Heinrich Furrer[1]

Male 1727 - 1769  (42 years)

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  • Name Heinrich Furrer 
    Birth 6 Jul 1727  Oberlangenhard/Zell, Canton Zurich, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Death 27 Sep 1769  Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Burial Cabarrus County, NC at Furr Cemetery Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I34520  Moore County Wallaces
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2022 

    DNA Tests  2 DNA tests are associated with Heinrich Furrer 

    Family Russena Rosser   bur. Cabarrus County, NC at Furr Cemetery Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Marriage 1751 
    +  1. Male John Furr,   b. Mar 1752   d. 15 Dec 1827 (Age ~ 75 years)
    Elizabeth Woodside  (Age ~ 28 years)  m. 14 Jan 1773;   
    Catherine Lively  m. 4 Aug 1783
    +  2. Male Paul Furr,   b. 1754, Purrysburg, GA Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 4 Dec 1837, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 83 years)
    Mary Stutts  (Age 86 years)
    +  3. Male Henry Furr,   b. 6 Apr 1762, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 24 Dec 1851, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 89 years)
    Catherine Wiser  m. 1781;   
    Anna Catherine Pless  (Age 64 years)  m. 26 Sep 1826
       4. Male Jacob Furr,   b. 1763   d. 1785 (Age 22 years)
       5. Female Mary Magdalena Furr,   b. 1764, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1837-1838, Washington County, AR Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 74 years)
    Martin Christopher Rintleman  (Age 79 years)  m. 12 Aug 1783
       6. Female Catherine Furr,   b. 1765, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 7 Jan 1798, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 33 years)
    Johannes Ehrenhardt  (Age 30 years)
       7. Male Tobias Furr,   b. 12 Aug 1766, Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Dec 1797, Salisbury, Rowan County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 31 years)
    Barbara Smith  (Age 85 years)  m. 12 Aug 1790
       8. Male Adam Furr,   b. 1767, Cabarrus County, NC Find all individuals with events at this location
    Family ID F10861  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 18 Jun 2022 

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 6 Jul 1727 - Oberlangenhard/Zell, Canton Zurich, Switzerland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 27 Sep 1769 - Cabarrus County, NC Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBurial - - Cabarrus County, NC at Furr Cemetery Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Histories
    Moore County, NC DNA Project
    Moore County, NC DNA Project
    DNA Results and Analysis for Moore County families including Allen, Barrett, Bean, Brewer, Britt, Brown, Burns, Caddell, Cagle, Carpenter, Caviness, Chriscoe, Cockman, Cole, Comer, Davis, Deaton, Dunn, Furr, Garner, Hancock, Hardin, Hare, Horner, Hunsucker, Hussey, Jackson, Kennedy, Key, Kidd, Lawrence, Maness, McIntosh, McLendon, McNeill, Melton, Monroe, Moore, Morgan, Muse, Nall, Phillips, Richardson, Riddle, Ritter, Sanders, Seawell, Sheffield, Smith, Stewart, Stutts, Sullivan, Wallace, Welch, Williams, Williamson and Wright

  • Sources 
    1. [S1144] Bill Furr, 75 Oldfield Circle, Montgomery, AL 36117, bfurr1@gmail.com, North Carolina Furr Descendants [ http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~furr ].
      Who were the ancestors of Heinrich Furrer and Russena? To date, I have not found a definitive primary source document that answers this question. Over the years there has been much speculation.

      In his book, History of the Widenhouse, Furr, Dry, Stallings, Teeter, and Tucker Families (Greensboro, North Carolina: privately published, 1950), Rev. William Thomas Albright writes about Heinrich Furrer's origins but does not speculate on or identify Heinrich's ancestors. He writes:

      According to the best information I can obtain, Henry Furr, who came from Germany to America about 1758, was the first or one of the first of the name to come to this country. I believe he was the first, as all the Furrs I have found trace back to him.

      He was born in Germany about the year 1717, married there, and landed at Charleston, South Carolina, about 1758, after a tedious voyage of several years. Soon after with his wife and infant son whose birth occurred during the voyage, he made his way by wagon to Cabarrus County, North Carolina, becoming one of the earliest pioneers. The History of North Carolina Biography says he secured a tract of land on Cold Water Creek, six miles southeast of the present site of Concord, where he spent the remainder of his life. But there is a family tradition that the later years of his life were spent about a mile up Dutch Buffalo Creek from Georgeville. Here he died and is buried in a family graveyard near Dutch Buffalo Creek on the north side, close to the Teeter bridge. This is only a few miles from Cold Water Creek, and is well authenticated as his burial place. His grave is marked with a natural flat granite stone about three feet long, on which has been scratched the date "1777" or "1779." It is difficult to tell whether the last figure is a seven or nine. I believe this is the date of his death, and if it is, he lived to be only about sixty or sixty-two. I have no information about his wife, whom he married in Germany.
      Subsequent to the publication of this book, Rev. Albright and others continued researching the origins of Heinrich Furrer. One of the documents they found was the book, Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, compiled and edited by Albert B. Faust and Gaius M. Brumbaugh, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968 (reprint of the 1920 edition). This book includes the following:


