Early Va./Ky. Meachams -- Va. Revol. soldiers

Virginia Meachams who were Revolutionary Soldiers

[January, 2000]

These are the Meachum/Meacham's listed, p.540 in Gwathmy's "Virginians in the Revolution":

This was quite a few more than expected, especially since the pension and bounty land records in the Library of Virginia only mention two: Henry Meacham, who died in the army "about May , 1779" and Sgt. William Meacham, who served three years from Feb. 1777 in the First Regiment of Artillery and received a military land warrant for 200 acres for his service (see the documents transcribed below).

If anyone knows of others or has details on the service of any of the above, please send them for inclusion on this list.

Documents related to the service of William Meacham

[Oct. 4, 2000]

from Library of Virginia:

William Meacham       Serjeant       Army

Cert -- Capt. A. Bohannon
voucher 1784

I do certify that William Meacham enlisted as a serjeant in the first Regiment of Artillery in Feb 1777 to serve the term of three years ______?_____.

By hand this 5th June 1784

A. Bohannon

from Kentucky Land Office:

Warrant ID -- 3166.0

Veteran Name -- Meacham, William

Assignee --

Acres -- 200

Years -- 3

Rank -- Sergeant

Unit -- Virginia Continental Line

Branch -- Unknown

Date -- 06/17/1784

Authorized --

Note --

Document related to the service of John Micham

from Kentucky Land Office:

Warrant ID -- 3836.0

Veteran Name -- Micham, John

Assignee --

Acres -- 100

Years -- 3

Rank -- soldier

Unit -- Virginia Continental Line

Branch --

Date -- 04/29/1785

Authorized --

Note --

[my notes: Neither of these bounty warrants for land in Kentucky was ever taken up or assigned to anyone else. It is tempting to link this William and John with those of the same name in Caroline county VA, who both moved to Chatham county NC either right before or after the Revolutionary War, and who may have been brothers. John's son Richard B. claimed that his father was a colonel, but this has never been established. The John Micham of this bounty land warrant served as a rank-and-file soldier, and according to the formula used at the time received 100 acres for three years' service. William served as a sargeant, and received 200 acres for his three years.]

Document related to the earlier service of John Mechum

[July 2, 2001]

The pension application of Richard B. Meacham states : " ... my father, John Meacham (an own cousin of General Washington & with him in Bradock's War)." Bradock's War was a term for the French and Indian War of 1754-63.

I checked the various militia lists for counties in Virginia, and found a John Mitchum/Micham on a roll of Bedford county militia in 1758. I then ordered the microfilms for Bedford county documents, and when they finally arrived, found this entry in the county court order book of 1780:

"John Mechum proved to the satisfaction of this court that he served under Col. Byrd 1760 & was then discharged and that he never received any satisfaction in land or transferred his claim to any land to which he mightbe entitled by such service whish is ord'd [ordered] to be cert'd [certified]."

In 1760, Col. Byrd was leading a regiment of Virginia militia in campaigns against the Cherokees in what is now east Tennesee. There is also the entry "Mitchum, John c.sf." in the Alexander Brown papers (compiled ca. 1800) in the Special Collections Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. The "c.sf." indicates he was from Bedford and served in French and Indian War. It is possible that this John Mechum is the father of Richard B. It is odd though that he went [back?] to Bedford county in 1780 to make this claim. Perhaps the proof of his service was to be found there. Each soldier who served in the campaigns of the French and Indian War was granted 50 acres of land.

On the other hand, if he was serving in the militia of Bedford county in 1758, and with Byrd in 1760, could he have maintained a residence and wife in Caroline county, where Richard B. said he was born in 1760? Possible but unlikely.

Neither I nor other researchers have found any evidence of a connection with George Washington. The main campaign that Washington was involved in was the expedition that culminated in the French abandonment of Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio in November 1758, after which Washington gave up his commission and returned to Virginia. It is possible that John Mitchum was also involved in this campaign, as a militiaman from Bedford county, but had no proof of it. It is equally possible that the claimed service under Washington was a later family legend!

I have also been unable to find any evidence of a colonel named John Meacham in the Revolutionary Army (another claim of Richard B. about his father in the same petition).

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