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William Martin Jr.

"Chatham" William
ca. 1735 ~ ca. 1795

His Early Life in Brunswick Co. Virginia

Because William Martin Jr. had the same given name as his father, it is difficult to distinguish the father's deeds from the son's deeds in Brunswick County. No land purchase has been found for any William Martin prior to the following deed found in 1759. This sale was three years prior to the elder William's death so it may never be known which William purchased this property.

Robert Moore Sr. of Luningburgh Co. 92 acres to William Martin for 5 pounds ...on the North side of Middle Cedar Creek... adjoining Valentine Moore's line... adjoining John Weaver's line... Wit: James Moore Jr. and John J. Weaver. (1759 b6-p398 Brunswick Co.)

Three years after the elder William Martin died (1762), another 92 acres was sold to William Jr. This time by good friend and neighbor, John Elmore. Note the presence of "William Martin's line." This obviously refers to the original 92 acres that was currently being maintained by the younger William and his seven year old son, Thomas Martin.

John Elmore and Mary of Brunswick Co. to William Martin of St. Andrews Parish 92 acres 20 pounds "beginning on the North side of Middle Cedar Creek... along William Martain's line... along the County Line." Wit: Robert Moore, Philemon Lacy and Valentine Moore. September, 7 1764 (b8-p80)

William Jr.'s brother, Abraham Martin and wife Ann (maiden name unknown) lived about one mile east of Cedar Creek, near the Tanfall Branch of Wildcat Creek in Brunswick Co. Their brother, Henry Martin also lived nearby. Four months after elder William Martin died, brother Henry bought 100 acres from Caleb Lindsey and wife Rose (Martin?) (1763 b7-p300). This land bordered property owned by Caleb Lindsey and Jonathan Williams. Future deeds indicate that more land is sold here than was ever recorded as being previously purchased. The next two deeds indicate that at one time William Martin Jr. was in possession of not only 184 acres on Cedar Creek but also 200 acres near Waqua Creek and Licking Branch which is about 30 minutes by foot south of Wildcat Creek. Where are the records of these procurements?

Thomas Briggs (mentioned in a previous section) purchases 100 acres from William Martin Jr. and wife Jane (maiden name unknown) for 30 pounds in 1769 (b9-p545). This land lies along Waqua Creek. "beginning at Walkerís corner... to Williamís corner [presumably referring to Jonathan Williams (see William Martin Sr.'s inventory)]... to Danielís corner... to Abraham Martin's corner... in Walkerís line."

On the same day that William Jr. and Jane Martin sell their land to Thomas Briggs, they also sell 100 acres to William's brother, Abraham Martin (1769 b9-547) for 7 pounds, "beginning on Licking branch in Walkerís line." Witnesses were: Jonathan Williams, Robert R. Williams, Henry Martin & Thomas Briggs. I believe this is an indication that William & Jane are packing up the wagon and taking their family south. Three years later in 1772, William Martin is found in Orange Co. North Carolina selling his Cedar Creek property. The following transaction of 184 acres is the combined total of both 92 acre deeds sold to William Martin in 1759 & 1762.

William Martin of Orange Co. NC to Daniel Askew of St. Andrews Parish, Brunswick Co. 184 acres, 55 pounds, "in the fork of Cedar Creek... adjoining Valentine Moore's line...along the said line to a hickory on the County line... down the said branch to the Middle Cedar Creek." Wit: William Weaver, Valentine Moore, John Moore & James Moore. (1772 b10-p407)

Chatham County, North Carolina

No deed has been found in Orange County, NC to officially indicate when William & Jane arrived in this county. Perhaps these records were burned by the British during the ensuing war. The earliest record of any land transaction by William Martin Jr. took place in 1784, Chatham Co. NC (Chatham was formed from this part of Orange Co. in 1771). This was fifteen years after William sold the Waqua Creek land to his brother, Abraham. By this time William Jr. was nearly 50 years old, the War was over and his oldest son, Thomas had already married and removed his own family southwest into Lincoln Co.

"THIS INDENTURE made this sixth day of November in the year of Our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty four, Between William Spurlin of the County of Chatham and State of North Carolina of the one part and William Martin of the County and State aforesaid of the other part... on Haw River and Meadow Branch beginning at the mouth of said branch. Witnesses were: John Martin and James Lindsey." (1785-bC-p312 Chatham Co.)

Because William Jr's father was also named William and the fact that William Jr. named his own son William, I will from this point on refer to William Martin Jr. as Chatham William.

At this writing, I do not know the relationship, if any, of the above witness John Martin. Since there is no record of a son named John, it is difficult to speculate on his connection. As for the witness James Lindsey, I find his presence very interesting. Consider this:

Haw River Land Grant

Less than ten months after purchasing land on the North side of the Haw River, Chatham William received a land grant from the State of North Carolina for 314 acres on the opposite (South) side of the this river. He paid fifty shillings per hundred acres. The grant bore the date of September 23, 1785.

"TO ALL TO WHOM these presents shall come greeting Know Ye That We for and in consideration of the sum of fifty Shillings for every hundred acres hereby granted paid into Our Treasury by William Martin... have given and granted and by these presents do give and grant unto the Said William Martin a Tract of Land containing three hundred and fourteen acres lying and being in Our County of Chatham on the South side of Haw River....the Twenty third day of September in the Tenth year of Our Independence and in the year Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Five."

The very same day that Chatham William received his land on the south side of the Haw River, his friend George Wilkie also received a state grant of land. At a comparable rate of fifty shillings per hundred acres, Mr. Wilkie acquired a more modest tract of 150 acres along Terrellís Creek. This transaction was recorded on the same day in which Chatham William obtained his own land grant. With these two transactions approved, William and George became formal neighbors in the new and virgin territory of the Haw River Valley.

The town of Terrell is also located just south of the Haw in north-central Chatham County. Meandering from west to east, Terrellís Creek runs for many miles just north of its namesake. Judging from the proximity of these features, George Wilkieís land must have bordered the southern section of acreage that was granted to Chatham William.

William Martin's Home

The land that William purchased from Mr. Spurlin in 1784, was said to have bordered the mouth of the Meadow Branch. This branch can be seen flowing southward into Ferrellís Creek which is located on the north side of the Haw River. Ferrellís Creek then continues for a short distance before surging into the Haw. Williamís home was probably located on this (north) side of the river. I have not seen the land that William farmed in Chatham County but a fellow researcher has inspected it for me. I have included a portion of his summary:

"This property is contained within the area bound by Ferrellís Creek on the West, a short portion of Meadow Branch on the North, the Crawford Dairy Road on the East, and a SSW fourth side of no clear distinction. The portion of the land bordered by the Meadow Branch could, for the most part be described as a flood plain for the branch. The soil appears to be of a sandy clay composition, which is typical of the general area. There are several old farmhouses adjacent to the area, and several old log tobacco barns, which indicate the crop was most likely of this nature...My general feeling is that this tract of land would have been a difficult place to make a living, which is probably why William's sons disposed of it shortly after his passing. There was a meadow adjoining the North side of the property. The end of the meadow contains the mouth of Meadow Branch. I believe this to be the branchís namesake."

Sandwiched between the two creeks, is Williamís Pond Dam. Could this be a name given to immortalize a previous land owner like William Spurlin or William Martin? Or was it only a name that lingers from an earlier pioneer by the name of William Pitts (the town of Pittsboro is nearby). It should be noted that Terrellís Creek, the town of Terrell, Terrellís Mountain, Ferrellís Creek, the Meadow Branch and Williamís Pond Dam are all located within about a two mile radius.

The McSwain farm (still maintained) is located along the Haw River further to the northwest. Collinís Mountain is also upstream. As time went by, both of these families along with relations of other nearby land owners such as Rippy, Elmore, Eskridge, Hardin and Irvin, became heavily intertwined in our Martin lineage.

William's Land Is Sold

In the summer of 1795, Williamís two sons, Thomas and William Jr., sold the land that they had inherited from their father in Chatham Co. NC.

"THIS INDENTURE made this twenty third day of July in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five Between Thomas Martin and William Martin Jun'r of the County of York and State of South Carolina, heirs to William Martin Deceased late of the County of Chatham and State aforesaid....and John Baker of the County of Chatham and State aforesíd of the other part, Witnesseth that the Said Thomas Martin and William Martin Jun'r being heirs to the above named William Martin deceased....of Land granted to the above named William Martin deceased by Deed bearing date twenty third day of September in the year of Our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty Five containing three hundred and fourteen acres....together will all the Houses, Orchards, Prophets, Commodities, Hereditaments and appurtenances....Thos. Martin (seal), William Martin (seal). Signed Sealed and delivered in presents of William Curl, William Martin. Chatham County August Session 1795."

It must be noted that one of the witnesses to this transaction was another William Martin. Who was this William? My guess is that it was Thomas Martinís son, William. He would have turned eighteen by this time. In any event, the presence of this William has been duly noted.

From the above sale, conveying the property of Chatham William (deceased), all indications are, that he passed sometime prior to July 23, 1795. There is some speculation that he might have spent a portion of his final years with his sons who had by this time moved their families southwest into Lincoln Co. NC along the border with York Dist. SC. Which William Martin purchased 162 acres of land in Lincoln Co. NC very near Thomas Martinís land along the Buffalo Creek in 1786 [p367]:

"STATE of NORTH CAROLINA Lincoln County - March 4, 1786 Surveyed for William Martin a tract of land lying on waters of Buffalo Creek. Beginning at a hickory & pine Jacob Collins old corner thence with said line South fifty deg West one hundred & thirty two ___ to a red oak on said line thence South forty East Sixty ___ pine on said Collins other line thence with said line East two hundred & thirty ___ to a pine thence North one hundred & thirty ___ to a red oak thence West one hundred & sixty two ___ to the beginning containing one hundred & sixty two acres. Chain Bearers: Abraham Collins. & Thomas Martin.. Signed: William Bowman ___.

To this day neither a will, nor a resting place, have been located for Chatham William or his wife, Jane.

Children of William Martin Jr. born c1730-1736 (probably Virginia), died before 23 July 1795 and Jane.

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Any comments or corrections to this information would be greatly appreciated. Please send them to me... Jeffrey Lee Martin