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Monday, July 21, 2014

John Martyn 1634-1713

Swansea, MA, located in the most southwesterly corner of MA bordering Mt. Hope Bay and Rhode Island, was home to at least six of my male ancestors. I find that extraordinary, given the logistics of travel in the late 1600’s. Although they were not related to each other, originally, the families did intermarry over the years, thus creating six lines of ancestry back to this picturesque town. It is in Swansea that the first English blood was shed, in King Philip’s War,’ on Sunday, Jun 20 1675. Over half the homes were burned to the ground while everyone was at church. This is where John Martyn/Martin lived and his house was one that burned that day. He was the 15th signer admitted to the town when Swansea was incorporated in 1669 and therefore one of the original settlers.

John Martyn was the son of Edward Martin and Judith Upham, born in Ottery, St. Mary, Devonshire.  He came from England in 1663, settling in that part of Rehoboth, later called Swansea, and was one of the founders of the Baptist Church there.  He was a weaver, by trade, and a farmer. He was appointed constable, June 6, 1671, surveyor of highways, June 3, 1673, and June 2, 1685. In 1673 he bought land on New Meadow Neck, near Hundred Acre Cove, and built a house north of Central Bridge.  He died March 21,1713-14, aged eighty years and is buried in the Tyler Point Cemetery, Barrington, Bristol Co., RI.

He married, April 26, 1671, Joanna Esten, b. June 1, 1645, in Herefordshire, Eng., daughter of Thomas Esten, who came with Rev. John Myles from Eng. to Rehoboth, and settled at North Providence.

1   John and Joanna (Esten) Martin had 10 children:

          a  Jemima (1672 - ?) m. Samuel Salisbury (1666-1757)
          b  Melatiah (1673 – 1761) m. Rebecca Brooks (1679-1730) – 8 children
          c  John (1674 – 1757) m.  Mercy Hayward (1678-1610) – 8 children
          d  Ephraim (1677 – 1734) m. Thankful Bullock (1681-1762) – 10 children
          e  Ann (1678 – 1759) m. Richard Round
          f  Robert (1679 - ?)
          g  Manasseh (1681 – 1754) m. Hannah Carpenter
          h  Johanna (1683 – 1715) m. Phillip Short – 2 children
    2    i  Ebenezer (1685 – 1727)  m. Abigail Wheeler (1690-?) – 5 children
          j  Judith (1686 – 1751) m. John Luther

At Find a Grave, I discovered a great deal of interesting information. I have not verified this as much of it comes from siblings of Ebenezer Martin, who is my direct ancestor.  I am providing it here so that you may do your own research to verify these claims.

John Martin is:

2x great grandfather of Simeon Martin, Gov. of RI
4x great grandfather of Alexander Hamilton Bullock, Gov. of MA
4x great grandfather of John William Davis, Gov. of RI (once through Melatiah                         and once through John)
5x great grandfather of Cornelius Newton Bliss, US Sec. of the Interior                                    (1897-1899)
6x great grandfather of Nelson Ackerman Eddy, singer, actor
6x great grandfather of Prescott Sheldon Bush, US Senator from CT
6x great grandfather of James Grover Thurber, author, cartoonist
7x great grandfather of George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st US President
7x great grandfather of Gene Roddenberry, sci-fi screenwriter and producer                            (through his daughter Jemima)
7x great grandfather of Perkins Bass, US Congressman from NH
7x great grandfather of Spalding Rockwell Gray, actor, screenwriter, performer,                       playwright (once through son Melatiah and once through son                              Ephraim)
7x great grandfather of William Standish Knowles, Nobel Laureate for Chemistry                     (2001)
8x great grandfather of George Walker Bush, Gov. of TX and 43rd US President
8x great grandfather of John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, Gov. of FL
8x great grandfather of Bobby Darin, singer, songwriter, actor
8x great grandfather of Gene Roddenberry, sci-fi screenwriter and producer                            (once through his son Melatiah)
8x great grandfather of Charles Foster Bass, US Congressman from NH
8x great grandfather of Marshall Field V, newspaper publisher                                                 (Chicago Sun-Times)
9x great grandfather of John James “Jimmy” Duncan, Jr., US Congressman from                     TN

Encyclopedia of Biography
Find A Grave
History of Swansea, Massachusetts, Otis Olney Wright, 1917

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