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Happy St. Patrick's Day - Honoring My Irish Roots!

Since it's St. Patrick's Day, I figured I would write a post honoring one of my Irish ancestors. His name was Samuel Martin and he was my 5th-great-grandfather. He was born 26 Mar 1732 in Ireland, where he also married his wife Margaret McCurdy. She was born in 1742. They married and immigrated to America sometime before 1766. They had eleven children total, that I know of so far.. there could possibly be more. Here are the children:

Anne Martin, born 12 Jun 1766, married Rev. Thomas Newton
Jane Martin, born about 1771
Robert Martin, born about 1773
William Martin, born 15 May 1774, married Hannah Irvin
Joseph Martin, born about 1774
Margaret Martin, born about 1775, married John Kerr, Jr.
James Martin, born about 1776, married Margaret "Peggy" Kerr
Thomas Martin, never married
John Martin, born about 1780
Mary Martin, born 7 Sep 1781
George Martin, born about 1784, married Martha

Now, let's continue on Samuel. In the January term of 1772 for Tyron County, North Carolina, he was ordered to serve as constable (of the town or county?) under William Moore. In the April 1774 term, he again was ordered to serve as constable. In 1775, Samuel served as a representative for Mecklenburg County, NC to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina.

The following is a biography found in the book 'Sketches of Western North Carolina Illustrating Principally the Revolutionary Period of Mecklenburg, Rowan, Lincoln and Adjoining Counties', by C. L. Hunter and published 1877, republished 1970:
Captain Samuel Martin was a native of Ireland, and born in the year 1732. When a young man, he emigrated to America, and first settled in Pennsylvania. After remaining a short time in that State, he joined the great tide of emigration to the southern colonies. He first entered the service as a private in Captain Robert Alexander's company, in June 1776, Colonel Graham's Regiment, and marched to Fort McGaughey, in Rutherford county, and thence across the Blue Ridge Mountains against the Cherokee Indians, who were committing murders and depredations upon the frontier settlements. in January 1777, he attached himself to the command of Captain William Chronicle, and marched to the relief of the post of Ninety Six, in Abbeville county, S.C., and after this service he returned to North Carolina.
About the 1st of November, 1770, his company was ordered to Charlotte, at that time a place of rendezvous of soldiers for the sourrounding counties, and whiel there he received a special commission of captain, conferred on him by General Rutherford. With his special command he marched with other forces from Charlotte by way of Camden, to the relief of Charleston, and fell in with Col. Hampton, at the Governor's gate, near that city. Finding that place completely invested by the British army, he remained but a short time, and returned to North Carolina with Colonel Graham's regiment, about the 1st of June, 1780.
Being informed on the night of his arrival at home that he Tories were embodied in strong force at Ramsour's Mill, near the present town of Lincolnton, he immediately raised a small company and joined General Davidson's battalion, General Rutherford commanding, encamped at Colonel Dickson's plantation, three miles northwest of Tuckaseege ford. General Rutherford broke up his encampment at that place, early on the morning of the 20th of June, 1780, then sixteen miles from Ramsour's Mill, and marched with his forces, expecting to unite with Colonel Locke in making a joint attack upon the Tories, but failed to reach the scene of conflict until two hours after the battle. The Tories had been signally defeated and routed by Colonel Locke and his brave associates, and about fifty made prisoners, among the number a brother of Colonel Moore, the commander of the Tory forces.
Immediately after this battle he received orders from Colonels Johnston and Dickson to proceed with his company to Colonel's Moore's residence, six or seven miles west of the present town of Lincolnton, and arrest that Tory leader, but he had fled with about thirty of his follower's to Camden, S.C., where Cornwall's was then encamped. Soon after this service Captain Martin was ordered to proceed with his company to Rugeley's Mill, in Kershaw county, S.C. Here Colonel Rugeley, the Tory commander, had assembled a considerable force, and fortified his log barn and dwelling house. Colonel Washington, by order of General Morgan, had pursued him with his cavalry, but having no artillery, he resorted to an ingenious stratagem to capture the post without sacrificing his own men. Accordingly he mounted a pine log, fashioned as a cannon, elevated on its own limbs, and placed it in position to command the houses in which the Tories were lodged. Colonel Washington then made a formal demand for immediate surrender. Colonel Rugeley fearing the destructive consequences of the formidable cannon bearing upon his command in the log barn and dwelling house, after a stipulation as to terms, promptly surrendered his whole force, consisting of one hundred and twelve men, without a gun being fired on either side. It was upon the reception of the news of this surrender that Cornwallis wrote to Tarleton, "Rugeley will not be made a Brigadier."
After this successful stratagem, seldom equaled during the war. Captain Martin was ordered to march with his company in pursuit of Colonel Cunningham (commonly called "bloody Bill Cunningham") a Tory leader, encamped on Fishing creek, but he fled so rapidly he could not overtake him. During the latter part of ugust and the whole of September, Captain Martin was rarely at home, and then not remaining for more than two days at a time. About the last week of September he marched with his company by a circuitous route, under Colonel Graham, to Cowpens. There he united with Colonels Campbell, Shelby, Sevier, Cleaveland and other officers and marched with them to King's Mountain. In this battle Captain Martin acted a conspicious part, was in the thickest of the fight, and lost six of his company. After this battle he continued in active scouting duties wherever his services were needed.
When Cornwallis marched through Lincoln county in pursuit of General Morgan, encumbered with upwards of five hundred prisoners, captured at the Cowpens, he was ordered to harass his advance as much as possible. A short time after Cornwallis crossed the Catawba at Cowan's Ford, he marched as far as Salisbury, when he was ordered by Colonel Dickson to convey some prisoners to Charlotte. Having performed this service, he proceeded to Guilford Court house, but did not reach that place until after the battle. He then returned him, and was soon after discharged.
In October 1833, Captain Martin, when one hundred and one years old, was granted a pension by the general government. He was a worthy and consistent member of the Associate Reformed Church, and died on the 26th of November, 1836, aged one hundred and four years! He married in Ireland, Margaret McCurdy, who was also attained an extreme old age, and both are buried in Goshen grave yard, in Gaston County.

1 comments:

Alan Powell said...

Hi Nick,
I've been trying to find some things out about my 4th great grandfather Abraham Roach and I think there might be a connection to your 5th great Grandfather. Between 1781 and 1786, papers were filed in Mecklenberg County Courts bonding Abraham Roach into the guardianship of a Sam Martin. At that time, Abraham would have been between 15-20 years old. His grandfather John Springs provided bond for the guardianship. I was wondering whether you might have come across Abraham's name in any of your research.

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