Family Stories

Van Lear Family Summary

Jane K Van Lear married Archibald Robinson 6 August 1814 in Montgomery county Virginia. Archibald Robinson, son of John and Margaret Robinson, was born 25 November 1793. His birthday is shown on some family papers passed down to us. Jane Van Lear Robinson and Archibald Robinson moved to Washington county Missouri in 1820 with their two eldest children, another John Robinson and a daughter. That summer their next son, Preston McGrady Robinson was born and it is from him that we descend. They had several more children, wife Jane Van Lear Robinson died, and much later Archibald Robinson remarried to Mary Donoho, also from Montgomery county Virginia.

The father of Jane K Van Lear was John Van Lear, and records seem to indicate that the father of John Van Lear was Jacob Van Lear. That is as far back as our search has presently reached on this surname. The will of Jacob Van Lear was written 29 July 1783 and proved 18 November 1783 in Augusta county Virginia. He mentions his wife Margaret, gives his son Jacob all lands, his son John f15, his daughter Gartry Robinson 50 shillings, and his daughter Isabel Abney 50 shillings. Executors are Jacob VanLear and John Christian. Patrick Christian and John Christian are witnesses. Jacob Van Lear qualifies as executor.

There are several Van Lear marriages shown in Augusta county Virginia that no doubt relate to this family, but they are probably children and grandchildren of son Jacob Van Lear jr, as son John Van Lear seems to have moved on to Botetourt and then Montgomery county Virginia. Most often the officiating clergyman is Conrad Speece and it seems likely the Van Lears were of German or Dutch origin. It is important to follow the daughter Gartry (Gertrude) Robinson because she is definetely in Botetourt and Montgomery counties Virginia later. There is also a William Van Lear in the Augusta probate records (sale and settlement in 1795) but I was not able to find it as cited.

Tax, military and other records studied indicate that the family of John Van Lear and John Robinson were neighbors and intermarried. Some records in Augusta county Virginia suggest that Margaret, the wife of John Robinson, could have been Margaret Frame. The wife of John Van Lear was Sally (the mother of Jane K Van Lear?). Did Jane name her first daughter Sally? John Van Lear and Sally also had a son, John Van Lear who married Sarah Davis on 16 June 1817 in Montgomery county Virginia. William Van Lear, another son of John Van Lear and Sally, married Elsie Hudson, daughter of Isaac Hudson, on 3 January 1823. Also a daughter Lucy Van Lear married James Logan on 28 April 1827.

John Van Lear, father of Jane K Van Lear, wrote his will on 21 July 1820. It was proved October 1829. He gives his wife Sally one-third of his plantation and some slaves. He gives his son William the remaining land, etc. He gives son John, Scott's Bible in 5 volumes. He makes a bequest to a daughter Sally Liking (King?). He gives his Gig and Cornixe to his daughter Lucy Logan. He appoints James C Preston and Henry Edmonson Executors. A daughter Jane K is not mentioned, but this is the same year that she moved off to Missouri with husband Archibald Robinson and it seems likely he gave her what he could at that time. When the estate is finally valued and closed in March 1820, the two same negroes Bob and Dennis are valued at $242.50 together. The sale bill dated 15 February 1830 shows that each got their particular bequests and that the remainder was sold to the widow and to William Van Lear. It specifies the bed and 5 volume Bible set that went to son, the Rev. John Van Lear. So Jane did have a brother in the ministry.

I'm not able to update this summary as satisfactorily as I would like until I have time to draw together more records. But I did locate at the Family History Library in Salt Lake (May 1998) some very good clues to a John George Van Lear who was naturalized in Chester county Pennsylvania. This data is in the Proprietary Government of Pennsylvania Naturalization Book, 1740-1763. (FHL film 1032845 #5). It states that persons naturalized in 1740 according to an act of Parliament, having resided 7 years in Colonies and shown proof (of) taking the Protestant or Reformed Sacrament could become (equal to) natural born subjects of Great Britain. This four page list shows name, date, time they took Sacrament. However, only the first seventy-five names took the oath regarding the Sacrament. The remaining seventy-nine were Quakers who "scruple to take an oath", yet complied with the other qualifications. John George Vanlaer was a Quaker. The "True and Perfect list" was certified 7 May 1741. It seems very likely that John George Van Lear may connect to our Jacob Van Lear in Augusta county Virginia who died in 1783. Many immigrants went from Pennsylvania to Augusta county Virginia about this time.

VanLear Summary, by Blanche Aubin Clarkson Hutchison, 1998; Slightly updated by Pam Garrett, August 2012.

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Link to Jacob Van Lear

Van Lear Family Summary; contributed by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for Family Stories at website; 2015.