Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My great grandfather was August Groppe.  Like so many Europeans of the mid-1800s he left a home that was familiar for a place of promise that was unfamiliar.  The tools of common sense, perseverance, and knowledge of agriculture were the basis of a new life which would take root and thrive from his transplanted roots of Germany.

The following comes from typewritten and handwritten notes, the result of in-depth research initiated by Ben J. Popp, my uncle, and devoted husband of Ruby Mae Groppe Popp, my aunt and granddaughter of August Groppe.  The following letter was sent to Ben Popp from those he enlisted in Germany to assist in conducting Groppe family research:

Sehr geehrter Herr Popp,

Wir erhielten Ihr Schreiben vom 28.9.84 mit Anlagen und konnen Ihnen dazu folgendes mittielen:

Christian Heinrich August Groppe ist am 11.12.1840 in Verliehausen (gehort zur Kirchengemeinde Schoningen) geboren.
Die Eltern waren:  Georg Groppe, Ackermann, u. Caroline geb. Schrader.

Im Heiratsregister der Eltern steht folgendes:
George Groppe, Ackermann u. Witwer
Eltern:  Ackermann Johannes Groppe, Verliehausen und Marie Dorothea geb. Schulzen
und Caroline Charlotte Schrader aus Schoningen, uneheliche Tochter
Eltern: Johann Just Schrader u. Magdalene Probst

Trauung am 28.2.1836 in Verliehausen.

Christian Heinrich August Groppe ist das 3. Kin dieser Eltern.
Er hatte noch folgende Geschwister:
Groppe, Ludwig Carl Friedrich, geb. 18.4.1836 in Verliehausen gest. 1890,
Groppe, Friederike Caroliine Justine, geb. 18.12.1843 in Verliehausen
Groppe, Heinrich Friedrich Adolf, geb. 14.1.1843 in Verliehausen
Groppe, Caroline Wilhelmine Charlotte, geb. 13.3.1846 in Verliehausen

English Translation:
Hehr geehrter Herr Popp:
We are writing in answer to your letter of 9-28-1984 to inform you of the following:
Christian Heinrich August Groppe was born on Dec. 11, 1840 in Verliehausen (belonged to the Schoningen Evangelical Lutheran Church)

His parents were:
Georg Groppe, farmer
Caroline (Catherine ?) born Schrader

In the marriage register it states the following:
Georg Groppe, farmer and widower
  Parents:      Johannes Groppe, farmer from Verliehausen,
                   Marie Dorothea –  born Schulzen
Caroline Charlotte (Catherine ?) Schrader from Schoningen (illegitimate daughter)
  Parents:      Johann Just Schrader
                   Magdalene Probst

Married Feb. 2, 1836 in Verliehausen

Christian Heinrich August Groppe was the third child of these parents.  He had the following brothers and sisters:
Groppe, Ludwig Carl Friedrich, born 4-18-1836 in Verliehausen, died 1890
Groppe, Friederike Caroline Justine, born 12-18-1838 in Verliehausen
Groppe, Heinrich Friedrich Adolf, born 1-14-1843 in Verliehausen
Groppe, Caroline Wilhelmine Charlotte, born 3-13-1846 in Verliehausen

The following comes from an accompanying handwritten letter from Mae Popp to my parents, Ocee and Peggy Groppe, dated February 12, 1985:

I’m sending you a copy of the letter we recently received from Germany.  It was in answer to a letter Bennie had written to this church in Schoningen, Germany.  I’m also enclosing the English translation.  We’re thinking that this time we’re in luck.  Though we thought grandpa’s mother’s name was Catherine and therefore we included that name with a question mark in our translation.  It is similar to Caroline and possibly in the reading of the old handwritten church records Caroline could have been mistaken for Catherine.  Other than that name everything else seems to fit.  At any rate we’ve now sent the pastor of this church some money requesting photo and written copies of all birth and death records that might be available.  We feel if we could get death records showing his mother’s death around 1840-41 having been told she died when grandpa was an infant and his father’s death around 1847-48 since he supposedly died when he was about seven years old, then we can, along with other records they might send us, be more positive that we’ve finally found what we’ve been looking for for such a long time.  I am surprised at all the brothers and sisters he had, since only the half-brother who came to America with grandpa was ever mentioned.  He apparently had an older brother and sister and a younger brother and sister by his step-mother.  We, naturally, are looking forward to receiving more information and when we do will let you know.

1 comment:

  1. Good Morning- I am checking to see if there is a connection between our families. My Great Grandfather was Joseph Groppe, noted as born in Westphalia, Germany in 1873. Westphalia is a region rather than a town, and the borders of that region changed over time- so I do not know what town he was born in, or if there is a connection at all. He was Catholic and I see your ancestors were Lutheran. He spent time in Texas, Oklahoma, Canada, and then back to Oklahoma where he died. If there is any possible connection I would love to hear from you. You have done a great job with your research & blog! Thank You. Sharlet Driggs: