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Martin, John - Biography

JOHN MARTIN AND ANNA JENKINS

John Martin, son of Dr. John Martin, a surgeon of Merthyr Tydfil, was born March 29, 1846 at Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, Wales. His paternal grandparents were Timothy Martin, a mine agent and Mary Grey. William Gibbs, a laborer, and Sarah Wilkins were his grandparents on his maternal side.

 

John Martin's father's family consisted of the following brothers and sisters; Benjamin, Christopher, Mary, Mary, Timothy, Jane, Elizabeth, Edward, Elizabeth, George, Joseph, and Thomas. Wales owes much to the Martin family. "A century and a half ago, when the early coal workings of the West of Wales attracted the notice of the bold and resolute spirits of the North of England, there came to the neighborhood of Swansea two counsins named Edward and Timothy Martin, who were of that stamp of men who make great careers and carry to a successful termination large enterprises. Timothy Martin, who came from Matterdale, Cumberland, England, became the leading mining agent at Penydarran, Merthyr Tydfil. He developed the ironstone and the coal wealth of the Penydarran Estate, sinking the first pit. He died in his 77th year, and was succeeded by his son Benjamin, who for many years was general manager of Penydarran Iron Company. Another son, George, went to Dowlais, and attained the position of mining agent under the Guest, doing the great work of developing mines for the Dowlais domain. George became the chief agent at Dowlais, where he lived to the end of his days.* It was George's son, Mr. Edward Pritchard Martin, who was High Sheriff of Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire in 1903.

John apparently grew up in Laugharne until he was old enough to work in the mines, and at that time he was in the Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare Districts of Wales.

Anna Jenkins, his wife, was born October 16, 1846 at Lantwit Vardre, Glamorganshire, Wales, the daughter of David Jenkins, a miner, and Anna Evans. She was a seamstress because her brothers saw that she received training at Mountain Ash, a village not far from their home in Aberdare. The old record states, "Anna Jenkins commenced her apprenticeship at Mountain Ash on Thursday 21 April 1864."

She liked to dance and play the tambourine and was a favorite at parties near her home. It was at a social that she met John Martin. They sang well together. Although she was to have left for Utah with her brother David, she and John Martin were married at the parish church in Aberdare on 17 April 1866. Her sister, Esther, was sent to Utah in her place.

A little over a year later, their first child, Catherine Anna, was born at Cap Coch, Aberdare, Glamorganshire on 18 June 1867. She had been engaged to marry a Mr. Crabtree, who incidently met the emigrant train thinking that she was with her brother when he arrived in Utah in 1866. It was a tearful and disappointing experience for him. In his despair he offered to marry her sister but she replied, "It was Anna you were in love with."

This family and her mother's left Liverpool Tuesday, 30th of June, 1868 for New York, on the steamship Minnesota. They reached New York, July 12th, and arranged to go by train to Laramie, Wyoming.

They left Laramie for Salt Lake Valley on July 25th in Captain Loveland's Company of 40 mule team wagons and 400 passengers. John Martin played his violin to help with the amusement and programs around the bonfires at night when they were encircled by the wagons. Salt Lake Valley was reached August 20, 1868. Uncle David Jenkins met the emigrant train and gave them a warm welcome.

While in Salt Lake, John and Anna's second child, Mary Ann, was born November 5, 1868. Finally this couple settled in Samaria, Idaho, in the autumn of 1869. Here John hauled the logs for Anna Evans Jenkins, his mother-in-law's home, to pay for money loaned to make the journey. In this little village they found friends whom they had known in the Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare districts in Wales. John was a farmer in Samaria and he and his wife were on pioneer programs in the village and later the children sang together and with others. Here also were born the rest of their family: David Richard, John Elias, Evan Jenkins, Sarah Jane, Esther Ellen, Edward Jenkins, Joseph Hyrum, and Edith.

At his home in Samaria, John and his family would circle around the organ, and while he played, the entire family participated in four-part singing. However, John was very strict with them. He was nevertheless as honest as the day was long.

He used to go to Providence, Cache, Utah to visit his Uncle Bill, William Gibbs who came to America with his father Richard Wilkins Gibbs and his mother Mary Morris. Richard Wilkins Gibbs was a brother to Mary Ann Gibbs, John's mother.

Anna, his wife, died July 16, 1888 and was buried July 18, at Samaria, Idaho. John Martin passed away September 12, 1900.

- Raymond R. Martin, Grandson

*See a Historical Tour Through Monmouthshire, by William Coxe, pp. xv, (Monm.2)

 

Immigrants:

Martin, John

Jenkins, Anna

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