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transcription of:

"The Merriam Family and Connections," by William S. Appleton, NEHGR 22:160-161 (1868):

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 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 Hichksmans, Susan Scotchford, Elizabeth West, Hannah Taylor, and Abigail Batemand, 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 (neice) 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, Nathanial, 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, er 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 Edmund Sheaf, and baptized at Cranbrook, Kent, 26 September, 1620.

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

  • William m. and had children
  • Joseph (IV)
  • Elizabeth, m. ___ Henchman
  • John, b 9 July 1641, posthumous (V)
  • Another daughter [or this could be Robert's sister], perhaps wife of John Buss, d. bef 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, d 10 August 1646
  • Sarah, m ___ Gove, of Cambridge,; d. bef 1681
  • Elizabeth, m. Henry West of Salem
  • Samuel, m. Elizabeth Thompson, and had four daughters, according to Shattuck.
  • Hannah, m 14 June 1665 Henry Axtel of Marlborough; and secondly 16 Jul 1677, William Taylor of Concord.
  • Susan, m. John Scotchford, of Concord
  • Abigail, m. Thomas Bateman, of Concord

IV. Joseph Merriam was born about 1640; married, 12 July 1653, Sarah, dau of Gregory Stone of Cambridge and had:

  • Sarah
  • Lydia
  • Joseph
  • Robert

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

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

  • John
  • Nathaniel
  • Joseph
  • Samuel
  • daughters

He was of Concord, and died 27 Feb 1725, and his widow 5 Mar 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.