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Descendants of John Wheeler Meredith
Compiled by P. Davidson-Peters 2003-2007

Special Thanks to Margaret R. Meredith Arrington for sharing her family history. 

A Note from Patti: Although many now have access to many more on-line records, the extractions to my census records include corrections to the enumerator's errors and also the maiden name of the women when known. Since I began blogging, there is also more information available at my PDP's Roots & Branches and Early St. Louis blogs.

I've included sources at the bottom of the sketch and links to the census extractions or images. Any information you can contribute, or any errors you might correct, I gladly accept your emails. Questions and comments are welcome as well. Thanks, and enjoy browsing.

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John Wheeler Meredith was born in Delaware in 1761, was the son of Luff and Mary. Prior to the American Revolution, he was a shoemaker and then enlisted as a private at Dover, Delaware in 1777. He was with General Horatio Gates at Saratoga and was also in the Battle of Cowpens while serving.

On the 25th of September 1788, he married Mary Daws, the daughter of William and Rumina. She was born 16 Feb 1761 and died 23 May 1789, after the birth of their daughter Rumina who was born on the 2nd of May.

After the death of his wife, he married Elizabeth Busby, daughter of John and Margaret, on 18 April 1793 near North River in Hampshire Co, Virginia (now in WV). She was born 02 Jan 1766 and died on the 29th of March 1860 in Casstown, Miami County, Ohio. They were both laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery.

In 1815, he built a small flat boat at the mouth of Little Whiteby Creek in the Spring of 1815 and came down the Ohio River, landing at Columbia, a few miles above Cincinnati. Here he procured place wagons to transport the family and household goods to a new farm near Lisbon, a short distance from Springfield, Clark County, Ohio.

In about 1817, he removed to Miami County, Ohio where he had received a bounty land grant, and settled on Lost Creek, four miles south of Troy, which was the county seat. He remained there several years and then resided in Troy where he is listed in the 1840 census. He died there in 1844 and was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery.

  1. John Luff Meredith - born 05 Feb 1794; married Elizabeth Thomas.

  2. Norval Douglas Meredith - born 02 Sep 1795; married Mary James.

  3. Margaret Meredith - born 09 Dec 1797; married Archibald Dye.

  4. Joseph Busby Meredith - born 10 Jun 1800; married Esther Thomas.

  5. Was intended to be named "George Washington Meredith" - born 10 Feb 1802; died 12 Feb 1802.

  6. James Meredith - born 23 Aug 1804; died 13 Mar 1805.

  7. Samuel Caldwell Meredith - born 27 Nov 1807; married Margaret Ballard.

  8. Mary Meredith - born on 05 Apr 1810; died 9 Dec 1828; she married Hampton W. Lock

John Luff Meredith, son of John Wheeler and Elizabeth (Busby), was born 05 Feb 1794. He married Esther Thomas on 10 Sep 1816 in Champaign Co., Illinois.
  1. Ann Elizabeth Meredith - born 08 June 1817.

  2. Maria Louisa Meredith - born 09 April 1820.

  3. John Thomas Wheeler Meredith - born 20 November 1823.

Norval Douglas Meredith, son of John Wheeler and Elizabeth (Busby), was born 02 Sep 1795. He married Mary James on 16 Oct 1817. Mary was born about 1798 in Virginia
  1. John Luff Meredith - born on 04 Aug 1818.

  2. Samuel James Meredith - born on 21 Feb 1820.

  3. Sara Ellen Meredith - born on 05 Apr 1822.

  4. William Alloway Meredith - born on 22 Jan 1825 in Ohio. He died in 1850 in Troy, Miami, Ohio and was buried in Rose Hill, Troy, OH. William was counted in a census in 1850 in Troy, Miami, OH.

  5. Oliva Jane Meredith - born on 30 Oct 1825.

  6. Aaron A. Meredith - born on 14 Jul 1829.

Margaret Meredith, daughter of John Wheeler and Elizabeth (Busby), was born 09 Dec 1797; she married Archibald Dye in Miami Co., Ohio on 27 Apr 1819.
  1. Eliza Dye - born 02 Apr 1820; died 17 Oct 1820.

  2. Maria Dye - born 27 Nov 1821.

  3. Albert Dye - born 2 Apr 1822.

  4. Frances Dye - born 30 Oct 1825.

Samuel Caldwell Meredith, son of John Wheeler and Elizabeth (Busby) was born on 27 Nov 1807 in Greene Co., PA. He died on 09 Feb 1899. He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Samuel was counted in a census in 1850 in Centerville, Wayne, IN.

Having a desire to learn the printing business, Samuel went to Dayton, Ohio in the Fall of 1823 and in the Spring of 1824, at the age of 17, signed an indenture with the consent of his father, to place himself as apprentice to Robert J. Skinner of Dayton, Miami County, Ohio. This indenture was witnessed and signed by Samuel Meredith, John W. Meredith and Robert J. Skinner and sealed in the presence of Linsey Johnson. - The indenture was fully satisfied and complied with on the part of S.C. Meredith on the date of 23 May 1828 and was witnessed by T.W. Mansfield.

Samuel married Margaret Ballard daughter of Christopher Anthony Ballard and Eleanor Mossman on 27 Mar 1829 in Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois. Margaret was born on 31 Aug 1810 in Grayson Co., VA. According to her obituary she died of dropsy of the heart on 13 Nov 1884 in Troy, OH. She was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Margaret was counted in a census in 1850 in Centerville, Wayne, IN. (Photo of Margaret and daughter Emily)

In an excerpt from Meredith Nicholson's book, "Old Familiar Faces," he writes of Samuel: "In 1849, Samuel left his wife and three children and went to California, becoming an argonaut, making the passage to the golden coast by way of the Isthmus, arriving at San Francisco on New Year's Day of 1850. He never ventured into the gold fields, and was so thoroughly homesick, returned to Indiana. This whole episode was so unlike my subsequent knowledge of him that only the journal convinces me that he really entrusted himself to the belly of a ship and sailed the Pacific."

  1. John Ballard Meredith - born on 13 Jun 1830 in Springfield, Sangamon, IL; died on 06 Sep 1830 in Springfield, Sangamon, IL.

  2. Mary J. Meredith - born on 26 Dec 1832 in Piqua, Miami, OH; died on 07 Jan 1833 in Piqua, Miami, OH.

  3. William Morton Meredith - born 11 Apr 1835. He died on 24 Dec 1917 in Washington D.C.

  4. James H. Meredith - was born 14 Feb 1838 in Centerville, Wayne, IN. He died on 27 Jan 1846 in Centerville, Wayne, IN.

  5. Emily Ellen Meredith - born 19 Jan 1842. She died on 06 Jul 1915. (Photo)

Oliva Jane Meredith, daughter of Noval and Mary (James), was born on 30 Oct 1825 in Ohio. Olivia was counted in the census records for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 residing in Concord Twp., Troy, Miami, Ohio.

Oliva married Samuel Kyle Harter in 1853. Samuel was born about 1825 in Ohio. Samuel is also listed in the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 census records residing in Concord Twp., Troy, Miami, Ohio residing in the same household as Oliva in the home of John and Jane Hart, whom it is speculated may be the same John Harter who is listed with Sam and Olivia in the 1880 as aged 63, retired merchant born in New Jersey. He was listed in the 1850 as John Hart age 42, an iron merchant born in NJ, along with Jane Hart age 37 born in Ohio.

  1. Mary Harter - born about 1855 in Troy, Miami, OH; she was counted in a census in 1860 in Troy, Miami, OH.
  2. Sabin M. Harter - born about 1860. Not proven, but listed in the household as aged ten in the 1870 census for Troy, Miami, Ohio.
William Morton Meredith, son of Samuel C. and Margaret (Ballard), was born on 11 Apr 1835 in Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana. He died on 24 Dec 1917 in Washington D.C.; counted in 1850 census for Centerville, Wayne, IN; and 1860 and 1870 census for Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN.

