Who was the father of Joseph Merrill (c.1773-1844)?

Deane W. MERRILL Jr.
10 November 2007

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There is uncertainty regarding the father of Joseph MERRILL (born c.1773, m. Lucinda WHITNEY 3 July 1794, Shelburne, MA, and died 29 Sept 1844 Shelburne, MA). Two candidates for Joseph's father are the brothers

Daniel MERRILL (born 2 Jun 1729, Haverhill, MA; m(2) Eunice Fellows 27 Sep 1766)

Lt. Nathaniel MERRILL (born 26 Feb 1731/32, Haverhill, MA; m. Anna BALDWIN 7 Nov 1754, Pelham, NH)

Both Daniel and Nathaniel are sons of John MERRILL (born 12 Feb 1706/07, Haverhill, MA; m. Lydia GAGE; died 3 Jul 1741, Haverhill, MA).

My late father, Deane W. Merrill Sr., (ref. c) preferred Daniel, while Peggy Dillon Lewis (ref. d) and Roger D. Joslyn (ref. e) prefer Nathaniel. Refs. d and e were not available to my father. Howard and Jean Merrill (refs. n,o) are undecided on the question, but leaning toward Daniel.

Despite earlier communications to the contrary, I still prefer Daniel.

My father, Deane W. Merrill Sr.c reasoned as follows:

From the Shelburne death records, the Joseph MERRILL who died in 1844 was born March 25, 1773. This is corroborated by the inscription on Joseph's gravestone. From the Shelburne birth records, a Joseph MERRILL was born in Deerfield on March 27, 1773. From the Deerfield birth records, a Joseph Merril, son of Daniel and ___, was baptised on Oct. 10, 1773. The two-day discrepancy in the birth dates, and the six-month delay before baptism, are plausible. Daniel's presence in Deerfield in 1773 is confirmed by tax records.

Peggy Dillon Lewis'sd arguments must be disregarded, as no references are provided.

Roger D. Joslyn'se purpose is to discuss the descendants of Nathaniel's son Benjamin (1767-1854), and relatively little attention is given to Joseph. Joslyn cites the evidence that Nathaniel had a son Joseph, born in Westminster, Mass. on 17 July 1769. But the four-year discrepancy between this date, and the 17 March 1773 date calculated from the death records, indicate that Nathaniel's Joseph is not the Joseph who died in 1844. Mr. Joslyn's apparent reason for accepting that Lucinda WHITNEY's husband Joseph is the son of Nathaniel (and the brother of Thaddeus) is the June 10, 1795 sale by Joseph and Lucinda of "the East part of Thaddeus MERRILL's home lot." But if Joseph is the son of Daniel (and the first cousin of Thaddeus) there is still a close enough family association between Thaddeus and Joseph to explain the land sale. It is not unusual that Joseph and Lucinda came into possession of Thaddeus' home lot, even if Joseph is Daniel's son.

Samuel Merrill in the 1928 "Merrill Memorial" lists Joseph, b.17 July 1769 in Pelham (probably erroneous) as the son of Nathaniel, but he does not provide a death date, nor does he list Lucinda WHITNEY as Joseph's wife. The Merrill Memorial makes no mention of Joseph born in Deerfield in 1773, nor does it list a son Joseph in Daniel's family.


a. Deane Whitney MERRILL (1908-1987); "The Ancestors and Descendants of Deane Whitney MERRILL (1908-1987) and Harriet Mary RAY (1909-1978);" 1975, 1976, 1977.

b. Deane Whitney MERRILL (1908-1987), pages 2-6 REVISED 17 July 1976, "Updating of Facts on the MERRILL Family." Enclosed with Ref. c. To correct the 1975 version of Ref. a.

"Samuel8 MERRILL reveals that Newbury was settled by a company of Englishmen, largely from Wiltshire, who arrived on the ship "Mary and John" in May, 1634. It is not certain that John1 and Nathaniel1 were among this particular group; but they did show up when the group of about 100 moved to Ipswich, then shortly thereafter to Newbury, Mass., which was settled officially in 1635. Most of the group were artisans, such as tanners, weavers, shoemakers, and mariners, plus two ministers and a physician. There is evidence of grants of land to John MERRILL and "John MERRILL's Brother" on "The Neck," south of the Parker River. Cape Merrill is the point of land on the north side of Parker River formed by the confluence of the Parker River and the Plum Island River; apparently it consisted of 12 acres granted to John MERRILL in 1646, and so it is known as Merrill's Point or Cape Merrill. John was a freeholder in 1642; but there is no evidence that Nathaniel, his younger brother, ever was a freeholder or proprietor."

