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, February 16, 2012

Elizabeth "Betsey" Meears or is it Mears, Meers, or Miers?

Bishop's Transcripts for Ombersley 1833

"Betsey" MEEARS was born on 3 July 1833 in Ombersley, Worcestershire, England. Her christening on the 28th of July listed her as Elizabeth, daughter of George and Sarah Miers of Hadley.[1] 

Her baptism ceremony was performed by L. H. Burrows, Curate. Starting with this record on July 28th 1833 through January of 1838 he was the recorder of all entries for the family found in the Ombersley parish records. These entries were made while the family resided in Hadley. Google Maps shows this to be a small hamlet 1.2 miles away from Ombersley. It is about a 23 minute walk.

Since Elizabeth’s birth was four years before the Public Records Office started collecting official records, we are lucky to have this clear record of her birth. Note the variant spelling of the family surname in this record. They were listed as Meears most frequently but also as Meers, Mears, and now Miers. 

1841 England - Batheaston, district 1, folio 11, page 14

When Elizabeth was age seven, her family had moved to Batheaston, Somerset, England as recorded 6 June 1841on the census record. They had lived there at least six months since her newest sister, Emma, was listed as having been born in the county of Somerset on the record. Today this move is an 82 mile car ride or 70 mile walk. It was possible that they moved by rail since her father, George, was listed as a railway worker in the census.[2]

The family had moved to Birmingham when seventeen-year-old Betsey and her sisters, Emma and Selina, were baptized 17 September 1850. It was recorded in the Bristol Road Branch records that she was baptized by a priest named Thomas Hawkins, who became her future husband. They were all confirmed members of the LDS Church the next day, 18 September 1850.

1851 England - St Martin, district 8, folio 208, page 4, householder 43

Elizabeth worked as a shoe binder and lived on Upper Bishop Street, St Martin, Birmingham, Warwickshire when listed in the 30 March 1851 census. This census was the most complete of all the family listings found in research. It included her parents, George and Sarah Meers and their children: Mary A; Elizabeth; Jane; Emma; Selena; George; and Louisa. Missing are Eliza, who died in infancy, and Sarah who has as yet not been found in the census records that year.[3] [Sarah may have been off working but was listed with them again on 7 April 1861 in the family census record.] 

 Birmingham, St. Martins, district 11, folio 22, page 37, household 184

Elizabeth’s occupation had changed to book binding in the 1861census. She was also listed as a book binder in the Bristol Road Branch Records previously mentioned. The family seems to be very industrious in both these records.  It appeared they were all working toward immigration to the United States.  Father, George, and Mary Ann had both emigrated prior to 1861.[4]

Elizabeth will follow them in the next blog….

[1] Elizabeth Miers christened 28 July 1833, Bishop’s Transcripts for Ombersley, 1608-1876, Baptisms and burials, 1820-1838, page 159, no. 1267, FHL film 350594.
[2] Elizabeth Meears in George Meears household, Batheaston, Somerset, England 1841 census, district 1, folio 11, page 14, line 15, Batheaston Street, www.ancestry.com, accessed 9 September 2011. 
[3] Elizabeth Meers, daughter in George and Sarah A. Meers household, St. Martin, Birmingham, Warwick, England 1851 census, district 8, folio 208, page 4, householder 43, Upper Bishop St., accessed 11 October 2011. 
[4] Elizabeth Meears, daughter in Sarah Ann Meears household, St. Martin, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England 1861 census, district 11, folio 22, page 37, household 184, www.ancestry.com, accessed 7 September 2011.


  1. Great idea using the map links and the addition of the descriptions on the photos. A lot of work. Nicely done.

  2. I loved seeing the picture of the Bishop's Transcripts. I have used these records before and they are very helpful, escpecially to confirm unsourced family records.

  3. I don't know if you have been to this area, but you must go and visit. The countryside is beautiful!