Francis's son John Wilks (Sr.) of Loudoun Co.

1. John Wilks (Sr.) (ca1734-aft1806) ~ our ancestor ~ went to Fairfax County court in 1755 to acknowledge a gift deed from his father ~ Francis Wilks to John Wilks for 50 acres "for the love and affection he doth bear to his said son," bounded by "the land JOHN WILKS bought of Thomas Clowes ... Witnessed by SAM'L MEAD, James Henderson, John Bend, and WILLIAM MEAD. Recorded 19 Aug 1755. Francis was a widower, for no wife co-signed or had dower rights established. Assuming John was 21 or more, he was born by ca 1734. The first of three pages of the deed is reproduced here to illustrate the beautiful penmanship.

 Fairfax County, Virginia, Deed Book


Falls Friends (Quaker) Meeting, where Francis Wilks's future daughter-in-law Elizabeth Mead's family belonged, was formed in 1683, the first religious organization in Bucks Co., PA. By 1692, the community had grown larger and a meetinghouse was built at Fallsington. Here William Penn came to worship from his home at Pennsbury. The land was given to the Meeting by an ancestor of Herbert Hoover.

John Wilks (Sr.) (ca1734-aft1806) and Elizabeth Mead (ca1740-1804), married 24 Jun 1758 in Loudoun Co., VA. As a Quaker, Elizabeth was disowned for "marrying out of unity," by the Fairfax Friends Meeting where her family attended.


Elizabeth's father Samuel Mead (ca1707-1784) was born in Bucks Co., PA, to William Mead from Buckinghamshire, England, and wife Elizabeth. William was the son of Matthew Mead of Bedfordshire, England. Matthew of Bedfordshire was the son of Richard Mead and wife Joan. 

Elizabeth's mother Mary Downey was the daughter of James Downey from Co. Antrim, Ireland, and Hannah Ellet. James arrived in Pennsylvania 1 Jun1711 from Dalenderry Parish, Co. Antrim, Ireland, and was accepted by letter into the Falls Mo. Mtg. of Bucks Co., PA. On 12 Apr 1712, he married Hannah Ellet, born 1692 in Bucks Co., the daughter of William Ellet and wife Mary Burt from Somersetshire, England, whose Somerset baptismal records we have.

 Sketch of the original Falls Friends Meetinghouse

William and Mary married in England 27 Apr 1685, arrived in Bucks Co. from Somersetshire, England 1687-1688, probably after his brother Andrew Ellet (a seller of small goods) arrived with wife Ann on the Factor of Bristol on 22 Oct 1682, Roger Drew master. Both died in Bucks Co.; William left a will naming his children at his death in 1721, but Mary lived until between 1759-1763.

Thankfully, the Friends (Quaker) were well organized and kept good records. Most Meetings' records have been preserved, abstracted, and published by Hinshaw (Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy book series), but microfilm of the handwritten originals are available.

Samuel Mead had a colorful history, moved a lot, and complaints about his conduct that he did not behave like a Quaker followed him to each Meeting he joined. He was disciplined for "going to the late war with Spain" in service of the King. He fought in Britain's war with Spain, "The War of Jenkins Ear." It began in 1739 but then merged into War of the Austrian Succession. Anti-Spanish feeling in Britain provoked war as Captain Robert Jenkins claimed Spanish coastguards in the Caribbean cut off his ear).

Further, Samuel abandoned his wife and child to go the war. He remarried, Margaret Mead, apparently to his cousin, and they had several children. Margaret was examined by the Women's Meeting as to how she stood about her daughter Elizabeth going out in marriage, but Elizabeth was unswayed.

The Wilks and Mead families moved from Bucks Co., PA, to Loudoun Co., VA, and then to Bedford Co., VA.

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