      Heinrich Furrer, from Stagen, who really belongs to the Gossau district, born November 13, 1691. He has with him his wife Susan Baumann, born January 24, 1692 and the following children:
      Felix, April 1, 1720.
      Hans Jacob, October 4, 1722.
      Susanna, December 31, 1724.
      Hans Felix, July 12, 1729.
      Anna Maria, October 8, 1731.
      Barbara, May 15, 1735.
      A son Hans, born October 10, 1717, is in the Dutch service, the father wrote to him from Rotterdam that he should also make the journey with them, but he did not go.


      August 29, 1734
      Bernhardt Furer, September 19, 1697.
      Babelj Zuppinger, August 8, 1697.
      Heinrich, July 6, 1631 [sic].
      Hans Rudolff, January 27, 1737.
      May 13, 1743
      Ulrich Furer, Ulrich Furrer's son, baptized on August 18, 1720.

      Based on this information, Rev. Albright concludes the following in his second book, Supplement to the History of the Widenhouse, Furr, Dry, Stallings, Teeter, and Tucker Families (Greensboro, North Carolina: privately published, 1956). Note: Rev. Albright wrote that Bernhardt Furer and his wife left Switzerland on August 29, 1743, but the source document for his information (Lists of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies) shows this date as August 29, 1734.

      There is no very definite hint or lead as to which one (if either) of the above might be our Henry I. However, since these are the only Furrers who are on record as coming into our country through Charleston, and since by a wide-spread tradition two or three brothers came over about the same time by way of Charleston, it would seem that the three Furrers above (Heinrich, born Nov. 13, 1691; Ulrich, baptised Aug. 18, 1720; Bernhardt, born Sept. 19, 1697) were either three brothers, or two brothers and a nephew. If they were all brothers, their father's name was Ulrich but if Heinrich and Bernhardt were brothers and Ulrich a nephew, Ulrich's father (Ulrich) was a brother to Heinrich and Bernhardt.

      I believe that Heinrich Furrer, born Nov. 13, 1691, is our Henry I and the ancestor of the Carolina Furr families. (At this time North and South Carolina were together.) The tradition has it that sometimes two and sometimes three brothers came over; and it is most likely that Heinrich, born November 13, 1691, and Bernhardt, born Sept. 19, 1697, were brothers, and that Ulrich, baptized Aug. 18, 1720, was their nephew.

      If this Henry, born Nov. 13, 1691, is our Henry, he would be nearly 78 years old in 1769 when he made his will, a good age for that day and for doing the things he had done.

      The other Henry (son of Bernhardt), born July 6, 1731, would be only 38 years old in 1769 when Henry's will was made; and since John and Paul both seem to have been of age when the will was made, that would make this Henry only about 15-16 years old when married. Therefore, it seems Henry, born 1691, is our Henry and the ancestor of the Carolina Furrs.

      After discussing Heinrich Furrer's children, Rev. Albright continues to speculate: It will be noted that the family of six children and the wife Susan Baumann are not the same as the family I have named above. My theory is that the first wife died soon after they reached Carolina in 1743; and the children had either died or were of age and perhaps married and left to settle elsewhere by the time Henry I reached Cabarrus County in North Carolina in 1758 (according to tradition). The youngest child of the first family (Barbara) would be 23 years old in 1758. In the meantime, Henry Furr married the second wife (Russena), who was the mother of the family I have named. I have no information on Russena except what he said in his will when he named her as one of the executors as "my loving wife Russena." This explanation fist in with the fact that the second wife Russena seems to have been several years younger than Henry, as he named her with Valentine Weaver as executors of his will in 1769. Also she mothered Henry II in 1762; and I think there were one or two other children after Henry II but I have no proof of this.

      Carolina had been extensively advertised in Switzerland by a Mr. J. P. Purry, and the emigrant "fever" had caused several hundred colonists to settle about 28 miles north of Savannah, Ga., in 1732. The settlement, called Purrysburg, was found to be unhealthy and many of the colonists died and others moved away; and the town was abandoned after some 5o or 60 years. Henry Furrer was not one of Purry's colonists; but since Purry sent over about 600 Swiss colonists by 1739, no doubt Henry Furr knew of the colony. My opinion is that Henry Furr lived at Purrysburg a while, during which time his family got away from him as stated above. At the site of Purryburg [sic], there is a large cemetery with many unmarked graves, some of which could be Furr graves. It is possible that Henry Furr might have lived a while in or near the German settlement of Orangeburg, S. C., before going to North Carolina; or he might have been among those immigrants who settled in the Congaree and Wateree area in SouthCarolina between 1740 and 1755.

