Joost Jansen Van Meteren

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Joost Jansen Van Meteren

Also Known As: "John the Indian Trader", "Janse", "Jooste", "Jans", "Jan", "Joosten", "van", "meteren"
Birthplace: Meppel, Drenthe, Holland
Death: Died in Salem, Somerset, NJ
Place of Burial: Kingston, NY, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Joosten van Meteren; Jan Joosten Van Meteren; Maeyken Hendrickse van den Oever and Macyke Hendrickson
Husband of Sarah van Meteren
Father of Jan Joostsen Van Meteren; Rebekka Eltinge; Lysbeth Van Meter; Rachel Van Meter; Isaac Van Meteren and 6 others
Brother of Gysbert Janse Van Meeteren; Catherin or Cathelina Crom Mulliner; Janitje "Jane" van Meteren and Catherine Van Meteren
Half brother of Lysbeth Willemsen Crom; Gysbert Willems Willems Crom; Hendrick Krom; Maria Willems Schepmoes; Catherin Krom and 2 others

Occupation: farmer
Managed by: Ian Thomas Gillespie
Last Updated:

About Joost Jansen Van Meteren

burial: Daretown Presbyterian churchyard, Salem County, NJ


Colonial Families of the United States of America: Volume 6 - Heydt (Hite) - JOHN VAN METER (JOOST JANS), a "Dutchman from the Hudson," was an Indian trader and pioneer explorer of the Shenandoah Valley who "spied out the land" about the time of Governor SPOTSWOOD'S expedition, 1716; he equipped a band of Delaware Indians at his own expense and traveled far southward over unknown lands; on his return he advised his sons to take up lands in "The Wappatomica Valley in the South Branch bottom, above the Trough," as it was the finest land he had discovered; John and Isaac took his advice and petitioned Governor GOOCH in 1731 for 40,000 acres which was granted; in 1731 they transferred their grant to Joost HITE, whose wife, Anne Marie DU BOIS, was a near relative of their grandfather, Louis DU BOIS. -------------------- Called "John, the Indian trader"

Kidnapped as a child by indians. Held with his future wife (they were little children at the time) and rescued by his father and future father-in-law. -------------------- From the records of the Reformed Church at Kingston the following is abstracted.

"Jooste Jan, J. M. of Meteren, b. in Gelderland, residing in Mormon (Marbletown) and Sara Du Bois, J. D. of Kingston, residing in the New Pals (New Palz) married in the pals 12th December 1682. First publication of the Baans, 18 Nov."

Sarah was the daughter of Louis De Bois. Their children were: Jan Jansen, Rebekka, Lysbeth, Rachel, Hendrick, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

"John Van Metre the second of the name was known in the annals of the period as 'the Indian Trader'." 1704

He was also said to have died 1728, Salem County, New Jersey. 1704

Their marriage banns were 18 November 1682. 1704

"John was the son of Jooste Jans Van Meteren, born in Guelderland, holland, married Dec. 12, 1682, to Sara Du Bois 9records of Dutch Reformed church Kingston, N.Y.), daughter of Louis and Catherine Blanchan Du Bois, who came to America from France in 1660, and settled at New Pals, ulster county, N.Y. He as one of the patentees of the tow1705n. A large bronze marker bears his name. "

"Joost (John) Jansen van Meteren, the son of his Pilgrim father Jan Joosten van Meteren continued in his father's footsteps by contributing colonial service in building America as we learn that he equipped a band of Delaware Indians at this own expense; met the catawabas along the south branch of the Potomac River where a battle was fought for possession of that valley. Joost Jan escaped. Daniel Cox of Burlington, NJ went to Ulster County, NY and interested Joost (John) Jansen van Meteren and his wife Sarah du Bois, his brother Isaac van Meter. 1704

"Daniel Cox of Burlington, NJ went to Ulster County, NY and interested Joost (John) Jansen van Meteren and his wife Sarah du Bois, his brother Isaac van Meter and Sarah's brother Jacob du Bois to buy land in West Jersey, Salem Co. Together they bought three thousand acres in 1712. It was recorded in 1714 in the Clerk's office in Salem County, NJ." [confused with his son?] 1704

His [Jan Joosten's] will was found filed, with an inventory of his personal property, in the Burlington County Surogate's office. This instrument is endorsed 'Will of Jan Joosten of . . . June 13th, 1706,' and is further marked 'Dutch.' His personal estate included six slaves, a negro man, woman and four children. The appraisers were Joris van Neste and Hendrix Reinersen; it was sworn to by 'John Van Mator.' Antedating this document is a 'testamentary disposition' signed jointly by Jan Joosten and his wife, Maycke Hendricksen, and dated 16th December, 1681, which reads: 'Macyke Hendricksen shall retain full possession of the estate. She consents that the survivor shall possess everything, lands, houses, pesonal property, money, gold, silver - coined or uncoined. After their decease the property is to be inherited by their children - Jooste to have one-hald the entire estate first. Jooste and Gysbert to to have the land at Marbletown - Jooste one-half and then the other half to be divided between them. Gertje to have the land at Wassemaker's land. Children of Lysbeth, deceased, to have their portion in money from the other children." 1679

"Jooste Jans was the eldest son - therefore, the heir-at-law and entitled to a double portion. . . .Jooste Jans' early life, aside from his adventures, while yet a small boy, with the Indians in 1663, has not been revealed, but may be assumed to have been pretty much the same as that of other youths, until the time of his engagement to marry was published in the banns of the Reformed Dutch church at Kingston, on the 18th of November, 1682, and which was followed by his marriage announcement in this wise: ' Jooste, Jans, J.M. of Meteren, born in Gelderland, residing in Mormer [Marbletown} and sara du Bois, J.D. of Kingston, residing in the Nieuw-Pals [New Paltz] married in the Pals, 12, December, 1682.' " 1679

"His [Jan Joosten's] only recorded son, Joost Jans, said in his marrige record to be 'j.m. of Metern, born in Gelderland, resid. in Mormur (Marbletown) married, December 12, 1682, Sara Du Bois, of New Paltz (KgM: No. 56). They became the ancestors of many well-known poeple, including the celebrated Van Matre brothers who were pioneers of the Shanandoah Valley of of Virginia." 630

"In the lists of passengers on the ships of olden days the name of Jansen is conspicuous. It may have been to avoid confusion that Joost Janz (also written Jansen), j.m. (young man), of Meteren, in Gelderland, Holland, living then in what is now Marbletown, New York, came to write his name Joost J. Van Meteren. In 1682, he married Sara Du Bois, j.d. (young woman), of Kingston, in the smae county, a daughter of Louis and Catherarine (Blanshan) Du Bois." 1680

The banns of their marriage were read 18 Nov 1682. 1668

Kingston Marriages - 1682 - 12 Dec.: "Joost Janz, j.j., of Meteren, in Gelderlandt [Gelderland], resid. in Mormur [Marbletown]. and Sara Du Bois, j.d., of Kingston, resid. in teh Neuwe Pals [New Paltz]. Married in the Paltz [New Paltz]. First publication of Banns, 18 Nov." 1706

"on December 12, 1682, she [Sara Du Bois] married, at New Paltz, Joost Jansen Van Meteren, who was then living with his parents at Marbletown. The couple had at least four children, two girls and two boys, the oldest of whom, Jan, was baptised on October 14, 1683, and the youngest, Hendrick, on September 1, 1695. It is quite probable that there was another son, Isaac Van Meteren, who, on June 9, 1719, qualified as administrator of the estate of Hendrick Mulliner of Salem County, N.J., and whose bondsmen were John and Henry Van Metere." 1702

"His son Joost, who, on May 27, 1697, had surveyed for him 'a tract of stoney woodland, lying within the bounds of Marbletown, in Ulster County' " 1702

"Issue of Joost Jan and Sara (du Bois) Van Metren: Jan. b. 1683; Rebekka, b. 1686; and Lysbeth, b. 1689. . . In the record of the baptism of Joost Jan's children, his name, as one of the parents, is written as: Joost Jans, Joosten J. Van Meteren, and Jooste Jansen; while that of his wife: Sara du Bois - remains unchanged." 1696

"Joost Jan., j.m. of Meteren, in Gelderland, resid. in Marbletown, and Sara du Bois, j.d. reside. in the Nieuw Pals (New Paltz), m. in the Paltz, 12 Dec. 1682." 1696

"Jan Joosten and his wife Macyken Hendrickse, were sponsors to Joost Jan's first child: Jan, along with Jacob du Bois, the next older brother of Joost Ja's wife Sara. . . After the birth of Lysbeth in 1689, Joost Jans' name seems to have dropped from the record; it reappears again along with his wife Sara's at the baptism of Rebecca (Van Meteren) Elten's child Zara, 6th Febr., 1715, when they were sponsors. . . It is possible that this Joost Jans came to be known later as John Van Meter, of Berkeley county, Va., the Indian trader who first trod the Valley of Virginia with the Delaware Indians between 1724-1730; and who, according to various writers, as well as by tradition, was credited with being so well pleased with that country, that upon his return to New York in 1725, 'he settled his boys there.' " 1696

