Goedtmann and Margaretha Heydrich were born in Germany, near the middle Rhine river at the beginning of the 17th century. At least four generations of Heydrichs lived here until Johann Peter Heydrich followed the call to America in 1738.
Born April 17, 1710, Johann Peter Heydrich, was baptized in the Reformed Church Parish of Ulmet, in the western Palatinate (today, RheinPfalz Germany). On March 18, 1731 he married Anna Otilia “Milla” Blum. They, along with their son Peter, arrived in America on the ship Robert and Alice on September 11, 1738 at the Port of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). The ship, with 106 men and 53 women, came from Rotterdam via Dover, England. The Heydrichs located in the East Hanover Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Near Swatara Gap, in the Blue Mountains.
There, Johan Peter Heydrich built a block house for his family, which was to be used by friends and neighbors as protection from hostile Indians. The building had been constructed with “Musketry” slots where the guns could be fired without exposure. This was before the beginning of the French and Indian War, 1754 -1763. There is no doubt that Peter had experienced military training before coming to America, because he was quick to organize and train a local guard. He held the rank of Captain, and his home was to become known as “Fort Swatara”.
At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Peter Heyderich, Sr. organized, trained, and outfitted a company of men to be attached to Colonel [Timothy] Green’s Battalion (Flying Camp) of Lancaster Co. PA. He was commissioned as Lt. colonel and received 60 stands of arms, according to his service record dated Sept. 9, 1776.
After the death of “Milla” he married two more times. He died on March 28, 1788 and is buried in the family burial plot, near Swatara Gap.
Two of Peter and Milla’s sons Peter Hedrick, Jr. and our ancestor, Johann Adam Hedrick, Sr. moved to what is now Davidson County, NC in about 1755. Peter Hedrick, Jr. volunteered to the revolutionary army in North Carolina, the Salisbury District Militia. He was commissioned a Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Captain. There is a monument to his honor at his burial place in the cemetery of Beck’s United Church of Christ near Salem, North Carolina. It is a pillar of stones nine feet high, dedicated on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Peter Hedrick and his family are believed to have been among the founders of Beck’s Reformed Church.
Johann Adam Hedrick, Sr. was born October 12, 1741 in Lancaster County, PA, and died March 16, 1815 in Rowan County, North Carolina. In the Revolutionary war, he served in the Company of Captain Lewis Farmer, PA Rifle Regiment (enlisted 12 Apr., 1776. M/R: Captain Farmer’s Company, Fort Island, 1 Jun., 1776). He settled in Rowan (now Davidson) County, NC. Adam Hedrick is number one on the old baptismal list of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ, where his children are also listed except for Eve. Adam Hedrick married Barbara Hege (Hageny/Hage) daughter of John George Hege, Sr. and Anna Eva Frey, who also moved from Pennsylvania to NC and settled in Rowan County. In about 1767 Adam and Barbara purchased land adjacent to her brother George. His will is dated 1813.
The inscription on Adam Hedrick’s tombstone reads as follows:
“Wie wohl ist meinem leib
Nach ausgestandnem Leiden;
Wie wohl ist meiner Seel
In jenen Himmelsfreuden.
Adam Hetrich war geboren in Pensilvani in Lencaster County im Jahre 1741, den 12 Okdober. Seine Eltern sind Peter Hetrich und seine christliches Ehe-Weib Mille.”
“How well is my body
After endured sufferings;
How happy is my soul
In Heaven’s blessings.
Adam Hetrich was born in Pennsylvania in Lancaster County in the year 1741, the 12th of October. His parents are Peter Hetrich and his Christian wife Milla.”
Sources for Heydrichs:
The Hedrick Family; 5th revised edition 1996 by Charles Fisher Ward Jr and Sr.
Cyril L. Johnson, -tombstone inscriptions.
Original History Hedrick Family by Jefferson
“Captain Peter Hedrick” by Lena Swing Cliff with sources from Family Bible, NC Colonial Records, DAR Records, Dr. Jacob Calvin Leonard’s materials, and in public records.
Davidson County Heritage-NC 1982 Published by: The Genealogical Society of Davidson County, PO Box 1665, Lexington, NC 27292]
Ship Name and arrival date: Pennsylvania German Pioneer: A publication of Original List of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 1727-1808: By Ralph Beaver Strassburger, Edited by William John Hinte, 9041-Vol. 1- 1727-1775 (Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Co., 1964 (Robert & Alice from Rotterdam; List 55-A; Walter Goodman Master; Pages 212-216).