In Loudoun County, Virginia, in the rails and on the crossroads of the surging,
melting nationalities of the world, John Jared set up a new industry. It was a
business- a one-man factory that supplied the vital needs of his neighbors and
gave him security with which to raise his family. In his work he kept an
account book giving the value of items made and sold to friends and neighbors.
He devoted a few pages to listing his children, wives, and parents, so we have
his own statement as to whom he was, and the assurance that he is our ancestor.
His business was that of wagonmaker and storekeeper. His account book,
miraculously saved for this generation, gives entries made the third and
twenty-second of November 1774, to tell us that John was well established in the
wagon making business before the Revolution. It is reasonable to conclude he
was among the first wagonmakers and had a part in designing the ancestor of the
Prairie Schooner- that trailer house of the American Pioneers.
Carts, small square wagons, and wheels had been well known to John’s
ancestors for 6000 years, but the huge, four-wheeled covered wagon which was
used in the development of America was first built by the Dutch farmers of
Pennsylvania. It was a large covered wagon and it carried most of the freight
and passengers westward over the Alleghenies from the time of the Revolutionary
War until 1850. The upper part was invariably painted red and the bottom blue.
Both ends of the wagon were built higher than the middle to prevent loads from
shifting on an incline. Wheels were made with broad rims to prevent bogging
down in the mud. Six or seven arching wooden bows supported the canvas cover.
The wagons were drawn by four or six horses. The driver usually would ride a
wheel-horse and manage the team from there. The canvas top set the style for
the later Prairie Schooner. After the Revolution, when roads were being
constructed across the Allegheny Mountains, wagons came into general use as
John lived in the period and the area that developed the Conestoga wagon. He
located his wagon-making business in Loudon Co., Virginia, in the very northern
tip of the state where Maryland is pierced almost to the Pennsylvania line. The
Hudson and Delaware Rivers and Chesapeake Bay spilled over their flood of
emigrants in a constant stream of Pioneers. Older restless settlers were moving
in from New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The established planters were
pushing relentlessly back from the Tidewater lands of Virginia. Some stopped to
make their homes; others pushed on into the Shenandoah, swarming over all the
back countries of Virginia. Still others continued southward driving their
wagons or their pack horses over the Blue Ridge. It was the March of the
Cohees-of German, Scotch-Irish, Irish, Swiss, Quakers-who thrust themselves
directly athwart the line of advance of the older Tidewater settlers of Virginia
and threatened to bring them to a dead halt. The boiling pot of Europe was fast
becoming the melting pot of America.
The clash of civilizations resounded through the backwoods of Virginia. Among
some there was an element of panic. Many were Europeans fleeing from religious
persecution and political oppression. They found much of the land taken and
settlement in the Northwest beyond the Blue Mountains was blocked by Indians.
Over in the Shenandoah Valley the Scotch-Irish and Germans struggled to maintain
their separate civilizations, yet both yielded slowly to the influence of the
English, and each borrowed from their “Pennsylvania Dutch” tongue,
accepted English architecture and in some cases went over to the Methodist
Church, as did many of the Quakers. An English or Irish youth, tempted by a
pretty face peeping out from a German sunbonnet, would marry a Dunkard or a
The Europeans who came to the South were almost over-whelmed by the riches
nature bestowed upon them. From the Pennsylvania border to Florida and from the
Atlantic to the Appalachian ranges stretched a vast area of fertile soil which,
if necessary, could have fed all Europe and turned out in addition great
quantities of timber, tar, pitch, turpentine, indigo, and tobacco. The forests
which had tempted the English to found colonies in America and to which they had
looked to supply them with naval stores, masts, and other vitally needed
products, proved to be an annoyance rather than an asset. Roads had to be hewn
through these deep forests and wagons had to be brought through. Wagon roads
were unheard of and trails were dim. There was a lot of breakage and always
need for repairs on wagons. John Jared’s business prospered.
Scores of vivid pioneers passed John’s store in Loudoun County as they
traveled hundreds of miles through the wilderness to take possession of their
lands. A group of Moravian brethren from Pennsylvania enroute to North Carolina
were especially picturesque with their lumbering Conestoga wagons,
canvas-covered and loaded with tools, farm implements, and supplies, they
stopped several days for repairs and rest.
Hannah (Whitacre) Jared, John’s wife, visited with their women. She told
them that her ancestors came from Pennsylvania and were among the earliest
Quaker settlers of Bucks County. She had met John and married him in
Philadelphia, 8 August 1757, the year her father’s family moved from Falls
Monthly Meeting, Pennsylvania, to Kingston Monthly Meeting in New Jersey. She
had joined her parents in New Jersey for a time before bringing her two small
sons and settling in this wilderness country with John. Already this Piedmont
bench in Virginia was so thickly populated a Monthly Meeting of the Quakers was
established just a few miles to the east in Fairfax County. Her parents were
coming from Kingston, New Jersey to join the Fairfax congregation and live near
their only daughter.
Hannah loved her parents, John and Naomi (Hulme) Whitacre, and daily searched
the passing faces of the emigrants for those that would not be strange to her.
When Hannah’s parents arrived at Fairfax her happiness was complete. Her
brothers dropped into the shop often. There are many references to their
business transactions in the account book of John Jared.
It was here in Loudoun County on 9 August 1763 a third child was born to Hannah
and John. They named her Naomi for Hannah’s mother. Now they had three
children, William, Joseph, and Naomi. Then quite suddenly, on 8 November 1765,
Hannah died, leaving John to manage the three children alone.
For two years John tried to care for both his children and his business. At the
same time he was casting about for just the right wife to fill the void in his
life and be the best possible mother for his family. He found his ideal in the
youthful Rachel Palmer. They were married on 23 August 1767. Rachel was
eighteen years old.
The will of Thomas Jarrell of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, made 9 July and
published 13 September 1753. He named his nearest kin: Father of John Jared.
Son: John (who ordered an Inventory 13 September 1753)
Daughter: Ann Ricks & Elizabeth Jarrell
Grandson: Thomas Jarrell
Executors were wife Martha, son, Thomas, and Richard Ricks, witnesses were
John Pleasants, Richard Ricks, Elizabeth Miles, William Frances, and Martha
A note of discord became evident in the family at this point. John, though only
sixteen years of age, ordered an inventory of his father’s estate. The
inventory, returned a month later, was not satisfactory and a second inventory
was returned 13 February 1755. “Col. Thomas Jarred’s” account
was finally signed 11 December 1755 with the signatures of Martha Thomas,
(evidently Martha Jarrett was remarried now), Thomas Jarrell, and Richard Ricks.
It was audited by Micajah Edwards, Henry Thomas, and Joseph Cobb. The
discontented John was not present.
John Jared, our ancestor, left Isle of Wight County, Virginia, before the final
settling of his father’s estate the 11 of December 1755.
Isle of Wight County, Virginia, was named after the Isle of Wight in England.
It was first known by the Indian name Warrosquyoake. It was later enlarged by
parts of Upper Norfolk and Nansemond.
According to Brodie in his Seventeenth Century Virginia, history began early in
Isle of Wight County. The first colonists to Jamestown landed 26 April 1607,
about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Five months later on 10 September 1607,
Captain John Smith departed from Jamestown to Fort Comfort at the mouth of the
James River to trade with Indians. What is now Isle of Wight County, Virginia,
was then inhabited by a tribe of Indians called “Warrosquyoakes”.
They had a town on Pagan Creek and as Captain Smith approached the junction of
that Creek with the James River he noticed two Indian canoes. He rowed into the
mouth of the Creek and began negotiations for trading. The Indians invited him
to their community on Pagan Creek where he enjoyed a lively trade and gained
thirty bushels of corn with which to return to the fort at Jamestown, thus
bringing the Pagan Creek, Community from an area which was later known as Isle
of Wight County into the first few communities named outside the Fort at
Jamestown. One of the first Quaker communities in America was located on Pagan
Creek under the leadership of William Jared.
When the war for independence came in he was torn between the Quaker leanings
and his duty to the home and country. The peaceful Quaker religion allowed no
participation in war for any reason. Now the Jared home was threatened and John
and his two oldest sons, William and Joseph, marched away to defend it.
There is one page in the account book of John Jared that is devoted to
transactions with his son, William. It is interesting in that it establishes
the Revolutionary War service of both William and John and gives the exact time
of removal of the Jared family from Loudoun to Bedford County, Virginia. The
entries read: “In year 1781 by work done by him (William) at home- I went
to camp.” In 1782: “By tending sawmills for me and Mr.
Neilson” - “By guarding the prisoners at Winchester.”
It was in 1782 when Cornwallis’ Army was held prisoner in Virginia.
13 April 1785, William Jared helped his father with the wagon to Bedford County.
William spent the spring months moving to their newly established home and
preparing it for habitation. In June he returned with John to Loudoun County
and “helped to move the family out.”