Henry Merritt, immigrant ancestor, was born in England, and settled among the first at Scituate, Mass., probably as early as 1626. In 1628 certainly he was there, as shown by a deed to Nathaniel Tilden of planting land on the third cliff. His house lot in 1633 was at the corner where the "draft-way" crosses Greenfield Lane. He was admitted a freeman, Feb. 1, 1638. He was prominent in community affairs. He was on the list of those able to bear arms in 1643. He had a large share in New Habor marshes and was one of the Coihasset partners. He is said to have been born in county Kent, England, 1599. He died at Scituate, Nov. 30, 1653, and administration was granted to his son John, Jan. 24, 1654-54. Goody Merritt, perhaps his wife, joined the church April 16, 1637.
1. Henry, died without issue before 1673.
2. John, mentioned below.
(II) John, son of Henry Merritt, was born about 1635, died in Scituate, in middle life, about 1674. He married Elizabeth Weyborne. He lived at Scituate.
1. Deborah, born March, 1655.
2. John, mentioned below.
3. Henry, Jan. 1662.
4. Jonathan, July 1664.
5. Mary, Dec. 1667.
6. Elizabeth, July 1670.
The ages of the childrfen are all given in the inventory taken in the latter part of February, 1676.
(III) John (2), son of John (1) Merritt, was born in 1660 at Scituate, being "aged sixteen last February," according to the inventory Feb. 1676. He died at Scituate, June 5, 1749. He married Elizabeth Hyland, of Scituate.
Children, born at Scituate:
1. John, August, 1687.
2. Thomas, September, 1688.
3. Elizabeth, 1690-91.
4. Abigail, November, 1700.
5. Jonathan, May, 1702, mentioned below.
6. David, October, 1703.
7. Ebenezer, Dedember 25, 1705.
8. Ezekiel, March 22, 1709-10.
(IV) Jonathan, son of John (2) Merritt, was born in May, 1792 at Scituate, died in Hebron, Tolland county, Conn., Oct. 27, 1758. He married at Scituate, Jan. 8, 1727, Mehitable Damon. He settled in Hebron about 1730.
1. Jonathan Jr.
2. Simon, born 1728.
3. Noah, mentioned below.
Probably other children.
(V) Noah, son of Jonathan Merritt, was born at Scituate or Hebron, 1732, died at Templeton, Worcester county, Mass., March 24, 1814, aged, according to town records, eighty-two years, seven months.
He married Sarah _____, who died Feb. 6, 1830, aged ninety-one years.
Children, recorded except the eldest as born at Templeton:
1. Noah, October, 1758, mentioned below.
2. Abel, May 2, 1760.
3. Lucy, May 25, 1762.
4. Sarah, Aug. 20, 1764.
5. Henry, March 1, 1767.
6. Esther, March 17, 1769.
7. Simeon, May 23, 1771; died Dec. 6, 1844.
8. Eunice, June 17, 1773.
9. Wilks (twin), Sept. 7, 1775; died young.
10. Molly (twin), Sept. 7, 1775.
11. Uriah, Nov. 19, 1777.
12. Molly, May 14, 1780.
13. Hannah, June 6, 1782.
(VI) Noah (2) son of Noah (1) Merritt, was born at Templeton in October, 1758, died at Sudbury, Rutland county, Vermont, Aug. 21, 1843. He was a soldier in the revolution from Templeton, in the Seventh Worcester County Regiment, Continental army, Captain Morse, Colonel Rufus Putnam, enlisting for three years, Feb. 21, 1778. He was also in the Fifth Regiment, Captain Gardner, in 1780. The descriptive list shows that he was of light complexion, five feet eleven inches tall, and aged twenty-three in 1780 when he was at Springfield with the recruits.
He settled at Brandon, Vermont, in 1785. He married Eunice Metcalf at Templeton, April, 1781. Their son Noadiah is mentioned below.
Noah had a personal acquaintance with Washington and was in the army altogether for six years.
(VII) Noadiah, son of Noah (2) Merritt, was born in Templeton, Dec. 3, 1782, died at Pierrepont, New York, Jan. 1, 1854. He married Relief, daughter of Jeremiah and Relief (Rogers) Parker. Her mother was descended, according to family tradition, from John Rogers the Martyr.
(VIII) General Edwin Atkins Merritt, son of Noadiah Merritt, was born in Sudbury, Vermont, Feb. 26, 1828. He left his home at the age of ten years, to live with a married sister at Westport, Essex county, N.Y. In 1841, with his father's family, he emigrated to St. Lawrence county, where he has spent the remainder of his life.
He is now living (1910) in Potsdam, N.Y. He had a good public school education and taught school in St. Lawrence county for a time; having resolved to become a surveyor he qualified himself and pursued that profession for several years, mainly in the Adirondacks. He published the first map for the use of tourists in the wilderness. He was the engineer in charge of the construction of the eastern secion of the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg railroad. In 1854 he was elected supervisor of the town of Pierrepont and re-elected the two following years. In 1857-58-59-60 he was clerk of the board of supervisors of the county. In 1859 he was elected member of the state assembly from the second district of this county, receiving a plurality of one thousand three hundred and two votes, and in 1860 was re-elected by two thousand, two hundred and fifty-nine plurality. In the assembly his directness and honesty of purpose, his sound judgment and good sense gave him a position of great usefulness and influence. In 1867 he was elected to the constitutional convention of the state of New York and was chairman of the committee on organization of the legislature. For several years he was a leading member of the Republican state central committee. In March, 1869, he was appointed naval officer of the port of New York by President Grant, and held that office for sixteen months, being removed to make place for Moses H. Grinnell, formerly collector of the port.
