Thomas Meador, the "Orphan"

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"Younger Orphan" Thomas Meador, "The Orphan"

Also Known As: "Thomas Meador the Younger", "Thomas Meadows", "Thomas Meads"
Birthdate: (22)
Birthplace: Essex County, Virginia, United States
Death: April 13, 1662 (22)
Rappahannock County, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Meade, Essex County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Meadors "The Elder" and Sarah Ann Meade
Husband of Sarah Eaton Aubrey
Father of John M Meadows, I; Dorothy Awbrey; Susannah Meador; Mary Gouldman and Thomas Meador
Brother of Ann Meador; Susannah Meador; Margaret Meador; Joyce Meador and John Meador

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

About Thomas Meador, the "Orphan"


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.

from findagrave -

Know All men by these presents that I Thomas Meader of the countie of Rappa.(in Virgnia for a Vallubale[sic]) consideersaon [sic]to me in hand paid by Richard Tomlynson of the same County Planter (have given granted) bargained and sold and coafirmed and do by these presents for me my heirs and assignes give grant bargined and sell unto the said Richard Tomlynson. One hundred and fifty acres of land lying and being on (missing) Rappa River aforesaid and bing part of a devident of thee hundred acres lately given granted and (missing) said Thomas Meader by Ambrose Meader (my father) TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said one hundred and fifty acres of land with all the houses (orchards & c) thereunton belonging and appertaning (missing) priviledges thereunto belonging (missing) according to the tennour and (missing) by the rents and services (missing) unto ther said Richard Tomlynson his heirs and assignes forever against all persons claiming by from or under me the said Thomas Meader (missing) (Ambrose) Meader, my father or his heirs and have hereunto put my hand and seal date this (missing) ammo 1657

Thomas Meader

450 ac was granted to Thomas Browning on 30 Nov 1657, then assigned to John Cooke in 1659 and he in turn assigned it to Thomas Meador (Senior). Before the transaction was recorded on 9 Apr 1664, Thomas Sr had died and the property descended to his son, Thomas Meador, Orphan. This 450 ac grant became the property of John Meador who divided it among the children of his first wife (deed of gift-Essex Co Deeds & Wills 1692-1695 p 332) anticipating a second marrige. Portions were also divided among the children of his second wife through the terms of John's will.

What is an Orphan? Also referred to as o/i Ans. Under legal of age (21) who is due an inheritance

Age breakdowns and categories.

1-6 infant 7-13 puberty, 14-21 orphan Male 1-6 infant 7-11 puberty, 12-18 orphan Female

«b»Legal Age «/b»

Thomas Meador (called orphan) apparently was close to legal age at the death of his father, 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 of 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.

The tract was still undivided in December 1658, when Thomas Meador Mead es (the orphan) contracted to sell 25 acres of his portion to James Hair e, "that was given to me by my father, Thomas Meades, deceased, and to my brother (name missing) in case that part of the land...shall fa ll to my lot at the dividing of the said land." In actuality, it is fou nd through later deeds that Mary obtained possession of the entire 700-ac re tract, but in what manner is unknown. Perhaps the portion allott ed to Thomas Meador was exchanged for rights to the grant on Hoskins Creek .

Of these two grants, the first one recorded was made to the younger Thomas Meador, of 320 acres for the transportation of seven persons to the colony, recorded June 3,1663. Sufficient data survives to permit the plotting of this tract. The grant shows a peculiar characteristic, in that it requires a southeasterly flowing section of Hoskins Creek roughly 181 poles (2986 feet) long, whereas the major portion of Hoskins Creek flows easterly. Of three possible locations along the creek where it flows southeasterly for that length, one would eliminate by its location two near the mouth of the creek, whereas the grant specified that it was toward the head of the creek. Another is eliminated by its encroachment upon property granted to Henry Awbrey further upstream, which also requires a similar-flowing southeast section. The area best fitting the requirements lies at what is known today as "Cheatwood Millpond". This location is just southeast of Rexburg, Virginia, and seven ! miles west of Tappahannock, county seat of Essex County

The second of the two grants was for 450 acres, also near the head of Hoskins Creek. It was first granted to Thomas Browning on November 30,1657. It was then assigned to John Cooke in 1659, and he in turn assigned it to Thomas Meads (senior). Before this series of transactions was finally recorded on April 9,1664, Thomas Sr. had died and the property descended to his son, Thomas Meador, orphan. The above series of actions is recorded in the wording of the grant By plotting these two grants, it can be seen that they lay side by side on the south side of Hoskins Creek, with the 450 acre grant upstream (west) of the 320 acre grant, and that they shared a common boundary. Both grants were recorded after the apparent death of Thomas Meador, orphan.

The 450 acre grant (made to Thomas Meador, orphan) clearly became the property of John Meador, who divided it among the children of his first wife. Portions were also divided among the children of his second wife through the terms of John's will. A descendant, William Meador, in a deed in 1728 and another in 1734, continued the lineage from his great-grandfather Thomas Meador through John, Richard, and himself, making the descent of the property and lineage involved unquestionable. The genealogy of the Meador family from Thomas Meads is thus established to that point.

No documentation has been found to show explicitly that Thomas Meader, orphan, was also known as Thomas Meador, the younger. Nevertheless, the only other Thomas Meador found in the area at that time was Thomas, the son of Ambrose Meador. It would appear that the known facts fit more logically with the conclusion that Thomas, orphan, and Thomas the younger were one and the same. Particularly, Thomas, orphan, is the only one who was also the son of an elder Thomas, thus requiring the description, "the younger".

Nor does the will of Thomas Meads make mention of grant lands on Hoskins C reek, south of the Rappahannock River, possibly because these grants had n ot been finalized. Yet, a grant in 1664 applying to the 450 acres on Hosk ins Creek indicates that the grant had been left to Thomas Meador Meade r, orphan, by the will of his father, Thomas Meader, deceased. Thus, we ha ve evidence that the elder Thomas Meads Meader (Meads, Meades) bought fr om John Cooke this 450 acre tract, which descended after his death to h is son, Thomas Meader, orphan. While this series of transactions was reco rded in 1664 (long after Thomas Meads had made his will and died), it wou ld appear possible that the actions were started about the time Thomas Mea ds died, and were carried to completion later by Thomas Meador Meader, orp han. The fact that he did not yet possess the land on Hoskins Creek may e xplain why Thomas Meads (the elder) did not include mention of it in his w ill. Of course, one could conclude that there was yet another Thomas Meades who was the recipient of the grant. But this would require that the re be a second pair of Thomas Meader's father and son, with the further co incidence that the son would be known as Thomas Meader, orphan. A revi ew of the lineage of Ambrose Meador reveals that such a father/son combina tion did not exist among the descendants. This is a vital link in determi ning our lineage, for subsequent deeds for this 450 acre tract make cle ar that, after the land was inherited by John Meador from his father, Thom as Meador, orphan, the lineage is unmistakable.

In summary, it has been found that Thomas Meads left only two surviving he irs to his property, son Thomas Meador Meader and daughter Mary Meads Hobb s.

Birth: 1638 York County Virginia, USA Death: Apr., 1662 Rappahannock County Virginia, USA

Thomas "Orphan" MEADOR Father: Thomas MEADOR-MEADES b: 1612 in Bristol, Suffolk, England d. 1655 Lancaster VA. Immigration: before 1635 Occupation: Appointed Constable. In this role he was a negotiator with the Indians in 1655. Mother: Sarah YATES

Married: 1658 Sarah Hoskins

Children of Thomas "Orphan" Meador + Sarah Hoskins: 1. Dorothy MEADOR b: ABT 1656

2. John MEADOR Sr. b: 1658 in Charles Parish, Rappahannock (Old) VA.

3. Thomas MEADOR b: BET 1658 AND 1662

4. Susannah MEADOR b: ABT 1659 in Rappahannock(Old)VA

5. Mary MEADOR b: ABT 1660 in Rappahannock{Old)VA

Family links:

 Thomas Meade (1612 - 1655)

 Sarah Hoskins Meador - Awbrey (1636 - 1692)

 John M. Meador (1658 - 1721)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Thomas Orphan Meador Cemetery Meade Essex County Virginia, USA

Created by: Walter Pack Family Record added: Mar 02, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 86153846

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Thomas Meador, the "Orphan"'s Timeline

Essex County, Virginia, United States
August 3, 1658
Age 18
Charles Parish, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 19
Age 19
Essex County, Virginia
April 13, 1662
Age 22
Rappahannock County, Virginia, United States
Age 22
Essex, VA
Age 22
Essex, VA
Meade, Essex County, Virginia, United States