Meade History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Meade 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 Meade family

The surname Meade 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 Meade family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meade 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 Meade History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Meade Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Meade are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Meade include: Mead, Meade, Meades and others.

Early Notables of the Meade 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 Meade Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Meade Ranking

In the United States, the name Meade is the 1,265th most popular surname with an estimated 24,870 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Meade family to Ireland

Some of the Meade 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 Meade migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Meade or a variant listed above:

Meade Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sarah Meade, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [9]
  • Thomas Meade, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [9]
  • William Meade, aged 27, who arrived in Virginia in 1683 [9]
  • Andrew Meade, who arrived in New York in 1685 [9]
Meade Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joanna Meade, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1712-1713 [9]
  • Nicholas Meade, who landed in New York in 1789 [9]
Meade Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Meade, who arrived in America in 1807 [9]
  • Patrick Meade, who arrived in America in 1810 [9]
  • Catherine Meade, aged 29, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1812 [9]
  • Alpede Meade, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1830 [9]
  • Anthony Meade, aged 18, who landed in New York in 1854 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Meade Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Richard Meade, who landed in Arkansas in 1906 [9]

Canada Meade migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Meade Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Meade, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Judy Meade, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Mr. James Meade, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Jessie" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [10]
  • Miss. Johanna Meade who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ann Kenny" departing from the port of Waterford, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [10]
  • Mr. John Meade, aged 24 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Henry" departing from the port of Donegal, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Meade migration to Australia +

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

Meade Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Meade, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Elijah Meade, (b. 1822), aged 19, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • Honor Meade, aged 15, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tory" in 1850 [13]
  • Ellen Meade, aged 33, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"

New Zealand Meade 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:

Meade Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Margaret Meade, (b. 1847), aged 20, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship " Lancashire Witch" sailing to Auckland and Lyttelton, New Zealand on 29th July 1867 [14]

Contemporary Notables of the name Meade (post 1700) +

  • Richie Meade (b. 1955), American lacrosse coach
  • James "Jim" Gordon Meade (1914-1977), American NFL football player who played from 1939 to 1940
  • Richard Worsam Meade III (1837-1897), American officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War
  • Richard Worsam Meade II (1807-1870), American officer in the United States Navy, father of Richard Worsam Meade III
  • Tyson Todd Meade (b. 1962), American musician, painter, writer, teacher, and disc jockey
  • Alexa Meade (b. 1986), American body paint artist
  • Mary Meade (1923-2003), American film actress, a Goldwyn Girl, known for her roles in T-Men (1947), Assigned to Danger (1948) and In This Corner (1948)
  • Emily Meade (b. 1989), American film and television actress
  • Brigadier-General Frank Celestine Meade (1896-1978), American Director of Communications Branch, European Theater of Operations (1944-1946) [15]
  • George Gordon Meade (1815-1872), American Union general, best known for defeating Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863
  • ... (Another 36 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight TWA 800
  • Ms. Sandra J. Meade (1954-1996), from Camano Island, Washington, USA, American TWA crew member flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [16]


The Meade 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.


  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. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 46)
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-clarke
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THE TORY 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Tory.gif
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) Frank Meade. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Meade/Frank_Celestine/USA.html
  16. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm


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