Joshua Meek


By Christopher A. Meek.

A21. Joshua Meek was born about 1731. He died 27 Apr 1818 in Allegheny Co., PA at the age of 87 according to his tombstone. His will was dated 28 Jun 1817 and proven 2 May 1818. Traditional histories and genealogies state that he was born Virginia or North Carolina. However, his place of birth is not established.

The book The History of Allegheny County, 1876, by Samuel Durant in the section on Moon Township, records the arrival of Joshua in South West Pennsylvania on page 149.

"Joshua, John, and Jacob Meek were early residents of the property now owned by their descendants. They were of Welsh origin, but emigrated from Virginia to Western Pennsylvania. They were obliged to leave on account of the Indians some time after coming to the township, and fled to old Fort Redstone, where they remained for several years."
(Note: Caution is advised in assuming any facts from this statement. The source of this information is unknown and may well be wrong. We do suspect that the family was likely from Maryland originally rather than Virginia. Washington County was formed in 1781 from Westmoreland County. Allegheny County was formed in 1788 from Washington County and the area around Montour Run became known as Moon Township. The area was also claimed by Virginia and was part of Yohogania County taken from West Augusta County.)

A more recent history, specific to Moon TWP, Forgotten Past, A History of Moon Township, Pennsylvania 2006 by Dr. Robert A. Jockers, examined early Virginia land grants and indicated that Joshua came to Moon TWP in 1774. The first settlers arrived in 1773. John Meek is also listed and his land was next to Joshua. Jacob Meek’s land was near by in Findley Township. The Westmoreland Co., PA tax record of 1773 list Joshua Meck in Mt. Pleasant Township. This area was in modern day Westmoreland County. There were two men named Joshua Meek(s) in the area. It is known though DNA testing that they were related although that relationship remains unknown.

According to Jockers, in 1777 settlers began to leave the area due to hostility with the Indians. A stockade was built on Robert Vance’s property and Joshua joined the local Militia. This is supported by the History of Washington County, Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches, 1882 by Boyd Crumrine, Page 213

"At the next term, held May 26, 1777" "On May 27, Michael Thorn and Joshua Meeks were sworn as captains of the militia."

Michael Thorn resided in Moon Township near Joshua Meek.

In the winter of 1781 the Indian hostilities had increased and the remaining settlers in the township departed for Ft. Redstone. In the summer of 1783 Joshua returned and remained permanently in Moon Township.

Joshua was listed in the 1781 and the 1783 tax list of Robinson Township, Washington County. In 1783 Joshua's property was recorded as 600 acres, 6 horses, 2 cows, 12 sheep, 3 slaves, value 420 Pounds. He registered his slaves on 19 Dec 1782. They were Dave, age 45, Grigg, age 30, and Ann, age 26.

Joshua's land in Moon TWP "The Garden" was eventually recorded in a land patent granted on 1 Apr 1788 and surveyed 12 Apr 1785. This patent, based on a Virginia certificate, was granted after the boundary dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia was settled. The Virginia certificate indicates that Joshua settled on the land in 1774. Also recorded in Heinz History Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Moon Township were John Meek and Jacob Meek.

A deed from Washington County (Deed book 1-C-177) dated 8 Feb 1786 indicates that Joshua purchased land from Edward Ward of Westmoreland County. Edward Ward was a speculator who purchased the land granted to Christopher Wentzell located next to Joshua’s land. The deed was witnessed by Alexander McCandles who had previously purchased land from Jeremiah Meek.

Joshua is listed in the 1788 tax list of Robinson Township, Washington County and the 1789 tax list of Moon TWP, Allegheny County. He is listed in the 1790 census of Moon Township with one female. He is also listed in the 1800 and 1810 censuses.

It is assumed that Joshua married prior to his arrival in Pennsylvania. However, this is not proven.

He married (2) Margaret Mitchell in 1789. She was born about 1766. She died in 1852. Her will is dated 30 Mar 1852 and probated 25 May 1852. She was living with son, Basel, in 1850. Her children and some spouses are listed in Joshua and Margaret's wills.

