Jefferson County, NY Pioneers




Champion NY

Joseph Martin was living in Champion, NY with his family in 1800. Joseph was born 3 September 1755 in the Town of Woodbury, Litchfield Co., CT and died at Champion, Jefferson Co., on 13 October 1844, son of Asahel Martin (b 1724 of Woodbury, CT) and Comfort Jackson, bc 1727. Asahel Martin and Comfort Jackson were married on 5 November 1746 in Woodbury. Joseph's siblings were: Azubah, Job, Enos, Sarah and Asahel. Joseph is buried in the Hillside Cemetery in Jefferson County and, unfortunately, a contributor to FindaGrave has given the wrong information for Joseph and Anna.

Joseph married Anna Clemens in the Town of Woodbury on 16 March 1778 by Gideon Martin, Justice of the Peace, a date from Joseph's family bible when Anna Martin applied for her widow's pension. Anna Clemens was born 17 November 1759, the daughter of Joel Clemens (b 14 Nov. 1730) and Sarah (Sary) Pettibone, who married on 25 March 1757 in Litchfield, CT. Anna died on 17 January 1852 and she is buried with Joseph in the Hillside Cemetery.

In the pension records that record Joseph Martin's service in the Revolutionary War, there are some personal details. (W.17101 pension number). One of his periods of service in 1781 involved his father-in-law, Joel Clemens of Goshen, who was drafted from the militia to serve two months in Stratford. It was Joseph who served in his place as a substitute, due to Joel's "old age" and Joseph recollected the early days of 1781 as a time frame due to the birth of his and Anna's oldest daughter but he did not give the daughter's name.

In the pension application, Joseph mentioned his places of residence after the Revolutionary War; he was in Woodbury, CT and then at Guilford, Vermont; he then moved to Cheshire, Massachusetts where he lived for 12 years and on to the state of New York in the towns of Trenton, Champion and Gouverneur - the last two where he had resided for 35 years and was in Gouverneur when he made his application.

The 1800 census of Champion shows Joseph Martin with a family composition:
1 male 16-26; 1 male 26-45; 1 female 10-16 and 1 female 26-45.

The 1810 census of Champion shows Joseph Martin with:
1 male under 10; 1 male 16-26; 1 male 45 and up; 2 females under 10; 1 female 16-26 and 1 female 45 and up.

The 1820 census of Champion shows Joseph and wife, Anna in their own residence but there is also an entry for Henry Martin and another for Jesse Martin, probable children of the couple.

When Anna Martin applied for her pension on 27 January 1846, she was a resident of the Town of Champion and personally appeared before Judge George C. Sherman of Jefferson County. At that time she was age 86 on the 17th of November last. She established the fact that she was the widow of Joseph Martin, a pensioner, and her name before marriage was Anna Clemens. The marriage date was not in the Town of Woodbury vital records and so far Joseph's family bible was the only source of the true date. She did mention her eldest child was born March 16, 1780; the second child 28 April 1782; the third child 17 November 1783 and the fourth child on 16 February 1786, but no names were given. She added that her husband had died on 13 October 1844 and she had remained a widow ever since.

When Ann died, her estate was probated in Jefferson Co., NY under Estate Papers Box M1-3/21. Moses Miller of Champion swore in his deposition that Anna Martin, widow of Joseph, was a Revolutionary War pensioner at the rate of $88.40 per annum. Further, that Anna was a resident of Jefferson County and had died in Champion on 17 January 1852. She left one child surviving whose name was Sally Miller of Champion. Another child of the deceased was in the state of Michigan some five or six years previous, that being the last time he was heard from. The deposition was sworn to on 20 February 1852 by Moses Miller and witnessed by L. G. Hoyt, Justice of the Peace.

In 1850, Anna Martin was living in the household of Moses and Sally Miller. It was Sally, the child born 16 February 1786, who was the only surviving child. Sally's age in the 1850 census was 64 years and she stated she had been born in Massachusetts. Moses Miller, her husband, was age 71, born Rhode Island and also listed were: Almira Miller, age 30 and Lovina Merrells, age 40, both born in NY. And of course, Anne Martain (sic) age 91.

Based on the census and information above, three of the children of the couple were: Sally, Henry and Jesse.

When Joseph Martin applied for his pension, at age 77, he appeared personally in the Court of Common Pleas of St. Lawrence County on 25 September 1832, as a resident of Gouverneur. His service as a private, was in a company commanded by Captain Hinman, in the New York Line for 13 months and 10 days and then 10 months and 20 days. He was placed on the roll at the rate of $88.44 per annum which began on 4 March 1831 by an Act of 7 June 1832. The Certificate of Pension was issued on 8 November 1833 and sent to J. L. Russell of Canton. NOTE: this was John Leslie Russell, the attorney assisting him with his pension.

Anna's pension application mentioned that Joseph had been a private in the company of Captain Hinman of the NY line for 13 months, 10 days, as a private in the Infantry and 10 months 20 days for a second period. Anna was inscribed on the roll of Albany at the rate of $88.44 per annum to commence on 13 Oct. 1844 under the Act of July 4, 1836. Her Certificate of Pension was issued on 25 February 1846 and sent to Honorable O. Hungerford.

Abbreviated service records in the war from Joseph's pension application are given here both as historical reference and a true example of the mobility of the troops who served.

Joseph enlisted in the month of May 1775 at Woodbury; he enlisted as a private for six months to serve in the Connecticut troops. He mustered with his company at Woodbury in May 1775 under Captain David Hinman, Lt. Benjamin Hungerford and Ensign Hurd. His company was attached to Colonel Benjamin Hinman and Major Bull. The march through Albany took them up the Hudson River to Lake George; from there they went down Lake George to Ticonderoga. He served under General Schuyler until the expiration of his six months, which was sometime in the last of November 1775. It was there that he was discharged with his regiment without any written discharge. At the close of this service a number of regiments from the East side of the Green Mountains came to Ticonderoga to take the place of his regiment and afterward marched to Quebec. NOTE: This may be a direct reference to the Green Mountain Boys from Vermont.

In the month of May 1776 at Woodbury he enlisted in the Connecticut Troops that were raised to reinforce the Continental Troops at New York and for a six month period in a company under Captain Nathan Hurd and Lt. Story. His company joined the Regiment under Colonel Gould S. Silliman at Norwalk, CT. Joseph did not remember the Major's name but did remember Lt. Col. Chandler, who was later a colonel in the Continental line which belonged to the same regiment. From Norwalk, the regiment sailed to New York in sloops and were stationed there under a General Parsons until the time of the battle of Flatbush. At Flatbush they were relieved by Lord Stirling's forces and marched back to Fort Putnam and were there but four hours when the enemy attacked Lord Stirling and General Sullivan. The same evening his regiment departed from Fort Putnam and crossed over to New York. His regiment retreated with the main Army from New York and afterward lay about half a mile from the battleground at the time of the battle at Harlaem Heights. Later his regiment retreated over Kingsbridge to Sawpitts (?) and from there to White Plains where he was discharged in November 1776 with his regiment, having served a six month term, but received no written discharge. In Woodbury Joseph belonged to an independent company of militia cavalry and in the last of May 1777 or the first of June 1777, he was drafted from his cavalry company to serve three months under Captain Hall of Wallingford and Lt. James Judson. All of the forces then were commanded by Gen. John Mead. Col. Sheldon's Regiment of Horse was at Horseneck several times during Joseph's three months of service; their principal duty during this service period was to "watch the cowboys and Tories and prevent their plundering the country." At the expiration of three months he was discharged at Horseneck, probably the last of August or first of September and again, he did not receive a written discharge.

He had been home at Woodbury for about five or six days when the whole company of cavalry was called out on an alarm, because Burgoyne was coming down the Hudson River; Joseph served under Capt. Gideon Martin, Lt. James Judson, Corp. Tyrus Hurd. They marched to Peekskill where he served in the cavalry company for two months and was discharged in the forepart of November 1777. Duty in this service was to reconnoiter the enemy movement. Major Strang's Regiment of Infantry was stationed nearby. Joseph's company was on the east side of the river for this two month period of service.

In the early part of June 1778 at Woodbury, Joseph's Cavalry company was again called for no specified time, to march to Horseneck again and they marched immediately under the same officers who were last named and again served on the same duty for a few days over two months, at Horseneck, Stamford and Sawpits. Joseph was discharged at Stamford about the middle of August and he mentioned that a part of Col. Sheldon's Horse was there sometimes during this particular period of service.

When the stores at Danbury, CT were destroyed by Gov. Tryon, Joseph's company of cavalry at Woodbury was again called out on the alarm and he marched with his company under the same officers, first to Danbury and from there to Ridgefield, where he was engaged with the enemy when he received two wounds - one in the leg by a bullet and another in the arm from a bayonet. General Wooster was in command of all forces and was killed in the forepart of the action but succeeded by Col. Silliman who took the command. A great number of militia were engaged at the time; Major Bull commanded the cavalry but there was another company of cavalry besides his from another part of the state. Joseph was confined by his wounds at Norwalk, CT for about six weeks; he again joined his company at Stamford and was then discharged in about two weeks after he recovered from his wounds, a period of two months at least.

At the burning of Norwalk, Joseph was drafted from his cavalry company at Woodbury, to serve for a two month period. He immediately joined the other drafted at Stratford and there formed a company under Captain Nichols from Wallingford, Lt. Pamalee from Goshen and Corp. Hall from Cheshire. Joseph served as Quarter Master of the company at Stratford for two months when he was discharged with the company which he thinks occurred in the fall of the year. The duty was to guard the coast.

In 1781 when Joseph served in place of his father-in-law, he served in a company of Infantry under a Captain Hare from Goshen, Lt. Griswold from Goshen and Ensign Gibbs of Litchfield. He was again discharged in the forepart of August following, having served the two months as a substitute at Stratford.

Joseph stated in his application that he never received a written discharge at the expiration of any of his said services and had no documentary evidence. There were no living witnesses to his knowledge that could prove any of his services. His clergyman, Rev. Richard C. Hand of Gouverneur, a member of Joseph's church, and also Jesse Martin of the same place would vouch for his good character and believed he had served in the War. James Cole of the Town of Fowler, who lived near the applicant had known Joseph for more than thirty years. Joseph lived so far from Connecticut that he could not get their personal attendance but they made annexed certificates under oath before Edwin Dodge, Justice of the Peace in Gouverneur.

Joseph Martin signed his application with his own name. Richard C. Hand, a clergyman of Gouverneur and Jesse Martin, of the Town of Rossie, stated they were well acquainted with Joseph and that he was 77 years of age, a respected neighbor; they believed him to be a soldier in the War and James Cole also appeared in open court to testify on Joseph's service, all on 22 September 1832.

On 12 November 1845, a deposition was made by Bethiah Judson of Woodbury in Litchfield Co., CT; she stated that she was 74 years old and in 1778 she was well acquainted with Joseph Martin and Anna Clemens who were then of Woodbury but later of Champion. Prior to Joseph's marriage to Anna, he lived with Bethiah's father. When Joseph and Anna married their residence was about 70 rods from Bethiah's residence. She often visited at the Martin household and recalled that Mrs. Martin had a child while they resided there. She swore her deposition before Justice of the Peace, Joseph H. Bellamy and signed with her own signature. NOTE: The History of Ancient Woodbury states she was Bethia Leavenworth who first married in Feb. 1786 to George Gordon who died in 1811; she had three children with him, including two daughters who married men of Fairfield, Herkimer Co., NY. After Gordon died, Bethia married as her second husband Nehemiah Judson. And on 12 Nov. 1845, Nehemiah Judson of Woodbury provided a deposition where he stated he was 87 years old and well acquainted with Joseph Martin formerly of Woodbury. They lived in Woodbury in a house about two miles from his late father's residence, when Nehemiah was still living at home. He signed his deposition with his own name before Justice of the Peace Joseph H. Bellamy.

On 10 Sept. 1833, in Cornwall, CT, before Justice of the Peace Samuel Hopkins, Mrs. Sabra Smith of Cornwall, Litchfield Co., was then 75 years of age. She was well acquainted with Joseph Martin who resided at that time in Gouverneur. She testified that on or about the 1st of May in 1775, Martin, then of Woodbury, enlisted in the army for six months to go to the Northward. Troops pitched their tents near her father's house in Goshen. Martin and two officers stayed overnight at her father's house while she lived there. In the morning she saw Joseph march by her father's house with the rest of the troops on their way north. In the fall of 1775 she moved from Goshen to Woodbury, near the home of Joseph. In the spring of 1776, Martin enlisted in the Army to go to New York. Sabra lived in Woodbury during the War and knew about Martin being drafted in the cavalry two or three times. She signed the deposition with her own name. NOTE: Sabra Smith was the only living person at the time of Joseph's application for pension, who could vouch for his actual service and others were deceased, of poor health or had moved to unknown places. On a trip to Woodbury in 1832, Joseph looked for a cousin, not named, but learned the cousin had died the previous year, 1832.

In a letter dated 5 Feb. 1846, to J. L. Edwards from O. Hungerford, in the House of Representatives, he stated that he was enclosing Anna's pension and that he had assisted Joseph Martin for many years before his death in order to draw his pension. He knew that the widow had gone to great trouble and expense in trying to get positive proof of her marriage, but was unsuccessful. The bible record, he mentioned would be satisfactory in a Court of Justice and would save the trouble of an application to Congress.

NOTE: The State of Connecticut does list Joseph Martin in their Revolutionary War Rolls; he does not appear in the DAR Patriot Index. St. Lawrence County NY also lists him as a Revolutionary War soldier.

Sources: VIR, NY, CT, MA, census records, cemetery records, Jefferson Co., NY Probate Files, Pension Records of both Joseph and Anna Clemens Martin which were so generously provided by Martha Magill, Assistant State Coordinator NYGenweb and to whom I owe a huge thanks for her assistance, History of Ancient Woodbury, CT, Findagrave

This information about the Pioneer Samuel Marsh family was contributed by volunteer Marilyn Sapienza.

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