An American Family History


John Van Meter


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,  

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.








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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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