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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

Elizabeth Dalton Martin


Elizabeth Dalton Martin

(A biographical sketch contributed by Tina Culbertson, CupaTea712@hotmail.com

Elizabeth Dalton was born in December of 1836, and baptized January 25, 1837 in Wetheral Parish, Cumberland County, England. She lived in Meadow Cottages near Burnrigg England with her parents and four siblings until late 1841 or early 1842. Little is know of her early childhood spent in England and Pennsylvania.

By 1850, at the age of fifteen, Elizabeth had been living in Pennsylvania for eight years. She attended school in Upland and, more than likely, worked at the cotton mill with her father and siblings. When she was seventeen years old her sister Ann married and moved west with her new husband. More than likely Elizabeth missed her oldest sister when she left. With only three years difference in their age it would seem probable the sisters had a close relationship. After all, Ann and Elizabeth would have memories of their childhood in England as well as the shared experience of a ship voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. She had other sisters, Jane and Mary, but Ann was the only female sibling with those shared memories.

At the age of twenty-one Elizabeth married John Martin, also of Upland, on December 19, 1857. The marriage Notice appeared in the January 15th, 1858 Delaware County Republican.
“Marriage - On the 19th ult. by the Rev. William Wilder, Mr. John Martin to Miss Elizabeth Dalton of Upland.”

The Martins settled in Upland, John continuing to work as a weaver at the cotton mill. In 1859 their first child was born, a daughter they named Ann. A son, James, was born in 1861 followed by John, Sarah and William. 

By 1870 their daughter Ann, at 11 years of age, worked at the cotton mill and also attended school. The family attended the Upland Baptist Church until May 1872. At that time a letter of transfer was issued by the pastor, dismissing John and Elizabeth, when they joined the South Chester Chapel, a newly formed church. It must have been at this time, sometime during 1872 that the family moved to the North Ward of Chester. As years passed the four oldest children were working at the cotton mill. Annie and John were twisters and James was a beamer. The youngest, William, was nine years old and attending school. It is unclear whether John Martin was still employed at the cotton mill in Upland by 1878. In the 1880 census for Delaware County, Pennsylvania he was enumerated with the Farra family and listed as a laborer. It was not unusual to find the head of the household listed twice – once at his own dwelling and again at his place of employment. 

In 1880 the value of John Martin’s real estate was listed as $1,800 and the value of the personal estate was $200.

At this writing the Martins’ death and burial information is unknown. 

John and Elizabeth Martin’s children are:

1. Ann Martin born 1859 

2. James Martin born 1861

3. John Martin born 1865

4. Sarah Martin born 1868

5. William Martin born 1871





If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about individuals in Chester, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

© 2002 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/24/07