m. Abt. 1675
m. bef. 1698
Facts and Events
Several sources say the wife of Andrew Ford was Mercy, the d/o Ebenezer Whitmarsh and Christian Bayley, including Source:History of Weymouth, Massachusetts, p. 4:760, and Source:The descendants of Andrew Ford of Weymouth, Massachusetts,, p. 24 (also printed in NEHGR, p. 119:116). The marriage record as shown in Source:Vital records of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, p. 137, merely identifies her as "Mercy Whitmarsh".
Mercy would have to be born no later than 1688 to be of legal age in 1706 when the marriage was recorded. The age at death would place her birth about 1682, but no record of a birth of such a daughter of Ebenezer Whitmarsh has been found. Nor is there much room for her birth given that births were recorded for sons Ebenezer in 1683, Richard in 1685, and a second Ebenezer in 1688. Mercy is not named in her father's will despite being alive at the time. In this family, she would be the eldest child, yet Mercy is not her mother's name, and not her grandmother's name. She really does not fit well in this family, and this assertion appears to be based soley on the assumption that her marriage to Andrew Ford was her first one.
An alternate theory that seems more likely to me, is that the Mercy Whitmarsh who m. Andrew Ford 27 Nov 1706 is the Mercy who was the widow of Nicholas Whitmarsh, daughter of William Reed and Esther Thompson. This Mercy was named as "Mercy whitmarsh" in her father's will of 1705 (see Source:Mayflower Descendant, p. 23:73). According to Source:Mayflower Descendant, p. 40:197, Mercy's husband died about the same time as her father and she was the one that married Andrew Ford, as suggested by their moving to Abington with Mercy's brothers, and by the names of several of their children corresponding to names from the Reed family, particularly Jacob and Hester/Esther, which do not match names used in the family of Ebenezer Whitmarsh.
Of course, if we take the transcription printed in NEHGR, p. 21:226, "Early Marriages in Bridgewater", as the authority, Andrew Ford's wife was Mercy Whitman and both these theories are wrong. (Bridgewater VRs, p. 2:137, has "Mercy Whitmarsh".) However, Whitmarsh ended up frequently written as Whitman, so this is not significant (e.g., there is one probate document where both forms are apparently used interchangeably as its grants letters of execution on the above mentioned Ebenezer Whitmarsh to his widow Christian Whitman and son Ebenezer Whitman). --Jrich 18:38, 15 June 2009 (EDT)