Finding family: The hunt for the missing Klupfels
A CHANCE encounter with a distant relative in Germany has set the wheels in motion for what is shaping up to be a massive family reunion.
Cousins Elizabeth Butterworth, Jan Kazakoff and Robyn McCullough had been visiting the German hometown of their great-great grandfather Kaspar Klupfel when they came across a member of the Klupfel family still living there.
"We were taking cover from the cold in a small pub in the town of Wertheim when the woman behind the bar inquired what brought us to the area," Ms Kazakoff recalled.
"When we told her our great-great grandfather came from the town, she asked us what his surname was then yelled out to all the customers in the pub: 'does anyone know a Klupfel?'".
To their amazement, someone did. Within the hour they were face to face with their distant relative Udo Klupfel.
The accidental family encounters continued when Ms Kazakoff shared the news about Udo with her former boss back in Australia.
After listening to her story, her ex-boss remarked that he knew a Klupfel as well.
"I told him that unless those Klupfels came from Marburg there was little chance we were related. Remarkably, they did come from Marburg."
Through that link, and a recent reunion of the Eisenmenger family in 2012 - another family line traced back to Kaspar - more distant relations have been brought together.
They are now looking to further connect with unknown branches of their family tree.
Relatives from the Klupfel clan have formed a committee with the objective of organising a huge family reunion this year at the Marburg Show Hall on October 31.
In addition, the group is looking to gather as much family history and photos as they can to compile into a book about Kaspar's family
According to research done by family members, Kaspar Klupfel and his wife Anna Walburges immigrated to Australia from Germany with their three children in 1855
Kaspar was naturalised on May 10, 1859, then on May 21, 1859, Kaspar Klupfel and Peter Schick purchased land at Cleveland Road Four Mile Camp - now Camp Hill.
There, they raised three children; Margaretha, Maria Margarita and Johann Peter.
Johann Peter inherited the land after Kaspar tragically died in 1863. Peter married Elizabeth Raabe. They had ten children.
The reunion group is particularly looking to connect with Johan Peter's family line of decent which settled in Marburg in 1870.
Ms Butterworth said she enjoyed being able to reconnect with her distant relatives.
"You feel like you have all this extra family," she said. "There seems to be this connection between us as if we've known one another for a long time".
Ms Butterworth said the group had been busy trying to track down relations through various methods.
"Websites like Ancestry.com only let you go so far so we've called people with the surname but many aren't connected in any way," she said. "We want to get the word out so that someone might read about what we're doing and think 'oh, my grandmother was a Klupfel' and contact us".
The group believes their relatives are scattered across Queensland in places such as Ipswich, The Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Mackay. If you believe you are part of the Klupfel clan or know someone who is, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Klupfel Reunion Australia on Facebook.
Klupfel ancestors and descendents
|Klupfel Ancestor||Surnames||Family Connections|
|Anna Elizabeth Klupfel||Burcher||Frank Harold Burcher and Elsie Barbara Brown|
|Brown||Donald Aird Brown|
|Tuffley||Alfred Edward Tuffley and Esther May Brown|
|Ellen Elizabeth Klupfel||Rossiter||John (Jnr) Rossiter (Second wife) Ellen Elizabeth Klupfel|
|Rosina Klupfel||Latter||Harold Leslie Latter and Wally (Elizabeth Walburges) Klupfel (Chalk)|
|Maria (Mary) Klupfel|| |
Heather Ann FletcherDoris Garvis