MERRY FAMILY CREST
This family - Merry - is of English origin and the oldest of its coats-of-arms is that of the family at Remburne and Bartou, Derbyshire: Ermine, three lions rampant gules, crowned or. Crest: Out of a ducal coronet a demi-lion gules, crowned.
There were several of the family among the early settlers of New England, and their names appear in various forms: Merry, Mere, Merie, Merrey, Marrie, Merrye, Merrys, Mery, Merrow, Mer and Merow.
James Merry, Dover, N.H., 1658 Of James Merry who was admitted an inhabitant of Dover, New Hampshire, 1658, we have no futher record; and the same may be said of Nicholas Merry, who was in Massachusetts, May 7, 1639.
(I) Walter Merry was a shipwright in Boston, Mass., where he was admitted to the church February 9, 1633-4, and as freeman, March 4, the same year; his wife, Rebecca was admitted to the church, December 29, 1633. He had a wharf, dwelling and warehouse at the Point, bearing his name, and later called North Battery, Boston. His wife, Rebecca ____, died July 4, 1653 and he married (2) August 19, 1658, Mary Doling, or Dowling, or Dolens).
Walter Merry was drowned August 28, 1657 and his widow married Robert Thornton of Taunton, Mass., and Boston, Mass. Children of Walter Merry by his first marriage: 1. Joseph Merry (see forward). 2. Henry Merry, b. about 1625 (see forward) 3. Jeremy Merry bapt. Dec. 15, 1634, died young. 4. Rebecca Merry b. Dec. 18, 1636. 5. Jeremiah Merry, bapt. January 1638, died young. Children of Walter Merry and Mary Merry: 6. Sylvanus Merry b. April 8, 1655, died young. 7. Walter Merry b. June 3, 1656 - he removed to Taunton, Mass. with his mother after her second marriage; married, Feb. 17, 1683, Martha Cotterill, who died soon afterward; married second, January 31, 1686, Elizabeth Cunnill - no children known to have survived.
(II) Joseph Merry was born in England about 1620. One account has it that he was 103 years old when he died, at Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, April 5, 1710, but this is evidently a mistake, as all other facts of his life indicate that he was not born before 1620. He was a carpenter by trade. He settled first at Haverhill, Mass., in 1644 and at Hampton, New Hampshire as early as 1654. His first wife, Mary _____, died at Hampton, April 4, 1657, and he m. (2) Elizabeth (Parkhurst) Hilliard, widow of Emanuel Hilliard, who was drowned October 20, 1659, daughter of George Parkhurst, a pioneer of Watertown, Mass. (SEE Register for 1873, p.364). He left Hampton in 1671 and had a grant of land, July 8, 1671 at Martha's Vineyard in the town of Tisbury. He was a Constable there, elected November 22, 1675; had Lot No. 11, granted in the land divisiion of October 22, 1678; was elected surveyor of highways, November, 1678; had a lot granted, swamp land on the other brook at the head of the mill pond, February 9, 1681-2; Commissioner to divide lands, Jan. 22, 1688-9, with Joseph Daggett and Peter Robinson; was authorized to choose his own associates to lay out woodlands, March 3, 1690. His son, Samuel was equally prominent afterward; was on a committee to ask the General Court of Mass. to abate taxes of Tisbury, November 25, 1700; was the third Selectman March 9, 1697; died October 9, 1727. Children of Joseph Merry: 1. Joseph Merry, Jr., b. December 19, 1654. 2. Hannah Merry, b. Nov 29, 1660. 3. Abigail Merry b. October, 1662. 4. Bathsheba Merry b. June 16, 1665. 5. Samuel Merry b. November 16, 1669; died October 9, 1727.
(II) Henry Merry, son of Walter1 Merry, born about 1625; died 1685. The first record of him is at Reading, in 1661, when he m. Jane Walles (Wallace), doubtless of Scots stock. Henry Merry's name was also spelled Merrow, and many of his descendants have followed the same form, and others that of "Mero". His children: 1. Daniel Merry born 1662, m. Elizabeth, the daughter of Dr. James Stimpson of Reading. 2. John Merry who m. Deliverance ____. 3. Henry Merry who m. Miriam Brooks of Woburn, Mass. 4. Samuel Merry (see forward). 5. Joseph Merry b. 1675. Also four daughters.
