Friday, December 27, 2013

Harshbarger line: Andrew Kepler 1777-1855

Andrew Kepler, perhaps also known as Andreas, was born February 16, 1777, which may actually be his christening or baptism date. For the sake of accuracy, we should probably say, "born on or before" that date.  His parents are Bernard Kepler and Maria Elizabeth Lindemuth.  Andrew's grandfather, Benedict Kepler, was the immigrant to America, having been born in 1714 in Sulzfeld, Baden Wurttemburg, (Germany, now), and dying in 1778 in Berks County, Pa.  Bernard was one of at least six children, and Andrew was the father of at least 9 children.  Andrew's wife was Anna Maria Kramer, and she also was of German extraction, and came from a large family. 

Internet sources say that the two were married in Pennsylvania in about 1800 in Centre County, Pennsylvania. If this is accurate, it is possible that the family never moved from their original settlement, because part of Centre County was originally part of Northumberland County, which was originally part of Berks County. At any rate, they need not have moved far from their original home, perhaps just over a mountain ridge. 

Andrew and Anna Maria had at least 9 children: Mary, Andrew A, John, Rebecca, Samuel, Sarah, Jacob, Elizabeth, and Catherine.  Some were born in Centre County, Pa and some were born in Stark County, Ohio.  Andrew and his brother John were two of the earliest settlers in Green Township, Stark County, Ohio, having gone there about 1808-1809.  John became a justice of the peace there and Andrew was a constable, so the family was respected in the area.  Andrew served in the war of 1812, while brother John stayed to take care of the families whose husband/father was gone.  He was part of either Rayen's Regiment of the Ohio Militia or the Second Regiment (Hindman's) of the Ohio Militia, or possibly both, at differing time periods.  At this point in my research, I can only say that he was probably guarding against Indians who were fighting with the British against the Americans, but I don't know any specifics about when or where these units fought, or even if they actually fought at all.  

Andrew "entered" (meaning he was the original land owner, after the natives) land in Green Township in 1832 and again in 1834, with his brother John. By 1850, Andrew's farm was valued at $5500, a pretty considerable sum for the time.  There are at least two other listings on the same page of Andrew Kepler, with smaller farms. It is likely one of these was Andrew's son Andrew, but perhaps another of the farms belonged to Andrew Sr.  Mary Harshbarger is listed on the same non-population schedule, with a small farm. (This would have been when she was a widow, before her third marriage. 

About 1849, Andrew and Mary donated land for the present day cemetery where he and Mary, along with other family members, are buried. It is known as East Liberty Cemetery, and is in what is Green Township, Summit County, Oh. Mary died in 1852 and Andrew died in 1855. 

A lot of the dates in this blog are vague, because I haven't found sources for them yet.  I intend to do more research on this family, but I want to share what I'd found about them now, "just in case" I never find more.

The line of descent is:
Andrew Kepler-Anna Maria Kramer
Mary Kepler-George Harshbarger
Lewis Harshbarger-Catherine Mentzer
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Ellen Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Harshbarger children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren