|Aunt Estella Martin Walker (Deceased) and Johnnie Mae Terrell (Deceased) - 1986 Family Reunion in Los Angeles, California
"Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at the people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future." - Gail Lumet Buckley
Our roots are in Mississippi, but our branches spread far and wide. Michael Chrichton stated, "If you don't know your family's history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree." Our history begins with James "Jim" Martin who was born, according to the 1880 United States Census, in North Carolina in approximately the year of 1859. He and his brother moved to Beat 3, Lawrence County, Mississippi when they were teenagers. Jim was predominately of Indian descent and the census labeled him as "Mulatto."
According to the Twelfth Census of the United States, he met and married Doshie "Dosia or Dacie" Dagan on January 6, 1876 and to this union thirteen (13) children were born, but four (4) died during childbirth and only nine (9) children survived. The surviving children were Henry (b. 1898), Brady (b. 1896), Jullian (b. 1878), Lillian (b. 1890), Willie (b. 1887), Frank (b. 1884), Beulah (b. 1895), Beatrice (b. 1884) and Estella (b. 1894). **Please note dates of birth are approximate according to the Twelfth Census of the United States.**
Although the facts are simple, Jim Martin was a farmer by trade in Lawrence County. Census records confirm that from day one Jim Martin could read and write and he owned his own property. When the Thirteenth Census of the United States was taken, it is noted that Jim was labeled as a "widow" with the younger seven (7) children living with him. The Martins have had a long history of reuniting in a big way and over the last thirty-nine years we've done so. The history of our family continues to unfold through our reunions held biannually.
The reunion was first held in Monticello, Lawrence County, Mississippi in the summer of 1980. The first members of our family to initiate this reunion were Johnnie Mae Terrell (Deceased), Frankie Mae Hawthorn (Deceased), Arthur Martin (Deceased), Lentee Walker (Deceased), Classie Steele, Evelyn Martin Hall, Jessie Walker, Jr. (Deceased) and Madie Ree Watson.
Dr. Joyce Brothers stated, "When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses." We are continuing the Jim Martin Family traditions through our family reunions. The following is a list of our reunion history:
1980 - Monticello, Mississippi
1982 - Monticello, Mississippi
1984 - Monticello, Mississippi
1986 - Los Angeles, California
1988 - Chicago, Illinois
1990 - Niagara Falls, New York
1992 - San Jose, California
1994 - Jackson, Mississippi
1996 - Gary, Indiana
1998 - Atlanta, Georgia
2000 - Gulfport, Mississippi
2002 - Memphis, Tennessee
2004 - Dallas, Texas
2006 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
2008 - Hattiesburg, Mississippi
2010 - New York, New York
2012 - Cozumel, Mexico (Family Cruise)
2014 - Orlando (Kissimmee), Florida
2016 - San Jose, California
2018 - Dallas, Texas
2020 - Monticello, Mississippi
Each generation is equipped with a unique quality of life. This quality of life is to be handed down as time passes. In time of test, family is best. We will strive to keep this family reunion going as a family that "prays together, stays together."