      The above is my conclusion after thorough study of all facts available up to this time; but notice it is only a "conclusion" and could be wrong.

      As indicated in the last paragraph, Rev. Albright recognized that his conclusion was not based on definitive, primary source material that would "prove" his conclusion. As subsequent information will show, this was a wise statement since some of the "facts" he relied on later proved to be incorrect. Rev. Albright's conclusion was based primarily on the age of the two Heinrich Furrers in question. According to a letter from the Swiss Record Office of the County of Zurich, dated December 23, 1987, to Mary Ann Plumeri of Las Vegas, Nevada, the Heinrich Furrer born July 6, 1731 (according to Faust and Brumbaugh) was actually baptized on July 6, 1727. The letter states that Faust and Brumbaugh's lists are "very incorrect" and provides additional details concerning this family (translated from the German).

      ZURICH, On December 23, 1987

      Heinrich Furrer, allegedly baptized on July 6, 1731, descended from Oberlangenhard (District Zell) in the County of Zurich. He emigrated in 1738 with is parents and siblings to America. The family Furrer is entered in the lists of Emigrants to America, which was set in 1744, (compare Albert B. Faust, List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century to the American Colonies, vol. I, Washington DC 1920, p. 100). The edition of these lists is unfortunately very incorrect. Heinrich Furrer was actually baptized on July 6, 1727 and his father's name was Leonhard not Bernhard! Since the family Furrer did not live in Switzerland since 1738, information about the children of Heinrich Furrer is not available.

      Furrer, Leonhard of Oberlangenhard-Zell
      Zell 9/19/1697
      (E: Hans Jakob Furrer, of 0., Zell 11/2/1687 Magdalena Schickli of ?)
      Barbara Zuppinger, of Oberlangenhard-Zell
      Zell 8/8/1697
      (E: Jakob Zuppinger, of 0., (vor 7/31/1692) Barbara Wettstein, of ?)
      - Heinrich, Zell 7/6/1727
      - Hans Konrad, Zell 12/26/1728, + Oberlangenhard 3/19/1729
      - Anna, Zell 3/14/1730, + Zurich (Hospital) 11/21/1734
      - Hans Rudolf, Zell 12/14/1732, + Oberlangenhard 3/19/1735
      - Hans Rudolf, Zell 1/27/1737
      Emigrated to America. Arrival on the ship Jamacia Galley in Philadelphia and sworn in on 2/7/1739 (PGP I 252-253; Faust 100, with incorrect Information: Father "Bernhard" instead of Leonhard; Year of Birth of Heinrich "1731" instead of 1727).

      From the above it appears only two of Leonhard Furrer's children (Heinrich and Hans Rudolf) lived for very long (I assume the second date is the date of death). I'm not sure exactly what some of this information means (e.g., the E: and the von 0.). This letter also call into question Rev. Albright's speculation concerning the relationship between the various Furrers who came to this country (e.g., brothers, nephews, etc.) which was based on "wide-spread tradition two or three brothers came over about the same time by way of Charleston." As indicated this latter family arrived via Philadelphia.
      Rev. Albright and other sources list the following other early Furrs and Furrers:

      1. William Furr who lived in Northampton County, Virginia, in 1655.
      2. Henry Furr who was transported to Virginia in 1658.
      3. Lenhart Furer who landed in Philadelphia 1738/1739.
      4. Jacob Furrer who sailed September 17, 1750 on the brigantine, Sally, from London bound for Pennsylvania.
      5. Christian Furrer who sailed November 3, 1750 on the ship, Brotherhood, from Rotterdam with 300 passengers bound for Pennsylvania.
      6. Henry Furrer who left Germany around 1782 and had a wife named Rachel.

      Other facts concerning our ancestor Heinrich Furrer (Henry Furr) are:

      1. June 24, 1762 -- purchased 301 acres in Anson County (later Mecklenburg, now Cabarrus) just south of the Rowan County line.
      2. September 22, 1763 -- took the Oath of Allegiance (was naturalized) in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina.
      3. September 27, 1769 -- prepared his will naming two sons (John and Paul).
      4. Since only two of Heinrich Furrer's children (John and Paul) were named in his will, it is likely they were the only one "of age" at the time. Their dates of birth have been given as between 1747 and 1754 by various genealogy

      As Rev. Albright clearly pointed out, identifying the ancestor of our Heinrich Furrer is a matter of speculation not fact, given the limited provable information available. Even the clarifying information that has come to light since Rev. Albright wrote his books has not helped rule out either of the prime candidates. The known facts about these individuals are summarized below:

      Heinrich Furrer
      Born 11/13/1691
      Came to America about 1743 (about age 52)
      Had to lose entire first family
      Between 56 and 63 years old when first child of second family was born
      About age 77 when will was written

      Heinrich Furrer
      Born 7/6/1727
      Came to America about 1738/9 (about age 11) via Philadelphia
      Between 20 and 27 years old when first child was born
      About age 42 when will was written

    2. [S1144] Bill Furr, 75 Oldfield Circle, Montgomery, AL 36117, bfurr1@gmail.com, North Carolina Furr Descendants [ http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~furr ].

