Surname ~ Van Meter ~ Van Meteren ~ Van Metre


The first mention of a Van Meteren, (also called Van Meteren or Van Meter or Van Metre) we can trace is in a deed dated September 1253. “Meeteren”, is a village in the Tielerwaard and the village of Meteren is still shown on the current maps of Holland.

One of the branches of the family lived in the “Huise Van Meteren” in Geldermalsen.There is but little available concerning the residences of the Van Meterens in Holland; one sketch, however, has been obtained which refers to the “Huise Van Meteren” situate in the Heerlykleid Metere, in Geldermelsen. It was reported to be a stately structure. The home, for many years and generations, of one the branches of the Van Metre family, and subsequently of others. This mansion stood in a beautiful park of magnificent trees, some of which were of great height and dimensions. The house was rebuilt in 1768-9, but it has at last served its day; it was sold in December, 1906, and, has since been torn down.

Coat-of-Arms: Our family’s coat of arms the Van Meteren is divided into four equal parts. Two quarters diagonal of each other with horizontal stripes of red and yellow. On the yellow stripes we find eight martlets (or swallows), three on the top stripe, two in the middle and three at the bottom stripe. The two other quarters are azure with in the centre a red fleur de lis (the royal emblem of France). The title here, “jr.,” is synonymous with Jonkvrouw, young woman, feminine, and Jonkheer, young man, masculine. “Ridderschap” and “Ridderedd” signifies either Nobility or Knighthood. As both men and women of this line fought valiantly for France and Christendom. The coat of arms of the village Meteren is azure with in the center a golden fleur de lis. The coat of arms of the village Cuijk has horizontal stripes of red and yellow. On the yellow stripes we find eight martlets, three on the top stripe, two in the middle and three at the bottom stripe. The coat of arms of the van Meteren/van Meeteren/Van Metre/Van Matre family is composed out of the coat of arms of the village of Meteren and of the village Cuijk, representing the ties of the two families and villages dated in the 1300-1400’s.

The branch of the VanMeteren family with whom we are direct descendants, came to America in 1662, as revealed in the papers of the ship “Vos” (Fox), arriving at New Amsterdam. The Van Meterens were of Holland/Dutch lineage, and a new spelling of the name came upon them as they reached New Amsterdam and subsequently moved into New Jersey, VanMeter is first seen. In the third generation of the family was John VanMeter, who commanded a trading expedition into the wilds of Virginia and four of his sons subsequently settled in the mountain districts of old Virginia (WV).

The VanMeters had previously secured their conditional grants by orders of the governor and council, dated June 17, 1730. The John VanMeter grant, located in the VA (WV) valley, enjoined the settlement of ten families. Broadly interpreted, the territory was a vast tract of uncharted wilderness–exceeding 40,000 acres.

John’s son Isaac VanMeter with his wife and four children settled at historic Fort Pleasant in what is now Hardy County, West Virginia, in 1744. 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. This land grant was issued by Lord Fairfax, from King George in 1761. (This original land grant document is currently in the Muse’s family’s possession today). 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 stayed until death.

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. 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.

Utilizing the land of heritage, family owned for 287 years (as of 2017); the direct descendants of the original VanMeters/VanMetres/VanMeterens/VanMeeterens of today are still residing and working in Hardy County WV. The Muse’s family calls the land Windy Ridge Farm and the cottage home has been named The Painted Nest. The farm houses a state of the art poultry operation,  pasture and crop land, as well as acres of undisturbed woodland.

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