Davis Uriah I | Born 1707


Male 1723 - 1798  (75 years)

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  • Name VANMETER, Jacob 
    Born 17/17 Mar 1722/1723  Somerset County, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 16 Nov 1798  Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5790  Uriah Davis I - Genealogy
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2018 

    Father VAN METEREN, Jan Jansen,   b. 14 Oct 1683, Kingston, Ulster County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aug 1745, Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Mother MOLLENAUER, Margaret,   b. Abt 1687, Somerset County, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Aug 1745, Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 58 years) 
    Married 1710  Somerville, Somerset County, New Jersey Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F2247  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family STRODE, Leticia,   b. 30 Aug 1725, Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1799, Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years) 
    Married 30 Aug 1741  Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. VANMETER, Eleanor,   b. Oct 1742,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. VANMETER, Abraham,   b. 13 Jun 1744,   d. Yes, date unknown
     3. VANMETER, Rebecca,   b. Sep 1746,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. VANMETER, Elizabeth,   b. 1748,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. VANMETER, Susannah,   b. 2 Jul 1750,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. VANMETER, Alsey,   b. 25 Oct 1752,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. VANMETER, Rachel,   b. Abt 1754,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. VANMETER, Mary,   b. 11 Feb 1757,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. VANMETER, Isaac,   b. 2 Feb 1759,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. VANMETER, Margaret,   b. 27 Dec 1759,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. VANMETER, Jacob,   b. 4 Oct 1762,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. VANMETER, John,   b. 1764, Frederick County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1822, Grayson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 59 years)
     13. VANMETER, William B.,   b. Abt 1766,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 24 Jun 2018 
    Family ID F2211  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 

    • Jacob served in Captain Richard Morgan's company from Mecklinburg, Virginia in the French and Indian War from 1756 to 1758 [Shepherdtown Register, 14 January 1903]. "About 1768, Jacob Van Meter, together with John Swan, Sr., and others made a tour of the lands, then claimed as part of northwestern Virginia, since established as a southwestern part of Pennsylvania. They had decided to sell their property in the Winchester, Virginia vicinity and locate on land which was to be granted for service in the French and Indian War. They reached the vicinity of present Carmichaelstown, in present Greene County, Pennsylvania, and 'tomahawked' (marked on trees) such land as they wanted along Muddy Creek in what is known as "Ten Mile County", land lying on the western side of Ten Mile Creek, a tributary of the Monongahela River. Returning home, they brought back their families, slaves and such household goods as could be carried on pack horses. There were about fifty people in the party which settled along Muddy Creek. "Van Meter was granted 400 acres of land on the westside of the Monongahela, (Application Number 2405, dated 3 April 1769), also a grant for 211 acres, a tract called 'Burgundy,' also on the westside of the river. "John Swan, Thomas Hughes and Henry Van Meter, brother of Jacob, were also granted land for services. All four erected forts located near each other on bottom land, not far from the mouth of MuddyCreek:
      Fort Van Meter, by Jacob Van Meter, on Muddy Creek;
      Fort Swan, by John Swan, on Swan's Run;
      Another Fort Van Meter, by Henry Van Meter, on Swan's Run.
      The location of Thomas Hughes' fort is not listed.
      The fact that Jacob Van Meter was a deeply religious man is attested by his actions in helping organize three Baptist churches in his life time. Ellis' History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania relates the story of the forming of the Great Bethl Regular Baptist church: "This organization was formed in the year 1770, and is evidently one of the first religious societies established within the boundaries of Fayette County (Pennsylvania).... In the oldest books of records ... the following letter is copied verbatim, viz: 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Great Bethel, Constituted as is supposed in Province of Pennsylvania, holding Believers, Baptism, & c, sindeth greeting To all Christian People to whom these may Concern, ... Sign'd by us this Eighth day of November in the year of our lord Christ--1770.
      Witness our hands,
      Jacob Vanmetre
      Richard Hall
      Zepheniah Blackford
      Because we are few in number our sisters are allowed to sign.
      Rachel Sutton
      Lettice Vanmetre
      Sarah Hall
      N.B. 'That this Church was Constituted by me, Nov. 7th, 1770, and that the Bearer was licensed to Preach before me, or in my Presence, as witness my hand this 8th day of Nov., 1770. Henry Crosbye.''
      Jacob Van Meter was instrumental in the organization of another church while living in Pennsylvania: Goshen Baptist Church, organized in 1774 in Garrard's Fort, when he moved there. In that original body were found ten members of the Van Meteramily: Jacob and his wife, Letitia , Rebecca and her husband, Edward Rawlings, Susannah, and her husband, Reverend John Garrard, Mary and her husband, David Henton (who was the first clerk of this church), Elizabeth, and her husband John Swan, Jr.
      A list of the families who settled in the 'Ten Mile Country' is of interest in that their associations did not end there, but through marriage and otherwise, continued in Kentucky: Van Meter, Swan, Strode, Hughes, Shelby, Harrod, Coleman, Brow, Rice, Biggs, Kincaid, Chenoweth, Garrard, Heaton (Henton),. They doubtless regarded themselves as being "Virginians," living on the land claimed by both Virginia and Pennsylvania, and had a feeling of support for a fellow Virginian, George Rogers Clark, not felt by the Pennsylvanians, in Clark's military campaigns during the Revolution.
      The Harrods are familiar names to students of Revolutionary War history and of Clark's campaign in the Northwest. The Van Meters and Swan family were also represented in Clark's force. William Harrod was a captain in the Illinois Regiment, Jon Swan, Jr. a lieutenant, Jacob Van Meter, son of Henry Van Meter, and nephew of Jacob Van Meter Sr., was ensign of the regiment. Richard Chenoweth, John Hughes and Isaac Van Meter, son of Jacob Van Meter Sr., are listed as privates among those who received land for their services under Clark. The "Ten Mile Country" was well represented in the Illinois Regiment....
      The Revolution had not ended but the men from "Ten Mile Country" had returned from the war in the Northwest Territory and some would be in the colony of over a hundred people organized by Jacob Van Meter, Sr. to move to 'Kaintucke."
      Official records regarding Jacob include:
      1. Constable on 6 December 1774 when Joseph Hill was appointed in his stead [Annual, Carnegie Museum, V. 1, p. 526].
      2. He was on the Committee for Augusta County, Virginia which met in Pittsburgh on 16 May 1775 .
      3. He also appears in the minutes of the Court of Yohogania County, Virginia (prior to the date when that section was established as part of Pennsylvania) for 23 March 1779.
      4. Jacob and his son Abraham and others produced recommendations from the Court of Monongahela County, Virginia to pass unmolested to the Falls of the Ohio (now Louisville, Kentucky), which recommendations were read and approved.
      5. On 18 September 1779 Jacob Van Meter and his family had been granted certificates of dismission by the Goshen Baptist Church. Jacob took 27 house boats at Fort Pitt in 1779, loaded with household goods, livestock and anything they could pile on the boats, and went down the Ohio River, landing near Bear Grass (now Louisville) [Draper Manuscripts CC-11, p.232].
      All of the Van Meter children, with the exception of daughter Eleanor, accompanied their parents, together with their husbands and wives. One babe in arms was in the party, the little daughter of Lieutenant John Swan Jr., and his wife, Elizabeh Van Meter. Swan was sitting on the deck on one of the boats with his little girl in his arms when he was struck by an Indian arrow, fired from the river bank. His wife grabbed his gunand began helping the men ward off the attack. Another tragedy struck the party when Mary Van Meter's husband, David Henton, fell into the river while helping unload the boats and was drowned.
      In the party were two families of slaves belonging to the Jacob Van Meter Sr. In his will were provisions that they were to be set free upon the death of his wife. They were to serve her during her lifetime, but if she lived until they were thity years old, they were to be given their freedom.
      They started in September 1779 and arrived at Severns Valley, Hardin County, Kentucky in June 1780. They were first to settle between the Ohio and Green Rivers in the Wilderness, a colony of 100 persons.
      Jacob was active in military operations along the Ohio and served under General George Rogers Clark in Kaskaskia against the Indians under renegade Simon Girty in 1782 (when they tried to run the white settlers out of Kentucky). He was on the Cshocton campaign in Captain William Crawford's Company under the command of his nephew Colonel David Shepherd in 1791 [Wither's Chronicals p. 133 and Shepherd's Papers, V. 4, p. 3].
      Louisville, which had been established as a town at the Falls of the Ohio in 1780, saw great numbers of settlers from Virginia and Pennsylvania arrive by way of the Ohio River and scatter south into the country toward the Green River. Among thm were Jacob Van Meter and his family who had arrived at the Falls in the previous fall and waited for the warm spring months before moving on to their new home. Jacob came to Severns Valley and later settled on the farm known as the "Strickler Place," about two miles from Elizabethtown on Billy's Creek, near where it joins that main stream of Valley Creek. Jefferson County records show that Jacob Van Meter, Stephen Rawlings and Edward Rawlings all bought land from John Severns, who also sold 400 acres to Andrew Hynes in November 1779.
