The Vandegrifts of Mower County

Jacob Vandegrift Jr.

Major Figures
Early Vandergrift/Vandegrift History
John Miller, His Children, Their Spouses & Children
John Miller Vandegrift
John Miller Vandegrift Jr.
Thomas Hart Benton Vandegrift
Jacob Vandegrift Jr.
Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson
About the Author
Areas Needing Further Work


Jacob Vandegrift Jr. was born on 9 Sep 1816 in Philadelphia, Pa. to Jacob Vandegrift & Elizabeth Miller. He married Esther Keen (born 3 Dec 1811) at Philadelphia on 17 May 1838. He died 14 Aug 1876 on his farm near Clayton, In. After the death of her husband, Esther lived on the farm for several years. In 1880, she sold the farm and lived with her children. His wife died 10 Sep 1894 at Danville, In. She was buried in South Cemetery, Danville, In.


Their children were all born in Indiana & were:

Henry, born 8 Mar 1839 (died in infancy)

Frances (Fanny) Matilda, born 10 Mar 1840 (She married 2nd Robert Louis Stevenson)

Josephine Knodle, born 21 Nov 1842 (She married 2nd Benjamin F. Thomas. Their son, Frederick A. Thomas, is the author of the Vandegrift Genealogy, referenced frequently herein.)

Elizabeth Ellen, born 23 Jan 1846

Jacob, born 9 Nov 1848

Cora, born 12 Nov 1852

Nellie Foster, born 24 Nov. 1855 (She married Adulfo Sanchez & is the author of The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson, referenced herein.)


Jacob served an apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker in Philadelphia (Sanchez, p.7) & in 1836 moved to Indianapolis where he was a carpenter & later owned a lumber mill. The 1855 Indianapolis City Directory lists him as a lumber dealer with a house between Il. & Tn. Streets. The mill was destroyed by fire & Jacob purchased a farm near Clayton, In. He lived there the rest of his life.


Following is a summary of Census data for Jacob Vandegrift.


1840 US Census: Bunner Lawrence, Marion, In., Roll 88, p. 306.

Jacob Vandegrift, Head, male 20-30; female under 5; female 20-30.


1850 US Census: Indianapolis, Marion, In., Roll M432_159, p. 212, 18 Jul 1850.

Jacob Vandegrift (34, Pa), Carpenter, Real Estate $ 500; Esther (38, In); Frances M (10, In); Josephine (7, In); Elizabeth (5, In); Jacob (2, In).


1870 US Census: Liberty, Hendricks, In., Roll M593_322, p. 406, 2 Jun 1870.

Jacob Vandegrift (53, Pa), R. R. Agent for Fuel, Real Estate $ 10,000, Personal Property $ 600; Ester (54, Pa); Nellie (14, In), at school. The enumerator not only got Esther’s name wrong but also her birth state.


Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson