Wealthy Plantation Owner

This week I want to share some of the immigration records and wills of our Koontz ancestors.  Papa’s mother was Magdaline Hedrick Koontz, and I had said I would write more about her interesting family later, so here it is.  Her parents were Jacob Hedrick (Headrick, Heydrich, Hetrich, etc.) and Barbara Bringle, daughter of Casper Bringle (or “Brinkle”) and his wife Marian.  Casper’s will was probated in May of 1839 and he gave his plantation to his younger daughters; but since Barbara was already married to Jacob Hedrick, she received only $300.  We know very little about her except that she was referred to as “Barbary” on her tombstone.  Casper’s tombstone says, “Sacred to the Memory of CASPER BRINKLE died Feb. the 14, 1839, aged 88 years 7 mo 11 days.  If a man dies shall he live again all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.”  His wife, Marian’s tombstone says, “Sacred to the Memory of MARIAN BRINKLE died Nov the 11, 1844, aged 82 years 1 mo 14 days.  Then shalt come to thy grave in a full age like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.”


Jacob Hedrick was born in 1774 in Rowan Co., NC, and died there in 1838, having written a will.  He names his widow, Barbara, and each son and daughter, including Magdaline, married to Andrew Koontz, giving her 1 saddle, 1 chest, 1 bed, 2 cows and $50 in money.  He had received his plantation on Swearing Creek from his father, Johann “Adam” Hedrick in 1815.  Adam and his brother, Peter, served in the local NC Militia for the Revolutionary War (Salisbury District).  Peter was a Captain in the Militia, and managed a 1,465 acre plantation in NC near a small stream known as Four Mile Branch.  While away from home during the war, a band of British soldiers and Tories came to his house and, holding a pistol in the face of his wife, Margaret, cursed her and told her to give up all or die.  She begged them to spare her children and property.  They took all the provisions except a little salt, drove off the choice horses and cattle and shot the others, then burned up all the buildings.  These two brothers — Adam and Peter — had migrated to North Carolina from Pennsylvania about 1755, but following the attack Peter took his family to Virginia to live temporarily.

Adam’s will was probated in March 1815 in Rowan Co., NC, and is interesting.  Here are some excerpts from it:

First, I give and bequeath to my loving wife BARBARA my Negroe Woman Keziah, two Milch cows her choice of my Stock of Cattle to hold and possess the sole right of them during her Widowhood and for her yearly support my will is that she receive fifteen Bushels Wheat, fifteen bushels Corn, three hundred and fifty weight of Pork, fifty Weight of Beef, one and a half Bushels of Salt, ten pounds of Sugar and five pounds of Coffee and further to procure for her clothing to have annually one fourth of an Acre sowed in flax, Eight pounds of Wool, one half of the Garden, one bed and Furniture, one chest, the Use of one Room of the House, whichever she pleases to make  choice, together with a Sufficient Quanity of forage for the keeping her two cows, also with a sufficient Number of kitchen Utensils, necessary for her comfort, also Eight dollars in cash, with the priviledge of as much Fruit from the Orchard as she may Want for her own use, all of which she is to have during her remaining my Widow, the provisions, salt, coffee and sugar are to be furnished equally by my five sons, GEORGE, JACOB, ADAM, JOHN and PETER HEDRICK.

He obviously was a wealthy man, for he gave 323 acres of land on Dykes Creek to George, 305 acres to Adam, 222 acres to John, 270 acres to Peter, and 223 acres on Swearing Creek to our ancestor, Jacob.  If that wasn’t enough, he also willed 300 additional acres to various grandsons and $250 cash to each of his daughters and granddaughters.  It would be interesting to see exactly how many slaves they had working on these various plantations.  Of them, he said in his will:

My Family of Negroes that have not been devised together with all my Stock of Horses Cattle Sheep & Hogs and all my personal Property that has not been devised my will is that it be sold at public auction and the Money arising from the Sale to be equally divided among my Children hereafter named, VIZ GEORGE, JACOB, ADAM, JOHN & PETER HEDRICK, BARBARA SINK, PEGGY SINK, EAVE CONRAD and MARY HEDERICK my grand daughter and daughter of my son PHILIP HEDRICK decd Shaire & Shaire alike, and Should the Negro Woman Keziah Survive her Mistress my Will is that she be sold by my Executors and the money arising from the sale to be equally divided among my children…

Adam was married to Maria Barbara Hege, daughter of Hans George Hege and Anna Eva Frey, whom I will tell about in a future post.  Adam’s tombstone says (in German inscription):  “A. H. 1813.  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 12 of October.  His parents are Peter Hetrich and his Christian wife Milla.”


I wonder what sufferings the tombstone refers to?  Was he injured in the war?  Or was it related to the abuses inflicted upon his sister-in-law?  He lived to the age of 73 and Maria, his wife, lived to 89.  Adam’s father, Lt. Colonel Johann “Peter” Hedrick, also served in the Revolution in Lancaster County, PA.    I will tell more about him in the next post.  


One thought on “Wealthy Plantation Owner

  1. Mark Nast says:

    I would like to exchange information regarding the Hedricks/Hetricks. You have info I do not, and vice versa. EG. Pvt Adam Hedrick enlisted in Pennsylvania (not at the encampment at Fort Island) – and is not the same Adam Hedrick that appears in Virginia in the 1750’s. The Adam of North Carolina is new to me. There seem to be several contemporaneous Adam’s. For sure the case with Peter.
    The Peter Hedrick of Fort Swatara is a captain in my sources. I have had no success definitively connecting him to a specific Hedrick family/descendents.

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