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Ask the Experts . . . Howard and Jean Merrill

  Answers to Ask the Experts | 2011 July (5 answers)

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Olivia Merrill ca 1799
Date: Thu, July 7, 2011 5:07p

Question: Barbara Mitchell wrote:

 I am a descendant of Erastus B. Badger. My great grandmother was Clarissa Harlow Badger. Anyhow, I am interested in any information about Olivia Merrill. I have a truly beautiful sampler done by her in 1810 when she was 12. I will be glad to send a picture to any of her descendants.

Answer: Barbara:

We have in our database an Olivia, b. ca 1799 in Hampton Falls, Rockingham, NH, daughter of John (6) Merrill and Polly Wedgwood. Olivia m. 1819 Apr 4, Thomas True (6) Merrill. They had 7 children. She seems to fit the info you provided. If this is your Olivia, her lineage is Olivia (7), John (6), Aaron (5), Stephen (4,3), Daniel (2), Immigrant Nathaniel (1).  More details are available.  How does Olivia connect to the Badger family? ...

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Henry Merrill
Date: Mon, July 11, 2011 2:45p

Question: Doug Nobel wrote:

You folks answered a genform question back in April of 2003 about Henry and Lena Pearle (Corliss) Merrill. Below is part of your answer. Do you have any additional information on Henry and Lena Merrill. They are my Great Grand parents? Henry (9) was b. 1886 Oct 11 to Willard C and Annie E Hodeston. He m. Lena Pearle Corliss 1909 Oct 1 in Yarmouth. His lineage is Willard C (8), Daniel S (7), Abel (6,5), John (4), Nathan (3), Abel (2), Nathaniel (1). More info is available on all these lineages.

Answer: Doug:

We have only found Henry and Lena in the 1920 census in Gardiner, Kennebec, ME. Henry was 33 and Lena was 32 and they had Thelma [Dorothy Thelma], 9, with them. He was an electrician with the Power Co.  We don't have either Henry or Lena's d. date. Do you?  Lena apparently had d. before 1930, for Thelma D, 19 was living with her uncle and aunt, Charles H and Margaret Corliss, both 47, in Portland in 1930.  We couldn't find Henry anywhere in 1930, but we have that he m. 2nd, 1938 Nov 15, Maria M (Shanassy) Cox in Wells, York, ME.  Dorothy Thelma m. 1936 Dec 26, Adrian Arthur Noble, son of Arthur & Ada (Jewel) Noble.

If you need details of Henry (9)'s Merrill lineage we can provide that info.

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Ruth M Merrill
Date: Thu, July 14, 2011 9:35p

Question: Michael F. Connelly wrote:

Hi I was recently given an old copy of our Merrill family tree. My issue is it only goes up to Rev. Joseph Annis Merrill b 1784 d 1849. My grandmother Ruth M. Merrill was born between 1893 and 1895 and died in 1972. She was married to Joseph James Connelly. I think my great grandfather Merrill was also a Reverend. Could you help with the missing links between Joseph A. Merrill to Ruth M. Merrill 45 years later. Many thanks for your time and efforts.

Answer: Michael:

We found record of your grandmother, Ruth M Connelly in the 1920 and 1930 census in Boston and Watertown MA, respectively. Although her birth date from these census is not consistent as you indicated [ca 1923 or 1925] it is consistent in that she was b. MA and her father was b. MA and mother b. NY. She and Joseph m. ca 1917. Have you located their m. record in the MA vital records in Boston. That record would give her parents names. The problem is that none of the Ruths in MA in the 1900 census match these requirements.

We had copied the Merrill MA vital records to 1895 from the original records many years ago. These same records to 1915 are now available at So we next went through all the births in those records of a Ruth b. MA 1892-1896. The last of the 8 Ruths listed was b. Brimfield, Hampden, MA 1892 Nov 11 to an Amos D and Augusta [b. NY city]. When you looked at the actual record it was Amos B, not Amos D. Going back to the 1900 census, they are back in NYC. Amos B, pump mfgr, b. MA 1848 Apr, m. 13 years to Augusta, b. NY 1856 Apr; Catherine, b. NJ 1877 Nov; Ruth, b. MA 1892 Nov; Amos, b. MA 1894 July; and Clarence, b. MA 1896 Apr. We are pretty sure this is your Ruth, but to be sure you ought to check that MA m. record. We couldn't find it on line - they stop at 1915.

We had looked first in our database at descendants of Joseph Annis, but not having a consistent date, father, or even bp for Ruth, we missed her, probably because Amos B's m. to Augusta Suskow was his 2nd m.

Amos B's father was Nathaniel Jewett, b. Lyman NH 1817 Aug 16, and d. Wilbraham , MA in 1912 Aug 14. He was a Methodist Minister, and at the time of his d., he was the oldest minister in the New England Methodist Conference. His wife was Georgiana Pinkham, 1822 Apr 1 - 1908 Dec 12. He was the son of Rev Joseph Annis Merrill.

