Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.189

Title: Isaac G. Martin fonds

Dates of creation: 1866-1969

Physical description: 25 cm of textual records

Biographical sketch: Isaac G. Martin (July 12, 1882-Jan. 15, 1964) was the son of Levi P. Martin (1844-1919) and Barbara Gingrich Martin. He was born in Wallace Township 8 miles northwest of Listowel, but the family moved to Woolwich Township in 1884. Isaac worked on his father's farm as a young man; he also worked for Daniel Cressman and Moses Weber, and also spent time in Michigan and Iowa. Isaac Martin married Nancy Martin (Mar. 4, 1884-Apr. 26, 1949) on Jan. 19, 1911. They lived with her parents for a time until they moved to Elmira in March 1912. He worked in a furniture factory (Snyder Furniture Co.) until it closed in 1933. In later years he worked as a laborer, at a planing mill, for Beaver Lumber and as caretaker of the Old Order/Markham Mennonite meetinghouse in Elmira. They had three sons -- Henry A. (July 28, 1912-Sept. 11, 1990), Jacob M. (May 26, 1916-Dec. 3, 1991) and David M. (July 29, 1919-     ).  

Isaac and Nancy were part of the Old Order Mennonite Church until the division of 1939 at which time they became part of the Markham-Waterloo Mennonite Church. He served as an unofficial historian for the latter group. After Nancy's death, Isaac married Susannah Bauman Martin on Aug. 13, 1951.

Custodial history: Donated to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by David M. Martin in February 2000

Scope and content: The collection includes several items related to Levi P. Martin (1844-1919). Martin was ordained as a deacon for the Mennonite congregation in Wallace in 1869. In 1884 the family moved to the St. Jacobs area. In the division of 1889 Martin went with the Old Order group and continued to serve as deacon in the Conestogo area. Martin was married three times -- Elisabeth Shaefer, Barbara Gingrich (mother of Isaac G.), and Lydia Bauman.

Notes: For more information see: David M. Martin, My story (The author, 1994). A copy is located in the Milton Good Library.
See also photocopies of Isaac G. Martin manuscripts in Markham-Waterloo Conference collection.
Archival description created by Sam Steiner.

File list:

Series 1: Levi P. Martin records

  1. Diary, 1866
  2. Account book, 1875-1903; Isaac G. Martin account records, 1931-1964

Series 2: Isaac G. Martin diaries

  1. 1900 
  2. 1901
  3. 1902
  4. 1906 (Michigan)
  5. 1906
  6. 1907, 1917/18 [Nancy's illness], 1931-1935 
  7. Travel diary to Pennsylvania, 1907 (including names of everyone met)
  8. Travel diary to U.S., 1933
  9. Travel diary to Michigan, 1936; letter register, 1938-1943; note re: First Mennonite cemetery land sale, 1810; register of funds collected in Martin's district, 1940; genealogical notes
  10. Travel diary to Indiana, 1943; to Ottawa, 1943, genealogical notes
  11. Travel diary to Indiana, 1943; Ohio, 1942; Pennsylvania, 1954; ordination & baptismal list, 1964
  12. Travel diary to Ohio, 1946; lists of persons in various ordination lots in Ohio; lists of beneficiaries of Levi P. Martin and Lydia Martin estates
  13. Travel diary to Lancaster, Pa., 1950, 1954; candidates in lot, 1952
  14. Travel diary to Indiana, 1958; misc. lists of fellow factory workers

Series 3: Isaac G. Martin correspondence

Correspondence (mostly from Pennsylvania) re: his family history and genealogy, 1930s-1950s; correspondents include Landis H. Brubaker, N.H. Burkhart, E.M. Cressman, David H. Gingrich, George N. Good, Samuel D. Hackman, Henry Hershey (2), Joseph E. Hostetter, Ira Landis, Mrs. H.L. Musser, Aaron Reiff, Amos N. Nolt, Aaron C. Weaver, Aaron M. Weber, Joseph O. Wenger (2), Isaac B. Zimmerman (2)

At the end is a letter from Levi P. Martin t Jonas Reist (Feb. 17, 1891); a poem composed or copied by Isaac G. Martin in Ocheyedan, Iowa, August 25, 1907, and a telegram of April 10, 1944 to Isaac Martin reporting death of Henry Martin (a photo of Levi Martin is stapled to telegram).

Series 4: Isaac G. Martin financial records

  1. Labour wages, 1948-1962, including payment for opening graves
  2. Financial records, 1912-1963; items sold in Isaac G. Martin estate sale, 1969
  3. Levi P. Martin & Lydia Martin estate records, 1919-1946

Series 5: Isaac G. Martin misc. papers, historical and genealogical notes

  1. Isaac & Nancy Martin passport, 1944
  2. Isaac & Nancy Martin national registration cards, 1918
  3. Probate of Levi P. Martin will, 1919
  4. Visitor book, 1933-1943
  5. Visitor book, 1944-1960
  6. Guests from a distance, 1961-1968; list of ordinations in Weaverland Conference (Pennsylvania)
  7. Misc. historical notes, including nursery delivery routes (1930s), family records, list of hymnbook editions found in West Woolwich meetinghouse, recipes for rhubarb and grape wine, records from various Mennonite Brethren in Christ cemeteries, notes from various Mennonite history books
  8. Notes from Mennonite cemeteries in Waterloo region, 1930s?
  9. Historical notes on Mennonite leaders in 19th century Ontario and elsewhere
  10. Householders, rate payers and married church members in West Woolwich district, 1918-1940s; includes unmarried persons in back
  11. History of ancestors of Isaac & Nancy Martin; history of Wallace Township Mennonite settlement, written 1940s-1960s
  12. Brief outline history of the Mennonites with focus on family genealogy, 1955
  13. "In fond and loving memory of Nancy B. Martin" by Jacob Martin, ca. 1950
  14. "Criticisms to the translation and printing of the German Letters to the Mennonite Community in Upper Canada" by Isaac G. Martin


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238