Shared with permission from Larry Hedrick of Hot Springs, Arkansas
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written November 3, 2016.
Our Hedrick ancestors can be traced reliably to the Palatinate (Pfalz) region of southwest Germany. This area along the Rhine River has common boundaries with France, Luxembourg, and Belgium. It is the prime wine producing region in Germany.
The area was long a part of the Holy Roman Empire and suffered mightily during the religious wars that ravaged Europe in the middle part of the last millennium. The bitter 30-Year’s War between Catholics and Protestants, fought from 1618 to 1648, largely occurred on German soil. This war devastated the Palatinate and other regions of Germany as foreign armies, many of them mercenary, scavenged bare the lands over which they passed, leaving famine and disease in their wake. The German population was reduced by one-third as a result.
It was against this backdrop of religious upheaval that our Hedrick story, as we presently understand it, began.
Michael Heddrich (1651-1721) was born in Langenselbold, a village just northeast of Frankfurt, in the German State of Hesse, deep in the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. Michael was a farmer. He married Anna Marie Wacker (1656-1736) and had one son, Cohan Johann Carl Hedrich. All Palatinate families at the time were subject to religious persecution and periodic invasion of French troops under King Louis XIV. Michael died in Germany and is buried there.
Like his father Michael, Cohan Johann Carl Hedrich (1693-1739) was born in Langenselbold and also farmed there. Carl married Elizabeth Ermoldt (1698-1732) and they had five children together: Johann (John), Wilhelm (William), Catrina, Anna Margareta, and Cohan Heinrich (Henry).
The death of his wife in 1732 may have prompted Carl and his children to join thousands of other Palatinate families as they left religious strife behind for the promise of hope in the New World. They traveled down the Rhine River to the port of Rotterdam and embarked there on the sailing ship Elizabeth bound for America. The Elizabeth, captained by Edward Lee, reached Philadelphia on August 27, 1733 and the names of Carl and his children were recorded in the immigration rosters of Pennsylvania. Carl was 40 years old at the time.
The trip across the Atlantic was long and treacherous, and of the 192 passengers aboard the Elizabeth, 16 perished in the crossing. Carl’s young daughter Anna Margareta Hedrich, age 6, was among those who died.
Carl settled in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Late in his life, Carl returned to his native Germany though his children stayed in Pennsylvania. It is unknown if Carl ever returned to America.
Cohan Heinrich “Henry” Hederich (b. about 1729-1786) was born in Germany and accompanied his father and siblings to America in 1733. He married Catherine Haidenberg and they had 4 children together: Abalena, William, Johann Jost “Joseph”, and Peter.
Henry died about 1786 in Berks County, Pennsylvania and is buried there
Johann Jost “Joseph” Hedrick (1765-1825) was born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He married Sarah Sally Tipton (1766-1854) and they had 11 children together: Jacob, Rebecca, Mary, Joseph, Jonathan, Isaac, William, Orpha, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Samuel.
Joseph and Sarah left Pennsylvania and settled first in Mercer (now Garrard) County, Kentucky. They subsequently left Kentucky and settled in Howard County, Missouri.
Joseph died in Howard County, Missouri and is buried there. Sarah is buried in Pettis County, Missouri.
Jonathan Headrick (b. 1798-d. between 1838 and 1840) married Elizabeth Travilion on December 23, 1824 in Cooper County, Missouri. There is documentation for 4 children, Mary Elizabeth born in 1829, Sarah Ann born in 1830, Lemanda Jane born in 1832, and Jonathan J. born in 1836. I am reasonably sure that there was a second son, Isaac Jacob born in 1838. Jonathan moved his family to Montineau Township (later Montineau County) of Cole County. By the 1840 census, Elizabeth was living alone with 2 children under the age of 15, 1 child under the age of 10, and 3 children under the age of 5. Jonathan had apparently died between 1838 and 1840. There is no information about the circumstances of his death or the place of burial.
Isaac Jacob Hedrick (1838-1869) married Minerva Mathis (1844-1868) in 1858 in Stone County, Missouri. They had 2 sons, Jacob Wylie born in 1860 and Sigel Francis born in 1862. In 1868 Isaac, Minerva and their two sons were living in Galena, Stone County, Missouri. Family tradition is that both were teaching school. An influenza outbreak in December of that year took the life of Minerva. Isaac died about a month later in the same epidemic early in 1869. Both were buried in the Railey Creek Cemetery near Galena. The two young sons were raised by Minerva’s brother and their uncle, Wylie Green Mathis.
Jacob “Jake” Wiley Hedrick (1860-1937) married Mary Martha Keithley (1864-1949) about 1878, likely in Stone or Taney County, Missouri. Their children were William (1878-1904), Nancy (1882-1930), Lemuel (1888-1970), Claude (1893-1982), Roxie (1901-1961), Olbert (1904-1969), and Fannie (1909-1985). Jake and Martha moved from Missouri to Kenwood, Delaware County, Oklahoma. Both died there and are buried in the Euwasha Cemetery at Kenwood.
Lemuel Elvin Hedrick (1888-1970) was born in Stone County, Missouri. Eva Gertrude Blair (1897-1973) was born in neighboring Taney County. They were married about 1912. They had 14 children: Ruby (1913-1996), Boyd (1917-1980), Edith (1919-1998), Jack (1920-1996), Jessie (1923-2013), Georgia (1924-2013), Buster (1927-present), Freda (1929-2009), Bill (1931-present), Patsy (1933-2007), James (1936-2007), Lewis (1938-2002), Barbara (1938-2008), and Glen (1940-2012). Lem died in Lawrence County, Missouri and is buried in the Yocum Pond Cemetery near Reeds Spring in Stone County, Missouri. Gertrude died in Rusk County, Texas and is buried in the Kilgore City Cemetery in Gregg County, Texas.
Buster Hedrick was born in Reeds Spring, Stone County, Missouri on January 19, 1927. He married Clara “Katty” Bell Ellis (1929-2015) born June 20, 1929 at Wynnewood in Garvin County, Oklahoma, on May 31, 1947. They were wed at Laird Hill, Rusk County, Texas. They had 3 sons, Larry (1948-present), Dennis (1951-present), and Terry (1957-present). Katty died on June 5, 2015 and is buried in the Danville Cemetery, at Kilgore, Gregg County, Texas. As of this writing, Buster still resides at the home he and Katty shared for nearly 40 years a few miles west of Kilgore in Rusk County, Texas.
Larry Hedrick was born in Kilgore, Gregg County, Texas on September 27, 1948. Paula Jean Johnson was born July 15, 1950 in Odessa, Ector County, Texas. They were married in Houston, Texas on July 20, 1968. They had 4 children together, Brian (1970-present), Geoffrey (1973-present), Andrea (1975-present), and Mark (1976-present).
With Paula’s help and encouragement, Larry graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology in 1970, and an M.S. in Forestry in 1973. After two years of work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Austin, Larry accepted a job with the U.S. Forest Service and over the next 37 years lived in Lufkin, Texas, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Montgomery, Alabama, and finally, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Larry and Paula are now retired and remain in Hot Springs, a place that after 28 years has come to feel like home.
As I conclude this documentation, I know that generations 11 and 12 of this Hedrick line are already living. But I have carried it far enough and will stop at generation 10. I realize too, that there are many Hedrick lines that diverge at various points in the sequence, but all will benefit from knowledge of the first Hedricks in Germany and the first immigrant Hedrick of our line to come to America. The important thing is that this information is precious and must not be lost again. I plan to share it widely with my Hedrick cousins.
There remains a distinct possibility to extend our Hedrick line back even farther in time, perhaps to Godtmann Heydrich (1617-1667), and his father, Hans Heydrich (1590-1667), and his father Hans Enders Heydrich (1570-?). If the linkage can be documented, the lineage to present will total some 15 generations. But that must await more research.
Finally, I must acknowledge that most of the information compiled herein is the result of the work of others who have kindly posted the fruits of their labors on genealogy message boards over the years. I am grateful for their work and their willingness to share information. I am especially indebted to cousin Suzanne Hopper Gray (descended from Sigel Francis Hedrick) who puzzled out the most likely parents of Isaac Jacob Hedrick. With that linkage, the ancestral Hedrick past opened like a flower in the sun.