Remembering Our Ancestors: Konrad Cappius

This past Tuesday 292 years ago, our 6th (and 7th) great-grandfather Konrad Ignatius Cappius was born in Haaren, a small but old village in the Sauerland in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.  Haaren was first mentioned in 975 in a church document, but historians suspect that is quite a bit older than that.  While the name indicates that the village was founded by the Franks, and it lies at a cross-roads where traditional merchant and military routes meet, archaeologists have also found Stone-age tools and weapons in the area.  So Haaren, under this name or another, goes back a good long time.

This is a postcard from the area around Haaren.

Our branch of the Cappius family first moved to Haaren around 1720, and Konrad was the first generation of Cappius’ born there on 30 July 1727.  He married Katharina Maria Kluten in 1750 and they had at least three children.  Around 1765, the family began to add the house name “Reelen” to their family name, indicating that they had bought a farm in Haaren and were henceforth to be distinguished from other families of the same family name by the added house name, i.e., they were known now as “Cappius Reelen”, or “Reelen’s Konrad”, “Reelen’s Katharina” and so forth.

St Vitus Haaren
St. Vitus in Haaren, Germany

For two generations the Reelen farm including extensive lands stayed in the family, until it was lost after the Napoleonic Wars in the late 19th century, piece by piece, first the land ace by acre, then the farm house.  If you can read German, head over to my father’s site for the whole story.

But back to Konrad Ignatius.  We do not know when he died, but his son Johannes Bartholomaeus Cappius, born in 1755, took over the farm in 1781.  Chances are Konrad Cappius did not see the dawn of the 19th century.  If his wife Katharina went before him or lived to bury him, we do not know either as we have neither her birth- nor death date.

Rest in Peace, Great-Grandpa Cappius.  We assume and hope you were laid to rest in your native soil, maybe around St. Vitus church even.


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