2. Thomas MEADOR was
born in 1612 in Bristol, Suffolk, England. He immigrated in 1635 to Jamestown,
Virginia. He died on Jun 6 1655 in Rappahannah, Virginia. The following information
about Thomas Meads(es)(or) is from numerous different sources, therefore it may
be seem to be repeated.
May have come from Briston, England, on August 20, 1663. Joseph Hunt of Briston,
England appoints Hugh Trout of Floods Bay, Lancaster Co., VA, to represent his
as an attorney. This power of attorney was witnessed by Thomas Meads ( Patents
5, 1661-6, p 195).
Came to Virginia from England after 1622 and before 1636, as his headright
was claimed by
John Gator. Those who could not pay their own way to the colony assigned their
headright grant of 50 acres of land to more affluent persons, who paid their
passage and claimed their lands. These claims were often entered many years after
the actual passage.
Thomas was single. His possible brother, Ambrose had a wife and servant. Thomas
about 50 miles north of Jamestown on the headwaters of Hoskins Creek, west of
Tappahannock. The area was progressively a part of Charles River County, Northumberland
County, Lancaster County (1652), Rappahannock County (1656), and Essex County
(1692-Present), as each was formed. Thomas prospered in the cultivation of tobacco.
He soon was paying for the passages of others and claiming their headrights.
He seems to have married in the colony. There was one son, Thomas, Jr. who was
between 14 and 17 when Thomas Sr. died. At death in 1655, he left an estate
of several hundred acres, and his properties were appraised by Ambrose and others
at "17,502 pounds of tobacco."
Thomas Meador has also been shown as Thomas Meads and Thomas Meades. 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
Jamestown Colony. He later surrendered this grant of 50 acres in 1636 to John
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 possibly a member of the group of Puritans who settled Isle of Wright
the early 1600's. He then settled on the upper Rappahannock, where most of the
early settlers were fellow Puritans from Isle of Wright. The Puritan church
passed severe ord inances against such moral offenses as card playing, swearing
and drinking, with fines of 100 pounds of tobacco for the mere observance of
such conduct without reporting it to church authorities. In subsequent years,
the younger generation of people in this area (and possibly Thomas' own children)
began searching for a faith that was less restrictive and demanding. Also, because
of Puritan 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. (see map) 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. This 700 acre
purchase included more than a mmile of choice river front property, including
an excellent landing. 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
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".
The Meadors were on the frontiers of settlement here on the upper Rappahannock,
with the population in scattered plantations rather than in concentrated villages.
Because of this very scattered population, the authority of the Puritan church
was diluted and attendance less the obligatory. There are no records of Puritan
churches in the Lancaster-Rappahannock area.
For a time, white settlement had been forbidden above the Pamunkey River.
Many settlers filed claim on choice river front property. By 1646-1650, grants
were being given along the
Rappahannock River. The river valley was occupied principally by the Rappahannock
Indians. Also, there were Mattaponi, Moratticoe, Totuskey and Portobagoe Indians.
These tribes were forced into forested lands behind the mile deep grants. Thus,
Thomas' property was on the other side of these forests.
One of Thomas' neighbors was Ambrose Meador. They were about the same age
and lived less than two miles apart. There is no proof that Thomas and Ambrose
were related, but there was considerable participation by Ambrose in the affairs
of Thomas. No statement was found in records of their relationship, though many
opportunities for such a simple expression as "brother" or "cousin"
were passed by, leaving the question unanswered.
An entry in the 1653 records of Lancaster County concerns an indentured
servant of Thomas Meads, named Bour Harrison. Harrison ran away, but was returned
and was sentenced by the court to serve an additional 9 months at the expiration
of his indenture. Many times children, particularly orphaned children, were bound
out to earn their support or learn a trade. When the age of 17 was reached, they
were discharged, with a suit of new clothes and provisions, or they could keep
the results of their labors if they choose to stay. Perhaps Harrison was one
of these, working for and learning a trade from Thomas.
Also in 1653, Thomas sold two cows to Minor Doeders. This is significant because
all cattle had originally been imported from England. Theyw ere quite valuable
and often mentioned in wills.
By the year 1654, tension with the Indians ran high. In February of that year,
a small army was raised. It consisted of 100 men from Lancaster County, 40 men
from Northumberland County, and 30 men from Westmoreland County. As a reflection
of Thomas' standing in the community, his plantation was choosen as a rallying
point for this army. The excellent landing at the plantation and the proximity
of the Indian village also had bearing on the choice of Thomas' land, which
was near the present town of Warsaw. The army marched from Thomas' grounds, overland
to the village of the Rappahannock Indians. The purpose of their visit was to
ensure peace, without provoking hostilities. The Indians seemingly caused no
trouble, but great harships were caused by raids from the Doeg, Susqiejammpcl
amd Seneca Indians during the 1660's and 1670's.
On April 6, 1654, Thomas was appointed constable, and the oath was administered
by James Williamson. In the fall of that year, Thomas tithed for three male
adults. The levy (tax) was 60 pounds of tobacco per poll.
Near the time of his death, Thomas bought from John Cooke a 450 acre tract
Creek, south of the Rappahannock River. However, the grant had not yet been finalized
at the time of his death, and was not mentioned in his will.
On March 5, 1655, Thomas wrote his will. He died sometime during the next
three months, as his will was entered for probate on June 6, 1655. His wife was
The probate of the will was granted to a neighbor, George
Bryer. The court ordered customary appraisal of the estate. This was done by
four men; including Thomas' neighbor, Ambrose, and Grancis Gower; and was returned
to the court on December 10, 1655. The value was estimated at 17,502 pounds
of tobacco, which was equivalent to about 109 pounds of sterling. This was a
respectable, though not huge, sum. At this time, "hard" money was scarce,
and things were valued in terms of their worth in tobacco.
As Thomas had lived in the United States for only 19 years at the time of
his death, all of his children were probably minors. He left a widow, two sons,
and four daughters. His son,
Thomas, Jr., seems to have been the oldest, but was still under legal age; as
in a court session on August 6, 1655, Thomas Meads, Orphan, petitioned the
court that William Underwood be appointed his guardian. Another child of Thomas,
Joyce, also ended up on the custody of William Underwood.
The land mentioned in Thomas' will appears to have been the 700 acres that
he had purchased from William Underwood. The creek mentioned in the will is not
identified, but a plot of this tract reveals that it would have been divided
roughly in half by the lower section and first branch of what is called "Juggs
Creek" today. This would imply that approximately 350 acres west of Juggs
Creek would have been intended for sons Thomas, Jr. and John; while the remaining
350 acres east of the creek was to go to daughter Mary after the death of her
mother. However, it seems that only son Thomas, and daughter Mary, were the surviving
heirs to the estate.
** Will of Thomas Mead::
" The last will and testament of Tho. Meads made the 5th day of March
1654 (1655 by modern calendar). I do bequeath my body to the Earth and my soul
to God that gave it. I do make my wife my sole and absolute Excr. I do give to
my wife and my Daughter Mary this plantation 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 Tho. and John Meads all
the Land that is on the west side of the Creek provided that they pay unto my
two Daughters Margaret and Joyce out of the s. Land two thousand pounds of tob.
and cash at their day of marriage, and in case either of them die that the sd.
tob. to belong to the survivor. I do give unto my wife and my sons and 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 and year above written.
12 day June 1655
probated 6 day June 1655"
Note - the will was written March 5, 1654; but it should
be noted that under the Julian calendar then in effect the year was not changed
until March 25th, so that in modern terms the year would actually be 1655."
He was married to Sarah MAIDEN NAME UNKNOWN. Sarah
MAIDEN NAME UNKNOWN was born about 1620 in England. Thomas MEADOR and Sarah
MAIDEN NAME UNKNOWN had the following children:
Thomas MEADOR Jr..
John MEADOR was born about 1640 in , , Virginia.
Mary MEADOR was born in 1640 in , , Virginia.
Ann MEADOR was born in 1646 in , , Virginia.
Margaret MEADOR was born in 1642 in , , Virginia.
Joyce MEADOR was born in 1644 in , , Virginia.