Thomas "Orphan" Meadows 
- Born: Cir 1636
- Marriage: Sarah Hoskins  in 1658
- Died: Bef April 1664
Notes for THOMAS "ORPHAN" MEADOWS:
He is often referred to as the Orphan and the Younger. He was between 14 and 17 when his father died, thus entitled to chose his own guardian. He named William Underwood. There are few records of Thomas, Jr. in Lancaster County, Virginia, but we may assume that he prospered, as in 1663 he paid the passages of seven persons, claiming their headrights of 320 acres.
When his father died in 1655, Thomas was close to legal age; probably 18 years old. From his father, he inherited 350 acres were of Juggs Creek. He was to share this with his brother John.
On August 6, 1655, Thomas Meads "Orphan" petitioned the court that William Underwood be appointed his guardian. The estate of his father was in the hands of George Bryer, and was ordered to be delivered to Mr. Underwood. In January of 1656, the Lancaster Court found that the estate was still undivided and in George Bryer's hands. The court ordered 4 men (included Ambrose Meador and Francis Gower) to divided the estate.
In 1658, Thomas Meads "Orphan" contracted to sell 25 acres of his portion. However, it was found through later deeds that his sister, Mary, retained the entire 740 acre tract. Thomas also made a legal deed in 1658, so he must have been 21 years old in that year. The deed was signed by Thomas with an unique mark - a cross with barred ends, a signature found no where else in county records.
Between 1658 and 1659, Thomas married Sarah. No further information is available about her. Thomas and Sarah had three children: John, Susannah and Mary.
Thomas had probably been raised in the Puritan religion of his father. However, because of the severe morality laid down by the Puritan elders, the younger generation began searching for a faith that was less restrictive and demanding. As early as 1652, followers of the Anglican church were known to be meeting in the Lancaster area. The Anglican church had official sanction, with the authority to punish those who did not pay their levies or attend the local church. This necessitated the founding of churches on the frontier. Sometime before 1660, an Anglican Church was built on the east side of the Rappahannock River between Totuskey and Farnham Creeks. It later became known as the North Farnham Parish. On the west bank, an Anglican church was build about 3 miles west of Hobbs Hole (now Tappahannock) between Hoskins and Piscattaway Creeks. This was known as Piscataway Church, and later became know as South Farnham Church. This South Farnham Church was undoubtedly the one attended by the Meador family. Apparently a road from the Medor homestead on Hoskins Creek lead southeastward to the church. Because of the building of Anglican churches in this area, it can be seen that the Puritan influence had declined.
In 1661, an Indian raid took place on the neighboring plantation of Richard White. Richard's daughter Elizabeth would later marry Thomas' son, John. Elizabeth was apparently not yet born, but her brother, Thomas White, and two other men were brutally murdered. Thomas' parents, Richard and Addra White, escaped this gruesome raid. Further information on this raid is found under Thomas White.
Perhaps for many as 300 people were killed in these Indian raids. Demanding protection, the settlers petitioned the Jamestown Government for arms, forts and soldiers. From Rappahannock County was sent a "Petition of 15 Grievances" signed by, among others, Henry Awbrey and Col. Thomas Gouldman. They begged that: "the war with the heathen...may be prosecuted effectually and managed in such sort that some Counties may not be totally ruined whilst others live in...peace and quietness, whilst poore Rappahannock lies ableeding whose number of people murdered and estates destroyed can find no parallel in Virginia...for while we are tending corn to feed our wives and children, the Indians...would butcher us in our fields, they being so frequent about us that we dare not stir from our plantations."
On June 3, 1663, a grant was recorded to Thomas for 320 acres for the transportation of seven people to the colony. The land was near the head of Hoskins Creek, southside of the Rappahannock River. The location is known today as Cheatwood Millpond, and is just southwest of Rexburg, Virginia and seven miles west of Tappahannock, the county seat of Essex County. The grant later became the property of his son, John.
