George Byron Merrick.

Genealogy of the Merrick-Mirick-Myrick family of Massachusetts, 1636-1902 online

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ory all rriy fatliers, if I could, even to Hdan\."



1. George Byron Merrick,

2. Coat-of-Arms,

3. BoDORGAN Castle,

Charles Edward Miriok, )
Albert Augustus Mirick, J

5. South Hill, Residence of Charles E. Mirice:,

6. Laban Harriman Merrick,

7. James Loren Merrick,

8. Samuel Whepley Merrick,

9. George Whelpley Merrick, -

1 0. Ambrose Newell Merrick,

11. Judge Edwin Thomas Merrick,

12. George Graves Merrick, -

13. Rev. Frederick Merrick,

14. Timothy Merrick, - - - -

15. Edwin Thomas Merrick,


Facing page





Pages 9 and 10. Weslyan should read Wesleyan.

Page 12. Inscription under Bodorgau Castle should read "Mey-
rick Family," instead of "Merrick Family," as printed.

Page 28. Supply black letter number 20 before Isaac*.

Page 36. For "Moses" Haight, who married Lois Myrick, read
"Morris" Haight.

Page 163. Esther Powers, b. May 11, 1776.

Page 167. Eighth line from top read "in the tone," instead of
"on the tone."

Page 173. Read Frances E. Watts, instead of Francis E. Watts.

Page 281. Miner Merrick, b. 1773 instead of 1872.

Page 233. Read Amador county, instead of Anador county.

Page 282. Read Lovisa instead of Louisa.

From page 144 to 264 the running headline should read "Merrick
Genealogy — James. "

From page 268 to 282 the running headline should read ' 'Merrick
Genealogy — Thomas. "

Page 425. Where the name Caroline Brooks Whitney appears,
in two places, under John Smith^ and Thomas Henry
Smith*, it should read Mary Brooks Whitney.


In submitting to those who bear the name of Merrick a volume
bearing the title of this book, the author would anticipate the
criticisms which will surely follow its examination, by the
declaration that no one can possibly know its shortcomings as
well as he who has put years of labor into the endeavor to fit
together the hundreds of fragments which serve as a nucleus
around which he has built the superstructure which he now pre-
sents to the public under the above title. From nearly every
state and territory of the United States, from Canada, Ireland,
England, Australia, and Hawaii have come these fragments —
sometimes the name of the writer and the name of his father
only, without dates or names of places to serve as guides in
locating the family to which he or they belonged, and it has
been the work of the compiler to trace out and piece together
these fragments, so far as was possible, and marshal them into
families and lines of descent. In many cases this has been
accomplished ; very often it has failed, as a mass of unassigned
names, sometimes of one generation only, in many cases of sev-
eral generations, will abundantly testify. The compiler has no
apology to make, however, for these failures. Family records
have not been kept, or if kept have been lost or destroyed by
accident or lapse of time. The same is true of public records.
Outside the state of Massachusetts very little attention was paid
to the preservation of vital statistics in the early years; and
even in that state very many records have been worn out or lost
during the two centuries since the history of that state began to
be written.

It would be folly to claim absolute correctness in names or
dates in this compilation. The name Merrick has been spelled
in at least eight different ways in the old documents which enter
into this work. Other names of people connected with the fam-
ily by marriage have been found spelled differently in different
documents. Very often two and three different dates of birth,
death or marriage have been found referring to the same event.
In such cases the author has been forced to decide from the best
authority available; very often he may have erred. It would
be miraculous if he did not err at times. Interested parties are
at hberty to decide such questions for themselves, and annotate
the record according to such judgment.

The endeavor of the author has been to follow the Unes orig-
inating in the four brothers Merrick who landed at Charlestown,
Mass., in 1636. In so doing he has not attempted to follow out


two notable lines— that of Samuel Merrick, who came to Phila-
delphia, Pa., in 17(56, when a child, and from whom came Sam-
uel Vaughn Merrick, the well known engineer and engine
builder ; and that of Thomas Duhurst Merrick, of Maryland, from
whom came Hon. Richard Merrick, the great lawyer of Wash-
ington, and Hon. William Matthews Merrick, Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. These lines
will no doubt have their own historians; indeed, a member of
the Philadelphia family is at this time engaged in compiling a
history of that branch.

The County Mayo, Ireland, branch (Roman Catholic) , is rep-
resented in America by hundreds of Merricks, whom the com-
piler has found filling positions of responsibility in many of the
leading cities, notably New York and Boston. They are in poli-
tics, trade and commerce, and Rev. David Merrick, S. J., of New
York city, occupies the pulpit of one of the leading Catholic
churches of "uptown" New York.

