Klapperich Geography

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Germanymap
Surname/tag: Klapperich, Klepprich
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The homeland of the Klapperich immigrants might be surprising to descendants of the immigrants in the United States. First; it is a mountainous, volcanic region of Germany and the site of two major rivers that join. Secondly, countries fought to control this area throughout history: The 30 years War in mid 1600s, the invasion of Napolean who claimed it for France, occupation by France after WWI and the conflict that brought WWII.

A Map of the Klapperich Homeland (click this link for a live map)

  1. The area is called The Eifel, an area in Rhineland-Pfalz which is a region in Germany.
  2. The Eifel is volcanic! It is a low mountain range that was a site of extensive volcanic activity; some of the hills are volcanic vents. There are peculiar circle-shaped lakes formed in volcanic craters. The last volcanic eruptions -- around 10,000 years ago-- generated a huge volume of volcanic ash. The volcanism of the Eifel is thought to be partly caused by the Eifel hotspot, a place where hot material from deep in the mantle rises to the surface.

Traveling in The Eifel (click this link for Eifel.info)

Suggestions on things to see in the area. Cycling, Castles, Breweries, terraced Vineyards and Wineries, Volcano Museums and more. Consider a trip!

  • Spa and Wellness More than 2,000 years ago, the Romans found a spring in the Eifel that comes out of the volcanic mountains at 89 degrees Fahrenheit. It's the only spring in all of Germany to contain mirabilite (a naturally occuring healing salt.) A spa town called Bad Bertrich was built around the spring. (Bad means 'bath' or 'spa'.) There you can swim in warm pools or even drink the water from a fountain that is pumped directly out of the spring.
  • UNESCO Geopark Vulkaneifel The Eifel boasts a UNESCO geopark, internationally known, with tours of volcano interiors, stone age caves, storytelling and hands-on museums.

Find Your Ancestors (click this link)

Klapperich families tended to immigrate with their neighbors and marry them in America. You may have more than one ancestor from the Eifel! Here's a quick link to help you find which Klapperich immigrants you are directly related to.

History of the Struggles to Control Rhineland

1650- 30 Years War The Eifel was one of the locations of the 30 Years War and severely felt the impact. This war killed soldiers and civilians directly, caused famines, destroyed farms and homes, ruined castles, spread plagues of infectious disease and forced the residents to leave. Experts estimate that German population dropped 25% to 40% but some areas lost three-quarters of their population during the war. Overall, the male population of the German states was reduced by almost half. "Much of the destruction of civilian lives and property was caused by the cruelty and greed of mercenary soldiers who took their food and lodging as they marched back and forth across the Eifel. Villages were especially easy prey to the marauding armies. Some villages just disappeared, others would take almost a hundred years to recover. The Swedish armies alone may have destroyed up to 2,000 castles, 18,000 villages, and 1,500 towns in Germany, one-third of all German towns, "War Source

1795 -Napolean in 1795, the whole region west of the Rhine River was taken by France, a population of about 1.6 million. France took direct control of the Rhineland until 1814 The Coalition of France's enemies made repeated efforts to retake the region, but France repelled all the attempts. Source

1918 -WWI Following WWI, the area was occupied by armies including American, Belgian, British and French forces. Under the Treaty of Versailles, German troops were banned from all territory west of the Rhine and within 50 kilometers east of the Rhine. Shortly after, France completely occupied Rhineland and didn't leave until 1925.

1936- WWII On 7 March 1936, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, German troops marched into the Rhineland and other regions along the Rhine. Battles were fought and in 1945, the Rhineland was the scene of major fighting as the Allied invaders overwhelmed the German defenders.

1945 post WWII In 1946, the Rhineland was divided into the newly founded states of Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Rhineland-Palatinate. Agriculture, including vineyards, was important to the recovery of the economy in Rhineland.Source

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