John Mead Sr
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John Mead Sr (abt. 1634 - 1699)

John Mead Sr
Born about in Watford, Hertfordshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1657 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2010 | Last significant change: 27 Oct 2021
23:40: Karen St. Jean edited the Biography for John Mead Sr (abt.1634-1699). (Edit Ancestry Source and add second free page.) [Thank Karen for this]
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The Birth Date is a rough estimate. See the text for details.
The Puritan Great Migration.
John Mead Sr migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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This profile is part of the Mead Name Study.

Disputed Origins (and Relations)

Mother's Name: The name of John's mother has been uncertain until recently. Early genealogical work by Spencer P Mead contained some errors and omissions which unfortunately persist today. John's mother is identified only as ______ by S. P. Mead (Pg 186). It may be that S. P. Mead left her name out of his account, because he did not understand that Philip was both a male and female name in the seventeenth century.[1]

However, Philip or Philipa or Philippe Mead is now accepted as her name. Remington shows us that "Philip"[1](See Remington, Vol 73, Pg 3) was actually recorded in Stamford town records upon her death. (Her death is recorded at Stamford, Sept. 19, 1657) Donald Lines Jacobus transcribed the Stamford Town Records, and he found her maiden name to be Kilvey, although he did follow this with a question mark and brackets, "indicating that he had trouble reading the original."[1]

Family's Origins in England

John Mead was born about 1634, possibly at Watford, Hertfordshire, England[2] to father, William Mead and mother, Philip (Unknown) Mead. It is unclear exactly where in England John's origins were, but Remington found several instances of a Philip or Philippe and William Mead in the parish of Saint Mary's at Watford, Hertfordshire.[1] A William Mead, born to Priscilla and Dorothy (Grey) Mead, from Watford, Hertfordshire, was baptized 12/27/1592.[1] This was likely John's father, William. If we accept that John's parents were the William and Philip found in the records of the Parish of St Mary, many of the pertinent facts could match our John Mead.

John was known as "John Mead, Senior" after the birth of his eldest son by the same name, as evidenced by his will, titled, "John Mead Senior, of Greenwich."[3]

Migrated from England to America

John probably was an infant when he immigrated with his parents, sister, and at least one brother in about 1635. The story that they sailed from Lydd, County Kent, England, in the Ship "Elizabeth," with Captain Stagg, April, 1635, is questionable. John's name does not appear on the ship's list of passengers (in fact, there are no Meads at all).[1]

Settling in New England

John settled with his parents in Stamford, Connecticut.[2] Stamford Town Record includes his father's assignment of a five acre home-lot in 1641.[3] In the Spring of 1657, with his brother Joseph, John removed to Hempstead, Long Island, where several Stamford families had newly settled in 1644.[3] After a short time, they both returned, and John finally settled in the Horseneck (Greenwich) area of Connecticut.


John was married ca. 1656 to Hannah Potter.[2] They had eleven children:[4]

We have no records of exact birth dates for most of the children (no record of any birth dates for many). Much of the information comes from John Mead's will and marriage records. The information below is taken from a combination of Beekman Patent, by Frank J. Doherty, and History and Genealogy of the Mead Family, by Spencer P. Mead.

Children from will (Doherty and Mead do not report the same birth order):[2][3]

  1. John Mead, b c. 1658; mar Ruth Hardy
  2. Joseph Mead, b May 2, 1660
  3. Hannah Mead, b c. 1661; mar July 12, 1677 Joseph Scofield
  4. Ebenezer Mead, b 1663; mar 1691 Sarah Knapp
  5. Jonathan Mead, b c. 1665; mar c. 1688 Martha Finch
  6. David Mead, b c. 1665; mar Dec 16, 1707 Abigail Leane
  7. Benjamin Mead, b 7 May 1667; mar 1) Sarah Waterbury, 2) Rachel Brown
  8. Nathaniel Mead, b c. 1669; mar Rachel Unknown
  9. Samuel Mead, b 8 June 1678; mar Hannah Unknown
  10. Abigail Mead b c. 1675
  11. Mary Mead (also called Mary Elizabeth), b c. 1678

Death & Legacy

John wrote his Will March 16, 1695/6.[2][5] and died 5 February, 1698/9 at Greenwich, Fairfield, Connecticut.[3][5] He was probably buried at Greenwich Point Cemetery, Greenwich, CT[citation needed] There is a Mead Family Monument which includes father, William, John and two siblings, Joseph and Martha. However, it does not include John's mother, Philip. Actual burials have not been found.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Remington, Gordon L., "The English Origin of William1 Mead of Stamford, Connecticut." The American Genealogist: Vol. 73 (1998) : Pgs. 1-7. American Ancestors, by Subscription, accessed 5/20/2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Doherty, Frank J., (1990) The Settlers of the Beekman Patent, V.1-8, "The Mead Family." NEHGS accessed 16 June 2016 (Vol 8, Pages 697-738, citing p 698).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Mead, Spencer P., (1901) "History and Genealogy of the Mead Family of Fairfield ..." New York: Knickerbocker, accessed 5 Oct 2016 (Pages 23-24).
  4. Mead, Spencer P. "History and Genealogy of the Mead Family of Fairfield County, Connecticut, Eastern New York, Western Vermont, and Western Pennsylvania, from A.D. 1180 to 1900." (Pgs 124-5 & 186) New York: Knickerbocker, 1901.
  5. 5.0 5.1 ( Connecticut, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 [database on-line], Fairfield, Probate Records, Vol 1-5, 1648-1750, images 507-508. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.Original data:Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. Record is not indexed.(Two free images: (1). ; (2).
  6. Find-A-Grave Virtual Cemetery memorial #21493483 in Tomac Burying Ground

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with John:

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Comments: 7

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Thank you for maintaining this difficult profile. I am working on later generations of the Mead Family in Greenwich. Thanks again!
posted by Norm Davis III
Added a G2G Question about John Mead's wife Hannah. Please add comments. Thanks!
posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
It is possible that there were some twins, but not necessarily (11 children in about 20 yrs). Most of their birth dates are approximate (guessed by S.P. Mead). Have added what little information we do have for dates of birth on the children.

Part of the problem you are seeing is invented birth dates which are published in online data bases. We only have exact dates for Benjamin and Samuel (sources disagree on Joseph). Any others are fiction or newly discovered (source would be included if this were the case).

posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
of the children: Mead-286 and Mead-106 have same birth year=Twins? Also Mead-101 and Mead-108 have same birth year another set of twins?
Mead-394 and Mead-99 do not represent the same person because: Different Meade family. The Goodman Meade family immigrated to Dorchester, Massachusetts. No relation has ever been proven with the William Mead who immigrated to Connecticut.
posted by Cynthia (Billups) B
Mead-1682 and Mead-99 are not ready to be merged because: Birth dates to be rehearsed and confirmed.
Mead-1682 and Mead-99 are not ready to be merged because: the date of birth needs to be investigated and the mother's name should be spelled Phillippe, a lady's name
posted by Charles Meads Jr.