My 2nd Great Grandmother
Wife of John Thomas Wescott
Her nickname was “Puss”. Not sure why.
Born November 3, 1865 in Currituck County, North Carolina
Photo Courtesy of Spence/Wescott family
She was born to William Davenport Chadwick and Lurana J. O’Neal. Lurana was four years older than William.
Lurana’s family ancestor names are very rooted in North Carolina and the natives. The Farrow’s, O’Neal’s, Midgette’s, Payne’s, Jennette’s, Woodhouse’s, and Pugh’s. Most names being related to the Lost Colony. The “Families of Interest” include the surnames of the colonists and families associated with historical documents with local Native American heritage. If the colonists survived and were integrated into native village life, DNA, matching that of the colonists, will appear within the descendants of the local Native American population. More information on the Lost Colony is here https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/31423/title/Lost-Colony-DNA/
I can only find records of Martha Ann starting at age four. They lived in Poplar Branch. Poplar Branch is an unincorporated community in Currituck County, North Carolina.
Martha Ann was born during the Civil War and the Burnside Expedition. (See blog on John Wescott). She had three two older sisters (Maria, Luvina, and Rebecca) and one older brother, John. Her brother, Edgar, was born when she was three. Her sister, Lillie Dane, was born when she was seven and died three months later. Her older sister, Rebecca, died when she was thirteen. A year later, her mother, Lurana, died. Her mother was only fifty years old. A year after that, her half-sister, Arissia died. Seven months later her father died, he was only forty-eight. Such sadness in her life so far. Five deaths by the time she was just sixteen!
No wonder when John Thomas Wescott proposed to her when she was barely 18, she gladly accepted.
I believe that Martha and John met through their fathers. By 1884, John is showing in the Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory as the proprietor of the Wescott Hotel in Roanoke Island, NC. This same directory shows W. D. Chaddic (Martha’s father) as a lawyer in Manteo. It also shows he owns the Manteo Hotel in Manteo. Even though the elder John Wescott died in 1884, it could be him listed in the directory. I cannot see this being John T. as he had just joined the Life Saving Service and had a 2-year-old daughter. I cannot see him having the time to run a hotel too.
Martha’s mother was married prior to marrying William. She had four children with Nathan Etheridge before he died in 1856.
At age 18, Martha married John, 30, and helped raise Dora, 6. At age 19, she and John started having their own children.
She and John had five children.
At age 68, they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
By the time she died at age 70, she had nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild if my calculations are correct. She died of Chronic Nephritis.
She is buried in the Wescott Family Plot at Maplewood Cemetery in Durham, North Carolina with her husband.