Abraham Vanderpool

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Abraham Vanderpool

Dutch: Abraham Vanderpoel
Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: Albany, Albany County, New York, United States
Death: May 24, 1779 (71)
Washington County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Wynant Melgertse van der Poel and Catharina van der Poel
Husband of Janette Vanderpoel and Rebecca Vanderpoel
Father of Catherine Vanderpool; Wynant Vanderpool; Sarah Vanderpool; Cathrina infant death Vanderpool; Ann Nave and 3 others
Brother of Anthony Teunis Vanderpool; Catherine Vanderpool; Melchert Vanderpoel; Margarieta Vanderpoel; Ariaentie Vanderpoel and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Abraham Vanderpool

Abraham Vanderpool is known as the "father of the southern Vanderpool's". It was Abraham Vanderpool who ventured from what is now Albany, New York to Washington County, Tennessee - no mean feat in the early to mid 1700's.

He was truly a pioneer adventurer, whether by choice, economics, or both it is not known. It is known, from various records and documents, that Abraham traveled as a child, from Albany, New York, probably to what is now New York City, then to Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. As a married adult, he migrated from New Jersey to Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. He was also, perhaps, in Pennsylvania and South Carolina as well.

It is with Abraham, that the records of this Van der Poel line first use the spelling "Vanderpool" instead of the Dutch spelling, "Van der Poel". The reason for this is unknown. It may well be attributed to the inability of clerks to spell the name correctly, in the geographical areas to which Abraham migrated. These areas of the then, new frontier were outside the original New York and New Jersey Dutch settlements where the Dutch spelling characteristics would have been more familiar.

Abraham Vanderpool was the child of Wynant Van der Poel and Catherine De Hooges Van der Poel. He was born in Albany, New York, most probably in the year 1709. Some Vanderpool researchers believe the date to be 1707. The Dutch custom to baptize an infant as soon as possible, would lend credence to the date 1709, as he was baptized on February 13, 1709 in the Dutch Reformed Church. (The church was then located on the what is now the corner of Broadway and State Streets. It was built in 1656 but was replaced by a new structure in 1715. This structure was razed in 1806 and the new church was built a few blocks away. This church contains the original pulpit brought over from the Netherlands in 1656. This is the oldest pulpit in America.)

Abraham probably spent most if not all of his childhood years in Albany, New York. At some point in the early 1700's, at least by 1725 to 1729, Abraham's parents moved to the Newark, New Jersey area. The family must have spent at least a brief time in New York City, according to baptismal records dated June 30, 1725 for child, Catherine Vanderpool, youngest sister of Abraham.

The Bergen area (now Jersey City), of New Jersey was the oldest permanent settlement in New Jersey, which had come under English rule in 1664. There was a steady settlement of New Jersey by Dutch families from all sections of New Netherland. Some, including the Van der Poel's , came from the Albany, New York area. (This Dutch characteristic of migration and settlement as part of a group, continued eventually to the Van der Poel's group migration to North Carolina.)

The specific reason for the move to New Jersey, by Abraham's parents, is unknown but was probably economic in nature. Abraham's father was a younger son and it would be doubtful that he would have inherited property. Also, large holdings of land were being held by speculators and others, for future big profits instead of being sold. There was little land available for purchase in normal amounts of acreage. One had the choice of being a Tennant or moving on to new areas of the country. The Van der Poel's may also have been involved in mining pursuits that would have involved them moving to New Jersey. It is known that the family of Abraham's mother, Catherine De Hooges, were involved in mining endeavors.

What ever the reason for the migration to New Jersey, Abraham Vanderpool, as an older child or young man (by the age 20 or perhaps as young as age 16), had moved west of the Hudson River by July 13, 1729. There were church records entered July 13, 1729, at the Second River Dutch Reformed Church (organized in 1700), in Newark New Jersey, which establish the family as there at least by that date.

Abraham and Jannetje Weibling (spelling variations of Webliin, Wibling and Welling can be found with this family), were probably married by early 1734 as they had a child by late 1734. It is unknown if they were living in Newark or Belleville, New Jersey at the time of this birth. The child died in 1736 and was buried in Newark, New Jersey. They were probably living in Belleville at least in 1738, when they had a child baptized in Belleville, New Jersey on May 14, 1738.

It is probable that Abraham Vanderpool was a miner or involved in mining endeavors, as were other Vanderpool's in the area. Abraham's brother, Melgert was killed by a fall in a mine near Newark New Jersey. He plunged 114 feet to his death on April 04, 1743 as reported in both Benjamin Franklin's "Gazette" and John Zenger's "New-York Weekly Journal".

A court order dated May 16, 1740 listed Abraham living in Wallpack (now Newton), New Jersey, in the Delaware River Valley. This move may have been necessitated by following the mining opportunities.

Abraham may also have lived in Pennsylvania. There are church records dated in 1741, in Smithfield Pennsylvania. Smithfield is located across the Delaware River from New Jersey, so they may have simply crossed the river for worship and continued to have lived in New Jersey.

The next migration by Abraham and perhaps Jannetje Weibling Vanderpool was south to Virginia. It is unknown if Jannetje was living and made the trip to Virginia. It is known that by 1743, Abraham had moved south and west to Frederick County, Virginia, where his name appeared on a Fee List. He remained in Frederick at least until November 1745, as his name appears on documents until that time. By September 04, 1746, Abraham had moved further south to Augusta County, Virginia, where documents establish him living through 1751.

