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B.5.d. Mary (Polly) Nesbit {B.5.d.}

 

     Mary (Polly) Nesbit was born in the late summer of 1779 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. When she was was about eight years old, the extended Nesbit clan picked up stakes and moved to the western side of the Appalachian Mountains, eventually coming to rest in Fayette County, Virginia. The easiest access to Fayette County would have been along the road following the great valley to southwestern Virginia, thence along the Wilderness Trail to the Kentucky River. Other Berry family members could be found in Washington County, so it is probably a safe bet that this was their route of travel. The family originally removed to Fayette County in 1787, then moved to an unknown location several years later, probably Woodford or Scott County, and by 1794 were living in Harrison County, Kentucky. She married Alexander Martin in the spring of 1806 in Harrison County, Kentucky. They remained there until sometime between 1822 and 1830, when they picked up stakes and moved to Washington County in southern Indiana, just north of modern day Louisville, Kentucky. Alexander died in the spring of 1846, and Mary hung on until the spring of 1852. Both of them are buried in Livonia Cemetery, Livonia, Washington County, Indiana.

 

Timeline of Mary (Polly) Nesbit and Alexander Martin

 

20 Sep. 1779 266,267,281,778,816

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995
1850 Federal Census, Washington County, Indiana,Vernon Township

Birth of Mary ‘Polly’ Nesbit in Rockbridge County, Virginia, one of three married daughters in Samuel Nesbitt’s 1814 will

2 Feb 1780826

Graveyards & Gravestones, Photographs of Over 2100 Gravestones, Livonia Cemetery, Livonia, Washington County, Indiana, by James L. Berry
Birth of Alexander Martin in Kentucky

16 June 178536

Land Office Patents and Grants, Virginia Digital Library, Land Office Grants P, 1784 - 1785, page 702, Reel 56
Patrick Henry Esquire Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to wit to all whom these presents shall come Greetings Know ye that by virtue and in consideration of a land office treasury warrant number four thousand five hundred and sixty seven and issued the third day of April one thousand seven hundred and eighty unto William Trabue there is granted by the said commonwealth unto the said William Trabue a certain tract or parcel of land containing three hundred and sixty four acres by survey bearing date the twenty eighth day of April one thousand seven hundred and eighty four lying and being in the county of Fayette on the south side of the south fork of Licking Creek on the waters of Woods Run and Grers Run and bounded as followeth: To Wit:
Beginning at an elm buckeye and sugartree on a small branch thence south thirteen degrees east one hundred and forty poles to a __ (?) & hoopwood locust and sugartree thence south seventy six degrees west four hundred and ten poles to a buckeye on John Hinksons line thence south thirteen degrees west one hundred and forty six poles to an ash and buckeye thence north twenty seven degrees east four hundred and ten poles to the beginning
with its appurtenances to have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with its appurtenances to the said William Trabue and his heirs forever
In witness whereof the said Patrick Henry esquire governor of the commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto set his hand and caused the seal of the said commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond on the sixteenth day of June in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty five and of the commonwealth the ninth
P Henry

23 Apr 1806817

Marriages, Volume I: 1794-1893, Harrison County, Kentucky
Mary ‘Polly’ Nesbitt married Alexander Martin

~1806778, 827

1850 Federal Census, Washington County, Indiana
Birth of Samuel Martin in Harrison County, Kentucky

15 Oct. 1807828,829

1850 Federal Census, Sullivan County, Indiana
Family of William Wilson Martin (1807-1883), by Janice Sharp Pounds

Birth of William Wilson Martin in Harrison County, Kentucky

1809618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
1 horse
85 acres on Sycamore Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Sullivan

1810618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
2 horses
85 acres on Sycamore Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: W. Trabue

1810282

Federal Census, Harrison County, Kentucky
Alexander Martin
3 males < 10 Samuel (~4), William (~3)
1 male 26 - 45 Alexander Martin (30)
1 female < 10
1 female 26 - 45 Mary ‘Polly’ (Nesbit) Martin (31)

1811618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
3 horses
100 acres on Mill Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: S. M. Fiel ??

1812618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
4 horses
no land

1814618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
5 horses
no land
Total Value: $120

7 Mar. 1814276

Harrison County, Kentucky, Will Book A, page 244
In the Name of God amen, I Samuel Nisbet of Harrison county & State of Kentucky, being weakly in body but in perfect mind & memory thanks be to God for his mercies & Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die I do make & ordain this my last will & Testament by me made and first of all I do commend my soul to God who Gave it and my body to the Earth from whence it came to be decently buried & as touching my worldly Estate that is has pleased God to bless me with I do dispose of in the following way & manner I do order all my Lawfull Debts to be paid and my funeral charges and as for the balance of my Estate I do dispose of in the following way & manner that is to say to John my son I do Give one hundred & twenty Dollars and to Robert my son I do Give ten Dollars as he had Got his Share before and to Samuel my son I do Give the piece of Land that is laid off to him adjoining Roberts line supposed to be twenty acres more or less and to James my son do Give thirty Dollars as he had Got his share before and to William my son I do Give the plantation whereon I now live with all the plantation, tools & 2 horses and the waggon to be Be---?-- [possibly between] William & Sam and Each of my Daughters now living at home is to have a horse or Mare & for my other three that is Married I do Give ten Dollars to each one & the balance of the Estate I do leave the Sole disposal of to Mary my wife and she is to have a Good Sufficient living on the place and to keep possession of the house and that three un Married Daughters to have their living on the place while un Married and I do leave Mary my wife and William my son Sole Executors of this my Last will & Testament by me made I do revoke all other wills or Testament by me made __ Given under my hand this 7th day of March 1814.
Samuel Nisbet L.S.
Test
W. Moore
A. Moore
Henry C. Moore

1815618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
6 horses
no land
Total Value: $150

1817618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
1 male > 21
4 horses
no land
Total Value: $120

1818618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Bookss
Alexander Martin
2 males > 21
3 horses
80 acres on Mill Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Wm. Trabue
Value/acre: $15
Total Value: $1350

1819618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
2 males > 21
1 black > 16
1 total black
3 horses
80 acres on Gray’s Run
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Wm. Trabue
Value/acre: $25
Total Value: $2520

~1820778

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Birth of Mary Berry Martin in Harrison County, Kentucky

1820488

Federal Census, Harrison County, Kentucky
South Side of Licking River
Alexander Martin

1 male < 10  
3 males 10 – 16 Samuel (~14) William (~13)
1 male 26 - 45 Alexander Martin (40)
1 male > 45  
3 females < 10 Mary Berry Martin (<1)
1 female 10 - 16  
1 female 26 – 45 Mary ‘Polly’ (Nesbit) Martin (41)

4 people engaged in agriculture

1821618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
2 males > 21
2 horses
80 acres on Gray’s Run
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Wm. Trabue
Value/acre: $17
Total Value: $1470

1822618

Harrison County, Kentucky Tax Books
Alexander Martin
2 males > 21
4 children between the ages of 4 and 14
2 horses
50 acres on Mill Creek
In Whose Name Entered/Surveyed/Granted: Trabue
Value/acre: $16
Total Value: $900

1830830

Federal Census, Washington County, Indiana
Elexander Martin

1 male 15 - 20  
2 males 20 - 30  
1 male 50 - 60 Alexander Martin (50)
2 females 10 - 15 Mary Berry Martin (10)
1 female 15 - 20  
1 female 20 - 30  
1 female 40 - 50 Mary ‘Polly’ (Nesbit) Martin (51)

1840831

Federal Census, Vernon Township Washington County, Indiana
A. Martin

1 male 30 - 40  
1 male 60 - 70 Alexander Martin (60)
1 female 30 - 40  
1 female 60 - 70 Mary ‘Polly’ (Nesbit) Martin (61)

