Ask the Experts . . . Howard and Jean Merrill
to Ask the Experts | 2010 August (6 answers)
Re: Merrill family - Myron Merrill
Date: Sat, August 2, 2010
Question: Trista Merrill wrote:
My name is Trista Merrill and I've been working
on the family tree - and have run into a bit of
a snag on the Merrill Line. This is what I have:
My father is Gary Merrill, still alive. His father
is William George Merrill, Sr. (6/12/21 - 7/16/09,
Gloversville, NY). His father is Ernest Edward
Merrill b. 3/30/1893 (Northville, NY), d. unsure.
He married Blanche E. Kenyon (daughter of Calvin
Kenyon and Sarah M. Cady Kenyon) on 10/05/1916.
Ernest's parents were George Orrin Merrill (9/19/1870
in Johnstown, NY - 09/09/1942 in Northville, NY)
and Nettie Elizabeth Tooley - they married on 12/31/1891.
Her parents were James Tooley and Lydia Jane Washburn.
She was born on 7/9/1871 in Amsterdam, NY and died
on 1/30/1950. George Orrin Merrill's parents were
Myron Bernie Merrill (11/30/1850 - 8/7/1943) and
Mary Jane Godfrey (b. unknown - Hamilton, Ontario,
Canada, d. 10/28/1925) - they married on 11/19/1869.
And that is where the tree just stops. I can find
no record in my grandfather's things of where the
Merrill line goes from there and the dates don't
seem quite old enough for me to link to the early
roots of the Merrill name. Can you help? I can
provide more information on siblings and so forth
if that is needed. I'm also happy to provide all
the information I have gathered to your database
if there is anything you don't already have.
Thank you, Trista Merrill
We corresponded back in 2004 answering a Genforum
query. At that time, we had determined that Myron
was the son of James, 1793, VT, and Melinda (__?__).
In the 1870 census, Myron and his new bride Mary
(Godfrey), both 19, were with his mother, Melinda,
61, in North Hampton, Fulton, NY. We did
not know who James belonged to, but had speculated
that Melinda might be the 2nd wife of James (7),
1793 Apr 16, son of Nathaniel (6) and Eunice Thompson. Because,
in the 1850 census, Sylvia A, 12, James's daughter
by his 1st wife, Rhoda Jane Lamb, is with
James and Melinda and their two young children,
we now belive this speculation to be true. Rhoda
and some of her other children were living in Keene,
Essex, NY, so we assume James and Rhoda were divorced.
This would make your lineage: Trista (13), Gary
D (12), William G (11), Ernest E (10), George
O (9), Myron B (8), James (7), Nathaniel (6), Nehemiah
(5), Nathaniel (4,3,2,1). It may take a couple
of days to pull it together, but we can send you
a Genealogy Report covering details of your line
from immigrant Nathaniel (1) down to you.
We would appreciate your checking these details,
and if there are any errors or if you have additional
information on the Merrill siblings, particularly
of the later generations, please let us know, so
we can add it to our database.
While DNA testing cannot tell you for sure whose
father Myron's father was, testing of your father
or your brother, James, may comfirm your descent
from immigrant Nathaniel. The DNA associated with
the male Y-chromosome is passed, essentially unchanged
from father to son, to grandson over many, many
generations, tens or hundreds. So far, about
30 descendants of Nathaniel have been tested and,
barring an adoption or other non-parental event,
all the results match.
Howard and Jean Merrill
Re: Merrill family - Nathaniel (7) Merrill
Date: Sun, August 8, 2010
Question: Laura Cholod wrote:
I had asked a question about a month ago and you
were very helpful about an Ormand Merrill in North
Conway, NH. I have met with the historian at the
Conway library. Fascinating research! I am now
trying to find some information on a Merrill Farm
in Maine that connects back to my ancestors in
Conway, NH. I have found that a Nathaniel Merrill
born July 10, 1788 and died August 1, 1870, son
of Thomas Merrill Jr. had a farm out in Gray, Maine.
