Forward to Volume One, published in 1976

This volume is the first attempt in fifty years to bring together all the genealogy of John Meader of Piscataqua both before and after his arrival in this country. The effort would not have been possible without the prior research of Robert F. W. Meader, whose 1928 genealogy expanded on the works of Alvin A. Meader in 1900 and that in turn on the compilations by John Joseph Meader of Providence, RI Miss Elizabeth Meader Slocum of New Bedford, MA. To those documents have here been added all that could reasonably be gleaned from other, briefer and more specialized genealogies of branches of the Meader family, as well as from general reference materials, many of which have been published during the past semi-century.

Here is a new form of genealogy, intended to be read with pleasure and sympathy rather than to be merely a collation of dates and deaths by which one might prove his ancestry. The Meaders were real people, who suffered and died in an often terrifying struggle. They deserve better than abbreviations and cryptic remarks.

The Meaders have been a prolific clan, and it has proved impossible to list all descendants of John Meader. The arbitrary decision was thus made to limit the individual listings to those who had the Meader surname before marriage. In many cases the Meader Family Association, Inc. has additional Information of descendants with surnames other than Meader, and would be happy to supply this information when requested.

The Meader Family Association, Inc., under whose aegis this volume has been published, was Incorporated to:

There is much possibility of error, especially in dates, in collecting a genealogy such as this. It is evident that early family members were frequently uncertain not only as to day and month but often as to year of birth. The date of the month was often unimportant to people who lived by seasons. Whether a child was born on one day or the next might depend on the accuracy of the household clock – if there was one. With the terrible hardships the Meaders were undergoing in the seventeenth, eighteenth and even nineteenth centuries, it is a miracle that they passed on as much detailed information as they did. Much of that information was originally oral, handed down to the children and only recorded generations later.

Since this volume is published in 1976, it seems appropriate to mention the names of some Meaders who served in the Revolutionary War. It must be remembered that many Meaders were Tories, loyal to the Crown, and that many more were Friends, opposed to any conflict. Those few who did serve were – we may suppose – radicals and activists as well as patriots. Whether they would have been patriots If we had lost that war is problematical.

Here are the names of six Meaders who both served in that war and had descendants. All were enlisted men, none were officers.

Nicholas Meader [0018] (1712-p.1776).

Lemuel Meader [0021] (1733-P.1775). Listed in D.A.R. records.

Francis Meader [0030] (1746-1832). Listed in D.A.R. records.

Moses Meader [0040] (c.l752-p.l810).

Samuel Meader [0049] (1715-1800). Listed in D.A.R. records.

Daniel H. Meader [0050] (1749-1819). Listed in D.A.R. records.

More complete list of Meaders in the Revolutionary War

Especial thanks are due to Jane Meader Nye, Secretary of the Meader Family Association, who read and evaluated much of the manuscript and who contributed much invaluable additional information.

Granville Meader
Ridgewood, NJ
January, 1976

Forward to Volume Five, unpublished

Currently we use the Gregorian calendar, introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII to correct an error in the Julian calendar, which had been introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. The new calendar was adopted in England and the American colonies in 1752.

Until that time, the first month of the year was March. For that reason, many sources show dates of the first three months with a split year, as February, 1620/1, indicating that those "living then called it 1620 but we of the cognoscenti call it 1621.

Further, the old calendar was 11 days fast, so that at the time of the change 11 days had to be relived. The day change is seldom made by sources: 28 February 1620/1 was not changed to 17 February 1620/1.

George Washington was born February 22, 1732 in the Julian calendar, but February 11, 1733 in the Gregorian.

In this text I have tried to avoid the confusions by indicating the date as given by sources, i.e., not taking notice of the 11 day difference, and taking the year as we have it now.  If I were to do otherwise, we'd have, say some Meader born March 28, 1752 or March 11, 1753, depending on your using Old (so-called) or New Style.

Remember also that in the earlier days there were no calendars available for most of our families, nor was there need for one. In the farm country, where the early Meaders lived, there was no need for clocks: time was the rise and set of the sun.  They worked by light and dark, and sow and reap, as they had for thousands of years.

When a vital statistic occurred, there was no rush to cast the date in concrete.  Sometime, when the patriarch was visiting the town clerk he might say, "Oh, yes, Jonathan was born last – let me see – was it just after the maple sap was flowing? Somewhere in there." And the town clerk took a stab at a date.

So with the Pilgrim fathers.  No one could possibly keep track of the fifty or more dying "in the first winter – one Just buried them and had no time to note the date of death. Even a couple of years later the dates were considered less important than other matters. Marriages in Plymouth Colony were "1621 or 1622." One might guess as to the birth of the first child – the more accurately if its parents were church members at the child's birth.

Baptism was different..  The clergy kept good track. Under the rules of the Church of England a child should be baptized the earliest possibly Sabbath after birth, but there and in America it could not be baptized unless the parents were members of the church – and that was not a simple procedure in the seventeenth century.

Another matter casually treated was names, both fore– and sur–.  We have the situation in our own surname: Meader, Meder, Meador, Meeder, etc. One family may spell it one way, another another. The Meador, for example, seems to be Southern, derived from Meaders who came early but pronounced the name softly, as Medder or Meddow. So in this genealogy the surnames (other than the standard "Meader") are spelled as received; no attempt is made to correct to what we believe they should be.

There are also many variations in Christian names, so many that some, girls especially, have two or three distinct and different call names.  Mary, Maria, Marie, what was the difference? Everyone concerned knew who was intended and most, especially women, had no chance to be educated to literacy.

In the text which follows, in order to conserve space most of the material previously set forth in the earlier volumes has not been repeated.

This volume has been prepared on computer, as is called for in the present day.  A different format and type font have been used, also in order to conserve space and include all available information. All names of persons are in bold face and have been indexed (we hope). Numbering of families is as in the earlier volumes, except, to yield to the exigencies of the computer, all numbers are at least three digits: 003. and 099. [Editors Note: all listing numbers are now four digits long.]

Footnote references are specific where possible; on occasion they refer only to a general source where you can find that Meader listed.  The bibliography suggests many titles, many of which are available only within the family. Remember that The Meader Family Association is itself collecting material on our families, much more comprehensively than was possible in the published volumes. All information on those who have or had Meader blood or ties is grist for the Association's Library and it should be sent posthaste (an oxymoron if ever I knew one) to Jane Meader Nye.