I also have wonderful readers and followers who leave comments like these:
How do you do your citations? Do you have a plug-in? ~ Amberly Petersen Beck of The Genealogy Girl
Does your blog provider give you the great footnote functionality? You’ve got a very polished citation game in place, and I’m envious! ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther
Their questions couldn’t be ignored. I do my citations manually without a plug-in. Why no plug-in? Because I use the free WordPress.com which doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles.
Adding Citations to the Rough Draft
A lot of preparation goes into the citations even before they make it to the rough draft stages. I research the family and add all sources to each individual and event in my genealogy software Ancestral Quest 15. Only when this is done do I begin to write on the WordPress Dashboard in Visual mode.
When I’ve finished the rough draft of my post, I go back and add the numbers in brackets for the footnotes. Sometimes I will place [#] where a source will be added while I’m writing. Adding the numbers gives me an opportunity to read the piece slowly as I add them.
Once all of the bracketed numbers are in place it’s time to add the HTML code so that my readers can click on the source number, go to the source list, and come back up to the post.
In the body of the post the HTML code is:
with the 3 numbers in red being replaced by the number in the bracket in the text.
Update (20 May 2017): The HTML code is now an image. You will have to type it in. In my original draft, the quote marks showed correctly as straight double quotes. However, when it was published, they became curly quotes (also known as smart quotes) and messed up the code (I guess they aren’t so smart in this case). I want to thank Lois Willis – Genealogy and Family History for bringing this to my attention. If you want to know more about how she fixed the problem, please refer to her post Fixing source citations in WordPress.
Let’s say you have a post with nine footnotes. I copy the HTML code in Evernote for nine footnotes.
On the WP dashboard, I click on the Text tab to switch to HTML mode. Don’t worry. You won’t be messing up any of your formatting. Click in a free space, usually between the first and second paragraph, and paste the code you copied.
Switch back to the Visual mode where you will now see the footnotes with hyperlinks.
Highlight and copy the  with the hyperlink and paste it in place of the  in the body. DO NOT delete a hyperlinked number (in the list) until after you’ve pasted it into the body of your post. I find that deleting before pasting strips the code.
Continue copying the blue number and pasting them over footnote number. If you have a very long post, use Ctrl+F to find the footnote numbers in your post.
Not Afraid of Working in HTML mode?
For more advanced users: If you are not afraid of going in and working in HTML mode, you can use Ctrl+F to find a footnote number, then copy/paste the HTML code in place of the number.
When I do it this way, I copy a few lines of the code in the area I’m working (above) and copy/paste each line to the place it should go.
Adding Footnote Numbers to the End of your Post
Now that all footnote numbers in the body of your post are hyperlinked, you need to add the HTML code to the end of your post where you will be adding your citations. The HTML code is:
and, again, the 3 numbers in red are replaced by the source number. In Evernote, I’ve added a space and the word link to each line of code. The space is important as it keeps the HTML code from being attached to the citation you will be pasting in later.
In Visual mode, scroll down to where you want to add your list of citations and add a title. Mine are titled Sources.
Switch to Text mode (HTML), scroll to the bottom or use Ctrl+F to find your citation list title.
Copy your list of HTML code for as many citations as you have below the title you’ve chosen for your sources.
Switch back to Visual.
Now you have all your footnote numbers waiting for the citations to be added.
Let the fun begin.
I use Ancestral Quest 15 which has a Notes/Sources button that opens up a window with four tabs: Individual Notes, Individual Sources, Marriage Notes, and Marriage Sources. The tabs for sources give me a list of citations as they will look in a report. When I click on the text it highlights (seen in black above) the entire citation which I then copy. I don’t know if other genealogy software programs have the feature I use to retrieve my citations.
I insert the citation text I retrieved from AQ15 in place of the highlighted word link next to the . Some cleanup is needed as all citations copied from AQ15 have a number at the beginning which I delete. Also, any formatting included in the citation will not carry over (see example above).
This is done for each citation. I have a preview of the post open in another tab on my browser so that I can see which event each citation is for. If the post is short, I will scroll up and down to check.
I usually wait until all citations have been copied over before I do the cleanup work. The citations may not be perfect or up to EE standards since I’m learning by doing instead of learning and then doing.
There is no need to format the URLs in the citations. Take a look at the preview to be sure the WP template you are using makes the links clickable.
One last thing I do with the list of sources at the end of my post is to change the text color to gray and bold the word Sources. With the template I used prior to this one, I had the option to use a smaller sized font. I opt to not leave a blank line between citations.
The trick to doing source citations on your WordPress.com blog is HTML code. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get used to the routine it becomes easier and quicker to do. Getting compliments from your readers, like I did from mine, will also help.
I’d love to hear from you if you try this out. If you have any problems or see possibilities of improvement, please let me know.
Christophe HASTERT and Barbara SCHMIT did not make it easy to research this set of 5th great-grandparents for my children. To begin with Christophe’s date of birth was not listed on their 1810 marriage record. He was thirty-two years old, born in Grevenmacher, and his parents Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN were day laborers living Hollenfels.
The Groom’s Family
Mathias HASTERT (1750-aft. 1810) and Anne NIEDERKORN (1755- aft. 1810) were the parents of two known children. No births of children were found in Grevenmacher in 1773 to 1777. On 1 April 1777 a daughter Catharina was born. Twenty months later, a son Christianus was born on 13 December 1778. This fits the age and place of birth for Christophe as seen in his marriage record. Were they the same person?
Both of the HASTERT-NIEDERKORN children were born in Grevenmacher, the town the father Mathias was born in on 25 January 1750. Although I have been able to find more information on the next generation back, I did not find a marriage record for Mathias and Anne. I suspected the family may have done some moving around after Christophe’s birth. How could I prove my suspicions and would any records found help to learn more about Christian/Christophe’s parents?
Let’s Analyze the Marriage Record
Christophe HASTERT married Barbara SCHMIT on 28 November 1810 in Nommern in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The groom’s father Mathias was present and consenting to the marriage. Down at the bottom of the marriage record were four witnesses. The fourth was a young man named Philippe HASTERT age 25 and from Mühlenbach.
Who was Philippe HASTERT?
Mühlenbach is part of the commune of Eich. This is on the outskirts of Luxembourg City and quite large compared to the towns and villages I have been researching. I took the chance that if he was living there in November 1810 he may, in time, also marry there. Surprisingly, I found Philippe married earlier in 1810. His parents were listed as Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN of Hollenfels, both present and consenting to the marriage which took place on 3 March 1810. Christophe was not present or a witness to the marriage. The parents’ names and place of residence confirmed Philippe and Christophe were brothers. Did this help in locating other siblings?
Philippe was born 29 September 1784 in Dudelange. His baptismal record was enlightening. Mathias HASTERT was listed as militis incliti Regimis Kaunitz. Did this mean Mathias was in Franz Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg’s infantry regiment? Being in the militia would explain his not remaining in Grevenmacher were his parents were from. Christian, as Christophe was seen in his baptismal record, was born in 1778 and Philippe in 1784. Six years in which one or two children could be missing. And for the years following Philippe’s birth until his marriage, where did the family live? This question will remain to be answered.
Getting Back to the Marriage Record
Christophe’s bride Barbara SCHMIT was the daughter of Jean SCHMIT (1752-1810) and Maria LENTZ (1759-1824) of Nommern. Barbara was born on 4 December 1783 in Schrondweiler, a part of the commune of Nommern. Her father was not present at the marriage on the 28 November 1810 as he had died only four days earlier.
In the last paragraph seen in this part of the marriage record above, the banns were read on November 11 and November 18 which shows the wedding was planned before the bride’s father passed away.
Barbara’s parents had been married only a little more than three months when she was born. She was the first of nine children born to them. Four of these died very young and only two of Barbara’s sisters are known to have married.
Only Daughters Born to the Couple
Christophe and Barbara were the parents of five daughters. Their not having sons makes it all the more difficult to follow possible descendants who may have already researched the family.
Ch 1: Anna Catharina was born on 15 December in Schrondweiler
Ch 2: Catharina was born 16 July 1815 in Niederglabach
Ch 3: Susanna was born 17 May 1818 in Niederglabach
Ch 4: Apollonia was born 31 March 1821 in Niederglabach
Ch 5: Margaretha was born 30 October 1823 in Niederglabach
The girls’ maternal grandmother Maria LENTZ lived long enough to witness their births. She died on 4 April 1824 in Oberglabach. Niederglabach, Oberglabach, and Schrondweiler were parts of the commune of Nommern.
Christophe and Barbara lost their youngest daughter Margaretha on 22 March 1827 at the age of nearly three and a half years. Five years later their oldest daughters began to marry.
Barbara and Christophe’s second daughter Catharina married Johann Nicolas STROESSER on 19 January 1836 in Nommern. Their third daughter Susanna married Johann RITGEN on 10 August 1841 in Nommern.
The Family Moves to Oberglabach
In 1832 and in 1836 when the first two daughters married Christophe and Barbara were living in Niederglabach. At some time before the 1841 marriage of their daughter Susanna their residence changed to Oberglabach.
On 16 December 1843 when the census was taken in Oberglabach as expected we see Christophe and Barbara with their only single daughter, Apollonia, living at home. However, their married daughter Susanna was listed as well as a young boy named Nicolas RITGEN who was born in 1842 in Useldange. The birth record confirms he was Susanna’s son. The whereabouts of her husband are unknown.