"It was in 1714 that John and Isaac Van Metre, Jacob and Sarah du Bois (the sister of Jacob du Bois and probably the wife of John Van Metre,) came to Salem, N.J, from Ulster County, N.Y., and took possession of 1600 acres of land located on Alloway's Creek, which they had purchased of Daniel Coxe of Burlington, N.J., agent of the West Jersey Proprietors. In 1716, John and Isaac Van Meter, and Sara du Bois sold their portion of the above tract (i.e. 1200 acres) to Jacob du Bois, who remaining settled at Pilesgrove. . . John Van Meter and Sara du Bois, after the sale of the above land disappear from our view as far as New Jersey is concerned; they probably returned to New York - temporarily at least, and went out with one of the family groups migrating to other parts." 1696

"Joost Jans Van Meteren's (born 1660) died 1700-05 the eldest son of Jan Joosten Van Meteren) early life, aside from his adventures, while yet a small boy, with the Indians in 1663, has not been revealed, but may be assumed to have been pretty much the same as that of other youths, until the time of his engagement to marry was published in the banns of the Reformed Dutch Church at Kingston, on the 18th of November, 1682, and which was followed by his marriage announcement in this wise: 'Jooste, Jans, J.M. of Meteren, born in Gelderland, residing in Mormer (Marbletown) and Sara du Bois, J.D. of Kingston, residing in the Nieuw-Pals (New Paltz) married in the Pals, 12 December, 1682.' " 1707

"Joost Janse of Meteren (John Van Metre of New York) son of Jan Joosten V. and Macyken H., was b. cir. 1656, Gelderland, Holland. After coming to America with his parents, he lived in Ulster Co., N.Y. (Mormur or Marlboro) and Salem Co., N.J. on Raritan R. He m. 12 Dec. 1682 Sara du Bois, who was baptised 14 Sept. 1664, dau. of Louis du Bois and Catherine Blanchan." 1703

"We learn on the authority of the archieves of New Jersey that Jan Joosten and Jan Hamel, together appeared in the province of West Jersey with other Dutch adventurers, and on 18 October, 1695, bought of Edward Hunloke, of Wingerworth, Burlington county, W.J. - Dep. governor Dr. Daniel Coxe - a plantation of 500 acres ofland at Lassa or 'Lazy' Point, in Burlington county. The record recites that 'John Joosten and John Hamel both now or late of Sopus, (esopus, Ulster County) N.Y., yeomen,' were the purchasers. 'Lazy' Point is on the Delaware river about 20 miles above Philadelphia. . . The site is now the city of Burlington, N.J. On the same date as that of their purchase from Hunloke, the latter gave them a bond guaranteeing undisturbed possession of the premises. On the 5th of June, 1696, 'John Joosten, late of Burlington township,' executed a power of attorney to William Wood, of Chesterfield township, authorizing him to collect debts. Joosten evidently left this part of the country and returned to New York. Joint ownership of Lassa Point was held by Joosten and Hamel till May 1st, 1699, then Jan Joosten conveys his share, or interest therein, to Jan Hamel. In this record mention is made of the fact that Joosten is 'of Marbletown, Ulster county, New York. In 1700 Jan Joosten reappears in East Jersey as a purchaser of lands in Middlesex county. On September 13th, of that year, Governor Andrew Hamilton and Agnes, his wife, by deed, convey to 'Jan Joosten of Marbletown, Ulster county, New York, Yeoman.' four separate parcels of unappropriated and unsurveyed land in Piscataway (now South Amboy) township, lying on the south side of Raritan river, aggregating 1835 acres. . . The last we hear of Jan Joosten van Metre is contained in a brief item referring to the appraisal or his personality, and the filing of the inventory, in the Dutch language, at Burlington, N.J., by John Van Meter, 13 June, 1706. The naming of the appraisers: Joris (George) Van Ness and Hendrickse Reinersen, who were his neighbors, then living on the Raritan, indicate that this was the locality of the Van Meter homestead; but why the documents were filed at Burlington, the capitol of West Jersey, insteadof at Perth-Amboy, the capitol of East Jersey, is not explained. Jans was a wealthy man as riches were reckoned in those days. The valuation of his personal property was given as £235, and inlcuded six slaves, also an indentured man, his wife and four children. It will be observed, in passing, that Jan Joosten Van Metre's name is given the French ending, and to this manner of spelling it the New Jersey families were particularly addicted, while those of Virginia and elsewhere, as steadfastly maintained the 'Van Mater' or 'Van Meter' form."1678

"The absence of disappearance of John Van Metre after 1706 is rather mysterious. Records of this period show that John Van Metre of Salem Co., N.J. was commissioned to be coroner of Salem Co., N.J. 17 Mar. 1713 and reappointed 21 Jan. 1715; and his name appears in a list of transfers, including the selling off, by John Van Metre of his title and interest in Salem lands in advance of going to Maryland, where he appears 25 Mar. 1730 in Prince George's Co., Md. When a child he had been captured by Indians and knew their ways. For these reasons, Smyth identified the Indian trader, Joost Janse of Meteren as John Van Metre of New York. It is believed that he was with the Cayugas in 1725 and also accompanied the Delaware Indians to the Southern hunting grounds to trade or war with the Catawbas in the Carolinas in 1732. They passed up the Southern branch of the Potomac; here he cast longing eyes beyond the river, and is thought to have recommended to his sons, John and Isaac, their migrating to the valley of Virginia. Ample and various accounts of these trips have been given by a number of writers of border history. he died cir. 1732" 1703[Confused Jooste Jansen with his son Jan Jansen?]

"Joost Janse . . settled somewhere on the Raritan River in Somerset County, New Jersey; thence removed to Maryland and settled on the Monocacy River; in 1726 received a grant of land in Frederick County at the mouth of Metre's Run, which empties into the Monocacy. When Governor Gooch of Virginia was giving away large tracts of land in the Shenandoah Valley, he advised his sons John (Jan) and Isaac Van Matre to avail themselves of this opportunity to get a large tract of land for a little or nothing. Their father, John Van Matre, had visited this region a few years before on a trading expedition with the Indians. John and Isaac Van Matre received 40,000 acres of land in this grant, much of which is now in Berkeley and Jeffersdon Counties." 1685

"The Van Meters were wealthy Hollanders already [by 1732] settled in Mecklenburg, afterwards Shepherdstown where Joise Hite arrived with his party of sixteen families. Jan (John ) Van Meter, erroneously stated to have 'died young', the eldest child of Kreijn Janse Van Meter, was the first white man to cross the Blue Ridge while on the war-path with the delaware Indians against the Catawbas. He wrote an account of this expedition. Vir. His. Mag. Vol. 3." 1678

"Their son, [Louis and Catherine's] Jacob Dubois, was born in 1662. About the year 1714 Jacob had heard there was a large quantity of good land for sale in the southern part of New Jersey. He left his native county in New York and moved to this State to view the lands he heard so much of. Daniel Cox, of Burlington, after he married Rebecca Hedge, the widow of Samuel Hedge, Jr., came in possession of a large quantity of good land in Fenwick's tenth. He owned large tracts of land in what is now Pittsgrove township. Jacob and his sister, John and Isaac Vanmeter, purchased 3,000 acres of the said Daniel Cox, of this tract." 1714

His [Jan Jansen's] parents, Joost Jansen van Meeteren and Sarah Dubois lived in the Kingston area along the Hudson River. The name Jansen is a patronymic. Jooste Jansen came from Meeteren, a small village located a short distance from Buren in Gelderland. He arrived at New Amsterdam on the ship 'Fox' in 1662." 1697

"Joost Jansen VAN METEREN was born in 1652 at Gelderland, Holland, the son of Jan Joosten Vanmetern and Macyke Hendrickse.

He married Sarah Du Bois on 12 December 1682 at Kingston, Ulster County, New York.

Their children (with 2 submittals giving the surname as Van Metre or Van Meteren) were:

  • Jan Jansen, baptized at Kingston on 14 October 1683, married (1) Sara Bodine in 1705 at Somerset County, New Jersey, had three children, married (2) Margaret Mollenauer in 1710 at Somerset County, had eight children, and died in 1745;
  • Rebecca (or Rebekka), baptized at Kingston on 26 April 1686, married Cornelius Elting on 3 September 1704 at Kingston, and died in 1755 at Frederick County, Maryland;
  • Lysbeth, baptized at Kingston on 3 March 1689;
  • Rachel, baptized in 1692 at Raritan, Somerset County, New Jersey;
  • Hendrick Jansen, baptized at Kingston on 1 September 1695, married Rebecca Du Bois on 7 March 1741 at First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died in 1759;
  • Abraham, born in 1700 at Somerset, New Jersey;
  • Isaac, born in 1702;
  • Jacob, born in 1705 at Somerset, New Jersey; and
  • Malinda, born in 1710 at Somerset, New Jersey.

"Only a year after arriving in America little Joost Jansen Van Meteren had an adventure which set the pattern for his whole life and planted the pioneering seed which flowered in succeeding generations. He was captured by the Indians. On June 7, 1663 while the men were away working in the fields the Minnisink Indians entered several villages under the pretext of selling vegetables and. suddenly began murdering their unarmed victims. They took all they could find of value, set the villages on fire and took about 45 women and children captives. Among them were Jan Joosten's wife Maycke and son Joost from Wiltwyck and Louis DuBois' wife Catherine Blanchan and baby daughter Sarah from Esopus. Joost and Sarah were later to be married. For three months the men searched the Catskills, but had no success until on Sept. 3 a friendly Indian gave a clue to the location of the captives. A rescue party was formed led by Louis DuBois and Capt. Kreiger whose journal relates this event. Meanwhile, since the Indians were running short of food and winter was not far off they had decided to burn some of their Captives. Catherine DuBois and her baby Sarah were selected to be first. When the Indians were about to put the torch to her pyre she began to sing the words of the 137th Psalm. Enchanted by her voice they demanded that she continue to sing, Of course, she did. The approaching rescuers heard her, were guided to the spot, attacked the Indians and released all the prisoners. Little Joost, too young to be much affected by the horrors of captivity, thoroughly enjoyed his three months of Indian life. Later as an adult he frequently left home to spend many weeks at a time with various tribes. In this way he was among the first whites to explore the wilderness areas to the west of the coastal settlements. He was particularly impressed by the beauty of the Valley of Virginia and urged his sons to settle there, which they eventually did. Thus began the pioneering spirit of the Van Meters who for the next 200 years were among the first settlers and participants in the key events which shaped the nation as it thrust evermore westward."1716

"Joost Jansen Van Meteren, who sometimes called himself John Van Meter, married Sarah DuBois at New Paltz on December 12, 1682. About 15 years later he moved his growing family to Somerset County, New Jersey on his father's land which he later inherited. Joost and Sarah seem to have had five sons, but only three of them are well known. John, our ancestor, was the eldest, baptized in Kingston, N.Y. on October 14, 1683. The others were Isaac, Henry, Abraham and Jacob. There also were four daughters Rebecca, Lysbeth, Rachel and Malinda. John and his first wife Sarah Bodine had three children born in Somerset County and baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church on the Raritan at Readington. Soon after Sarah died in 1709 John married again to Margaret Mollenauer and had eight more children"1716

His will was dated 13 June 1706 and he died at Salem County, New Jersey. "1698 --------------------

In the fall of 1662 Jan Joosten Van Meteren settled in Wildwych (now Kingston, Ulster County, New Jersey) and dwelt many years in that vicinity, which included the towns of Hurley, Middletown, and Esoppus. He is not noted in the activities of that community until the seventh of June, 1663, the date when the Minnisink Indians made an attack on the village and its vicinity raiding and burning the settlement of Hurley and Kingston and carrying away women and children in captivity.

Among the latter were Jan;s wife and children, Jooste Jans being one of them s well as Catherine DuBois, the wife of Louis DuBois, and their daughter Sarah. whom Jooste Jans Van Metern later married. These were taken to the fastness of Catskill Mountains and remained in captivity for months, but were rescued on the eve of torture by DuBois, and Captain Martin Kreiger's company of Manhattan soldiers; the trainband finally rounded up the Indians and defeated them on September 3, 1663.

In connection with this tragic experience the following statements is quoted:" About ten weeks after the captive of the women and children, the Indians decided to celebrate their own escape from pursuit by burning some of their victims and the ones selected were Catherine DuBois, and her baby Sara.

A cubical pile of logs was arranged and the mother and child placed thereon: when the Indians were about to apply the torch, Catherine began to sing the 137th Psalm as a death chant. The Indians withheld the fire and gave her respite while they listened; when she had finished they demanded more, and before she finished the last one her husband and the Dutch soldier's from Amsterdam arrivesd and surrounded the savages, killed and captured some, and otherwise inflicted terrible punishment upon them, and released the prisoners. 

Captain Kreiger's Journal which gives a general account of the expeition of rescue, unfortunately does not mane him, but it is elsewhere stated that it was due to Jooste Jan's three months' association with the Indians, during his captivity, that gave him the knowledge of their habits, trails, plans and war feuds with other tribes, and so impressed him with a desire for their adventurous life.

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Joost Jansen Van Meteren's Timeline

OR 1656, Gelderland, Holland
Drenthe, Holland
Age 6
Age 24
Amelia, Virginia, United States
December 12, 1682
Age 26
Kingston, Ulster, NJ
October 14, 1683
Age 27
Marbletown, Ulster, New York
April 26, 1686
Age 30
Marbletown, Ulster, New York, United States
March 3, 1689
Age 33
Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States
March 3, 1689
Age 33
Kingston, Ulster, New York, United States
August 9, 1692
Age 36
Marbletown, Ulster, New York, USA