William Bronell Meares was born October 7th, 1829 at Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas. He immigrated through the port at Key West, Monroe County, Florida, with his mother Meriem on June 30th, 1838 and was living with her at Key West when the 1850 Census was taken. He may have been naturalized on July 12th, 1852 at Key West, Monroe County, Florida.
He is believed to have traveled from Key West on the schooner "Seadrift", owned by John Thomas Lowe, to "Lowe's Landing" (now Anona) with his mother in 1859; an old family friend, Capt. Augustus R. Archer, is reported to have traveled with them.
Private William Bronell Meares was mustered into Confederate service on May 14th, 1862 when he was enlisted as a Private in Captain Smith’s Company (Key West Avengers), 7th Regiment Florida Infantry by Major R. B. Thomas at Tampa, Florida for a period of 3 years or the war.
He was discharged from service in June 1862 under Surgeon’s Certificate due to loss of one eye and other disabilities.
He married Sarah Roberts July 9th, 1866 at Lowe’s Landing, Anona, Hillsborough County, Florida. By 1870, William was farming real estate valued at $200 and had acquired personal property valued at $115. In 1874, he and Capt. Archie Lowe rafted lumber from Cedar Key for the 1st Anona schoolhouse. He died on 18 October 1894 at Anona, Hillsborough, Pinellas County, Florida, at age 65. Sarah applied for and was granted a Confederate Widow's Pension for her husband's service.