This story of the Merriman family is similar to Abraham Lincoln's family story. Abraham was born and raised in the state of Kentucky and in 1816, moved north to the non-slave state of Indiana. The Lincoln family's decision to move was partially because of their objections to slavery. Eventually, in 1836, Abraham Lincoln moved to what is now Sangamon County, Illinois (where the Merrimans lived), to practice law.
William Merriman, who was 16 years old
when his parents died.
Years later, Reuben and Betsy's oldest son George Merriman had become a wealthy and successful farmer, who had a professional presence in the county seat (and state capital) of Springfield, where Lincoln lived and worked. George "had the honor of Abraham Lincoln's friendship."
My great-great-great-grandmother Artinecia Riddle also lived in Sangamon County, Illinois between 1836 until 1851. Years later, her son said that she was a "personal acquaintance" of Abraham Lincoln during those years and "she recalled memories of the homely barrister who later became one of America's greatest presidents and one of the outstanding human characters in all history."
My descent from Reuben and Betsy Merriman:
Reuben Merriman married Betsy Bennett
- William H. Merriman married Artinecia Riddle
-- George F. Merriman married Mary E. Murray
--- Vera V. Merriman married Benjamin H. Plymale
---- Ben T. Plymale married Patricia J. Bixby
----- Barbara Plymale married Randy Wadleigh
------ Ryan Wadleigh
1. Merriman et al v. Merriman et al (June 29, 1842), B, 328-329, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, University of Illinois at Springfield.
2. Portrait and Biographical Album of Sangamon County, Illinois. Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1891.
3. Newspaper Article, The Picket-Journal [Red Lodge, MT], Dec. 21, 1933