~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Barringer ~ Death on the High Seas

Matthias Barringer was born 30 Oct 1727 to Wilhelm Barringer/Behringer and Mary Paulina Dekker in Germany. Matthias' brother, John Paul Barringer, was the first to make the voyage to the "New World" in 1743. He came to Pennsylvania, but soon relocated to North Carolina.

Wilhelm Barringer/Behringer and wife, Mary Paulina Dekker sadly passed away during the difficult voyage to America and died onboard the ship and were buried at sea.

"Wilhelm and Paulina were old, but they decided to make their immigration trip to America carrying a political description of French Hugonots from the Low Countries. The voyage from Hamburg, Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania took about four weeks. Both of the old parents died and were buried at sea from the ship “Palina” with John Brown as master."

The ship “Palina” arrived at Philadelphia on September 16, 1748. Mathias (age 18) was now responsible for getting his family through the wilderness to the house of his bother in Pennsylvania.

About 1753 the family went to North Carolina. (Dr. Barringer’s book says: Pioneer John Paul Barringer, sometime before the year, 1750 traveled down from Pennsylvania with a train of five or six wagons and camped near a creek not far from the present site of Mount Pleasant, NC during the confinement of his wife). They settled on Dutch Buffalo Creek, in what today is identified as Cabarrus County, North Carolina. The Germans, of the Lutheran religion, settled on (Deutsch for German become Dutch to the English ear) Dutch Buffalo Creek and their Scotch-Irish (Scotch people who lived for a time in Ireland before immigrating to America) neighbors settled on the Irish Buffalo Creek (notice the shorter version of the name which has survived). Both creeks are a portion of the Yadkin River basin and were water places for buffalo. John Paul Barringer was jovial, well-liked, possessed natural leadership ability, and was an influential man in the community.

To better fit in with their English neighbors, the Behringer’s changed their German name to the English version of Barringer. John Paul Barringer built his house and a mill (quarrying and cutting his first millstones from local granite) and was reported to live a Baronial life (his home was named Mount Pleasant) operating his mill, trading, and farming rich lands. John Paul was captain in the Colonial militia and for twenty years was a magistrate of the Crown—he was visited by Lord Tryon, the royal governor who noted the visit in his journal dated August 31, 1768. As a magistrate for the Crown, he refused to comply and issue the royal order of 1776to quell the rebellion (the Revolutionary War). Pioneer John Paul Barringer was rounded up by David Fanning’s gang and sent to prison in Camden South Carolina and he returned to his home in 1780. John Paul was too old to fight in the Revolutionary war but he did outfit his eldest son, John who became a captain the Continental Army.

Mathias Barringer lived with his older brother John Paul on Dutch Buffalo Creek for a number of years and was a Lieutenant in a company of Royal Militia organized by his brother Captain John Paul Barringer. As I recall, Mathias worked for his brother for 7 years as an indentured servant to pay for his passage from Germany, as was the custom of the time.

Mathias is named in the Revolutionary War of Independence (which lasted 8 ½ years) Battle at Guilford County Court House against the English.

Mathias married Margaret Bushart, a German girl and they had two children. Later, Mathias formed a militia unit at his home located near Newton, North Carolina and is frequently referred to as Captain Mathias [and sometimes spelled as Captain Matthias].

"Mathias Barringer, Pioneer"
Newspaper Article by Dr. J. E. Hodges

By 1748, John Paul sent to Germany for his parents and brother, Matthias and Henry, and sisters, Anna Maria, Catherine and Dolly. The parents both died on the voyage, and Matthias being the eldest, the core of the family devolved on him. John Paul is said to have sent a four-horse wagon to Philadelphia for them and brought them to his home. They had landed in Philadelphia on 16 Sep 1748 and came directly south and lived for a time with brother Paul in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

Matthias and Margaret Bushart Barringer.

You are thinking about now..how do they fit into our family history?

(They are our 6th Great Grandparents, if you are from my generation!)

Wilhelm and Paulina Behringer "Barringer" ~ 7th Great Grands
had son Mathias Barringer.

Mathias Barringer married Margaret Bushart ~ 6th Great Grands
and they had Catherine Bushart Barringer.

This is the same Catherine that married John Setzer.~5th Great Grands
John and Catherine are buried at Old St. Paul's Lutheran.

John and Catherine Setzer had daughter Katherine Setzer that married Georg Henry Dellinger. Our 4th Great Grands.


Margaret was born 15 Aug 1742 and died 05 Oct 1839, the daughter of John Bushart. Matthias was 15 years older than Margaret.

Matthias explored the region west of the Catawba River. It will perhaps never be known the exact year that Matthias brought his wife, the former Miss Margaret Bushart, with two slaves (man & wife), into this territory but the surveyors plat and survey of his entry of the land was made in 1762, and states the body of 640 acres of land "included his improvement" - so he may have been living on the land for two or three years. His grant was issued 21 Apr 1764, almost two years after the survey was made.

