Several genealogical trees have errors regarding Benjamin Merry (18 May 1784) and his father Malachi.Benjamin’s father Malachi was born on 21 Dec 1741 on Martha’s Vineyard.Malachi’s father was also named Benjamin (16 Jun 1716) and his mother was Hannah Skiff.In the genealogical records of Martha’s Vineyard compiled by Banks, Malachi was confused with his father’s brother Malachi (23 Oct 1714).This mistake is rather obvious by the fact that this other Malachi is much older, and would have been 70 years old by the time that Benjamin was born.
Benjamin’s father Malachi married Rhoda Hillman in Chilmark, Dukes Co., Martha’s Vineyard on 26 Jan 1766 (Massachusetts Marriages 1633-1850).Malachi and Rhoda then moved to Kent, CT, where they had 9 children, Benjamin, Abigail, James, Jirah, Rhoda, Silva, Thankful, Malachi, and an infant that died.Rhoda also died there. The birthdates of their children and the date of death of Rhoda are listed in the Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection, p106). The date of birth of Benjamin is given as 18 May 1784.After the death of Rhoda, Malachi and his children moved to Florida, Montgomery Co., NY, where he later married Jedidah Bassett.Proof that he moved to NY is provided by his will, which is on record in the Montgomery Co. NY Surrogate’s office Book 3 pages 270-271.In his will he mentions his children Malachi, Abigail Jirah, Benjamin, James, Sllvah, Thankful, Rhoda and his “last wife Jidah(now deceased).”Proof of his death in Florida, Montgomery Co., NY and his marriage to Jedidah is also provided by grave markers in County Line Cemetery near Burtonsville, NY as documented (pp 82 and 83) in “A Memorial Census for Duanesburg: with supplement for the bordering towns.”These grave markers state “*In memory of Malachi, who d Augt 22d, 1821, age 79-8-1” and “*Jedidah, departed Feb 10th, 1819, age 69-6-22.”This would give a date of birth for Malachi of 21 Dec 1741, consistent with the birth date of Malachi in the records from Martha’s Vineyard.Jedidah’s death preceded Malachi’s (as stated in his will) and her birth date is calculated to be 19 Jul 1749, which is close to the date given on some genealogical trees for the birth date of Jedidah Bassett of Martha’s Vineyard (17 Jul 1749) who was married to Malachi Merry.Jedidah is listed as a daughter of William Bassett and Anna Mayhew on the Robison, Dunn, Dickson, Bassett and Allied Families website: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=drr45&id=I11607http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=drr45&id=I11607
There is no doubt that Benjamin Merry also lived in Florida, Montgomery Co. NY and died 18 May 1784.There is also no doubt that his wife’s name was Hannah, and that his children were James, William Watson, Alva, Lyman, Malachi, and Jane Catherine.The name of his wife and children are listed in his will, which is on record in the Montgomery Co. NY Surrogate’s office Book 7 pages 214-217.However, there has been some confusion as to the identity of Benjamin’s birth date and parents.Some records have him listed as being born on 18 May 1784, and the son of Malachi and Rhoda.However, other genealogical trees have Benjamin being born on 14 Mar 1783 and the son of William Merry and Sarah Chase.William was related to Malachi through Samuel Merry (1669) and Remember Luce (1669).William Merry died 4 May 1836 on Martha’s Vineyard.Therefore, unlike Malachi, there is no record of William living in Montgomery Co. NY.There are also several other sources that provide evidence that the Benjamin who lived in Montgomery County, NY was the son of Malachi.These include information taken from gravestones and family bibles.
Important information on Benjamin’s identity is contained on gravestones, which is provided in “A Memorial Census for Duanesburg: with supplement for the bordering towns.”According to these records, Benjamin and “Hannah wife of Benjamin” are buried in the County Line Cemetery along with their daughter Jane Catherine, and Malachi and Jedidah, and two of their children, Jirah and Malachi.Therefore, Benjamin and some of his family, and Malachi and some of his family, share the same cemetery.In addition, the notation on the gravestone of Benjamin is listed as “ Benjamin d. Jan 12 1845, age 60-8-5.”This would give Benjamin a birth date of 8 May 1784, which differs from the birth date of the son of Malachi and by 10 days.This error may have occurred because someone added 5 days more than 8 months instead of subtracted 5 days from 8 months.Regardless, the birth date is very different from the birth date of the Benjamin who was the son of William Merry (14 Mar 1783).