      OUR STORY (http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~furr/Story/story.html)


      The Swiss were adventuresome people and were very interested in the New World, especially Carolina and Pennsylvania. They established settlements in both areas. The Pennsylvania area prospered and became by far the largest settlement of Swiss immigrants in early America.

      In 1732, Jean Pierre Purry, who was said to have been a Director-General of the French East India Company, sent several hundred Swiss immigrants to settle about 28 miles north of Savannah, Georgia, in what is now South Carolina. By 1739, Purry had sent over approximately 600 colonists. They named the settlement Purrysburgh.

      The colony was soon found to be in an unhealthy area. The colonists died in epidemic proportions and were buried in unmarked graves in a large graveyard near the settlement.

      The surviving inhabitants began moving away, leaving the colony completely abandoned, some half-century after it was founded. There is no Purrysburg on the map today, however, about 30 miles north of Savannah near Interstate 95 is the small town of Switzerland.

      In the 1730's and 1740's, there were so many Swiss citizens becoming interested in the New World and leaving their native country that in 1744 the Swiss government became alarmed and issued mandates and decrees against immigration.

      Further, they sent circular letters to the local authorities of each district demanding the name, date of birth, and date of departure of every man, woman, and child who left the country between 1734 and 1744 for the purpose of going to Carolina or Pennsylvania. The district authorities obtained this information from the individual parish pastors, who kept such records.

      The original lists of Swiss immigrants in the eighteenth century to the American colonies can still be found in the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and the Swiss Archives in Zurich, Switzerland. According to a letter from the Swiss Record Office of the County of Zurich dated December 23, 1987 to Mary Ann Plumeri of Las Vegas, Nevada, some of the information is this book is incorrect.


      On July 6, 1727, in the Parish of Zell, Canton of Lucerne, Switzerland, a son was born to Leonhard Furrer and his wife Babelj Zuppinger. They named him Heinrich, after his uncle who was Leonhard's brother.

      Heinrich was born and grew up in the very midst of the great Swiss immigration to the New World. It was truly the subject of conversation throughout his formative years. He heard his father, Uncle Heinrich, and Uncle Ulrich exchange tales of the land that lay just beyond the ocean.

      After much contemplation, Leonhard Furrer, age 46, together with his wife, Babelj Zuppinger, age 46, and his two sons, Heinrich, age 16, and Hans Rudolff, age 6, decided to leave the parish of Zell, Canton of Lucerne. On August 29, 1734, against all warnings of their friends and parish pastor, and against all petitions of their government officials, they sailed Switzerland. In 1738, they immigrated to America. Oral tradition has them landing in Charleston, South Carolina. However, according to the Swiss Record Office of the County Of Zurich, they arrived on the ship Jamaica Gallery in Philadelphia and were sworn in on February 7, 1739.

      In the spring of 1743, fearing that the government would soon put an end to immigration altogether, Uncle Heinrich decided to move his family to Carolina. In May of 1743, Heinrich Furrer, age 52, his wife, Susanna Baumann, age 51, and six of their seven children (Felix, age 23, Hans Jacob, age 21, Susanna, age 19, Hans Felix, age 14, Anna Maria, age 12, and Barbara, age 8) departed their native country from Zurich. Ulrich, about 23, the son of Uncle Ulrich, went with them.

      Uncle Heinrich's oldest son, Hans, age 26, who was in service with the Dutch army, chose to remain in Europe although his father wrote to him from Rotterdam that he should also make the journey with them. Therefore, the descendants of Hans Furrer, born October 10, 1717 of Heinrich Furrer and Susanna Baumann, are our closest known relatives in Europe. Uncle Heinrich and his family entered America at Charleston and proceeded to the Swiss settlement at Purrysburg by wagon, where they settled in with hundreds of their countrymen.


      After a tedious voyage of several weeks, Leonhard realized that the glamorous legend of adventure in the New World did not match its stark reality. When Leonhard and his family reached Charleston, they packed their belongings in a wagon and headed for the Purrysburg settlement. Traveling by wagon in these low lands was very difficult, since they had to go around the many inlets in the Charleston-Beaufort area instead of in a straight line to the colony. The wagon wheels often mired in the marshes.

      When they reached Purrysburg they found not a "Promised Land," but a crowded settlement in the marshlands where hot, humid summers brought droves of mosquitoes from the stagnant waters of the surrounding swamps. But the immigrants clung together in Purrysburg because they were all of one kind, Swiss, in an English New World.

      As the celebrated dream of freedom and prosperity dimmed in the colony, there was much talk about how their Swiss brothers had fared in Pennsylvania. Then the faded dream turned into a nightmare when the crowded unhealthy conditions, the hot humid climate, and the mosquitoes, brought about an epidemic of "fever" in the colony. The inhabitants died by the scores and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Virtually the entire Furrer clan was wiped out.

      Heinrich the son of Leonhard, having lost all of his family to the "fever," set out on his own for Pennsylvania. Directly north of Purrysburg lay the large German settlement of Orangeburg. Heinrich arrived there in the late 1740's when he was still in his teens. He remained in Orangeburg and married a German girl named Russena Roffor (Rosser). He learned from the industrious Germans how to be a manager of land and money. He became a planter. In 1752, Heinrich and Russena's first son, John was born. In 1754, a second son was born whom they named Paul.

      Heinrich longed for property of his own in the woodlands of Pennsylvania and by 1757 he had accumulated enough wealth to move his family and make a new start. Also by this time Russena was expecting another child. He plotted his course for Pennsylvania, packed his wagon and left Orangeburg in the winter of 1757 traveling through the Congaree and Wateree settlements and on northward.

      When he reached Cold Water Creek in the Province of Anson in the Spring of 1758, Russena delivered him another son who they named Leonard. Now Heinrich had a five-year-old son, a four-year-old son, an infant son, and a wife sore and weary from riding in a wagon. The waters of Cold Water Creek were full of fish, the fields abounded with game, the earth was rich and perfect for planting, and the weather was mild. Heinrich felled the trees, cleared the land, built a shelter, and made a permanent home for his family. At last, Heinrich Furrer now 30 years old, having left Switzerland in 1734 and traveled over half of his life, brought our long journey to an end.


      For the next three years, Heinrich planted and tended the land on the Cold Water and Dutch Buffalo Creeks, about one mile from what is now the town of Georgeville in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

      In 1762, the British sub-divided Anson Province into counties. The Dutch Buffalo Creek area became a part of Mecklenburg County. In 1792, Cabarrus County was cut from Mecklenburg, so today, Dutch Buffalo Creek runs through the heart of Cabarrus County.

      When the British sub-divided Anson Province, they offered the land for sale to its original settlers. Heinrich, together with his neighbors, Paul Barringer and Valentine Weaver, went to Arthur Dobbs, the Governor of the Province of North Carolina, in the summer of 1762 seeking to be granted the privilege of purchasing their land.

      Arthur Dobbs, being a rather proper Englishman, required over 1,000 words to complete the land grant for Heinrich Furrer, who he referred to as "Henry Furr." The following are excerpts from this lengthy document.

      Arthur Dobbs (Gov.) to Henry Furr
      Book 6 page 161

      This indenture made twenty-fourth day of June in the second year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by the grace of God King of Great Brittain &C and in the year of our Lord 1762 between his Excellency Arthur Dobbs, Esq. Captain General Governor and Commander in Chief in and over the Province of North Carolina of the one part and Henry Furr of the County of Anson in the Province aforesaid planter of the other part witnesseth that the SD Arthur Dobbs for and in consideration of the sum of thirty two pounds one shilling and four pence proclamation money to him in hand paid by the said Henry Furr at and before the ensealing and delivery hereof the receipt whereof he the said Arthur Dobbs doth hereby acknowledge both granted, bargained sold aliened, enfoeffed and confirmed and by these presents doth grant bargain sell alien enfoeff and confirm unto the said Henry Furr and his heirs and assigns a certain tract or parcel of land containing by survey three hundred and one acres and being in the SD County of Anson and beginning at a white oak on Dutch Buffalo Creek . . . .

      In witness whereof the parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and affixed their seals the day and year first above written. Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Martin Phifer, WM. Powell.

      Received 24 June 1763 from the within named thirty two pounds one shilling and four pence proclamation money being the consideration money within mentioned.

      Martin Phifer
      Arthur Dobbs
      WM. Powell

      So Heinrich was granted the full rights to, and enjoyment of, the 301 acres of land on Dutch Buffalo Creek where he lived in exchange for 32 pounds, one shilling, and four pence and an annual tax rate of four shillings per hundred acres. (And 1/5 of any gold or silver and 1/10 of any other minerals found on the land). His name was entered on the tax list. In 1767, Heinrich purchased an additional 186 acres adjoining the original tract. He paid Arthur Dobbs in proclamation money, which was used in the colonies in lieu of silver. On September 22, 1763, Heinrich became a naturalized American citizen in Rowan County.

