John Martin, of Piscataway

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John Martin

Also Known As: "Martyn"
Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Piscataway Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Martin; John Martin; Margaret Martin and Suzan Martin
Husband of Esther Hester Martin
Father of John Martin, Jr.; Martha Langstaff; Mary Hall; Lydia Smalley; Joseph Martin and 8 others
Brother of Mary Leonard (Martin)

Occupation: 1666 Grantee of Piscataway by way of Dover, NH
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Martin, of Piscataway

Additional Curator's Note:

Please do not confuse John Martin of Piscataway with Capt. John Martin of Jamestown, Virginia. This John Martin never made it to Virginia, settling first in New England and then moving to New Jersey. Please do not confuse John Martin of Piscataway with the John Martin who lived in Moreton Morrell, Warwickshire. That John Martin did not emigrate to America.

While I am reasonably certain that John was the son of Isaac, I no longer believe that Isaac was the son of Christopher, as some of the sources below state. It was in a quest to prove Isaac's parentage that I stumbled on the fact that John's ancestry did not lie in Warwickshire, but in counties west of there.

Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, June 20, 2015


1. John3 Martin (Isaac2, Christopher1) was born Abt. 1620 in Probably England, and died July 05, 1687 in Piscataway, NJ. He married Esther Roberts 1646 in Dover, Stafford Co, New Hampshire, daughter of Thomas Roberts and Rebecca Hilton. She was born 1626 in Dover, Stafford Co, New Hampshire, and died December 12, 1687 in Piscataway, NJ.

Children of John Martin and Esther Roberts are:

  • 2 i. John4 Martin, born 1647; died April 18, 1704. He married (1) Dorothy Smith June 26, 1677. He
  • married (2) Ann Brown January 19, 1697/98.
  • 3 ii. Mary Martin, born 1649. She married (1) Hopewell Hull; born Bet. 1636 - 1637 in Weymouth, Ma. She married (2) Junstinian Hall April 09, 1696.
  • 4 iii. Martha Martin, born 1653; died November 13, 1694. She married John Langstaff 1674.
  • 5 iv. Lydia Martin, born 1655. She married John Smalley, Jr. October 18, 1676.
  • + 6 v. Joseph Martin, born 1657 in Dover, New Hampshire; died 1723 in Piscataway, NJ.
  • 7 vi. Benjamin Martin, born 1659; died March 02, 1731/32. He married (1) Margaret Reynods October 24, 1680. He married (2) Margaret Elston 1688.
  • 8 vii. Thomas Martin, born 1662; died November 29, 1715. He married Rebecca Higgins April 28, 1683.
  • 9 viii. James Martin, born 1669; died March 21, 1675/76. Notes for James Martin: Never Married

The Martin family has early roots in America. My direct line is verified back to John Martin who was born in 1620, most likely in England. There have been several published works about the Martin family, but no real evidence to connect my John Martin to Martin lines in England. The two main theories are listed here - Link to Christopher Martin and Richard Martin.

In 1648 John Martin married Esther Roberts, who was born in Dover, NH in 1628.

From a bit of the history of Dover, New Hampshire:

"History. New Hampshire was first discovered in 1614, by Capt. John Smith, who is so distinguished in the History of Virg. The first settlement of Dover, and indeed of the state, was made in the Spring of 1623, by Edward and Wm. Hilton, in the neck of land before named. They were sent over by "The Company of Laconia" who designed to plant a colony, and establish a Fishery around the Pascataqua; for which purpose they chose a fine, dry and healthy situation, commanding a view of all the neighboring shores, and affording an extensive and delightful prospect; but the settlement for the first eight years went on very slow, for in 1631 there were but three houses in all, adjoining the Pascataqua. In 1633, a considerable number of families in the west of England, some of whom were of good estates, and of some account for religion, came over and increased the colony."

From this article it is noted that in 1631 there were only 3 houses - this gives a clear picture of how populated the area was when Esther was born in 1628. How in the world did she and John meet? Esther's parents were Thomas Roberts and Rebecca (Hilton). Many genealogies state Rebecca was a Hilton and probably a sister or other relative of Edward and William Hilton. I believe this to be true, although there are some that insist it has never been proven. So, the three houses, the Hilton's one each and the third the Roberts. Makes sense.

