John Foard (? – circa 1795)
John Foard was one of the original signers of the Meckenburg Declaration of Independence.
His ancestry is probably Scottish, and his name was spelled that way, rather than the English version of Ford. Family tradition has it that his mother sent him to America, along with one or two brothers, to avoid military service in the English army. He apparently migrated from Maryland, through Virginia, eventually settling in North Carolina.
Foard first settled in the area known as Providence township in southern Mecklenburg County and later bought land further to the northeast. His first recorded purchase of land was in 1767. He served in the Clear Creek militia, under the supervision of Adam Alexander, another supposed signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.
He married Katherine Robinet and had a daughter, Elizabeth, who married William Morris. His son, Zebulon Foard, died shortly after his father.
During the Revolutionary War, he served in Charles Polk’s Raft Swamp expedition. Foard bought and sold lots of land, eventually buying several lots on Tryon Street in Charlotte, the new county seat, and sold them to newcomers. In his will, probated in 1795, he owned land as well as slaves. He was one of the founders of the church now known as the Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, earlier called Clear Creek or Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church. He is one of three members of this church to reportedly sign the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.
King, Victor C. Lives and Times of the 27 Signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence of May 20, 1775. Charlotte, NC, 1956.