(III) Dr. Samuel Merry, son of Henry2 Merry, was born at Reading, Mass., Oct. 9, 1670. He learned his profession probably of his brother-in-law, Dr. Stimpson, and the Stimpsons were in later generations neighbors of the Merrys in Maine and New Hampshire. Dr. Merry practiced in Reading and before 1720, settled at Durham, New Hampshire to practice. He died at Rochester, New Hampshire, at the home of his son, in 1740. He m. Mary ____, and their children were: 1. Mary Merry b. Sept 3, 1696; m. Jonathan Nute. 2. Joseph Merry b. Aug. 1, 1698 (see forward)
p.1691 -- MERRY FAMILIES.
3. Benjamin Merry b. May 9, 1700. 4. Jonathan Merry b. Jan 1, 1702; m. Elizabeth Jones & res. at Somersworth, N.H.; had descendants at Dover. 5. Ruth Merry b. Aug 14, 1705. 6. Rachel Merry b. Aug 16, 1707. 7. Samuel Merry b. May 9. 1710; m. Abigail ____, and had a son, Joseph Merry, who m. Mary Dore (See Register, Vol. 21, p.132, Register of January, 1888, p.9)
(IV) Joseph Merry, son of Dr. Samuel3 Merry, was b. Aug 1, 1698 at Reading and removed with his parents to Somersworth, N.H. He bought land at Edgecomb, Maine, in 1731, the deed of which and map are in the possession of his descendant, Rear Admiral Merry, U.S.N., who is the present owner of the old homestead.
Joseph Merry settled there in 1756, removing there from Dover. He married into the Stimpson family, mentioned above. Stimpson is a contraction for Stephenson, and the family was un-doubtledly Scotch. Children: 1. Jonathan Merry. 2. Samuel Merry (see forward). 3. Joseph Merry, Jr. - he was administrator of the estate of Nicholas Kennedy, late of Edgecomb, April 26, 1785. 4. James Merry, was a soldier from Edgecomb in the Revolution. (may possibly have been a grandson, rather than a son).
(V) Samuel Merry, son of Joseph4 Merry, was born at Edgecomb, Maine. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, in Capt. Archibald McAllister's Company, Colonel Samuel McCobb's regiment, in 1779, stationed along the Penobscot. He m. Lydia Moore, of Wiscasset, Maine, and they had children, all born at Edgecomb: 1. Samuel Merry, b. Jan. 27, 1798; m. Elizabeth Hough. 2. Joseph Merry, served as a minute-man in the War of 1812. 3. Joshua Merry was mate of the Brig, "Betsey," which was wrecked in the Bahama Islands; he and all aboard, except one man who escaped, were slaughtered by pirates. 4. Stimpson Merry. 5. John Merry (see forward). 6. Thomas Merry, b. Oct. 30, 1811; m. Dec 20, 1838, Sarah H. Burnham. 7. Maria Merry. 8. Lydia Merry. 9. Abigail Merry. 10. Polly Merry. All the girls grew to adulthood.
(VI) John Merry, son of Samuel5 Merry, was born April 9, 1803 and died June, 1876. He m. Sarah Ann Glidden, who was born at Nobleboro, Maine. They settled at Edgecomb, where their children were born: 1. Sarah Ann Merry b. September, 1827. 2. Charles Glidden Merry b. Feb. 25, 1829. 3. Helen Marr Merry b. about 1834. 4. Mary Merry b. March 23, 1837. 5. John Fairfield Merry b. March 5, 1839; see forward. 6. Louis Merry b. March 17, 1847.
Rear Admiral John Fairfield Merry.
(VII) Rear Admiral John Fairfield Merry, U.S.N., retired, son of John6 Merry, was born at Edgecomb, Maine, March 5, 1839. He received his education in the public schools of his native town, and during his youth worked on the farm of his father. At the age of 17, he sent to sea and was in the merchant marine service for six and a half years, and was first officer during three years of this time. His naval career begtan during the Civil War, he being appointed Ensign in the United States Navy, october, 15, 1862, and his first service was aboard the historic old frigate "Macedonian," famous for its capture from the British by Decatur, with the "Constitution," and its subsequent splendid career under the American flag. He served in various vessels of the North Atlantic blockading squadron, and parti-cipated in the assault on Fort Powhatan, in the James River at Whitehead's landing and various other engagements. He was in the "Oscola," in the attack on Fort Fisher, January 15, 1865 and in the memorable shore assault, he led the assault party from his ship, and received three severe wounds, one in the leg, which necessitated the use of crutches for one year, and caused him to suffer lameness for years. His gallantry upon this occasion won for him promotion to the grade of Junior Lieutenant. About the close of the war he was assigned to duty in the receiving ship, "Ohio," at the Charlestown Navy Yard. In 1868 he received his appointment as Ensign in the regular Navy service, and the same year went on duty with the Asiatic fleet in Chinese waters, serving several vessels, the great part of the time on the flagship, "Delaware." March 21, 1870, while on this service, he was pro-moted to Lieutenant. Ordered home from the East, he was ordered to duty at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, later served a year in the sloop-of-war, "Junita," and for two years afterward was in charge of the recruiting office at the Charlestown Navy Yard. From 1875 to 1877, he was in command of the receiving ship, "Relief." He was on special hydrographic service from 1876 to 1879, in the Mediterranean, as Executive Officer of the "Gettysburg." From 1879 to 1881, he was on duty in Florida, inspecting Naval timberlands. He was next dis-patched to St. Johns, Newfoundland, where he selected and chartered the "Proteus" for the Greely Artic expedition.
In 1881 he served in the department of torpedo instruction at Newport. He was next assigned to the command of the "Tallapoosa," in which he served from 1881 to 1884.
Lieutenant Merry was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in December, 1883 and served as executive officer of the flagship, "Marion" on the Asiastic station until 1887. From 1888 to 1889, he was Executive Officer of the "Michigan," on the Great Lakes. From 1889 to November, 1892, he was executive officer of the receiving ship "Wabash" at the Charles-town Navy Yard. He was then (1893) promoted to Commander, and assigned to the command of the nautical school-ship, "Enterprise," and was so engaged until December, 1895, when he was placed on special duty as President of the Naval Inspection Board at the New York Navy Yard. He was then ordered to duty with the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and on the completion of this duty was made inspector of ordinance at the Washington Navy Yard. In 1897 he was ordered to the command of the ship "Machias," and joined the ship in Corea and a year later brought his vessel to Key West, Florida (April 11, 1898), in time to take part in the opening scenes of the Spanish-American War. April 12, 1898, he left Key West and as senior officer present rendered service off the north coast of Cuba, and about Havana, being in charge of the "Machias" and "Arethusa" at the time of the surrender of Havana. On November 19, 1899, he was appointed Commandant of the Naval station at Honolulu, and during his tour of duty here, was ordered to Guam to make a survey of the island and harbor of San Luis d'Apra, with a view to fortifying and building a naval and coaling station. He was on special duty to the Samoan Islands while on this station. He was promoted to the rank of Captain, December 29, 1899 and early in 1902, to that of Rear Admiral, being retired with that rank on March 5, 1902. He was, however, retained in active service some months after retirement, flying his Rear Admiral's flag.
In whatever rank or station Admiral Merry served his country, he proved faithful, efficient and competent. He became skillful in his profession and rose to his rank through his own merit and sailorlike qualities. He ever enjoyed the esteem and respect of subordinates, and the confidence and admiration of his superiors in rank, throughout his entire professional career. His services to the Government were of conspicuous usefulness.
He bore himself gallantly during the Civil War period and in times of peace, his labors reflected credit upon himself and honor upon his Country. Of his fifty years passed in the naval establishment, 28 were in foreign service and his reports of surveys of foreign waters and strategic points were of permanent value. The most recent recognition of his abilities and achievements came to him April 1, 1907, when the Massachusetts Commandery of the Military order of the Loyal Legion, elected him Commander. The significance of this high compliment lies in the fact that this distinguished body numbers some 900 men, all of whom performed honorable and meritorious service as Commissioned Officers in the Army or Navy during the Civil War, and the election of Admiral Merry to the position of Commander is one of the very few instances in which the Naval branch of the service has been thus honored.
Since his retirement, Admiral Merry has made his home in Somerville, Massachusetts, at 142 Highland Avenue. He was a member of the Loyal Legion, as before stated, of the Army and Navy Club of Washington, the Union Club of Boston and the Central Club of Somerville.
He married, August 11, 1862, Nancy J. Winslow of Damariscotta, Maine. Afterward he m. (2) Mrs. Etta C. Reynolds. No children were born of either marriage.
[Source: Historic Homes and Places of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth]
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