Luxembourg genealogy research may seem daunting to new and even experienced researchers. With a country the size of Rhode Island, the smallest US state, one might assume Luxembourg research would/should be easier.
I learned a lot through trial and error when I first began searching for vital records for my Luxembourg ancestors. I browsed the records to figure out which communes the villages belonged to. When I got far enough back in time, I went through the same time-consuming trial and error system with the parish records.
Today, I use two online lists created by Jean THOMA to check for the commune and the parish a village belonged to at different points in time:
Still, even with these lists, there are records for some villages that are not easily found.
I received a query from Shirley who was searching for an 1813 marriage record for ancestors who married in Buschdorf.
She had the date that had been abstracted by a volunteer at Luxracines from the Tables Décennales (later referred to as TD in this post) or ten-year tables for births, marriages, and deaths.
She knew that Buschdorf was part of the commune of Boevange-sur-Attert.
The marriage record was not found in the collection of marriages for the years 1796-1890 where she thought it would be.
She wanted to know if records for Buschdorf might be found in a different commune.
Thoma’s list of communes indicates that Buschdorf was its own commune until 1823. This means that they kept their own TD, birth, marriage, and death records before 1823.
I went to the FamilySearch catalog and looked up Buschdorf. The catalog showed civil records for Buschdorf are in the Boevange-sur-Attert collection.
For more information, I clicked on the link (see arrow above) to open up the catalog entry for the collection.
This is the top of the page for the collection of records for the commune of Boevange-sur-Attert. There is a link that will take you directly to the civil records for all locations in Luxembourg. Stop. Don’t use this yet. Scroll down further on the page to view all films included in the collection for this commune.
If you aren’t familiar with entries in the catalog, there are a few things you need to know.
The camera icon with a key indicates some kind of restriction. Before becoming discouraged, check to see if you are signed in to FamilySearch. Very often, as in this case, the key will disappear indicating the collection is not restricted.
In the column with the film number, Item numbers may also be included. These will help you navigate an entire film with more than one item included. Images identifying the beginning of new items are easily found when scrolling through the collection.
In the above screenshot, the title of the collection/film Naissances 1841-1880 — BUSCHDORF: Naissances 1798-1822 — Mariages 1796-1890 indicates that part of this collection includes births for the years 1798-1822 for Buschdorf. As Buschdorf was keeping their own records up to 1823 there should also be marriage and death records for the town, not just births.
Going into the collection by clicking on the camera icon will take you to the film.
…scroll down in the Information box at the bottom to the citation and copy/paste the link into your browser to go to the image below.
Here the name of the collection is Naissances 1841-1880, 1798-1822 Mariages 1796-1890 and doesn’t indicate the records for 1798-1822 are only for Buschdorf. The title Naissances 1841-1880 — BUSCHDORF: Naissances 1798-1822 — Mariages 1796-1890 in the catalog suggests that there are three items in this collection. When you look at the collection using thumbnails you can see where each item begins and ends. (see end of item 2 and beginning of item 3 in image above)
Births for 1841-1880 were filmed in two batches and are under Item 1 and Item 2. Item 3 is named Naissances (or births) 1798-1822.
Item 4 is Marriages for 1796-1890. This is where Shirley searched without results for the 1813 marriage.
Going back to Item 3, a closer look at the records shows that this part of the collection not only has births but also the TDs, marriage, and death records for Buschdorf for the period it was a commune. This is the entire collection of records for the now extinct commune of Buschdorf.
Other “Hidden Villages”
About a half-dozen years ago, I had the same problem with Osweiler, a village that is part of the commune of Rosport. Sometime after 2011 and before 2015 FamilySearch “reworked” the Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1662-1941 collection. They have a link with the known issues in the collection that included this statement in 2015:
At the recent rework of this collection, the town/hamlet names were combined into the Commune/municipality level. The records are still there, but the search is different.
After much searching, I accidentally found that the Osweiler records to 1822 were included in Rosport in the collection titled “Naissances, mariages, décès 1800-1815.” The title deceived me and I didn’t take the time to view the records more closely. If I had, I would have found the births and marriages for Osweiler for the years 1816-1822 in this misnamed collection. The FamilySearch catalog gives the correct year range for the Osweiler records:
Other examples are:
Alzingen, a commune until 1823, then part of Hesperange
Brandenburg, a commune until 1823, then part of Bastendorf
Berbourg, a commune until 1823, then part of Manternach
…and the list goes on.
The commune or municipal system was adopted in Luxembourg in 1795 during the French occupation to mirror the systems employed in the rest of the French Republic. Many villages kept their own records until they became part of a larger commune in 1823 when the system was overhauled. These smaller villages that were municipalities or communes until 1823 are easily found on Thoma’s list of communes by searching for the year 1823.
The moral of the story is…
Shirley was happy to learn where she could find the record. She wrote, “I have so many “missing” records. Not always sure if they’re truly missing from FamilySearch, or if I’m just not looking in the right place.” Hopefully, this post will help her and others find their “missing” records.
If you are having problems finding your ancestors’ records, check Jean THOMA’s list of Luxembourg communes as well as the FamilySearch catalog for the location you are researching.
While researching for the post, I was in touch with the compiler of Les Familles de Rodemack et ses annexes Semming, Faulbach, Esing de 1682 à 1904 (Cercle Généalogique du Pays des Trois Frontières, 2004) about some of the dates for the FRANTZ individuals in the book. Jean-Marie offered to go to the Archives Municipales de Rodemack to look up several records.
I was particularly interested in the entry I found on the Tables Décennales for Semming:
Angélique BARTHEL died on 30 Brumaire an XI or 21 November 1802 per the entry in this list of death records for the decade 1802-1812.1 If possible, I wanted the information verified as the death record is not available online. On the Archives Départementales de la Moselle site, Semming is listed – à numériser, voir RODEMACK- indicating not all records have been digitized and those available are under Rodemack.
This morning I received digital copies of three records courtesy of the municipal archives of Rodemack. Anyone can visit the office but copies are not normally made due to the fragile state of the old documents.
The Death Record of Angélique BARTEL
The death record of my 5th great-grandmother was not recorded on 30 Brumaire XI nor did her death take place on that date as indicated on the tables décennales seen above.
The death record is dated 28 Nivôse XI (in the 11th year of the Republic) or 18 January 1803. Angélique BARTEL died on 27 Nivôse XI or 17 January 1803 at 3 heures du soir. This translates to 3 o’clock in the evening which is not correct and doesn’t make sense. The term du soir is still used by the older generation of French speakers and is similar to our use of p.m. Therefore, Angélique died at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Her occupation was sage-femme or midwife. She was 65 years old at the time of death placing her birth at about 1738. Michel BARTEL her son-in-law was the informant and gave Elling as her place of birth. The second informant or witness to the record was Michel BAUER, a friend of the deceased. Angélique lived in Simming and both of the witnesses were residents of the commune of Simming and Faulbach. Michel BARTEL could not write and signed with an X. The mayor of the commune, François ERNST signed his name Frantz Ernst, mayor.
Elling was also the place of birth of Angélique’s son-in-law Michel who shared the surname BARTEL or BARTHEL with her. As canon law forbade the marriage of close relatives, it might be assumed that the two were distantly related as they came from the same town. Baptismal records for Ellange (Elling) are on FamilySearch under Elling, Ellange, and Dalheim. They are lacking for the years 1716-1739 when Angélique’s baptismal record would be expected.
It is possible that Michel confused his birthplace with his mother-in-law’s when reporting her death. Michel’s baptismal record was found in the Dalheim collection and notes his birth in Ellange. The research will have to be broadened to include all towns between Ellange and Rodemack. Sierck-les-Bains which is halfway between the two but more to the east has several BARTHEL couples having children at the time Angélique was born but she was not one of them.
The Baptismal Record of Paul FRANTZ
The records for Semming on the departmental archives site for the Moselle are labeled as being available for the years 1682-an X. I found that they are missing from mid-1745 to 1802 (an X). Therefore I requested Paul’s baptismal record and the death record of his sister Marie Marguerite or Maria Margareta as seen in the Latin entry.
My 4th great-grandfather Paul FRANTZ was baptized on 11 August 1765. He was the son of Nicolai FRANTZ, bubulci or a farm laborer, and Ang… a married couple from Faulbach. His godfather was Paulus STROPPERS from Luxembourg and Margarita PIRMES of Faulbach. The godfather signed his surname: STROPERS. An unusual surname that hopefully will lead to a family connection. Note: The left side of the record including the date and the mother’s full name was not captured in the scan by the archivist. Jean-Marie only noticed this after he had arrived back home.
Eight months later, on 9 April 1766 Maria Margareta FRANTZ, daughter of Nicolai FRANTZ, bubulci, and Angelica BARTEL, a married couple from Faulbach, died. The interment was in the Summingen or Simming cemetery. Maria Margareta’s age is not mentioned but as this was only eight months after Paul’s birth she was likely born before the end of 1765 and at least 17 months old. Her date of birth is not cited in the Rodemack family book. Either the records are missing or she wasn’t born in Faulbach or Simmingen where the FRANTZ family lived in 1765-1766.
Geographical area to be researched
The distance between Ellange and Simming (Semming on the Google map) is a short drive of fewer than 20 minutes. Nicolas and Angélique’s older daughter Marie, the wife of Michel BARTHEL, was born in Beyren-lès-Sierck, a village that lies between Ellange and Simming, according to information furnished at the time of their civil marriage ceremony in 1816.
Although the distance is small, all villages in the area will have to be researched to learn more about the FRANTZ and BARTHEL connections in the area. Research for another day…
Special thanks to Jean-Marie and the secretary at the Archives Municipales de Rodemack for looking up and scanning the records I was most interested in.
As all genealogists know, there aren’t really brick walls in our research or our family tree. Still, I call my blog Opening Doors in Brick Walls as there’s always a way around or through the “I’mstuck!” point in our family tree research.
When I began working on this post I had very little information about the parents of Paul FRANTZ. They were names extracted from a marriage record I had not been able to access. What I did not know was that I had two records that could have opened the door in this brick wall if only I had paid closer attention.
A Contrived Brick Wall: when we build our own brick walls
The parents of my fourth great-grandfather Paul FRANTZ were named in his 1794 marriage record.
I knew the marriage record existed by searching the Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index organisée par l’époux/l’épouse).1 The Luxembourg Association of Genealogy and Heraldry (ALGH) founded in 1984 launched a huge project when the association was still young. A team of volunteers extracted all marriage information from the 156 old parish registers from before 1800 onto index cards. The project took years to finish. FamilySearch microfilmed the marriage index cards in 1995 and included them in the church records collection for Luxembourg when they were digitized in 2012 and finally went online in 2015. The cards included the name of the parish, the register, and the page number the marriage entry was found.
The marriage of Paul FRANTZ and Susanne KEIFFER was recorded in Volume 1 of the Mamer parish records. This volume was not part of the collection filmed by FamilySearch.
I knew who the parents of Paul FRANTZ were from the information on the index card. I did not know if they were from the residence given for Paul or from the town he was born in or from a different place. Since their location was unknown, it was impossible to search for them.
The digital version of the register in the archives of the Catholic church archives is now available on MatriculaOnline.
The handwriting on the marriage record on Matricula is legible but in Latin.2 I was able to translate most of the words in the record. However, not being a Latin scholar, I had problems with the meaning of some phrases in the record.
I posted to the Luxembourg Genealogy group on Facebook asking for help. Was only his father deceased as indicated on the index card or both of his parents? What did “ratione decennis commorationis in Bergem, parochianum de Schifflingen” mean? Who was it referring to? The parents or to the groom?
Kevin, the moderator in the group, told me to pay attention to the parentheticals. By removing the part about Paul being the son of the late Nicolas and Angela, I was left with: Paul FRANZ, linen weaver, by reason of a ten years’ residence in Bergem, a parishioner of Schifflingen… Accordingly, Paul had been living in Bergem since about 1784.
Linda has helped me several times with Latin translations. I’d tagged her in the Facebook query in the group. She sent me a short email pointing out an error I made reading the marriage record. Paul’s parents were from Semmingen and not Senningen as I had thought.
I had read Senningen as the place of birth for Paul FRANTZ on the 1843 census.3 Linda removed my blinders and I was able to get past this brick wall.
Even more embarrassing is that Paul’s death record included his town of birth as well as the country!4
Paul FRANTZ was born in Semming now part of the municipality of Rodemack in the Moselle department of France. Ancient forms of the village name Semming: Suningen (750), Sunungen (768), Sumungen (907), Sommange (14th century), Sinningen (1572), Simmingen (1685), Zinimgen (17th century), Sinumingen (1749), Simingen (1756), Simming (1793), Seming (1801).5
Over the years I had looked for the parents of Paul FRANTZ in all the wrong places: in Senningen and the parish of Schuttrange and in Bergem and the parish of Schifflange, both in Luxembourg.
A Visit to Rodemack
My husband and I visited Rodemack in October 2014, not knowing that my FRANTZ ancestors hailed from the area.
After the Emancipation Charter of 1236, the village residents of Rodemack erected the city walls to protect themselves. Today, 700 meters of walls and various towers remain.
The Sierck Gate, formerly called The Franchise Gate, was built in the XIVth century. The gate was defended by two round towers. In 1944 the Americans destroyed the upper part of the gate consisting of a covered way and loopholes to make passage for their tanks when Rodemack was liberated. It was rebuilt in 1989 to its original state.
The Medieval Garden is made up of seasoning and medical plants, fruit, vegetables, and flowers. The garden met the daily requirements of the people of the village: to feed, cure, and entertain themselves.
Lavoir, a public place set aside for the washing of clothes. These communal wash-houses were common in Europe until people were introduced to domestic washing machines. I remember going to the local lavoir with my mother when we lived in Aulnois-sur-Seille, only 80 kilometers south of Rodemack, from 1962 to 1966.
As early as 1745 there were several mills in use in Rodemack for grinding wheat, walnut oil, and bark. Oak and birch bark was ground to obtain tanning bark. The mills functioned up until 1920.
Listed among the most beautiful villages in France, Rodemack showcases a typical medieval atmosphere. It was difficult to choose only a few of the 238 photos we took while walking around and through the village.
Nicolas FRANTZ and Angélique BARTEL of Semming, an annexe of Rodemack
Nicolas FRANTZ and Angélique BARTEL were shepherds or bergers in Semming. They were the parents of three known children. Marie was baptized 26 February 1762, Paul was baptized 11 August 1765, and Marie Marguerite died 9 April 1766.6
Records for Semming for the years that children would have been born to Nicolas and Angélique were not found online. On the Archives Départementales de la Moselle site, Semming is listed – à numériser, voir RODEMACK- indicating not all records have been digitized and those available are under Rodemack. The records for Semming are labeled as being available for the years 1682-an X. I found that they are missing from mid-1745 to 1802 (an X).
