Jacobus Volkertson was born on 22 May 1737 in Somerset County in the Colony of New Jersey. His parents were Volkert Derrickson and Dinah Aeltje Van Lieuw. He was second to last born in the family, with only his brother Abraham coming after him in 1740. His was a large family with 9 children with the first one born in 1718.
The family left the New Jersey colony in or around 1752 when Jacobus was around the age of 15 years old. Sadly, his father Volkert died somewhere along the way. It is believed they buried his body somewhere around the Virginia-North Carolina border. They eventually stopped in Rowan County in the Colony of North Carolina and settled there. Jacobus, now calling himself "James" moved on to Surrey County a few years later and bought land for his own farm. In 1762, he later received two separate grants from the Earl of Granville for property in Caswell County.
In 1764 in Caswell County, he married Mary Van Hook, daughter of Jacob Van Hook and Hannah DeBow, both of whom had also traveled to North Carolina from New Jersey but several years prior to James and his family. James and Mary had children almost immediately and by September 1764, the first of their eleven children was born. At the same time, James continued to buy and sell large lots of land, and appeared to make a nice profit as well as help out less fortunate family members on a regular basis.
Leading into 1771, many settlers in North Carolina participated in protests against unfair taxes by the British and it was given the name Regulator Insurrection. This caused the British to send troops to enforce the taxes and to keep the peace, and it is most likely one of the reasons that John decided to take the family elsewhere.
Around 1770-1771, John and Mary moved to Scott County in southwest Virginia, and settled on Cove Creek. This became the family home for a few years. James appears to be their first child born in Virginia, although some accounts believe he was still born in North Carolina. All of their remaining children were born in Virginia. In 1773, they moved to Washington County, where they built their last home. By the time of the Revolution, James was ready.
James was recommended to the Governor of Virginia as a "fit and proper person", and so he was commissioned as a Lieutenant over the Washington County Militia. By 1779, he was promoted to Captain.
Following the initial Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence, many skirmishes and battles remained to be fought to truly win the country free of British rule. By the summer of 1780, the British had overrun the southern states and began to work their way north. James was now 43 years old, and joined the group later known as the Overmountain Men. These men gathered together in the backwoods and organized attacks against the British.
In August 1780, the Overmountain Men organized a major attack against the British and their Tory allies in The Battle of King's Mountain. The British held this position, and the Overmountain Men managed to completely surround them, wore them down, and won the victory overwhelmingly. The Americans were outnumbered, outgunned, and held a weaker position, but their careful maneuvering, quick thinking, and determination held the day. It was a defining battle in the quest for independence, and inspired many others as there had been few victories as of late. Many called it the turning point in the war.
After this battle, James returned to his farm and went back to his business of living. He and Mary had 3 more children together. James died in 1798, likely at the family farm. It is not currently known where he was buried, but most likely it too was at the family farm. Mary outlived him by many years, finally passing in 1830.
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Jacobus is 20 degrees from Margaret O'Bryan, 15 degrees from Osla Henniker-Major, 15 degrees from Alice of Greece, 18 degrees from Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves, 19 degrees from Einar Korsvig Rasmussen, 18 degrees from Nancy Forward, 22 degrees from Raoul Wallenberg, 18 degrees from Susan Cuddy, 17 degrees from Hannah Love, 30 degrees from Dorie Miller and 16 degrees from Joseph Rochefort on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.