October 12, 2014
Were they named MERCY or MARCY?
Seems there is a great deal of confusion over the spelling of this female name in my Wheeler and Watson family lines in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Well, which is it ?? Seems to change back and forth between using E or A, as I have seen with others, including these two who confused me when I first found the name spelled with an A.
Mercy Watson 1778-1817, wife of Ezra Lester
Mercy Watson 1810-1882, wife of Col John Watson
Her NYC death certificate & Woodlawn memorial both use A
Seems she was named for her aunt Mrs Mercy Lester above
Today I found another one, Mercy Stanton …or was it Marcy? Looks like A wins in this case.
Albany land record from 1830 as displayed on AmericanAncestors.org:
Grantor: Rufus, wife Marcy, et al. WATSON
However, Google Books displayed some biographical info as follows:
Rufus, son of John and Desire (Wheeler) Watson, was born 1774; died 1856; married MERCY Stanton, born May 22, 1784
Plus an excerpt from the local agricultural journal listing MARCY Watson as winning accolades for her spinning (The Plough Boy, vol 2, p163)
Her 1836 death was reported in the Newport (RI) Mercury as Mrs MARCY Watson, wife of Rufus and daughter of Benjamin Stanton.
So, I guess I’ll assume the pronunciation perhaps caused the spelling variations. At least I do feel more assured that it is the same person regardless of the vowel.