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Nathaniel Merriman (1613 - 1694)

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Capt. Nathaniel Merriman
Born in Tenderen, Kent, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Son of and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 14 Sep 2010
This page has been accessed 3,868 times.

Categories: New Haven, Connecticut | Signers of the New Haven Fundamental Agreement | New Haven, New Haven Colony | Puritan Great Migration.

The Puritan Great Migration.
Nathaniel Merriman migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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Disputed Information

Nathaniel was not born 2 Jun 1613 in Tenterden. He was not the son of Theophilus.

Nathaniel did not marry Abigail Olney, or Joan LInes, daughter of John LInes

See Space:Theophilus Merriman. The False Pedigree and Information about Nathaniel Merriman for detail.


Nathaniel Merriman was born in Tenderen, Kent, England on June 2, 1613, the son of George Merriman. Nathaniel came from London to Boston in The Whale, on May 26, 1632.

Nathaniel Merriman was one of the original settlers of Wallingford, New Haven Colony. He had lots Nos. 1 and 2, on the north, west and east corners of the South Cross street, also lot No. 2, adjoining the west lot.[1] He became a farmer and a person of consequence in the town

Nathaniel was in New Haven by 1639 when he received a small lot given to those who would settle there in the first division of land. He was one of a committee of five with Mr. Yale and William Andrews, who were to "set out the bounds with lasting marks" between the colony of New Haven and that of Connecticut in 1660.

He served in the Pequot War; a signer of the "Fundamental Agreement" of the New Haven Colonists; Ensign of the New Haven Artillery Company in 1662. In October 1665 he was confirmed Sergeant, of the New Haven Train band by the General Court. In 1672 he removed to Wallingford, where he was confirmed Lieutenant of the Train band in 1672. On 1 November 1675 he was appointed Captain of the Troop of Dragoons raised in New Haven in King Philip's War, and in 1691-92 was by vote continued in that office. He signed the Plantation Covenant at New Haven in 1639, and in 1673 was on a committee to fix the boundary lines between Wallingford and other towns. He served as deputy to the General Court from Wallingford. Although he was not a resident, he was allowed 5 acres on his taxable New Haven estate, undoubtedly for war service in the Pequot War.

The only known wife of Nathaniel Merriman was Joan. She was born about 1628 and died 8 Dec 1709 ae 81 "No basis of fact has been found for oft-repeated statements that he m. (1) Abigail Olney."[2]

Nathaniel died on February 13, 1693/94 in the 86th year of his life. Wallingford, New Haven Co, Connecticut.[3]Connecticut Vital Records to 1850 "Wallingford" (Online Database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928. p. 226</ref> Savage says age 80.?


"Officials of Connecticut and the New Haven Colonies: "Served in the Pequot War; Sergeant, Artillery Co. (prior to 1664); ensign, New Haven Train Band, May 1664; confirmed Sergeant of same July 1665. Lieutenant Wallingford Train Band May 1672; Capt. New Haven County Dragoons, Nov. 1675; Deputy (Wallingford) May 1674.
Jacobus, in a Merriman genealogy: "Nathaniel Merriman was born in England about 1613, came to Boston in 1632, served in the Pequot War of 1637, lived in New Haven from 1640 to 1670, then became one of the principal founders of Wallingford, Conn., where he died 13 Feb. 1693/4. He was ensign of the military company in New Haven, lieutenant of that in Wallingford, and was appointed a Captain to raise troops for King Philips War of 1675. He was town clerk of Wallingford for eight years, selectman for five years, and was nine times a deputy from Wallingford to the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut." He left a will 6 June 1692.
"1632- Nathaniel Merriman arrived in Boston on The Whale, with members of the Plough Company, an association of Puritans which had also sent out a party the previous year. A letter dated London 8 March 1631/2 recommends several of its passengers to members of the Plough Company in Massachusetts for employment; it says 'there is Nathaniel Merriman upon the adventure of Peter Wouster, being now made up to £10.
1637- He served in the Pequot War...the General Court of Connecticut made in 1698 a grant of fifty acres of land to his son John 'in consideration of his father's service in the Pequot warrs.'
1639- Sixty-three planters at New Haven met in Mr. Newman's barn and framed a 'foundamentall agreement' regarding the government of the colony...the tenth name in the second column is 'Nath. Merrriman.'
1641- At a meeting held 17 March, lots were drawn for certain parcels of meadow land. Nathaniel Merriman was assigned one of the 'small lots on ye banke side by ye west creeke.'
1644- On 1 July in the General Court held at New Haven the Governor gave the oath to the free burgesses of the colony. In a list of 182 names that of Nathaniel Merriman is ninety-second.
1648-The Court ordered on 2 Nov. that land on the east side near the red rock should be assigned to him.
1649-He and four others petitioned the Court on 1 March for land on the east side next to sea and beyond Cove River. Objection being made a committee was appointed, which reported in favor on May 10, but the matter was not then decided. About this time one-third of the 'meadow and second division was allotted to him. On 11 June he was excused from the General Court to do work for a vessel which was about to sail. On 29 Nov the Court ordered that all the houses in the town should be valued or rated, and Nathaniel Merriman and William Russell were appointed as a committee for this purpose.
1653-On 3 June 'Nathaniel Merriman passes over to Ffrancis Brown his home and lott on the banke side betwixt the lott that was Goodman Marsh his and that wch was Hen Pecks and all his lands belonged to him on ye east side against Dragon point.
1656-A list of the people as they were seated on 11 Feb in the meeting-house according to rank shows Nathaniel Merriman in one of the seats on the side, his being No. 92 among 132 men, while 'Goodwife' Merriman had a closely corresponding seat on the women's side...Nathaniel Merriman petitioned on 3 Oct 'that he might have the ground in ye Oyster shell field that he had last year.'
1660-On 23 April he was appointed by the General Court as one of the committee of five 'to set out the bounds with lasting marks' of a parcel of land purchased of the Indian chief, Montowese. On 4 Dec he 'declared against William Thorpe in an action for a debt of 2 lb. 15 s for a gown.' They agreed to arbitration.
1661-On 27 June his children Abigail, Mary and John were baptized by Rev. John Davenport.
1662-A seating list of the meeting-house of Feb 2 shows Nathaniel Merriman in one of the long seats in the middle, he being No. 30 among 132 men, while 'Sister' Merriman had a closely corresponding seat on the women's side. On 9 May 'the town moved to consider about an Ensign...then Nathaniel Merriman (who had formerly been a Sergt. to the Artillery Company was nominated and by vote chosen Ensign for the Company.
1665- At the session of the Court on 6 July he was confirmed as the first sergeant of the train New Haven.
1666-On 2 January, he was selected as a juror. On 8 March he bought of Isaac Whitehead 'all his part of land given by the town,' He also sells to John Moss 'half the forementioned land and meadow excepting the homestead.
1669- At this October session of the court, there was presented a list of ninety-one freemen of New Haven, prepared in accordance with an order of the previous May. The names are evidently arranged according to rank, and Nathaniel merriman is No. 35 on the list. In this year thirty-eight men of New Haven, selected by a committee of the most prosperous planters, sign an agreement regarding the settlement of the intended village of Wallingford. Nathaniel Merriman's name is fourth on the list.
1670- The settlement of Wallingford was begun and the first apportionment of land was made among the planters for house lots. To Nathaniel Merriman was allotted six acres on the northeast corner of the present Main and Ward Streets and six acres in the northwest corner of the same street, while Nathaniel Merriman, Jr. was allotted six acres to the west side of Main street adjoining the lot of Nathaniel Merriman, Sr. On 22 Sept a committee reported on the bounds between Branford and Wallingford. Mr. John Moss and Nathaniel Merriman representing the latter town.
1672- A manuscript record of 8 Feb shows that he had permission 'to burne from Hesoulds plain to ye outside or bounds.' On 9 May Nathaniel Merriman, Senr. was confirmed by the Court as lieutenant of the Wallingford train band. On 27 May twenty five planters renewed and resubscribed the agreement of 1669. Nathaniel Merriman, Sen., is third and Nathaniel Merriman, Jr., is seventeenth on the list. On 29 July he was appointed as one of a committee of nine to arrange for a further distribution of land among the planters.
1673- This committee decided 3 Jan that the planters should be divided into three ranks, the lowest rank to have half as much as the highest, and the middle rank to have three-quarters as much as the highest. Then follows a list of nine men of the highest rank in which occurs the name 'Nathll Merriman, Sen...' In July...eighty acres [were allotted] to each of the highest rank. In May he was elected town clerk of Wallingford and continued to hold office for nine and one-half years. During this year he served on a committee to secure the erection of a mill for grinding corn. He was one of a committee to establish the bounds between New Haven and Wallingford. He was chosen to keep an ordinary and he promised to try it for one year if each planter would furnish twenty fence rails and four posts ready mortised.
1674- He was one of the deputies or representatives, of Wallingford to the session of the General Court of Connecticut which met in May. Nathaniel Merriman was a juryman in...[the New Haven County] Court on the following dates: 13 Nov. 1672, 1 Jun 1673, 1 June 1674, and 14 June 1676.
1675-On 15 Feb he was appointed one of a committee to establish and maintain a church of Christ. This was a year of great anxiety of impending attacks by the Narragansett Indians. On 27 Aug the houses of Rev. Mr. Street and Lieut. Merriman were ordered to be fortified. On 5 Oct an especial appeal was issued for men to build flankers at Lieut. Merriman's barn. On 1 Nov at a meeting of the Council of the Court of Connecticut, Lieut. Merriman was confirmed as captain of a troop of dragoons to be raised in New Haven County. King Philip's War then followed. It is not known what part Nathaniel Merriman took in it, although the subsequent action of the people of Wallingford indicates that his services were important. His name is not found as captain of any of the five Connecticut companies which went to Rhode Island to subdue the Indians. On 19 December the troops attacked the Indians in their fortified encampment in a swamp in Rhode Island, slew about five hundred and took many captives. Nathaniel Merriman, Jr. was killed in this bloody fight.
1676- Dangers from the Indians still threatened the colony. On 3 March Lieut. Merriman and Ensign Munson wrote to the council at Hartford concerning the garrisoning of houses. On 4 March, Mr. Moss, Lieut. Merriman and Benj. Lewis were chosen a committee to see that the fortifications be made sufficient. On 3 March they sent to the Council at Hartford an urgent appeal for help.
1678- In May he was again deputy for Wallingford at the Court in Hartford, but being ill he was permitted to withdraw. At this session he was appointed one of the commissioners (magistrates) of Wallingford for the ensuing year. On 13 December he and Abraham Doolittle were appointed 'to speak with ye town of New Haven for a bridge at ye place commonly called ye pines on the road from Wallingford to New Haven.'
1680- On 20 Dec the town 'grants a lot to Nathaniel Merriman for one head and what estate he hath in his list.'
1681- Indian chiefs executed a deed to the town of Wallingford, Nathaniel Marriman being one of the five trustees named therein.
1683- John Talcott deeded a tract of land to five trustees for the benefit of the town, Nathaniel Merriman being one of them.
1685- A list of the proprietors of lands in New Haven for this year includes that of Nathaniel Merriman. On 26 Jan at a town meeting at Wallingford it was voted 'the town sharing their respect to those that were employed in the country's service during the war do grant unto Lieut. Merriman 1 acres and to the brothers of Nathaniel Merriman that was slain in the fort fight 10 acres. In October he represented Wallingford for the last time as Deputy to the General Court. All together he had served nine times in that honorable position.
1686- On 14 Feb the town granted to Lieut. Merriman 8 acres of his soldier's land joining to a swamp. This evidently refers to the land granted to him in the previous year.
1690- Lots being cast for the land at falls Plain he drew No. 24, his son John drew No. 58, and his son Samuel drew No. 53.
1691-He evidently contemplated retiring from the command of the train band, but dissention arose among the men in regard to his successor. The Court ordered 14 May that he should continue as lieutenant until otherwise ordered. In October this action was reaffirmed by the General Court. In the following year, the Court appointed a committee to go to Wallingford and lead the train soldiers in an orderly choice of officers.
1692-On 6 June he wrote his will....On 9 Sept another paragraph was added...
1694-On 8 Feb he was probably ill and unable to sign a codicil...'Capt. Nathaniel Merriman deceecd in ye 80st year of his age ffebrury-13-1693/4' Such is the Wallingford record."
He appointed his wife Joane Merriman and son Caleb as executors. To Joane- certain real and personal property during lifetime, to revert to Caleb on decease. "'ye bed bolster & pillows, with a paire of ye best sheets, the best rug and blanket, the curtains and vallens with the bedstead, all wch we have usually reposed in during the time of our living together.' 'As for my other two somes John & Samuell Merriman, they have already received their porcons in housing lands cattle & other estate my will is yet each of them have twenty shillings as a legacy.'" To Mary Curtis- £5. To wife- one third of certain cattle, one-half of certain household goods, rest to surviving daughters. To Caleb- "certain tools, 'my military books, my cutlash & sash, my best gun & all other accoutrements belonging to military affairs except complete arms and ammunition according to law for any one man servant that my wife may have occasion to keep.'" Surviving sons-Clothes. He later changed his mind and split his military books, his corn fan, and carpenter tools between his three sons.
A brief inventory of March 6th- home lot, orchard and pasture, house and barn £145, 338 acres of other land in Wallingford 196 12 6, a meadow in New Haven 40 0 0, cattle 40 5 0,carpenter tools and agricultural implements 17 10 10, hay and other supplies 18 0 6, money 1 16 5, guns and military 8 10 0, household 81 3 10. Total 561 15 7.
A letter written by John Moss and Nathaniel Merriman, copied into that volume: "'Honored Sirs these few lines are to certifie you...that last nigh Goodman Coles house was burnt and this morning came wume Thoms and severall Indeans with him a pass from S Major Treat which indeans we did suspect to have burnt it but they say they lay at Serj Beckles, and came out at Wethersfield Sun 2 hours high and it was dark before they came to Serj Becklies. But while the indeans now here at Wallingford their came some souldiers downe and they say that these indeans came out of Wethersfield about sun half an hour high and Dum Thom sayeth that Mr. Chester and Wethersfield Miller saw them when they came by the mill. And these indeans say that they saw a great many traks and some of them went towards Matabesut mountains, and others toward the hanging hills as they judge near 100. These things being considered we doe judge the enemie is near us and therefore doe desire that you would speedyly consider our position and send use some help. And soe being in hast wee rest desiring your prayers that the lord would guid you and us to do that which may most please him, we rest
Your Humble Servants
ffrom Wallingford John Moss senior
the 3th of the 1st mo 1676 Nathaniel Merriman


Children of Nathaniel and Joan.[2]

  1. Nathaniel died without issue 19 Dec 1675 (killed in St. Phillips War)
  2. John d. 26 Sep 1651 in New Haven, Connecticut
  3. Hannah b. 16 May 1651, New Haven; m. John Ives and Joseph Benham
  4. Abigail b. 18 Apr 1654 New Haven; m. John Hitchcock
  5. Mary b. 12 July 1657; m. 9 June 1674 Thomas Curtis
  6. John b. last of Feb 1659/60 in New Haven. m. (1) Hannah Lines (2) Elizabeth Peck (3) Hannah (Dewey) Newberry, (4)Elizabeth (Brown)
  7. Samuel b. 29 Sep 1662 New Haven ; d. 25 Sep 1694; m. Anna Street
  8. Caleb b. May 1665, New Haven; d. 19 July 1703; m. Mary Preston
  9. Son b. 1667 d. 1667
  10. Son b. 1667 d. 1667
  11. Elizabeth b. 14 Sep 1669 New Haven; d. 2 Feb 1749 ae 81; m. Ebenezer Lewis and William Frederick


  1. Davis, Charles Henry Stanley. History of Wallingford, Conn., from its Settlement in 1670 to the Present Time. Meriden, Conn.: 1870. link at Archive p. 848 Beware there are errors.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jacobus, Donald Lines (compiler). Families of Ancient New Haven, Vol I-VIII. and Index Vol IX New Haven: 1931. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974, 1981, 1997. Originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Volumes I-VIII. Rome, NY and New Haven, CT 1922-1932.

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No known carriers of Nathaniel's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

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On 19 Nov 2017 at 22:09 GMT Anne B wrote:

The birth date on this profile is part of a fictitious Pedigree for Nathaniel. There were no Merriman's in Tenterden. See for an explanation

On 25 Apr 2017 at 09:37 GMT Anne B wrote:

At the moment most of Nathaniel's children have no mother, because I disconnected Abigail Olney. I will reconnect when the Joan question gets answered.

On 25 Apr 2017 at 09:32 GMT Anne B wrote:

What sources do you have that list Joan's surname as Lines? Jacobus and Torrey call her Joan _____. If there are no legitimate sources, her name will need to be changed to Unknown. Thank you.

On 1 Apr 2017 at 18:18 GMT Anne Phillips wrote:

Go ahead and remove Abigail Olney. Should be Joan Lines marriage to Nathaniel Merriman 1650 in Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut.

Massachusetts location is totally wrong -- impossible. I know I didn't put that there.

On 1 Apr 2017 at 16:31 GMT Anne B wrote:

Abigail Olney needs to be removed as wife. See her profile. Objections?

Nathaniel is 18 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 23 degrees from Carol Keeling, 11 degrees from George Washington and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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