On September 11, 1732, Wolfgang Koppenhofer (Copenhaver) arrived at the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife, Anna Marie Haffner,  son Michael, and three daughters, Anna Barbara, Anna Rosina, and Anna Catharina. Wolfgang was the son of Jacob Koppenheffer of Rublingen Wuitternburg, Germany. Wolfgang had sold the family’s farm in Rublingen, Germany and traveled to America on the Pennsylvania Merchant. It must have been a long trip, because it usually took approximately three months to cross the Atlantic. Upon arrival, Wolfgang and his son Michael took the Oath of Allegiance to qualify for admission into the Colony of Pennsylvania. They settled in Heidelberg Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near his eldest son Johann Thomas Copenhaver who had arrived in America four years earlier. Wolfgang and Anna Marie spent the rest of their lives in Heidelberg Township under the authority of King George III. Wolfgang dies in 1763.

Johann Thomas Copenhaver, son of Wolfgang Copenhaver, arrived in the colonies four years before his father and the rest of his family. Thomas arrived as a young man, at the age of 16, at the Port of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1728 on the James Goodwill. He, as his father and brother later did, took the Oath of Allegiance to become a member of the colony. In that same year, Thomas married his first wife, Anna Marie Zinn, and settled in Heidelberg Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania near the present town of Myerstown. The first of seven children was born in July 1729, Henry Copenhaver. In 1739, Thomas purchased the land where he had first settled in Heidelberg Township.

Sadly Anna Maria passed away in 1746, leaving her husband and seven children. Thomas went on to marry twice more. Next to Anna Elizabeth Holtzman in 1747, who died on June 2, 1748 at the age of 33. On January 25, 1749, Thomas meet Catherine Elizabeth Lehman and was soon married. They remained in Heidelberg Township where Thomas passed away in 1760. Just before his death, Thomas deeded his plantation in Heidelberg to his son Henry on June 10, 1758. Thomas left a total of 388.16.11 3/4 pounds to his wife Elizabeth, four sons Henry, Michael, Simon, and Thomas Jr. and three daughters Eva, Catherine, and Regina through her husband John Trice.

Thomas Copenhaver, son of Thomas and grandson of Wolfgang, was born in 1739 in Pennsylvania. At the age of 20, Thomas married Catherine Mosser of Bethel Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. They had five children together, Maria Catherine, Thomas, Christina, Frederick, and Elizabeth.

In July of 1764, Thomas purchased 137 acres from Jacob Moser (assumed no relation to Catherine) in Hanover Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Thomas and his family lived on their homestead for five years and on May 31, 1769, he sold the property for 149 pounds 8 shillings and 10 pence. However, no March 5, 1772, Thomas and Catherine appeared at the ‘Orphans’ court in defense of a land debt owed to the survivors of Jacob Moser.

On June 4, 1774, a committee of nine was appointed to act on the behalf of the Hanover Township in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania of which Thomas Copenhaver, grandson of Wolfgang Copenhaver, was a part. The concern was the actions of the Parliament of Great Britain. The chairman of the committee, Colonel Timothy Green, stated, "In the event Great Britain attempting to force laws upon us by the strength of arms, our course we leave to Heaven and our rifles." Furthermore, on August 23, 1775, King George III issued a proclamation, declaring the colonies to be in a state of rebellion. Soon after in 1776, the revolutionary war began. On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted, announcing the birth of a new nation, though the war had not ended. This was also the year Catherine passed away.

Captain Thomas Copenhaver became the Captain of Militia in Colonel Timothy Green's Battalion in Hanover township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, August 12, 1776. His militia Battalion consisted of 35 private, 2 sergeants, 1 drummer, and 1 fifer, thier pay combined totaled 97 pounds. Then in 1777 he became captain of the first company in Colonel John Rogers' 6th Battalion. On August 30, 1777, his Battalion was stationed in Chester under Colonel Alexander Cowrey.

On May 9, 1778, Captain Thomas Copenhaver took the Oath of Allegiance to the new country; though the war did not officially end until September 1783. That same year he married his second wife, Elizabeth Miese. Finally, on October 19, 1781, after being trapped at Yorktown near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, Cornwallis surrendered his army of 8,000 British soldiers to the Americans. Two years later on September 3, 1783, Great Britain and its former colonies signed the Treaty of Paris. On September 17, 1787, after 16 weeks of deliberation, the finished Constitution was signed by 39 of the 42 delegates present. The Constitution was ratified on July 26, 1788.

In early 1780, having served his commitment in the Revolutionary War, Captain Thomas Copenhaver gave up his holdings in Hanover township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and joined the migrations to Virginia with his then wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, John and Mary Ann. On October 1, 1781, Thomas purchased a tract of land known as Radcliff’s March on Reed Creek in Christiansburg, Virginia. They had settled near Crockett, in the present-day Wythe County, Virginia. Thomas and Elizabeth had two more children in Virginia, Henry and Samuel. Sadly Elizabeth dies in 1783.

On August 2, 1783, Thomas purchased 310 acres on Montgomery count on the south branch of Reed Creek, expanding his property holdings. Then on April 13, 1784, Thomas married Julianna Seig in Montgomery County, Virginia. Captain Thomas Copenhaver passed away intestate in Wythe County in 1802. His estate was sold at public auction on March 4, 1803. Frederick, Samuel and Henry Copenhaver later sold 93 acres of the property located on Reed Creek for 450 dollars, on January 9, 1814.

Frederick Copenhaver was born in Hanover Township in Pennsylvania on January 1, 1770 to Captain Thomas and Catherine Copenhaver. In 1780, he traveled with his family to Southwest Virginia where he spent his life. In 1789, Frederick married Eve Phillippi in Wythe County, Virginia. They had 12 children, Henry, Christopher, John Christian, Magdelena, Elizabeth, Catharine, Sarah, Barbra, David Campbell, Christianna, Thomas A., and Samuel.

On June 8, 1801, Fred indentured 191 acres of land from Samuel McReynolds. In addition, on November 27, 1804, he purchased for $126.00 an additional 63 acres from McReynolds, totaling 254 acres; and by 1816 he owned 354 acres. He built a large log home on the farm for he and his family to live. Smyth County was established in 1832 when Wythe County and Washington County were combined. Fredrick passed away in his home on Jan 30, 1836. Frederick left his land to Thomas and Samuel and then divided the worth of his estate amongst his children and 3 grandchildren totaling 3,402.67.1/2 pounds.

Eleven of Frederick's twelve children remained in the Smyth County region of Virginia. They were primarily farmers or wives of farmers during the 1800's. The descendants of Frederick Copenhaver are the lines that the Southwest Virginia Copenhaver family follows. This is where the Southwest Virginia Copenhaver family’s history began.

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