Martha Young Forrest, 102, who was the oldest member of the Quander family, one of the largest black families in the Washington area, died Tuesday at Capitol Hill Hospital. She had been in failing health since suffering a stroke in January.
The Quander family traces its roots back to 1684 in what was then Charles County, Md. There are an estimated 1,000 members living in Virginia, Maryland and the District.
Mrs. Forrest was born in 1876 in Upper Marlboro, the youngest of three children of Alexander Young, a runaway slave, and Elizabeth Quander, a free-born black woman.
After her marriage in 1891-at the age of 15-to William Forrest, a waiter and houseman, she and her husband moved to Washington. He died in 1956.
At the age of 50, after rearing her family, Mrs. Forrest went to work at the old Brewer-Snyder potato chip company here. She retired in 1956, when she was 80, but then worked as a housekeeper and a baby sitter, until retiring a second time at the age of 92.
Mrs. Forrest had been active since childhood in St. Cyprian's Catholic Church, which her fathr helped build in 1893. The church later merged with Holy Comforter Church.
Survivors include four children, Harold, Evelyn Hawkin, Emilyn, and Vivian Brown, all of Washington, 16 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren. Two children died in infancy and a son, Francis, died in the late 1940s.