John Lewis Beard, baptized Johann Ludwig Barth, was born around 1715 in Germany, probably the Palatinate, a region in southwest Germany. In 1749 he joined the waves of Germans, both Lutheran and Catholic, who left their ancestral lands to emigrate to British North America in the early decades of the 18th century. In Rotterdam John took passage on the ship "Patience," which arrived in Philadelphia on Sept. 19, 1749.
Sometime around 1753 John married Christina Snapp (1737-1799), whose family had arrived from Alsace in 1733. John and Christina reportedly had nine children. Not long after their marriage the couple joined the migration of many Germans from Pennsylvania to the western piedmont of North Carolina. They settled in Rowan Co., NC where John was naturalized by oath on Apr. 18, 1755. He and his family were among the earliest settlers in Salisbury. By trade John was as butcher, but he also kept a tavern and owned a farm outside of Salisbury. In time John became one of Salisbury's most prominent citizens.
"Becoming one of the first residents of Salisbury, he built a house on the lot that is now the site of the Rowan County courthouse and his home was used as British headquarters during the American Revolution. He served as a member of the Committee of Safety for Rowan County and when General Washington visited Salisbury he was met at Charlotte by Captain John Beard, son of John Lewis Beard, and who was in command of the Rowan Light Horse Infantry, which conducted the General to Salisbury and on his departure acted as his escort to Salem."
A devout man, John donated the land for St. John's Lutheran Church as well as St. Luke's Episcopal Church, both in Salisbury.
The eight children listed above were probably all born in Rowan County, North Carolina after they moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.
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