604. Jan "John" Van Meter Jr.1178,1422,1423,1424,1425,1426 was born before 14 October 1683 in New York Colony, Ulster Co., Kingston, Old Dutch Church.1424 He was baptized on 14 October 1683 in New York Colony, Ulster Co., Kingston, Old Dutch Church.1424,1427 Witnesses and Sponsors: Jan Joosten. Mayken Hendricz. Jacob du Bois. He signed a will on 13 August 1745 in Virginia Colony, Frederick Co. (now Berkeley Co., West Virginia).1178 Book 1, Page 52 – John Van Metre; dated 13 August 1745, probated 3 September 1745. Wife; Margaret Van Metre. Sons; Johannes Sr. deceased, Abraham Van Meter, Isaac Van Meter, Henry Van Meter, Jacob Van Metre. Daughters; Sarah Davis, Mary Jones, Rebecca Hedges, Elizabeth Shepherd, Magdalena Van Metre, Rachael Leforge deceased. Grandsons; John Leforge, Johannes Van Meter Jr. Granddaughter; Joana Van Meter. Executors; Thomas Sheperd, Abraham Van Meter, and Jacob Van Meter.
To his son Abraham, he left 350 acres of land. He also left tracts of land to sons Isaac and Jacob, daughter Sarah (wife of James Davis), daughter Rebecca (wife of Thomas Hedges), daughter Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Shepherd), daughter Magdalene, and grandson John Lefarge (son of John's deceased daughter Rachel). To his grandson Johannes Van Meter (son of John's deceased son Johanes) and granddaughter Joanna Van Meter (daughter of the deceased Johanes), he left £15 to be paid when they reached the age of twenty-one. To daughter Mary, the wife of Robert Jones, he left the 350 acre tract of land where he had been living at the time of his death. Apparently, his wife Margreit was still alive at the time of his death because he also stipulated that after her decease, their daughter Mary was to also have one-third of "moveable estate," meaning perhaps livestock or furniture (or both). Unfortunately, we do not know when Margreit Van Meter died nor do we know where she and her husband were buried.
John died before 3 September 1745 at the age of 61 in Virginia Colony, Frederick Co., On the Opequon (now Berkeley Co., West Virginia).1167 He had his estate probated on 3 September 1745 in Virginia Colony, Frederick Co. (now Berkeley Co., West Virginia).1178 He was buried in on farm, near Martinsburg, West Virginia.1167 The American born Joost Jan (John) had an adventurous and interesting life, a large part of which was spent dealing with the Indians and exploring. He was known as "Indian Trader John." Legend has it that when he was held captive by the Indians he learned and was fascinated by their ways. He was a restless man, an Indian trader, and an explorer in the Shenandoah Valley. He used John instead of Jan and shortened his name to Van Meter.
John left New York and resided for a time in New Jersey. He was granted 835 acres in Somerset County by Governor Hamilton in 1700. John settled on the Raritan in Somerset Co., New Jersey, along with his grandfather. Jan (John), as the oldest, became the successor of his father's rights and the largest beneficiary of the estate of his grandfather. It is thought that his father died before his grandfather, making Jan the administrator of his grandfather's estate in Burlington in 1706. In 1714 John Van Meter, along with his brother Isaac, mother Sarah Du Bois, and uncle Jacob Du Bois, bought additional land in New Jersey - 3,000 acres located in Salem County. Two years later John and Isaac, along with their mother Sarah, sold their shares to their uncle Jacob. John Van Meter and his mother may have returned to New York at this time while Isaac stayed on in New Jersey. John spent the early part of his married life, until his children were born, in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland.
John is said to be the first white man who stood on the south side of the Potomac River west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. John and his brother Isaac Van Meter are also credited with being the first white pioneers to cross the "Valley of Virginia," the country between the Potomac and the Shenandoah. This area, west of the Blue Mountains from the low lands of Virginia, was controlled by the "Shawanees" and considered highly dangerous. The Shenandoah Valley Pioneers states that, "No friendly tribes dare go west of the Blue Ridge from the lowlands in Virginia, nor come from the north and cross the Cohongortuga into the forbidden country on hunting forays, knowing full well that such savage tribes as the Shawnees would either exterminate them or be exterminated." John and Isaac were both Indian traders who explored frequently and various dates are found as to how early they first visited this area.
A family legend claims that as early as 1715 John was on an expedition with the Delaware Indians. John equipped the Delaware Indians at his own expense and explored with them down south to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. One version says the Delawares land was being crowded by white settlers and they hoped to take over the Shenandoah for their own. Another simply says the Delawares were hunting big game through the lower valley. Whatever their reason, the Delawares met the Catawabas coming from the south and both tribes disputed the right of entry. A terrific battle occurred and the Delawares suffered a devastating loss. The whole tribe would have been annihilated had it not been for the return of the Shawnees from their big annual hunt on the south branch of the Potomac. The Shawnees overwhelmed and slaughtered the Catawabas. A remnant of the Delaware tribe and John managed to escape, but not without John noticing how fine the land was. It's said he again explored the Valley in 1716 and planned to get grants for the valley as it was the finest land he had ever seen and would make good farmland.
If not as early as 1715, John probably did spy out the land along the Shenandoah during this trip to Old Spottsylvania during his Spottswood expedition in 1727. He had been appointed the advisor to Germania, Spottsylvania Co., for the Governor. After advising the German settlers there he supposedly blazed his way through the dense forests so he could find his way back from the Germania settlement and viewed the lands on the way. John and Isaac said that they surveyed lands from the forks of the Shenandoah (near Front Royal) westward. To do this they would have entered the valley through the gaps of the Blue Ridge at that point. Isaac's grant states: "Survey extended from the north bank line of the Sherando river northward to the Operkon river then following its flow embracing the land and prairies, forests and streams and their sources lying betwixt thereof - said Operkon and ye said Sherando.."
By the time of the Spottswood expedition, John was planning to leave New Jersey. He had earlier begun to sell his New Jersey holdings. Records show that John Van Meter, "of Somerset Co., NJ, yeoman", and his wife Margerat granted about 37 acres of land on the west side of the South Branch of the Raritan River to Hendry Millar in 1719. This land was part of the grant given to his father in 1700. A tract of land was granted to John November 3, 1726 by Lord Baltimore that lay in Frederick county at the mouth of Metre's run, which empties into the Monocacy. By 1730 his brother Isaac was still living in Old Salem, New Jersey, but John had moved westward to the southwest part of Maryland and was living on a tract of two hundred acres located near what is now Monocacy Junction, near Frederick. This move appears to be an intermediate step in his plan to settle the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
The settlement of the valley of Virginia may be said to have begun with the granting of an immense area in what was then Spotsylvania county by Governor Gooch and his council at Williamsburg, Virginia, to John (Jan) and Isaac Van Metre. John's petition told the council that he was desirous to take up a Tract of land in on the River Sherando on the North-west side of the Great Mountains for the settlement by himself and his eleven children along with other relations and friends. Isaac's petition said that he and other Germans families were desirous to settle the same area. On June 17, 1730 the council of Virginia granted John and Isaac's petitions for 10,000 acres each for the settlement of their families "on the west side of the great Mountains." John's grant lay in the forks of the Sherando River and the River Cohongaluta or Potomac and extended to the Opequon River and up the South Branch. 20,000 acres more were to be granted when he brought up twenty other families within the space of two years. This was not to interfere with the surveys of Carter and Page. No other person was to take up any part of this land in the meantime. John and Isaac sold/transferred this land to their cousin, Jost Hite, rebuying choice sites for themselves, while it was still a wilderness. Joist Hite did the work of parceled out tracts of this land to the families interested in settling the area and worked to colonize the valley. It's speculated that the Van Meter's were aware that their grant conflicted with Lord Fairfax's grant, the legal battles of which weren't finally finished till 1800. When Lord Fairfax was given his grant it was thought the Potow-mack River ran east of the Blue Mountains. He didn't realize it's true course until a survey about 1736/37 and saw that he had claim to a much larger empire. The courts sustained Van Meter after years of litigation.
About ten years after John Van Meter had moved his family to Virginia, on August 5, 1741, he sold his land called "Metere, lying upon Menockecy River…and containing 300 acres" in Prince George's County, Maryland in two tracts (one of 138 acres and one of 162 acres) to Joseph and Thomas Palmer of Westchester County, New York. The total price the Palmer brother paid was £293.
John Van Meter Jr. had settled down in the Shenandoah Valley where he became a wealthy land owner and horse breeder. The raising of blooded stock, grazing, and farming were practiced for generations of his family. When John realized that he had not much longer to live, he executed a deed of gift, dated September 17, 1744, in which for "love and affection" he distributed equally, among his then surviving children and the heirs of those deceased, all his horses and land.
1744, Sept. 17. Deed of gift from John Van Metre of Frederick Co. Va. for love and affection to Isaac my eldest son, Henry second son, Abraham third son, Jacob fourth and youngest son; Maudlena, wife to Robert Pewsey my youngest daughter, Solomon Hedges Esq., Thomas Shepherd, James Davis and Robert Jones, sons in law - gives, grants, etc., all stalyons, geldings, mares and colts, running in the woods, branded on the left shoulder with letter "M," to be divided equally, the part to my said daughter shall be appropriated to her use, and under the care of my executors named in my will. 4 young mares and their increase to each of my grandsons Johannes Van Metre, son of Johannes deceased; and the same to John Lessige, son of my daughter Rachael deceased when they shall arrive at age 21 years. If the within mentioned Robert Jones do not quit-claim to a pretended right to 100 acres of land and other pretended demands on me, the said John Van Metre, for which he hath no right, then the proportion of said creatures shall be given to my daughter Mary wife to said Jones and to her children at the discression of my executors.
John Van Meter
Witnesses: Jonas Hedges, Joseph Carroll [Frederick Co. Va., Records].
From these brothers, John and Isaac, (perhaps also from Hendrix), the Virginia Van Meters (Van Matres, etc.) are probably descended. Margaret Molenaur (Miller) and Jan "John" Van Meter Jr. were married about 1710/1 in New Jersey Colony, Somerset Co., Somerville.1167
605. Margaret Molenaur (Miller)901,1170 was born after 1683. She was christened after 1683 in USA, New Jersey, Salem Co.. She died after 1745 at the age of 62 in Virginia Colony, Frederick Co. (now Berkeley Co., West Virginia).
|Rebecca Van Meter was born about 1711 in USA, New Jersey, Somerset Co..1167 She died in 1770 at the age of 59 in USA, Virginia, Frederick Co..1167|
|Isaac Van Meter1428 was born about 1713 in USA, New Jersey, Somerset Co..1167,1429 He died about 1748 at the age of 35 in USA, Virginia, Frederick Co..1167 Isaac went to the south branch of the Potomac. He had about the third trial [time] before he could settle, the Indians running him away and burning his cabin. A last, when he succeeded and started his family, the Indians killed him. |
|Elizabeth Van Meter1430 was born about 1715 in USA, New Jersey, Salem Co..1167,1431 She died in 1793 at the age of 78 in USA, Virginia, Shepherdstown (now Jefferson Co., West Virginia).1167|
|Henry Van Meter1430 was born about 1717 in USA, New Jersey, Salem Co..1167,1429 He signed a will on 3 March 1790. Will dated 3 March 1790, proved on 17 Dec 1793. Left land to son Nathaniel. Left other to son Joshua. Mentions death of son Joseph. Left land to grandson Joseph, son of son Nathaniel. Wife Elizabeth, daughter Alice, and son Henry were mentioned. He has also been described as being the father of Joh, Joseph, Henry Jr, Isaac, Jacob, Hannah, Ruth, Nathan, Joshua, and Hester.|
Book 2, Page 214 – Henry Vanmeter, dated 3 March 1790, probated 17 December 1793. Wife; Elizabeth Vanmeter. Sons; Nathan Vanmeter, Henry Vanmeter, Joshua Vanmeter, Joseph Vanmeter deceased. Daughter; Hester Vanmeter, Aled? Vanmeter. Grandson; Joseph Vanmeter son of Nathan.
Book 2, Page 234 – Henry Vanmeter; appraisal dated 2 January 1794 by William Bush, James Mosley, Joseph McMurren.
He died in 1793 at the age of 76 in USA, Virginia, Berkeley Co. (now West Virginia).1167 Henry had his estate probated on 17 December 1793. Henry served in the Frederick Co., Virginia, militia and owned large tracts of land in Washington Co., Pennsylvania.
Heidgerd, William. American Descendants of Chretien du Bois of Wicres, France.
Du Bois Family Association, Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, New York, 1968 (Re-edited by the Du Bois Family Association, 1998.)
He was sheriff of Frederick County. Planned road from Conrad Weiser'sto mouth of Wheeling.
Carnegie Museum Annals, v. 1, pp. 533, 564, 565: Received Warrant oflands for military service, 400 acres in Washingtron Co. Pa. 5-25-1785and 250 additional acres in 1786.
Henry Van Meter's homestead was just north of the road that ran fromMartinsburg to Shepherdstown on the west bank to the Opequon Rivernear the "Old Flagg" house. Many of his descendants still llive inthis area. It was not this Henry who was a member of the PeaceCommission of West Augusta.
The Henry who was a brother of Jacob Vanmeter, s/o John Van Meter/Margaret Mollenauer, m1. Eva Pyle, m2. Hannah Pyle, m3. Mrs. Elizabeth Pyle, and d. 1793, Berkeley Co., VA, according to "The American Descendants of
Chutien Du Bois.")
|Rachel Van Meter was born about 1719 in USA, New Jersey, Salem Co..1167,1429 She died before September 1744 at the age of 25.1432|
|Abraham Van Meter1167,1433,1434 was born about 1721 in USA, New Jersey, Somerset Co. / Salem Co..1167,1435 He signed a will on 21 December 1780 in USA, West Virginia, Berkeley Co..1167,1433 Book 1, Page 348 – Abraham Vanmeter, dated 21 December 1780, probated 18 November 1783. Sons; Daniel Vanmeter, John Vanmeter, Joseph Vanmeter, Jacob Vanmeter, Abraham Vanmeter, Isaac Vanmeter. Daughters; Ruth Vanmeter, Hannah Vanmeter, Mary Vanmeter, Rebecca Vanmeter. |
He died in 1783 at the age of 62 in USA, Virginia, Berkeley Co. (now West Virginia).1426,1428,1436,1437 Served in the American Revolution as a private from Virginia. He inherited land from his father. He appears in the records as overseer of roads in Frederick Co. in 1748.
Abraham took an active part in the dispute between Pennsylvania and the eastern districts of Virginia over jurisdiction over what is now Greene Co., in southwestern Pennsylvania. He was indicted in 1772, along with Henry and Joseph Van Meter and others, for riot etc in the Virginia territory which later became Greene Co. In 1774 and 1776 his name appears on various petitions regarding this dispute.
Abraham was frequently in cattle trading expeditions on the upper Ohio River with his brother Jacob, also haveing to do with colonial military supplies.
|Jacob Jansen "Valley Creek Jake" Van Meter Sr..|
|Maudlena (Magdalene) Van Meter was born about 1725 in USA, New Jersey, Salem Co..1429,1430|