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William Mead

Also Known As: "John Meade"
Birthdate: (63)
Birthplace: Lydd, Kent, England
Death: September 19, 1663 (63)
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Mead and Elizabeth Mead
Husband of Philllipa Kilvey and Martha Mead
Father of Mary Mead; Joseph Meade; Martha Williams; John Mead; Hannah Mead and 1 other
Brother of Gabriel Meade
Half brother of John Mead

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Mead

Note: born in England, landed in Massachusetts in 1635; part of the family that founded Greenwich, Connecticut

Gravestone, erected in 1990 for the 350th anniversary of Greenwich, reads 1600-1663 for William Mead. Included in the same gravestone are children: Joseph (1630-1690), Martha (b. 1632), John (1634-1699).

Came to America on the "Elizabeth"

From Descendants of William Mead: Working file of Mary Lou Cook, updated 4 June 2011:

Asserts baptismal date of Dec. 27, 1592 in Watford, Hertfordshire, England.

Asserts that the name Mead is an English translation of the Norman name "de Prato" which means "of the meadow."

William is describes as the founder of the Connecticut Mead family. After arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, William relocated to Stamford in New Haven Colony (annexed into Connecticut Colony in 1666 as New Haven and Fairfield counties), obtaining a home lot and five acres of woodland property in that settlement as one of the original 42 proprietors, according to Stamford Town Records. Spencer Mead and the 1990 gravestone give his death date as 1663.

Asserts wife's name as Philippa (no source provided).

Children asserted:

  • 1. Mary (March 17, 1621 - 1626 in England, buried in Watford Nov. 21, 1626)
  • 2. Joseph (1624 - May 3, 1690, said to be born in Greenwich, Kent, England, and buried in Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut Colony, Contradicts gravestone, which places birth date as 1630.)
  • 3. John (c1628 - Feb. 5, 1699, said to be born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, and buried in Greenwich in Connecticut Colony. Contradicts gravestone, which places birth date as 1634)
  • 4. Martha (Nov. 8, 1632 - d. bef. Nov. 20, 1695, died in Westchester County, Province of New York. Married first John Richardson before January 1654, c1630-c1697, will written Nov. 16, 1679, married second Thomas Williams c1683, b. c1630)

From the Sprague Project:

Family / Spouse: William Mead/Martha Davis (F33477) m. Abt 1625

Family Information

  • Father | Male: William Mead
    • Born Lydd, , Kent, England
    • Christened 1592 Watford, Hertfordshire, England
    • Died 19 Sep 1657 Stamford, Fairfield Co., CT, USA
    • Married Abt 1625 [1]
    • Father Priscilla Mead | F98165 Family Group Sheet
    • Mother Dorothy Grey | F98165 Family Group Sheet
  • Mother | Female: Martha Davis
    • Born 1604 Lydd, , Kent, England
    • Died 19 Sep 1657 Stamford, Fairfield Co., CT, USA
  • Child 1 | Male: + Joseph Mead
    • Born 1630
    • Died 3 May 1690
    • Spouse Mary Brown | F33478
    • Married 4 Dec 1654
  • Child 2 | Female; Martha Mead
    • Born 1632
    • Died Yes, date unknown
    • Spouse John Richardson | F33479
  • Child 3 | Male: + John Mead
    • Born 1634
    • Died 5 Feb 1699
    • Spouse Hannah Potter | F33476
    • Married Abt 1657


  • 1. [S407] Book: Mead Genealogy, Mead, Spencer P., LL.B., (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1901), page 125..

From his Find A Grave page:

William Mead

  • Birth: 1600
  • Death: 1663

Family links:


  • Joseph Mead (1630 - 1690)
  • John Mead (1634 - 1699)

Note: born in England, landed in Massachusetts in 1635; part of the family that founded Greenwich, Connecticut

Burial: Tomac Burying Ground, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA

  • Created by: Lisa Henry Prindle
  • Record added: Sep 11, 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial# 21493471

From the Biography of Col. Thomas A. Mead (secondary source, names William as "John")


John Mead was one of two brothers who emigrated from England about the year 1642. The family was then an ancient and honorable one, though it is not within the author's means to trace their genealogy previous to their emigration to this country.[1]

One of their ancestors had been the friend and the physician of the talented, though not very amicable Queen Elizabeth. One of the two brothers emigrated to Virginia, where the family still exists. The other, John Mead, with his two sons, came to New England about the year 1642. The name is spelled Meade as well as Mead.

Many claim that they emigrated from Greenwich, Kent Co., England, but we have not fallen with any direct proof of the fact, and this town was known by its present name long before the settlement of the Mead family. John Mead and his two sons, John and Joseph, having tarried awhile in Massachusetts, first settled in Hempstead, L.I., where they remained until October, 1660, when the two sons came to Greenwich and bought land of Richard Crab and others, which was deeded to John Mead, he being the elder. Either John, the father, never came to Greenwich, or if so, he took no active part in life, now having become quite an old man. His son Joseph left no children in this town. He may have died young, or left no issue, or may have emigrated to another part of the country.

SOURCE: Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Fairfield County, Connecticut. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis & Co. (1881), p. 396-398.


  • 1. This biography was originally published in 1881 (see above) and does not constitute "proof" of authentic historical fact or early Greenwich, CT or Mead family history. I simply offer it as clues to further research.--mp


  • Remington, Gordon L., FUGA. "The English Origin of William [1] Mead of Stamford, Connecticut." The American Genealogist (TAG). Whole Number 289, Vol. 73, No. 1. January 1998.
  • MEAD, Spencer Percival. History and genealogy of the Mead Family of Fairfield Co. CT, Eastern.NY. New York:
  • Draper, Cecil Mead. Jonathan Mead of Rensselaerwyk and some of his descendants. With a shorter sketch of a single line of Williams, Mass., Conn. New York. Denver: 1972.
  • Feltus, Louise Celestia (Mead).Our Two Centuries in Greenwich Conn., 1728-1924. Troy, NY.: R.H. Prout and Co., 1948. .
  • Parker, C.E. The Mead family of Connecticut. Santa Ana, CA: 1968.
  • Mead Landowners in Greenwich 1640-1652


From Mead Family Ancestry by Jim German

Our ancestors who immigrated to America were Richard and Martha’s grandson, William Mead and his wife Philippa Kilvey, our generation’s ninth great grandparents. They came with their children Joseph, John, and Martha. Another daughter, Mary the eldest of their children, died before they left England. Philippa’s last name of Kilvey is possibly incorrect but is what some researchers have settled on.

The Mead family is purported to have left from Lydd, Kent County, England aboard the ship “The Elizabeth,” believed to be in the company of Pastor Richard Denton and his Watford entourage, in April of 1635. They arrived in Plymouth Colony in June of 1635. Their voyage had been a hard one, with scant provisions, and cramped accommodations, very typical of crossings at that time. It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that passage became more comfortable.

They did not come to America for religious freedom, as a lot of early settlers had, but to build a new life in a new country. William was not tolerant of the straight laced people of Boston, nor did he care for the organized religions and their harsh doctrines. In 1636 discontent manifests itself around Boston, and Rev. Thomas Hooker, Roger Williams and Mrs. Hutchinson lead a revolt against the established church and left Massachusetts bound for Rhode Island, and Connecticut. This left only about eleven families still in Cambridge.

With the many families that revolted from this environment, William and Philippa joined the group of Massachusetts Bay Colonists, led by Roger Williams, and moved to Connecticut. Connecticut and Rhode Island, though strict by today’s standards, were not ruled by the tyrannical oligarchy of the Massachusetts government, and offered more religious and personal freedoms for those that moved there.

It is here where you see the attempt to separate the government from the church. These Connecticut Colonists, tired of the church control into their everyday lives, set up their governing body separate from the rule of the church. Their attempt probably wasn’t any better for the colonists, but does show the start of a basis for the American Constitution, separating Church and State.

William and his family first settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut, which is near Hartford and was under the jurisdiction of the Connecticut Colony. On December 7, 1641, they moved to and established Stamford, Connecticut, with forty one other families. Stamford was under the rules of the New Haven Colony. There William was granted five acres and a town lot, a place to build his home.