On the 6 December 1846 census Apollonia age 24 was still living with her parents Christophe and Barbara in Oberglabach. Susanna was no longer in the household.
Apollonia HASTERT married Joseph GALLION (1823-1854) on 26 September 1847 in Nommern. She and her husband remained in her parents home and were seen with them on the 31 December 1847 census. The enumerator omitted the location on this census record. The grandson Nicolas RITGEN who had been with his mother in Christophe’s household in 1843 was listed but then marked out.
On the December 1849 census no distinction was made between Niederglabach and Oberglabach and we see only that Christophe and Barbara were living in Gladbach. Apollonia, her husband Joseph, and their nine months old son Nicolas were living in the home as a second family.
Apollonia had another son six months before the 31 December 1851 census. He was listed with the same name as his three years old brother Nicolas. They were living with their parents in their maternal grandparents’ home in Oberglabach. This would be the last time Christophe would be seen on the census. He died on 1 October 1852. His death was reported by Peter LENTZ, a relative of his wife Barbara.
Lenzen House in Oberglabach
In December 1852 the widowed Barbara SCHMIT was living in the household of her son-in-law Joseph GALLION and daughter Apollonia. The two sons were both identified as Nicolas.
Barbara and Christophe’s daughter Susanna at some time went to Paris as she died there on 22 May 1854. Not only Susanna but also Apollonia’s husband Joseph GALLION died while in Paris. Joseph was a mason living in the 9th arrondisement in impasse Putigneux No. 2 and died at 7 in the evening of 1 July 1854 at Parvis Nôtre Dame No. 4.
The address Joseph died at is likely that of Paris’ Hôtel Dieu hospital which is on the square of the Nôtre Dame. Joseph’s death record was acquired in 1860 and recorded in the Nommern death register at the time of his widow’s remarriage. The records for Paris for the years prior to 1860 are missing however some have substitutes in the form of cards with the name, date, and arrondisement. Susanna’s card indicates she also died in the 9th arrondisement. Could she have also been a patient in the hospital? During 1854 there was a cholera epidemic within the walls of the city of Paris.
On 1 December 1858 the widowed Apollonia was the head of household with her three sons and her mother Barbara SCHMIT. Since the 1852 census the house they were living in was named Lenzen. This was very likely the home of Barbara’s mother’s LENTZ family.
The name GALLION is seen (above) as GALGON. Last week while working on the marriages in the 52 Ancestors: #18 The Merckes-Wagener Family of Bettendorf, one of the Merckes sons married a GALION lady. Her name was also seen in some records as GALGON. There may even be a connection between these two individuals who married into the Merckes and Hastert families.
Apollonia married Johann SCHAUS (1830-1869) on 29 December 1860 in Nommern. It was at the time of this marriage that the death record of her first husband was sent for in Paris and recorded in the death register of Nommern.
Barbara SCHMIT continued to live with her daughter Apollonia in the Lenzen house until death. She died at 3 in the afternoon on 29 August 1861 in the home. The death was reported by her new son-in-law Johann SCHAUS. Johann, or the official who recorded the death, incorrectly gave the place of residence of Johann as Niederglabach but correctly noted Lenzen house being in Oberglabach.
Apollonia remained in the Lenzen house after her mother’s death. She gave her second husband two sons, a third was stillborn. Johann SCHAUS died in 1869 leaving her to raise her sons on her own. She died on 30 October 1878. Her death was reported by her son Jean GALLION.
Ten years later the oldest daughter of Christophe and Barbara, Anna Catharina HASTERT, died on 9 May 1888 in Rumelange.
None of the daughters had children who carried on the HASTERT name. Their children were born with the surnames MERKES, RITGEN, GALLION, and SCHAUS. Catharina, the second oldest daughter, married a STROESSER but nothing has been found for her after her marriage. Were there also grandchildren with the STROESSER surname? If you know of any, please get in touch.
Nicolas MERCKES (1763-1849) was the son of Johann Heinrich MERKES (1723-bef. 1816) and Anna ROSS (1728-1816) who were married on 9 February 1755 in Arzfeld, Germany. Both were born in Irrhausen which belonged to the Arzfeld parish. They were the parents of four children born in Irrhausen: Peter on 16 December 1755, Angela on 6 November 1760, Nicolas on 3 May 1763, and Wilhelm on 16 December 1766.
According to the Arzfeld Familienbuch, Nicolas had an uncle named Wilhelm who left Irrhausen to marry in Bettendorf, Luxembourg. I didn’t follow through on this as no date of birth or marriage was listed or even the name of the bride. Other siblings of Nicolas’ father married in 1738 and 1744 but this does not help date the birth or marriage of Wilhelm. I consulted Rob Deltgen’s GEDCOM file online and he has the uncle Wilhelm listed as married in Mettendorf. A typo or a mix-up in the family book of Arzfeld?
While looking into Nicolas and his family, I found another MERCKES family group living in Bettendorf, the MERCKES-GRASGES family. Further research is needed however the couple appears to be Wilhelm MERCKES and Anna GRASGES who married 11 October 1791. This Wilhelm was Nicolas’ younger brother.
Why did I bother to even mention the possibility of someone in the family marrying in Bettendorf? Nicolas MERCKES of Irrhausen married Margaretha WAGENER of Bettendorf on 12 January 1792 in Bettendorf. How did they meet? Nicolas was still living in Irrhausen at the time of marriage and the couple would make Bettendorf their home. They were my children’s 5th great-grandparents.
Margaretha was born on 30 December 1773 in Bettendorf to Anton WAGENER (1746-1781) and Catharina PIRSCH (1748-1784). She was their first child. A brother was born when she was two years old. The possibility of other children has not been researched. Her father died before her 8th birthday in 1781. Her mother remarried five months later. This marriage lasted only two years as she died either the 3rd or 27th of April 1784. There were two woman, both mothers of a family, with the same name, the younger being known as Catharina PIRSCH junior who died on the later date. The WAGENER-PIRSCH family group will be looked into at a later date. (It is going to take me forever to do the 6th great-grandparents.)
The MERCKES-WAGENER Family
Nicolas MERCKES and Margaretha WAGENER had thirteen children. Twelve of the thirteen birth/baptismal records were located before this was published. I was unable to locate the birth record of the fourth child. My friend Linda who has helped me out a few other times after reading my posts sent me the link to the missing record. Corrections have been made below.
Nicolas and Margaretha’s first child was born on 19 January 1793 and was baptized the same day. Wilhelm MERCKES of Bettendorf and Anna MERCKES of Irrhausen were her godparents. The relationship is not indicated, however I believe Wilhelm was the father’s brother (this would prove he also lived in Bettendorf by this time). Anna was most likely the grandmother Anna ROSS. The father of the child was present and signed the record. I learned this was not usual. Normally the only men present at a baptism were the priest and the godfather.
Georges was born on 12 March 1795. He was baptized the same day, his godparents were Georges PIRSCH and Anna Maria LUX, both of Bettendorf. The father of the child was again present and signed the record.
On 1 June 1797 a male child was born and baptized Nicolas. His godparents were Nicolas Bindels of Gilsdorf and Elisabeth MERCKES of Irrhausen. The mother’s name was seen as Margaretha WAGENER vulgo PIRSCH. Death records from soon after his birth need to be consulted again to determine a possible early death.
Every two years Margaretha was giving birth to a child. The available records for March 1798 to June 1800 were searched however no record was found for the birth of a son about 1799. As will be seen later, Nicolas and Margaretha had a son named Johann Wilhelm or Jean Guillaume who was born per the census between 1797-1804 (year of census in parenthesis): 1807 (1843), 12 October 1797 (1846), Jan 1802 (1847 age 45 yrs 11 mos), 1804 (1852 age 48). His death record shows an even higher age which calculates to born about 1792 (1867 age 75). I also checked for a possible birth between the 4th and 5th, 5th and 6th, and 6th and 7th child. I suspect Nicolas may be the same child as Jean Guillaume but for now I have them listed as two different sons. The birth record of the fourth child, Guillaume, was located by Linda. He was born on 12 January 1799 (23 Nivose year VII) at 10 in the morning in the family home in Bettendorf.[11a]
Marie, the fifth child, was born on 16 March 1801 (25 Pluviose year IX) and the civil birth record was signed by the father and two witnesses.
Elisabeth was born 26 July 1803 (7 thermidor year XI) and her father reported her birth the following day. The signature he left was the same as on three of the other four records noted above. A baptismal record dated 24 July 1803 was also found. The discrepancy in the dates, baptism taking place before the birth, may be due to the conversion of the date. The civil record has the Republican date and the baptismal record the Gregorian.
Peter was born on 17 September 1805 (30 Fructidor year XIII) and baptized the next day. Peter ROSS of Irrhausen and Anna ROSS of “Artzweiler” were the godparents. The father Nicolas signed the civil birth record.
The next child, Michel, was born at 3 o’clock in the morning on 4 October 1807. His father reported the birth at 2 in the afternoon.
Nicolas reported the birth of his ninth child, Jean, two hours after the child was born on 5 December 1809.
