Welcome to the Online Repository of the Histories of the Klitz, Kaup, Knowlton, O'Donnell and Stevens Families of Nebraska, Iowa, and Ohio​​​​


The Klitz Family can be dated back to the early 18th century with Jacobus Klitz who was born in the town of Metelen around A.D. 1709.  ​

The records for this period are incomplete and difficult to research.  However, Jacobus' daughter, Elisabeth, moved to the town of Schoppingen and worked for a family at the age of 10 in the year A.D. 1750.  It appears that Elisabeth's brother, Christophorus, followed her to Schoppingen, and settled there, marrying in A.D. 1773.

The Klitzes who lived in Cincinnati, lived there for over 70 years.  Heinrich Klitz emigrated to the United States in 1847 and his family, led by his father, Engelbert, followed in 1849.  A Klitz cousin (Heinrich Klitz) emigrated to Cincinnati in 1881 and lived/worked with Theresia Klitz.  The city directories listed below detail the occupation of the Klitzes and where they lived and worked in Cincinnati. Since a cousin emigrated to Cincinnati 35 years after Engelbert and his family did, we can safely assume that there was some form of communication between the Cincinnati Klitzes and the Klitzes who remained in Germany.  There is no definitive proof of contact between the Cincinnati Klitzes and the Nebraska Klitzes, though the funeral card for Theresia Klitz (d. 1900) was found in a box of funeral cards that belonged to Gertrude Klitz.  This suggests that there was some contact between the families.

The Becker Family met up with the Klitz Family in Colfax County, Nebraska in the 1870's when Hubert Becker married Anna Klitz in 1877.  The Becker family includes the Becker, Borgmann, and Marek families.

The Sellhorst Family, comprising of the Sellhorst, Wisnieski, and other families, married into the Klitz family in 1883 when Joseph Sellhorst married Elisabeth Klitz in Olean, Nebraska.

So far, we have been unable to determine how the Klitz name originated.  Klitz is not a widespread name in Germany.  The name is a diminutive version of Kliment (Clement).

Some theories are that when last names came into fashion in the late middle ages, the our ancestors, most likely peasants or people of the land, may have taken their name from their lords/landowners name.  In eastern Germany, the von Klitzing family were noble landowners going as far back as the 10th century. 

Another possibility is that our ancestors took the name of their town for their last name.  There exist the towns of Klitzschen and Klitzschena in eastern central Germany that could be the original hometown(s).

We have found that there are Klitzes in England.  They have also documented their research online.
Click the picture to access the Klitz Families (both Nebraska and Cincinnati families), the Becker Family, and the Sellhorst Family.
Click the Celebration for the Ages icon above to view the presentations and information posters and sheets from the Reunion.