Margaret Martin had a colourful life. She was born Margaret Fennessy in Limerick and arrived in New South Wales as a convict, sentenced to seven years for stealing money. She left behind in Ireland two small children. She was assigned to the Rev Thomas Hassall as a nursemaid and it was Hassall who married Margaret to John Martin in 1834 at the Chapel in Narellan. They married ‘with the consent of His Excellency the Governor’ as John too was the convict overseer building the Great South Road.
John Martin had had an eventual life with a keen eye to business. With a pardon in his pocket he became the first purchaser of land in the new township of Picton. This was a one hectare L-shaped block that fronted Argyle Street at the bridge then backed sharply into Menangle Street. He paid £118 and another £30 to Abel Sant to erect a dwelling and shop. This was the first shop in Picton and Margaret spent much of her time there as John had numerous interests elsewhere. The shop sold everything a local person or traveller could need. Bins and sacks held tea, coffee, sugar or salt, sardines rice or potatoes. They sold clothing and horse equipment and hardware. Rum was sixpence a glass. There is still a shop on the original site that has continually sold food and alcohol since 1842 until the floods of 2016.
Margaret died two years before John and her memorial, in the form of a scroll that symbolises an unfolding life and time, still survives. John Martin died in 1865 leaving a fortune of £3000 to their only son John. His burial place is nearby but the headstone has disappeared, possibly by periodic flooding or vandalism. In 2000 the headstone was reported as wedged behind a tree trunk.