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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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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

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  • Jayne Meadows (1920-2015), born Jane Meadows Cotter, an American three-time Emmy Award nominated actress, elder sister of actress Audrey Meadows
  • Edwin Lionel "Punky" Meadows (b. 1950), American guitarist
  • Donella H. "Dana" Meadows (1941-2001), American environmental scientist, teacher and writer
  • Tim Meadows (b. 1961), American actor and comedian, one of the longest running cast members on Saturday Night Live
  • Henry Lee "Specs" Meadows (1894-1963), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Matthew Brian Meadows (b. 1975), retired Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Audrey Meadows (1922-1996), American actress best known for her role as Alice Kramden on the 1950s American television comedy The Honeymooners
  • Mark Meadows, American plitician, member of the Michigan State House of Representatives
  • Shane Meadows (b. 1972), English BAFTA winning film director, screenwriter
  • Robert Meadows, English politician, Lord Mayor of Liverpool (1972-73)

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  • 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.
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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. 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.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  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 21 June 2015 at 14:47.

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