Jannetje Weibing Vanderpool probably died between 1741 and 1745. As no records have been found of her death, in New Jersey, it may be more likely that she died in Virginia. This would establish her death as 1743 to 1745. Some Vanderpool researchers believe her death may have been attributed to a hostile Indian raid but that has never been established.

Abraham could have remarried more than once but it is known that he was remarried at least by 1748 to Rebecca Vanderpool. This

date was established by property purchased in that year which required the assent of his wife when he sold hit in 1751.

The maiden surname of Rebecca Vanderpool is unknown. The theory has been posed, that she may have been a "Westfall" or "Bogart", as they were closely associated with the Vanderpool's in Virginia. She may have been a widow at the time of their marriage, as well. Rebecca was the mother of Ann and probably of the younger Abraham Jr., as well.

Abraham applied for a patent on 430 acres in Augusta County, Virginia, on October 19, 1748. He was already occupying the land at that time. (He may in fact, have been used to 'squatting on land in the past.) This was truly frontier land at this time. This area had a few settlers as early as 1735, but was largely uninhabited until purchased by Lord Thomas Fairfax in 1748. After purchasing a large tract of land on the South Branch of the Potomac, Lord Fairfax hired a surveyor (who had a young, sixteen year old helper named George Washington, who would later be the first president of the United States. George Washington reported there were Dutch living on Lord Fairfax's land, and Abraham Vanderpool may have been one of them) and then advertised the land as available for purchase.

Abraham and Rebecca sold this land on the South Branch of the Potomac, on May 25, 1751. Their whereabouts are uncertain between the years 1751 and 1756. It is thought by some researchers that they were living in the Greenbriar River area, first settled in 1749. This area is not far from Vanderpool, Virginia (now located in present day Watauga County, North Carolina) 1and Vanderpool Gap. Vanderpool Gap is on the border of Virginia and West Virginia and was discovered by John Vanderpool, the brother of Abraham.

By 1756, the Vanderpool's had left the Greenbriar area. At this time there were growing hostilities between the settlers and the native Indians, all along the edge of the frontier. The Vanderpool's retreated to North Carolina, after a series of attacks led by the Shawnee Indian leader named "the Cornstalk". These attacks drove the settlers eastward from the Greenbriar area and several Dutch settlers were killed. One Vanderpool female may have been captured. (A letter to George Washington from a militia captain dated May 14, 1756, mentions that his unit had tracked a band of Indians near Vanderpool's house, described as being close to the head of the Jackson River and near the Black River, not too far from Fort Dinwiddie. This area includes both Vanderpool Gap and today's town called Vanderpool. It is not clear who the Vanderpool was, but it could not have been Abraham, as he had removed to Orange County, North Carolina.)

As Indian tribes attacked European settlements all along the edge of the frontier areas, settlers were driven back north and east, throughout 1755 and 1756. These hostilities would later erupt into the French and Indian War.

Whatever the cause of Abraham and Rebecca leaving Virginia, it is known from records that Abraham as in the Parish of St. Matthew at Rocky River in Orange County, North Carolina, by April 06, 1756. On August 20, 1756, Abraham Vanderpool was listed as a certified chain-carrier for a surveyor. He was next listed in records at Sandy Creek in Orange County, in 1757. The last record of Abraham in Orange County (that part now in Randolph County, North Carolina), North Carolina, was dated November 05, 1757.

Abraham next appears on a Fee List in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia on May 12, 1757. Abraham may have taken his family back to Frederick County, where he had lived in 1743, and then by himself went to North Carolina to work and perhaps locate land. Or they may have all moved to North Carolina and then back to Frederick County, Virginia by May 1757.

Whatever the situation, there was then a decade, (from 1757 to 1767) in which their whereabouts are unknown. We do know that at least by 1767, Abraham Vanderpool was established in Rowan County (later became Surry County) North Carolina and was a "road overseer". In 1768, either Abraham Vanderpool or his son, Abraham, was serving as "constable" in that area. Having these career positions in Rowan County, would probably suggest that Abraham Vanderpool had been in this area long enough to establish himself as a reliable and established citizen of the county.

The section of Rowan County that the Vanderpool's lived in, later became part of Wilkes County, in 1777. It is known that Abraham Vanderpool and his son, Abraham, continued to reside in Rowan County, later Wilkes County, until at least June 12, 1778. as is verified by tax lists and land grants.

Abraham Vanderpool probably died between June 12, 1778 and May 12, 1779. June 12, 1778 is the last recorded date known at this time, of Abraham in Wilkes County, North Carolina. On May 12, 1779, his wife, Rebecca Vanderpool, signed her will and it did not mention Abraham. This would indicate he was probably deceased by this time. Rebecca Vanderpool was in Washington County, North Carolina, now Tennessee, when she signed her will. A tax list in 1779 for Washington County, North Carolina (now Tennessee) lists Abraham Vanderpool as deceased. It is unknown if Abraham died in Wilkes County, North Carolina or Washington County, North Carolina, which became Washington County, Tennessee in 1790.

It seems plausible that Abraham Vanderpool did go to Washington County, North Carolina. First, in her will, Rebecca lists six cattle and two plows among other things. If she had moved to this county by herself, she would not likely have brought or purchased cattle and plows. Second, Abraham is listed as deceased on the Washington County tax list which would seem to indicate he had previously been alive in that county.

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Abraham Vanderpool's Timeline

February 13, 1708
Albany, Albany County, New York, United States
February 13, 1709
Age 1
Albany, Albany County, New York
February 13, 1709
Age 1
Albany, NY
Age 29
Age 34
Augusta County, Province of Virginia
Age 35
VA, United States
Age 36
Rowan, North Carolina
Age 41
Augusta, VA, United States