Out of curiosity, are you descended from Joseph Connelly Jr, Francis R Connelly or still a later son of Joseph and Ruth?

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Moody Merrill
Date: Thu, July 14, 2011 4:57p

Question: Charles Merrill Fox wrote:


My name is Charles Merrill Fox. I was named after Moody Merrill. Mr. Merrill married my mothers aunt Cathy. I have been looking him up on the internet and it lead me to your site. If you are lacking this side of the family I can put you in touch with my mother.

Answer: Charles:

Thank you for writing.  We have several Moody Merrills in our database, but the only one we have that m. a Cathy or Catherine was Moody (7) Merrill, 1801-1836 who m. Catherine Nichols. That seems to be much too early to be m. to your mother's aunt. So we are probably talking about a different Moody. Do you have a b. or d. date for Moody? Location? Your great aunt's name?  We are interested in all Merrill lines since we are databasing the Merrill families in the US. We have info on over 60,000 Merrill males plus wives and daughters, but we estimate there have been well over 100,000 so we have a long way to go and appreciate all the help we can get.

Howard and Jean Merrill

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Samuel Pearse Merrill
Date: Fri, July 15, 2011 10:18p

Question: Ron Baines wrote:

I also found some further information on Samuel Pearce Merrill that you may wish to add to your database. I found this information in online documents but I am not sure it is legal to send them to you so I will leave you to download them yourself. If you are unable to do so let me know and I will hand copy the details into an email for you. The Rochester Theological Seminary General Catalog 1850-1920 lists Merrill on page 71 and includes his stint as secretary of the faculty of Shaw University in North Carolina from 1902-1904. This work is available on Google Books under the title; General Catalog 1850 - 1920 by Rochester Theological Seminary. Additionally I found his obituary in the newspaper, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, for Thursday, April 20, 1916, page 24, which lists him as having been still married at the time of his death. His wife was, however, with her son in San Antonio, Texas, as you indicated in the notes from your records. The obit indicates a severe burn incident which may better account for his being in LA rather than with his wife in San Antonio at the time of his death. He did not die from the burns but it may have been a contributing factor to his being in LA. Just a guess on my part. It also may account for the missing manuscripts I originally mentioned; I suppose, like so many such cases in history, they may have been lost in the fire. At any rate both of these items may fill in some further details to add to your database. If so, then I am pleased to add my mite to your massive research and am happy to reciprocate on the exchange of details.

With many thanks, Ron Baines

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Samuel Merrill m. Nancy Payne
Date: Wed, July 27, 2011 6:42p

Question: Kimberley Merrill-Varelmann wrote:

I am from the William of Maryland group. I have conversed with you in 2005. I am still in search of information about Samuel Merrill b 1779 in Worcester, MD d after 1840. I found that he had two wives. 1/Marie Richards a Cherokee Indian from GA 2/Nancy Payne b.1779 Worcester MD. If correct I found information stating that Marie and Samuel had a three sons: Richard b. 3/30/1815 d 10/27/1891 Benjamin (appears in 1820 census) Samuel I am seeing a son named Levin Payne Merrill. I cannot find information on him as far as b and d and His Mother (Nancy Levin Merrill)'s d and m dates. Wanted to know if this info has merit and when was Samuel married to whom and what children did he have with each.

The Marie Richards would solve the stories of Indian relation to our family but she would not be the familia relation for my branch is off of Levin Payne Merrill's son John Samuel Merrill. Any new info would be of help. My father is William Merrill of Hamilton, OH who is deceased.

Thank you

Answer: Kimberly:

Thanks for writing. You have found that a Samuel m. a Nancy Payne [your line] and also that a Samuel m. Marie Richards, but these are two different Samuels.  Your Samuel m. Nancy 1801 Apr 1 when Samuel was only 22.  They had a son John 1815 Apr 12 in Bracken Co KY.  We don't have a m. date for Samuel and Maria, but as you pointed out they had a son Richard 1815 Mar 30 in Worcester Co MD.  Obviously two different families. We have Levin Payne b. as ca 1805 and d. after 1880. His mother, Nancy Payne was b. ca 1781 and d. after 1860. Samuel and Nancy had Polly, Levin Payne, William, Joshua, John. and Edward. The only exact date is that of John above.

We want to welcome you to the Merrill DNA Genealogy Group. We are two of several co-coordinators. I think you have already heard from some, including Dave Merrell, who just happens to be descended from the other Samuel and Maria Richards.  The only problem is that his DNA does not match the pattern of other known descendants of William of MD, which it should if the two Samuels were both descended from William of MD. The DNA associated with the male y-chromosome is passed from father to son essentially unchanged over many generations, tens or hundreds, so should follow the surname, barring an adoption or other non-parental event.

Are you in contact with any of your male Merrill cousins who might be available for DNA testing?

Howard and Jean Merrill


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