(also known as Beryea, Berger, Barger, Behringer, etc.)
HUSBAND: Johann Michael Barrier Born: ca. 1714 Place: Alsace-Lorraine Marr: Place: Wurttemburg Died: 1773 Place: Rowan Co., NC Burial: Place: Father: See Family Group Sheet 10044 Mother:
WIFE: Catherine _____ Born: Place: Died: Place: Burial: Place: Father: Mother:
CHILDREN: 1. Name: Abraham BARRIER/BERGER Born: Place: Wurttemburg Marr: To: Died: Place: 2. Name: George Henry BERGER Born: Place: Wurttemburg Marr: To: Died: Place: 3. Name: John BERGER Born: Place: Wurttemburg Marr: To: Died: Place: 4. Name: Jacob BERGER Born: Place: Conestoga Twp., Lancaster Co., PA Marr: To: Died: 1824 Place: TN
(A) 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.
(B) This 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.
(C) Upon arrival in Philadelphia, 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.
(D) Before 1760, the "Michael Behringer" and "Georg Henrich Birrer" 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.
(E) 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.
(F) Some descendants of this family are included among the descendants of George Henry Berger (also known as Georg Henrich Birrer, etc.):
The George Henry Berger Family
See Barger Family History Society Membership List, Member(s): B340
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