Jacob was born presumably in Pennsylvania and would have come with his family to Virginia as a child. He married Barbara Hawk in 1810 in Hardy Co., Virginia and inherited much of the property of his father-in-law Martin Hawk (now Grant Co., West Virginia).
Jacob and Barbara were founding members of the Brethren congregation at Greenland Gap and it was on part of their land where the congregation built their "Brick Church" after the Greenland church was burned during the Civil War.
Jacob and Barbara were buried on their farm just west of Rt. 42 close to the "Brick Church" near Maysville, Grant Co., West Virginia. This property was the home of their grandson Simon Idleman at the beginning of the twentieth century and of Idleman's granddaughter Dorothy Browne in the latter years of the century. (Bio by Mark Hale, citing RETURN TO GREENLAND)