Problems with documentation for Mary Awbrey

+10 votes

There seem to be two problems with the documentation for Mary Awbrey

1) Was she really the second wife of John Meador?

2) How was she related to Henry Awbrey?

It seems to me that the second question cannot be dealt with until the first is answered, so I’d really like to focus on that question.

Mary Awbrey is generally accepted as the 2nd wife of John Meador, but where is the documentation?

Sources presently listed on Mary’s profile inc.

1) A Find A Grave Memorial that lacks a photo or any other sources (a typical problem with Find A Grave information), in which the information is challenged by one of the people leaving a note

2) A page that lists Mary Ann Awbrey as Henry’s daughter without documentation; cites a blog that seems to be about social issues and New Age religion; and provides a transcription of Henry Awbrey’s will, which names his wife Mary, and his granddaughter Mary.  (i.e. – nothing to support “Mary Ann” as his daughter, nothing to indicate a marriage between John Meador and anyone named Awbrey.)

Following through, the page leads (from “daughter Mary Ann” to a WorldConnect cited source which leads to a  page for John Meador which cites Meador and Meador, “Meadors Family in Colonial America” to the effect that the name of John Meador’s second wife’s name is unknown.

The same page for “Mary Ann Awbrey” also cites another WorldConnect page, which leads to Janet Ariciu’s page for Mary Aubrey.  Ariciu states that Mary Aubrey married John Meador, with the note “Victor Paul Meador in his book states that John Meador married as his 2nd wife Awbrey”.  She doesn’t say which of Victor Meador’s books she’s referencing, however.

3) A link to Janet Ariciu’s main page.  Following through to her information on John Meador she gives his second wife as “Mrs. Aubrey” b. about 1694, then adds in the same paragraph “Mary Awrey b: 1678”  Her source is unclear, but later she states: “The Meadors family has book "The Meador family" ¶ John Meadors will can found in the book. I copy from the book”  Presumably, this is Meador and Meador, “Meadors Family in Colonial America”, which includes transcriptions of the documents she copes?


In other words, none of the sources cited for Mary Awbrey provide documentation for her marriage to John Meador.  So where does that information come from?

In 1983, Victor Meador and Bernal Meador published “Our Meador Families in Colonial America”, based in extensive (and apparently exhaustive) research in original records.  They state (p. 54) “the name of this second wife [for John Meador] cannot be determined.”

On 20 June 2000, Shirley Seal Breeden (after’s take-over she is now listed as “ user”) posted a message on GenForm in which she said: “John [Meador] remarried a Mary, some think she was the widow of Henry Awbry”

On 8 June 2000, eight days later, a  on the Rootsweb Meadows email list stated in part:  “Where did I get the first name of Mary for "Miss Awbrey/Aubrey?" [as the 2nd wife of John Meador]” . . . ¶ “The references given from FTM and other files I found were:  Our Meador Families in Colonial America by Victor P Meador and Bernal M Meador  (I have not personally seen this reference.)” . . . . ¶ “Shirley Seal Breeden has also recently listed Mary Awbrey as the 2nd wife of John Meadows (b 1858). This is documented in a post by her on the Meadows GenForum posted on June 20, 2000. She does not give her documentation but says she has a new book coming out soon which will give this and other updates from her earlier Meadows book.”

(Note – need I say, neither Meador and Meador nor Shirley Breeden said what was attributed to them?)

So, somewhere between 1983 and 2000 John Meador’s 2nd wife went from being “unknown” to being either “Mary” or “Miss/Mrs. Awbrey” to “Mary Awbrey” and has since acquired additional names.  

Does anyone have any references that would suggest where this information came from?  Is it possible that somewhere someone actually has a reference to a real source?

With apologies for the long post,


WikiTree profile: Mary Awbrey
asked in Genealogy Help by Gayel Knott G2G6 Mach 2 (23.5k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Nice job of putting this information together and writing it in a way it can be easily understood. I personally don't have any information on this line, but I hope some others will chime in.


What Mags said  :D (about nice job)

Henry is maybe the brother of my ancestor, John Awbrey. Janet Ariciu does an amazing job of collecting information about the Awbreys, even if her presentation is a bit jumbled sometimes.

On her page for Henry Awbrey - - she has support that his second wife was Sarah, widow of Thomas Meador. Thomas & Sarah had a daughter named Mary. Small world!

Yes, Janet definitely deserves credit for not only collecting information, but also for putting it out in public where people can see it.  She started doing that a long time ago, when the only choice was to have your own website.
I am having the same problem not being able to prove the relationships I have 1st wife of John Meador asElizabeth White in1677, they had and I have   John 's mother asSarah Hoskins.  Then Mary Awbrey as his 2nd wife in1695-1697 Mary Awbrey's father is Richard Awbrey and mother as Jane Johnstone  I have Henry Aubrey as Richard Awbrey's father with his wife Sarah Born 1637 Henry Awbrey born ? Sarah Awbrey Meador Born about 1675  John Meador Born 1658. Help!!

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
If any of the books had actually quoted a document, the quote would have got copied around and you'd have come across it by now.

I'd take "married as his 2nd wife Awbrey" to be her given name, so I'm a bit suspicious that somebody has come across some such early claim, baseless or not, and interpreted it deviously to manufacture a chance to identify her.

Henry is said to have called his wife Mary in his will.  So the statement that John's wife was called Mary would follow, if (and only if) John's wife was Henry's widow.  But it's not evidence in support of that claim, if it might be a deduction from it.

Then at some point she becomes Henry's daughter.  This seems to be an internet invention.  My guess would be that somebody couldn't find a daughter called Mary, but they thought they'd found a daughter called Ann, so they made her Mary Ann.  Happens all the time.
answered by RJ Horace G2G6 Pilot (433k points)
selected by Gayel Knott
Thanks, that's pretty much my guess.  It's like that old story of "How many did you kill" where (I think) flies become soldiers and 10 becomes thousands.  Have a few family stories like that, too.
+1 vote
Henry Awbrey did have one daughter from his first marriage, but her name is not Mary.  I am a little surprised that Mary Awbrey still remains listed on Wikitree as his daughter as that is incorrect.  Henry Awbrey's daughter was named Alice.  Alice married Thomas Gouldman.

On January 2, 1674, Alice appointed Henry Awbrey as her attorney to acknowledge her interest in two hundred acres of land sold unto Luke Hamilton and James Harper.  Appointing Henry Awbrey as her attorney proves that Alice may have been his daughter.  Unfortunately, some researchers have chosen to ignore that evidence.

In any case, Mary Awbrey should be removed as she is not Henry Awbrey's daughter, even if more research needs to be done regarding Alice.
answered by
I'm still researching. It takes me a while to create a profile (I'm probably the slowest WikiTree member - takes me forever to do a merge too.)

WikiTree is totally free - you're welcome to join & help straighten things out!

Regarding detaching Mary as Henry's daughter... I think she should remain attached, for the reasons I gave, but I think the final call would be Gayel's, since she's done so much work on the subject and is the manager of that profile.
Oh, okay.  I got it now.  That explains the real reason for the sudden hesitation with Alice and why Mary remains listed as Henry Awbrey's daughter, even though it is incorrect.

Anyway, if you or other members would still like some more documentation or Wills on the Awbreys, Gouldmans, Tomlins, Foxes, etc., including, Robert Tomlin's Will (witnessed by Henry Awbrey in 1683) who was the father of Martha Tomlin wife of Edward Gouldman.  Let me know.

In the meantime, I am still debating about becoming a member.  This discussion has given me a lot to think about.
Hi, Liz,

And here I was thinking it should be someone from Henry's side to detach Mary from Henry, because I'm not related to the Awbreys.  :-)  In fact, was just going to message that it was fine with me if you want to do it.  With your comment, I will go ahead and detach her, but leave the links to Henry in the text.
Also, thanks , Liz, for the sources you are finding.  Looks like I may want to check some of them out.

This, to me, is the real advantage of a good wiki site -- everyone brings different sources, and the resulting profiles are improved.  I've had to change a few people that I thought I knew, because other people had better information and sources.  On the other hand, there have been some amazing "gifts", as other people have found great sources that I never would have. But it does all go back to sources, and getting them out there to be seen.
For sure! Thomas & Francis (Gouldman) now have a dad - Gouldman-23. I'm still not finding support for Alice being Henry's daughter. I've posted to his profile page, asking the managers to take a look at this discussion. (I descend from his brother, John.)

I've been working with Stuart Awbrey for a while now & I'm not seeing Alice as daughter of Henry mentioned in any of the notes he's sent me (but we mostly discuss the ancestry, rather than the descendants).

Cousin, um, Guest? (Did you say your name but I missed it?) Anyway, yes please - would love a copy of Robert Tomlin's will. The link on Tomlin-458 to the will shows beginning & end but skips the middle. Does it name his three daughters? His profile has a daughter Rebecca attached already, so Martha and one other. Any sons other than Robert?

Thanks again!

re: joining WikiTree - it's painless to join. And totally free (unless you consider time & become as addicted as I am). But I've found that the more you do, the more there is to do and (conversely) the less you do, the less there is to do. You do not have to add your branches to the tree (although it would be helpful if you did, considering the sources you have!). I was recently asked what was the easiest volunteer job by someone I greeted. Well, they'd already done it - created their profile, added a tag or two, and clicked the Volunteer button. Once they sign the Honor Code, they're a full mebmer and can add their branches (or not), join a project (or not), or collaborate on profiles for shared ancestors (which you're already doing).

Once you get a DNA test, you'll want to be connected to the main tree so that WikiTree can propagate the info to the appropriate profiles (you'll notice links in the DNA section of a profile to people who have told WikiTree they've taken a DNA test and that the tree they've built in WikiTree shows their connection to the person's profile they show up on... see for example, Henry's profile (Awbrey-3) shows just Stuart in the DNA section; his brother's profile (Awbrey-38) shows Stuart & my Dad (too many generations back for me... I show up in his son's profile, Francis Awbrey-35).

So... if you joined WikiTree & built your tree up & had a DNA test, we would DEFINITELY add Alice as a daughter for Henry, so we could see all the foks you might match with. (And that's pretty much decided me that we will add her as his daughter - I'm sure there are other descendants of Alice "probably Henry's daughter" out there.) Part of my hesitation is that I don't like to create a profile just to orphan it, but I try to keep my watchlist to lineal ancestors or close collateral ancestors. Thomas Gouldman and wife Alice (regardless of her father) are not profiles that I would normally keep on my watchlist. If you joined, you could be their manager!

Cheers, Liz

I descend from John as a well and I would a agree that being a attorney doesn't mean father of or kin of. Henry made his living on land speculation and getting colonist to settle them. This for me looks like a land sale from Alice to Luke Hamilton and James Harper

KNOW ALL MEN by these presents that I ALICE GOULDMAN doe constitute and appoint Mr. HENRY AUBREY my attorney to acknowledge my interest in Two hundred acres of land sold unto LUKE HAMILTON and JAMES HARPER and for confirmation hereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seale this 2 day of Jany 1674 Test WILLIAM JEWELL, ALICE GOULDMAN RICHARD HAILE Recordatr '5 die Jany 1674s here father.

It does look like Henry's children needs to be cleaned up and Henry's granddaugther did marry a Gouldman so that kinship is there, I dont know if its directly related to Alice.

So, I've been working on Gouldman profiles, looking at the Tomlin profiles, and just finished redoing Children/Possible Children sections in Henry's profile - see

And... I'm actually becoming more convinced that she is NOT a daughter of Henry. The Mary who was disconnected I think probably came about from the Hoppin book, which lists two unnamed daughters, "a daughter who married Philip Maguire, and, perhaps, another daughter who married Mr. Francis Gouldman" from the HathiTrust online copy, but quoted by Janet Ariciu as "a daughter who married Philip Maguire, and, Alice another daughter who married Mr. Thomas Gouldman."

I think more likely is that Hoppin based a daughter of Henry Awbrey who married Francis Gouldman on Francis's wife Mary Meador (who would have been in Henry's household, as a minor daughter of his second wife by her first husband). Francis Gouldman's parents were Thomas Gouldman and Alice _____.  I just don't see that there's evidence for a daughter of Henry's named Alice (although I'd be intrigued to know more about "Alice Long (att Sheppey[?]) dec'd" whose daughter Katherine Long is named in his 1694 will... I thought it might be [this person], but that profile has an abstract of her 1716 will).

So... for now, I've just created a profile for Thomas Gouldman - a known close associate of Henry Awbrey - who has profiles attached for his sons Francis and Thomas (which had already been created) but not a profile for his wife Alice (who at this point would be Alice Unknown) or his son Edward or daughter-in-law (in the modern sense) Martha Tomlin.

I'll leave Edward & Martha for their descendants.

I'm still looking for information & input about Alice, Thomas Gouldman's widow (Dec. 1694) & who married Arthur Forbes before she died in 1698.


This is another source stating that Alice was the daughter of Henry Awbrey. 

Warner, Charles Willard Hoskins, Hoskins of Virginia and related families: Hundley, Ware, Roy, Garnett, Waring, Bird, Buckner, Dunbar, Trible, Booker, Aylett, Carter, Upshaw. (Warner, Tappahannock, Va.: unknown, 1971), Page 266

 As I said, it matters not to me whether Alice is or is not Henry Awbrey's daughter.  I already have two proven Gateway Ancestors in my family tree.  I just felt that Mary Awbrey needed to be removed as she never existed and I was also curious about your opinions on Alice.

This will be my last comment on the subject. This discussion was a lot of fun. :)

The daughter who married the Evans was Susanna and she was Henry Awbrey's step-daughter. She was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Meador as was Mary who was supposed to have married the Gouldman. Unfortunately Mary's marriage cannot be proven and is a supposition based on Richard Awbrey's will.
0 votes

I found the following information and while it does not answer your question it may help in your research.

Sanders, Christine C. The Chilton Family of Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, and Texas. Dallas, Tex.] (4329 Edmondson Ave., Dallas 75205-2601: C.C. Sanders, 2002. Print. pgs 38, 39

Dinah Meador daughter of John Meador and unkown Awbrey married George Tribble and it lists their children. It states Dinah was born about 1696 and died about 1738 in Caroline County, Virginia. After her death George married Ann Riddle daughter of John Riddle.

Huckins, Lenore C. Recollections, Relatives, Roots: Clemo, Henderer, Traylor and Other Kin. Drain, OR: L.C. Huckins, 1995. Print. pg 179

John Meador 2nd wife surname Awbrey bore him 9 children. Jonas Meador b. 1700 Essex County, Virginia d. May 5, 1768 Cumberland, Virginia lists Awbrey as his mother, wife was listed as Frances Anderson.

answered by Sharon Glover G2G1 (2k points)
Thanks for the suggestions.  Unfortunately, neither book seems to provide sources.
Although the sources aren't listed in the snippet of information from the google books link  the actual books in their entirety might list sources. You can click on one of the links and to your left it will say find in library. Good luck.

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