How Is Margaret Claggett Related to the Martin Family?


I received this fascinating query from Joanna McKenna, a dedicated family history researcher and distant relation. We met when I commented on her Kansas history article on the Hubpages website.

Here’s her search that she’s hoping we might know more about:

“Because it’s the holidays, I’m hoping when your family gathers there’ll be someone who knows how Margaret A. CLAGGETT was a first cousin of your Charles Coleman Martin and his siblings.

Margaret A. Claggett never married.  She was born 26 January 1826 in Muhlenberg Co, KY, died 7 FEB 1916 in Emporia and buried at Chicago Mound.

death of Margaret Claggett

Margaret Claggett lived in Lyon County, Kansas from 1877 until her death. (Clipped from The Topeka Daily Capital, 09 Feb 1916, Wed, Page 3)

Where Margaret fits on the Martin family tree has been a continuing source of frustration ever since I came across her in the 1880 KS census.  Recently I also discovered her and an older woman named “Anna Claggett” (whom I assume was her mother) in the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Deerfield Twp, Fulton Co, IL.  They were in the household of my WEAVER cousin, Joshua Weaver, and second wife, the former Eliza Ann MARTIN, sister of Thomas Claggett Martin and your Charles Coleman Martin.

Margaret Claggett was shown as a cousin of the Head of Household, but of course she was really his wife Eliza’s cousin.

  • How she was a first cousin of Charles, Eliza and Thomas is the question.
  • Was the (mother?) Anna (born 1785 NC, died after 1870) a sister of John H. Martin who married a Claggett?
  • Or was Anna a sister of John H. Martin’s wife Martha SUMMERS, daughter of William Summers?

I can’t find Anna or Margaret anywhere in the 1850 census, but the fact that they were welcomed as permanent houseguests at Joshua and Eliza (Martin) Weaver’s in Fulton Co IL, and then Margaret alone by Thomas Claggett Martin’s family in Lyon Co KS suggests that Anna had a private income (i.e. an inheritance as the widow of Margaret’s father?) which Margaret subsequently inherited at Anna’s death. Margaret apparently wasn’t penniless when she died in 1916, as Henry R. Martin was appointed Executor of her estate, whatever that estate entailed.


Her obituary in the Emporia Gazette is quite emphatic that she had no other living relatives other than her Martin cousins and their children.  Something about that declaration set off alarm bells.  What about relatives on the Claggett side?  Very odd.

If I weren’t so far from Emporia, I’d go to the Lyon  County Courthouse to look up Margaret’s estate papers.  As it is, if you could ask around among the Martin clan for any information about Margaret and (mother?) Anna, I’d be most grateful!”


7 thoughts on “How Is Margaret Claggett Related to the Martin Family?

  1. JamaGenie

    @Virginia, Thank you for posting this! I have one “new” development to add. I went back to the 1860 and 1870 censuses, when Margaret and Anna were living with Joshua & Eliza (MARTIN) Weaver in Fulton Co IL, and in 1870 Margaret’s occupation was “Domestic Servant”. So I suppose that rules out either having their “own income”. Sigh…

    @HEYTOTO, thank you for saying you’d go to Emporia if you still lived in Lawrence! Times like this I miss being “just up the road” in Topeka (where I was only a mile from the KS Historical Society Library)! As it is, every “root digger” I knew who lived in or close to Emporia has moved away (or died). Double sigh…

    Happy holidays to both of you!


  2. JamaGenie

    Virginia, perhaps it’s NOT so unfortunate that your sister now lives in Kentucky, if she’s anywhere near Muhlenberg County!

    Just sayin’…


  3. I’ve been meaning to post that I solved the mystery a few months ago!

    Margaret A. Claggett was the daughter of Anna SUMMERS (1785 NC – aft 1870) and Allen CLAGGETT (d. aft 1825 KY). Anna’s father was William Summers. Allen’s parents were Henry “Harry” Claggett (1755, Frederick Co MD – 1823, Grayson Co KY) and Elizabeth HAYES (b. abt 1782). Margaret was apparently their only child, and after Allen’s death, Anna and her daughter had to rely on the kindness of relatives. I suspect, but haven’t yet proven, that Anna (Summers) Claggett and Martha (Summers) MARTIN, wife of John H. Martin of Lyon Co KS, were sisters, daughters of the above William Summers of NC. If so, it would explain why Thomas Claggett Martin and sister Eliza (Martin) WEAVER referred to the mysterious Margaret as their cousin.

    Have a great day!


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