MERRY, Richard H. d Feb 13, 1838, age 22-3-6
Mary W., d Dec 24 1843, age 20-0-18. William W., 1811-1851
Francis L. dau of George H. & R. R., d Sept 13, 1843, age 2-4-8
Benjamin, d Jan 13 1845, age 60-8-5
Hannah wife of Benjamin, d Mar 27, 1870, age 85-3-22
Jane C Ladd dau of Benjamin & Hannah, d Sept 23, 1840, age 21-2-25
Amos B. d Dec 20, 1848, age 34
*In memory of Malachi, who d Augt 22d, 1821, age 79-8-1
Lusiana, wife of Malachi, b Nov 8, 1785, d June 25, 1859
*Jedidah, departed Feb 10th, 1819, age 69-6-22
Malachi, d Aug 27, 1870, age 87-9-4
Sally wife of Benjamin E., age 24-7-18
Jirah, d Sept 14, 1849, age 74
Hannah wife of Jirah, d Sept 22, 1851, age 62
The birth date of Benjamin can also be obtained from letters (one notarized) to Myra Merry Kinney from Merry family members who were in possession of family bibles.These bibles gave dates of birth and death of multiple family members, including Benjamin.The first letter is to Myra Merry Kinney from her “cousin” Earl Merry dated Dec. 17, 1911, and is written from the Merry Homestead.It states that he is providing information taken from “Uncle Malachi’s bible”.This is likely to be Earl D. Merry, who was the son of William Melvin, grandson of William Watson, and great grandson of Benjamin.It gives the birth date of Benjamin, Hannah and their children.The birth date given for Benjamin Merry is May 18, 1784.
This bible was also stereotyped by A. Chandler and printed by B. Fenshaw for the American Bible Society in 1844.Bible owned by Mrs. Earl Merry, RD Amsertdam, NY.Copied for Mohawk Chapter, US. Daughters of 1812 by (Mrs. E.N.) Edith VanHousen Hecker, Historian 1852-1853
Benjamin Merry May 18, 1784
Hannah Merry Jan 5, 1785
Alvy Merry Oct 17, 1809
William Watson Merry June 10, 1811
James Merry Jan 26, 1813
Jane Catherine Merry June 28, 1819
Lyman Merry Nov 19, 1822
Malachi J. Merry Nov 28, 1824
Jane Catherine Ladd daughter of Jane Catherine MerrySept 3, 1840
Malachi Merry had two wives, Sarah Jane Smith and Sally Ann Bailey, but no children
Benjamin Merry Jan 13, 1845
Hannah Merry Mar 27, 1870
Alvy Merry June 5, 1810
Jane Catherine LaddSept 23, 1840
William Watson MerryDec 28, 1854
Jane Catherine Jeffers daughter of Jane Catherine LaddNov 9, 1861
Lyman MerryApr 2, 1878
James MerryMay 26, 1878
Malachi J. Merry Apr 16 1892
Sarah Jane SmithApr 19, 1858
The second letter is to Myra Merry Kinney from Lyman George Merry (notarized), and states that the information was taken from the bible of Hannah J. Merry published in 1846 and purchased in 1848 in Albany NY.Lyman George Merry was the grandson of Benjamin’s son, Lyman, and is dated Nov. 27, 1949. The letter states that he is living on the Lyman homestead in Dell Rapids ND.The letter gives the birth date of Benjamin as 1784.The letter also states that Benjamin Merry and Hannah Which were married Jan 4 1809.
Benjamin Merry 1784-1845
Hannah Merry 1785-1850
Alby Merry Oct 17, 1809-June 5, 1810
Wm Watson Merry June 10, 1811-Dec 28, 1851
James Merry Jan 26, 1813-May 26, 1878
Jane Catherine Merry Ladd June 28, 1819-Sept 23, 1840
Lyman Merry Nov 19, 1822-Apr 22, 1878
Malachi Merry Nov 28 1824- Apr 16 1892
1850 United States Federal Census
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Florida, Montgomery, New York; Roll: M432_532; Page: 82; Image: 165.
Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Seventh Census of the United States, 1850. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1850. M432, 1,009 rolls.
Hannah Merry 65
Henry Merry 1
Jane Merry 9
Jane Merry 25
Lyman Merry 27
1860 United States Federal Census
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Florida, Montgomery, New York; Roll: M653_787; Page: 484; Image: 487.
Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1,438 rolls.
James Merry 47
Marry Ann Merry 39
Harrison Merry 17
Cutha Merry 10
Elvah Merry 7
Watson Merry 2
Nancy A Merry 17
Hannah Merry 75
Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) p106
Ancestry.com. Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: White, Lorraine Cook, ed. The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records. Vol. 1-55. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994-2002. vol 2:p138
Abigail, d. Malachi & Rhoda, b. Jan 7, 1770
Benjamin s. [Malachi & Rhoda] b May 18, 1784
Mallachi s. [Malachi & Rhoda] b. Dec. 24, 1782
Rhoda d. [Malachi & Rhoda] b. Apr 26, 1787
Rhoda, w. Mallachi, d. Feb 1, 1789
Mallachi & Rhoda, had d. , b. Jan 16, 1779
d. same day
James, s. [Malachi & Rhoda], b. June 5, 1774
Silva, d. [Malachi & Rhoda], b. Sept 6, 1777
Thankfull, d. [Malachi & Rhoda], b Apr. 16 1780
Jirah, s. [Malachi & Rhoda], b. June 8, 1776
Marriage of Malachi Merry and Rhoda Hillman 26 Jan 1766.
Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Massachusetts Marriages, 1633-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: With some noted exceptions all marriage records in this collection can be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and may be available through Family History Centers throughout the United States. See table below for information listed.