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Jacob Hartsell

Jacob Hartsell was born on Sept. 1, 1751 in Bucks County, PA, the son of Hans Mellinger "Melchior" and Esther (Schuch) Hartzell.

He married Margaret Smith (1798?- ? ), who was significantly younger.

They lived in Turkeyfoot Township, Somerset County, PA and later migrated to Preston County in what today is West Virginia.

The Hartsells' entry in the 1914 book, A History of Preston County  

The Hartsells produced six  offspring, as spelled out in the 1914 book by Owen F. Morton, entitled  A History of Preston County, West Virginia -- Jonas Hartsell, Jacob Hartsell,  Susan Minerd, Elizabeth Ann Martin, Sarah Martin and Catharine "Katie Ann" Martin. The book erroneously states that Sarah married Daniel H. Martin, while in fact he wed her sister Catharine.

Jacob reputedly passed away in 1839.

Evidence suggests that Margaret outlived her spouse by a number of years and in 1850 lived with her married daughter and son-in-law, Catharine "Katie" Ann and Daniel H. Martin. Census records for 1850 indicate that two houses away was the family of her married daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Burket Minerd.

~ Son Jonas Hartsell ~

Son Jonas Hartsell (1799-1875) was born in 1799.

He was united in the rite of matrimony with Elizabeth Godwin ( ? - ? ).

Jonas died in 1875. Elizabeth Ann Hartsel/Hartzell (1820-1899) was born on April 7, 1820 in Fayette County, PA. 

~ Son Jacob Hartsell ~

Son Jacob Hartsell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?).

He entered into marriage with Emily Messenger ( ? - ? ).  

~ Daughter Elizabeth Ann (Hartsell) Martin ~

Daughter Elizabeth Ann Hartsell (1820-1899) was born on April 7, 1820 in Fayette County, PA. 

"Early in life she was happily converted to God, and united with the church," wrote J.D. Miller in a newspaper article at the end of her years. 

Elizabeth's obituary
Courtesy Find-a-Grave
On Sept. 17, 1837, at the age of 17, she married Jesse Martin (Aug. 31, 1819-1899). 

Together, the couple produced a family of 10 children, among them six daughters and four sons. The known offspring were Lucian "Lucy Ann" Martin, Sarah A. Martin, Jonathan Martin, Albert Martin, Mariah K. Martin, Margaret J. Martin, Lafayette Newton Martin, Mary E. Falkenstine, Martha A. Martin and Jesse C. Martin. As fate would decree, the parents outlived seven of their brood. 

Their home was on Muddy Creek Hill, halfway between Valley Point and Albrightsville. When the federal census enumeration was made in 1850, the Martins lived in close proximity to the households of Samuel and Rebecca Martin. In 1860, their neighbors included the Samuel Martins and the family of Jacob J. and Sarah A. Martin.

Jesse was named to the post of surveyor during the decade of the 1870s and into 1880. The U.S. Census of 1880 lists his occupation as "Surveyor." That year, only 25-year-old unmarried daughter Martha was in their household, with married son Lafayette and his wife Eva dwelling next-door.  

Jesse is believed to have earned a living as a flour miller, owning and operating the "old King mill." A May 1891 article in the West Virginia Argus reported that he had sold it to Mr. Zellers who "will repair and run it. We are glad to have a good miller again."

Sadly, both husband and wife died just five months apart. Elizabeth passed away first, at the age of 78, on Jan. 4, 1899. A newspaper eulogized that Elizabeth was "a kind and affectionate wife, a dutiful and loving mother... She was pleasant and kind to all through life, patient in her afflictions, calm and serene in death. Surely she was a model worthy of emulations. The dear friends of Mother Martin have the sympathy of the entire community." Rev. Freas Hess officiated the funeral service, and "preached a very eloquent and impressive discourse," said the obituary written by Miller. "A large concourse of friends attended the funeral." 

Martin burials recorded at Beech Run Cemetery
Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasant Districts

Jesse surrendered to the spirit of death at the age of 79, on June 9, 1899. His obituary noted that "death was caused by old age and general debility" and that "three children survive, all grown and married," adding that "Seven children had died and gone before to the spirit land." The pair sleeps for the ages in Beech Run Cemetery, a burying ground of the Mt. Union Church.

A record of their grave marker is published in the 1933 book, Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasant Districts, Preston County, West Virginia, authored by Edward Thorp King, of Marshalltown, Iowa. The cemetery is located near Mt. Zion Church in the Pleasant District, four miles north of Albright, and the inscriptions were copied on June 25, 1932.

Daughter Lucian "Lucy Ann" Martin (1838- ? ) was born in about 1838 in what today is West Virginia.

Daughter Sarah A. Martin (1841- ? ) was born in about 1841.

Son Jonathan H. Martin (1842- ? ) was born in about 1842. He grew up on the Muddy Creek farm of his parents. Research is underway to determine if he is the same man who enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War, on July 16, 1861, as a member of the 7th West Virginia Infantry, Company A. Records of the regiment indicate that he died at an unknown date. His burial took place in Beech Run Cemetery, the same burial ground where his parents sleep for eternity.

Son Albert Martin (1844- ? ) was born in about 1844.

Daughter Mariah K. Martin (1846- ? ) was born in about 1846.

Daughter Margaret J. Martin (1848- ? ) was born in about 1848.

Son Lafayette Newton ""L.N." Martin (1851-1929) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1851 in West Virginia. He entered into marriage with Eva Catherine May (Aug. 22, 1852-1933), a Preston County native and the daughter of Levi and Jane (Sypolt) May. They were longtime farmers in the Pleasant District of Preston County. The known children they together bore were Idella Jane Martin, Elvina Martin, Howard Staley Martin, Dora Martha Miller, John Raymond Martin and Victoria Blanch Loraw. Sadly, daughter Idella Jane died at birth on May 8, 1878, and daughter Elvina at age five years on Nov. 14, 1881, of unknown causes. Stricken with stomach cancer for the last three years of his life, he succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 78 years, seven months and 10 days on Oct. 27, 1929. Burial was in the sacred soil of Beech Run Cemetery in Preston County. A.D. Laraw of Brandonville was the informant for the official West Virginia certificate of death. Eva outlived her spouse by three-and-a-half years, making a residence in Albrightsville. On Feb. 12, 1933, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and lingered for three days until dying, at the age of 80 years, five months and 23 days, on Feb. 15, 1933. A.D. Laraw again provided vital details for the death certificate.

Daughter Mary E. Martin (1853-1886) was born on Sept. 20, 1853. On March 20, 1873, when she was 19 years of age, she was joined in matrimony with Jerome Lewis Falkenstine (Jan. 1, 1852-1898). The known children of the pair were Marshall Jacob Falkenstine, William "Harvey" Falkenstine, Joseph S. Falkenstine, Martha A. Falkenstine and Jesse Orville Falkenstine. Sadness cascaded over the family when, suffering from "muscular rheumatism," Mary died at the age of 32 on May 9, 1886 at Valley Point. Her remains were interred in Mount Moriah Cemetery. The widowed Jerome grieved for a year and then on April 7, 1887 wed again to his late wife's cousin,  Victoria "Belle" Martin (June 15, 1866-1937), daughter of James K. and Margaret (Minerd) Martin, also of Valley Point. See Victoria Belle's biography for more.

Daughter Martha A. Martin (1855- ? ) was born in about 1855. In 1880, unmarried, she lived at home with her parents. Did she marry James Smith ( ? - ? )? If so, they dwelled in the Pleasant District, and she passed away on March 9, 1882, with burial on the farm of I.P. Martin. This all needs to be confirmed.

Son Jesse C. Martin (1857- ? ) 

~ Daughter Catharine "Katie Ann" (Hartzell) Martin ~

Daughter Catharine "Katie Ann" Hartzell (1827-1881) was was born on May 6, 1827. 