He married Emiline "Emma" Schelenberger in about 1859. Emma was the daughter of John and Ann who were enumerated next door to them in 1860. Emma was born about 1840 in Indiana and according to the census of 1850 and 1860 of Marion Co., IN, she also had a sister Mary who was born about 1835. The family name was also spelled Shellenberger, and they had moved from Ohio sometime between the years in which Emma and Mary were born.

In 1862, William enlisted in the 70th Indiana Regiment, Company E, under the commanding officer, Colonel Benjamin Harrison, who later became president. In March 1864 at Wauhatchie, Tennessee, William received a wire from his father saying Emma was ill with spotted fever and should come home if at all possible. May 1864 found William in the Battle of Reseca, a poignant event he wrote about and which was published in "The Current" of Chicago in 1886. Because of riding a hard-gaited horse, he developed a hernia and was discharged in Atlanta, Georgia in August of 1864 with the rank of Captain.

In 1867, he married Terressa A. Richey, daughter of John and Charlotte. William was at this time a foreman at the Indiana Journal and then went to the St. Louis Globe Democrat. He later worked a the Western Bank Note Company in Chicago for ten years.

In 1881, at the age of 46, he applied for his Civil War pension and in 1889 he was appointed Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C. at the grand salary of $4500 per year. In 1891, he assigned (the first colored young lady), Miss Frances Flood, to a press, in the face of great opposition and indignation on the part of certain persons." And a political move in 1893 forced him to resign. He regained this poisition and was re-appointed after hundreds of letters and recommendations were received by the President and Secretary of the Treasury and became the only director to serve two terms that were not consecutive.

Living in Washington D.C. in 1895 and in 1906 he was transferred to the destruction committee at the bureau with an anuual salary of $1800, a reduction in pay of $2700.

He died of bronchial pneumonia at his home 1219 Girard Street, NW and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to his wife. His death notice appeared in the Washington Post on the 26th. His obituary listed his memberships in the Sons of the American Revolution, Loyal Legion, Odd Fellows, the Kilpatrick Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in Austin, Illinois, of which he was the organizer and first commander. He was also a member of the Calvary Methodist Church.

William married (1) Emma Shellenberger daughter of John Shellenberger and Anne in 1859, they later divorced in 1865 but had two children. Anna, born in 1860 and son Samuel born in 1861 and died in 1865 - buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN.

William married (2) Terressa Adelia Richey daughter of John Richey and Charlotte Curtis (Millard) in 1867. Teressa was born on 06 Feb 1848 in Indianapolis, and according to her obituary, she died of sudden heart trouble on 05 Aug 1903. She was survived by her four children buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

(View 1889 letter of recommendation from W.J. Meredith to Sen. John Sherman)

  1. William Luff Meredith - born on 12 Oct 1868; was killed in Seattle on 25 Jun 1901.
  2. Charlotte Richey Meredith - born in Nov 1870; died in 1954. She married Charles H. Burras, a security bond salesman.
  3. Mary "Bird" Meredith - born in 1875; died in 1939. She married (1) Edward G. Niles; and (2) Walter Farrell in 1907.
  4. Aaron A. Meredith - born on 08 Jul 1876 and died on 14 May 1937. He married Elsie Cora Hall on 22 Aug 1924. Elsie was born on 14 Jul 1901, and died 05 Oct 1994.
  5. Margaret Meredith - born on 30 Mar 1879; died on 05 Dec 1967.
Emily Ellen Meredith, daughter of Samuel Caldwell and Margaret (Ballard), was born on 19 Jan 1842 in Centerville, Wayne, Indiana and died on 06 Jul 1915. Emily was counted in a census in 1850 in Centerville, Wayne, IN.

