Thank you again, Bob.
I was not clear in my own mind when I gave the information about the
1860 census and the probable 1855 marriage date. Here is what I have
actually found: Asa & wife Harriet in Thompson, Sullivan Co, NY in 1850
census; *not* found 1860; in 1870 in Damascus, Wayne Co., PA ; in 1880
in Forestburgh, Sullivan Co, NY . Asa's dtr, Mary C. consistently b.
1857 in PA.
This search for information about Asa's parents began as a result of
receiving an 85-page Civil War Invalid Pension record for David M.
Taylor (enlisted 1862 at Albany, NY in 14th U.S. Inf.). David was the
son of Nancy Jane Merritt, my husband's 2ggm. It is Nancy's parents I
am really seeking. An interview in the pension file says that David
once worked as a sawyer for his uncle Asa Merritt in Damascus, PA.
Other interviews (and census records) say that David's wife was the
daughter of Phebe Merritt and Richard Scott and that Phebe was the
sister of David's mother. Phebe and Richard named a son Asa, which
boosts the likelihood that Asa was Phebe's brother and therefore Nancy's
brother as well. Nancy was born abt 1813 in the Town of Marlborough,
Ulster Co, NY (State census and family records). Phebe and Richard are
in the 1860 census in Newburgh, Orange Co, NY (which is quite common for
people from Marlborough which is right on the Town of Newburgh border).
Later, they lived in W.Damascus, PA.
My reasoning is that Nancy Jane, Phebe and Asa are siblings and were
born in or near Marlborough, Ulster Co. There are several branches of
Merritts in that area, descending from a line who settled earlier in
Westchester Co., NY. (The early settlers were Quakers, but the Ulster/
Orange County descendants were mostly Methodist where I've found church
records so far, except for one Baptist adult baptism). I have not found
children named Nancy, Phebe and Asa in any Merritt line so far. There is
a Phebe in one line, but may not be this Phebe.
Nancy Jane Merritt married John Taylor and settled in Albany, NY. After
his death around 1846, Nancy married James Burnside and moved to
Schodack, Rensselear Co., NY. After her death in 1862, James and his
children moved to Marlborough, leaving most of the Taylor children in
Schodack. The reason for that move was that Nancy's oldest daughter had
married a man from Marlborough and James was apparently in need of help
in caring for his children who were still young. This strengthens the
ties to Ulster Co. Nancy's daughter must have spent time with Merritt
relatives there in order to have met and married a Marlborough man.
(Sounds like a cigarette ad).
I have 1850+ State and Federal census information for all of the above,
but so far very little other documentation. You are right that I should
look at 1820 - 1830 census for Merritts with at least a son and two
daughters in the right age group. I will do that.
I know that's a lot of information, yet still not enough perhaps. I
hope it explains why I am looking for Asa's parents and why I believe he
was born in Ulster Co. I am also looking for the marriage of Phebe
Merritt and Richard Scott which should be in the Marlborough-Newburgh
area around 1837 (based on oldest child's dob) and also Nancy and John
Taylor's around 1830. I've looked in the Albany area, but am coming to
think that Nancy may have married in Ulster or Orange Co. and then
settled in Albany afterward.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]