Although Emmett P. Merritt in most of his earlier records stated that there was no known connection between our line and the William Merritt who is buried in Amenia NY, other's have thought differently. Many researchers consider him to be the father of our Ancestor Gilbert Merritt of Carmel. On this page I will share all of the notes and evidence that I or Emmett P. Merritt have collected. If, after you've read all these notes you want to know my opinion go to the MY THOUGHTS page on the menu to the left.
See William's Will at the Very bottom of this Page
Was William Merritt the
son of Samuel Merritt of Rye?
It was my grandfather Emmett P. Merritt's opinion that many
researchers believed William of Amenia to be a Descendent of Samuel Merritt of
to the Records of Douglas Merritt in his "Revised Merritt
Records". Emmett and Marjorie were doubtful and felt that Douglas was confused when he said
that William, son of Samuel of Rye, was the same William who filed his will
at Amenia, and who had sons Cornby and Gilbert, Their reasoning was that in the
Douglas Merritt records William son of Samuel is only given two sons: Cornby
and Gilbert, and the other children listed in William of Amenia's will are
not attributed to William son of Samuel. I don't know if this is true because I
have not seen Douglas Merritt's book myself. It is true and verifiable that
there was a Samuel Merritt of Rye, (Westchester County) who had a son named William but
there is much debate as to whether or not the two Williams were one and
What did Emmett P. Merritt Think
What is clear is that Emmett knew of William's existence for years and came across his name frequently in books and from other researchers who who were searching for the father of Gilbert Merritt of Carmel. It is my belief that he did not actually retrieve William's will until the late 1970's, I can't say this with certainty- it is just a feeling I have from reading his notebooks.
In the later years of his research it appears Emmett may have been wavering back and forth as to the parentage of Gilbert. However, because of notes which are contradictory it remains impossible to ascertain conclusively what he thought. I found one note for example, written on a small notepad stating that he 'may have found Gilbert's father'. Underneath this message he copied the will of William C. Merritt.
In the very last year of his life he had received a letter (Sept of 1985) from a Marjorie Bullock, (also a descendent of Gilbert of Carmel through Gilbert Merritt of Greene county and Fanny Eighmey), questioning him about the possiblity of William C. Merritt being Gilbert's father. (See copy of the letter). His wife Marjorie began notations for the composing of a letter in response. The notes she took were on scraps of paper that were placed in an envelope that included an outline of the line as EPM had always given it (Gilbert being the son of Gilbert Merritt Esq..etc) as well as the notation below.
Evidence from other researchers
Gilbert S. Merritt
The Lineage he gives is as follows
Genealogical Work of Mrs. Charles E. Merritt
Mrs Charles E. Merrit was a genealogist who worked on her
husbands line. Her work is in the genealogical library in New York City and is
often quoted by Merritt researchers. Her husband Charles was descended from a George Merritt who was reportedly
the son of Samuel Merritt of Rye NY and a brother of William Merritt. It was
her belief that this William Merritt was indeed the William Merritt of Amenia.
Mr. & Mrs. Charles E.
Merritt lived for many years in Marlboro NY where they owned a grocery store, and later
she relocated to Utica NY.
Misc. Evidence to take into
children: (see letter of Mrs Charles E. Merritt for more info on this Samuel)
William C. b 1712 d 03/21/1807 married Elizabeth
George b 04/23/1711 d 02/02/1759
David b? d. 1751
William C. Merritt
Son of ? made will at Amenia, NY10/27/1806 b 1711 or 12 m Elizabeth who died 03/30 1806 age 83y
Children: Cornby, Gilbert, Samuel, Ebenezer, Jesse, Mary
Various other Merritts of Dutchess/Putnam county in revised records whose relation to William is unknown or mentioned by others as being related
son of ? married Keizer Clapp he was in the Rev war settled in the town of Northeast. Ebenezer living in Northeast and having a son born in Amenia seems a good candidate for being William C. Merritt's son, though the most common information on Ebenezer son of William is that he married an Edith Brown who was born 1765 in Dutchess county and the relocated to Bainbridge, Chenango Co. He than moved to Coeymans Hollow in Albany Co, NY. where he died in 1809
John b. May 4, 1781 at Amenia NY d may 1850. He marrried Elizabeth Hill and together they had Chauncey b 11/12/1811 d 1879 lived at Prattsburgh, Sarah b 10/17/1813, Eliza b 12/21/1813, Emma J.b. 04/16/1817, Van Renssalear b08/15/1819 moved to Kansas, John b. 05/24/1821 d 01/11/1878, Alanson b 11/25/1823 moved to Italy NY, Lafayette b 12/03/1826. John and his wife moved to Yates county in 1827 and died at Jerusalem NY.
Ephriam b1792. he married Hannah Ritton. He moved from Poughkeepsie to Yates Co. about 1827 and d in Barrington. children: Morgann b. 10/01/1816, Peter A. b 11/15/1818, Rachel ann b 08/12/1820, Cherlotte b 04/20/1822, Enos b 11/15/1824
Ebenezer: Settled on the Delaware river
Peter: Settled in Penn.
son of ?, married a widow of Tompkins. Elijah lived in Barnstable Co. mass
Elisha born Jan 23 1769 who married Desire Fuller. (Carroll Fredrickson has Elisha as the son of Hackaliah son of William C. Merritt of Amenia) Desire was the daughter of Capt. Nathan Fuller. and was b. Sept 30 1775.
Lived at Carmel, Putnam Co. N.Y. Their children were: Hackaliah b 04/08/1794: moved to LaSalle Ill., Elijah b 11/09/1796: Lived in Putnam Co. in 1834 and moved to Peru Ill, Nathan b 11/14/1799, Nehemiah b 02/19/1802 moved to Peru Ill. and d in Afton Springs Iowa, Joseph b 07/02/1804, Daniel b 10/13/1806: moved to Peru Ill. , Martha b 03/17/1809, John b 02/13/1812: moved to Bloominton Ill, Stephen b 07/18/1814 Moved to Bloomington Ill 1934, Elisha Cole b 01/12/1818 moved to Peekskill NY
Nehemiah: Went to Lake Champlain country and settled
Polly: married a Griffin
Will of William C. Merritt
William Merritt's Will, Poughkeepsie Surrogates office Liber C, Page 75
"In the name of God amen, I William Merritt of the Town of Amenia,
County of Dutchess and State of New York, being sick in body but sound in mind
and memory do make and publish this my last Will and Testament in the manner
following, that is to say after paying all my just debts and other charges and
expenses in the execution of this my last Will I give and bequeath all my estate
to the following persons viz. first I bequeath unto my sons Cornby, Gilbert,
Samuel, Ebenezer, and Jesse (except as hereafter excepted) each two twelths
parts and the remainder I bequeath unto my daughters Mary and Elizabeth ach and
equal share, that is to say, each of them one twelth part and further more I
give and bequeath unto Daniel Cornwell on hundred and twenty five dollars in
consideration of his kindness and attention to me in my old age and present
sickness to be first paid and deducted out of my estate and the remainder
divided as foresaid. It is also my Will and desire that all my goods and
chattels, lands and tenements of every discription should be sold by my
executors as soon after my decease as be consistent and most advantageous to the
sale thereof and the proceeds paid over to the legatees as soon after it shall
be collected as shall be demanded. I do also hereby appoint Elijah Roe and
Alexander Neely of the Town, county and State aforesaid my sole executors of
this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. In
witness whereof I here unto set my hadn and seal the twenty seventh day of
October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and six