Again, the author has not attempted to list the belongings of
the early heads of families. Most of them were farmers, and in
nearly all cases were owners of their farms. Many were sailors,
and followed whaling as an occupation, especially those of the
Nantucket branch, and were part owners in the vessels in which
they sailed. It might be a satisfaction to know that John Mer-
rick, born 1675, died possessed of a copper kettle, valued at 5s.
6d. ; but it is of far greater interest to know that John Merrick
was your ancestor, six or eight generations removed, and that
you are fairly entitled to beUeve that the record of such descent
here presented is reasonably correct. With this thought in mind
the writer has striven to compile a coherent sequence from each
of the four brothers to such of his now living descendants as he
has been able to locate. In this endeavor he has been reasona-
bly successful in many cases ; as before admitted, in many other
cases he has found it impossible to so connect the past with the
present. With the forth-putting of this book he hopes and be-
lieves that such an interest will be awakened that many who
are not here included will take up the search and continue it
until the "missing links" are found. He trusts that the records
herein contained will be of some assistance in such work.

The Merricks have been pioneers from the beginning. Their
business was to hew out civilization from the wilderness and in
the doing of it they neglected to write their own histories for
the benefit of the generations which should follow. They have,
however, left their impress upon the nomenclature of our
country, indicating a certain priority either of settlement or of
influence in the community, as is shown by the following list of
names of counties and towns in the United States and Canada :


Merrickville, Ontario, Canada.
Merrick County, Nebraska.
Merrick, Hampden County, Massachusetts.
Myrick's, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
Myriekville, Bristol County, Massachusetts.
Merrick, Queens County, New York.
Merrick's Corners, Oneida County, New York.
Merrick, South, Queen's County, New York.
Merrickville, Delaware County, New York.
Merrickton, Queen Anne County, Maryland.
Mount Merich, Preston County, Virginia.
Myrick, Lafayette County, Missouri.
Myrick, Jones County, Mississippi.
Merrick, Point Coupee County , •Louisiana.
Merrick, Merrick County, Nebraska.
Myrick's, Shelby County, Texas.
Myricks, Etowah County, Alabama.
Myricks, Northampton, North Carolina.
Meyriek, Bedford, Virginia.

There is also a Cape Mirik, on the west coast of Africa, in
longitude 16 W., lattitude 19>^ N. ; but whether this was named
for one of our Yankee sailors, or for one of the freebooters who
sailed from Anglesey in search of Spanish treasure ships, there
is now no way of deciding.

In closing I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to the late
Reverend James Lyman Merrick, of Amherst, Mass., whose
monograph on the Thomas branch has been of great service in
the compilation of this work, saving a great amount of labor in
searching the original records.

To the late Dr. George Washington Merrick, of Adrian, Michi-
gan, I owe very much for his invaluable assistance in tracing the
descendants of our common ancestor, Joseph^, down to the
latest generation, in all its branches. I also wish to tender my
thanks to Mr. Reuben Myrick, of Richmond, Indiana, and Miss
Harriette Noyes, of Westville, N. H., for valuable assistance in
tracing the James branch ; to Miss Henrietta AmeHa Mirick, of
Boston, Mass., to Mr. George Pritchard Mirick, and his brother,
Reverend Edward A. Mirick, of Dry den, N. Y., for original re-
search in the Jolm branch, and to Mrs. C. L. Alden, of Troy, N.
Y., for important additions to the William branch records.

To Librarian Isaac S. Bradley of the State Historical Society,
and his assistants. Misses Minnie M. Oakley, Florence E. Baker,
Emma A. Hawley, Annie A. Nunns and Eve Parkinson, I am in-
debted for the uniform courtesy with which my many calls have
been responded to ; and also for the many valuable suggestions


they have given me in my search for data relating to my work.
Many others have given valuable assistance, and I desire that
the many with whom I have had pleasant correspondence, will
arrogate to themselves full credit for the measure of service
which they have rendered.


Copies of this book, so long a.s the edition lasts, may be had
only of George B. Merrick, Madison, Wisconsin. The price at
present is $5.00 per copy, postpaid to any part of the United
States. The author reserves the right to advance the price at
his pleasure.




That the Merricks of America are descended from the
purest Celtic stock, is established upon the best of au-
thorities, to-wit, Burke's Peerage. Without attempting
to refer to the original authorities from which the editors
of the "Peerage" compile their family histories, an im-
possibility to any one not acquainted with the ancient
Welsh language, and not in touch with the British Mu-
seum with its wealth of historical data, we may assunae
that whatever bears the imprint of "Burke" is histori-
cally correct. It is the accepted authority in all matters
relating to the ancient families of Great Britain. We
shall therefore content ourselves with quoting from
"Burke's Peerage," edition of 1887, page 946, et seq.,
as follows: 7

"The Meyricks are of the purest and noblest Cambrian
blood, and have possessed the same ancestral estate and
residence at Bodorgan, Anglesey, Wales, without inter-
ruption above a thousand years. They have the rare
distinction of being lineally descended both from the sov-
ereign Princes of Wales of the Welsh royal family, and
from King Edward I., whose eldest son was the first
Prince of Wales of the English royal family. ^ — ^

Cad VAN (Catamanus), descended from a long line of
regal ancestors, was King of North Wales at the end of
the 6th century, and had his palace at Aberffraw. He
fought at Bangor Iscoed, and is supposed to have been
killed there, and buried at Bardsey. His grandson-^

King Cadwaladr, a chivalrous and illustrious Prince,
founded the church of Llangwaladr, A. D. 650 — the
parish church of Bodorgan, which is still the family
seat, near Aberffraw, which became a sanctuary. He
removed thither the remains of King Cadvan, which
were re-buried in a stone coffin. The lid of the coffin
with the following original description, still legible, is
now affixed to the wall inside the church. — "Cai«mawws
Rex, sapientissimus , opinatissimus omnium Begum;'^ i. e.


"King Cadvan, the wisest and most famous of ail
Kings." Cadwaladr began his reign A. D. 680, and was
the last crowned king of the British race. He died at
Rome, and was canonized. He was succeeded by his son —

Idwal Twrch, who was succeeded by his son —

Rhodvi Molwynog, a. D. 703, whose son—

CoNAN, was Prince of North Wales, A, D. 720. His
only daughter and heiress —

EssYLT, was married to Mervyn Vrych, King of
Powys, and their son —

Rhodri Mawr, (Rhoderick the Great), King of all
Wales, began to reign A. D. 843, and fell in battle A.
D. 876. From him were descended, (besides others,)
Owen Gwynnedd, Prince of Wales, A. D. 1136, and—

Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Monau (Menai), and
founder of the H. noble tribe of North Wales and
Powj-s. They were brothers-in-law, their wives being
sisters. Llowarch ap Bran was succeeded by his son,
Meredydd, who married his cousin, Gwenillian, grand-
daughter of Prince Owen Gwynnedd.

Meredydd ap Llowarch, ap Bran, of Bodorgan, whose
descendant —

Eva, daughter of Meredj'ddaj? Cadwgan, of Bodorgan,
his only child and heiress, married Eiuion Sais, the direct
descendant and representative in the 6th degree from —

Cydafael Ynnyd, lord of Cydewain, County Mont-
gomery, and Judge of Powj-s, i. e. regent under the
Prince, of Central Wales, called Powys, or Powys-land.
He was a lineal descendant from Urien, Lord of Rhigid,
A. D. 90, who is claimed to be a dii'ect descendant from
Coel Codebog, a British king, B. C. 262. Cydafael mar-
ried Arienwen, daughter of Jarwarth, the eldest sou of
Prince Meredydd ap Bleddvnn, who was Prince of
Wales, A. D. 1063.

In the year 1212, when the country was threatened bj'
an invasion by the English, Cydafael seized a firebrand
with which he ran from mountain to mountain, sum-
moning the people to arms, whereby he gave such timely
notice that the invaders were repulsed. For this service
his kinsman Llewellyn the Great granted him a coat-of-
arms, viz:

"Sable (to indicate the night) three firebrands, or.,
fired ppr." This coat was augmented {temp. Henry V.),
by a grant to his descendant, Einion Sais, who man-ied
Eva of Bodorgan, of a —


"Chevron arg., charged with a fleur-de-lis gules, be-
tween two choughs, sable, respecting each other."
And a crest was added, viz:

"A castle arg., surmounted by a chough (or Bran)
holding in dexter claw a fleur-de-lis."
This in allusion to castle Dinas-Bran, the principal fort-
ress of his ancestor, Prince Bleddynn, and the place
where Cydafael held his court as Judge of Powys.

Between Cydafael and Einion Sais (omitted by Burke)
the line was through —

Samuel, son of Cydafael;

Madoc, son of Samuel;

Tydyr, son of Madoc;

ToRWORTH, son of Tydyr;

Davydd, son of Torworth;

Einion, son of Davydd. Einion Sais was usher, or
chamberlain, of the Palace of Sheen (Richmond) to
Henry VI. {temp. 1413 — 1471) and so was called "Sais,"
i. e. "Saxon," on account of his being so much in Eng-
land. He fought in the wars of Henry V., by whom his
coat-of-arms was augmented. He was succeeded by his
son —

Heylin, of Bodorgan, (Heylin ap Einiawn, Esq., was
living 1465) whose son and successor —

Llewellyn ap Heylin married Angharad, daughter of
William ap Evan, another decendant of Prince Owen
Gwynnedd. Llewellyn fought at the battle of Bosworth
(1485) on the side of Henry VII., and his two-handed
sword and saltcellar are still preserved at Bodorgan,
where also his saddle was a few years back.

Meyrick ap Llewellyn (Meuric) was a Captain of the
Guard at the Coronation of Henry VIII., April 25, 1509.
He was first High Sheriff of the County Anglesey, which
office he held until his death. From him the name "Mey-
rick," signifying "Guardian," is derived as a surname,
in pursuance of an act of Henry VIII., requiring that the
name of every man at the time should be borne by his
descendants as a surname, there being no surnames be-
fore that time in Wales. He married Margaret daughter
of Roland, Rector of Aberffraw, Anglesey, Wales. His
will is dated 30 Nov., 1538. His children were —

(1) Richard Merrick, Esq., of Bodorgan, Anglesey,
Wales, who succeeded Meyrick ap Llewellyn as High
Sheriff of Anglesey County.

(2) Rt. Rev. Roland Merrick, D. D., Bishop of Ban-
gor, Wales, born, 1505.


C3) William Merrick. Died unmarried.

(4) Owain Merrick. Died unmarried.

(5) Rev. John Merrick, Rector of Llandachya. Wales.

(6) Rev. Edmund Merrick, L. L. D., Arch-deacon
of Bangor, Wales.

(7) Rev. Reynault Merrick, Rector of Llanlechid,

All these except William and Owain were known to
have married and left descendants in the male line.

Meuric's three daughters, Alice, Sionedd, and Agnes,
were also married."

Roland, 2d son of Meyrick ap Llewellyn, was first
Protestant Bishop of Bangor, and was buried in Bangor
Cathedral ; from him are descended the Meyricks of Good-
rich Court, and of Bush., of whom are the Philadelphia
branch of the family in America.

The Charlestown, Mass., branch is supposed to have
been derived from Rev. John Meyrick, 5th son of Mey-
rick ap Llewellyn, all evidence thus far obtainable indi-
cating that source for the four brothers, William, James,
John and Thomas, who settled in Massachusetts in 1636.
Motto of the Welsh Meyricks:

"Se& Ddmv heh ddim: Bdinv a digon.^'
"Without God nothing; God and enough."

Of "Castell-Diuas Bran," noted in the foregoing as
having been the principal fortress of Prince Meredydd ap
Bleddynn, Prince of Wales A. D. 1063, John Timbs,
author of "Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of Eng-
land and Wales," says:

This fortress, of which there remains a remarkably
picturesque ruin, was situated on an artificial plateau,
on the top of a conoid hill, which rises about one thou-
sand feet above the River Dee, in North Wales. The
hill rises so suddenly, and is so completely detached from
the surrounding heights, that it frowns savagely down
upon the quiet glens of the neighborhood, and seems to
overawe the valley of Llangollen, above which it stands.
^An earlier structure, on the same site, is said to have
-been destroyed by fire in the 10th century. The place,
in its almost inaccessible seclusion, afforded a secure re-
fuge from the infuriated Welsh, when Gryffydd ap Madoc
Maelor — his sympathies weaned from his native Wales by
his English wife— took part with Henry III. and Edward
L in their endeavors to subjugate his countrymen.

There is a tradition that the present castle sustained a


siege at the commencement of the 15th century, by Owen
Glyndower, when held by Thomas Fitzalen, Earl of
Arundel, a strenuous supporter of the House of Lancas-
ter. "Dinas" signifies, beyond all doubt, a fortified
place; but as regards the signification of "Bran,*' there
seems to be a great difference of opinion. Some conjec-
ture that the name was taken from Bran, the mountain
stream which runs at the foot of its northern slope. It
should be remembered, however, that "Bran," in Welsh,
means "crow," and the castle is called "Crow Castle" by
the inhabitants of Llangollen, where there is an Inn with
that sign. In Gough's "Camden," it is noted: "Dinas
Bran is vulgarly called "Crow Castle" from Bran, a
crow; but more probably derived by E. Lhuyd, from the
brook Bran, which is crossed by a bridge near Llan-

The principal approach was from the south-east,
through Llandin farm, just below which a bridge once
crossed the Dee on the road of communication between
Castell-Dinas Bran and Castell Crogan (Chirk Castle).
This road doubtless formed a connecting link in the great
chain of Border fortresses in the Welsh Marches.

