Timothy Martin is one of the 'new" members to the Beeks tree. He is the father of the Matilda Martin who married David Wise, the Civil War veteran I've written of earlier. I'm just starting to get to "know" Timothy, so I went to the Wabash County Courthouse last week to see if I could find more information about him.
The 1850 census shows that he was born in Vermont and was about 40 years of age, so born about 1810. The 1860 census shows that he was born in New York and was about 62, so born in about 1798. I don't know which is correct, but I know these are the same two men because their location, the names of their wives, and the names of the children all match. (Ages and places of birth are a different matter, but that is incidental to this post.) The 1850 census lists him as a farmer, but no value is given for land so apparently he didn't own any at that point. The 1860 census gives him $500 in real estate and $600 in personal property. The $500 in real estate seemed like it would be relatively easy to pin down by going to the courthouse.
I didn't find any record of land either bought or sold by Timothy, from 1833 onward. I did, however, find a transaction from Timothy Martin to Samuel Tilberry listed in the General Index to Deeds, which was a "P.O.S." (proof of sale) dated April 29, 1850 for the odd sum of $48.13. I strongly suspect that Samuel Tilberry was the brother of Hanna Martin, Timothy's wife, so I hurried to Book L page 171 of the deeds to see what land Timothy had disposed of in 1850. What I found was at least as interesting as any land deed. I will copy it here to the best of my ability, although there were a couple of words I wasn't able to read:
"A bill of sale from Timothy Martin to Samuel Tilberry. Know all men that I, Timothy Martin, have this day sold to Samuel Tilberry the following property to wit: One two horse wagon, 3 milch cows, 1st brindle, 2nd red with a white forehead, 3rd brindle, 3 young cattle one year old each, one mare colt, mare grey, colt black, for the sum of forty eight dollars & 13 cents to secure the payment of judgement for the sum of forty eight dollars & 13 cents on the docket of William Sallee Esq. and in favor of J.R. Fry, for which I stand security, and that the above described property is now placed in the possession of the said Samuel Tilberry for the purpose of securing the payment of the above judgement & costs, and on condition, said Martin (not sure of word or words) the above judgement and costs at the time the issue becomes due on the docket of the said William Sallee, Justice, as aforesaid , then this obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and witness in law.
"In witness whereof the said Timothy Martin hereunto set my hand and seal the 24th day of April A.D. 1850. Timothy Martin (seal)
Witness: David (Umirres? Amsirres? Could not read last name)
Recorded May 3, 1850 M. Steele RWC"
Of course I wanted to know who J.R. Fry was, and the only one I located that makes any sense is a J.R. Fry back in Sidney, Shelby County, Ohio, which is where Timothy and Hanna were married in 1833. (A whole lot of other Tilberrys were married there, too, but I haven't begun to sort them out yet.) J.R. is about the same age as Timothy and Hanna. I don't know if this is the right man, I don't know of any relationship between Timothy and J.R., and I don't know why Timothy would have signed as security for him. Perhaps those records are in Shelby County. If the records were in Wabash County, then according to the folks at the Courthouse we are out of luck, because "everything burned in a courthouse fire". (Obviously not completely true, because the land records are complete.)
I worry about the Martins as I read the list of items sold to Samuel. They lost a wagon, three milch cows, three cattle, and a mare and colt. What, if anything, did they have left? Did Samuel allow them the continued use of these items, after the sale? Was Timothy ever able to reclaim them? Samuel appears to have been at least slightly better off than Timothy. He had been in Wabash County since at least 1840, when he purchased 97.60 acres from Daniel Sayre on November 17, 1840, for $488. So ten years later, he was established enough to have $48.13 that he could use to help Timothy honor the security he had given.
If anyone knows the rest of this story, who J.R. Fry was and why Timothy would have signed as security for him, I'd love to know how this all started.
Since I couldn't find a record of Timothy owning real estate, I wonder if possibly he was buying land on contract in 1860. That could explain why he was shown as owning real estate. Or perhaps it was a happy mistake on the census taker's part, that encouraged me to go find this interesting record.
Again, the line of descent is:
Timothy Martin-Hannah Tilberry
Matilda Martin-David Wise
Elizabeth Wise-John Beeks
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger