Family united at historic reunion 160 years in the making
IT'S a story that doesn't happen every day.
A trio of cousins from Australia visit the German hometown of their great-great grandfather and during their stay randomly meet a distant relative.
The chance encounter was what set the wheels in motion for a massive family reunion that was 160 years in the making.
At the Marburg Show Hall, branches of the Klupfel family tree came together for the first time to celebrate their common heritage.
With 140 family members in attendance, some travelled from as far away as Townsville and Chinchilla.
The event was put together after cousins Elizabeth Butterworth, Jan Kazakoff and Robyn McCullough vacationed to the German town of Wertheim a few years ago.
It had been the hometown of their great-great grandfather Kaspar Klupfel, who immigrated to Australia with his family in 1855.
While the three cousins were at a pub in Wertheim, the woman behind the bar asked why they had decided to visit the small town.
When they shared the story about their great-great grandfather, the woman asked other patrons if anyone knew anyone with the Klupfel surname.
To their amazement, someone did. Within the hour they were face to face with their distant relative Udo Klupfel.
The connection prompted some members of the family to organise the reunion and locate and link up with other relatives in their family tree.
The gathering, which was held last weekend, took about two years to plan.
It was held in Marburg, the town where Kaspar's son, Peter and his family settled about 1870.
One of the organisers, Bill Klupfel said the hall was abuzz with conversations as family members caught up.
"Some of the relatives there had never met before, while others who lived far away from each other hadn't seen one another in years," he said.
"Udo even travelled from Germany with his wife Renate, son and granddaughter to attend the event.
"Udo brought with him gift bags full of souvenirs from Wertheim to give to families. He was very excited to be there for the reunion."
In addition to organising the reunion, family members also put together a 100-page book filled with stories about the family's history and photos.
Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill said the reunion had been a great day and that he planned to keep in touch with his newly acquainted relatives.