"John1 had only one child, a daughter, so produced no offspring of the name MERRILL. However, Nathaniel1 had five sons and a daughter; so that after three generations there were 30 male MERRILLs descending from Nathaniel1, and after four generations there were 126. Samuel8 estimates that by the time he compiled his work, before 1930, there were more than 24,000 male descendants of Nathaniel1, all but about 1% of those being named MERRILL."

"The book starts right with the first generation, with the five sons, Nathaniel2, John2, Abraham2, Daniel2, and Abel2, giving almost complete data on their offspring, with registry numbers being assigned to males who had certain, confirmed offspring. The superior numerals are for identification by generations. Thus, Daniel5 MERRILL (John4, Nathaniel3, Abel2) would signify that this Daniel was descended from Nathaniel1 through his son Abel2, his grandson Nathaniel3, and his great-grandson John4."

"My purpose in going to all this trouble with the "Merrill Memorial" was to try to connect up our family's recent generations with the earlier generations. My father, Charles Arthur MERRILL (1875-1968), had information of true credibility back only through his father, Cordeanio (Cordeanio Harley MERRILL 1840-1908), his grandfather, Moses Whitney (Moses Whitney MERRILL 1817-1859) and his great-grandfather, Joseph (Joseph MERRILL c.1773-1844)." In his notes, later in this booklet (page 2), Charles says that "in a newspaper interview about 1905, his father (Cordeanio H. Merrill) was quoted as saying that his great-grandfather Nathaniel was a soldier in the American Revolution and took part in the fighting at Ticonderoga and Bunker Hill. The Vital Records of the Town of Shelburne do not show his birth, death or marriage dates, and the local Cemetery records are of no use."

"I have carefully examined this "Merrill Memorial" for a confirmation of such a Nathaniel, who had a son Joseph, born in 1773. But I have been unable to fit the facts."

"I made trips to Shelburne Falls and to Deerfield recently, and have made what appears to be a firm discovery of the birth of Joseph. In the Arms Cemetery in Shelburne Falls, the first marker to the left upon entering the gate specifies "JOSEPH MERRILL - died Sept. 29, 1844, AE (aged) 71, and his wife LUCINDA WHITNEY - died Jan. 29, 1857, AE 80." These both appear on the same headstone."

"From the Cemetery I went to the Town Office, and talked to a Mrs. Eleanor B. Shippee, who, it turned out, had bought one of the family houses, #24 Mechanic Street, from the C.H. Merrill Estate when Jennie (Jane Hannah AUDINWOOD Merrill 1855-1940) died in 1940. She showed me the "Death Records," and under date of Sept. 29, 1844, I found Joseph Merrill, no parents recorded, born in Deerfield, tavern keeper, died of general dropsy, age 71 years, 6 months and 4 days. This would set the date of birth as March 25, 1773."

"In the "Vital Records of Shelburne," under "births," is shown "MERRILL, Joseph, born at Deerfield, son of Daniel, March 27, 1773." Despite the discrepancy of two days in the birth records, I am convinced that we must accept these as the record of the birth and death of Joseph Merrill, the father of Moses Whitney Merrill, and grandfather of Cordeanio H. Merrill."

[note by Deane W. MERRILL Jr. 11/11/98: in the paragraph above, the words "son of Daniel" were an addition by Deane W. Merrill Sr. and are not in the Vital Records of Shelburne.

"Finding no information on Daniel MERRILL, Joseph's father, I then made a trip to Deerfield, Mass. The Town Office showed me the original longhand book of vital records up through 1845. There was no mention of a birth, death or marriage of Daniel or Joseph."

"Proceeding on to the Memorial Library in Deerfield, Mrs. Pullen, the librarian, showed me first "Vital Records of Deerfield," a printed volume similar to that found in Shelburne. On Page 93, under Births, I found "MERRIL (See Merrill), Joseph, s. of Daniel and ______, bp. (baptised) Oct. 10, 1773, c.r.1." The latter is coding for Church record of First Congregational Church."

"There was no pertinent information under MERRILL on page 199 of Savage's "Genealogical Dictionary of New England."

"In Sheldon's "History of Deerfield," Vol. II, page 239, I found "MERRILL, Daniel, taxed 1773, son Joseph baptised Oct. 10, 1773."

"This, then, was the sum and substance of my inquiry: One Daniel MERRILL, parents and wife unknown, lived in Deerfield in 1773, long enough to be taxed and to have a son born March 25th or March 27th, and to have him baptised October 10, 1773. Name of son, Joseph."

"I again searched the "MERRILL Memorial" for possible background on Daniel, to try to tie him into the line of descent, and I believe I have a very good prospect (page 300, Vol.1):"

[Citations from the MERRILL Memorial follow, verbatim.]

"Page 300, Vol. 1 - [248] DANIEL5 MERRILL (John4, Nathaniel3, Nathaniel2) was born 2 June, 1729 in Haverhill, Mass. He removed to Lunenburg, Mass., thence to Fitchburg, in 1766 to Ashburnham, Mass., and, in 1772, to Deerfield, Mass. He married (1) 3 April, 1749, in Bradford, Mass., Abigail CARLETON (?), who died 3 June, 1764, and he married (2) 27 Sept. 1766, Eunice FELLOWS, daughter of Samuel and Eunice FELLOWS. She was born 26 May, 1736. Children:

  1. [1485] Moses6; lived in Shelburne, Mass. and in N.H.
  2. Abigail6; b. 24 Sept. 1756
  3. A child, b. 15 Sept. 1758
  4. Asa6; bap. 12 Oct. 1760
  5. Daniel6; b. 7 May 1767; m. Ruth Ames
  6. Samuel6; b. 19 Oct. 1768
  7. Billy6; b. 5 Dec. 1770"

"Note -- A question, not yet satisfactorily answered, has arisen regarding three Daniel5 MERRILLs. Daniel5 [152] MERRILL of Haverhill, Mass., is believed to have married Abigail CARLETON and to have had three children (see Page 291). Daniel5 MERRILL [248] a native of Haverhill, is also said to have married Abigail Carleton. Which statement is in error I cannot say (see also note at page 373)."


"Page 291 - [152] DANIEL5 MERRILL (Nathaniel4, John3, Nathaniel2) was born 13 Jan. 1720/1 in Haverhill, Mass., and lived in Bradford and Haverhill. He married Abigail CARLETON. Children:

  1. Nathaniel6, b. 26 Aug. 1749, in Bradford.
  2. Lydia6, b. 10 May 1751, in Haverhill
  3. John6, b. 8 Nov. 1752, in Haverhill.

(see notes at Page 300, 373)"


"Page 373 - [991] DANIEL5 MERRILL (Samuel4, Abel3, Abel2) was born 3 July 1722 in Newbury, Mass. As early as 1746 he removed to Nottingham West (now Hudson, N.H.) and later to Hollis, N.H....Children:

i.-xiv. Children enumerated.

Note -- It has been asserted that the Daniel MERRILL who was the father of the last ten children her enumerated was Daniel5 (Nathaniel4, John3, Nathaniel2). (See p. 291). All the known facts, including the meager data furnished by the published histories of Hudson and Hollis, influence me to leave the matter in the shape which it here appears."

[end of citations from MERRILL Memorial.]

"Despite the fact that there appears to be no child named Joseph born to Daniel5 [248], the fact remains that apparently the only Daniel MERRILL taxed in Deerfield in 1773 was this one who presented a son, Joseph, for baptism in October of that year. We can presume that Daniel and Eunice had a son born in Deerfield after they moved there in 1772, but that the "MERRILL Memorial" authors and researchers failed to record this son, Joseph."

"The "great-grandfather Nathaniel" mentioned by Cordeanio in his newspaper interview about 1905 must therefore be considered as his great-grandfather Daniel. Nathaniel5 [250], a younger brother of Daniel5 [248], does not appear to qualify. "

"With this new material, and with the firm "supposition" that we have found the parent of Joseph6, I will set up the complete line of descent on the following pages."


John MERYELL (MERYELL and MORYELL in will) of Wherstead. Will proved 12 March 1528/9, record reference Archdeaconry of Suffolk, boox x, folio 40. Wife Anne and several children mentioned in will, among them:

John MERYELL, of Wherstead. Will proved 28 Jan. 1551/2, record reference Archdeaconry of Suffolk, book xvi, folio 229b. Wife Katherine, five sons and five daughters mentioned in well, among them:

John MERRELL, of Wherstead, yeoman, will proved 11 Dec., 1600, record reference Archdeaconry of Suffolk, book xxxviii, folio 242. Wife Prudence. Will mentions her, sons John Michael, Nathaniel and Thomas, also two grandsons, John (son of Nathaniel) and Thomas (son of Thomas).

Nathaniel MERRELL. Married at Blestead 27 Feb. 1592/3 to Mary BLACKSOLL (as Nathanaell MERRILL). Four daughters and 3 sons. Buried at Wherstead 17 Mar. 1626/7. 5th child, 1st son, John, and 6th child, 2nd son, Nathaniel (Nathanaell).

(Older brother of Nathaniel1, John1, baptised Wherstead 16 Aug., 1599)

[1] Nathaniel1 MERRILL, baptised Wherstead 4 May 1601. Died Newbury, Mass. 16 March 1654/5, will proved 27 March, 1655. Married Susannah, presumably before leaving England for America, inasmuch as son Nathaniel2 born 1633/4. Had 5 sons, 1 daughter.

[2] Nathaniel2 MERRILL, born probably 1633/4, either in England or America (not known). Married 15 Oct. 1661, Joanna NINIAN (NINNY, KINNEY, KENNEY). Lived entire life in Newbury. Died Jan.1, 1682/3. Owned land in Haverhill, which he gave to sons Nathaniel3 and Peter3. Had 3 sons, 4 daughters.

[8] Nathaniel3 MERRILL, born 8 Feb. 1664/5, Newbury, Mass. Died 4 July, 1738, Haverhill, Mass. Moved to Haverhill (West Parish) 1698. Married (1) Rebecca BROWN (She died 9 Dec. 1692), (2) Sarah WOODMAN. (2 sons by Rebecca, 5 daughters and 5 sons by Sarah.) Rebecca died 9 Dec. 1692, Nathaniel 4 July 1738.

[40] John4 MERRILL, born 12 Feb. 1706/7 in Haverhill, Mass. Died Haverhill 3 July 1741. Married Lydia GAGE of Bradford, Mass. (6 sons, 3 daughters, all Haverhill). 2nd child, 2nd son, was:

[248] Daniel5 MERRILL, born 2 June 1729, Haverhill, Mass. Married (1) Abigail CARLETON (see notes) who died 3 June 1764, and (2) 1766 Eunice FELLOWS. Moved 1772 to Deerfield, Mass. Died (?).

Joseph6 MERRILL, born Deerfield, Mass., 25 or 27 March 1773, baptised Deerfield 10 Oct. 1773. Died Sept. 29, 1844 Shelburne Falls, Mass. Married Lucinda WHITNEY, who died 29 Jan. 1857. In same plot are markers for Joseph MERRILL, Jr., died 30 April 1854; wife Martha, died 18 August 1882; Roswell M. MERRILL, died 18 May 1828; and Lois, wife of Phodolphus MERRILL, died 9 April 1847. Presumably these three (Joseph Jr., Roswell and Rhodolphus) were sons of Joseph in addition to Moses7.

Mosesl7 Whitney MERRILL. Born 1 June 1817, died Feb. 1859. Married Abigail E. Coleman in 1839. Five children, all in Shelburne Falls, Mass.

Cordeanio8 Harley MERRILL, born 24 Oct. 1840, died 18 Nov. 1908. Married Helen Maude HOWARD (a Barnard family descendant, see chart in Ref. a) 25 June 1859 in Deerfield, Mass. (5 children). She died Nov. 1893. He remarried, in 1897, Jennie Audinwood, who died in 1940; they had no children.

Charles9 Arthur MERRILL, born 15 Dec. 1875, Shelburne Falls, Mass. Married 18 Feb. 1905 to Eleanore Edwards GOUCHER, who died 31 May 1950. One son. Lived in East Orange and South Orange, N.J. until he died. Died in a nursing home in Livingston, N.J. while living with son, Deane10 in South Orange, 7 Nov. 1968. Interred Restland, Hanover, N.J.

(signed) Deane W. Merrill, Danby, Vermont, 17 July 1976.

[The following information was updated November 1998 by Deane11 Whitney MERRILL, Jr. Information about living persons is omitted except for name, gender and relationship.]

  1. Deane10 Whitney MERRILL, born 26 April 1908, East Orange, N.J. Married (1) 10 Sept. 1931 in South Salem, N.Y., Harriet Mary RAY; three sons; she died 28 June 1978 in Danby Vt. Married (2) 5 May 1979 Ronelva Mary SIPE; she died 1 Oct. 1988 in Hendersonville, N.C. Lived in Orange, West Orange and South Orange, N.J.; Danby, Vt. and Hendersonville, N.C. Died 1 August 1987 in Hendersonville, N.C. Three living sons by Harriet Mary RAY.

c. Deane Whitney MERRILL (1908-1987), excerpt from letter of 20 July 1976 to Deane (Dennie) Whitney MERRILL Jr. (1938-), describing Ref. b:

In a July 20, 1976 letter to his son Dennie, Deane Whitney MERRILL (1908-1978) wrote: "I have been working on the genealogy, bringing it up to date, insofar as possible. I found one big error - namely that Joseph6 was the son of Daniel (Daniel MERRILL 1729-), not Nathaniel (Lt. Nathaniel MERRILL 1731/2-), and he was born in Deerfield. So Lina (Deane's sister-in-law Caroline Tinsley RAY Russell 1916-1973) and I went to Shelburne Falls (Massachusetts) one day to talk to Town Clerks, look at gravestones, etc., then a couple of days later Jon and I went to Deerfield and visited the new Flynt Memorial Library, down Memorial Street, and confirmed things as far as we could."

"I have rewritten Pages 2 thru 6 of the UP-DATING pages, and enclose them herewith. Also enclosed are two charts, or family trees, working forward and back. I believe they are accurate except for your wives' birthdates, neither of which I am sure of. Jon tells me I am wrong, so I probably am. I have plenty more copies, so if you want more, let me know."

"Have had more fun doing this, since I've been in touch with cousins I haven't seen for 50 or 60 years. And look at all the offspring!"

"Please, in order to keep this book [Ref. a] straight (the blue covered one), take out the old Pages 2 thru 6 and insert the new REVISED pages 2 thru 6 and the two charts. I have cut the pages as well as I can, and have punched note book holes to make it easy."

"So now the following have copies: Dennie, Charlie, me, my cousin Marion MARBLE Moses (Marion Elizabeth MARBLE Moses 1901-1987), and my cousin Carolyn LOUNSBERY Cooban (Carolyn Richardson LOUNSBERY Cooban 1899-1990). I am putting this down for the record in case my successors want to make further changes. (I have a file of correspondence with address, etc., filed under Genealogy). [This file went to Jon in 1987.]"

d. Peggy Dillon Lewis, letter dated 15 April 1992 to Howard and Jean Merrill.

As a son of Nathaniel MERRILL (b. 26 Feb. 1731/2 in Haverhill Mass.), Ms. Lewis lists Joseph MERRILL (b.17 July 1769, m. 3 July 1794 Lucinda WHITNEY. Sources are not given.

e. Roger D. Joslyn, C.G., F.A.S.G.; The Children and Grandchildren of Nathaniel MERRILL and his son Benjamin MERRILL; prepared for Ted D. Merrill, Chaparral, N.M.; 3 March 1990.

As a son of Nathaniel5 MERRILL (b. 26 Feb. 1731/2 in Haverhill, Mass.), Mr. Joslyn lists Joseph MERRILL (b.17 July 1769 in Westminster, Mass.k, d. of dropsy in Shelburne 29 Sep.1844, aged "71y 6m 4df,g, " m.(1) in Rowe 26 Nov. 1789 Polly DENTON/DENSONh, m.(2) in Shelburne 3 July 1794 Lucinda WHITNEYi who was living in 1843j. The sources cited are Refs. f through j, given below. Joslyn cites Refs. k,l,m as evidence that Nathaniel's children Anna, John, Benjamin, Joseph and (possibly) Mary were born in Westminster, Mass.

f. Vital Records of Shelburne Massachusetts To the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass., 1931), 117.

"MERRILL, Joseph, m., tavern keeper, b. Deerfield, general dropsy, bur. Shelburne Falls, d. Sept. 29, 1844, a. 71 y. 6 m. 4 d." The citation is on page 171, not 117.

g. W.O. Taylor, "Inscriptions from Arms Cemetery, Shelburne Falls, Mass." (n.p., 1884), 30.

I have not seen this source, but Joseph's gravestone reads: "Joseph Merrill, died Sept. 29, 1844, AE 71. Lucinda Whitney, his wife, died Jan. 29, 1857, AE 82."

h. Rowe Vital Records, 3:24.

I have not seen this source.

i. Vital Records of Shelburne Massachusetts To the End of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass., 1931), 116.

Marriages: Joseph, and Lucinda Whitney [both of S., July 3. c.r.1], 1794. Intention not recorded. [c.r.1 means Church record, Congregational Church, Shelburne Center.]

j. Franklin Co. [Mass.] Probate, 3:202.

I have not seen this source.

k. Samuel Merrill, A Merrill Memorial, 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., 1917-28), 301.

The Merrill Memorial lists Joseph as being born 17 July 1769 in Pelham, N.H., not Westminster, Mass. as in the Vital Records.

l. Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester, Mass., 1908), 60-61.

Westminster birthds:
MERRILL, Ana, Feb. 4, 1760.
MERRILL, Benjamin, s. Nathaniel and Anna, Aug. 2, 1767 [duplicate].
MERRILL, John, s. Nathaniel and Anna, Sept. 12, 1763 [duplicate].
MERRILL, Joseph, s. Nathaniel and Anna, July 17, 1769 [duplicate].

m. William Sweetzer Heywood, History of Westminster Massachusetts...1728-1893 (Lowell, Mass., 1893), 775. No deed was recorded for this purchase.

I have not seen this source. A land purchase record probably does not provide information about the birthdate or birthplace of Joseph. Possibly there is a typographical error in the citation as given by Joslyn.

n. Howard and Jean Merrill, email to Deane Merrill on 11/30/98:

"The whole controversy hinges on the sale 1795 Jan 22 by Nathaniel(5) of Rowe, of 40 acres of land in Rowe [the east part of his home lot including house and barn] to Joseph Merrill of Rowe, housewright. On March 2 1795 Nathaniel sold the rest of his home lot [125 acres] to Thaddeus [his son] of Rowe. On June 10 1795 Joseph, of Shelburne and his wife Lucinda sold this same 40 acre lot to Joseph Lazell. On that same date Thaddeus also sold his lot to Lazell and Thaddeus joined his brother Benjamin in selling additional lots to Lazell. Were it not for the fact that Lucinda joined Joseph in selling this 40 acre lot, it would be easy to conclude that Joseph of Rowe was Nathaniel's son and Joseph of Shelburne [and Lucinda] belonged to Daniel.

"Certainly there is lots of data indicating that Joseph [and Lucinda] being the son of Daniel(5) and Eunice Fellows. The birthdate from the Deerfield VR corresponds with the age at death from the gravestone. The Shelburne VR identify that Joseph, tavern keeper, who d. 1844 Sept 29 was b. Deerfield. This was our view prior to receiving Ted Merrill's manuscript. This is also the view of Virginia Merrill of Solon ME, the other current prime researcher of Nathaniel's line and author of "Merrill in America".

"It is hard to argue with the dates and Deerfield bp of Joseph [and Lucinda]. Certainly Nathaniel could have sold property to his nephew. Nathaniel sold land to son Nathaniel jr in 1790; to Joseph in 1795, then to son Thaddeus later in 1795. And he sold Joseph that part that had the house and barn. It seems reasonable to assume they were all his sons. Then Joseph sold the property on the same date to the same Lazell as did Nathaniel's sons Thaddeus and Benjamin.

"We really don't know the answer. We sure would like to know what happened to Nathaniel's son Joseph and his wife Polly Denton. Are there any records, gravestones or whatever in Rowe that indicates that they died there 1791-1795? Perhaps they moved on to NY or points west. There is a Joseph in Otsego Co NY in 1800 who is about the right age and about which we know nothing. That would be the easy way out, but without data to support it we can't even suggest it.

"As the King would say "t'is a puzzlement."

"howard and jean"

o. Howard and Jean Merrill, email to Deane Merrill on 7/13/99:

"We like the way you have presented both sides of the Joseph question. We tend to prefer your interpretation, which was our original interpretation, but the deeds do remain as a nagging question."

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