Jacob Van Meter

Jacob Van Meter, Sr. played an important role in the opening of the Ohio Country and in the history of the Dye Family. He married Letitia Stroud in Virginia in 1741. A brief summary of his life follows:

Eleanor Van Meter, first child of Jacob and Letitia, married Jacob Cline. Their daughter Elizabeth Cline married John Minor Dye, the son of Andrew and Sarah Minor Dye.

Family History

"The Van Meters were Holland Dutch, reached New Amsterdam in 1663, and subsequently moved into New Jersey. In the third generation of the family was John Van Meter, who commanded a trading expedition into the wilds of Virginia, as early as 1739, and four of his sons subsequently settled in the mountain districts of old Virginia. (No mention is made of Jacob and the other two sons). His son Isaac Van Meter with his wife and four children settled at historic Fort Pleasant in what is now Hardy County, West Virginia, in 1744. (This indicates that he was considerably older than his brother Jacob, who was twenty-one years old in 1744, while brother Isaac was married and had four children by that year.) He therefore owned the ground on which Fort Pleasant was built, the scene of the first battle of the Revolutionary War. (Believe this is confused with the Battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774, several hundred miles to the west at the juncture of the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers.)

"Isaac Van Meter, brother of Jacob, was killed and scalped by the Indians near his fort in 1757. One of his sons was Colonel Garret Van Meter who was born in New York in February 1732, and was a boy of twelve when the family located at Fort Pleasant. In 1756 he married Mrs. Ann Markee Sibley, and after the death of his father, inherited Mount Pleasant and a large tract of surrounding land. He was a colonel of a regiment of militia in General Washington's army in the Revolution. After the war he and his wife lived at old Fort Pleasant, where they died full of years. Only two of their sons grew to mature years, Isaac, born in 1757 and Jacob, born May 18, 1764. These brothers married sisters, Bettie and Tabitha Inskeep, whose mother was Hannah McCulock (McCulloch), a daughter of the most famous Indian fighter and scout of his day. (Travelers through present Wheeling may note a marker at the site of McCulloch's leap, over a bluff to escape from the savages.)

"Jacob Van Meter, the younger son of Colonel Garrett Van Meter, inherited the Fort Pleasant homestead, where he and his wife, Tabitha, spent their lives. He was colonel of a regiment in the second war with Great Britain in 1812. He became a flour miller in the South Branch Valley and for many years was a partner of Chief Justice Marshall in the breeding of thoroughbred horses. He was also one of the chief pillars of the Presbyterian church in his valley."

Another Jacob Van Meter, a man of some note in early day Kentucky, was born at what was known as White Stone Tavern, in Botetourt County, Virginia in January 1788 and came to Warren County, Kentucky, settling at Bowling Green, in 1818. He was in the mercantile business there for over fifty years, dying February 27, 1874. He also engaged in farming on a large scale, owning between 4,000 and 5,000 acres of land and a large number of slaves. He acquired great wealth, is said to have lost over $75,000 worth of property during "the late conflict between the South and the North." He built and operated the first steamboat on the Barren and Green Rivers; with James Skiles, he procured a charter and built the Bowling Green and Portage Railroad, the first railroad in Kentucky.

Jacob Van Meter of Warren County married Martha Usher Shrewsbury, of Irish descent. They were parents of eight children, Dr. Samuel K. Van Meter being one of their sons, William S. Van Meter another, who with his brother, Charles, in 1868 purchased the Grayson Springs property in Grayson County and developed it into one of the most popular watering places during the latter part of the last century. Following his death in 1884, the property was sold for $100,000, quite a sum for those days.

