I) Lewis

II) Clark

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Meriwether Family Tree
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IV) Preservation

The Meriwether Family

Who were the men that settled central and southwestern Virginia? They were few in number, and their families rose to prominence throughout the formative years of the United States of America. One of these men, Nicholas Meriwether I, came to the shores of Virginia in 1652 to claim a large tract of land in Northrern Neck and Surry Counties. Supposedly, there is a record "in Virginia land registry office between 1652 and 1669 of patents to the extent of 5,250 acres in Westmoreland Co. done by Nicholas Meriwether." (Anderson, 1984) The family, so-called because they were happy all the time, hailed from either Wales or England (this is still in dispute.). The name was originally spelled Merryweather.) Nicholas I married Elizabeth Woodhouse, who gave birth to seven children. They were Nicholas, Jane, Elizabeth, Francis, Thomas, William and David. (Minor, 1892)

Nicholas II was the only one to extend the family name. He lived on a land grant which he secured from King George II in 1727 at the base of the Southwest Mountains. This 13,762-acre tract of land grew another 3,000 acres in 1730. In 1735, he added another 1,190 acres to his holdings, on which he built "The Farm." Charlottesville now lies over the land on which "The Farm" existed. (Minor, 1892) It all exists in what is currently Albemarle county, and history sometimes refers to Nicholas as "the Father of Albemarle." Albemarle County was carved out of Goochland County in 1744, the year of Nicholas' death.

Nicholas Meriwether (II) met and married Elizabeth Crawford. Her family is said to be descendents of Sir Roland Crawford, the grandfather of Sir William Wallace (the subject of Mel Gibson's 1994 epic movie Braveheart.) (Anderson, 1984) Together, they had nine children. Their oldest, Jane Meriwether married Colonel Robert Lewis; they became Meriwether Lewis' paternal great-grandparents. The second oldest, Nicholas Meriwether III married Mildred Thornton. The other children were William, Thomas, Colonel David Meriwether, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, and Mary.

Col. David Meriwether married Ann Holmes and had a son, Thomas. This Thomas Meriwether married Elizabeth Thornton, and had 11 children, including Lucy Meriwether, the mother of Meriwether Lewis. Ann also gave birth to Colonel Nicholas Meriwether (the first Meriwether to live at Cloverfields with his wife, Margaret Douglas) (Anderson, 1984) , Francis, David, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann, Mildred, Thomas, and Jane. You will notice by now that the Meriwether family tended to recycle the same name every generation, and occasionally more than once a generation. This has become very confusing to genealogists. Many have confused which Nicholas married who, and who exactly was Meriwether Lewis' grandfather. This presentation streamlines the family to list those who directly pertain to the explorers to clarify the connections.

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