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Grandma Hindman was tall and slender, parted her hair in the middle, back in a bun. Everyone loved her and she went all over the country visiting the sick. She was gentle but stern–neat–worked hard. Kept five acres of ground (part of the homestead), built a two-room house with a built-on kitchen–kept a cow, cellar with garden vegetables, geese… She smoked a clay pipe. I stayed with her two years and went to school, 6th & 7th grades. I was her favorite grandchild…She raised geese and I helped her pick them. She made feather beds and pillows. I never carried a lunch. When I came home from school, I would be starved. One day I ate two goose eggs and half a loaf of good old hot bread. It was the best and she always baked two loaves. She had a coffee grinder on the wall and she would grind her Arbuckle coffee. It was the best.1 –Nellie “Nell” Furne Hindman. (Note: While the relationship Nell knew with Martha was as her grandmother, she was actually her great aunt.)

It was 175 years ago today that Martha was born.

On Friday, February 1, 1839 Martha Ann Nash was born to Nathan & Elizabeth Nash nee Moore.  Sometime in 1856, when Martha was 17 she and her family moved from Ohio to Marengo, Iowa.

When Martha was 24 she had not yet married and was living with her parents when in September 1863 her younger, married sister Margaret died.  Since Margaret’s husband Thomas Jefferson Hindman was away at war, Martha and her parents looked after the two young children.  Sadly, sometime after April 1864 her niece died.  Martha continued to care for her nephew hoping for his father’s safe return.

On July 31, 1865 Thomas was discharged from the Iowa regiment and came home.  His son John could not have known him since he was only 1 when Thomas left and was now 4 years old.  The days and weeks after Thomas’ return must have been quite a mix of emotions.  I simply cannot imagine what Martha must have been feeling.  She was likely the primary caregiver for John and had to wonder how things would change with his father home.  Years later, her affection for John was described by Nell, his daughter, when said Martha “took care of John and loved him dearly.  She always seemed to favor him.”2

Over the next few months Thomas and Martha must have had a courtship as they married on October 5, 1865 when Martha was 26 years old.  Soon the couple began having children of their own, nine in all.  About 1869 the family moved to Victor, Mitchell, Kansas where Thomas farmed on his homestead and then around 1889 they moved to Oklahoma Territory where Thomas had obtained a land patent on 160 acres near Taloga in Dewey County.3

Several years later in 1898 Thomas died when their youngest child was 11 years old and Martha was 59.  Soon after his death Martha submitted the paperwork to prove eligibility for the widow’s pension.



On May 24, 1921, at the age of 82, Martha died in Clinton, Custer, Oklahoma.

Martha Ann Hindman nee Nash was my biological great, great, grandmother on my father’s side.


  1. Chapter 5 John, photocopy of typed and undated report written by descendants of John Edward Hindman, page 17.
  2. Nathan T. Hindman & Mary (Sommers) Hindman Purcell Family tradition
  3. Chapter 5 John, photocopy of typed and undated report written by descendants of John Edward Hindman, page 16.

further Reading:

No Story Too Small offered a challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor. 
Each of my posts for this challenge will include in the title “52 Ancestors Challenge” and will have the tag of 52Ancestors.