Joshua Merriken Life Sketch

(abt 1658 - 1713)

Joshua Merriken was born about 1658 likely in England. Joshua married Grace Bayly around 1685 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland. Joshua Merriken died in 1713 in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland.

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


Joshua Merriken was born about 1658 likely in England, the third son of John and Christian Merriken. Joshua was a young child when in 1659 his mother transported him and his family to Anne Arundel County in the Province of Maryland. Joshua grew up on the plantation his father purchased, a 100 acre part of “Scotland” located in the Broadneck of Anne Arundel County near the Chesapeake Bay and Scotcher’s Creek, today’s Meredith Creek.

Following the death of his father around 1663, Joshua lived with his older brother John on “Scotland”. John died before 1679 and as of today, no records have been found that disclose John’s intention for the tract “Scotland”. If John died intestate, “Scotland” would descend to the next heir at law, second oldest son Hugh. What is known is that both Joshua and his brother Hugh lived on “Scotland” following John’s death.

Around 1685 Joshua married Grace Bayly, daughter of Richard Bayly. Joshua and his wife Grace moved to one side of “Scotland”, the side east of Scotcher’s Creek, where they had the following known children:

  1. Elizabeth Merriken
  2. John Merriken
  3. Hugh Merriken
  4. Charles Merriken (twin of Mary)
  5. Mary Merriken (twin of Charles)
  6. Mary Merriken
  7. Joshua Merriken
  8. Comfort Merriken
  9. Sarah Merriken

Joshua was a shipbuilder, and likely shipbuilding was the family’s profession as Joshua’s brother Hugh was also a shipbuilder.

In March of 1695 Joshua Merriken “Boatwright” purchased from John Turner “Treadhaven Point”, also known as “Tredhaven Point”, 150 acres on the south side of the Patapsco River formerly in Anne Arundel County but at the time in Baltimore County.

In February of 1696 Joshua’s father-in-law Richard Bayly wrote his will and by March Richard had died. Joshua was named executor of his father-in-law's estate. Joshua’s wife Grace was devised her father’s home plantation, unnamed in his will, but consisted of “Bayly’s Content” 24 acres, a 75 acre part of “Young Richard” and “Woodham”, a 50 acre tract. Richard also devised Grace’s 4 children 10 shillings each, indicating that 1 of the twins, Charles or Mary, was deceased by this date.

In 1697 Joshua’s brother Hugh and nephew Joshua sailed to England, leaving in Joshua’s charge his estate and deeds and papers, and possibly in care of his youngest daughter Ann, who was 5 years of age. Hugh died in England in early 1698. Joshua administered Hugh’s estate and became guardian to 2 of Hugh’s children, Joshua, who sailed back to the Province of Maryland in 1701, and Ann.

In 1698 Joshua, along with Thomas Croker patented “Parker’s Increase”, 225 acres on the south side of the Patapsco near “Treadhaven Point”.

In 1700 Joshua received a quitclaim to “Scotland” from John Eason, heir of John Eason who was the original assignee of the tract.

In 1705 Anne Arundel county commissioned a List of Orphans in the county. Joshua, in addition to being a guardian of his brother Hugh’s children, was also guardian of Mary Chappell, daughter of Henry Chappell. Mary Chappell’s sister Sarah’s guardian was Thomas Homewood.

Joshua purchased additional land in 1707 from James Heath, 100 acres commonly called “Coles Quarter” but was a part of the original “Scotland” patent. The tract was on the south end of “Scotland” and contiguous and adjoining to “Skidmore”.

In September of 1707 Joshua’s niece Ann Merriken, “orphan of Hugh”, appeared in Provincial Court and chose her brother Joshua Merriken Jr. to be her guardian. The court noted that Joshua, administrator of Hugh Merriken, appeared and that “one third part of the balance belongs to Joshua, an orphan of Hugh who is now at age, so that security is required for the sum due Ann and Elizabeth, orphans under age”. A few days later Joshua Merriken, along with John Brice and Thomas Homewood, bound themselves to Ann Merriken and Elizabeth Merriken, orphans of Hugh Merriken.

The Anne Arundel Rent Roll recorded around 1708, showed Joshua Merriken in possession of the following land tracts:

“Scotland” - 100 acres from James Heath (i.e. “Coles Quarter”)

“Scotland” - 50 acres

“Woodham” - 50 acres

“Young Richard” - 75 acre part

“Bayly’s Content” - 24 acres

“Leonard’s Neck” - 20 acre part

“Betty’s Point” - 90 acres

The Baltimore Rent Roll recorded Joshua Merriken in possession of the following land tracts:

“Treadhaven Point” - 150 acres

“Parker’s Range” - 330 acres

“Parker’s Range” appears to be a mistake since Joshua owned half of “Parker’s Increase” which is a different tract of land, 225 acres in the same area as “Parker’s Range”.

On November 14, 1710, Joshua petitioned a Special Court of the Maryland Provincial Court to record 2 deeds, “Leonard’s Neck” and “Scotland”. This was necessary due to a fire at the Anne Arundel State House in October of 1704. All the court proceedings and land records were destroyed in the fire with the exception of 3 volumes. As a result landowners were encouraged to bring in their original patents and their deeds to court to have them re-recorded.

