Pvt. Balthasar Hetzler  by Robert Eager NSSAR# 179422

In the spring of 1777, the newly formed Pennsylvania General Assembly passed the Militia Law requiring service from all white males between the ages of 18 and 53. On October 28th 1778 Balser Hetzler was listed as a Private on the roll for Captain Volicks’ Company of Col John Huber’s 9th Battalion of the Lancaster County Militia. His oldest son, Frederick, was in the same company.

Johan Balthasar Hetzler was born around 1730 in Erbach, Germany. As a young man he became part of a wave of immigration that would later be called the Pennsylvania Dutch. Spurred on by advertisements from the Pennsylvania Company, he sailed for America, arriving in Philadelphia on September 2nd, 1749. His father, Johan George Hetzler, brought his mother and sisters the following year. Balthasar married Anna Barbara Dohm on November 5th, 1755 in Heidelberg Township in what was then Lancaster County. Over the years he bought and sold property in several nearby communities. By the time of his militia service in 1778, Anna had given birth to the last of their eight children. Baptism records, handwritten in German, still exist for two of them at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Schaefferstown.

In a 1779 tax record he was the owner of 100 acres of land in Londonderry. He was taxed on the land, two horses, two cows, and four sheep.

Several years after the revolution and following the death of his father, Johan Balthasar moved his family about 60 miles northwest, following the Susquehanna River, to Haines Township, Northumberland County. There new land was being settled and opportunities existed for his large family. His wife, Anna, died there in 1794 and was buried in the Stover Cemetery in Aaronsburg. Cemetery records indicate that he died there August 28, 1818 at the age of 68.

References and Notes

Pennsylvania, Published Archives 1664-1902, Series 5 – Colonial and Revolutionary Militia, Vol. 07, Muster Rolls and Papers Relating to the Militia of the County of Lancaster, pp 885, 886.

Descendants of Nicholas Hetchler, Unpublished Genealogy by Clifford Hetchler 1981, Garland TX, P2A-2G.

Explaining Pennsylvanias Militia, by Thomas Verenna, Journal of the American Revolution, June 17, 2014, https://allthingsliberty.com/2014/06/explaining-pennsylvanias-militia.

Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records; Reel: 26.1. Record for Balthasar Hatzler. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=PAChurchTownRecords&h=16243412&indiv=try.

Records of Rev John Casper Stoever (Harrisburg, PA, Harrisburg Publishing Co., 1896), p.65.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania Church records, 1769-1906. LDS Film 1421461 https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/299786?availability=Family%20History%20Library.

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