Joseph was born to Jonathan and Hannah Martin, who had emigrated from England (possibly Suffolk) at some point prior to 1777 (which was the date of his brother Jonathan's birth in East Haddam). There is some confusion online about Hannah's maiden name being either Huxford or Fuller.
When Joseph was 4 years old, his father died, leaving him (and five siblings) to be raised alone by Hannah. Joseph was of appropriate age to have fought in the War of 1812, much like other East Haddam residents. There wasn't a draft at that time, so it's clear that Joseph didn't feel incentivized to join.
Joseph married Livia Phelps, daughter of Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Phelps, on October 1, 1817 in East Haddam. They had a great deal of farmland up until around 1850 (lived in the Poor Farm), but recovered and secured land next door to Livia's cousin Hiram Phelps.
Joseph and Livia had seven children in East Haddam:
-Mariette Clark (1819-??) One girl appears on the 1820 Census, so it's clear she lived that long, but since no girls appear on the 1930 Census, I'm inclined to believe that she had died by then.
-Niles Martin (1820–1893) Niles moved 200 miles away from home, to start a farm in Bucks County, PA. He enlisted in the Civil War in 1863 (same time as two of his brothers). On this record, his occupation was listed as a "Drover" (one who moves animals long distances, like a cattle driver). He and his wife Elizabeth had a son named Joseph, after his father, and a daughter Sarah. For the 1860 Census, he was listed as (either a "Tinkerman" or a "Gentleman"), and for the 1870 Census, a "Lumber Merchant".
-Ephraim Martin (1824-1915) Ephraim married Elizabeth Harris and moved to nearby Hartford, where he also ran his own farm. They had at least one child, Anna. Ephraim enlisted in the Civil War in the summer of 1863, with two of his brothers.
-Esther Phelps Martin (1826–1901) Esther married carpenter Leonard Sherman Clark, and they were my 2nd great grandparents. No girls appeared living with Joseph for the 1830 Census, so I wonder where she may have been at that time. Legend has it that Esther was the "ugliest woman in East Haddam", and that Joseph was so grateful to get her married in 1843, he gave Leonard a lot of farmland as dowry. Interestingly, however, Joseph and the rest of his family were the keepers of the East Haddam Poor House as of the 1850 Census. Esther bore Leonard 12 children. Several hundred of her descendants still live in East Haddam and surroundings to this day.
-Edgar Mandlebert Martin (1830–1894) Edgar married Azubah Wright. Not long after Livia died in 1860, Edgar took over the family farm, keeping his father Joseph living with him. Unlike his three brothers, he did not enlist in the Civil War.
-Catherine Isabella Martin (1834–??) Isabella appears to have married a Charles Clark in 1857 (in Belfast, Northern Ireland - wonder what the story was there). Can't find any additional records on her, though. However, this record may instead match to a different couple (one lawyer named Charles A. Clark and his wife Isabella, both born in Ireland, and living in NYC in 1880).
-Datus W. Martin (1836–1874) Datus enlisted in the Civil War in 1863, fighting in the CT __. When he returned from the War, he married his wife Adelaide, and started a farm in East Haddam. They had three children together. He died at the very young age of 37. I believe Adelaide may have remarried afterwards, since I cannot find her in any subsequent records. The 1880 Census has Datus' son Frederick managing his father's farm as a single farmer, at age 16.
|Grave of Joseph Martin|
East Haddam, CT
Connecticut Town Records (Barbour Collection)