An American Family History


Martin Family

In 1774 Governor Dunmore declared war against the indignious Americans. The war ended after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774.
The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

Pittsylvania County, Virginia was formed in 1767 from Halifax County. In 1777 the western part became Henry County.

Joseph Martin, Jr. was born about 1740 in Albemarle County, Virginia. He was the was son of Captain Joseph Martin, Sr. and Susannah Chiles.

The town of Martinsville, Virginia was named in his honor.

He married Sarah Lucas in 1762 in Orange County, Virginia.

Joseph's children may have included:

John Martin (1762),
Susannah Martin Burris (1763, married Jacob Burris),
William L. Martin (1765, married Frances Farris),
Elizabeth Martin Waller (1768, married Carr Waller),
Martha Martin Cleveland (1768, married Willian Cleveland)
Brice Martin (1770, married Matilda Perkins),
Mary Martin (1773, married Daniel Hammock),

James Martin (1776)
Sarah Nancy Martin (1782, married Archelaus Hughes),
Joseph Martin (1785, married Sally Hughes),
Alexandra Martin (1786, married George Smith),
Jessie Martin (1786, married Cecelia Ried and Annie Armstead)
Thomas W. Martin (1787, married Nancy Carr),
Lewis Graves Martin (1790, married Belinda Rucker),
Patrick Henry Martin (1791),
Sallie Martin (1794, married Samuel Armstead),
Susannah Martin (1795, George King),
Lindsley D. Martin (1796)
Alexander Martin, (1799, married Elizabeth Carr),
John Calvin Martin, (1803, married Sofiah Rucker),
George Wythe Martin, (1805,  married Elizabeth A. Starling and Caroline R. Watkins)

He attempted to settle in Powell's Valley in 1769, but was driven out by the Cherokee.

In 1774, he was a lieutenant in Lord Dunmore's War.

In 1775, he was a captain in the Virginia militia. That year he returned to Powell's Valley and built Martin's Station. It was the last fortified station along the Wilderness Road and was a well-known stop for the early settlers.

While in Powell's Valley he married Elizabeth "Betsy" Ward. Elizabeth was the daughter of Nancy Ward. In 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement. After the attack, Joseph abandoned the station.

In 1776 he was a captain on the Cherokee Expedition.

In 1777, he was a member of the North Carolina constitutional convention and commanded troops at the Treaty of Long Island. That year Governor Patrick Henry appointed him as an Indian agent and he signed the petition of Holston men.

He became a major in 1779 and lieutenant colonel in 1781.

In 1782, Martin served in the North Carolina House of Commons.

His wife, Sarah, died in 1782 at Scuffle Hill, their estate on the Smith River in Henry County, Virginia,

In 1783, Joseph made a third attempt to settle in Powell's Valley.

In 1784, Joseph married Susannah Graves, the daughter of William Graves.

In 1783, 1786, 1787, and 1789 he served in the North Carolina Senate, representing Sullivan County.

In 1787, the North Carolina assembly chose Martin as brigadier general for the Washington District.

In 1789 , he sold his land in Powell Valley and the land near Kingsport, Tennessee. He returned to his plantation on Leatherwood Creek, near present day Martinsville in Henry County, Virginia.

In 1795 and 1800-1802, he surveyed the border between Virginia and Tennessee.

Joseph died at Belmont in Henry County, Virginia, in 1808.


European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

Nancy (Nanyeh) Ward (1738-1824) was a Cherokee leader in Tennessee who was an important intermediary between European American settlers and the Cherokee people.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.











Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.