Posted By:Matt Ahlgren
Subject:Joseph C. Merrell of Staten Island, oyster farmer, 10/7/1835-2/1/1887 (long)
Post Date:June 27, 2012 at 19:31:38
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Forum:Merrell Family Genealogy Forum
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The following comes from "Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and family history of New York" by William S. Pelletreau. I have put in caps the phrase that caught my eye:

"Joseph C. Merrell

For several generations the Merrell family have been domiciled on Staten Island. Abraham Merrell, the father of Joseph C. Merrell, was born on Staten Island, in 1794. He pursued the occupation of farming and, in addition to this, was a well known dealer in oysters. He married Elizabeth Lee, born in Newburg, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Merrell were the parents of five children: Anne Elizabeth, Charlotte, Abraham, Lavinia, Joseph C., see forward; Leonard, Mary Eliza, and John.

Joseph C. Merrell, son of Abraham and Elizabeth (Lee) Merrell, was born at Bloomfield, Staten Island, October 7, 1835. He was educated at the public schools on Staten Island, passing through them with credit to himself and his instructors. HE FOLLOWED IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS FATHER AS AN OYSTERMAN, and finding himself making a success of this business, continued at it all his life. He was quiet and retired in his manner, but his ready sympathy with any one in need of assistance that he was ready to give, made for him many friends.

He married, January 4, 1863, Sarah J. Decker, born December 4, 1841, at Chelsea Heights, Staten Island, daughter of Moses J. and Priscilla (Jones) Decker. Moses J. Decker was born at New Springville, Staten Island, in 1813, and his wife was born at Mariner Harbor, Staten Island, in 1814. Mrs. Joseph C. Merrell's paternal grandfather was John Decker, and her maternal grandather was Abraham Jones. Mr. and Mrs. Moses J. Decker had seven children: Edward, Ann Eliza, Rebecca, Sarah J., Lafayette, Priscilla, Moses. Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Merrell were the parents of seven children: Lafayette, born March 17, 1864, died August 9, 1865. Emma Jane, born October 13, 1865, married Robert Ball. Ulysses (twin), born August 5, 1868. Orville (twin), born August 5, 1868. Frederick W., born January 20, 1871. Olin B., born October 4, 1873. John H., born January 11, 1881. James [sic?] C. Merrell died February 1, 1887, and was buried in New Springville Cemetery."

I am interested in this particular fellow and his family because he may have been related to "Hetty" (prob. Hester, Esther or Heather) Merrell (8/28/1778-12/14/1850), wife of Josiah Wolcott Thompson (abt. 1776-1813), married July 3 1800 Essex County, NJ., and had 5 children (can give details if anyone wants). The reason I suspect that is that one of their sons, George Fountain Thompson, founding deacon of Mariners Harbor Baptist Church (now a Seventh-Day Adventist Church), formed an oyester business with his father Josiah Wolcott Thompson under the name "Jo. and George F. Thompson." I suspect that they had a third partner--possibly a relative of Hetty Merrell. So if anyone can give more information on the abovementioned families, I would greatly appreciate it.

Also if anyone knows anything about a resident of Utica in 1819, "George F. Merrell and his brother. Bradford S., bookbinders, came from Westmoreland, and learned their trade with their relative, Andrew Merrell. Both worked at different times for Seward & Williams. Bradford, abont 1825, set up business for himself, and continued in it until his death in 187L George, who died a few years previously, was always a journeyman, and latterly for his brother. Both have left their representatives in the city." I suspect this "George F." Merrell may be George F. Thompson's namesake.


Matt Ahlgren