JAMES MARTIN ( Abt 1770 - ??) and MARY GARNER (1770 - ??) and HIS POSSIBLE ANCESTORS

The earliest Martins that can be traced with some certainty are James Martin (b.1713 - ??) and Sarah ?? Their child was John Martin (b. Abt 12 August 1750 -??) and Sarah ??, all taken from the Wooburn Parish Register.

WILLIAM MARTIN (Circa 1636 - ??)

The farthest that I have been able to trace back to is a William Martin and information has been supplied by the Family History Society of Martin, but the details have not been able to be verified, as yet.

William Martin, birth date not known but could be circa 1636, wife not known, produced a son, JAMES, who was baptised on 23 August 1656, he married Joan ??, about 1678, possibly in the Wooburn area.

Their marriage produced three children, William, baptised 7 March 1680, JAMES, baptised February 1683 and Mary, died 1699.

The above James, wife unknown, produced a son, another JAMES, details  below but there may have been a generation gap as he would have ben at least 30, which was quite old for those days in starting a family.

JAMES, baptised 10 August 1713 married Sarah ?? (taken from Wooburn Parish records), this marriage produced a son, JOHN, baptised 12 August 1750 who married Sarah ?? (Wooburn Parish records), their son JAMES baptised 12 September 1770 is detailed later on this page.

There is no doubt that the early family were Agricultural labourers and may well have moved about the area, seeking a change of employer and work at the Hiring Fairs throughout the southern midland areas of Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire and moving north slowly.

They all would have had a hard life compared with nowadays, starting with the dawn and not finishing until dusk, especially during harvest time, and with the only mechanical help being a horse and cart to move hay and produce around. The harvest would all have been cut with a scythe or sickle, backbreaking work if it is done all day long in hot weather.

The winter months in the small and badly lit cottages, with the ground and water freezing must have been an age and the coming of spring and warmth again must have been a relief. Records, unless they worked for a wealthy employer with a large estate, were very sparse or non existent, and as no doubt the early ancestors were illiterate they could not check records even if they saw any. They would have had to make a simple mark to record the acceptance of a payment or agreement to work for another employer.

The following pages until the end of the record of William Martin (2) are transcribed virtually unchanged from the details in his notebook and are shown in double inverted commas.

""The date and place of birth of James Martin, the earliest ancestor known to his progeny are not on record; but it is reasonable to assume that he was born about the year AD 1770 in the neighbourhood of Buckingham. His wife was Mary Garner, daughter of John and Nanny Garner of the village of Shalstone near Buckingham. (Married 5 December 1793) She was born in the year AD 1770 and her baptism is recorded in the register of that parish. They had only one child, a son named William, who was born at Water Stratford, also near Buckingham in AD 1794. His baptism, too, is recorded in the Water Stratford register.

This son, William, found out from his mother, grandparents and other relatives that his father, whilst temporarily away from home was seized by one of the press-gangs which were much in evidence at the period when he was a young man, and that he never returned. That he had an untimely end is borne out by the further fact that after a fitting period his widow re-married.

Her second husband was a resident of the nearby town of Brackley, Northamptonshire, Hughes and who, of course, became responsible for the upbringing of his stepson William. It is hardly likely that James Martin's wife; his son and the Garners were ignorant of the formers family affairs; but the later Martins either did not trouble themselves, or let the matter slip from memory"".

Furthermore registrations, as the Rector of Water Stratford, the Rev L. E. Goddard stated in a letter replying to William Martin's inquiry in 1915, - was "carried out in a slovenly manner in those days"

I have found in the notebook a press cutting about a bosun's call being sold at Sotheby's, the property of Lord Torphichen, with an inscription 'Js. Martin, Bos. Mate H.M.S. Britannia' and on the stem "Trafalgar", but research appears to show that this particular James Martin had come from Scotland. An interesting lead had it been our James but there has been no information as to what really happened to him.

It seems a long way for the press gangs for the navy to be operating away from the port areas and it could be that he joined one of the Army recruiting teams which were much more in evidence in the rural areas. However it would have been about the time of Trafalgar or a little before this and both the Army and Navy would have been keen to increase their intake of young and fit males so it certainly is a possibility that he was taken.

Their only son was William Martin, but as the William name has been much used in the family over the years I will refer to him in the future as William (1) but where children had been given two or more names these will be used.

Their  son, William Martin recorded in the Water Stratford Parish Register 5 December 1793 - Marriage - James Martin to Mary Garner both of Water Stratford.

Water Stratford Parish Register 25 May 1794 William, son of James and Mary Martin