Thomas Martin - Elizabeth Adams Family Group

Parents   Parents
Knott Martin Sarah Arnold   John Nicholson Mary Peach
  b. 12 Jul 1708 in Marblehead Abt. 1710   b. Before 1712 in Marblehead bp 11 Fen 1710 in Marblehead
  d. 22 Apr 1796 in Marblehead ? in Marblehead   d. 1750 in Marblehead d. 11 Nov 1784 in Marblehead
Captain Thomas Martin Martha Nicholson
b. 24 Jan 1732 Marblehead, Essex , Massachusetts bp. 28 Jan 1739 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
d. 16 Dec 1828 in Marblehead, Essex, Marblehead, Massachusetts d. d. 4 Jan 1816 in Marblehead. Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage 16 Jan 1763 Captain Thomas Martin to Martha Nicholson in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Captain Thomas Martin, Jr. b. 13 Nov 1763 in Marblehead, m. 16 Jan 1785 in Marblehead Elizabeth Adams (bp. 3 Apr 1768 and d. 1799-1804 in Marblehead); seven children: Martha, Mary Adams, Thomas 3rd, Arnold, Peter Arnold, Peter Arnold, and Martha Martin; d. 18 Oct 1827 in Marblehead
Captain Arnold Martin b. 27 Oct 1675 in Marblehead; m. 29 Mar 1792 in Marblehead Mary Oliver (b. 11 Nov 1764 and d. 24 Mar 1838 in Marblehead); five children: Arnold, Oliver, Thomas, Mary Oliver, and Martha Martin; d. 22 Aug 1829 in Marblehead
  Emma Arnold Martin b. 1 Nov 1767 in Marblehead; m. 1) 3 Feb 1791 in Marblehead Benjamin Sparhawk (b. 6 Jan 1769 and d. 15 Oct 1796 in Boston); two children: Thomas Martin and John Sparhawk; 2. John Sparhawk (b. 29 Jul 1774 and d. 11 Apr 1861 in Marblehead); eight children: Mary, Benjamin, Emma, Martha, Sarah Arnold, Samuel, Peter Martin, and Joanna Sparhawk; d. 13 Oct 1863
Martha Martin b. 30 Jul 1769 and d. in Marblehead before 1777 when the second Martha was born, in Marblehead
Captain John Martin b.. 2 May 1773 in Marblehead; m. 7 Mar 1799 in Marblehead Sarah Harris (b. 1770 in Marblehead and d. 7 Sep 1859 in Lynn); seven children: Sarah, twins Mary and Martha, John, Thomas, Mary, and Martha Martin; d. 30 Jul 1854 in Marblehead
  Peter Martin b. 28 Jul 1776 and d. in Marblehead before 1828 when his father's probate was administered
Martha Martin b. 10 Aug 1777 and d. in Marblehead before 1778 when the third Martha was born
  Martha Martin b. 19 Mar 1780 and d. in Marblehead before 1828 when her father's probate was administered

What We Know About This Family


Captain Thomas Martin and Martha Nicholson were the grandparents of both Martha Martin Harris (mother of Thomas Martin Harris) and Mary Oliver Martin (mother of Mary Oliver Oliver Lemaster). Thomas Martin Harris and Mary Oliver Lemaster were the parents of Martha Martin Harris who married Samuel Ruggles Henderson in Philadelphia and who is the root of our Marblehead branch.

In another unusual and tragic coincidence, Mary Oliver Lemaster 's great grandmother Martha Nicholson and her grandmother, Jane Bessom Lemaster, both died in their early 70s when they fell down the stairs. Joseph Harris died of a stroke the day after a fall down the stairs.

An Overview of Their Lives

Thomas Martin, a seaman or "coaster" was the son of a long-lived man who had several long-lived children, including Thomas, who lived until he was almost 97 years old. Thomas married Martha Nicholson, the daughter of another old Marblehead family (her mother was a Peach, descended from John Peach, one of Marblehead's earliest settlers, and together they had eight children. Of these eight, only four were named in Thomas' probate papers: Thomas, Arnold, Emma, and John; and of these four, Thomas had died the previous year, so his quarter share of his father's estate went to his heirs. Thomas and Martha had three daughters named Martha. The first two would have died before the third was born, and we assume the third Martha died before the death of her father.

We don't know whether their son Peter or their third Martha survived long enough to marry and have children. No records exist for either marriage or death, but since neither was listed in their father's probate papers, we assume they died before 1828.

Unfortunately, we don't know very much this couple's lives. Their three surviving sons all became seafaring captains. Thomas outlived his wife by 15 years, dying at the age of 97.

The probate papers for Thomas Martin, who died intestate, provide us with the certainty of the relationships of the two Thomas Martins and Arnold Martin. The naming tradition of the times gave many Martha Martins, Mary Martins, Thomas Martins, Knott Martins and Arnold Martins, but through Thomas's probate, we're able to establish the relationships with certainty. His son Thomas died a year before he did, but 1/4 of his estate was left to his heirs, of whom Martha Martin Harris (who married Joseph Harris) was one. This establishes for certain the relationship of Martha Martin who married Joseph Harris to Thomas Martin, the son of Thomas Martin. (The first name "Knott" came from the surname Knott of Richard Knott whose daughter Eleanor married the first Thomas Martin in Marblehead, and "Arnold" was the surname of Sarah Arnold, the wife of the first Knott Martin.

About the Children

  • Captain Thomas,Martin, Jr. and his first wife, Elizabeth Adams, were our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. Elizabeth died early leaving very young children. Thomas's probate indicates a second wife named Hannah, but who she was or when they married cannot be found. She left a will with bequests to his children and grandchildren, so I suspect she had an important role in their lives.
  • Captain Arnold Martin and his wife Mary Oliver were also our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. He was at least for a while the Shipmaster of the Marblehead Harbor. They had five known children, four of whom died early. Their youngest child, Martha, married Knott Martin, a mutual descendant of Knott Martin and Sarah Arnold. Knott, the younger, was the son of Arnold Martin and Sarah Griste, the widow of a Marblehead legend and Revolutionary War hero and martyr, James Mugford. A slightly romanticized newspaper article about his heroic sacrifice appears in the documents section.

  • Emma Arnold Martin's first husband was merchant Benjamin Sparhawk. They had two children, and then he died. His brother, John Sparhawk, administered his probate. and then married his widow. Keeping everything all in the family, she and Benjamin named their son "John," and she and John named their first-born son "Benjamin." Emma had a total of ten children. Considering the number lost by various members of the family, she fared well. Two sons died as young men, but most of her children grew to adulthood and had somewhat normal lifespans. Emma lived to the ripe old age of 96 with her second husband with her until two years before her death.

  • Captain John Martin died at 81 "gentleman, infirm." He and his wife, Sarah Harris, had seven children. They lost three as infants, including a set of twin girls, but four of their children outlived their parents.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is complete.


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