Thomas Meador, Sr.
|Also Known As:||"Meads", "Thomas "The Elder" Meades", "Meadows"|
|Birthplace:||Bristol, City of Bristol, England, United Kingdom|
|Death:||Died in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Virginia, United States|
|Place of Burial:||Meade, Essex County, Virginia, United States|
Son of Ambrose Meador and Elizabeth Meador
|Occupation:||Came to Virginia in early 1630's, Planter: tobacco|
|Managed by:||Private User|
About Thomas Meadors "The Elder"
Additional Curator's Notes:
PLEASE be very careful when merging in this family. There are a great many repeats of the names John, Thomas and Elizabeth. Watch the dates and descriptive names, and you should be okay. Also note that the name Meador, Meadors and Meadows were used interchangeably in the late 1600's-early 1700's.In some texts, the name is written as Meads, which could easily be a shortened form of either Meador or Meadows. For simplicity's sake, we are using Meador as the surname in this family during this era.
Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, May 9, 2015
Surname: Meads Meades
As noted in
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 John ended up in the possession of their sister Mary. One could speculate that the lands were traded to Mary for the rights to the two grants on Hoskins Creek, on the south side of the Rappahannock River, of which Thomas Meador (orphan) became possessed. "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 320 acre grant later became the property of (3) John Meador, who sold it to Ebenezer Stanfield in 1679 . The deed states that the grant was to Thomas Meador, father of the said John Meador, thus confirming this parentage. Stanfield devised the property to his daughter, Rebecca, who married John Williams, Jr., and they later disposed of the property, which never again returned to the ownership of Meador descendants. "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 Meader (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 Meader, orphan. The above series of actions is recorded in the wording of the grant (see copy). As noted in the previous chapter on (1) Thomas Meads, this 450 acre tract was not mentioned in the will of Thomas Meads, probably because the above actions had not been finalized and the grant issued. "By plotting these two grants (see map), 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 (2) Thomas Meador, orphan. "The 450 acre grant (made to Thomas Meador, orphan) clearly 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, (5) 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 (1) 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, as discussed in the previous chapter. 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". "This latter phrase is found in two documents made by a Sarah Meador, in which, describing herself as the widow of Thomas Meador the Younger, she declared her obligation to her three children in April, 1662. Such declarations were commonly made by those contemplating remarriage. In the first document , Sarah provided for the maintenance and education of her children, promising them four years of schooling apiece. (At this period, most children received only a year.) In the second , Sarah gave her son John Meador a yoke of oxen and "one gun, seven foot by the barrel", to be delivered to him when he came of age. To her daughter Susannah she gave a red cow called "Cherry" and her increase. To her daughter Mary she gave a black heifer called "Slippery". We learn also that Susannah was several years less than 11 years old, and that Mary was less than 9 years old. Since the marriage of Thomas Meador the Younger (or orphan) took place no earlier than 1657 or 1658, all three children would have been infants at that time. "No documentation has thus far been found to specify who Sarah Meador then married. Nonetheless, it should be noted that a very prominent, highly influential and prosperous settler of the same area, Henry Awbrey, about this time took a wife named Sarah, who may well have been Sarah Meador, widow. Further discussion on this point will be made in this chapter. Perhaps older than Sarah, Henry Awbrey is such wife of surviving children of such a marriage has been found in Virginia records. Sarah is first mentioned as his wife in 1664 , when Henry appointed her his attorney to collect debts due him in his absence. She again appears in 1670 as party to a sale of Henry Awbrey and herself of a tract of 300 acres on land on the north side of the Rappahannock River . "Her name again appears in 1672 as party to another deed , but no further reference to her has been found. When Henry Awbrey made his will in 1694 , he named his wife as Mary. "The above mentioned deed for 300 acres north of the Rappahannock has caused considerable confusion among researchers. While it is true that a Thomas Meador once owned this property as stated in the deed, this was Thomas, the son of Ambrose Meador, instead of Thomas (orphan), son of Thomas Meads. After Ambrose purchased 1000 acres from James Williamson in 1656 , he sold 300 acres from that tract to his son, Thomas . This 300 acres was then divided in half by Thomas, who sold 150 acres to Richard Tomlinson in 1657 and 150 acres to Lambert Lambertson in 1658 . Lambertson further divided his tract into 75 acre plots, which were then further sold. While it may seem unlikely that these various small plots could have bee reassembled back into a single 300 acre tract, the evidence points to that event. The remaining 700 acres of the 1000 acres purchase by Ambrose Meador can be fully accounted for. There is no indication that Ambrose purchased additional land from Williamson, nor that he sold more to his son, Thomas. Yet the deed from Henry and Sarah Awbrey states that the property was from the purchase by Ambrose Meador out of the grant to James Williamson, and