      The Lord and the land were good to Heinrich. Over the next seven years, he prospered on these excellent farming, hunting, and fishing lands. He bought slaves from slavers in Charleston and turned his homestead into a plantation estate; thus, he prospered financially as well. He and Russena were blessed with six more children in the span of these seven years. Henry was born in 1762, Jacob in 1763, Mary in 1764, Catherine in 1765, Tobias in 1766, and Adam in 1767.

      Heinrich and Russena were religious people. Heinrich received his religious training in his native Switzerland where over half of the people were Protestants. They credited God for their fortune and reared their children in the Lutheran faith.

      But nothing lasts forever, and all good things soon come to an end. It came all too soon for Heinrich. In the late summer of 1769, he fell ill. The "fever" sapped his strength and vitality. He knew his time was at hand, and that he was to suffer the same fate that took his father, mother, and brother only a score of years before. From his sick bed, he summoned his wife, Russena, and his friends, Paul Barringer and Valentine Weaver, to him. Paul Barringer brought his son-in-law, John Phifer, who later became a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and a Colonel in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. With their help, he prepared the following will:

      Will of Henry Forror (Furrer)
      Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
      Book C, Page 57

      In the Name of God amen. September twenty-seven one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine. I, Henry Forror, being sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto god therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all people once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God. And as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God bless me in this life I give devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form. First of all my debts to be paid.

      Item. I give devise and bequeth unto my eldest and loveing son John Forror the land together with the improvements whereon I now live only that I first order the plantation to be valued by three freeholders and the valuation to be devided eaqually among each and every of my childering and after he the said John Forror have his share of the valuation allowed to him he is to pay to the rest of my childering their shares of the valuation as they come of ages.

      Item. I give devise and bequeth unto my second and loveing son Paul Forror . . . lying between my lands and Paul Berring . . . . I first order that the land be valued by three freeholders and the valuation to devided eaqually among each and every of my childering and after the said Paul Forror having his share of the valuation allowed to him he is to pay the rest of my childering their shares of the valuation as they come of ages.

      Item. I give and bequeth unto my loveing wife the third part of my personal estate only that I order that all my goods and chattels be sold at public auction and eaqually devided among each and every of my childering after my wife has her third.

      In testament where of I the testator Henry Forrer have hereunto set my hand and seal of and for my last will and testament and I do here by nominate and appoint my loveing wife Rossena Roffor and my trusty friend Valentine Weaver the sole executors of this my last will and testament the day and year above written.

      Heinrich Furrer

      Signed sealed and published by the testator as and for his last will and testament. In the presence of us who subscribed as witnesses

      John Phifer
      Paul Barringer
      Valentine Weaver

      Heinrich signed the will with his own hand in Germanic script. John was 17 and Paul was 15 when the will was drafted and were the only children to be considered "of age" at the time. Heinrich needed to insure that his plantation would continue, that his survivors would have a living, and that the land would remain in his family. So he willed the original homestead and tract of land to his eldest son John. His additional tract of land between his original homestead and Paul Barringer's land, he willed to his second son Paul.

      Being an extremely fair man, he made equal provisions for all of his children. He charged John and Paul to pay an equal valuation of the property that they received to each and every child as they came of age. He willed no land to his wife. Instead, he directed that his personal estate be sold at auction and 1/3 of the value be given to her, the remaining 2/3 of the value to be divided equally among all nine of his children. As the provisions of his will indicate, Heinrich Furrer was an intelligent, fair-minded, yet pragmatic man.

      On the back of this original will in John Phifer's handwriting is a curious entry that appears to be an afterthought of the will:

      Be it known unto all men by these present that I Henry Forror of Mecklenburg County and Province of North Carolina having made this my last will and testament in writing bearing date the twenty second of September one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine I the said Henry Forror do by these presents contained in this codicil confirm and declare this my last will and testament and do give and bequeth unto my loveing wife Rossena Forror one Negro man named Peter and a Negro woman named Dina during all the time she does remain a widow or keep single and in case she should get married . . . by such sale is to be devided eaqually among all of my childering and she is likewise to have her third of the same and my will and meaning is that this codicil or schedule be part and parcel of my last will and testament and that all things therein contained and mentioned by faithfully performed in as full and ample a manner in every respect as if the same were so declared and set down in my said will in witness there of I the said Henry Forror have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty sixth day of September one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine.

      Heinrich Forror

      John Phifer
      Paul Barringer
      Valentine Weaver

      Heinrich also signed this provision in his own hand, again in Germanic script. A very short time later, Heinrich Furrer, only 38 years of age, died having found the American dream, lost it, and found it again. He was laid to rest in his own beloved ground on the north bank of Dutch Buffalo Creek near the Teeter Bridge only a few miles from Cold Water Creek. His grave was marked with a three-foot long slab of natural granite stone. In the stone was scratched the date "1779."

      Russena did indeed keep single for the remainder of her days, living with her eldest son, John, in the original family home when she died. She was buried at her husband's side, and her grave was marked with a smaller granite stone, the writing on which has become unintelligible.

      In 1954, the descendants of Heinrich and Russena Furrer erected a monument in their honor near their original graves.


      The children of Heinrich and Russena were the first family of Furrers born in America. They were also the first to go by the name of "Furr."

      The Furrer family held to a tradition of naming children not only after their fathers as we do, but after their uncles, cousins, or even brothers as well. This, in combination with large families, made it common for a Henry to have sons named Henry, Paul, and John, and a John to have sons named John, Henry, and Paul, and a Paul to have sons named Paul, John, and Henry.

      In fact, all of the names of our first family were used throughout the early generations of Furr's so repeatedly that in order to avoid the obvious confusion, I have designated the "I" to each of the children of Heinrich and Russena.

      JOHN I (1752 - 1827)

      Came to North Carolina with his parents in 1758 when he was six years old. He inherited the original Furrer homestead on Dutch Buffalo Creek in 1769 when he was only 17. He continued working it and expanded the plantation right away. He was a religious man of the Lutheran faith. John I married in the mid 1770's. His first wife died after delivering him two sons: Henry, born in May of 1777 and John, born in March of 1779. He then married Catherine Sivily in 1783. They had six children: Rachael, Polly, George, Sally, Tobias, and Jacob. His first two sons and his first daughter intermarried with the Stallings family. On April 18, 1796, he paid seven pounds and two shillings for lot #2 in the southwest square of Concord, North Carolina. He owned 314 acres in Cabarrus County and 826 acres in Stanly County. He was a very good planter. When he was 75 years old, he was poisoned by a servant. Since he left no will, his land was divided among his children by court ruling. He was buried in what was to become the Furrer graveyard, near the John Teeter farm. A slate rock stone with no inscription marks his grave.

      PAUL I (1754 - 1837)

      Also came to North Carolina with his parents in 1758. He was four years old at the time. Paul I inherited his land in 1769 when he was only 15 years old. He identified this land in his own will as the land "I hired of my father." He was also known as "Barefoot Paul" and by later generations as "Paul of All." He married young, but his first wife died shortly thereafter. His second wife was Mary Stutts whom he married in 1774. Paul I and his wife, Mary, were both very industrious. He was known as a man of great energy and good judgment, and she was known for her strong, forceful personality. They were Lutherans by faith, farmers by trade and Democratic in political matters. They reared a family of 11 children: Paul, Henry, Jacob, Daniel, Noah, Rosena, Catherine, Polly, Sally and Elizabeth. Paul I wrote his will two years before his death at the age 83. At this time, he owned 23 slaves, 1,342 acres of land, and a large amount of cash. Mary outlived him by 11 years before dying at the age of 85. She had obtained property of her own and, therefore, she also left a will. This was very rare in that day and age. They are both buried on a one-acre plot surrounded by a stone wall on her estate, less than one mile from Heinrich and Russena's graves on Dutch Buffalo Creek.

      LEONARD I (1758 - 1835) ***DNA Results likely indicate that Leonard was a close relative of Heinrich but he unlikely to be his son***

      Was the first Furrer born in North Carolina. Since he was born at the same time his family arrived at Cold Water Creek, his infancy may have been a major factor in his father's decision to remain there. With this in mind, it is ironic to note that all but one of his children left North Carolina to settle elsewhere, and in later life he himself moved to Mississippi. Leonard I was only 11 years old when his father died in 1769. Although he received an equal value of the estate, he did not inherit any land. He purchased land in Moore County and farmed it. He married Elizabeth Stutts, sister of Paul I's second wife, Mary Stutts. They had eight children: Leonard, Elizabeth, Jacob, Paul, Henry, Christian, Isham, and Mary. While Leonard II remained in North Carolina, Paul left for Georgia, and the rest of the children moved to Mississippi. Sometime after 1810, Leonard I moved to Mississippi where he died at the age of 77. He was buried in Copiah County near Allen, Mississippi.

      HENRY I (1762 - 1851)

      Was born the same year his father received the land grant from King George of England, through the Governor of the Province of North Carolina, Arthur Dobbs. Henry I was only seven years old when his father died in 1769. He spent his formative years on the family plantation. He liked to spend time around the old Bost's Mill. He grew up to be a energetic young man with a vigorous personality.