If you have any questions, E-mail Chris Meek.

Note: 1

Virginia Certificate #492
"Joshua Meeks produced a certificate from the commissioners for adjusting and settling claims to lands in the counties Yohogania, Monongalia and & Ohio for four hundred acres land in this county on Montour’s Run to include his settlement made in the year 1774. Which entry & "

Note: 2

Pennsylvania Patent
Survey book 1 p. 48 4-12-1785
Granted a tract called "Garden" to Joshua Meek containing 416 acres adjoining John Meeks, John Lee Webster and John Ward. (It is assumed that this is land he already lived on.)

Joshua Meeks
416 1/2 Ms Strict
Surveyed Apr. 12, 1785 on
A Vir. Cert.
Patented Apr. 7 1788 to same on
a warrant to accept dated
Apr. 1, 1788 p. 14.80
"The Garden"

"The Connection"
291 Hs. 4 Ps 8 Allowance
Christopher Wentzell
Warrant dated Apr. 30, 1785
Surveyed May 30, 1785
Patented Apr 7, 1798 to
Joshua Meeks, R35.211

Heinz History Warrantee Atlas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1914

Note: 4

The following additional quotes from early history book cannot be relied upon and were likely not based on actual research.

The book "The History of Allegheny County", 1876, by Samuel Durant, page 150

"Jacob Meek settled in Findlay Township, adjoining the land of his brothers in Moon Township, previous to 1887."

"The Genealogy and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania", 1915 by Jordan Volumn II, page 258.

"Joshua, John, and Jacob Meek were among the early settlers of Moon Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, coming from Virginia about 1769."

The book "The Early Families and History of Moon Twp. Allegheny Co., PA" by Charles D. Rouzer states;

"Joshua Meek was born in the colony of Virginia, in 1731, and lived to the age of 87. ... This man seems, from all the information I can find, to be the father of Joshua Jr., John and Jacob Meek, who received patents for land in Moon and Findlay Townships, Joshua and John Meek being the men who acquired the plots in Moon Township." This book postdates the other references.

Note: Abstracts of court records

Frederick Co., VA records dated 10-1765 Joshua Meek vs William Clements - dismissed by agreement

There is no proof that this is the same Joshua Meek who went to Allegheny Co., PA. However, it may account for why people believe that he was from Virginia. The Meek family was in both Eastern Virginia and Western Maryland at this time. They frequently spent time in both states.

From Berkley Co., VA
Archibald Shearer, assignee of Moses Cherry; 29 Feb. 1768 - 8 July 1768; 336 acres on Potomac; adjoins his own, Thomas Cherry's 100 acres & 125 acres patents, Aaron Cherry, Vulgamore and Wells 288 acres survey. Chain Carriers: Joshua MEAKES & John Richardson. Surveyor Richard Rigg.

This Joshua is very likely the Joshua Meck in the 1773 tax list of Mt. Pleasant TWP, Westmoreland Co., PA. He is not the Joshua Meek who lived in Moon Township.

The name Joshua Meek is mentioned in the proceeding of the Council of Maryland, 1761-1769. Joshua Meek of Fredericks County was issued a summons 1 Nov 1766.

There a person named Joshua Meek who resided in Anne Arundel County and he is mentioned in records between 1780 to 1812. This person cannot be the one of the two men named Joshua in West Pennsylvania.

The following has not been verified
Carnot Rd., Moon Township
Allegheny County, PA

MEEK, Bazaleel, b 1-29-1810 d 5-3-1902
MEEK, Eliza Neely, wife of Bazeleel, d 1-11-1840 ae 20
MEEK, Harriet B., wife of William J., 1851-1925
MEEK, Jane, wife of Jeremiah, b 5-8-1808 d 9-26-1873
MEEK, Jeremiah, b 3-6-1804 d 1-19-1889
MEEK, Nancy Jane, wife of Bazaleel, b 9-26-1826 d 8-26-1906
MEEK, William J . , 1849-1919