Fort Swatara

Last time I wrote about my 5th great-grandfather, Johann Adam Hedrick, of Rowan Co., NC.  His father, Lt. Colonel Johann “Peter” Hedrick, had been born to Adam and Anna Elizabeth (Faust) Heyderich in Ulmet, Pfalz, Germany in 1710.  Peter immigrated to the United States from Germany with some of his brothers, as well as with his children and wife, Anna Milla Otilia (Blum) Hedrick.  They arrived in Philadelphia, PA from Rotterdam on September 11, 1738, on the ship “Robert and Alice.”  Here is a section of the passenger list:


Peter and his family located in East Hanover Township (near the Swatara Gap in the Blue Mountains), Lancaster Co., PA, where he became a community leader and Patriot.  He built a block house for his family, which became a local fort for the community against threats and attacks from the Indians and was known as “Fort Swatara.”  It was constructed with musketry slots where guns could be fired without exposure.  Peter organized, trained and outfitted a company of men attached to Colonel Green’s Battalion (Flying Camp) of Lancaster Co., PA.  He received 60 stands of arms (180) as shown on a service record dated September 9, 1776.  Family lore connects this battalion to Captain Lewis Farmer on “Fort Island,” also known as “Liberty Island.”

Peter had married Anna Millia (“Milla”) Blum on March 18, 1730/31 in Lichtenberg, Prussia.  After the death of Milla in 1758 he married twice more — Phillipina Stievens in 1760 and then Catherine Hummel in 1783, although they later divorced.  Johann Peter died March 23, 1789 and is buried in the family burial plot there near Swatara Gap.  Milla’s ancestry can be traced in Ruthweiler, Germany to the early 1600’s.  Peter’s parents were Johann Adam Heyderich and his wife Anna Elizabeth Faust of Oberalben, Germany.  Johann Adam’s parents were Godtman and Margarethen Heyderichs of Heupertsweiler, Germany.


16 thoughts on “Fort Swatara

  1. Kimberly Higginson Huelter says:

    Juli, Peter is my sixth Great Grandfather. I wanted to just thank you for this site as it has assisted me in filling in some gaps on the cousins, aunts and uncles back in that time and place. God Bless.
    Kimberly H.

  2. Keyla F Hedrick says:

    I found something that might be of interest and don’t know who to reach out to. It looks like a deed or something dated 1839, handwritten by a few different people. If someone knows who I should reach out to, to have it preserved, I would greatly appreciate it, or if anyone wants to see it. Thank you

  3. Keyla F Hedrick says:

    I am a descendant of Captain Peter Hedrick myself. I came across an old photo album of my grandmother’s recently and it reignited my fascination for our family history. My mother was a midlife baby so my grandparents were up there in age when I came along. She told me many stories, most I have forgotten, but finding the album is bringing some back. Thank you for your information on the family, it seems each person I meet has a piece of the story.

  4. donnduff07 says:

    Hi Juli
    My ancestors came over on the same ship as yours. It was the Robert and Alice, not the Robert and Oliver. The ships logs were copied into Chamber’s book years ago. He made many mistakes including this one. He saw another ship, the Oliver, and transposed that into Robert and Oliver.
    Also, the “ship’s log” in your photo isn’t that, but rather the Oath of Allegiance (to the King of England) each immigrant was required to sign.
    Do you happen to have a photo of the entire Oath of Allegiance? Where did you find yours?
    Thanks, Donn

  5. Tiffany H. Fitzgerald says:

    Thank you so much for your research. As I am also a descendant of Peter Hedrick, I have been trying to figure out where on a map exactly is Heupertsweiler, Germany. I even tried Googling it as both Germany and Bavaria. Can you please assist me with this?

    • Juli Jarvis says:

      I see what you mean — this doesn’t seem right. I saw a report online that called it “Houpertsweiler, Pfalz, Germany” but that doesn’t seem to be right either. The closest I can find is Ruppertsweiler in the Rhineland-Palatinate. That might be it, but we need to do more research on this. Thanks for notifying me about it.

  6. Thomas M. Snyder says:

    Looking for information on Johannes Schneider married to Anna Martha. Johannes died March 1811 and Anna died December 23rd ,1812. They are buried in Schneider Family Cemetery along with four other Schneider’s. He is recognized as a Revolutionary War Veteran.
    Any information please contact. Thomas Snyder

  7. Wes Hedrick -- Spokane Washington says:

    Through all the family research my MoM did along with looking up information online etc I show information regarding Godtman Heyderich ? as being married to a Sarah Kohlhausen / Kohl ? along with a Margaretha / Margarethan ?

    ANY information about Sarah would be appreciated as have found very little and am not sure where I originally found the information I have about her

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