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XI. Eighteenth Century Migrations
      Concord, NH
      Conway, NH
      Plymouth, NH
      Warren, NH
      Corinth, VT
      Kennebunkport, ME
      Topsham, ME
      Falmouth, ME
      North Yarmouth, ME
      New Gloucester, ME
      Lewiston, ME
      Buxton, ME
      Greene, ME
      Fryeburg, ME
      Brownfield, ME
      Andover, ME

 
A Merrill Memorial


    Samuel Merrill, 1928, reprint 1983

Some Eighteenth Century Migrations - Chapter XI, pp125-152

Conway, NH

    Thomas5 Merrill, son of Deacon John of Concord, was one of three men who, with their families, began, in 1766, a settlement in North Conway, N.H. He was a native of Haverhill, Mass.; lived in Concord, N.H., and vicinity for a number of years; served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian war, and passed the later years of his life as a farmer and country squire under the shadow of the White Mountains. (See page 294.)

   The charter of Conway was dated 1 Oct. 1765. It named more than sixty grantees, Thomas5 Merrill being included in the number. Thomas Merrill took up his residence in the town the following year, but settlers did not increase rapidly in numbers, and it was not until March, 1770, that a town meeting was held to effect a permanent organization. Possessing a better education than most of his fellow-townsmen, Thomas Merrill was chosen the first town clerk, and a member of the first board of selectmen, and he was many times reelected to both offices.

   In 1769 the inhabitants of Conway and adjacent towns felt the need of having a justice of the peace near at hand. They accordingly petitioned Governor Wentworth as follows: "We would humbly beg liberty to let your Excellency know that we should be glad and rejoice if your Excellency Should appoint to that office Lieut. Thomas Merrill of said Conway." The Governor's Council recommended him as a "Suteable person to be in the Commition for ye Peace," and he was duly appointed.

   Thomas5 Merrill's home was on the intervale, on the south side of the Saco River. He owned large tracts of land on both sides of the stream, and in 1771 his sons Thomas6, William6 and Amos6 took possession of adjoining farms along the river. Enoch6, and later Jonathan6, also took up farms in the same neighborhood. Their descendants a generation or two later were to be found in various places in western Maine.

   In 1775 a census of Conway showed 273 white inhabitants and two negro slaves. The remoteness of the settlement from the more populous sections of the Colony is shown by the fact that in the same year an arrangement was made by which a messenger once each month should carry the mail to the little backwoods community.

Thomas5 Merrill died 2 July, 1788, and was buried in the ancient cemetery near the center of the town.

Plymouth, NH


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     © Merrill.org - Updated 8 July, 2002