“Be it remembered that here into Court came Mr. Joshua Merikin Senior of Ann Arundell County Executor of the last Will and Testament of Richard Bayley late of the said County deceased and prayed that a certain deed from Alexander Gardner to the said Richard Bayley made and executed in his lifetime for a parcell of Land taken from a part called Leonards Neck might be here enrolled and recorded for and on behalfe of the said Bayly’s heirs. And also that four hundred [400] acres of Land being part of a greater Tract containing six hundred [600] acre by Pattent exemplified to John Eason Assignee of Richard Ewen may be here recorded for and on behalfe of the said Joshua Merekin and that the residue thereof being Two hundred [200] acres as part assignment on the back of the said patent may be likewise recorded on behalfe of Nathaniel Stinicom [Stinchcomb] who intermarried with the heir of Mathew Clarke, assignee of aforesaid John Eason”.

The Court decreed that “Leonard’s Neck”, 20 acres which Richard Bayly purchased from Alexander Gardner in March of 1688, be recorded on behalf of Richard Bayly’s heirs, Joshua’s wife Grace.

The Court’s decree on “Scotland” was a little more interesting when the court assigned 200 acres to Nathaniel Stinchcomb and 400 acres to Joshua. The 1708 Anne Arundel Rent Roll showed “Scotland” to be possessed by 4 people, Joshua Merriken, 150 acres, Joshua Merriken, son of Hugh Merriken, 50 acres, Thomas Homewood, 200 acres, and Lewis Jones, 200 acres. Lewis Jones died shortly after the rent roll was recorded and his widow married Nathaniel Stinchcomb. His widow was Ann Merrikin, daughter of Hugh Merriken, heir to Mathew Clarke and niece of Joshua Merriken. So Lewis Jones’ 200 acres were assigned to Ann and her second husband Nathaniel Stinchcomb. The other 400 acres, which were assigned to Joshua Merriken, included his nephew’s 50 acres and the 200 acres which had been possessed by Thomas Homewood. Thomas Homewood died in the year the Special Court session was convened. The assignment of his 200 acres to Joshua Merriken suggests that Thomas Homewood was possessed of

200 acres of “Scotland” on behalf of another person, possibly his wife Mary whose maiden name is unknown, or as a guardian. The last 50 acres of “Scotland” which were assigned to Joshua, were the 50 acres which belonged to his nephew, Joshua, Hugh’s son. Hugh’s son Joshua married in 1710, sold another tract that he had inherited called “Merrikin” and relocated to Baltimore County. However, there is no record of a sale or an assignment of his portion of “Scotland”.

Joshua wrote his will on December 27, 1712 and by May 27, 1713, he was deceased.

Joshua Merriken died about 55 years of age in Anne Arundel County, British Colonial Maryland..

At the time of his death, Joshua possessed the following tracts in his own right:

“Scotland” - 400 acre part

“Treadhaven Point” - 150 acres

“Parker’s Increase” - 112 ½ acres

Joshua devised to his sons John and Joshua, “Scotland” jointly. Son Hugh received 262 acres on the Patapsco River, unnamed in the will, but were “Treadhaven Point” and “Parker’s Increase”. Daughter’s Mary, Comfort and Sarah each received a slave at the age of 18. Joshua also devised to “cousin” Joshua Jones Jr. a cow and a calf. The term “cousin” as used at this time, usually meant “nephew”. As of today a familial relationship between Joshua Merriken and Joshua Jones Jr. has not been established, however there likely is one. Grace, Joshua’s wife, and John, Joshua’s oldest son were named executors.

At the time of Joshua’s death only the 3 oldest children were of majority. Son Charles was not mentioned in Joshua’s will indicating that he was deceased. When Joshua’s estate was administered on April 12, 1715, John was the sole executor; his mother had died by this date. While married daughter Elizabeth was not mentioned in the will, Elizabeth’s husband was paid her share of her father’s estate when the estate was administered.

The tracts of land not mentioned in Joshua’s will were in his wife’s right, “Woodham”, “Young Richard”, “Bayly’s Content”, “Leonard’s Neck”, and “Betty’s Point”. When she died without a will, these tracts descended to oldest son John, the heir at law.

Seven years after Joshua’s death, in 1720, Joshua’s nephew Joshua, brought a case against Joshua Merriken’s heirs suggesting that “Scotland”, the original 100 acres tract held by his Uncle John, was lawfully his and that his uncle, Joshua, had stolen it from him. A record indicating the court’s decision has not been found, however, “Scotland” remained in the hands of Joshua Merriken’s heirs.

Genealogical Research and Life Sketch Completed: September 2020


Sources:

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IT 5 Folios 46-50.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Elizabeth Merriken, .

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

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Hugh Merricken, 1691.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Charles Merriken, 1693.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Mary Merriken, 1693.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Mary Merriken, 1700.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Joshua Merriken in entry for Joshua Merriken, 1704.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Joshua Merriken in entry for Cumfert Merriken, 1706.

"Maryland Births and Christenings, 1650-1995", database, FamilySearch, Joshua Merriken in entry for Sarah Merriken, 1710.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Baltimore County. Liber TR A Folio 16.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Wills. Liber 7 Folio247.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Liber TB 1 Folio 351.

Maryland Historical Society. Maryland Historical Magazine. “Rent Rolls”. Vols 19 - 26.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Patents. Liber BB 3 Folio 492.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber WT 1 Folio 74.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. Liber TB 1 Folio 351.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber WT 2 Folio 550.

Maryland State Archives. Provincial Court Judgment Record. 1707, pg 616.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber WT 2 Folio 542.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber WH 4 Folio 128, 130 & 131.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IB 2 Folio 143.

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

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventories & Accounts,.Liber 38A Folio 75.

Maryland State Archives. Probate Records. Inventories & Accounts. Liber 36B Folio 138.

Maryland State Archives. Maryland Land Records. Anne Arundel. Liber IT 5 Folios 44-45.

Joshua Merriken genealogy research