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Christophel is not a very common German last name. There were certain Christophel families that came to America and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, a rather large German community already being there. They arrived between 1835-1860. Most of them came via Le Havre France to New Orleans or New York. It is not even known just how one of the families got into the country. Many of the immigration and naturalization records of Cincinnati were destroyed by fire and flood. There was an attempt made to restore them, but this involved the people actually going to the courthouse to re-provide their information; and, that is if they were still alive in the late 1880s when this project was established.
It is unusual; but, each branch of the Christophels from Cincinnati has at least one descendant who is strongly interested in their family history. We all naturally gravitated toward one another; and, eventually came to the conclusion that we all are somehow related. Though, we cannot prove it on this side of the Pond, and it is doubtful if there are enough records left even prove it on the other side of the Pond, we are all dedicated to that endeavor.
Naturally, from this desire, came the idea to start our own One Name Study; and, to this end we have a website where each family has contributed all of it's information, in hopes that eventually we will find that thread which will unravel the mystery. Many documents and information is available to all in the e-mail archives of the group (as attachements); but, in order to view all information, in it's entirety, you must join the group and be approved by the moderator.
Here is the link to our Christophel site.
So far, it seems that most of the families came from an area in what is known as the Rheinland Pfalz in Germany, very close (about 10 miles only) from the French border. Many of the spouses were also from a group of little villages in this area: Billgheim, Hayna, Ruelzheim, Herxheimweyher, and Rohrbach, to name a few of them which were only separated in most cases by walking distance.
If you are a descendant of the Christophels, or any of the other forms of the name: Christoph, Christopfel, Christofel, Christoffel, Christopher,
please, visit our site above or contact me.
For a story of the voyage of the ship New England, with seven Christophels on board, from Le Havre, France to New Orleans, click here.
One other member of the Christophel group, Roger Christophel, has a website, Cabin in the Woods: Home of the Christophels and Bicknells.
I made the posted ink & pentel drawing of the ship New England from a photo of a painting of the ship which I found at the Maine Maritime Museum of Bath, Maine. The ship was built at Bath; but, the museum has not only many pictures of old ships; but, building plans as well.
Visit their site and you will be amazed at what is available.
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