Where Do I Find The Petition Men? Start With A Cluster of Martins in the 1830 census.

I have 29 men, some I think I know, some I have no idea. The petition submitted to the SC General Assembly was written in 1834, and according to the SC Archives, these men are inhabitants of York County,  SC.  So it seems reasonable to look in York County and the census seems a likely place to start, namely 1830 and 1840.

This will not be quick, easy or exact.  But quick, easy and exact is not worth writing about. 🙂

I’m going to start in 1830 and start looking for Martins. Ancestry tells me there are 11, more than are in the petition, but given that it is a surname in my tree and there aren’t a lot of them, it seems reasonable to take a bit of a detour here and figure out who all 11 are if I can.

There are 3 Thomas Martins in the 1830 census.  Because, why not?

I start there and find six listed together; three of them are Thomas.  Scanning these census pages, I see that the entries are not semi-alphabetical, so it suggests that these men might have lived in the same general area or were at least on a path that the census taker took.  They very well might be related.  Or not.  But it is highly likely they knew each other.

I’m going to assume that each of these six men were the oldest males in the household.  Yes, I am well aware this may not be the case, but if you don’t make some assumptions you will probably get nowhere. So here are the six ordered by age:

  • Thomas Martin Sr is between 70-80, born between 1751-1760
  • Thomas Martin Jr is between 50-60, born between 1771-1780
  • John Martin is between 40-50, born between 1781-1790
  • William is between 20-30, born between 1801-1810
  • Absolom is between 20-30, born between 1801-1810
  • Thomas  Martin is between 20 to 30, born between 1801-1810

Looking at what I have on my Martins, I think I can identify who some of the men are:

The oldest Thomas is Thomas (1756-1835); the second Thomas is his son, Thomas (1778-1855); the third Thomas is the son of the second, Thomas Mart (1806-1855).

John Martin is most likely the son of the oldest Thomas, John (1784-1864).  Notice there are two John Martins in that family.  The first one died very young, and they named the next son John.  Obviously an important name to the family.

So who are William and Absolom?  Both names appear on the petition. Are they sons of the oldest Thomas and the dates are just wrong on the census?  Why is this always so messy?  Oh right, it’s genealogy!