Emily married Captain Edward Willis Nicholson on 01 Nov 1865. Edward was born on 27 Oct 1826; died on 21 Aug 1894 and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. Edward was in the Civil War in the 22nd Indiana Battery.

  1. Meredith Nicholson - born on 09 Dec 1866; died on 23 Dec 1947.
  2. Margaret Nicholson - born in 1870; died on 06 Oct 1919 and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. She had married R.P. Noble who was also buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN.

William Luff Meredith, son of William Morton and Teressa (Richey) was born on 12 Oct 1868. He died on 25 Jun 1901 in Seattle, WA. William was killed in a shoot-out on the streets of Seattle, an account which was written in the book, "Skid Road" by Murray Morgan and was headlines in the newspapers.

He had gone to Seattle in 1888 to take charge of an estate, and about that time had married Nellie Jennings. In 1892, he secured the position as Chinese Inspector. After a year in that job, he was employed by John W. Considine who was in the variety theater business in Spokane. William returned to Seattle in 1897 and joined the police force as a detective, served a few months and again left the city. he returned in 1899, and was connected with the police department and appointed acting police chief in 1900.

Considine accused him of corruption in the administration of police affairs and William leveled charges against Considine and the two became avowed enemies. Considine shot and killed him in a drug store and was acquitted of the murder.

  1. Russell Meredith - born on 15 Dec 1892;died on 25 Jun 1965.

  2. Dorothy Meredith - born on 13 Dec 1895. She died on 13 Jan 1986. She married married (1) Whittlesey; and (2) Albert Denham.

Charlotte Richey Meredtih, daughter of William Morton and Teressa (Richey), was born 15 Nov 1875 and died in 1954. She married Charles Hayes Burras in Chicago, Illinois on 30 Dec 1895. Charles was a lawyer and the family lived next to her parents in Chicago in 1900. According to passenger records, he was born 16 Jul 1873 in Fairfield, Ohio and appears to be the son of Oscar Burras and Annette (Hakes), brother of Adelia, Lena, and Clessmore O. Burras.

In 1910 the couple and their two daughters are residing at 148 South Pine Avenue in Chicago where Charles is listed as a lawyer. In 1920 Charles and Charlotte were living in the township of River Forest at 368 Williams Street and one more daughter had been born to them. The couple was then located in three passenger records. In February on 1927 the sailed from Cristobal Canal Zone to New Orleans aboard the S.S. Cartago; in October of 1934 aboard the S.S. Queen of Bermuda they sailed from Hamilton, Bermuda to the port of New York; and in 1938 aboard the S.S. Brittanic they sailed in June from Cobh to the port of New York.

In 1921 their daughter Teressa married Lowell A. Barr, the wedding having been announced in the society page of the Chicago Daily Tribune. Although the young couple continued to live in the Village of River Forest in 1930, Charles, Charlotte and their married daughter Ruth (wife of Fred Myers), had moved to La Porte Co., Indiana and were living in Michigan township, in the town of Long Beach, an address which was also noted on their 1934 passenger list.

Charlotte's husband died in his sleep at a hotel resort in Phoenix, Arizona on 30 May 1955. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he had been a resident of Chicago where he was a retired insurance man, chairman of the board of Joyce & Co., and a member of the board of directors of Brinks, Inc., armoured car services. He was survived by his daughters Ruth of Winnetka, Illinois and Teressa of Maywood.

  1. Ruth Burras - born on 17 Apr 1897; died in 1989; married Fred Meyers.

  2. Helen Burras - born in June of 1898; died young of leukemia.

  3. Teressa Burras - born in 1901 and passed away in 1968. Her wedding announcement to Lowell Barr appeared in the society column of the Chicago Daily Tribune in July of 1921 and included her photo.


Meredith Nicholson, son of Emily Ellen (Meredith) and Edward Nicholson, was born on 09 Dec 1866 in Indiana. He died on 23 Dec 1947. He had written over thirty books and several magazine articles; was U.S. Minister to Paraguay, Venezuela and Nicaragua 1933-1940. Meredith was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN.

Meredith was counted in a census in 1920 in Indianapolis, Marion, IN and was listed as an author. He had written THE VALLEY OF DEMOCRACY which was published 1917,1918 by Charles Scribner's Sons of New York. A copy of this book, inscripted by him to his Pilcher cousin reads "To Mabel Grace Jones, with the compliments and best wishes of her Pilcher cousin, Meredith Nicholson - Indianpolis August 21, 1922." His book is dedicated as a token of his affection to his children, Elizabeth, Meredith, and Lionel in hope that they may be faithful to the highest ideals of American citizenship.

Meredith married (1) Eugenie Kountz in Jun 1896. Eugenie was born about 1868 in Nebraska. She died in 1931. She was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN. Eugenie was counted in a census in 1920 in Indianapolis, Marion, IN. Meredith married (2) Dorothy Wolfe Lannon, but were divorced about ten years later and no children were born to this marriage.

View a list of published writings by Meredith Nicholson

  1. Elizabeth Nicholson - born about 1900 in Colorado; died about 1951. She was counted in a census in 1920 in Indianapolis, Marion, IN. She married (1) Ben Claypool; and (2) Austin Brown.

  2. Meredith Nicholson - born about 1903 in Indiana; died on 23 Nov 1968. He was counted in a census in 1920 in Indianapolis, Marion, IN. He married Roberta West.

  3. Charles Lionel Nicholson "Tookie" - born about 1907 in Indiana. He died on 24 Mar 1949. He was counted in a census in 1920 in Indianapolis, Marion, IN. Charles married Edith Watson .

  4. Eugenie Nicholson - died in 1902 as an infant.


  1. Arrington, Margaret R. (Meredith) persoanl collection of notes, family letters, Bible, records of birth, death and marriage.
  2. Letter of Ellenor Cook to John Fenton of St. Louis dated 20 Sep 1893 ( In possession of P. Davidson-Peters)
  3. Letter of Mary Jones of San Franciso to John Fenton of St. Louis dated 13 Nov 1895 (In possession of P. Davidson-Peters)
  4. Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Register for Nineteen Hundred and Eight with Roll of Members and Their Revolutionary Ancestors and Other Information of Interest to the Society, compiled by Charles W. Moores, Indiana, 1908 (Google eBook)Passenger Records 1927, 1934 and 1938
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census - Wayne Co., Indiana - Centerville
  6. 1850 U.S. Federal Census - Miami Co., Ohio - Troy
  7. 1860 U.S. Federal Census - Miami Co., Ohio - Troy
  8. 1870 U.S. Federal Census Marion Co., Indiana - Indianapolis.
  9. 1880 U.S. Federal Census Marion Co., Indiana - Indianapolis.
  10. 1880 U.S. Federal Census Cook Co., Illinois - Austin.
  11. 1889 Letter of recommendation from W.J. Meredith to Sen. John Sherman, provided by Margaret R. (Meredith) Arrington.
  12. 1900 U.S. Federal Census Cook Co., Illinois - Chicago.
  13. 1910 U.S. Federal Census Cook Co., Illinois - Chicago.
  14. 1920 U.S. Federal Census Marion County, Indiana - Indianapolis.
  15. 1930 U.S. Federal Census LaPorte Co., Indiana - Long Beach
  16. 1903 The Washington Post - Obituary of Teressa A. (Richey) Meredith
  17. 1917 The Washington Post - Death Notice of William M. Meredith
  18. 1921 Chicago Daily Tribune - Burras-Barr Wedding Announcement
  19. 1955 The New York Times - Obituary of Charles H. Burras
Meredith Timeline (Delaware, Virginia & Ohio)
Meredith Timeline (Indiana & Illinois)
Genealogy Mailing List - Surname Meredith (Outside Link)
Meredith Family of Kent Co., Delaware by Ron Meredith (Outside Link)


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