Thomas Meriwether (1714 - 1756)
The first-born son of David Meriwether and the father of Lucy Meriwether, Thomas married Elizabeth Thornton (b. 1713/17) in 1735. Elizabeth was the daughter of Francis Thornton (1682-1737) and Mary Taliaferro (1686-1780) of Snow Creek, Spotsylvania County. Thomas was “a man of great wealth” according to George Gilmer’s book, First Settlers of Upper Georgia. He held the rank of colonel and commander of the Virginia Militia in the French and Indian War, although recent research has not discovered any concrete evidence to support this claim. He did provide uniforms for those who did fight. (Benson) The Thomas Meriwether home was at “Clover Fields” and it is probable that Lucy was born there. He was known as “a healer” (Gilmer).The executors of his will were Col. Joshua Frye, Peter Jefferson (father of Thomas Jefferson), Dr. Thomas Walker and Dr. George Gilmer, all prominent citizens of Albemarle County.
Thomas and Elizabeth had eleven children:
- Col. Nicholas (1736 - 1772) married Margaret Douglas, the daughter of Parson William Douglas, in 1759. Nicholas served in the French and Indian War with General Braddock. When he came of age, he inherited the tract called “Clover Fields” and built his home there.
- Francis (b. 1737) married Martha Jamison from Liberty, Essex County in 1760. He studied medicine at William and Mary and he and his family moved to Wilkes County, Georgia in 1784.
- David (b. 1739) married Mary Harvie, daughter of a prominent Albemarle family. They had two children and they also moved to Georgia in 1784. “Hope Hull, a Methodist divine, and Bishop Asbury induced the Georgia Methodist Conference in 1789 to open the state’s first denominational school in Wilkes County…Hull settled in Wilkes and built a modest brick building on land donated by General David Meriwether…This school, known as Succoth Academy, educated many pupils…” The first annual convention of the Methodist Church held in Georgia met at David Meriwether’s home on the Broad River in 1788. (Writers of the Works Projects Administration, p. 30, 32)
- Mary (b.1742) married Peachy Ridgeway Gilmer (b. 1737), the son of Dr. George Gilmer, Sr., and Mary Peachy Walker (d. 1745). Peachy Gilmer’s plantation, “Lethe”, was in Rockingham County. His brother, Dr. George Gilmer, Jr., was a well-known physician and friend of and doctor to Thomas Jefferson. Mary and Peachy had six children, two sons and four daughters. Their eldest son, Thomas Meriwether Gilmer, married Elizabeth Lewis, and moved to Georgia in 1784
- Elizabeth (b. 1744) married Thomas Johnson (“Sheriff Tom”) of Louisa County. Thomas was the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Hudson Johnson. He served in the House of Burgesses for Louisa County for fourteen years, ending in 1776; was a member of the Colonial Congress, member of the Committee of Safety, and a member of state conventions in 1774 and 1776. He was also the high sheriff of Louisa County (Anderson, p. 176). They had ten children.
- Sarah (Sally) (b. 1746) married Michael Anderson of Louisa County. He was the son of Pauncy Anderson and his wife Elizabeth. In his will, Michael Anderson portioned to each of his six sons 500 acres in Kentucky.
- Ann (Nancy) (1750 - 1782) married Richard Anderson (1747-1793). He was the son of David and Elizabeth Anderson of Hanover and later Albemarle County. He was the elder brother of Edmund Anderson, the husband of Jane Meriwether Lewis, Lucy’s oldest daughter.
- Lucy (b. February 4, 1752, died September 8, 1837) married 1) William Lewis, and 2) John Marks
- Mildred (b. 1753) married John Blair Gilmer (1748-1771). He was the son of Dr. George Gilmer, Sr., and Miss Harrison Blair of Williamsburg, Dr. Gilmer’s third wife. The couple married 42 days after the death of his second wife, Mary Peachy Walker. John served as an officer under Gen. Lafayette at the siege of Yorktown. Mildred and John had nine children and lived in Amherst County. (http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rjwarwick/18.htm and Speed and Minor, p.175, 194-95)
- Thomas (b. 1755, died in infancy)
- Jane (b. 1757) married Samuel Dabney in 1776. They had twelve children, one of whom, Richard Dabney, a poet, died in the Richmond Theatre fire. Jane was called “pretty Jane Meriwether by Gov. Gilmer…[she was the] beauty of the circle in which she moved, very pretty, very rich, and very much courted.” (http://www.jamisonsforever.com). Jane was born after her father’s death and thus, was not left a portion of his estate in his will. Their daughter, Mildred, married her cousin Reuben Lewis, one of Lucy’s sons.
Patricia Zontine, April 2009