She wed Daniel H. Martin (Sept. 10, 1823-1896). 

The known offspring of their union were Sarah Jane Thomas, Eugene "Dean" Martin, David Marshall Martin, Elizabeth M. Liston and Smith M. Martin.

Katie Ann was a faithful member of the local Methodist Episcopal Church for more than 35 years. Said an obituary, "She was a model of female piety, self-retiring in her habits and punctual in attendance on all the means of grace... As a wife, she was affectionate; as a mother, she had but few equals." 

The Martins' burials recorded at Valley Point Cemetery
Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasant Districts

Katie Ann's obituary
Courtesy Find-a-Grave
Suffering from inflammation of the lungs (pleurisy), Katie Ann passed away on Jan. 22, 1881 at the age of 53 years, eight months and 16 days. Her funeral service at the Mt. Moriah Church, led by Rev. F.G.W. Ford, was attended by at least 400 people. Said the obituary, written by J.H. Feather, "The funeral discourse was appropriate. The speaker frequently referring to the life of the deceased, as being one of spotless purity, and worthy of the imitation of those with whom she was surrounded. All that remained mortal of sister Martin was interred in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery; she being the first interment in the new Cemetery... Her sudden death has cast a melancholy gloom over all the community."

Daniel mourned his loss for a year and then in 1882 wed again to Ludema Gweyers (April 11, 1844-1927), daughter of John and Charlotte (Gratehouse) Gwyers, at times misspelled as "Zweyer." The second marriage produced two more children, John J. Martin (born April 1883) and Henry E. Martin (born Sept. 1886).

He died in 1896. 

Ludema survived her husband by several decades. Her residence in 1900 was in Valley Point, next-door to her stepson Smith Martin and family.

Burdened with chronic heart valve problems, Ludema passed away at the age of 83 on Sept. 4, 1927. She was laid to rest in Miller Cemetery.

A record of their grave marker is published in the 1933 book, Genealogy of Some Early Families in Grant and Pleasant Districts, Preston County, West Virginia, authored by Edward Thorp King, of Marshalltown, Iowa. The cemetery is located three-quarters of a mile south of Valley Point, and the inscriptions were copied on the Fourth of July 1931.

Daughter Sarah Jane Martin (1844-1894) was born in 1844. She married Jacob W. Thomas (July 13, 1840-1914), a West Virginia native and the son of Jacob and Margaret (Pulliam) Thomas. Two children born to this union were Marshall Howard Thomas and Mary Catherine Vincent Gossett. The pair moved across the state line into Pennsylvania and resided in the 1890s in Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. He earned a living as a carpenter. Sadness blanketed the family when Sarah Jane died at the age of 49. Her funeral procession from Uniontown passed through Bruceton Mills en route to Valley Point, where burial took place at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. The widowed Jacob married again in about 1895 to Dora (Oct. 1872- ? ). They shared a home in 1900 in Uniontown. He relocated to Pittsburgh and had an address circa 1914 of 443 Forward Street in the city's Greenfield section. At the age of 73, Jacob suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and lingered for a little more than a week before dying on March 5, 1914. Marshall Thomas of the home address provided vital information for the death certificate. A funeral notice was published in the Pittsburgh Daily Post. Burial took place in Minerville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Marshall Howard Thomas (1866-1950) was born in 1866. When he was 26 or 27 years of age, in February 1893, he ran afoul of the law in Uniontown when a "valentine caused the arrest .... a few days ago," reported the West Virginia Argus. "It was not sent through the mails, but Thomas kicked vigorously when a young woman handed it to him. Then the valentine kicked because its mamma Miss Mary Elkins wanted its papa, as she said, to take care of it, this he refused to do, hence the arrest." 
  • Granddaughter Mary Catherine Thomas ( ? - ? ) married (?) Vincent and (?) Gossett. 

