Family Group Research

Metrics updated 1 Jan 2020

M1 Nicholas I (1631-1678) & Elizabeth (Unknown)

MeriRep: Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:Two spouses, 44,000+ descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:

Nicholas Meriwether was baptized on 9 Aug 1631 in Little Walsingham Parish, Norfolk, England, the son of John Merywether and his wife, Joane Browne. Nicholas was most probably named for his maternal grandfather, Nicholas Browne.

Nicholas was the eldest of six children, the others being John, Anne, Fayth, Joane, and Francis (who joined Nicholas in Virginia). While his father John was highly educated, having attended Winchester College and then New College, no further information about the life of Nicholas in England has been uncovered.

Nicholas arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, probably about 1652. The first confirmation of his existence in Virginia was 4 July 1653 when he patented 300 acres of land in Lancaster County. From at least 13 Oct 1653 until 13 Dec 1656, Nicholas served as a clerk of the Quarter Court and Governor’s Council for the Colony in Jamestown. Although many researchers state he was clerk of Surry County, there is no evidence that he was. About 1661, he bought “The Island House” from Elizabeth Kingsmill & her husband Nathaniel Bacon, a relative of the Bacon who started “Bacon’s Rebellion”; a marker on Jamestown Island identifies the “Island House” location today.

M11 Elizabeth (~1661-<1700), John Clough and Francis Clements

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:Two spouses and one descendant.

Biographical Sketch:

Elizabeth married (1) Rev. John Clough and (2) Francis Clements.

There are no known children from the marriage to Rev. John Clough.

Elizabeth andFrancis had one child, Francis Jr., who died in 1721 unmarried.

Francis, Sr., married second Lydia (Lake) Blighton and they had a number of children. Some Meriwether genealogies mistakenly show Elizabeth as the mother of these children.

M12 Nicholas II (1665-1744) and Elizabeth (Crafford/Crawford)

MeriRep: Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:One spouse, 39,500+ descendants identified.

Nicholas and his nine children will be covered in detail in Volume I.

Biographical Sketch:

Col. Nicholas Meriwether II amassed a large quantity of land, at one point owning about 33,000 acres. In 1735 he built his plantation, “The Farm”, in Goochland (now Albemarle) County, the site of which is now the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. His will, one of the longest recorded in Virginia, was witnessed by Peter Jefferson, father of Thomas Jefferson.

Descendants of Nicholas Meriwether II & Elizabeth Crawford are eligible for membership in the Magna Charta Dames or to the Barons of Runnymede (NHM p. 174).

“The Farm”

Most histories of Nicholas II mention that he built and died on a plantation known as “The Farm.” As the following will show, Nicholas himself never refered to any of his propert by that name, nor did those who inherited his lands. The first use of that name is therefore lost in the mists of antiquity.

M121 William (ca.1688-1756?) & Elizabeth Bushrod

MeriRep:Margie (Whalen) Meyer

Book Project:Not yet assigned - no volunteers.

Metrics:One spouse, 3,429 descendants and in-laws identified.

Biographical Sketch:

William Meriwether was the first son of Nicholas II and Elizabeth Crawford, born about 1688. While the first son was usually named for his paternal grandfather, in this case Nicholas I had died while Nicholas II was quite young and the family had been raised by William Browne, who had married Nicholas I's widow, Elizabeth. So it seems likely that William Meriwether was named for William Browne (though it should be noted that Nicholas II also had a younger brother named Wiliam).

William was a burgess in 1734-1740. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Bushrod, of Westmoreland county.

William and his brother David were bequeathed land from their grandfather David Crawford. William laid out the town of Newcastle on his property and at one time it was being considered to replace Williamsburg as the state capital, though eventually lost out to Richmond.

M122 David (1690-1744) & Anne (Holmes)

MeriRep: Society Genealogist

Book Project:Not yet assigned - no volunteers.

Metrics: One spouse, 60,056 descendants and in-laws.

Biographical Sketch:

David Meriwether, second child of Nicholas II and Elizabeth Crawford, was born about 1690, probably in Surry county, Virginia, and died in Louisa county 25 December 1744, about six weeks after his father's death. The will of Nicholas Meriwether was entered for probate 20 November 1744 in Goochland County. The will of David Meriwether was entered for probate in Louisa County 22 January 1745, but undoubtedly his will did not specifically dispose of his inheritance from his father.

From the will of Nicholas Meriwether it is known that the home place where David lived was left to him, and the sons of David were also left large plantations, a share of the slaves, and a division of the livestock. David was a wealthy landowner, having possession of several tracts, probably from his father, who was among the largest landholders in Virginia. Old accounts hold that David had possession of one place of 3,300 acres from 1721, and that four of his sons were in possession of more than 5,000 acres before the death of their grandfather in 1744; after this date their holdings mounted to more than 10,000 acres. With their father they held some 13,000 to 14,000 acres between them. From all accounts Thomas, the eldest child, and his brother James had the advantage in total acreage.

M1221 to M1228 - Children of David & Anne

The children of David and Anne (Holmes) comprise the bulk of known Meriwether descendants, so David's children were further subdivided into Family Groups.

M1225 - The fifth child, Sarah, died as an infant in 1725 and therefore does not have a Family Group.

M123 Thomas Meriwether (ca.1691-<1721?)

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:N/A

Biographical Sketch:

There is no evidence that this Thomas ever existed. He is listed here because all previous Meriwether genealogies listed a son of Nicholas II named Thomas. If he existed, he was not named in any wills, deeds or any other known documentation from the period.

It is believed that early researchers confused the records of Thomas (M15), son of Nicholas I, and Thomas (M1221) son of David (M122).

M124 Anne (ca.1694-1785) & Thomas Johnson

MeriRep:Barbara Stewart

Book Project:Not yet assigned.

Metrics:Two spouses, 2,400+ descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:

Ann(e) was born before 15 July 1694, as shown by her baptism recorded in St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County:

"Anne Daugh. of Nicho Meriwether Gent. bapt the 15 July, 169_."

She married, first, Thomas Johnson about 1712 and had issue. She is mentioned as “Ann, wife of Thomas Johnson” in the 1721 will of her cousin, Francis Clements, from whom she was bequeathed a ring. She is also mentioned as “daughter Ann Johnson” several times in the 1744 will of her father, Nicholas Meriwether II.

In February 1735, Ann was appointed the guardian of her children Richard, Jane Ann, Thomas and William (480). In the same month she gave one Negro boy and three Negro girls to her son Nicholas.

Sometime after 1750, she married, second, John Cosby, no issue.

Ann died in March 1785, probably in Louisa County, at the advanced age of about 90 or 91.

M125 Sarah (1697-1733) & William Littlepage

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:One spouse, 68 descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:


M126 Nicholas Meriwether III (1699-<1721?)

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:No evidence he married or had children. And NO, he did NOT marry Mildred Thornton! :)

Biographical Sketch:

M127 Elizabeth (1703-1725) & Thomas Bray

MeriRep:Vacant

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:One spouse, 48 descendants and in-laws.

Biographical Sketch:

Elizabeth's birth and baptism are recorded in the St. Peter's Parish Register:

"Elizabeth daugh of Nicholas Meriwether Gent. by Elizabeth his wife borne the 20 June and baptised the 3 July following anno., 1703."

DEATH
"Mrs. Elizabeth Bray Dept. this life ye 4” Jan. 1732 on Tuesday 6 O’clock in the afternoon."

M128 Jane (ca.1705/6-<1758) & Robert Lewis

MeriRep:Janet Reinhart

Book Project:Not yet assigned.

Metrics:One spouse, 11,700+ descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:

Jane (M128), born abt 1705 in New Kent County, is the eighth child and fourth daughter of Nicholas Meriwether II and Elizabeth Crafford/Crawford. Nothing is known of her childhood.

About 1725, Jane married Robert Lewis (abt 1704-1765), son of Councilor John Lewis (1669-1725) of Warner Hall and his wife Elizabeth Warner (1672-1719) the daughter of Augustine Warner II and his wife Mildred Read/Reade. Mildred Reade is the daughter of George Reade and Elizabeth Martiau, whose father Nicholas Martiau (The adventurous Huguenot) is a founder of Yorktown.

After their marriage, Jane and Robert resided on Robert Lewis’ property “Chemokins”, in St. Peters Parish, where their first several children were born.
About 1730, Jane and Robert Lewis immigrated to her father, Nicholas Meriwether II’s property in what would become Albemarle County about 1744. The eventual Lewis plantation was named “Belvoir.”

M129 Mary (ca.1707-1745) & John Aylett and Samuel Cobbs

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:One spouse, no known descendants.

Biographical Sketch:

Mary is believed to have been born about 1707 in St. Paul's Parish, New Kent County, the last of the children born to Nicholas and Elizabeth. She grew up in a stable, relatively wealthy household. She is known to have married John Aylett, a gentleman of Hanover County. He predeceased her, though she also had died, without issue, by about 1745.

M13 Francis Meriwether (ca.1670-1713) & Mary Bathurst

MeriRep:Vacant

Book Project:Partly covered inThe Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:One spouse, 3,500+ descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:

Francis Meriwether (M13), Gentleman of Essex County.

Francis Meriwether was born about 1670 in Surry County or James City, the second son and third child of Nicholas Meriwether (M1). Not much is known about his early life except that he appeared in the Surry County tithable list in 1688. He inherited the “Island House” on Jamestown Island when his father died in 1678 and may have lived there at some point. It is said that he was educated in England. While this cannot be verified the records show that he was well versed in the law. He appeared in the newly formed Essex County as the first Essex County Clerk in April 1692 and served in that position until 1703. He also served as county justice, coroner and burgess. He died intestate about March 1712/13. His estate inventory was over 6 pages and included 54 slaves and 6 indentured servants.

M14 Jane (ca.1675-<1747) & William Browne

MeriRep:Vacant

Book Project:Not yet assigned.

Metrics:One spouse, 400+ descendants identified.

(A poorly researched/documented line, which is a shame because William Browne Sr. married NM1's widow, Elizabeth (?) Meriwether, and raised most of the Meriwether children. And judging by the success and influence that Nicholas II, Francis II and Thomas enjoyed, he did a splendid job. Meriwether descendants owe the Browne line much better treatment.)

Biographical Sketch:

As with her half-sister, Elizabeth (M11), much of what we know about Jane’s (M14) life is reflected in the life and times of her husband, Capt. William Browne Jr., son of Lt. Col. William Browne, who had married her mother, Elizabeth, in early 1680. We consider Jane was born around 1675 in Surry County, possibly named after her mother’s sister (Jane (?) Hartwell). She likely was about age five when her mother probably moved the Meriwether family from Indian Spring to Four Mile Tree. Being only about three years old when she lost her father, in December 1678, it is obvious her development reflected the practices and interaction of the Browne household. Jane would have been around age 16 in 1691 and an eligible young lady for marriage. She married Capt. William Browne Jr., her stepbrother.

M15 Thomas (ca.1677-1708/09) & (a) Elizabeth Williamson and (b) Susannah (Unknown)

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:Two spouses, 31 descendants identified.

Biographical Sketch:

Thomas Meriwether (M15), Gentleman of Essex County, Virginia.

Thomas, a younger brother of Francis Meriwether (M13) was born about 1677, probably in Surry County. He first appears in the record when he chose A. Drummond of James City County as his guardian in January of 1695/6. This record was recorded in Surry County probably because Thomas inherited land there from his father but this record also indicates that he was probably living in James City County or perhaps planning to leave the area. There is no tithable record for him in Surry County which may indicate that he left there before the age of 16, perhaps to study.

Thomas appeared in Essex County when he married Elizabeth Williamson, daughter of Henry Williamson, an Essex County justice, about May 1699. Elizabeth died a year later. Thomas was appointed guardian of Elizabeth’s two sisters and administrator of Henry Williamson’s estate and also that of Captain Edward Thomas who had designated Williamson’s three daughters as executors of his will. Thomas was appointed an Essex County Justice by the Virginia Council on April 25, 1700, perhaps to fill the seat vacated by his father-in-law. He continued as a justice until April 25, 1702 when he was appointed High Sheriff of Essex County. He was removed from this post a year later when he refused to present his collection book to the county court. However, Thomas was again either a justice or sheriff from 1703 until his death in January 1708/9. He was also a trustee of the Town of Tappahannock from 1704 until his death.

M16 William (ca.1678/79-ca.1695)

MeriRep:Society Genealogist

Book Project:The Meriwether Family in America, Volume I: The Colonists

Metrics:Never married; died young.

Biographical Sketch:

Only one extant record reveals the existence of William and that pertains to his death. On 5 March 1694/95 the Surry County Court granted a Commission of Administration to Captain Francis Clements and Elizabeth, his wife, and Nicholas Meriwether (Elizabeth and Nicholas being sister and brother to the deceased). Subsequently, on 21 April 1695, Governor Sir Edmund Andros, Kn’t., provided the necessary orders to administer William’s personal estate of “divers goods” and account for it.

William had never appeared on any of the Surry County tithable lists for the period and in the several existing records pertaining to his siblings he is not mentioned. Nor is there any evidence he may have been included in his father's will, of which his mother was the executor. He did not leave a will; hence, the Commission of Administration. As the process was handled by a Surry County Court, he likely was a resident thereof at the time of his death, possibly living with Coll. Wm. Browne, his step-father, or perhaps with his sister, Elizabeth Clements, at “Indian Spring.” Appointment of his siblings as administrators suggests his mother, Elizabeth Meriwether Browne had died and that Coll. Browne was not considered his guardian.


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