In July 2010 my wife and I spent 7 days touring Oberfranken, Bavaria, with a professional genealogist. We visited the towns where all of our Doppel ancestors lived. My grandmother was a Doppel who is a descendant of the following Doppel lineage.
The earliest of our Doppel ancestors came from the village Eichenbühl; this village presently belongs to the parish Küps. However, the parish Küps first began in 1939 and belonged to the parish Theisenort. The parish at Theisenort only has records going back to 1767, and therefore the records do not go back far enough to establish the birth date and family of Georg Töpel, the earliest Doppel ancestor. Consequently, our professional genealogist concluded that it seems there is no possibility to trace our Doppel ancestors back further. The village of Eichenbühl is an apparently prosperous farming community of less than 100 people located on a hilltop surrounded by vast fields of grain and corn.
Georg Töpel (Doppel) and Katharina Kessler
According to the church records, Georg Töpel, who was born about 1650, was an honest widower from Eichenbühl who married an honest virgin, Katharina Kessler, legal daughter of deceased Johann Kessler. No mother's name was given. The marriage took place in Reuth on 26 June 1679. From 1680 to 1704 they had 11 children together; the first 5 were born in Reuth and the rest were born in Kirchlein. Interestingly, the spelling of their baptismal last names alternated between Töpel and Doppel. Georg Doppel died 12 January 1712 in Reuth at the age of 62.
Reuth is a small but prosperous farming community less than a mile west of Kirchlein, where the only church in the area is located. Like Kirchlein, it is a farming community surrounded by fields of grain and corn. In 1854 Reuth had only 8 landowners, and even today its population is less than 100 people. By contrast, the neighboring Kirchlein community had 29 landowners in 1854, and today has a population of about 300 people.
Johann Doppel and Anna Maria Bauer
One of Georg and Katharina's children, Johann Doppel, who was born 29 May 1698, carried on the family name of our direct ancestors. Johann, a tailor in Kirchlein, married Anna Maria Bauer about 1750. No parents or marriage information was found for Anna Maria. They had 4 children in Kirchlein between 1751 and 1758. Their son Mathäus Doppel, who was born 27 August 1752, carried on the family name of our direct ancestors.
Mathäus Doppel and Barbara Förster
On 01 July 1776, the honest unmarried Mathäus Doppel, a tailor in Kirchlein, legal son of honest deceased tailor Johann Doppel, married the virgin Barbara Förster, legal daughter of the blacksmith Peter Förster and his wife Anna Margaretha from Maineck. They had 8 children together in Kirchlein between 1777 and 1787. On 18 October 1814 Mathäus Doppel married Margareth Welscher, a 55-year-old widow born about 1759 in Neibig, daughter of Johann Welscher, a craftsman here. They had no children together. Mathäus Doppel, a widower, had a stroke and died on 9 August 1822 in Kirchlein. Johann Doppel born 18 January 1780 in Kirchlein carried on the family name of our direct ancestors.
The Mariä Ascension Day Catholic Church in Kirchlein is where all of the baptisms, marriages, and funerals took place for the small farming towns in the area.
Johann Doppel and Margaretha Bauerschmitt
On 16 September 1808, Johann Doppel, legal son of Mathäus Doppel, tailor here, married Margaretha Bauerschmitt a 19-year-old unmarried virgin from Schwürbitz, a town to the northwest of Kirchlein. Margaretha was born about 1786 and was the legal daughter of Anton Bauerschmitt and Margaretha Zimmerfein of Kirchlein. Like his father, Johann Doppel was a tailor in Kirchlein. Johann and Margaretha had 8 children between 1813 and 1830. The parents and children from this family emigrated to the United States during the 1840s.
The Johann Doppel family occupied the same house in Kirchlein (House No. 16) as the Mathäus Doppel family, and perhaps their grandparents family as well. The house was a small one-story house. It was built of sandstone blocks. Kirchlein was built on a sandstone plateau so sandstone was readily available as a building material. In the past there was a wood extension on the north end of the house for the farm animals which provided heat in winter and food for the family. That part of the house has been removed. The property appears to have had fruit trees, grape vines, and a large grassy area on the west side of the house was probably used as a play area and for gardening. Judging by the many stacks of firewood around the area, the winter here must be quite cold. Although the Doppels lived in a farming community, they were not farmers. In fact, Johann Doppel was the third generation of tailors in the family.
Johann Doppel sold their property in Kirchlein and emigrated with his wife and two children, Andreas and Anna Margaret, to the United States in 1849. After initially living in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, the Johann Doppel family settled in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.
Jerry J. Lorenz
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