Home > 006978. George Merriam, 006979. Susan Raven, 013956. William Mirriam > Origin of the Merriams and Other Families of Concord, Mass.

Origin of the Merriams and Other Families of Concord, Mass.

Source: William S. Appleton, “Origin of the Merriams and Other Families of Concord, Mass.,” New
England Historical and Genealogical Register
24[1870]:164-65.

I communicated to the REGISTER for April, 1868, a short account of the Merriam family, at the end of which I remarked that we could not say, with certainty, whence in England came the three brothers of this name.  In July, 1868, I made researches, which convince me that I found their home and father in Kent, and which also induce me to believe that there was a large settlement of Kentish families in the town of Concord, Mass.

First, as to the latter point, Shattuck says: — William Buss had a brother in Tunbridge, Kent; Thomas and James Hosmer came from Hockhurst (i.e. Hawkhurst), Kent; Simon Willard came from Horsemonden.  Savage says: — William Hartwell, Concord, came, says tradition, from Kent.  Now not only are these good Kentish names, but Barrett, Brooks, Fletcher, Fowle, Hayward, Wheeler, Wood, all names of early inhabitants of Concord, are instantly met with in the county of Kent.

The Merriam family I believe to be descended from William Mirriam of Hadlowe, Kent, whose will I found at Rochester.  It was written 8 September, and proved 27 November, 1635.  He was a clothier, and owned lands in Hadlowe, Goodherst, Yalding, and Tewdly (Tudeley), all small villages near Tunbridge.  He mentions his daughters Susan, Margaret, Joane and Sara, as well as grandchildren of the name of Howe, children of a deceased daughter; his wife Sara; his sons Joseph, George and Robert; granddaughter Mary, daughter of George; grandson William, son of Joseph; and appoints his son Robert sole executor.

I examined the church-registers of Hadlowe, Yalding and Tunbridge, but obtained little information from them; of Tudeley no early register is known to be in existence.  At Hadlowe “William Mirriam was buried September 23, 1635.”  At Tunbridge, George Miriam and Susan Raven were married October 16, 1627; they had Mary, b. and d. 1628; Mary, b. 1630; Elizabeth, b. 1635; Joseph, b. 1637.

These facts and names agree very closely with what I previously printed about the Merriams in this country.  The three sons of William are all found at Concord; George with a wife Susan, and both Joseph and George with children born in England, but not exactly corresponding with those now named.  Joane, their sister, undoubtedly married a Day, and was mother of Isaac, mentioned in the former article.  The name of Day was common in the Kentish villages I visited.  I would certainly advise all genealogists, who are on the hunt for the ancestry of settlers in Concord, to begin their English investigations with the county of Kent.

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