John Meador [15042]
Mary "Ann" Awbrey [15044]
Jonas Meador Sr. [29615]
(Abt 1698-1768)
Frances Hudgens [15072]
Josiah Francis Meadows [20671]


Family Links

1. Lavinia Moody [20672]

2. Mary Kesiah Bell [20673]

Josiah Francis Meadows [20671]

  • Born: 1738, Caroline County, Virginia
  • Marriage (1): Lavinia Moody [20672] about 1755 in Amelia County, Virginia
  • Marriage (2): Mary Kesiah Bell [20673] in 1758 in Orange County, Virginia
  • Died: Nov 20, 1836, Virginia at age 98

bullet  General Notes:

Notes for Josiah Francis Meadows

Josiah Francis Meadows rarely, if ever, used his full name. He was known as Francis, Frank, Josiah and Joshua; and changed surnames when it suited him; Meadows, Meador. Family sources have relied on the names of the children of Josiah Francis Meadows to keep track of the father. Further, there is great confusion among researchers, family genealogist and others between Josiah Francis Meadows/Meador and two of his sons; Josiah and Francis, often confusing their histories. We will attempt to sort this out using public records only. Our private sources are not published but they do support these findings.

In Historical Southern Families, Vol IV, Meadors-Meadows of Essex County, Virginia, page 133, Frances Hudgens' will is shown as made in Cumberland County, Virginia on 17 August 1774. In her will (she was widowed) she names at least some of her children: Mary Holland; Frances Holloway; John Meador; Josiah Meador; Joel Meador; Jehu Meador; Joab Meador; Jesse Meador. Apparently Josiah Meador is his childhood name. We noted that Frances Hudgens did not identify any of her children in her will by using middle names.

Up until this point in the Meadows/Meador lineage, the family faithfully named the male children with biblical names beginning with "J". Josiah Francis in his adulthood was a free soul and this naming tradition ended with him. Another aspect of naming traditions is to name one male child after the grandfather and one after the father, usually the first and third sons. (Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fisher) Several of Josiah Francis' siblings did manage to name descendents after Jonas (father) but Josiah Francis named two sons after himself, the first and thirds sons, Josiah and Francis, which by itself was a naming tradition.

War Records

Josiah Francis Meadows/Meador - - 1774 Dunmore's War - Francis Meadows served as a private under Captain Alexander McClannehan during Lord Dunmore's War, which was fought on the Virginia frontier in 1774. He served for a total of 122 days, and he received 9 pounds and 3 shillings in pay.

SRC: Library of Virginia, Digital Library Program, Payrolls and Muster Rolls from Dunmore's War, part of the record of the Executive Branch, Auditor of Public Accounts, (Record Group 48) at page 106. Josiah Francis participated in the Dunmore's War and he was among the 1,000 men who fought the Battle of Point Pleasant.

In the "Statement of Monroe County, Virginia", Military Records: Revolutionary War Pension Lists: Pension Roll of 1835, Volume III, Virginia, page 721 - Francis Meadows is shown to be receiving a pension of $96.00 per year beginning 16 Jun 1818 when he was 80 years of age. This indicates his birth year to be 1738. This is our Josiah Francis Meadows using a different name. Also, this is apparently evidence that he was alive after 1818 and most likely he was alive at the time of this publication (1835).

In a similar statement prepared by the State of West Virginia; "The Soldiery of West Virginia, West Virginians Who Were Soldiers & Pensioners in the Revolutionary War, page 80", the information is exactly as it appears in the above Virginia statement. Francis was alive until at least 16 Jun 1818.
(Son) Francis Meadows, born 1754; died 20 December 1836. (Reproduced as it appears in the record - West Virginians in the American Revolution, Surnames, M-N, page 193). Enlisted, Augusta County, Virginia, in February 1777, and served until 1781 under Captain Laird and Lamb, Tenth Virginia Regiment, Continental Establishment, commanded by Colonels Green, Wood, and Wheaton. He was married in the fall of 1790 or 1791 in the County of Rockingham to Frances Bush, who was born in 1772. They received pension in Monroe County, in 1819 at which time they had sixteen children, twelve of whom were sons. Six, under the age of 14 years of age, remained at home. Supporting data in their case was filed by Jonathan Roach, Elizabeth Fisher, and Henry Maggart. This is a SON of Josiah Francis Meadows/Meador.
(Son) Josiah Meadows. (As it appears in West Virginians in the American Revolution, Surnames, M-N, page 193) Enlisted, Bedford County, Virginia, in 1778 under Lieutenants Isaac Hyler and Hiddens, and Captain Joseph Renfroe largely in frontier service against the Indians. He saw service on Wolf Creek in Monroe County and at Fort Donnally near Lewisburg. He also marched through Tennessee to Chickamauga in Georgia, fighting back the Indians from the frontier which was then along the Blue Ridge and Cumberland mountains. After this expedition, he took part in George Rogers Clark's expedition into Illinois country. In 1781, as a substitute for John Mitchell of Bedford County, he helped convey prisoners to Fredricksburg, Virginia. After his service, he returned to the Bluestone Valley where he married a daughter of Robert Lilly, who had settled there ten years earlier. He received pension in Summers or Mercer County, Virginia in 1832. Supporting data was filed by John Neely and Bannister Meadows. This is another SON of Josiah Francis Meadows.

A Statement of Pension, Giles County, Virginia (Pension Roll of 1835, Volume III, Virginia, page 778) shows Josiah Meadows receiving $76.00 per year beginning 19 November 1832 at age 76 which places his year of birth as 1756. A Census of Pensioners for Virginia - Western District - 1840 Census of the Revolutionary War, State of Virginia-Western District, page 135 shows Josiah Meadows, age 83 living with son Green Meadows.

From Historical Southern Families, Vol IV, Meadors-Meadows of Essex County, Virginia, page 134 - "Josiah Meadows, born 1758, entered service in Bedford County and received a pension; he was a gospel minister." Son of Josiah Francis Meadows/Meador.
The Register of Virginians in the Revolution, page 541; includes Francis Meadows, Francis Meadows of Monroe, Israel Meadows, and Josiah Meadows - clearly distinguishing between these four subjects.

What We Don't Know

The record indicates that Josiah Meador was given this name by his parents and apparently he was addressed as such by his parents. Often a given name is forgotten and a nickname is used. In our own database we find this hundreds of times, particularly in the 1800's. The Meadors/Meadows line used biblical names starting with the letter "J" for their sons, but this led to confusion through repetition. An examination of patterns seems to show a more frequent use of middle names, thereby distinguishing one Meador/Meadows from another. We won't know for certain that Josiah Meador was named Josiah Francis Meador until we locate a birth record. We do know that he used the Francis name beginning about the time he entered the service and participated in the Dunsmore's War. As family legend has it, Francis and his first wife were charged with treason against the British and this may have been the reason he changed his name to an alias or a middle name with a derivative surname; i,e, Francis Meadows. This isn't the first time we have seen this practice.

Pension and military campaign records make the distinction between father and sons very sharply. This, however, has raised a question as to the date of death of Josiah Francis Meadows. Almost certainly he was alive in June 1818 and there is an inference that he lived at into the year 1835.

For Josiah Francis Meadows' first marriage we still rely on family legend which also tells us that Josiah was something of a loose cannon. As the story goes, both Lavinia Moody and Josiah Francis Meadows committed some sort of treason against the British and they fled. Shirley Seal Breeden states that there was a treason charge against Francis Sr. per a 1760 Court Order Book, but she isn't certain which Virginia County it was (Franklin or Bedford County). At this time they went their separate ways. We understood that there were two children involved, but the records, based on dates of birth, indicate four children. It isn't clear who raised these children.


Francis, as he was known, came to the Blue Ridge Mountains in March 1770 and settled at the head of Hawksbill Creek in Augusta County, Virginia. Marriage records in Orange County show that he married Mary Keziah Bell in 1758, Francis lived on top of the mountain where Big Meadows is located. The county line dividing Rockingham and Orange counties runs through his property; the house in Orange County, the barn in Rockingham County. He paid taxes in Orange County.

