Mears History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Mears surname is thought to derive from either the Old English word "mere," meaning "pond," or from "maere," which meant "boundary." In either case, the name was probably topographic, taken on by someone who lived near one these features.

Early Origins of the Mears family

The surname Mears was first found in Somerset at Meare, a village and civil parish in the union of Wells, hundred of Glaston-Twelve-Hides, north west of Glastonbury. Nearby is Meare Lake Village, the site of an Iron Age settlement. The Abbot's Fish House was built in the 14th century when Adam of Sodbury was the abbot of Glastonbury Abbey. One of the first records of the place name was as Mere, which was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] The place name literally means "place at the pool or lake." [2]

Early History of the Mears family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mears research. Another 62 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1634, 1715 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Mears History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mears Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Meares, Mear, Mears, Meer, Meere and others.

Early Notables of the Mears family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Mears Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Mears family to Ireland

Some of the Mears family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mears migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mears Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Mears, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1638 [3]
  • John Mears, who arrived in Virginia in 1666 [3]
Mears Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Mears, who landed in America in 1794 [3]
Mears Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Jeames Mears, who landed in America in 1807 [3]
  • Thomas Mears, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [3]
  • Caroline Mears, aged 16, who landed in Key West, Fla in 1838 [3]
  • John Mears, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [3]
  • Frank Mears, aged 27, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1868 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Mears migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mears Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Francis Mears, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Francis Mears, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Eliza Mears, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Mears Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Mears, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bridgetown" departing 3rd July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 29th August 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia Mears migration to Australia +

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

Mears Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Mears, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1846 [5]
  • Isabella Mears, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Punjab"

New Zealand Mears 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:

Mears Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Mears, aged 39, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Susannah Mears, aged 43, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Mears, aged 16, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • William Mears, aged 15, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Jane Mears, aged 14, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Mears (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Mears (1775-1832), American-born, Canadian businessman and politician in Upper Canada
  • Ray Mears (1926-2007), American collegiate basketball coach at Wittenberg University (1957-1962) and the University of Tennessee (1963-1977)
  • Rick Ravon Mears (b. 1951), retired American race car driver, four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race
  • John Henry Mears (1878-1956), American Broadway producer and adventurer
  • Helen Farnsworth Mears (1872-1916), American sculptor
  • Casey Mears (b. 1978), American NASCAR race driver
  • William C. Mears, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arkansas 3rd District, 1978 [6]
  • William Mears, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1888 [6]
  • William Mears, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Illinois, 1813-19; Illinois State Attorney General, 1819-21 [6]
  • Grant S. Mears, American Republican politician, Member of Nebraska State House of Representatives 20th District, 1915 [6]
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ 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. 89)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1846. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1846Hooghly.htm
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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