Telling my family's stories
William Merrick’, the oldest of the four brothers who reached Charlestown in the good ship ‘James’ in the spring of 1636, was born in Wales in 1603. Of his early life nothing is known. He was a farmer by occupation after reaching the Colony; what trade or avocation he had followed in Wales is not known. That his instincts and tastes inclined him toward a military life appear in the fact that he served for six years, after his arrival in the colony, in the colonial militia under Captain Myles Standish. He was spoken of first as an Ensign, and later as a Lieutenant. That he gave all his time and attention to his military duties seems to be indicated by the fact that he was not married until 1642, which was at the end of his six years’ term of service.
He appears to have had property both at Eastham and Duxbury. He was probably married at Eastham. but the destruction of a part of the first book of records of that town renders it impossible to determine this fact definitely. He certainly lived in both Eastham and Duxbury, within the decade from 1637 to 1647, as some of his children were born at Eastham during that time, and yet he is reported as being a citizen of Duxbury. The records relate that he was a citizen of Duxbury in 1636; was alloted 5A. of land “Next the Glade at Powder Point;” in 1637 he was allotted another 20A. at Great Head; he was one of the original proprietors of Bridge water. He was Surveyor of Highways in 1646, and Constable in 1647. He married at Eastham in 1642, Rebecca, whose surname is not known. He became a legal voter in Eastham Maj- 22, 1655, which is the time when he took up his permanent residence in that town, his other visits having probably been with his wife’s family. He had ten children born to him by Rebecca, who died in 1668 at Eastham.
In his will, dated December 3, 1686, and proved March 6, 1688-9, he is described as “about 86 years of age,” by which it would seem that he was about 43 years old when the first of his ten children was born, and he might seem to be the grandfather of this family rather than the father, were it not that he names his wife, Rebecca and his children, Stephen and William, in his will.”
The children of William and Rebecca Merrick were —
i. William, b. September 15, 1643.
ii. Stephen, b. May 12, 1646.
iii. Rebecca, b. July 28, 1648.
iv. Mary, b. November 4, 1650; m. Stephen Hopkins, son of Stephen Hopkins of the ‘Mayflower.’
v. Ruth, b. May 15, 1652; m. January, 1677, Edmund Freeman, son of Major John and Mercy (Prence) Freeman,
vi. Sarah, b. August 1, 1654; m. December 18, 1672, John Freeman, son of Major Jolm and Mercy (Prence) Freeman,
vii. John, b. January 15, 1656-7.
viii. Isaac, b. Januaiy 6, 1660-1.
ix. Joseph, b. June 1, 1662.
x. Benjamin, b. February 1, 1664-5.
- George Byron Merrick, GENEALOGY OF THE 'HERRICK-MIRICK-MYRICK FAMILY OF MASSACHUSETTS, 1902