Who are the parents of Edward Purcell Merkley?

+3 votes
Edward Purcell Merkley was my G-grandfather. Born in 1895 in California.  Mother was Eliza Merkley who also had a daughter, Zella Merkley, born 1885.  Would like to know where they came from, parents, etc.  Edward died Jan 2, 1972 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  He left my grandmother, Ethel Merkley when she was a baby.  Really want to know more about my family.  Thank you so much!

Abbie Minckler

Salt Lake City, Utah
in Genealogy Help by

2 Answers

0 votes

This looks like it is your great-grandfather, listed in North Carolina, Death Certificates 1900-1975 at Ancestry.com. 



Name: Edward Porcell Merkley
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 78
Birth Date: 4 Jul 1893
Birth Place: California, United States
Death Date: 2 Jan 1972
Death Location: Black Mountn, Buncombe
Spouse's Name: Mae Mcallister
Father's Name: Dec Merkley
Residence: Asheville, Buncombe, North Carolina

Here is the source citation for the above:


Source Information:

Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina.


Unfortunately, when I went back to view the actual death certificate, his father is listed as "Merkley (dec)" and mother as "???". So his death certificate doesn't help at all. 

Now I'm curious, and I'm still looking! 

by Kellie Reeve G2G2 (2.2k points)
edited by Kellie Reeve


I would suggest looking for Merkley's coming from Canada, based on the birthplace

of the parents listed in the 1900 census.

There do seem to be several by that last name in the naturalizations. Good luck!

If you'd like me to help you look further, please sent me a private email :)



head William Pilger M 46 Germany
wife Tillie Pilger F 40 New York
son Lawrence Pilger M 15 California
daughter Florence Pilger F 17 California
lodger Eliza Merkley F 48 Canada Eng
lodger Zella Merkley F 15 Canada Eng
lodger Purcell Merkley M 7 Canada Eng
Thank you Kellie - I have found some stuff, but it is all pretty jumbled up.  I am amazed at this website - so glad I found you here.  I have to pay extra to see Canadian records on ancestry, but I'll try on RootsWeb and see what I can dig up.  This is my mother's lineage - need to take this as far as I can so that I can eliminate names on my Ancestry DNA results.  I am determined to find my father and his family - I have no idea who he is - the few names I've been given as suggestions just aren't panning out.

Unfortunately, the some of the Merkley family members were hanging out and traveling with the Mormons.  You should see all of the Mormon DNA I have - can I tell you just how much fun that is to sort out?

I'll keep you posted.  Thank you so much, again!

You're very welcome, Abbie!

I'm glad to see that my thoughts on Canada were correct given what Melinda was able to provide. I had looked a little bit at the Joseph that she mentions, but did not have time last night to come to any conclusions, and now I see why!

I agree that a visit to the Family History Center there in Salt Lake City would be a huge "must" for you, and looking on FamilySearch.org as well.

As with Melinda, if I can be of further help, please don't hesitate to email me and let me know what I can do.
0 votes

Abbie - Wow - this one took a while!  I saw your comments on Ancestry, so I will assume that you have already found EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY on the 1900, 1920 & 1940 Census's.  If you haven't please let me know which one you don't have and I will transcribe it for you.  I have been unable to find him on the 1930 Census.

I will also assume you found his "World War I Draft Registration Card".  If not, please let me know.

Ditto on his Death Certificate.

I found the marriage record of EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY and ALEOINA RUCKS on Sept. 26, 1915 in St. Paul, Ramsey Co., Minnesota.  ("ALEOINA is probably "ALVINA" - just transcribed wrong). (FHL #1314544)

I noticed that on all of the Census's, except the 1900, he states he was born in California.  But on the 1900 Census, it says that he and his sister, ZELLA, were born in Canada, as was their mother, ELIZA.

So, I went to the Canadian records.

EDWARD PURCELL and ZELLA MERKLEY's mother is ELIZA FORD.  She married JOSPEH MERKLEY on June 6, 1866 in Williamburg Township, Dundas, Ontario.  ELIZA is the daughter of CHRISTOPER FORD and SARAH HARRIMAN.

JOSEPH MERKLEY was born April 13, 1843 in Williamburg Towship, Dundas, Ontario and died Jan. 8, 1887 in Williamburg Township, Dundas, Ontario - he is buried in Old Union Cemetery in Dundas.

It appears that JOSEPH MERKLEY is the father of ZELLA, but not of EDWARD PURCELL MERKLEY, because EDWARD was born in 1893 and JOSEPH died in 1887,

To mix things up a little more - ELIZA FORD MERKLEY's sister, JANE FORD, married JOSEPH MERKLEY's brother, GEORGE EDWARD MERKLEY.

If you will go to Ancestry and type in JOSEPH MERKLEY - Canada, you will see a MERKLEY family tree, owned by Paul Brown of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He has some interesting information on the MERKLEY family!

Hope this helps you!  Sincerely, Melinda


by Melinda A G2G6 Mach 1 (14.5k points)
Melinda - YOU ARE AMAZING!!  Boy, I botched up a portion of my research....but I found my info on RootsWeb - there are definitely some discrepancies and I'm going to research it now.  I thought that Zella was Eliza's little sister - I found documents as well that show that Edward Purcell, Mary and Zella are siblings - parents are Cephrance C. Merkley and Susanna Casselman.  All of them are out of Williamsburg, Ontario, Canada and my 3 xs Great Grandfather, Jacob Merkley was one of the founders of Williamsburg.  Take a look at his photo.....he looks like Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol.....yikes!

Anyway, once I finsih tracing my mother's family, I'll do the whole process of elimination thing with my Ancestry DNA test.  However, if you take a look at my note to Kellie (above) you'll see that I've found an emormous mess with my DNA - LOTS of Mormons, with a ka-zillion wives and children to sort through - Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith and Brigham Young are throughout my DNA.  It is ironic....I am not Mormon but I live in Salt Lake City....and here I am trying to figure out who this "mystery man" is with a load of really difficult-to-trace DNA.  Haha!  I'm sure that my ancestors are laughing at me right now.

So - again, thank you so much for your help.  I will keep you posted.  I am always amazed when total strangers help out.  THANK YOU!!

Abbie - I am so glad that the information was helpful to you!  I subscribe to Ancestry and am able to access the Canadian records.  Send me a private message if you would like for me to look anything up for you.

You mentioned that you live in Salt Lake City - this is a dumb question, but have you been to the Mormon Family History Center?  I live in Alabama and will never be able to go, but I wish I could!  I have to settle for their website, familysearch.org - which is great!  Have you been to their website?  (it's free!)

Also, have you tried findagrave.com?  This website has over 90 million graves from all over the world.  Please check it out if you haven't already!

Feel free to contact me (private email) if I can help you in your search!

Sincerely, Melinda

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