Hans Jacob Reger later known as Jacob Reger, Sr.4

"Jacob Reger[4], the principal founder of his family in western Virginia, came from Germany [really Switzerland]. He was married in his native country to Barbara Crites [Since Jacob was less than 5 years old when he came to America, he couldn't have married in his native county.], and they with a few of their oldest children landed at some port in Virginia, probably about 1765, although it has been claimed that their arrival was much earlier. It is said that immediately after landing, the children complained of hunger and the mother purchased a loaf of bread at a nearby bakery. She gave them some of it, but was surprised to see them, after tasting it, throw it away. The parents then tasted it and they too threw it aside. It was their first experience with corn bread. They settled in the Shenandoah Valley, but later moved to the Wappatomaka, where they resided until the close of the Revolution. They then moved to Big Run, near the village of Burnersville in (now) Barbour County, West Virginia. [1]"

"Founder of the Reger family, [Jacob Reger4] was born in Germany and married Barbara Crites of his native County. He emigrated to America in 1765. He first located on the Eastern Shore and from there moved to what is now Moorfield and remained there until the close of the Revolutionary War. Jacob Reger was a Christian of the Lutheran Church. He brought the first Bible into what is now Union District, Barbour County."[5]

"In 1777 Jacob Reger and Sam Pringle accompanied by a number of men, journeyed into Monongahela County, Virginia, at the urgent request of George Washington. This company of men selected and marked claims, then returned and filed their claims at Richmond, Va., and received titles for the same. Jacob Reger located a claim on Second Big Run, and built a cabin in 1778. This location was one quarter of a mile East of the present village of Volga, Barbour County.

"Several of these men built cabins. Reger built a cabin but could not live on his claim for seven years owing to the hostility of the Indians. In the spring of 1780, Jacob Reger with a number of men returned to their claims and cleared and planted corn and vegetables. They cultivated and fenced their gardens and corn, then returned to Wopatomaca (now Moorfield) intending to bring their families in the early fall.

"Before starting to move, a few men returned to see how their crops had fared, only to find a herd of buffalo had passed by, broke down their fences and destroyed their corn and gardens. One man by name of White, said he would have the satisfaction of killing one for eating their crops if he had to follow them into Kentucky. And he did follow them. [It was] Three days before overtaking the herd, White killed one, took the hide and a choice cut of steak and carried it all that distance to prove he had killed one of the buffaloes.

"This disaster delayed their moving until the following Summer of 1781.

"Reger built a double log house and in building it had it so arranged that with his family, they could, in case of Indian attack, make a strong defense. The rooms were made low so an Indian could not strike overhanded with their tomahawks if they got inside of the house. A line of holes were cut in the walls in building so that an enemy could be seen in any direction. These holes were all closed by blocks made to fit into them. This cabin was built about one hundred yards from the Seneca trail.

"Reger was compelled to take refuse in Bushels Fort on two or three occasions, yet was not attacked at his home.

"Jacob Reger died, date not known, leaving a family of seven children .... One daughter married John Bozarth (Anna). In the summer of 1796 Indians attacked the Bozarth home, killing four of the family. The mother and two sons were taken away as prisoners to the Indian town on the Muskingdom River.

"It is of record that Jacob Reger went deer hunting one morning along the valley of Washrun, which was near his home. Walking about one half mile, he found a drove of deer grazing in an open glade. He killed one, throwing it across his shoulder started home. Reger walked about half way home when some impulse caused him to stop and look behind him. On turning around he was surprised to see a number of Indians running after him. Reger was a strong man so he ran for his cabin and beat the Indians to it with his load and quickly barricaded his doors, and with the assistance of some of his sons, was ready for the attack. The Indians came close to the house and could be seen until the afternoon of the second day, when they left not even driving off any of his stock."[5]

Jacob Reger4 (chr. 22 Apr 1734 Benken, Switzerland; d. 18 [or 8] Nov 1786 Volga, Barbour Co., WVA) and Barbara Crites4 Reger (b. 1745/1747 Germany; d. c1811), dau. of Philip Kreutz (or Crites) (b. about 1710 Germany; d. 7 Dec 1796 Hardy Co. VA) and Isabelah Sivelo (b. 1722; d. 14 Jan 1797 Hardy Co., VA), raised a large family and their children were the following:

1. Anthony Reger5 (b 1755 Hampshire Co., Va; d. 1825) m. 1782 Widow Susannah Simmons; Ensign in the American Revolution.

2. Jacob Reger, Jr.5 (b c1765) never married, was a scout during Indian hostilities and noted hunter.

3. Philip Reger5 (b. 1767 in Hampshire County, VA; d. 1846) m. (1) 1788, Mary Sarah Jackson,5 Their child. m. (2) Mary Jane "Dorcas" Forenash; m. (3) Rachel Vandeventer. Private in Revolution; "....was one of the appointed trustees for Buckhannon when the village was created a town in 1816. He was first Sheriff of Lewis County, and was a Justice of the Peace for forty years."[2]

4. John Reger5 (b. 15 Jan 1769 in Hardy County, Va., d. 14 May 1849) m. 1788, Elizabeth West; John was known as "The Hercules of the Border."

5. Elizabeth Reger5 (b. c1770; d. 1847) m . (1) Cottrell Talbot; (2) Christian Thomas Hall; (3) James Womsley.

6. Abram Reger5 (b. 23 Jul 1774 Hampshire Co., VA (now Hardy Co. WVA); d. 13 Jun 1852 Volga, Barbour Co., WVA) m. 30 Mar 1797 Mary Reeder (b. 4 Jul 1778; d. 20 Jan 1861 Burnersville, WVA)

7. Barbara Reger5 (b. 1775, d. 1838) m. 1793, Samuel Jackson3 (b. 1772, d. 1842). Their children.

8. Mary Reger5 (b. 1777; d. 1838) m. George Bozarth, brother to John who married Ann Reger

9. Ann Reger5 (b. 1780; d. 1849) m. John Bozarth

10. Isaac Reger5 (b. 19 Aug 1782; d. 5 Aug 1851) m. Mary Magdaline Brake6, daughter of Jacob Brake,5 the Indian Captive.

11. Catherine Reger5 (b. 1784; d. 1864) m. Stephen Martin,6 son of Ann (Hitt)5 Martin Strange Hall.

Jacob Reger, Sr.4 was a good friend and close neighbor of Joseph Hall5 (husband of Ann (Hitt)5 Martin Strange Hall). He often went hunting with Joseph . [7]

Notice that the Regers, the Brakes, the Halls and the Jacksons intermarried quite heavily probably due to the sparsely settled western Virginia frontier.

The parents of Jacob Reger, Sr.4 were Antoni Rieger3 (b. 20 May 1690; d. 1770 Hardy Co., WVA) and Barbara (Wintz) Schaub.3

Compiled by Dan Hyde


1. Border Settlers of Northwestern Virginia 1768 to 1785, by Lucullus Virgil McWhorter, 1915, reprinted by Jim Comstock, Richwood, West Virginia, 1974, as part of The West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia, page 296.

2. McWhorter, page 298.

3. McWhorter, page 299.

4. McWhorter, page 303.

5. "A Genealogical History of the Talbot, Hall, Reger, Martin Families of Barbour County, West Virginia 1780-1880," by Columbus C. Talbot. Found in HCPD Library.

6. Notes from Ada Lea Fitz.

7. McWhorter, page 188.

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Page maintained by Dan Hyde, hyde at bucknell.edu Last update January 5,1999

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By Daniel C. Hyde