Jacob Forney

Born about 1721 and Died in 1806
Son of Count Pierre de la Ferney

Married 23-Sep-1752 Maria Bergner
Born about 1733 and died about 1810
Parents were Peter Bergner and Unknown

Jacob was born in Alsace on the Rhine, Lorraine, the German controlled Palatinate, to French Hugneot parents. His father, Count Pierre de la Ferney, fled catholic Louis XIV's bloody religious persecution after he revoked the Edict of Nantes in order to confiscate the estates and property of prostestants. [See"The Story of the Palatines" by Sanford Cobb for further information]. Jacob was only 4 years of age when his father died.

In 1735, about age 14, Jacob left home making his way to Amsterdam from where he sailed to America on the ship "Friendship" arriving in Philadelphia 3-Sep-1739, listed as Jacob Faree. He worked in the local iron works near Philadelphia. On reaching his majority, he returned to Alsace to claim a legacy staying a few years.

Jacon returned to America on the ship, "St. Andrews" in 1752. Family legend is that he was sick and was nursed to health by, Maria Bergner, a blue-eyed emmigrant from Berne, Switzerland. They arrived in Philadelphia on 23-Sep-1752, and married shortly thereafter. They stayed at the home of Johann Adam Forney [a brother?].

The young couple stayed nearly two years in the Cocalico Creek District, North Branch of Conestogo Creek, Lancaster County, Pennsyvania. About 1754, Jacob relocated his family to Tryon [now Lincoln] County in the Shendoah Valley of North Carolina.

Jacob was commissioned a captain to fight the indians 25-Jan-1764, serving with the Mechlenburg regiment. Jacob was a loyal patriot of the revolution, a member of the Tryon County Commitee of Safety, and a signer of the resolution of protest against British tyranny in August, 1775.

Three of Jacob and Marie's sons, Jacob, Peter and Abraham, served the revolution as in the war for independance. On 28-Jan-1781, General Cornwallis occupied the plantations of Jacob, Sr., and his son, Peter. The troops literally stripped both plantations. They butchered the sheep and cattle, fowls and hogs for food and confiscated all the grain and provender.

There are extensive references to Jacob and his sons, especially Peter in the official historical records of Noth Carolina.

Little is known of Maria other than she is considered a heroine of the revoluntary war. She reportedly prevented Jacob from attempting to assinate Cornwallis.

Jacob and Maria's known children are:
1. Jacob Jr. (6-Nov-1754 to 7-Nov-1840),
2. Peter (21-Apr-1756 to 1-Feb-1834),
3. Abram (15-Oct-1758 to 22-Jul-1849),
4. Catherine (about 1758-1760 to 1798),
5. Elizabeth (about 1761 to 1853),
6. Christina (about 1762 to 1842),
7. Susannah M. (about 1764 to 12-Feb-1850), and
8. Selanah Eve (about 1766 to unknown),

Jacob and Maria are buried in the old Dutch Meeting House graveyard, about three miles from the Forney homestead. Many of their descendants were distinguished people.

Son Peter served as volunteer in the Whig Army as a captain in the Revolutionary War. He fought with Col. William Graham in Rutherford in pursuit of troublesome Cherokee Indians, with Gen. Rutherford in various other contests, and in the skirmish against Tarleton at Torrence Tavern. After the Revolutionary War, Peter was commissioned General of the State Militia. He was a four-term member of the House of Commons, 1794 to 1797, State Senator, 1800-1802, and Councilor of State in 1811. He waselected to the United States Congress in 1813. He declined re-election and was susceeded by his son, Major Daniel M. Forney, who served from 1815 to 1819.

Peter's grandsons included Confederate generals Brigadier General William H. Forney and Major General John H. Forney.

Jacob and Maria's sons, Peter and Abram, along with Abram Earhardt and Turner Abernethy, were pioneers in the manufacture of iron in Lincoln County. Until about 1880 the manufacture of iron was the principal industry of the county outside agriculture.

In August, 1928, near the old Dutch Meeting House, a boulder was erected in honor of Jacob and Marie bearing the following inscription:

"In memory of Jacob Forney, French Huguenot and pioneer, born in Alsace in 1721, died in North Carolina, 1806, and his wife, Maria Bergner."

Relation to the Winesett family: Eve Forney married Robert or Robertson Goodwin (5-Feb-1766 to ?), son of Isaac Goodwin (1740 to ?) and Isabel (1744 to ?). Robertson was identified as a revolutionary soldier in several references. Their daughter, Temprance Goodwin, married James Haynes; their daughter, Belzora Haynes, married Alexander Stamey; their daughter, Frances Loretta Stamey, married Lemuel Winesett. Therefore the descendants of Lemuel and Frances Winesett are eligible for membership in the Daughers or Sons of the Americal Revolution through Jacob Forney and perhaps, Robertson Goodwin [the webmaster has not yet found his service record]. There should be another entry through Raphael Winsett and other Winsetts who served, but that lineage has not yet been proved by written records.

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