I knew that street looked familiar

Over the past week, I’ve had occasion to drive through the Meharry neighborhood a couple of times, and each time I came across Pearl St, I thought to myself.. “that street looks familiar.”

As I am transcribing my notes from researching the Merry’s , I figured out why. Napoleon Merry lived on Pearl Street!

On my last visit to the TN State Archives, I spent some time using the Nashville City Directories. I had not had a chance to really explore directories as a source of genealogical information yet and happened upon them by chance. While I was using them, I overhead one of the library staff members informing someone else that only those who worked in the household were listed, something that I found to be not always true, but the tidbit was helpful.

As it turns out, the Merry’s appear in the directories from in almost every year from 1866 to 1930 (i stopped looking in 1930). It was a very interesting experience. In the process I learned that 8th Street here in Nashville used to be called Spruce Street. Apparently, the name change occurred between 1903 and 1905 as the address of Mrs. Mary A. Merry changed from being 316 N Spruce Street to 316 8th Avenue.

What to follow-up on:

  • Nelson’s son John is listed in 1880 but no other year after that. It lists his address as 66 N McLemore, so I need to find him in the 1880 census.
  • Is the Ada/Addie/Annie Merry listed as widow of John in 1890, 1894, 1897, 1898, and 1901 Nelson’s daughter-in-law?
  • There is a William Merry listed in 1896, 1902, 1905, and 1906 that I have no idea who he is?
  • There is an Edward Merry listed in 1897 who boards with said Addie Merry – who is he?
  • Mrs. Lottie Merry – listed as a cook and living on 1921 Hayes in 1891 – need to find out who she is
  • There are other people too -Henry Merry, Beulah Merry — all worth looking for additional information.

My full notes are here.

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