Overland Trail

Overland Trail
A blog sharing information about the Meears family who worked hard to be able to walk their way to Utah -- written by a third great granddaughter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mary Ann Meears Born 15 Nov.1829 in Birmingham

Mary Ann MEEARS, the oldest child of George and Sarah Ann was born 15 November 1829 in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England just one year after their marriage. Her baptism took place the following month 7 December 1829. The christening record is listed in the Bishop's Transcripts at the Parish of Saint Martin’s, Birmingham. They were living on Park Street and her father was listed as a labourer. If you look closely at the page you can see that from December 1st to the 7th the name Mary Ann was listed 4 times in

this parish record. It must have been a very popular name at the time.

By the time Mary Ann is 12 years old and is listed as Mary in the census taken on 6 June 1841, the family is living in Batheaston, Somerset, England. She has four living sisters who are Elizabeth, Sarah, Jane, and Emma. Her father, George, is listed as a Railroad labourer, and her family has moved several times. Note on the two records shown that the last name is listed as Meears and Meers. These are only two of the variant spellings that are found in the records as I tracked this family.

I’ll continue the life of Mary Ann in my next blog. She continues to lead her family with a variety of firsts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

George Meears marries Sarah Ann Gibson

George MEEARS was the son of John and Mary Bricknell Meears.His marriage to Sarah Ann Gibson is recorded at St. Phillips Parish in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England on 9 November 1828. She is the daughter of James Gibson and his 1st wife, Elizabeth Reynolds. Notice that one of the witnesses is James Gibson. This is likely Sarah's father. Does anyone know who Sarah Smith might be?[i] 

Bishop's Transcripts, St. Philip's Cathedral - Marriage of George Meers & Sarah Ann Gibson
[i] George Meears and Sarah Ann Gibson marriage 9 November 1828, Church of England, Bishop's Transcripts St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham, 1715-1832, marriages, 1827-1828, FHL film 502187, page 96, no.  255.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jane Meears Smith (1837-1909)

Jane Meers certified birth entry
Jane Meers was born on 11 December 1837 at two in the morning.[1] Her mother, Sarah, was the informant on the birth record listed in the General Record Office.  Sarah said her residence was Ombersley, in Worcestershire, England.  

Jane's baptism - Ombersley

Jane was the fifth daughter of George and Sarah Ann (Gibson) Meears. Her christening 7 January 1838 was recorded in Church of England records from the parish church of Ombersley. [1] It was from this record that we learn that the family abode was Hadley, a hamlet just over one mile from Ombersley.

1841 census  Batheaston, Somersetshire
Jane was three years old when the census was taken on 6 June 1841.[3]  Her father, George, was working as a railway labourer and living in Batheaston, Somersetshire. Her living sisters were Mary, 12; Elizabeth, 8; Sarah, 6; and Emma, 6 months old. The surname is spelled Mayars in this record. 

1851 census St Martin, Birmingham, Warwick
The George and Sarah A. Meers family had moved to Upper Bishop’s Street in St. Martin, Birmingham, in the neighboring shire of Warwick, when the census was taken on 30 March 1851.[4] Jane was listed as a 14 year old daughter living at home.

Jane was baptized by Elder Thomas Taysum 23 September 1852 in Birmingham and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the same day.[5] As a side note: Jane’s sister, Mary Ann, marries Andrew Taysum, the son of Thomas, in Salt Lake City in 1857.

1861 census Edgbaston, Warwickshire
Jane was hard to find in England in 1861.  A Jane Mears was living as a family servant in the Mathew B. Copeman family residence in Edgbaston, Warwickshire.[6]  This Jane’s age was 22 and her birthplace listed as Bath, Somerset. The age is off by 2 years and the birthplace that of her sister, Emma. This is the closest record found so far. 

Amazon passenger list
Jane emigrated from the Port of London on the ship Amazon and arrived 20 July 1863 in New York, New York, USA.[7] Jane traveled with her mother, Sarah Ann Meears, and siblings; Elizabeth, Emma, Selina, George, and Louisa. Future brothers-in-law, Joseph Blunt, a shoemaker, and Oliver E. Roberts, a carpenter, traveled on the same ship. They were all listed in the Birmingham LDS Record of Members emigrant page for 1863.[8]

Jane and Oliver Smith’s marriage was estimated from the birth 26 November 1864, of their first daughter, Emma Louise Smith, in American Fork. Oliver was the son of Arnold and Charlotte (Blake) Smith, born 10 April 1837 in Horley Oxfordshire, England. Together they had nine children: Emma Louise; Charlotte Elizabeth; Oliver George; Edward A.; William Thomas; Alonzo Franklin; Alma Arnold; Alice Eliza; and Sarah Ann Smith.  The family appears in the Pleasant Grove, Utah census records on both 7 June 1880 and 21 June 1900.[9] 

Jane received her LDS ordinances in 1868 in the Endowment House when she was sealed to her spouse. Jane was sealed to her parents in 1900 in the Salt Lake temple thus completing all her LDS ordinances in her lifetime.  She died of obstruction of bowels on 3 August 1909 at the age of 71 in American Fork and was buried on the 5th in American Fork City Cemetery.[10]

[1] England, Jane Meers birth entry, born 11 December 1838; citing 18/223/68, Droitwich Union registration and Ombersley & Hartlebury sub-district; General Registry Office, Southport. [County of Worcester, registered January 4th 1838 by Registrar Thomas Peirce Medwin.]
[2] Jane Meers christening, 7 January 1838, Church of England, Parish Church of Ombersley, Bishop’s transcripts for Ombersley, 1608-1876, Baptisms and burials, 1820-1838, page 1, number 1, FHL film 350594, item 3.
[3] George and Sarah Mayars household, Batheaston, Somersetshire, England 1841 census, district 1, folio 11, page 14, line 14, www.ancestry.com, accessed 9 September 2011.
[4] George and Sarah A. Meers household, St Martin, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England 1851 census, district 8, folio 208, page 4, www.ancetry.com, accessed 11 October 2011.
[5] Jane Meers membership entry, Bristol Road Branch, British Mission, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Warwickshire).  Record of members, ca. 1844-1857, Historian’s Office Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Item 1, Branch Register, page 22, no. 5, FHL microfilm 86988.
[6] Mathew B. and Mary Copeman household, Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England 1861 census, district 7, folio 133, page 57, household 264, www.ancestry.com, accessed 20 October 2011.
[7] Sarah A. Mears, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Amazon, 20 July 1863, passengers 369-375, 391, www.ancestry.com, accessed 28 November 2011.
[8] Sarah Ann Mears family emigration record 20 June 1863, Record of Members, Birmingham, Warwickshire Branch, item 4, page 83, FHL film 86981.
[9] Oliver and Jane Smith household, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah, 1880 US census, enumeration district 89, page 12, lines 22-30, dwelling 100, family 105 accessed 20 October 2011; Oliver and Jane Smith household, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Utah, 1900 US census, enumeration district 162, sheet 21B, line 60, www.ancestry.com, accessed 20 October 2011.
[10] Jane Mears Smith, 3 August 1909, American Fork, Utah, Utah, death certificate image, file no. 303 [530]. “Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956,” www.familysearch.org, accessed 20 October 2011.