Henry Biery


Family Links

1. Maria Salome Neuhard

Henry Biery 1 2 3

  • Born: 25 Mar 1741, Longswamp Twp., Berks, PA 1 2 3
  • Marriage (1): Maria Salome Neuhard
  • Died: 1 May 1804, Egypt, Lehigh, PA, United States at age 63 1 2 3
  • Buried: North Whitehall Twp.: Egypt Reformed Church Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 2 3

   FamilySearch ID: 28YJ-B4P.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Book: History of Lehigh County Pennsylvania Vol. II, 1914. 3

The founder of the branch of the family established in Lehigh county was Joseph Biery, a native of Oberland, in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland. The old form of the name was "Bieri" and is so written at the present day in Switzerland. The family is probably of French origin, a branch of which, however, was located in Bern as early as 1511.

Joseph Biery, the emigrant, was born in the year 1703. He was a man of position and property in his native land, and came to America, arriving at Philadelphia, in the ship, "Samuel," commanded by Hugh Percy, taking the oath of allegiance at the Colonial Court House, soon after landing on Aug. 27, 1739. Among his fellow passengers were Sebastian, Christopher, Philip, and Casper Doll, and their sisters, Catharine, Barbara, Margaretha, and Elizabeth. The friendship formed during the long voyage, ripened into a closer tie, when Elizabeth Doll became, soon after their arrival, the wife of Joseph Biery.

Accompanied by the members of his wife's family, Joseph Biery proceeded to Oley, in Berks county, where they sojourned for a brief period, removing subsequently to Ruscombmanor, on the Little Lehigh creek, in what is now known as Longswamp, in Berks county. Here he acquired, nearly a thousand acres of land. In addition to being a large land-owner, he built and operated a saw-mill, grist-mill, and an iron forge.

His enterprises became known as "Biery's Mills" and are so named on Surveyor-General Nicholas Scull's map of eastern Pennsylvania, in 1759. He was a prominent member of the Reformed church at Longswamp, which was organized long before 1750. In the records of the church his name appears as the largest contributor for the building of a church in 1748. He was also the treasurer of the congregation as well as one of the two members composing the "building committee."

His brother-in-law, Christopher Doll, in a will dated the 24th day of June, 1751, bequeaths to him his estate of two hundred acres in consideration of which he is to maintain "his sister, Catharina Doll during her life" and to pay certain legacies to his brother Philip and "other sisters." Caspar Doll became a resident of Plainfield township, Northampton county, and served as a captain of the Revolution.

Joseph Biery entered into a certain agreement with his two sons, Henry and Philip, dated the 21st day of May, 1766, that "they should have all his lands and part of his personal estate, on condition that each of them should pay to their sister, Anna Margareta, the sum of seventy-five pounds and also maintain him and his wife during their natural lives." He died in the early part of February, 1768, leaving no will. Letters of administration were granted to his widow, Feb. 10, 1768. He left three children: Henry, Philip, and Anna Margareta, the wife of Peter Keyser, of Macungie.

Philip Biery disposed of his property in Berks county before the year 1786, removing from Longswamp soon after. No record has been found, however, showing where he made his new home though it has been thought that he settled in Virginia. The only trace of his after career is found in a baptismal record of the First Reformed church, at Lancaster, Pa, where Susan, daughter of Philip and Elizabeth Biery, born July 2, 1791, was baptized Sept. 7, 1791.

Philip Biery was evidently named after his maternal uncle, Philip Doll. His wife's name was Maria Elizabeth, as shown by the church records at Longswamp, which also show the following baptisms of their children: Anna Margaretha, June 7, 1772; Maria Catharina, Oct. 23, 1774; Johannes, born Nov. 5, 1776; Daniel, born Aug. 16, 1779; Maria, born Aug. 5, 1786, Lehigh Church.

Henry Biery, the eldest son and heir-at-law of Joseph Biery, was born on the Biery homestead, at Longswamp, March 25, 1741. He resided on the homestead with his brother, Philip, during the lifetime of their father. He had acquired other landed property before entering into his in

heritance, and was rated as one of the wealthiest men in Berks county.

Desiring to locate in Whitehall township in Lehigh county, he sold his properties to George Schall, of Earl township, Berks county, the deed thereof bearing date April 6, 1785. George George Schall was a brother-in-law and close friend of Henry Biery. His wife was Catharine Newhard, of Whitehall township, a sister of Henry Biery's wife. The Biery homestead at Longswamp in recent years, was owned by the Trexler family.

Henry Biery, soon after the sale of his property to George Schall, purchased a plantation of several hundred acres in the neighborhood of the Egypt church, in Whitehall township, where he made his new home. He married, in 1764, Maria Salome, daughter of Michael Neuhard. (See Newhard Family.) Henry Biery, after his removal to Egypt, soon took a prominent part in the affairs of the township and of the Reformed Church, of which the Biery family since the days of Zwingli have been staunch supporters. His children inter-married with the leading families of the county, and their descendants to this day have been closely identified with the material civic and political development of the county. He died May 1, 1804, leaving a large estate which was divided among his children of whom he had thirteen, two of whom died in infancy. His widow, Maria Salome, survived him twenty-five years, dying Jan. 12, 1829. Their remains are buried in the Egypt church-yard. A tombstone in good preservation marks the last resting-place of Maria Salome Biery. The first of their children were born at Longswamp, the remainder in Whitehall township.

Henry married Maria Salome Neuhard, daughter of Johann Michael Neuhard and Maria Barbara Jacky. (Maria Salome Neuhard was born on 28 Nov 1745 in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh, PA,4 5 died on 12 Jan 1829 in Egypt, Lehigh, PA, United States 5 6 and was buried in North Whitehall Twp.: Egypt Reformed Church Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 4 5.)


1 Kastens, Dennis A.; Phillips, Ethel C., Rumbach Families 1775-1850 (234 pages (c) 2002 Dennis A. Kastens
(c) Juli 2003 Andrea Kindelberger
Dennis A. Kastens, 5101 Kings Park Drive, St. Louis, MO 63129 USA
(314) 892-0888), http://www.kindelberger.de/genealogy/WC02/WC02_422.HTM.

2 Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/66783394.

3 Roberts, Charles Rhodes, History Of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Volume II (Allentown, Pa., Lehigh Valley Pub. Co., 1914. 3 volumes, illustrated, maps. Prepared by a committee appointed by the Lehigh County Historical Society; chapters contributed by various writers.), Page 88, Biery Family.

4 Fatzinger Lucykanish, Susan M. (slucy1@juno.com).

5 Find A Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6771613.

6 Roberts, Charles Rhodes, History Of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Volume III (Allentown, Pa., Lehigh Valley Pub. Co., 1914.
3 volumes, illustrated, maps.
Prepared by a committee appointed by the Lehigh County Historical Society; chapters contributed by various writers.).

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