Early VA Meachams -- Three brothers myth

The Three Brothers Myth

[ January, 2000]

The origins of the story of Jeremiah, Joshua, John as brothers migrating to America is a mystery, since there is absolutely no evidence to support it. A passage which sheds light on the matter can be found in a very interesting article entitled "Mountain of Names" by Alex Shoumatoff, published in the New Yorker magazine of May 13, 1985. The article deals with the Mormon genealogical enterprise. A senior Mormon genealogist is quoted as follows:

"There are two very common myths in American families. One has a woman being made pregnant by a duke or prince, then migrating to America -- a royal father makes the illegitimacy more acceptable. The other myth has three brothers coming to America together. One settles in New England, the other in the middle Atlantic states, the third in the South. I've heard that for a hundred families. It might be true for one of them."

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