December 12, 2014

James and Anna Cooper Meek - Great-Great Grandparents

The parents of Samuel Meek, great-grandfather, were James Meek and Anna Cooper Meek of Columbiana County, Ohio and Beaver Twp., Pennsylvania.  Some researchers place James' birth in Wooster, Ohio on May 10, 1801 and Anna's birth anywhere from 1798 to 1802 in New Jersey or New York.  
James married Anna Cooper about 1823-1824 and settled in near East Palestine, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.

James and Anna and family did, however, move back across the state line into Beaver County, Pennsylvania for a time, and some of their children were born there.
  Great-grandfather, Samuel's, obituary, stated that he was one of fourteen children born to James and Anna.  I have identified thirteen of them:
Samuel and David Cooper Meek, twins, born 1824
Enoch #1, born c 1825
Elizabeth and Hiram,twins, born 1826
Seth, born c. 1827
Sidnah, born c. 1830
James, born c. 1833
Ednah, born 1834
John W., born c. 1836
Buelah, born c. 1837
Enoch #2, born c. 1840
Solomon, born 1842

Sadly, James Meek died quite young on December 5, 1845, at the age of 44 years, 6 months and 29 days, and to add to the tragedy, their son, Seth, died that same year at about age 18.  Enoch #1 had also died in childhood at about the age of 12, so Anna was left with seven sons and four daughters to raise on her own.  James was buried in the Boatman Cemetery in Unity Township.
James and Anna Meek, Boatman Cemetery, Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio
An estate packet was located for James Meek containing no will which is not surprising due to his relatively young age.  Perhaps his death came quickly, too.  Ann was appointed administrator, along with Robert Filson. First, three appraisers were appointed for the estate: Thomas King, Israel Early, and Moses Mendenhall.  An accounting was made of his assets and debts and it was decided that the widow and children would be allowed to keep certain personal possessions outside of what was appraised: 

"The deceased having left a widow and minor children, we set off to them the following property without appraisement - 2 spinning wheels, 1 ten plate stove, 1 family Bible, all the school books belonging to the family, one table, six chairs, six knives and forks, six plates, six teacups and saucers, one sugar dish, one milkpot, one teapot, twelve spoons, the clothes and wearing apparel of widow, one cow, twelve sheep, 4 beads (beds), beadsteads (bedsteads) and beading (bedding), pots, kettles, and all cooking utensils of the deceased, being necessary for the family, clothing of the family and the clothing of the deceased..."

Later, Anna also claimed two stands of bees, one wagon, a grindstone and crank, a logchain, a goat, 22 sheep, and one 8 day wooden clock for herself.  No mention is ever made of the land, so one would assume that it was passed on to the heirs. An auction was had for some of the remaining items.  I thought it interesting that the family had dishes and utensils for six when the family contained at least twelve or more.

 In the 1850 census of Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio, taken on September 18, Ann Meek was 49 years old (born NY) and with her were Samuel, 26; David, 26; Hiram, 22; Elizabeth, 22; Sidnah, 19; James, 17; Ednah, 16; Buelah, 13; John 14; Enoch #2, 10, and Solomon, 8. 

 By 1860, some of the boys had gone out west to try their hand at mining or they had moved on to marry and settle in Defiance County, Ohio.  Anna, 61, (now born New Jersey), had only Elizabeth, 30; Ednah, 26; Bulah, 21; Enoch, 21; and Soloman, 18, at home.  Very soon, three of the boys would enlist in the Union Army and see battle; some would not make it home again. 

By 1870, the census enumerator found Annie Meek, 71, in the same place, keeping house with property valued at $5600 and personal goods worth $1020.  Elizabeth, 40, and Solomon, a farm laborer, completed the household.  Elizabeth and Solomon would stay on with their mother until her death.

Anna Cooper Meek died in 1873, and all the living children eventually ended up in Defiance County, Ohio, living near Hicksville...together again.  Anna was buried next to James in Boatman Cemetery, having outlived him by almost 28 years.

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