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John Bushart first appears in official North Carolina records in 1763. He and several other German immigrants swore loyalty to the King of Great Britain at the Superior Court in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. Also present at this court hearing was Jacob Fulenwider, whose granddaughter, Ann Fulenwider, would later marry Jacob Bushart, John Bushart's only known son.
John Bushart may have been in North Carolina for many years prior to his first appearance in records, perhaps as early as the mid-1750s. Into that region of North Carolina poured thousands of newcomers, including Scotch-Irish, English, and German settlers.
Most German settlers first arrived in America through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and settled in the immediate area around Philadelphia. At the time, strong Indian tribes controlled western Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania rapidly filled up, at least from the point of view of farming people who required many acres per person. So, many Germans left Pennsylvania for less crowded parts of America. They could not go west because of the Indians. Some went north into upstate New York. A few went south to Maryland and Virginia, but those states had been filled for over a hundred years with English settlers. Thus, many Germans looked further south to the Carolinas. The coastal areas of the Carolinas had been filled earlier by English and Scotch-Irish, but the central regions were fairly open.
The settlers poured in much faster than the colonial government could keep up. Many began farming plots of land to which they had no deed. The area in which John Bushart settled was part of Anson County, then became part of Mecklenburg County in 1762, and finally part of Cabarrus County in 1792. John never moved from his tract of land on Dutch Buffalo Creek, but new counties were formed around him. Dutch Buffalo Creek was named for the German people who settled there, and the buffalo which had not yet all been killed in that part of North Carolina. (They were not Dutch, but rather Germans, in the same way that the Pennsylvania Dutch were actually Germans; the confusion resulting from the similarity between the words Dutch and Deutsche). The colonial government caught up to John Bushart in 1765 and granted him the land that he had already been farming for perhaps ten or more years. This was common practice for the colonial government, since most of the people could not have afforded to buy the land. Also, by giving the land to the farmers, the government created a tax base.
Besides there being little government around to record his name, another reason why John Bushart and many other German settlers may not be mentioned in early records is that the Germans lived quite apart from their English neighbors. They retained their language and taught it to their children; in fact German was still spoken in the area well into the late 1800s. Even their slaves spoke German. They also retained their faiths, either Lutheran or Reformed (Calvinist). When there were not enough Germans of either faith to afford separate churches, they simply shared the same building. Also, unlike many of their English neighbors, the Germans were literate people. Lutherans strongly believed in reading the Bible for themselves. Germans also married a little later, with the women usually over 18, and the men in their early twenties. The language and cultural barriers between the German and English peoples kept the Germans from attending the English courts to register deeds, wills, etc.
John Bushart was Lutheran, but attended the church closest to his home, whether Lutheran or Reformed. John was born around 1720, probably in Germany, but possibly in Pennsylvania to German parents. His first children were born in Germany or Pennsylvania before he settled on Dutch Buffalo Creek in North Carolina in the 1750s; the rest of his children were born there. John was married at least twice and perhaps three times. By his first wife, he had daughters Margaret about 1742, Elizabeth in 1748, and Ann in 1750.
Although I have no proof, I believe these children were born in Pennsylvania to an unknown wife of John Bushart who then died. John then moved to North Carolina and remarried.
By his second wife, John Bushart had children Ann Margaret in 1758, Catareena about 1760, Barbara in 1764, Jacob in 1776, and Rosina about 1770, after which his second wife also died. There is no doubt about John Bushart's final wife. Her name was Ann, and they married about 1782. Her maiden name is unknown. She had been a widow, because in a deed dated 12 Oct 1782, she relinquished her widows dower. John Bushart and his last wife Ann had one known child, Catherine, born about 1782.
The similarity in names, as well as the long gap between children, makes me believe that John Bushart was married twice before marrying his final wife, Ann. It was not uncommon for people to name their children with very similar names in those days.
Deed records show that John Bushart had amassed 679 acres by 1768. In 1782, he sold 202 acres. Thus he had 477 acres when he died in 1795. However, John almost lost everything in 1781. John had to get a court order to keep people from taking his property since he was "in suspense until the General Assembly determine thereon ..." Although this entry in the Mecklenburg court minutes is somewhat cryptic, it probably has to do with those Lutherans who had opposed the Revolutionary War on religious grounds. According to the laws of the newly formed state of North Carolina, theses people were traitors and could lose their land. The state later relaxed its stance on religious objectors, only taking land from those whom had actively supported the British. In any case, John Bushart had been too old to fight when the war began in 1776, being about 56, and his only son, Jacob, was only 10 years old.
The 1790 Census shows John Bushart's family as consisting of 2 white males over 16, 3 white females, and one slave. By educated guessing, the two white males were John Bushart himself and his son Jacob, and the three females were his final wife, Ann, and his daughters, Rosina and Catherine.
John Bushart died in early March of 1795. Pastor Storch preached his funeral and noted in his diary that on 12 March 1795, he buried the old man Bushart. His diary was written in German and this entry has been incorrectly translated as "the old woman Bushart" due to similar German adjectives. Pastor Storch also noted that he preached the funeral from Luke 2.29. From the King James Bible: Lord, now lettest thou thy faithful servant depart this life in peace, according to thy word. John was probably buried in one of the Lutheran cemeteries in the area, but like most burials of that era, the tombstone has worn away.
John Bushart left a will which was proven in Cabarrus County court records in April 1795 with Jacob Bushart and Daniel Jarrett as executors. Unfortunately, the will was destroyed in a court house fire in the early 1800s, along with most of the early wills of Cabarrus county. The only mentions of the will come from court records. In 1799, Jacob Bushart gave his stepmother, Ann, her widow's share, which was L110.11.5 (British currency), including the child's part. The child was Catherine, Jacob's half-sister. Ann Bushart died in December 1807 or January 1808 according to court records. Apparently, not everyone was happy with the settlement of the estate, since George Roseman, husband of Jacob's half-sister, Catherine, sued Jacob Bushart in 1810 "to show just cause why the will of John Boshart has not been executed." Court records do not say what became of the suit.
The Daughters of John Bushart
A copy of an article submitted to "History of Cabarrus County, North Carolina".
John Bushart (spelled Buzzard, Boshart, Bossert, etc.) was born about 1720 in Germany or Switzerland and first appears in the records of North Carolina in 1763 when he, along with several other German speaking men, swore loyalty to the King of Great Britain at the courthouse in Salisbury. In 1765, the land upon which John Bushart lived in Mecklenburg County (present day Cabarrus) on Big Dutch Buffalo Creek was surveyed and granted to him, although he had probably arrived in the area in the 1750s, or possibly even in the 1740s. Like most German immigrants, he probably entered America through Pennsylvania. A John Bushart, age 24, arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Francis and Elizabeth on 30 Aug 1743, although there may be no way of telling if this is correct John Bushart. John was Lutheran in faith.
Similarity in the names of John's daughters, as well as a long gap between the births of his children, seems to indicate that John was married three times. The names of his first two wives are unknown, but his third wife was Anna, maiden name unknown. They married about 1782; Anna was a widow and she relinquished her widow's dower upon marrying John. John had only one child by Anna, Catherine. By his first wife, John had three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Anna. By his second wife were born five children: Anna Margaret, Catareena, Barbara, Jacob, and Rosina. John died in March 1795, (funeral preached by Pastor Storch) and his will was proved in April 1795 court in Cabarrus, although no copy of that will can be found. His widow, Anna, died in 1806.
John's oldest children may have been born in Germany or Pennsylvania, but the children born from the mid 1750s forward were all born on Dutch Buffalo Creek. The following were the daughters of John Bushart:
1) Margaret, born 15 Aug 1742, married Mathias Barringer about 1762. They moved to Lincoln County, NC and had two children. After Mathias was killed in the Revolutionary War, Margaret married second Conrad Tippong.
2) Elizabeth, born 20 Nov 1748, married about 1770 Frederick Peck (Beck), who owned land adjacent John Bushart. They had eight children. Elizabeth died 19 Mar 1823. Link here to Peck Page.
3) Anna, born about 1750, married about 1769 John Barrier (Berger, Barger), who also owned land adjacent John Bushart. They had four children. Anna died before 1796.
4) Anna Margaret, born 30 Apr 1758, married 24 May 1785 Mathias Barnhardt and after his death married 11 Sep 1823 Frederick Peck (John Barrier was the bondsman). Anna Margaret had five children by Mathias. She died 12 Nov 1838.
5) Catareena, born about 1760, married 24 Jun 1783 John Misenheimer and died before Dec 1787.
6) Barbara, born 11 Mar 1764, married Jacob Moose (Mussgnug) in Rowan in 1782 and had nine children by him before he died in 1804. Jacob Moose also owned land near John Bushart. Barbara never remarried and died 24 Mar 1848.
7) Rosina, born about 1770, married 5 Mar 1794 George Mester (Jacob Bushart was the bondsman).
8) Catherine, born about 1782, married 26 Sep 1800 George Roseman, Jr. George and Catherine Roseman later sued Jacob Bushart over the execution of the will of John Bushart.
The Barrier, Barnhardt, Moose, and Peck families intermarried extensively and thousands of their descendants still live in Cabarrus, Rowan, and Stanly Counties. Although the Bushart name passed out of the region years ago, Bushart lineage continues.
Jacob Bushart, Sr. of Cabarrus County, NC
Jacob Bushart, the only known son of John Bushart, was born 17 Sep 1766 in Cabarrus and died 2 Jan 1852 in Henry County, Tennessee. He married Ann "Nancy" Fulenwider on 22 Dec 1795 in Rowan County, North Carolina. Ann Fulenwider was born 8 Oct 1776 in Rowan, and she died 11 Apr 1853 in Henry County, Tennessee. Ann's father was Henry Fulenwider, a Revolutionary War veteran, and the name of Ann's mother is unknown. Henry was the son of Jacob Fulenwider, a Swiss German who settled in Rowan County in the 1750s. Link here to Fulenwider Page.
Jacob Bushart owned land on Big Dutch Buffalo Creek, near his father and brothers-in-law. He received a state land grant in 1787 for 150 acres adjacent his father. In 1795, his father died and Jacob served as the executor of his father's will. He served as a captain of the local militia from 1795 to 1805 and as a justice of the Cabarrus County Court from 1798 to 1801.
Jacob and Ann (Fulenwider) Bushart had nine children, all born in Cabarrus:
1) Elizabeth Sarah, born 10 Apr 1797, married Daniel Davidson Ridenhour 26 Dec 1815 in Rowan County, North Carolina (eleven children), died 16 Dec 1885 in Cabarrus.
2) John, born 25 Oct 1799, married Elizabeth Troutman 10 Nov 1820 in Cabarrus (eight children), married second Martha Thomas 30 Apr 1845 in Henry County, Tennessee (three children), married third Mary Griffin 26 May 1857 in Henry County, Tennessee (three children), died about 1882 in Henry County, Tennessee.
3) Henry, born 9 Oct 1801, married Sarah Troutman 19 Jul 1822 in Cabarrus (seven children), died 23 Feb 1883 in Washington County, Arkansas.
4) Jacob, born 19 May 1803, married Elizabeth Yow 26 Oct 1825 in Henry County, Tennessee (seven children), married second Elmyra Baldwin 27 Oct 1846 in Henry County, Tennessee (three children), married third Mrs. Martha (Baldwin) O'Daniel 2 Jan 1873 in Fulton County, Kentucky (no children), died about 1885 in Fulton County, Kentucky.
5) Mary Magdalena, born 23 Dec 1807, married James Caldwell 3 Nov 1825 in Henry County, Tennessee (eleven children), died 11 Jul 1881 in Obion County, Tennessee.
6) Sarah F., born 21 Sep 1809, married Asa Bacchus 16 Sep 1828 in Henry County, Tennessee (nine children), died about 1897 in Ouachita County, Arkansas.
7) Ann P., born 26 Mar 1812, married Bethel Rogers about 1832 in Henry County, Tennessee (one child), married second Frederick W. Deets 24 Nov 1840 in Henry County, Tennessee (three children), died 11 Jun 1899 in Garland County, Arkansas.
8) Caleb B., born 15 Jan 1815, married Evelina Gaines 13 Aug 1833 in Henry County, Tennessee (eleven children), died 28 Apr 1856 in Fulton County, Kentucky.
9) Daniel Ritinghour, born 9 Feb 1819, married Louisa Bragg 17 Aug 1848 in Henry County, Tennessee (seven children), died 26 Dec 1896 in Henry County, Tennessee.
The names of the children of Jacob and Ann Bushart had significance. The first son, John, was named after Jacob's father, John Bushart. The second son, Henry, was named after Ann's father, Henry Fulenwider. The third son, Jacob Jr., was named after Jacob himself. The fourth son, Caleb B., may have been named after Ann's half-brother, Caleb Fulenwider. The last son, Daniel Ritinghur, was named after Jacob and Ann's son-in-law, Daniel Davidson Ridenhour (Ritinghur is an old spelling of Ridenhour). Their oldest child, Elizabeth, had married Daniel Davidson Ridenhour in 1815, and Daniel Ritinghur Bushart was born in 1817.
Since the names of the mothers of both Jacob Bushart and Ann Fulenwider are unknown, the names of their daughters may provide a clue. The first daughter, Elizabeth Sarah, may have been named for Jacob's mother. The second daughter, Mary Magdalena, may have been named for Ann's mother.
About 1823, Jacob and Ann Bushart and all but one of their children moved west to Henry County, Tennessee. The one who stayed behind in Cabarrus County was Elizabeth Sarah, wife of Daniel Davidson Ridenhour. According to family legend, she played a trumpet as her parents and siblings started upon their journey, and the family heard the trumpet until they were too far away.
Jacob and Ann died in Henry County, Tennessee; Jacob left a will there. In the 1840s, Caleb Bushart and Jacob Bushart, Jr. moved to Fulton County, Kentucky. Later, Henry Bushart and his family moved west, first to Kansas, then Missouri, before settling in northwest Arkansas. Today, the Bushart name can still be found in northwest Tennessee, southwest Kentucky, and Arkansas, as well as other parts of the country.
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