Edward Talbott (1723-1797), son of John and Mary (Waters) Talbott, lived on a tract of land called "Barretts Delight" in Mine Run Hundred of Baltimore County, Maryland. Edward appeared in the 1790 census with statistics of 3-2-4. Edward's and Temperance's known children, all born from about 1746 to 1766, included John, Benjamin, Vincent, Mary, Temperance and Edward. I would like to propose, as a THEORY (requiring further research), that Edward and Temperance also had a heretofore unknown daughter named Martha, born circa 1762, and who married Clement Leach (also of Mine Run Hundred, Baltimore County), circa 1783. After 1790 but before 1810, this Clement and Martha (Talbott???) Leach had moved to Finley Township, in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Below is my analysis of data, with reasoning.
Clement and Martha (maiden name unknown, but possibly Talbott) Leach were the ancestors of several lines of Leach families in the area of Marshall County, West Virginia. What was Martha’s maiden name?
In order to address this question, some background information is helpful. Clement and Martha had at least five sons, named Edward, Ambrose, Clement, Joshua and Greenberry. The census of 1810 indicates that they possibly had a sixth son, whose name is currently unknown. In addition, the 1810 census data indicates that they had a daughter born between 1800 and 1810 (name unknown) and the 1790 census (Mine Run Hundred of Baltimore County, Maryland, statistics of 1-2-3) indicates that they might have had two daughters born between 1780 and 1790, names unknown. Thus, there might have been as many as nine children, six sons and three daughters.
Clement was likely born in the 1750s, in Maryland (possibly Baltimore County); he descended from the Leaches of Calvert County, Maryland. Many researchers believe that he was the son of the Ambrose Leach who had married an Elizabeth Nairn (various spellings) around July 5, 1748, as reported in the records of St. John’s church/parish, in Baltimore County. Clement died in the 1820s, in either Washington County, Pennsylvania or, possibly Ohio County, Virginia (now West Virginia). (IF he died in Ohio County, it was likely the part that would be taken in 1835 to form Marshall County.)
Martha is a little more difficult to pinpoint. She appeared in the 1850 census in the household of her son Clement in Marshall County, reportedly age 94 (and so calculated to have been born circa 1755-1756). This reported age might have been inaccurately overstated, however, because from the 1810 census (Clement “Leech” of Washington County, PA), we know that Martha had three children all under 10 at that time, and so all born in/after 1800. If the youngest of these three children was born circa 1804, and if Martha was no more than age 45 at that birth, then she would have been born no earlier than 1759. From the 1810 census, when Martha was over 45, we know that she was born before 1765. She and Clement were likely married about 1783 (and then had four children by the time of the 1790 census), so if Martha was between 16 and 22 at marriage, she would have been born between 1761 and 1767. Using all of this information on Martha, my own estimate is that she was born between 1759 and 1764, in Maryland.
I believe Clement and Martha were likely married in the area of Baltimore County, Maryland. This inference is based on the fact that Clement’s likely parents, Ambrose and Elizabeth, had been married there, and seem to have continued living there. This inference is also based on the fact that Clement and Martha were living in Mine Run Hundred of Baltimore County at the time of the 1790 census. Therefore, it is likely that Martha’s parents and/or siblings were living in Baltimore County circa 1782-1783, and possibly even in Mine Run Hundred.
Having reviewed this background information, we can now look for evidence (or “clues”) that might lead to the discovery of Martha’s maiden name. Evidence comes in the form of naming choices for Martha’s children and grandchildren and in the form of geographic proximity at relevant times (e.g., for Clement and Martha to meet and court, they were likely living within five to ten miles of each other circa 1782).
Naming Clues. Clement and Martha named sons Edward, Ambrose, Clement, Joshua and Greenberry (and there is a possible yet-undiscovered sixth son). I am reasonably certain that Edward, Ambrose and Clement were the first three sons, in that birth order (based on census data). The third son, Clement, was almost certainly named for Clement himself. The second son, Ambrose, would have been named for Clement’s father (that is, the baby’s paternal grandfather), Ambrose Leach (assuming that Clement was indeed the son of Ambrose and Elizabeth (Nairn) Leach). So who was the first-born son, Edward, named for? A very likely guess is that he was named for Martha’s father (that is, the baby’s maternal grandfather). In the 1790s and early 1800s, many families were “traditional” in selecting names for their children that “honored” grandfathers, grandmothers and other family members. Therefore, to explore this clue, we should seek a man named Edward who could be Martha’s father. But what was the surname?
