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Jemima SMITH

Female Abt 1728 - Aft 1801  (~ 73 years)


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  • Name Jemima SMITH 
    Born Abt 1728  Hopewell Township, Hunterdon [now Mercer] County, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Will 7 May 1801  Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died Aft 7 May 1801  Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate Feb 1803  Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Reference Number LDKD-DGQ 
    Notes 
    • (1) Merrill, William Ernest, Captain Benjamin Merrill and the Merrill Family of North Carolina, Penrose, NC: 1935, pp. 6, 13, 15-16:

      We know . . . that he [Benjamin Merrill] was a young married man when he started to North Carolina. He had married Jemima Smith, the daughter of Andrew Smith of Hopewell, New Jersey, and their second son, John, was born at Hopewell on December 11, 1750. It is evident that the dangerous and weary trip to North Carolina came in the five years between 1761 and 1756.

      * * *

      There have been various names given to the wife of Captain Merrill. My grandfather wrote in his notes that her name was Mary Smith; others contended that she was Jemima Stout of Stoutsburg, New Jersey; others gave her the name of Sarah. Now we know that she was none other than Jemima Smith of Hopewell, N. J. This fact is self-evident if we consider the records. Andrew Smith of Hopewell made his will October 17, 1874, and bequeathed to his daughter Jemima "one Spanish Pestole to her forever, if it should so happen that my Daughter Jemima Should become poor and Needy in this life I do Require my Exers to give her Reasonable Relief out of my estate. I also give and devise to my Daughter Jemima's children that she bear to Benjamin Merrill to Wit: Samuel, John, Andrew, William, Charles, Elijah, and Jonathan Merrill, Anna McCleary, and Penelope Merrill to all and each of them Severally fifty pounds." Now if we examine the records in Rowan County, North Carolina, we find land deeds made and signed by Benjamin and Jemima Merrill when they sold a part of their holdings to John Ganoe in 1770.

      Benjamin died on June 10, 1771 and his widow, Jemima Merrill, married Harmon Butner of Rowan County on February 20 (28), 1775. . . .

      After his [Benjamin's] execution the widow remained on the old homestead, a valuable and well cultivated farm. Miss Susie Turner, a very worthy and aged lady, told Rev. Henry Sheets that she recalled hearing her aunt, Mary Workman, tell of calling in to visit the widow while on her way to meeting at Jersey Church. Her aunt told her that the widow was blind. Whether the blindness was caused by some natural effect or from excessive grief at the sad and untimely death of her husband was not known. It is said that she never recovered from the shock and that she suffered great mental distress and spent much of her time in walking to pass off the melancholia which clung to her and darkened her days with grief and bitterness. Regardless of all this we known that she returned to the old homestead and lived there with her children for several years. During this time she remained faithful to her church and on one particular occasion in November, 1771, she and the children attended Soelle's services in the River Settlement. Soelle said, "She cannot forget the fate of her husband."

      In 1775, Jemima married Harmon Butner who came to live with her and the Merrill children on the Merrill plantation. On May 9, 1777, the court ordered Butner to bring Charles, Elijah and Jonathan, orphans of Benjamin Merrill, into court to be dealt with as the law required. At the next court Charles was bound to his brother John, who was to teach him the art of being a master of the blacksmith trade and when he became of age he was to receive a set of tools, besides what the law required. He was fifteen at the time he was bound to his brother. Elijah, fourteen years old, was bound to his eldest brother Samuel. He was to learn the weaver's trade. Samuel was to give him a loom and tackle and twelve pounds besides what the law required. Jonathan was bound to his brother-in-law, Boyd McCreary.

      Jemima Merrill Butner lived about thirty years after the death of Capt. Merrill. She made her will on May 7, 1801, and it was proved in February, 1803. It is quoted below:

      In the name of God Amen. I, Jemina Butner of the County of Rowan and the State of North Carolina being in perfect mind and memory, but weakly in body and calling to mind my mortality think proper to make and ordain this my last will and test: knowing that it is appointed unto men once to die, do think proper to confirm my intention by these presents, and in the first place I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body to be decently buried, at the discretion of my executors, and as touching such worldly estate, as it has pleased God to bless me with, I dispose, devise and give in manner and form following, that is to say,

      1. I give and bequeath to my eldest son Samuel Meril, 14 pounds which I paid for the improvement whereon Smith Meril now lives, also twenty seven pounds which I paid in taking up a judgment that was against him, also my sorrel horse, also an equal part of all my moveable property, with the rest of my sons, my negroes except.

      2. I give and bequeath to my daughter Nancy my negroe woman, Hagar, which is to be valued, and John, William, and Charles Meril is to have an equal part of the value of said negroe in money; also I give one-half of my wearing clothes to my daughter Nancy.

      3. I give and bequeath to my daughter Ellien one negroe girl named Rose, which is also to be valued and the above John, William, and Charles Meril is to have an equal part of her value in money. I also give to my daughter Elline the other half of my wearing clothes.

      4. I give and bequeath to my son Andrew Meril my negro boy named James, which is also to be valued and the above John Meril, William and Charles Meril to have an equal part of the value in money, also I give to my son Andrew an equal part of my moveable property, that I do not mention in my will.

      5. I give to my son Jonathan Meril, my negroe boy named David and he is to pay to my son Charles Meril ten pounds, current money, two years after my decease, I give also to my son Jonathan Meril an equal part with the rest of my sons of my moveable property which is not here mentioned or given.

      6. I give to my son Elijah Meril an equal part of my moveable property which is not mentioned as given in this will.

      Lastly, I also appoint, constitute and ordain, my son Andrew Meril and Jonathan Meril whole and sole executors of this my last will and test: and I do hereby revoke all other wills and test: at any time by me made, and in witness whereof I have hereanto set my hand and seal, this 7th day of May, 1801.

      Jemima X Butner [her mark]

      Signed, and sealed and declared in the presence of Thomas Durham, Azariah Merrell, Test.

      lt is not known whether the Nancy and Elline mentioned in the will are Merrills or Butners for the records are not clear. Harmon Butner made no provision for them in his will.

      (2) www.findagrave.com:

      Jemima Smith Merrill Butner
      Birth: 1728, New Jersey, USA
      Death: 1801 (aged 72-73), Rowan County, North Carolina, USA
      Burial: Andrew Merrill Family Farm Cemetery, Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, USA

      First husband was Capt Benjamin Merrill, American Revolutionary War hero who was hanged as a Regulator in Hillsborough, Orange County NC on 19 Jun 1771.

      They married on 11 Dec 1750 in Hopewell NJ.

      They had at least 7 children:

      John (1750-1838)
      William (1753-1803)
      Anna (1754-1828)
      Penelope (1765-1830)
      Andrew (1757-1835)
      Charles (1761-1822)
      Elijah (1763-1790)
      Jonathan (1767-1849)

      Jemima and her children with Capt Benjamin Merrill were mentioned in the Will of her father, Andrew Smith III, probated in 1785 in Hopewell NJ.

      Jemima and Capt. Merrill lived in the Jersey Settlement in Rowan County NC which is near current day Linwood, Davidson County NC.

      Second husband was Harmon Butner whom she married on 28 Feb 1775 in Rowan County NC. No information on whether there were children from this marriage.

      Jemima's Will was probated in Rowan County NC in 1801 per NC Wills, Wills, Vol 3-5, Bri-Cru.

      Family Members: Parents: Andrew Smith (1709-1794), Anna Mershon Smith (1706-1785); Spouse: Benjamin Merrill (1731-1771, m. 1750); Children: Andrew Merrill (1757-1835), Penelope Merrill Merrill (1759-1830), Anna Merrill McCrary (1760-1828)

      Created by: Mike and Jane Deal
      Added: 13 Oct 2015
      Find A Grave Memorial: 153678236
    Person ID I45789  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2021 

    Family 1 Capt. Benjamin MERRILL,   b. Abt 1731, Hopewell Township, Hunterdon [now Mercer] County, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jun 1771, Hillsborough, Orange County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 40 years) 
    Married Abt 1747  Hopewell Township, Hunterdon [now Mercer] County, NJ Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Jonathan MERRILL,   b. Abt 1765, Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1849, Moore County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 84 years)
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2021 
    Family ID F19690  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Harmon BUTNER,   b. Abt 1745, Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Bef 7 May 1801, Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Married 28 Feb 1775  Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 5 Mar 2021 
    Family ID F19691  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart