Remembering Our Ancestors: Jupp Kappius

Today we remember my father Jupp, whose family relations were a closed book for us for a long time.

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Josef Kappius, known to everyone only as Jupp, was born at the onset of the 20th century, on 3 November 1907, in Bochum, Germany.  He was the first child and only son of Josef Kappius Sr. and his wife Antonie Lingemann, both of families that originally came from Haaren at the borders of the Sauerland.  But Joseph Sr. and his brother had already been born in Bochum, where their father Johann had moved after the farm and lands that the family had owned in Haaren was lost.

Regardless, Josef Sr. and Antonie most likely met in Haaren, where Josef Sr. was learning the wheelwright’s trade at his uncle’s shop.  By the time Jupp was born, the young couple was living with Josef Sr.’s parents in Bochum.  Withing the next five years, two more children were born to the couple, both girls.

We have a photo of Jupp’s grandparents, and we are not sure whether they are the Kappius or the Lingemann grandparents, but some life facts and events indicate that they are most probably the parents of Jupp’s mother Antonie, Josef Lingemann and his wife.  He was first teacher at the local school in Haaren and much involved in the affairs of the village, as teachers used to be.  We hope to discover more about this line of the family still as the Lingemann’s were closer to Jupp’s heart, but things are going slow in this research area.  They appear to have relocated to Schmallenberg in the Sauerland after leaving Haaren in the early 1900s, where many Lingemann’s still reside to this day.

Jupps Grosseltern
(most likely) Josef Lingemann and his wife Louise Becker, Jupp’s maternal grandparents

Now, Jupp’s life wasn’t very long – he died on 30 December 1967 in Dortmund at the age of 60 – but rather intense.  He lived through both great wars in Europe and was quite involved in the social and political re-shaping of his country after 1945.  He was married twice and, against all odds, fathered two children in his later years.  I have written about his personal life before, so head over to the article if you are interested.  Today, however, I would like to say a few more things about the Kappius family in Haaren.

Recently, we have discovered online access to the church books of the Roman-Catholic St. Vitus church in Haaren, and family members have been very diligently scanning the material for the name Cappius.  The result, in short, is that we can now say with some certainty that just about all people who live in Haaren and bear the name Cappius/Kappius, regardless of their various house names, go back to one and the same ancestor:  Johannes Franziskus (most likely called Johann Franz) Cappius, who is first documented as living in Haaren on 23 June 1726.  On this day, he married his first wife Anna Freitag (or Freytag) in Haaren.  They had 10 children together, many of whom did not live to see adulthood, and after her death in 1753 Johann Franz married again, this time Catharina Winhusen, with whom he had four more children.  He died on 27 April 1767 in Haaren, two years before his second wife.

Johann Franz was not born in Haaren, it would seem:  If our research is correct, he was born after 1698 in Giershagen, part of Marsberg in the High Sauerland area, and a very pretty little village.  But we say this with some hesitation because we are not completely sure yet of this fact.  Before 1726, the name Cappius does not show up in any of the Haaren church records, and the only Cappius recorded that could have been Johann Franz’s father was Johann Phillip Cappius, who died in Haaren on 10 February 1735 and had been born in Giershagen in 1672.  The only fly in this ointment is that we have not yet found proof that Johann Franz was indeed the son of Johann Phillip: We have found several children mentioned, but no Johann Franz among them.

From Johann Franz, who was the 6th great-grandfather of my father Jupp, the patri-linear line resided in Haaren until Jupp’s grandfather, who was born in Haaren but died in Bochum.  Now, the really funny and somewhat odd thing about all this is that after Jupp’s father, who still had good contact to his uncle and cousins in Haaren and visited them there frequently until very shortly before his death in 1955, the family contact with Haaren was completely severed.  None of Josef Sr.’s children, as far as we know, had any contact with Haaren anymore, or ever talked about the family in Haaren to their children and grandchildren.  This connection was only very recently reestablished (within the last decade), and while it appears to not have been a priority to my father whom we remember today, I am sure it is important to research and document the family roots, and that he would not be displeased at our doing so.

Rest in Peace, Jupp.  We remember you, and we love you, and we hope to find out more about the family of your beloved mother as well.

Josef 3 - Edited

2 comments on “Remembering Our Ancestors: Jupp Kappius”

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