8 Mar 1846778

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Death of Alexander Martin in Washington County, Indiana

24 Aug. 1850816

Federal Census, Washington County, Indiana, Vernon Township

Name Age Value of Real Estate POB
Mary Martin 70 $400 VA
Catherine Martin 30   KY
Sarah Montgomery 12   IN

20 May 1852281,778,826

Nesbitology, Newsletters 6-9, Otis B. Nesbit, Nesbitt/Nisbet Society, United Kingdom, Publication No. 10, Cambridge, 1995

Martin-Wright Bible Record, Samuel Nesbit DAR Documentation File
Graveyards & Gravestones, Photographs of Over 2100 Gravestones, Livonia Cemetery, Livonia, Washington County, Indiana, by James L. Berry
Death of Mary (Nesbit) Martin in Washington County, Indiana

Analysis of the Timeline

 

     Mary Nesbit was born on the Nesbit family farm on the Borden Grant in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and was about six years old when the Nesbit clan picked up stakes and moved to the western side of the Appalachian Mountains, settling, ultimately, in Harrison County, Kentucky. In the spring of 1806, she married Alexander Martin in Harrison County, Kentucky. His family had been in Kentucky prior to the arrival of the Nesbits, as evidenced by birth in Kentucky a year after his future wife was born back in Rockbridge County. After they got married, Mary and Alexander set up their own household in Harrison County, and by the time of the 1810 census, they had three sons and a daughter.

 

     In 1809 they were taxed on 85 acres of land on Sycamore Creek, originally patented to William Trabue, on the east side of the South Fork of the Licking River, just north of the present day town of Cynthiana. They kept this land until 1811, when they acquired 100 acres of land on Mill Creek, which is the next drainage to the north of Grays Run, draining northward into the South Fork of the Licking River. They must have sold that land soon thereafter, because from 1812 through 1817, they do not appear to have been landowners.
 

     From 1818 through 1822, the last year they appear in Harrison County tax records before they moved to Indiana, they were taxed on 50 to 80 acres of land, originally patented by William Trabue. William Trabue was granted a land warrant for 364 acres that included this parcel on 3 April 1780. The land was surveyed on 28 April 1784, and William Trabue received the patent on 16 June 1785. The patent record notes that this land lay in Fayette County on the south side of the south fork of Licking Creek on the waters of Woods Run and Grers Run and that it bounded John Hinkson’s Woods Run property. Several lines of evidence demonstrate that the modern day stream referred to as Mill Creek was formerly known as Woods Run, and that the stream identified as Grers Run is actually Grays Run, and that Mary and Alexander’s property sat on the drainage divide between these two streams. Firstly, in the 1818 and 1822 Harrison County tax records, Mary and Alexander’s 80 acre parcel of this land was noted as lying along the waters of Mill Creek, which is the next stream to the north of Grays Run, but in 1819 and 1821 it was described as being on Grays Run. Secondly, the John Hinkson acreage bordering Trabue’s land was identified as being on Woods Run, and adjacent to Grant Allen’s acreage on Grays Run. Thirdly, modern day USGS topographic maps show Mill Creek being the next creek to the north of Grays Run, both creeks draining northward into the south side of the South Fork of the Licking River. Quite clearly, Grays Run and Woods Run are adjacent drainages flowing northward into the South Fork of the Licking River, and Mill Creek and Woods Run are the same stream. Furthermore, since Mary and Alexander’s property was variously described as lying on the waters of Mill Creek and Grays Run, it must have straddled the land between those two streams – the drainage divide.

 

     Not much information is available detailing Mary and Alexander’s life after they moved to Vernon Township in Washington County, Indiana. Both of them can be tracked through federal census records in 1830 and 1840. Alexander passed away in the spring of 1846, and in the 1850 census Mary was still running the household, however, she passed away two years later. Both of them are buried in a local cemetery.

 

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Last Revised: 10/22/2006