The family had grown from two, Nicolas and Margaretha, to eleven, including the nine children. Nicolas was a farmer as seen in the civil birth records of the children. On 29 July 1810 at 6 in the evening Nicolas reported the death of his 8 years old daughter Elisabeth who died at 4 in the afternoon. A few days later on 3 August Nicolas’ brother Wilhelm reported the death of his 7 years old daughter. No cause of death is listed on death records in Luxembourg. What disease could have been taken these little girls?
Margaretha was 38 when she gave birth to her 10th child at 10 in the morning on 10 November 1811. Nicolas must have been busy during the day and went to report the birth of Jean Pierre at 8 in the morning the next day.
On 22 December 1813 at 9 in the morning Nicolas went to the civil office to have two records drawn up. First he reported the birth of a daughter Elisabeth to him and his wife at 6 o’clock in the evening of the previous day. Then he reported she lived only an hour and died at 7 o’clock on 21 December.
Three months later, Nicolas and Margaretha’s oldest daughter Anna died on 26 March 1814 at 9 o’clock in the evening at the age of 22. Her death was reported by Jean Müller, a 22 years old farmer.
On 1 December 1815 at 8 in the morning, Nicolas once again had to report the death of a child. Son Michel died at the age of 8 years (the record shows 9) the previous afternoon at 4 o’clock on 30 November.
The family now had only six or seven children still living. It is unknown at this time how long the third child Nicolas lived. Margaretha gave birth to her 12th child, a daughter, the third to be named Elisabeth on 3 March 1816 at 3 in the afternoon. Nicolas did not report the birth until two days later, on 5 March at two o’clock in the afternoon.
Nicolas’ mother Anna ROSS died on 15 April 1816 in Irrhausen. Her husband Johann Heinrich MERCKES was already deceased.
Margaretha was a month short of turning 45 when she gave birth to her thirteenth child at midnight. Nicolas was at the civil office ten hours later ready to report the birth of a son to whom they gave the name Nicolas. The son was born on 25 November 1818. It is my belief that the first son named Nicolas born in 1797 may have been deceased by this time.
Nearly a year later, the third daughter to be named Elisabeth died on 30 November 1819 at 6 o’clock in the morning. She was nearly four years old. Her father Nicolas reported the death at 10 in the morning the same day.
Margaretha’s child bearing years were over but she and Nicolas would have their children living with them until their deaths. Not all of them but the house remained full. The oldest son Georges married Catherine MERSCH (1795-1829) on 11 April 1820. She gave birth to six children during their nine years of marriage but only two lived to adulthood.
Five years later the oldest daughter Marie married Gaspar WEYLER on 22 January 1825. She died the day after their second wedding anniversary on 23 January 1827. She did not have children and her cause of death is unknown, or so I believed.
Their oldest married son Georges was widowed on 19 September 1829 and remarried less than a year later on 27 July 1830 to Catherine Hoffmann (1797-1869). She would give birth to two daughters, one of whom lived to adulthood, and would help raise Georges’ daughter and son from his first marriage.
In 1830 at home with Nicolas and Margaretha may have been all of their unmarried sons Jean Guillaume (33), Peter (25), Jean (21), Jean Pierre (19), and Nicolas (12) unless one or the other had gone to work outside of Bettendorf. The five daughters born to them were all deceased and did not leave children (update to follow below).
My children’s 4th great-grandfather Peter MERKES married Anna Catharina HASTERT (1810-1888) on 28 February 1832 in Nommern. She would give him eight children, two died young. Peter was a Schneider or tailor and, in their early years of marriage, they moved around until they settled in Bastendorf. Their story can be read here: 52 Ancestors: #35 MERKES-HASTERT Family – Back to School or Back to Work?
The next son to marry was Jean. He married Margaretha GALION on 16 October 1839. She would give birth to a son in 1839 in Bettendorf, two daughters in 1842 and 1844 in Godbrange (Junglinster), and then to four daughters and two sons from 1847 to 1860 in Diekirch.
The second youngest son Jean Pierre married Clara ABEND (1817-1895) on 5 February 1840. They were the parents of nine children, three of whom died young.
When the census was taken in Bettendorf on 12 December 1843 Nicolas MERCKES had in his household his wife Margaretha, his single son Guillaume, his oldest son Georges with his second wife and his three children from both marriages, and three possibly non-related persons. The married sons were with their wives and children: Peter in Bastendorf, Jean in Godbrange, and Jean Pierre in Diekirch. Only the youngest son Nicolas is unaccounted for in 1843 and 1846.
On 12 December 1846 the household of Nicolas MERCKES and his wife Margaretha WAGENER was made up of four generations. Their single son Guillaume and their married son Georges and his family were part of the household. Georges’ oldest daughter had married and given birth to a daughter.
On 31 December 1847 the household remained nearly the same. Another great-grandchild had been born and their youngest son Nicolas was back at home.
A young lady who worked as a servant had also been with the family since 1843. Her presence in the household now had me wondering if daughter Marie who died in 1827 may have had a child. The servant’s name was Margaretha WEILER and was born in 1825 in Brandenbourg per the census listings.
I returned to the civil records of Fouhren where Brandenbourg was listed during this short period of time. Marie MERCKES and Gaspard WEYLER were the parents of Margaretha who was born a little over 9 months after the marriage. Marie had another child, a son Nicolas, born four days before her death. Little Nicolas, likely named for his grandfather, died at the age of thirty-eight days. His father Gaspard WEYLER married again four months after he was widowed. There is not census available for the years between 1827 and 1843 which would show who raised little Margaretha, her father and his new wife or her MERCKES grandparents with whom she was living from 1843 when she was 18.
Nicolas, the youngest son in the MERCKES-WAGENER family, married Margretha MOSINGER (1825-1895) on 4 July 1849. They were the parents of five children born between 1850 and 1857, two of whom died at a young age. Only one census listing has been found for this family group due to the amount of time it takes to view the records. It is for the year 1861 and, surprise, Margaretha WEILER is living with Nicolas and his family and listed as a cousin. Nicolas was her uncle.
Nicolas MERCKES, the father of this family, died at the age of 85 years on 19 March 1849 in Bettendorf. A census was taken at the end of the year, however his widow Margaretha and his single son Guillaume have not been located.
Following the death of Nicolas there seemed to be some changes in the family. Jean Pierre MERCKES who had been living and working in Diekirch was found in the 31 Dec 1851 census as living in Clairefontaine (Bettendorf) with his wife and children in the household of his mother and brother Guillaume. The following year the household members were the same but Jean Pierre was now listed first on the sheet and his mother and brother at the bottom.
Margaretha WAGENER died on 19 December 1853 in Clairefontaine. Jean Pierre and his brother Georges reported her death which took place at “one o’clock this morning of the night.” She was 79 years old however her sons gave her age as 81.
From this point I am missing census listings for the sons of Margaretha and Nicolas other than for Peter, my children’s 4th great grandfather, who was living in Bastendorf. As mentioned earlier son Nicolas was found in the 1861 census, living in Bettendorf. I therefore do not have a concrete idea of how each family group changed over the years between the death of Margaretha and the deaths of her still living sons: Jean MERCKES died 5 February 1864 in Diekirch; Peter MERKES died 22 February 1867 in Bastendorf; J. Guillaume died 12 November 1867; and Nicolas died 17 March 1876 in Bettendorf.
Jean Pierre MERKES was the only child who left me with loose ends. He had been a coachman in Diekirch but moved to Clairefontaine on the outskirts of Diekirch soon after his father’s death. I found no death record for him in this area.
I searched the Luxembourg newspapers on the site of the National Library of Luxembourg and found Jean Pierre had put his home in Diekirch up for sale in 1851 and then in 1855 his home in Clairefontaine was being sold. Could this have been in preparation for a move?
Could he have been planning to go to America? I found a John P. MERKES born about 1845 in Luxembourg living in Dubuque County, Iowa. He had to be a son of Jean Pierre and Clara. I followed the hints (which will later be reviewed more closely to document the family) which led to proof (death certificate) of his being born in Diekirch and the son of Peter MERKES and Clara ABEND. Further searches led to an indexed record for Jean MERKES and Clara MERKES coming to America in 1855. Jean Pierre is buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Dubuque under the name Pier MERKES. He died in 1861. Clara married Michael Fohrman in 1864 and lived until 1895.
I did not expect to find a child of Nicolas and Margaretha emigrating to American in the 1850s. The trees I found on Ancestry have only the names of his parents taken from his birth and marriage record. No siblings or further information on his parents. Several trees were found on Rootsweb, a couple have an annotation on Jean Pierre attributed to Barbara Miller, “Supposedly Marquis de Peche’ under Napoleon before immigration. Changed name to Merkes when in America.” Historically this is not possible. Jean Pierre was born in 1811 and was ten years old when Napoleon died. The MERKES name goes back to the 18th century in Irrhausen as documented in the FB Arzfeld. I certainly hope his descendants will not be upset with me for shattering a family tradition.
In 1842 Elizabeth Bell, a daughter of William Bell, married William Hutchison. He was previously married and had children. In 1850 the William Hutchison household included two of William Bell’s daughters, Jane T. Bell age 53 and Hutchison’s wife Elizabeth age 50.
On the 1850 slave schedule, William Hutchison and Jane Bell are listed one after the other. William had a female black age 26 and a male black age 16 in 1850.
