The First Attempt

After we had taken along my son Jan (360) back to Germany, I started to search the internet for the name Schoppenhorst in the USA. Finally, I found a webpage that deals with emigrants from the Münster, Osnabrück, Bielefeld, and Hannover region. Unfortunately, I was not able to find the page again, maybe it was “Genealogy Data” that is not accessible any longer. But relics of the still existing entries in the search engines suggest that it could have been that page. Here you could learn that a couple called Herman Wilhelm (29) und Anna Maria  Elisabeth Schoppenhorst, born Schröer, emigrated to Warren, Missouri around 1830-1840. During these inquiries the impression occurred that maybe all Americans with the name of Schoppenhorst could descend from these two. But inquiries are difficult here. For example, in the case of Anna Maria once the birth date is given as 1786, another time April 12, 1802 is mentioned. Very soon I had to find out with what kind of problems ancestry research is forced to deal with:

Wrong birth entries, varying spelling of names, that were only written down by ear, always the same first names like Herman, Wilhelm, Heinrich that were given to the sons in varying order but were not always written down completely. That way Heinrich Herman Wilhelm is once called Herman Wilhelm, once Heinrich Wilhelm, and yet another time Herman Heinrich. Or when a man got married twice and the second wife had nearly the same name as the first one, as, for example, is the case for above mentioned Herman Wilhelm. Whereas today it is even discussed whether he got married to a third woman with the name of Schröer. During their research Cathie Schoppenhorst and Jane Denny discovered that the order of his children and their birth dates can be only explained by a third Mrs Schröer. But so far this is only speculation.