from the portion sold by Ambrose to his son Thomas. "Regardless of the subdivision and the further sales, this deed could easily lead one to believe that Sarah had inherited the property as the widow of Thomas, the son of Ambrose. But a more likely explanation is that the property was reassembled by Henry Awbrey into a single tract, for which no records remain. Several instances have been noted in which property reverted to the original owner, evidently when the purchaser had defaulted in paying the purchase price. But in this case reversion to Thomas, the son of Ambrose, would appear quite unlikely in view of the many subsequent continuing sales by several individuals. In any Thomas, son of Thomas, both must have died about the same time, which certainly adds to the possible confusion between the two men. "Henry Awbrey was Burgess of the County Court of old Rappahannock County and was a trustee in the formation of the portion of New Plymouth in 1682 (see the later chapter on Bacon's Rebellion), which became Tappahannock. For the last two years of his life he was also Sheriff , perhaps an honorary position in view of his age. He received many grants of land for the transportation of persons to the colonies. One of these was for 1050 acres on the south side of Hoskins Creek in 1664, just upstream from the 450 acres granted to Thomas Meador, orphan. This site became Awbrey's home plantation . Other grants were for 480 acres in 1669 , and for 5100 acres in 1679 , lying between Hoskins Creek, Piscattaway Creek, and the Mattaponi River; for 189 acres on Occupacia Creek in 1684 , and for 1200 acres on the north side of Hoskins Creek in 1688 . "The number of children of Henry Awbrey is not completely clear. Some researchers have maintained that there were sons named John and Francis; instead, these appear to have been sons of his brother, John Awbrey. It should be noted that in two deeds in 1690 , Henry named Richard Awbrey as his "only son and heir apparent". In one of these deeds he gave Richard 500 acres from the 1050 acre grant on the south side of Hoskins Creek, which portion adjoined the lands of John Meador. When Henry Awbrey made his will in 169412 , he named as heirs only his wife Mary and his son Richard. "It appears quite certain that Richard Awbrey was the son of Sarah, because in a deed in 1675 Henry gave his son Richard a year-old mare called "Bonny" "until said Richard be 14 years of age". Thus, Richard would have been born after 1661-1662, when Henry and Sarah apparently were married. "When Richard Awbrey made his will, which was probated October 11,1697 , he named John Meador as "brother". Considerable speculation has arisen about the exact nature of this relationship. Some have said that the term "brother" could have meant "brother-in-law", on the assumption that John Meador (for his second wife) could have married a daughter of Henry Awbrey and thus a sister to Richard. No such daughter of Henry Awbrey has been documented. Another speculation has been that Richard's sister been found. In actuality, Richard's wife was Dorothy North, daughter of Augustine North . "Richard Awbrey also named as "sister" Susannah McQuire, the wife of Phillip McQuire, both of whom were witnesses to his will. A bequest was also made to Francis Gouldman (it has been thought possible that Mary, the younger daughter of Thomas and Sarah Meador, could have married Gouldman, whose wife was named Mary). Thus we find that at least two of the children of Thomas and Sarah Meador, John and Susannah, are named by Richard Awbrey as "brother" and "sister". Actually, it would appear that they were his half-brother and half-sister. "At this time, there was only one John Meador living. As we have seen in the chapter on Ambrose Meador, his son John and his grandson John were both deceased by 1683. His great - grandson John, and the son of Thomas (son of John, the son of Ambrose) was not born until after 1700. So we must consider here only the John Meador who was in possession of the 450 acre grant on Hoskins Creek at this time. "In that grant, it is stated that it was being made to Thomas Meador, orphan, son of Thomas Meader, deceased. As no such father and son pair ( both named Thomas) existed in the family of Ambrose Meador, it must certainly have been the Thomas Meads who died in 1655 and his son Thomas. The further descent of this 450 acre tract through (3) John Meador is very clear. This grant adjoined the grant of Henry Awbrey on Hoskins Creek, and particularly the portion given by Henry to his son Richard Awbrey. It is most logical that Thomas Meader, orphan, and Thomas Meador the Younger were the same, and that Sarah Meador, the widow of Thomas Meador the Younger, who made provision for her son "John Meador of Hoskins Creek", was the wife of Henry Awbrey and the mother of Richard Awbrey. Thus the conclusion is virtually inescapable that Sarah was the mother of both John Meador and Richard Awbrey, making them half-brothers. This would explain why Richard called John Meador his "brother" in his will. " Regrettably, efforts to trace descendants of the other two children of Sarah Meador/Awbrey have proven nearly fruitless. No further mention in Essex records has been found of Phillip and Susannah McQuire. Col. Francis Gouldman became a prosperous and prominent landowner in St. Mary's Parish of Essex County, but when he drew his will in made t o his nephews, the sons of Edward Gouldman, and to his niece, the daughter of his brother Thomas Gouldman, deceased. Mary, the wife of Francis, followed him in death a few months later . In her will no children were mentioned, but there was a bequest to Dorothy Billups, who was the daughter of Richard Awbrey and thus her niece. "Two confusing court records of "the orphans of Francis Gouldman" actually refer to the two sons of his brother Edward, to whom Francis had left the major portion of his estate. Therefore, even if this Mary Gouldman could be established as the daughter of Thomas and Mary Meador, the direct lineage ends here. Curiously, no documents have been found relating to any interactions between these daughters, their husbands, and John Meador, nor between John Meador and Richard Awbrey. Such documentation would most certainly have made the determination of these relationships between them much easier. "THE 450 ACRE GRANT "To all to whom these presents shall come, Greetings:....now know ye that I, the said Sir William Berkeley, Knight, Governor of Virginia, give and grant unto Thomas Meader, orphan, four hundred and fifty acres of land in Lancaster County on the South side of the head of Hoskins Creek, beginning at a poplar standing by the side of a Beaver Dam near the Indian Path and running South by West two hundred and fifty poles, thence parallel to the Dam West by North four hundred and fifty poles [part of the description left out here] to the Dam to the first mentioned tree. The said land being first granted to Thomas Browning by patent dated the thirtieth of November, one thousand six hundred and fifty seven, and by him assigned to John Cooke, and by him assigned to Thomas Meader deceased, and by his will given to the said Thomas Meader. To have and to hold [etc]. Dated the ninth of April one thousand, six hundred and sixty four. "THE 320 ACRE GRANT "To all to whom these presents shall come, Greetings....whereas now know ye, that I, the said Sir William Berkeley, Knight, Governor of Virginia, give and grant unto Thomas Meader three hundred and twenty acres of land, situated on the south side of Hoskins Creek towards the head thereof in the county of Rappahannock, and neck by the main run side of the creek aforesaid and nigh unto the plantation of Hohn Gillet, thence by the said run side thirty two poles unto a marked oak in the westernmost point of said neck, thence along the northernmost side of a Beaver Dam until you meet with a line of marked trees that leadeth unto a poplar by the edge of the said Dam forty eight poles, thence with the said line South by West two hundred and sev enty two poles to a marked pine on fallowing ground, thence East by South one hundred and twenty five poles to a white oak on the brow of a hill, thence East North-East twenty eight poles to meet with the Westernmost line of marked trees belonging to John Gregory, which divides this land and the land of the said Gregory, thence North East down to Hoskins Creek aforesaid and finally parallel with the said Creek one hundred eighty one poles unto the marked Red Oak first mentioned. The said land being due unto the said Meader for transportation of Seven persons to this colony. To have and hold [etc]. Dated the second of June, one thousand, six hundred and sixty-three." "WILL OF HENRY AWBREY "In the name of God, Amen. I, Henry Awbrey of ye County of Essex in Virginia. Gentlemen, being sick and weake in body but sound and perfect memory, and calling to mind the uncertainty of this Transitory life, and that all flesh must yield unto death when it shall please God to call, doe make, Constitute, and ordain this my Last Will and Testament in manner forme following. "First, I give and bequeath my Soule to God that gave it, in sure and Certaine hope of a joyful resurrection at the last dy, and my body to the Earth from whence it came, to be decently interred after my decease and for what Tangible Estate it hath pleased God to bestow upon me, I give and bequeath as followeth: "..give and bequeath unto my loveing Wife Mary Awbrey the Plantation whereon I now live with all the Orchards, buildings, improvements, and all the land belonging to it. She not clearing nor tending any ground beyond the Church Road which now is during her natuall life, and after her decease I give and bequeath the said lands with all improvements whatsoever unto my loveing Son Richard Awbrey and his heirs foe Ever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Awbrey seven hundred Acres of land more, Land whereon he now liveth and to the heirs of his body lawfully begotten for Ever, my wife not to Claime any thirds of the Same. Item, I give unto Francis Awbrey, the youngest Son of my Brother Jon. Awbrey, dec'd, two hundred acres of Land being a part of a tract of four hundred Acres of Land Scituate as aforesaid purchased by me of Coll. Hill and to his heirs for Ever. Item, ye other two hundred acres of Land Scituate as aforesaid I give and bequeath unto Katherine Long, Daughter of Alice Long (att Sheppey?) dec'd, to her and her heirs for Ever. Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Richard Awbrey on negro man called Sam, one negro woman called Kate, one negro boy called Robin, one negro boy called Nero, one Negro boy called Zobey, to him and the heirs lawfully begotten of his body for Ever. Item, I will and bequeath unto my Loveing Wife Mary Awbrey five Negros called by the names of Price, Nanny, Will, Joons (?), and Jamy, likewise I give and bequeath to my wife one Silver Tankard and three horses Calld by the names of Thourogood, Smoakes, and Mush, with ye Cart and wheeles, and harness belonging to the Same, likewise I will and bequeath to my wife one halfe of all my Cattle in quantity and quality. Item, I give to my wife one Servt. Woman called Martha. Item, I give unto my Son Richard one Servt. called Miles Dixon. Item, I will and bequeath unto my wife all my Stock of hoggs, She paying after my decease unto my Sonn Richard Awbrey three barrows or Splayed Sows yearly for four years, together to be all of ye age of three years old or more. Item, I will unto my wife one half of my sheep in quality to quality. Item, I will and bequeath the other halfe in quantity and quality to my Son Richard Awbrey and to have privilege to let them remaine here for three