Capt. Benjamin Merrill

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Capt. Benjamin Merrill's Geni Profile

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Benjamin Merrill

Birthdate: (40)
Birthplace: Hopewell, Burlington , New Jersey
Death: June 19, 1771 (40)
Hillsborough, Orange, North Carolina (Execution by hanging)
Place of Burial: Chapel Hill, Orange, North Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Merrill, Jr. and Penelope Herrin
Husband of Jemima Butner
Father of Samuel Merrill; John Merrill, Sr.; William Merrill; Anna McCrary; Nancy Ann Mendenhall and 6 others
Brother of William Merrill, III; Thomas Merrill and Penelope Hart
Half brother of John Jewell; Sarah Parke; Abigail Herrin; Ann Stout; Margaret Merrill and 1 other

Occupation: Captain of The North Carolina Regulators
Managed by: Juanita Millhouse
Last Updated:

About Capt. Benjamin Merrill

Captain Benjamin Merrill b abt 1730 Hopewell, Mercer, NJ, d 19 Jun 1771 Hillsborough, Orange, NC


This is the famous Benjamin Merrill so brutally executed for his participation in the Regulator revolt. Benjamin was a descendant of the immigrant William Merrill of Warwickshire and his wife Grace. The Merrills and many others of their community in New Jersey moved south to Rowan Co NC in the mid-1700's after many property and title disputes in New Jersey. This was a Baptist community; in North Carolina, they founded the Jersey Settlement and established their church.

Family notes

William and Penelope Merrill's family of four children is not of record since he died suddenly without a will, but all available evidence suggests they were:

2. Benjamin Merrill, born about 1730, died June 19, 1771 hanged by order of Gov. Tryon of North Carolina at Hillsboro. This is Captain Benjamin Merrill, the Regulator, of Rowan County, North Carolina.60

All his tree from WE Merrill (1935) history, Capt. Benj Merrill and the Merrill Family of NC, where the children listed are: Sam'l, John, Andrew, Wm, Chas, Elijah, Jona, Anna, Penelope. References to his children vary from 7 to 10, with 8 most common.

Merrill Bulletin #1-3 says 3 of his sons served in the Revolution.

Father-in-law's will names grandchildren, Benj's children.

biographical notes

From Find A Grave Memorial# 14133898

Benjamin Merrill was a Captain in the "Regulators" and was involved in the Battle of Alamance. He had about 300-400 men in his command. Captain Merrill and his command were enroute to the battle, but happened across a British Regiment, and captured them. Governor Tryon was there, in command of his troops. The Americans sent a representative to talk to the British, but Tryon himself killed the man, and told his troops to start firing on the Americans. They were reluctant to do so, and he then told them "to either fire on me, or fire on them".

So the battle commenced - which the Americans (who were not trained troops, but rather citizens in the militia), lost the battle and disbanded. Tryon then issued a proclamation that those that would lay down their arms, and swear alligence to the British Crown, would be forgiven - except Captain Benjamin Merrill and 5 or 6 others. The governor declared them "outlaws", and stated that when they were caught, they would be hanged, drawn and quartered, which they all were.

When the Chief Justice passed sentence, he concluded in the following manner: "I must now close my afficing Duty, by pronouncing upon you the awful sentence of the law; which is that you, Benjamin Merrill, be carried to the place whence you came, you be drawn from thence to the place of execution, where you are to be hanged by the neck; that you be cut down while yet alive, that your bowels be taken out and burnt before our face, that your head be cut off, your Body divided in Four Quarters, and this be at his majestys Disposal; and the Lord have Mercy on your Soul".

Captain Benjamin Merrill was hanged by the British on 19 June 1771 at Hillsboro, N.C. by then Governor Tryon.


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Capt. Benjamin Merrill's Timeline

Hopewell, Burlington , New Jersey
Age 17
Hopewell Township
December 11, 1750
Age 19
Hopewell, Burlington County, New Jersey
Age 23
Hopewell, NJ Hunterdon Co.
Age 23
Rowan, NC, United States
Age 25
Lexington, Davidson County, North Carolina, United States
May 8, 1757
Age 26
Hopewell, Burlington County, New Jersey
Age 28
Jersey Settlement, Rowan County, North Carolina
November 1761
Age 30
Rowan County, North Carolina,