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Ask the Experts . . . Howard and Jean Merrill

  Answers to Ask the Experts | 2011 May (3 answers)

Subject: Re: Merrill family - Wherstead and Honington
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011 10:21p

Question: Alan Merrell wrote:

I was wondering if you had any knowledge of a William Merrell or possibly William Meryell of either Honington or Wherstead England between the dates 1520 - 1610. I have found both during my research but can't seem to find the connection between the two cities, a distance of 100 - 120 miles. A considerable distance in those days. Perhaps there was a reason to move, I don't know. Both owned sheep, or so I understand so there is a possible connection. I am just scratching my head. If you have any knowledge or leads to the further research of these "Williams", I am grateful.

Answer: Alan

These are two completely unrelated families that just happened to have similar names.  Before about 1300 it was very unusual for the common man to have a surname, so when it came time for everyone to have a surname many unrelated individuals might choose the same surname, and related individuals might have different surnames.

We have record of a William Merrill baptized in 1610 in Belstead [adjacent to Wherstead, Suffolk, England]. Two of his cousins, John, 1699, and Nathaniel, 1701, of Wherstead, immigrated to MA in the 1630's and settled in Newbury, Essex, MA. Most of the New England Merrills are descended from Nathaniel.

Two brothers, Richard, ca 1642, and William, ca 1652, came from Tysoe, Warwickshire, England to Staten Island, NY ca 1680. Tysoe is a village close by Honington, so these are probably related to the William to which you refer. Richard stayed in Staten Island, but William soon moved to NJ, finally settling in Hopewell. Descendants later moved south and west.

Over 100 Merrill/Merrell males have been Y-DNA tested. The DNA associated with the male y-chromosome is passed from father to son, essentially unchanged over many, many generations, [tens or hundreds], so barring an adoption should follow the surname.  Descendants of Nathaniel show a very rare and distinctive DNA pattern, while descendants of Richard and William show a very different pattern nearly identical to each other.  Descendants of other Merrill immigrants show still other patterns.  So it is possible by comparing DNA patterns to tell from which immigrant family a testee is descended.

Let us introduce our selves. We are Howard and Jean Merrill. We are co-coordinators of the Merrill DNA Genealogy Group. For thirty years we have been trying to database the Merrill/Merrell family nationwide from the original immigrants down to the present day for all immigrant lines.  So far we have info on over 60,000 Merrill males plus their wives and daughters in our database, but we estimate there have been well over a 100,000 so we have a long way to go, and need and appreciate all the help we can get, particularly with the later generations.  We use this database strictly to try and help folks trace their Merrill roots. Be assured that no info on living individuals will become internet accessible from us.

While our database is not internet searchable, we will be glad to search it for anybody and share what we find at no cost.  All we ask is that folks share their Merrill data with us so that we can expand our database and do a better job of helping solve Merrill lineage problems. We also use our database to support the work of the Merrill-DNA-Genealogy Group.

We would be very interested in what you know of your Merrill line, perhaps an outline descendant chart? We may be able to match you up with our database.  You didn't say where you are from.

Howard and Jean Merrill

 



Subject: Re: Merrill family - David (5) of Stanstead
Date: Wed, May 18, 2011 6:06p

Question: Terry Chapin wrote:

Help! I'm looking for the family of Diadama Merrill who was born July 1801. She married about 1820 in Stanstead, Quebec [or in Duncansboro, VT], John Amsden Chapin. The "History of Stanstead" (1874) refers to David Merrill who moved with his wife & 12 children from Fishersfield, NH to Newport, VT and on to Stanstead in 1800, but does not mention Diadama. [I'll gladly supply what I know about her descendants.]

Answer: Terry:

We do not have any record to indicate that David (5) and Molly Harriman had a daughter, Diadema, 1801. However, David's was the only Merrill family in the Stanstead area that we know of in this time period.  David was still in Fisherfield, [now Newbury] NH when the 1800 census was taken [June? ]. That census showed ten children [not twelve that the history of Stanstead indicated], but the oldest, Benjamin, was 18 and may have been working on another farm.  We know they had at least two more children after arriving in Canada. There is room in the family group for another child to be b. ca 1801.  In the vital records we copied in Sherbrook, Canada we did not find a record of Diadema's m. in the Stanstead area.  But it doesn't seem that those records [Or the Drouin Collection of Quebec records] are complete, especially in this early time period.  The Canadian Census records don't start till 1851, so they are no help in this case.

So we cannot say if your Diadema was David and Molly Harriman's child or not, but it seems likely. David (5)'s lineage is Abraham (4), Jonathan (3), Abraham (2), immigrant Nathaniel (1). More details on That line are available.

Sorry we couldn't be more definitive.

Howard and Jean Merrill

 



Subject: Re: Merrill family - Charles Edmund (11)
Date: Thu, May 19, 2011 12:13p

Question: Cindy House wrote:

Howard and Jean,

I've just begun researching the family tree for Robert Edmund Merill (Dad was married before to Dorothy (?) he's father was Charles Edmund Merrill (did Charles divorce Gertrude Faust-did he ever remarry? Did my dad have any siblings)and his grandfather was Frank Leonard (married a Cate Wintermute) of Grand Rapids Mi. I met Ted Faust-Gertrude"s brother, when my dad (Robert E) died; and have based my starting research on his information. I've managed to go back to a David Merrill who married (1800) and divorced (1813) a Mary Knight and have hit a roadblock. Any insight into other information would be absolutely wonderful!

Thank you for a response and your time,

Cindy House

Answer: Cindy

We have your grandfather, Charles Edmund as a child in our Database, but have nothing on his family, spouse, children, grandchildren. His lineage is Charles E (11), Frank L (10), Edmund (9,8), David (7), Asaph (6), Joseph (5,4), Daniel (3,2), immigrant Nathaniel (1). More details are available. We found Charles E, 35, still single, with his parents in the 1930 census in Grand Rapids. So Gertrude was not yet in the picture. Do you have a m. date? Was your dad the Robert E [1933 Oct 21 - 1995 Jan 5 - from SSDI]?

Let us introduce our selves. We are Howard and Jean Merrill.  We are co-coordinators of the Merrill DNA Genealogy Group. For thirty years we have been trying to database the Merrill/Merrell family nationwide from the original immigrants down to the present day for all immigrant lines.  So far we have info on over 60,000 Merrill males plus their wives and daughters in our database, but we estimate there have been well over a 100,000 so we have a long way to go, and need and appreciate all the help we can get, particularly with the later generations.  We use this database strictly to try and help folks trace their Merrill roots. Be assured that no info on living individuals will become internet accessible from us.

While our database is not internet searchable, we will be glad to search it for anybody and share what we find at no cost.  All we ask is that folks share their Merrill data with us so that we can expand our database and do a better job of helping solve Merrill lineage problems. We also use our database to support the work of the Merrill-DNA-Genealogy Group.

We would be very interested In any detailed info you have on the Merrill descendants of Frank Leonard (10) down to the present day to add to our database.

Howard and Jean Merrill

 



 

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