A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A genealogy of the name


and related families


Albert Mitchell Zopp - San Antonio, TX 78254

Revised August 15, 2009

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  For whom we gratefully thank for their contribution to this book-

  LDS Family  Search Web site & Family Library in Oakland, California
 Genealogy.com - Family Forums
 Ancestry.com - Free, unlimited access to their databases
 USGenWeb - Free, unlimited access to their databases
 RootsWeb Freepages - Free storage space for all my database
 Judith McClung - McClung Family Association
 William Supernaw Ford - Robert de Brus to Roman Senate
 Tom Caulley - Who reluctantly finally accepted William Ford's work
 US National Archives - Military records access
 Netzero - Free email account
 Netscape/Foxfire - Free Internet browser
 Frontier-Citizens Telephone - For the very slow DSL connection
 ElectricScotland.com - Free download of Scots Peerage Vols. I - IX
 IsoHunt.com - Members who freely share their software
 Fellow researchers - Across the globe who unselfishly share their work
 My grandmother, Etta who in the beginning told the stories
 And, my wife, Barbara, who has put up with me, these last 40 years.

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"May Our Children, Grandchildren

& Their Future Descendants

Always be Grateful and Proud of Their Ancestry"

My complete database of family names is posted on the Internet.
The Website name is "The Zopp Family in CyberSpace"
It can be located at http://www.freepages.rootsweb.genealogy.com/~azopp

We hope it can remain there for a thousand years.
And, if it were not for my children & grandchildren, I wouldn't have done this.

I dedicate this work of love to-

Brian, Wendy, Sydney & Michael
Cristy, Tony, Jeremy, Austin & Tyler
and their future generations !

Love, PaPa

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The How

It was in 1983. I was on a business trip to Washington DC. The week long meeting concluded early on a Friday. So, not having seen my grandmother Etta Moses Zopp in almost 9 years, I decided to take the weekend, rent a car and drive to Rupert, a small town in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. It only takes a couple of hours to drive. I rescheduled my return flight to San Francisco for the following Monday and pick up the car at the airport.

Grandpa had died in 1970 and with all of her children either living out of state or being just to busy, she only received visits on holidays like 4th of July and Christmas. She lived in that big white house, on the hill, over looking US Highway 60 which ran from Virginia through the capital, Charleston and on westward.

So, my stopping in was a surprise to grandma and she was going to make the most of it. She loved to get out the family photo album and had a story to tell about each and every picture in it. We spent that Friday evening doing just that. About half way through the album, she stopped in the middle of her story, she said she knew just how we would spend our weekend together. Her plan was to take me to visit not only my relatives, who lived in the area, but make a few side trips to the county cemeteries where her family and our ancestors were buried. In her 83 years, Grandma had seen a lot of our family pass over and had spent a lot of time at the cemetery. In her time and before, on national holidays the family made special trips to the cemeteries, usually on a Sunday just after church services. She would take these opportunities to tidy up and change out the floral arrangements on the graves. There are a lot of graves. Our family has lived in the Rupert area for 183 years. Her attic had one room filled with styrofoam funeral wreath arrangements of plastic flowers.

We finished going through the album and the stories. I had heard the stories many times in my childhood. In my pre-teen years I spent a couple of weeks of my summer school vacations at my grandparents home. Somehow, this time, the stories and the picture album took me in. That weekend I got the 'genealogy bug'. I had such an interest, and wanted to hear more stories and asked if there was, maybe another album. Grandma said there was, but at my aunts home with her family.

That Saturday we visited with all the area families at their homes. I had wanted more albums and stories, and I got them. Some stories were historical, most were humorous but sad-to-say, some were tragic.

I had my 35mm camera with me on this trip, Washington DC photo ops! I loaded it with high contrast black and white film. From that weekend I brought home rolls of photos from all the family album pages. I also got pictures of everyone and the cemetery headstones. I've got to dig them out again. They are in a big box, somewhere. Seems they always end up in the attic storage along with all the other memorabilia.

That was the most wonderful time I ever spent with my grandmother. She passed away two years later at the age of 85. But not before she got to enjoy her first ever indoor plumbing.. Now that's a story that needs to be told.

After returning home from that trip and with all of the family information I had collected, the bug only got worse. At every opportunity I would visit the National Archives in San Bruno or the LDS Family Library in Oakland. I went digging, writing letters, searching through phone books whenever I was on a out-of-town trip. Always looking for the name Zopp. I found quite a few. Very few could I connect, even 25 years later. There just weren't a lot of people with the name. There is a group in New York that have lived there since 1850. I've located the immigrant ancestor but have not been able to locate him in Europe whence he came. There is a small family up in Wisconsin. I've talked to them on the phone and traced them back to the immigrant. I've pretty much located the immigrant of all the groups, but since they all arrived many years later than my great ancestor, I fear I will never be able to truly call them cousins.

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The Why

I have been putting off writing this down for many years. Always telling myself I would get to it after I traced the family name, across the Atlantic. It doesn't look like I'm going to get there, even with all the new internet records.

I kick myself every time I think about our being in Germany for 3 of the 10 years in the military. Boy, if only I could do it all over again, with the bug! I might have re upped and stayed for 20 if the tour was in Europe. Back then I searched out all of the old castles and ruins within a days drive of New Ulm in Bavaria where we were stationed. I got lots of pictures and slides and did have a wonderful time and have wonderful memories. Did I tell you our daughter Cristy, was born there? The children were too young to have any memories of our visit.

If I knew then, what I know now. I could have had a much greater purpose. I would have visited the Village of Zopp. I could have searched all those church records for my ancestors. I would have seen the castles of Stuart / Stewart. Maybe by writing these stories and documenting these histories, maybe, some future great grandchild will take up my cause and go do those things I didn't.

Some historian many, many centuries before said that our purpose was to know our ancestors. From the information contained in the following chapters, I may have served that purpose. Sometimes I think grandma being the family historian was trying to pass that purpose on to me. Well grandma, how did I do?

I began tracing my family lines directly back until I located the immigrant ancestor(s). Once identified, I then would trace their descendants. I would climb up and down the tree, taking the spouses of each of the descendants and tracing their ancestry. The tree has become a forest.

To date, there are 35 chapters in my book dealing with a prominent surname from the family tree. These are the branches in our tree. Of course there are many, many more surnames but I have concentrated my research on these the most.

You should know, if you visit our family tree website, the database there contains more than 30,000 individuals and over 9,000 families. Our ancestors had a little more than the national average for the number of people in a household.

Since all of this was brought about because of stories being passed down generation to generation, maybe I will write a Chapter 37 and have in it all the stories written and told to me.

There are a few famous names in the forest. Somewhere, later probably, an index of names and the chapters they are found in.

Oh, yes, the title of the book. Another story, something about a Roman, but you will have to read on to find out.

Please, don't get discouraged in reading through these chapters. They are, at many times, very long. More like volumes than chapters. Too many pages to print out and no book shelf would support the weight, so I have placed these writings on CD. I plan to produce as many copies of the CD as possible and scatter them to the winds. If you are reading this, then one landed just right.

Maybe you will be the next family historian….

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The Who

As I mentioned earlier, I was thinking of a famous names list. It became too long and difficult to reference. Yes, as with many family ancestries, there are Knights, Nobleman, Kings and Saints within these pages. But my true purpose is to show the many families that were responsible for bringing about the existence of our lives today. Our ancestry, and I'm damn proud of it.

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Chapter Contents

Chapter 1 - Ancestors
Chapter 2 - Zopp
Chapter 3 - Shaber/Shawver
Chapter 4 - Gillespie
Chapter 5 - Wethereld & Callison
Chapter 6 - Cavendish
Chapter 7 - McClung
Chapter 8 - Stuart/Stewarts
Chapter 9 - Crawford, Winter, Bourland & Boone
Chapter 10 - Ellis
Chapter 11 - Remley
Chapter 12 - Burns
Chapter 13 - Walkup
Chapter 14 - Graham
Chapter 15 - Meek
Chapter 16 - Moses
Chapter 17 - Taylor
Chapter 18 - Webb
Chapter 19 - Black
Chapter 20 - Means & Thompson
Chapter 21 - Carpenter
Chapter 22 - Arnold & Peak
Chapter 23 - Dickinson
Chapter 24 - Coles, Hawxhurst, Townsend & Wright
Chapter 25 - Crane, Kip, Treat, & Van Dyck
Chapter 26 - Bolar
Chapter 27 - Thornton
Chapter 28 - Hitt, Otterbach, Downey, James & Evans
Chapter 29 - Fishbach & Heimbach
Chapter 30 - Grimsley, Shelton & Estes
Chapter 31 - Greene, O'Sullivan, Mulvany, Siegel & Heise
Chapter 32 - Winings, Ricards/Ricketts
Chapter 33 - Symes, Marshall & White
Chapter 34 - Wyllie & Tewalt
Chapter 35 - Fenton, Labadie & Bertheaume
Chapter 36 - Petersen, Lake, Gillock, Hightower & Veasey
Chapter 37 - Stories and Lore
Chapter 38 - Kinship Report

Endnotes; All sources in Chapters 2-36 are anotated and are then listed at the end of each chapter.

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