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0084. Deborah Meader (1778 - 1849) Gender: F
Born: 1778
Died: 1849

0084. Deborah Meader (1778 - 1849)
Deborah Meader, daughter of William Meader (1750-1829) [0031] and Deborah Skiff (1748-1785), was born, probably in Williamsburg, Hampshire, MA, on November 14, 1778 and died in New Bedford, MA September 24, 1849, in her 72nd year. On January 4, 1789 she married Samuel Bonney, born September 5, 1774.
The family moved to Northampton, Hampshire, MA soon after Deborah's birth, and her mother died when she was six. Her father then placed Deborah and her brother Jonathan in the care of a former Williamsburg neighbor, a Presbyterian minister named Conant. Deborah stayed there for some eight years. Then her father, having married Widow Phebe Tripp of New Bedford at the end of 1789, returned from a successful whaling voyage. With the proceeds he bought some land on Third Street, New Bedford, built a home and moved his family into it when Deborah was 14. She remained in New Bedford all her life after, with the exception of a short stay with her daughter, Mary Bonney Adams, in Middletown, CT.
The children of Deborah Meader and Samuel Bonney, all apparently born in New Bedford, where he was a house carpenter, were:

i. Mary Bonney, born February 27, 1799 and died March 2, 1865. She married Captain Lewis Adams, who died in October, 1839, leaving two children.
ii. Oliver Bonney, born April 7, 1801 and died December 7, 1821, carried down by a whale.
iii. Samuel Bonney, born July 5, 1803 and died September 24, 1862. He married Mary Ann Gibbs, who died in 1869.
iv. Deborah Bonney, born December 12, 1805 and died in less than a year on June 26, 1806.
v. Matthew Bonney, born April 19, 1807 and died four months later on August 26, 1807.
vi. Agnes Meader Bonney, born June 30, 1808 and died three months later on September 9, 1808.
vii. Ann Eliza Bonney, born July 13, 1809 and died six weeks later on August 22, 1809.
viii. Henry M. Bonney, born February 26, 1811 and died November 26, 1874. He married Elizabeth Eastham. He learned the boat builders trade and followed whaling for years without much success. During the Civil War he joined the U. S. Navy, serving as Acting Master on board the steamer DeSoto in the Gulf Squadron. On November 20, 1874 he had a severe shock of paralysis and died six days later.
ix. Emily Bonney, born February 2, 1814 and died October 10, 1816 in her third year.
x. Maria T. Bonney, born March 26, 1817 and died in 1846. She married Philip Lewis, who became a Mormon. They traveled West. She died of fever and was buried at Garden Grove, Decatur, Iowa.*
*The Prophet Joseph Smith was killed in 1844, and the Mormons were on their way to the destination chosen for them before his death. From February 4, 1846 until almost the end of the year long trains of covered wagons made their own trail across Iowa because they feared persecution along the Oregon Trail.
"The early days of the trek were distressing in the extreme. Snow lay on the earth to a depth of six or eight inches. At the camping grounds, after the men and animals had been there for a time, the place, as one of the travelers tells us in his journal, became a veritable ‘slush of snow and mud, and no place to sit or lie but in water or snow.' The first night out, this man says, his wife received an invitation 'to lie on some cornstalks,' an invitation which she eagerly accepted. The husband, with another man, lay 'on a single blanket on the snow,' which, when they awoke in the night, had 'frozen to their sides,' the weather having turned bitterly cold, so they were compelled to sit up before the fire till dawn. At another camping place, later on, it rained for a whole week." [Col. Thomas L, Kane]