Husband: William Henry Van Lear
Father: Ausbert George Lewis Van Lear
Mother: Sarah (McCord) Van Lear
Born: 6/29/1855
Died: 7/7/1947

Wife: Emma Roberta (Hepler) Van Lear
Born: 10/15/1854
Died: 12/25/1930

Married: 10/21/1875

Robert Jarman Van Lear, b. 7/26/1876, m. 12/21/1898 to Nancy
     Ellen Hambrick
Mary Alexandra (Mamie) Van Lear [R357]
Lewis Isaac Van Lear, 3/19/1881-4/18/1955, m. 1/22/1908 to Cassie
     Leslie Hughes
Harry Poindexter Van Lear [R554]

(2014) [S136] and [S143] furnished a copy of the Van Lear family tree, extending back to the seventeenth-century Netherlands. The following describes the main line of descent to William Henry Van Lear.

Garret Van Laer lived in Amsterdam in the 1600s. A son of his, Christoffel Garritszen Van Laer (~1630-1698), emigrated to New Amsterdam (New York) 2/12/1659 on the ship Faith. He m.1st Catharyntie Janes (2/10/1660), 2nd. Catharina Boots. A son of Christoffel and Catharina, Abraham Van Laer, was b. 1678,
christened in the Dutch Reform Church of New York City, and m. Hester Davis. (Abraham’s sister Zara [Sarah] m. John Hardenbroeck. Their dau. Catherina m. Issiaac Rosevelt; they were great-great-great-grandparents of Franklin D. Roosevelt.)

A son of Abraham and Hester, Jacobus Van Lear (note the changed spelling), 1704-1783, was also christened in the Dutch Reform Church. He migrated to Lancaster County Pa. and then to Augusta County Va., ~1752. There he purchased 490 acres of land on Christians Creek, 3/27/1754.

A son of Jacob’s was John Van Lear, 1745-1829. He m. Sally Allison and migrated to Botetourt County, then Montgomery County Va. He served in the Botetourt Militia during the Revolutionary War.

A son of theirs, Jacob B. Van Lear (1/19/1773-1/28/1846) m. Nancy Agnes Hall. They moved from Montgomery County to Spring Hill, Augusta County, ~1802.

A son of theirs, Robert B. Van Lear (8/7/1804-_/2/1889) m. 1st Margaret Ann Mowery, 2nd Permelia Minor Maupin.

A son of Robert and Margaret was Dr. Ausbert George Lewis Van
Lear, who m. Sarah McCord. He obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Maryland, 3/8/1861. He was wounded in the battle of Chancellorsville on Sunday, 5/3/1863.

A son of theirs was William Henry Van Lear, the subject of this page. William and his wife Emma Hepler were raised in Augusta County,
not far from Staunton. By 4/23/1886 they were living in Highland County Va., because Harry Van Lear [R554] was born there on that date. Thereafter they lived in Alleghany County Va. On 5/4/1899 they bought the farm on the Cowpasture River in Bath County that lies between the Crizer Place and Nimrod Hall, tract C in Fig. R005b, at public auction for $600 (DB18-535-537). It appears that Emma had
the money which paid for the farm, for the deed transfers the land to “Emma R. Van Lear, the wife of W. H. Van Lear of Alleghany Co.” which is very unusual.

Bath County DB18-537-539 (6/16/1899) is a deed in trust to the Geiser Mfg Co. wherein W. H. Van Lear pledged the farm as security for a loan, probably to buy a steam-powered tractor. This venture in high technology came to grief; on 7/23/1901 Lewis Wood wrote “...Jarmin Van Lear had bad luck with his engine the other day, Turned over the side of the road on a hill side and it rolled into the hollow below and broke all up. And he is not able to have it repaired now. And the worst of it is, that he owes so much on it yet” [S089]. However, the family apparently paid off the loan.

On 4/19/1918 Emma & William Van Lear sold their Cowpasture River property to William C. Vest (DB30-55-56). The Vests sold their
interest in the property, only partly paid up, to George W. Lawrence
and Etta Lawrence on 9/14/1920 (DB31-383). On 9/30/1922 the Van Lears conveyed the property to the Lawrences in return for paying up what the Vests were short on (DB33-66). In the 1940s Frank [R563]
and John [R560] Wood bought the property jointly. As an heir of
John, this writer was a joint owner of the property, which we have
since sold. When I was a camper at Nimrod it was unoccupied, and referred to as “the Van Lear place” or “the Lawrence place.” It was
the destination of numerous trail rides on horseback, camping trips,
and boat trips down the river. We were certain the old house was haunted; apparently a murder had been committed there, and a solitary drop of dried blood could still be seen on the wallpaper (I don’t know what the story was). We felt very brave to pitch our tents in the front yard of the house. Now the land is grown up and the old house is
gone, replaced by a modern summer home. Guests at Nimrod Hall
still use it as a terminus for trips down the Cowpasture River on inner tubes.

William and Emma Van Lear are buried with William’s parents and all his brothers and sisters in the Pleasant View Church cemetery, which I assume is in Augusta County.

Sources: [S089, S136, S143]