years. Item, ye one half of my Cattle not yet bequeathed I give to him and his heirs for (Ever), likewise I will and bequeath unto my Son my black Gelding cald Nego, wit h two Saddles, two bridles, pistolle, holsters, and all other furniture thereunto belonging. Item, I will likewise unto my Son my pendulum watch, all my wearing Clothes both linen and wooling, all my french gold wearing Shooes, Stockings of all Sorts, and hatts. Item, two feather beds with the furniture belonging to them and Six pair of Sheets, one pair of ?nd Irons, all the parcells of broadCloth for my owne wearing with Buttons, Silk and other furniture belong to it. Likewise I will and bequeath unto my wife, all my Serges and give and bequeath unto my Son Richard's wife to make her a gowne and petty coat, be it more of less. Item, I will and bequeath unto my Son all my books, my wife having choice of the three of four for her owne particular use. Item, my will and desire is that all my Kerseyes, Cottons, Canvass, fine linen, and (Cowepe?) that is not made up in garments, plain Shoes, Irish Stockings, and all ye yarn Stockings which are kniting to be equally divided in quantity and quality between my wife and my Son. Item, I give and bequeath unto my wife three feather beds and furniture, one new feather bed Ticking with bolster and pillow Ticking, all ye table linen with all the rest of ye sheets not before bequeathed. Item, I give unto my wife all the Lumber belonging to the house as bedsteads, Chairs, Chests, all the pewter Brass, Iron potts and irons, except one desk and one Chest in the old dwelling house loft, which I give unto my Son Richard. Item, I give unto my Son Richard's daughter Mary after my wife's decease Six large pewter dishes. Item, it is my will and desire that my Executors hereafter named be diligent and careful in the prosecution of ye dwelling house (unreadable) which is to be built by Jon. Milbourne according to agreement. Item, my desire is that the Brass yall [bell?] be set up on this plantation and not hereafter to be removed. Item, my will is that all ye woole in the house be equally divided between my wife and my Son. Item, my will is that my boat be sold and produce be equally divided between my wife and my Son. Likewise, two mares, one branded HA, and the Ha, I give equally to my wife and my Son. Item, my will and desire is that before any division be made of ye Sheep after my decease, yt Robert Brooke, Son of Robert Brooke, have four ewes out of ye sheep. Item, it is my will and desire that immediately after my decease my Executors draw bills on Mr. Robert Bristow Jun. for 40 od. pounds to be paid Mr. Will Howell, Merchant, and take in my bond. Lastly, I make constitute and ordain my Loveing Son Richard Awbrey and my Loveying Wife Mary Awbrey joynt Executors of this my last will & Testament, in Testimony whereof I have hereunto putt my hand and Seale this first day of August 1694. Henry Awbrey (Seale) igned, Sealed and Delivered in ye presence 1694 Rob. Brooke "I, the Subscriber, do depose that the within mentioned Henry Awbrey Seale and declare this within written Will to be his last Will and Testament and that he was in perfect sense and memory at ye sealeing and publishing thereof to the best of ye deponents knowledge & farther saith not ill. Mosely worne to in Essex County Court 7ber 10th. 1694 "WILL OF RICHARD AWBREY "In the name of God, Amen, this Eighteenth day of April 1697, I Richard Awbrey, being Sick and weak in body but of sound and perfect memory, blessed and praised be Almighty God for the Same and Considering the mortality of the body do make and ordaine this as my last will & testament. First and principally I commend my Soule into the hands of Allmighty God that Gave itt and my body to be decently and Christianly buried hopeing by the meritorious death and Passion of m my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to receive full Pardon and forgiveness of all my Sins and a joyful Resurrection att the Last day and as for the worldly goods that God hath lent me I will and bequeath them in manner and forme following, Vist. "First, I give and bequeath unto my son Henry Awbrey all my land and to the Heirs of his body lawfully begotten and for want of Such Heirs to the next Surviveing Heirs of my Children one Negro called Tom my Sword and belt my Silver tobbo box Eighteene pounds Sterlg. now in the hands of Robert Bristow in England two Scales of Silver one that was his grandfathers and one that is mine and is my will that my Horse Portly and my Pendilum watch be sold for money and given to my Said Sonne allso that these bequests be delivered att the age Eighteene years and that he be putt to schoole att fourteen yeares old and there continued four yeares and my Great Seale Ring. "Item I give to my daughter Mary one Negro called Maria fifty pounds Ster. and four cowes and Calves to be paid her att the age of Eighteene yeares or the day of Marriage a feather of the Estate I give my wife. "Item I give unto my Daughter Dorothy a Negro Called Robin fifty pounds Sterlg. four cowes and calves and a feather bed and furniture to be paid her the age of Eighteene yeares or the day of Marriage to be paid out of the Estate I give my wife. "Item I give to the child my wife goes with if it live fiftie pounds Sterlg. to be paid out of the Estate I give my wife. "Item I give to Elizabeth Evans my God Daughter a Heiffer Called her Heiffer and all her increase and a young mare in the woods and all her Increase branded HA on the shoulder and RA on the buttock. "Item I give to my Brother John Meador all my wearing Cloaths that's made up as Shirts Drawers Coates breeches and one felt Hatt. "Item I give to Tho: Hucklescott two yards and halfe of mint broad cloath now in the house and black buttons. "Item I give to Mr. Tho. Grigson a ring of twelve shills price. "Item I give to Mr. Francis Gouldman a ring of twelve shills price. "Item I give to my Sister Maquire a ring of twelve shills price "Item I give to Phillip Maquire as much mixt Kersey now in the house as will make him a Coate and a new Carter Hatt in the Chest never worn. "Item I give unto my beloved wife Dorothy Awbrey that Plantation that I now live on and hundred acres of Land belonging to itt dureing her natural life She claimes no other part or parcel of my Land Six Negroes Sam, Betty, Jupiter, Jack, Kate, and (illegible) and all other my Esatate as goods Chattles Sheep Cattell horses &.........Bequeathed ad I do Hereby make my Said wife and my Sonn Henry Joynt Exrs. of this my last will and testament and do also make....desire Mr. Thomas Grigson and Mr. Francis Gouldman to be overseers of this my last will and testament and .......executed and I allso do hereby disannull and make void all former wills legacies and testaments by me att any time heretofore made and do Signe Seale and Publish this as my last will and testament and have hereunto left my hand Seale and the date first above written. Richd Awbrey ( Seale) igned Sealed and Published the Last Will and Testament in the Presence of Phillip (x) Maquires Susanna (x) Maquires Tho: Hucklescott Proved in Essex County Court Oct. 11,1697.] [alford1.FTW]
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
Referenced as "The Elder"
Thomas was born between 1612 and 1618 in England. He entered the United States as a single man, and came to Jamestown about 1634. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America, and had been founded 27 years earlier, in 1607. Thomas married his wife sometime before 1635 - 1638, the time his first son was born in Virginia. The first record of Thomas Meads is found in a headright grant made by the Governor of the Jamestown Colony. He later surrendered this grant of 50 acres in 1636 to John Gator of Elizabeth City. Each immigrant to the Virginia Colony in the 17th century was granted 50 acres of land as a "headright" to get them started in the New World. Sometimes these grants were assigned to a benefactor who paid for their passage by ship from England to the Colony. Thomas was probably a member of the group of Puritans who settled Isle of Wright County in the early 1600's. He then settled on the upper Rappahannock, where most of the early settlers were felloe Puritans from Isle of Wright. The Puritan church passed severe ordinances against such moral offenses as card playing, swearing, and drinking, with fines of 100 pounds of tobacco for the mere observances of such conduct without reporting it to church authorities. In subsequent years, the younger generation of people in this ares (and possibly Thomas' own children) began searching for a faith that was less restrictive and demanding. Also, because of Prutian successes in England, fewer dissidents felt the call to emigrate, and the Puritan exodus tapered off and ceased altogether in 1650. In 1653, the records of Lancaster County, Virginia, show that Thomas Meads purchased 700 acres from William Underwood, of Underwood's 1400 acre grant on the northeast shore of the Rappahannock River between Milleck Creek and Bushwood Creek. The 1400 acres were divided roughly in half by the lower section and first branch of what is today called Juggs Creek. The portion purchased by Thomas was the lower half of this grant, next to Milleck Creek. The purchase of this land by Thomas was of such a magnitude that it would indicate a man of moderate wealth. He built his home on high ground behind the river landing, between Juggs Creek and Balls Creek. At that time, it was a general practice to give an estate a name. Neighbors of Thomas gave such names to their plantations as "Bushwood", "Cobham Park", and "Accokeek". No name for the plantation of Thomas Meads appear in the early records, but a hundred years later the name "Islington" was attached to the grounds. Today, this land lies at the river end of Route 632 in Richmond County, Virginia, and the river landing is known as "Islington Landing".
Website has copy of last will and testament of Thomas Meador
Byer, Geo Probate to him of Thomas Meads, deceased, the estate to be appraised by Am'br Meader, Fran: Gower, Toby Hurst qne Tho Robinson, Mr Wm Underwood to adm the Oath 6 jun 1667 p 197 Lancaster county Court orders 1652-1655 p 178 Virginia Colonial Abstracts, Vol. I
•_PPEXCLUDE: •_UID: DD83AFA31BC142DE942C067835F1B7A77053 •Change Date: 19 Dec 2012 at 13:42 •Note: Ambrose land records: Stating " Know All Men by these presents that I Ambrose Meader of the county of Rappa. in Virginia consideraun to me paid by Thomas Meador my son of the county aforesaid (missing) heirs Exes Amrs and assignes five grant bargain sell and assigns ever unto the said Thomas Meader a parcell of land conteyning three hundred acres being part of one thousand acres of land sold and conveyed unto me Ambrose Meader by James Williamson as by a deed of sale under the hand and seal of the said Willimson plainly appeareth situatle lying and being on the north side of Rappa River the said three hundred acres of land edjoying unto the upon the land Thomas Robinson which land ther said Robyson purchased of me Ambrose Meador likewise being part of the one thousand acres or land unto him the said Thomas Meader his heirs Exrs Admirs and assignes for Ever with all rights and priviledges thereunto belong and appertaining I the said Ambrose Meader do for me my heirs Exrs and Admirs hereby promise to wawrrant and defend the said three hundred acres of land from all persons claiming by Witnes whre of I the said Thomas Meader his heirs Exrs. Admrs or assignes. In witness whereof I the said Ambrose have hereunto put my hand and seal this 30th day of August anno dam 1658
Ambrose (M(his mark)) Meador
in presence of Clement Herbert and John (his mark) Meader (is this Ambrose son?)
Deed Abstracts of old Rappahannock Co, VA
KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that I AMBROSE MEADR of the Co of Rappa. Planter do (constituet&appoint) my well beloved Sonn THOMAS MEADOR my true & lawfull Attorney for me& in my (place&stead) to acknowledge in Court three hundred acres of land at this Court as by my deed of (missing) appear & I do also by these presentsgive & grant unto my said Attorney full power to make (other) Attorny or Attorneys as my said Attorny shall find cause & in Witness to all & every (the premises) I AMBROSE MEADER have here unto sett my hand this 2d of September 1658
Testee Clement Herbert
Ambrose Meador last reference in the records is 24 Dec 1661 when he shared a purchase with his son, Thomas. His wife was mentioned (but not by name) in the deed to Thomas Robinson in 1656, but may have preceded him in death.
"THE INDIANS and BACON'S REBELLION" For a time, white settlement was forbidden above the Pamunkey River; later this prohibition was only for the land above the Piscattaway and Totuskey Creeks. But many settlers filed claims upon the choice river front lands, and by 1646-1650 (as detailed in the first chapter) grants were being given along the Rappahannock River on these areas. The river valley was occupied principally by the Rappahannock Indians, with a few villages of Mattaponi, Moratticoes, Totuskeys, Portobagoes, and others. These tribes were forced into the forested lands behind the mile- deep grants. Behind the grants to James Williamson, William Underwood, and the land of Thomas Meads Could this Thomas Meads be my Meads?
Note from James Williamson and William Underwood was living near Ambrose Meador in Isle of Wight. Could this Thomas Meads be the son Ambrose???
Tension between the settlers and the Indians remained high, and there were recurring raids, for which the nearby Rappahannocks received most of the blame. In February, 1654 , a small army was raised, with 100 men from Lancaster County, 40 from Northumberland, and 30 from Westmoreland to meet the threat. They met at the plantation of Thomas Meades on the eastern shore, and were to march from thence to the village of the Rappahannocks (probably near Warsaw) to ensure peace, without provoking hostilities. The outcome is not recorded, but the Rappahannocks seemingly caused no trouble.
Not so with the Doegs, the Susquahannocks, and the Senecas (from Maryland), whose numerous raids into the northern colonies caused great hardships during the 1660's and 1670's. One such raid took place in 1661 at the plantation of Richard White (who later became the father-in-law of (3) John Meador). White's plantation lay on the north side of Hoskin's Creek, opposite that of John Meador. Though Richard White and his wife Addra escaped, their son Thomas White and two men were brutally murdered. An account of the results of this raid, as viewed by a committee of twelve men, forms a gruesome record .
«b»AStudy of Virginia Indians and Jamestown: The First Century«/b» «b» Studinia Indians and Jamestown: The First Century«/b» http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/jame1/moretti-langholtz/chap7.htm
«b»November 1654 — Acts of Assembly— «/b» Complaints against the «b»Rappahannock Indians«/b». Assembly authorizes three counties to raise men: Lancaster 100, Northumberland 40 and Westmoreland 30, to meet on the first Wednesday in February to next to «b»Thomas Meades' hous«/b»e. Major John Carter to lead the men to the «b»Rappahannock town«/b» demanding satisfaction. Following, Carter is to give account to the Governor, who will determine with his Council, as to peace or war. Captain Henry Fleet and David Wheatliff to go as interpreters.«sup»93«/sup»
The name of Thomas Meads is next found in the records of Lancaster Count y, Virginia, in 1653, at which time he purchased 700 acres of land from Wi lliam Underwood. Underwood was granted 1400 acres on the northeast sho re of the Rappahannock River, between Milleck Creek (sometimes known as Wi llimson's Creek, but now known as Ball's Creek) and Bushwood Creek (now kn own as Little Carter Creek). The portion purchased by Thomas Meads appea rs to have been the lower half of this grant, which was the portion falli ng next to Milleck Creek. Here Thomas established his home on higher grou nd behind an excellent river landing. This place still appears on mode rn maps as "Islington Landing", but this name does not seem to have been a pplied to the area until a hundred years later, for it does not appe ar in early records.
An entry in Lancaster records in 1653 concerns an indentured servant of Thomas Meads named Bour Harrison, who ran away and was returned, for whi ch he was sentenced by the court to serve an additional nine months at t he expiration of his term of indenture. It should be noted that many chil dren were bound out to earn their support of to learn a trade, particular ly orphan children. When the age of 17 years was reached they were discha rged, with a suit of new clothes and provisions, or to keep the resul ts of their labors if they chose to stay. Many fared far better under th is arrangement than they would have otherwise.
