MERRITT FAMILY

We find the arms of Merritt, of Wiltshire, England are Barry of Six, Gold on, Sable, a band of Ermine.

The earliest reliable record of this branch of the family is contained in the following receipts which were found amongst the papers of Nathaniel Merritt.

           WESTCHESTER COUNTY, March 17, 1730.
Rec'd of John Merritt, the sum of 1 pound, 11 shillings, 7 pence half penny in full.

                             JAMES WOOD.
 

       January 15, 1759.
Then received of Nathaniel Merritt, the sum of eighty-nine pounds, it being part of the taxes due from North Castle in the year 1758.

                     I say received by me,
                        WILLIAM WILLETT.
      S  D
  113 16 10 1/2
   89
 

   24 19 10 1/2
JOHN1 MERRITT and wife ? Elisabeth or Mary had:

  Nathaniel2 b. 1725, m. Anne Fowler, dau. of Joseph
   and Hannah, he d. 7, 4, 1803.
  Stephen2 m. lived at White Plains.
  Naomi2 m. a White.
Mary2 m. Alanson Lewis, she sent letter to her bro. N. from N. Brunswick.

  Deborah2 unm. d. 1820, some evidence of another
    dau. m. a Lent.
NATHANIEL2 MERRITT and Ann Fowler had:

  John3 b. 23, 3, 1758 at Cortland Manor, m. 1784,
    Phebe Weeks, dau. of Joseph, he d. 27, 10, 1833.
  James3 m. 1788, Sarah, sister of Phebe, dau. of
    Joseph Weeks and Phebe (Underhill).
  Jesse3 b. 20, 2, 1767, at Peekskill, m. 1789, Mary
    Cornelius, dau. of John, he d. 30, 3, 1843.
Anne3 m. John Ogden and had Jemima, Gilbert and Mary.

Jemima4 Ogden m. 1st JOHN1 SMALL had son John5 d. m. 2d 1793, a Close.

Mary4 Ogden m. 1796, EBENEZER CHICHESTER had JOHN5 b. 1797, m. and had son Nathaniel6 m. lived at Amityville, L. I., Mary4 Ogden d. 1798.

Jesse3 Merritt and Mary d. 7, 11, 1840, (Cornelius) dau. of John and Mary (Powell) had:

  Mary4 d. 1791.
  Elisabeth4 b. 20, 10, 1793, m. 26, 3, 1817, Ardon
    Seaman, son of Zebulun, she d. 3, 2, 1875. he d.
    2, 4, 1875.
  John4 C. b. 2, 7, 1796, m. 1835, Phebe H. Albertson,
    he d. 26, 1, 1891.
  Mary Ann4 b. 2, 1, 1799, m. 1st 1826, Whitehead
    Hicks m. 2d Robt, Seaman, she d. -- 5, 1887.
John2 son of Nathaniel1 Merritt settled in New York.

In 1684. Was a Merchant, the firm name was Merritt & Webb, removed to New Brunswick in 6th month 1785, in partnership with his father at Gage Town. Returned in 1787, and in 1778, had farm at Bethpage, L. I. His right of membership amongst Friends seems to have been acquired by his m. in 1784 with a Friend belonging to Amawalk Monthly Meeting, such being the rule of that day.

While at Bethpage, he was an active member of Westbury Monthly Meeting, was on the Committee when Jericho Monthly Meeting was set off from Westbury in 11th month 1789.

1792. John2 Merritt and Phoebe his wife had certificates of removal from Westbury to Amawalk, M. M.

1793. Sold farm at B. to Moses Cornelius.

1798. Jericho Monthly Meeting sent certificate to New York, M. M. for Anne, dau. of John and Phebe Merritt.

1799. John in Flour Business in N. Y. 1802 the firm name was Merritt & Anderson.

The children of JOHN and Phebe (Weeks) Merritt.

Ann b. 1785, m. Nathan Comstock, she d. in Brooklyn 13, 9, 1860.

  Phebe b. 1789, m. 1807, William F. Mott N. Y.
   she d. 1859.
  Joseph b. 1791, 1794 Samuel d.
  Deborah b. 1797, m. 1816, Richard Field, of
   Brooklyn, she d. 1875.
  Louisa b. 1799, she d. 1818.
  Nathaniel S. b. 1802, m. Mary King, he d. 1890.
  John J. b. 1804, m. Hannah Brown, he d. 1871.
  Sarah b. 1807, she d. 26, 4, 1827.
(*)James son of Nathaniel1 Merritt, m. 1788, Sarah Weeks, sister of Phebe, lived in New York, They
(*)James became a member by request. The rule allowing one to come
in by marrying had been abolished.
 were daughters of Joseph Weeks and Phebe, nee Underhill, of Chappaqua, children:

 Joseph, Nathaniel, Richard m. Maria Jones.
 James m. Mary Finch.
 Mary m. Richard Cromwell.
 Phebe m. Nathaniel Hawxhurst.
 Anne single.
 Sarah m. John Cromwell.
 

Tradition says that Nathaniel Merritt of Peekskill, being a Tory, (or shall we say Loyal to his King) his neighbors set upon him to do him harm, and that he took his little Jesse into a small boat and rowed for New York. The rebels sent word ahead, so that when he reached N. Y. a mob on the dock seized him and some cried string him up, but the Mayor hearing the cry, went to the mob and telling them he would shut him (N. M.) up they desisted from their rash purpose. The Mayor then put him in the prison, and sent the son home to his mother in Peekskill. How N. M. got away is not told, but we next find him gathering a Company together as Militia men in the Kings service on Long Island, himself Captain, his son John a Corporal or (???). Soon tradition comes in again, and says, the wife got a pass for herself and her son Jesse and joined her husband on L. I.; finding her husband about to FIGHT against the Rebels, she said to him, "I can live in a cave, or on bread and water, or even starve if need be, but this I cannot stand. Tradition or no tradition, he passed his Company over to another Captain and opened a store at Raynortown, neither he nor his son ever went into the battlefield, but after the war was over they deemed it safer for them to join the exiles, and they all went to what was then called Nova Scotia, now New Brunswick. Frederickton the capitol of N. B. was then called St. Ann, Tradition also says that Nathaniel Merritt's daughter Anne, wife of John Ogden, died on the way to N. S. and was buried at Sea.

Nathaniel Merritt was tax collector in North Castle, Westchester Co., in 1758, also engaged in the settlement of the Leases and Releases between Pierre VanCortland and Robert Gilbert Livingston.

The Lieut. Gov. and the Assembly appointed him to survey 4151 acres of land in 1760. He was constable of Cortland Manor from 1663 to 1666. In 1664 he surveyed a farm at Croton River in the tenure of Hicks Seaman, served as one of three arbitrators in a difference between J. McChain and Isaac Kronkhite, he was a merchant at Peekskill until 1776. In 1778 Loyalist in Long Island Capt. Nathaniel Merritt and his son John. In 1780 he had a store at Raynortown, L. I. Aug. 3, 1783, Captain Nathaniel Merritt's Company left New York in the ship Cyrus and arrived at St?? John's river the 11th day of Sept. They were supplied with rations about 3 monrhs.

In 1784 he was negotiating with Zephania1 Kingsby for a store at Gage Town, N. Brunswick. N. B. was then separated from Nova Scotia, and Nathaniel Merritt's Company settled in that province. All his sons, and his son-in-law John Ogden were in company with him in the store at Gage Town in 1785, and there are store accounts at Waterborough, Queens Co. New Brunswick as late as April 15, 1788, and others at Amityville, Queens Co., L. I. as early as June 13, 1788.

N. Merritt was Notary Public, Registrar, Surveyor and farmer as well as merchant during the five years that he was in N. B. In 1788 Thomas Wetmore was registrar and N. M. passed the Book of Records over to him on the 23d of February, sd book contained record of the deeds &c. from No. 1 to No. 132, of Queens Co., N. B. N. M. sold his real estate in Waterborough to John Leonard for the consideration of 200. It consisted of two lots Nos. 12 and 14 of Coll Spry's grant on the St John river. May 1, 1789, N. and son Jesse Merritt were in partnership in two stores, one at Jerusalem in Obadiah Jackson's house, remained there till 1793, and Jesse's daughter Elisabeth, was born there, as may be proved by the store records. The other store was in Huntington Township. In the course of 1793 N. and Jesse Merritt bought 118 acres of land on Josiah's Neck, and in 1794, John and Sarah Hewlett, and Charles and Martha Hewlett of Oysterbay, sold to them Mill &c. at Oysterbay, West Neck for over 200, but they soon dissolved partnership and Nathaniel went to Brooklyn, and opened a store and public house in 1696, his wife died 23, 11, 1800. In 1802 he was boarding at Henry Whitsons, in Bethpage, town of Oysterbay, L. I., he built a small shop there. Last record in his book Jan. 15, 1803, says put 56, 14s, 6d, in Henry's desk. He (N. M.) died at his son Jesse's 17, 4, 1803, in Bethpage just across the street from Henry Whitson's. His will was dated Dec. 19, 1800.

