36. Ruth3 Wallingford (James2, Nicholas1) was born probably in Bradford, Mass. before 25 September 1698. She was baptized in Bradford on 25 September 1698.(595) Ruth died sometime after 23 September 1782. (The date of her petition to the court)
She married three times. She married first, Nathaniel Merrill, 10 June 1718, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(596) Nathaniel was born 26 July 1687, in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(597) Nathaniel was the son of John Merrill and Lucy Webster. Nathaniel died 25 August 1737, in the West Parish, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, at 50 years of age.(598) Nathaniel was buried in the first burying ground of the West Parish in Haverhill.
Ruth married second, Benjamin Wood, in July 1744, in Dracut, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.(599) Ruth and Benjamin's intention was filed in Dracut on 7 June 1744. She was from Haverhill, Mass. at the time.(600)
Benjamin was born 22 September 1689, in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts.(601) There was another Benjamin born 11 September 1687 in Dracut, no parents named in the record, who may be the correct one. Some website sources state this as Benjamin's birth date. More research is needed. Benjamin was the son of Josiah Wood and Margaret Hopkins.
Benjamin died 8 October 1755, in Dracut, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.(602) Ruth married third, Ebenezer Parker, 11 March 1757, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(603) He was of Chelmsford, Mass. and she was of Dracut, Mass. when they were married. Their intention was filed in Chelmsford 3 July 1756.
Ebenezer was born 17 December 1690, in Chelmsford, Mass..(604) Ebenezer was the son of Thomas Parker and Mary Fletcher. Ebenezer died 27 January 1773, in Chelmsford, Mass..(605) Nathaniel Merrill was a cooper. Two of their children died in the "throat distemper" epidemic that struck the area killing thousands in 1735, mostly children.(606) Ruth's second husband Benjamin Wood was from Dracut, Mass. and they moved to Chelmsford, Mass.(607) In 1768 and again in 1782 Ruth petitioned the court in an attempt to have the guardianship of her son Daniel Merrill changed. See his record for details. At both these times she was living in Atkinson, N.H., so may have died there as Ruth Parker.
Ruth Wallingford and Nathaniel Merrill had the following children:
129 i. Anna4 Merrill was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 18 March 1718/9.(608) Anna died 6 July 1781, in Division No. 10, Berrien County, Michigan.(609) She married Daniel Poore, 23 November 1739, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(610) Daniel was born 13 March 1716, in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts.(611) Daniel was the son of Jonathan Poore and Rebecca Hale. Daniel died 9 January 1792, in Division No. 10, Berrien County, Michigan.(612) He was still alive on 23 September 1782.(613) They lived in Haverhill, Mass. (now Atkinson), N.H. and had six sons.(614) She and her husband were guardians of her "non compos mentis" brother Daniel Merrill between, at least, 1768 and 1782. See her brother Daniel's record for further details. Daniel Poor(e) was referred to as "Lieutenant" in a 1782 petition relative to the case.
130 ii. Daniel Merrill was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 13 January 1720/1.(615) One source states that he may have married Abigail Carleton, but given his limited mental status, this seems unlikely. The Daniel who did marry Abigail Carleton had three children born in Bradford and Haverhill, Mass.(616) According to guardianship papers filed from Atkinson, N.H. he was "non compos mentis". In 1768, "Guardianship of Daniel Merrill of Atkinson, "a person naturally wanting of Understanding," [was] granted to Daniel Poor of Atkinson." Daniel Poor was his brother-in-law, husband of his sister Anna. "Bond of Daniel Poor, gentleman, with Nicholas White and Stephen Harriman, both of Plaistow, as sureties, in the sum of £500, Feb 12, 1768, for the guardianship of Daniel Merrill; witnesses, William Parker, Joseph Moulton." His mother wasn't happy with this arrangement, however, as evidenced by the following petition:
"To the Honble John Wintworth Esqr Judge of Probate Within and for said Province of New Hampshire-- The Petition of Ruth Parker formerly the wife of Nathaniel Merrill of Haverhill in the County of Esex and Province of the Massachusetts Bay -- The said Ruth Humbly mooves in ye Behalf of Her son Daniel merrill Now Resident in atkinson in ye Province of Newhampsr aforsd He being Represented as Non compos and standing in need of a guardean the said Ruth therefore Humbly Petitioneth that Her son James merrill of atkinson aforsd may be admitted guardean to the said Daniel (in the Room of Daniel Poor of said atkinson who as I understand Has got in His guarden without my Consent or Knowledge) The said James Being Capable of that service and understanding The said Daniels Temper and Disposition will be most Likely to Leade and Conduct him in ye way that shall be most Easey and Conducive for his peace Safety Comfort and intrest -- if therefore it may be Consistant With your Honrs Wisdom and agreeable to the Rules and Equity your Petitioner Entreats that your Honr Would in your Clemencey Hear the Compassionate Petion of a Distresed mother for a Impotent son and grant that the sd James may be appointed guardean as aforsd and your Petitioner as in Duty Bound Shall Ever Pray Dated atkinson June ye 17, 1768 -- Ruth Parker"
The judge apparently did not grant this petition, which seems unusual given that Judge John Wentworth's wife Elizabeth was born a Wallingford -- the daughter of Ruth's first cousin. Perhaps he was unaware of the relationship. More than 14 years later she petitioned once again as follows:
Atkinson 23d September 1782 Sir/ it is with some Regret that I am Obliged to Trouble Your honor in the affair of my Family -- in the Year 1738 my Husband Nathaniel Merril dyed and left me sole Executrix to his Estate, unfortunately One of my Children Named Daniel Was Non Compos Mentis, my Son in Law Lieut Daniel Poor, unknown to me applyd to the then Judge of probate in this State and took Guardianship of him, and his Estate in his Own hands, Which he has improved & Received the benefit of Ever Since, altho my son has in General and for the greater part of the time been in good healrth, and Capable of Earning as much as most men in more Happier Circumstances. I am Now to Supplicate your Honour as Well my Own Perticular desire as that of my Children, that your Honour Would be pleased to take from him the Said Poor my Son in Law the Guardianship of my Said Son Daniel and to appoint my Only Son James Who I abide With or my Self alone or Both together, as Your Honour in your great Wisdom shall think best and Furthermore I begg leave to mention that my Daughter Poor in her last Sickness desired that after her decease he my said Son might be removed from her House -- I desire likewise to make mention to your Honour that the said Poor has Withheld from me for many Years Back my Right of Dower to my late Husbannds Estate -- and theirfore desire and Request that he may be Ordered to Settle his affairs and my Own and sons Property may be taken Out of his hands and put in the Hands of my Son James and your Petitioner as in Duty bound Shall Ever pray -- Ruth Parker"(617)
The records end at this point, with no answer as to whether or not this final petition was ever granted.
131 iii. Nathaniel Merrill was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 14 January 1722/3.(618) Nathaniel died in Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire.(619) He married Ruth Harriman, 16 August 1744, in Haverhill Mass. (now Plaistow,.(620) They lived in the part of Plaistow, N.H. that is now Atkinson, N.H. and had eight children born in Plaistow. Later in life he may have lived in northern New Hampshire where he died.(621)
134 vi. James Merrill was born in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts 5 March 1729/30.(626) James died 13 March 1817, in Plaistow, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.(627) He married Molly Emery, 15 March 1759, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(628) Molly was born 5 July 1742, in Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.(629) Molly was the daughter of Joshua Emery and Sarah Smith. Molly died 11 May 1833.(630) They lived in the part of Plaistow, N.H. that is now Atkinson, N.H. and had 13 children.(631)