Marie first married Jean ERNST on 5 January 1779 in Semming. They had several children before Jean died in 1795.7
Paul went to live and work as a linen weaver in Bergem in the parish of Schifflange in Luxembourg about 1784. After living there for about a decade, he married Susanne KIEFFER in Mamer on 7 January 1794. At the time of the marriage, Paul and Marie’s father Nicolas FRANTZ was deceased.
On 20 November 1796, Marie FRANTZ married Michel BARTHEL in a religious marriage ceremony in Semming. Two and a half months later their only known son, Michel was born.
Marie and Paul’s mother, Angélique BARTHEL died on 30 Brumaire an XI or 21 November 1802. The death record is not available online and was only referenced in the Tables Décennales of Semming.8
In 1816 Marie FRANTZ and Michel BARTHEL’s son Michel was planning to marry. As the records needed for the marriage were gathered, the civil servants did not find a civil birth record for Michel nor a civil marriage record for his parents. Their religious union that took place during the French Revolutionary period was considered invalid by the state. His parents were not legally married. This was not unusual for the times. Many couples dealt with the problem by marrying in a civil ceremony many years later when absent civil records were needed.
Marie, 62 years old, and Michel, 48 years old, were married in a civil ceremony on 30 January 1816 in Rodemack.9
Dame Marie Frantz agée de soixante deux ans native de Beyren, domiciliée au dit Simmingen, veuve de defunt Jean Ernst, laboureur au dit lieu, fille legitime des defuns Nicolas Frantz et d’Angelique Bartel, vivans bergers au dit Simming y décédés
Dame Marie Frantz aged sixty-two, a native of Beyren, domiciled in said Simmingen, widow of the deceased Jean Ernst, plowman at the said place, legitimate daughter of the deceased Nicolas Frantz and Angelique Bartel, shepherds in said Simming before their death.
The marriage record proved Marie was the daughter of Nicolas FRANTZ and Angélique BARTEL, both of Semming and deceased at the time of the 1816 marriage.
…Michel Bartel et dame Marie Frantz sont unis par the mariage et aussitot les dits époux ont declaré qu’il y a vingt ans qu’ils se sont marié de bonne foi devant un pretre et qui’il est né d’eux un enfant mâl qui ne se trouve pas inscrit sur les Registre de l’État Civil, né le cinq fevrier l’an mil sept cent quatre vingt dix sept, tenu sur les fons de baptieme par le Sr. Michel Ernst, laboureur à Faulbach, qui lui donne le nom de Michel, le quel ils reconnaissent pour leur fils…
As soon as they were united in marriage, Marie and Michel declared that twenty years earlier they had married in good faith before a priest and that a male child had been born to them and was not recorded in the civil register. The child born on 5 February 1797 was baptized Michel as witnessed by his godfather Michel ERNST, a farmer from Faulbach, who was present at the 1816 marriage. This act legitimized their son Michel’s birth.
Following his parents’ marriage, the younger Michel’s banns were read on the 11th and 18th of February. He married Elisabeth DREES on 22 February 1816 in Rodemack.10
Marie FRANTZ died on 16 August 1821 in Semming at the age of 66 years. Her husband was the main informant on the death record.11 Her age at death places her birth at about 1755.
At the time of her marriage in 1816, Marie was 62 years old or born about 1754. Marie’s place of birth was noted as Beyren on the 1816 marriage record. Is it possible that Marie is not the same child of Nicolas and Angélique who was baptized on 26 February 1762? Could this mean the FRANTZ-BARTEL family lived in Beyren prior to coming to Semming? Beyren-les-Sierck is part of Gandren and there are no records at the departmental archives (pas d’actes aux archives départementales).
Michel BARTHEL died on 2 April 1837 in Faulbach, the neighboring village of Semming. He was described as the widower of the deceased Marie FRANTZ.12
As well as his sister Marie and her husband, Paul FRANTZ outlived his wife Susanne KIEFFER (1754-1808) who died on 9 October 1808 in Mamer.13 He died on 27 July 1847 in Mamer at the age of 81 years or 83 years per his step-grandson who reported the death. He left twin sons Nicolas and Johann, two stepchildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting Rodemack and reading about how I finally was able to open the door in my FRANTZ-BARTEL brick wall.
Wikipedia, “Semmingen,” rev. 03:03, 12 juin 2020 (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semming : accessed 5 May 2021). Contributor’s sources: Bouteiller – Dictionnaire topographique de l’ancien département de la Moselle, rédigé en 1868 and Memoires de L’Academie Imperiale de Metz XLV (1865) ↩
Jean-Marie Neiers and Jacques Watrin, Les Familles de Rodemack et ses annexes Semming, Faulbach, Esing de 1682 à 1904 (Cercle Généalogique du Pays des Trois Frontières, 2004). Note: Not having access to this book, I emailed the author to confirm the dates. ↩
My 5th great-grandparents Nicolaus KÜFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (ca. 1737-1807) were likely not married in Mamer where they lived and raised their family. The baptisms of their children were found in Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique. This compilation of all baptisms in Mamer from 1718 to 1940 by family groups was filmed in 1962. The records of baptism from 1779-1793 are available on FamilySearch while the same and those from 1790-1804 and 1817-1911 are available on Matricula. I have had to rely on this Family Register of the Parish of Mamer for all children born to the KÜFFER families before 1779.
As the records are not available, I can only assume the compiler of the register used KÜFFER as the spelling of the surname as this is how it was written in the church records he consulted. Five of the eight children born to Nicolaus and Susanna were found in later records. The records show the surname’s various spellings, including Küffer, Küfers, Kiefer, Kieffer, Kifers, and Kiffer. The house they lived in was known as Kiefers house or Kéfisch in Luxembourgish.
The home, as well as the house name, was passed down several generations. In 1842 the King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, William II owned land in Mamer. In 1849, when some of the lands were sold, the king’s administrator Baron Ziegesar donated a piece of land to Pierre REDLINGER of Kéfesch for his faithful services.1 Pierre was a great-grandson of the KÜFFER couple. As the oldest living child of Margaretha KOLBACH he had inherited the homeplace from her. It had been passed on to Margaretha from her mother Susanne KIEFFER who’d taken it over from her parents Nicolaus KÜFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ.
The parents of Nicolaus KÜFFER
Christophorus KÜFFER and Angelica PROBST, the parents of Nicolaus, were married on 7 November 1731 in Mamer. They were the parents of five children baptized in Mamer. Caecelia was baptized on 24 October 1732, Nicolaus on 31 March 1734, Theodorus on 24 September 1736, Petrus on 21 January 1739, and Martinus on 16 October 1742.2
Three months after the birth of Martinus, Angelica, mother of five, married Michael GOERGEN on 21 January 1743. It can only be assumed that her first husband Christophorus died after Martinus was conceived and before Angelica remarried. With her second husband, she had three children: Wilhelmus in 1744, Margaretha in 1747, and Joannes in 1753.3
Of the eight children born to Angelica, only my ancestor Nicolaus was found to have married and had children in Mamer. His brother Petrus is noted as having gone to Monnerich (Mondercange, Luxembourg) and married however no record has been found of such or of children. When Nicolaus’ fourth child was baptized in 1760, Petrus KÜFFER was named as the godfather. No other KÜFFER or GOERGEN children were godparents of Nicolaus’ children. Could this mean none other than Nicolaus and Petrus survived to adulthood? Deaths and burials were not considered when the family register was compiled. Annotations were made concerning some persons who did not remain in the parish of Mamer but not all.
Angelica PROBST died on 29 April 1786 in Mamer.4 She was widowed for the second time. As her second husband’s death was not found in the deaths/burials from 1779-1786, it is assumed that he died before 1779.
The parents of Susanna SCHILTZ
Susanna SCHILTZ’s parentage is not mentioned in the family register of Mamer. There is no annotation concerning her former place of residence.
Susanna died in the house called Kéfisch in Mamer on 4 August 1807. Her civil death record includes the names of her parents as well as their residence. They were Johannes SCHILTZ and Anna Maria SIMON of Menster (Mensdorf, Luxembourg).5 No records have been found for this couple.
Nicolas KÜFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ become parents
Nicolaus and Susanna were the parents of eight children all baptized in Mamer. They are assumed to have married before the birth of their first child Susanne baptized on 25 March 1754. Their second child and first son, Joannes was baptized on 24 July 1756. His godparents were Joannes SCHILTZ and Anna Elisabeth SIMON. They could have been the maternal grandfather and a maternal aunt but without the record that may give their residence or relationship to the child, this cannot be determined.
The third child of Nicolaus and Susanna was also named Joannes and baptized on 2 October 1757. He was followed by Elisabeth baptized on 25 June 1760. Her godfather was Peter KÜFFER, likely her paternal uncle who went to Monnerich. The fifth child, Peter Nicolas was baptized on 4 August 1763.
In 1766-1767 when the census and cadaster of Marie-Thérèse were taken, Nicolaus and Susanna had five children. The census for Mamer is lost. It would have been a good source for this couple’s living children as all household members were named and placed in age categories. As far as can be determined, from later records, the first four children were likely living in 1766.
The cadaster of Marie-Thérèse for Mamer from 1767 survived and “Nicolas Kiefers” is enumerated as Hirt or a shepherd in Mamer. The acreage and value of the land he used and its income were calculated on the sheet. The handwriting is hard to read. It may include interesting information on how the family lived. I don’t have the patience needed at this time to sit down and decipher all of the details. What I have been able to figure out is that Nicolaus was using or owned 9 Morgens of farmland, some fallow farmland, a garden and fruit tree orchard, and 3 1/2 Morgens of meadows. I wasn’t able to decipher what he was cultivating and the reason for a deduction made to the total payable tax.6
A gap of nearly 8 years followed the birth of the fifth child. On 5 February 1771, a daughter Margaretha was baptized. Maria was baptized on 22 November 1772 and finally Nicolas on 26 December 1775.
The children begin to marry and start their own families
Of the eight children of Nicolaus and Susanna, three have been found to have married. […the 3rd marriage and family only as I was writing this post!]
Susanne KIEFFER (1754-1808) of Kéfesch house in Mamer, Luxembourg, was my 4th great-grandmother. I wrote about her, both of her husbands, and her children in my post, 52 Ancestors: #44 Legendary Two-Time Tour de France Winner’s Second Great-Grandparents. In January 2018 I was very busy and had little time for format citations for the post. Now over three years later, I noticed this omission and will try to get to the source list when I publish this post. [4 May 2021 Update: Done!]
Susanne KIEFFER married Michel KOLBACH (1784-1838) on 17 February 1783.7 Susanne’s father Nicolaus KÜFFER served as the godfather of their first child Margaretha born and baptized on 4 January 1784.8 With the birth of her daughter Margaretha, they were living in a four-generation house. As the oldest child, Susanne would take over the family home after the deaths of her parents.
Joannes KIEFFER married Barbara THIES on 21 January 1785 in Schoenberg.9 The marriage was witnessed by Joannes KIEFFER of Mamer who, if it is not an error in name, was his brother of the same name. Without any further information, it is impossible to tell which Joannes was the groom and which was the witness: Joannes b. 1756 or Joannes b. 1757. This marriage was only discovered when I looked more closely at the godparents of the KOLBACH children and found Barbara THIES wife of Joannes KIEFFER serving as the godmother of a child in 1789.
On 31 March 1785, Elisabeth KIEFFER served as godmother for her nephew Michel KOLBACH, son of her sister Susanne.10
Angelica PROBST, the mother of Nicolaus KÜFFER, died on 29 April 1786 in Mamer and was buried in the town cemetery the following day.11 The Kéfesch house now had only three generations living in it.
Nicolas KÜFFER again served as a godfather for his grandson Nicolaus KIEFFER, son of Joannes and Barbara, born and baptized on 17 September 1786 in Kehlen.12 Young Nicolas was the first of three known children of Joannes and Barbara. Michael KIEFFER was born and baptized on 13 July 1788 in Kehlen. His uncle Michel KOLBACH, husband of Susanne, was his godfather.13 Peter KIEFFER (1789-1849) was born and baptized on 29 December 1789.14
During this time, Susanna was still having children with Michel KOLBACH. Catherine was born and baptized on 29 Nov 1786 in Mamer15 and Petrus was born and baptized on 9 January 1789 in Mamer.16 His godmother was Barbara THIES of Kehlen. It was this record that added an entire branch to the KIEFFER family tree.
Elisabeth was the last of the three KIEFFER children to marry. She married Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY (1743-1803) on 11 May 1789 in Mamer.17 Their first child Michael CHRISTOPHORY (1790-1856) was born on 2 October 1790 in Mamer. His godfather was his uncle by marriage, Michel KOLBACH.18
Anna Maria, the youngest child of Susanne KIEFFER and Michel KOLBACH, was born on 14 May 1791 and baptized the same day.19
Joannes KIEFFER, the only known son of Nicolaus KIEFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ to marry, died in Kehlen on 26 January 1793.20 Four months later their son-in-law Michel KOLBACH died on 30 May 1793 in Mamer leaving his wife Susanne KIEFFER with 5 small children.21 Less than a year later, Susanne married Paul FRANTZ (1763-1847) on 7 January 1794 in Mamer.22
On 18 April 1794 Elisabeth gave birth to her second son Jean CHRISTOPHORY and named her younger sister Maria KIEFFER his godmother.23 Maria was 21 years old at the time. Neither marriage nor a death record has been found for her. However, the baptismal record was a good clue that she was still living in 1794.
Susanne KIEFFER and her new husband Paulus FRANTZ became the parents of twin boys, Nicolas and Johann, on 21 November 1794. The maternal grandfather Nicolaus KÜFFER was chosen to be the godfather of Nicolas.24 The second twin Johann was my 3rd great-grandfather.
A year and a half after the birth of the twins, their maternal grandfather Nicolaus KÜFFER died on 1 May 1796 and was buried the following day. He left a widow, Susanna SCHILTZ.25
The following year brought two births but also two deaths. Susanne and Paul’s son Henri was born on 10 January 1797.26 Less than two months later, Anna Maria KOLBACH, Susanne’s youngest daughter from her first marriage, died on 6 March 1797 at the age of 5.27 Three months later baby Henri died on 6 June 1797 at the age of 5 months.28 Two days later, Susanne’s sister Elisabeth gave birth to her third child, Mathias CHRISTOPHORY.29
Following the turn of the century, the first of the grandchildren married. Margaretha KOLBACH the oldest child of Susanne who would later take over the house Kéfesch married Leonard RÖELINGER on 18 November 1802 in Mamer.30
The last grandchild was born on 31 March 1803 in Mamer when Elisabeth gave birth to Catharina CHRISTOPHORY.31 The child would not grow up knowing her father as Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY died nine months later on 16 December 1803.32 His widow Elisabeth married again on 7 May 1806 to Theodore HELLESCH (1756-?).33
Susanna SCHILTZ, the widow of Nicolaus KÜFFER, died in Kéfesch house on 4 August 1807. Her death was reported by her son-in-law Paul FRANTZ. Her death record, as noted earlier in this post, included the names of her parents. A little over a year later, Paul was back at the city hall reporting the death of his wife Susanne KIEFFER who died on 9 October 1808.34
Two grandsons fought at Waterloo
My 3rd great-grandfather Johann and his twin brother Nicolas FRANTZ joined the 6th Infantry Regiment in Phalsbourg, France on 5 November 1813 and served alongside each other in the regiment. They participated in campaigns of 1814 and 1815 in France and Belgium. Nicolas was wounded in the shoulder by a gunshot received on 10 February 1814 in Montmirail. Johann was wounded in the right arm by a saber cut received on 18 June 1815 at Waterloo.35 After the final fall of the Empire, the brothers returned to Luxembourg. They would marry and have children as did their four KOLBACH half-siblings.
Elisabeth, the last living child of the KÜFFER-SCHILTZ couple
Elisabeth KIEFFER was the only child of Nicolaus KÜFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ still living when her FRANTZ nephews returned from the Battle of Waterloo. Three of her four children married. Her second son, Jean became a Catholic priest serving the parish of Steinheim from 1830 to 184436 and the parish of Bous from 1844 to 1863.37 On 5 July 1872, he was granted honorary dismissal and retirement at his request and because of old age.38 He passed away on 16 November 1873 in Reckange where his older brother Michael had married and raised his family.39
Elisabeth was living in the parsonage in Steinheim with her son Jean when she died on 28 April 1838.40 She had been living there since at least 1830 when her oldest son Michael married. She was not present at the marriage in Hesperange but her permission was given by letter from a notary of Echternach.41
A decade after Elisabeth’s death her youngest child and only daughter Catharina went to America with her husband Theodore SAUBER and their seven children. They departed from Antwerp, Belgium on the John Holland and arrived in the port of New Orleans on 18 May 1848.42 They settled in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, where Catharina was last seen in the 1880 census.43
Who said family history has to be boring?
Nicolaus KÜFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (ca. 1737-1807) were the parents of eight children. Only three are known to have married and had children. Their grandchildren led interesting lives. Twin grandsons fought at the Battle of Waterloo, a grandson was a Catholic priest, a granddaughter emigrated to America, and their grandson Nicolas FRANTZ (1794-1879) was the great-grandfather of the legendary two-time Tour de France winner Nicolas FRANTZ (1899-1985).
What of the two children who were mentioned in records, Joannes and Maria? Did they marry and have families? Do they have stories left to be told?
Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 135 of 375. Family register entries for Küffer-Probst and Küffer-Schiltz. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32402-77-6?cc=2037955 : accessed 28 November 2015). ↩
Cadastre de Marie-Thérèse (1752-1772), Dénombrements des feux, aides et subsides 1473-1806, FamilySearch, Film 2271574 DGS 8014693, Regime A, section 14: cadastre de Marie-Thérèse 1767, liasse 77 (Mamer), image 506+507 of 657, sheet no. 136. 1767 cadastre sheet of Nicolas Kuffers in Mamer.(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSXW-1WK7-P?i=506&cat=1152016 : accessed 26 April 2021). ↩
“New Orleans, Passenger List Quarterly Abstracts, 1820-1875” Ancestry.com, citing Quarterly Abstracts of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820–1875. M272, 17 rolls. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. ↩
1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1431, Wisconsin, Kenosha, Kenosha, Enumeration District 76, page 23A, HH#6-6, lines 19-27, Paul Sauber household. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6742/images/4244754-00239 : accessed 26 April 2021). ↩
When I found the Personal Property Tax Lists for Virginia were online, I had several paternal ancestors I wanted to find in the lists. Jeremiah Claunch of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, was one of these. Jeremiah was not a slaveholder and this was confirmed in the year-to-year analysis of his PPT entries. While browsing the tax lists I found that Mecklenburg kept exceptional records. The gentlemen enumerating the districts not only noted the number of slaves over 16 and 16 and younger, but also the names of the enslaved persons. Their names were written after the tithable’s name.
I realized having the names of the enslaved persons listed in two age groups could be helpful to people searching for their enslaved ancestors. As a test, I chose a person on the list taken by Bennett Goode in 1782, the district my Claunch ancestor lived in. The page was missing the left edge where the surname of the person of interest was written and was hard to read. However, as I followed him through the years, I found the names of the enslaved persons were being repeated and this must be the first entry in the PPT lists for John Ballard Senr. of Mecklenburg County, Virginia.1
In 1782, John Ballard Senr. had 20 slaves over 16 years of age and 33 who were 16 or younger. Along with the names of these enslaved persons was the name Jno. Waller. In 1783 the same Jno. Waller was listed with John Ballard which helped to prove this was the same tithable and the surname missing on the 1782 record was Ballard.2
The names on the 1783 PPT list were much more legible in the 1782 entry and included Jacob, Harry, Charles, George, Cate, Phebe, and Fanny who were over 16. Watt,Daniel, Bob, Biddy, Charlotte, Jacob, Stephen, Branch, Jesse, Judy, Jane, Starling, and Eliza were 16 or younger.
In 1784 Ballard was named with Daniel Daby (overseer) and the enslaved persons over 16 were Jacob, Harry, Charles, George, Watt, Kate, Phebe, and Fanny. Daniel, Bob, Jacob, Biddy, Jesse, Branch, Eliza, Starling, Sandy, Dick, and Jiminy were 16 and under.3
Watt had been on the 1783 list in the 16 and younger category and was now over 16 or 17 years old in 1783, i.e. born about 1766.
In 1785 no entry was found for John Ballard. I had not been able to find my ancestor Jeremiah Claunch the same year. After reviewing the images I found the district they both lived in was either not counted, lost, or missing.
In 1786 the list was taken by the gentleman William Hepburn. The name of the tithable John Ballard Sr. had disappeared. Instead, a John Ballard Jr. was seen with Poole?, Peter, Absalom, Will, Jim, Pat, Phillis, Betty, Phillis, Lucy, and Judy, all over 16. The 16 and younger names were Bob, Frank, Dick, Simon, Marry, Davy, Tom, Cyrus, Sally, Nancy, Lucy, Liddy, Lukey, Silvia, Lavina, Docina, Hannah, and Milly.4
As the names of the enslaved persons were no longer matching up with the names in the previous years for John Ballard Sr., I checked for a will that would confirm the death of the senior Ballard. In Will Book 2 beginning on page 213A, the will of John Ballard was found.5
The Last Will and Testament of John Ballard of Mecklenburg County, Virginia
In the name of God Amen. I John Ballard of the County of Mecklenburg being of sound and disposing mind and memory do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following. First and principally I recommend my soul unto God my maker & my body I commit to the earth to be buried in a decent manner at the discretion of my Executor hereafter named and as to my estate I dispose [illegible] in the following manner.
