An American Family History


The Van Meter Family


The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia borders Maryland and Virginia. The first European settlers started arriving about 1730.



  also spelled Vanmeter, Vanmetre, Van Metre, Van Matre, Van Meteren, Van Maitre,  

West Virginia is located in the Appalachians and was originally part of Virginia. The capital and largest city is Charleston. It became a state during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863.

John Van Meter (Joost Jans van Meteren) was born in Holland.

He married Sara du Bois on December 12, 1682. Sarah was the daughter of Louis du Bois and Catherine Blanchan.

Jan (John) Van Meter (1683, married Sara Bodine and Margaret Mollenauer),
Rebecca Van Meter (1686, married Cornelius Elting),
Lysbeth Van Meter (1689),
Isaac Van Meter (1692, married Annetje Wynkoop),
Rachel Van Meter (1697),
Cattron Van Meter (1693, married John Blue),
Hendrick Van Meter (1695, married Rebecca Du Bois and Mary Feltere),
Abraham Van Meter (1700), and
Jacob Van Meter (1705).

At first they lived in Ulster County, New York.

In 1714 they moved to Salem, New Jersey where they owned a part of a 1,200 acre tract.

In 1716 they sold their portion of the tract to Jacob du Bois.



Opequon Creek is tributary of the Potomac River. It joins the Potomac northeast of Martinsburg and its source is at the foot of Great North Mountain. It is part of the boundary between Frederick and Clarke counties in Virginia and between Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia.

John Van Meter was born in 1683 in New York. He was a son of Joost Jans van Meteren and Sarah Du Bois.

John married Sarah Bodine. Sarah was a daughter of Jean Bodine and Marie Crocheron.

John and Sarah's children were born in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Sarah Van Meter (1706, married James Davis)
Johannes Van Meter (1708, married Rebecca Powelson)
Maria Van Meter (1709, married Robert Jones).

His second wife was Margaret Mollenauer.

Rebecca Van Meter (1711, married Solomon Hedges),
Isaac Van Meter ( 1713, married Elsje Scholl),
Elizabeth Van Meter (1715, married Thomas Shepherd),
Henry Van Meter (1717, married Hannah Pyle),
Rachel Van Meter (1719)
Abraham Van Meter (married Ruth Hedges)
Jacob Van Meter (1723, married Letitia Stroud), and
Magdalina Van Meter (1725, married Robert Pusey).

The Van Meter family moved to Berkeley County, West Virginia.

In 1730, Virginia granted John a 20,000-acre tract in the fork of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers that was bounded on the North by Opequon Creek and and included the Shephardstown, Bakerton, and Harper's Ferry area, but also parts of Jefferson and Berkeley Counties. Van Meter, like other grantees of the time, was to settle one family of non-Virginians for each 1,000 acres he received.

Much of John Van Meter's land was then patented to Jost Hite on June 12, 1734, after Hite had purchased part of Van Meter's holdings and established the required number of families in this area.

The Van Meters were early settlers in, what is now, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. On June 12, 1734, John was granted 1,786 acres on Jones Mill Run near Martinsburg.

The same day he was granted 885 acres on the east side of Opequon Creek.

John's will was probated on September 3, 1745 in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia.

Source: J. Estelle Stewart King, Abstracts of Wills, Inventories, and Administration Accounts of Frederick County, Virginia 1743-1800 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980).

Van Meter, John
Will, 13 August 1745. 3 September 1745.
Securities: Thomas Swearingen, Thomas Shepherd, John Hite.
Wit: Joseph Carroll, Edward Morgan, Andrew Corn

Berkeley County, Virginia was created from the northern third of Frederick County, Virginia in 1772. Jefferson County was formed from the county's eastern section. In 1863 Berkeley County became part of the new state of West Virginia.

Abraham Van Meter was born about 1721 in New Jersey.

He married Ruth Hedges

Joseph Van Meter (1743, married Isabella Evans),
Jacob Van Meter (1745)
Rebecca Van Meter (1746)
Isaac Van Meter (1747)
Mary Van Meter (1748, married William Gorrell), and
Abraham Van Meter (1751, married Eizabeth Burns).

His second wife was Martha Roberts Wheeler.

John Van Meter (1752)
Ruth Van Meter (1753, married Uriah Blue)
Daniel Van Meter (1755)
Hannah Van Meter (1760, married Providence Mounts).

Abraham owned several large tracts of land on Opequon Creek.


The New River flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia .In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) was captured by Shawnee warriors near Blacksburg and taken to Ohio. She escaped and made her way home by following the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.

Jacob Van Meter was born about 1723 in New Jersey. He was the son of John Van Meter and Margaret Mulliner (or Mollenauer).

He married Letitia Stroud on August 30, 1741 in Frederick County, Virginia. Leticia was the daughter of Edward Stroud and Eleanor Shepard.

Jacob and Letitia's children may have included:

Eleanor Van Meter (1742)
Abraham Van Meter (1744)
Rebecca Van Meter (1746)
Susan Van Meter ( 1750)
Elizabeth Van Meter (1752)
Mary Van Meter (1757)
Isaac Van Meter (1759)
Margaret Van Meter (1759)
Jacob Van Meter Jr. (1762)
John Van Meter (1764), and
Alsey Van Meter (1766).

From Frederick County Road Orders

8 August 1754, Frederick County Order Book 6, p. 36
Ordered that Thomas Shepard Jacob Vanmeter and Robert Buckles being first sworn do view and mark a Road from Catons Ford the most convenient and best way to Vestals Gap and make report to next Court

In 1779, he applied for permission to take his family and "pass unmolested to the Falls of the Ohio." In the spring of 1780 they reached the Severns Valley, in what was then Jefferson, later Hardin County, Kentucky where he bought land from John Severns.

They were members of the Severns Valley Baptist Church, built a grain mill on Valley Creek, and operated a still and a tavern.






Jacob Vanmeter of Frederick Co.
96 A. near Potomack R.
adj. land he lives on in said Co. Capt. Thomas Swearingen.
Surv. Thomas Rutherford.
25 Feb. 1761



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©Roberta Tuller 2019
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