Meador, John

Birth Name Meador, John
Gender male


Birth about 1633 1a 2a
Death about 1683 1b


Father Meador, Ambrose [I1118]
  1. Meador, Thomas [I1116]


Old Rappahannock Co., VA Deed Book 4, p. 283; 1671 Will of Robert Payne:
-- John Meador (Sr.) signed as witness and gave his age as 38
-- Names John's daughter, Mary, as goddaughter and leaves her a foal mare.

[abstract needed]

Old Rappahannock Co., VA Deed Book 4, p. 283; 11 Sep 1668 Deed of Abraham Combe:
-- Gives John Meador Junr a calf
-- Asks (Robert?) Payne to be his "atturney" in this matter
-- Abstract from Old Rappahannock County Deed Abstracts, 1668-1672 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio, Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1987, p. 149:

Mr. PAYNE I pray be pleased to doe me that favor as to be my atturney in ye recording of one cow calfe for the use of John MEDOR Junr & the marke & soe doing you will much oblige him who is yr Esteemed Friend.
(s) Abraham COOMBES

The calfe is marked with a Flowre Deluce on the right ear & a swallowfork on the Left - September the 11th 1668.
Teste. John MEDOR, Samuell JOHNSON.

Old Rappahannock Co., VA Deed Book 7, p. 155; 16 Oct 1683 Deed of Abraham Combe:
-- Names John Meador (Sr.) as "late brother in law"
-- Names John Meador (Jr.) as godson, also deceased "in his minority"
-- Names Mary as daughter of John (Sr.) and sole sister of John (Jr.)
-- Also names Richard Meador, "son of John Meador now living" as heir if Mary is to die without issue
-- Abstract from Old Rappahannock County Deed Abstracts, 1682-1686 by Ruth and Sam Sparacio, Antient Press, McLean, VA, 1990:

Whereas Abraham COMBE of the Province of Maryland, Gent., did formerly put in the hands & possession of my late Brother in Law John MEADOR, dec'd., one heifer for the use and Acct. of my Godson John MEADOR, Son of John MEADOR the Elder deceased wch the said John MEADOR, the Son deceased in his minority Now Know all men by these presents that I Abraham COOMBE do by these presents give Mary MEADOR Daughter of the said John MEADOR the Elder deced and sole Sister of the said John MEADOR the Son, two cowes and two calves...And in case of the death of sd Mary without issue of her body lawfully begotten then I do hereby give the cowes and calves with all their future increase unto Richd. MEADOR son of John MEADOR of Rappa. Co. now liveing...
s/Abra: COOMBE.
Wits: Henry AUBREY, John ALMOND.

From Our Meador Families in Colonial America by Victor P. Meador & Bernal M. Meador:

As mentioned above, Ambrose Meador had two sons, John and Thomas. John signed as witness to the will of Robert Payne in 1671.[18] At that time, he gave his age as 38, so apparently he was born before March, 1633. Since he was not listed as being with his parents in the headrights, his age here would indicate that Ambrose and his wife arrived in Virginia at least before March, 1633.

John Meador married twice, the first time to Joanne (or Jane) Coombes, who was perhaps the daughter of Archidale Coombes (mentioned above as marrying the widow of William Underwood, Jr.). This cannot be established. In any case, Joanne Coombes was certainly a sister of Abraham Coombes. In two deeds by Abraham, we learn that John Meador had two children by Joanne. In the first deed, September 11, 1668,[19] Abraham gave a calf to John Meador, Jr. In the second, October 16, 1683,[20] it is seen that John Meador is named as brother-in-law and is deceased by that date; and that John Meador, Jr. is also deceased in his minority. This caused Abraham to decree that the bequest (now two cows and two calves) should go to Mary Meador, sole sister of John Meador, Jr. While John, Jr. was the godson of Abraham Coombes, Mary was the goddaughter of Robert Payne. In his will of 1671, Payne names Mary as such and gives her a foal mare. There appears to be no further information about her. But from this we know that John Meador, son of Ambrose, had two children, John, Jr. and Mary, of whom only Mary was living in 1683.

John Meador's wife, Joanne Coombes, seemingly died before 1672, as about that time John married a second time, to a Susannah ---?---. She was a very colorful woman.[21] While still in her teens, she had married twice before, once to a Brooks, then to Job Virgett. By each of these husbands she had one child, and had outlived both husbands. Taking John Meador as her third husband, she had one child by him, Thomas Meador, born about 1673. After the death of John some years later, she married William Davis, by whom she also had one child, and outlived Davis as well. Her will in 1699[22] named Thomas Meador (her son) as executor. Of particular interest is the fact that this Susannah is an ancestor of President Truman. Her oldest child, Elizabeth Brooks, married Richard Shipp. Many generations later, the Shipp name became one of the two names which supposedly were Harry S Truman's middle name (the other was Solomon, after his grandfather Young). In actuality, the initial was conferred for both names, but was a contraction of neither. We note, too, that in his will Susannah's son, Thomas Meador, named Richard, Thomas and Josiah Shipp as legatees.[23]

