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Ask the Experts . . . Howard and Jean Merrill

  2005 October (6 answers)

Subject: Re: Merrill family James Arthur Merrill
Date: Tue, Oct 04, 2005 3:02 pm

Question: Mary Ellen Barnes wrote:

Hello, We have a researcher who has looked high and low for the parents of James Arthur Merrill, born Falmouth, ME 1807, married to Eliza M. Libby in Durham in 1838, and he died in Durham in 1862. One of their sons was named Sumner Merrill, born Durham 1841. Can you help in any way. Thanks Mary Ellen Yarmouth (ME) Historical Society hi from Bernie, too!

Answer: Mary Ellen:

Although the 1850 and 1860 Durham census indicate James A was 43 and 53 respectively, the DVS microfilm indicates he was b. 1809 Apr 29 and d. Durham 1862 Dec 29. He was the son of Robert Adams (5) and Sarah (Merrill). His lineage was Robert A (5), James (4,3), Abel (2), immigrant Nathaniel (1).

Eliza Libby, m. 1838 Apr 29, was James A's 2nd wife. His 1st wife, Achsa Libby, m.1833 May 12, d. 1836 Dec 27. We don't know, but suspect the Libby girls were sisters.

Please have your researcher contact us for more details.  We will be glad to share what we have if they are willing to share what they have on the Merrill surname descendants of James Arthur (6). If the don't have e-mail access, our snail mail address is 5045 Sequoia Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70814, but email is faster and cheaper.

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family Mary Elden
Date: Thu, Oct 06, 2005 3:43 pm

Question: leonard elden wrote:

I found that a benjamin merrill married a mary elden in 1767. do you have any data on mary elden? my ancestors come from buxton maine with john elden being the first elden. thank you for any info, leonard

Answer: Leonard:

We don't find any info on your Mary Elden or her m. to a Benjamin Merrill.  We do have a couple of later Elden - Merrill m.  Lorenzo C Elden m. 1858 Aug 15, Elizabeth Merrill, b. 1841 Aug 24 in Buxton, d/o Ansel andAurelia Hanson.

Sewell F Elden of Buxton m. 1857 Feb _, Mary Jane Merrill of Hollis ME, d/o John and Priscilla Milliken

Sorry we couldn't help with Mary. Do you have record of any children of Benjamin and Mary?

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family Hod Merrill
Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2005 6:32 pm

Question: Cheryl wrote:

Thank you again for your information.  In the Spring I am going to state capital (Lansing) check out death certificates for 1872 to 1880 for Muskegon, Clinton, and Ingham counties. Sanford probably died in that time period. I suppose he and Mary could have divorced, but unlikely. I know there was a Thomas Merrill who inaugurated the first passenger/freight stage coach line between Ferrysburg and Muskegon 1865. Do you know if Thomas was related to either Elias or Isaac?  Sarah A. Merrill, was she married to Elias or Isaac?   There is also a Hod Merrill in Muskegon 1850’s, boot and shoe manufacturing. Is he related to E or I?   Thank you again…will send information as I find it.

Answer: Cheryl:

We could not find Hod Merrill in Muskegon in the 1850, 60 or 70 census.  The thomas who probably had the stage coach is probably the one listed in Spring Lake, Ottowa, MI in 1870 . He is 47, b. VT and was a livery keeper.  We don't know his lineage, but he was not closely related to Elias or Isaac.  Elias's wife was Sarah A.

Howard and Jean

Subject: Re: Merrill family Arthur H Merrill
Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2005 7:53 pm

Question: Charles Merrill wrote:

Hello Howard and Jean:I've been stumped in searching for my ancestors, and would appreciate any help you can provide. The earliest ancestor I know of is Arthur H.Merrill, 1850 census for Princeton township, Mercer Co.,N.J. age 25, Farmer, born in N.Y. state, wife: Adeline,24,. The 1880 c! ensus indicates both parents of Arthur were born in N.H. In 1869 the family moved to Maywood, Ill., a suburb of Chicago and appear on the 1870 census at Maywood, Proviso Township, Cook co., Ill. Thanks in advance for any help. Charlie Merrill

Answer: Charles:

Your Arthur Humphrey Jr (8), b. 1824 July 10 in Peru NY,  is the son of Arthur Humphrey (7), 1793-1856, and Rhoda Stearns. His lineage is Arthur H (7), Asaph (6), Joseph (5,4), Daniel (3,2), immigrant Nathaniel (1). More details are available.

We are trying to database the Merrill/Merrell surname nationwide from the original immigrants right down to the present day for all the immigrant lines. So far we have over 60,000 Merrill males, plus their wives and daughters in our database, but we estimate that there are well over 100,000 so we have a long way to go, and we need and appreciate all the help we can get, particularly with the later generations. We use this database strictly to try and help folks, like yourself, trace their Merrill roots. Be assured that no info on living individuals will become internet accessible. We would be very interested in any detailed info on the Merrill surname descendants of Arthur H Jr. down to the present day.