In 1664, Thomas completed the transaction that his father started before his death. This was for 450 acres on Hoskins Creek, south of the Rappahannock River. Thomas Jr. received the property in 1664. The rights to this grant were probably a trade off with his sister, Mary, as she got the 350 acres west of Juggs Creek. Thomas got the two grants on Hoskins Creek, on the south side of the Rappahannock River.
These two grants (320 acres and 450 acres) lay side by side of Hoskins Creek. The larger grant was upstream (west) and they shared a common boundard.
Thomas died sometime before April, 1662.
In April of 1662, Sarah, his widow, legally delcared her obligation to her three children. Such declarations were commonly made by those contemplating remarriage. Sarah made two documents and described herself as the widow of Thomas Meador the Younger.
In the first socument, Sarah provided for the maintenance and education of her children, promising them four years of schooling apiece. At this period of time, most children only received one year of schooling. In the second document, Sarah gave her son John Meador a yoke of oxen and "one gun, seven foot by the barrel," to be delivered to him when he came of age. To her daughter Susannah she gave a red cow called "Cherry" and her increase. To her daughter Mary she gave a black heifer called "Slippery."
No proof can be found of whom Sarah Meador remarried. It should be noted, however, that a very prominent, highly influential and prosperous settler of the same area, Henry Awbrey, about this time took a wife named Sarah, who is assumed to have been our Sarah Meador, widow. Henry Awbrey is rumored to have first married in England, but no trace of such wife or surviving children of such a marriage has been found in Virginia records. For purposes of this family tree, we are assuming that our Sarah did marry Henry Awbrey.
Sarah is first mentioned as his wife in 1664 when Henry appointed her his attorney to collect debts owed to him in his absence. She again appears in 1670 as party to a sale by Henry Awbrey and herself of a tract of 300 acres of land on the north side of the Rappahannock River.
Awbrey was Burgess of the County Court of old Rappahannock County and was a trustee in the formation of New Plymouth in 1682. For the last two years of his life, he was also Sheriff, perhaps an honorary position in view of his age. He also received many grants of land for the transportation of persons to the colonies.
Sarah and Henry possibly had a son, Richard Awbrey. In a deed in 1675, Henry gave his son Richard a year old mare called "Bonny"..."until Richard be 14 years of age." Thus, Richard would have been born after 1661-1662, when Henry and Sarah were apparently married.
When Henry Awbrey made his will in 1694, he named his wife as Mary, so apparently Sarah died sometime before 1694.
Grant of Thomas Meador:
The 320 Acre Grant - "To all to whom these presents shall come, Greetings...whereas now know ye, that I, the said Sir William Berkeley, Knight, Governor of Virginia, give and grant unto Thomas Meador three hundred and twenty acres of land, situated on the south side of Hoskins Creek towards the head thereof in the county of Rappahannock, and extendeth itself from a marked red oak standing in a smal neck by the main run side of the creek aforesaid and nigh unto the plantation of John Gillet, thence by the said run side thirty two poles unto a marked oak on the westernmost point of said neck, thence along the northernmost side of a Beaver Dam until you met with a line of marked threes that leadeth unto a poplar by the edge of the said Dam forty eight poles, thence with the said line South by West two hundred and seventy two poles to a marked pine on fallowing ground, thence East by South one hundred and twenty five poles to a white oak on the brow of a hill, thence East North-East twenty eight poles to meet with the Weswternmost line of marked threes belonging to John Gregory, which divides this land and the land of the said Gregory, thence North East down to Hoskins Creek aforesaid and finally parellel with the said Creek one hundred eighty one poles unto the marked Red Oak first above mentioned. The said land being due unto the said Meador for transportation of seven persons to this colony. To have and to hold (etc.). Dated the second of June, one thousand, six hundred and sixty-three."
Thomas married Sarah Hoskins  [MRIN: 964] in 1658. (Sarah Hoskins  was born in 1637 and died about 1672.)