Early American Methvin/Methven/Methuen Records

The trouble with early records, is the spellings and variations of the names. It is hard to know who is who when the name may be listed as Methvin, Methven, Methuen, Mifflin, Melvin, Melven, Meltevin, Methren, Methein. etc. You get the idea. So, here are a few of the earliest records of those who were probably members of the Methvin/Methven family.

The earliest records of the Methvin, Methven and Methuen families involves one James Methven. He is listed in the 1699 Baltimore County, Maryland Taxables list as living on the north side of Gunpowder. His name is listed as James Methuen. In the 1701 Baltimore County Taxable list he is listed as James Methren, again on the north side of Gunpowder. He is also listed as a testator of Robert Benger, Baltimore County, 6 August, 1699; 9 November, 1699. His name is listed along with Henry Wriothesley, Nath'l Hillen and Jno. Armstrong as Jas. Methvin. Benger was listed in the 1699, just above James, so apparently they were neighbors.

There was a James Methein who was a witness to Archibald Smith's probate, dated September 24, 1760, June 3, 1761, in Worcester County. This could have been a son of the original James, as he would have been very old by that time.

The Rt. Hon. Paul Methuen immigrated to America in 1716-1717 on the T.S.P.I., according to an American Passenger List. This is probably the same man as listed in the following letter in the Maryland Historical Magazine Volume III, December, 1908, Number 4, to Benedict Leonard Calvert, Esquire, the Governor of the Provence of Maryland, 1727-1731, by Bernard C. Steiner, page 308. This letter states "Ld. Towsend is very ill and like to die it is thought either Sr. Paul Methuen or Mr. Stanhope that is abroad will likely succeed him."

The will of Mary Methvin, July 4, 1792 in Sussex County, Delaware is a very important find. Her heirs are listed as sons, James and Thomas Methvin, daughter Lizzy (Eliza) Hearn, granddaughter Mary Methvin (daughter of Meshack Methvin), executor Meshack Methvin. Witnesses were Joshua Lingo, Sally Lingo, William Langsdale and was probated November 27, 1792. Arch. volume A88, page 145. Reg of Wills, Liber D, folio 378. There is a general consensus that this Thomas Methvin, the son of Mary Methvin is the father or is actually Levi Methvin, himself. This Levi Methvin traveled from Delaware and settled in Madison County, Alabama. The reconstructed 1790 census of Delaware has the following Meshack Melvin and Thomas Melven in Sussex County, Little Creek Hundred page 71.

There is also Thomas Methven, who married a Botfield, the sister of Meshack Botfield of Talbot County, Maryland in 1751.

Early passenger records, include those of James Methven of Stewarton, Ayrshire, a theological student who came to America from Scotland in 1820. He was born about 1803, was the son of James M., matriculated at Glasgow University. His brother Thomas also arrived in 1820. James Methven

Alexander Methven, the son of Robert M (1742-1790, a writer) and Euphemia Meldrum (1749-1826), came to South Carolina. He was a surgeon from St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland and died in 1807.

Another James Methven arrived in New York prior to July 7, 1814. He was the husband of Mary Wilson, and he and his family left Dairsie, Fife, Scotland just after John's, his son, birth.

Isobel Methven, the widow of John Whyte, a weaver in Markinch, Fife, Scotland, arrived in 1855.

There was a group of Melvins, listed on the same ship the Sloop Rachel, commanded by William Field in September, 1820. They are listed first as coming from Ireland to the U.S. to Portland and Falmouth. They were James Melvin age 50, farmer, Isabella Melvin 45, Elizabeth Melvin 18, Mary Melvin 16, Jane Melvin 14, Mary Melvin Jr. 13, Mary Melvin 36. They were then listed as coming to Philadelphia from Great Britain as James Melvin age 59, Isabella Melvin 62, Elizabeth Melvin 25, Mary Melvin 20, Jane Melvin 18, Mary Melvin 40. Whether they were Methvins or Methvens is unknown.

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