So my subject for today is my immigrant ancestor Joseph Merriam St, my 10x great grandfather.He came from a well- to- do merchant family back in Kent England and was wealthy enough to charter a ship, the Castle, along with some of his brothers and colleagues) to come to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Here are some excerpts from Merriam Genealogy in England and America by Charles Henry Pope, Charles Pierce Merriam, C. E. Gildersome- Dickinson, James Sheldon Merriam:
Joseph (William'), eldest of the sons mentioned in the father's will, and the only one through whom the family name has descended, was probably born in the county of Kent, about the year 1600. He married Sara, daughter of John and (probably) Frances (Jefferie) Goldstone, whose brother was a resident of the town of Tonbridge, near by the home of Joseph and that of his father at the period of the emigration...
Merriam Genealogy in England and America, Charles H. Pope, Boston, Ma. 1906
We know that Joseph had learned and entered on the business which his father had followed, for Robert Goldstone's will gives him the title “clothier,” which is evidence of an unquestionable sort. This business had put him in possession of good means for the venture on a voyage to New England, and gave him a good start here. But it would necessarily give him a great deal of work in the line of collections, settlements, sales, and shipments. With so much property and such excellent business experience, it is not strange that he joined with others in chartering a vessel and taking freight and passengers to help pay the expenses of the voyage. The particulars of his venture are many of them brought out in connection with lawsuits between the partners...
Joseph made his home in Concord, having a comfortable homestead for a “planter.” He was soon received to the church, and, in accordance with the method of the time, was admitted to the freemanship or citizenship of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay on the 14th of the first month, March, 1638–9, nine months after his arrival.
His life in the colony was brief. He died on the first day of January (1(11), 1640-1, leaving a will which shows his business-like habits and his kindly thought for the welfare of others.
His oldest son William was not yet of age. The expected child had provision made for his support. Two of the foremost citizens of the little town and his brother Robert were charged with the duty of overseeing the carrying out of his plans for his loved ones....
The widow Sara married second, Lieut. Joseph Wheeler, of Concord. The three sons, William, Joseph, and John, joined in a quitclaim deed of any rights they might be supposed to have in the estate of Joseph Wheeler, “their fatherin-law'” (or stepfather as we now say), April 17, 1667. Sarah, “wife of Lift. Joseph Wheeler,” died March 12, 1670–1.
5. i. William; b. in England about 1624.
ii. Sarah, b. in England about 1626.
6. iii. Joseph, b. in England about 1628.
iv. Thomas, b. in England; living in 1637.
v. Elizabeth, b. in England; m. Thomas Henchman (Hinkesman); living in 1681 and a legatee of her uncle Robert Merriam, of Concord.
vi. Hanna, b. in England; living in 1637.
7. vii. John, b. after the death of his father, at Concord, July 9, 1641.