Pappe Family History and Genealogy

This Website was created for the purpose of discovering and preserving the Pappe family history. Three Pappe brothers — John H, Albert L and Richard Pappe — emigrated from the village of Stotternheim, Germany and settled in America between 1875 and 1882. The immigrants all went first to Tazewell, Illinois, then spread out to Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

In the early 1900s Carl Arthur and Arno Curt Pappe immigrated, settling eventually in New Mexico and California. In 1921 their widowed mother, Auguste Pappe also immigrated a few years before her death. Both Carl and Arno were nephews of the earlier immigrants — the sons of their brother Karl Pappe, who had moved to Leipzig, Germany.

At least four more 20th century immigrants with the Fressel surname have been identified who were also nieces and a nephew of John H, Albert L, and Richard Pappe. We believe they were the children of a half sister named Minna Wilhelmine Pappe.

The immigrants never lost touch with their German relatives. They often wrote to each other, sent photographs of family members, and on several occasions crossed the ocean to visit each other in Germany or America. On several such visits German relatives accompanied them on their return voyage to the US. The small house in Stotternheim where the first immigrant brothers were born still exists and there are Pappe descendants still living in the village.

Right:: Young baker in Leipzig, about 1885

On these pages we share what is known about the lives of the Pappe immigrants and their relationships to their ancestors and their descendants. The ten known immigrants in the Pappe family tree are:

John Hermann Pappe (1852-1903), immigrated about 1875, lived in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Alaska

Albert Ludwig Pappe (aka Ludwig Adalbert) (1854-1924), immigrated in 1872, lived in Illinois, Nebraska and Oklahoma

Richard Pappe (1860-1919), immigrated in 1882, lived in Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma

Carl Arthur Pappe (1883-1931), immigrated in 1903, lived in Nebraska and New Mexico

Arno Curt Pappe (1892-1948), immigrated in 1910, lived in New Mexico, Kansas, Texas and California

Anna (Fressel) Humburg (1869-1940), immigrated in 1903. Lived in Oklahoma, Colorado and Kansas.

Karl Fressel (1878-?), immigrated in 1904, lived in Oklahoma.

Emilie (Fressel) Wehrenberg (1882-?), immigrated in 1904 with her brother Karl, lived in Oklahoma. Married Charles Wehrenberg.

Hulda (Fressel) Strobl (1894-1956), immigrated in 1912. Lived in Colorado and California.

Olga Fressel (1973-1961), immigrated in 1924. Lived in Oklahoma and California. Married name was Strobl.

Our Pappe ancestors lived for centuries in the small rural villages around Erfurt, Germany. At the time they lived there, Erfurt was in the state of Saxony, but the border has since been redrawn and it is now in Thüringen. Thüringen is in the geographical center of the country and is known as "the Green Heart of Germany." Before unification in 1889, that region was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Erfurt is an old city, first mentioned in literature in 742. It is the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach and known for it's historic university, founded in 1392, where Martin Luther studied in the early 1500s

We have traced our line back to about the year 1700 in the village of Toettleben. Prior to the 1876, baptisms, marriages and deaths were recorded only by the churches. The church books in the small villages around Erfurt have never been photocopied or microfilmed and the records are written in German language using old German script, making them very hard to read except by a trained professional. So we hired Dr. Michael Ludscheidt, a researcher in Erfurt, to work with the church pastors to gain access to the original records. He was not allowed to touch or even photograph the church books, but was permitted to view them and take notes. After the Germany Empire was formed, civil records were required to be kept in the local "Standesampt" (civil registration office).

Our German researcher discovered that there were several Pappe lines in the area and also persons with the Rappe surname, which often looks very much like "Pappe" in the old handwriting. To further complicate the search, sometimes Pappes married other Pappes or Rappes, and were often called by different names throughout their lifetimes. An example of that is seen with Johann Hermann Pappe who went by Herman, John or J.H. at various times of his life. These factors made it impossible for the German researcher to trace our line further back in time than 1700.

Research is ongoing on Karl Friedrich Ludwig Pappe (b. 1857), who relocated from Stotternheim to Leipzig about 1875 and was a master baker there. Leipzig civil records have uncovered facts about his family, including his two sons that immigrated. We are also investigating several other nieces and nephews named Fressel who immigrated — the children of a half-sister of Albert, Herman, Richard and Karl.

We welcome our Pappe relatives in the USA and Germany to contact us and share any information they may have about our common ancestry.

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Copyright © 2014, Elaine Pappe Lawson. All rights reserved.

Terms of use: The content of this website is presented here for use by the Pappe family. It shall not be copied, displayed on any external website, published, printed or used in any way without written permission from the Pappe family.

This website was last updated December 19, 2009
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