From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Elusive Lucinda Martin

Born 1844, Ohio, married Almus Hill, 1865


My great-great grandmother Lucinda Martin (born in 1844 in Ohio, and married about 1865 to Almus Hill of Ohio) is one of the great mysteries of my family tree. She is the grandmother of every Hill who is my relative, but her ancestry is virtually unknown.

As I tried to learn more about Lucinda Martin Hill, two facts troubled me
  1. Lucinda stated on three Federal censuses that she was born in Ohio. 
  2. However, most Hill family trees on the internet cite Joseph Martin and Jane (Rager) Martin of Todd County, Kentucky, as Lucinda's parents.  (Yes, Todd County, Kentucky -- the very next county east of where I happen to live!)

Sometimes the branches are hard to trace!
Image source /License/Copyright: Nevit Dilmen
It is true that Joseph and Jane Martin of Todd County, KY,  had a daughter named Lucinda Martin. She was born the same year that my grandmother Lucinda was born.

It is also true that some of the Kentucky Martins have a reputation for moving around. They moved to Ohio, moved back to Kentucky, moved to Tennessee, then back to Kentucky, then Texas, and so on. On genealogy forums,  I read claims that some of the Martins were practically nomadic.

I mentioned to a customer at work that I'd been working on my family history, and she said, "I do genealogy, too! What families?" I explained that I didn't have any local family connections except maybe some Martins, and she said, "Oh, my goodness, they're in my family tree, and they're so confusing! That bunch was always moving around."

So, despite my initial doubt, I began to wonder if maybe Lucinda Martin of Todd County really was my great-great-grandmother. Maybe, I thought, maybe Joseph and Jane Martin had moved briefly to Ohio, and Lucinda had been born there.

Well, it turns out that it doesn't matter (to me) whether Joseph and Jane Martin ever lived in Ohio because their daughter Lucinda Martin was not my great-great grandmother. How can I say that with such confidence? Here are the census records I found for the Kentucky Lucinda Martin when I got serious about searching.

1850 U.S. Federal Census
Name: Lucinda Martin
Age in 1850: 6
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1850: District 1, Todd Co., Kentucky
Family Number: 94
Household Members and Their Ages:
Joseph Martin 61
Jane Martin 30
Thomas Martin 9
Joseph Martin 7
Lucinda Martin 6
Mary Martin 3
Miranda Martin 1
1860 U.S. Federal Census
Name: Lucinda Martin
Age in 1860: 16
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1860: Todd Co., Kentucky
Post Office: Elkton
Household Members and Their Ages:
Joseph Martin 69
Jane Martin 45
Joseph Martin 18
Lucinda Martin 16
Mary Martin 14
Buck Martin 5

Now remember -- my great-great-grandmother Lucinda Martin married Almus Hill in 1865. Here's the 1870 census data for the Kentucky Lucinda Martin (left) and the 1870 census data for my great-great-grandmother Lucinda Martin Hill (right):

1870 U.S. Federal Census
Name: Lucinda Martin
Birth Year: abt 1844
Age in 1870: 26
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1870: Kirkmansville, Todd, Kentucky
Race: White
Gender: Female
Household Members and Their Ages:
Jane Martin 56
Lucinda Martin 26
Mary J Martin 24
Robert A Martin 7
Hester Martin 6
Jeff Martin 3
Martin 3/12
1870 U.S. Federal Census
Name: Lucinda Hill
Birth Year: abt 1844
Age in 1870: 26
Birthplace: Ohio
Home in 1870: Galion, Crawford, Ohio
Race: White
Gender: Female
Household Members and Their Ages:
Almus Hill 27
Lucinda Hill 26
E Isadora Hill 4
Sidney K Hill 3
Effa J Hill 1

That proves (to me) that Lucinda, daughter of Jane Rager and Joseph Martin, is not my great-great-grandmother, but it leaves the question of where Lucinda Martin, wife of Almus Hill, did come from. I think this may have been her family:

1860 U.S. Federal Census
Name: Lucinda Martin
Age in 1860: 16
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Ohio
Home in 1860: Hanover, Ashland, Ohio
Gender: Female
Post Office: Loudonville
Household Members and Their Ages:
Isaac Martin 59
Lucinda Martin 16
Margaret Martin 11
Ephraim Martin 7
Harrison Martin 6

So far, I haven't found this family either before or after 1860. I don't know where they came from or where they went. The one clue I've found is that an Ephraim Martin was living in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1895, and he seems to have been a bachelor, living at a boarding house.

And I could be completely wrong. This Lucinda Martin and her brother Ephraim may not be related to me at all.

Family trees have an endless supply of mysteries like this. They are the ultimate puzzle. It makes genealogy very addictive to a certain sort of person -- and I am one of that sort, it seems.

6 comments:

Collagemama said...

No Martins in my family tree, nomadic or otherwise. One Effa, though. My grandmother's name was Effa Dale Goss Clark. I never heard her called Effa. It was always Effa Dale. Wonder about your Effa J.

Genevieve said...

Do you know your Grandfather Clark's first name?

It was 2 generations down from Lucinda Martin Hill where the Clarks and Hills joined up. One of Lucinda's grandsons (Ralph Hill) married a Clark girl (Nora Bell Clark).

Collagemama said...

Fred Wm. Noble Clark was born in 1897 in Stamford, NE, and farmed near Marion, NE. He was the son of Wm. Noble Clark (d. 1914)and Elizabeth Mary Sasse Clark (d.1929). Wm. Noble Clark was in the grain elevator business & was born in Worthington, PA, one of 7 children. His father was a Scotch-Irishman named Wm. Clark, a farmer in PA. Somewhere there is documentation that the family connection goes back near George Rogers Clark, but not to Wm. Clark of Lewis & Clark.

Genevieve said...

I think George Rogers Clark and William Clark were brothers. My family had heard from a cousin that we were descended from William Clark of Lewis & Clark. However, when I looked briefly at the Clark line of my family, our William Clark ancestor didn't seem to me to be the explorer -- wrong dates. I'm going to keep your info and when I research the Clarks better, I'll watch for these names.

Laura said...

I love family trees and searching back for more info. I want to renew my ancestry.com profile and work on it some more, but I just can't afford it right now. I'm related to the Gorins of Warren County (yeah, there's a plaque on the courthouse) and some Griders as well, though I haven't found much on them. My grandmother's mother was a Grider born in Warren County. :)

Genevieve Netz said...

Thank you, Sewing Chick. I appreciate you looking up this information. Actually, I've had Lucinda figured out for quite some time, but I just have not updated this blog post. I guess I should do that.

I also finally located Israel Martin in the 1860 census in Ashland County, Ohio. He is incorrectly recorded as Isaac Martin. His wife Elizabeth had apparently passed away before 1860 because she is not listed. However, because of the names and ages of the children still in the home, it's clear whom he really is. When I found him, I left an indexing correction for his name on that census page at Ancestry to help other researchers. I noted that his name was incorrectly recorded by the original census taker, and that it should have been Israel (which was his mother's maiden name.)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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