Nicholas Merritt - Mary Sandin Family Group

Parents   Parents
      Arthur Sandin Margaret
        d. Probate 1666 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. Probate in 1675 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Nicholas Merritt Mary Sandin
b. 1613 in England b. abt. 1625 in ?
d. 1686 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage   Nicholas Merritt to Mary Sandin
Children (Events in Marblehead Unless Stated Otherwise)
  John Merritt b. abt. 1643; m. 1) by 1670 Mary; five children: John, James, Sarah, Remember, and Samuel Merritt; m. 2) 26 Nov 1702 Christian ___ Furnace; d.1706
  James Merritt b. abt. 1647; m. by 1685 Sarah; d. 11 Jun 1713; two children: Mary and Samuel Merritt; d. 11 Jun 1713
  Samuel Merritt b. abt. 1649; m. by 1684 Abigail (after 1695); two children: Abigail and Arabella Merritt; probate: Aug 1695
  Mary Merritt b. abt. 1651; termed "incompetent" in her father's will
  Martha Merritt b. abt. 1653; m. by 1681; Thomas Owen; three children: Thomas, Remember, and John Owen; d. 1725
  Rebecca Merritt b. abt. 1655; m. by 1678 John Chinn (d. 1712); six children: George, Mary, Elizabeth, Samuel, Rebecca, and John Chinn; d. 1717
Nicholas Merritt b. abt. 1657; m. by 1690 Elizabeth Ashton; eight children: Elizabeth, Nicholas, Mary, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, Nicholas, David, and Jean Merritt; d. Jun 1736
  Elizabeth Merritt b. abt. 1659; m. 1) by 1679 Thomas Dixey (d. bef. 1686); four children: Thomas, Nicholas, Samuel, and Remember Merritt; m. 2) 29 Oct 1695 John Harwood
  Hannah Merritt b. abt. 1661; bp. in Salem 21 Jul 1667; d. died young before 20 Aug 1667

What We Know About This Family

An Overview of Their Lives

Nicholas Merritt was granted land in March 1635. He was a fisherman by trade. He married by about 1643 Mary Sandin, the daughter of Arthur Sandin, who was the first licensed tavern keeper in Marblehead. Nicholas was active in the community serving as constable in 1663 and on various juries from 1664 to 1669. He also served as a town Selectman in 1648, 1660, 1664, 1665, and 1671. One source says that he was literate although he used a mark to sign his deed and will by mark.

The Merritts had nine known children in all. Eight were mentioned by name in his will written in July 1685. His wife was not mentioned, so we assume she predeceased him. Hannah, the youngest, had died in the month between her baptism and the bequest of her grandmother Sandin, who mentioned the eight surviving children of her daughter Mary in 1667. Nicholas mentioned his three married daughters by their married names, and he entrusted his four sons to care for him being in weakened condition and disability, for the continuation of his own life, and to provide care for their sister, Mary, who was likewise helpless. His will was proved in December 1686.

About the Children

  • John Merritt, fisherman, in 1669 received from his grandmother, Margaret Sandin, the eastern part of the land and dwelling homesteaded by his grandfather, Arthur Sandin, who had kept Marblehead's first tavern in that house. Some years later, John made an addition to his part of the house, and died possessed of it in 1706.

  • James Merritt with his three brothers inherited their father's house in 1686 to care for their helpless sister Mary. No records exist to tell us what happened to Mary. John, Nicholas, and Samuel released their claim to the house and land to John, who later took it down and built a newer one on the lot. He died possessed of this estate at his death in 1713.

  • Rebecca Merritt married John Chinn, a cooper, who bought a lot and built a house upon it that was in his possession when he died in 1712. Rebecca survived him by five years. His estate was left to her and three of their children: George, Elizabeth, and Rebecca. No records after their baptisms were found for the other three.

  • Nicholas Merritt and his wife Elizabeth Ashton were our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. Elizabeth was born in Blue Point (Scarborough) Maine. The family fled from the Indian attacks that left the area free of European settlers for a few decades. Her mother died probably before Elizabeth was ten years old in Newcastle, and her father and siblings thereafter settled in Marblehead. Nicholas's and Elizabeth's son, Nicholas, was kidnapped by the infamous pirate Ed Lowe in 1722. Three of his cousins: Phillip Ashton, Benjamin Ashton, and Joseph Libby were kidnapped at the same time. Benjamin escaped almost immediately. Nicholas was released after several months, and captained a boat to the Azores where he was imprisoned for four sick and dismal months before being released penniless to find his own passage home. He arrived in Marblehead a month after Joseph Libby was hanged as a pirate with 23 others in Rhode Island. Phillip Ashton had the longest ordeal having escaped after several months on an isolated Caribbean island where he lived a solitary life for about a year until he was picked up by a visiting schooner from Salem. His story was written by the Reverend Barnard, and he had the nomenclature of Marblehead's Robinson Crusoe.

Proof of Relationship

This family left ample proof of relationship in the wills of Margaret Sandin and her son-in-law Nicholas Merritt.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is basically complete.



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