John Merriken Life Sketch

(1689 - 1754)

John Merriken was born on June 4, 1689, in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. John married Mary Stephans on September 26, 1710, in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. John Merriken died in 1754 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland.

Merriken also spelled: Merrikin, Merekin, Merrica, Merikin, Merrekin, Merican, Maricken, Merrican


John Merriken was born June 4, 1689, in Anne Arundel, British Colonial Maryland, the second child and oldest son of Joshua Merriken and Grace Bayly. John was raised on his father’s 400 acre part of a plantation known as “Scotland”, located in the Broadneck of Anne Arundel County by Chesapeake Bay and Scotcher’s Creek, today's Meredith Creek.

At the age of 21, John married Mary Stephans (or Stevens) on September 26, 1710, in Anne Arundel County. John and Mary had the following known children:

  1. Rachel Merriken
  2. Mary Merriken
  3. Charles Merriken
  4. Tabitha Merriken
  5. John Merriken
  6. Tabitha Merriken
  7. Joshua Merriken
  8. Charles Merriken

Children Charles, Tabitha, Tabitha (II) and Charles (II) all died as infants.

John’s father Joshua died in 1713. John was named co-executor of the estate along with his mother. John’s father devised half of his 400 acres plantation “Scotland” to John and the other half to John’s brother Joshua.

Shortly after the death of his father, John’s mother Grace died. Grace died without a will and as oldest heir at law, John inherited the following tracts of land from his mother:

“Woodham” - 50 acres

“Young Richard” - a 75 acre part

“Bayly’s Content” - 24 acres

“Leonard’s Neck” - ½ of a 20 acre part“Betty’s Point” - ½ of 90 acres

On May 12, 1714, John sold “Woodham” to William Barnett.

In 1720 the tract “Scotland” was the subject of a court case initiated by his cousin Joshua Merriken, son of Hugh Merriken.

Around 1721 John’s younger brother Joshua died. Upon Joshua’s death, the half of “Scotland” which had been devised to Joshua reverted to John. John now possessed 400 acres of “Scotland”.

In 1722 John’s cousin Joseph Pettibone sold the other ½ parts of “Leonard’s Neck” and “Betty’s Point” to John. Joseph Pettibone was heir at law to the tracts through his mother Ann Bayly, sister to John’s mother Grace. A few years later in 1728, John was the executor of Joseph Pettibone’s estate. Joseph died leaving 2 sons under the age of 10. In 1735 Joseph’s son Philip Pettibone chose John as his guardian.

In 1732 John conveyed to his sister Sarah Wright and her husband Samuel, the slave that was devised to Sarah by their father.

In 1736 John patented two tracts of vacant land “Persimond Point also known as “Persimmon Point”, 15 acres, and “Fox Point”, 6 acres.

In 1739 John sold his 75 acre part of “Young Richard” to William Cumming.

By 1741 records refer to John as “Captain John Merriken”. The title “Captain” was a military distinction rather than a maritime title as at the time, maritime titles were “Master” or “Commander”. John was also appointed land commissioner.

In 1742 John and his son John rode out to his brother’s Hugh’s plantation on the south side of the Patapsco River where John showed his son the boundary of "your uncle Hugh Merriken's land."

By 1744 John’s sister Sarah and her husband Samuel Wright were both deceased and John became guardian to their 2 children, his nephew Charles Wright and niece Elizabeth Wright. John bound Charles Wright to his brother Hugh Merriken to learn the trade of carpentry. Curiously, Samuel Wright devised his land, “Rattle Snake Point”, and £50 to 10 year old daughter Elizabeth while 12 year old son Charles was to be paid £20 and be free at the age of 18. Since the manner in which the land is devised is highly unusual, it may indicate that Charles had some type of disability.

In March of 1752, John Merriken wrote his will and by April 2, 1754, John was deceased. John’s wife died sometime prior to John.

John Merriken died at the age of 64 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland.

John possessed the following tracts of land at the time of his death:

“Scotland” - 400 acre part

“Betty’s Point” - 90 acres

“Leonard’s Neck” - 20 acre part

“Persimond Point” - 15 acres

“Fox Point” - 6 acres

“John devised his son John half of “Scotland”, “Betty’s Point” and “Leonard’s Neck”. John’s son Joshua was devised the other half of “Scotland” and “Fox Point”. Grandson Lemuel Hammond, son of his daughter Mary, received “Persimond Point”. Also receiving legacies in John’s will were his granddaughter Francis Hammond, daughter of Mary, and grandson Joseph Merriken, son of his son John.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch Completed: May 2021


Sources:

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, John Merreken, .

"Maryland Marriages, 1666-1970", database, FamilySearch, Jno. Merekin, 1710.

“Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno Meriken in entry for Charles Meriken, 1715.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno Meriken in entry for Tabitha Meriken, 1716.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno Meriken in entry for Jno Meriken, 1718.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno Meriken in entry for Tabitha Meriken, 1720.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno Meriken in entry for Joshua Meriken, 1722.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, John Meriken in entry for Charles Meriken, 1724.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Jno. Meriken in entry for Rachel Meriken, .

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Wills. LIber 14 Folio 35.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IB 2 Folio 165.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IT 5 Folios 44-50.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RCW 2 Folio 94.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RD 2 Folio 109.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Patent Certificates #1219 & #519.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber RB 1 Folio 1.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Aug 1735, pg 283.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Mar 1743, pg 765.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Nov 1744, pg 105.

“Anne Arundel County Land Commissions”, Anne Arundel Readings, Vol 13 No 1. Anne Arundel Genealogical Society. Anne Arundel, MD. Jan 2010.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Wills. Liber 23 Folio 264.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Wills. Liber 29 Folio 80.

John Merriken genealogy research