I am researching the Merritt (Merriett)/Smith families of Perry Co Ms and Fairhope Al, and Wilson/Basco families of Arkansas and Gorum LA respectively.
My grandfather David (Dave) Merritt, was from Brooklyn MS. He was born in Forest Co MS around 1878. David(Dave) married Stella Smith Jan 03 1902 in Perry MS. She was born April 11, 1887 in Fairford Al. and died May 5 1971 in Newellton La. Both are buried in the Merriett Cemetery in Newellton LA.
Dave(as I knew him) and Stella had eight children, four sons and four daughters: William, Hardy, Otis (my dad) and Jack, Elizabeth, Oree, Ethiel, and Levetta. All are deceased except Jack.
David's father was William Merritt and was married to Eran McLendon(possibly Sarah Eran). My father recalls and Aunt Mat, Aunt Sabe, and his Aunt Eran, who never married and is also buried in Newellton LA. I have been able to locate census records of Perry Co MS with some of these names and others. The earliest census is 1870 and list a William Merritt and wife Sarah Merritt, and an unnamed female child age four months on Black Creek. According to this census William would have been born around 1845 and is listed as 25 years old, Sarah is also 25.
The 1880 Census for Perry Co Ms list a William Merritt age 38, wife Sarah E age 35, William J age 13 stepson, Francis daughter age 16, Mary Ann daughter age 6, Sabra daughter age 5, and Eran daughter age 1. This census does not match with the 1870 census so I am not sure it the too William's are the same. William lists his Mother and Father from South Carolina, and Sarah's from Mississippi.
The 1890 Census is missing. The 1900 Census for Perry Co. list a William Merrit, age 49 DOB Dec 1851, married 26 years, wife Eran, age 46, DOB May 1854, David, son age 21 born August 1878, Eran, daughter, age 17, born July 1883, Mattie, daughter, age 12, born Marc 1888, Fanny Dossett, daughter, age 23, divorced, no children, Lissie Hinton, gdaughter, age 8, born Feb 1892, and Fairley Melton, boarder, Black, age 22 single. William and David's occupations are listed as day laborers and Fairley is listed as a teamster(oxen). All are listed as able to read and write. William list that he owns his home free, and as a house not farm. Again these ages do not quite match with the 1880 Census.
The 1910 Census for Perry Co I find a David Merritt, Head, age 28 married eight years, wife Stella, age 22, William, son, age 5; Hardy, son age 8, Elizebeth, daughter age 1, William, father age 56, widow, Eran, sister age 30, single. David list his occupation as farmer, working on own account, farm schedule 44, owns free of mortage. David list that he can not read or write and never attended school, Stella list's she can read and write, no school. Stella's mother and father are listed as from Alabama, David's from Mississippi.