Show ContentsMeers History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Meers 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 Meers family

The surname Meers 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]

Ancient rolls include various early spellings: Robert atte Mere was listed in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1269 and Adam del Mere was recorded in Yorkshire in 1307. [3]

Early History of the Meers family

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

Meers Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Meers family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Meers family to Ireland

Some of the Meers 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 Meers migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Meers Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hannah Meers, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [4]
  • Henry Meers, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [4]
  • Ann Meers, who landed in Maryland in 1677 [4]
  • John Meers, who arrived in Maryland in 1679 [4]
Meers Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Meers, who landed in New York in 1794 [4]

Australia Meers migration to Australia +

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

Meers Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Meers, (Mears), (b. 1753), aged 68, English milliner who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for life for house breaking, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1833 [5]
  • James Meers, aged 33, a shepherd, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Constance" [6]

New Zealand Meers 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:

Meers Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Meers, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861
  • Julia E. Meers, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1861

Contemporary Notables of the name Meers (post 1700) +

  • Gilbert F. Meers, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Buchanan County 3rd District, 1940 [7]
  • Arthur J. Meers, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of St. Joseph, Missouri, 1961-66 [7]
  • William Meers (1844-1902), English cricketer who played for Kent in 1866
  • Ernest George Meers (1848-1928), English tennis player who was ranked No. 5 in 1888; he won Wimbledon in 1885 and the US Open in 1889
  • Nick Meers (b. 1955), British landscape photographer
  • Nelson John Meers AO (b. 1938), Australian lawyer, 77th Lord Mayor of Sydney (1978-1980)

  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1849. Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook