Taken from The History of Wheeling, and Ohio County, and Representative Citizens, pp. 830, 833.
Mrs. Margaret A. (Whitnah) Van Meter, a highly respected resident of West Liberty, Ohio county, West Virginia, was born near Martinsburg, West Virginia, and is a daughter of John G. Whitnah. The latter was born near Martinsburg in 1787, and became a soldier in the War of 1812, after which he engaged in farming until his death, in 1854, at the age of sixty-seven years. His father, Henry Whitnah, was a soldier of the Revolution and a pioneer of New Jersey. He also followed farming and lived to reach the advanced age of ninety-two years, a man who enjoyed the respect and highest esteem of every one with whom he was acquainted.
Margaret A. Whitnah was joined in marriage in March, 1845, with Vincent H. Van Meter, who was born on the old Van Meter homestead in Ohio county, in 1817. He was a son of Joseph and Margaret Van Meter, and grandson of Abraham and Elizabeth (Burns) Van Meter. Elizabeth Burns was born in Scotland, where she belonged to a prominent family of that name, and came to America at an early day. Abraham Van Meter was born in Virginia, and fought in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Van Meter was born in Berkeley county, Virginia, and moved to the farm now owned by our subject in 1809. Vincent H. Van Meter, who had two brothers, Joseph and Robert, always lived on the old farm and in the house built by his father. The house is located on a rise of ground and commands an excellent view of the surrounding country. He engaged in agricultural pursuits, and made a specialty of raising fine horses and sheep. He also bought and sold cattle extensively. He was a man of estimable character and commanded the respect and admiration of his fellow men. He died April 24, 1901. Mrs. Van Meter resides on the old farm and has many intimate friends in her section of the county, in which she has lived for so many years. A pleasing feature of this old estate is an excellent orchard, which was planted more than a century ago, and still bears abundantly, many of the trees being from 18 inches to two feet in diameter.
Jan Gysbesten Van Meter, who founded the Van Metre (or Van Meter) family in this country, emigrated to New York in 1663 from Bommel, a city of Holland. Governor Gooch of Virginia gave a grant of 40,000 acres of land to two of his descendants, Jan (or John) Van Metre and Abraham Van Metre. Their descendants settled in Ohio county, West Virginia, and in Kentucky and Ohio. Of those settling in Ohio county, Joseph Van Metre, a great-uncle of Vincent H., built Fort Van Metre. John Van Metre, his brother, took up the land where West Liberty now stands, and left a man in charge by the name of Black, who built the place known as Black's Cabin. Abraham Van Metre afterward owned the land where West Liberty is, and sold two acres to Ohio county for £20. Joseph Van Metre, father of Vincent H., had five brothers: Abisha, Josiah, Asahel, Abraham and Isaac, and three sisters: Ruth, Naomi and Elizabeth. Joseph Van Metre was killed or drowned in the Ohio River, when on his way to the Ohio side of the river to hunt: his gun was found in the river forty years later.