The grandfather of Jacob Van Meter of Warren County, appears to have been Henry Van meter, born 1717 in the Somerset Colony of New Jersey, a brother of Jacob Van Meter, born 1723 in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Henry Van Meter married Eve Pyle. One of his sons was Captain Jacob Van Meter, born 1752 in Virginia, died 1838 in Hardin County, Kentucky, who served as an ensign in Clark's Illinois Regiment, later as captain of Kentucky militia, who married (1) in Virginia a Miss Covenhaven, married (2) Rebecca Rawlings, in Kentucky. Another son of Henry Van Meter was Isaac Van Meter, who appears to have remained in Virginia, where he married Hattie Beck, a daughter of Lydia Burden (Borden), whose father was Benjamin Burden (Borden) Sr., a very noted land developer in early Virginia. (See Kegley's 'Virginia Frontier', with reference to Borden's Grant). On November 6, 1739, for diverse good causes but more especially in consideration that Benjamin Borden, late of the Province of East Jersey, now of the county of Orange in Virginia hath lately caused to be imported and settled on the land hereinafter mentioned one family for every thousand acres,' there was granted the said Benjamin Borden one certain tract or parcel of land containing 92,100 acres."

Most of the Borden grant was located in present Rockbridge County, Virginia. Perrin's 'History' states that Henry Van Meter had, before George Washington's day, surveyed the Fairfax estate, an immense tract of land granted by George III.

Jacob Van Meter, who died in Hardin County November 16, 1798, was born in Somerset County, New Jersey in March 1723, a son of John Van Meter and his second wife Margaret Miller Mulinaur, grew up in Virginia where his father had settled in the Shenandoah Valley, and became a wealthy land owner and horse breeder. He drew up a lengthy will, (Will of John Van Meter, Winchester, Virginia September 3, 1745), in which Jacob Van Meter was called "my fourth and youngest son," by which he inherited an equal share of "all Staylen (stallions), geldings, mares, colts." He inherited land, but not the estate "Opequen" on which his father lived, since he was the youngest.

Kegley's 'Virginia Frontier' in describing the earliest history of Virginia, says: "The Van Meters cross the Powtomack (Potomac River). John and Isaac Van Meter were traders who knew the country about the Potomac and the Shenandoah as early as 1728. After 1721 Isaac lived in New Jersey, but John had moved westward toward the southwest part of Maryland. In 1730 their petitions for 10,000 acres each in the forks of the Sherando River and 20,000 more for other families were granted. This was not to interfere with the surveys of Carter and Page."...Jost Hite with Robert McKay began acquiring land in the Shenandoah Valley in 1731. They with one hundred families were desirous of seating (settling) themselves on the back of the Great Mountains on land lying between the land of John Van Meter, Jacob Stover, John Fishback and others. ... Hite acquired the Van Meter grants in 1734 and patents began to issue to his settlers, one thousand acres to each family...joining the land of 'Jost Heyd' and others.

John Van Meter and his brother, Isaac, were granted 110,000 acres of land in the Shenandoah Valley by the Royal Governor, William Gooch, which they later sold to their cousin, Jost Hite, after selecting choice sites for themselves, while it was still a wilderness.

About 1768, Jacob Van Meter, together with John Swan, Sr., 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 vicinity and locate on land which would be granted for service in the French and Indian War. They reached the vicinity of present Carmichaelstown (in present Green County, Pennsylvania) and 'tomahawked' (marked on trees) such land as they wanted along Muddy Creek in what is known as 'Ten Mile Country,' land lying along Ten Mile Creek, a tributary of that stream. 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 west side of the Monongahela, Application Number 2405, dated April 3, 1769, also a grant for 211 acres, a tract called 'Burgundy,' also on the west side of the river.

John Swan, Thomas Hughes and Henry Van Meter, brother of Jacob, were also granted land for services, and all four erected forts, located near each other on bottom land, not far from the mouth of Muddy Creek: Fort Van Meter, by Jacob VanMeter, on Muddy Creek; Fort Swan, by John Swan, on Swan's Run, and another Fort Van Meter, by Henry Van Meter, on Swan's Run. The location of Thomas Hughes' fort is not listed.

That Jacob Van Meter was a deeply religious man is attested by his actions in helping organize three Baptist churches in his lifetime. Ellis' 'History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania' relates the story of the forming of the Great Bethel Regular Baptist church: "This organization was formed in the year 1770, and is evidently one of the first religious societies established with the boundaries of Fayette County (Penn.)... In the oldest books of records...the following letter is copied verbatim, viz: 'The 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 [sic]
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 Meter family: 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.

Jacob VanMeters' Migration from Greene County to The Falls Of The Ohio

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, Brown, 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.

An Account of George Rogers Clark in the migration to the Falls of the Ohio (Louisville, Ohio which occured about a year before the Van Meter party moved to Harden County, Kentucky. 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."

Samuel Gordon Smythe, a Van Meter historian, wrote that Jacob Van Meter's daughter, Margaret, married Samuel Haycraft "enroute" to Kentucky. They were married September 9, 1779, at Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) by Reverend John Corbley about the time Van Meter was organizing the colony to migrate to Kentucky. Whether Margaret Van Meter had known Mr. Haycraft prior to coming to Fort Pitt is not known, but it may appear that the courtship was of brief duration. The Van Meters had been living in the Muddy Creek section, while Haycraft and his brother had lived in the Fort Pitt community for some period of time in the household of Colonel John Nevill, coming there to live when the eldest of the three Haycraft orphan boys was eleven years of age.

Minutes of a Court held for Yohoghania County, Virginia March 23, 1779 (this prior to the date when that section was established as part of Pennsylvania) granted permission to pass unmolested to the Falls of the Ohio. On September 18, 1779, Jacob Van Meter and his family had been granted certificates of dismission by the Goshen Baptist Church. Soon twenty-seven house boats were, under the direction of Jacob Van Meter, Sr., floating down the Ohio, bringing the families and all their household goods, livestock and anything they could pile on the boats. All of the Van Meter children, with 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, Elizabeth Van Meter. Swan was sitting on 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 gun and began helping the men ward off the attack. Another tragedy struck the party. Mary Van Meter's husband, David Henton, fell into the river while helping unload the boats and was drowned. Henton's death left his widow with two children, Hester Henton, born January 9, 1775, who would marry Walter Briscoe, and John C. Henton, born November 9, 1778, who would marry Catherine Keith.

Stephen Rawlings, father of Edward Rawlings, who had married Rebecca Van Meter, together with his family, were in the party. So was Jacob Van Meter, son of Henry Van Meter, one time ensign in Clark's Illinois Regiment and later a captain of Jefferson County Militia. In the party were two families of slaves belonging to the senior Van Meter. 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 thirty years old, they were to be given their freedom.

From the records of Goshen Bapatist church:

A Church constituted by Rev Isaac Sutton and Daniel Fristoe on 7th day November 1773 consisting of thirty members men and women which mutually gave themselves to each other by the will of God in covenant.

At a monthly meeting 11th December 1773 Jacob Vanmetre chosen Deacon John Vantrees to Praise the Psalm David Henton to Keep the Records. The fryday Before the Second Sabbath in Feb'y to Be Church Meeting again. The Saturday to be Preparation Day Before Communion

In 1778 Jacob Van Meter was with George Rogers Clark in Kentucky. In early 1778, Clark went from Williamsburg to Fort Pitt to recruit men and supplies. He then travelled down the Ohio River. At the Falls of the Ohio River, he established his camp in May 1778.

Minutes of the Court of Yohogania County for March 23rd, 1779 which read in part:John Corbley, Jacob Vanater, Abraham Vanmater, Isaac Dye, John Eastwood, Abraham Hold, John Holt, Robert Tyler, having produced recommendations from the County Court of Monongehala to pass unmolested to the Falls of Ohio which was read and approved of.

Goshen Baptist Church Records -- 9/8/1779

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 them 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.

The son, Abraham Van Meter, had at least one slave he brought with him from Virginia. This was "General Braddock", who earned his freedom through killing nine Indians. He moved from the Severns Valley settlement to Goodin's fort in the Rolling Fork when Abraham Van Meter's widow, who had inherited "General Braddock" from her husband, following his death from a poison Indian arrow, married Samuel Goodin. The slave was appraised at 100 pounds. On March 19, 1797 he was "set free forever". He afterwards married Becky Swan and lived on a small farm near Elizabethtown. This verifies that the Swans, who came out with the Van Meter party, also brought slaves to Kentucky. The son, Abraham Van Meter, had at least one slave he brought with him from Virginia. This was "General Braddock", who earned his freedom through killing nine Indians. He moved from the Severns Valley settlement to Goodin's fort in the Rolling Fork when Abraham Van Meter's widow, who had inherited "General Braddock" from her husband, following his death from a poison Indian arrow, married Samuel Goodin. The slave was appraised at 100 pounds. On March 19, 1797 he was "set free forever". He afterwards married Becky Swan and lived on a small farm near Elizabethtown. This verifies that the Swans, who came out with the Van Meter party, also brought slaves to Kentucky.

Abraham Van Meter's land grant was near Shelbyville and he and his family were stationed with Squire Boone at Boone's fort, when it was attacked by Indians. The Indians were repulsed but Abraham was struck by an arrow; he was only grazed and thought nothing of it, but in a few days became violently ill and died. Another story of his death is that he was killed near the present site of Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

In the spring of 1780, the colony under Jacob Van Meter arrived in Severns Valley. He immediately began construction of a fort for protection against Indians. Mrs. Sim's Van Meter information states that the Van Meter fort was located near the big spring at the power house on the Leitchfield road, for a long time the source of the Elizabethtown water supply. This site was very close to the site of Andrew Hynes' fort which was built about the same date. Others have placed the Van Meter fort at the site of the Van Meter house on Billy's Creek (the old Strickler place).

Jacob Van Meter 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.

Jefferson County records show that Jacob Van Meter, Stephen Rawlings and Edward Rawlings bought land from John Severns, who also sold 400 acres to Andrew Hynes in November 1779. Judge Otis Mather has written that John Severns, Andrew Hynes, Elisha Freeman and Thomas McCarty built crude cabins in Severns Valley in the summer of 1779, the year before forts were built in the Valley. There is a possibility that Banah (Benham) Shaw was in the Valley at that early date, also.

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 date [1976].

Jacob Van Meter accumulated much land in Kentucky. At the time of his death, November 16, 1798, 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.

Abraham Van Meter's land grant was near Shelbyville and he and his family were stationed with Squire Boone at Boone's fort, when it was attacked by Indians. The Indians were repulsed but Abraham was struck by an arrow; he was only grazed and thought nothing of it, but in a few days became violently ill and died. Another story of his death is that he was killed near the present site of Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

VanMeter came to Severn's 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. He built a fort near Haycraft's soon after his arrival. In the party with VanMeter were his three sons, Jacob, Jr., Isaac, and John; seven daughters, and two sons-in-law, Samuel Haycraft, husband of Margaret, and John Gerrard [Garrard], husband of Susan. One son-in-law, David Henton, the husband of his daughter, Mary, was drowned in the river on the trip down the Ohio.

The elder VanMeter 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 his children and members of his family. The Auditor's office has no record of land granted to his son-in-law, Samuel Haycraft.

VanMeter 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, as 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.

VanMeter was in the original constitution of the Severn's Valley Baptist Church. 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.

Jacob VanMeter died at his home on November 16, 1798, having lived a long life of usefulness. He was buried on the farm near his home. His son, Jacob, procured a sandstone rock for a tombstone and cut the following inscription on it: 'Here Lizes The Body of Jacob VanMeter Died in the 76 Yare of His Age November the 16, 1798,' the letters of which are today readable.

There were three Jacob VanMeters living in the Severn's Valley community at the one time, the elder Jacob, his son, Jacob, Jr., and Jacob Van Meter, the son of Henry Van Meter, the elder Van meter's brother. To relieve the confusion, the elder Van Meter was called 'Valley Creek Jake' and his nephew, 'Miller Jake,' both men operating mills in the Valley.

