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Pioneer of 1844

Martin Gillahan

1824 to 1906

Martin was born on December 30, 1824, in Jackson County Tennessee (DLC 3239). His parents were Thomas and Lucy Gillihan. The Gillihan family is covered in Clark County Pioneers, page 70, a publication of the Clark County Washington Genealogical Society.



 According to his donation land claim Martin arrived in Oregon in 1844 on October 30.



 On December 24, Elizabeth Gillahan divorced Martin in Tuality County Court.



Martin settled on his claim on September 30th of 1850. The legal description was Township 2 N, range 1 W, sections 10, 14, 15 and 23. He had 639.99 acres



 Sarah Catherine Howell became his second wife on December 15th,1850. She was the daughter of Benjamin Howell of Sauvie Island  DLC 3229)



John Thomas Callahan was born on September 24 on Sauvie Island. He married Frances Brown Sampson.  John passed away on February 21 1934 at the age of 81. He is buried near his parents in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver, WA.



 Levinia Elizabeth was born during 1853 to Martin and Sarah. She married Ross R Cole. Her death was listed as 1935. She was 82 years old.



 Gideon Joseph Gillihan was born on October 14, 1853 (NFI).



 Beginning in 1856 there was an ongoing dispute between Martin and the stepfather of his brother Williams children, Isabel and William I. Their father had died in California and Martin had assumed their care.  Daniel Lownsdale was their stepfather and felt that Martin was unfit. He claimed that the children were abused, overworked and neglected while in Martins care. Mister William King claimed that Martin was incompetent as a Guardian. Isabella had been bound to him (Martin) as an indentured servant and he was so cruel to her that neighbors took Martin and Sarah to court to have the indenture broken. Martin was fired. The mother of the children, Nancy Lownsdale, had died and it seemed no one wanted the care of her children.



Signing as sureties for Martin in 1863 were David Duval , John Leonard, Alexander McQuinn Hilton Bonser and John Bonser (Guardianships, volume 1, Multnomah County, Oregon Fee Book 1,  page 130, Probate number 116).



Edward Gillihan was born on May 10th.   His wife was Anna Rebecca Leonard. He passed away on December 17th 1921 at the age of 64.



Lucy Ann Gillihan was born on January 31st.  She became the wife of Nelson Gardner.


1860 census, Multnomah County, #680

Gillihan,, Martin         age 34

Sarah (Howell)                        age 27

John Thomas               age 8

levinia I                       age 7

Edwards                      age 3

Lucy Ann                    age 1



Presley Gillihan was born on January 9th of 1861. He passed away on April 4th 1949 at the age of 88. He is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Vancouver WA.



 Rebecca Ann was born in 1867 and passed away in 1947 at the age of 85. She was the wife of Charles H Ramsey.



 Martin Alonzo was born in 1864 and passed way in 1890.




Clarissa was born in 1866 and passed away in 1889. She was 23 years old.



in June of 1867 Martin filed to become Guardian for Isabella and William J Potter. They were minor children in California. He said he was their nearest relative.  John Work testified that this was true. ( Guardianships, Multnomah County, Oregon, Fee book 1, page 183,probate # 225) 


This is a little confusing because other papers say that Isabel an William were the children of his brother who was a Gillihan. The stepfather of the children was Daniel Lownsdale.



Sarah Elizabeth was born in 1868. She was married twice. Her first husband was a Mister Slater. Her second husband was Seth Parmale.


1870 census, Multnomah County, Sauvie island, #519

Gillihan,Martin                       age 45

Sarah (Howell)                        age 37

John Thomas               age 18

Lavonia                                   age 17

Edward                                    age 13

Lucy Ann                    age 11

Presley                                    age 9

Rebecca                      age 7

Alonso                        age 5

Clarissa                       age 4

Sarah                           age 2



Mary Asale was born in 1872. She was the wife of Lawrence Parks.



William Benjamin was born in 1874 and passed away in 1878 at the age of 4



Harriet Louise was born in 1879. She became the wife of a Mister King



Sarah Catherine Howell passed away on August 28 1903. She is buried in the Old City Cemetery, Vancouver, Clark County, Washington.



Martin passed away on January 28th 1906. he is buried in the Old City Cemetary in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington.


Martin is profiled in Portland and Biographical Record, page 743 (GFO).


Records for the Old City Cemetery can be found in the main library in Vancouver, Clark County, Washington and probably at the Clark County, Genealogical Library in Vancouver.

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