Descendants of Jacob and Katharina Rampf Krapfl

Jakob and Katharina Rampf Krapfl emigrated from Loitendorf, Katzelried, Bavaria, on June 26, 1845. Jakob died at sea during the voyage. Leaving four children in graves in Germany, Katharina arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the Ship Charlemagne with her surviving six children. Traveling up the Mississippi, she settled near Dyersville, Iowa, in 1846. The old Krapfl homestead was situated four miles west of Dyersville on 80 acres in the S. E. corner of Bremen Township, Delaware County. Leonard Krapfl (deceased), the grandson of Katharina's eldest son Georg, preserved an earthen jug on which the following inscription in gold lettering is found: "Geo. Krapfl and family, Hielenbach, near Waldmunchen, Oberpfalz, Bavaria. Emigrated 26 June 1845."

For generations it was thought that the Krapfl name was German, but research shows that it may actually be of Czech origin. The Krapfl coat of arms, for instance, dates to the early 1600's from Moravia in the middle of the former Czechoslovakia. The Krapfls who emigrated to America came from eastern Bavaria, about four kilometers from the Czech border. Many of the original records are still to be found in the parishes of the villages as well as in the central church archives in Regensburg. The first documentation of Krapfls is dated circa 1637, indicating further research may need to be done in the present day Czech Republic.


At this time I have not been able to verify if the above coat of arms belonged to this branch of the Krapfl family.


CHEVRON: Below the knight - Taken from the bow of the war saddle which rose high in the front. The horse warrior of strength.

ROSE:       Symbolic of beauty, hope, grace, and joy. Sometimes used as a mark of cadency for the seventh son.

ARROW:   Authority; the bearing of arrows and arrowheads is ancient and especially honorable. some bearers have been traced to the Crusades.    The arrows can signify that a man undertakes with unflinching resolve the hazards of battle, whatever the final consequences may be, thus indicating a special martial readiness.

ARGENT: WHITE/SILVER. Signifies serenity, peace and a nobility of purpose. The color of metal. Found in chevron and knight.

AZURE:   BLUE. Represents the important traits of fidelity, loyalty, and truthfulness. The color of the sky.

GULES:   RED. The feeling of bravery, fortitude in a military context. Represents a fiery nature. Found in chevron and plumes.

OR:         GOLD: Stands for the richest of metals. Exceeds all others for courage and valor. Purity and high value. Found in the arrow.

The description of the Krapfl name is found in a German lexicon of names [Keysers Nachschlage Werke, Hans Bahlow, Deutsches Namenlexikon]

Krapf - Krapfl (oberdeutsch), Krappel (schlesisch)
der Krapfenbacker (Krappenbacher, 1403 Prag)
Backer Krapfl 1385 Budweis
Backer Krappenhenger 1425 Iglau
vergleiche den Krapfenfeind 1329 Tirol
aber mittelhochdeutsch Krapfe, mitteldeutsch Krape auch = Haken, Klammer
Angel (wie Krampf)
vergleiche den Hellekrapf (=Teufel)
Ein Haus "Zum Krappen" 1384 Worms

A Krapfen is a doughnut, and thus it may be surmised that as far back as 1384, the Krapfls were bakers. Today, many of the Krapfls are farmers working the land of their forebears. The spelling of the Krapfl name has changed little over the centuries: Krapfl, Krapfl, Krapfel, and Grapfl. A century ago it was common for the "K" and "G" to be pronounced the same, as the surname "Grapfl" is inscribed over the doorway of the Robert Krapfl home in Loitendorf. Many church documents contain the Grapfl spelling.

Jakob Krapfl was born January 31, 1793, at Katzlesried, Oberpfalz, Bavaria, the son of Johan and Margaretha Eiber Krapfl. He was a master miller. Katharina Rampf Krapfl was born July 10, 1799, at Katzelsried, Oberpfalz, Bavaria, the daughter of Andreas and Magdalena Bauer Rampf. In 1854 Katharina moved to Dubuque, Iowa, where she lived with her daughter, Anna (Mrs. Fred) Freiburg. She returned to Dyersville about ten years later where she died on May 17, 1878. She is buried in an unmarked grave at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Dyersville, Iowa.

Site maintained by Julia Krapfl | Copyright 2005 | Page updated 7 February 2005
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