Meigs (Meiggs) Family History and Genealogy


Timothy Meigs

Timothy Meigs (#197) was born on September 28, 1782, the last child of Return Jonathan (#90) and Grace (Starr) Meigs. His father moved the family to the Ohio country in 1791, he had come out in 1788 to make preparations.

Timothy moved to Tennessee with his father in 1801 and was his fathers private secretary and confidential agent while the elder Meigs was stationed at Southwest Point (now Kingston, Tennessee). He there formed a friendship with John Ross (who later was principle Chief of the Cherokees) which led to a partnership. They opened a store on the Tennessee River around 1810 at the point which is today the city of Chattanooga. The store was called by the firms name "Meigs and Ross." They also had a warehouse and ferry service. 1 "This fortunate association brought lucrative government contracts to the firm during the Creek War of 1813-14 when blankets, corn and other supplies were needed for Cherokee warriors. The partnership seemed to bring their families close together. After Mollie Ross (Daniel Ross' wife) died in 1808, Mrs. Return J. Meigs occasionally would care for the young Ross girls; 2 Elizabeth and Maria became particular favorites of the Meigs family." 3

Meigs married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Mildred (Stanfield) Holt, a Virginian who had moved to Tennessee and settled on the Sweetwater Creek near Athens.  Meigs died on October 16, 1815.  His father wrote the following letter to Return J. Meigs Jr. (#191), telling of Timothy's death:

Cherokee Agency, 4th Nov. 1815

My dear son:

I have the painful duty to perform to inform you that after a bilious fever of about sixteen days your dear brother Timothy died at this place at 35 minutes after One o'clock PM on the 16th Ult. Our loss is great but we have the consoling satisfaction that in his sickness he had everything done for him that could be desired. We had a good Physician, good attendance, every thing that was comfortable. Surrounded by almost all his relatives in this Country, he died almost in his full strength but without any apparent distress. His countenance after death was natural, pleasant almost approaching a smile. His forehead which was large and handsome was such as Lavater says "where all the graces dwell." On the whole there was expression in his whole face which seemed to say 'All is over on this stage of existence & I am happy.' We kept his remains two days and there was scarce an alteration in Countenance. His interment was handsomely and very decently performed. A great number of Cherokee Chiefs attended his funeral -- he had as many friends and mourners as any man of his age ever had in such a country thinly settled. We buried him beside his mother eight miles from this place. He has left an amiable wife and five fine children to mourn his loss, three daughters and two sons....

You are conscious that I am lonesome here, though I have much relief in the young family he left. I cannot write you as I would now. I have during his sickness and funeral had 8,000 Cherokees met to receive their annuities for several years.

Give my love to Sophia and to your Uncle Josiah and sister Meigs. God Bless you I am as ever

Return J. Meigs 4

Meigs died just 14 days after his 33rd birthday. His children were:



No. 369

Grace Starr - Married Thomas Farrar Marshall Callaway.


11-01-1853 5

No. 370

Emily Stanfield - Married John Walker.


No. 371

Elizabeth Jane


06-14-1880 5

No. 372

Return Jonathan



No. 373

Robert Holt




1.  "Sidelights on Chattanooga," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Volume 6, Nashville, Tennessee, page 151; Zella Armstrong, "History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee," Volume 1, Lookout Press, 1931, page 316 & 317.
2.  Timothy's eldest son later married Jane Ross, eldest daughter of John Ross.
3.  Gary E. Moulton, "John Ross: Cherokee Chief," The University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1978, page 8.
4.  Meigs to RJM, Jr., November 4, 1815;. R. J. Meigs, Jr. papers, Ohio Historical Center, Columbus, Ohio. B. V. Meigs, "One Man In His Time, Return Jonathan Meigs," PP, 1981, page 244-245.
5.  Email from Janelle Callaway Swearingen, Tulsa, OK, descendant of Grace Starr Meigs and T. F. M. Callaway.


Copyright (c) by Rick Meigs