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Our Family Genealogy Pages

Colonel Nicholas Martiau
Male 1591 - 1657

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Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Title  Colonel 
    Birth  1591  France Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender  Male 
    Died  c1657  Yorktown, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID  I8121  Stewart
    Last Modified  19 Apr 2021 
     
    Family 1  Jane Martiau,   d. c1640  [2
    Children 
     1. Nicolas Martiau,   d. 1657
    >2. Elizabeth Martiau,   b. 1625, Belgium Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1686
     3. Mary Martiau
     4. Sarah Martiau
    Last Modified  09 Apr 2021 
    Family ID  F2813  Group Sheet
     
    Family 2  Isabella Beach 
    Married  1645  [3
    Last Modified  09 Apr 2021 
    Family ID  F2816  Group Sheet
     
  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 1591 - France Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend = Address   = Location   = City/Town   = County/Shire   = State/Province   = Country   = Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Nicholas Martian's name was variously recorded as Malier, Marlier, Martn, Martian, Martain, etc. In 1621 a large number of the French Walloons applied to the London Company for leave to settle in Virginia. Permission was granted, but they secured more favorable terms from the Dutch. Therefore they sailed for New York in 1622, and constituted the first Dutch colony in America. Some few came to Virginia according to their first intention, and among them Nicholas Martian who secured his denization in England.
      In the list of Walloons* presented to the London Company in 1621, there is entered "Nicholas de la Malier, his wife and two children"; in the census for 1624, Nicholas Martine is named as living in Elizabeth City. (Hotten's list of Emigrants to America, pages 99, 176, and 249.)
      * Walloon is the collective name of the inhabitants of about one-half the area of Belgium. They are distinguished from the rest of the population, the Fleming, by their romance, speech, and darker complexion. [2]
    • In 1635, as has been stated, Martian took a leading part in protesting against the tyranny of Sir John Harvey, the Governor, and the loss of Kent Island to Lord Baltimore, and he was in consequence arrested and confined. But Sir John Harvey was himself deposed and Martian and his fellow prisoners released. [2]
    • When Chiskiack on York River was opened for settlement in 1630, Nicholas Martine obtained the land at Yorktown. He was the first representative in the assembly for Chiskiack and Kent Island. He was one of the first magistrates of York County, and in 1839 [sic, 1639] obtained a patent for the land at Yorktown due him on account of importing himself, Nicholas Malier, his wife Jane, Nicholas his son, and Elizabeth Malier, his daughter. [2]
    • Nicholas Malier was therefore a common ancestor of George Washington, Robert Edward Lee, and many other eminent Virginians. [4]
    • MARTIAN was one of the speakers at the meeting held at the house of William Warren of York, to oppose the misgovernment of Harvey—the first organized resistance in Virginia to the oppressions of government. The York records show that Captain NICHOLAS MARTIAN owned the site of the present Yorktown, and on this land, once owned by him, his descendant, General GEORGE WASHINGTON, gave the final blow to the English ascendancy. He was also the ancestor of Governor Thomas Nelson, who was an active and useful assistant in the siege of Yorktown. [5]
    • In 1591 there was born in France one who was to become an important figure in the early history of the Virginia Colony--Nicolas Martiau, a Huguenot. While still quite young Nicolas Martiau went to England, where he fell under the influence of the powerful Earl of Huntingdon. At the latter's instance, Martiau was educated as a military engineer--for it will be remembered that in this era of Vauban, engineering as a profession was still largely confined to military engineering, especially fortification. During his life in England Martiau also became a naturalized Englishman; and as he later held various offices in Virginia, his naturalization was plainly of the special form granted only by royal decree, which form alone permitted the recipient to hold office and enjoy certain other privileges.
      The earl of Huntingdon was one of the members of the Virginia Company, that private corporation which was entirely responsible for the initial colonization and development of Virginia. About the year 1619 the colonists petitioned the Company for an expert to be sent to Virginia to plan and construct fortifications, badly needed for defense against the Indians. Huntingdon, we may be sure, was instrumental in securing the appointment of his young protege to this position; and in June of 1620 Martiau arrived in Virginia, where he continued to act as representative for the Earl's extensive interests. The Virginia Census of 1724 shows "Capt. Niccolas Martue" as having come to Virginia in the "Francis Bonaventure", sailing from England on May 11, 1620.
      In Virginia Martiau was given the rank of Captain in the militia and put in charge of the work of planning fortifications. It is interesting to note that three places were selected by him for immediate fortification; and of the three one was Old Point Comfort, now the site of our principal fort for the defense of Chesapeake Bay: Fort Monroe, Virginia. After the disastrous uprising and massacre by the Indians in 1622 he was stationed with a company of the militia at Falling Creek, well up the James River.
      Martiau first resided at Elizabeth City; and from this community he was elected a member of the House of Burgesses, istting in the Assembly of 1623-4 (Journals of the House of Burgesses 1619-1658/9, pp. viii et al.). In 1624 or 1625 he married the young Jane Berkeley, widow of Lieut. Edward Berkeley; the exact date of the marriage is not known, but on December 12, 1625 Martiau wrote to the Earl of Huntingdon: "I am now both a husband and a father". At Elizabeth City, in 1625, was born Elizabeth Martiau, the oldest child of Nicolas and Jane Martiau; and the family continued to reside at Elizabeth City for several years after this event. [6]
    • In 1630 the Martiau family took up its residence permanently on this tract at Yorktown, then called "Kiskyake" or "Cheskiacke". Nicolas Martiau was again elected to the House of Burgesses as the representative of Kiskyake and at the Isle of Kent, istting in the Assemblies of 1631-2, 1632 (beginning Sept. 4th), and 1632-3 (assembled Feb. 1, 1633) (Ibid., Pp. xii, xiii, xiv.). He was appointed by Governor Harvey as a Justice of York County, which office he held for more than twenty years; his first appearance as a member of York County Court was on July 12, 1633, and his last appearance on September 24, 1655. [7]

    Birth:
    • Nicholas Martiau is said to have been born in 1591 at l'île de Ré, France, near La Rochelle.

    Name:
    • Nicolas de la Malier
      Nicholas Martiau
      Nicholas Marteau
      Nicholas Malier
      Nicholas Marlier
      Nicholas Martian
      Nicholas Martain
      Nicholas Martn
    • Colonel Nicholas Martian (pronounced Marchen)
    • In going over the early records mentioning Martiau's name, searchers originally believed the spelling of his name to be Martian; and for a number of years he was referred to as Nicholas Martian. However, there have come to light a considerable number of documents bearing his signature--and it is unmistakably "Nicolas Martiau". [8]

    Died:
    • His will, dated March, 1656, and proved April 24, 1657, is on record in York county, and divides his estate between his three daughters, Elizabeth, wife of Colonel George Reade, Mary, wife of Colonel Sarbrook, and Sarah, wife of Captain William Fuller, at one time governor of Maryland. [1]
    • Nicolas Martiau died in 1657 at Yorktown, where his wife Jane had died at least seventeen years earlier. Their only son, Nicolas Martiau, Jr., had died in childhood, and they were survived by the three daughters named in the will. [9]
     
  • Sources 
    1. [S226] Genealogies of the Lewis and Kindred Families, Mrs. Lura May Boulton Tandy, (E.W. Stephens Publishing Company, 1906), 20.

    2. [S222] Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume IV, Louise Pequet du Bellet, (J. P. Bell Company (INC.), Lynchburg, Virginia 1907), F 225 .P36 v.4., 4.

    3. [S222] Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume IV, Louise Pequet du Bellet, (J. P. Bell Company (INC.), Lynchburg, Virginia 1907), F 225 .P36 v.4., 4.
      In 1645 Nicholas Martain married Isabella Beach, as shown by the records of York. his will was dated March 1, 1657 or '67, and was proved April 4, 1657. He named his oldest daughter Elizabeth, who had crossed the ocean with him and became the wife of George Reade; Mary, his second daughter, wife of John Scarbrook, of York Co.; Sarah, his third daughter, wife of Capt. William Fuller, the Puritan Governor of Maryland.

    4. [S222] Some Prominent Virginia Families, Volume IV, Louise Pequet du Bellet, (J. P. Bell Company (INC.), Lynchburg, Virginia 1907), F 225 .P36 v.4., 5.

    5. [S227] Genealogy of the Washington Family, Holdridge Ozro Collins, (Sons of the Rev. Calif., 1900), 8.

    6. [S229] Lewis of Warner Hall, The History of a Family, including the Genealogy of Descendants in Both the Male and Female Lines, Biographical Sketches of Its Members, and Their Descent from Other Early Virginia Families, Merrow Egerton Sorley, (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1937), 31.

    7. [S229] Lewis of Warner Hall, The History of a Family, including the Genealogy of Descendants in Both the Male and Female Lines, Biographical Sketches of Its Members, and Their Descent from Other Early Virginia Families, Merrow Egerton Sorley, (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1937), 32.

    8. [S229] Lewis of Warner Hall, The History of a Family, including the Genealogy of Descendants in Both the Male and Female Lines, Biographical Sketches of Its Members, and Their Descent from Other Early Virginia Families, Merrow Egerton Sorley, (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1937), 33.

    9. [S229] Lewis of Warner Hall, The History of a Family, including the Genealogy of Descendants in Both the Male and Female Lines, Biographical Sketches of Its Members, and Their Descent from Other Early Virginia Families, Merrow Egerton Sorley, (Genealogical Publishing Co, 1937), 36.

  

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