For further clues, we can look to other names. Martha and Clement named a son Greenberry (some researchers have transcribed the old handwritten records, likely spelled “Greenbery” as Greenberg or Greenbury, but these are errors). This name, so unusual to our 21st century eyes and ears, seems like a surname. A review of other families, however, shows that the name “Greenberry” had a certain fad for a time, and was not likely based on any traditional surname of a female ancestor.
Examining the names of the currently-known grandchildren of Martha and Clement, another clue emerges. Martha’s and Clement’s son Ambrose named a son, born circa 1822, John “Talbert” Leach (this man appears in the 1860 census for Marshall County as John T. Leach, and at least one researcher has provided the middle name). Martha’s and Clement’s son Clement named a son, born in 1827, William Talbot Leach (this man appears in the 1870 census for Grundy County, Illinois, and at least one researcher has provided the middle name). While the names “Talbert” and “Talbot” are spelled differently, they are actually phonologically very similar and, given the looser spelling practices of the 19th century, they are very likely the “same” name, variations of Talbott. Is it a mere coincidence that two of Martha’s grandsons received the middle name Talbott? Could Martha’s maiden name have been Talbott?
Another clue might emerge. Martha’s and Clement’s son Ambrose named a son, born in 1833, Clement Vincent Leach. Martha’s and Clement’s son Clement named a son, born circa 1838, Vincent (or possibly C. Vincent, which might be Clement Vincent). Was the name “Vincent” merely popular (a “fad”) at that time, or does this name have some possible family significance? Could this name come from Martha’s family?
Combining clues, is it possible that Martha’s father was an Edward Talbott? To “test” this theory, I looked at the 1790 census for Baltimore County, Maryland and, in Mine Run Hundred (where Clement and Martha were also living), there was an Edward Talbott who had statistics of 3-2-4. Also in Mine Run Hundred were a Benjamin, Jeremiah, Richard and John Talbott. In Baltimore County (no hundred or township specified) were also a “Venson” and a John “Tolbert”.
Following up on this possibility, I checked the Latter Day Saints on-line database (www.familysearch.org), the World Connect project at www.rootsweb.com, and the Talbott and Talbot bulletin boards at www.genforum.com. I also “googled” the name of Edward Talbott and found much information.
This Edward Talbott of Mine Run Hundred was born in 1723 in Maryland, married Temperance Merryman (or Merriman) in 1745, and lived on a tract called “Barretts Delight” in Baltimore County. He had children named John, Benjamin, Vincent, Mary, Temperance and Edward. He died in 1797, leaving a will, in Baltimore County. The will apparently does not mention any daughter named Martha, but not every will mentions every child. The birth dates for the children of Edward and Temperance (Merryman) Talbott are not consistently reported, but it seems that there is the possibility that they might have had a heretofore-undiscovered daughter born circa 1754-1755 or such a daughter born circa 1762.
Exploring further, various sources report that Edward Talbott was the son of John and Mary (Waters) Talbott and that Temperance (Merryman) Talbott was the daughter of John and Martha (Bowen) Merryman. Edward and Temperance seem to have been “traditionalists” in their choices of names for their children. Their eldest son was named John, seemingly for the child’s two grandfathers. They named another son Edward and a daughter Temperance (seemingly for Edward himself and Temperance herself). They named a daughter Mary (seemingly for Edward’s mother, Mary (Waters) Talbott). Given all of these traditions, it would not have been unusual, and, in fact, almost expected, that Temperance (Merryman) Talbott would have named a daughter Martha, after Temperance’s mother, Martha (Bowen) Merryman.
I would propose, as a theory requiring more research to find additional evidence, that Edward and Temperance (Merryman) Talbott had a daughter circa 1762 who they named Martha, for Temperance’s mother. This Martha Talbott then married Clement Leach, and named her first son Edward, for her father. Martha’s two sons, Ambrose and Clement, chose to give the name “Talbert” or Talbot as the middle name of a son, possibly because they both knew their mother Martha’s maiden name was Talbott. In addition, both Ambrose and Clement gave the name “Vincent” to a son, possibly being aware that they had an uncle named Vincent Talbott.
Does anyone have information that could either disprove or support this theory? If so, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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