Normandy to Exeter to Jamestown to Fond du Lac

Sometimes when the branches you’re working stop bearing nuts, it’s time to chase the squirrel up another branch.  My wife is rightfully very proud of her Puerto Rican roots and I’m sure there will be some very colorful stories of her ancestors that will come out of her next trip to Puerto Rico.  But I thought maybe her mom’s side of the family, the boring American side, needed a little attention.  I already had a little information regarding her mom’s side of the family that went back to my wife’s great grandmother Ruth (Meech) Grindle.

It turns out the “boring American” side of her family is anything but boring.  Actually, this Meech branch is a treasure trove of genealogy.  Here are some highlights:

In 1910, Robert Meech and his wife, Laura (Milligan) Meech (my wife’s 2nd great grandparents) were living in Redondo Beach, California. That in and of itself is probably no big deal until you consider they had lived in Illinois before and after…

Abel Meech,  b. 1775, moved from Connecticut to New York, finally settling in Ohio.  While in New York, he built a distillery in 1806, and was also the first teacher in Sempronius (now Moravia, NY).  He and his wife, Charity Mack, had 14 children. Alcohol and education no doubt contributing to such prolific progeny.

John Meech, my wife’s 8th great grandfather, was baptized in the First Congregational Church of Preston, CT in 1695 at the age of 35.


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In 1730, Moses Meech’s betrothed, Rose Ann Park, was called upon to publicly confess her sin of fornication to their congregation.  I think ol’ Moses must have received an exemption based on his name.

It’s rumored that the first Meech to come to America, was fleeing “political consequences” in England.  Supposedly his surname in England was Walbridge and he assumed his mother’s maiden name to avoid detection.  It’s also rumored that he hid in a haystack for “some days” prior to slipping off to America.

John Meech, presumably the other John’s father, was in Salem (ahem?!?), Massachusetts in 1629.  He then went on to help settle Charlestown, Massachusetts.

And now for the coup de gras…Aaron Meech, b. 1749 married Alethea Spicer.  Alethea’s great grandfather is Peter Spicer.  This book is written about Peter’s descendants.  It is generally accepted that Peter was born in Jamestown, Virginia.  It appears as though the Spicer family as a whole is also well documented.  Since 1273, there have been twelve Spicers who have served as the mayor of Exeter.  Supposedly, three members of the ancient family came to England from Normandy along with William the Conqueror.

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