A modest volume as turn-of-the-century collections of compiled genealogies go, Mr. Van Meter’s nonetheless has several attributes which commend it to the researcher’s attention. The author focused upon families with a strong connection to Virginia and Kentucky, most of which are traced forward from the eighteenth, if not the seventeenth, century. The descendants of those families have extended far and wide among contemporary Americans. While Van Meter made ample use of published sources and, to some extent, original records, he had the benefit of speaking with the oldest living members of a number of the families covered, such as that of the Lewis Family of Augusta County, Virginia. Finally, almost without exception, the essays, many of which are illustrated, reflect a balanced mixture of genealogy and biography, which makes for interesting reading and a substantial number of linkages between as many as six generations of family members.
Listed here are the names of the principal Virginia/Kentucky pioneers who figure in Van Meter’s account: Allan, Bigelow, Bruce, Campbell, Clay, Cunningham, Field, Garrard, Hall, Hamilton, Hanna, HarnessHarrison, Hockaday, Holloway, Hull, Johnson, Johnston, Kleiser, Lewis, McNeill, Moore, Nicholas, Payne, Petit, Prewitt, Rodes, Smith, Stonestreet, Swoope, Van Meter, West, Wetherill, Williams, Willis, Wright, and Yerkes.