Matthias Barringer soon became a prominent citizen of the community. His brother Paul had been a soldier in Germany, and when the settlers in East Mecklenburg had grown into a sufficient number to organize a militia company, Paul was made Captain and Matthias became Lieutenant of the company.
When a militia company was organized in Matthias' new community, he was elected Captain of it. He was an active member of the Community of Safety of Rowan County, when the results of British oppression made such a committee necessary.

"Building the Birthplace of the County"

The first task after arriving was to provide shelter. Matthias and the Negro man went to work cutting down trees for the cabin of two rooms, built of logs squared in the woods, the cracks between them being filled with clay. The chimney was built of stones brought from a rocky hillside. For the roof they cut down pine trees, sawed them into blocks, and split the blocks into boards that were as good or better than shingles. For a floor they hewed poles or split small logs and laid them close on the level ground inside the cabin.

( This log cabin has been preserved and is currently dismantled. According to the Catawba County Museum there are future plans for it to be reconstructed at the site of the Historic Murray's Mill in Catawba County. I will keep tabs on this and will let you know when it is completed! )

This was their home until the big house was finished. The big house was built, like the cabin, of logs cut and hewn in the woods. Each log was marked and numbered so they could tell where it should go. When all the logs and rafters were ready, Matthias sent word for miles around to the settlers who came early one morning with their wives and children. The women stayed around the cabin helping cook the good things provided, when the men took off their coats and helped Matthias put the logs to their places. This was called a "raising".

This was only the frame of the house. Matthias had hired some sawyers to make some planks for him. The planks were stacked up on sticks until they were dry. In the meantime, Matthias and his Negro had put boards on the roof. Then they set to work - to ceil and floor the house. They put planks on the outside and when they had finished, the logs could not be seen.

The chimney, which was built of stone and pipe clay mortar, was larger than anything you have ever seen, the fireplace being ten feet wide. Even when the fire died out, the huge fireplace continued to throw out heat.

The 1759 Kitchen, at left, was one of the first buildings west of the Catawba River.
There followed, in due time other buildings such as barns, granaries, and most important of all - the kitchen. The German settlers always built this a short distance away from the main dwelling. This also had a very wide fireplace where hooks for pots hung from cross bars of iron. The rafters were left bare as well as the joists so they could have convenient places to hang pepper, sage and lots of other things for winter use. There was also the smokehouse.

This structure burned down, after being struck by lightning in the early 1950's.

Matthias did not build his chicken house - he planted it. It was a row of ceder trees between the house and the barn. The trees made a good roosting place.

St. James Lutheran Church in Conover is located not far from the Matthias Barringer farm.

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, the people of Catawba County had strong feelings. Some were loyal to Great Britain and the throne. Others felt like America had a right to be an independent nation.

The desire for freedom and resistance to colonial oppression was strong. A meeting was called in New Bern in August of 1774 in defiance of the governor. It was decided that counties elect or appoint committees of safety to take charge of public affairs. Until a constitution could be adopted, these committees were vested with all the power of government. Matthias Barringer, Francis McCorkle, Christopher Beekman and Peter Ikerd served on the committee in the Catawba area (then Rowan County).

Any estimate as to the total number of men who served as soldiers at any time during the seven years of the war would be a guess. But, of the nine companies of militia in Rowan County in 1775, two may reasonably be assumed to have been composed of Catawba men - having Catawba leaders.

Captain Francis McCorkle’s outfit is believed to have contained about 64 men, and Captain Matthias Barringer's, approximately 88 men.

In July of 1776, Matthias Barringer and seven militiamen went on a scouting expedition in the Quaker Meadows area. They were spotted by a Cherokee war party, who proceeded to massacre them. This attack would cause a severe retaliation against the Indians. From the Carolinas to Virginia, 4000 militia came to destroy the Cherokee villages. Even some of the Loyalists joined up with the militia.

An Indian ambush trapped them. Mathias Barringer was killed in the first round of fire. Only Philip Frye escaped when he hid behind a log under 2 feet of dead leaves.

Frye said later that he did not move as the Indians scalped Barringer and the others, even when one brave stood on the log and looked right at the spot where he had hidden.

Tradition relates that Captain Barringer's wife, who was at home with her children, Matthias and Catherine, told her friends on the day of the battle that she knew her husband was either dead or badly wounded, because she had heard him groan.
They were massacred at John's River, in the Quaker Meadows area near Morganton, in Burke County, North Carolina. They were participants of General Rutherford's forced march against the Cherokee Indians. Only Philip Fry escaped the massacre.

Matthias' on son, Matthias Jr., was about 9 years old at the time of his father's death. He soon took up his father's mantle and became a worthwhile citizen.

The people of Catawba County erected a granite monument to the massacre victims on July 2 1897 at the Courthouse in Newton, North Carolina.

The monument reads...
A tribute to
Matthias Barringer,
Lipsidom Adam,
Grunot - Hass - Wilson
and another, who were
massacred on John's River in
Gen. Rutherford's
forced march against the
Cherokee in 1776 and to
Philip Fry
who is one escaped and to
Conrad Tippong,
One of Lafayette's men,
by a grateful posterity.
July 2, 1897

Catawba County Museum, The Old Courthouse in Newton, North Carolina.

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