Saturday, July 12, 2014

#52Ancestors (27) Friedrich Kopkau of West Prussia

Friedrich KOPKAU is one of my maternal great-great-great-grandfathers. He was born 10 December 1838 in the tiny village of Peterkau, Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia. His parents were Friedrich KOPKAU and Charlotta ROPELIUS.

Friedrich Kopkau and Wilhelmina Stachel, in Michigan c 1890

Friedrich married Wilhelmina STACHEL, daughter of Christoph STACHEL and Gottliebe SCHMIDKE, in Sommerau, Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia on 29 November 1864. 

In 1873, Fred and Minnie as they came to be known, traveled to America with the first four of their eventual nine children. They settled in Emmet County, Michigan near Fred's brother Augustus and his family. Augustus was married to Gottliebe STACHEL. They also had a sister Henrietta, who married three times including twice to men named STACHEL.

Let's pause a moment. Are you keeping up?

KOPKAU and STACHEL and SCHMIDKE, oh my!

This is precisely why researching this family is equally gratifying and frustrating. If ever I wanted to see a family tree in 3D, this is who I'd vote for! This was a very close-knit group of immigrants from several nearby Prussian villages, and they remained close in Michigan. In fact, it takes to about the third generation until they begin marrying outside this group of families.

Four generations of Fred's

The Fred KOPKAU family eventually moves on to Lansing, Ingham, Michigan. They join the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church which was founded in 1887 by earlier German and Prussian immigrants.

Minnie died in 1914. Fred died 10 years later, on 20 June 1924 in Lansing. They are buried together in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing. (photo here at Billion Graves)



© 2014 Sally Knudsen

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