Van Meter

An Interesting Sketch of That Well Known Family


The following synopsis of the progenitors of Isaac Van Meter of Old Fields is excepted from the "Van Meter ancestry" contained in "Judge John Inskeep and his Descendants" which its compilers Mr. H E Wallace, Jr., Mrs. A. W. Stubblefield have in the course of preparation.

"The VanMeter family descended from two progenitors Jan Gysbertsen Van Meteren and Jan Joost Van Meteren both of whom emigrated from the province of Gelderland Holland, extend over the whole territory of the United States Individual members of this family have had more than an ordinary influence on their times but it lay with the ancestors of the branch to which the subject of our sketch belongs to be the more influential.

There is scarce a history of any importance dealing with the more detailed facts of the history of the country that does not refer to one or more members of these families. Naturally there are many genealogical notes contained in these accounts. Besides these, there have been more elaborate attempts to set forth the genealogy if the family. Among these may be mentioned B. F. Van Meters, "Genealogies" and "biographical sketches", "The Van Meters in Shords Fenwick Colony", Beckmans "Early Dutch settlers of Monmouth Co., NJ.", Bergens "Annals of Kings Co., NY.", ans a series of articles in the "West Virginia Historical Magazine" (a publication by the way worthy of support by the citizens of the state) by Miss Anna Hunter Van Meter and S. Gordon Smythe Esq., of West Conshohocken PA., a gentleman to whom we are deeply indebted.

The account herewith set forth differs from any heretofore published genealogy and it is the result of many years of study on the part of the gentleman last referred to and ourselves. Previous accounts of the Van Meters have stated that the Van Meters of Virginia were direct descendants of Jan Gysbertsen Van Meteren who with his son Kryn Jansen Van Meteren then thirteen years old emigrated from Bommell Holland in 1663 landing at New Amsterdam. They migrated to New Utrecht, Kings County, NY., and later to Monmouth Co., NJ. Beckman’s "Early Dutch settlers of Monmouth Co.," disproves the fact as to the descent from "Kryn Jansen." This book contains a complete genealogy of the descendants of Kryn Jansen in which Isaac of Old Field does not appear and which further accounts for all males to whom Isaac of Old Fields could be a son, therefore excluding him.

A doubt exists however concerning the relationship of Isaac’s (of Old Fields) progenitor and Jan Gysbertsen Van Meteren the father of Kryn Jansen. It is more than likely they were of close relationship and possible that they were brothers.

It was in the year preceding the emigration of Jan Gysbertsen Van Meteren of Bommel, that Jan Joost Van Meteren of Thierlewaalt, with his wife and five children emigrated to New Amsterdam. He came in the "Fox" which arrived in August of 1662. The fall of that same year he settled in Wildwyek (now Kingston Ulster Co., NY) and dwelt many years in this vicinity which included the towns of Hurley, Marbletown, and Esoplus. From the records he appears to be among the earliest settlers of the place and this characteristic has appeared in many of his descendants. It was a wild region these hardy Dutch emigrants cleared and the dangers of Indian despredation were ever present with them.

Existing documents show continuous petty transgressions on the part of the red men which resulted in the "Second Esopus War" in June of 1663, when Hurley and part of Kingston were burned and many of the settlers were killed and other taken prisoner. Among those captured were the wife of Jan Joost, two of his children and Catherine du Bois the wife of Louis du Bois later one of the patentees of New Paltz and their daughter Sarah, whom Jan Joost’s son, later married. Three months later many of the prisoners were recaptured by a force under the leadership of Captain Martin Keiger. The next year in which Jan Joost is mentioned is 1665 he was appointed referee in a law suit, also was one of the sponsors at the baptism and was appointed "schepen." In the years following his name frequently appears upon civil and church records, and among them is his appointment as deacon in 1667, "schepen" in 1668, and one of the four magistrates for Hurley and Marbletown in 1673. He also took the oath of allegiance in Ulster Co., in 1689. The church records also disclosed frequent mention of his wife Maeycken Hendricks, the daughter of Hendricks of Laeckervelt and his wife Anne gan Jans, but whether this was the mother of Joost Jan Van Meteren his son the next descent to Isaac of Old Fields is a question.

Joost Van Meteren the son of Jan Joost, (the second generation) and the father of Isaac of Old Fields was married in New Paltz, Ulster County, NY., December 12, 1682 to Sarah du Bois, who is mentioned above. Four children were born to them while they resided in Kingston and baptized there, I, Jan (John) In 1683; who undoubtedly later settled in Berkeley Co., Va. Dying there in 1745 and leaving eleven children, five sons and six daughters, one of whom Elizabeth married, Col. Thomas Shepherd, and another Solomon Hedges (This Solomon Hedges is the one mentioned in George Washington Journal when surveying beyond the Blue Ridge in 1747-48). II. Rebecca in 1686 who married in 1704 Cornelius Elting and had ten children, III. Lysbeth in 1689 of whom nothing is yet known. IV. Hendrick (Henry) in 1695; who married a number of times and finally settled in Salem County, NJ., where he died in 1759 leaving ten children. His last wife was Mary, sister of Erasmus Fetters.

Isaac the fifth child of Joost Jan Van Meteren and Sara Du Bois was not baptized at Kingston, so far as the records show, but when and where is not known. Whether there were other children or not , is not positively known but indications point that there were.

To return to Jan Joost the progenitor, until 1695 his name as above stated appears at frequent intervals upon the records of Ulster Co., NY. In this year however he purchased land in West Jersey, and in this state he appears to have had his residence for the remainder of his life. His son Joost Jan Van Meteren with his family accompanied him. The progenitor died in 1706, his will dated June 13th of this year, being filed among the Dutch will of New Jersey and is sworn to by John Van Metre of Burlington, who is Joost Jan Van Meter his son. By this time the same spelling had become anglicized and to this we will adhere.

John Van Meter (Joost Jan Van Meteren) is the "John the Indian trader" so frequently mentioned in history. By the nature of his life, his habitation was seldom fixed for a definite length of time but proof exists that he dwelt in different periods in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This roving disposition has stamped to a lesser degree in his sons John and Isaac. It is with the latter however we are more interested.

Isaac married about 1717 Ann or Annah (Annetgie) Wynkoop. She was a daughter of Gerritt Wynkoop and his wife Helena Fokker, one of the issue of nine children, born in Ulster Co., NY., between the years 1694 – 1713. The Wynkoops removed from New York to Mooreland Manor, Penn. About the latter year. It was here that Isaac married. Unfortunately the records of the church, and the church always followed the settlement, are destroyed. In the beginning it was the fatherland religion, but was admitted to the Presbytery of Philadelphia; which, consultation to those records will show. This accounts for the change to Presbyterianism of Isaac and his family.

The next definite date in Isaac’s life brings him to Salem Co., NJ., and here was his residence until his hegira to Va., where he died. In 1714 Daniel Cox, of New Jersey sold 3000 acres of land to Jacob du Bois of Ulster Co., NY. , (a brother of Sarah du Bois, the wife of Jan Joost Van Meteren) Sarah du Bois, John Van Meter and Isaac Van Meter, (the mother and two sons.) This was subsequently divided among them of which John individually acquired 400 acres and Isaac 430 acres.

Isaac bought many other tracts in Salem Co., also and passed a very active life there as did his brother John and Henry. The most important probably to his descendant, being the prominent part he took in the founding of the Pittsgrove (Pilesgrove) Presbyterian Church of Salem Co., NY. The covenant of which was signed 13th April 1741. This he is designated in signing as number 1: his wife Hannah, 2; their son Henry, 3; and their daughter Sarah, 4.

In 1730, on the 17th of June, Isaac obtained from Governor Gooch, of Virginia, a tract of 10,000 acres "beyond the Blue Ridge" upon which he and "divers other families" were to settle. On the same date John Van Meter pf the province of NY., obtained a like grant. This was the land subsequently sold Joost Hite who settled it. These transactions are the cause of Isaac’s subsequent settlement in the South Branch Valley though it was not until 1744 that the actual migration of himself and family took place. He built and resided at Fort Pleasant, Old Fields where he was killed and scalped by the Indians in 1757. His will dated February 15, 1754 was filed December 14, 1757, with the county clerk of Hampshire Co. The residence being then in that county and subsequently embraced in Hardy when that county was erected. His family consisted of seven children I. Henry Van Meter who married March 7, 1741, at the First Presbyterian church Philadelphia, Rebecca du Bois daughter of Isaac and Rachel (his cousin) du Bois (one of their sons Joseph who served in the 8th Va., Infantry married, Mary daughter of Joseph Hannah (McColloch) Inskeep. II. Sarah Van Meter baptized February 23, 1722, married January 27, 1741-2 John Richman. They had three children, Rebekah born 1743, Isaac born 1745, Abraham born 1749. III. Rebecca Van Meter who married Abraham Hite son of Jost Hite. IV. Garret Van Meter, who died 1788, having married April 3, 1757 Ann Sibley Markee widow of John Sibley. They had seven children: Isaac B. 10-12-1757 D. 12-13-1837, married 6-27 1780, Elizabeth Inskeep daughter of Joseph and Hannah (McColloch) Inskeep; Henry a second Henry, David, who died as infants; Jacob B. 5-19 1764 D. 10-15 1825 married 1-1-1791, Tabitha sister of Elizabeth Inskeep; Abraham who died an infant; and Ann B. 4-15-1767 D. about 1825, married 8-2-1785 Abel Seymour. V. Jacob Van Meter of whom nothing definite is known. VI. Catherine Van Meter who married George McColloch and died presumably without issue between 1757 and 1768. VII. Hilita Van Meter of whom nothing is known.

Published in Moorefield Examiner, January 12, 1905.


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