My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book,  Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

REV. ABRAHAM B. KOPLIN, D. D., is pastor of the Reformed Church at Hellertown, Northampton County, of which he has had charge since the spring of 1877. He was born in Summit County, Ohio. In tracing his ancestral history we find that one Mathias Koplin, with his wife and son, left Rotterdam on the 22d of June, 1728, on the good ship “Albany,” which arrived in Philadelphia on the 4th of the following September. They were among the many natives of the Palatinate, Germany, who fled from the persecution which prevailed there in the early part of the eighteenth century. On arriving in this country, they settled in what is now a part of Mifflin County, Pa., and on the father’s death he was buried in the old graveyard adjacent to the Reformed Church, of which he was a member. He was the great-grandfather of Mathias Koplin, who died in 1850, at the age of eighty-four years, near Doylestown, Ohio. The latter was the father of Abraham Koplin, our subject’s father.

Abraham Koplin was born in Huntingdon County in 1804, and emigrated to Ohio in 1833. There he became acquainted with Rachel Bachman, daughter of Lorans Bachman, whose father came from Alsace, Germany, in 1753. Since the days of the Reformation the Koplin family has always been connected with the Reformed Church, and has been characterized by sober, industrious and thrifty habits.

Rev. Mr. Koplin received his academic education in Star Academy of Summit County, and entered Heidelberg Academy at Tiffin, Ohio, in 1851, graduating from the classical course four years later. In 1856 be graduated from the theological seminary, and was soon given charge of the Glade Reformed Church of Stoyestown, Somerset County, Pa., where he remained for two years. Then going to Elk Lick, in the same county, he became pastor of Paradise Church. In 1864 he removed to Defiance, where for three years and a-half he continued working in the interests of the Reformed Church, and succeeded in establishing a branch in the county seat, from which as a nucleus three pastoral charges have sprung up. In 1867 he returned to Elk Lick, his former charge, and there remained until 1874. In January of that year he went as a missionary to Catasanqua, Pa., where he succeeded in founding the Reformed Church of that place, and was pastor of the same for about three and a-half years. At the end of that time he resigned in order to come to Hellertown, and this place has since been the scene of his labors. A mission was first established, and finally a church, the Shiloh Reformed, was located in South Bethlehem. The church at Hellertown has also flourished, and its numerical as well as its spiritual growth has advanced rapidly. In 1876 Franklin and Marshall College, of Lancaster, conferred upon Mr. Koplin the honorary degree of Master of Arts, and in 1885 Heidelberg University bestowed upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He has written a number of review articles, and a work entitled “A Live Church,” with a sub-title, “Characteristics of a True Church.” For the period covered by his ministry he has been identified with the conservative, wing of the Reformed Church, and has taken part in the various synods and meetings of his denomination, serving as a delegate and sometimes as Presiding Officer.

June 9, 1857, Rev. Mr. Koplin married Harriett A., daughter of Philip Custer, of Stoyestown, Pa. They have five children, a son and four daughters, namely: S. Oma, wife of Rev. S. F. Laury, pastor of the Reformed Church at Brodheadsville, Monroe County, Pa.; Emma B., wife of C. J. Gitt, Postmaster in Hanover, York County, Pa.; Martha V., wife of Aaron Hostetter, a merchant of Hanover; Russell N., a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and Seminary; and Ida May, who was educated in the Allentown College for women, as were also her elder sisters. Russell N. is an attorney-at-law, practicing before the Northampton County Bar, and holds high rank among the legal profession of Hellertown. The Custer family is of Huguenot descent, and Mrs. Koplin’s great-great-grandfather was one of the refugees who left France during the persecution, and settled in Franklin County, this state. The father of Mrs. Koplin was married in Somerset County to Miss Sarah Raymond. His brother was located in Pomeroy, Ohio, and was the father of General Custer, the famous military chief, who was massacred by the Indians in 1876.

Dr. Koplin uses his right of franchise in favor of the Democratic party and takes great interest in educational and civic affairs. He is one of the leading ministers in his denomination and has hosts of sincere friends in all parts of the state.

* * * *

This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the book, Portrait and biographical record of Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties, Pennsylvania published in 1894 by Chapman Publishing Company. 

View additional Northampton County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Northampton County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Northampton County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.