Isaac Van Metre
Isaac Van Metre was the son of Joost Jansen Van Meteren and Sara DuBois; and brother of the famous John Van Metre the Indian Trader. Van Metre also spelled Van Meter and Vanmeter. Another Pioneer in the family, he likely spent some of his time exploring with his father and brother.
Baptized: 9 Aug 1692 in Somerset County, New Jersey, Colonial America. 1
Died: 8 Oct 1757 at the age of 65 in Fort Pleasant, Hampshire County, Virginia, Colonial America (now Hardy County, West Virginia). Isaac was killed and scalped by the Delaware and Shawnee Indians.
Married 1st: About 1716 Catherine “Catalina” (Bodine) Mollinaur in Somerset County, New Jersey.
Married 2nd: After August 1724 Annetje “Hanna” “Anna” Wynkoop Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
Find A Grave: Memorial #67559862 buried at VanMeter Cemetery, Hardy County, West Virginia, USA.
Notes: Some webgens show a 3rd wife, Catherine Hendrickse, but Catherine Bodine was 1st married to Hendrick Mollinaur, hence the possible confusion. In the “A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre family” by Samuel Gordon Smyth, page 162 he states Catalina was the widow of Molenaer Hendrickse (not Hendrick Molenaer). I believe someone interpreted Caterinas married name as Catherine Hendrickse from this and it went viral.
In the book “Genealogies and sketches of some old families who have taken prominent part in the development of Virginia and Kentucky” by Benjamin F. Van Meter, page 493, imply that Isaac is the son of John Van Metre, grandson of Krijn Van Metre who’s father was Jan Gijsbertse Van Meteren (1625-1709) who was the cousin of Jan Joost Van Meteren (1630-1706). However, the descendants of Krijn settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey. See my post Jan Gijsbertse Van Meteren Family. This Isaac is the brother of John Van Metre the Indian Trader, not his son.
Table of Contents
Catherine “Catalina” (Bodine) Mollinaur, daughter of Jean and Marie (Cocheron) Bodine and widow of Hendrick Mollinauer (spelling varies).
Born: About 1688 probably in Staten Island, Richmond County, New York, Colonial America.
Died: After August 1724 and before 1741 in Salem County, New Jersey, Colonial America.*
Married 1st: About 1705 Hendrick Mollinauer, possible son of Joost Adriaensen Mollenauer and Lysbet Wilems Crom.
Find A Grave: Memorial #171862155 – although this memorial is connected to Issac, the information is mostly incorrect. Catherine most likely died Salem County, New Jersey. Isaac did not move to Hampshire County, Virginia (now Hardy County, West Virginia) until 1740, long after Catherine died.
Notes: Catherine and Hendrick Mollenaur had several children, including: Joost Adriansen, Mayken, Jan and Lisbet.
*There is conflicting information about the date of Catherines death. Many believe she died about the time Henry was born. However, the birth record of their son Abraham, baptized 12 Aug 1724 in Pilesgrove, Salem County, New Jersey, notes that his parents were “Isaac and Cataline Ver-Meeter”. This implies she was still living in August 1724 and must be the mother of those born up to and including Abraham.4 In 1741 Hannah is showing as Isaacs wife in the church records.
Annetje “Hanna” and “Anna” Wynkoop daughter of Gerritt Gerardus and Hillitje Gerritsen (Focken or Fokker) Wyncoop of Moreland Manor, near Philadelphia, Pa.
Baptized: 21 Aug 1698 in Kingston, Ulster County, New York, Colonial America.
Died: 11 Sep 1773 at the age of 75 in Hampshire County, Virginia (now Hardy County, West Virginia), Colonial America.
Find A Grave: Memorial #67559785 buried in Van Meter Cemetery, Hardy County, West Virginia, USA.
Isaac Van Metre - Somerset County, New Jersey
Although all of his siblings were born and Baptized in Kingston or Middletown, New York, Isaac was born and baptized in Somerset County, West Jersey (now New Jersey), during a time his parents Joost Janse Van Meteren and Sara DuBois, were in that area. It appears that the family returned to Kingston after Isaacs birth, then returned to Somerset County, New Jersey, after their son (Isaacs brother) Henry’s birth, around 1700 or so. They settled on property on the South branch of the Raritan River. The county was establish May 14, 1688 and it appears that Isaacs family was there as early as 1690, so were likely one of the early families to settle there.
This is where Isaac probably spent much of his youth.
It appears that his marriage to Katherine (Bodine) Mollenauer was in this county, but by the time their son Henry was born in 1718 they had moved to Salem County, New Jersey.
Isaac was named administrator to the estate of Hendrick “Henry” Mollinaer (husband of Catherine (Bodine) Mullenaer). The following is an excerpt5
1712-3 Jan. 26. Mulliner, Mulliner, Mullinaer, Miller, Henderick (Henry), of Somersdet Co., yeaoman; will of. Wife Cathelina. Children–Yost, Ariency, John, Mary, Elizabeth. Farm on South branch of Rarington River. Personal property. Executors–Arian Mulliner and Isaac Bodine. Witnesses–Thomas Hall, Albert Louwee, Jacob Stoel.
Proved March 4, 1718-9 Lib. A, p. 114
1718-9 March 4. The executors, named in the will, refuse to act.
1719 June 9. Bond of Isaac van Metere as administrator of the estate of. John van Metere and Henry van Metere, fellow bondsmen, all of Salem Co., yeomen.
1719 June 9. Inventory of the personal estate, £45; made by Jno. Read and John Whitall. Sworn to in Salem Co. by Isaac van Metere as administrator
Henry Mollenauer’s will was written in 1712-3. He most likely died about 1714. The will was not proven untiil 1718-9. I speculate that sometime prior to 1718 (probably about 1716), Isaac married Henry Mollenaers widow, Catherine (Bodine) Mollenaer. At that time, the original executors turned the estate over to Isaac to administer and therefore it was not proven until 1718-9.
Isaac Van Metre - Salem County, New Jersey
In 1714, Isaac, his mother Sara DuBois, brother John, uncle Jacob DuBois and two of his sons acquired 3,000 acres of land in Salem County, between the Alloways creek and Cohansy River, near Daretown and Upper Pittsgrove. See my post New Jersey History & Colonial America.
On the first of September, 1716, the 3,000 acres surveyed by Benjamin Acton, were divided so that each of the parties received about four hundred and fifty acres, and in the course of a few years these allotments were augmented by individual purchases of other lands from different settlers. The DuBois brothers took the north half and the Van Metre brothers took the south half.
After Catherines death (date unknown) Isaac 2nd married Annetje “Hanna or Anna” Wynkoop, daughter of Gerrit Gerardus Wynkoop and Hillitje Gerritsen Focken (aka Fokker) at the First Presbyterian Church in Philladelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Old Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church
Isaac assisted with establishing the Old Pittsgrove Presbyterian Church, as was noted in the A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre Family:6
Many of the families during the first half of the 1700’s had baptized their children in the First Presbyterian Church at Philadelphia. It is recorded that the Van Metre family and friends were anxious to have a place of worship established among them and they made persevering efforts to obtain it. “On the 22nd of May, 1739, Isaac Van Metre, “on behalf of himself and many inhabitants of Pilesgrove,” made application to the Philadelphia Presbytery to the effect, but the project met with considerable opposition from the congregation at Deerfield, in Cumberland County, a few miles away. The matter dragged along for the two succeeding years, the people meanwhile worshiping in a school house and at private residences; the movement, however, being finally successful, a covenant was signed organizing the Presbyterian Church of Pittsgrove [Pile’s Grove], and among the first to sign the covenant were: Issac Van Metre, Hanna, his wife, their son Henry and daughter Sarah; and among the thirty or more signatures following appear the names of Cornelius Newkirk, his wife Rachael and their son Abraham; Barent du Bois and his wife Jacomyntje. The first marriage there was that of Isaac’s daughter Sarah to John Richman, 27th January, 1741/2. Under the influences of this church Isaac’s children were reared and a number of them have been among its leading officers; Isaac was one of the first elders.”
I suspect they traveled the rivers by boat or sloop, as was common transportation at that time. Their land was on the Alloway Creek, which was commonly used for transportation.
The following was found in the “Vital Records of the Pittsgrove, N.J. Presbyterian Church, 1740 to 1768”:7
April 30, 1741 – Isaac was the first name listed in the first record of the Pittsgrove, N.J. Presbyterian Church along with his wife and his two adult children.
- Isaac Van Meter,
- Hanna his wife
- Henry van Meter (their son).
- Sarah van Meter (their daughter)
The DuBois family is also prominently listed.
July 26-1743 – oops, Isaac is debarred and suspended from the church:
July 26-1743. Harman Richman complaining that Isaac Van Meter, at the public house of Obadiah Lloyd, had lately before company, abused him, by abusive, railing threatening words, and raging behavior. It appeared upon examination of the case, partly by confession of the said Isaac, as well as by the evidence of several witnesses, That the said Isaac, in some angry discourse with the said Harman, did call the said Harman several times an old aggravating dog, and a cursed old devil, & that he would (or had a mind to) have the heartblood of the said Harman, and in a continued raging, provoking, threatening manner, holding out his fists to, or toward the face of the said Harman: threatening to lick or beat him, with more such like expressions, & ragious behavior. Now the said Isaac being a member in full communion, and looked upon to be one chief leading man of our christian congregation, whose profession, age, and gray hairs should have influenced him to be an example of Christian behavior to all about him: That he should let himself loose, as abovesaid to use the hellish Language, and postures, of the most profane, of the vilest of men, and that in such a public place and manner, to the dishonor of God, scandal of the Christian Religion; shame and grief of serious christians, and the opening of the mouth of the wicked, to blaspheme the name of God, his holy ways & people, and thereby to harden themselves unto their wicked ways and their perdition. — Therefore as our Lord Jesus Christ the King of his Church, hath numbered revilers and railers, with the vilest of sinners, & hath forbidden his church to eath with them (I Cor. 6, 9. 10, with chapter 5-11, 12, 13) So by the authority of the Lord Jesus, we do debar, the said Isaac Van Meter from the Lord’s Table, that we maintain the Holiness of God in his house, and may see what signs of Gospel humiliation, and repentance will appear in our said Brother, in order to his restoration of his church priveleges. And let this awful act of the Lord Jesus, in his house, make us all tremble, so as to cry day and night for grace to enable us always everywhere, to behave in all things, as becometh the holy gospel, and holy Laws of our Savior & Lord Jesus Christ amen. And let us know that this is not excommunication, but only a suspension. Therefore, let us pray for the suspended, as the Word of God requireth and directeth. 2 Thessalonians 3.6.14-15.
1 October 1743. Isaac Van Meter being abroad, about Potomac in Virginia, his suspension was continued.
3 December 1743. Isaac Van Meter not appearing in due time, according to warning given, his suspension was continued.
26 January 1743-4. Isaac Van Meter upon his public humiliation and promise of walking becoming the Gospel, was restored to his former church privileges——-
Then on 5 January 1748-9 Isaac is elected a ruling Elder (all must be forgiven).
5 January 1748-9. Isaac Van Meter, Barnet du Bois, William Alderman, Eliazar Smith,–for ruling Elders.
Isaac Van Metre - Fort Pleasant
On June 17, 1730, Isaac and his brother John were granted a 40,000-acres of land in the Virginia Northern Neck. Isaacs portion was 10,000 acres. The following is Isaacs Land grant as was recorded in the archives:8
Isaac Van meter of the province of West Jersey having by his petition to this Board Set forth that he & divers other German Families are desirous to settle themselves on the West Side the great Mountains in this Colony he the Petitioner has been to View the lands in those parts & has discovered a place where such Settlement may Conveniently be made & not yet taken up or possess’d by any of the english Inhabitants & praying that ten thousand Acres of Land lying between the Lands Surveyed for Robt Carter Esqr the fork of Sherundo River & the River Opeckon in as many Several Tracts or Dividends as shall be necessary For the Accomodation & Settlement of ten Families (including his Own) which he proposes to bring on the sd Land The Governour with the Advice of the Council is pleas’d to order as it is hereby Ordered that the sd Isaac Vanmeter for himself & his Partners have Leave to take up the sd Quantity of ten thousand Acres of Land within the Limits abovedescrib’d & that if he brings the above Number of Families to dwell there within two Years patents be granted him & them for the same in Such Several Tracts & Dividends as they shall think Fit & in the Mean time that the same be reserv’d Free from entry of any other person.
Isaac chose his land off the South Branch of the Potomac in an area called the Trough in an area called Old Fields. He would later name the place Fort Pleasant. The Trough is a 6-mile long wooded gorge carved by the South Branch Potomac River and situated in the Allegheny Mountains of current Hampshire and Hardy Counties in West Virginia.
Although he spent some time, probably improving the area and building a home for his family, it wouldn’t be until about 1744 when he moved his wife Annetje “Hannah” and their children from Salem County, New Jersey to Fort Pleasant, Virginia.
He had constructed a fortified log cabin to protect them from the threat of Indian attacks, which were prevalent at the time.
George Washington first visited the “Indian Old Fields” as a teenager and conversed with Isaac Van Metre there in 1747-1748 while he was surveying Lord Fairfaxes land grant. (There was a dispute with Lord Fairfax regarding the land grant (see my post Virginia Land Grants for the details) at this time and George Washington most likely was representing Lord Fairfax.) Washington recorded in his journal that he met with “Mr. Van Metrise” on behalf of Fairfax, who asserted that the Van Metre tract was part of his own South Branch Manor (a part of the Northeern Neck Proprietary). Van Metre insisted that he had the land on the authority of the Virginia Council grants of 1730 and that they had nothing to do with Fairfax’s grant. (Subsequent litigation played out until about 1801 (after all the original … were dead) at which time the van Metre heirs finally prevailed.
In 1756, at the outset of the French and Indian War, Captain Thomas Waggener under orders from now Colonel George Washington erected a large new fort and its supporting structures on Isaac Van Metre’s property. The fort was first known by the name of the Van Meter family, which had also assisted in its initial construction and maintenance. It was a substantial palisaded defense enclosing a blockhouse and log houses. (Washington’s written instructions indicated a quadrangular shape with 90-foot-long walls, bastions in the corners, barracks, and a magazine.) Fort Pleasant was one in a chain of forts that ran along the frontier of the Allegheny Mountains and for a time it served as the local headquarters for the Virginia Regiment on the South Branch.
There exists a map/drawing of Fort Pleasant signed and dated May 1770 by James Witt. The drawing shows block houses at the corners of the fort, suggesting that the structure was either remodeled or totally rebuilt sometime after the end of the War.
After the 1777 founding of Moorefield to its south, the fort was known as “Town Fort” due to its proximity to the new town. When Washington was in the region for the last time– he visited Abraham Hite at Old Fields on 28-29 September 1784 — he observed that the Fort Pleasant blockhouse was still standing.
Eventually, Isaacs son Garrett Van Metre (1732- 1788) had most of the old fort and original family cabin removed and built a strong brick structure – half above ground and half below – in place of them for defensive purposes. (Parts of this unwieldy structure, connected by enclosed steps, still exist.)
Isaac Van Metre Killed by Indians 1757
The Fort was never attacked directly by Indians but several raids occurred nearby. Soon after its construction, The Battle of the Trough (1756) took place a short distance to the north in and around the large river gorge known as the Trough. In 1757, working unprotected in his fields, Isaac Van Metre was attacked, scalped and killed by Indians of the Delaware and Shawnee Tribes.
Isaac Van Metre's Will
From New Jersey, U.S. Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817, page 337:
1754, Feb. 15. Vanmetre, Isaac, of South Branch of the Potowmack, in Frederick Co., VA.; will of. Wife, Hannah, to have £20 yearly and negro named Hannah. Lands in New Jersey, with the stock thereon, to remain under the leases now granted till they expire, then to be sold, and money to go to my children, viz., Henry, Jacob Garret, Sarah Richman, Catherine Vanmetre, Rebecca Hite, Hellita Vanmetre. Lands in Virginia I bought of James Cebrun, located by Abraham Hite and Jonathan Heath, of 600 acres, to be divided, and the upper 200 I give to my son Garrett, the middle 200 to my son Jacob and the lower 200 to my son Henry, whereon he now lives. The land I purchased of Michael Hyder I give to my daughter Catherine, if she incline to dwell thereon, kand, if she does not, then to be sold. The 200 acres which is in dispute, if it goes to me, then I give it to Abraham Hite, husband of my daughter Rebecca, joining his lot, and the other 200 acres I give to my daughter Hellita. If my daughters Catherine and Hellita die without marriage or issue, then my daughter Sarah, the wife of John Richman, to have said land. If sons Jacob of Garret die without marriage or issue, then their part to go to the surviving children. Executors–sons Henry, kJacob and garret. Witnesses–Ebenezer Holme, Abel Randell, Joseph Carrell. Will proved Dec 14, 1757, in Hampshire County, Va. Lib. 12, p. 119.
Isaac Van Metre Children
The first three children are mot likely the children of Isaac Van Metre and Catalina (Bodine) Mollenaur. Sarah and Abrahams baptism record was found. It’s unknown when Catalina died and when he married Hanna. Note that Abraham is not listed in the will, nor is there any mention of his issue. Perhaps he died before the will was written in 1754 without issue???
- Henry Van Metre (1718-1778) married Rebecca DuBois.
- Sarah Van Metre (1722-1775) married John Richman.
- Abraham Van Metre (1724-?) married Elizabeth or Sarah Mayhew.
- Jacob Van Metre (1725-1754) married Letitia Stroude.
- Catherine Van Metre (1730-1788) married Col. George McCulloch.
- Garrett Seymour Van Metre (1732-1788) married Ann Marquess.
- Rebecca Van Metre (1734-1809) married Abraham Hite.
- Hellita “Hilda” Van Metre (1740-1771)
Citations and Attributes:
- Isaac Van Meter Baptism, "New Jersey Births and Christenings, 1660-1980", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FC5T-NT1 : 14 February 2020), Isaac Van Meter, 1692.
- Smyth, Samuel Gordon. "A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre Family." Lancaster, Pa. 1909. https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofdukes02smyt#page/n5/mode/2up
- Benjamin F. Van Meter, Genealogies and Sketches of som Old Families, John P. Morton & Company Louisville, 1901. (accessed online at https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=hvMTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&hl=en_GB&pg=GBS.PP1, accessed 08 September 2017.)
- Birth of Abraham Van Metre, under Church Records for father Isaac Van Metre at https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Van_Meter-439#_note-T71(unable to find original record)
- Documents relating to the colonial, Revolutionary and psot-Revolutionary history of the state of New Jersey, page 332, reviewed online at Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/documentsrelatin23newjuoft/page/332/mode/2up?q=metere (Accessed 10 Ar 2023).
- Smyth, Samuel Gordon. "A Genealogy of the Duke-Shepherd-Van Metre Family." Lancaster, Pa. 1909. pages 18-19, https://archive.org/stream/genealogyofdukes02smyt#page/n5/mode/2up (Accessed 20 Mar 2023).
- Journal Article-Vital Records of the Pittsgrove, N.J. Presbyterian Church, 1740-1768 Accessed online at JSTOR.org: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23323265?seq=4#metadata_info_tab_contents (Accessed 10 April 2023).
- "Isaac and John Vanmetre Land Grant assignees". USGenWeb Archives online. Submitted by Gwen Hurst. (http://files.usgwarchives.net/va/frederick/land/landgrants/v5360000.txt. (Accessed 29 August 2016).
- Isaac Van Meter House at Fort Pleasant, Old Fields, Hardy County, West Virginia (built circa 1780s-90s). By US Department of the Interior, National Park Service - http://www.wvculture. org/shpo/nr/pdf/hardy/73001903.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/in- dex.php?curid=25496682
- Fort Van Meter, Hampshire County, West Virginia (built ca. 1754). By National Park Service, US Department of the Interior - http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/hampshire/09001191.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25479654