Isaac Vanbibber’s Children

I cannot fault a soul for wanting to get their genealogy in print and published in order to help others. I do the same. But, bless us, when we publish information that isn’t true, its impossible to update once its in print. In my case, and this being the computer age, I can revise the errors that could mislead those that stumble across my blog. The same cannot be said for those whose words were published one hundred years ago, give or take.

What we have to consider is that genealogists “back then” were dependent on the data that was available to them, even if that data came from the memory of aged family members. Genealogists today are spoiled down-right rotten: What data that Ancestry isn’t pushing at us in the form of hints can most likely be uncovered in the vaults of the Latter Day Saints and their online database at

One such “hint” was thrust at me in my quest to discover the migration of James Vanbibber, son of Peter Van Bebber II, and husband of Jean Erwin/Ervin/Irvine. The following hint has little to do with James after he migrated out of Kanawha County, WV and as much to do with the misinformation that went into a book referenced by Ancestry as “North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000, by Samuel Moody Grubbs, a descendant of the Boone Family.” The following, listed on page 556 of ‘The Boone Family’ section stood out:

“Isaac Van Bibber, brother Peter [II and Capt. John Van Bebber] was a captain of a Virginia company of militia and was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant [WV] in 1774. He left a widow and four children, at least one of whom, Isaac, jr., was a very small child at the time of their father’s death. The children of Isaac Van Bibber were:
1. John Van Bibber
2. Peter Van Bibber
3. Isaac Van Bibber Jr., born in Greenbriar Co., VA, 20 Oct. 1771; married Elizabeth Hays (Susannah Boone; Daniel, Squire, George See No. 347.
4. Rebecca Van Bibber.

The wife of Jesse Boone (Daniel, Squire, George) was named Chloe Van Bibber (b. 1772) and is said to have been a daughter of James and Samoa Van Bibber. Her relationship to the above family cannot be stated.

References: An old letter written by Huron Burt (No. 2207), a grandson of Isaac Van Bibber, Jr., and wife Elizabeth Hays. Data gathered by Mr. Jesse P. Crump of Kansas City, Mo.”

What you find in the [brackets] are my notations. By now, if you haven’t seen the documentation I provided from Greenbrier County, WV records, you’re aware that Isaac Van Bebber Sr and his wife, Sarah Davis, had nine children prior to Isaac’s death. Only 7 children are listed by name in the court records transcribed in this post. To reiterate:

  • Court of Friday 21 June 1785, “Sarah Vanbebber now wife of William Griffey… had SEVEN CHILDREN during her widowhood.” Helen S. Stinson

Larry G. Shuck’s transcription includes the following:

  • Court of Wednesday 22 March 1786, “Peter Vanbibber [Sr] is appointed guardian to Matthew, John, Nancy, James, and Isaac Vanbebber [Jr]...” Larry G. Shuck

Although only 5 children are listed, what I came to learn, after a trip to Knoxville, TN this spring, is that the Peter Vanbibber listed in the court hearing above is the elder brother of those 5 children listed in the transcript. That brings our total to 6. And Number 7?

The seventh child was an older daughter, Martha “Patsy” Van Bebber, born about 1756 in – most likely – Halifax County, VA. She married George Yoakum, roughly, 1774 possibly in Botetourt County, VA before the vicinity in which the families were living became known as Greenbrier County. So, what I learned is that Peter Van Bebber [Sr], the eldest son of Isaac Van Bebber and Sarah “Griffy” nee Davis, was appointed guardian of his younger siblings prior to the entire family’s migration to the state of Tennessee (image below) but not before we find them listed in Russell County, VA in 1787, one year following Peter’s appointment as guardian to his siblings.

Citation (so you can see it for yourself): 1787 Russell County, VA: PP Tax List B: “Familysearch: Sign In”. Familysearch.Org, 2022, Accessed 15 Sept 2022.

And the 1799 Grainger County, TN shows the Van Bebber boys, sans Matthew and Isaac Jr, along with brother-in-law, George Yoakum.

1799 Tax List, Grainger Co, TN.

I believe Isaac Van Bebber Jr had been living in Kentucky after 1792 and up until 1799. I have read that he left Kanawha County, WV in the company of Daniel Boone when he and his family left the area and moved back to Kentucky. Since Nathan married Miss Olive Van Bebber, daughter of Peter II and “Majer” Bounds Van Bebber, in September 1799 – the same year the Boone’s were enroute to what would become Missouri – Isaac’s residence in Kentucky was short.

As to what became of Matthew Van Bebber is anyone’s guess. You’ll note that in the Greenbrier County Guardianship, the children of Isaac and Sarah are listed in what appears to be birth order, making Matthew slightly younger than his brother Peter but older than his other siblings. It is likely that Matthew died enroute to Russell County, VA or after arrival because he is not in the tax list of that county.

My point is that family stories are not always accurate. Nor are those stories accurate when they are printed in large hard back reference books found in the library. We live in a time when records have been digitized making it possible for us to find the evidence and follow it to a reasonable conclusion. From the records, I’ve made the following list of Isaac Van Bebber’s children with Sarah Davis:

  1. Martha “Patsy” Van Bebber, b. ~1756 d. 1794 Claiborne Co, TN. m. George Yoakum ~ 1774. George Yoakum, possibly his father were at the Battle of Point Pleasant.
  2. Peter Van Bebber [Sr], b. ~1757 d. 1816 Claiborne Co, TN. m. 1785 Greenbrier Co, WV to Ellinor/Eleanor “Nellie” Van Bebber, daughter of Peter Van Bebber II and Marguery “Majer” Bounds.
  3. Mathew Van Bebber, b ~1760 Halifax Co., VA. No other info.
  4. John Van Bebber, b. ~1765 Halifax Co, VA, d. 1818 Claiborne Co., TN. m. ~ 1787 Margaret Chrisman, Russell Co, VA.
  5. Nancy Van Bebber, b. ~1767 Pittsylvania Co, VA, d. unknown, m. Robert Howard.
  6. James Van Bebber, b. ~1769 Botetourt Co, VA, d. Tennessee, m. Hannah Hoover.
  7. Isaac Van Bebber Jr., b. 1771 Botetourt Co, VA, d. 1840 Montgomery Co., MO, m. Elizabeth Hays, daughter of William Hays & Susannah Boone, possibly 1797 KY.

By the way, the wife of Jesse Bryan Boone, son of Daniel and Rebecca, was Chloe Van Bebber, daughter of Capt. John Van Bebber (youngest brother of Isaac Sr and Peter II) in Kanawha County, WV about September 1790. The marriage record itself is either illegible or possibly no longer exists but Nathan Boone tells of the excursion of his brother Jesse, accompanied by Olive’s brothers James and Mathias (my ancestor), their cousin, Isaac Van Bebber Jr, and three others to “the mouth of Elk River, now Charleston, (WV) where the county seat was located” to obtain a marriage license.

Both Daniel and Jesse Boone are listed in the Kanawha County Tax List on 11 June 1792. Also in this same list are the Van Bibbers and Isaac Robinson, probably the son of Brigetta Van Bibber and Isaac Robinson Sr. For a view of this tax list, you’ll need a free login at

Last word of advice: Trace every soul born to your ancestor as well as your ancestor’s brothers and sisters if you want to get further up your tree. Siblings, in-laws, and cousins often migrated to the same locations. Often, where you find one in a different county or state, you’ll find others as well.