In 1860 William Hutchison had one female black age 33, one male black age 24, one female mulatto age 17, one male mulatto age 13, and one female black age 11.
Hannah J. Hutchison was the informant on the death of her father William Hutchison on 16 May 1866. In his last will and testament written on 6 July 1861 he mentions five slaves: Mark, Mary, Jane, Dick, and Eliza.
The Last Will and Testament of William Hutchison of Braxton County, West Virginia
I William Hutchison of the County of Braxton & State of Virginia do make and publish this my last will and testament whereby revoking and making void all formerly wills by me heretofore made: 1st: I direct that all my debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the first moneys that shall come into the hands of my Executor from any portion of my real or personal estate which I direct to be sold, bonds & e; 2nd: I give and bequeath to my wife Elizabeth Hutchison the farm on which I now reside which is embraced in the following boundary to wit: Beginning on the line of the survey conveyed by Nicholas Gibson to me, below the house and running a westerly course with the division fence between the lands occupied by myself & Felix Hutchison & continuing same course to Salt Lick Creek, thence up the Creek with the lines of the deed from said Gibson till where a line running with the fence which is between the land occupied by Nathan M. Hutchison & myself & with said line to the corner of the fence in the impovement (sic) the (sic) with the fence along the edge of the corn & old field to the edge of the wods (sic), thence a straight line along the lower end to the original line, thence continuing course about 10 pole, thence a straight line crossing Toms fork at two sugar trees one on each side & running to the top of the point that is opposite the house, Thence up the point along the top to the out line of a tract conveyed to me by C. Hall, C.S. Hurley, H.A. Holt and John S. Hoffman & with lines of same to join the lines of the Gibson Survey & with lines of same to the beginning, to have and to hold during her natural life time, Also my negro Slaves Mark, Mary, Jane and Dick during her lifetime, two head (sic), Six head of cattle which is to be selected by her, also my my (sic) sheep and hogs, farming implements, the grain on hands, also all the grain and grass that is on the land; Jane T. Bell is to have a maintenance to be made of the place during her natural life provided she remains on the place. Also Hannah Jane Hutchison is to have a maintenance to be made off the place during her lifetime or while she lives single provided she remains on the place, and at the decease of my wife Elizabeth, I desire that the above described tract of land be sold upon a credit of one, two, three and four years, also the property that is not made use of if any to be sold on a credit of twelve months & retaining a lien on the land to secure the payment of the purchase money & the proceeds to be applied as followeth viz: Jane T. Bell & Hannah J. Hutchison is annually to receive forty dollars each provide they live single or untill the time they marry then to cease, the residue, fifty dollars to my son Joseph Hutchison in addition to what he has received and debts which I have paid for him, the remainder to be divided into five equal parts, one part to Nathan Hutchison, one to Hannah Jane, one to Felix, one to Miles M. Hutchison, and one to Virginia Kniceley, their heirs & assigns forever. But at the time Hannah Jane receives any portion of her part the the (sic) above annuity of forty dollars is to cease. I also direct that my negro slaves Mark & Mary to have their freedom agreeable to the laws of Virginia at the death of my wife Elizabeth, and Jane and Dick to have their freedom when they arrive to the age of thirty years, agreeable to the laws of Virginia. 3rd: I also give & bequeath to my son Nathan M. Hutchison a certain boundary of land being the upper end of the Gibson Survey and running with the lines of the tract described in the second clause of this instrument and containing all that part of the Gibson Survey that lies between that line and John G. Morrisons line, to him, his heirs and assigns forever. 4th: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Hannah Jane Hutchison the following described tract or parcel of land and bounded as followeth, Beginning at a bunch of white walnuts standing on the bank of Salt Lick corner to land belonging to Eugenes Haymond & with his line a northerly course and passing his corner to the line of the original survey & with same to to (sic) top of the ridge thence along top of the ridge to a line of a Survey made for Morgan Dyer & with same to the Gibson Survey & with a line of same to the lower end of a fence thence crossing Toms fork and running up a steep bank thence along the hill side to the sharp point near the mouth of Toms fork thence to the ford of Toms fork, thence down the creek to the beginning to her and her bodily heirs forever. 5th: I give and bequeath to my son Felix Hutchison The following described tract or parcel of land bounded as viz: Beginning at the mouth of Toms fork thence up Salt Lick Creek to join the tract described in the second clause and with the same reversed to join the tract described in the 4th clause, and with same to the beginning to him his heirs & assigns forever. 6th: I give and bequeath to my son Miles M. Hutchison the described tract or parcel of land, Beginning on the hill side on the right hand side of Toms fork on a line of the tract describe (sic) in second clause an (sic) running with same crossing Toms fork and up the ridge to a line of the original survey and with same to a beech corner on the branch, on a branch which runs down from T. C. Cogers and down said branch to Toms fork & down said _ till the upper end of the hacking & crossing and running up the hill about 20 pole, thence along the hill side about twenty pole from the run cornering at different places to the beginning to him, his heirs and assigns forever. 7th: I give and bequeath to my Daughter Virginia Kniceley the place where she now resides and known as the Coger place containing one hundred acres together with twenty acres to be run off an eight hundred acre Survey conveyed to me by Joseph & C.E. Singleton, to join the line which runs from a chesnut to a beech & on the south west side of the 100 acres, to her, her heirs and assigns forever. 8th: I direct that all my personal property not heretofore mentioned be sold upon a credit of twelve months, and all lands which I
may have except such as before mentioned to be sold on a credit of one two and three year, and the moneys arising from bonds obligations, sale of property and land be applied to the payment of my just debts, and to effectuate this intention I do hereby vest in my Executor full power and authority to dispose of such real estate in fee simple or by special warrantee as he may think best, as I could myself do if living, and if there should be any surplus in the money arising from the sale of the last mentioned land, property & bonds I direct that such surplus if any be equally divided with my wife and six children. 9th: I give and bequeath my Daughter Hannah Jane Hutchison my Negro girl Eliza, to her, her heirs and assigns forever. 9th: If any of the lands heretofore bequeathed should be taken with any other title I direct that they be made equal to the other heirs out of the the (sic) proceeds of the sale of the home place. I Testimony I have signed and seal this my last will and testament this 6th day of July 1861. William Hutchison *Seal*
West Virginia County of Braxton S.S. Recorder’s Office September 10th 1866 being the 2d Monday in the month The following proceedings were had before the Recorder of said County. A writing purporting to be the last will and testament of Wm Hutchison deceased was produced before me in my office, and there being no subscribing witness thereto, Allen S. Berry, David H. Bright, Homer A. Holt, and Wm L. Corley, were sworn, and severally deposed that they are well acquainted with the testators hand writing and verily believe the the (sic) said writing and the name thereto subscribed to be wholly written by the testators own hand, whereupon, the said writing is ordered to be recorded as the true last will and testament of the said Wm Hutchison deceased. Teste. M. H. Morrison Recorder
Are Mark, Mary, Jane, Dick, and Eliza the names of the slaves seen on the 1860 slave schedule: one female black age 33, one male black age 24, one female mulatto age 17, one male mulatto age 13, and one female black age 11? I tried to find persons in the 1870 who would match these five. I believe I may have traced Mark and Eliza but cannot bring forth positive proof and therefore will not share the guesswork in this post.
Sometimes I am amazed at the discoveries I make when I sit down to write about these ancestral couples. Of course this only happens when I do a new round of research to learn more about the couple, their children, their parents and siblings, and any other possible connections.
While working through this family group, I discovered the father of the nearly 20 years old Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS had not died in 1791 as believed. The discovery of his death record started an avalanche of records which I will work through when I do the next generation. You’ll get a tiny peek below.
After the marriage banns had been read in Wallendorf and Bissen, and there being no objection to the marriage, a minor young man named Mathias FREDERICH and a young woman who was of age named Maria OLSEM were married on 7 February 1791 in the parish of Wallendorf. At the time Wallendorf was part of Luxembourg; after 1815 it became part of Germany.
Mathias was the legitimate son of Joannis FREDERICH, a farmer who was present, and the deceased Catharina FEDERSPIEL, both of Dillingen. Maria was the legitimate daughter of the deceased couple Martini OLSEM and Margaretha MAY of Colmar. Witnesses to the marriage were J.P. MAY from Bastendorf (could he have been a maternal uncle?) and Franciscus CONCEMIUS from Bettendorf. The groom, bride, and father of the groom left their mark while the two witnesses to the marriage signed their names. [Names are given as found in the marriage record.]
Mathias’ parents were Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH (1741-1811) and Catharina FEDERSPIEL (1746-1785). Catharina died on 30 November 1785 in Dillingen. She left her husband Johann with three sons and a daughter between the ages of 2 and 15 years. Records for this family were found in Wallendorf-Pont and Beaufort.
Maria’s parents were Martin HUNTGES also known as Martin OLSEM (1722-1782) and Margaretha MAY (1727-1789). They were the parents of six known children who carried the OLSEM surname and were born in Colmar between 1756-1773. When Martin OLSEM died on 13 October 1782 in Colmar and was buried in Berg, he left his wife with five children at home. Their oldest son had married earlier in the year. Margaretha, Maria’s mother, saw her two oldest daughters marry before she died on 6 June 1789 in Colmar and was buried in Berg. Maria was now the oldest unmarried child with a younger brother and sister.
The First Clue to an Error
Following the marriage of Mathias and Maria in 1791, a Johann TIVELS died on 20 August 1791 in Dillingen. The record was misinterpreted by an earlier researcher who attributed the death to Mathias’ father Johann TIVELS. When I viewed the death record, I questioned it being for the father as it read Joannes infansis Joannis Tivels (Johann child or infant of Johann Tivels). Johann Sr. was, I thought, a widower at the time and would have been seen in the parish register entry as viduus.
Mathias and Maria’s Children
Mathias and Maria lived in Dillingen their entire married life. They likely attended the little church seen above in the background. The old cobblestone paved bridge which crosses the Sauer River, the border between Luxembourg and Germany, leads into the town.
The first known child of Mathias and Maria was a male stillborn on 5 July 1794 in Dillingen. The information is attributed to the Familienbuch der kath. Pfarrei St.Peter und Paul in Wallendorf by Mathias Emil Hubsch. The family book of Wallendorf includes the towns of Hösdorf (1744-1822), Ammeldingen and Biesdorf (1744-1899) and Dillingen (1744-1807). I’ll check the book when I visit the Archive Luxracines tomorrow.
Maria and Mathias’s second child, a daughter Maria FRIDERICH was born on 14 April 1796 in Dillingen. Her birth was found in the index to the microfilm records Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898.
On 14 April 1802, exactly six years later Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, the last known child of Mathias and Maria, was born in Dillingen. Her birth record has not been located. The date of birth was found on the 1846 census. Or should I use 15 April 1803, the date found on the 1849 census? Normally a date of birth would be found on her marriage record but, in this case, her age and date of birth were omitted on the record. At the time of death on 28 October 1871, she was listed as 70 years old.
Mathias’ Father Dies
Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH, father of Mathias, lived twenty years longer than first believed. Mathias was 39 years old when he went before Johann Georg EVEN, mayor of Beaufort, and reported the death of his father in Dillingen on 4 August 1811 in his home known as Thivels. The death record had a surprising detail. Johann left a widow named Maria BOUR.
Further research showed that due to the nature of the surnames used in different records [changing surnames and house names] the connection had not been made by others who have researched the areas of Wallendorf, Dillingen, Colmar, and Beaufort. I believe this is due to the difference between research done for family books of towns and research done for families. Town family books are wonderful references but verification of the dates and places for the individuals and family groups needs to be obtained by accessing the records.Johann THIVELS married Catharina FEDERSPIEL and Johann FRIEDERICH married Maria BOUR. Since the Johann who married Catharina was believed to have died in 1791 the connection to Johann who married Maria BOUR was not made. The son Mathias from the first marriage is the common denominator and led me to the records which I believe prove only one Johann married both ladies. His second marriage took place three and a half months after his first wife’s death. I am still working on the children of the second marriage. The death record of a son Peter who lived less than a month and died in 1786 lists the father as Joannis FREDERICH vulgo TIVELS and shows the connection between the two names as is later seen on Johann’s death record.
A year after he was seen as the informant on his father’s death record, Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS died on 16 August 1812 in Dillingen. He left a wife, Maria OLSEM, and a daughter Elisabeth who was just ten years old.
So little is known of the FRIDERICH-OLSEM couple that I focused my research a bit more closely on the siblings of Mathias and Maria. Although I knew Maria lived another 16 years after Mathias died and would die in Dillingen, I wondered if there may be stronger connections between her and her family in Colmar. This turned up a strange intertwined connection.
Maria’s brother Dominique OLSEM was 38 years old when he married the 26 years old Susanne HAMES on 18 May 1806 in Berg.  They had four children.
Mathias’ youngest sibling and only sister Marie TIWELS married Joseph KOOB on 11 January 1808 in Bettendorf. She was 26 years old. They had a son.
Dominique OLSEM died on 28 Mar 1813 in Colmar and Marie TIWELS died on 16 May 1815 in Moestroff. Dominique’s widow Susanne HAMES and Marie’s widower Joseph KOOB married on 29 November 1815 in Berg. Perhaps Marie played matchmaker for her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Or the matchmaker could have been her older brother Nicolas OLSEM who was a witness to the marriage in Berg.
Marie OLSEM died on 1 April 1828 in Dillingen.  The informant gave her age as 73 years but she was only 64. She was survived by her daughter Elisabeth and one living sibling, Maria Barbara OLSEM who died on 16 December 1829 in Wiltz.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was not yet married and celebrated her 26th birthday a little over two weeks after her mother’s death. Almost two years later, on 17 February 1830, she married Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) in Bettendorf  to begin her own little family. It would not be a happy first year of marriage…. Her story continues here.
This morning I had a Message Request on Facebook from Linda. Her message helped me open another door in the KREMER-WINANDY brick wall. This isn’t the first time she’s helped me out. She’s the lady who inspired me to write A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known.
In my 52 Ancestors: #16 A Door Opens in the KREMER-WINANDY Brick Wall post yesterday I wrote about how my excitement dwindled as I read through the actual entry in the parish register for the marriage event of Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDY in Fouhren. The marriage record I found didn’t have the names of the parents of the groom and I did not know where the names seen on the marriage index card (above) came from.
Linda found the another copy of the marriage record in Fouhren in which Wilhelmus CREMERS’ parents’ names were included.
May I introduce you to my children’s 6th great-grandparents Henri and Magdalena CREMERS of Arzfeld, parents of Wilhelm CREMERS aka Wilhem KREMER (ca. 1762-1814).
A Lesson Learned
While working with the parish records on FamilySearch I’ve noticed some records are included twice – having been kept in a kind of double accounting system. I should have thought of this when I noticed the parents of the groom’s names were missing.
Linda once again taught me a lesson. When working with FamilySearch collections, check the catalog and pay attention to the year range given for each batch. There may be more than one copy of the record and they may not be identical.
Before I begin writing my 52 Ancestors posts, I review the information I have, revise notes, check for missing information, and add or fix source citations. The process has twofold results. I’m getting my stories written and my database is being cleaned up at the same time.
But the parents and siblings of Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867), my children’s 4th great-grandfather, still deserved a few hours of research.
A Key to Open the Door in this Brick Wall
Let me introduce you to Joseph CREMERS who had the key in his baptismal record which led to my finding the missing information.
Today the 23rd day of the month Frimaire in the 7th year of the French Republic at 9 o’clock in the morning came before me, Pierre Peters, agent of the commune of Hosingen … Wilhelm CREMERS, herder, resident of Wahlhausen, assisted by Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis, both of age and residents of Wahlhausen, and declared that Magdelene VENANDY, a native of Fouhren in the canton of Vianden and his legal wife gave birth yesterday the 22nd day of the present month at [illegible] o’clock in the evening at his home in Wahlhausen, a male child who he presented and gave the name Joseph, …. the citizens Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis confirmed this was true …. they signed in the presence of the agent and the father declared not being able to write. (a rough translation)
The Wall Came Tumbling Down
Joseph’s baptismal record led to my searching the church records of Fouhren for the baptismal record of the mother who was a native of the town. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I had no idea how old the mother was and soon became frustrated with viewing the old script. I asked myself, “If she was a native of the town, did she marry there?”
I checked the marriage index cards and found the marriage of Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDY in Fouhren.
I was ecstatic when I found this card with the names of the bride and groom as well as their parents’ names. My excitement dwindled as I read through the actually entry in the parish records for the marriage event.
On the 3rd of June 1793 after proclamation in the church parishes of Fouhren and Stolzembourg and, there being no impediment to the marriage, were joined in marriage of mutual consent Wilhelmus CREMERS of Arsfeld, a parishioner of Stolzembourg, and Maria Magdalena VENANDI, daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg who attend the Walsdorff parish of Fouhren and have their fixed domicile in Stolzembourg. Witnesses were Joannes Urhausen, a married man of Stolzembourg, and Joannes Lentz, a widower from Walsdorff. The bride and groom signed with their mark and the witnesses with their names.(a rough translation)
The marriage record brought to light two things. First, the parents of the groom were not mentioned on the record. Did the person who typed up this index card “know” the names of the parents or did he misread the record as it is on the bottom of one page and top of the next? Second, the couple had a reason for marrying. Since the until now earliest record for this couple was the birth of their daughter Eva on 10 September 1793, we can imagine the reason they were married on 3 June 1793.
And Then I Found More Children
With the discovery of the son Joseph and the marriage record, I searched again for other children born in Hosingen and Weiler area, where previously found children were born. From Joseph’s baptismal record I knew Wilhelm was a herder and the family may have wandered around. I found two more baptismal records and two death records. Two sons were discovered in the GEDCOM file of a Luxracines member on my genealogy society’s site however I was not able to find the records to support the dates and places. After sending him a query, Rob Deltgen pointed me in the right direction. Using his tip I found three of the four missing birth records and three death records. I now have all marriages and deaths for the family documented as well as the births of seven of the nine children. For the two missing birth records I have marriage records, secondary evidence of the births.
CREMERS-VENANDI to KREMER-WINANDY
Wilhelm CREMERS married Maria Magdalena VENANDI on 3 June 1793 in Fouhren. Madelaine, as she would be known in later years, was the daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg.
