The Merriam Family and Connections

Source: William S. Appleton, “The Merriam Family and Connections,” New England Historical and
Genealogical Register
22[1868]:160-61.

I have lately been investigating the Merriam Family of Concord, and may have found some things worthy of publication. The wills of Robert and Mary Merriam are remarkable for the number of relatives named in them, and from them we learn some family connections not noticed in Savage or Shattuck.

Robert Merriam, of Concord, died 15 February, 1682, aged 72. He left a will written 10 Dec., 1681, in which he mentions his wife Mary, his sole executrix, his cousin (nephew) Isaac Day in Old England, son to his sister Joan Day deceased, Robert Merriam, of Cambridge, son to his cousin (nephew) Joseph Merriam, deceased, his cousin (nephew) Jonathan Hubbard, the children of his two deceased brothers, Joseph and George Merriam, viz.: William, John, and Samuel Merriam, Elizabeth Hinchksmans, Susan Scotchford, Elizabeth West, Hannah Taylor, and Abigail Bateman, and his cousin John Buss.

Mary Merriam, widow of Robert, died 22 July, 1693, aged 72. She left a will written 15 February, 1688, in which she mentions her cousin (nephew) Jonathan Hubbard, her cousin (niece) Mrs. Elizabeth Corwin, eldest daughter of her brother Jacob Sheaf, her cousin (niece) Mrs. Mehitable Sheaf, youngest daughter of the same brother, her sister’s four children living in the Southern parts, viz.: John, Nathaniel, Mary, and Joanna Chittenden, her cousin John Ruck, her cousin Samuel Ruck, her cousin (nephew) William Merriam, her cousin (niece) Elizabeth West, her cousin (nephew) Isaac Day, her cousin (nephew) John Merriam, her cousin (nephew) Samuel Merriam, her cousin (nephew) Scotchford, and her cousin (nephew) Robert Merriam; her executors were Jonathan Hubbard, John Merriam and Samuel Merriam.

I. Robert and Mary Merriam had no children; she was evidently daughter of Edmond Sheaf, and baptized at Cranbrook, Kent, 26 September, 1620.

II. Joseph Merriam, of Concord, died 1 January, 1641, leaving wife Sarah and children:

William,2 m. and had children.

Joseph.2 (IV.)

Elizabeth,2 m. —- Henchman.

John,2 b. 9 July, 1641, posthumous. (V.)

Another daughter, perhaps wife of John Buss, d. before 1681.

III. George Merriam, of Concord, died 29 December, 1675, and Susan his wife 8 October before. They had these children, all except the first, mentioned in his will of 8 October, 1675.

Mary,2 d. 10 August, 1646.

Sarah,2 m. —- Gove, of Cambridge; d. before 1681.

Elizabeth,2 m. Henry West, of Salem.

Samuel,2 m. Elizabeth Thompson, and had four daughters, according to Shattuck.

Hannah,2 m. 14 June, 1665, Henry Axtell, of Marlborough; and secondly, 16 July, 1677, William Taylor, of Concord.

Susan,2 m. John Scotchford, of Concord.

Abigail,2 m. Thomas Bateman, of Concord.

IV. Joseph Merriam was born about 1630; married, 12 July, 1653, Sarah, daughter of Gregory Stone, of Cambridge, and had:

Sarah,3 Lydia,3 Joseph,3 Robert.3

He is called of Cambridge, in the Middlesex Records, but is buried at Concord. He died 20 April, 1677.

V. John Merriam, m. 1663, Mary, daughter of John Cooper, of Cambridge, and had:

John,3 Nathaniel,3 Joseph,3 Samuel,3 and daughters.

He was of Concord, and died 27 February, 1725, and his widow 5 March, 1731.

Cousin Isaac Day in Old England, to whom Robert Merriam left land in Cambridge, provided he should come over and take possession of it before Mrs. Merriam’s death, seems to have done so, and to have lived at Cambridge, 1686-92, according to Savage, who calls him a “London citizen embroiderer.” I presume his mother was a Merriam.

John, Nathaniel, Mary, and Joanna Chittenden, were children of William, whose wife was Joan Sheaf, sister of Mrs. Mary Merriam; they lived at Guilford, Conn.

Cousin Elizabeth Corwin was wife of Jonathan, of Salem.

Cousins John and Samuel Ruck were, I suppose, of Salem; their mother seems to have been a sister of Mrs. Mary Merriam, and therefore a Sheaf.

Cousin Jonathan Hubbard was son of John, of Wethersfield and Hadley, and grandson of George, of Guilford. The mother of Jonathan was probably by birth a Merriam, or a Sheaf.

All these connections do not enable us to say, with certainty, whence in England came the brothers Merriam. If we could know that Robert was married before coming to New England, their ancestors would be found at Cranbrook or some place near it. If Isaac Day was a native of London, that city might prove to have been also the home of the Merriams. The facts are not such as to give a preference to either of these conjectures.

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