John & Esther initially lived in Dover, NH later moving to Oyster Bay, NH. In 1666, the family along with many others who wished to worship in a way which did not agree with the Puritans, took the offer from the Proprietors of the Province of New Jersey and moved to Piscataway, NJ to settle.

John Martin was one of the original grantee's of land in Piscataway, New Jersey. From:

"On December 18, 1666, John Martin, Charles Gilman, Hopewell Hull, and Hugh Dun, of the Piscataqua section of New Hampshire, not far from Portsmouth, acquired for colonization purposes a tract of 40,000 acres of land on the Raritan River, New Jersey, where they founded the township and village of Piscataway named after their New Hampshire home. It is in present Middlesex County. Less than two years afterward they were joined by Francis and Mary Drake, who came from the vicinity of Portsmouth. "

Another website showing the history of Piscataway, NJ, with John Martin mentions. Please note, as you read the article that this line "A member of this family was a passenger on the Mayflower in search of freedom of worship" refers to Christopher Martin, who you will find on the Mayflower lists.

While there is a theory we are related to this Martin, it has never been proven.

Will of John Martin, "The Pioneer."

In the name of God Amen, the seventeenth day of March in the year of Grace, One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty-seven.

I, John Martin, of the Town of Piscataway, in the County of Middlesex, in New East Jersey, Yeoman, being in perfect senses & strong in memory, blessed be the Lord though weak in boody & not knowing how soone I shall putt of this earthly Tabernacle & be dissolved, do make, Constitute, ordaine & declare this to be my last will & testament In maner and forme as followeth revoking and

disannulling by these presents all & every testament or testaments will or wills heretofore by me made & declared either by word or writing, and this is to be taken only for my last will & testament & all other to be void & of no effect. In the first Resigne up myself in boddy, Soull & Spirate unto the Lord, trusting in his everlasting

mercy, hopeing thereby to stand at the Right hand of his eternall Soul in the day of Judgment and in the next place for the settling of my temporall estate, I doe order, give and dispose the same in maner and forme as followeth That is to say first I will order and Require that all these debts & dutyes as I owe in Right or conscience to any maner of person to persones whomsoever be well &

truly contented & payed within convenient tyme after my decease by my executrix hereafter named.

Item, I give & bequeath to my dearly beloved wife, Esther

Martine, my plantations which lyeth in the Towne of Piscataway aforesd with the house & meadowes & al things belonging ther unto with all my good & chattells whatsoever that shall remain after my decease to be whooly at her dispose either to give, sell or dispose as she sees meet, and thy to whom she shall give, sell or dispose of it to, shall hod it, possess it, enjoy it in as full & ample a maner as if I had sold it, gave or disposed of it to them myselfe.

Item I doe make my dearly beloved wife, Esther Martine, my sole executrix, to execute, dispose, performe & fulfill this my last Will & Teatsment, according to the contents in the several particulars above written.

Item I doe requiest my well beloved sones, Hopewell Hull, John Martine, Benjamin Martine & John Langstaff to be my overseers & assistants to my executrix in the management and disposing of my estate according as is expressed in this my last Will & Teatament.

In witness hereof I have Sett my hand & Seale the day and year

above written.

John Martin ( His mark)

Signed, Sealed & delivered

In the presence of us

Thomas Killingsworth,

Benjamin Martin,

Thomas Martin,

Daniel Lyyington.

(Note: - Thomas Killingsworth, the first witness, was an ordained Baptist minister from Norwich, England, and it is quite probable he wrote the will. Benjamin and Thomas Martin were sons of the testator. Benjamin is the ancestor of the Azariah Martin family. Thomas Martin is the ancestor of the Martin family of Ohio and Indiana - see "Martin" book published by C. W. Francis, La Porte,

Ind. )

The following is the record of Probate attached to the will:

To all Christian people & others whatsoever to whom these our Letter Testimoniall shall come or whom the premises shall or may concerne the Governor & proprietors of the province of East New Jersey, Send Greeting Know yee That the fourteenth day of December, anno domini, One Thousand Six Hundred Eighty Seven,

The annexed last will & Testament of John Martin of the town of Piscataway, deceased, was tendred, proved & approved before us. And he the sd John Martine having whilst he lived, divers good & chattels to be administered within the sd province, and the Right of disposition and granting the administration thereof belonging unto us,

wee have & doe hereby committ the administratione of all & singular the good, chattels, rights & creditts of the sd deceased unto Esther Martin, His wife, sole executrix in the sd annexed will & Testament, named truly & faithfully to administer of the same, and a full Just & perfect inventory of all & singular the good, Chattels, Rights. & Creditts of the sd deceased to make & the same to

exhibite in the Secretaryes office of the sd province on or before the fifteenth day of December, which shall be in the year of our Lord, 1688.

Given under the Seale of the sd province the day & year first above written.

And. Hamilton.

Recorded in Liber B of deeds, page 220 &.

JOHN MARTIN became one of the most important settlers in Piscataway. He is known to have lived in Piscataqua as early as 1647 One of his children, James was born in Piscataway in 1669 where he died in 1687.

Coming now to the genealogy. JOHN MARTIN, SR. of PISCATAWAY was born before 1626 and died at Piscataway July 5, 1687. He was of Dover, New Hampshire, 1648-1666; Woodbridge, N. J., 1668-1676; and Piscataway, N. J., 1676-1687. He married Hester (or Esther), born in 1628, died at Piscataway, December 12, 1687, daughter of Governor Thomas Roberts, who settled in Dover, New Hampshire, very early, and was chosen President of the colony in opposition to John Underhill, in 1641. John Martin and Esther his wife, both left wills of record,

It is not known exactly when John came to America, but he was in Dover, NH, 1648-1666 when he became one of the 4 original grantees of Piscataway, NJ. where he lived until 1676. Later the family removed to Woodbridge, NJ. Our best evidence, according to THE GENEALOGY OF THE MARTIN FAMILY, Charles William Francis, 1918, LaPorte Printing Co., LaPorte, IN., is that John was the son of Isaac Martin about whom we have little information other than that he was in Rehoboth, MA from 1644-1646. It is also a matter of court record that on April 15, 1658 John Martin gave evidence in a matter concerning a cousin, Pricilla Upham. From this we can deduce that John was over 21. Since Robert and Abram are known by record to be childless, then John must be the son of Isaac. Another brother, Richard, also came to America to take over the property left to him by brother Robert's will. Richard came with his son John, but it would appear that he came after 1660 when Robert died. Francis gives the probable date of 1663. In any event, John the son of Richard could not have given evidence in an American court in 1658.

John's English birth place is deduced from the fact that his father first appears in the records in 1644. It is known that Robert and his wife arrived at Weymouth, New England May 6, 1635 when their age is given as 44. Brothers Isaac and Abraham appear first in Rehoboth in 1644.

Abraham is recorded to have died in 1670 in the Puritan faith. (Mayflower came in 1620).

One source says that John was born in 1620. His lineage is said to go back 4 generations to Richard Martin of Poulehurst, England.

By 1661 John and Esther had moved to New Jersey. John was one of the original owners and settlers of Middlesex County, New Jersey. He helped establish Piscataway which they named for the Piscataquay region of New Hampshire. They were original grantees in 1666 in Piscataway. They established the first land grant in 1673. He served as assistant justice in 1676 in Woodbridge and as assistant justiced in Piscataway in 1678. They both died in 1687 in Piscataway. His will dated March 17, 1687, listed three children: Joseph, Benjamin, and Lydia.

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John Martin, of Piscataway's Timeline

June 1620
Age 25
Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire
Age 26
Dover, Strafford, NH, USA
Age 28
Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States
Age 32
Dover, Strafford Co, NH
Age 34
Dover (Oyster River), Bristol Co, NH
Age 36
Dover, Stafford, New Hampshire, USA
January 12, 1659
Age 38
Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire
Age 39
Pembroke, England
Age 41
Piscataway, New Jersey