Early VA Meachams -- Caroline County

A Chronicle of Meachams in Caroline County

[April 7, 2000; updated June 5, 2000 with additional entries of 1765-9-12 and 1766-6-13]

The following is a record of the evidence of Meachams in Caroline County, Virginia during the 18th century. Contributions of additional data are welcome, to make this as complete as possible. Unless otherwise indicated, the data comes from the Caroline County Court Order Books. After the chronicle is a brief summary and commentary.


1743-11-11 -- Joseph Mitcham is appointed constable of the precinct in which Anthony Street is at present constable. Street is ordered to bring Joseph Mitcham before a justice of the peace of this county to be sworn in.

1745-8-9 -- Wm. Crutchfield deed to John Crutchfield, proved by Wm. Mason and Joseph Mitcham.

1745-8-9 --Wm. Crutchfield deed to Wm. Crutchfield, proved by Wm. Mason and Joseph Mitcham.

1745-8-9 --Wm. Crutchfield deed to Richard Crutchfield, proved by Wm. Mason and Joseph Mitcham.

1745-9-13 -- Joseph Mecham is listed as a juror.

1745-11-8 -- John Crutchfield and Johannah his wife she being first privately examined acknowledged their deed to Joseph Meacham.

1745-11-8 -- A grand inquest being impannelled, Robert George, James Jamerson, William Conner, Jacob Johns, Joseph Meacham, James Terrell, [et al.] jurors.

1747-6-12 -- Ordered Wm. Crutchfield, Joseph Mitcham, Richard Davenport and Benjamin Terry appraise the estate of Peter Mason.

1747-8-14 -- Joseph Meacham, Juror.

1747-8-15 -- John Price ordered to pay Joseph Mitcham 50 pounds of tobacco for days attendance.

1748/9-3-10 -- John Hammon's deed indented to James Inge was proved by James Meacham, Ambs. Hay and Michl. Waldrop.

1749-9-8 -- Charles Blanton is appointed constable of the precinct in which Joseph Mitcham is at present constable.

1751-5-11-- Action of trespass on the case between Mary Mitcham by Jos. Mitcham her next friend agt. Geo. Buery is dismissed, being agreed.

1752-11-9 -- It's ordered James Mitcham be oversear of the road in the room of William Woodford Gent.

1755-5-8 -- Jos. Mitcham for retailing cyder contrary to law.

1755-12-11 -- James Mitcham witness to William Woodford's will.

1756-12-10 -- Wm. Young ordered to pay James Mecham 125 pounds of tobacco for five days attendance.

1757-10-13 -- Joseph Mitcham acknowledged his deed indented to James Foster.

1757-10-13 -- Thomas Gardner and Martha his wife acknowledge their deed indented to Joseph Mitcham.

1757-10-13 -- James Foster deed indented to Joseph Mitcham was proved by William Foster, Thomas Gardner, and Martha Gardner witnesses thereto.

1758-6-8 -- Adam Merryman is appointed overseer of the road in the room of James Mitcham and its ordered he keep the same in repair according to law.

1759-4-12 -- appraisal of Estate of James Meatcham.

1760 -- Richard B. Meacham born in Caroline Co. Father named as John [source: petition of 1835 by Richard B. Meacham for pension based on service during Revolutionary War]

1761-2-25 -- Joseph Meacham born in Caroline Co. [source: petition of 1832 by Joseph Meacham for pension based on service during Revolutionary War]. Father known to be William Meacham.

1764-10-12 --John Meacham was born in Caroline Co. [source: The DAR application of Edna Belle Petty Turner, citing a Meacham family Bible; this data has not been verified]. Father known to be William Meacham.

1765 -- Will of Joseph Meacham [source: index to Caroline County will books]

1765-4-11 -- The last will and testatment of Joseph Meacham Deceased was brought into Court by Elizabeth Meacham Executrix and William Meacham Executor therein named who made oath thereto according to Law and now proved by the oaths of Charles Mason and James Mason two of the witnesses thereto and is ordered to be recorded and certificate in due form is granted them for obtaining Letters of Probate. [The reference work Colonial Caroline - A History of Caroline County, Virginia, by T. E. Campbell, lists the executors or administrators of Joseph's estate as Joseph and Elizabeth. This is apparently an error. ]

1765-4-12 -- William and Francis Bickley, Pltfs agst. David Davenport and John Meacham Defendts, In Debt. This day came into the court the Pltfs. by their attorney and the Defendant Meacham being again solemnly called came not. Therefore it is considered by the Court that the Pltfs [?] of the Defds and John Elliot Paine's security Eighteen Pounds Ten Shillings Current money ...

1765-8-9 -- Dunlop and [Crosse?] against Elizabeth Mitchum, In Debt. ... The Def. altho solemnly called came not therefore it is considered by the Court that unless the Def. Appear at next Court and answer the Plt.'s action judgment will be grant to the Plt. Charles B[urn?] has security for the Plt.'s debt and costs.

1765-9-12 -- Dunlop and Company Plt. against Elizabeth Mitchum, Defend. In Debt. Robert Dudley came into Court and entered himself special Bail for the Defendant who pleads payment which the Plt. Joyned and the Trial thereof is referred till the next Court.

1766-6-13 -- Dunlop and Crosse Merchs. Plaintiff against Elizabeth Mitchum Defendant, In Debt. This day came the parties by their attornies and it is considered by the Court that the pltfs. Recover of the deft. their costs in this suit expended.

1766-12-13 -- Ordered William Meacham, Mathew Morris, Richard West and Anderson Lipscomb or any of them to appraise the estate of John Isbell.

1767-4-9 -- Leave is granted to William Meatcham to keep an Ordinary [tavern] at his house, bond acknowledged according to law.

1767-4-10 -- William Meatcham Plt. against Stephen Lowe Deft. On attachment. Dismissed agreed.

1767-11-26 -- John Meacham witnessed the will of Daniel Isbell dated 26 Nov. 1767, along with Charles Mason, Henry Crutchfield, and John Baynham. [source: "Caroline County Court Records and Marriages, 1787-1810" by Hopkins; the will was cited in a later court case]

1769-4-13 -- On the petition of John Meachem setting forth that he hath joining to one part of his land a good stream and [of?] a water mill and prays that an acre of land on the other side of the run may be laid off for that use. Ordered that the Sheriff summon a jury of twelve freeholders of [lineage?] to meet upon the land petitioned for, who being next and duly sworn before a magistrate or the Sheriff shall diligently view and examine the said land, and the lands adjacent thereto, on both sides the run in this or the next county which may be affected or laid under water by building such mill together with the timber and other conveniences thereon and that the report the same, with the true value of [what] we are petitioned for and of damages to he party holding the same or to any other person or persons, under their hands and seals to the next Court. And it is further ordered that the Guardians to the orphans who own a part of the land petitioned for have notice of the view.

1769-5-11 -- The Grand Jury returned the following presentments: We present ... Ann Meacham of St. Margaret's Parish for having a bastard child ... Ordered that the several offenders be summoned at the next Court to answer thereto.

1769-6-8 -- The jury (pursuant to a former order of this court) sworn, to view and value the land petitioned for by John Meachem for the purpose of building a mill, this day returned the following report -- Caroline County, May 8th, 1769 a h[on?]orandum that on this we having been summoned by the Sheriff of said county did meet on the land petitioned for by John Meachem bleonging to the orphans of Peter Robinson deceased to build a water grist mill the said are being laidof in our presence by Capt. James Taylor, County Surveyor, and we then being sworn by him to say of what value the said acre of land is of and say the same is of the value of twenty shillings, and also twenty shillings for value of the swamp ground belonging the aforesaid orphans being on the north side of the said swamp, on the south side of the said swamp belongs to James Moutry which he has given the said John Meachem to him before us and desires no satisfaction for what ground the water over flows. Given under ours hands and seals the date and year above written. Richard West, Wm. Dudley, James Baber, Th. Nettman, Wm. Peatrop, Ben. Hurt, Saml. Burrufs, Frances Baber, Nathl. Nement, John Beverage, Phillemon Carlton, Wm. Meachem, Wm. Tyler. It is considered by the Court that he have leave to build the mill paying down the valuation of the land according to a report.

1769-10-13 -- Ann Meacham [and others] for having a bastard child. The Defs. being duly summoned and failing to appear they each be fined 50 s[hillings] or 500 lbs of tob[acco] [illegible note] to be paid to the wardens of St. Margaret's Parish...

1771-4-11 -- Henry Lyne Jnr. Assee of Robert Mickleberry, Plt. against John Meatcham, defendant in debt nineteen pounds.

1771-6-13 -- Missrs. Murdock's Donald's and Co, Plts. against John Meatcham, Deft. In debt owed 7 pounds, 6 shillings and 6 pence, ordered to pay 7 pounds.

1771-11-14 -- Henry Lyne Junr, Plaintiff against John Meatcham, deft. Motion on Replevy Bond ordered to pay 11 pounds, sixteen shillings and ten pence.

1772-6-12 -- Nicholas Ware Junr against John Meacham. In petition. Deft. failed to appear; summary judgment gratned to Plt. For five pounds.

1772-6-14 -- John Taylor and John Penn against William Meatcham. In Debt. An attachment awarded to Plts.

1773-3-12 -- John Taylor and Co against William Meatcham. In Debt. Deft appeared and saith he cannot deny the Plt's action ... Court awards Plt. tamount owed 27 pounds 7 shillings and 2 pence plus costs and interest.

1773-5-14 -- John Alexander Still against John Meatcham. In Petition. Costs awarded to Pltf.

1773-6-10 -- A deed indented from James Burrus Meacham to David Trainham, proved by the oath of John Baynham, Ben. Bingham and Francis Baber and ordered to be recorded.

1775-10-12 -- A deed indented from Jn. Meacham to Tho. Butler proved by Geo. Dunlevy and [Edmd?] West who made oath that they saw with other subscribed witness (since dead) signature on [?].

1775-10-12 -- A deed indented from William Meacham and wife to Gregory Baynham,proved by Robt. Woolfolk.

1781-3-8 -- Last will and testament of Jas. B. Meacham recorded, witnesses thereto being dead it was proved by the oath of Charles Mason who decld. he heard the Testator publish and declare it to be his last will... Charles Burrus, Saml. Burrus, George Crutchfield, and William Burlon or any three of them appointed appraisers.

1781-4-12 -- Inventory and appraisal of estate of James B. Meacham was recorded.

1783-7-10 -- Ordered that John Ellis, John Cocke and Charles Burrus or any two of them do settle Charles Mason's administration of the estate of James B. Meacham deceased and make a report of such their settlement to the Court.

1785-11-10 -- Settlement of estate of James Burrus Meatcam

A summary of the people and the dates when they are mentioned in Caroline County records:

I. Family of Joseph Meacham/Mitcham

II. Family of John Meacham Senior

III. Family of William Meacham

IV. Others

The first Meacham to appear in the records is Joseph Mitcham, and it is virtually certain that he is the person of that name whose birth (1705) and marriage (1728, to Elizabeth Crutchfield) was recorded in Christ Church parish, Middlesex County, Virginia. From the timeline of entries it is possible that William and John Senr were his sons, and this possibility is strengthened greatly in respect of William as he was named executor in Joseph's will.

Joseph had a brother James born 1707 in Middlesex Co. and this could be the James Meacham who died in Caroline Co. in 1758 or 1759. Joseph had a daughter Mary born 1729 in Middlesex Co. and this could be the Mary in the 1751 reference; he also adopted an orphan child named Elizabeth Knoles in 1732 and this could be the Elizabeth Meacham sued for debt in 1765, the year of his death.

The last entry for both William and John Senr is on the same day, Oct. 12, 1775, at which time deeds were registered from themselves to others. Had they both decided to move to Chatham Co., North Carolina at the same time? Both names appear in records of Chatham Co. a few years later -- William's in 1777 and John's in 1779. This move from Caroline to Chatham Co. is corroborated by statements in depositions filed by Richard B. son of John and Joseph son of William, claiming that they (the sons) were born in Caroline Co. but were living in Chatham Co. when the Revolutionary War began (1776).

James Burrus Meacham may have been the son of James who died in 1758 or 59. He is the last of the 18th century Meachams in Caroline County.

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