      Jacob built a fort near Haycraft's soon after his arrival. The following account first appeared in the Elizabethtown News in 1869 and was republished in book form in 1889-90: "In the year 1780 the first settlements were made around the presentite of Elizabethtown, then Jefferson county, Virginia, and the three forts were erected. They were rather stockades, afterward called stations.
      The manner of erecting these forts was to dig a trench with spades or hoes or such implements as they could command, then set in split timbers, reaching ten or twelve feet above the ground and fixed around the proposed ground sufficiently lare to contain some five, six or eight dwellings with a block house, as a kind of citadel with port holes. "That was considered a sufficient defense against the Indians armed with rifles or bows and arrows, but with a siege gun of the present day (1869) a well directed shot would level a hundred yards of these pristine fortifications.
      The mode of attack by the Indians when in sufficient force was to try to storm the fort, or by lighted torches thrown upon the roofs of the buildings within to burn out the besieged, but they rarely succeeded in setting fire. If in small forcehe Indians would conceal themselves behind trees and watch a whole day for some unwary pale-face to show himself above the fortification and pick him off.
      He then built a grain mill on Valley Creek where Billy's Creek enters it. Others say he also had a still. (He had a still and a tavern license to keep travelers in his home at the time of his death).
      He is said to have raised the first wheat in Hardin County, having brought the seed with him from Virginia.
      A year after arrival in Severns Valley, Jacob Van Meter assisted in organizing the Severns Valley Baptist Church, the oldest church west of the Allegheny Mountains, still in existence and one of the largest Baptist bodies in Kentucky at this dae. Jess Thompson reported that the church was "established under a spreading sugar tree in the Kentucky wilderness on 17 June 1781 ." His wife, his son, Jacob, Jr., and his Negro man, Bambo, were also members. Many of his descendants have become noted in carrying on the work of the church.
      The elder Van Meter was an extensive landholder, having fourteen grants of land from the Virginia government, dated 1783 and 1784. One was a preemption Treasury Warrant signed by Beverly Randolph. Doubtless, some of the land was divided among hs children and members of his family. The Auditor's office has no record of land granted to his son-in-law, SamuelHaycraft.
      Jacob built a small grist mill at the mouth of Billy's Creek for grinding corn and wheat. Corn was ground there for the small distillery operated by Samuel Haycraft. Samuel Haycraft, Jr. who wrote the History of Elizabethtown mentions that,s a young boy it was his duty to go with a bag of corn three times daily (Sunday excepted) to the mill of his grandfather.
      Jacob died at his home in Hardin County, Kentucky on 16 November 1798. He and Letitia, who died the following year, were buried side by side in a family cemetery. His son, Jacob, procured a sandstone rock for a tombstone and cut the following iscription on it: 'Here Lizes The Body of Jacob Van Meter Died in the 76 Yare of His Age November the 16, 1798.' Jess Thompson states that "The spellings in this crude inscription appear to be an attempt to give to the words the sound that old Jacob gave to them throughout his life." Jacob's son-in-law, Haycraft, stated "Therefore let no man pretend to criticise it (the epitaph) or alter it. It is a jewel to me, so all mankind let it alone. It is the honest homespun epitaph of a good man and Christian, who braved all the perils of his day, honorable, kind, hospitable and generous, and truly a patriarch."
      At the time of his death, he owned 7,891 acres. The inventory of his estate covers four pages of Will Book A, pages 80 to 84 and 216, Hardin County Court. In 1965 a descendant, Mrs. Lee Sims (Ruth Bruner) of Frankfort, Kentucky had the ashes reoved to the Elizabethtown City Cemetery, Hardin County, Kentucky, as all of Jacob's home farm was being made into a subdivision of Elizabethtown. It is beside his daughter Margaret and her husband Samuel Haycraft that they are now resting and their grave has a beautiful bronze marker to tell of his exploits:
      American Patriot - Soldier - Kentucky Pioneer. Ensign 12th Virginia Regiment in French and Indian War. Captain, Illinois Regiment, Virginia State. American Patriot-Soldier.
      Kentucky Pioneer Troops in American Revolution and served on Committee of Observation at Pittsburgh. Commanded a Company in General George Rogers Clark's Expedition to take Northwest Territory. Led Band of 100 Persons from Virginia to Kentucky Down the Ohio River on 27 Flat Boats to Severns Valley in 1779-1780. Built one of the first Forts in Kentucky and Helped Establish the First Permanent Settlement between the falls of the Ohio and Green Rivers at Elizabethtown. Prominent in founding Hardin County. One of the Organizers of Severns Valley Baptist Church 1781, Oldest Church West of the Alleghany Mountains. Captain Jacob Van Meter
      Chapter Daughters of American Revolution Named in his Honor.
      His Wife
      Married in Virginia 1741