In 1875 the Republican state convention nominated him for state treasurer, but the party was in the minority that year. In 1877 President Hayes appointed him surveyor of the port of New York to succeed General Sharp, and his administration was so successful that the president promoted him to the collectorship of the port in July, 1878. Up to that time he was the only man who had ever held the three offices of surveyor, naval officer and collector of the port of New York.
Among the first nominations made by President Garfield after his inauguration in 1881 was that of General merritt for counsul-general at London. He filled this office with characteristic zeal and efficiency. He was succeeded in 1885 by Thomas M. Waller, exgovernor of Connecticut, appointed by President Cleveland.
After his retirement from the naval office in 1871 he was offered the post of United States minister to Brazil through the suggestion of Hon. William A. Wheeler, the congreeman, afterward vice-president of the United States, but he felt constrained by circumstances to decline the office.
He was an intimate friend of Hon. John Sherman and a warm supporter of the Ohio statesman for president. He was for many years a personal friend of Horace Greeley, and was one of his supporters for president.
He had a notable military career. At the beginning of the civil war he became active in the work of raising troops, and he himself went to the front as quartermaster of the Sixtieth New York Regiment of Volunteers. He was for some time with the Army of the Potomac, and after the battle of Gettysburg went west, participating in the battles about Chattanoga and in Sherman's March to the Sea, as far as Altoona Mountain, nera Marietta, Georgia. While in the field at this point, her received from President Lincoln a commission as commissary of subsistence with the rank of captain, and was ordered to Washington and stationed on the Potomac river to supply reinforcements proceeding to join Sheridan's army. At the close of the campaign he was stationed at Annapolis, Maryland, to pay commutation of rations to the soldiers returning from rebel prisons. While on this service he was appointed quartermaster general on the staff of Governor Fenton and entered upon the duties of his office Jan. 1, 1865, and continued until Jan., 1869.
General Merritt has always taken an active interest in educational affairs, and was especially influenctial in securing the location of the State Normal School at Potsdam. He was for many years president of the board of trustees of the Normal School and of the corporation of St. Lawrence University at Canton. He is trustee of Clarkson Institute of Technology of Potsdam. He is a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion. Both in private and public life, General Merritt has shown himself to be a patriotic and useful citizen. Since retiring to private life, has has made his home at Potsdam, and he enjoys the respect and esteem of all his townsmen.
He married, May 5, 1858, Eliza, daughter of Jacob Rich.
1. Edwin Atkins, mentioned below.
2. Arthur Rich, born Aug. 31, 1863, died 1867.
3. Parker Wilson, Dec. 7, 1865, died 1867.
4. Darwin Fenton, July 21, 1867, died 1875.
(IX) Edwin Atkins (2) son of General Edwin Atkins (1) Merritt, was born at Pierrepont, New York, July 25, 1860, and was educated in the public schools there, in the State Normal School at Potsdam, and in Yale College, from which he graduated in the calss of 1884. In 1886 he went to England and was for a year deputy consul-general at London. On his return to this country, he took up the study of law in the office of Parker & McIntyre, Potsdam, and later was admitted to the bar. He is a member of the law firm, Ingram Merritt & Merritt. He belongs to the Bar Association of St. Lawrence County and to the State Bar Association. He is one of the owners of the Potsdam Red Sandstone quarries and of the Hannana Falls Power Company, which furnishes electricity to the town of Gouverneur, also to Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Canton and Jermon, and manufactures ground wood pulp.
In politics he is a Republican; he was vice-president of the League of Republican Clubs of the state of New York for several years; was supervisor of the town of Potsdam for seven years; was elected to the assembly in 1901 for the second district of St. Lawrence county and has been re-elected at each succeeding election. He has taken a leading position in the legislature by virtue of his long service and efficient labors. He was a member of the committee on general laws, fisheries and game, in 1902; on insurance, general laws and trades and transportation in 1903; chairman of general laws and member of fisheries and game, trade and manufactures in 1904, chairman of the committee on canals and of the committee on agriculture in 1905; chairman of the committee on general laws and member of ways and means and of agriculture in 1906; chairman of the committee on railroads and member of ways and means and the rules committee in 1907. At the end of the session of 1907 he was appointed a member of the joint committee of senate and assembly to report a new code of highways laws and provide for a system of improved highways for the state. In 1908 he became the Republican leader of the assembly and chairman of ways and means and member of the committee on rules. In 1909 he was again chairman of the committee on ways and means and member of the committee on rules, and by virtue of his position, Republican leader.
He is a member of the Raquette River Lode, Free and Accepted Masons; of St. Lawrence Chaper, Royal Arch Masons, of Potsdam; of St. Lawrence Commandry, Knights Templar, of Canton; of Media Temple, Mystic Shrine, of Watertown, N.Y.
He married, Jan. 24, 1888, Edith Sophia, born June 2, 1845, daughter of Edward H. and Mary (Putnam) Wilcox, of Potsdam. Her grandfather, Horace Wilcox, was born in Berlin, Conn., Sept. 9, 1793, died Aug. 16, 1853; married Sophia Lombard, born in Pawlet, Vermont, Aug.1 6, 1797, died June 2, 1882.
They have one daughter, Esther May, born in Potsdam, June 11, 1894.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids