The Emsland GRIEP's
Where do they originate from: Hümling, Saterland of somewhere else?

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  For many centuries, the Emsland region of moors and heaths near the western border of Germany has remained rather isolated and old-fashioned. Ever since the year 1400, the surname Griep is found in the region surrounding Meppen.

In Saterland, to the northeast just outside of Emsland, Griep's have been living since the 17th century. They seem to originate from the "Hümling" region.

In Nordhorn in the Countship of Bentheim, southwest of Meppen, a Gryp family has been living during the 16th en 17th century. In Twenthe, just on the Dutch side of the border, Grieps have been living since the 17th century.

So the question is quite obvious: are all of those Grieps related?




On January 22, 1400, the serf Herman Grip (Griep) from Lehe appeared, together with Coip van Hede, before Judge Sweder Rorynck at Aschendorf.

The session was ment to lay down the fact that Hermann Griep had, for a certain amount of money, bought himself free from serfdom from Coip van Hede.

The charter that was made up then, is also the first time that the village Lehe, where Herman Griep lived, is mentioned. So, for that reason, in 2000 celibrated its 600th anniversary.



  The 'freibauer' Wilke Griep lived at at the end of the 16th century at Whem, a village in a region called 'Hümling'. A 'freibauer' ment that he was a farmer who owned his land and farm.

This name 'Wilke' did also appear, for centuries long, in a Griep family that lived from the 17th century on in the Saterland region. According to the naming practises of those days, this makes it quite obvious that the Griep's from Saterland does descent from this Wilke Griep from Wehm.



  The municipality of Saterland, made up from the four villages of Ramsloh, Scharrel, Sedelsberg and Stücklingen, is wellknown as the smallest language island of Europe. The laguage that is used by the 13.000 inhabitants is a variant form of the Frisian language that is spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland.

From the beginning of the 17th century, a Griep family has lived at Scharrel. They are of the Roman Catholic faith and for generations long they inhabited the same farm, situated just besides the church in the center of Scharrel.

The first one to appear in a register in Scharrel is Joh. Gryp, in 1606 noted on a list of taxpayers.
Probably this is the same person as the beerbrewer Joh. Griep, who died on November 25, 1657, at Scharrel.

Theodor Griep, still living at Scharrel, has made up the following list of 10 generations of his ancestors:

  1. Theodor Griep, died at Scharrel on August 21, 1661.
  2. Wilke Griep, married at Scharrel on February 29, 1656 to Anne Dirks.
  3. Theodor Griep was born at Scharrel on May 25, 1660. He married in 1692 to Margaretha Eilers.
  4. Heinrich Griep was born on April 5, 1695, at Scharrel. He married on May 30, 1733, to Elisabeth Bütel.
  5. Heinrich Wilke Griep was born at Scharrel on January 9, 1737. On June 26, 1768, he married Toole Margaretha Janssen (born May 8, 1729).
  6. Wilke Griep was born at Scharrel on February 28, 1766. On November 27, 1799, he married Helena Deddens (1763-1839). He died on July 16, 1852.
  7. Johann Griep was born at Scharrel on October 15, 1808. On December 17, 1842 he married Regina Mennens (1820-1852). He is a farmer and he died on September 2, 1893.
  8. Eilert Griep was born at Scharrel on August 23, 1848. He married Elisabeth Awich (1861-1936). He is a farmer and he died on October 9, 1927.
  9. Wilhelm Griep was born at Scharrel on February 13, 1887. He married Margaretha Müller (1891-1979). He died on March 22, 1961.
  10. Theodor Griep was born on October 27, 1916.
Somewhere around 1760, Geseke Griep, born at Scharrel, married to Heinrich Böhlsen. They lived at Scharrel and got children. A descendent of them migrated to Illinois, USA.

This Griep branch is being researched by a great-g-g-grandson of them:
 Neal Tasch of Kansas City, Missouri, USA.



  The river Hase flows westward to Meppen into the Ems River. Although the Hase flows mainly through moors, heaths and cultivated flat land, the region between Essen and Meppen is called the 'Hasetal' (Valley of the Hase). In the middle ages, the important trade route form Flanders to Hamburg and Denmark passed through this region.

Westrum, Lastrup, Herzlake and Haselünne are a few places in the 'Hasetal'. Besides their location, along the Hase river, they all have in common that Griep's were, or still are, living there.

