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Joseph Merry

Birthdate:
Birthplace: England
Death: Died in Vineyard Haven, MA, USA
Place of Burial: USA
Immediate Family:

Husband of Elizabeth Merry; Mary and Elizabeth Merry
Father of Bathsheba Pease; Joseph Merry; Martha Rankin; Bathsheba Pease and Samuel Merry

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Merry

Mr. JOSEPH MERREY WHO DIED APRIL ye 15th 1710 BEING 103 YEARS OLD [THAT] BEING VERIFIED IN [HIM PS]ALM'S 92 14 THEY [SHALL BRING FORTH FRUIT IN OLD AGE.

JOSEPH MERRY.

This prominent pioneer of Tisbury is first found as a resident of Haverhill, Mass., in 1640, where he lived with a wife named Mary until about 1654, when he removed to Hampton, N. H. There his wife died April 4, 1657, having given birth to one child of record, Joseph, b. Dec. 19, 1654. The father, Joseph, was a carpenter by trade and plied his craft in Hampton as he had done before in Haverhill. Shortly after his wife's death he bought a house and ten acres of upland in Hampton, of Thomas Coleman, Sept. 29, 1657, and at the age of 47 years found himself a widower, with possibly a child to care for in his new home. But this was not long to remain so. Emanuel Hilliard of that town was drowned shortly after this in October, 1657, leaving a widow Elizabeth, daughter of John and Phebe Parkhurst of Ipswich, England, and sister of George Parkhurst of Watertown, Mass. The young widow was then about 29 years old, and before two years had passed she entered into a marriage covenant with Joseph Merry, who was then 21 years her senior. In this agreement he gave her the house and ten acres he had recently acquired, and sometime about Dec. 13, 1659, when the covenant was dated, they set up housekeeping, and four children were born to them in rapid succession, who later spent their days on the Vineyard. This explains the curious epitaph on the gravestone of Joseph in the West Tisbury cemetery "That being verified in him Psalms 92 14 They shall bring forth fruit in old age," a reference to his second marriage after middle life and the raising of a family.

Joseph Merry and his young family, consisting of Hannah, Abigail, Bathsheba and Samuel, born between 1660 and 1669 in Hampton, continued residence there till 1670, when in some way he became attracted to the Vineyard. If we are to credit the tradition that Governor Mayhew's first wife was a Parkhurst, possibly the sister of George of Watertown, it will be seen that Elizabeth Merry was related by marriage to the proprietor of Martha's Vineyard and thus the family connection is responsible for Merry's migration. However that be, almost as soon as the new township of Tisbury had been bought by Pabodie and his partners, Merry bought of Benjamin Church, on Nov. 19, 1669, the grist mill and its privileges "uppon the westermost Brook of Takemmy" with one eighth part of the propriety, or two shares, in the new settlement. The purchase price was £90 and Merry paid for it in whole or in part with his Hampton property, the homestead, an island of salt marsh and two shares in cow and ox commons in that town. The deeds finally passed Dec. 2, 1670, (Mrs. Merry and Nathaniel Batchelor acting as his attorneys by previous appointment), and from this it is presumed that Merry was already at the Vineyard attending to his new purchase and preparing the new home for his little family. The property purchased consisted, as laid out, of the mill on the New Mill river so long operated by the Looks, with land adjoining on the west side of the road, and about eighteen acres on the east side of the road, bounded by the river. This last lot is still known as "Merry's Field" after a lapse of two and a half centuries, though the property did not remain in the family beyond 1705. After operating the mill for five years, Joseph Merry sold that part of his estate to Tristram Coffin of Nantucket, and being then about three-score-and- ten years of age it is presumed that he devoted the rest of his life to his trade and tilling the soil. There is no record as to the location of his house, but in all probability it was in his "Field." His public services were few. He was constable in 1675, road surveyor in 1678 and 1687, and was chosen to divide common lands in 1689 and 1690. On March 2, 1677-8, the grand jury presented him "for contempt of authoritie in not obeying the summons in his Majesties Name to give in testimony" and for this he was mulcted in the sum of five shillings. In 1681 he sued Simon Athearn in the sum of £20 "for non payment of a frame of an house," but the two compromised on £7 and divided the costs. On July 12, 1689, being then about 82 years of age, he gave his homestead by deed of gift to his only son Samuel, then just entering his 21st year, and from that date on until 1701 his name appears but once in the records, when he gave some "information" about the ancient bounds of a town lot, being then in his 84th year. He passed the century mark in 1707 and died April 5, 1710, at the remarkable age of 103, undoubtedly the oldest person who has ever lived in the town. It is not known whether he survived his wife Elizabeth, as there is no record of her death nor a stone at her grave. If she survived she was 82 when her husband died. Of his children further evidences of longevity are noticeable. His daughter Abigail Pease died in her 80th year and Hannah Skiffe at 97 years.

[For information regarding the descendants of Joseph Merry, see The Merry Family of Martha's Vineyard by Charles Banks.


-------------------- Joseph Merry was born in England in 1607. He and his first wife, Mary, emigrated to New England circa 1640. The Merrys first settled at Haverhill, Massachusetts Bay Colony, then moved to Hampton, New Hampshire about 1654. Joseph was a carpenter. Mary died at Hampton on April 4, 1657. Following her death, Joseph purchased a house and ten acres of upland in Hampton from Thomas Coleman on September 29, 1657. Joseph then entered an agreement with, and married the widow, Elizabeth (Parkhurst) Hilliard, on October 13, 1659. She was 21 years younger than Joseph. In the agreement, Joseph gave her the house and ten acres. This transaction was dated December 13, 1659. After the marriage, the Merrys had four children.Elizabeth was the daughter of George and Phebe Parkhurst, and widow of Emanuel Hilliard. Emanuel had been lost at sea in a small boat with six other men in October, 1657. He and Elizabeth had a son. Elizabeth had been baptized at Ipswich, England, on May 18, 1628.

On November 19, 1669, Joseph purchased a grist mill and its privileges in the new township of Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard, in Plymouth Colony, upon “the westernmost brook of Takemmy” from Benjamin Church. Also included in the purchase was one-eighth part of the propriety or two shares in the settlement. The price was 90 pounds, which Joseph paid for with his Hampton property, the homestead, an island of salt marsh and two shares in cow and ox commons in that town. The deed was signed on December 2, 1670. At that time, it is assumed that Joseph already was on Martha’s Vineyard preparing a home for his family. The property purchase consisted of the mill on the New Mill River (previously operated by the Look family), with land adjoining on the west side of the road and about 18 acres on the east side of the road, bounded by the river (known as Merry’s Field well into the 20th century, if not still). Joseph operated the mill for about five years, then sold it to Tristram Coffin of Nantucket, keeping his house which was probably located on “Merry’s Field.” Joseph served as constable in 1675, road surveyor in 1678 and 1687, and he was chosen to divide common lands in 1689 and 1690. On March 2, 1677/8, the grand jury represented him “for contempt of authoritie in not obeying the summons in his Majesty’s Name to give in testimony,” for which he was fined five shillings. In 1681, he sued Simon Athearn for 20 pounds “for non payment of a frame of a house.” He settled for 7 pounds. On July 12, 1689, he deeded his homestead to his son, Samuel.Joseph passed away there on April 15, 1710, aged 103 years, and he was buried in the West Tisbury Cemetery. His stone, which still exists, has inscribed Psalm 92 14, “They shall bring forth fruit in old age,” which implies reference to the children of his second marriage. A child of Elizabeth by her first husband, Emanuel Hilliard, was: 1) Timothy, born about 1648; died in 1723; married 1) (?) Merry in 1669 at Hampton, New Hampshire 2) Apphia Philbrick on December 3, 1674, at Hampton, New Hampshire. Children of Joseph and his first wife, Mary, were: 1) Martha, born in 1647, at Hampton, New Hampshire; married 1) Andrew Rankin on December 4, 1667, at Kittery, Maine 2) Philip Frost at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. 2) (daughter), married Timothy Hilliard (listed above). 3) Joseph, born December 19, 1654, at Hampton, New Hampshire. Children of Joseph and his second wife, Elizabeth, were: 4) Hannah, born November 29, 1660, at Hampton, New Hampshire; married Benjamin Skiff on February 20, 1679/80, at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. 5) Abigail, born October 19, 1662, at Hampton, New Hampshire; married John Pease at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. 6) Bathsheba, born June 16, 1665, at Hampton, New Hampshire; married Thomas Pease about 1684 at Edgartown, Massachusetts. 7) Samuel, born November 16, 1669, at Hampton, New Hampshire; died October 6, 1727, at Tisbury, Massachusetts; married Remember Luce in 1688 at Tisbury, Massachusetts.

Sources: The History of Martha’s Vineyard by Dr. Charles E. Banks 1925: Vol II, Annals of West Tisbury; pgs 25 - 65.

 l

The Merry family of Martha's Vineyard .This prominent pioneer of Tisbury is first found as a resident of Haverhill, Mass., in 1640, where he lived with a wife named Mary until about 1654, when he removed to Hampton, N. H. There his wife died April 4, 1657, having given birth to one child of record, Joseph, b. Dec. 19, 1654. The father, Joseph, was a carpenter by trade and plied his craft in Hampton as he had done before in Haverhill. Shortly after his wife's death he bought a house and ten acres of upland in Hampton, of Thomas Coleman, Sept. 29, 1657, and at the age of 47 years found himself a widower, with possibly a child to care for in his new home. But this was not long to remain so. Emanuel Hilliard of that town was drowned shortly after this in October, 1657, leaving a widow Elizabeth, daughter of John and Phebe Parkhurst of Ipswich, England, and sister of George Parkhurst of Watertown, Mass. The young widow was then about 29 years old, and before two years had passed she entered into a marriage covenant with Joseph Merry, who was then 21 years her senior. In this agreement he gave her the house and ten acres he had recently acquired, and sometime about Dec. 13, 1659, when the covenant was dated, they set up housekeeping, and four children were born to them in rapid succession, who later spent their days on the Vineyard. This explains the curious epitaph on the gravestone of Joseph in the West Tisbury cemetery "That being verified in him Psalms 92 14 They shall bring forth fruit in old age," a reference to his second marriage after middle life and the raising of a family. Joseph Merry and his young family, consisting of Hannah, Abigail, Bathsheba and Samuel, born between 1660 and 1669 in Hampton, continued residence there till 1670, when in some way he became attracted to the Vineyard. If we are to credit the tradition that Governor Mayhew's first wife was a Parkhurst, possibly the sister of George of Watertown, it will be seen that Elizabeth Merry was related by marriage to the proprietor of Martha's Vineyard and thus the family connection is responsible for Merry's migration. However that be, almost as soon as the new township of Tisbury had been bought by Pabodie and his partners, Merry bought of Benjamin Church, on Nov. 19, 1669, the grist mill and its privileges "uppon the westermost Brook of Takemmy" with one eighth part of the propriety, or two shares, in the new settlement. The purchase price was £90 and Merry paid for it in whole or in part with his Hampton property, the homestead, an island of salt marsh and two shares in cow and ox commons in that town. The deeds finally passed Dec. 2, 1670, (Mrs. Merry and Nathaniel Batchelor acting as his attorneys by previous appointment), and from this it is presumed that Merry was already at the Vineyard attending to his new purchase and preparing the new home for his little family. The property purchased consisted, as laid out, of the mill on the New Mill river so long operated by the Looks, with land adjoining on the west side of the road, and about eighteen acres on the east side of the road, bounded by the river. This last lot is still known as "Merry's Field" after a lapse of two and a half centuries, though the property did not remain in the family beyond 1705. After operating the mill for five years, Joseph Merry sold that part of his estate to Tristram Coffin of Nantucket, and being then about three-score-and- ten years of age it is presumed that he devoted the rest of his life to his trade and tilling the soil. There is no record as to the location of his house, but in all probability it was in his "Field." His public services were few. He was constable in 1675, road surveyor in 1678 and 1687, and was chosen to divide common lands in 1689 and 1690. On March 2, 1677-8, the grand jury presented him "for contempt of authoritie in not obeying the summons in his Majesties Name to give in testimony" and for this he was mulcted in the sum of five shillings. In 1681 he sued Simon Athearn in the sum of £20 "for non payment of a frame of an house," but the two compromised on £7 and divided the costs. On July 12, 1689, being then about 82 years of age, he gave his homestead by deed of gift to his only son Samuel, then just entering his 21st year, and from that date on until 1701 his name appears but once in the records, when he gave some "information" about the ancient bounds of a town lot, being then in his 84th year. He passed the century mark in 1707 and died April 5, 1710, at the remarkable age of 103, undoubtedly the oldest person who has ever lived in the town. It is not known whether he survived his wife Elizabeth, as there is no record of her death nor a stone at her grave. If she survived she was 82 when her husband died. Of his children further evidences of longevity are noticeable. His daughter Abigail Pease died in her 80th year and Hannah Skiffe at 97 years.*********Family MembersSpouseElizabeth Parkhurst1628-1657

Chil drenMartha Merry1647-1678Elizabeth Hilliard1654-1746Bathsheba Merry1665-1765Samuel Merry1669-1727*********SourcesMassachusetts Town Death Records about Joseph Merry

Name: Joseph Merry (See Merrey) Death Date: 15 Apr 1710 Burial Place: Tisbury Source: Vital Records of Tisbury Complete Record: Joseph, Apr. 15, 1710**********U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Joseph Merry Name: Joseph Merry Gender: male Birth Year: 1607 Spouse Name: Mary ??? Number Pages: 1*********U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 about Joseph Merry Name: Joseph Merry Gender: male Birth Year: 1607 Spouse Name: Elizabeth Parkhurst Spouse Birth Place: En Spouse Birth Year: 1628 Marriage Year: Dec Number Pages: 1***********Name: Joseph Merry Year: 1640 Place: New Hampshire Source Publication Code: 1262 Primary Immigrant: Merry, Joseph Annotation: Date and place of settlement or date and place of arrival. Names not restricted to the Order of Founders and Patriots of America. Source Bibliography: COLKET, MEREDITH B., JR. Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe, 1607-1657. Cleveland: General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, 1975. 366p. Page: 195

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Joseph Merry's Timeline

1607
1607
England
1647
1647
Age 40
Hampton, Upper Plantation, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1656
1656
Age 49
1659
December 14, 1659
Age 52
Hampton,Rockingham,New Hampshire
1665
June 16, 1665
Age 58
Hampton, North Plantation, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1669
November 16, 1669
Age 62
Hampton, New Hampshire, USA
1710
April 15, 1710
Age 103
Vineyard Haven, MA, USA
1710
Age 103
USA
1994
July 20, 1994
Age 103
2002
December 18, 2002
Age 103