Thomas the orphan Meador, Jr

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Thomas the orphan Meador (Meadows / Meador), Jr

Also Known As: "'Orphan'", "Thomas "Younger" Meador", "Jr.", "Meador"
Birthplace: Essex, VA, USA
Death: Died in Rappanhannock, Essex, VA
Place of Burial: Rappahannock, Essex, VA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Meadows "The Immigrant" and Sarah Yates Sarah Meador
Husband of Sarah Meador and Sarah Meador
Father of John Meador; John Meadows; Thomas Meador; Dorothy Meador; Susannah Meador and 3 others
Brother of Ann Meador; Mary Meador Kindred-Hobbs; John Meadows Meador; Susannah Meador; Margaret Meador and 2 others

Occupation: Tobacco planter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas the orphan Meador, Jr


From "Our Colonial Meador Ancestors" by Victor Paul Meadors "Thomas Meador (called orphan) apparently was close to legal age at the death of his father, (1) Thomas Meads, in 1655, because he was able to make a legal deed in 1658 . Much heretofore has been made of his having to be between 14 and 17 years of age to choose his own guardian, but under English common law, 21 was generally considered to be the age responsibility. Thus. it must be considered that Thomas, the son, was born as early as 1636 or 1637 to have attained 21 years of age by 1658. This also would appear likely in view of his marriage, which must have occurred about this time.

"In the deed mentioned above, Thomas Meador contracted the sell to James Haire "25 acres of land, being part of the land that was given unto me by my father, Thomas Meades deceased, and to my brother (name missing)." This confirms his parentage and that he had a brother, who is given in the father's will as John Meador. This 1658 deed was signed by Thomas with a unique mark, a cross with barred ends, a signature found nowhere else in the county records. "Records of the distribution of the estate of the senior Thomas Meades are missing, so one cannot say just how the lands willed to Thomas and his brother


Excerpt from Victor Meadors publication "Meador families of Virginia and points West" 1982

source: LDS publication

(1) Thomas Meador

Our earliest known ancestor was Thomas Meades/Meader/Meador, who came to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia in the early 1630's. His origin in England is still unknown, although popular thinking would make him a member of one of the several families of similar name in the county of Suffolk in southeast England. But no supporting evidence has yet been found. Both Thomas and a possible brother, Ambrose Meador, had their passages paid by others, to whom they surrendered their "headright grants" of50 acres of land each in 1636. Ambrose (and quite possibly Thomas) settled in Isle of Wight County on the south side of the Pagan River.The area had been colonized about 1610 by members of the Puritan belief,soon after the founding of the Jamestown Colony in 1607. Ambrose,at least, has been identified as a member of the Puritansthere, and he and perhaps Thomas as well lived nearby when St. Luke'sChurch (the oldest church of the colonies still remaining) was constructed

in 1632. A visit to this very beautiful church of our ancestors

is highly rewarding.

There was a general migration from the Isle of Wight about 1650, perhaps

to escape the jurisdiction of the royal governor, who had promoted

an edict against the Puritan teachings. They settled along the

northeast shore of the Rappahannock River (in present Richmond Co.)

where Ambrose purchased 1000 acres from a grant to James Williamson,

and Thomas bought 750 acres from a grant to William Underwood.

The two plantations were only a couple of miles apart, but no definite

statement of the relationship between the two men can be made.

Ambrose called his lands "Accokeek," an Indian name; about a hundred

years later we find the name "Islington" applied to the plantation

once owned by Thomas Meador, but it is uncertain if this is the name

given by Thomas. Both plantation names are still in use today, although

the original buildings are long gone.

As documented thoroughly in the previous volume, Ambrose left no descendants

beyond the 4th. generation, and apparently his lineage ends

there. But Thomas, when he died in 1655, left a will (see transcription)

listing his widow, who is not named, two sons, and four

daughters. Of these six children, only the families of son Thomas

and daughter Mary have been traced. Mary married Richard Hobbs and

her descendants have been traced to the 6th. generation. The lineage

of the younger Thomas was continued through to the 5th. generation;

these pages extend that heritage to the 16th. generation.


Referenced as "The Orphan" --------------------

   ID: I09601
   Thomas made a deed in 1658. He had a brother, John, and a sister,
   Mary. His mark was "I" with a "-" across it. This mark is found no where
   else in the records. Two tracts of land: a) Hoskins Creek - 320a (for
   transport of 7 people) just South of Rexburg, Virginia today. It is called
   Cheatwood Millpond today. and b) Hoskins Creek - 450a 9 April 1664 from
   Thomas Meades, his father. Both grants were recorded after his own
   death. AKA "The Orphan".
   Facts about this person:
   Thomas Meador (Meadows), Jr. was born between 1635 and 1638 in Virginia. He was also called Thomas Meador the Younger, and after his father's death, was called Thomas "Orphan" Meador (Meadows).
   When his father died in 1655, Thomas was close to legal age; probably 18 years old. From his father, he inherited 350acres west of Juggs Creek. He was to share this with his brother John.
   On August 6, 1655, Thomas Meads "Orphan" petitioned the court that William Underwood be appointed his guardian. The estate of his father was in the hands of George Bryer, and was ordred to be delivere d to Mr. Underwood. In January of 1656, the Lancaster Court found that the estate was still undivided and in George Bryer's hands. The court ordered 4 men (including Ambrose Meador and Francis Gower) to divide the estate.
   In 1658, Thomas Meades "Orphan" contracted to sell 25 acres of his portion. However, it was found through later deeds that his sister, Mary, retained the entire 750 acre tract. Thomas also made a lega l deed in 1658, so he must have been 21 years old in that year. The deed was signedby Thomas with an unique mark - a cross with barred ends, a signature found nowhere else in county records.
   Between 1658 and 1659, Thomas married Sarah. No further information is available about her. Thomas and Sarah had five children, Thomas, John Susannah, Mary and Dorothy.
   Thomas had probably been raised in the Puritan religioin of his father. However, because of the severe morality laid down by the Puritan elders, the younger generation began searching for a faith that was less restrictive and demanding. As early as 1652, followersof the Anglican church were known to be meeting in the Lancaster area. The Anglican church had official sanction, with the authority to punish those who didnot pay their levies or attend the local church. This necessitated the founding of churches on the frontier. Sometime before 1660, an Anglican Church was built on the east side of the Rappahannock River between Totuskey and Farnham Creeks. It later became known as the North Farnham Parish. On the west bank, anAnglican church was built about 3 miles west of Hobbs Hole (now Tappa hannock) between Hoskins and Piscattaway Creeks. This was known as Piscataway Church, and later became know on South Farnham Church. This South Farnham Church was undoubtedly the one attended by the M eades family. Apparently a road from the Meades homestead on Hoskins Creek led southeastward to the church. Because of the building of Anglican churches in this area, it can be seen that the Puritan i nfluence had declined.
   In 1661, an Indian raid took place on the neighboringplantation of Richard White. Richard's daughter, Elizabeth would later marry Thomas' son, John. Elizabeth was apparently not yet born, but her brot her, Thomas White, and two other men were brutally murdered. Thomas' parents, Richard and Addra White, escaped this gruesome raid.
   Perhaps as many as 300 people were killed in these Indian raids. Demanding protection, the settlers petitioned the Jamestown Government for arms, forts and soldiers. From Rappahannock County was sent a "Petition of 15 Grievances" signed by, among others, Henry Awbrey and Col. Thomas Gouldman. They begged that: "the war with the heathen...maybe prosecuted effectually and managed in such sort that s ome Counties may not be totally ruined whilst others live in...peace and quietness, whilst poore Rappaahannock lies ableeding whose number of people murdered and estates destroyedcan find no parallel in Virginia...for while we are tending corn to feed our wives and children, the Indians...would butcher us in our fields, tey being so frequent about us that we dare not stir from our plantations."
   On June 3, 1663, a grant was recorded to Thomas for 320 acres for the transportation of sevenpeople to the colony. The land was near the head of Hoskins Creek, southside of the Rappahannock River
   Note: Thomas Jr. (#2) recieved the land from his father's estate of April 9, 1664 Patent Book No. 5 page 196. It reads"Thomas Meader, Orphan, 450 acres, Lancaster County, April 9, 1664, pg. 196 South side of the head of Joskins Cree, Begining near Indian path. Franted to Thomas Browing November 30, 1657, assigned to John Cook, who assigned to Thomas Meader dec. and given by will to above named pat entee.
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Thomas the orphan Meador, Jr's Timeline

Essex, VA, USA
Age 5
Virginia, United States
Age 20
Lancaster, Virginia, United States
Age 21
Essex County, Virginia
Age 21
Charles Parish, York, Crown Colony of VA
Age 21
April 13, 1662
Age 24
Rappanhannock, Essex, VA
Age 24
Essex, VA
Age 24
Essex, VA