THE WILL OF THOMAS MEADS/MEADOR
The last will and testament of Tho. Meads made the 5th day of March (54) Impnt. I do bequeath my body to the Earth & my soul to God that gave it. I do make my wife my sole & absolute Excr.
I do give to my wife & Daughter Mary this plantation that I now live upon and all the land on this side of the Creek, and the ad. plantation not to be my Daughters till after my wife she ïs decease.
I do give to my two sons, Tho & John Meads all the land that is on the west side of the Creek provided that they pay unto
my two daughters Margaret & Joyce out of s. land two thousand pounds of tob. Cask at their day of marriage, and in case either of the [m] die that the sd. Tob. To belong to the survivor.
I do give unto my wife & sons & my Daughters above mentioned all my goods and chattels after my debts are paid and that they shall be equally divided amongst them.
I do give to my Daughter Anna all the cattle that belonged to her which is about five head of cattle, and likewise I do unto her one shilling in money. This is my last will and testament as witness my hand the day & year above written.
12 da. Juny 1655
Edward (his mark) Bradshaw
Phat 6 da Juny 1655.
It should be pointed out here that the will presently exists only as a thi rd-hand copy. Of course, the actual will itself was not filed in the reco rd book --the clerk copied the will. That original record book no long er exists. In the early 1700s many of the badly deteriorated volumes we re laboriously hand-copied for preservation, this book among them. So wh at we have today is a copy of a copy, and copying errors are to be expecte d. Certainly the signature to the will is not that of Thomas Meads, and t he spelling may well be questioned. Early day penmanship (as anyone attem pting to read these early documents will testify) was such that it was oft en impossible to distinguish between and "o" or "e", or a terminal " s" or "r". That the signature of Thomas Meads was written out, perhaps ev en the entire will, and those of the witnesses (except for Edward Bradsha w) (and Rawleigh Travers who was the county sheriff), indicates a degr ee of literacy for Thomas and his witnesses.
Probate of the will was granted to George Bryer, a neighbor, and as was t he custom, the court ordered an appraisal of the estate. This appraisal w as done by four men, including Ambrose Meador and Francis Gower, and was r eturned to the court December 10, 1655. The value was established as 17,5 02 pounds of tobacco, equivalent at the time to about 109 pounds sterlin g, a respectable, though not huge, sum for the time. Because "hard" mon ey was scarce in the colonies, everything was valued in terms of its wor th in tobacco, on a sort of barter system.
As testified by the will, Thomas Meads left a widow, two sons, and four daughters. Quite possibly all these children were under legal age, sin ce at the time when Thomas had entered the country some nineteen yea rs or so before, he had been single. His son Thomas Meador Jr. seems to h ave been the oldest, but was still under the legal age, as in the court se ssion of August 6, 1655 Thomas Meador Meads, orphan, petitioned the cou rt that William Underwood be appointed his guardian. Further, it was orde red that the estate of Thomas Meades, deceased, then in the hands of Geor ge Bryer, be delivered to Underwood. In January 1655 (actually 1656 by modern dating), the Lancaster Court fou nd that the estate was still undivided and in the hands of George Brye r. The court then ordered four men, again including Ambrose Meador and Fr ancis Gower, to divide the estate according to the will of the deceased The land mentioned in the will of Thomas Meads appears to have been the 7 00 acres that had been purchased from William Underwood. The creek mentio ned in the will is not identified there, but a plot of this tract revea ls that it would have been divided roughly in half by the lower section a nd first branch of what is called "Juggs Creek" today. This would imply t hat approximately 350 acres west of "Juggs Creek would have been intend ed for sons Thomas Meador (Jr.) and John, while the remaining 350 acres ea st of the creek was to go to daughter Mary, after the death of her mother
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, a nd 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
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 Mead es 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.
GRANTEE Meads, Thomas. grantee. DATE 7 September 1654. Location: County location not given. Grantee(s): Meads, Thomas, and John Phillips. Description: 1000 acres on the south side of the Freshes of Rappa: River about 16 Miles above Nanzemum Towne. Source: Land Office Patents No. 3, 1652-1655, p. 376 (Reel 2). Part of the index to the recorded copies of patents for land issued by the Secretary of the Colony serving as the colonial Land Office. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia. The link for Library of Virginia is listed above.
Thomas Meador children:
1. Thomas "Younger" MEADOR Jr. was born in 1628 and died in or about 1658.
2. John MEADES b: 1638 in Lancaster Co., VA
3. Mary MEADOR was born abt 1640 in VA, married Richard HOBBS. b: 1644 d: 1683
4. Margaret MEADOR was born abt 1642 in VA.
5. Joyce MEADOR was born abt 1644 in VA.
6. Anne MEADOR was born abt 1646 in VA.
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
As testified by the will, Thomas Meads left a widow, two sons, and four daughters. Quite possibly all these children were under legal age, sin ce at the time when Thomas had entered the country some nineteen yea rs or so before, he had been single. His son Thomas Meador Jr. seems to h ave been the oldest, but was still under the legal age, as in the court se ssion of August 6, 1655 Thomas Meador Meads, orphan, petitioned the cou rt that William Underwood be appointed his guardian. Further, it was orde red that the estate of Thomas Meades, deceased, then in the hands of George Bryer, be delivered to Underwood.
In January 1655 (actually 1656 by modern dating), the Lancaster Court fou nd that the estate was still undivided and in the hands of George Brye r. The court then ordered four men, again including Ambrose Meador and Fr ancis Gower, to divide the estate according to the will of the deceased.
It will be seen from the above records that not only did Ambrose and Thomas Meads (Meader) live less than two miles apart, but that there was consi derable participation by Ambrose in the affairs of Thomas. Yet we fi nd no statement in the records of their relationship, though many opportun ities for such a simple expression as "brother" or "cousin" were passed b y, leaving the question unresolved.
Nor are the records clear about the fate of the unnamed widow of her child ren. There is only one reference that daughter Joyce was in the custo dy of William Underwood; that is all.
The land mentioned in the will of Thomas Meads appears to have been the 7 00 acres that had been purchased from William Underwood. The creek mentio ned in the will is not identified there, but a plot of this tract revea ls that it would have been divided roughly in half by the lower section a nd first branch of what is called "Juggs Creek" today. This would imply t hat approximately 350 acres west of "Juggs Creek would have been intend ed for sons Thomas Meador (Jr.) and John, while the remaining 350 acres ea st of the creek was to go to daughter Mary, after the death of her mother.
.«i»Lancaster County, 1652-1655«/i»
Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., Co., 1961, 113 pgs by Beverly Fleet page 69 "Meader, Am'br. To appraise est of Tho Meads deed 6 Jun 1665 page 197
Thomas (1Ambrose) Meador
Thomas Meador was born c. 1612 Bristol, Suffolk, England. In about 1635, Thomas married Sarah Meador b. c. 1615 in England.
Thomas and Sarah immigrated to Elizabeth City VA, arriving 6/1/1636. Their passage to Virginia was paid for by John Gater, presumably in exchange for head-right acreage. Thomas and Sarah settled in the lands which would eventually become Essex Co VA.
Thomas and Sarah lived the remainder of their lives on their plantation. Thomas died 6/6/1655 in Lancaster (now Essex) Co VA.
•Born c. 1612 Bristol, Suffolk, England
•Married c. 1635 in England to Sarah Meador b. c. 1615 in England
•Immigrated 6/1/1636 to Elizabeth City VA
•1645 Northumberland Co established from Chickacoan Indian Lands
•Migrated c. 1649 to Northumberland (now Lancaster) Co VA
•1651 Lancaster Co split from Northumberland Co
•Sarah died before 1655 Rappahannock Co VA
•Died 6/6/1655 Lancaster (now Essex) Co VA
The Will of Thomas Meads/Meador The last will and testament of Tho. Meads (Meador) made the 5th. day of March (54.) Imp nt. I do bequeath my body to the Earth & my soul to God that gave it. I do make my wife my sole & absolute Excr. I do give to my wife and Daughter Mary this planation that I now live upon and all the land on this side of the Creek, and the sd. plantation not to be my Daughter's 'till after my wife's decease. I do give to my two sons Thos. & John Meads all the land that is on the west side of the Creek provided that they pay unto my two Daughters Margaret & Joyce out of the s. land two thousand pounds of tob. & cask at their day of marriage, and in case eithre of the(m) die that the sd. tob. to belong to the survivor. I do give unto my wife & sons & my Daughters above mentioned all my goods and chattels after my debts are paid and that they shall be equally divided amongst them. I do give to my Daughter Anne all the cattle that belongeth to her which is about five head of cattle, and likewise I do give unto her one shilling in money. This is my last will and testament as witness my hand the day & year above written. Witness Thomas Mead Rawleigh Travers John Richardson Edward Bradshaw (by his mark) pbat 6 da. Juny 1655 GRANTEE Meads, Thomas. grantee. DATE 7 September 1654. Location: County location not given. Grantee(s): Meads, Thomas, and John Phillips. Description: 1000 acres on the south side of the Freshes of Rappa: River about 16 Miles above Nanzemum Towne. Source: Land Office Patents No. 3, 1652-1655, p. 376 (Reel 2).
1. Susannah Meador b. c. 1636 Elizabeth City VA
2. Thomas Meador, Jr.
•Born c. 1637 Elizabeth City VA
•Married c. 1656 in Virginia to Sarah Haskins b. 1637 in Virginia
•Died 4/1662 Rappahannock Co VA
3. John Meador b. c. 1638 Elizabeth City VA
4. Mary Meador b. c. 1641 Elizabeth City VA
5. Margaret Meador b. c. 1642 Elizabeth City VA
6. Joyce Meador b. 1644 Elizabeth City VA
7. Ann Meador b. c. 1645 Elizabeth City VA
Thomas Meadors "The Elder"'s Timeline
December 24, 1612
Bristol, City of Bristol, England, United Kingdom