Samuel Meacham

SAMUEL MEACHAM I was born in 1712 and died sometime after 1754. He married Bethia Pease (1709-1778), the daughter of Robert Pease (1669-????) and Hannah Warriner (1674-1774). Hannah was the daughter of Joseph Warriner (1645-1697) and Mary Montague (1649-1689). (The Montague or De Montacute family was descended from royalty, and had a genealogy claimed to be traced back to Adam and Eve -- given in the Mecham Family Book of Remembrance). Mary Montague was also descended from families Downing, Allen, Bullock, Cotton, Malthus (Malthouse), Kingsmill, Bloise, Norris, Gifford, and Nottingham.

The 9 children of SAMUEL MEACHAM I and BETHIA PEASE were:

      1.MARY (md. ELIAS RANDALL);
    **3.SAMUEL II (md. PHEBE MAIN);
      7.BENJAMIN (unmarried);
      8.SETH (md. LOIS PRINDLE); and
      9.NEHEMIAH (prob. died young).

SAMUEL MEACHAM II (son of Samuel Meacham I and Bethia Pease) was born Nov. 15, 1739, in Norwich, Connecticut and married Phebe Main March 31, 1763 at Stonington, New London, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Thomas Main and Anna Brown, born Nov. 16, 1747 at Stonington, New London, Connecticut. Samuel II moved from Connecticut to New Hampshire, where he was one of the original grantees of Canaan, New Hampshire, in 1761. (Canaan, New Hampshire is only 25 or 30 miles from Sharon, Vermont, where the prophet Joseph Smith was born in 1805).

Samuel Meacham II served in the Revolutionary War, in Captain John Welles' Company, Colonel Chase's regiment of Militia, which was called out in response to the alarm of Oct. 20, 1780.

According to Polly Derby Mecham,

"Samuel's joining with the soldiers of the Revolution was very sudden. He left his family home for the purpose of gathering up some firewood in the adjoining forest, telling his family that he would be right back. While in the forest a group of men came dashing towards him, telling him that they were in urgent need of his services, and to join them immediately. This he did, not having time to tell his family of his whereabouts. At the finish of his service in the army (months or years later), he came by the forest, gathered up some firewood, and took it home just as if he hadn't been gone at all."

Samuel Meacham II and Phebe Main Meacham were the parents of 17 children, all of whom reached their maturity, married, and raised large families. The children were

      1.PHEBE (md. EZEKIEL WELLS);
      4.Dr. THOMAS (md. 1-SARAH BOND or CAULEY and
                        2-REBECCA SANFORD);
      7.ELAM (md. MARY WILLIAMS;
      8.JOSEPH (md. 1-SARAH BASFORD and
                    2-LUCINA HARMON);
     11.OLIVE (md. AMOS WORTHEN);
     12.SARAH (md. 1-ANDREW MAIN,
                   2-MOSES FALL, and
     13.ANNA (md JOHN GARDNER);
     14.OLIVE (md. 1-JAMES STREATOR and
                   2-DAVID BRADBURY);
     15. ? - female (married JAMES KIDDER);
     16.MIRIAM (md. ASA KIMBALL); and

(Three of these brothers, Joshua, Elam, and Joseph Mecham, and most of their adult children and families, joined the LDS Church around 1836 and moved to Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo. These three and their descendants changed the spelling and pronunciation of their surname from Meacham to Mecham, "and have almost created or originated a new family" according to one Meacham family researcher in the eastern states. Some descendants of another of the brothers, Dr. Thomas Meacham, joined the Church later in New York state, but kept the spelling of their surname as Meacham).

All of Samuel's children were born in Canaan, Grafton County, New Hampshire, with the exception of the oldest daughter Phebe. She was born in Stonington, New London, Connecticut, where her mother had gone home to her family for the first confinement. Samuel's sons Joseph, Joshua, Elam, and son-in-law James Kidder together with their families moved to Mercer, Erie County, Pennsylvania; while Dr. Thomas, Jeremiah, Andres, and Samuel together with their families moved to St. Lawrence County, New York (near Meacham Lake). The lake was named by Dr. Thomas Meacham, and it is located in the Adirondacks. Dr. Thomas became a frontier physician of some repute. He was skilled in the used of herbs, and avoided the practice of drawing blood from the sick which was customary in those days. He also became a successful trapper in the Adirondack Mountains. Some of his children later joined the LDS Church and joined their cousins in the west.

It must have been difficult for the parents Samuel and Phebe Main Meacham to see their children and families load their belongings and start on their various journeys to far-away places. It was, however, a general practice among the settlers of their day to move on to new land as the old lost its productive value. No doubt, Samuel and Phebe were comforted with the thought that their children would improve their economic conditions as they moved to new areas. After the general exodus of their family, Samuel and Phebe stayed and lived out their days in Grafton County, New Hampshire. Samuel Mecham II died Jan. 22, 1811, at the age of 71. Mother Phebe Main Meacham died around 1845, at the age of 98.

Information Compiled
by Karen Bray Keeley

INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra S. Bray