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George Martin (abt. 1648 - 1734)

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George Martin aka Martyn
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
Husband of — married before [location unknown]
Husband of — married in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusettsmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Ipswich, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts Baymap
Profile last modified | Created 20 Jul 2015
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Disputed Identity

George Martin of Ipswich, Massachusetts, died in 1734, when he was recorded as 86 years old, indicating a birth in 1648. Probably due in large part to that birth year, he has long been identified as the George Martin, son of George Martin and Susannah (North) Martin, who was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, on 21 October 1648. However, that George Martin is not mentioned in his father's will, written 19 January 1683/4, indicating that he had died earlier. Six of the seven children named in the will were to receive just 5 shillings; the youngest son William was to receive the residue of the estate after the death or remarriage of his mother. In discussing the interpretation of the will, Greene comments: "All experienced genealogists have seen wills that omit or living child or living children., almost always because they had already received their full portions. Such was not the case in the above will, for clearly all the living children except William had received their portions. There is no other way to interpret the token sum of five shillings..." Thus, George Martin of Chebacco parish, Ipswich, must be a different man.[1] David L. Greene concluded that George Martin of Ipswich "almost certainly was not" the son of George Martin and Susannah (North) Martin.[2]

The origins of George Martin of Ipswich have not been determined. David L. Greene speculated that George Martin and his first wife might be the "George Martine and his wife" who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, on the ship Hannah and Elizabeth in September 1679, having sailed from Dartmouth, England.[3]


George Martin and his first wife, whose name is not known, settled in Chebacco parish in the Town of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. (Chebacco parish later was separated from Ipswich to form the town of Essex.) They had six children:[4]

  1. George, born 17 September 1680
  2. Elizabeth, born 12 September 1682; apparently died young
  3. John, born 6 October 6, 1686, married Jane Durkee
  4. Mary, born 7 August 1692, married John Howard
  5. Joseph, born 26 December 1694
  6. Ebenezer, born 20 April 1697

George's first wife apparently died before 12 February 1712/3, when George Martin and Elizabeth Durke(e) published intentions to marry.[5]

No children are known from the marriage of George Martin and Elizabeth (Durkee) Martin.

George Martin died in Chebacco parish on 14 April 1734.[6] Elizabeth Martin survived him.


He died intestate (i.e., he did not leave a will), so English law directed the distribution of the estate. His son John Martin and son-in-law John Howard were administrators. His widow Elizabeth pleaded to the court to be ensured the one-third share of her husband's real and personal estate, for the remainder of her life, that widows were entitled to under the law. Other heirs were his eldest son George Martin of Windham, Connecticut; son John Martin; John Howard on behalf of his wife, George's daughter Mary; Grace Martin, the only surviving child of his son Joseph Martin, represented by Samuel Choate as her guardian; and his son Ebenezer Martin, also of Windham, Connecticut.[7]

The inventory of George Martin's estate listed the following real estate (values in parentheses):[8]

  • Dwelling House [word unclear] and Buildings (130 pounds)
  • 5 Acres of Tillage Land on the Hill (75 pounds)
  • 5 Acres of Low Marsh (60 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 Acres of Marsh by the Causeway (22 pounds, 10 shillings)
  • 2 old Thatch Lotts and 1 New Delta (16 pounds)
  • 7-1/4 Accres Upland at Giddin's Island (100 pounds)
  • 1 old Common Right at Wilderness Hill (200 pounds)
  • 1 old wood lott near John Martin's (40 pounds)
  • 1 old wood lott lying over [word indistinct] fresh meadows (20 pounds)
  • Six Acres High Marsh (50 pounds)

Total value of his real estate was 713 pounds 10 shillings.


  1. Greene, "George Martin of Ipswich," The American Genealogist, v. 56, page 155
  2. Greene, "Salem Witches III: Susanna Martin," The American Genealogist, v. 58, no. 4, page 203
  3. Greene, "George Martin of Ipswich," The American Genealogist, v. 56, pages 158-159
  4. Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts
  5. Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, Ipswich Marriages, page 305
  6. Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, Deaths in Ipswich 1734, accessed at
  7. Essex County (Massachusetts) Probate Papers, File of George Martin, 1734, accessed at
  8. Essex County (Massachusetts) Probate Papers, Inventory of George Martin, 1734, accessed at
  • Greene, David L. "George Martin of Ipswich," The American Genealogist, v. 56, 1980. pages 155-159
  • Greene, David L. "Salem Witches III: Susanna Martin," The American Genealogist, v. 58, 1982, no. 4, pages 193-204.
  • George Martyn of Salisbury, Mass. and his descendants by Susan Grace Martin Shipman
  • Source: S-2008728923 Repository: #R-2009482618 Title: American Marriages Before 1699 Author: Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997. Original data - Clemens, William Montgomery. American Marriage Records Before 1699. Pompton Lakes, NJ, USA: Biblio Co., 1926. Note: APID: 1,2081::0
  • Repository: R-2009482618 Name: Address:
  • Ancestry Family Trees. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.
  • Source: S-2083575967 Repository: #R-2141998854 Title: U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Author: Yates Publishing Publication: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.Original data - This unique collection of records was extracted from a variety of sources including family group sheets and electronic databases. Note: APID: 1,7836::0
  • Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850. Compiled by Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Note: With some noted exceptions all marriage records in this collection can be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Note: APID: 1,7853::0
  • Source: S369 Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 transcription NEHGS
  • Source: S469 Massachusetts Marriages 1695-1910 Repository: #R3
  • Repository: R3 Family History Library


  • WikiTree profile Martin-4468 created through the import of Ancestors of PBHowe.ged on Jun 6, 2011 by Buck Howe. See the Changes page for the details of edits by Buck and others.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with George by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with George:

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On 16 Mar 2018 at 03:01 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

There's no denying that people sometimes disinherit a child or will their property in an unexpected fashion, but that doesn't make George of Ipswich an unacknowledged son of George and Susannah.

David Greene has scrutinized many more wills than I have, but I've seen enough early New England wills to recognize the pattern he described. Testators who weren't giving a particular heir the share that they might have been expected to receive took care to name each and every child in their will (maybe they wanted to avoid problems in probate, or later litigation). They typically did this by giving a nominal sum (5 shillings, as in George Martin's will, seems to be common) to each child who wasn't receiving anything else. I've also seen children named to receive a small sum "If s/he be living," so that children of unknown whereabouts would not be omitted.

Please realize that I have no personal vendetta against the descendants of George of Ipswich. He's my ancestor, too. I grew up knowing that Susannah Martin was my ancestor, and my own great-grandfather is one of the authors who perpetuated this story by asserting that it was unquestionably true that George of Ipswich was the same George born in Salisbury in 1648. I didn't discover David Greene's debunking of that story until 35 years after Greene's article was published, and my initial reaction was disbelief...

One additional thought I've had after reviewing and accepting the evidence that George of Ipswich was a different man: George of Ipswich seems to have been rather prosperous, beginning with his arrival in Ipswich. That suggests he had received more from family than the other children of George and Susannah seem to have had.

On 13 Mar 2018 at 06:01 GMT Heather (Grace) Grace-Ratcliffe wrote:

Thank you, Ellen, for replying. I am new to genealogy and wasn't familiar with David Greene's work. I have heard family stories that we were related to Susannah and it is a disappointment. On another note, I recently bought an old Victorian house and did some research on it. The first person who lived here had a son, his only child, but did not will the house to him. Instead, he gave it to his 2nd wife's niece, presumably because she came to help him out as a domestic after his 2nd wife died. As others have said, there could be many reasons George was not named in the will.

On 8 Mar 2018 at 17:50 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

On 8 Mar 2018 at 17:05 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

David L. Greene is an American academic and a highly respected genealogical researcher whose work is published in peer-reviewed genealogical journals, such as The American Genealogist, of which he was for many years a co-editor. He conducted extensive genealogical research on the Salem witch trials. See for a link to a freely accessible example of his scholarly work (on a different topic). We aren't relying on his personal opinion, but rather on the evidence he presented and his analysis of the evidence. The most significant evidence is that the will of George Martin of Salisbury does not mention son George, but it provides a nominal bequest of 5 shillings to six named children and a larger bequest to the youngest child (an indication that the first six children had already received their share). In that context, the omission of George's name indicates that he was no longer living. Greene noted that the various authors (including my own great-grandfather) who concluded that George Martin of Ipswich was son of George of Salisbury and Susannah had cited no evidence -- basically, they inferred from the birth date and the age at death that the man born in Salisbury in 1648 had to be the same man who turned up in Ipswich in 1680 and died there in 1734. See for some more discussion.

On 8 Mar 2018 at 06:33 GMT Heather (Grace) Grace-Ratcliffe wrote:

Who is David L. Greene and why is his opinion so decisive?

On 22 Feb 2018 at 15:36 GMT David Martin wrote:

it's a sad comentery that Ellen Smith only cares about her own engrandizment and not about the truth. Such a sick world

On 4 Apr 2017 at 03:08 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

George Martin of Chebacco, Ipswich, Massachusetts was not a son of Susanna (North) Martin. The George Martin who was born to Susannah and her husband George died before 1684, when his father made his will (see text of this profile). I am removing the mother again.

On 25 Jan 2016 at 21:08 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

Per earlier comments and G2G, I have removed George Martin and Susanna (North) Martin as the parents on this profile.

On 7 Dec 2015 at 04:31 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:

Modern genealogical research (see the information I added to this profile) indicates that this George Martin (Martin-23874) was not the son of Salem witch Susannah Martin.

This is a surprise [and a disappointment] to many of us descendants of George Martin. I'd like to disconnect this George from those parents. Any objections or questions?

On 24 Jul 2015 at 22:07 GMT Bob Tonsmeire wrote:

Martyn-19 and Martin-23874 appear to represent the same person because: Similar name, same details

George is 38 degrees from Graham Chapman, 21 degrees from Janet Wild and 8 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.