|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Martin Family Cemetery was established on the Thomas Martin and Drucilla Vawter/Martin farm prior to 1845. It is located 3 miles northwest of the Weakley County Court House on a sloping hill in a small grove of mature trees. It sits behind the McClain's Chapel Cemetery on Bible Union Road at Mathis Road. It is thought by some to be part of the McClain's Chapel Cemetery, though it is not. For over one hundred and fifty years several generations of family members have lovingly cared for this cemetery. John Marshal Martin, great grandson of Thomas and Drucilla Vawter Martin annually cleared the cemetery until his death in 1974. After 1974, maintenance became increasingly difficult because most of the immediate Martin family members had moved from the Weakley County area.
A great-great grandson of Elizabeth Martin Farmer and John F. Farmer and great-great-great grandson of Thomas and Drucilla Martin, discovered the Martin Family Cemetery for the first time in his life. It was grown over and unkempt. When he realized many of his ancestors were interred there, he was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. On the one hand he was elated that he had found a virtual gold mine of family information. On the other hand he was crushed with disappointment that his ancestor's final resting place was neglected and appeared to be forgotten.
For extended periods of time, the cemetery became a tangle of underbrush, fallen trees, and poison ivy. Gravestones fell. Some were broken or became buried under the brush and continued to deteriorate.
In 1987, Ann Martin Harpole, daughter of John Marshal Martin, who lived in Richmond Virginia, her husband, David and her brother, John Marshall Martin Jr. who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, had several gravestones repaired and helped finance a major cleanup. A gravestone honoring Marshal Presley Martin is located near his father, William Martin, for whom the town of Martin was named. Marshal Presley Martin was one of the founders of the city of Martin and was Ann Harpole and John Marshal Martin Jr.'s grandfather.
During the 1990's, Agnes Ellis Smyth, a great-great granddaughter of Thomas and Drucilla Martin, spent many, many hours soliciting funds from family members and selling her wonderful genealogy book, "Mama's Ancestors." These funds were used to pay for a cemetery marker, major cleanup and a new gravestone for James Adams Jr. and Susan Martin Adams.
However, in the spring of 2002, several Martin descendants visited the cemetery and found the cemetery to be once again overgrown. Determined to clean it up they chopped out the underbrush and piled it up. A local lawn care service was hired to spray the cleared out area with Round Up, cut down trees and hauled away the several years worth of piled up underbrush.
After the cleanup in 2002, it was decided amongst several of the distant cousins that a Perpetual Care Maintenance Fund needed to be established for the Martin Family Cemetery. Because of the book, "Mama's Ancestors" written by Agnes E. Smyth, her willingness to share the genealogy with all extended family members and her devotion to the upkeep of the cemetery, it was decided this Maintenance Fund should be established in her honor.
Locating the Martin Family Cemetery:
The Martin Family Cemetery is behind the McClain's Chapel Cemetery. If you are trying to find the cemetery, you will see McClain's first. If you drive around the bend in Bible Union Road, you will find a gravel/dirt driveway entrance to the Martin Family Cemetery.