This is the 13th article in the genealogy project “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition.” This week’s theme is “Different.”
Mark Meigs is a paternal ninth great-grandfather. Information about him is scare and comes from several books and a genealogy website on the Meigs family. What little information about Mark indicates he was different from his father or his brothers and this may be why there is so little information about him.
The book, “Records of the Descendants of Vincent Meigs, who came from Dorsetshire, England to America about 1635” was written in 1902 by Henry B. Meigs. The website, “Meigs Family History and Genealogy,” has this book available for free download and it is also available on Google as a digital download.
There is more information on Mark’s father, Vincent, and his brother, John, than the rest of the family. Mark is especially hard to track. Vincent Meigs was born in England in 1583. The genealogy website, which is maintained by Meigs descendants, states Vincent married Emma Stronge, who was baptized in England in 1580 or 1581.
Vincent was most likely a widow when he arrived in America between 1639 and 1641. The “U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s” has a record of Vincent Meigs arriving in Massachusetts in 1639. The Meigs website states “Vincent is first recorded in the country in 1641 at Weymouth, MA.”
Most Meigs genealogy books state Vincent arrived with his sons Vincent, Jr., John, and ninth great-grandfather Mark.
Vincent Meigs, Jr. was contracted to build a mill at Easthampton, which indicates he worked hard to make a living. John Meigs was a tanner, currier, and shoemaker and bought land to become a planter.
The genealogy website states that Mark Meigs was the “black sheep” of Vincent’s sons because “it appears from court records that he made certain unwelcome advances towards his neighbor’s wife while the neighbor was out of town.”
Vincent and his sons moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut and that is when Mark seems to have parted ways with the family. He moved to Long Island, living in Southampton and then Huntington. He moved to Stratford, Connecticut in his old age.
Along the way he married Avis (last name unknown) and was father to eighth great-grandmother Hannah, who married Samuel Lum.
Genealogists must be prepared to find the good, the bad, and the ugly when researching ancestors. Regardless of Mark’s character or lack of good judgment at times, his descendants would not be here without him.
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