Sarah Mirick/Merrick/Myrick, married John Atkinson

+4 votes
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Background: Merrick (also Myrick, Mirick, Mirrick, etc.) was the surname of several families in early New England, but records for them are sparse. The 1902 book Genealogy of the Merrick--Mirick--Myrick family of Massachusetts is the main source for the family genealogy in WikiTree. According to that book, four brothers from Wales (William, Thomas, James, and John) and their sister (Sarah) emigrated to Massachusetts in about 1636. The brothers in WikiTree are William, settled in Eastham, James, settled in Newbury, John, settled in Charlestown and died in 1678, and Thomas, went to Hartford and later Springfield. The Great Migration Directory lists only three Merrick men as arriving by 1640: John settled in  Hingham and died in 1647, Thomas went to Hartford and later Springfield, and William settled in Eastham. Other than the lack of good records and the indication that there probably were two different John Merricks among the early settlers, the men are reasonably well accounted for.

"Sister" Sarah is a source of confusion. There's a record of a Sarah Mirrick marrying a John Atkinson in Newbury in 1664. The 1902 Merrick Genealogy gives the marriage date as 1646 (is this a transposition of numbers?) and says (on this page) that this Sarah was the sister of the four brothers from Wales. She's also been identified as a daughter of James, (of Newbury) with a profile here that gives her the exact same birthdate as Thomas Merrick's daughter Sarah, who is recorded as marrying a man named Hitchcok. I've not seen a record for the birth or baptism of any of these Sarahs, but that doesn't mean that no records exist.

Based on the date of marriage, I'm inclined to think that Sarah who married John Atkinson was not an immigrant, but rather the daughter of one of the immigrants.

Questions to the profile managers and others who have worked this family:

  1. Are you aware of records for the birth of any of the Sarahs? (Not Ancestral File items or untraceable Edmund West entries in Ancestry, but actual records.)
  2. Other than the 1664 marriage (alleged to have been in 1646), are you aware of any evidence for the existence of sister Sarah?

Note: Purple text added in the bright light of day, several hours after original posting.

WikiTree profile: Sarah Merrick
in Genealogy Help by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
edited by Ellen Smith
Or any records, such as deeds or wills, that could help identify Sarah (Mirick) Atkinson's birth family??

3 Answers

+4 votes
No I am not aware of any good records for these families. I only have what I have picked off the genealogy sites, which in this case, may not be very accurate. I would like to hear anything pertinent to this case as it becomes available. I didn't realize how undocumented this family was.

Ken Hess
by Ken Hess G2G2 (3.0k points)
We're probably never going to be able to find records to substantiate very many of the details for the earliest New England generation of this family, but the 1902 genealogy looks like it may be fairly solid -- issues like the one with Sarah notwithstanding.
+4 votes
I have not worked on this profile up to now and I do not know of any sources other than the Merrick book. Your supposition is perfectly reasonable, but is it enough to change the profile?
by Henry Chadwick G2G6 Mach 4 (48.5k points)

Trouble is, the status quo situation is not sensible. There are three profiles for the Sarah Merrick who married John Atkinson, and none of them is coherent, consistent, and reasonably complete.

  1. The data section of the profile linked to this message has a birth in 1618 in Wales, no husband, and eight children (all named Atkinson) born between 1665 and 1684 (years when the mother would have been age 47 to age 66). To the contrary, the text of that same profile has six different versions of her birth, dates ranging from 1640 to 1647, in combination with locations in Wales and Massachusetts, and it has her marrying John Atkinson in 1664.
  2. The data section of profile https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Merrick-348 has Sarah as daughter of James, born in Charlestown, Mass., on a date in 1643 that is identical with the birthdate of Sarah who was born in Springfield, Mass., and it has her marrying John Atkinson in 1664, with two Atkinson children born in 1665 and 1673. The text of the profile discusses the similarity of the birth record to the Sarah, daughter of Thomas, born in Springfield.
  3. The third profile, of which I happen to be the adoptive profile manager, currently has her born in Charlestown in 1640 (in data section only; no parents named), and married to John Atkinson in 1664. Not much there!

I'm hoping we can (1)  end up with a single profile for Sarah Merrick who married John Atkinson (ideally, it would complete with parents and all of her children) and (2) determine whether there is evidence for two Sarah Merricks here or just one.

+4 votes

I've spent some time looking at this. The premise that Sarah Merrick wife of John Atkinson was a sister of the four immigrants is unreasonable and even the merrick Genealogy calls her probably. p. 267 I believe this is a connection of convenience. I think the Sarah attached to Meyrick-4 and Dorothy Bishop should be detached. And the Sarah's all merged Merrick-348, Mirick-13, Myrick-12, Merrick-478. The only place i see her name spelled is the marriage record. The printed Newbury record has Merricke. Two family search records have Mirrick. Neither of which we have. Maybe Merrick which is what Anderson uses, although not strictly speaking PGM.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Thanks, Anne!

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