Michael was born September 18, 1833 to Matthes and Maria Schoppa (also known as Stoppa) who were farmers in Zerre, Prussia, Germany. His family was part of the Evangelische Lutherische Kirche, a Lutheran church in the Wendish village of Spreewitz.
On January 9, 1858, Michael married Maria Zoch and made their home on a farm in the area. Maria was the eldest daughter of Johann Zoch and Johanna Schneider (Krawz in Wendish). Maria was born January 23, 1840 in Spreewitz.
Born to Michael and Maria in Spreewitz were: Johann (name and birth date unsure); Johanna, January 7, 1860; Maria, December 27, 1861; Christian, Feb. 24, 1864; Magdalena, February 1, 1866; and Christiana, April 22, 1868.
The Schoppa family immigrated to America in 1868, leaving from the port at Bremen, Germany aboard the three masted sailing ship, Bark Texas. They were at sea one month. Maria’s younger brother, Michael Zoch, age 13, was also with the Schoppa family. Their oldest child died during the voyage and was buried at sea. They arrived at the port at Galveston, Texas and settled in the Wendish community at Serbin, Texas, establishing their home on Rabbs Creek.
Michael bought a farm 3 miles southwest of Warda in Fayette County, Texas. It had a one-room log house and a little field with a rail fence around it. He couldn't buy horses or implements so he built and improvised. He farmed with oxen and made their yokes himself. He felled trees for logs to enlarge the house; he used the larger branches to build more fence and increase the field. Cattle and hogs had free run of the countryside. Hogs fed on the acorns. Michael made wooden shoes for all members of the family to wear in the winter--bare feet were fine in the summer.
The children born in Fayette County were Traugott, June 26, 1872; twins August and Ernst, October 12, 1874;Wilhelm Bernhard, November 24, 1876; Anna Theresia, January 12, 1879; and Carl August, January 15, 1881.
Maria Schoppa died on January 15, 1881, shortly after giving birth to Carl August. Michael married Christiane Schur on June 7, 1881. They continued to live and farm in Fayette County. Michael died February 22, 1903 in Warda, Texas.
Sources: Letter from Anna Theresia Schoppa Zoch ,Michael Schoppa Family Album published in 2000 by Mary Schultz Guggisberg and Kenneth W. Schoppa, and The Otto and Alvene Obenhaus Family History written in April, 1977 by their children.
Compiled by Angie Collier March 2002
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