Frank Merkel (1871-1945), Michigan farmer


My great aunt Marian Johnson married David Paul Merkel, stretching the Johnson clan down the coast into Oscoda. Marian’s story about how she met David Merkel is wonderful, and hopefully is part of her written legacy.

Today I was thinking about Marian, and decided to start looking for information about the Merkels on

To my delight a Merkel descendant had already done much of the research, and made her information and some old family photos available online. I believe she is the niece of David Paul Merkel, through David’s sister Veronica Rosalie (Merkel) Klinke.

David and Veronica’s father was Frank Merkel.

Frank was born in Europe, although I am not sure exactly where. The various documents list his place of birth as Poland, Prussia, Germany, and Poland-Germany. He came to America when he was 2, the last of his family to be born oversees, as his younger sister was born in New York the same year they immigrated. It appears that the original family name was spelled Merkiel, as that is the name listed for his grandfather, and each generation before.

His grandfather settled around the Gaylord Village area in the northwest of Michigan, and was a farmer.

Frank’s father Johan died in Gaylord Village when Frank was just 4. I am not sure yet what happened to Frank, his mother and his sisters after that, but by 1910 he ended up in Oscoda on a farm of his own with a nice big family.

Here is one of the photos that Margaret shared on

Jerry Milo Johnson to Frank Merkel


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