GRIEP from the Altmark
A region in Germany, where early settlers from the Netherlands left their traces

> [Nederlands]

  The Altmark is a region in the north of Germany, in the state of Saksen-Anhalt. In the east, this historic region is bordered by the river Elbe. Originally this area was inhabited by a Slavic population, but after 1134 colonists from Western Germany and the Netherlands were recruited to live here. Whether this is why there are people by the name of Griep living here, is not known yet.

The Griep families that live in this region are not fully researched by now. On this page you can find the ones that are already noted.





In 1134 Count Albrecht der Bär became Lord of the Altmark. From  Holland and Flanders he recruited colonists live in the area. They build dikes to prevent the regular flooding of the Elbe River. The dike they build range from the 'Arneburger' highlands in the south all the way to Wendland in the west. It is a masterpiece of the Dutch art of dikebuilding.

This settlers from Holland also introduced the use of bricks as a building material. What is now the 'Lange Straße' in Werben, was in those days the Dutch settlement, an independant community that existed well into the 13th century. In 1281 Osterburg is called a 'märkgräfliche municio', which means that the town was surrounded by a wall. Apart from the craftsmen, cloth-manufacturer, shoemakers and beerbrewers were strongly represented.

Their trade brought them in far away regions. Around 1400 8 cities in the Altmark, among them  Osterburg, Seehausen and Werben, were  a member of the Hanseatic League.

The 30-year was brought a lot of trouble to the Altmark. As many as five times Osterburg was plundered, by Swedish, Danish and by the own empirial forces. The Swedish King Gustav II erected in 1631 a stronghold near Werben. Untill 1641 there was a lot of fighting to conquer this 'Schwedenschanze'.

[Source: '825 Jahre Osterburg' and 'Jahrbuch 1992 Landkreis Osterburg'; Kreisverwaltung Osterburg]

Holzhausen is situated close to the river Elbe. In 1771, while the river was flooded, a Griep family had their youngest son born.
  • Dietrich Griep and his wife Katharina Dorothea Köhn lived in Klein Holzhausen. They had four children: Johann Heinrich Griep (1766), Marie Dorothea (1767), Johann Gottfried (1771) and Dorothea Sophie.
  • Johann Gottfried Griep, their youngest son, was born April 5, 1771, at a moment that, according to the birth register, the Elbe river was flooded. He married Katharina Dorothea Wichert. They had at least one son:
  • Johann Karl Friedrich Griep was born in Klein Holzhausen on March 6, 1811. He had, being a Freigutsbesitzer, a farm near Osterburg. In 1835 he married at Schönberg to Marie Elise Dahms from Herzfelde. They had also at least a son:
  • Carl Friedrich Griep was born on June 13, 1843, at Klein Schallum near Osterburg. He is a farmer and he married Maria Magdalena Lindemann-Lübbe from Kankel. Around 1898 they moved to Hamburg, where he worked as a Kaibeambter (habour clerk). They had 14 children, among them:

-- Otto Griep, was a professor for chemistry at an all girls high school in Hamburg (Lerchenfeld Gymnasium). He married Else, whose parents had a furniture store at the Lübeckerstrasse. They build a house outside the city limits of Hamburg in Großhansdorf.
-- Friedrich Griep, married Johanna Feldhusen from Cuxhaven and had three children: Günther, Grethe en Ursula.
-- Elise Griep was a dressmaker with her own studio. She never married, just had a steady rich boyfriend. She died of breast cancer.
-- Anna Griep married a man from Vienna from a rich house, but who hadn't learned anything so she had to work as a sewing sleeves to bring in the money. They had two children: a son that was killed in Russia in World War II and a daughter, Leopoldine. Anna and her husband were bombed out in Hamburg in 1943 and sent to the Bohemian forest, a very beautiful but lonely place. Since they didn't have money nor connections, they couldn't return to Hamburg and died there shortly after each other.
-- Marie Griep married en went to live in Rostock. They had at least a daughter, Betha.
-- Auguste Griep married Emil Ehmke. Their son Bernhard was killed in Russia in World War II.
-- Sophie Griep never married, but cared for her old parents, then lived in their apartment, renting out to single people. She also worked as a piano teacher.
-- Hans Hermann Griep was born in Hamburg on May 18, 1898. He married Gertrud Haack and worked as a streetcar conductor, office worker, and representative for sail cloth. They had two daughters: Hannelore en Lieselotte Griep. Hans died in Hamburg on December 28, 1989.

This information is provided by Jeffrey L. Engle of Granit Bay, California, who is married to a granddaughter of Hans Hermann Griep. His genealogy-site:



  While most of the Griep's from Holzhausen have moved away, other members of the Griep family stayed in the Altmark till present days.

For instance Holger Griep, who runs a garage in the hamlet of Haverland, part of Groß Garz.

In 1999, Jürgen Griep of Groß Garz, wrote that he (born in 1949) and his younger brother
Holger Griep (born in 1951), are both sons of Otto Griep from Lindenberg/Groß Garz.



  In the old Hanseatic city of Osterburg there is also a Griep family living. There is not much information about them yet.

Joachim Friedrich Griep was born September 20, 1769, at Osterburg. About 1836 he married Dorothea Sophie Schild.
Their daughter, Sophie Friederieke Wilhelmine, born September 4, 1837, married in 1859 at Osterburg Carl Wilhelm Hachtel.

Information provided by Gerd Hachtel

Wilhelm Griep, born on April 20, 1912, at Osterburg, was killed on August 4, 1944 in France, serving as a corporal in the German Army. He is buried in Pomichet.


Do you have more information about this Griep family, or are you one of their descendants? Please look on the page 'how to participate' how you can contribute to this project or send an email to

Home -- Introduction -- How to participate -- Participants in this project -- Around the North and Baltic Seas
Griep/Grijp from the Netherlands -- Gryp from Flanders -- Grip from Sweden -- Grip from Finland
Griep from Germany -- Grijp from Nordhorn -- Griep in the USA -- Griep from Minnesota -- Griep from New York State
Last update of this page (
on October 21, 2006, by
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.