by Richard Roy Martin –
I came to Germanna by adoption and by biology. You see, my adoptive father, Roy Martin, was a descendant of John Joseph Martin, and my biological father, Herman Meyer, was a descendant of Peter Hitt. If my story is not unusual enough, then it becomes more unusual. According to family tradition, John Joseph Martin and Peter Hitt married sisters whose parents were Hermann Otterbach and Elizabeth Heimbach, which means that my adoptive and biological fathers were eighth cousins. My story is thus the story about a wonderfully rich Germanna ancestry.
My adoptive family in America begins with John Joseph Martin and Mary Catherine Otterbach who were members of Germanna’s First Colony of 1714. They eventually established their home at Germantown, Virginia. John Martin, the son of Joseph and Catherine Holtzclaw Martin, married Sarah Jeffries, and they moved from Fauquier County, Virginia to Shelby County, Kentucky in the 1780s. Their daughter, Elizabeth Martin, married John Martin, the son of Peter and Sarah Redding Martin, and they moved from Shelby County, Kentucky to Washington County, Indiana in the early 1800s. John Richard Martin, the son of Lemuel Daniel and Welthy Gilstrap Martin, married Malinda Hauger, and they moved from Washington County, Indiana to Furnas County, Nebraska in the late 1880s. Ralph W. Martin, the son of Jacob Lemuel and Emma Catherine Andre Martin, married Alice Joyce Johnston, and they moved from Superior, Nebraska to Dinuba, California in 1937. Their son, Roy Martin, moved to Chico, California, and married Priscilla Jane Wyckoff. Unable to have children, they adopted me in 1960.
My biological family in America begins with Peter Hitt and Elizabeth Otterbach who were also members of Germanna’s First Colony of 1714 and who also lived at Germantown, Virginia. Their son, Henry Hitt, married Alice Katherine Holtzclaw, and they moved from Halifax County, Virginia to Edgefield County, South Carolina in the 1780s. From there, John and Frances Banks Hitt moved to Washington County, Georgia and then to Cape Girardeau County, Missouri in the early 1800s. Their daughter, Mary Katherine Hitt, married John Randol, and my Randol line from Samuel Harker Randol and Cynthia Caroline Whitney to Trusten Polk Randol and Cynthia Ann Giboney to Silas Almond Randol and Etta Iona Turner continued to live in either Cape Girardeau County or in neighboring counties well into the 1900s. Irene Randol married Arville Walter Meyer, and they moved from Missouri to various parts of the country, eventually settling in Northern California in the 1950s. Their son, Herman Aaron Meyer, met Virginia Dee Root in the spring of 1959 while working in Chico, California.
In 2013 I learned the full truth of my Germanna ancestry when I was reunited with my biological father. That my two fathers, Roy Martin and Herman Aaron Meyer, were eighth cousins was certainly a surprise to me, yet it shows the richness of the Germanna legacy in America. Indeed, my story is an unusual one, in that I came to Germanna twice. Once by adoption. Another by biology.