William Mead, the immigrant, was a well respected man of early colonial Connecticut. William was very active in the governmental proceedings of Stamford, Connecticut, and left his mark throughout his community, and in history. He was the ancestor to most of the Mead’s of Connecticut, New York, Vermont and those that settled Meadville, Pennsylvania. It is said over a million Americans have William’s blood flowing in their veins.

William’s wife Philippa died of malaria in Stamford, on September 19, 1657. A memorial in Tomac Burying Ground, in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, in memory of the Mead family, only mentions William and his three children, Joseph, John, and Martha, leaving Philippa’s burial place unknown.

Notable descendants of William Mead, through his son John, are Major General John Mead IV, Revolutionary War soldier. Major General James Mead of the Revolutionary War, and subsequent cofounder of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Major General Ebenezer Mead, Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Major General David Mead, war of 1812, and co-founder of Meadville, Penn. General Thompson Mead of the War of 1812. Amos Mead, M.D. (Surgeon) Esquire, French and Indian War, member of the Continental Congress for Fairfield County, Connecticut, and signer for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Amos was a great grandson of John Mead I.

Dr. Elwood Mead, (b. 1858, Indiana) Director of the Dept. of the Interior. As director of the Interior, he was overseer of the construction of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River in Washington, and Owyhee Dam on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon. With his accomplishments, he was honored to have Lake Mead named for him. Among many other accomplishments in his career, he also oversaw water projects in Australia, and Israel.

General David Mead assisted Commodore Perry of the Navy, in squashing a British attack at Erie, Pennsylvania during the War of 1812.

Early in the Colonial period, defense from attacks by Indians was developed by organizing militia groups, sometimes called train bands. Train was a term shortened from the word trained. All able men, including our Mead ancestors, were required to participate in the defense of their community, as well as when needed, in the Colonies as a whole. These settlers were required to attend scheduled training, and keep at the ready, a rifle, powder, bullets, and match. Certain members of these train bands were also required in turn, to be at a moment’s notice, ready for a call to service. These became known as the minutemen.

The command structure in the early days was by appointment, usually by the local governing body. Later a common practice was by election by the members of the militia. These militias and the need for them placed the Colonies in the ready, when the Revolutionary War broke out.

When the English came to Connecticut in the 1600’s, the Dutch were in control of that part of southwest Connecticut in which the Mead’s settled. With a history of the Dutch people supplying fire water to the Indians, and the Indians resultant rampages against the settlers, there were continuous skirmishes between the two groups. The many massacres that occurred on both sides eventually subsided when the Indians dwindled in numbers. These many outbreaks of war between the settlers and the Indians became known as the Colonial Wars, and continued almost continually until after the Revolutionary War. Life on the frontier was a continuous battle for survival at best.

In 1650 the Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam (New York) agreed that control over Greenwich would transfer to the New Haven Colony. It was still considered as part of the town of Stamford as it was settled by people from Stamford. In 1656 the General Court at New Haven said that the inhabitants of Greenwich lived in a “disorderly and riotous manner.” They accused them of selling liquor to the Indians, receiving and harboring servants who had fled from their masters, and joined persons unlawfully in marriage. The Colony of New Haven decided to assert its control on the unruly citizens and bring them back in line, to live a more orderly life. They sent the settlers of Greenwich dispatches requesting them to submit to their authority. They refused, stating they were an independent state under letters from the King of England, and when they could not produce such documents, on threat of arrest, they begrudgingly agreed to place themselves, including our Mead ancestors, under the jurisdiction of the New Haven government.

In 1665 New Haven Colony and the Connecticut Colony became one, and Greenwich fell to the control of the Connecticut government in Hartford (New Haven County and Fairfield County were formed on May 10, 1666, along with Hartford County and New London County). In 1667 a school was built, and Greenwich was up and running, becoming the base for our Mead family’s long history, that spread throughout America. There is still today a very large presence of Meads in Greenwich.

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William Mead's Timeline

Lydd, Kent, England
March 17, 1621
Age 21
Age 30
November 2, 1632
Age 32
Lydd, Kent, England
January 1634
Age 34
Lydd, Kent, England
April 8, 1634
Age 34
Lydd, Kent, England
Age 36
Probably England
September 19, 1663
Age 63
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States