Ezekiel Martin of Braughing, Herts.1846 - 1927


It comes as a surprise to many Martin family historians that one of the strongest lines survives in the north-east corner of Hertfordshire. For over five hundred years there have been Martins recorded in the villages of Barkway, Anstey, Braughing [pronounced 'Braffin' - please don't ask why!] - in fact all the communities along the B1368 road.

Braughing 1910   The B1368 was the main road from London to Cambridge until the demise of the coaching trade and its replacement by the railways. During the past 25 or so years, it has seen a revival as the 'rat-run' for families escaping the City to the peace of the East Anglian coast

Braughing c 1910

Braughing was a major Roman trading post on the old Ermine Street (now the A10 road), the main route from London to Huntingdon, and it is here that the B1368 branches off to make for Cambridge. It would be nice to think that Martin blood flowed in the veins of the people who lived in the village those 2000 years ago.

So, it was in Braughing that Ezekiel Martin was born in July 1846, the son of Hezekiah and Naomi - always ones for the biblical names were the Martins!

Ezekiel trained as a carpenter at Powells Green Farm but his interest always was in the new-fangled steam machines. He achieved his ambition around 1879 when he became the proud owner of one of the first self-powered steam engines in the area. There had been a few 'portables' but these had to be pulled to the working sites by horses. Ezekiel's business prospered rapidly and by 1881, he owned a steam threshing machine which he hired out to local farmers. Realising that this could, at the best, only be a seasonal occupation, he began to hire out the engines for general land work - removing tree stumps, deep ploughing, pond pumping, etc. The expansion proved profitable and by 1895, Ezekiel had purchased the 196 acre Pentelow Farm.

    Ezekiel Martin 1858

Ezekiel 1888

Ezekiel's interest in new things mechanical did not diminish and he was one of the first in his part of Hertfordshire to own a motor car. As the engineering improved, Ezekiel made sure that he always had the latest in automobiles.
Edekiel's new car   He retired from business in 1920 and died of pneumonia at 1 North View, Braughing in 1927.

In 1988, when the Local Studies Library of Hertfordshire Library Service was preparing a programme explaining how their services could be used to research family history, the Martin family of NE Herts was chosen as the subject.


Ezekiel 's car


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Ezekiel Martin   born   1 July 1846   Braughing
    baptized   9 August 1846   Braughing

married 1st

  Harriet Clara Dodkin 29 September 1866   Braughing
    married 2nd   Alice Eliza Martin sic 17 June 1875   Braughing
    died   17 February 1927   Barkway


Reed Through the Ages - written by Tom Doig (click to find out more)

Tom Doig  7th Feb 2002

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