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Heck, Barbara (1734–17 August 1804), "mother of American Methodism"  

Dee E. Andrews

Heck, Barbara (1734–17 August 1804), "mother of American Methodism", “mother of American Methodism,” was born in Ballingrane, County Limerick, Ireland, the daughter of Sebastian Ruckle, a farmer, and his wife (name unknown), descendants of Protestant Palatine refugees from the War of Spanish Succession. She experienced a Methodist-inspired conversion at age eighteen, possibly after hearing John Wesley preach in Limerick, and married Paul Heck in 1760. In the spring of 1760 the Hecks left Ireland with family members and other Irish and Irish Palatine emigrants forced out by high rents and land scarcity. Their ship landed at New York City on 10 August. The Hecks communed with other Methodists at Trinity Lutheran Church, where the first three of their seven children were baptized between 1761 and 1765....