My 5th great-grandfather Joshua Martin (1779-1849) is buried in Perry Township in Carroll County, Ohio. This week, I gathered a few of the profusion of cosmos my two-year-old granddaughter planted in my garden earlier this summer, grabbed my notes, and headed east for the Allen Memorial Cemetery.

As I pulled onto Ohio St. Rt. 161, my GPS told me to stay the course for 93 miles before exiting. Well! It was a beautiful day.

I presume Joshua’s father was Heinrich “Henry” Martin (1755/56-1845), who served in the Revolutionary War and resided near his son late in life, but I’ve found no record of where Heinrich was buried. He obtained his soldier’s pension while living on One Leg Creek, which today is called Conotton Creek. It runs along the Conotton Creek Trail, an 11-mile multi-use rail trail, and passes unnoticed under Conotton Road, where I stood to photograph it.

Conotton Creek

A daily trail user warned me there was no internet service in the area. My map app bogged down but remained doggedly faithful and got me to Joshua’s final resting place. The cemetery was fenced to keep the cows out. I unhooked the gate and climbed onto the knoll. The cattle were lowing as I walked among the graves.

Over a decade ago a genealogist had processed my ancestor’s tombstone by making visible the engraving and then photographing the temporary result. That photo and transcription can be seen on I compared what could be seen in the photo with the construction of the headstone to identify it among the others in the small graveyard. The engraving is no longer visible, so I’m indebted to the people who collected and preserved my family history.

Madison's cosmos

Joshua Martin’s name is on an 1801 tax list and on a land survey for the Territory North West of the River Ohio, which in that year encompassed what shortly would become Ohio, eastern Michigan, and a tiny part of Indiana. The names handwritten on the Ohio River Survey are the same as those on the tombstones in Allen Memorial Cemetery: Allen, Bair, Creal, Custer, Hendricks, McLaughlin, Thompson, Tomlinson, and others.

Madison, the pint-sized cosmos grower, is Joshua’s 7th great-granddaughter. If he could speak to her through time, he might ask whether she was named for James Madison, the U.S. secretary of state from 1801 to 1809 and then, from 1809 to 1817, the 4th U.S. president. Joshua named one of his sons James.

On my ill-chosen scenic route home, my car slid on a gravel road detour and bumped across a reservoir on a crumbling causeway, which made me wonder how my ancestors ever made it from Carroll County to Athens County and then Meigs County, Ohio, although it took them generations. As luck would have it, on Saturday, 19 October 2019, the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Local History & Genealogy Division will present “Exploring Zane’s Trace: A New Road in a New Country” from 10 a.m. to noon at the Main Library, 96 S. Grant Ave. I will learn.

Carroll County, Ohio, USA

Independence Day, brought to you, in part, by…

…a number of my multi-great-grandfathers, who served under General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the army during thirteen colonies’ war for independence from Great Britain.  It was a war that lasted for eight years—something to think about if your ancestors were American colonists.

Flower Mound Independence Day Fest, by Erin Costa
Photo: “Flower Mound Independence Day Fest” by Erin Costa is licensed under CC BY 2.0

James Edward “Jesse” Mizell Sr. (1727-1804) of North Carolina
Due to his age at the time, it’s difficult to believe the story his grandchildren told, but there is “an 1814 pension record showing that the widow of James Mizell of Martin County, N.C., was receiving a pension for his service in that war,” according to researcher Patrick Pearsey.

David Rogerson Sr. (1742-1805) of North Carolina

John Alderman Sr. (1742-1822) of North Carolina

John Rogerson (1755/60-1824) of North Carolina

William Griffin Mizell (1730-1809) of Georgia

Isaac Eason Sr. (1731-1786) of North Carolina

Joseph Lilley (1733-1807) of North Carolina

Daniel Roberson Sr. (1755/59-1835) of North Carolina

Daniel Leggett I (1759/60-   ) of North Carolina

Benjamin Woolard Sr. (1733-   ) of North Carolina

Aert William Barkalow (1750-1777) of New Jersey

Thomas Tewksbury Jr. (1758-1838) of New Hampshire

James Porter II (1737-1822) of Connecticut

Amos D. Allen (1749/51-1804) of Massachusetts

Ignatius Ogdin (1745-1799) of Maryland

John Slaughter, Col. (1731/41-1796) of Virginia

Heinrich Martin Sr. (1755-1845) of Pennsylvania

John Haun Sr. (1740-   ) of Maryland

Philip Roush Sr. (1741-1820) of Virginia

Francis Dougherty (1750-   ) of Pennsylvania
court-martialed for being insolent and drunk

Lemuel Smith Sr. (1736-1805) of Massachusetts

Jonathan Rogers II (1756-1841) of Massachusetts

Among my multi-great-grandfathers were two Royalists, a father and son, against whom neighbors didn’t hesitate to testify:

Absalom A. Leggett Sr. (1729/34-1792/96) of North Carolina
great-grandson of an English colonist

Daniel Leggett I (1759/60-  ) of North Carolina
later joined the Continental Army

I’ll update this partial list when I discover more. I don’t know the identities of all of my ancestors, and records from that era are spotty.