Jacob Van Meter, Sr., died in 1798 and his wife, Letitia Stroud, who died the following year saw the little settlement in its earliest years and did not live to see it grow into the important position it was destined to occupy in the new state. Many of their descendants live within the borders of the county they helped settle, others moved on to other frontiers in the developing country.

From "Haycraft's History of Elizabethtown" by Samuel Haycraft, "originally serialized in the 'Elizabethtown News' in 1869, also during the 1880s and early 1890s. And for the third time in 1905." Copyright 1960 by the Hardin County Historical Society.

Jacob Vanmeter, Sr., was my grandfather. He, with his family, emigrated from Monongahala [sic] (called by the old folks "Monongahale,") in 1779, landing at the falls of the Ohio that fall, and in the year 1780 came to Severns Valley and settled on the farm now owned by George W. Strickler, two miles from Elizabethtown, on Valley Creek, at the mouth of Billy's Creek, on which last- named creek he built a grist mill for corn and wheat; and although there remains at this day not a vestige of that mill, yet I ought to know where it stood, as my father carried on a one-horse distillery, and when I was about eight years old it was my daily business (Sunday excepted) to go with a bag of corn three times a day. My grandfather continued to reside there until his death, which occurred on the 16th day of November, 1798. He was in the original constitution of Severns Valley Baptist Church on the 17th day of June, 1781. His wife (my grandmother), his son, Jacob, and his Negro man, Bambo, were also members.

At his death he left a large family, all grown. It is now nearly seventy-two years since his death, and, like the old patriot Jacob, his descendants have multiplied like a fruitful vine that ran over the wall, for they are scattered East, West, North and South, and may be found in every State and territory in the Union, and from the least calculation that can be made they now amount to at least 3,000 souls. And that will not appear so surprising when you are informed that one out of his numerous grandsons had his thirtieth child born the night of his death. But that was over the average of the family, as the number of the most of his descendants to each family ran on an average from nine to eleven children, but frequently exceeded those numbers. My mother had eleven.

My grandfather was buried on his own farm, I was present at his interment, being then three years and three months old, and have a distinct recollection of the occasion. His son Jacob procured a sand rock and cut a tombstone, which is yet in good state of preservation, and every letter distinct at this day. On the 5th day of February, 1849, I visited the grave, having a little grandson with me, and pointed out to him (as one of the fifth generation) the spot that contained the remains of his great, great grandfather. And as the inscription itself on the stone is a piece of antiquity, particularly as to its orthography, I will here give something like a facsimile of it:

The spelling is rather of the normal style, and is an honest attempt to carry out the sound. Thus the word year is spelt YARE, containing all the proper letters of the word, but misplaced; but the sound as spelt in the epitaph is precisely as he always pronounced it for nearly ninety years. Therefore, let no man pretend to criticise it or alter it. It is a jewel to me; so all mankind let it alone. It is the honest home-spun epitaph of a good man and Christian who braved all the perils and dangers of his day honorable, kind, hospitable and generous, and truly a patriarch.

Wilderness Road. The following extract refers to the son of Jacob Van Meter.

Mention has been made several times thus far of the buffalo paths which crisscrossed Bullitt County. Where they were used by the pioneers they were called parts of the Wilderness Road. In March 1960, Robert McDowell wrote an article for the Courier-Journal concerning these routes. What follows is quoted from that article.

The year was 1811. "The place was the home of Joseph Brooks in Bullitt County. The occasion was a strange reunion of hard-faced old men with cold, piercing eyes. "They had been woodsmen and hunters, scouts, settlers and traders. They had been the pioneers, the first to push into the wild, dangerous land of Kentucky. More than a quarter of a century had passed since those troubled times. They had exchanged their fur caps for wool hats, their fringed buckskin for linen and broadcloth. "Now they were being recalled to show exactly where the old Wilderness Road once had run. "For even as early as 1811 that famous trace -- the most important in the history of Kentucky -- had fallen into disuse. The very title to thousands of acres of disputed land depended on rediscovering its location. "Summonses went out all over the state from the Bullitt Circuit Court for the few remaining settlers who had been familiar with the trace in the early days. "To Squire Boone in Indiana Territory, to Jacob Vanmeter [son of Jacob Van Meter] and John Tuel and James Patton, who had come to Corn Island with George Rogers Clark in 1778.

"They were ordered to appear at the house of Joseph Brooks, which had been an important way-station on the last leg of the Wilderness Road. Altogether, more than 20 of these veteran pioneers responded to the call. "Some had prospered; some were embittered; but for the moment they seemed to have put their troubles and concerns behind them. "From the 22nd to the 26th of August, 1811, they fore gathered at Brooks Spring, drinking, reminiscing. They walked the old road from the Blue Lick Gap in Bullitt County to the Fern Creek Crossing in Jefferson, Pointing out its route to the County surveyor, relating the incidents that had occurred along it. "Their depositions were duly taken down by the justices of the peace, and finally, on August 26, the session ended. "Never again were so many famous Kentucky pioneers ever to be assembled at one time and place. Nor was it likely that it could have been done later. Their ranks were thinning too rapidly.

From the Bits and Pieces of Hardin County History published by the Hardin County Historical Society.

Who Came West with Jacob Van Meter by Dan Lee

In the spring of 1780 there arrived in Severn's Valley a part of settlers led by Jacob Van Meter. Like an old testament patriarch, Van Meter had guided his follower through a savage wilderness peopled by determined enemies bringing them safety down the Ohio River on Twenty-seven flat boats to the Falls of the Ohio. They survived the legendary "Hard Winter" of 1779-80 at the Falls and came overland through the knobs into Severns Valley the following Spring.

It must have been one of the largest single migrations ever made into frontier Kentucky. The Van Meter Colony consisted of one hundred men, women and children. By comparison, the party of James Harrod led to Kentucky in 1774 was made up of only forty-one men. Even Daniel Boone was responsible for only thirty men when they blazed the Wilderness Road to the Kentucky River in 1775.

Who were these one hundred of the Jacob Van Meter colony? Were there one hundred from the moment they embarked at Fort Pitt until the moment months later when they arrived in Severn's Valley, or was it a shifting fiqure that was up to one hundred at some points during the journey West but fewer at other times? Also, when the figure one hundred is given, does it apply to those that arrived at the Falls with Van Meter or to the ones that actually came to present day Hardin County with him.

It seems certain that the figure one hundred was not a fixed one. Two travellers are said to have been killed--one by Indians, one by drowining--on the journey West. Others, notably Abraham Van Meter and family, apparently left the colony at the Falls while other joined up there. It may very well be that still others left the party on the overland trek towards Severn's Valley, so that Jacob Van Meter arrived at his final home with considerably fewer than one hundred people, perhaps only half that number, most of them family members.

From various sources, both published and unpublished, the author has compiled this list of people who travelled West with Jacob Van Meter.

(1) Jacob Van Meter, Sr and spouse (2) Letitia Stroud Van Meter (3) Abraham Van Meter and spouse (4) Elizabeth Kline Van Meter (5) Catherine Van Meter (6) Letitia Van Meter (7) Sarah Van Meter (8) Rebecca Van Meter and spouse (9) Edward Rawlings (10) Elizabeth Rawlings (11) Letitia Rawlings (12) Ann Rawlings (13) Edward Rawlings, Jr (14) Rebecca Rawlings (15) Susan Van Meter and spouse (16) John Garrard (17) Hester Garrard (18) Sarah Garrard (19) Margaret Garrard (my note and the others are listed to 100 and no Hart but lets pick up the paper several paragraphs later)

The circumstantial evidence that the Goodins and the Van Meters did travel together is convincing. Both families wre from Greene and Fayette Counties, the "Ten Mile County" of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The early histories contend that both families arrived at the Falls of the Ohio in 1779 and that both Van Merter's Fort and Goodin's Fort were established in 1780. Also were inclosed some pages of a book but no name was given just the call letters 976.9845 E1 page 12