Monday, April 18, 2016

An Oilman in Oil

These photos of Elmer Martin were taken by Ditlev Thyssen.  The first photo is Elmer having his portrait painted.  Ditlev titled the photo "An Oilman in Oil" painted by Ejnar Larsen and photoed by Ditlev Thyssen.  Elmer is sitting in the living room of his home in Cortez while having his portrait painted.  Ditlev refers to Elmer as an "oilman" because Elmer bought and sold oil leases.

An Oilman in Oil

Back of photo

Ditlev titled this next photo, "Time for a piece of cake between oil talks."  When I think of Elmer, this is the image that always comes to my mind -- Elmer sitting at the kitchen table in his little home on 30 North Maple, Cortez, Colorado.

Elmer Martin blog posts;

Friday, April 15, 2016

Elmer Climbed Mount Rainier

In 1919, Elmer Martin climbed Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range.
Mount Rainier (Wikipedia)
While climbing Mount Rainier, Elmer had his photo taken at the Anvil Rock Lookout.   Anvil Rock is a rocky outcropping located on the south side of Mount Rainier about a half a mile southeast of Camp Muir.  The Anvil Rock Lookout was a stone lookout shelter constructed in about 1916.  The stone lookout was replaced with a cupola style cabin in about 1928 which was abandoned and destroyed in the 1940's.

Elmer Martin 1919 Anvil Rock, Mount Rainier
It is not known who Elmer made the climb with but it looks as if several people are standing inside looking out the windows of the Anvil Rock Lookout.  On the back of the photo, Elmer said he was at an elevation 11,000 feet, but according to information online, the Anvil Rock Lookout's elevation is 9584'.  Perhaps Elmer meant that at sometime during his climb on Mount Rainier, he reached an elevtion of 11,000'.  Below is a US Park Service photo of  Anvil Rock Lookout.

Anvil Rock Lookout 1916-1928

Other Blog posts about Elmer Martin:
Elmer Martin's Photo Gallery
Maymie and Elmer
Elmer Martin's Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin's Photo Gallery

Elmer Matthew Martin
A Short Biography

Elmer Matthew Martin is my paternal grandfather.  He was born on 16 March 1887 in Bowling Township, Rock Island, Illinois, the son of John Stephen Martin and Elizabeth Dorothea Weiss.  Both the Martin and Weiss families had emigrated from Germany and settled in Rock Island County, Illinois.   Elmer grew up on his family's farm in Bowling Township.  The Martin farm was located about six miles south of Milan, Illinois (which is four miles south of Rock Island, Illinois.)

Martin Farm, Milan, Illinois
As a youth, Elmer attended school a the Woods School.  After graduating, Elmer attended Business College in Rock Island until he got typhoid fever and had to stay home.
Elmer Martin, abt 1910
I love these snapshots of Elmer, especially the one on the far right where he is goofing off with a big smile on his face.  I only knew Grandpa Elmer as an old man (he was 64 years old when I was born) and never saw him smile very much.:(   I wish I could have known him when he was younger.
Elmer Martin, 1910
On March 8, 1903, Elmer's mother and oldest sister both died of measles.  Nearly all of the family had come down with the measles and were recovering but Elizabeth and Mae developed complications and died.  The family felt that the Doctor did not know how to properly care for them.  Elmer lost his beloved mother and sister, as as the oldest child, was left to help his widowed father.  Four years later his other sister, Emma, died of tuberculosis.  It is hard to tell what the deaths of his mother and sisters had on Elmer because he never talked about it.  Elmer's "old maid aunt" Christine Wiess eventually moved in the the Martin family to help.
Elmer Martin, abt 1915, Milan, Rock Island, Illinois
Elmer married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Coyne in 1915 when he was 28 years old.  She was the only daughter of a successful farmer in Rock Island County, Illinois.  Elmer and Elizabeth were living in Bowling township, Rock Island County when Elmer registered for the WWI Draft on June 5, 1917.

Elmer in sleigh, Milan, Illinois
Elmer and Elizabeth traveled around the west for the next several years.  At one time, Elmer worked as an ambulance driver for the copper mines in Miami and Globe, Arizona.
Ambulance Elmer drove for the copper mines in Arizona.
Elmer Martin touring the West 1920
Not sure who is standing next to Elmer in the below photo.  It's possible that it's his first wife, Lizzie.  But, I've never seen a picture of her so I am not sure.  I imagine Maymie destroyed any photos of Elizabeth.:)  Or maybe Elmer did after the divorce.  

Elmer swimming in Pacific Ocean.
Elmer and Elizabeth eventually settled in Dove Creek, Colorado.  They divorced in 1922.  Elizabeth is said to have ran off with Elmer's good friend.  The reason for the divorce was desertion.  There is no record of Elmer and Elizabeth ever having children.  Nothing is known of Elizabeth after the divorce.  After the divorce, Elmer stayed in southwestern Colorado.
Elmer swimming in Great Salt Lake 1924
Elmer became acquainted with the Charles B Wilson family, who had homesteaded near Monticello.  He started dating Charles' daughter, Maymie.  In 1927, Elmer married our grandmother, Maymie Pearl Wilson.  Elmer was 40 years old and Maymie was 22 years old.
Maymie and Elmer just before they married.
Elmer Martin

Elmer and Maymie lived on his farm north of Dove Creek.  Elmer farmed for a while - mostly potatoes.  He invented an attachment for his Case Tractor to help with the planting and harvesting of the potatoes.  His potatoes won first and second place at the Dolores County Fair.  Elmer even started a general store in Dove Creek but it burned down about the time he opened it.  He always felt it was arson.

Some time in the mid 1930's, the family moved to Cortez and purchased a small adobe house at 30 N Maple Street.  The original adobe structure was a small one bedroom home.  Elmer enlarged the home by building a small bedroom and porch on the side of the house with a cellar underneath the bedroom.  This home remained their main home through-out their lifetime, even though they moved away at different times.  Their two sons, Wilbur and Leroy, attended school at the old Calkins School in Cortez.
Leroy, Maymie, Elmer, Wilbur
During WWII, the family moved to Las Vegas and Elmer worked on a military base for a while.  Elmer also drove a stagecoach for the Las Frontier Hotel.

Sometime in the late 1940's, Elmer and Maymie moved to Yuma, Arizona.  Several of Maymie's brothers had also moved to Yuma to find work.  Elmer owned one one of the first Trailer Courts in Yuma.
Martin's Court in Yuma, Arizona
One of the reasons Elmer moved to Yuma was to be able to fish year round.  Elmer loved to fish and would go fishing on the Colorado River or down into Mexico.  He also like to race horses and watch "cock fights".  As a small girl, I can remember going to watch "cock fights" with Elmer.  Almost every weekend was spent at the horse racing track.  Elmer would buy horses and Wilbur would be the trainer.
Elmer loved to fish - Maymie usually went with him.
Maymie and Elmer
Eventually Elmer and Maymie purchased a house on First Avenue.  It had a large screened in back-porch where Elmer would sit to drink his beer and eat Limburger cheese and sardines.  Elmer liked to cook and he would make his own sauerkraut in big crocks that sat out by the garage in back of the house.  Eating his sauerkraut was mandatory when visiting his home.
Yuma home on First Avenue
In the mid 1950's, Elmer bought a yellow and grey Dodge car and I remember that it had push button transmission.  I thought the car was really cool - Elmer would let me on his lap and push the buttons and pretend to drive the car down a quite lane in Yuma.

In the mid 1960's Elmer and Maymie moved back to Cortez and lived in the house at 30 North Maple.   I remember Elmer always wearing a fedora hat.  
Elmer & Maymie, Cortez, dog named George.
Elmer fishing

Elmer Martin blog posts;

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Chambersville Cemetery

Chambersville Cemetery Historical Marker

The Chambersville Cemetery in Collin County, Texas is the final resting place for some of our Wilson ancestors.  I visited the Chambersville on a very chilly March day in 2007 and took the following photos.
Chambersville Cemetery, Collin County, Texas
James and Martha Ann Wilson are my 3rd great-grandparents on the Wilson family line - they are Maymie's great-grandparents.  James and Martha Ann were originally from Sumner County, Tennessee but moved to Texas about 1843 when they received a land patent for 640 acres through the Peters Colony land company.  In 1850, James, Martha Ann, and their three children (Sarah Elizabeth, William, and Mary) were enumerated in the Collin County, Texas Federal Census.  They lived in the Weston community of Collin County.

Martha Ann died in Aug 1873.  James died 28 Mar 1891 and was buried in the Chambersville Cemetery next to Martha Ann.  His obituary reads "J.C. Wilson, died at his home near Weston on Saturday, March 28 last.  The cause of his death was tumor of the stomach.  Mr. Wilson was 77 years old.  He was born in Sumner County, Tennessee.  He came to Collin County in 1845.  Thus the old pioneers are passing away."
The McKinney Democrat, Thursday, April 9, 1891

James Wilson Headstone

Martha Ann Wilson Headstone
As seen in the photo below, the headstones are actually smaller than they appear in the above photos.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin’s Prize Winning Potatoes

Elmer Martin is my paternal grandfather.  He was raised on his family’s farm near Rock Island, Illinois.  As a youth, Elmer worked alongside his father and two brothers on their large farm.  Elmer headed west with his first wife, Elizabeth Coyne Martin.  They traveled around for several years and then ended up in Dove Creek, Colorado in the early 1920’s.  After their divorce, Elmer stayed in southwestern Colorado.  In 1927, Elmer married Maymie Pearl Wilson and they lived on his large farm north of Dove Creek.
Dove Creek Post Office - about 1925
Elmer started growing potatoes and won awards at the 1928 Dolores county fair.  The January 1929 “Case Eagle” magazine featured an article on Elmer and his prize winning potatoes.  According to the article, Elmer used a Case 12-20 tractor.  The article shows a picture of Elmer driving his Case 12-20 tractor.  His brother-in-law, Martin Barnes, is on the attachment on the back.  Family tradition states that Elmer made the attachment for his tractor to help with the potato harvest.  The article also shows a picture on the left-hand side of Elmer's prize potatoes and his first and second place ribbons.  It is kind of hard to see the potatoes and ribbons because they are laying on a brightly patterned Navajo rug.
The Case Eagle Magazine, January 1929, Vol 12, No. 1
Elmer's Case 12-20 Tractor
Elmer took the below photo of his potato cellar and trucks piled with bags of potatoes.

“The Case Eagle” magazine referred to above was published by the J. I. Case farm equipment company of Racine, Wisconsin for the distributors of their tractors and farm equipment.

In 1932, Elmer was still growing potatoes when he placed the following advertisement in the Monticello, Utah newspaper "The San Juan Record" for seed potatoes.  It appears he grew Irish Cobblers and Burbank Russets.
San Juan Record, Monticello, Utah, 14 April 1932

clmroots Blog Posts about Elmer Martin:

Monday, February 1, 2016

FM Baldwin DNA Project

FM Baldwin DNA Project 
When I first started DNA testing, one of my main goals was to break through the Baldwin brick wall.  Click here to view my first post about beginning DNA testing.

You can read about Baldwin brick-wall and the Jane Baldwin Mystery here.  My line descends from Jane’s son, FrancisMarion (FM) Baldwin.  The paper trail back to FM Baldwin is solid – with vital records, census records, land records, cemetery records, county histories, family histories, obituaries, and now with DNA proof.  But, there are still a lot of questions and holes in the research going back just one more generation past FM Baldwin to his mother, Jane Baldwin (maiden name unknown). 
Image courtesy of GenealogyInTime Magazine
Even though breaking through the Baldwin brick wall has not yet happened…we may be getting closer.
I have enlisted the help of Baldwin relatives to help solve this mystery through DNA testing.  
For this blog post I will share the results I have found thus far with the autosomal DNA testing for descendants of Francis Marion Baldwin.  

First, let’s discuss Autosomal DNA. 
Autosomal DNA is inherited from our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents, etc.  When two or more people share segments of the same DNA then that means they share a common ancestor.  The more DNA a person shares with another person, the closer they are related and the closer their shared most-recent ancestral couple.  First cousins will share more DNA than third cousins and the most recent common ancestors for 1st cousins would be grandparents.  The most recent common ancestors for third cousins would be 2nd great-grandparents.

Autosomal DNA is inherited equally from both parents - 50% from each parent.  The average amount of DNA inherited from our grandparents is around 25% - but it can vary because of mixing (recombination) every generation. According to the ISOGG Wiki, “The amount of autosomal DNA inherited from more distant ancestors is shuffled up in a process called random recombination and the percentage of autosomal DNA coming from each ancestor is diluted with each new generation.” 
SMGF (Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation) has a great animation about how we inherit our autosomal DNA.  To view all their animations, go here.
I like the chart below that shows DNA recombination and how we might match with a cousin.
Diagram courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The goal of DNA testing is to find genetic cousins (meaning those who share DNA with you), and then determine the ancestral couple from whom shared DNA is inherited.  Below is a chart made by Blaine Bettinger that shows expected shared percentages in autosomal DNA relationships.
Many of my cousins have tested with AncestryDNA.  I like AncestryDNA because matches will sometimes have family trees connected to their DNA test results, and that makes it is easier to figure out who the common ancestors might be.  Although, AncestryDNA shows the amount of shared DNA (centimorgans) with matches, it AncestryDNA does not have a chromosome browser.  This means I cannot see where or on what chromosome I share my DNA with my match.  Because AncestryDNA does not have a chromosome browser, it is important for those who test at AncestryDNA to transfer their raw DNA data to FamilyTreeDNA ($39) or to GedMatch (free).  In addition to finding more matches, these other sites have tools that help to analyze the data and matches to determine who the common ancestor may be. 

DNA from my grandfather, Jess Baldwin

To start the FM Baldwin DNA Project, I encouraged as many of my mom’s generation to test as possible, and five of my mom’s siblings were willing to participate in DNA testing.  I also have four first cousins on the Baldwin side who tested their DNA.  The DNA I share with all of my aunts and my uncle (from 1387 cM to 1727 cM) is within the expected range for an aunt or an uncle.   I also share DNA with my cousins (from 683 cM to 1374 cM) within the expected range for a 1st cousin.  Below is a chart showing how much DNA I share with my mom, uncle, aunts, and cousins.  The ICW (in-common-with) ancestral couple for this group would be my grandparents, Jess Baldwin and Mabel Leffel Baldwin
In genetics, a centiMorgan (cM=centiMorgan) is a unit for measuring genetic linkage. 
I want to show what a chromosome browser looks like, so below is the chromosome browser from FamilyTreeDNA showing matches from my mom, uncle, and 3 aunts to me.  This chart shows my 23 chromosomes (dark navy base color) with the matches.  My mom is the top match (orange color), and since she is my mom we match along the entire chromosome.  As you can see, I match my uncle and aunts in varying amounts (as also noted in the table above).  My uncle is the blue match.  It is interesting to look at the X chromosome (Chromosome 23).  Since my uncle received his X from his mother not his father (he received the Y from his father), the segment he shares with me had to come from his mom – my grandmother.  

DNA from my great-grandfather, Allen Baldwin 
The next generation back on the family tree is Jess Baldwin’s parents, AllenBaldwin and Mary Jane Stewart Baldwin.  In addition to the descendants from my line (mentioned above), I have found four other grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Allen and Mary Baldwin who have tested their DNA.  These four descendants are from two of the daughters of Allen and Mary Baldwin (sisters to Grandpa Jess Baldwin).
Below is a chart showing DNA matches between the descendants of Jess Baldwin’s sisters to me and also to my mom and my aunts.  The cousins match me within the expected range for 2nd cousins (290 cM – 380 cM) and match my mom and my aunts within the first cousin once removed range (423.3 cM – 698.3 cM).  Since our shared DNA is within the expected range for our known relationships, we can determine that Allen Baldwin and Mary Stewart Baldwin are the closest common ancestors we received the shared DNA from.  Some of the DNA will be from the Baldwin family and some will be from the Stewart family.
The columns in purple show the relationship of these cousins to me (clm).  Columns in blue show the relationship to my mom and aunts.  My mom and her sisters would be first cousins to the children of Jess’s sisters, but since these matches come from the sisters’ children and grandchildren, they are first cousins once-removed and so on.  (c = cousin, r = removed, 2c1r = 2nd cousin once removed) 
Notice that Cousin A shares a lot less DNA with me than with my mom and less than half the amount of DNA with me than with my Aunts.  This is why it is important to test family members, because they may have more shared DNA matches on certain family lines than you might have.  Since my Aunts share quite a bit more DNA with the Baldwin cousins, I often use their DNA to search for additional Baldwin matches.
  • Note that the above chart shows NO shared match between Aunt #2 and the Cousins B and D because they did not test at the same company (and have not transferred DNA data to Gedmatch), and so the DNA data cannot be compared.  The Aunt #2 tested at and the Cousins B & D tested at AncestryDNA so they cannot be compared.    If the cousins B&D had transferred their DNA data from AncestryDNA to, we could compare the shared DNA match information.  This is why it is important for those who test at AncestryDNA to transfer their DNA data. provides a place for those who test at any of the three companies to transfer their DNA data so it can be compared to others who originally tested at other sites.
Cousins A and C match each other, match me and my mom, and match each of my aunts and my uncle, who also match each other.   So all of us form a triangulated group representing Allen Baldwin.

DNA from my 2nd great-grandfather, Francis Marion Baldwin

Allen Baldwin’s parents are Francis Marion (FM) Baldwin and Mary Sadler Baldwin, my second great-grandparents.  It was such a long time before I received any matches where the common ancestors were FM and Mary Baldwin, I was beginning to think that perhaps Allen was adopted or something.  But within this past year, there have been four 3rd cousin matches show up.  All four descend from Anderson Lafayette Baldwin (ALB).  He was the older brother of our Allen Baldwin and first child of Francis Marion and Mary Baldwin.  These four cousin matches each come from a different child within the Anderson Lafayette Baldwin (ALB) family. has a “Francis Marion Baldwin DNA Circle”, which shows DNA evidence that those within the circle are descendants of Francis Marion Baldwin(FMBaldwin).  Within each DNA Circle are family groups.  The Allen Baldwin Family Group within the FMBaldwin DNA Circle had 9 members: myself, my mom, siblings, aunts, cousins (all descendants of Allen Baldwin mentioned above).  All four of the Anderson Lafayette Baldwin descendants have tested at Ancestry but only two from his 2nd wife show up in the ALB family group.  The other ALB descendant show up as single match.  Not sure why Ancestry has not included the other match in the FMBaldwin DNA Circle.

FM Baldwin Ancestry DNA Circle
According to, requirements to be included in and view a DNA Circle are: 1-you must be an AncestryDNA customer, 2-link your AncestryDNA test to a Public tree, and 3-subscribe to

If you have an AncestryDNA test and don't want to pay for a subscription to Ancestry, you can transfer your raw DNA data to Gedmatch for free.  Two of the above matches have transferred their raw DNA data from Ancestry to GedMatch and another has also transferred his raw DNA data from Ancestry to  FamilyTreeDNA has some great tools to analyze the data.  Below is FamilyTreeDNA’s chromosome browser showing how my mom and 4 of her siblings match KB, the grandson of Anderson Lafayette Baldwin. 

As more descendants of Francis Marion Baldwin and Mary Sadler participate in DNA testing we will be able to determine which segments of DNA belong to the Baldwin side and which belong to the Sadler side.  This will be especially helpful in going back to the next generation of Jane Baldwin. 

DNA has already helped to prove Mary Sadler’s father, John Sadler, was related (most likely the brother) to William Sadler – who came to Texas in the late 1850’s and settled in Frio, Texas. 

Thus far, we only have descendants from two of children of Francis Marion and Mary Sadler Baldwin in the FM Baldwin DNA Project.  So, “pretty please” if you are a descendant of FM Baldwin and Mary Sadler consider participating in DNA testing.  

If you have tested or plan to test with, you will need to link your DNA test to a public tree (that includes your direct line back to FM Baldwin) in order to be in the Francis Marion Baldwin Circle.  If you want to keep your main family tree private, you can make another tree just to link your DNA to.  It will need to be public (one of the requirements from  That family tree will only need direct ancestors back about 7-8 generations or so -- No need to put all the children or descendants.  The only people you got your DNA from is your direct ancestors.  And remember, if you test with Ancestry, please transfer your raw DNA data to GedMatch or to FamilyTreeDNA, so that you can access a chromosome brower.:)

Jane Baldwin's DNA Project and the Baldwin Y-DNA Project will be covered in separate posts.

Additional information:
SMGF (Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation)/University of Utah Animations
International Society of Genetic Genealogy
The Genetic Genealogist Blog
DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

War of 1812 - Britton Medlin

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I’d like to share the War of 1812 Pension File for Britton Medlin.  Britton Medlin is on our Baldwin/Stewart line.

Several years ago, the Federation of Genealogical Societies started the War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project.  Their goal is to raise money to digitize all of the Pension Records from the War of 1812.  Please consider donating to help preserve this important part of history.  The records will be free to the public and can be found on

The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and Great Britain and lasted from 1812 to 1815 The United States declared war for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by the British war with France.  Most of us remember the War of 1812 for burning of the White House, penning of our nation’s national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, and the “Battle of New Orleans.”

This past month while doing some research on my Medlin line, I found the War of 1812 Pension file for Britton Medlin.  Britton Medlin is thought to be the father (or perhaps a much older brother) of our Samuel Medlin and grandfather of Bettie Medlin Stewart.   Note that the Medlin name is often listed as Medley in census and other records.

The earliest record found for Britton Medlin shows him as a 16-25 year old male head of household living with a 16-25 year old female in the 1800 Census for Franklin County, North Carolina.  They appear to be young newlyweds with no children yet in the home.  The name of this first wife is unknown.  His probable children by this first marriage are Martha (Patsey) Medlin Richardson, Riley Medlin, and Samuel Medlin.  Sometime around 1804 the Britton Medlin family moved from North Carolina to Tennessee.

Britton Medley was listed on the 1811 White County, Tennessee tax list.  Also on the list were Samuel Medley, Richard Medley, John Medley, and John Medley Jr.

From the pension papers, we learn that Britton joined the Volunteers of the Tennessee Militia on 13 Dec 1812 at Sparta, Tennessee.  He served under Captain William J Smith in the 2nd Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteers commanded by Colonel Thomas Benton.   He served until the 20 April 1813.  

In the pension papers, there is a small piece of yellowed paper that is an honorable discharge by Andrew Jackson stating: "I certify that Britton Medlin enroled himself as a volunteer under the acts of Congress...under my command on a tower to the Natchez country from the 10th of December 1812 to the 20 April 1813 and is hereby discharged.  Andrew Jackson, Major Genl". 
Britton Medlin Discharge
Britton's first wife would have died sometime before 1823, when he was married to Margaret McDole(McDowell) on 18 Nov 1823.  The marriage was performed by Wm J Smith in White County, Tennessee. 

The Britton Medlin family is enumerated in the 1840 Census for DeKalb, Tennessee.  Riley Medly is shown as living next to Britton Medlin.

In April 1844, while working in his fields, Britton Medlin died when a tree limb fell on him.  Riley Medlin's son, John H. Medlin, was working in the field with Britton when the accident happened.  A Nashville newspaper carried the following death notice:
Republican Banner; Nashville, TN; Monday, April 14, 1845
In January 1851, Britton’s widow, Margaret Medlin, applied for Bounty Land based on Britton’s service in the War of 1812.  She received 40 acres.  In the 1851 application, Margaret said she was married to Britton Medlin by William J Smith on 18 Nov 1823 in Sparta, White County, Tennessee.  She stated that Britton died on 4th of April 1844.
1851 Bounty Land Application
Again in 1855 when the government passed another bounty land act, Margaret applied for more land.
1855 Application
Then, in 1878 Margaret applied for a Widow's pension.  In this application she gave a different date for her marriage and a different date for her husband’s death.  In the 1878 application, she said she was married in 1814 and that her husband, Britton, died in 1838.  This information differed from the previous 1851 and 1855 applications for bounty land.  

Also in 1878, Britton’s widow, Margaret Medlin, gave the following description of Britton as she thought he looked like when he enlisted.  Make note that she did not marry him until ten years after he had enlisted and served in the war, and did not give the description until 1878, over 30 years after he died.  Supposedly, Britton was 5’10” tall, fair complexion, and had blue or grey eyes.  She thought he was twenty years old at the time he enlisted and that he had been born in North Carolina.  She said he was a farmer.  

The pension board did not like the conflicting information in the different applications.  As an explanation for the mistakes Margaret made in filling out this 1878 application, John H Elrod stated in a separate affidavit that Margaret was "old and forgetful" (in 1878) when she filled out this application.  Of course, since she could not read or write, someone else filled out the application and Margaret just signed her "X".
1878 Application
Because of the discrepancy in the dates Margaret gave for her marriage and death of her husband, she was required to give additional information in the form of affidavits from several witnesses.  John H. Medlin, son of Riley Medlin and most likely grandson of Britton, told of being with Britton Medlin at the time of his death.  And, the clerk of White County, Tennessee submitted an affidavit of the White County marriage record, as shown below:
Marriage Record
Below is John H. Medlin’s January 1880 affidavit and his account of the death of Britton Medlin.  John stated that the "discrepancy of the date of death" by Margaret in the 1878 application was caused by her forgetfulness, and "she being at the time of her application very old and forgetful."  As to Britton's death, John said he was helping to plow the fields when a tree limb fell and killed Britton.  He describes himself as a "good size plowboy" who was 12 years old at the time of Britton's death.  
(Transcription below)
John H Meldin Affidavit - 1
John H Meldin Affidavit - 2

John H Meldin Affidavit - 3
Transcription of above:
State of Tennessee Putnam County, Tennessee On this 12 day of January 1880, before me M J Isbell Clerk County Court of said County, personally appeared Granville C Maxwell, aged 49 years old and John H Medlin aged 48 years old, whose P.O. address is Cookeville, Tenn, are being first sworn depose and say, that they affiants have both been indirectly acquainted with Margaret Medlin, widow of Britton Medlin, who was a soldier in the War of 1812, and have lived near neighbors to her ever since the death of Britton Medlin and they know that she has never remarried that if she had re----marriage, this fact would have become known to affiants. Affiant John H Medlin further states that he was born on the 22 day of May 1831. And was plowing in the field with said Britton Medlin when he was killed by the falling of a tree. That the affiant was at the time of said Britton Medlin’s death 12 year old, was 13 years old on 22 May 1844 after his said Britton Medlin’s death which affiant thinks occurred in April 1844. Affiant thinks that the discrepancy of the date of his death was caused by forgetfulness of Margaret Medlin, she being at the time of her application very old and forgetful. The above is the true state of fact and the true date of his death according to the best recollections of affiant. He knows that he was just a good size plowboy at the time and was 12 years old and the date of his birth as above given. ---that the time is nearly correct and that he Brittan Medlin died about 1844. Affiants both state that they have no interest what so ever in the of said Margaret Medlin’s claim for Pension and that they are not interested in it. G C Maxwell J H Medlin Subscribed and Sworn to before me this 12th day of January 1880 

Margaret Medlin’s Maiden Name
In all of the records, Margaret Medlin gave her maiden name as Margaret McDole. She signed her name with an "X", meaning she did not write and most likely could not read. 
Her name given on the marriage record by the county clerk is Margaret McDowell (see below).  On one paper, McDole was corrected to McDowl. 
"Britton Medlin and Margaret McDowell" written by White County Clerk
After looking at all the records, I believe that although Margaret's maiden name may be McDole, it is most likely McDowell.  There were both McDole and McDowell families in the vicinity where the Medlin's lived and they all seem to use both spellings interchangeably in census records and official records.   One of the main reasons I believe Margaret to be a McDowell, is that I believe she may be the sister of Elizabeth McDowell who married James Elrod.  Both, K Harrison Elrod and John Elrod, sons of Elizabeth McDowell and James Elrod, were witnesses for Margaret Medlin in the pension papers.  That would make both of them nephews to Margaret and explain why they were both witnesses.

If anyone has additional information on this family, please share.  It would be interesting to see if the descendants of Margaret and Britton Medlin share DNA with the descendants of Elizabeth (McDowell) and James Elrod.