed, Sealed, Published and declared by the said Benjamin Martin in presence of us

M. Thurmond Benjamin Martin SEAL

Benjamine Parks

Jefferson Marston

The above Will was duly proven in open court by the Oaths of M, Thurmond and Benj. Parks, the Executors Sworn.


R. Martin Clerk

A codicil to the above WILL (to wit) Be it remembered that in my last Will and Testament bearing date the sixth day of February one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, I Willed a Negro man called Pimus to my Daughter Amelia Cleveland, and having since that empowered my Son James Martin to sell said Negro and the said James Martin having sold said Negro for six hundred dollars. I do by these presence authorize and empower my Executors named in my last Will and Testament to pay to my Daughter Amelia Cleveland instead of said Negro the balance of the above mentioned $600.00 that shall remain unpaid to her, by me in my life time after deducting the cost and charges for collecting the same, the payment to be made under the same conditions and Restrictions contained in my last WILL and TESTAMENT respecting payments to be made to her. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this Se ---- 7 day of September 1821.

Benjamin Martin SEAL

Jas. Parks

Alfred Martin

Information and excerpts from Wilkes County records pertaining to the Descendants of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin

The records in Wilkes County N.C. pertaining to the Martin families, and the families into which they married are many and varied. The Martins were large land owners as shown by WILKES DEED BOOKS, and Land Records. The Martins were Baptist, ministers, church going people, doctors, lawyers, public officials, soldiers, teachers, and business men and women. The Martins also liked what was known as "High Living." We also find scoundrels and drunkards in the family.

[Ed. Note: Following Table 2, additional information will be furnished pertaining to each child of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin. In some cases, there is exhaustive information, in others, almost nothing was available in the original manuscript. I will research some of these interesting gaps; any information on these "missing persons" would be greatly appreciated, and included in future electronic publication.]


Table 2: Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:
 Name Born Born Loc. Died Died Loc. Married to: Marriage Date Marriage Location
Robert Martin  1/8/1767 VA 12/9/1842 NC Amelia Wright 12/1/1786 NC
Patsy Martin 1769 VA 1827 NC Benjamin Parks   NC
Benjamin Harrison Martin 1771 VA 1845?   Francis Martin 13/1/1797  
Sarah Meredith Martin 24/12/1773 VA     Hiram Rousseau 2/9/1806  
James Martin 26/1/1776 VA 25/3/1846 NC Elvira Bryan 2/9/1806 NC
Ann Martin 7/6/1779   1819?   Edmund Bagby    
John Martin 3/9/1781   Feb 1839 NC Mildred Jones 10/12/1805  
Elizabeth Martin 10/3/1783 NC ?   John Martin 20/10/1800  
Amelia Martin 22/3/1786   1877 or 1878   John Cleveland 20/7/1805  
Diana Martin 3/3/1788   1/10/1838   John Martin 17/7/1806  




















Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Dr. Robert Martin and Amelia Wright Martin

Martin, Robert, first born child of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin, was born 1, Aug. 1767, in Va. (birth recorded in DOUGLAS REGISTER) Died 12, Sept, 1842, Wilksboro, Wilkes Co. N.C. Married 12, Jan. 1786, Surry Co., N.C. Amelia Wright, dau. of John and Ann Williams Wright. She died 28, Apr. 1843. Amelia Wright Martin was a direct descendant of one of the daughters of Colonel John Washington, the great-grandfather of General George Washington. Some of Amelia Wright Martin's descendants are members of the Daughters of the BARRONS of RUNNYMEDE.

Dr. Robert Martin and wife Amelia lived in Wilkes Co. N.C. where they reared their family. Their home was on the old Salem Road, now old Highway 60, Original Boone Trail, in the first house east of Fishing Creek Church. The Martins and Rev. Sam Powell SMITH families occupied this house until they died.

Dr. Robert Martin was treasurer of Wilkes Co. N.C. in 1806 and was elected CLERK OF SUPERIOR COURT Wilkes Co. N,C. in 1807 and continued to serve in that capacity until 1833, (WILL BOOKS, 1, 2, 3, 4).


Will of Dr. Robert Martin

Recorded Nov. 1842, Wilkes Co., N.C. WILL BOOK 4, pages 279-280

Names wife Amelia and Children Amelia M. Smith; William; Diana H Petty; Sarah Wright; wife of W.W. Wright; Benjamin F.; and daughter-in-law Mary Martin wife of William W. Martin, deceased and her children, also grand children: Amelia M. Smith, Sarah M. Smith, Diana Lucinda Harrison Smith, Robert M. Smith, Susannah J. Smith and Samuel P. Smith. (mentions his medical books and medicine).


Table 3: Children of Dr. Robert Martin and Amelia Wright Martin
Name Born Born Loc. Died Died Loc. Married to: Marriage Date Marriage Location Note
William Wright Martin 1788   CA 1824   Mary     1
Diana Harrison Martin CA 1792 NC After 1842 Wilkes CO, NC Ely Petty     2
Sarah Martin 5/9/1794 Surry CO, NC 13/7/1864 Wilkes CO, NC William Williams Wright 1815   3. 
Amelia or Matlida Martin 2/6/1800 Wilkes CO, NC     Rev. Samuel Powell Smith 4/1/1825   4
Benjamin F. Martin 1807  Wilkes CO, NC     Nancy  CA 1834-1835     

(1) From Will Book 4, Wilkes CO, NC, p 49-50 February 1824: Will of William Wright Martin. Wife, Mary and 5 children: Robert, Amelia, Sarah, Elizabeth, Matilda.

(2) Ely Petty was treasurer of Wilkes CO in 1815

(3) Dr. Robert Martin gave his daughter Sarah a tract of land to be hers and not at the disposal of her husband

(4) Amelia and her husband are buried beside her parents, Dr. Robert and Amelia Wright Martin on the old home place now on old Highway 60 near Fishing Creek Church, Wilkes Co. N.C. Other family members buried in same family plot are:

"Mary D. , wife of Rev. I.T. Prevette, b. May 7, 1836 (dau. of Rev. Sam.P. Smith) d. May 9, 1876"

"Robert M. Smith, son of Rev. Sam. P. Smith, b. April 14, 1831 d. July 6, 1882"

"Montgomery, son of Rev. Sam. P. Smith, d. July 26, 1856"

"John Kerr, son of Rev. Sam. P. Smith, d. Sept. 7, 1862

"Olivia Smith, dau. of Rev. Samuel P. and Amelia Martin Smith m. George H. Brown." They moved to Statesville N.C. and George became one of the leading business men of that city. 


























Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Patsy Martin Parks and Benjamin Parks

Patsy was named after her aunt Patsy Harrison. Benjamin Parks was the son of John Parks Esquire of Wilkes CO, NC whose will was probated 1784, Will Book 1, page 126. Have names of only two of Patsy and Benjamin Parks children: William Parks and James Parks; James b. 1790 d. 3/12/1852 m. Mary Bryan. Benjamin Parks entered 200 acres adjoining East Corner and adjoining Major B. Jones (a brother-in-law.) #619 Land Entries Wilkes CO, NC 1799; from William Lenoir Family Papers page 426.

Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Benjamin Harrison Martin and Francis Martin

Ruth Linney said Benjamin and Fanney Martin, daughter of John Martin (who made his will in 1810) were cousins.


Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Sarah Meredith Martin and Hiram Rousseau

Sarah Meredith information is recorded in Douglas Register p. 243. Hiram Rousseau was a surveyor. He made Surveyor’s bond in Wilkes CO NC in 1793, 1800, 1804, 1807. From Will Book 1 p. 384.


Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Colonel James Martin and Elvira Bryan

Martin, James, b. 26, Jan. 1777, d. March 25, 1846, Wilkes Co. N.C. The will of James Martin was recorded in Wilkes CO, NC, May 1846. WILL BOOK 4, page 120-121. James married 2, Sept. 1806, Wilkes Co. N.C. Elvira Bryan, b. 13, Oct. 1790, dau. of John and Nancy Robbins Bryan. Elvira d. 25, Aug. 1863. Both James and Elvira are buried at Brier Creek Church Cemetery. James Martin was the first Clerk of Brier Creek Baptist Association.

This James Martin, son of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin acquired a large boundry of land, situated on the south side of the Yadkin River in Wilkes Co. N.C extending from a point nearly opposite the site of the present location of the town of Ronda, situated on the south side of the Yadkin River to a point about a mile and on-half above the south of Roaring River which enters the Yadkin River on the North side. On this farm James Martin built a residence about 1806, which overlooked the Yadkin Valley, at the mouth of Brier Creek. This house was remodeled and added to by Capt. Augustus Harrison Martin in 1858. He was the youngest of the twelve children of James and Elvira Bryan Martin.

In examining the history of the old house one encounters an unusual gallery of distinguished men. It housed a family who epitomized many of the vices and virtures of "Gentlemen" Colonels of the War of 1812, and the War with the Creek Indians. Captains and Colonels of the Confederacy. The present director 1940 of the bureau of War Risks legations in the U.S. Dept. of Justice. The grand mother of a Rear Admiral, and the father of a late Justice in Texas tramped the broad antebellum halls. The hand painted panels of the once gracious house looked down upon a family of the somewhat house spun and bucolic "Yadkin River Aristocracy," who concorted in vivid nineteenth century life.

This white coloniel house stands atop a high round hill, known as "Cedar Hill" from the many cedars planted by, Colonel James Martin, Capt. Augustus H. Martin and Squire James F. Martin which girded the house. On of the most remarkable features of this house are the hand painted walls of the parlor supposed to represent marble with varigated, opalescent reflections of light and those of the hall like the inside pages of an old book. From the Old Martin Home and Family by Ruth Linney about 1940.

Table 4: Children of Colonel James Martin and Elvira Bryan Martin

Compiled by Minnie Smith Holt from her niece Lillian Payne, Oxford, Mississippi
Name Born Born Loc. Died Died Loc. Married to: Marriage Date Marriage Location Note
John Bryan Martin 9/11/1808 Antioch TWP, Wilkes CO, NC 4/8/1849   Elmira Smith 1834    
Diana Adelaide Martin 30/7/1810 Wilkes CO, NC April 1886   James Clemmons Hunt CA 1834    
James Columbus Martin 6/1/1812   1825          
Benjamin Oliver Hazard Perry Martin 28/3/1814   1884   Elizabeth Martin     1
Emelina Martin 11/1/1816   1861   Elkanah Shuford      
Elvira Matilda Martin 1/1/1819   1862   Burrage Heatherman      
Felix Bryan Martin 9/2/1821   28/11/1879 or 1882   Frances Cornelia Brian     2
Mary Ann Martin 21/8/1823       Rev. Alexander Jacob Cansler      
Leland Martin 6/10/1825   1907   Laura Corpening     3
Rufus W. Martin 1/3/1828   1892   Jane Hickerson, Ann Hickerson     4. 
James Oscar Martin 8/9/1833   1900          
Augustus Harrison Martin Sep. 1833   1865 Civil War Susana Virginia Corpening      5
  1. Elizabeth Martin was the daughter of Issac and Nacy Green Martin, a distant relative and sister of "Aunt Nancy Wellborn." After Elizabeth’s death, Benjamin married Mary Johnson. 
  2. Frances Cornelia Bryan was the daughter of Felix’s uncle, Felix Bryan. After her death, Felix married Mary Fears, and moved to Macon, GA. 
  3. Laura Corpening Martin was the daughter of David and Polly Perkins Corpening of Burke Co. Following lists children of Leland and Laura: 


    Martin, Mary 1850-1929, m. Dr. Larkin Jones Barker.

    Martin, Ella, 1851-1923, never married.

    Martin, James D. 1853-1942,, never married; a noted Judge and Lawyer

    Martin, Harry Corpening, 1858-1938, m. Ida Clark. They lived in Lenoir, N.C.

