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The Genealogy JAM

Johann Casper Hepler (1713-1769) and Susanna Scheible Hepler (b. 1718) were married in Lomersheim, Germany in 1743. Two children were born at Vaihingen-on-Enz, Germany, to this union: George Jacob Hepler (29 June 1744) and Christopher Friederich Hepler (16 July 1746).  (Christopher is my ancestor.)

In 1746 Johann Casper Hepler’s mother died, and reportedly his father deserted the family. Johann Casper decided to leave Germany for the New World. In the spring of 1748, Casper sold his property in Vaihingen and emigrated to the New World.

Casper, then 35, Susanna, 30, and their children Jacob (5) and Christopher (2) began their journey to Pennsylvania.

The passenger list of the ship Patience, with John Brown, master, shows Casper as the seventeenth person to sign the usual forms at Philadelphia Court House on 16 September 1748.

Three more children were born in Pennsylvania: Casper Jr., George, and Michael. Michael apparently died very young.

Our line of the Heplers is a descendancy of Christopher Friederich.

In 1775 the four sons of Casper left their families to fight against the British for freedom. Christopher was with Captain Kooken’s Company, 2nd Batallion, North Hampton County, Pennsylvania.

The Revolutionary War was the end of British rule, and in 1776 America was formed as a new, sovereign nation.

In 1785 Christopher sold his portion of land to Casper Jr. He loaded his family and belongings in a Conestoga wagon and traveled over what is known as the warrior’s path to what is today Thomasville, North Carolina. Christopher bought 500 acres of land on Hamby’s and Abbott’s Creeks, near where Emanuel Reformed Church now stands.

Christopher and his wife belonged to the German Lutheran Church in Lexington, North Carolina. Catherine and Christopher became communicants on 12 September 1802 and 6 November 1803.

According to records, Christopher was the first Hepler to settle in North Carolina. He had a rather large family, having fathered nine children in Pennsylvania and 6 in North Carolina — fifteen in all!

The Heplers found today in North Carolina are descendants of Christopher Hepler and Catherine Hertzel, married in 1767. The children of this marriage, born in Pennsylvania and Rowan County, North Carolina are our link to Casper Hepler, the emigrant.

Davidson County, North Carolina, was formed in 1822 from Rowan County. It was named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, an American Revolutionary War general killed at the Battle of Cowan’s Ford on the Catawba River in 1781. The cities of Thomasville and Lexington are both in Davidson County.

Most Heplers in America trace their ancestry to one of the four sons of Caspar and Susanna.

My paternal grandfather was Early Henderson Hepler, son of David Henderson Hepler and Louisa Jane “Jennie” Lopp Hepler. He is most remembered for his general store, which my maternal grandmother called a "jot-em-down" store — you could jot down everything needed on your list and find it at Grandpas store — the E. H. Hepler Store on old Highway 109 between Thomasville and Denton, North Carolina. The store carried a full line of groceries, had a renowned meat market, a feed store, hardware, work clothing, a shoe department, gasoline — and even an ice cream and soda fountain. Grandpa was the forerunner of Sam Walton!!  Their four children were Earl Jr., Rev. J. Stuart Hepler, Sr. (my father), Hannah and Hope. Hope died before I was born, but her memory has lived through her siblings. Earl died on 12 May 2010 at age 92. Dad died on 29 June 2010, and was interred beside our mother on their sixtieth wedding anniversary, 02 July 2010. Hannah continues to provide our family with strong influences of the importance of family relationships. In their honor and memory my Hepler research is being carried out.

The Hepler Family