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Van Meter


I Remember, I Remember
Van Meter family
by Minnie Hite Moody
 

   Readers of my novel "Long Meadows" published 30 years ago, still write to ask questions about the numerous families involved, though the book is essentially a fictional history of the Hite family.
   However, as I mention time and again, each of us has two grandparents on each side, our Mother's and our father's, which makes four. Now multiply four by the number of grandparents your grandparents had and you run into real mathematics. At your own risk, keep on going back for somewhere among the lot you will turn up, if you venture into genealogy, a few crooks, scamps, or scallawags. If you come upon none, you are lucky.
   The old baron Jost Heydt generally conceded to be the first settler of the Shenandoah Valley (1732) and his wife Anna Maria du Bois Heydt, were connected over and over with pioneer Dutch, French Huguenot, and Bavarian families. Anna Maria's uncle Louis du Bois (in New York history called "The Patentee") was born in 1626 and died in 1696. He and his wife, Catherine Blanchan, Huguenot refugees, came to New York in 1661 on the ship, "St. Jean  Baptiste".
   They settled at New Paltz in 1664. Louis was a Patentee and member the First Court of Schepen. In 1663, he led an expedition against the Indians - for a very good reason. They had captured and carried off Catherine and her infant, as they prepared to burn her at the stake, the baby in her arms, Catherine began to sing hymns, as much to soothe her child as to give herself comfort. Fortunately her husband and soldiers arrived just as the torches were set to her funeral pyre. She was rescued and died in 1713, outliving her husband.
   Her daughter Sara du Bois (a year younger than the child almost burned at the stake) was born in 1664. In 1682 Sara married Joost Janse Van Meteren who was born in 1660 and died in 1700. Now we begin to make connections with central Ohio, for the Van Meters who settled in old Fairfield County (which embraced the present Licking) and whose descendants still live in Licking and Fairfield counties, directly descend from this line of Van Meters. The Van Meters are intermarried so many times with the DuBois, Heydt, Schlect, Eltnge, Hite and Wyncoop families (to mention only a few) I have kept postponing writing about them, for I simply do not have time to prepare family trees as required.
   Perhaps the few facts I shall outline will be of help to those local Van Meter descendants who have time and again requested Van Meter information. The family has been written about many times in such journals as West Virginia Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1903, and in The Kentucky Register, 22-41, as well as in The New Netherlands Register.
   Alas, in these articles and others there appears confusion between Jan Jossten Van Meteren and his son Joost Janset Van Meteren. In the next generation, sons Jooste Jans and Isaac, grandsons of Jan Joosten Van Metern, had made their fortunes trading with Indians for furs and for lands. Based in New Jersey, with headquarters in Bergan County, the lands they possessed extended far into Virginia, and it was from them that Jost Heydt secured the 32,000 acres in Old Frederick County on which he settled. Isaac Van Meter, killed and scalped by Indians as an old man, near what is now Moorefield, W. Va., was my great-great-great-great grandfather. A West Virginia highway historical marker indicates the place of his death.
   By a strange whim of fate, my younger daughter, the blue eyed child, now lives in Bergan County, N.J., in the very area where long ago the Van Meteren brothers, one her five-times great-grandfather, plied their trade in the 16 and 17 hundreds.
   Jan Joosten van Meteren (literally John, son of Joseph of Meteren) came from Tiederwalt, Holland, with wife and five children on the ship, "Fox", which arrived in New York, Sept. 2, 1662. His wife was Mayeken Hendrix or Hendricks (Ulster County, N. Y. Probate Records, Anjov. Vol. 1, page 41). He served on a commission appointed to superintendant  enclosing the village of Nieu Dorp (Hurley) in Ulster County, with palisades, was a magistrate 1666, 1668, 1672, Justice of the Peace 1681, 1682, member of the militia, 1679, and signed the oath of allegiance 1689.
   On Dec. 16, 1681, Jan Joosten and wife Mayeken (Mayke, Mary, Maria) signed a testamentary disposition in which only three children are named - Joost, Gysbert, and Lysbeth. The same article that mentions this (In the New Netherlands Register) states that this document was written in Dutch, was probated at Burlington, N. J., June 13, 1706, and that Jan Joosten with his family moved to Salem County, New Jersey, about 1697.
   In Ships Arrivals for 1682 it is stated that the five children of Jan Joosten Van Meteren were aged 15,12, 9, 6, and 2 1/2. Some later writers name a daughter Geertje, who married a Crum or Crom, this making a total of four who apparently survived childhood. As Joost is always named first, he was probably the eldest. The children were:
 

   1 Joost Jansen (if eldest, born 1647. If eldest son, born 1650-1660)
   2 Gysbert
   3 Geertje (Gertrude)
   4 Lysbeth
   5 (Name unknown)
 

   Joost Jansen Van Meteren, son of Jan Joosten, was born in Gelderland, Holland; came with his parents to America in 1662, married Sara du Bois, daughter of Louis du Bois. Their children were baptized in Old Dutch Church, Kingston. They were Jan, born 1683, Rebecca, baptized April 26, 1686, married Cornelius Eltinge; Lysbeth, born 1689, Isaac, Married Hannah Wyncoop, Hendrix baptized Sept. 1, 1695.?
Source: The Advocate; Newark, Ohio; Oct. 19, 1971; page 15.
(Courtesy of Wendy Mammoliti)
Posted March 2, 2013






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