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0031. William Meader (1750 - 1829) Gender: M
Born: 1750
Died: 1829

0031. William Meader (1750 - 1829)
William Meader, son of John Meader (1713-1797) [0012] and Hannah Stewart (1736-1798), was born on Nantucket May 12, 1750 and died in March, 1829, in his 79th year. He was married three times.
He was one of the original members of the Star in the East Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. In a Bible belonging to John Meader [0028] is written: "May 18, 1779, Bro. William moved up country." A document also existed stating:
“The intention of marriage between William Meader, late of the County of Hampshire and Phebe B. Tripp of New Bedford was entered December 11, 1789 and published 27th inst. of the same month. Attested by John Pickens, Town Clerk.”
"William Meader, late of County of Hampshire, married to Phebe Tripp by Edward Pope."
His second wife, Drusilla Luce, died soon after their marriage. He sailed for the Rotch family and later for Samuel Rodman, who married Elizabeth Rotch.
He married Deborah Skiff, his first wife, on Martha's Vineyard and moved to Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA, the place then beginning to attract attention for settlers although a complete wilderness. He cleared a place to plant, built a log house and commenced farming. There was a grove of sugar maples near the house, which proved quite profitable. After living here for a few years, for various reasons - the chief of which was his wife's homesickness and dislike of the new country, but also his dislike for farming as well as a longing for the sea - he moved his family nearer his former home and settled in Northampton, Hampshire, MA. He had left his home in Newtown, Nantucket, early in life against his father's wishes in order to follow whaling, then a new enterprise and centered on Nantucket.
In 1785 his first wife, Deborah Skiff, died, leaving three children, Deborah, William and Jonathan. [So the record reads, implying that James, born in 1785, was not living when she died.] William Meader left the oldest son with the family of an old neighbor in Williamsburg, MA, and he gave Deborah and Jonathan to a Presbyterian minister named Conant, in the same place, who had no family.
He then went to New Bedford and arranged to go on a whaling voyage, taking the results to a foreign port for disposal. Being successful, he returned home, visited his children and on August 14, 1788 he married Drusilla Luce, a relative of the family with whom his son William had been living. She soon died.
He then made a short voyage and returned to New Bedford where, on December 31. 1789 he married Phebe B. Tripp, a widow with one daughter, also named Phebe. The daughter afterward married Dudley D. Davenport of New Bedford.
The Rotch brothers were at this time concerned with whaling, and they fitted their ships at New Bedford. Soon after his marriage, William Meader sailed for the Rotch brothers to Dunkirk, extending his voyage into France, where he fitted his vessel and then sailed to Liverpool.
Finding his voyage successful, William Meader purchased a lot of land on Third Street, New Bedford of Abraham Russell. He built a house there and finished it in sufficient time to move his family into it in 1792. He at that time hoped to reunite his family, but the clergyman, Mr. Conant, and his wife, having no children of their own, felt unwilling to part with both, so William Meader took Deborah at 14 years of age and left Jonathan. His other son, William, joined his father at this time. Jonathan was educated by the Conants and became a very worthy and promising man. He afterward married a Deborah, a school teacher, and settled in New York State.
William Meader discontinued his voyages when too infirm by age (he was 50 in 1801), and for years afterward he brought produce to market from some point adjacent to the Hendson River [not in atlas]. He made frequent visits to his relatives in Nantucket, and he always welcomed them to his own fireside.
In 1812 his sister Charity died, a loss he felt keenly. At that time he visited Nantucket, taking with him his daughter, Charity Cleveland Meader, then 17 years old, who had been named for her aunt.
William Meader died in March, 1829. His widow, Phebe Tripp Meader, became totally blind. Though by this she was much deprived, she lived trying to help others. She died in August, 1848.
He married:

1) Deborah Skiff on October 22, 1774. She was born October 23, 1748 and died February 5, 1785.

The children of William Meader and Deborah Skiff were:

i. A daughter, born April 4, 1776 and probably died soon after. She is not mentioned as one of the children left with others when Deborah Skiff died.
1348 ii. William Meader, born July 27, 1777. [He must have died before 1781, when another son was named William.]
0084 iii. Deborah Meader, born November 14, 1778 and died September 24, 1849.
1349 iv. William Meader, born September 29, 1781.
1350 v. Jonathan Meader, born December 21, 1783. He was raised by Reverend Conant. He married a Deborah and settled in New York State.
1351 vi. James Meader, born January 29, 1785. He died before 1802.
2) Drusilla Luce on August 14, 1778. She soon died. There were no children of this marriage.

3) Widow Phebe B. Tripp on December 31, 1789. She was born in 1763 and died in August, 1848, 85 years of age.

The children of William Meader and Phebe Tripp were:

1352 vii. Calvin Meader, born May 16, 1791. He died young.
0085 viii. Charity Cleveland Meader, born March 4, 1795 and died August 13, 1882.
0086 ix. Henry Meader, born February 24, 1797 and died May 20, 1855.
1353 x. Betsey Meader, born August 27, 1799 and died December 24, 1857.
0087 xi. James Meader, born December 24, 1802 and died November 17, 1852.
0088 xii. Susan Meader, born August 18, 1808 and died August 16, 1843.