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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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MRS. MARIA S. MEEKINS, of Williamsburg, widow of the late Dr. Thomas Meekins and a woman of superior intelligence, was born in Chesterfield, Mass., in the year 1846, a daughter of Spencer and Polly (Abels) Goodman.

Spencer Goodman’s birth occurred in Hadley. A ferry owned by his father was then the only means of crossing the Connecticut River at that point. This was tended by him for several years. Though the work had its pleasant features, it was a trying position, as he was often kept employed all night. Tiring of this occupation, he removed to Chesterfield, where he purchased a farm, on which he lived for several years. He then sold out, and bought another farm in Hadley. He sold this also, and purchased land in Williamsburg. Here he died, eighty-seven years of age. In politics he was a Democrat and in religious belief a Baptist. His wife reared two sons and two daughters; namely, Maria S., Stephen K., D. Alonzo, and Wealthy C. She lived to the age of eighty years.

Maria S. Goodman, the eldest-born, lived at home until her marriage with Dr. Thomas Meekins. He was born in the town of Williamsburg, and was a son of Stephen and Sarah (Hicox) Meekins and a grandson of Thomas and Hannah (Carey) Meekins. His great-grandfather, Thomas Meekins, came to this country from England, and settled in Hatfield, where he became a large land-owner and a prominent citizen, and was subsequently killed by Indians. Thomas Meekins (second) was born in Hatfield, from which place he came to Williamsburg, then but thinly settled, and where land was extremely cheap. He first purchased one hundred acres, for which he paid eight cents per acre; and, when he had this cleared, he purchased more. This land is now in the possession of his descendants. He made sundry improvements, among which was the erection of frame buildings. He met with much prosperity, and died at the age of eighty-five years. His wife’s decease occurred when she was sixty years old. His son Stephen, who was born in Williamsburg, assisted his father in clearing the land; and after the latter’s death he followed his father’s policy of buying more as fast as the clearing progressed. He also reared large numbers of sheep and cattle, and was the largest stock-raiser in that vicinity. He died at the age of threescore years and ten. His wife, who before marriage was Sarah Hicox, bore him ten children, of whom six grew to maturity. Two died in infancy, and the others were: Hannah, Louis, Theodosia, Thomas, Christopher, Stephen, Irene, and John. The mother was over seventy years of age at the time of her death.

Thomas Meekins chose for his profession the practice of medicine, and became a skilled physician and surgeon. He was one of the first doctors to locate in the town of Williamsburg, where he acquired a large and remunerative practice. He was a man of broad liberality, and was very highly esteemed by all who knew him. He took a keen interest in his town, and was ever ready to lend the weight of his influence to any worthy enterprise looking to its improvement. His death, August 5, 1880, was a loss to the community as well as to his large circle of friends and acquaintances.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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