      Henry I was an ardent patriot, and on May 1, 1779, joined the Continental Army, giving his age as 21 and his birth date as 1758. He was, of course, only 17 years old at the time. He enlisted in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, and served as a Private in Captain Carrigan's Company, a part of Colonel McDowell's Regiment. He was then reassigned to Colonel Malmedy and fought in several skirmishes. In August of 1779, he was discharged. On November 4, 1779, it was ordered by the Court that Henry Furr, the orphan of Heinrich Furrer, be bound to Conrad Bream for two years and ten months to learn the trade of a turner and a spinning wheel maker. The master was to provide a set of tools for his apprentice. The trade of a turner was not for Henry I, so in March of 1780 he broke his bond with Conrad Bream and re-enlisted in the Army. He was promoted to Sergeant and served for four months with Captain Peter Faust's Company, Colonel Locke's North Carolina Regiment. The Company stood guard duty in Salisbury. In July of 1780, Henry I re-enlisted again in Captain Craig's Company of Cavalry. He joined to aid in chasing Tories out of the county. This assignment lasted two weeks. He then returned and served as a minuteman in Captain Faust's Company again. For a period of three months, he took part in scouting parties, being away from Salisbury for two weeks at a time. He was discharged for the last time in April 1781.

      Shortly after his discharge from the Army, Henry I married Catherine Wiser in Salisbury. They had eight children: Elizabeth, John, Rachael, Rosena, Sophia, Henry, Daniel, and Tobias. Two of his daughters intermarried with the Eagle family. On April 18, 1796, he paid seven pounds and two shillings for lot #2 in the northeast square of Concord, North Carolina. He sold this lot on September 14, 1797 for 18 pounds. Henry I was a family man. In 1794, he became guardian for Henry, the orphan of his brother Jacob. In 1796, he became guardian for Paul and Solomon, orphans of his sister Catherine. In 1798, he became guardian for George, a third orphan of his sister Catherine. In all, he reared 13 children, nine sons and daughters and four nephews. In 1783, he was the bondsman for his sister Mary's wedding.

      Henry I was also a great civic leader and a fluent speaker. At one Fourth of July celebration, he was called upon to give an oration. His wife Catherine Wiser died after their children were grown. Not one to live alone, Henry I married Catherine Goodman in September of 1826. He was 64 years old at the time and she was 32. He was exactly twice her age; however, he was still a vibrant man because the next year Catherine gave birth to a daughter whom they named Elizabeth Caroline after his first daughter who had died sometime before 1810. In 1834, they had another child, a son this time whom they named Paul M. On November 19, 1832, at the age of 70, Henry I applied for and received a pension for his service during the Revolutionary War. He wrote his will on February 2, 1846 when he was 84 years old. He willed his entire fortune of $200 to the heirs of his second son and namesake. His first son, John, died in 1837. Henry I was the last surviving soldier of the Revolutionary War living in Cabarrus County. He was virtually penniless and living off his pension. His widow, Catherine, only 57 years old at his death, continued to receive his pension after she reached age 60. On December 21, 1851 this dynamic maverick of a man, who did so much for his family and fellow countrymen, died at the age of 89.

      JACOB I (1763 - 1794)

      Was only six years old when his father died. He grew up on the family plantation, married Catherine Mitchell, and had four children: Mary, Elizabeth, Rosina, and Henry. However, he did not enjoy the longevity that some of his brothers did. He died at the age of 31. The court ordered that his orphan, Henry, be hired to his uncle, Henry I, until reaching the age of 21.

      MARY I (1764 - 1800)

      Was five years old at the time of her father's death. She married Martin Rindleman in 1783 and had two children: John and Henry. She died at the age of 36. Martin then married Experience Harris and moved to Illinois in 1830.

      CATHERINE I (1765 - 1797)

      Was four years old when her father died. She married John Aaronhart and bore him six sons: Paul, Solomon, John, George, Peter, and James. John Aaronhart died in 1795. Catherine died two years later at the age of 32. Henry I became guardian of their first two sons, Paul and Solomon, in August of 1796. Tobias I became guardian of the other four sons in August of 1797, and Adam I became the administrator of the estate in 1798. In 1797, Tobias I died and Henry I became guardian of George and Moses Brown became guardian of John, Peter, and James.

      TOBIAS I (1766 - 1797)

      Was three years old at the time of his father's death. He lived and died in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married Barbara Smith in Salisbury in 1790 and had three daughters: Mary, Elizabeth, and Louisa. In 1797, he became the guardian of four of his deceased sister Catherine I's sons. However, he died the same year at the age of 31. Tobias I is buried in an unmarked grave in St. John's Cemetery in Salisbury. His widow, Barbara, then married Jerimiah Brown who was made guardian to her three daughters. His brother, Moses, became guardian to three of Catherine I's sons. Henry I took the other son. All three daughters of Tobias I and Barbara Smith married merchants in Salisbury.

      ADAM I (1767 - ?)

      Was an infant when his father died. He was the last of the nine children of Heinrich and Russena Furrer. The only thing that is known about him is that he became administrator of his deceased sister Catherine's estate in 1798. There is no record of his marriage, children, or death. It is speculated that he was unmarried and died at an early age as did four of his brothers and sisters.

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