John Meador, son of Ambrose, was a large landowner. As indicated above, he inherited from his father the 400 acres (or 420 acres) called Accokeek plantation, on the north side of the Rappahannock above the mouth of Totuskey Creek. He traded this land in 1663 to Robert Tomlin[16] for 500 acres near Peumansend Creek in Sittenbourne Parish in what is now Caroline County. This 500 acres was later inherited by John's son Thomas, and eventually sold by Thomas to Job Virgett[24] and Josiah Shipp,[25] both of whom were relatives of his mother, Susannah. John Meador also received a grant of 625 acres on April 22, 1670 for the transportation of 13 people to the colony, which grant was sold to Symon Miller.[26]

His greatest grant by far was for 4200 acres, which he shared with Henry Peters, on April 17, 1667.[27] Recipients of such large grants have been termed "favorites" of Governor Berkeley. This grant, one of the largest in the area, was on Peumansend Creek in present Caroline County, several miles west of the Lancaster County area (now Richmond County) where Ambrose Meador had first settled. This large grant of 4200 acres is now encompassed within the bounds of the A. P. Hill Military Reservation along U. S. Highway 301 north of Bowling Green, Virginia. These lands were the subject of many ensuing deeds by both John and his son Thomas as the grant was divided, sold, and resold many times in the next few years.

It is difficult to determine whether John ever moved to occupy this land on Peumansend Creek. Rappahannock County, the predecessor of several subsequent counties along the Rappahannock, included both sides of the river until 1692. Similarly, Sittenbourne Parish (where John termed himself a resident[28]) also included both sides of the river from 1661 to 1683. Thus, the references to John as a resident of the Sittenbourne Parish and Rappahannock County are far from definitive. It is evident that his son, Thomas, occupied these grant lands. While he signed himself as of Sittenbourne Parish in early deeds, after the creation of St. Mary's Parish about 1689 Thomas lists himself in that parish. Other indications also confirm that Thomas lived on these grant lands along Peumansend Creek.

We might pause here to note how this creek received its rather odd name. The heavy forests and constant Indian threats had forced the colonists to settle originally along the banks of the rivers and larger navigable streams. But this then left them prey to the pirates and privateers who cruised the rivers plundering isolated settlements. Beginning about 1650, conflicts increased between the Dutch, who had settled New Netherlands, and the English, who eventually took it over as New York, lasting well into the 1680's. These conflicts merged into the Dutch-English War during that period. Some of the military acts and harassments of the Dutch against the English led to Dutch privateers becoming a major menace along waterways of the English colony. One such privateer by the name of Peuman was pursued up this previously unnamed creek by irate Virginia settlers until his boat became stranded in the shallow waters, at which point his pursuers dispatched him--hence the name of "Peuman's End," according to a legend recounted by T. E. Campbell.[29]

Today, the U.S. Geological Survey maps label the main part of this stream "Mill Creek" and apply the name "Peumansend" only to the southern branch. However, where the main stream crosses under U. S. Highway 17, just before it enters the Rappahannock River, roadside signs identify it as "Peumansend Creek." Perhaps once the entire stream was known as "Peumansend."

John Meador, son of Ambrose, apparently died about 1683,[20] leaving a will which has not survived.[30] In this will, besides bequests to his son Thomas of his remaining lands, John gave an unspecified amount of land to Mary Denby, wife of John Walker. The relationship between John Meador and Mary Denby has not been determined. Also, it is unknown what dowry John may have left to his widow, Susannah.

Thomas, the son of John and grandson of Ambrose, was born about 1673, as he was of legal age by 1695. Nevertheless, it was not until 1698 that he married,[31] becoming the second husband of Susannah Reynolds, the widow of Thomas Goss and mother of John and Sarah Goss. By her there was one son, John Meador, born between 1700 and 1706. Susannah is last found in 1705,[32,33] but apparently died within the next few years. At the writing of his will in 1717, Thomas is found to be married to Ann Sallis. In that will, John Sallis is named as Thomas's brother-in-law. The will,[34] written January 29, 1717, was probated January 31, 1717. Ann, his widow, then married Thomas Ayers.

A review of the marriages and descendants of the above John Meador, son of Ambrose, leads to the conclusion that the only possible direct descendants of John would be through his daughter, Mary, of whom nothing is presently known.

References from Our Meador Families in Colonial America

[16] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 2, p. 418.
[18] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 1, p. 418.
[19] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 4, p. 283.
[20] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 7, p. 155.
[21] Tyler's Quarterly, Vol. 29, July, 1947.
[22] Essex Co. Deeds & Wills Book 10, p. 65.
[23] Essex Co. Will Book 3, p. 1.
[24] Essex Co. Court Orders 1692-5, p. 356.
[25] Ibid., p. 357.
[26] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 4, p. 266.
[27] Cavaliers and Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent.
[28] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 4, p. 242.
[29] Colonial Caroline by T. E. Campbell, p. 16.
[30] Rappahannock Co. Deed Book 7, p. 136.
[31] Essex Co. Deed Book 9, p. 236.
[32] Essex Co. Deed Book 12, p. 154.
[33] Ibid., p. 95.
[34] Essex Co. Will Book 3, p. 1.

Source References

  1. Our Meador Families in Colonial America [S0179]
    1. Page: 13,18
    2. Page: 16,18
  2. Rappahannock Co., VA Deed Book 4 [S0194]
    1. Page: 283


  1. Meador, Ambrose
    1. Meador, John
    2. Meador, Thomas