Meades History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Meades 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 Meades family

The surname Meades 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 Meades family

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

Meades Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Meades family name include Mead, Meade, Meades and others.

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

Ireland Migration of the Meades family to Ireland

Some of the Meades 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 Meades migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Meades surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Meades Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Meades, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 [8]
  • Tho Meades, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [8]
  • John Meades, who arrived in Maryland in 1655-1658 [8]
  • Thomas Meades, who arrived in Maryland in 1660 [8]
  • Randall Meades, who arrived in Maryland in 1668 [8]

HMS Dorsetshire
  • Arthur Ernest Meades (d. 1945), British Petty Officer Cook aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [9]


The Meades 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. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html


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