John M. Martin was born in 1832 in the 45th District of Preston County, WV, the son of Henry and Keziah (Miner) Martin. His middle initial also has been stated in historical documents as "J."
He married Louisa Miller (1835- ? ), the daughter of Presley and Margaret Miller and a native of Fayette County, PA. They were wed on Aug. 31, 1856 in Preston County, when John was age 23 and Louisa 21. Rev. William P. Fortney performed the ceremony.
The couple together bore two known children -- Julius Caeser Martin and Sarah "Sally" Martin.
John was a carpenter in Evansville, Preston County, circa 1857, at the time his son Julius was born. When the federal census was enumerated in 1860, the Martins made their home near Pruntytown, Taylor County, WV, where they were farmers.
Tragically, John contracted a fatal case of smallpox. He died from its effects at the age of 30 on Dec. 29, 1862, in Taylor County. His untimely passing left his wife with two young children under the age of six.
The widowed Louisa's fate is not yet known.
Evidence hints that she married again at the age of 29, to 57-year-old mechanic John L. Swisher, in Grafton, on July 17, 1871. On their marriage license, both were listed as widowed, with her maiden name shown as "Miller" and his parents as Jacob and Drusilla Swisher. When the federal census was taken in 1880, the couple lived by themselves on a farm in Winfield, Marion County, WV.
If Louisa in fact married John Swisher, then he died on Sept. 7, 1896 in Catawba, Marion County, and she died on Jan. 9, 1904, also in Catawba.
~ Daughter Sarah "Sally" Martin ~
Daughter Sarah "Sally" Martin (1860- ? ) was born in 1860.
Nothing more is known.
~ Was John a Soldier in the Civil War? ~
We have investigated whether one of the men named John Martin -- who were Civil War soldiers in West Virginia in regiments where other cousins are known to have served -- might be ours'. However, we have come up empty after examining their original Civil War pension files in person in December 2008 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. These included:
Copyright © 2001, 2004-2005, 2008-2009, 2013 Mark A. Miner