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Sherwood Randolph Merritt
Early Kerr County Pioneer
Family Information Provided by Charles A. Merritt

Also See the Merritt Family Photo Page

On page 126 of Kerr County's Marriage Record Book A, a marriage is listed between Joshua S. Welch and Dorcas (misspelled "Darkas") E. Merritt.   This was on July 2, 1871.    How did Dorcas Merritt get to Kerr County to meet her future husband?

Sherwood Randolph Merritt, father of Dorcas and 7 other children, came to Kerr County about 1862 and settled in the West Kerr County area near Hunt.    He was born in Morgan County, Georgia, and owned land in Clayborne Parish, Louisiana, where he married his 2nd wife, Keziah Jane Watson Brazeal, widow of Elijah Brazeal, in 1856.   He had been married before to Sarah Skinner and had 2 children by her.   She died in 1855.   Keziah, his new wife, had 5 children by her first husband.  The Merritt family was growing fast!!

Sherwood Randolph and Keziah Merritt moved to Texas about 1860 and are found on the 1860 census in Burnet County.   Family lore says they stopped there so Arabella could be born.   She was their 2nd child.   By 1862 they had settled in Kerr County near the present town of Hunt in the west section of the county and are among the earliest pioneers in that area.    Their children were:  Dorcas Ellen Merritt born in 1857 in Kern County, Louisiana; Arabella Merritt born 25 Apr 1860 in Texas; John Henry Merritt born 12 Aug 1862 in Kerr County, Texas; Robert Randolph Merritt born 15 Nov 1864 in Kerr County; Burkett Foster Merritt born 13 May 1867 in Kerr County; and Jasper Newton Merritt born 15 Feb 1869 in Kerr County.

S. R. Merritt enlisted in the Confederate Service on April 2, 1864, and was in the 3rd Frontier District, Kerr County,  commanded by J. D. McAdoo.   In 1873, he became a Texas Ranger and commanded Company #1 of Kerr County.   Thus it was that on October 15, 2005, his gravesite at Hunt Japonica Cemetery was honored with a Ceremony to install a Texas Ranger Medallion to commemorate this service.       (Click for Photos of the Texas Ranger Ceremony)

In addition to the marriage of his oldest daughter, Dorcas (mentioned above), Sherwood's and Keziah's children married as follows - all in Kerr County:   Arabella Merritt married John Henry Smith on December 9, 1875; Robert Randolph Merritt married Susan Frances New on July 9, 1885; Burkett Foster Merritt married Viola Kiziah New on February 12, 1889 and Jasper Newton Merritt married Lucy Minerva New on Christmas Day, December 15, 1889.   The three New girls were sisters.

Keziah Watson Brazeal Merritt died of heart failure on July 5, 1913.   A wife, mother of 12 children by her 2 husbands and a pioneer resident of Kerr County, Texas, she was 88 years of age at the time of her death.

Sherwood Randolph Merritt, son of John & Sarah Merritt & born on March 3, 1827, lived to the age of 96, celebrating life to the fullest in his service to family and community.  

Compiled from the family files of Charles Anderson Merritt 2008



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