If you stumbled upon this site looking for the Merville Battery or information about Herman Melville or the Merville Beach Hotel in Mauritius you’ve accessed the wrong site. However, in doing so, you can appreciate the frustration I’ve experienced since I began in 2009 researching the genealogy of my wife’s family using the internet.
This website, Mervilles@HerkimerCounty & beyond, is for the presentation of genealogical information about one of the more obscure families that originated in Herkimer County, New York, at the beginning of the 19th century. The Merville family escaped notice by the historians of the late 1800’s like George A. Hardin in his text, History of Herkimer County, New York, 1893. Although my primary focus will be upon John H. and Phoebe (Ward) Merville’s ancestors and descendants, I intend to rummage about the genealogy of other associated families. One group of associated families are those of Benjamin and George Wilkerson and Jacob and John Wilkison.
It is my wife’s mother whose maiden name is Merville and her place of birth was West Virginia, USA. The distance between there and Herkimer County, New York, the first documented location of John H. Merville (the patriarch of this Merville family) is about 560 miles (900 kilometers). The time between her birth as a 6th generation Merville and John’s birth is about 150 years. Today, descendants of the Merville family of Herkimer County can be found throughout America. And, I know of at least 2 other Merville families – one whose origins were in the state of Louisiana and the other who emigrated from France in the 1870’s. All of these Merville families would warrant further investigation by a Merville one-name study as described below.
As an amateur genealogist, more that 200 years after John’s first documented appearance in Herkimer County, I wish to share my accumulated knowledge of the Merville family while encouraging the contribution of others who may have an ongoing or budding interest in the Mervilles of Herkimer County.
As a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies (#7201), it is also my intent to register the Merville surname and undertake a one-name study. A one-name study is a global investigation of the occurrence of the surname with a focus upon those countries where the surname is relatively significant and genealogy data is readily available.
And thus, I continue my trek searching for more Merville genealogy with my website in tow.