Note: The following has been copied from a typewritten text, dated 1933, on the letterhead of the D. L. Gaskill Agency, Salisbury, N.C., which in turn appears to have been copied from an earlier, and unidentified source:


Whence it came Some Characteristics Its Lineage By J. D. Barrier 1929

"There ain't no monkeys hanging on our family tree."

A picture of John Daniel Barrier in front represents a refined gentleman with….(a line of type appears to be missing)…who says he was born & reared in Cabarrus Co., N.C. volunteered in the Confederate Army when 18 years of age, had a high sense of the soldier's honor & for conduct in battle was selected as Color-Bearer of his regiment, the 57th N.C. Infantry -- see personal commenuation (sic) in Clark's Regimental History, Vol. III. Page ___, Wounded thrice - once by a bayonet, another time by a shell & then by a minie ball - but without lasting injury. Was twice captured on the field of battle & was nursing a wound when the enemy entered Richmond. Fell in love & married but she died 33 yeast later.

The family of Berger pitched its tents in Rowan & Cabarrus Counties, and unable to speak English employed German teachers. By a verbal proclamation the ancestral name translated into Barrier.

The Barriers of Cabarrus County formed a kind of string settlement near the Rowan County line - near Rowan were Samuel & Frederick a few miles southwest of Gold Hill; further south along Little Buffalo Creek & Butcher Branch lived a younger one named Nelson; still further down near the conjunction of Dutch Buffalo & Little Buffalo were Jacob & Henry (probably his nephew) while still farther down on the east side of Buffalo was a group (the oldest know to the writer) of Uncle Johnnie & Jacob who was probably his brother.

Most of the Barriers were peculiarly contented with home life - good livers, hospitable & kind but unambitious beyond this. The four older sons of Jacob Barrier (Matthias, Moses, Daniel & David) were unlike this in their ambitions however. By energy & frugality they acquired good estates & were generous in promoting education & religion.

In 1797, John Berger Sr. deeded land to Jacob (when Matthias Berger was but two years old) & this was repeated in 1806 & 1814. In 1829, the year of his death, John Sr. deeded part of the land which became the homestead of Mathias who deeded it in 1850 to Rufus A. Barrier - as I lived upon it in 1870 & 71, I knew the different surveys.

I assume that John Berger, Sr. has a son John Jr. who had a son Jacob, & that this Jacob had: Matthias, Moses, Daniel, David & Edmund.

For a long while, probably a century, the tribe about Mount Pleasant & along Buffalo Creek though themselves the only Barriers, but sometime in 1890 Ralston's Breakfast Food brought the name of some in St. Louis, a few years later Wade Barrier then employed in a Salisbury Bank, lead us into communication with a banker in Texas who had come from some of the many in Alabama - he wrote a book about the family which we were unable to obtain, and said some were of French ancestry.

Matthias Barrier was particularly brilliant for that day, loquacious & somewhat critical, therefore, while he had some warm friends there were others who loved him less. The writer recalls hearing a man say in the old Misenheimer Store "If Tice Barrier tells me that I'll shoot him under the lower ribs" & feared that his dear uncle might be murdered. He was a good citizen & shed lustre to the name.

(Thus ends page one, which is followed by a page numbered as "3" which appears to be typed by the same typist, on the same typewriter, but I cannot be certain. The punctuation and style appear more modern, which may indicate another writer, or the same writer at a different time. There is some redundancy, which would indicate that the pages were from separate documents, but there is no certainty of that, either. - SBD)



Somewhere I have found the significant proverb, "A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of a remote ancestry will never accomplish anything worthy to be remembered by a remote posterity."

It is also said that those who care not about their earthly origin care little as to anything higher. I shall not be able to present to your vision meteoric high lights running down through centuries when the language was not our own, nor will I be able to point you to some beautiful capstone to fame's colossal temple. But who will say that the basic bed does not sustain and make possible the capstone.

In the days when war and conquest seemed the loftiest impulses of virile humanity, the Romans found in the Northern tribes foe to be dreaded. Rome found her pillars trembling under the assaults of those stalwart people. In Rupp's Collection of Thirty Thousand Immigrants to America, I find in a foot-note that the Romans called the Deutschen German as applied to a body of Yongi noted for their warlike and valiant thinking. They accepted the term and it was adopted by the, what is now known as German people. We read in the Latin course that Caesar dreaded the prowess of his German foes. These semi-savages seem to have come through the Dark Ages into the Renaissance, at least a civilized people, ready to receive the pure gospel as taught by Martin Luther, in the 16th century.

Unlike the French and Spaniards who butchered each other about St. Augustine, to possess all the American continent, these sturdy home lovers were loath to leave the "Vaterland" and only centuries later left their hearths "where soft affections dwell" and oppression reigned, fleeing in frail crafts to a land where they hoped for political and religious freedom.

I am aware that we can scarcely boast of our German blood without some inward exclamations about the Kaiser. Well, let me say that the peerless Bismark, under the great Emperor Wilhelm, pulled together the various states, palatinate, independent cities, etc., into one grand nation, a world power, and leader of the world in the arts and sciences, leaving only America to lead in invention.

The young Kaiser soon broke with his grandfather's premier statesman and what was worse, broke away from his pure Lutheran faith and embraced the conglomeration, the Prussian Church. The next step was obsession for world domination. Bismark consolidated a people. He would consolidate a world of people. You have heard the fable of the hen that tried to lay an egg as large as that of the goose. This Kaiser hen tried to match the ostrich, with the same results of the fabled hen, that injured herself and broke the egg.

Alas! Intolerance did not stay in the old world and partly on this account, as well as the inducements of a more genial clime, we see not a few loading their all in wagons in Pennsylvania and heading South, through Virginia, by way of the great valley and through some gap in the Blue Ridge, they settled in several counties of the Old North State.

One family by the name probably Berger, pitched their tents in what are now Rowan and Cabarrus Counties. Speaking only the mother tongue in English speaking America, however reluctant to fit the German tongue to that of another language, they had the acumen to realize that their children must learn the English language. Hence German English teachers were employed.

Matthias, the oldest son of his father, was a rather bright boy and won his teacher's prize for greatest progress in English for the school term. He sees to have made a verbal proclamation that the ancestral name translated in English is "Barrier" and it was accepted and adopted in Cabarrus.

These Cabarrus Barriers seemed to form a kind of string of settlements. In the part near the Rowan line a few miles southwest of Gold Hill, there was on Samuel Berger and one Frederick Berger. Further to the south along Little Buffalo Creek and Butcher Branch, there was a younger one, Nelson Berger, and down near the conjunction of (Dutch) Buffalo and Little Buffalo Creeks lived Jacob Barger and adjoining him, probably his nephew, was henry Barger. Still further down on the east side of Buffalo there was a group, the oldest known to the writer, the familiar Uncle Johnnie Berrier and Jacob Berrier, probably his brother.

It was characteristic of the Barriers to be peculiarly happy and contented with home life. They were good livers, kind and hospitable in their homes, but unambitious beyond their home joys. Not so, however with the older four of Jacob Barrier's sons, Matthias, Moses, Daniel and David. They were ambitious, forward-looking, and progressive. All, by energy, frugality and good management, acquired good estates, and were generous in promoting causes of education and religion.

North Carolina College was built largely by scholarships sold at one hundred dollars each, which carried special prices on tuition. Each invested in a number of these scholarships.

It was soon found that the College needed full tuition rates and more for financial sustenance. All possessors of these scholarships were asked to surrender them. This was cheerfully done. It was soon found that an endowment must be created. To this endowment together with scholarships surrendered Matthias Barrier contributed $1,800.90; Moses Barrier $1,500.00; Daniel Barrier $2,000.00; and David Barrier $1,400, when money was money, and the $20,000.00 endowment fund was raised. These kept a promotive interest of helpfulness to the college as well as all affairs in good citizenship.

It is a significant fact that certain deeds now in possession of W. Guy Barrier, evidently made before these people knew English, are written and signed in the English language. This leads to a safe guess that a German-English scribe wrote and interpreted the language and that these signers learned to sign in English before mastering the speech.

In 1797, John Berger, Sr. deeded certain lands to Jacob Berger. (Matthias Barrier was then two years old). In 1806, John Berger, Jr., deeded to Jacob Barger certain acres, and in 1814 deeded to him a certain other tract. In 1829 the year of his death, Jacob Barrier deeded to Matthias Barrier a whole, or at least part of the Matthias Barrier homestead which Matthias Barrier deeded to Rufus A. Barrier in 1850. I lived on his homestead in 1870 and 1871 and recognized those surveys as parts of the land that those deeds cover. In scrutinizing these deeds, I note a deed to Jacob Berger by John Berger, Jr. I note again that John Berger, Sr. made a deed to Jacob Barger in 1806 and also in 1814. These signatures are John Barger without the Jr., which points to the death of John Barger, Sr. in 1805 or 1806, and John Barger, or John Berger, no long attached the "Jr." to his name. I therefore surmise that the line ran thus: Matthias, Moses, Daniel, David and Edmund, sons of Jacob Barrier. Jacob Barrier was the son of John Berger, Jr. and that John Barger, Jr. was the son of John Berger, Sr.

As the ships came over the seas and landed in America a record of immigrant families was kept. The recorder wrote in the English chiefly and it is generally supposed that he use Berger for the expression of the name we are considering and I find at least fifteen Bergers, four Burgers, and one Barger, in this book. I recognize the fact that the recorder as noted in Rupp's book was not happy in his English spelling of the German name and these families knowing no English accepted the spelling but used Berger and Barger interchangeably. When Matthias Barrier knew the English sounds along with those of the German, he readily observed that B-A-R-R-I-E-R more nearly sounded like the ancestral name.

It seems clear that there was confusion in spelling the family name and that neither Berger nor Barger was satisfactory of the Cabarrus families, hence the unanimity in accepting Matthias Barrier's interpretation.

For about a century the family tribe along Buffalo Creek with Mount Pleasant, a point of nucleus, thought itself the only Barriers in the way. Sometime in the 1890's one of the name from St. Louis came through introducing Ralston's Breakfast Food. Behold, there are others!

Some years later, Wade Barrier then a banker's employee in Salisbury was lead to correspondence with a Barrier, a banker from Texas, but he originally was from Alabama where there are families of them.

The author of this was in Little Rock in 1928, where he met Dr. L. F. Barrier, whose father had been a life long practitioner of medicine in Rolling Park, Mississippi. This family came from Texas where the name is not rare.

One of the name in Texas wrote a book on some phase of the subject. This book seems unobtainable. It seems that some of the Barriers in America have French ancestors, who spell the name "Barrierre" and of course there it is pronounced "Barria". This, Dr. Barrier accounted for in the fact that Alsace-Lorraine had been sometimes German, and sometimes French territory, and in these mix-ups, they would of necessity or from choice adopt the spelling of the country in which they found themselves. But these in America spell it "Barrier."


MATTHIAS BARRIER was especially brilliant in that age, was loquacious and somewhat critical. He had many warm friends and some not so very admiring. The writer when a little unsophisticated boy heard a man say in the old Misenheimer store, "If Tice Barrier tells me that I'll shoot him under his lower ribs." The boy visioned his dear uncle murdered. All in all he was a good and useful citizen and shed lustre on the name.

MOSES BARRIER was of tender heart and of agreeable speech. He attended wisely and strictly to his own business, and made the fewest of enemies. He was brave in enterprises and left a good division to his twelve living children, one having died in the war.

DANIEL BARRIER was of peculiar good heartedness. He had little to say in argumentative way and his well fixed and substantial opinions were spoken in plain terms with little of velvety phraseology. He was a man of deep piety, and is the only man the writer ever saw kneeling under a tree with hands covering his face, evidently pouring out his soul' fullness to "Him who bends to hear."

DAVID BARRIER was a manly man with a woman's heart. Like his brothers, no suggestion of what is low and mean found lodgment within him. He was successful above most in his community (of) farmers and was sometimes a target for envious bolts. If involved in community disharmony, it was not on account of his making. But in spite of his best efforts for peace and neighborly good will.

EDMOND BARRIER was in every way a good and worthy citizen, but his quiet unassuming nature forbade any dominant distinction.


WILLIAM L. BARRIER withdrew in the midst of his college course and took graduation in dentistry which he practiced till he went to the Confederate Colors. When the two great cavalry lines stood fact to face at Gettysburg, then charged head-on together, he was in the thick of the battle and received a saber cut in the scull which proved fatal. (A footnote indicates that he was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness and says, "See William's letters to his father during the Civil War.")

RUFUS A. BARRIER went to the service as Captain of Co. H 8th Regiment, N.C. Infantry, and became Major and finally Lieutenant Colonel. After the war he followed agricultural lines. He was remarkable for his ambitions and was unfortunate in his theories and visions of what proved impracticable. He was self-indulgent and over hopeful. He cared little for the gaudy. His lack of due regard for the rules of health made him a victim of disease that took him in the midst of high expectations. (A footnote refers to his letters to his father during the Civil War.)

L. MONROE BARRIER was one of those good, steady boys that developed into one of the best of all around men. His characteristics were much like those of his father. He was of that class of men who have little use for laws and courts, but with whom civic virtues keep up a healthy growth.

PAUL A. BARRIER withdrew from college, not taking the senior year, and took the medial and surgical diplomas. He went to the war a non-commissioned officer, but his professional services were soon commandeered. He was successful in his profession and enjoyed distinction as a diagnostician. He was in every sense a great credit to the family name.

CALEB C. BARRIER was somewhat sporty in his young days, fond of driving a pretty pair of horses, one of which was Stella, a pretty bay mare that carried him with courier messages amid the whizzing of Yankee bullets. Stella died a retired protégé, while her rider pursued the occupation of farming and lumbering.

D. FRANK BARRIER was of fine character with an ingenious turn of mind and was an expert in installing machinery but was not constituted so well in telling others as showing how to manipulate machinery after installing it.

MARTIN F. BARRIER, while not of official distinction, was in his quiet way a man of sterling qualities and was of outstanding rate in his community.

WYLIE A. BARRIER had almost finished his course in college when he enlisted as Lieutenant in Captain Rufus Barringer's Company, Co., F 1st N. C. Cavalry, but became Captain of a Virginia Cavalry Company. When the war was over he took special instruction and won his A.B. and subsequently his A.M. degree and made teaching his life calling. He was probably the brightest star in the family constellation.

AUGUSTUS C. BARRIER was distinguished for his talents and fondness for music. He was a leader in vocal music, much of his life and was at ease wit a group of fellow violinists. He organized the Mount Pleasant Cornet Band which he led till he gave way to younger musicians. He was also a non-commissioned office in Captain Barrier's Company, wearing the gray. He was the first bearing the name of Barrier to become an octogenarian.

GEORGE L. BARRIER was cut off when he had made a fine start in good citizenship and a most liberal promoter of the church and all interest pertaining thereto. As a farmer he excelled and his accomplishments were next to marvelous.

HUGH W. BARRIER was essentially a musician and was so efficient and enthusiastic in promoting the interest of the Mount Pleasant Cornet Band that it would not survive his loss.

JACOB W. BARRIER's course in college was cut short in the sophomore year by the Great War and owing to the destructive effect resulting he lacked the means to finish the course. At an early age he had consecrated himself to the Gospel Ministry. He found no way to get the theological seminary course and took lessons under Reverend D. I. Dreher and was in time licentiate from the North Carolina E. L. Synod and was called to the St. Enoch and Trinity Charge. His health gave way several times in college and he became physically unrobust and died in his first year in the ministry. In the war he rose from private to a lieutenancy in Captain Barringer's Cavalry Company. He was like is uncle Tice (Matthias) Barrier in that he was given to the argumentative.


Michael Berger - The date of his birth is not known, however, he died about 1773. He was the father of John Berger who was born about 1744 or 1739, who was the father of Jacob B. Barger (Barrier) born 13 September 1774. This is the Jacob B. Barrier from which this lineage of the Barrier family begins.

In 1750 Michael Berger, Katherine his wife and minor heirs not named on ship records, came from Wurtemburg Germany to America, sailing on the ship "Phoenix", John Mason, captain, and landed at Philadelphia August 23rd of that year. Of his family, we know definitely of three sons, John, Jacob and George Henry.

The family lived between Lancaster and Reading in Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania for several years before emigrating to North Carolina.

There was probably another son for tradition has it that one son stopped in Virginia and that now there is one county, populated almost entirely by his descendants.

In 1761, George Henry received from the Earl of Granville a grant of land, 573 acres, on Dutch second creek and the head waters of little buffalo now sulfur creek at gold hill on which the family settled in 1761.

That part on Buffalo waters George Henry sold to his father Michael in 1762 who in turn sold a part to Peter Eddleman which was later bought by J. Rowlas and is now owned by George Brown.

Upon the death of Michael in 1773, the remaining land reverted to George H. as heirs-at-law and in 1774 he sold it to his brother, John Berger, who sold it to Andrew Stokinger. Thus John Berger located near Bear Creek Church and was on of the first elders of that church. His descendants are among the Barriers of Cabarrus County.

George Henry Berger, who was firs captain and then Colonel in Rowan Militia in the Revolutionary war, was many times a member of the general assembly, School Committee, Judge of Court of Common Pleas, on the committee of Safety, Sheriff of Rowan County in 1778 and held many other offices. He is buried at Lower Stone Church.

May 8, 1778: estate of Michael Berger dr tp debts 1/2c; 66-3-1 crby sale of estate 1 187-2-7-1/2 balance L120-19-6-1/2. (abbreviations unknown, amounts are likely stated in pounds, shillings and pence.)

July 21, 1762: Lease and release from George Henry Berrer to Michael Berrer for 451 acres July 20-21 1762 is acknowledged.

May 3, 1774: Michael Barrier is deceased so George Henry Barger and John Barger qualify as administrators giving bond of 200 pounds with John Hoover and John Buzzard as security. May 4, 1774. An inventory of deceased Michael Barriger's estate is returned.

(So ends this account of the Barrier, Berger, Barger, etc. family of Cabarrus and Rowan Counties in North Carolina. A son of George Henry Barger, Henry Barger, inherited military warrant land in what was to become Henderson County, Tennessee and moved west with his wife, Mary Bruner. They founded the Barger family which includes Allen Lee Garrison of California, Robert E. Barger of Missouri, Susan Barger Donahue of Illinois, and many others.)

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