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Lieut John "Jack" Martin
Birth: 1756
Essex County
Virginia, USA
Death: Apr. 5, 1822
Stokes County
North Carolina, USA

John married Nancy Shipp in 1784 and reared ten children. John died in 1822 and his wife, Nancy, died in 1841. They are both buried in a small family graveyard just below the Rock House, along with their son, William. For some reason the bible page (posted here on his memorial) and his wife's pension application both cite John's death year as 1823. However, John's will was dated May 10, 1821 and the probate of this will took place in 1822, so it would be impossible for him to have died in 1823. Reference: North Carolina Wills: A Testator Index, 1665-1900 by Thornton W. Mitchell @1992 page 326: Martin, John CO 90 [Stokes County], date c1821 Recorded WB 3/80 [Will Book 3, page 80] Original with a copy in the Archives. Pages 80 and 81 are also posted here on his memorial. The people listed in the will are: Nancy (wife), Poley C. Bynam & Elizabeth Harris (married daughters) and James, Joseph, John, Samuel, George, Thomas and William Gillam Martin (sons) and three grandchildren, John Martin Cloud, Maryann Cloud and Eliza Jerome Cloud; these were the children of John's daughter, Elizabeth, who married Jeremiah Cloud in 1810 and later married John Harris in 1817.
About the time Surry County was formed from Rowan in 1770, it has been said that a very young John Martin laid the foundation of the famed Rock House in what is now in western Stokes County. Since he was only fourteen years of age at that time, it is likely that the construction of the house began later; possibly as late as 1778. His marriage to Nancy Shipp in 1784 encouraged him to finish the house in 1785. The house has come to be known simply as the Rock House to the locals. A simple but tough design it has endured the elements for over two hundred years. In bad disrepair the Rock House ruins now stand as an enduring testament to the pioneer people who not only tamed and settled this region but fought and died for the freedom we enjoy today. The Rock House was four stories, including the basement and attic; had walls three feet thick; and a fireplace in the basement big enough to roast an ox. The outside of the house was covered with white stucco and could be seen for miles around. The house is now on the National Register of Historic Places. During the war years the Rock House was used as a fort against the Indians and Tories as well as the headquarters and a rallying point for the militia. You can still see the gun ports built into the walls. Captain John Martin earned the reputation of being a brave and couragous man. He did much to eliminate the Tory influence.

Somewhere along the way John became known as "Jack" and that is the name some remember him by today. Before the Rock House was completed John went to war from the old Surry County courthouse in Old Richmond as a Lieutenant in Captain Joseph Henry Smith's company with Rutherford against the Indians in 1776. He fought for several years against the Indians as well as the Tories in the western part of North Carolina. He served under Captains Smith, Minor, Phillips, and Robert Hill. He also served under Colonels William Cleveland, Shepard, and James Martin and frequently rode with Major Joseph Winston. John Martin was a member of the party that rescued Cleveland when the Tories, under Riddle, captured him at Old Fields. Later the party captured Riddle along with his son and another Tory. He fought with Colonel William Davidson to rout a band of loyalists under Colonel Bryan when they joined the British at Colson's mill. In 1781 when the Tories had their headquarters in a cave known as Tories Den, on the north side of the Sauratown mountains just south of the Rock House, John Martin, along with Joseph Cloud, Joshua Cox, and others under the command of Major Winston, attacked and killed all but one of the Tories. When the mountain men marched to meet Fergerson at King's Mountain, John Martin was in Cloud's company under the command of Cleveland. While scouting with Thomas Lankford both men were wounded and left for dead. Martin recovered enough to get to camp and another removed some of the shot from his head and he was sent home. He rejoined his company but the Battle of King's Mountain had already taken place. When the mountain men joined Greene in Feburary 1781, John Martin marched with Major Winston under the command of General Pickens. Martin was wounded at least two times while fighting the Tories and British and carried buckshot in his temple the rest of his life. He also proved to be a good citizen during peacetime as well. From 1788-1799 and again in 1811-1812 he served as a Stokes County State Representative to the General Assembly. He served for thirty years as a magistrate in the courts of Stokes County and was said to have a droll humor and keen wit.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Nancy Ann Shipp Martin (1763 - 1841)*
 
 Children:
  Mary Coleman Martin Bynum (1785 - 1855)*
  Elizabeth Martin Harris (1787 - 1860)*
  Joseph Martin (1791 - 1877)*
  John Martin (1797 - 1845)*
  George Martin (1802 - 1865)*
  Thomas Martin (1805 - 1869)*
  William G Martin (1809 - 1842)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
The large monument reads:
In Memory of
Lt. John Martin
Born in Essex County, Virginia
Died at the Rock House April 5, 1822
Soldier, Officer and Patriot of the
Revolution Who Volunteered to Fight
For the Independence of His Country
Member of the House of Co_______
[the rest is not legible in this photo]

Small grave marker reads:
Lt. John Martin
1756 - 1822
 
Note: His middle initial may be a "C." but it is not used in any Stokes County, North Carolina records that are available. Ralph D. Shipp cites the middle initial in his book, "The Shipp Family Genealogy" on page 15.
 
Burial:
John Martin Family Cemetery
Flat Rock (Stokes County)
Stokes County
North Carolina, USA
 
Maintained by: Diane Gravlee
Originally Created by: CA Croft
Record added: Mar 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18194385
Lieut John Jack Martin
Added by: Diane Gravlee
 
Lieut John Jack Martin
Added by: Diane Gravlee
 
Lieut John Jack Martin
Added by: Esther Johnson
 
 
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- Scott Hayes
 Added: Oct. 13, 2014

- Vonnie Cantrell
 Added: Aug. 16, 2014

- Diddy & Doodle
 Added: Dec. 15, 2012
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