Which Benjamin Merrick/Myrick married Rebecca Doane in 1699 on Cape Cod?

+5 votes

There were two Benjamin Merricks in Eastham, on Cape Cod in the 1660s and 1670s. Both descend from PGM ancestor William Merrick. Which one lived to adulthood? They were an uncle and nephew, and both had fathers named William Merrick. In order to keep them straight let's use their mothers as their identifying distinction. 

*The uncle is Benjamin Merrick-52, born in 1664 in Eastham, the son of Rebecca Tracy.

*The nephew is Benjamin Merrick-2449, born in 1674 in Eastham, the son of Abigail Hopkins.

There are two authoratative publications that say that Benjamin Merrick married first Rebecca Doane, and second, Rachel Holmes. The evidence is clear that only one of the Benjamin Merricks was the husband of both of these women. But which one?

The connundrum is that Mary Walton Ferris, ''Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines,'' 2 vols. (n.p., 1931), p. 585 says he was the son of Rebecca Tracy, while ''Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Vol. 6, Stephen Hopkins'' (the Mayflower "silver book") states that he was the son of Abigail Hopkins.

It appears to me that the son of Abigail Hopkins is correct based on three documents: 

* A deed dated on 3 February 1741/2 where Benjamin Merrick, along with his brother Nathaniel and sister Ruth, conveyed land to Jonathan and Joseph Sparrow, as intended by "William Mirrick late of Harwich" deceased (the husband of Abigail Hopkins). Note the date is 1742. A partial transcription can be found here: Bowman, George Ernest, "Unrecorded Barnstable County Deeds - Myrick and Foster to Sparrow" ''Mayflower Descendant'' Vol. 15:203.

*The will of William of Harwich (married Abigail Hopkins) who died in 1732 can be found here in Barnstable County Probate Records Vol. 5:33

*The will of William of Eastham (married Rebecca Tracy) died much earlier in 1689, can be found here in Barnstable County Probate Records, Vol. 1:22

With the deed stating indirectly the relationship between Benjamin as being the son of William of Harwich, husband of Abigail, and the will of the same William of Harwich, I feel the conclusion is reached that these are the proven father & son. 


[NOTE: The profiles for the two Benjamins currently are connected in the reverse of what I'm presenting here.]

WikiTree profile: Benjamin Merrick
in Genealogy Help by Bobbie Hall G2G6 Pilot (229k points)
edited by Bobbie Hall
It would have been nice if William of Eastham had named all his children. But I think given the evidence and the fact that the Hopkins "Mayflower Families" has the newest research, I'm leaning towards s/o William and Abigail.
Bobbie, thanks for taking this on, but please explain to my pre-coffee brain, how do these docs identify which Benjamin married first Rebecca, then second, Rachel?

I wasn't really trying to prove the wives Jillaine, but who his parents were. But since you asked... Although there is no first marriage recorded, the will of Daniel Doane in 1712 names Rebecca ye wife of Benjamin Myrick. The children of Benjamin & Rebecca Merrick are recorded in several ways: via Benjamin's will, and some via the Harwich VRs. His second marriage to Rachel is recorded in Harwich, and she is mentioned also in his will, with "the estate she brought with her," signaling a second marriage.

I've been holding off on adding some of the sources to Benjamin's profile, as I wanted to add to the right one.

Bobbie, your original question was asking which Benjamin Merrick married Rebecca then Rachel. I've had two cups of coffee now (since writing earlier) and still don't quite see it...
Perhaps my question should have been: "Was the husband of Rebecca Doane the son of Abigail Hopkins or Rebecca Tracy?"

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