Latter-day Saints/Samuel A B Mercer


John J. Ferguson wrote at 2010-04-01 21:12:04
I discovered your question while doing some research on Samuel Mercer who was my grand uncle. While I did not know him there were many stories about him in our family which he did not care to acquaint himself. According to our family's knowledge, he and his wife did not have any children.

If you can supply any information about Fr. Mercer, I would be most anxious to receive it, especially where I can obtain a copy of his autobiography. We did have a copy circulate in the family briefly but it was returned to Newfoundland and it was lost en route. There is a copy in the Nashota House Seminary archives but they are unwilling to release it for inter-library loan.

While I was growing up, Fr. Mercer was always spoken about in the past tense and I never realized that he was alive until 1968. Since I am the first generation college educated, I would have tried to meet him and get to know him if he would have allowed it. He was approached by one of my great aunts after he delivered a sermon in Cambridge, Mass. but she was not received well and there was no further contact. He was the only educated member of the Newfoundland family that migrated to the United States. According to my mother, Samuel was practically raised in the family of my maternal grandmother.  

Polly Briggs wrote at 2010-10-02 01:48:53
If Dr.Mercer did not have any children then my husband (Dr. Mercer's grandson) and my children do not exist. Dr. Mercer did have one daughter, Harriette Martha Mercer Briggs. He also has two grandchildren, four great grandsons and one great great grandson. In numerous conversations with me, Dr. Mercer's daughter (my husband's mother) always spoke of him with great affection and admiration, as do his grandchildren who enjoyed visits with him very much. We have letters written to him, and some written by him, as well as photos and memorabilia that reveal the thoughtful nature of this truly remarkable man.  

Burton Janes wrote at 2011-04-30 19:08:40
For some years, I have been researching the life & career of Samuel A.B. Mercer. I have many of his books, including his autobiography. I also have copies of many of his collected papers from various education institutions. I welcome your response.

Burton Janes wrote at 2011-04-30 21:40:16
I can provide you with virtually whatever it is you want to know about Mercer, as I have been researching & writing his biography for many years.

Burton Janes wrote at 2011-05-06 10:04:20
I am able to provide you with most any information on Samuel A.B. Mercer you may need, as I have been researching his life & career, & writing a biography of him, for almost two decades. Please feel free to interact with me.

James Andrews wrote at 2011-11-02 03:31:13
Samuel A.B. Mercer did have decendants. His wife was Genevive Magee and their daughter Harriette Mercer married Donald Briggs and they had a son. My Mother Marilyn J.Andrews has the geneology on the Mercer family.

Burton Janes wrote at 2012-01-05 19:31:11
Mr. James Andrews:

I would certainly like to be able to communicate with you via email re Professor Mercer, the subject of a biography I'm writing.

Thank you!

Burton Janes

Polly Briggs wrote at 2014-03-22 00:13:45
Burton Janes,

I have not looked at this site since my last comment in 2010, so was not aware of your response. I am curious about your interest in Dr. Mercer. I notice some incorrect information posted here, and some speculation by people who never met him. "Stories" are often just that; colored and recolored again as they are passed along.

I would like to correct James Andrews statement so perhaps his mother could correct the genealogy she has. Donald Hicks Briggs and Harriette Martha Mercer (daughter of Dr. Mercer) had two children: Robert N. Briggs and Kathryn B. Briggs. Robert has three sons, one grandson, one granddaughter. Kathryn has one son. I would be happy to field questions to Robert, who actually spent visits with his grandfather, Dr. Mercer.  

Burton Janes wrote at 2014-04-07 21:23:53
For some years, I have been writing Mercer's biography. He was born in my hometown, which is my primary interest in the man. I have boxes of material pertaining to him, but I know I am still missing key information. I would certainly like to be able to correspond with anyone who can help me.

Burton Janes wrote at 2014-04-08 21:29:40
To anyone would would like to communicate with me re Samuel A.B. Mercer, my email address is:

Latter-day Saints

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John A. Tvedtnes


Mormonism. Responses to anti-Mormon criticisms. Mormon doctrines. Book of Mormon, Old Testament. BA in anthropology, graduate certificate in Middle East Area Studies, MA in linguistics, MA in Hebrew, ABD in Egyptian and Semitic languages. 18 years of university teaching experience. Published 10 books and 250+ articles.

©2017 All rights reserved.