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.

By 1704 Thomas owned 2,100 acres of land in Essex County and 1,200 acres in Surry County. He later added to this acreage and bought 12 lots in the town of Tappahannock where he maintained a warehouse and conducted a mercantile business. Mentioned in his will and estate inventory is a brigantine in his shipyard which may be the ship later owned by his brother Francis.

Thomas married a second time to Susanna ____ (Shelton or variant has been suggested) before 1708. There was son who died in 1707. It appears that the son was a young boy and it cannot be determined whether his mother was Elizabeth or Susanna. At the time Thomas died he had a daughter who had not been baptized but who was later also named Susanna. This Susanna married John Armistead of Gloucester County before 1729. Although both John and Susanna died by 1734 they left descendants. Thomas’ widow remarried twice, had at least one child by her second marriage and died after 1765.

Biographical sketch provided by Guy Meriwether Benson.

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