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Sarah DuBois Van Meteren

New Paltz, Ulster County, New York, USA
Death 13 Jan 1726 (aged 61)
Salem, Salem County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Hurley, Ulster County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 79887606 · View Source
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4th child of Louis DuBois and Catherine Blanchan DuBois.

Only a year after arriving in America little Joost Jansen Van Meteren had an adventure which set the pattern for his whole life and planted the pioneering seed which flowered in succeeding generations. He was captured by the Indians. On June 7, 1663 while the men were away working in the fields when the Minnisink Indians entered several villages under the pretext of selling vegetables and suddenly began murdering their unarmed victims. They took all they could find of value, set the villages on fire and took about 45 women and children captives. Among them were Jan Joosten's wife Maycke and son Joost from Wiltwyck and Louis DuBois' wife Catherine Blanchan and baby daughter Sarah from Esopus. Joost and Sarah were later to be married. For three months the men searched the Catskills, but had no success until on Sept. 3rd, a friendly Indian gave a clue to the location of the captives. A rescue party was formed led by Louis DuBois and Capt. Kreiger whose journal relates this event. Meanwhile, since the Indians were running short of food and winter was not far off they had decided to burn some of their Captives. Catherine DuBois and her baby Sarah were selected to be first. When the Indians were about to put the torch to her pyre she began to sing the words of the 137th Psalm. Enchanted by her voice they demanded that she continue to sing, of course, she did. The approaching rescuers heard her, were guided to the spot, attacked the Indians and released all the prisoners. Little Joost, too young to be much affected by the horrors of captivity, thoroughly enjoyed his three months of Indian life. Later as an adult he frequently left home to spend many weeks at a time with various tribes. In this way he was among the first whites to explore the wilderness areas to the west of the coastal settlements. He was particularly impressed by the beauty of the Valley of Virginia and urged his sons to settle there, which they eventually did. Thus began the pioneering spirit of the Van Meters who for the next 200 years were among the first settlers and participants in the key events which shaped the nation as it thrust evermore westward.

A brief account such as this must skip entirely over most branches of the family and even neglect the details of the particular branch of interest. Much of the past still has not been retrieved, but an amazing amount of information is nevertheless available, patiently collected, studied and pieced together from deeds, wills, court and church records, family Bibles, local histories, census records, genealogical publications and correspondence by dedicated family historians over a period of a great many years. Readers who wish to learn more than this brief sketch provides are most welcome to direct their inquiries to:

James T. Van Meter
1201 Yale Place
Unit 208
Minneapolis, MN


Find A Grave contributor JulieLake 48041053
has made a suggestion to you regarding your Find A Grave memorial for Sarah Van Meteren.

Email address of contributor:

Their suggestion:
Hi Glenda,
Thanks for creating so many memorials! I wanted to alert you to the fact that the spiel you found on the internet and used in this memorial is problematic, as it is based on a romanticized myth that has been debunked, and has no source citations. (Mr. Van Meter passed away in Minneapolis last October; I wonder when he wrote that essay.)
Compared with reports written by eyewitnesses to the event, there are a number of inaccuracies, and of course we have no way of knowing if little Joost enjoyed his captivity! Or even if it was Joost, since the record only states that two of his father's children were kidnapped, but we can guess that it was.
There are two memorials for Joost, and the one you posted in 2011 rightly says his burial place is unknown (and also contains the unsourced story). The other memorialist (#184623335) had his date of death as 1706, and places him in a cemetery in New Jersey which was organized in 1741, but astoundingly, there are no rules at F.A.G. requiring source citations or accuracy in memorials. Sarah was indeed baptized 9/14/1664 in Kingston, and had not been born when her older siblings and Mother were kidnapped. Only one of her older siblings' baptisms (Jacob, 10/9/1661) is in the records of the Old Dutch Church, Kingston. (The records begin on 12/11/1660.)
Sarah and her husband were married in New Paltz (marriage recorded in the Kingston ODC records), reportedly moved to New Jersey, and it is extremely unlikely that she is buried in the Old Hurley Burial Ground. We also have no way of knowing if her husband is buried in New Jersey, but it doesn't make sense for Sarah's body to have been brought all the way back to Hurley for burial, and in any case, she was from New Paltz. Do you think she merits a "burial location unknown"? The Dubois Family Association state that the couple moved further south than New Jersey, so perhaps we'll never know where they were buried.
Anyway, you might want to get with the other memorialist for Joost, and see if the two of you can come up with a solution. I descend from several founders of Kingston and Hurley, but am only related to Sarah and Joost via marriage (and a couple of my Aunts were kidnapped, too).
I ran across Sarah's memorial when I was responding to a photo request for her headstone, which does not exist.
Anyway, I appreciate all you do for F.A.G., and figured you are as much of a stickler for accuracy as I am, so I thought I'd give you a "heads up". I'm surprised how many people take info from F.A.G. as gospel truth, thinking that it's all been verified and fact-checked.
Many blessings to you,

Family Members


  • Created by: Glenda Ragan
  • Added: 5 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 79887606
  • MRD
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah DuBois Van Meteren (14 Sep 1664–13 Jan 1726), Find A Grave Memorial no. 79887606, citing Old Hurley Burial Ground, Hurley, Ulster County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Glenda Ragan (contributor 47164677) .