XI. Eighteenth Century Migrations
North Yarmouth, ME
New Gloucester, ME
A Merrill Memorial
Merrill, 1928, reprint 1983
Eighteenth Century Migrations - Chapter XI,
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."
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.
for two spoons]-->
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.
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