History of the Barganiers

History of the Barganiers
(pg. 1 thru 4 only)
By: Gladys Fields


Bergaigne goes back to France.  The name Bergaigne took its initial formation between the 11th and 13th centuries and was first recorded as a descriptive identification to distinguish one person from another.  By 1490, it had become a recognized surname and was passed on to others in the family.   Changing through the centuries, it has mutated to its present form, Barganier.   The tinctures and charges represented on the coat-of-arms offers a link with the honors of the past to the present bearer of the name.  The shape of the shield on which Barganier's coat-of-arms has been drawn dates back to the 13th century.  Its function then was to ward off arrows shot from the cross-bow, blows from axes and protection from battle-axes and swords.

William Barganier, born in France about 1749, came to America in 1770, and landed in the port of Savannah, Georgia.  He married Margaret (last name unknown) and they had two sons and one daughter:

Ellen Barganier born 1773 in Georgia
William Barganier born in 1774 in Georgia
John Jesse Barganier born 1775 in Georgia

There was no information available on Ellen except that she married and lived in Savannah, Georgia.

William Barganier married Clarisa, born in Chatham County, Georgia, in 1795.  Their property value was $1,000.00, and their children were:

Seth Barganier born in Washington County, Georgia in 1813
John Barganier born in Jefferson County in 1820
Elizabeth born in Jefferson County Georgia in 1831

John Barganier married Milly A. and their children were:

William Barganier born in Jefferson County, Georgia in 1846
Obadeah Barganier born in Jefferson County, Georgia in 1847
Emaline Barganier born in Jefferson County, Georgia in 1849

John's property value in 1850 was $4,000.00.   There is no evidence to indicate that they came to Alabama, so they must have remained in Georgia.

John Jesse moved to Virginia and married Ann Harding, a colonist daughter.  They had five sons:

Jesse Barganier born Dec 5, 1801
John Barganier born 1806
James F. Barganier born 1807
Madison H. Barganier born 1811
William Barganier born 1812

Jesse Barganier signed up at the Milledgeville, Georgia, land office so he could join a wagon train from Virginia that was traveling Westward.  There is strong evidence to indicate that a Salter family from Washington County, Georgia, which included Nancy Salter, future wife of Jesse, signed up and traveled westward with the wagon train.  So, traveling on up through Alabama, Jesse finally settled near Fort Deposit, in an area which was once known as Ballard Precinct.   Jesse Barganier was the first Barganier to locate there in 1819.  Only months before, Alabama was admitted to the Union as the twenty-second state.  Jesse settled on land known as Flag Hill, a big lime spring.  Another spring, was called Buck Eye Spring, and today the lime spring is still there.  It is still in the Barganier family and belongs to Lois Barganier Willis.  This is of historic interest to Lowndes County.  In 1812, General Andrew Jackson cut out a road known as the Old Federal Road, cut from Montgomery to Mobile by way of Fort Deposit.  In the winters of 1817, 1818, and 1819, large numbers of emigrants passed down Federal Road, some stopping in sections of the county now known as Lowndes.  All of the land belonged to the government and could be settled and cultivated by anyone  who so desired.   Anyone wishing to  purchase the land could do so by going to the land office, which was then at Cahaba.  The Indians were bad.  The men had to carry guns every place they went.  March 6, 1818, was the Ogly Massacre in the adjoining Butler County.

The houses were roughly built of logs and poles, covered with boards, held by poles and pegs as there were no nails.  Some floors were dirt, packed hard, with mauls or poles split in half with the flat side up.  The chimneys were constructed of dirt and rocks.  They later built better homes.   The old fashioned spinning wheel and loom was a part of the family's furniture.   The men worked the fields and hunted for meat, while the women remained at home and looked after the children, spun and wove, cut out and made garments and cooked for the family.  (Jesse's mother made the cloth and the pants that he was married in.)   In 1936, I saw the pants at a Barganier reunion at the home of Lum Barganier.   There were about five hundred relatives, from all parts of Alabama, Georgia and Texas, gathered at his fish pond.

There was no society at this time in 1817.   They would frequently assist in a house raising, a log-rolling or a cotton picking.

Until they built a church, they would meet at some neighbor's house to engage in religious worship.  We will never know what those people went through in those days. (Another point of interest - Until 1957, a fence was built around the graves of Jesse and Nancy.  It was made of wood, put together with pegs, no nails in it.  In 1957, the cemetery caretaker tore it down. "BOY, WAS I MAD.")

Jesse Barganier married Nancy Salter in 1823.   He became a planter.  Gradually, over a period of years, his four brothers followed him to Fort Deposit, except James F., who moved to Butler County.  They all became planters and most of the brothers, especially Jesse, thrived, became prosperous and were well respected in their community.

Jesse and Nancy Barganier became parents of a large family (nineteen children):

James W. Barganier born October 3, 1824
William J. Barganier born September 12, 1825
John S. Barganier born September 6, 1826
Unity E. Barganier born August 31, 1827
Lawson B. Barganier born August 21, 1828
Mary I. Barganier born July 29, 1829
Jesse F. Barganier born October 7, 1830
Andrew A. Barganier born January 8, 1832
Ziha George Barganier born June 17, 1833
Hillery H. Barganier born July 20, 1834
Zada H. Barganier born May 7, 1835
Berry C. Barganier born September 7, 1836
Clabourn F. Barganier born January 10, 1839
Nancy H. Barganier born February 10, 1840
Semina L. Barganier born October 14, 1843
Lucinda Barganier born 1844
Gilbert Moore Barganier born January 8, 1845 [could be Gilbert Monroe]
Dava A. Barganier born March 12, 1846
Mary G. Barganier born September 20, 1849

Nancy Salter Barganier was the mother of all these children.  She and Jesse were very happy with a large family until the Civil War broke out and nine of their sons rode off to the war. Seven of the boys made it back.   Some of them were already married at this time.

Berry C. Barganier was in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the Civil War and became sick.  His wife wife went to take care of him, also became sick, and they both died the same day.  They were brought back and buried in the Fort Deposit Cemetery.  Hillery H. Barganier was in the war at the same time.  He came back with the bodies and then returned to the war.  Berry C. Barganier and his wife died November 15, 1862.  He was twenty-five years old at that time.   William J. Barganier died in a northern prison camp.  Soon the war came to an end.  Nancy and Jesse were glad to have their sons home and settled around Fort Deposit.  August 13, 1877, Nancy died and is buried in the Fort Deposit Cemetery.   All of her sons are buried there except William J. Barganier, who died June 13, 1878.

Jesse Barganier married a widow, Ellen Jones.   Jesse did not live long after he remarried.  He died on November 13, 1883, and is buried in the Fort Deposit Cemetery with Nancy and Eight of his none sons. (No information available on where Jesse's mother, Ann Harding, is buried.)

[The rest of the book documents the history of their children]

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Copyright 1998 Edward Lynn Williams
Last Updated 06/07/00