Son Eugene "Dean" Martin (1848-1936) was born on Dec. 2, 1848 at Valley Point. He was joined in wedlock with Mary Wolfe ( ? - ? ). The family dwelled in Albright in the Portland District of the county, and he labored as a carpenter to earn a living. A story in a March 1897 edition of the West Virginia Argus of Kingwood said that "Our modern architect, Dean Martin, has taken a contract to build an office for J.H. Welch, who will be our next postmaster." Later that year, in September, he and fellow carpenter William Casteel were engaged in a project at Lenox. Working with Frank Faulkner, Dean built a new hotel at Lake Terra Alta in June 1898. He is known to have built a new house for himself in August 1900 near the old one in the St. Joe community. Continuing to attract new business, he assisted John Elliott with carpentry in September 1909 for a new house for their client Dora Feather. Dean retired in about 1926. He was burdened with heart disease and rheumatic fever in later years. He succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 87 on Oct. 19, 1936. The remains were lowered under the sod of Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Signing the official death certificate was A.M. Montabone of Albright.

Son David Marshall Martin (1853-1931) was born on Dec. 20, 1854. He resided for years on a farm at Valley Point. In 1927, at the death of his stepmother, he signed the official West Virginia certificate of death. Stricken for a week with lobar pneumonia, the angel of death cleaved him away on Feb. 12, 1931, at the age of 76. Burial was at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

Daughter Elizabeth M. Martin (1856-1929) was born on Feb. 22, 1856. She wed Noah Z. Liston (Jan. 13, 1856-1930), son of John G. Jackson and Elizabeth (Miller) Liston. The Listons put down roots in Valley Point in the Pleasant District of Preston County. Noah is known to have served as executor of the estate of his late father circa 1901. In older years, Elizabeth endured heart and kidney disease and her mind began to deteriorate from senility. She passed into eternity at age 72 on Jan. 4, 1929. Interment was at Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Noah only outlived his bride by fewer than two years. Death claimed him at age 74 on Sept. 3, 1930. William Liston of Albright was the informant for the death certificate.

Son Smith M. Martin (1858-1937) was born on Oct. 13, 1858 in Preston County. On March 3, 1881, at the age of 22, he is believed to have been joined in marriage with 19-year-old Mary Jane Smith ( ? - ? ), also a Preston Countian. Officiating their wedding was Daniel Titchnell. The Martins were longtime farmers and dwelled at Valley Point in the county's Pleasant District. They together produced six children, among them Emery C. Martin, Joseph F. Martin and Anna G. Martin, and the other three dying young prior to 1900. As of 1887, Smith, along with his father and other Martin and Liston kin, earned income from Preston County assisting surveyor John G. Jackson Liston. Then in May 1890, he was named in a West Virginia Argus story about some local trouble.

We have received information from a reliable source that certain parties over in the Muddy Creek Hill neighborhood received notice from so called Red Men warning them to leave the county. We understand that a bundle of withs was left at the door of Smith Martin, son of Squire Martin, one night last week and a notice warning him to leave the State in 30 days, also, same night a bundle and similar notice was left at the door of a widow Gross, who resides in the same neighborhood and whose name rumer has connected with said Martin's as being too intimate. The parties are not a bit frightened and will stay and fight it out and if anything is attempted some one will probably get hurt. 

The federal census enumeration of 1900 shows the family in the Pleasant District, living on a farm next door to his widowed stepmother Ludema and the household of Maisy and Rachel E. Martin.  In 1925, at the age of about 67, Smith was diagnosed with hardening of the arteries but lived for another dozen years with the condition. Then on March 22, 1937, after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage, he died at the age of 78. Interment of the remains was in the sacred soil of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, with Minnie Messenger of Valley Point signing the death certificate.

  • Grandson Emery C. Martin (1882- ? ) was born in June 1882.
  • Grandson Joseph F. Martin (1884- ? ) was born in March 1884.
  • Granddaughter Anna G. Martin (1894- ? ) was born in Jan. 1894.


Copyright 2020, 2023 Mark A. Miner

The website DJSmith.com, the Somerset County GenWeb and the late Eber Cockley of the Historical and Genealogical Society of Somerset County [PA], Inc. all have researched this family.