Mead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Mead is derived from a variety of sources. Most sources agree the name is derived from "meadow" as in the Anglo-Saxon "meed, what is mowed or cut down. " [1] [2] [3] [4]

One source claims the mead is a "location name in Somerset" [5] and of course, mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water. This ancient beverage dates back to vessels dated to at least 7000 BCE as discovered in northern China.

Early Origins of the Mead family

The surname Mead was first found in Warwickshire where Richard Mede was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1199. Later in Essex, John Atemede was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1248; Richard inthemede was listed in Surrey in 1332 and in Yorkshire John del Mede was found in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. John a Mede was found in Kent in 1454. In these cases, the name literally meant "dweller by the mead." [6]

Early History of the Mead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mead research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1630, 1699, 1673, 1754, 1720, 1415, 1475, 1459, 1460, 1458, 1459, 1461, 1462, 1468, 1469, 1586, 1639, 1613, 1627, 1596, 1616, 1653, 1616, 1628 and 1713 are included under the topic Early Mead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mead Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Mead include Mead, Meade, Meades and others.

Early Notables of the Mead family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Matthew Mead or Meade (1630?-1699), an English Independent minister, the second son of Richard Mead of Mursley, Buckinghamshire. Richard Mead (1673-1754), eleventh child of Matthew Mead, was an English physician whose work, "A Short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion, and the Method to be used to prevent it" written in 1720 gave an important understanding of transmissible diseases. [7] Philip Mede or Meade, Meede, (c. 1415-1475) from Mede's Place in Somerset was a wealthy merchant in Bristol and was twice elected a Member of Parliament for Bristol in 1459 and 1460. He was also three-time...
Another 145 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mead World Ranking

In the United States, the name Mead is the 1,468th most popular surname with an estimated 19,896 people with that name. [8] However, in Australia, the name Mead is ranked the 846th most popular surname with an estimated 4,656 people with that name. [9] And in New Zealand, the name Mead is the 472nd popular surname with an estimated 1,453 people with that name. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Mead as 728th with 9,215 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Mead family to Ireland

Some of the Mead family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mead migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Mead or a variant listed above:

Mead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Mead, who landed in Massachusetts in 1635 [12]
  • John Mead, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Gabriel Mead, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1638 [12]
  • Jon Mead, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [12]
  • Robert Mead, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Mead, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [12]
  • Casper Mead, aged 48, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739 [12]
  • Johanes Mead, aged 16, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739 [12]
  • Daniel Mead, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [12]
  • Jane Mead, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [12]
Mead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Mead, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1801 [12]
  • Owen Mead, aged 34, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [12]
  • John Mead, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [12]
  • John S Mead, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1849 [12]
  • G W Mead, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mead Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. John Mead, (b. 1860), aged 40, Cornish miner, from St Austell, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Etruria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 1st July 1900 en route to Rome, new York, USA [13]
  • Richard Mead, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906 [12]

Canada Mead migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mead Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Garret Mead, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • John Mead, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Joseph Mead, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mary Mead, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • John Mead, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Mead Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Mead, (b. 1836), aged 19, Cornish settler departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he died in the sinking [14]

Australia Mead migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Mead Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Mead, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. Thomas Mead, English convict who was convicted in Derby, Derbyshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Caledonia" in 19th June 1822, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • Mr. William Mead, (Booth, Henry, George), English convict who was convicted in North Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • Miss Hannah Mead, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl of Liverpool" in December 1830, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [18]
  • Mr. John Mead, English convict who was convicted in Essex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [19]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Mead migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Mead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Mead, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • Mary Jane Mead, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
  • William A. Mead, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Clarence" in 1875
  • Mr. James Mead, (b. 1841), aged 42, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Westland" arriving in Hawke's Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand in 1883 [20]
  • Mrs. Louisa Mead, (b. 1841), aged 42, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Westland" arriving in Hawke's Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand in 1883 [20]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Mead migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [21]
Mead Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Mead, who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his wife, children and servants
  • John Mead, who settled in Barbados in 1685 after being banished from the west of England by Judge Jeffreys

Contemporary Notables of the name Mead (post 1700) +

  • Ernest Campbell Mead Jr. (1918-2014), American academic and professor of music in the McIntire Department of Music at the University of Virginia
  • Major-General Armistead Davis Mead (1901-1980), American Chief of Staff 3rd Army (1952-1953) [22]
  • Taylor Mead (1924-2013), American writer, actor, and performer
  • Matthew Hansen "Matt" Mead (b. 1962), American politician, 32nd Governor of Wyoming
  • Sydney Jay "Syd" Mead (b. 1933), American Saturn Award nominated visual futurist and concept artist, best known for his designs for science-fiction films Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron
  • William Rutherford Mead (1846-1928), American architect, co-founder of the firm McKim, Mead, and White
  • Harry Talbott "Chip" Mead Jr. (1950-1993), American racing driver from Dayton, Ohio
  • Margaret Mead (1901-1978), American Cultural Anthropologist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, eponym of the Mead crater on Venus
  • George Herbert Mead (1863-1931), American social psychologist
  • Carver Andress Mead (b. 1934), prominent U.S. computer scientist and professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Stanley Frederick Mead (b. 1906), British Petty Officer Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [23]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John N. Mead, British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [24]


The Mead Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Toujours pret
Motto Translation: Always ready.


Suggested Readings for the name Mead +

  • Descendants of John Page (1614-1687 of Hingham and Haverhill, Massachusetts, Together with Genealogical Records of Certain Branches of the Mead, Jeffers and Hunkins Families by Theda Page Brigham.
  • Jonathan Mead of Rensselaewyck and Some of his Descendants by Cecil Mead Draper.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  5. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  13. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  15. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  16. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/caledonia
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/countess-of-harcourt
  18. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-of-liverpool
  19. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  20. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  21. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  22. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) Armistead Mead. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Mead/Armistead_Davis/USA.html
  23. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  24. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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