Thursday, November 6, 2008

John Klepper and Sarah Moore

It is normally a very bad thing to post without confirming the source, but this information is to start a conversation with the visitors of this site. There is a faded stamp about the York County Historical Society, but the document’s source is unknown. Please let us know if you have any additional information.




For several decades the descendants of John Klepper and Sarah Moore have been holding an annual Klepper reunion. In the early years, Nora Klepper Krall gathered information about the family and it seems desirable to put her information on paper before it is lost. This report will supplement her information with that obtained from Mr. Kauffman of Florida Ave., New York, and from the York County Historical Society.
Certain questions arise naturally: “Who are the Kleppers?”, “Where did they come from?”, “Why did they settle in Pennsylvania?”, etc. Complete answers are, of course, impossible buy partial answers can be given.


Near the end of the 17th century (1684), Louis XIV of France, desiring military glory, moved his armies northward toward the Netherlands and in passing through the Rhineland devastated the countryside. In particular, the Palatinate, Wurtenburg, Baden and parts of Hesse were severly damaged and the Germans living in this area left without homes of means of making a living. These wars of Louis XIV lasted quite a few years and the area was overrun several times so that living conditions were almost impossible and the peasants were ready to move to almost any country that would have them.
One large group is interested in that they first went to England and after a few years some went to Ireland, some to the Carolinas andabout 3000 landed in New York in June 1710 on their way to Schoharie County, New York. They were badly treated in New York State and within ten years separated into four groups; some stayed in Schoharie County, some went to New Jersey along the Raritan River, some moved back to the Mohawk Valley, and the largest group, having heard good reports about the Pennsylvania Quakers, followed the Susquehanna River south to Swatara Creek and then moved east along this creek; quite a few of these Germans settled in Lebanon County. It is probable that some of the descendants of these early emigrants have, within the past fifty years, intemarried with the Lebanon County Kleppers


Future German emigrants learned of these events and most of them landed in Philadelphia and settled in Pennsylvania. In particular, the ship Sandwich landed in Philadelphia November 30, 1750, and amoung the passengers were Joseph Klöpfer and his son Lorenz. Almost certainly his wife Anna Christina and his other children were with him, but the ship list contains only the names of the adult males (over 16). The children of Joseph and Anna Christina were: 1) Lorenz 2) Elizabeth 3) Joseph Jr. 4) Marie Catharine 5) Dorothy 6) Michael 7) George 8) Frederick 9) Jacob 10) Eve 11) Simon.
The name Joseph Klöpfer , appears May 30, 1757 as one of the organizers of Strayer’s Church near Dover. It also appears on the 1764 tax list; he owned 167 acres north of Dover which extended for about 1/2 mile along the eastern side of the York-Carlisle Road, somewhere near the former big elbow on the hill up the mountain. This farm was later owned by the Spahrs (Dorothy Klöpfer, Joseph’s fifth child, married Philips Adam Spahr on March 24, 1765).

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