Finding Meadows in the Meadows
Daniel Meadows the progenitor of the Meadows families from Prince George County, Virginia to Granville, Bute, and Warren Counties North Carolina, to Wilkes, Greene, and Taliaferro Counties, Georgia, and Tallapoosa, Talladega, Lowndes Counties, Alabama and beyond probably never realized he would have so many descendants. He probably never thought about his descendants researching his life and writing about him. It looks as though this line of Meadows came from England and this assumption is based on DNA test results. Did Daniel know about the naming patterns in his family when he was naming his children? If he did that would help in finding his parents and his wife’s parents; however, there is no knowledge of his parentage even though extensive research has been done for the Medo, Meadow, Mead, and Meadows in Virginia. The closest record to parentage for Daniel Meadows of Virginia is a birth record for Daniel Meadows 29 October 1687 to John Meadows and Elizabeth White in Suffolk, England; however, the link isn’t proven.
Daniel’s known sons in order of births are James (according to the naming pattern that was popular in England the first son named after the father’s father), John (the second son named after the mother’s mother), Daniel (the third son was named after the father), William (fourth son named after the oldest paternal uncle), and Isham Meadows (named after the second oldest paternal uncle or oldest maternal uncle. Same names were used over and over in the Meadows families. This pattern of naming their children after their elders was a way to honor them. Unlike today’s generation that is not the case. Today’s naming of children often focus on names that are popular or what sounds good to the parents. The pattern of naming children resulted in duplication of names which can be a difficult problem for family historians.
With all the repeated names in the Meadows family, where are we as far as researching the family and proving the link back to this man Daniel? The link back will be the direct line of his descendants from Emma Meadows born about 1851 Troup County, Georgia to Daniel Meadows born about 1685 Charles City County, Virginia. Daniel Meadows and wife Jane had a fifth son named Isham. Isham is in the direct line back to Emma.
Why did Daniel and Jane name their child Isham? Today that would not be a name parents would choose for their child. Was Isham a family name? Per Ancestry’s name and origin of surnames the name Isham is English. Isham is a habitational name from a place in Northhamptonshire named Isham, from the river name Ise (of Celtic origin) + Old English ham ‘homestead’ or hamm ‘promonotory’ or ‘enclosure hemmed in by water.’ http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=isham. Isham the first had a son and his name was Isham. The next generation from Isham the second was his son William Meadows. Williams descendant was John Calvin and he is the father of Emma Meadows. The direct line back to the progenitor Daniel Meadows is proven.
After all the research and the direct line has been proven the question still remains, did Daniel Meadows’ family immigrate from England and settled in Charles City County, Virginia? Or was Daniel Meadows born in Virginia and knew of his ancestry? Daniel was a tailor. Where did he learn the tailor’s trade? Where was he schooled? Who trained him? Was this a trade that he knew and learned by working it? Daniel was a from the class of yeomen who owned their own land and tilled it with their own hands. He possibly had help from others in the household. This small group of farmers were a minority in Virginia; About twenty to thirty percent of the population in the years 1680 to 1760.
Meadows was about twenty-seven years old when he bought fifty acres of land in Prince George County, Virginia in 1712. He bought one hundred acres adjoining the fifty acres five years later. November 10, 1719 court when he was about thirty-four years old Daniel Meadows served on a grand jury in Prince George County. Who was advising Daniel in making these decisions as a young man? How did Daniel learn all these skills of acquiring land as a young man? Daniel had to have a mentor who was guiding him in these important decisions. But who?
There are several names in the trail of papers such as the Coroner’s Inquest that proof of the connection to Daniel is unknown. Researching names that were on the inquest Silvanus Stanton, Mary Medows, Thos. Morris yielded no results to connect them to Daniel Meadows.
Researching in Virginia has been difficult because it is a burned county and many records were destroyed. The few records that have been located for Daniel Meadows are lacking in genealogical value. They have not yielded Daniel’s parentage, nor his wife’s maiden name, nor her parentage. Therefore, the research continues and one day there possibly will be records found that will prove them.