Old Wills

Wills of Brothers Hutson Martin and William Martin – Muhlenberg County

Among the early citizens of the Old Liberty area of Muhlenberg County was the Martin family.  Mrs. Susannah Walker Martin, widow of Thomas Martin of Virginia, a Revolutionary War soldier, moved her family to the county in 1805.  Her three daughters, Betsy, Mary and Nancy, soon married and moved away.  One son, Dabney Amos Martin, lived in Alabama.  Sons Hutson and William lived in the county the rest of their lives.  Almost all the Martins in the county descend from these two men.

William Martin was the pioneer of the plug-tobacco manufacturing business in Muhlenberg – see an earlier post.  He was born in Virginia December 23, 1776.  His wife, Jane (Campbell) Martin, was also born in Virginia October 22, 1776, and died near Old Liberty in 1851.  They were the parents of eight children:

  1. Thomas Lawrence Martin, who had eight children.
  2. William Campbell Martin, who married America Niblack, their two sons being Hugh Niblack and Thomas Hutson Martin.
  3. Eliza Ann Martin, who married Reverend Samuel M. Wilkins.
  4. Susannah W. Martin, who married James Hancock.
  5. Dabney A. Martin, who married Lizzie Britt, their only child was Jennie.
  6. Charles C. Martin, who married Nancy Y. Reynolds.
  7. David Martin
  8. Ellington Walker Martin, who married Emily Elliott

Hutson was a successful farmer, born in Virginia May 27, 1781.  His wife, Anna Lockridge Martin, treated many of the sick in the neighborhood with her own preparations of herbs.  She was known as ‘Mother Martin’, dying at the age of eighty-two.  They were the parents of twelve children:

  1. Andrew L. Martin, who married Fannie Rice.
  2. Mary Martin, who married George Ingram.
  3. Jane Martin, who married Jackson Rice.
  4. Lucretia Martin
  5. William W. Martin, who married Mary Ann Lovelace.
  6. Susan Martin, who married James Rice.
  7. John Martin
  8. Ellen Martin, who married John Grigsby.
  9. James Martin, who married Elizabeth Bell.
  10. Felix J. Martin, who married Caroline Eaves.
  11. Laura Ann Martin, who married James W. Allison.
  12. Luro Martin

These two brothers were also neighbors and buried in the same cemetery.  Since they died within a few years of each other I thought it appropriate their wills should be posted at the same time.

Hutson died July 7, 1838 – the day he wrote his will.  In his opening statement he says he is in ‘a low state of health’ and ‘I will not live long’.  Was he ill or had he suffered an accident?  He was 60 years of age.

William Martin lived an additional 13 years after his brother’s death, dying November 5, 1851, aged 75 years.  His wife, Jane, died two months earlier in September.  Hutson did not list individual children, perhaps he didn’t have time.  William lists all of his children except David, who must have died young, and Susannah, who also predeceased her father – but her two children, Ann Priscilla and James W. Hancock are named.  Dabney A. and Ellington M. are given their father’s horse, John Phillip – but no land or portion of his personal estate.  These two brothers had established a tobacco plant in Greensburg, the county seat, and began making ‘Greenville Tobacco’ in 1840, and were well established when their father died in 1851.

Will of Hutson Martin

Muhlenberg County Will Book 3, Pages 43-44

In the name of God, Amen.

I, Hutson Martin, of the County of Muhlenberg and Commonwealth of Kentucky, being in a low state of health, but of sound mind and disposing memory and believing that I will not live long, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.

First.  First of all, I will that my just debts be paid.

Second.  I will to my wife all my property, both real and personal, to be kept in her possession during her widowhood and provided she should marry again she shall have one third of all my estate, to her and her heirs forever, to dispose of the same as she may think proper.  The remainder of my estate I will and bequeath to be equally divided among my children.  I desire my beloved wife, Ann, to take a receipt for any property that

she may from time to time give to any of my children which I wish to be deducted as so much of their share of my estate.  I appoint my beloved wife as Executrix and my son, Andrew L. Martin or William M. Martin, my Executor of this my last will and guardians to my children.  I request my said executrix and executor not to give any security whatever for their performance of their debt as executrix and executor aforesaid leaving them capable of acting and performing the duties aforesaid better than any other persons.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the 7th day of July 1838.

Hutson Martin

Attest.  T. L. Martin, William Martin

Muhlenberg County Court, January County Court 1842

The foregoing last will and testament of Hutson Martin, deceased, was exhibited into court and proved by the oaths of Thomas L. Martin and William Martin, subscribing witnesses thereto as the law directs which is therefore admitted to and truly recorded.

Teste.  John Wing, Clerk

Will of William Martin

Muhlenberg County Will Book 3, Pages 115-116

In the name of God, amen.  I, William Martin, of the County of Muhlenberg and Commonwealth of Kentucky, being in the decline of life, but of sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank my God, and calling to mind the uncertainty of human life, and being desirous to dispose of all such worldly estate as it has pleased God to bless me with, and wishing to bequeath it to my own wish, I bequeath it in the following manner.  To wit.  All my land to be equally divided between Thomas L. Martin, William C. Martin, Charles C. Martin and Eliza Ann Wilkins, but in case of her death it to be paid to her children.  I will that D. A. Martin and Ellington Martin have my stable horse, John Phillip.  I will all my personal property to be sold and equally divided between Thomas L. Martin, William C. Martin, Charles C. Martin and Eliza Ann Wilkins and children, as above named, in the same manner.  Also, my two grand children to have an equal share, Ann Priscilla and James Walker Hancock, of the personal estate.  I will that Ann Priscilla and James Walker Hancock’s parts be kept in the hands of my administrators until they become of age or they may pay it over to them if they think it best.  I appoint Thomas L. Martin and Ellington Martin my administrators this 29 March 1846.

William Martin

[I believe the clerk forgot to write the witnesses in the will book – they are mentioned below.]

Kentucky – Muhlenberg County, November County Court 1851

The foregoing instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of William Martin, deceased, was produced to the court and proved to be the act and deed of the said Martin by the oaths of F. J. Martin and John F. Williams,

subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded.

Att. William H. C. Wing, Clerk

3 replies »

  1. I have been reading your posts. Though they were interesting, I didn’t know any of the people. This one is my family. Hutson’s Granddaughter Ophelia Grigsby married William’s grandson Hugh Niblack Martin. They are my great grandparents.

    I was recently given portraits of them by a cousin. The portraits need to be restored, I cannot find the pictures of the portraits right now (probably on my phone), but would be happy to find them and send them to you if you are interested.

    Maureen Martin Samuels

    Maureen M. Samuels, CPA

    804 Gagel Avenue

    Louisville, KY 40216


  2. I would be very interested in those photos if you could please send me a copy. I am Woodrow Martin from Greenville Kentucky. William C. Martin is my 4th Great Grandfather and I collect and keep the Martin family history. I have collections of data from all of the lineage and their offshoots. My email is redriverpaddler@gmail.com
    I would love to share any information I have if you are interested.

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