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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Meadows family come from? What is the English Meadows family crest and coat of arms? When did the Meadows family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Meadows family history?

The name Meadows is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in or near a meadow. The surname Meadows is derived from the Old English words męd and mędwe, which both mean meadow. The surname Meadows belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.


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 Meadows family name include Meadowes, Meadows, Meadow, Meddows, Meddus, Meadus, Medus, Medis and many more.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meadows research. Another 264 words(19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meadows History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Meadows Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Meadows family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 119 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, 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 Meadows surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Meadows Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Philip Meadows, who landed in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1642

Meadows Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Elizabeth Meadows and her husband settled in Annapolis in 1758

Meadows Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Robert C Meadows, aged 33, arrived in Connecticut in 1812
  • E Meadows, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • James and John Meadows settled in Philadelphia in 1860

Meadows Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Meadows, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749

Meadows Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Meadows arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846
  • James Meadows arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "British Sovereign" in 1847
  • David Meadows arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hindoo" in 1848
  • Henry Meadows arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Poictiers" in 1848
  • William Meadows arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Emily" in 1849

Meadows Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Henry Meadows, aged 25, a carpenter, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1874
  • Mary Meadows, aged 25, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1874
  • Frederick Meadows, aged 1, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1874


  • Mark Meadows, American plitician, member of the Michigan State House of Representatives
  • Audrey Meadows (1922-1996), American actress best known for her role as Alice Kramden on the 1950s American television comedy The Honeymooners
  • Jayne Meadows (b. 1920), American actress
  • Matthew Brian Meadows (b. 1975), retired Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Henry Lee "Specs" Meadows (1894-1963), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Tim Meadows (b. 1961), American actor and comedian, one of the longest running cast members on Saturday Night Live
  • Donella H. "Dana" Meadows (1941-2001), American environmental scientist, teacher and writer
  • Edwin Lionel "Punky" Meadows (b. 1950), American guitarist
  • Robert Meadows, English politician, Lord Mayor of Liverpool (1972-73)
  • Shane Meadows (b. 1972), English BAFTA winning film director, screenwriter



  • Daniel Meadows and his Descendants by Michal Martin Farmer.
  • History and Genealogical Data of the Poynor, Burns, Meadows, Sudberry, and Conyer Families by Marion Joyce Poynor.

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: Mea dos virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue is my dower.


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  11. ...

The Meadows Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Meadows Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 December 2014 at 11:17.

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