Three months later at 9 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday, 10 September 1793 Maria Magdalena VENANDI gave birth to her first child. The father Wilhelmi KRIEMER reported the birth of the female child who was baptized the same day and named Eva. Her godmother was Eva VENANDI of Stolzembourg and her godfather was Joannes SCHNEIDERS of Putscheid. [The godparents have been tagged for future research.]
The second known child of Madelaine and Wilhelm was their son Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) born in Hosingen on 1 March 1797. The birth and/or baptism of this child was not found as records for the years 1794-1797 appear to be missing for Hosingen. The date and place of birth were found onhis 1830 marriage record.
On Wednesday the 22nd day of the month of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic (13 December 1798) Madelaine gave birth to Joseph CREMERS (1798-1822) in Wahlhausen. The father Wilhelm’s occupation at the time was herder or pâtre. The birth record was a civil record, not a church record, and did not include names of godparents.
Marguerite CREMERS (1801-1803) was born at 4 o’clock in the morning on the 9th day of the month Floreal in the 9th year of the French Republic or 29 April 1801 in Wahlhausen. Two farmers from the town were witnesses and the father declared not being able to write. Marguerite died at the age of 23 months on the 13th day of Pluviose in the 11th year or 2 February 1803 in Wahlhausen. At the time of her death the father Wilhelm was working as a day laborer or journalier.
Madelaine likely conceived shortly after her daughter Marguerite died. Marie CREMERS (1803-1840) was born at 8 in the evening of the 20th day of Brumaire year 12 or 12 November 1803 in Wahlhausen. Her birth was recorded in the commune of Hosingen and witnessed by two farmers from that town.
The sixth child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born at 5 in the morning on 26 April 1806 in Nachtmanderscheid. Mathias was the name his 40 years old father, a herdman or bouvier gave him.
A son named Paul was born on 30 May 1808 in Weiler. The record found to document the birth of Paul KREMER (1808-1859) was his 1830 marriage record.
On 20 February 1811 at 8 in the morning another son born in Weiler was given the name Mathieu, the French version of Mathias, even though the first son with this name was still living. His father was listed as a 46 years old cowherd or Kühhirt. Did the parents make a mistake when naming their son or did they know one or both would not survive the year?
On 14 October 1811 the elder Mathias died in Weiler. His baby brother, also named Mathias died on 27 December 1811, also in Weiler. The family was reduced to two daughters and three sons.
Two years later the last child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born in 9 November 1813 in Weiler. The father, a 50 years old cowherd, declared his son Jacob was born at 8 in the evening to his wife.
On 29 January 1814 at 9 o’clock in the morning Madelaine and a neighbor went to the commune of Landscheid to declare the death of her husband Wilhelm KREMER who died the previous day in Weiler in the Hintner Haus. Madelaine, who could not write, left her mark on the death record. Her age was given as 42 years (b. abt. 1772).
The mother of two daughters and four sons between the ages of 20 years and less than 3 months may have tried to keep the family together for the next 8 years. Her second oldest son Joseph was in his early twenties when he died at 6 o’clock in the morning on 20 February 1822 in Wahlhausen in a house called Schneiders. His mother and a farmer named Theodor SCHNEIDERS reported his death. Joseph had been working as a day laborer, likely in service with the farmer. [Further research is planned as the eldest daughter Eva’s godfather was also a SCHNEIDERS, i.e. a possible relation to the KREMER, WINANDY, or HOSINGER families?]
Eva KREMER married Nicolas DIFFERDING (1792-1869) on 15 October 1822 in Landscheid. In retrospect, the location of her marriage should have lead me to the records of her missing siblings. Records for Weiler and Nachmanderscheid for the period the siblings were born and died were kept in Landscheid and found in the Bastendorf collection.
Following Joseph’s death and Eva’s marriage things were quiet until 1830. The oldest son Nicolas had moved to Bettendorf sometime prior to his marriage on 17 February 1830 to Elisabeth FRIEDERICH (1802-1871). His mother came to Bettendorf for the marriage from Eisenbach where she was living at the time.
A little more than a month later Nicolas’ brother Paul who was living in Hosingen married Marie DIEDERICH on 27 March 1830 in Bettendorf. His mother Madelaine was living in Merscheid but came to Bettendorf for the marriage.
Madelaine may have taken ill soon after the wedding or planned on staying in Bettendorf as she did not go back home to Merscheid. Four days later on 31 March 1830 at 7 o’clock in the morning she died in the house of Christian DIEDERICH, Paul KREMER’s father-in-law. Christian DIEDERICH was the informant on her death record and listed as her neighbor. The age given on the death record was 74 years (b. abt. 1756). She was more likely about 58 years old. The only record with an age for her was the death record of her husband Wilhelm in 1814 when she was listed as 42 years old. Another discrepancy on her death record was her place of birth which was listed as Bettendorf, the town she died in. No birth or baptismal record was found for Madelaine however her marriage record indicates she may have been from Stolzembourg or according the baptismal record of her son Joseph she was a native of Fouhren.
Five years after the marriages of Nicolas and Paul and the death of their mother, their youngest brother Jacques was marrying Cathérine KORB (1813-1895) on 27 February 1835 in Bettendorf. Jacques was living in Weiler at the time and Cathérine was from Bettendorf. They made their home in Bettendorf after the marriage.
The marriage record of Jacques KREMER erroneously listed his mother’s death as taking place on 30 March 1814 in Weiler instead of in 1830 in Bettendorf. Marriage records in Luxembourg are full of important genealogical information however the primary source is needed to substantiate the information which is only secondary evidence. It took me a while to learn this lesson in the early years of my genealogical research as I relied heavily on marriage records.
After the marriage of the youngest KREMER only the oldest daughter Eva was not living in Bettendorf. She lived and raised her family in Gralingen. Her three married brothers Nicolas, Paul, and Jacques were raising their families in Bettendorf where their sister Marie also lived. At the time of Marie’s death she was living in the home Christian DIEDERICH and did not work. She died on 12 May 1840 at the age of 36 years (the death record indicates 39) and her death was reported by her oldest brother Nicolas.
Eight years later the youngest of the KREMER siblings, Jacques, died on 23 July 1848 in Bettendorf. His death was reported by his father-in-law. Jacques who was only 34 when he died, had lived with his wife and children in the home of his father-in-law. His wife Cathérine outlived him by 47 years.
NIne years after Jacques’ death the now youngest living sibling, Paul KREMER died on 9 March 1859 in Bettendorf. His son-in-law Johann THEIS reported his death and did not know the names of the deceased parents. Paul’s age on the record was 52 years although he was only 50.
From 1859 until 1867 the only living children of Wilhelm and Madelaine were their two oldest children Eva and Nicolas. On 8 February 1867 Nicolas KREMER died in Bettendorf at the age of 69. His son Anton reported the death and added 10 years to his father’s age.
This must have been a family trait as Eva’s son Johann DIFFERDING reported that his mother Eva KREMER who died on 3 July 1867 in Gralingen was 80 years old when her true age was only 73.
Wilhelm CREMERS later known as Wilhelm KREMER and Maria Magdalena VENANDI later known as Madelaine WINANDY were a challenge to research. I began with five known children and very few records and ended up with nine children and records to document nearly all important dates in the family’s life other than the births of Wilhelm ca. 1766 and Madelaine ca. 1772, my children’s 5th great-grandparents.
Joannes CLEMENS (1750-1827) and Susanna WEBER (1750-1825) were my children’s 5th great-grandparents. Their research took me to villages I had not yet researched but I wasn’t surprised they had me searching through the parish records of the town I live in. The parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials for Echternach (blue cross) date from 1637 to 1797 and include the villages of Bech, Osweiler, and Steinheim (all in Luxembourg) and Ernzen, Ferschweiler, Irrel, Menningen, and Minden (all in Rhineland, Germany) (ruby icons).
Minden and Steinheim
Minden lies at the confluence of the Nims, a tributary of the Prüm, and the Sauer on the German side. The village was formerly attached to Echternach, but since the abbey was abolished it now belongs to the Edingen parish. Across the Sauer on the Luxembourg side lies the village of Steinheim (Steenem in Luxembourgish). It was also attached to Echternach and today belongs to the commune of Rosport. In a document from the 7th century, the place was called “Staneheim.” In earlier times quality stone was quarried there. In the Trierischen Chronik in 1822 Court of Appeals judge Müller tried to prove the stones used for the construction of the Roman baths near the monastery of St. Barbara in Trier, which had been uncovered that year, originated from Steinheim.
Susanna WEBER aka Susanna FEILEN
Susanna was baptized on 10 January 1750 in Minden. She was the daughter of Matthias WEBER and Anna Margaretha FEILEN who married on 19 November 1748 in Echternach. She was Matthias’ first born but not Anna Margaretha’s. Her mother was previously married in 1745, had a son in 1747, and was widowed in January 1748. Ten months later she married Matthias.
Susanna had five known full siblings, all baptized in Minden where they were born: Maria on 14 September 1752, Peter on 2 August 1755, Maria on 9 May 1758, Johann on 14 December 1760, and Matthias on 13 April 1763
Susanna WEBER married Joannes CLEMENT on 20 November 1771 in Steinheim. If you take a close look at the marriage entry in the church records, you may ask, can this be the correct record?
