Since Nicholas Meriwether's descendants were a prolific lot, the Society has identified major family groups, based mainly on third and fourth generation descendants, to better organize and direct our research and social activities. Each Family Group has an alpha-numeric code that can be used by members to recognize others from the same Family Group. And since our Meriwether forebearers had no restriction on marrying cousins of any degree, many TMSI members carry two or even more Family Groups! This numbering system is known as a "Henry Number" and makes identifying a particular individual in any generation very easy. Examples of Family Group codes are: M1, M1221, M124, M1227a, etc. The letter 'M' stands for Meriwether, of course, and the numeric code uniquely identifies a particular Meriwether, based on his or her birth order and the Family Group of their Meriwether parent. The Family Groups identified by the examples are:
M1 - Nicholas Meriwether I himself
M1221 - Thomas Meriwether & Elizabeth Thornton; Thomas is the first child of David (M122), who is the second child of Nicholas II (M12), who is the second child of Nicholas I. Hence 1 2 2 1!
M124 - Anne Meriwether and Thomas Johnson. Anne is the fourth child of Nicholas II (M12).
M1227a - James Meriwether. James is the seventh child of David (M122). However, he married twice and had children by both marriages. The letter 'a' indicates a person descended from the first marriage to Judith Hardenia Burnley, the letter 'b' from the second marriage to Elizabeth Pollard.
One of the weaknesses of a Henry Number system is that it is based on birth order. If research subsequently determines that birth order with in a family has to be changed, then all descendants will have to have different birth orders. Fortunately, the birth order for the Meriwether families in the first four generations is fairly well documented, so the Family Groups we have designated are very stable. One exception that has arisen in the past few years concerns the relative birth order of children of David Meriwether and Anne Holmes, specifically Francis (M1222) and David (aka "Sailor" David) (M1226. Research by TMSI members David and Faye English have established beyond a doubt that David was born about 1716, not 1726 as commonly believed. Although less well documented, it appears that Francis was born about 1726, instead of about 1717. So at some time in the future, the M1222 and M1226 Family Groups may swap the numbers currently assigned.
Each Family Group has a volunteer Family Group Representative and may have additional assistants. The complete set of Family Groups can be found under the Resources area.
The Society is always open to having new volunteers to help with a Family Group, so if you are interested, please contact us! Below is a small article published in the newsletter that explains the role of the Family Group Rep, as envisioned by Maury Kendall, DM, the architect of the Family Group structure.
Be a MeriRep: Join the Meriwether Family History Team
The Society’s Goal is:
To seek out and preserve the history of the Nicholas Meriwether I family in America and in the process encourage pride, communication, reunion, and camaraderie among his living descendants, recognizing their common heritage.
After 12 or 13 generations, our colonial progenitor’s descendants are a lot of folks--in one big, fine old family. To work effectively with everyone, The Society recognizes the major family groups into which the family naturally has evolved since 1631. Each such designated family group is authorized a Meriwether Family Group Representative , appointed by The Society’s President. They are our MeriReps. Visit the Resources section to view the current Family Groups and their designated MeriReps.
Meriwether Family Group Representatives:
• Directly represent the President of The Society and coordinate society activities in their family groups.
• Are participating members of The Society’s Family History Committee , responsible for The Society’s family research activities and its book development program. Click here to view list of society family volumes approved or under consideration.
• Encourage development of genealogical and historical material about their family group, in agreed form, for incorporation in society publications.
• Are not expected personally to do family research or compile manuscripts for their family group -- unless they wish to -- instead, work with those who do and encourage others to join in.
• Create a sense of unity in their family group, coordinating society projects and communicating society policies and standards to their family.
Will vary among family groups. The list in The Society’s Policy Statement No. 7, Meriwether Family Group Representatives, 6 Dec 1992 (PS7), is essentially permissive. Click here to view a list of activities found in PS7 .
Importantly: Time is available at Society Reunions for each family group to meet, unite, plan, and act to achieve detailed aspects of our common goal [above]. MeriReps are encouraged to appoint Assistant Family Group Representatives for each subordinate Family Group. All such appointments are recognized by the Society President as society officials.
The Time is Now
Our Society research program is currently, actively seeking our British ancestors. Work on Volume I, The Colonists, the basic volume of our developing Meriwether Book Series, has been progressing for the past ten years. The need to create a two way flow of documented family information, in proper form, between your family groups and the Volume I Working Group and your Book Project Manager is now.