The walls were built chiefly of small slaty stones, im-
bedded in a good mortar. In many places the walls of
the enciente can scarcely now be traced, and it is only at
those parts which appear to have been the principal
entrance, and the "Keep," that any considerable mass of
masonry is now standing. In no part does any upper
floor remain; indeed the only portion of the ruins which
is not open to the sky, is a chamber with three small,
circular holes in its vaulted roof, near the principal en-
trance, and which has proved an enigma to all recent
engineers. The castle was in ruins in Leland's time
(temp. King Henry VIII.), and the fragments that remain
are falling rapidly into decay. In some places are to be
found mutilated freestone voussoirs, bases of shafts,
groins, sills and corbels, apparently of the stone of the
neighborhood obtained at Cefu. The date of its aban-
donment is unknown; and in the time of Henry VIII.,
Leland could only say of it: "The castelle of Dinas
Bran was never bygge thing, but sett al for strongth as
in a place half accessible for enemyes. It is now all in
ruins and there bredith every yere an Egle — and the
Egle doth sorely assault hym that distroith the nest, goyng
down in one basket, and having a nuther over his head
to defend the sore stripe of the Egle."


To connect the Merricks of America with the Merricks
of Wales is a task presenting no insuperable obstacles
or difficulties, to one having time and means at his dis-
posal to enable him to visit Wales, and with such aid as
he could readily secure there unearth the records of mar-
riages and births between the years 1556 and 1620. The
author has neither time nor means at his disposal, and
has therefore left this interesting task to another hand.
No people, unless it is the Hebrew, is more jealous of
its genealogy than the Welsh. This fact is proverbial.
It is true of all the people — not of a class alone. It
ought, therefore, to be beyond a doubt that a family
having among its members so many churchmen, whose
duty it was to keep'these records for others, should not fail
to keep the record of their own people. Rev. Ed-v^ard
A. Mii'ick of Dry den, N. Y., who has given much time
and study to this question, has made deductions, based
upon ancient Welsh records, family history and tradi-
tion, and the church records of Wales to be found in the
libraries of this country. Mr. Mirick says:

"I do not claim that my conclusions are historically
correct in every particular; but I do claim that nothing
improbable is claimed. Verj^much is historically proven.
In fact, the deductions are based upon recorded facts down
to the 4th generation, John. From that point we have
to assume possibilities, if not probabilities regarding the
children of John, our forefathers of the New England

(See Mr. Mirick's deductions, introduction to John
Mirick branch.)

The following is a literal translation from the ancient
Welsh of one of the records to which Rev. Edward Mirick
refers. "Morfll," in ancient Welsh, signifies "whale,"
i. e. "Whale Parish," of which this is a partial record.
St. Davids, in Pembrokeshire, was a fishing village, and
its "Whale Parish" is the equivalent of "Walnut Hills
Church," or any cognomen, based upon local surround-
ings. This document evidentlj^ accounts for the descent
from "Meyrick the Saxon," to John, whom family tra-
ditions, entirely unconnected with this document, and
in the absence of any knowledge of it, have claimed as
the ancestor of the American brothers. The greatest
obstacle to the acceptance of this John as the father of
the four brothers is based on the fact that the record
here gives the date of birth of Thomas as prior to 1591.
This is not, however, insuperable. It is possible that


the Thomas born prior to the closing of this scrap of
record may have died and a child born later, to-wit, in
1620, have been given the name of the dead boy. That
is the case in many instances in the records of the Amer-
ican Merricks, and it is not improbable that it may have
been the case in this instance. While the record follow-
ing is not proof of the parentage of the four American
Merricks, it may be accepted as strongly pointing to the
fact. The translation is as follows:

From Lewis Boon's Visitation, of Pembrokeshire.
MoRFiL Parish— Rev. William Mirick, ap Llewellyn, son of
Heylin, son of Einion (the Saxon), of Bodorgan, Anglesey, mar-
ried Angharad, daughter of William. Their son, Meyrick, mar-

Online LibraryGeorge Byron MerrickGenealogy of the Merrick-Mirick-Myrick family of Massachusetts, 1636-1902 → online text (page 1 of 45)