Nathaniel married Olive Hart Plaisted from Portsmouth,
NH. They had 3 children: William P. Merrill, George,
and Elizabeth. William P. Merrill became a reverand
in Falmouth Maine at the Congregational church.
I am trying to connect these Merrills with a Karl
Merrill who sold the Merrill Farm in 1960. I have
made copies of an old diary from the archives at
the library so I am reading this old hand-writing
as best as I can. It was writted by James Jackson
in 1894(grandson of Thomas Merrill Jr. who married
Hannah Ambrose (step-sister). Any help with the
Maine Merrills would be very appreciated!!
Thanks so much! Laura
Yours is an interesting problem. You are
correct that Nathaniel, 1788 is the son of Thomas
(6) and Hannah Ambrose of Conway. Nathaniel
lived on his farm in Gray until his death Aug 1
1870. He was listed there in 1850, 60, and 70.
He and Olive Plaisted actually had six children,
but three d. in childhood. Olive d. before 1850
and he m. 2nd Ann (Garcelon) Jones in 1851 [ no
children] and she d. before 1870.
Son George Pomeroy 1823, m. 1845 Eliza Jane McCallar
and the had a daughter, Georgia, 1846 in Bath ME,
who m. 1864, Henry Fellows. George became a Ship
Captain and d. 1851 May 14 in Lewes DE.
Son, William Plaisted, 1821, m. 1846 Martha
Marie Barbour, and they had two daughters who both
d. young. In addition to his ministerial duties,
he was a bookkeeper and Sec-Treas. of a telegraph
Co. He d. Falmouth, 1899 Aug 14.
Daughter Harriet Elizabeth, 1833, m. 1858 Mar 16,
a Joseph Merrill of Gray, b. ca 1833 and they had
Mary C, ca 1859. They are listed in Minot, Androscoggin,
ME in 1860. Harriet Elizabeth d. 1862 Mar 16. We
are pretty sure this Joseph is Joseph S (7),
1832 July_, who m. 1865 Ellen Harris in Minot. His
lineage is: Joseph S (7), Robert (6), Joseph (5),
James (4), Nathan (3), Abel (2), Nathaniel (1). In
1870, Joseph and Ellen were in Portland living
next door to William Plaisted. Mary C was
not with him. He was in Denver CO in 1880 and 1900.
What is so vexing is how Nathaniel's farm came
into the hands of Karl Herbert (10) Merrill, b.
1900 Sep 1 in Gray, son of George Edwin (9) And
Mary Ellen (8) Merrill. Karl's lineage through
his father is George E (9), George T (8), John
(7), John T, (6), John (5), Samuel (4), Moses (3),
Daniel (2), Nathaniel (1). Karl's lineage through
his mother's side is Mary Ellen (8, John A P (7),
Reuben (6,5), Adams (4), James (3), Abel (2), Nathaniel
(1). With either of these lineages you have to
all the way back to immigrant Nathaniel (1) to
have a common ancestor with your line or Nathaniel
(7) of Gray.
So there does NOT seem to be a close ancestral
connection between Karl (10)and Nathaniel (7).
Perhaps Karl's ancestor bought the farm at auction
after Nathaniel's death. That was a common means
of disposing of property when a land owner died
and left no descendants, or none that were interested
in keeping the property. I know that is how my
folks bought our farm in NH, ca 1927. A search
of land records might show how the farm came into
This does not answer the question of how the farm
came to Karl, but does eliminate a family inheritance.
Hope this helps,
Howard and Jean Merrill
Re: Merrill family - Charles S (9) Merrill
Date: Fri, August 21, 2010
Question: Wende Ann Merrill-Collins
I am currently researching the Merrills on my
father's side of the family. They resided in York
County, New Brunswick, Canada. My earliest result
shows Stephen Merrill (1832-1907) was the son of
Abegail Merrill (b.1798). It is believed she came
from Maine. Is there a connection? If so, I would
be glad to provide our links to the Merrill family
tree in North America.
Answer: Wende Ann:
Your Stephen 1832 is in our "Lineage Unknown" file. He
was listed in the 1881 census for Stanley, York,
NB and had his 82 year old mother, Abigail, with
him. We do not have access, on line, to the
earlier Canadian census which might give Abigail's
husband's name and indicate whether or not he was
b. in Canada or was from the US, probably ME or
MA. Many loyalists left the US for Canada
after the Revolutionary War. So far we have
not been able to make a connection between Stephen
and the Merrills of ME and MA who were descended
from original immigrant, Nathaniel, 1601-1655,
who came to Newbury MA in 1639.
Neither have we been able to make connection
between Stephen with another NB Merrill family,
that of Marriner Wood Merrill, a contemporary of
Stephen, who became a Mormon Prophet. He
was in Sackville, NB. For many years his
descendants have tried to link that family to that
of Nathaniel, but recent DNA studies have shown
that the two families are not in any way related.
The DNA test on a simple saliva swab is one way
to determine if Stephen was related to Nathaniel.
The DNA associated with the male Y-chromosome is
passed from father to son, essentially unchanged,
over many, many generations, tens or hundreds. So
if a male Merrill descendant of Stephen were tested
and his DNA pattern matched that of the thirty
or so descendants of Nathaniel that have
been tested, it would indicate he was also descended
from Nathaniel. Nathaniel's descendants share
a very rare DNA pattern. Conversley, if his
pattern matched that of the the descendants of
Marriner Wood that have been tested, it would indicate
that he had a common ancestor with Marriner Wood. The
DNA test is run by several laboratories and usually
runs about $150, but often they have a Holiday
Special near the end of the year for about $120. The
DNA results would be applicable to brothers, cousins,
so several interested relatives could share the
We have a good bit of information on Stephen's
descendants from a correspondent in Australia,
b. in NB, but we would be very interested in how
you descend from Stephen. Let's start with that,
then we can go into more detail later on.
Howard and Jean Merrill
Re: Merrill family - Stephen Merrill, 1832,
Date: Sat, August 21, 2010
Question: Laura Cholod wrote:
Have been trying to find out what happened to
Charles S. Merrill, born March 16, 1871 in Conway,
NH. His parents were Leroy S. Merrill, born December
7, 1832 and Fannie Perkins, born January 1, 1837.
I cannot find any date or place of death or if
he had any children. I saw that he did marry a
Lydia who died shortly thereafter. I am descended
from his brother, Archer. Since all of their siblings:
Emmie, Myra, Harry and Albert died young and had
no children, this Charles would be the closest
relative to us and any of his descendants if he
had any. Thank you for any help you can offer.
Our ME death records only go to 1924, so we do
not have a death record for Charles S or his wife
Lydia E Richardson [b. ca 1875 Limerick ME, m.
1894 July 23 in South Portland]. They were still
both living in Portland in 1920, but we didn't
find either of them in 1930. They did have
a son, Albert Rogers, b. 1895 Sep 12 in S Portland. We
didn't find him registering for the US army draft
in 1917, but we did find him aboard the USN ship
USS Pittsburgh in 1920, age 24 b. Portland. He
m. 1931 Nov 11 Florence P Bennett in South Portland. From
the SSDI we find he d. 1970 Nov 4, age 75 in Portland. With
this date you might be able to find an obit to
see if he had any children. We haven't looked.
The only Florence in the SSDI that is even close
to his age was b. 1886 Apr 2 and d. 1979 Jul, with
last benefit going to Portland. But she could
have d. before about 1965 which is about as early
as SS death records are computerized and on line. The
ME dept of vital statistics in Augusta would have
record of her d. If she is the one b. 1886,
she would have been 45 when she m. and unlikely
to have had children.