There is a cemetery on the mountain called the Thomas Meadows graveyard located about a mile down the west side of the Blue Ridge from Lewis Mountain. It is located near the old Meadows Schoolhouse.

Francis bought this land from the Peter Nichols patent, 1,708 acres and it is now in Page County, Virginia.
Courtesy of Curt Sytsma:

1754. BIRTH OF FRANCIS MEADOWS II. In about 1754, Francis Meadows became the father of a son named Francis. Documentary proof of the father-son relationship may be found in the 1770 survey of lands by Francis Meadows I and Cornelius White coupled with the 1794 re-survey of part of those lands by Francis Meadows II. See 1770 Survey, infra. CA.

1757 BIRTH. In about 1757, Francis Meadows I became the father of a son, James Meadows. Thus, James Meadows of Rockingham County, Virginia, testified on February 10, 1845, regarding the Pension Application of Docia Lee Maiden Hall, widow of James Maiden (or Madden); James Meadows stated that, on February 10, 1845, he was 88 years of age to the best of his belief, which establishes a birth year of about 1757. He also testified that he was a brother of Francis Meadows and that Francis and James Madden had served together in Captain David Laird's command for three years. Since we have independent docmentation that Francis Meadows II was a son of Francis Meadows I (and that Francis Meadows II did, indeed, perform such service under Capt. Laird), we have documentation that James Meadows was also a son of Francis Meadows I. SOURCE: George Gleghorn, <> (citing Revolutionary War Pension Application of Docia Lee Maiden Hall, widow of James Maiden; 1750-1845; File 5098, National Archives, Washington, D.C.)

1770 LAND SURVEY. "Abstract of Surveys, Book O-1, Page 166. Francis Meadow, 80 acres, North Fork of the Hawksbill. March 15, 1770." SOURCE: Peter Cline Kaylor, Abstract of Land Grant Surveys: 1761-1791 (Rockingham Historical Society: Harrisonburg, Virginia 1938, reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Co.: Baltimore 1976) at page 60. Curt Sytsma Notes: The following day, March 16, 1770, Cornelius White surveyed 150 acres on the North Fork of the Hawksbill, "adjoining Meadow." Curt Sytsma notes: "Survey for Francis MEADOWS assignee of John Magret of Peter Nicholas for 100 A. He desires to locate on the 'Hollow' where his Father bought the barns and on the survey of a 150 A joining MEADOWS in the name of Cornelius White. North fork of the Hawksbill." SOURCE: Meadows Heritage Newsletter, September 1993, at page 23 (citing Rockingham Co., VA Land Warrant Book, page 205). The reference to the 150 acres surveyed by Cornelius White is clearly the land surveyed in 1770, which was adjacent to the land surveyed in that year by Francis Meadows I. In other words, this appears to be a document in which Francis Meadows II specifically identifies Francis Meadows I as his deceased father. He also describes a part of the land that his father had purchased in 1770.

Whether Josiah Francis Meadows/Meador was the full name awarded by his parents, we may never know. While going through life it is clear through wills, land transactions and war records that our subject used all of these names. We speculate, based on family legend, that Josiah Francis was attempting to hide from his past and most likely found it convenient to adjust his identity from time to time. A hero in war, his record is clear and separate from three of his sons; Francis, Josiah and Israel as is his pension record. Add to this the obvious belief by many that this is the correct record, many of them family, we stand by our conclusions.


bullet  Noted events in his life were:

Source:. 1. Cumberland County Historical Society - "Cumberland County Virginia and its people - 1833" pgs 154 & 155.


Josiah married Lavinia Moody [20672], daughter of Robert Moody [17842] and Unknown, about 1755 in Amelia County, Virginia. (Lavinia Moody [20672] was born on Mar 12, 1730 in Prince George. Bristol Parish, Virginia and died after 1798.)


Josiah next married Mary Kesiah Bell [20673], daughter of John Bell [15201] and Unknown, in 1758 in Orange County, Virginia. (Mary Kesiah Bell [20673] was born on Nov 20, 1736 in Orange County, Virginia and died in 1818.)

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