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Weaver, John

JOHN WEAVER
submitted by Mary Cook Hyder
John Weaver was born in 1763 and, with three brothers, left home and family in the Netherlands, and came to America. They were of German-Dutch descent as their father, a cloth-maker by the name of Weber, had fled from Germany under persecution of religion and speech and settled in Holland. The brothers had heard that land was cheap and plentiful in Pennsylvania, but on arriving there found it was scarce and high-priced. Being young and strong and well trained to work, they soon found many ways of earning a living.

During the Revolution, the Weaver brothers volunteered their services. John served five years in the Pennsylvania Rangers on the Frontiers. They heard much about the Southwestern country so they headed west, travelling into a vast, wild and dangerous region called the Shenandoah Valley through Virginia and Kentucky. They crossed the Alleghaney Divide into the Valley of Green Brier River, a branch of the Ohio River. Here John Weaver and his brothers parted, they going on to the Ohio River.

While scouting through the wilds, John had staked land claims from the Ohio River into the northern parts of North Carolina in 1785, buying several hundred acres at 50 shillings an acre. He met a man named Albert Biffle who told him about a small settlement near Elizabethton called Happy Valley, and about his young sister, Elizabeth. John went to Happy Valley to meet her, courted and married her, and they lived there in Happy Valley for a while and their first son was born there. He was Jacob, born September 13, 1786.

In the spring of 1787, John and Elizabeth left the Valley for the mountains of North Carolina, travelling by way of the Bald Mountains in what is now Yancey County. Night was approaching and they needed to rest. John found a bed of wild hogs close to a cliff, routed them out, built a fire and fixed a place to bed down for the night. Early in the morning he found a trail leading down to the Toe River, crossed it and went on to the mountain range called ‘The Blue Ridge.’ Taking the southern end, they crossed over into a nice fertile valley which was in a wild state but peopled with an Indian Village. The Indians seemed friendly, so John travelled on down a short distance to a creek which later became known as Reems Creek.

Making friends with the Indians, he set up a wigwam for a home and lived there for a while. Soon he bought 320 acres of land from John McDowell of Burke County on each side of Reems Creek and on both sides of the path leading to Green River known now as the French Broad. He like the valley so he worked to clear ground higher up from the creek and built a warm log house. Then he cleared land for a garden, and for corn and wheat fields, becoming the first white settler in this region.

John and Elizabeth had eleven children all together: Jacob married Elizabeth Siler; Susannah married John McCarson; Christiana married Samuel Vance; Elizabeth married Robert Patton Wells of Sandy Mush; Matilda married Jefferson Garrison; Catherine married Andrew Pickens; James married Susan Barnard; John Jr; Christopher married Margaret Lowry; Montraville Michael married Jane Eliza Baird; and Mary married Henry Addington.

–Heritage I, article #655, p. 359
Note: Jacob Weaver = article #652, p. 358
James Weaver = article #653, p. 359
Montraville Weaver = article #656

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