Howard and Jean Merrill
Re: Merrill family - Viola B Merrill Welch
Date: Fri, August 27, 2010
Question: Anthony Slocum wrote:
my grandfather leroy welsh's mother was violet
merrill of portland maine area. trying to find
out about greatgrandmother violet merrill. her
son leroy welsh was born in the year 1900. so i
would think she was born in the late 1800s.
thank you for any info
It is Viola B Merrill [not Violet], b. 1881 Dec, that
m. 1897 Jan 5, Robert F Welch, [b. 1877 Apr] in
Augusta, Kennebec, ME, and had Leroy F Welch, in
Jan. 1900 in Augusta [not Portland]. In 1900,
Viola, Robert and Leroy Welch were with her parents,
Melville A (8) and Martha A (Haskell) Merrill in
Augusta. Melville A (8)'s lineage is Enoch
(7), John (6), Abel (5), John (4), Nathan (3),
Abel (2), immigrant Nathaniel (1), who came
to Newbury MA in 1639 from Wherstead, Suffolk,
England.. More details are available.
Howard and Jean Merrill
Re: Merrill family - Elizabeth Merrill Giddings
Date: Sat, August 28, 2010
Question: Judith R Williams
I hope you can help with my brick wall.
The parents of my 2nd great grand mother, Elizabeth
Merrill, who was born 18 Dec 1846 in Indiana & died
27 May 1909 in North Carolina. She married James
Rudolph Giddings in Jennings County, Indiana on
18 Nov 1866. I believe her to be the daughter of
Mary Ann Susan Johnson & John Merrill who were
married 10 Sep 1840 in Jennings county, Indiana.
John's descent (Benjamin Smith (By the way who
is Benjamin Smiths wife?), Samuel, Capt. Benjamin).
John was born abt 1814 in Indiana & died in
1853 in Jennings County, Indiana. Is Elizabeth
in your data base???
Thank you so much, Jude
We do not have your Elizabeth listed, as such,
in our database. If she is the daughter of
John Francis (6) and Mary Ann Susan Johnson, she
must be Elizabeth Jane, because in the 1850 census
the daughter of John, 38, and Mary Ann, 35, of
about her age is named Jane, age 5. There are no
Elizabeth Merrills, ca 1846, listed in Jennings
Co IN in 1850 nor in 1860, although she obviously
was there in 1866, and m. as Elizabeth Merrill. We
could not find the family in 1860 in Jennings Co. The
only Merrills in Jennings Co were were two families
John Francis's widow, Mary Ann, was only
38 in 1853 when John Francis died, leaving her
with at least three children under ten, so it is
likely that she remarried. Assuming she remarried,
her Merrill children, might be listed in the 1860
census under their stepfather's surname. Exploring
that possibility, we searched for all the Marys
in Jennings Co in 1860. Mary Ann was listed
as b. IN in 1850. Of the 41 Marys in Jennings Co
in 1860, only 8 were b. IN. We looked at the families
of each of these families. None had an Elizabeth,
Eliza, Jane or the names of any of Mary Ann's other
children. Since Elizabeth m. in Jennings Co, we
did not check neighboring counties.
We did find in 1870, James Giddings, 24, IN, in
Bigger Twp, Jennings, IN [where John Francis
d.], with Elizabeth, 23; Laura, 2; Lewis, 1; and
James, 2/12. b. Apr, all b. IN. Do you have a copy
of the m. liscence or certificate? It
would be interesting to see see who signed or witnessed
the document, a Merrill, or her stepfather?
We believe the Benjamin Smith Merrill, ca 1833,
also in Bigger Twp, Jennings, IN in 1870, [and
1860] to be the son Azariah (6), brother of John
Francis, and not Benjamin, the son of John Francis.
Sorry we are not able to positively your Elizabeth
as a child of John Francis (6) and Mary Ann. John
Francis (6)'s lineage is Benjamin Smith (5), Samuel
(5), Capt Benjamin (3), William (2,1). Benjamin
Smith (5)'s wife was Lucy Dunham [or Durham]. If
you have other information or documentation that
indicates that Elizabeth's name was Elizabeth Jane,
or even Elizabeth J, that would pretty much
clinch that this supposition was correct..
Howard and Jean Merrill
Answers to Ask the Experts Home
Merrill.org - Updated
29 August, 2010