Jesse Merritt, son of the above, born at Peekskill, 20, 2, 1769, was with his father on L. I. in 1781 when 3, 15s, 6d, was paid for his schooling. The home was then at Raynortown, (now 1888, Freeport) he (J. M.) next appears as one of the company on board the Cyrus, bound for St Johns river.

1785. Feb. 10, although 10 days less than 19 years old, he (J. M.) came into possession of lot No.

12, of Coll Spry's grant, which lot he afterward sold to his father. In Sept. 1785 he was in partnership with his father in the store in Waterborough Township, Queens Co. New Brunswick.

                                   April 17, 1787.
This certifies whom it may concern, that Mr. Jesse Merritt, Deputy Surveyor, has attended my office for some time to qualify himself as a Deputy Surveyor, having before studied the theory of that business, and I do on a strict examination find him qualified in all respects to execute that duty.

                             GEO. SPROULE,
                                  Surveyor General.
 
 

SURVEYOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, ST JOHN.
There is an Acc't of Records and papers delivered by Mr. Jesse Merritt (Deputy Clerk to James Cluert Esq.) clerk of Thomas Wetmore, Esq. the present clerk of Queens County, the eighth day of Oct. 1787.

1st the charter of Queens Co.

2d and 3d Deeds, &c., &c., &c.

Jesse Merritt requested and became a member of Jericho Monthly Meeting of Friends in 1788. He was married (by Friends ceremony the 6 of 5, 1789, at Bethpage) to Mary Cornelius, dau. of John and Mary (Powell). A warm friend of Elias Hicks he went with him as companion, on his very trying journey through the then far West in 1828. They traveled with their own conveyance over mountains and through wildernesses in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana, taking six months for the trip. They held and attended many meetings, and his account of the Mary Cornelius, daughter of John and Mary Cornelius of Oysterbay in the County and State aforesaid, having declared their intentions of marriage with each other before two several monthly meetings of the People called Quakers at Westbury, according to the good order used among them, and having consent of parents and nothing appearing to obstruct, was approved by said meeting.

Now these are to certify all whom it may concern, that for the full accomplishment of their said intentions this sixth day of fifth month one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine -- They the said Jesse Merritt and Mary Cornelius appeared in a Public Meeting of said People and others at Bethpage, and the said Jesse Merritt, taking the said Mary Cornelius by the hand did in a solemn manner openly declare that he took her to be his wife promising by Divine assistance to be unto her a true and loving husband until death should separate them, And then in the said Assembly the said Mary Cornelius did in like manner declare that she took the said Jesse Merritt to be her husband promising by Divine assistance to be unto him a true and loving wife until death should separate them. And morever the said Jesse Merritt and Mary Cornelius, she according to the custom of marriage assuming the name of her husband, as a further confirmation thereof did then and there, to these presents set their hands.

                              JESSE MERRITT,
                              MARY MERRITT.
And we whose names are hereunto subscribed being present at the solemnization of said marriage and subscription have as witnesses thereto set our hands the day and year above written.
 

 JOHN WHITSON,                                        MARY RUSHMORE,
 DEBORAH WHITSON,                                 HANNAH WHITSON,
 HENRY WHITSON, JR.                                 THOMAS WHITSON,
PHEBE WHITSON,                                         JOHN CORNELIUS,
 MARY WHITSON,                                         MARY CORNELIUS,
ELISABETH PEARSALL,                                 MARTHA POWELL,
 SARAH ALLEN,                                             PHILENA POWELL,
JOHN MERRITT,                                             ROWLAND PEARSALL,
 JAMES MERRITT,                                         SAMUEL POWELL,
PHEBE MERRITT,                                         JAMES OAKLEY,
 SARAH MERRITT,                                         ELISABETH OAKLEY,
ANNA PEARSALL,                                         THOMAS TITUS,
 ISAAC POWELL,                                           DAVID WILLETS.



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