First, let me begin by telling you that my name is William (Bill) Martin and my family has a long heritage in Kenton and Campbell Counties. Samuel Martin (born abt. 1613) emigrated from Deavonshire, England and arrived in New Haven Ct. in 1640-1645. He helped to settle several colonies in Ct. One of his sons, William (Seaborn) Martin, (born 1653) was credited for finding enough settlers to start a new plantation at Stratford. His son, Joseph Martin, (born 1691) was the first Martin to move his family out of Ct. to NY and later VT. His son, Amos Martin, (born 1728), married Prudence Tuttle. The Tuttle family was well known in the development of New England.
My KY branch of the Martin family began with Eli Martin (born 1765) and his wife, Patience Allen, who was a direct descendent of the famous General Ethen Allen. For this reason, she named all of her male children with the middle name of Allen, (Abiel Allen Martin, Atkin Allen Martin, Ephraim Allen Martin etc.) While I cannot prove it, in the late 1700's or early 1800's it appears that quite a few of the Kenton Co. Ky families worked to build flat boats over the winter months and when the spring rains came, they floated down the river until they reached Northern Ky. As the families stuck together, they had a small amount of protection from the Indians and were able to help each other to overcome diversities. Traveling by flat boats was not easy as they had to carry all their belongings - farm implements, seeds, clothing and all their possessions - with them. Families with a large number of children were of a particular hardship. For some reason, Eli did not make it to Kentucky; he went to Blanchester OH and died there. His wife, Patience, and all of her children continued on to Northern KY. Some of the family settled in Kenton Co. and some in Campbell Co. Three more continued down the river to Richland Co., IL and became very prosperous there. Six of the boys became medical doctors and were well known for their services. Early tax records of 1827 etc. document Patience arrival in Northern KY. She lived to be about 100 years old.
One of Patience's sons, Abiel, was very active, even for that time. In 1830, he married Martha Elizabeth Sprague in Campbell Co. but later that year, he went to Richland Co., IL to assist his brother in measuring his land, as he was a civil engineer. By 1845, he was with his wife in Adams Co PA where she died. In 1850, he shows up in the Kenton Co 1850 federal census. This would not be easy for a current day traveler but 100 years ago the means of travel were crude and not easy. Going down river was generally on a flat boat but going up river required a raft and a horse to pull it.
One of Abiel's sons, Ethen Allen Martin, heard a rumor that the railroad was going to be constructed in southern KY and that people that owned that land would probably become rich. He moved his entire family to Simpson Co Ky in hopes of becoming wealthy but he lost as no railroad ever went through. As his children reached legal age, some stayed there and others returned to Northern Ky.
One who returned to Northern Ky was my grandfather, William Culbertson Martin, who was elected county clerk in Campbell Co. Upon his early demise, his wife, was elected to take his position. She was one of the first women to hold public office.
Submitted by: Bill Martin