Re: Meador from England to Virginia in the early 1600s
I have no documentary evidence about the Meadors (Meader, Meades, Mead, whatever!) of Virginia in England, although there has been much online speculation about what part of England the family came from.You often see the geographically ignorant assertion that the Meadors came from "Bristol, Suffolk," although Bristol is on one side of the country, and Suffolk is on the other.It appears that the New Hampshire Meaders hailed from Dorset, but no one appears interested in connecting the Virginia branch of the family with the New Hampshire bunch.I find this odd, because the original Dorset-to-New Hampshire Meador (spelled Meader -- I think his first name was John) had a brother named Thomas, who was born in 1609.I don't know what became of Thomas, or when and where he died, but couldn't he be the Thomas Meades who surrendered his headwright in Virginia in 1636?John and Thomas also had another brother named Nicholas, and early Virginia records show the presence of a Nicholas Meader in the colony just a little after Thomas Meades arrived.It is not clear what happened to Nicholas, or if he left any descendants in America. If I had to bet (and considering the flimsiness of the evidence, I sure wouldn't wager much) I would say that the whole Meador clan hailed from Dorset and other surrounding "west country" counties.This theory is supported by certain parish records which reveal the relative prevalence of the name in that part of England.Also, a majority of the early English settlers in Virginia came from the southern and western regions of the country.
It would be very interesting to know if anyone has any evidence linking the Virginia and New Hampshire branches of the Meador, or Meader, family.If they do, it would be very helpful in tracking the English origins of the Virginia Meadors because it appears that the roots of the New Hampshire "Meaders" are somewhat better known than those of the Virginia side of the family.