Hetrick Families of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


This page was last updated on 09/02/13

My name is Stephan Hetrick and I have been researching Hetrick families of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is a work in progress and will be updated from time to time with new information. It should be noted that there were several origins of this name in Philadelphia as well as several spelling variations.

About ten years ago, I began researching my family name in the Philadelphia area.  My paternal lineage, in America, begins there.  As a starting point, I used the Philadelphia 1900 Census population of Hetrick names and their variant spellings.  I first validated what was known to my family, still living in Philadelphia.  With that as a foundation, I began to researching family records prior to 1900.

In that process, I found there were several migrations of that surname with variations in spelling into the Philadelphia area.  Some of the familial occurrences of the name did not remain in the City very long.  Other occurrences stayed and the numbers of related families grew rapidly.  Some elements of those families remain there to this day.

I discovered that the original migrations of the name to America through the Philadelphia and Baltimore areas was from two distinctly different geographic origins; Germans from the Palatinate or Saxony and Scotch-Irish from Northern Ireland or Scotland.  In both cases, the driving force appears to have been religious oppression at home and the potential for better opportunities elsewhere.

Two separate German Palatinate immigrations to Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and Northumberland Counties occurred in the early 1700s.  The gathering point was Germantown, a section of Philadelphia.  Those families tended not to linger in Philadelphia but to move south or westward via the Tulpehocken Road, which still exists, leading out of Germantown.  A very few members of these families removed to Philadelphia.

Another German immigration to the area in the early 1700s was a group known as Schwenkfelders, a religious sect from Silesia.  This group settled primarily in the region between Philadelphia and Allentown.  The group of interest settled primarily in Springfield and Flourtown, Montgomery County, bordering Germantown, Philadelphia.  A few of those families eventually established homes in the City of Philadelphia. 

There appears to have been several Scotch-Irish immigrations to the Philadelphia and Baltimore areas throughout the 1700 and 1800s.  Some families did not remain in the area long and moved south or westward.  There appear to have been four or five families of interest that remained in the City.

So, after all this time and research, I have learned that the more immediate origin of my surname is Scotch-Irish rather than Germanic.  In the effort to narrow down the focus of my research, I have collected quite a bit of information for lineages not directly mine in addition to those that are.

In 2004, I ventured off to Ireland and Scotland trying to mix research and vacation.  It was an interesting and fun trip.  The Hetrick / Hettrick name is prevalent in Northern Ireland and Ayreshire and Renfrewshire, Scotland.  Recently, I have started a DNA project for the Hetrick (with various spellings) Surname. 

For now, I am prepared to share research regarding William Hetrick found in the 1810 Philadelphia Census.  James Hettrick is another Hetrick / Hettrick family found in the 1840 Philadelphia Census.  There is also a Mathew Hetrick or Hatrick found in Philadelphia from 1799 to 1813.  It has not been determined whether or not there is any relationship between the three families.  

Another Hetrick family arrived in Philadelphia between 1880 and 1890.  Ervin or Erwin Hetrick, and his family lived near the Port Richmond area and ran a boarding house, while the rest of the family appears to be involved in the cigar making industry.  This family first appears in earlier census records, living in Bucks County near Montgomery and Lehigh Counties.

In 1734 a religious group known as Schwenkfelders arrived in Philadelphia.  One of the families with this group was Balthasar Heydrich who settled in Montgomery County, bordering Germantown, Philadelphia.  As the family grew, several groups remained in Montgomery County or moved into Bucks, Lehigh and Philadelphia Counties.  The variations of the surname [e.g. Heydrich/Heydrick/Hedrich/Hetrich/Hetrick] spelling caused me to research this group.

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