The oldest one to be mentioned in the church books was Bernardus Grip and his wife Talia Berens Spiker. On February 5, 1708, their daughter  Maria Gerdrudis Grip was baptised in the Roman Catholic church of Herzlake. In that same period, the following couples lived in the nearby hamlet of Westrum: Joannes Grip and Maria Duincks, Tobias Griep (Gripf, Griff) and Hillena Goesman, Carolus Grif (Griep) and Hillena Tien and Bernardus Griff and Angela Rambler. They all had their children baptised at Herzlake.

During the one and a half century that followed, over 150 children by the name of Griep were baptised at Herzlake. All those family branches are not fully researched yet. After 1860 their number deminished, because quite a number of them emigrated to America.

From one of the immigrant families the following ancestry has been established:

  • Hermannus Griep and his wife Hillena Rapien had at Westrum three children, all baptized at Herzlake: Tobias Hermannus (May 31, 1746); Tobias Gerardus (October 29, 1747) and Hillena (February 25, 1749).
  • Their oldest son, Tobias Hermannus Griep, married on October 25, 1772, at Herzlake to Anna Maria Broekhuis (Brockhaus). They lived at their farm at Westrup, where they had 8 kinderen that all were baptized in the Roman Catholic St. Nikolaus Church at Herzlake: Joannes Hermannus Tobias (August 26, 1773); Joannes Tobias (November 11, 1775); Anna Helena Adelheid (October 12, 1777); Hermannus Henricus (November 16, 1779); Maria Angela (August 27, 1782); Anna Maria (March 29, 1785) and the twins Joannes Bernardus and Joannes Gerardus (July 14, 1787).
  • Their third son, Hermannus Henricus Griep, married on January 31, 1809, at Herzlake to Maria Catharina Grues from Westrum. At that occasion, his name is not as 'Hermannus Henricus', but in the German form: Hermann Heinrich Griep. They had a son Joannes Bernardus (June 22, 1810). Not much later his wife died. On May 6, 1813, he remarried to Angela Maria Korte from Lewinshausen. With her he had three more children, who also were baptized in the Roman Catholic church at Herzlake: Joannes Henricus (November 23, 1814), Hermann Wilhelm (November 19, 1818) and Maria Gesina (June 17, 1825).
  • The oldest son from the second marriage, Joannes Henricus Griep, married on February 26, 1835, at Herzlake to Anna Marie Burke. He settled in the nearby Lastrup as a 'Heuermann'. A 'Heuermann' was a farmer that didn't own any land or farm of his own, but was allowed to farm on somebady elses land in exchange for providing labour duties. Around 1839 they had a daughter, Angelica, and after that 5 children that all were baptized at the St. Clemens church at Holte-Lastrup: Johann Heinrich (July 3, 1839), Johann (1842-1843), Hermann Heinrich (June 4, 1845), Anna Maria (July 24, 1848) and Johann Hermann (August 4, 1852). In 1844 they also had a stillborn child.
  • Daughter Angelica married in 1868 to Heinrich Hengemühle and after a year they left with their family in law, as immigrants to America. They settled at Todd County, Minnesota. In 1872 both her brothers Hermann Heinrich and Johann Hermann, sister Anna Maria and their father Johann Heinrich followed her. In 1879 also the last brother Johann Heinrich and his family left for Minnesota.

Look for this immigrant family at page: Griep in Minnesota.



  The village of Lindloh and the Dutch town Emmercompascuüm form a kind of twin town at both sides of the Dutch-German border. It is the origin of most of the Griep's that now live at Haren and Meppen.

One of them, Friedhelm Griep from Meppen, has lined up his own ancestors in his 'Ahnengalerie':

  1. Josef Griep was born at Lindloh and married to Anna Margaretha Scholübbers.
  2. Johann Theodor Griep was born on December 8, 1812, at Lindloh. He married Maria Katharina Ellerman, also from Lindloh.
  3. Hermann Bernhard Griep was born on April 27, 1882, at Lindloh. He married Maria Helene Arling from the Dutch town of Emmen.
  4. Josef Griep was born on July 15, 1922, at Lindloh. He married Elisabeth Möller and they had three children, from which Friedhelm is one.

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

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Last update of this page (
on October 20, 2006, by ©
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.