    Martin, Clara Leland, 1856-1889, m. John E. Sale

    Martin, Phlete A. 1866-1937, m. Lois Graves. He was a Judge of the Civil Court of Appeals in Texas at the time of his death, March 1937.


  5. Jane Hickerson was daughter of Major Lyle Hickerson. After her death, Rufus married her sister Ann in 1867. Rufus was in some way connected with the building of a railroad from Little Rock, AR 
(5) Extensive sub-section on Augustus Harrison and Susana Virginia Martin follows:  Susana Virginia Corpening was a sister of Laura the wife of Augustus Martin’s brother Leland. Augustus H. was the youngest child of James and Elvira Bryan Martin. Augustus H. represented Wilkes Co. N.C. in "House of Commons" 1856-1860. He commanded Co. G. 54th N.C. Regt. C.S.A. and was killed three days before the surrender while Commanding the entire 54th Regt.

After Capt, Augustus was killed in battle, his widow, Virginia, m. 1867, Sgt. James F. Mastin (1838-1914) Their four children were: David B, T. Frank, Nellie V. and Cecelia Mastin.

Children of Augustus H. and Virginia Corpening Martin:

Martin, J, Everette (M.D.) 1858-1924 m. Emma Baker of Ashe Co. N.C. He became a practicing physician in

Bluefield W. VA. where he died Jan.30, 1924.

Martin, Julius C. 1861-1949, m. Helen Worres of Germany (Twas Julius C. who wrote the history of his father and mother, Augustus Harrison and Virginia Corpening Martin) "Julius Martin, native of Antioch Township, Wilkes Co. N.C., practiced law for 60 years and was for 15 years in the U.S. Dept. of Justice in Washington D.C. about half the time as Director of the Bureau of War Risk Litigation, and the rest of the time as special assistant to the Attorney General.----He was twice Mayor of Ashville, N.C.---- As a child and youth he underwent many hardships ans overcame obstacles to acquire an education. In 1872 he was stricken with polio---doctors did not know what it was then --- and his step-father had to carry him around when he was eleven. He recovered but always limped very slightly; he lieved until 1949 and was 87, and 4 months old, when he died. He was known for his industry, honesty, and knowledge of law. He always seemed rather contemptuous of Wilkes Co. and of his relatives and old friends." Quote by Ruth Linney his niece.

Martin, Augustus Jackson 1863, d. in infancy.

Martin, Laura Adelaide 1864-1942, m. Frank A. Mccolloch of Va. and after his death, m. James Linney of Alexander Co. N.C. the parents of Ruth Linney, a prolific writer and family historian. Ruth Linney lived at Ronda, N.C.




























































Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Ann Martin and Edmund Bagby

Martin, Ann, b. 7, June 1779, m. Edmund Bagby. Wilkes CO. N.C. WILL BOOK 3, page 248 dated Oct. 1820, shows that Edmund Bagby gave Power of Attorney to James Martin.


Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

John Martin and Mildred Jones

Martin, John, b. 11, Mar. 1781, d. 15, Feb. 1839, m. 10, Dec. 1805, Mildred Jones, b.19, Feb. 1786, dau. of Major Benjamin and Elizabeth Foster Jones, who lived at the Barber Place, as it was later known. Mildred d. 1839. Mildred Martin is named in WILL of Benjamin Jones Sr., Wilkes Co. N.C. WILL BOOK 3, page 251.


Table 5: Children of Dr. John Martin and Mildred Jones Martin:

- source Mrs. Mary Faye Martin Shires, (1977)
Name Born Born Loc. Died Died Loc. Married to: Marriage Date Marriage Location Note
Benjamin Martin 15/10/1806       Nancy Gray 30/10/1834    
Dr. Henry Martin 27/10/1807       Patsy McMichel     1
Nancy Eliza Martin 23/7/1809              
Elizabeth Martin 13/1/1811       Henry Swan 25/10/1832    
Amelia Martin 12/10/1813              
John Martin 14/6/1815       Sally Sale Nov. 1835    
Alexander James Martin 28/8/1816       Elizabeth Curry 22/11/1838    
Robert Harrison Martin 29/3/1819   5/9/1902   Martha Robbins 1865   2
Patsy Diana Martin         William Loke 12/3/1835   3

(1) Patsy McMichel, b. 18, Feb. 1814 in Surry Co. N.C. Patsy's mother came from across the ocean. Dr. Henry and Patsy Martin'S 11 children: Elizabeth, John Lafayette, Henry, Sidney, James, Sam – all Wilkes Co; William, Martha, Harrison, Mildred, were born in Clay Co. N.C.

(2) Robert Harrison and Martha Robbins had five children: 

    Martin, John Harrison b. ca. 1866, never married. He was killed out in Washington or Oregon ca. 1917. Man of considerable wealth.

    Martin, Eliza or Elizabeth, m. a Hawley from out West. Had one dau. who lived out west. Eliza died very young.

    Martin, William Joseph Hasque Jones (each aunt gave him a name). He was known as W,H. Martin 1872-1943 m. at age 32 and had nine children to live. One of his daughters is Mrs. Mary Faye Martin Shires, 112 Mauny St. Murphy, N.C. 28906 (1977) who gave info. on Robert H. Martin and his family.

    Martin, Julia S. b. 27, July 1875, d. 16, Dec. 1901

    Martin, James, d. with TB leaving five children.

(3) Several of the Martins left Wilkes Co. N.C. after the Civil War and around 1870, including this family of John Martin and wife, Mildred Jones Martin.
































Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Elizabeth Martin and John Martin

Martin, Elizabeth, b. 10-3-1783, m. John Martin, 20, Oct. 1800. Elizabeth and John Martin were first cousins, John being the son of William Martin, a brother of Benjamin. William lived in Iredell Co. N.C. – source Ruth Linney.


Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Amelia Martin and John Cleveland

Martin, Amelia, b. 22, Mar. 1786, Wilkes Co. N.C. She d. 1877/78. Amelia known as Aunt Milly lived to be 92 years old. She married 20, July 1805, her cousin, John Harrison Cleveland. The Cleveland family are well written-up in the records of Wilkes Co. N.C. Amelia and John Harrison Cleveland had two dau. (maybe more children) One daughter named Martha Matilda, b. 19, Sept. 1823, m. 15, Aug. 1843 Esley Staley who was Sheriff of Wilkes Co. 1853-60. Another dau. named Diana Elmira Cleveland b. 1819 m. 2, Dec. 1846, Alf (Alfred) Staley. Their children: Benjamin, Esley. Mary, Wm.Martin, and Martha Staley.


Children of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin:

Diana Martin and John Martin

Martin, Diana, the tenth child of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin was b. 3, Mar. 1788, Wilkes Co. N C. m. 17, July 1806 Wilkes Co. N.C. to John Martin son of John Sr. and Elizabeth Green Martin, and grandson of Isaac and Margaret/Peggy Martin of Wilkes Co. N.C. Diana Martin Martin d. 1, Oct. 1838, Wilkes Co. N.C. at the birth of her eighteenth (18) child - John Harrison Martin b. 10, Dec. 1821, on their plantation near Ronda, Wilkes Co. N.C. This son of John Jr. and Diana Martin Martin was the grandfather of the compiler of this book [Ed. Note – Mary Ruth.].

With the union of these two Martin families, namely Diana Martin, dau. of Benjamin and Diana Harrison Martin, and John Jr. grandson of Isaac and Peggy Martin we have our two Martin lines.

Before we proceed with the lineage of Isaac Martin line, we shall take up the lineage of Diana Harrison,.Martin, the wife of Benjamin Martin and the dau. of Benjamin Harrison, whose WILL was probated in 1779, Pittsylvania Co., Va,

This colorful Harrison family is traced back to Anthony Harrison, born 1563, at Over England, a brother of Richard Peter Harrison, who was the father of Benjamin Harrison, Clerk of the Council in Va. in 1630, and ancestor to the Presidents. From lineage research of Bettye Green. and others as named.
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