Introduction to


There were several families with the surname of Merckel/Merkel who migrated to New York State in the 1700’s.  During the 1950’s, researchers thought these families had all descended from Johann Friedrich Merckle who came with the first Palatine migration in 1709/10.  Charts dating from the 1950’s were arranged to show Johann Friedrich Merckle as the emigrant ancestor.  Archibald F. Bennett, a notated Genealogical researcher affiliated with the LDS Salt Lake Library had undertaken the Merkley research at the request of Alva Merkley of Magrath, Alberta, Canada.  He prepared it in manuscript form and Great Uncle Al (Alva Merkley), knowing of my interest in the family history, had him send the manuscript to me and I placed it on charts for him.

In the beginning of this work, Mr. Bennett wrote:

"There is some uncertainty as to the parentage of Christopher Friedrich Merckle and his brother Michael, who emigrated at a later date from Germany.  The founder of the Stone Arabia branch of the Merckel family, Henry  Merckle, must also be accounted for.  All indications and traditions are that they were closely related.  From the evidence now at hand, it appears probable that these three were all descended from Johann Friedrich, Henry being a son by a first wife and remained behind in Germany when his father emigrated in 1709.  The Christopher who married Catherina Kurtz was probably another son, and the father of Christopher Friedrich and Michael.  It would appear that Henry migrated first, followed later by his two nephews just named.

The pedigree to follow has been arranged on this bases, which seems to account for all the known facts, but must be subject to revision as more facts come to light.  Once the family hone is located in Germany a search of the records of that place will clear up some of these uncertainties."  (Underlining done by Ejvor Merkley.)

Mr. Bennett listed the children of Johann Friedrich Merckle and his first wife, all born in Germany as:
1. Henrich b. ca 1691
2. Christopher b. ca 1693
3. Johann Jacob b. ca 1695
4. Laurens b. ca 1697

5. Annatje b. ca 1698
6. A Dau. b. ca 1699
7. Maretje b. ca 1701

Johann Friedrich Merckel married Anna Barbara Alman, at West Camp, New York on the 16th day of the 9th month in 1710.  Children were;
1.  Johann Ada b.1711
2.  Maria Elisabetha b. Abt. 1713
3.  Matheis b. Abt. 1714
4.  Barent chr. 1715 
5.  Eva b. 1716
6.  Hendrick b. 9 day of 6th month 1718 was added at the Merckel records at Fonda, New York.

Working with the Merkley records, and my several trips to New York and Ontario checking court, church, land records, made me realize that the New York Merkley's did not all trace back to Johann Friedrich Merckle.  When Henry Z. Jones began his Palatine project I was finally able to see the proof for this belief.  Mr. Jones' German researcher went from village to village checking records to find the home parish for many of the German Palatine emigrates to New York.  Johann Friderich Merckle's family records were found at Hasslock.  he had no son named Christopher nor was there a Merckel by that name in the area.  My husband's ancestor, Christopher Friedrich Merckle died in New York in 1772 and according to New York and Ontario records he came with his two brothers, Michael and Friedrich in 1753.

Mr. Bennett used the Merkley Trees prepared by Dr. Stanley A. Merkley,  in the 1930's, as a source for the early  Merkley families in the Schoharie, New York area and Dundas County Ontario including  the names, Christopher Merkley and Catharine Kurtz as the earliest known ancestors..   I have two of the Merkley Trees prepared by Dr. Merkley.  One lists the descendants of Jacob Merkley born 1781 at the Isle of Carlton after his parents had left Schoharie area during the Revolutionary War.  This Jacob married Elizabeth Stata and lived in Dundas County, Ontario.  The other tree lists the descendants of Lawrence Merkley who married Isabel Helmer and settled at Winchester Twp., Dundas County, Ontario.    Dr. Merkley collected names, that he placed in family groups but gave no dates and no places.  I also have a letter, written by Dr. Merkley, in which he stated the information on the early generations of the family came from the memory of his uncle, Jacob Merkley, when Jacob was in his nineties.  This Jacob Merkley was born in 1805 and died in 1897, At the time his uncle died Dr. Stanley A. Merkley was twenty-four years old.  These Merkley Trees are a “map” not the destination to our family history.  The few generations listed above the mentioned Jacob and Lawrence Merkley are not correct.  Where there is a glimmer of truth in some of the names list, as Christopher Merkley and Catharine/Katharine Kurtz and Mathias Merkley, The families given do not match the names given in Church records, wills, land records, etc.

All who are descendants of Christopher Friedrich Merckle/Merkley and his brothers, Michael and Joseph Friedrich owe a debt of gratitude to both Dr. S.A. Merkley and Mr. Archibald F. Bennett for the early work they did on the Merkley lines.  They provided a “map” to follow that eventually led to the Germany family and the proof of lineage that all family history researchers desire. 

As Mr. Bennett stated in his letter further research did prove that the early Merkley lineage was incorrect. There were infact at least three separate “Merkley” families who came to American in the 1700's.  Johann Friedrich Merckel, who came with his family in 1710 from Hassloch, Pfalz, Germany, The three Merkley brothers, Michael, Christopher and Frederich who came from Hoheneck, Wurttemberg, Germany and Henrich Merki, (which later became Merkle in Schoharie) and his wife Verena Bucher who came from Switzerland.

Filming in both New York, Canada and Germany, done by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and available through their branch libraries has helped to provide needed proof.  This filming consists of census records, church records, wills, land records, cemeteries, United Empire Loyalist Papers, etc.  Research done on the Palatine Families by Henry Z. Jones and published in the 2 vol, set, “The Palatine Families of New York 1710 and the book  More Palatine Families located the correct place and family in Germany.  Mr. Friedrich R. Wollmershäuser, of Germany undertook the task of finding the proof that Michael, Christopher and Friedrich were indeed brothers but did not descended from Johann Friedrich Merkel of the 1710 Palatine movement to New York.  That proof, in part, is presented at this web site.  Mr. Wollmershäuser provided me with photo copies of births, marriages, deaths, marriage settlements, emigration records, wills, etc to show his findings. 

The surname of the three brothers who came to American in 1753 is listed in the German records spelled, Merckle, Merkle, Mercklin and several variations of that spelling.  In New York the name became, Merckle, Merkle, Markle, Merckley, Markley, Merkley etc.  and some of Michael’s descendants changed their spelling to Miracle when they moved to Cortland County, New York.    Frederick’s children usually went by the name of Mercley, and Marcley. 

The Loyalists sons of Jacob, Henrich/Henry and Michael who went to Ontario are found under the spelling of Merkley, Markley, Merkle, etc.  Some of their descendants went to Wisconson, Iowa and spread into other states under both Markley and Merkley.  During the Gold Rush of the middle 1800's some left Ontario going west and one part of the family spelled their name Marklee!  I have a document written in Ontario where the surname is spelled three different ways by the same clerk. 

My research on the Merkley family has spanned a fifty year period.  Many wonderful people have contributed to it.  Too many to list them all by name but I feel I must give thanks to Cannon Bradley of the Anglican Church in Toronto who gave permission for me to used the early Dundas County Church Records called Registers of the Parishes of Williamsburg, Matilda, Osnabruck and Edwardsburg, 1790-1886.  I’m also grateful I was able to purchase microfilm records of two of the early Lutheran Churches, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and Parish Registers of St. Lawrence Lutheran Church, Morrisburg, Dundas County Ontario.  The early Lutheran Church records of Schoharie County, New York have all been microfilmed and are available at LDS Branch Libraries and also in book form and were transcribed by Arthur C.M. Kelly. The LDS Church filmed the Vosburg collection of early New York Churches.

Lynne Cook of Morrisburg, Ontario has been a friend and a help over the years and I’ve been privileges to be able to visit with her in Morrisburg.  She is the genealogist for the St. Lawrence Branch of the United Empire Loyalist Assoc. and has devoted her life to preserving Loyalist records.  Lynne has written many family histories and maintains a wonderful source library in her home.

I am indebted to many Merkley family descendants who have shared their research with me.  In my last book, I listed over 8,000 descendants and I know there are many more I have no knowledge of.  If you would like to be added to this date base, or if you have corrections please contact me at :