Merrill family history and genealogy to the benefit of all.


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

Kennebunkport, ME

    Between Wells and Biddeford, in York County, Maine, the coast region was successively known as Cape Porpoise, Arundel and Kennebunkport. It was first settled by white men in 1629, but owing to its exposed situation suffered much from attacks by Indians, and the white man's occupation was not continuous. The town was first incorporated, as "Cape Porpoise," in 1653. It was reincorporated, as "Arundel," in 1717, and received its present name in 1821. (*) (See p.260) About 1725 Abel4 and John4 Merrill (John3, Daniel2) settled in Arundel. Their sisters Ruth4 (Whitten), Nancy4 (Carr), and Mary4 (Burnham), with their husbands, also lived in the town. Abel4 Merrill in a short time removed to Wells, but John4 was living in Arundel in 1728, when he was granted one hundred acres "on the Country Road in Arundel, as it is laid from Wells Township to Saco across Bedeford the uper way." It was stipulated that he, and others who received grants at the same time, should "settle on said Land according to the Commetys Directions in a Defencable manner, and give bond to Preform the same." (**)

   John Merrill built a homestead, and made it "Defencable," for the Kennebunkport history states that he maintained a garrison house near Goff's mill. Such defences were greatly needed, for the Indian wars continued for many years after his advent in the town.

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   A spoon mould which belonged to John4 Merrill, or to his son John5 of Arundel and Topsham, was in possession of Mary-Jane7 Merrill (1817-1906) of Brunswick, Me., at her death. (See page 92.) Miss Merrill kindly let me take it in 1905 in order that I might cast in it some pewter spoons. "J. Merrill" is cut in the mould, in such a way that each spoon bears the name in raised letters in the handle. A spoon cast in this mould is seven and a half inches long, and weighs two and a half ounces. I have eaten many a plate of bean porridge with one of these spoons, in true old New England style. (See page 58.) (***)

* The reader should bear in mind that Maine was a part of Massachusetts until 1820.
** Bradbury's History of Kennebunkport (1837), pp. 128-9.
*** A mould for spoons of the same size and pattern is now in the possession of my cousin Clarence-Erskine Kelley of the Harvard College faculty. Mr. Kelley's father, Giles-Merrill Kelly of Haverhill, was a grandson of Rev. Gyles5 Merrill. (See page 8.) In a Kelly genealogy which was written by Giles-Merrill Kelly, and published in 1886, it is related (at page 25) how the Kelly mould was made by Samuel Kelly about the middle of the eighteenth century, from fifty copper pennies. Samuel Kelly was a great-grandson of John Kelly, a contemporary of Nathaniel1 Merrill in Newbury. S.M.
The differences in spelling in this footnote - Gyles and Giles, Kelly and Kelley - are not due to inadvertence. In each case I have followed the mode of spelling adopted by the individual in question. S.M.

Topsham, ME

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     © - Updated 8 July, 2002