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Re: A 1654 Connection: William
Posted by: Sonia (ID *****2803) Date: August 18, 2009 at 09:52:41
In Reply to: A 1654 Connection, New England and Virginia by Bob Kamman of 1154

Who indeed is this “Land lord of Boston William Mery" alive in 1654?

This is a completely new record for me. Not previously seen any evidence of a WILLIAM in Boston at this time. Well done Bob for finding it.

I have two suggestions to throw into the melting pot. I’m not in the States and haven’t seen primary records for any of this.

1. There is the William Merry (and wife Jane) who is first recorded in York Co, Virginia, in 1665/6 with children baptised in Charles City up to 1674 and William himself buried there in 1677. COULD THIS WILLIAM HAVE BEEN IN BOSTON DURING THE PREVIOUS DECADE?

[I already have a wild hypothesis that this William was trading across the Atlantic through the 1650s-1670s. I don't ever want to see this repeated on the internet as fact, until proved, as it is a hunch based on circumstantial and peripheral information only!!!! If he was, though, Boston as his original trading place would be highly likely].

Also, has anyone ever followed up wife Jane Merry’s 1699 ‘will’ as indexed on the online catalogue of the Library of Virginia?

2. The first known MERRY in Boston is Walter Merry the shipwright. There are records of where his shipyard was, but I don't have that detail to hand. The new name of the Point named after him suggests it was a wharf, so it may have been there. Found on internet re British Forts in Boston area:
’North Battery (1646 - 1780, enlarged 1706, 1739, 1774) at Walter Merry's Point, now Battery Wharf. Site dismantled in 1789’

With his first wife Rebecca Bradford (m.1633 in Boston) Walter’s only recorded sons (2x Jeremiah) died in their years of birth (1634 and 1638) and there was also a daughter Rebecca bapt in 1636. James Savage, writing in the 1850s says Elizabeth ’may’ have died soon after her infant son. ('A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England'). However, I don’t believe there is any evidence at all for Elizabeth’s death except that it was before Walter, as a widower, married Mary Dowling/Dolling in 1653. His only known surviving son from this marriage, another Walter, is bapt 1656. I believe the sons of this Walter are the founders of families in (1) Lynn (Mass) and Canada, and (2) Norton/Taunton areas of Mass.

I have long had a suspicion that Walter and first wife Rebecca Bradford may have had other children, whose records have not been found / do not exist. Is this, for instance where the Bradford Merry line (later moved to Georgia) may come from?

COULD THE WILLIAM MENTIONED IN THE 1654 WILL BE A SON OF WALTER THE SHIPWRIGHT? Possibly rather young to be a landlord by then, if his mother was Rebecca Bradford (m.1633). But Walter might even have had another wife prior prior to 1633? Pure speculation.

So, just who is William Merry in Boston in 1654? Who knows?!?!?!? Look forward to maybe finding out one day!

All for now (and away for a week)

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