One of the great mysteries of my ancestry is that of my 4x great grandfather, Thaddeus Martin. One researcher I have contacted has been researching him for over 30 years. And in a lovely coincidence, the Martin family eventually married into my equally hard to track Acker line.
Here is a time line of what I know about Thaddeus, with thanks to Martin researcher and distant cousin Daryl Althaver who has generously shared a lot of this information with me. The questions are where was he born, on what date, and who he and his wife's parents were. Also, where is he buried and were there more children? And what happened to his wife after his death?
1789 - Approximate year that Thaddeus was born in New York. Other birth locations from childrens' census and death certificates include Connecticut, Vermont, and Scotland. He may have been born later in that year judging by the years given on the 1830 and 1840 census, which seem younger than a 1789 birth we see after 1850, or he was born in 1790.
1813 Dec 25 - Drafted into New York Militia at Livonia, Livingston County, NY for the War of 1812. Unit was led first by Capt. Stone and later Capt. Hull.
1814 May 1 - Discharged at Canandaigua, NY. Discharge papers state he fought on the Niagara Frontier.
1817 Aug 27 - Marriage to Lucy (Marsh) Butterworth at the Peterboro Presbyterian Church in Smithfield, NY. Jonathon Kitchel presided. There is no record of them as members of this church.
between 1815 and 1820 - Unknown daughter born.
1820 - Census listing for Thaddeus at Barre, Orleans County, NY. In the household, there was 1 male 26-45, 1 female 26-45, and 4 females under 10. Given the quality of the scan and other info about the family, it is very likely that this is actually 1 female under 10 and the rest of the strokes in the 4 were artifacts from other pages or the scan itself.
1825 June - Son Charles Martin born in NY (likely Barre).
between 1826 and 1829 - Son William Martin born in NY.
1830 - Daughter Mary Jane born in MI.
1830 - Census listing for Thaddeus at Oakland Co., Michigan. In the household, there was 1 male under 5 years (William), 1 male 5-10 (Charles), 1 male 30-40 (Thaddeus), 1 female under 5 (Mary Jane), 1 female 10-15 (unknown daughter), 1 female 40-50 (Lucy, likely age 40).
1832 - Son Marshall Martin born in Michigan
1833 Apr 9 - Thaddeus bought 40 acres of land in Macon township, Lenawee Co., Michigan.
1833 Apr 19 - In the diary of Nathan Powers of Farmington, he writes “ I stuck up beams in the mill yard with Thaddeus Martin, the sixth day of the week.”
1833 - James Hunt declared in the widow's application for bounty land in 1860 that he was Thaddeus Martin's family's nearest neighbor since this date.
1834 May - Daughter Caroline born in Michigan
1840 - Census listing for Thaddeus at Macon, Lenawee County, MI. In the household, there was 1 male 5-10 (Marshall), 2 males 10-15 (Charles and William), 1 male 40-50 (Thaddeus), 1 female 5-10 (Caroline), 1 female 10-15 (Mary Jane), 1 female 40-50 (Lucy), 3 persons employed in agriculture (Thaddeus, Charles, and William?). Eldest daughter is out of the household and I have no info on her whereabouts.
1845 - Thaddeus living in Macon in Lenawee census.
1850 - Census listing for Thaddeus at Macon. In the household, there was Thaddeus Martin, age 61, male, farmer, real estate valued at $800, born New York. Lucy Martin, age 61, female, born Massachusetts. Marshall Martin, age 18, male, farmer, born Michigan. Caroline Martin, age 16, female, born Michigan, attended school within the year. His son Charles was living with the Obediah Deland family in Bedford, Monroe County, MI age 24, working as a laborer, real estate valued at $100, born NY. Charles's wife Rebecca Carter was living at home with her family, the Eli and Sarah (Elberson) Carter family, in Macon. Mary Jane, her husband George Cole, and their young son Charles were living with Obediah's brother Hall Deland in Bedford.
1850 Dec 18 - Thaddeus states on his land warrant application that he is 61 years old and appoints Obediah Deland as his legal agent. Obediah died in 1856, before Thaddeus received his land warrant.
1854 Sept - Notice in Tecumseh Herald that the Probate Court will be selling Thaddeus' farm at public auction on 16 Nov 1854. Notice states that Thaddeus was an idiot.
1854-1855 - Thaddeus was sent to the county poor farm, Maple Lane Manor in Adrian, Lenawee County, MI.
1857 Jun 1 - Thaddeus dies at the county poor farm. There are no death records for the county poor farm before 1890, so it is unknown if Thaddeus is buried at the poor farm's cemetery. From the notice in the Tecumseh Herald and the widow's declaration for Thaddeus's land, he may have had dementia or Alzheimers.
1860 Nov - Lucy had filed a widow's declaration for Thaddeus's land warrant. She states they were married and had 4 living children. Charles, Marshall, Mary Jane, and Caroline were all alive at this time. If true, the eldest daughter and William would have died by this time. Son Charles Martin and William H. Merritt declared that they knew Thaddeus and Lucy to be married, that she was a widow, and four children were alive, and that they weren't at the funeral of Thaddeus and he was insane. One of Thaddeus's daughters had visited his grave.
1861 May 18 - Lucy received Land Warrant #49091 for land in Huron County, MI. She transferred the land to Thomas McKean.