In the 1770's a significant number of families named Meek(s) lived in S. W. Pennsylvania and can be identified in the records of Westmoreland, Allegheny and Washington Counties. Not all of these families were related. However, five of them were related. This is known because DNA testing on the descendants proves that they shared a common ancestor. They came from Maryland based on pension records and may have lived in Virginia before going to Pennsylvania.
There was a single progenitor for this group of people that remains unknown. While it appears that Jeremiah Meeks who died in 1783 was the oldest member of the group the earliest date we have is Joshua Meek’s date of birth of 1731 which is based on the age inscribed on his tombstone. Basil Meek was born in 1740 Maryland based on his pension application. John Meek was born about 1754 and Jacob Meek was born in 1755 Maryland based on his pension application.
Joshua and John settled in what is now Moon TWP, Allegheny Co., PA in 1774 and 1773 respectively. Jacob Meek settled in the same immediate vicinity in 1773 but in Findley TWP. The exact relationship between Joshua and the other two is not known and DNA is not available from his descendants. However, he is presumed to be a brother.
Jeremiah Meeks died in 1783 in nearby Westmoreland Co., PA. He is thought to be the same person who sold land located immediately south of Jacob in Findley TWP in 1779. Basil Meek served in the Virginia Army between 1777 and 1779 at Ft. Pitt. He came from and returned to York Co., SC. Thus we have all five men living in the same area in the 1770’s.
John and Jacob are proven to be brothers by the writings of two descendants. Basil Meeks, grandson of John Meek born in 1754, wrote a typewritten letter dated August 20, 1920 about his family. He said of his grandfather, John Meek:
"He had a brother Jacob Meek, who was named in the will of John Meek as executer, the will dated 1801, copy of which I have. I have often heard my father speak of this Jacob as "old uncle Jacob Meek"."Jeremiah L. Meek, a son of Jacob Meek born 1755 wrote in 1837 about his family’s migration from Pennsylvania to Henry Co., KY.
“We here left the Ohio and went up the Licking River as far as Cynthiana where father had a brother-in-law residing. We spent the winter there and in the month of March 1793 he moved out to the extreme frontier where his brother, John Meek, had built a station.”In addition, Basil Meek can be identified as a brother of John and Jacob. The obituary of Jacob Meek born 1755 was published in the Richman, Indiana Palladium on May 23, 1840. In the last paragraph it states:
“DIED - In the county Henry in the State of Kentucky about six weeks since, Basil Meek, a brother of the above aged one hundred and nine years. He was also a patriot of the revolution.”
DNA testing supports the genealogical evidence that they were brothers. The relationship of Jeremiah to the others is not known although it is believed that he was not the father as it is thought that he had sons named Joshua, John and Jeremiah who lived in Westmoreland Co., PA at the same time that Joshua and John lived in Allegheny Co., PA.
John and Jacob move to Henry Co., KY about 1790. John dies in 1803. Basil joins the family in Henry County about 1806. Joshua remained in Allegheny Co., PA and Jeremiah’s son Joshua moved to Fairfield Co., OH. Following is what is known about their descendants.
DNA testing has also proven that this group of men was not related to several other early ancestors. They were not related to the men who lived in nearby Washington Co., PA including Samuel Meek born 1732, Isaac Meek born 1746, Nathaniel Meek and Basil Meek born 1763. Also in this group was Jacob Meek who died in Henry Co., TN in 1824 and Jeremiah Meek born about 1788 and Jacob Meek born about 1765 who moved from Blount Co., TN to Carroll Co., AR.
They were not related to Thomas Meek born 1708 of Hagerstown, MD or John Meek born 1707 of Augusta Co., VA.
Another group they were not related to was Joseph Meek born 1744 who lived in Virginia, Robert Meek born 1732 who lived in Ohio Co., VA and John Alexander Meek born 1686 whose sons migrated to South Carolina. Also they were not related to Adam Meek born before 1726 of Cecil Co., MD, Adam Meek born 1729 of Mecklenburg, NC, Adam Meek born 1746 of Jefferson Co., TN or Moses Meek born 1755 of Mecklenburg, NC. Sons of Adam Meek born before 1726 went to York Co., SC. Despite the fact that Basil born 1740 lived near these two families they were not related according to DNA testing.
There are only a handful of early Meek ancestors whose descendants have not been DNA tested. In all probability the Group A men identified here were the only members of this family who migrated to America in the early 1700's.
This information is available in book form from the author. It includes extensive documentation and the history of Meek family research. Contact Chris Meek