I did not read all the responses to see it someone has already submitted this information, but I did enter the word "Hardy" and nothing came up, so here it is. From on of my books "This History of Hardy County (WV), 1786-1986:"
The Moravian Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, known in his religious community as Brother Joseph, and Matthew Reutz, a Moravian preacher, visited the South Branch in July 1748. Brother Gottschalk had written in his report about German and English settlers; Spangenberg and Reutz stressed the influence of settlers from the Dutch colony at Esopus in Ulster County, New York. 'They continued their journey passing up along the South Branch, and came to a district where Hollanders have settled, who emigrated from Esopus.' They were within present Hardy County, because the next 'they came to a German, Matthaeus Joachim, with whom the brethren Gottschalk and Schnellhad also stayed' and he lived on the South Fork. 'As English settlers live there, interspersed among the Germans, they remained with this man two days.' They 'continued their journey along the South Branch, almost to the place where it rises and where the most extreme settlements of the Germans are.' They were now in present Pendleton County. The Dyer settlement in the vicinity of present Fort Seybert included both English, Scotch-Irish mostly, and German speaking people, but the settlers further up the South Fork around Brandywine were more solidly German. They did get as far as their statement might suggest, since they spent the night about two miles above Brandywine. 'They lodged with a German, Christian Evi, where Bro. Joseph preached in German, and also in English, because many English settlers live there. These were the first sermons with from the creation of the world had been preached there.'"
"On their return journey Spangenberg and Reubz went along the South Branch, retracing their steps, 'because there was no road over the surprisingly high mountains of the North Ridge.' Some English-speaking people traveled with them; they had appreciated Spangenberg's sermon and wanted to talk more with him. 'As much as we could gather from their conversation, they were Covenanters, which sect was caused by the Presbyterians.' They found and then lost the road which led through Brock's Gap.'"
I realize there is no family information provided here, but thought you might find it interesting. My ancestor, John VanMeter was the first white man in the area through his traveling and trading with the Indians. He went back to Esopus (Kingston), NY and encouraged his sons, and others, to settle the South Branch area.
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