Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.
Friday, March 16, 2012
George Henry Berger 1734-1820
Transcript of the Last Will and Testament of George Henry Barger
Barger/Berger, George H. - 1820, Rowan County, NC
Note: Will probated May Court, 1820 Rowan County Vol 1.1, page 3
In the name of God Amen! I George H. Barger of Rowan County -Being weak in body but of sound mind & memory, but considering the uncertainly of this life, do make, publish and declare this my last will & Testament in manner & form following.
First I recommend my soul to God, that gave it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian like manner at the discretion of my exrs. - and my worldly goods - I dispose of in manner & form following.
- First I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved wife Catharine one negro woman named Judy - and two negro girls Loah & Liza and also the increase of the said negro woman Judy - one sorrel horse, saddle and bridle, four cows & six sheep - one bed & furniture that she now sleeps on and also one bed & furniture upstairs - her choice, one chest of drawers and two notes I have on my son Henry Barger - amounting to upwards of eighty dollars and all the kitchen furniture my riding chair and harness one comb & tackles belonging to it and all the geese & fowls & all my hogs & one big wheel and one little wheel and one reel - the above mentioned property to her and her heirs forever.
- Secondly,- I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son Henry Berger one hundred acres of land lying in the rocks and one thousand acres of land in the state of Tennessee, it being a part of two land warrens of twelve hundred and twenty acres - each now in the hands of William Wilson and also one negro man named Leven and one negro boy named Adam and one wind-mill and all the skill-vessels and all my farming tools and all my carpenter tools - to him and his heirs forever.
- Thirdly. - I give to my dearly beloved daughter Sally - one dollar, considering she has had her part in full of my estate, before this time.
- Fourthly. - I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter Margaret one negro woman named Hannah and one negro boy named Levi, which Negros she has in possession at this time, this to be her part of my estate, besides what she has received from me before this time.
- Fifthly. - I give and bequeath to the heirs of my daughter Christina Leopard decd. one negro girl name Jane and her increase and also one bed and furniture to be equally divided among all the heirs of my said daughter Christina decd. - when her youngest child comes of age to be their part in full of my estate.
- Sixthly. - I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter Barbary the sum of fifty dollars - to be paid by my son Henry Berger in two years after my decease to be her part in full of my estate.
-Seventhly.- I give and bequeath to my grandson David Masters one negro boy named Harris - which said boy he has in possession at this time, this to be his part in full of my estate
.- Eigthly. - I give and bequeath to my three grandsons Henry Berger, John Berger & Peter Berger the balance of two lands warrens in possession of William Wilson in Tennessee containing twelve hundred and twenty acres, each after the said William Wilson getting one third part of said land and my son Henry Barger one thousand acres of said land - the balance of said land to be equally divided between my three grandsons Henry Berger, John Berger & Peter Berger to be their part in full of my estate.
- Ninethly. - I give and bequeath to my grand children the heirs of Jacob Tenoe & Catherine Tenoe decd. - one quarter of a dollar to each of them and to be their part in full of my estate.-
-Tenthly - I give and bequeath to my grandsons George Master and John Masters one half a dollar to each of them to be their part in full of my estate.
-Eleventhly- I give and bequeath to my two grandsons John Stirewalt and Henry Stirewalt one dollar to each of them to be their part in full of my estate
.- Twelthly. - I give and bequeath to my grand daughters Catherine Barger wife of Jacob Byerly - Elizabeth Berger wife of Andrew Holshauser - Margaret Berger and Leah Berger the sum of ten dollars to each of them to be paid by my son Henry Berger within two years after my decd. - to be their part in full of my estate.
-Twelthly. - And all my property that is not mentioned in my will, I allow it to be sold by my executors and the money arising there - from all debts due to me after all my honest debts are paid I allow the balance to my wife to dispose of it as she thinks proper.
- And lastly - I do constitute and appoint my son Henry Berger and my grandson Henry Berger my executors of this my last will & testament and I hereby revoke & make void all other wills that I hereof made before this time and I hereby ratify and confirm this and no other to be my last will & testament, in witness thereof. I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this third day of February one thousand, eight hundred and nineteen- George H Berger (Seal) Signed sealed & acknowledged in the presence of Robert Morgan Abraham Siffart Peter Eldlman
The History of the George Henry Barger Family
This is the history of the Barger family which began in America with the immigrant, Johan Michael (or Michel) Beryea (or Berger, Barger, Barrier, Behringer, etc.) who was born in the Alsace-Lorraine Region of France before 1714. He died in Rowan County, North Carolina on the 8th day of May 1773. The true ethnic origins of his ancestors are uncertain. Some of his descendants have described themselves as "Dutch" or "Black Dutch" (a term which in America has been broadly applied to natives of any German-speaking nation as well as the Netherlands.) Others maintain that he was a French Huguenot. That is a distinct possibility. In those days, French Protestants had to flee France, seeking refuge from religious persecution where they could; some among the Lutherans of Germany, others in England and its colonies. What is known about (Johan) Michael and his wife, Catherine, is that regardless of their actual ethnic origins, they were Wurttemburgers in the first half of the 18th Century, and they were both listed in church records in Wurttemburg as the parents of two sons, George H. and Abraham. The family departed from Europe through the port of Rotterdam in the spring of 1752, and sailed to North America aboard the Phoenix, John Mason, Master, together with 339 other Germans. It is not know what become of their son Abraham, but when they arrived in Philadelphia on 2 November 1752, they were accompanied by two sons, Gorge Henry and John, who were born in Wurttemburg in 1734 and 1739, respectively. (It is possible that Abraham and John were one and the same person or that Abraham and preceded the family to the new world.) The ship's passenger list includes the name "Michael (X) Behringer." The names of Michael's wife and children are not noted there, but that appears to have been the usual practice. Upon arrival, the family settled first in the vicinity of Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. (There were other Bargers in the same county at that time, but no relationship to them has yet been proved.) They remained there several years. Be fore 1760, the same "George Henrich Birrer" and "Michael Behringer" who had arrived at the port of Philadelphia in 1752 were among those who followed the Great Wagon Road south to North Carolina. The surnames of the father and son are shown differently there and would continue to be shown with various spellings, including Beryea, Berger, Barger, Barager, etc. in tax records, deeds and court records in Rowan County. The North Carolina historian, Robert W. Ramsey, confirms that Georg Henrich Birrer and Michael Behringer were father and son and actually had the same surname. It should be noted that spelling was of little concern in Colonial America. Confronted with persons of foreign birth, clerks and local officials who entered names into public records did the best they could to write what they thought they heard. On the 8th day of May 1773, Michael Behringer, the progenitor of this Barger family, died in Rowan County, North Carolina, at the age of 59, leaving his widow, Catherine, and three sons. Two of them, George Henry Berger and John Berger, administered his estate. The youngest son, Jacob Berger, was the only child of Michael and Catherine to have been born in America. The second generation of this family line continues with Georg Heinrich Birrer or Berger, who would come to be known as George Henry Berger (or Barger). He was born 30 January 1734 in Vockenroth, Wurttemburg, Germany. He came to American, arriving in Philadelphia in 1752, as a young man of 18, together with his parents, (Johan) Michael and Catherine, and his younger brother, John. Geo rge Henry Berger is believed to have married Barbara Eddleman, probably in Pennsylvania, but no record of that marriage has been found. It is known that members of the Eddleman family of Northampton, Pennsylvania, leased 50 acres of land in Rowan County, North Carolina from Michael and Katherine "Barager" in 1769, which suggests that Barbara Eddleman and her family may have been neighbors of the Barger family in both of those places. It is generally accepted that George Henry Berger was first married in Pennsylvania because his younger children were born there. Th e second wife of George Henry Berger, whom he married in Rowan County on 28 March 1785, was Catherine (Frick) Casper, a widow. She was born in 1752, Possibly in New Jersey, where her earlier marriage to Conrad Casper occurred. George Henry Berger first came to notice in Rowan County when he enlisted as a scout in Captain Conrad Michael's Company. He is shown on the pay rolls of that company as early as 14 February 1760. In 1761, he became a landowner, having purchased 573 acres of land on Second Creek from the earl of Granville for £10. He deeded 451 acres to his father in 1762 and continued to buy and sell various parcels of land in Rowan County throughout his life. Jam es Brawley, author of The Rowan Story, a history of Rowan County, North Carolina, lists George Henry Berger among those who represented the people of that district in the General Assembly in 1787, and again in 1789, and from 1790 through 1792. He is also listed in that work as a member of a convention from the County of Rowan in 1789, and as Sheriff of Rowan County from 2 February 1779 to 5 May 1778. Brawley's book includes a facsimile of an original document, being the State Oath taken from the February Term 1778 Minutes of the Court, pledging loyalty to the State of North Carolina and disclaiming allegiance to King George the Third, the reigning British Monarch. George Henry Berger was clearly a patriot, having participated in a convention in New Bern in August of 1774 which is described as, "the first representative assembly that ever met in America without Royal Authority." The convention, which lasted three days, pledged support to Boston, to the non-importation movement, and elected members represent North Carolina in what would be the Continental Congress. They established a Council of Safety, as it would come to be known, to review all cases of the local committees and to convene a Provincial Congress when deemed necessary. James Brawley explained that it was the responsibility of the committees to conduct inquiries into the actions and opinions of individuals, to raise money to purchase gunpowder, to organize a militia and to obtain all necessary implements of war, and to enforce with vigor the Resolves of both the Continental and Provincial Congress. The first such committee in North Carolina was that of Rowan County which convened on 23 September 1774, one month after the adjournment of the Provincial Congress. George Henry Berger was among its members. His leadership in the community extended to his church. James Brawley, in describing the founding of the German Reformed Church in Rowan County, stated, "The cornerstone was laid in 1795, under the pastorate of the Reverend Andrew Loretz. Colonel George Henry Berger, who was a prominent member of the Rowan Committee of Safety before the Revolution, and Jacob Fisher, were elders of the church at this time."