Friday, June 23, 2017

Holbrook line: John Merrick or Mirick, Immigrant 1614-1679

When I write a blog post, I try to do a little bit of research on my own so I feel sure in my own mind that the summaries I've found on line are correct.  So far, I have to say that I've not been successful in that search.  So this will be pretty much a rehash to a couple of internet sites, Geni and a family site of vibber. com. 

John Merrick or Mirick was born in St. David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales/England in 1614, the son of John Meyrick and Dorothy Bishop.  He came to America in 1636, settled in Charlestown, and apparently did not leave that town.  He was a cooper and a block-maker, and his place of business was near the river (this may or may not have been his dwelling).   Depending on the website, he is credited with up to three wives but most of the sites agree that the children were from his marriage with Hopestill, last name unknown, which took place in Charlestown in 164l (one source says they arrived together, but this may have been a first wife). He was admitted as a freeman in Charlestown in 1641, and then appears to have stayed out of trouble and out of the public eye.  At least, records aren't readily available that mention him.  More research might yield more information. 

There is one mention in the "History of Charlestown, Massachusetts" involving a drawing by lot for additional land.  John Mirich in this lottery (more or less) for land "on the Mystick side" was awarded 17 acres of woods and three acres of commons.  We know that John was in Charlestown during this time period and his son John wasn't born until 1655 so it seems reasonable to assume this was land that our John was given.  He would have been eligible for any earlier divisions, too, since he had been in Charlestown since at least 1641 and probably 1635. 

John's children were Hopestill, Benjamin, Hannah, James, John, Sarah, Mercy, Abigail, Joseph, Amathia, and Mary.  His wife, Hopestill, was alive in 1669 but we don't know how much longer she lived.  Unfortunately, the will has been lost, and that would have answered several questions, perhaps.  His brother James was the executor, so apparently there was some property to dispose of, anyway.  Some of the children would have been considered "infants" at the time of John's death, so guardians may have been appointed.  It might be worthwhile to look for those records. 

This is what I know of John Merrick or Mirick (or other spellings).  I would love to talk to him to learn why he came to America (my guess is economic reasons, but I'd love to know from his own words) and how he adjusted to life in his new home, in a Puritan town.  I'd like to thank him for the hard work he did to help build America, and I'd like to thank him, on this Father's Day, for being one of so very many who raised good families while building a life here.

The line of descent is:

John Merrick-Hopestill
Hopestill Merrick-Richard Rosemorgie
Abigail Morgan-John Eames
John Eames-Rachel Comstock
John Eames-Elizabeth Longbottom
Hannah Eames-James Lamphire
Susan Lamphire-Joseph Eddy
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants