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Martha Kenton (Dowden)

Also Known As: "Patsy"
Birthplace: Virginia
Death: December 13, 1796 (26)
Mason County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Thomas Dowden; Thomas Dowden; Sarah Dowden and Sally Cleland
Wife of Simon Kenton, Frontiersman
Mother of Nancy McCarty; John Kenton; Simon Kenton; Sarah McCord; Stillborn Child Kenton and 1 other
Sister of Thomas J Dowden; Johnas Jack Dowden; Jane Owens; Archibald D Dowden and William Dowden

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Martha Kenton

Birth:  1770 Virginia, USA Death:  Dec. 13, 1796 Mason County Kentucky, USA

Martha and Simon were married 15 Feb 1787 at Mason Co, KY, and they were the parents of:

Nancy/Nov 1787 (Mrs William McCarty) John/31 Dec 1790 - 1812 Mexico Simon, Jr/8 Feb 1793 m. Sally Dowden Sarah/18 May 1795 (Mrs John McCord) Stillborn Child/13 Dec 1796

1785, pg 332: "It happened on October 1, when a large new group of emigrants from eastern Virginia arrived at Limestone to settle. Among them was the sister of William Kenton's wife, Mary (Cleland) Kenton. She was the widow of Thomas Dowden and had come to Kentucky country with her four children to be near Mary. Her two sons were Jack Dowden, who was 17, and Archibald, 12. The daughters were Jane, 15, and Martha, 14. It was the latter who so distracted the frontiersman. Never had he been so instantly attracted to anyone as he was to this beautiful dark-haired girl. For a long while he refused to admit to himself that he was in love with her. He was, after all, nearing 30."

1787, pg 366: "...the thin little wail of a newborn child in late November at Kenton's Station, where Martha and her husband became the parents of a fine little daughter who was named Nancy, after Simon's sister."

1790, pg 407: " Kenton's Station, the big frontiersman was summoned by one of the women attending Martha to come and see the source of the lusty squalling which filled the house. Tiny John Kenton had just been born."

1793, pgs 458 & 459: "Mary arrived none too soon at her son's station. In the early hours of February 8, 1793, exactly 10 years to the day after the birth of Simon Ruth, the frontiersman's new child was born--a heavy, healthy, squalling boy with an unusual amount of hair on his head exactly the same auburn color as his father's. Simon was pleased, there was no doubt of it, and his pride was evident when he announced that the baby would be named Simon Kenton, Junior."

1795, pgs 480 & 481: "Ever since mid February, Kenton's home had become a lively place indeed. Among the many newcomers to Kentucky was the Stephen Jarboe family, Martha's uncle and aunt and cousins. They had planned to stay over only a short while as they set about locating their own land, but when they found Martha in an advanced state of pregnancy with her fourth child, they stayed on. Simon welcomed them to stay as long as they liked, and almost at once there grew a mutual attraction between him and Martha's cousin, 17 year old Elizabeth Jarboe.

Elizabeth's mother was to have helped with the birth of Martha's child, fell ill and the midwifery became Elizabeth's responsibility. She shooed the menfolk and children away and performed in a manner betokening coolness and skill. And then, in late afternoon, she emerged from the bedroom, holding in her arms the tiny swaddled form of Simon Kenton's newest daughter, Sarah."

13 Dec 1796, pgs 490 & 491: "At 26, Martha was feeling more weary from this pregnancy than she had from any of the previous four. She slept frequently during the day and, to avoid climbing the stairs, had directed her Negro servants to bring her bed downstairs. Here she lay for most of each day while the Jarboe family saw to matters about the house. On December 13, however, the Jarboes had gone to Maysville and the servants were all outside. To keep Martha comfortably warm while they were gone, the fireplaces had been freshly replenished with firewood. But whoever had put the wood on the fire in the room directly above where she lay had neglected to replace the protective screening. A small gas pocket in one of the pieces of burning wood popped and shot a flaming bit of wood into a bed, setting it afire. Quickly the flames spread to the floor, and the dry planking began to burn furiously. Soon a large segment of the floor caved in, showering Martha's bed with flaming debris.

It was a melancholy household to which Simon Kenton returned. Martha had given birth to a stillborn baby an hour after being rescued and, herself severely burned, had followed the infant in death before the night was out."

(The Frontiersmen, by Allan W Eckert)

Martha and Elizabeth were cousins:

Sally Cleland married Thomas Dowden, their daughter, was Martha Dowden, Simon's first wife.

Elizabeth Cleland married Stephen Jarboe, their daughter was Elizabeth Jarboe, Simon's second wife.     Family links:   Spouse:   Simon Kenton (1755 - 1836)    Children:   Simon Kenton (1793 - 1844)*   Sarah Kenton McCord (1795 - 1862)*  

  • Calculated relationship

  Burial: Non-Cemetery Burial   Created by: Sue McDuffe:) Record added: Feb 21, 2017 Find A Grave Memorial# 176553768

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Martha Kenton's Timeline

December 22, 1769
November 1787
December 31, 1790
Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, United States
February 8, 1793
Mason, Kentucky, United States
February 8, 1793
Mason County, Kentucky, United States
May 18, 1795
Kentucky, United States
December 13, 1796
Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, United States
December 13, 1796
Age 26
Mason County, Kentucky, United States