James Meek

(1802-        )

By Christopher A. Meek

24. James Meek was born about 1802 in Henry Co., KY. He is listed in the 1850 census of Clay Co., IL and Marion Co., IL in 1860 and 1870. It is known that his brother Jonathan also owned land in both counties.

He married Mary Elizabeth Stewart on 19 Apr 1822 in Gallatin Co, KY. She was born about 1807. She died 5 Nov 1895 in Marion Co., IL. She was known as Mary Betsy Stewart in the marriage record and Eliabeth Meek in later records. James Meek and Mary Elizabeth Stewart had the following children:

James is thought to be the same person in the 1850 Clay Co., IL census on the strength of the evidence that his brother moved there. Elizabeth in the census could be Mary Betsy Stewart. The source for the first three children is the 1830 census.

He is believed to be the James Meek in the 1860 and 1870 census of Salem TWP, Marion Co., IL. His age was 59 and 68 born in Kentucky. Elizabeth age 53 and 64 in Kentucky. In 1870 also listed are Joshua age 33, KY; John 13, IL and Eliza 7, IL. This area in Marion County is very close to the part of Clay County where the other brothers lived.

Marion County marriages: Sarah Meek to Joseph Craig 17 Jul 1856. James D. Meeks to Susan Hill 2 May 1866; James D. Meek to Martha E. Stratton Sep 17 1887.

Note: Jeremiah Meek

There is absolutely no evidence that Jeremiah Meek is the son of James Meek. He is included here for the following reasons.

The oldest son of James Meek was born between 1820 and 1825 according to the 1830 census records of Henry Co., KY. He is the only unidentified grandson of Bazil Meek. James Meek is reported in the 1850 census of Clay Co., IL along with several brothers. He later moved to Marion Co., IL.

Jeremiah Meek of Clay Co., IL was born about 1825 in Kentucky according to the 1860 Clay County census. He lived between two known sons of Jonathan Meek, the brother of James. All of the other people in the 1860 census are known descendants of Bazil Meek. Jeremiah in the 1860 Clay County census had a wife named Eliza J., age 26, and his oldest child was George, age 11.

Although not in the 1850 census of Henry Co., KY, there is a Henry County marriage record for Jeremiah Meek and Jane Mahoney dated 19 Feb 1848. There are no other men named Jeremiah Meek in either Henry or Clay Counties.

Douglas Meek and Jerry R. Meek both left marriage records giving their parents names as Jerry Meek and Eliza Jane Mahoney. However, they are not listed in the 1860 census with Jeremiah. Jerry R. Meek's date of birth is consistently given as 1862. Douglas' death certificated listed his date of birth as 1858. However, it is more likely that he was born in 1860 after the census.

The 1870 census for Larkinsburg TWP. Clay Co., IL lists 128 Craig, A. S. 34 Ky; Craig, Eliza J 37 Ky; Craig, Viola 3 Il; Meek, W. D. 9 Il; Meek, Jerry R 8 Il. There is a Marion Co., IL marriage record for Almanzer L. Craig and Eliza J. Meek dated 12 Dec 1869. Jeremiah's daughters are not yet married and are not list with Eliza. So, there are still unknowns with the theory.

Note: Joshua

In the 1850 Clay County census Joshua is listed with his father at age 18 (born 1832). He is not in the 1860 census for either Marion or Clay Counties. In the 1870 census Joshua is listed with his father at age 33 (born 1837) along with John 13 and Eliza 7. I is assumed that these are Joshua's children.

It is not proven that the first two marriages are for the same Joshua Meek. However, there is no record of another person with this name in the area. We know that James had a son named Joshua and that he was living with his father in 1850 and 1870. It seems reasonable to conclude that one or both of the marriage records are his. Given the ages of the children in the 1870 census and that Joshua was there without a wife, it appears that Joshua was married to both. Joshua is connected to his parents through his death certificate. He is also connected to his third wife through various records.

Marion County marriages: Joshua Meek to Harriet Bryant Book D, page 58;

John A. Meek in the 1880 census is thought to be Joshua's son, based on the ages given in the census as well as the information in the 1870 census.

Note: Eliza A. Meek

The marriage record does not prove that this is same Eliza A. Meek. Ben is in the 1870 census with his parents. There was an Eliza A. daughter of Barlow and there may be other unknown female children in this big group.