Short History of Samuel Merrill's A Merrill Memorial
Samuel Merrill published in 1928 a two-volume set of books describing in detail the Merrill genealogy beginning with the first known ancestor, also known as the primogenitor. The first few chapters deal with the very early history of the Merrill family and then branches into the remainder of the book with the six plus successive generations of the American progenitor thereafter. Samuel published only twenty-six copies, each being gifted to a major genealogical library across the country with a few going to other interested people. Each of the originals were consecutively numbered and noted where they were delivered behind the title page of volume one.
The books are known as "the bible of Merrill genealogy" due to the fact they are so well documented with very few errors. The work leading to the publication was begun in large part by his predecessors Rev. Samuel-Hill Merrill, Gyles Merrill and General Lewis Merrill, where he then took on the arduous task of placing the information into a manageable format and publishing it where future generations could make use of all their work.
two-volume mimeographed set was initially published in 1928 by Samuel
Merrill for a total of twenty-six copies. A second printing
was made by "Parker River Researchers" for $75 in 1983
(see The Genealogical Helper, vol 37, 1983) after gathering enough deposits to make a profitable run. I have seen them listed for resale between $70-$85 for the set. A great buy if you can find them. There are reprints available but the majority are paperback for about the same price, some costing more. Or you could download one of the three free copies right now.
printer (Anundsen Publishing Co., 108 Washington Street,
Decorah, IA 52101) said that he had made three runs of
the book for Noreen Pramburg of [late] "Parker River
Researchers" who took books, and had them bound (to
save them). This book was run in quantities of 500, 500,
and he thought another 250." The two-volume set is hardbound in a medium green backing. It would appear that a few of these were made with the two volumes combined into one book which I understand is blue in color.
The old address was:
Parker River Researchers
Newburyport, MA 01950
but please note that they are no longer in business.
first run reprint by "Parker River Researchers"
was taken from the copy at NEHGS and is probably the most
complete; it was copy #2. Copy #1 went to Samuel's son.
Samuel made several handwritten additions to the NEHGS
copy that were not in other copies, i.e. the one in Salt
Lake. The remaining copies were distributed to various libraries around the country. There are two known notebooks at NEHGS with additional
data from Samuel's notes."
Question: It is of interest that there were twenty-six copies printed. One went to Samuel's son and fourteen others went to the list below. Where are the other eleven?
Samuel writes about the first printing on pages III-IV as follows:
"Many books of family history published within the past thirty years are disintegrating on the library shelves owing to the presence of an excessive amount of wood pulp in the paper on which they are printed. In some such books aniline inks have been employed, and the text is fading owing to action of sunlight. In this book the best linen record paper has been used, and the ink after six months' uniterrupted exposure to sun and rain has shown no loss of color.
No copies of this book have been sold, and none will be sold. Copies, for public use, will be given to about twenty libraries, including the following:
New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston (#2)
Boston Public Library (#10)
Maine Historical Society, Portland(#9)
New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord (#8)
Connecticut State Library, Hartford (#11)
New York Public Library (#4)
Library of Congress, Washington (#12)
Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland (#13)
Newberry Library, Chicago (#7)
Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison (#14)
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul (#)
Missouri Historical Society, Kansas City
California Genealogical Society, San Francisco
Los Angeles Public Library (#17)
In the copies deposited in the library of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the New York Public Library I shall probably make corrections and additions not entered in other copes.
1 Feb. 1928. "
date Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 10:42 AM
subject Merrill Memorial
Dear Mr. Merrill:
Thank you for your e-mail, which was forwarded to me. Our copy is number eight. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have other New Hampshire questions.
William Copeley, Librarian
New Hampshire Historical Society
30 Park Street
Concord, NH 03301-6316
The independent nonprofit that preserves and shares New Hampshire history
Visit our website www.nhhistory.org
Editor's note: Bill said the two volumes had been rebound and included a number of additional pages of information when it was rebound. It also has notes written throughout the volumes where someone has made corrections and/or additions.
date: Mon, Aug 8, 2011 at 11:08 AM
subject Re: Fw: LAPL Form Submission
Hello! Your email was forwarded to me for reply. The Los Angeles Public Library has #17 (seventeen) of the run.
I browsed through the volumes and they were beautifully done!
History/Genealogy Dept. 213-228-7400
Los Angeles Public Library
date Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 8:33 AM
subject FW: RB AZ 08.06.11 Merrill memorial (**G.301.16) /pdp
Dear Mr. Merrill,
Here is what is written on the verso side of the title page to volume 1 of A Merrill memorial; an account of the descendants of Nathaniel Merrill, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts, G.301.16:
“This is copy Number Ten. It is given to The Boston Public Library”.
Rare Books & Manuscripts Department
Boston Public Library, Copley Square
700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
date Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 11:20 AM
subject Library Question - Answer [Question #6897724]
Hello Steve Merrill
The Library of Congress copy is number 12 rather than number 4. On the verso of the title page, volume 1, is the statement "This copy is Number Twelve. It is given to The Library of Congress." Penciled in is the notation "gift-author Ap. 17 1928." Volume 2 has only the indication about the book being a gift.
This appears to be a simple error in recording the information. It's possible that there was some sort of shared cataloging between the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress, since the cataloging records are identical and the lccn (Library of Congress control number) is included in the New York Public Library's record.
We hope this information will be helpful.
Local History and Genealogy
Library of Congress
date Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 1:30 PM
According to the librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society, the book is listed as number fourteen and has been rebound into one volume, possibly in the 1950s or 60s. There are a number of handwritten references, a few of the asterisks are highlighted and some of the sentences are underlined in red. The ship graphic in the front has been tinted a salmon color with a teal sky and sea much like the one I was told is in the LAPL. The index in the back is on a light blue paper with the family index being on an off white color. The number 023-88 is on the title page in #2 pencil and the letters DPL are provided with the librarian thinking they probably represent "Denver Public Library".
date Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 6:35 AM
subject RE: Information on the book "A Merrill Memorial" request
We have copy number 9 of "A Merrill memorial : an account of the descendants of Nathaniel Merrill, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts" by Samuel Merrill.
Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101-3498
The New York Public Library has a listing of when the book was donated located in their Bulletin, volume 21, issue 2, page 489 - 1917.
Howard and Jean Merrill have a copy of the original sent to Genealogical Society of Utah which is numbered #26.
APA - Merrill, S. (1917). A Merrill memorial: An account of the descendants of Nathaniel Merrill, an early settler of Newbury, Massachusetts. Cambridge, Mass: s.n..
MLA - Merrill, Samuel. A Merrill Memorial: An Account of the Descendants of Nathaniel Merrill, an Early Settler of Newbury, Massachusetts. Cambridge, Mass, 1917. Print.
Download your copy of "A Merrill Memorial"
Choose from the selection below to download a copy for yourself. You will need Acrobat to view most of these files. There are variations between copies #2, #13 and #26. Each has handwritten notes on several pages.
• Volumes I & II - 26 Mb (one Acrobat file)
From copy #13 - Western Reserve Historical Society (now searchable)
• Volumes I & II - 57 Mb (one Acrobat file)
From copy #26 - Genealogical Society of Utah (now searchable)
Part one - 8 Mb (cover - p 162),
Part two - 5 Mb (p 163 - p 323), (updated)
Part three - 6 Mb (p 324 - p 486),
Part four - 7 Mb (p 487 - p 644),
Part five - 4 Mb (index).
From copy #2 - NEHGS - Boston
NOTE: If you wish to share these books with other people visiting your website, please link to the copy above instead of placing it on your site. This way everyone will have the more up-to-date copy. I will be adding links within the Acrobat version as time allows. I have located old versions on other websites that were created years ago.