Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Who were the Parents of Susan Long (1818-1882)?

Who were the parents of Susan Long (1818-1882)?

She was my fourth great grandmother and married Eliakim Marsh (1816-1881) in 1839.  Their marriage was recorded in Essex County in the early New Jersey marriages collection at FamilySearch.  Eliakim was from NY City [New York City, New York] and Susan was from E Town [now Elizabeth in Union County, New Jersey].  No parents were listed, which was standard for these marriage records.

Eliakim and Susan are in New Jersey in the census from 1850-1880.
1850:  Elizabeth Township, Essex County
1860:  Newark, Essex County
1870:  New Brunswick, Middlesex County
1880:  Elizabeth, Union County

Susan died in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey on December 28, 1882.  She is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, Union County.

Her death certificate lists her parents as Jonas Long and Elizabeth.

There are a few references online for a marriage of Jonas Long and Elizabeth Merrell/Merrill.  No further information for Jonas Long.  A few times in the 1820s in newspapers, Jonas Long is on the list of people who have letters at the post office.

Elizabeth appears often as the daughter of Richard Merrell (1775-1864) and Ann/Nancy Cole (1776-1861), born in 1797 in Staten Island, New York.  Richard and Ann are buried at the Piscatawaytown Burial Ground in Edison, Middlesex County.  If I have the correct family, Elizabeth Merrell was the 3x great granddaughter of Richard Merrell and Sarah Wells, who arrived on Staten Island, New York around 1675.  (And my 10x great grandparents.)

What confuses me is why Richard Merrell (1817-1861) is listed as the child of Jonas Long and Elizabeth Merrell.  At least the creator of the above tree from RootsWeb noted that Richard Merrell used his mother's surname and not his father's.  No mention of my Susan, who ended up using the surname of her husband, Marsh.  But she used the surname "Long" on her marriage record, and the informant for her death certificate knew her father's name was Long.

The Richard Merrell born in New Jersey in 1817, the possible brother of Susan Long, moved to Virginia, married Elizabeth Culpepper (1824-1892), and had issue.

I'm not sure that Richard Merrell (1817-1861) is properly placed as a child of Elizabeth Merrell and Jonas Long.  Other online family trees repeat this relation, still without another child named Susan, but list Elizabeth as the father and Jonas as the mother.  Entering the information this way into a tree program would trigger children to carry Elizabeth's surname, Merrell.

I have found a trace of Merrell to Susan Long.  In the 1870 federal census, an older woman named Phebe Merton is living with Susan and her family.  In the 1880 census, Phebe Merton is living with her brother, Abraham Merrell.  Phebe and Abraham may have been siblings of Susan's mother, Elizabeth.

When Susan's maternal grandfather, Richard Merrell, died in 1864, Samuel R Marsh was named as an administrator.  I do not know how this Marsh fits into the Marsh family that Susan married into, but demonstrates a connection to the family.

If anyone is studying these lines, or has any additional insight, please reach out to me.  Thank you.


  1. Richard Edgar Merrell nee Long was my Great Aunt Marian Whitehurst Rawles grandfather. She enjoyed researching her ancestors and I was fortunate enough to benefit from her research. She explained that Richard was adopted and educated by his grandfather which is why he had the surname Merrell. I have a few of her writings if you would like for me to share transcripts. I am so appreciative of your blog as it connected me with another Merrell/Long researcher and has helped me to fill in a heretofor unknown to me daughter of Elizabeth Merrell and Jonas Long. Kimberly Culpepper Dezern

    1. Hello Kimberly!

      Wonderful to hear from you.

      Please reach out to me via email and check out an update to this couple: http://familyhistoryresearchbyjody.blogspot.com/2016/07/jonas-long-and-elizabeth-merrell-union.html

      -Jody Lutter