Early VA Meachams -- "Henry Meacum"

The Case of "Henry Meacum"

[January, 2000]

When I first began examining the early Meachams of Virginia, the passage in the introduction to Clarence Mitcham's book about the will of "Henry Meacum" d. 1757 seemed to be a very important link. Clarence called it "a very interesting record which ties all of the Meachams together." The children of Henry are listed by Clarence as follows: Joshua b. abt 1714, Banks, Frances, Nathaniel, Henry b. 1721, Lewis, William b. abt. 1720-25, James and John. Henry's father is said to be Joshua.

When I was finally able to see this document, I was sad to discover that a) it was not a will; b) it does not list any children; c) Joshua was the admininstrator of the estate (thus extremely unlikely to have been Henry's father); and d) the name was not Meacum. Regarding the children of Henry, the following remarks are from a letter written in 1981 by Gary Williams, clerk of the Circuit Court of Sussex County, VA.: "There was a Henry Meachum who died intestate in Sussex on December 19, 1757, at the age of 73, whose wife was, I believe, Frances, and whose administrator was Joshua Meachum [...] I am not certain that they had chiIdren, although there was another Henry Meachum, mentioned above, who with wife Anne had sons Banks (b. 1748) and Lewis (b.1752) and daughters Mary (b. 1749) and Nannie (b.1755)."

It seems probable now that Clarence (may he rest in peace and be blessed for all the good work he did for Meacham genealogy) believed that Henry d. 1757 must have fathered just about all the Meachams that were on the scene in the early decades of the 18th century and unaccounted for. Clarence did of course make considerable use of the records of Christ Church parish in Middlesex Co., but nothing seems to link the Middlesex Meacham clan to any of these supposed offspring of Henry, so it is unclear how he thought the "will of Henry" might "tie all Meachams together.".

What I would like to know, from anyone who has researched this Henry, is whether there is any hard evidence about him at all prior to his estate inventory of 1757. Clarence has him "born abt. 1688" and "married abt. 1713" but those dates must be treated with a large measure of scepticism for now. Gary Williams mentioned the age of 73 at death, which would make his birth ca. 1684. Is there any hard evidence about his children?

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