The Rest of the Story
Earlier versions of this story claim that, on the return trip home, John was lost at sea, presumably washed overboard during a storm. However, more recent scholarship has suggested that John made it home to Wilmington with Nance’s body but was lost at sea during a later voyage on his own ship. Regardless of which is true, John was lost at sea, and his body was never recovered. His name was engraved on one side of the obelisk that also bears his parents’ and sister’s names at the family’s grave plot. Either way Captain Silas lost two children to the sea. It was said that when the Captain was home he visited her grave every day.
Some believe this is an urban legend, however cemetery records show Nancy was buried in the barrel. Furthermore in recent years ground-penetrating radar has shown the body beneath Nancy Martins memorial is not horizontal, but rather slumped over as if in a sitting position.
Final Resting Place:
520 N 15th Street
Wilmington, North Carolina, 28401
Grave Location:Section B, Lot 75
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery take the first right and drive all the way around the perimeter of the cemetery. When you come to Section B on your left, stop at the second lot surrounded by a fence. Here lies the Martin family and their daughter, Nancy “Nance” Martin.