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. David L. Greene concluded that George Martin of Ipswich "almost certainly was not" the son of George Martin and Susannah (North) Martin.
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.
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:
George's first wife apparently died before 12 February 1712/3, when George Martin and Elizabeth Durke(e) published intentions to marry.
No children are known from the marriage of George Martin and Elizabeth (Durkee) Martin.
George Martin died in Chebacco parish on 14 April 1734. 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.
The inventory of George Martin's estate listed the following real estate (values in parentheses):
Total value of his real estate was 713 pounds 10 shillings.
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On 16 Mar 2018 at 03:01 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
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:
On 8 Mar 2018 at 17:50 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
On 8 Mar 2018 at 17:05 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
On 8 Mar 2018 at 06:33 GMT Heather (Grace) Grace-Ratcliffe wrote:
On 22 Feb 2018 at 15:36 GMT David Martin wrote:
On 4 Apr 2017 at 03:08 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
On 25 Jan 2016 at 21:08 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
On 7 Dec 2015 at 04:31 GMT Ellen Smith wrote:
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: