Mercy Durant

b. 1770, d. 10 October 1850
Mercy Durant|b. 1770\nd. 10 Oct 1850|p136.htm|Jacob Durant|b. c 1747\nd. 30 Mar 1821|p384.htm|Mercy Farrar|b. 17 Jun 1747\nd. b 20 Sep 1810|p385.htm|Benjamin Durant|b. 19 Aug 1709|p404.htm|Mary Butler|b. 27 Dec 1716|p405.htm|Joseph Farrar|b. 10 Oct 1716\nd. 20 Apr 1797|p513.htm|Deborah Richardson|b. 1 Jun 1727\nd. 31 June 1808|p514.htm|

Great-grandmother of Louise Underwood.
3rd great-grandmother of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Underwood and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for Louise Underwood
1843 Signature
     Mercy Durant was born in 1770 in Massachusetts.3,4,5 She was the daughter of Jacob Durant and Mercy Farrar.1,2 She married Asa Underwood on 31 March 1790 at Tyngsborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.3,6 She died on 10 October 1850.7 She was buried in Woodbine Cemetery, Dracut (now Lowell), Middlesex County, Massachusetts.5
     Mercy's birth year is a best guess based on the following dates: On 24 October 1838, Mercy was 66 (pension application); in 1840, 60-under 70 (1 June 1840 U.S. Census); on 16 September 1843, 72 (pension application); on 29 July 1848, 77 (pension application);3 on 23 September 1850, 79 (U.S. Census); on 10 October 1850, 80 (gravestone). Therefore, she was born between 1770 and 1772, 1769 having been ruled out because of the marriage date of her parents. Furthermore, if her age is correct on both the 1850 census and her gravestone, she was born after 23 September and before 11 October 1770. This is not contradicted by any but the first named source.

     Mercy Durant was named in the distribution of her grandmother Deborah Farrar's estate ordered at Chelmsford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, on 20 September 1810: "pay to the children & grand children of Mercy deceased who was a daughter & the wife of Jacob Durant; viz... to Asa Underwood & Mercy his wife in her right she being daughter of the first named Mercy..."8 Click to view image

     The Revolutionary Claims Act of 7 July 1838 granted five year pensions to widows whose marriages had taken place before 1 January 1794. These pensions were continued by acts of 3 March 1843, 17 June 1844, and 2 February 1848. Along with her application, each widow who applied for a pension had to prove eligibility by documenting her marriage and her deceased husband's service in the Revolution. She also had to swear to and present evidence, usually sworn affidavits, that she had not remarried. The whole process had to be repeated every five years.

     Under the 1838 act Mercy Durant was issued a Certificate of Pension on 17 January 1839. She was inscribed on the roll of Massachusetts at the rate of $26.67 per annum to commence on 4 March 1836. Arrears to 4 September 1838 were paid in the amount of $80.00. She applied for a widow's pension again in 1843 and was issued a Certificate of Pension on 21 December 1843. Her pension was continued under the 1844 act, and in 1849 she applied once again and was issued a Certificate of Pension on 29 January 1849. The amount per annum was the same throughout.3Click to view image

     Although by most or all accounts Mercy died in Dracut, in all likelihood she died in Hooksett, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, where she was living with her daughter Mercy Burbank only seventeen days prior. In any case, her death is not recorded in Dracut town records.4 The following inscription is on her gravestone:
In memory of Mercy
Wife of Asa Underwood
Died October 10, 1850
Age 80
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.9
Additional Data
Mercy Underwood appeared on the 1840 U.S. Census in Dracut, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In her household were 1 male 20-30, 2 males 30-40, 1 male 40-50, 1 female 10-15, 1 female 30-40, and 1 female 60-70 (Mercy).10 Click to view image

Mercy Underwood appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Hooksett, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, in the household of Savory T. and Mercy Burbank, her son-in-law and daughter.4 Click to view image

Children of Mercy Durant and Asa Underwood


  1. [S147] Sue Farrar Thorne, Descendants of Jacob Farrar Jr and Hannah Hayward of Lancaster, Massachusetts to 1825 (Baltimore: Gateway Press, Inc., 2001), 118.
  2. [S111] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Chelmsford, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Salem: Newcomb & Gauss, Printers, 1914), 60.
  3. [S109] Asa Underwood file, no. W26611; Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900; micropublication M804 (Washington: National Archives), microfilm 2434.
  4. [S117] Savory T. Burbank household, 1850 U.S. Census, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, population schedule, Hooksett, page 118A, dwelling 178, family 183; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 435.
  5. [S110] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Dracut Massachusetts (Boston: The Essex Institute, 1914), citing gravestone record (Mercy [-], w. Dea. Asa, - [1770]. G.R.2, where G.R.2 is the code for Woodbine Cemetery).
  6. [S114] Essex Institute, Vital Records of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849 (Lynn: Thos. P. Nichols & Son Co., 1913), 53, 85.
  7. [S132] Texas Society of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, The Roster of Texas Daughters Revolutionary Ancestors (Texas: Texas Society Daughters of American Revolution, 1976), 2164.
  8. [S201] Deborah Farrar, Probate file no. 7284, Middlesex Probate Court, East Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  9. [S633] Cemetery Transcriptions from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections, online <>.
  10. [S148] Mercy Underwood household, 1840 U.S. Census, Dracut, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, page 304; National Archives micropublication M704, roll 190.
  11. [S114] Tyngsborough VR (published).
  12. [S114] Tyngsborough VR (published), citing copy of Church record kept by Rev. Nathaniel Lawrence.
  13. [S111] Chelmsford VR (published), citing First Congregational Church records, Chelmsford Centre.
  14. [S110] Dracut VR (published), citing gravestone record G.R.2, where G.R.2 is the code for Woodbine Cemetery.
  15. [S635] Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910, online <>, 67: 92. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004. From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives.