Merrill/Merrell Genealogy (all families)
Deane Merrill,
August 2010


This discussion concerns Merrills and Merrells in North America, including some in Canada, and some who arrived in North America prior to the formation of the United States in 1789.

Merrills in the United States


There are about 40,000 living Merrills in the United States today, excluding variant spellings (Merrell, Merrills, etc.).  Since 1850 the prevalance of the surname has been fairly constant at about 0.013 percent.


Two major Merrill families


According to David Merrell, Dr. Edward D. Rockstein, in a lengthy document updated 2/20/2001, clearly stated that there is no family relationship between Nathaniel of Newbury and Richard of Staten Island.   This was the first document David had read that made such a declaration.    Due to DNA testing, we now know his findings were correct.   The record contains a great deal of interesting family history of Richard's descendants.  A Google search for that document provided an email link to Dr. Rockstein:  Does anyone know the location of that document?


Merrill immigrants prior to 1680


There are six known immigrant Merrills who were in America as of 1680:


The first three Merrills listed below immigrated from Wherstead, Suffolk, England.


John Merrill(1) 1599-1682, imm.1635

Wherstead, Suffolk, England to Newbury, Massachusetts.  No Merrill surname descendants.


Nathaniel Merrill(1) 1601-1654/55, imm.1638

Brother of John. Wherstead, Suffolk, England to Newbury, Massachusetts. Ancestor of most New England Merrills.  Many living descendants


Thomas Merrill(1) b.abt.1600, imm.1646

Wherstead, Suffolk, England to Saybrook, Connecticut; but not related to John and Nathaniel.   Four descendants have been identified through DNA testing


The next three below immigrated from Warwickshire, England:


Richard (1) Merrill 1642-1727, imm.1675

Warwickshire, England to Northfield, Staten Island, New York.  Many descendants.


William (2) Merrill 1668-1714, imm.1675 with father Richard

Son of Richard.  Warwickshire, England to Northfield, Staten Island, New York   Removed to St.Marys County, Maryland about 1695.


William (1) Merrill abt.1652-1724 ("William of New Jersey"), imm.abt.1680

Warwickshire, England to Northfield, Staten Island, New York   Possible brother of Richard above.   Removed 1704 to Hopewell, New Jersey.  Ancestor of most southern Merrills. 


Y-chromosome DNA analysis has distinguished five Merrill/Merrell families, which are unrelated to each other.

The six individuals marked (*) were Merrills who arrived in America as adults prior to 1680.  John(1) Merrill b.1599 had no descendants.


Family 1


Thomas Meryell 1444 of Wherstead, Suffolk, England


            *John (1) Merrill 1599 of Wherstead, Suffolk, England and Newbury, MA


            *Nathaniel (1) Merrill 1601 of Wherstead, Suffolk, England and Newbury, MA


Family 2


William Merrill abt.1550 of Warwickshire, England


            unknown Merrill abt.1590


                        William Merrill 1615 of Honington and Shipston, Warwickshire, England


                                    *Richard (1) Merrill 1642 of Tysoe, Warwickshire, England and Staten Island, NY


                                                William (2) Merrill 1668 of Tysoe, Warwickshire, England; Staten Island, NY; and St. Mary's County, MD


                                    *William (1) Merrill abt.1652 of Tysoe, Warwickshire, England; Staten Island, NY; and Hopewell, NJ

                                                William (2) Merrill 1680 of Hopewell, NJ and Rowan County, NC


                                                            Capt. Benjamin (3) Merrill 1731 of Hopewell NJ and Rowan County, NC

.....Jesse Merrill 1788 of Harper's Ferry, VA (ancestry unknown)



Family 3


*Thomas Merrill(1) abt.1600 of Wherstead, Suffolk, England and Saybrook, CT



Family 4


*William Merrill(1) abt.1645 of Somerset county, MD



Family 5


Marriner Wood Merrill 1835 of New Brunswick, Canada



There are other Merrill/Merrell DNA testees who are unassociated with any of the five families above.


Related links by Deane Merrill

Genealogy of Deane Merrill (1938-  )

Merrill/Merrell DNA Genealogy

Merrill/Merrill Database by Howard and Jean Merrill

Living Merrills in the United States, 1850-1996

Merrill Coat of Arms (April 2009)
Who are the "other" Merrells? (for Benjamin Merrell Descendants Reunion, 6/12/10)


Some URL Links are missing.  DWM 6/19/10.


(Public) External links

The Merrill Newsletter, Lillian Follett-Hall
Merrill Family Genealogy Forum,
Merrill Surname Mailing Lists , RootsWeb

Jack Merrill's Genealogy Site
Merrill Genealogy, Steve Merrill's web site


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