John Meigs, Sr.

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John Meigs, Sr.

Also Known As: "John Meggs; John Maggs"
Birthplace: Chardstock, Dorset, England
Death: Died in Killingsworth, Middlesex, Connecticut
Place of Burial: Madison, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Vincent Meigs and Emma Strong
Husband of Tomasine Meigs
Father of Mary Stevens; Elizabeth Hubbell; John Meigs; Concurrence Crane and Tryal Ward
Brother of Vincent Meigs, Jr.; Marie Maggs and Mark Meggs

Occupation: Tanner; Farmer
Managed by: Jonathan William Shea
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About John Meigs, Sr.

  • John Meigs warned the regicides Edward Whalley and William Goffe of their imminent apprehension by royal agents and aided in their concealment and escape to the caves (Judges' Caves) of New Haven harbor. (Whalley and Goffe were both major generals in Oliver Cromwell's martial-law government and members of Cromwell's High Court of Justice. They were selected by a minority of the Long Parliament to sentence Charles I to death. They fled to America upon the Restoration.)

John Meigs of Guilford was baptized (as John Maggs) on 29 January 29 1612 in the parish of Chardstock, Dorset, England.  He died on 2 Jan 1672 in Killingworth, Middlesex, Connecticut and is buried in the Hammonasset Cemetery , Madison, New Haven, Connecticut, USA although sadly, his gravestone is now missing.

  • Parents:  Vincent Meggs (c1583-1658) & Emma Stronge (1580-c1634)


  1. about 1632 in Axminster, Dorsetshire, England to Thomasine (Tamzin) Fry (about 1610-).  She was the daughter of William Fry & Sarah Hill.


  1. Mary (1633-1703) married William Stevens.
  2.  Elizabeth (1635-1664) married Richard Hubbell.
  3. Concurrence (1643-1708) married Daniel Bartlett.
  4. John  (1641-1713) married Sarah Wilcoxson & Lydia Thompson.
  5. Tryal  (1646-1690) married Andrew Ward.

Changed family name from Meggs to Meigs.  Reasoning unknown.   John Meigs is recorded on February 24, 1644 in New Haven, CT, as having been admitted a member of the court, and the same year is admitted a freeman. In 1648 he bought the lot known in recent history as "Cutler Corner," The conveyance of this property is on record and reads: "William Jeanes passeth over to John Meggs his house and house lot lying on the corner over against the house of John Budd, and the highway." Meigs owned this property for 10 years before giving it to the town in 1658. John appears in the court records of New Haven throughout 1645, 1646, 1647, and 1648. On December 5, 1648, New Haven Court, Richard Perry declared that Meigs had not delivered the 10 bushel of wheat ordered by the court earlier. The court ordered Meigs to hand over the wheat and "for the contemptuous cariage of John Meggs to the court in refusing to fulfill their order in the attachment laid upon the corn the court fined him xx." John also appears in the records on January 6, 1662, about a debt he claimed from the Estate of Thomas Jeffries. 

John was a tanner, currier and shoemaker. On March 3, 1653/4 he was admitted to Guilford as a planter on his buying a 100lb. allotment at Hammonassett (Hammonassett became East Guilford and is now Madison). John also purchased from the agent of Thomas Jones, on March 4, 1667/8, the land on the east side of Guilford Green.


  •  Paul Herbig, "Herbig-Cracken Family Chronicles," 1997
  • Joseph Savage, Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Originally published 1860.
  • NEHGS Vol 8:348
  •  R. W. Wilcox, "Wilcoxson-Wilcox, Webb, Meigs Families," The National Historical Society, New York City, 1938.
  • Nash, Elizabeth Todd. "Fifty Puritan Anestors: 1628-1660." New Haven, CT: The Tuttle, Morehouse, and Taylor Company, 1902. 
  •  Smith: Ancestors of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Mary Audentia Smith Anderson)  (Independence, Mo. [Herald publishing house] 1929).  It is said that John Meigs conducted the regicide judges (Whalley & Goffe) to their hiding place under the Rock at West Haven.
  • History of Madison and Guilford, Conn., page 129.


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John Meigs, Sr.'s Timeline

Dorset, England
Age 20
United States
March 3, 1633
Age 21
Bradford, Dorset, England
Age 23
Weymouth (near Plymouth), Devon, England
Age 25
Weymouth, MA then Guilford, CT
February 29, 1641
Age 29
Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, USA
February 24, 1643
Age 31
Weymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Age 34
New Haven, New Haven, CT, USA
January 4, 1672
Age 60
Killingsworth, Middlesex, Connecticut
Chardstock, Dorset, England