The Peter and Gertrud Klopp Family Project

Reflections on Life, Family and Community

The Klopp Grandparents Part I


Peter Friedrich Klopp (1852-1900) – Chart I -I

Adapted from Eberhard Klopp’s Family Chronicle

It was my goal to restrict the family research to our grandparents. Yet, to get a well-rounded picture of Peter Friedrich Klopp and to enhance our understanding of his colorful personality, I need to go back to his parents, Heinrich Friedrich and Charlotte Wilhelmine (neé Hoppe) Klopp. They got married in the St. Catherine Church on July 6, 1851 in Magdeburg, where they lived until Heinrich’s early death in 1861, most likely brought on by consumption, the most common cause of death in those days.


In the few years, which Heinrich had after the wedding, he was barely able to eek out a living for his growing family. For a short while he managed to run an independent business as hauler and carrier of goods, mail and people. With horse and buggy he provided a service to the people of Magdeburg very much akin to a modern taxi service. During this time three children were born, the first born being my grandfather Peter Friedrich Klopp. The location where he worked and lived with his family was the former shopping street ‘Breiter Weg’ (Broadway), known as the popular social center complete with pubs, inns, breweries, stores, various governmental establishments and offices, for which Heinrich could provide a service in the fledgling transportation business, enough at least to feed his family. Alas, he passed away too soon, and widowed Charlotte had to endure many hardships raising her children and working as seamstress and washerwoman. On October 27, 1862 she gave birth to the illegitimate son Franz Karl August, whose father remained unknown. In 1864 she married Ferdinand Pielert, who, having been born in 1836, was ten years younger and worked as deckhand on one of the boats plying the waters of the Elbe River. Due to the transitory nature of his work the two rarely saw each other. When he finally settled down with a permanent address in Magdeburg, Charlotte had already died on October 28, 1870.

Magdeburg on the Elbe River

Magdeburg on the Elbe River – Photo Credit:

Little Peter Friedrich Klopp (born on January 23, 1852) was barely nine years old when his father died. As the eldest he experienced how his mother after the loss of the bread earner plunged into deeper misery and abject poverty. Since his stepfather Pielert was rarely at home with no permanent address in Magdeburg, the responsibility for her son’s education and trade lay entirely upon the shoulders of the single mother. The circumstances, under which Peter Friedrich Klopp found his way to the mills at Jersleben, could probably be guessed from his mother’s connections with relatives and acquaintances in her hometown Wolmirstedt, a short distance north of Magdeburg.


Auerbach Mill near Wolmirstedt – Photo credit:

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