Col. Ebenezer Zane

Is your surname Zane?

Research the Zane family

Col. Ebenezer Zane's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Ebenezer Zane

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Moorefield, Virginia, USA
Death: November 19, 1811 (64)
Wheeling, West Virginia (VA), USA
Place of Burial: Martin's Ferry, Belmont, Ohio, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Andrew Zane and Nancy Ann Zane
Husband of Elizabeth Zane
Father of Gretchen Robinson; Catherine Martin; Mary Ann Burkett; Sarah M. 'Sally' Young; Rebecca Clarke and 6 others
Brother of Capt. Silas Zane; Jonathan Zane; Andrew Zane, Sr.; Isaac Zane, Sr. and Elizabeth Clark McLaughlin

Occupation: American pioneer, road builder and land speculator
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Col. Ebenezer Zane

DAR Ancestor #: A130539

Ebenezer Zane (October 7, 1747 – 1811) was an American pioneer, road builder and land speculator. Born in what is now Moorefield, West Virginia (which was then in the colony of Virginia), Zane established the settlement known as Fort Henry in Wheeling, Virginia (present-day West Virginia) on the Ohio River. Zane is also famous for blazing the trail known as Zane's Trace. (more ...)

Ebenezer, William's second son, was born on October 7, 1747 ... In 1768, Ebenezer married Elizabeth McColloch. She and her four brothers, who were also adept woodsmen, were reputed to be half-Indian and instilled in the young Zane a lifelong belief that he carried Indian blood. A year later, following the birth of the first of the couple's twelve children and ratification of a treaty that opened southeastern Ohio to settlement, Ebenezer, Silas, and Jonathan explored and claimed two miles of property on each side of the Ohio River near Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1770, Ebenezer brought his family to Wheeling, and he participated in the construction of Fort Fincastle there in 1774. During the Revolutionary War, he led a successful defense of the fort, renamed Fort Henry, against several British and Indian attacks. A final assault on September 12, 1782, exhausted the defenders' stock of gunpowder, and Betty Zane saved the day by running a gauntlet of gunfire and returning with a new supply. (writer Zane) Grey's first three novels would memorialize the heroism of these distant relatives. (more ...)

12. COL COL. EBENEZER6 ZANE (WILLIAM ANDREW5, NATHANIEL4, ROBERT3, ROBERT SR.2, SIMON1) was born 07 October 1747 in Moorefield, Virginia, and died 19 November 1811 in Wheeling VA/WVA. He married ELIZABETH MCCULLOCH 1767 in Hardy Co, Virginia, daughter of JOHN MCCULLOCH and SARAH INNSKEEP. She was born 1748 in Marlton, Gloucester Co, NJ, and died 1814.


From Marshall County WVA Web Page:

With his brothers, in 1769, laid claim to the area that is now Wheeling West Virginia. He directed the construction of Fort Henry, defended it at the first siege, 9/1/1777. Was a Delegate to the 1788 Virginia Assembly and served as Colonel of the Virginia troops.

Sources for death date of Ebenezer Zane:page 20 "Early West Virginia Wills, Vol. 1, compiled by K.H.T. McFarland,will recorded Dec. Term 1811.

page 1710 from "'Z' Surnames--Miscellaneous Index to the County Court Order Books Part 7, Ohio, County, WV, compiled by Kenneth Fischer Craft, Jr, 2001, states that Ebenezer Zane's Executor and apppraisers were appted 1811, volume 13, page 11.

page 1967 from the "Index to Ohio Co. Court's Case Files/Loose Papers" , part 1, compiled by Kenneth Fischer Craft, Jr., 2001, shows card #3720, Env #141C-10, County Court, year 1811, "ZANE,Ebenezer", WILL.

From Notes of Jeff Hawkins:

The three Zane brothers, Ebenezer, Silas, and Jonathan, made the first settlement in the Wheeling area in 1769.

Ebenezer Zane laid out the town of Wheeling in 1793. The name Wheeling was taken from the Indian word "weeling", meaning place of the skull. The earliest Europeans in the neighborhood were said to have been killed and their skulls placed on poles in the area to warn away other invaders. The historic Zane's Trace, built by Ebenezer Zane and opened in 1797, extended from Wheeling, WV through present day Zanesville OH (named in his honor) to Maysville KY, which was then the northern end of the road to New Orleans. By 1810, one fourth of the population of the state was said to live in the counties along this road.

More About COL. EBENEZER ZANE:Military service: Colonel, U.S. Army


i. GRETCHEN7 ZANE, b. 1768. 17. ii. CATHERINE ZANE, b. 27 June 1769, Wheeling VA/WVA.

iii. MARY ANN ZANE, b. 27 May 1771, Wheeling VA/WVA; m. JACOB BURKETT, 1803.

iv. SARAH ZANE, b. 23 February 1773, Wheeling VA/WVA; m. (1) DAVID YOUNG, Bef. 1789; m. (2) JOHN MCINTIRE, 1790.

18. v. REBECCA ZANE, b. 1776.

19. vi. NOAH EBENEZER ZANE, b. 23 October 1778, Wheeling VA/WVA; d. 02 June 1833, Wheeling VA/WVA.

vii. JOHN ZANE, b. 30 April 1780, Wheeling VA/WVA; d. 19 November 1805, Wheeling VA/WVA.

20. viii. SAMUEL ZANE, b. 26 February 1784.

21. ix. HETTY ZANE, b. 06 October 1786.

x. JESSE ZANE, b. 1790, Wheeling VA/WVA; d. 1790, Wheeling VA/WVA.

xi. DANIEL ZANE, b. 03 June 1792, Wheeling VA/WVA; d. 22 January 1868, Wheeling VA/WVA.

Ebenezer Zane began his military career under British rule.

He served as a disbursing officer under Lord Dunmore.

Ebenezer later became a colonel in the Virginia colonial militia.

Fought in Revolutionary War.

First Permanent Settlers of Zanesville, OH

With Brothers, founded Fort Henry

In 1788, he served as a western delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention and voted in favor of ratification of the United States Constitution.


  1. Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield County, Ohio. By Charles Milton Lewis Wiseman. pp 10-14. "He was a frontiersman of rare ability ..."

view all 16

Col. Ebenezer Zane's Timeline

October 7, 1747
Moorefield, Virginia, USA
May 10, 1768
Age 20
Wheeling, Ohio, W(VA)
June 17, 1769
Age 21
Wheeling, West Virginia (VA), USA
May 27, 1771
Age 23
Wheeling, Virginia, United States
February 23, 1773
Age 25
West Augusta, Virginia
October 10, 1776
Age 29
Wheeling, Ohio County, (W)VA, United States of America
October 23, 1778
Age 31
Wheeling, Virginia, United States
April 30, 1780
Age 32
February 26, 1784
Age 36