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Klippel Name Origins

The Klippel Surname appears to have more than one origin. Some of them are listed below:

Locational: "dweller near a small cliff."

German Dictionaries of family names: "derber Mensch" (a coarse or rough person).

Eastern germany: There is a story concerning the origin of Klippel. It says Klippel came into being after the Thirty Years' War. It claims that Klippel deals with an old handicraft -- lace making. This lace making was carried out by women in the area of "Erzgebirge" a low mountain range in eastern Germany close to the border of former Czechoslovakia, now the Czach Republic. This handicraft had many thin silk or cotton strings arranged in straight lines, which hung down from the ceiling connected to small pieces of wood, called bobbins. The strings were moved by hand in sophisticated ways fastened with knots to produce regular patterns. The activity of moving the strings was called "klippeln" (a verb) which is local slang; the German verb today is "klöppeln" (meaning: to make lace.) The noise raised by the touching of the bobbins during their movements was called "Klippel." there is an old folk song from the "Erzgebirge" area, the "Klippel Lied" (Klippel Song) that is virtually unknown in Germany today.

And, the interpretation I favor and believe to be the true origin:

From the mid 1400s the surname Klippel had an occupational genesis. The name is Medieval Dutch in orgin.

The name derives from the Medieval Dutch "clippel": a bell clapper or knocker, and was used by the "Bodebussen" (Sheriff or Guild Master) in Stavenisse on the Island of Tholen in what is today the Netherlands. The name was first used in 1440 when Philip of Burgundy designated that his sworn messenger to the town of Stavenisse be sworn into office by the bailiff and given permission to attach goods with the force of the rod, if necessary. The rod being the "clippel," thus the holder of this office was called Klippel.

Early Klippels

History

There is in the floor of the Cathedral at Deventer in the Netherlands a crypt for Wilem Klüppel, Burgermeister von Deventer, Netherlands, from the 1600s.

In 14th century Kues (now in Rhineland-Pfalz, Germany) a Klippel is mentioned as the neighbor of the great philosopher Nicolaus Cusanus.

The impact of the Thirty Years' War in what is now the Rhineland in Germany was so immense that most of the people who had lived there a century before simply left no descendants and the land became ripe for settlement. Contrary to most European migrations that usually took place from south to north and west to east it is my belief that members of the Klippel family left the Island of Tholen, at the mouth of the Rhine, between 1440 and 1580, went down river, and settled in the vicinity of Mainz. I believe this accounts for the large concentration of Klippels who live(d) on Tholen, and in the vicinity of Mainz, Kartsruhe and Wiesbaden, Germany. From this area they emigrated to America and the rest of the world.

It is believed by others, and conforms to the south to north, west to east, migration theory, that members of the Klippel family migrated from the Netherlands to Klippan in Skane, Sweden and then early in the Thirty years' War several of these Klippels migrated as mercenaries for Swedish King Gustuf II Adolf to Kruppei by Schwarz in what is now the Czech Republic, from there migrated to Trautenau, Württemberg, and the vicinity of Mainz, Karlsruhe and Wiesbaden areas of Germany, also eventually to America and the rest of the world.

There is a small Klippel Castle near the village of Auborsch in northern Bohemia (Czech Republic) that was occupied until 1790. The ruins of this castle can still be found there today and seen on older maps of the area under the name of Aloisiushoethe. This Klippel line had their title taken away due to their style of living and crimes committede, eventually losing all of their possessions and becoming small farmers and workmen.

Both of these hypothesis probably have some truth.

It is going to be difficult to track the Klippel family from, for instance, a person on any oath list taken in the 1500s down to the present. Partly, of course, it is a matter of what records have survived--but it's not just a matter of records.

The most direct answer is that in this part of Germany, the impact of the Thirty Years' War was so immense that most of the people who had lived there a century before simply left no descendants. I found a list of names of the people who took an oath in Bubenheim and the surrounding area in 1529 -- 152 men in these Gemeinden [Municipalities]-(none of them with the name Klippel).

In 1648, by contrast, when the local Abbot came in person toward the end of the Thirty Years' War to accept oaths of allegiance, there were only 38 adult men left alive in the Gemeinden [Municipalities], several with the name Klippel. Plague, war, and famine had accounted for the remainder of the families. If you've never read Berthold Brecht's play Mother Courage, I recommend it. To a considerable extent, many of the German territories had to start over in 1648.

It is my belief that the Klippel family came to this area shortly before/after the Thirty Years' War.

This said, the true origin of the Klippel surname will always be shrouded in the mists of history, and may never be known for certain.

 


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