There has been some back and forth between “cousins” with regard to the parentage of Matthias Vanbibber, my 5th-great grandfather. The dilemma has been, was he the natural-born son of Peter Vanbibber II and Marjory Bounds – or – was he the son of Isaac Vanbibber (brother of Peter II, son of Peter I) and Sarah Davis? The story is that Matthias was taken to raise by his uncle, Peter Vanbibber II, after Isaac’s tragic death at the Battle of Point Pleasant because no one can account for Matthew Vanbibber, the “missing” son of Isaac and Sarah.
I have found evidence that leads me to believe that Matthias was indeed the biological son Peter and Marjory. It is found in the pension application made by James Vanbibber, older brother of Matthias and Jacob. For reference to the immediate family members, I’ve uploaded a Family Group Sheet.
In James’ pension application made in 1833, Calloway County, Missouri, he tells this story:
“In October ’85 two of the brothers of this applicant having gone out from the fort for the purpose of bringing in a bear that had been killed were fired upon by the Indians one of whom was left for dead and the other taken prisoner by the Indians who after remaining in captivity about 11 months succeeded in making his escape and got to the settlement.”
Another story, this one provided by whom I believe to be Matthias’ grandson, Nathan Boone Vanbibber, confirms the “shot in the head” story. The copies were shared with my father by none other than Earl Quintrell of Knoxville, TN. It states, “Jacob Van Bibber who was taken prisoner a captive of the Indians with my grandfather Capt. Matthias. Capt. had his eyebrow shot off. Jacob was taken to the Osage Indian tribe two years before he returned.”
And then this account recorded by W. S. Laidley in “History of Charleston and Kanawha County West Virginia and Representative Citizens,” page 348:
“Matthias “Tice” Van Bibber and his little brother, Jacob, were fired on by Indians near Point Pleasant. Tice was struck in the forehead and slightly wounded but succeeded in escaping. Jacob the lad was caught and made prisoner. He made his escape and got home some two years later.”
I believe there is one other account of Matthias having been shot in the head and left for dead that was recorded in the Raleigh Register / Beckley Post Herald many years ago and featured by Shirley Donnally. But as of this writing I can’t put my hands on it.
The conclusion is – my conclusion – is that it is enough evidence to convince me that Matthias Vanbibber, former Sheriff of Kanawha County, chain carrier for Daniel Boone when he surveyed in the Valley, was the natural born son of Peter Vanbibber II and Marjory Bounds.