In the presence of Petri Saubert from Birckelt and Matthias Feilen from Minheim, R.D. Lucius solemnized a marriage in Steinheim between the respectable young Joem, legitimate son of Danielis Clement from Steinheim, and Susanna, the legitimate daughter of Matthias Feilen from Minheim.
Susanna and her father Matthias were seen with the surname FEILEN, her mother’s maiden name, on the marriage record. This was not unusual as men and their families were at times known by their wives’ surname if they were living and/or working in the woman’s family home and/or business.
Joannes CLEMENS aka Joannes CLEMENT
Joannes “Jean” CLEMENT (1750-1827) was born about 1750 in Steinheim. No baptismal record has been found. The estimated year and place were taken from his death record. He was seen as the son of Daniel CLEMENT on his marriage record (above). A woman named Elisabetha, wife of Daniel CLEMENT, died on 6 November 1777 and a man named Daniel CLEMENT died on 29 June 1778, both in Steinheim. These are believed to have been Joannes’ parents.
Over the years entries were found for Joannes with his surname spelled CLEMENT and CLEMEN. By the time he died his surname spelling had changed to CLEMENS.
Susanna and Joannis’ Children
Susanna and Joannes were the parents of eight children. When their first child was born in 1773 the mother’s maiden name was seen in the parish register as FEILEN. Later, at the time of the baptisms of their next seven children, she was seen with her father’s surname, WEBER.
Elisabeth was baptized on 22 September 1773 in Steinheim; the godparents were Matthias Weber of Minden and Elisabeth Clement of Steinheim. Her godparents were likely her paternal grandmother and her maternal grandfather.
Lucia was baptized on 9 December 1775 in Steinheim; the godparents were Peter Sauber of Steinheim and Lucia Diemer of Ernzen. Lucia Diemer was the wife of Johann Feilen, the brother of the maternal grandmother.
Anna was baptized on 17 March 1780 in Steinheim; the godparents were Mathias Sauber and Anna Maria Hemsthal, both of Steinheim.
Following the births of the first three children and before Susanna became pregnant with her fourth child, two of her daughters died. Lucia on 19 August 1781 and Anna Maria in 1782.
Pierre was baptized on 12 March 1783 in Steinheim; the godparents were Peter Kayser of Berdorf and Margaretha Feilen of Minden.
Johann was baptized on 9 February 1786 in Steinheim; the godparents were Johann Peters of Bollendorf and Maria Catharina Grupper of Steinheim.
The family was now made up of one daughter and two sons. Their oldest child, daughter Elisabeth died on 11 May 1787. It was about this time the family name spelling changed from CLEMENT to CLEMEN likely due to a change in the person who was in charge of making entries in the parish records (clearly seen in the change in handwriting).
Hubert was baptized on 8 July 1788 in Steinheim; the godparents were Hubert Helfen of Kirsch and Anna Maria Goeden of Steinheim.
Anna was baptized on 20 February 1792 in Steinheim; the godparents were Christian Schneider of Minden and Anna Maria Grupper of Steinheim. She lived only two days.
Elisabetha was baptized on 30 October 1796 in Steinheim; the godparents were Johann Feilen of Minden and Elisabeth Wagner of Steinheim.
The youngest of Susanna and Joannes’ children was my children’s 4th great-grandmother.
The first of Susanna and Joannes’ children to marry was Pierre who married Marguerite KOENIG on 9 January 1809 in Rosport. Pierre’s brother Johann must have met Marguerite’s sister following their marriage as Johann married Anna Maria KOENIG six years later, on 17 January 1815 in Rosport.
By 1815 four of the eight children born to Susanna were deceased and two were married leaving only Hubert (27) and Elisabetha (19) at home. The family surname was now spelled CLEMENS in most records. Ten years later Susanna WEBER died on 4 March 1725 in Steinheim at the age of 75. She left her husband Joannes (75), son Hubert (37), and daughter Elisabetha (28).
Nearly two years later Elisabetha at the age of 30 married the 34 years old Michel SCHERFF (1792-1865) on 12 February 1827 in Born. Elisabetha and Michel’s story can be read here.
Joannes CLEMENS died on 25 September 1827 in Steinheim at the age of 77. Three of his children were married. It is not known what became of his fourth child, Hubert who was not located in the marriage or death records of the commune of Rosport. Did he go off to work in another village or town in Luxembourg; in France, Germany, or Belgium; or did he emigrate to one of the Americas? Or do I really need to go back and check the parish records for deaths from the time of his birth in 1788 until 1797 (end of available church records online)?
Joannes and Susanna’s sons Pierre and Johann did not live to the ripe age of their parents. They died only a few years after their father, Pierre on 27 February 1830 at the age of 46 and Johann on 6 March 1831 at the age of 45.
The only known living child of Susanna and Joannes was their youngest, Elisabeth. She outlived her siblings by forty years, dying on 17 June 1870 at the age of 73. She did not live quite as long as her parents but came close to their 75 and 77 years.
This post brings me halfway through my children’s paternal 5th great-grandparents.
After five weeks of posts on five sets my children’s 5th great-grandparents who lived in what is now Germany, this week’s couple takes me back to research in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. [What can I say, I love Luxembourg research!]
However, before we go to Luxembourg, I’d like to share a little bit about the ancestry of the male actor in this week’s post. Joannes SCHERFF was born in Waldrach, Trier-Saarburg, Rhineland, Germany, abt. 1754 to Nicolaus and Helena SCHERFF. Period.
This was all I knew when I started this post. Now, having access to the German family books at my genealogy society’s library, I was able to add several generations to Joannes’ pedigree. His parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and four of his great-great-grandparents were born, lived, and/or died in Waldrach. They have names. They have dates of birth, marriage, and death. They have descendants. Missing, however, are the records to back all of this up. For now, they are placeholders in the family tree, waiting to be researched., 
Joannes SCHERFF of Waldrach in Germany
Joannes SCHERFF, the son of Nicolaus SCHERFF and Helena OTTO, was born on 20 September 1754 in Waldrach., 
I learned from the family books that Joannes’ mother Helena first married in 1743, at the age of 33, to Nikolaus SCHUH who was only 25. She gave him two children. A son Matthias was born in 1744 and a daughter Margaretha was born in 1745, four months after Nikolaus SCHUH died. A year after her first husband’s death, Helena married Nicolaus SCHERFF. Helena was 36 and Nicolaus was 22. [Note to self: What was going on in the Kingdom of Prussia or in Waldrach that made it necessary for a woman to marry, both times, a man much younger than she was?]
Helena’s son Matthias from her first marriage may have died before age four as she and her second husband named their first child Matthias in 1748. It is unknown if Helena had any other children before Joannes was born six years later. Helena died in 1755 when her youngest son Joannes was only 14 months old. Her widower Nicolaus married again in 1757 to Katharina OTTO, Helena’s first cousin once removed.
Joannes’ father Nicolaus SCHERFF died between 1764 when his last known child was born and 1791 when his son Joannes married.
Anna Maria STEIMETZ of Born in Luxembourg
Anna Maria STEIMETZ, daughter of Dominique STEIMETZ (1737-1799) and Magdalena “Helena” KOCH (1739-aft.1799), was born and baptized on 25 May 1763 in the village of Born in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Her godparents were Anna Maria BERSCHENS and Petro WERNER. On her baptismal record, her name was given as Anna Maria. Later, in other records produced during her lifetime her name seen as Maria without Anna.
The Connection Between Waldrach and Born
We have two people, a young man from Waldrach and a young woman from Born. How they came to meet is unknown. The straight distance between Waldrach, to the east of Trier, and Born which lies to the west of Trier is about 17 km. A short distance in today’s world.
If you zoom out enough on the above map to compare with the one below, you will see that Waldrach belonged to the area of Germany which was not part of Luxembourg during the time period.
Joannes and Maria Marry in Born
Joannes married Maria on Thursday, 5 May 1791 in Born. At the time of their marriage, Joannes’ parents were both deceased. Joannes and Maria signed with a +, Maria’s father Dominique signed with a D, and Joannes’ brother “Niclas SCHERFF” left an F as his mark on the marriage record. The witness Paulus SCHÖLER and the pastor signed the record as they were the only persons able to write. 
On the marriage index card an obvious transcription error was made, given her first name as Margaretha.
Joannes and Maria had four children during their first eight years of marriage.
Michel SCHERFF was born on 2 July 1792 in Born at two in the morning and was baptized seven hours later. His godparents were Michael BRAUN of Givenich and Catharina STEIMETZ, his maternal aunt from Born. Michel was my children’s 4th great-grandfather.
Nicolaus SCHERFF was born on 6 December 1794 in Born at three in the morning and baptized in the afternoon. His godfather came from Waldrach and was his paternal uncle Niclas SCHERFF, half-brother of his father who had also been a witness at the 1791 marriage. His godmother was his maternal grandmother Helena STEIMETZ. Helena would normally have been seen with her maiden name KOCH however in this case she was named with her husband’s surname. Nicolaus was the last child baptized in the year 1794. Directly below his entry, we see the pastor has likely transcribed births for the year to the parish register after the fact and makes note that this is a conformed copy.
Anna SCHERFF was born on 18 September 1797 in Born at three in the morning and was baptized the same afternoon. Her godparents were her paternal uncle Peter SCHERFF from Waldrach and Anna TRIERWEILER from Born. Peter was not a name found in the family books for Waldrach. Is there an error on Anna’s baptismal record? Was Peter a full sibling or only half-sibling of the father of the child?
Dominique SCHERFF was born on 15 Thermidor in the 8th year of the Republic or 6 December 1799 in Born. His birth was recorded in the civil register by the acting mayor of Born, Michel KINN who lived in Girst where the register entry was made. The child’s father, in the record written in French, was listed as Jean SCHERFF. He was an ouvrier de la commune de Born meaning he was likely working for the town in some capacity.
This last child was very likely named after his maternal grandfather Dominique STEIMETZ who died earlier in the year, on 9 April 1799 at his own home. He was in his sixties. His death was reported by his widow Helena KOCH.
Six years after the loss of her father, Maria was widowed and left with four children between the ages of six and twelve. Her husband Joannes SCHERFF died on 20 January 1805 in Born. He was fifty-one years old.
It is not known how long Maria may have had the support of her mother Helena as no death record has been found for her. Helena was the mother of eleven children: seven died young, one son has not been traced, a son married and went to live in Dahnen (Germany), leaving Maria and her sister Catharina who has not been traced after the birth of an illegitimate child in 1796.
On 2 October 1818 Maria’s daughter Anna died at the age of twenty-one. Her death was reported by two of their neighbors. Census records are only available online from 1843 making it difficult to determine where her two older brothers were and why they didn’t report her death. It is possible they were working away from home. No trace of Nicolaus, the younger of the two, who would have been 24 by this time, has been found. No marriage record. No death record.
Maria STEIMETZ died on 12 January 1833 in Born at the age of sixty-nine. She lived long enough to see her first grandchild Johann celebrate his fourth birthday, having been born on 8 April 1828. She must have known her daughter-in-law Elisabetha was pregnant with her second child who would be born on 24 June 1833, a son Peter. Later census records indicate Michel and Elisabetha lived in the STEIMETZ family home, a home which would remain in the family for several generations.
Michel and Elisabetha had a third and last child, Catharina SCHERFF (1836-1908) born on 25 October 1836 in Born.
The youngest child of Joannes and Maria SCHERFF-STEIMETZ, Dominique married Anne WEISEN (1804-1885), daughter of Michael WEISEN, on 13 January 1846 in Mompach. They were both in their forties when they married. The marriage lasted only a little over five years as Dominique died on 12 August 1851 in Born.
The oldest son, and only known living child at the time, Michel SCHERFF died on 2 January 1865 in Born at the age of 72. His widow Elisabetha CLEMENS died five years later on 17 June 1870 in Born.
Dominique’s widow Anne outlived him by 34 years dying on 11 November 1885 in Born. As they did not have any children, her only survivors on her husband’s side of the family were the three children of her brother-in-law Michel SCHERFF.
Pushing Back Another Generation
Not only did I look into Joannes SCHERFF’s ancestry, as seen in the beginning of this post, but also into Maria STEIMETZ’s. Hers was not as simple. I had the years of birth for all of her siblings as well as the links to their baptismal records but needed to download the documents, add the information, and cite the sources.
While doing this I noticed an annotation in the margin of the baptismal record of the youngest child Henricus born to Dominique STEIMETZ and Magdalena KOCH. It read, Submersus Surlippe Mesenich. At first, I could not read the first two words but I knew Mesenich was a location. Submersus means drowned. This annotation may mean Henricus died by drowning possibly in the Sauer River in Mesenich, today a part of Langsur.
I have a few digital copies of German family books and Mesenich is one of them. I checked for Steimetz in the book as I thought I might find information on the child named Henri/Heinrich. What I found was an entry for his parents: Dominic STEINMETZ of Born and Helena KOCH of Mertert married on 4 March 1759 in Mesenich. There is no further information concerning their children. However, now knowing where they were from, at the time of their marriage, may help to push back yet another generation.
While I was at home finishing up this post, my husband went on a 100 km bike ride through the Luxembourg and German countryside and came back with this photograph.
Yes, he listens when I ask about places (even when I really mess up the pronounciation) and surprises me with new photo content for my blog.
Caspar BOTZ was born about 1753. He worked as a Schweinehirt or swineherd in Holzerath. According to Heinrich Wagner, the compiler of the Familienbuch Schöndorf, in early records, his surname was spelled BOTHS, in 1793 BOOZ, and in 1826 BOTZ. Another variation of the name was BOTS. Caspar died on 18 September 1826 in Schöndorf, Trier-Saarburg, Rhineland, Germany, at the age of 73 years. His parents, at this time, are unknown.
Caspar married Margaretha MASEN before 1787. Magdalena was born about 1766. In 1801 a record shows she was from Kell. Her parents are also at this time unknown. She died at the age of 60 on 6 February 1826 in Schöndorf. At the time, her maiden name was spelled MASHEIM. In the index of Alfons Tapp’s Familienbuch Saarburg – St. Laurentius 1581-1899 her maiden name is spelled MAHSON.
Caspar and Margaretha had the following children.
Catharina BOOZ, born on 2 September 1787 in Holzerath, married Jakob FRANKREUTER (b. abt. 1800) on 11 February 1820 in Schöndorf. Jakob, the son of Josef FRANKREUTER and Clara BECKER of Weiskirchen, was a day laborer. Catharina and Jacob were the parents of three children, all girls, born between 1820 and 1824. Only one lived long enough to marry. Catharina died on 1 December 1853 in Schöndorf. Her husband died on 25 November 1877, also in Schöndorf.
Maria BOOZ, born on 6 January 1789 in Holzerath, married Michael SCHNEIDER (b. est. 1778) on 25 January 1808 in Ruwer. The deaths of their first four children were found by the compiler of Familienbuch Schöndorf in the civil records of Ruwer. Michael, the son of Heinrich SCHNEIDER and Maria PORN of Hermeskeil, worked as swineherd, cowherd, and day laborer (Schweinehirt, Kuhhirt, Taglöhner). Maria and Michael had nine known children born between 1808 and 1823. The first four died very young, the five who lived (no dates of death were given) were all boys. No further information was found for this family group after 1823.
Margaretha BOOZ was born on 17 April 1793 in Holzerath. In February 1814 she gave birth to a daughter who lived only a day. Margaretha married Johann SCHNEIDER, son of Matthias SCHNEIDER and Margaretha MÜLLER of Bonerath, on 21 March 1815 in Schöndorf. They were married in a religious ceremony the following day. Johann, who was born on 25 January 1793 in Schöndorf, worked as a horseherd (Pferdehirt). Johann and Margaretha were the parents of two daughters born in 1816 and 1818. Johann died 20 October 1837 and Margaretha on 26 February 1839, both in Schöndorf.
Niklaus BOOZ, date of birth unknown, died on 3 March 1801 in Ruwer.
Peter BOOZ born about June 1801. He died at the age of 18 months on 1 December 1803 in Ruwer.
Helena BOOTZ, born on 11 December 1805 in Schöndorf, married Matthias JAEGER, a widower from Perdenbach, on 5 January 1830 in Schöndorf. No children were listed for this couple in the Schöndorf FB.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Caspar BOTZ worked as a Schweinehirt or swineherd in Holzerath and later in Schöndorf (beautiful village). He raised and herded pigs, either his own or those of a farmer who would have been paying him to do the work. Did Caspar live a life at the bottom of the village society or was his job better respected? How much different was the work and respect of a swineherd, shepherd, cowherd, or horseherd? In the Familienbuch Schöndorf there were many other men listed who worked as swineherds and even some of Caspar’s grandchildren continued to do the same work. Maybe Caspar was a prince in disguise like the swineherd in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
With this post, I will be leaving the German countryside to return to Luxembourg. I’m looking forward to getting back to families for whom I have records or can find records for online. Although I’ve tried to make the posts for the German families a bit more interesting, it has been hard not having records. I’ve had to push myself to get this last one done. It is time to move on….
Sources:  Heinrich Wagner, Familienbuch Schöndorf 1686-1895 mit dem Filialien: Bonerath, Hinzenburg, Holzerath, Ollmuth zeit 1800, vorher in Familienbuch Pellingen, 1987/88: p. 47 family nr. 212. Botz-Masen family group; p. 74 family nr. 340a. Frankreuter-Botz family group; p. 298, family nr. 1359. Schneider-Booz family group; p. 299, family nr. 1361. Schneider-Booz family group; p. 513, family nr. 2469. Gorges-Grach and Gorges-Botz family groups; p. 137, family nr. 612. Jaeger-Bootz family group.  Armin Giebel, Ortsfamilienbuch des StA Longuich bis Okt. 1931 (June 2013), p. 201, family nr. 895. Bootz-Maasem family group.  Armin Giebel, Familienbuch Standesamt Ruwer-Waldrach, (Stand: Sept. 2016), p. 3243, family nr. 16479. Schneider-Boths family group.  Richard Schaffner, Einwohnerbuch der Orte Fell u. Fastrau mit Fellerhof, Fellerburg und den verschiedenen Mühlen im Gemeindebereich 1665-1905, 2008/09, p. 106-107, family nr. 502. Gorges-Grach and Gorges-Botz family groups.  Heribert Scholer, Familienbuch Farschweiler 1703-1899 A-Z, 1992, p. 69, family nr. 308. Gorges-Bootz family group.