You may also be interested in a very new project, just getting underway, trying to correlate ones genealogy with DNA studies. Pasted below is a message from Gary Merrill, administrator of the Rootsweb Merrill Mail list <MERRILL-L@rootsweb.com>

Dear Merrill Researchers,

This message describes a new cooperative effort to supplement traditional genealogical research on the Merrill and allied families with new discoveries in the field of genealogical genetics, using specific DNA markers on the Y-chromosome.  The project is backed up by a huge lineage database assembled by Howard and Jean Merrill, containing information on over 60,000 Merrill males.

Merrill researchers have long suspected that a number of Merrill and Merrell colonists emigrated to America.  Now, DNA studies can help us determine how many distinct lines there are, and how they may be related, if at all.  As increasing numbers of people contribute to the project, we hope to help those who have run into a "brick wall" in the search for their Merrill ancestors by suggesting which lines seem most promising, and excluding those which are ruled out by the DNA results.

Two important and exciting discoveries have already been made --

** Descendants of Nathaniel Merrill of Newbury MA appear to be strikingly different in their Y-chromosome profiles from other Merrills and Merrells in America.  This means that we can say with certainty whether someone is a descendant of Nathaniel Merrill or some other Merrill immigrant to America.

** A second major group has been identified, which includes a member of the Staten Island/New Jersey family, and several descendants of the Mormon leader, Marriner Wood Merrill.  The profiles of these two families are similar, but are probably only distantly related.  Other individuals in this same group belong to different lines, as yet unidentified.

There are several reputable testing companies doing genealogical DNA testing, and a range of options and pricing is available.  Obtaining a sample for testing is completely painless, and typically involves a scraping of cells from the inside of the cheek with a cotton swab.  Results are often available in a few weeks.  The Y-chromosome contains no information related to any health or medical condition, and there is no possibility whatsoever of identifying a person from their DNA test results.  Needless to say, all results will be kept strictly confidential.

Only males carry the Y-chromosome, but if you are a female Merrill researcher, you can contact your close Merrill male relatives (fathers, brothers, uncles) and encourage them to test.

If you have any questions about this project or about genealogical DNA testing in general, please feel free to raise them here.  In the near future, a web page will be set up, summarizing results and providing latest findings of the project.  A Yahoo Groups Merrill-DNA-Genealogy forum has also been established, providing further opportunities for discussion.

I encourage you to seriously consider becoming a part of this study.

for the Merrill DNA Group,
Gary Merrill
Administrator, Merrill-L
We are hoping to get as many Merrills as posible tested to provide a database against which others with unknown or questionable lineage can be compared.

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family Jean Merrill
Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2005 7:54 pm

Question: Zakry Hames wrote:

Where can I find more info about Jean Merrill?

Answer: Zacry:

You will have to give some more info about your Jean Merrill to have any hope of getting info about her lineage. There must have been thousands of Jean Merrills. When was she b.? Where? where did she live? when? Who did she m.? when? Where? Did she have children? what were their names? When and Where were they b.?  When did she d.? where? To know we are talking about the right Jean Merrill we have to be able to locate her in a given place at a given time or with specific people [like husband or children.

Howard and Jean Merrill  [see, here is one Jean Merrill]

Subject: Re: Merrill family Sanford Smith Merrill
Date: Sat, Oct 29, 2005 7:56 pm

Question: Sam Buitendorp wrote:

Seeking information on Sanford Smith Merrill. He married my great-great aunt Mary Jennie Cliff in 1872. They were married in Muskegon, Michigan. I would like to know if his father's name was Isaac D. or Elias W. Merrill. I'm sure he died in Michigan sometime between 1872 and 1887...can find no death records however. Many thanks Sam

Answer: Sam:

We have not found your Sanford Smith Merrill as yet. We have been out of town, and not had a chance to search other than the families of Elias W(7), 1812-1902, and Isaac Dimmock (7), 1810-1883, brothers from ME. We don't have record of Sanford's m. to Mary Jennie Cliff.

We can say that your Sanford Smith Merrill does not show up in the census 1850-1880 records of either Elias W or Isaac  D's families. Since they both started their families in the 1840's, you would expect any child who m. in 1872 would show up in some of these census records.  We can account for all the children that these two Merrills were reported to have had.  It looks like your Sanford may have been a late comer to MI, perhaps shortly before he m.

A search for Sanford in the 1880 census showed only two, both in VT, which doesn't fit with your info.  Do you have any dates?  Were there any Merrill children from their m.? If so we would be interested in the details.

We are trying to database the Merrill/Merrell surname nationwide from the original immigrants right down to the present day for all the immigrant lines. So far we have over 60,000 Merrill males, plus their wives and daughters in our database, but we estimate that there are well over 100,000 so we have a long way to go, and we need and appreciate all the help we can get, particularly with the later generations. We use this database strictly to try and help folks trace their Merrill roots. Be assured that no info on living individuals will become internet accessible. We would be very interested in any detailed info on the Merrill surname descendants of Sanford down to the present day.

Sorry we couldn't be more help,

Howard and Jean Merrill

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