I direct that all my just debts and funeral expenses be first paid and satisfied. I lend to my beloved wife Faitha during her life all my estate both real and personal and at her death to be disposed of as follows. I lend to my daughter Lucy Holmes during her life a boy named Watt, a Girl called Biddy, a man named Harry and a girl named Lizzy and at the death of my said daughter I direct that the said negroes and the increase of the females be equally divided amongst all my said daughters children to whom and their heirs I give them forever. I lend to my daughter Becky Hollaway a negro woman named Peib (sic, Phebe) and her children Charlotte, Judy and Doll and a negro man named Charles during her life and at her death, I direct the said negroes and the increase of the females to be disposed of by my executor in such manner as he may think will best contribute to the support of my grandchildren by my said daughter Becky until her youngest surviving child shall arrive at lawful age and at that time, that the said negroes and the increase of the females be equally divided amongst my said daughters children to whom and their heirs I give them forever. I also give to my said daughter Becky a good feather bed and furniture. I lend to my daughter Martha Hollaway four negroes named Fanny, Cawcy, Jenny, and Dick during her life, and at her death, I direct that the said negroes and the increase of the said females be disposed of by my executor in such manner as he may think will best contribute to the support of my grand children by my said daughter Martha until her youngest surviving child shall arrive at lawful age and at that time that the said negroes & the increase of the said females be equally divided amongst my said daughters children to whom and their heirs. I give them forever. I lend to my daughter Betty Cook two negro boys named Jacob and Stephen during her life and at her death, I give the said negroes to such child or children as she may then have equally to be divided between them, to them and their heirs forever. But if my said daughter Betty shall die without leaving any child, then I give the said negroes to my son John Ballard and his heirs forever. I also give to my daughter Betty one hundred and twenty five pounds ____. I give unto my son William Ballard two negro men named Jacob and Jiminy, a negro woman named Kate and a boy named Starling to him and his heirs forever. Further I lend to my said son William a negro boy named Sandy during his life and at his death, I give the said negro boy to my grandson Francis Ballard and his heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my son Robert Ballard two negroes, ____ Anthony and Bob the land and plantation whereon I now live and one new feather bed to him and his heirs forever. I give to my son Roberts’s oldest son living at the time of my death a negro boy named Jesse to him and his heirs forever; but if my son Robert should have no son alive at my death then I give the said negro boy to my said son Robert and his heirs forever. I give to my grand daughter Mary Garland Ballard a negroe boy named Branche to her and her heirs forever. All the rest and residue of my estate I give to my son John Ballard and his heirs forever. I do nominate and appoint my son John Ballard sole executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me heretofore made. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 26th day of August 1783. John Ballard (seal) Sealed published & declared by the testator as for his last will & testament in our presence John Brawn [illegible] Nicholas [illegible]
At a Court held for Mecklenburg County the 9th day of July 18 This will was proved by the Oaths of John Brawn & Lewis Earham witness thereto and ordered to be recorded. And on the motion of John Ballard the executor therein named who made Oath thereto and together with William Hepborn, William Johnson & David Stokes his securities entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of five Thousand pounds Conditioned as the law directs Certificate was granted him for obtaining a probate of the said will in due form. Teste John Brawn
The names released from John Ballard Sr.’ tax lists and will
The names put down on paper 235 years ago in the tax lists give more meaning to those found in the last will and testament of John Ballard Sr. Every record counts when so few were produced for enslaved persons.
Click here to go directly to the list of Virginia and West Virginia counties with PPT lists in the Family Search catalog!
Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue, “Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Personal property tax lists, 1782-1850,” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, citing Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library and Archives in Richmond, Virginia., Personal property tax lists 1782-1805, Film 1854098, DGS 7857023, image 29 of 1116, Taken by Bennett Goode Gent., line 10, ___ John Senr. (surname cutoff). 1782 John Ballard Senr. PPT list entry (2 20 33 6). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS73-991R-5?i=28&cat=638357 : accessed 30 April 2021). ↩
When I wrote about my 4th great-grandfather Jacob FRISCH in January 2018, I had only the names of his parents from his 1789 marriage record: the deceased Joannes FRISCH and his wife Margaretha ZEIMET of Huncherange in Luxembourg.
I had no idea when Jacob was born or if the village his parents lived in was also his birthplace. I searched the records of the parish of Noertzange to which Huncherange was attached for the years 1760 to 1770 without success.
I didn’t know at the time that Jacob was 33 years old when he married Regina HUBERTY in 1789. Once I had the right time frame, I was able to locate the baptismal records of seven children born in Huncherange to my 5th great-grandparents Joannes FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMES. In each of the baptismal records, the mother’s maiden name was spelled ZEIMES and not ZEIMET as seen in the 1789 marriage record of Jacob FRISCH.
Joannes and Margaretha were a married couple as early as 1746 according to the baptismal records of their children however no marriage record has been found. Who were Joannes FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMES? Did they leave any clues to their own parentage? Were they both from Huncherange or had one or both of them come from somewhere else?
The children of Joannes FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMES
On 14 August 1746, Maria FRISCH (1746-1746), a daughter born to Joannes and Margaretha, was baptized in Noertzange. Her godparents were Nicolas SCHÖPFGEN and Maria ZEIMES, a single woman, both of Huncherange. In the margin of the baptismal record, a notation was made. Little Maria died on 27 November 1746 at the age of a little more than three months.1
A year later, on 3 November 1747 Petrus FRISCH (1747-1794) was baptized. His godparents were Petrus ZEIMES v. Zentgen and Barbara DONDLINGER, both from Huncherange and both single.2
A second son, Joannes FRISCH (1750-1816) was baptized on 27 August 1750. His godparents were Joannes STEICHEN and Maria Magdalena HANEN, a single woman, both of Huncherange. The baby Joannes was born the previous day.3
Elisabetha FRISCH (1752-1834) was baptized on 8 September 1752 with Dominicus LANTGEN and Elisabetha DONDLINGER uxor (wife of) Christophe WESTER, both of Huncherange, serving as her godparents.4
A third son, Nicolaus FRISCH (1754-1754) was born on 9 September 1754. The following day Nicolas KIRPACH, a single man from Finningen, and Elisabetha SCHOLTES, a single woman from Huncherange, were named as his godparents. Ten days later, on the 19th, Nicolaus died.5
Joannes and Margaretha’s sixth child, my 4th great-grandfather Jacob FRISCH (1755-1800) was baptized on 4 September 1755. His godparents were Jacobus LANTGES, single, and Barbara FRANCK (alias KRIPS) uxor (wife of) Dominique FRANCK of Huncherange.6
The last child was Joanna FRISCH (1757-1836) baptized on 3 October 1757. Her godparents were Michael SCHÖFGEN and Joanna BOURNON, both of Huncherange and single.7
Are the godparents of the children clues to the grandparents?
None of the children had godparents with their father’s surname FRISCH. Two of the children had godparents with their mother’s maiden name ZEIMES. Maria ZEIMES, a single woman, and Petrus ZEIMES vulgo (more commonly known as) ZENTGEN both of Huncherange.
All records for Huncherange and Noertzange on FamilySearch and Matricula were viewed. Two death records were found for persons with the ZEIMES name – Maria and Petrus. No children, parents, godparents, or other relatives with the surnames ZEIMES or FRISCH were found other than the baptismal records of the above-named children and the two death records.
In 1773 Maria ZEIMES age about 40, daughter of Nicolas ZEIMES and Maria HAUPERT died in Huncherange.8 In 1775 Petrus ZEIMES age about 40, son of Joannes ELM and Maria BRAUSCH of Abweiler, died in Huncherange.9 As their parents’ names were given and different, they were not siblings. But could they have been cousins? How were they related to Margaretha ZEIMES? Were they the same persons as Maria ZEIMES and Petrus ZEIMES who served as godparents for the FRISCH children? A godparent normally is at least 16 years old. Maria would have been about 13 in 1746 and Peter 12 in 1747 if the ages at death are close estimates. Too young to be godparents but, if their age at death was in their forties, they may have been old enough.
I took a closer look at the description on Matricula for the records classified under Hüncheringen or Huncherange. In the 18th century, there were two parishes in Fenningen or Fennange and Noertzingen or Noertzange (with a branch in Hüncheringen). From 1804 Fenningen and Hüncheringen belonged to the parish of Noertzingen as branches. It was also noted that some church registers for this parish for the 17th and 18th centuries are still in the possession of civil authorities and are not available to the Diocesan Archives of Luxembourg. No mention was made of which records these may be. I opened up each set of registers for the time period and compared them with those available on FamilySearch. The records missing on Matricula are on FamilySearch. On Matricula, substitutes for the missing records are available in the form of transcriptions of births, marriages, and deaths for Huncherange, Noertzange, and Fennange. These transcriptions are dated 1973.
I browsed the KB-08, a church book in the Huncherange collection that includes baptisms for Fennange for 1704-1796. This book is not available on FamilySearch. I discovered a baptismal record dated 14 April 1727 for Margaretha ZEUMES, daughter of Nicolai ZEUMES ex Schuveiler and Regina HUPERT ex Abweiler, with godparents Anthonio KAUFFMAN and Margaretha HUPERT of Abweiler.10
ZEUMES is a variation of ZEIMES and HUPERT a variation of HAUPERT. Could this be my 5th great-grandmother Margaretha ZEIMES? Was she the sister of Maria ZEIMES? If this child was my ancestor, she would have been 19 years old at the time of her first child’s birth. [For those of you paying close attention to the records, yes, the mother’s first name is different from the first name of the mother of Maria ZEIMES mentioned earlier. Maria’s death record is a mess. Her father’s name is Nicolai ZEIMES in the death record but if you look closely it may have been Joannes Nicolai ZEIMES.]
Since this baptismal record was only found on Matricula, I wonder how many more records have been missed or are missing on FamilySearch? Matricula has gone to the top of my list right after FamilySearch for the place to search for Luxembourg records.
Margaretha, widowed with 5 children in 1759
Joannes FRISCH died on 12 October 1759 in Huncherange.11 His age at death is hidden in the gutter of the church book filmed by FamilySearch. The transcription of this book found on Matricula includes his age at death. This is not surprising as the 1973 transcriptions must have been done from the original records before they were microfilmed by FamilySearch. Joannes was 46 years old and therefore born about 1713.12
Margaretha was now widowed with five children ages 12, 9, 7, 4, and 2. What did she do to support her family? Did she have relatives in the village? Her husband had been a linen weaver. Could he have been working for another weaver in the village? Did Margaretha continue to do the same kind of work? In whatever way, she was able to raise her five children to adulthood. They were well into their twenties before they married and left home.
The children begin to leave home, marry, and have children
At the age of 23, her second son Joannes FRISCH (1750-1816) married Marie Catherine NIEDERKORN (1753-1818) on 10 January 1774 in Noertzange.13 They made their home in Huncherange where their first child, a son named Dominique was born. The first grandchild of Joannes FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMES was baptized on 1 April 1776 in Noertzange.14
Two more marriages took place before more grandchildren were born. Elisabetha FRISCH (1752-1834) was 24 years old when she married Henri HOSTERT (1747-1793) on 5 November 1776 in Noertzange.15 The oldest FRISCH son, Petrus was 29 years old when he married Anna KREMMER (1749-1808) on 10 February 1777 in Dudelange.16
Eighteen grandchildren were born between 1776 and 1789. Three of the grandchildren did not survive leaving fifteen grandchildren living in 1789.
To Petrus and his wife were born Michael 1778, Martin 1781, Maria 1782, Jean 1785, and Michael 1788.
To Joannes and his wife were born Michael 1777, Johann 1778, Jacob 1780 (died 1781), Jacob 1782 (died 1784), Jacob 1784, Elisabetha 4 April 1787 (died age 5 days), and Michael 1788.
To Elisabeth and her husband were born Jeanne 1777, Elisabeth 1780, Maria 1782, Carolus 1785, and Margaretha 1787.
Petrus’ children were born in Dudelange and Joannes’ in Huncherange. Elisabeth’s first three daughters were born in Huncherange. Her HOSTERT family moved to Mamer before the birth of her son Carolus in 1785. This move may have influenced Margaretha’s youngest son Jacob FRISCH to marry in Mamer.
Jacob was 33 years old when he married Regina HUBERTY (1761-1840) on 3 March 1789 in Mamer.17 Jacob and Regina were my 4th great-grandparents. They made their home in the village of Capellen in the municipality of Mamer.
Jacob’s siblings continued to have children. Elisabeth had Magdalena in 1790. Joannes’s wife gave birth to Christophorus the same year in Huncherange. Petrus’ wife had Stephanus in 1791 in Dudelange. Joannes’ wife had Marguerite in 1792 in Huncherange. The children born to Petrus and Joannes’ wives were their last. Elisabeth’s daughter Margaretha died at the age of 3 years in December 1790.
Margaretha ZEIMES’ youngest daughter was 34 years old when she finally decided to marry. Joanna married Joannes PIRSCH (1750-1821) on 23 April 1792 in Weimerskirch.18 He was a widowed shoemaker.
Following this marriage, Margaretha would see two more grandchildren born. Susanna, the first child of Jacob and Regina, was born on 26 June 1792 in Capellen.19 Elisabeth’s last HOSTERT child, Jean was born three months later in Mamer.
Margaretha ZEIMES dies in Mamer in 1792
Margaretha ZEIMES, the widow of the linen weaver Joannes FRISCH, died on 1 December 1792 in Mamer at the age of 64.20 She had seen all of her five children marry. She had 20 living grandchildren; four had not survived infancy. Her youngest child Joanna was pregnant with her first child.
Elisabeth’s husband Henri HOSTERT died on 2 April 1793.21 Their youngest son Jean died the same month. These deaths were followed by the birth of Joanna’s first child Bernard PIRSCH born in May 1793 in Dommeldange (Luxembourg City). Sadly, he died a month later. Elisabeth who had already lost her husband and youngest son two months earlier had to bury another child when her daughter Maria died at the age of 11.
Elisabeth, widowed with four children, was 41 years old when she married 31 years old Peter GOERGEN (1762-1833). Peter was a linen weaver like Elisabeth’s father, late husband, and her brother Jacob FRISCH who was a witness to the marriage on 6 March 1794 in Mamer.22
The following month, my ancestor Jacob became a father for the second time. Anna Margaretha was born on 24 April 1794 in Capellen.23
The first of Joannes and Margaretha’s children dies in Dudelange
Petrus, the oldest son of Margaretha ZEIMES and Joannes FRISCH, died on 17 May 1794 in Dudelange at the age of 46, the same age as his father.24 He left a wife and at least three living children of six known to have been born to his wife. Death records for the three oldest have not been searched for. It is possible that they may not have survived their father. The three youngest married and had children.
Six more grandchildren were born: Catharina PIRSCH in 1794 in Dommeldange, Mathias GOERGEN in 1795 in Hostert, Franciscus FRISCH in 1796 in Capellen, Theodor GOERGEN in 1797 in Oberanven, Nicolaus FRISCH in 1798 in Capellen, and finally Elisabeta FRISCH, my 3rd great-grandmother, in 1800.
The turn of the century brings confusing and conflicting records
There is some conflicting evidence concerning Elisabeta’s birth and her father’s death. The civil records show 44 years old Jacob FRISCH died on 11 March 180025 in Capellen three months before his daughter Elisabeta was born on 2 June 1800 in Capellen. Her mother was the informant for her birth and her father Jacob FRISCH was named as deceased.26 Church records, on the other hand, tell a different story. Elisabeta was born on 5 April 1800 and baptized the following day.27 Her father died on 7 April 1800, the day after her baptism.28 Official civil registration was introduced in the Grand Duchy by a French decree in 1797. From this time forward church records were no longer considered legal documents. When Elisabeta married in 1827 the date of her civil birth record was noted on her marriage record and not the date on the church record.
Margaretha and Joannes’ son Jacob, therefore per civil records, died three months before their last grandchild was born. Three of their children were still living after the turn of the century. Their son Joannes died 30 July 1816 in Bettembourg at the age of 65,29 daughter Elisabetha died 13 January 1834 in Hostert at the age of 81,30 and daughter Joanna died 13 February 1836 in Dommeldange at the age of 78.31
The legacy left by Joannes FRISCH
My fifth great-grandfather Joannes FRISCH left a legacy for his descendants. What he passed on to them was not a gift of money or property. He passed on the trade of weaving linen. His son Petrus was a weaver, his son Jacob was a linen weaver, and his daughter Elisabeth’s husbands were both linen weavers. Not all of his children took up the weaving trade. His son Joannes was a cobbler and his daughter Joanna married a shoemaker.
Joannes FRISCH left a legacy but no records that helped to determine his parentage. His wife Margaretha ZEIMES may have been the daughter of Nicolas ZEIMES and Regina HAUPERT. No further records have been found for them. Maybe one day…
Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 541 of 1497. 1800 Death Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-121167-96?cc=1709358 : accessed 29 November 2015). Conflicting dates in the civil record (11 Mar 1800) and the burial record (7 April 1800). ↩
Ibid., Microfilm GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, Heiraten – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1790 – 1804, image 122 of 128, page 235 (stamped), 6th entry. 1800 Burial Record. (http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=122 : accessed 2 October 2018). Conflicting dates in the civil record (11 Mar 1800) and the burial record (7 April 1800). ↩
The story of my 5th great-grandparents Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794) of Mamer and Anna BERNARD (1742-ca.1763) begins with the birth of my 4th great-grandmother Regina HUBERTY on 3 March 1761.1 Born in Nospelt as the illegitimate daughter of Anna and Peter, Regina was legitimized when her parents married three and a half months later on 16 June 1761 in the parish of Schoenberg.2 Peter was from Mamer and Anna was from Nospelt.
Nospelt is a village in the commune of Kehlen, in south-western Luxembourg. It is known above all for its potters who were particularly successful during the 19th century. The origins of Nospelt’s pottery production go back to 1458.3 Nospelt celebrates its former potteries on Easter Monday with a traditional folk festival. The Emaischen festival, held in Nospelt and Luxembourg City, features little bird-shaped whistles made out of clay. The whistles are called Péckvillercher.4
Anna BERNARD (1742-ca. 1763)
Anna BERNARD, born in Nospelt, was baptized JoannaBERENS on 24 May 1742 in Schoenberg. She was the daughter of Mathias BERENS aka Mathias BERNARD and Marguerite BIREN. Her godparents were Joanna SCHOUMERS and Theodorus WEBERS, both of Nospelt.5
Anna had five documented siblings. From 1728 to 1745 five children were born to Mathias BERENS and his wife Marguerite in Nospelt and baptized in Schoenberg.
Maria on 24 March 1728[^6]
Barbara on 31 March 1737[^7]
Nicolas on 21 November 1739[^8]
Joanna (Anna) on 24 May 1742
Margaretha on 11 March 1745[^9]
Large gaps between the births suggest that there may have been several miscarriages, baptisms that were not recorded, or the couple could have lived in a different place during the early years of their marriage. They are assumed to have married about the time their first child was born.
No baptismal record was found for their oldest known daughter Elisabeth who was born about 1720. When she married Jean BETTENDORFF on 18 December 1841 her parents’ names were recorded as Mathias BERNARD and Marguerite BIREN.6
Of the BERENS children, only Elisabeth and Anna were found to have married and had children. Elisabeth’s children were born between 1743 and 1769 The records are a timeline of the surname changes. As with Mathias and Marguerite’s children from 1728 to 1745, Elisabeth’s children baptized between 1743 and 1749 all had their mother’s maiden name recorded as BERENS.7, 8, 9 From 1759 to 1769 the name was spelled BERNARD.10, 11, 12, 13 In 1766 a set of twins was born and survived only five days.14 On both of their baptismal records, the mother’s maiden name was spelled BERNARDI. When Elisabeth died in 1797 her maiden name was still spelled BERNARD.15
Catherine and Anna’s father Mathias was born 10 October 1700 in Nospelt to Leonard BERENTZ and his wife Catharina.16 He had one known sibling, a brother Theodor born in 1697.17 No marriage or death records were found for Leonard and Catharina. Mathias’ surname evolved from BERENTZ to BERENS to BERNARD from 1700 to 1759.
Mathias’ wife Margaretha BIREN’s parentage is unknown. Her maiden name was discovered in her daughter Elisabeth’s 1741 marriage record. A death record for Margaretha has not been found. She died between 1745 and 1759. Her husband Mathias died on 25 May 1759. His death/burial record confirms he was the widower of Margaretha BIREN.18
When Anna BERNARD and Peter HUBERTY’s daughter Regina was baptized in 1761, they chose Anna’s brother-in-law Jean BETTENDORFF to be her godfather. This close family connection further proves that Elisabeth and Anna were sisters.
Anna gave birth to another daughter who was baptized on 20 May 1762. Anna and Peter chose Joannes HUBERTY of Mamer to be the godfather and Catharina DECKER, also of Mamer, to be the godmother of their daughter Catherine.19
Anna likely died between 1762 and 1765 as her husband Peter HUBERTY was having children with a new wife as early as February 1766.
Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794)
The lack of church records for Mamer before 1779 makes it hard to take the paternal line of my fourth great-grandmother Regina HUBERTY further back. Last week’s research helped to discover her maternal line as well as find the HUBERTY family group that Peter HUBERTY likely descends from.
Following Anna’s death, Peter returned to the parish of Mamer to live in Capellen with his daughters Regina and Catherine. Peter married Johanna MALESS after Anna’s death and before 1766. The place and time of marriage are unknown. There is no record of a marriage in Luxembourg per the index for marriages before 1797.
Around April 1766, a general census of the entire country of Luxembourg was made. The census is very detailed, giving: the number of houses in each locality; the number of inhabitants, divided into four categories by sex and age (men over and under 16, women over and under 14); the number of households, the classification of inhabitants according to their marital state and profession. The census was carried out by deanships and parishes. Some of it is, unfortunately, missing, including the deanship of Luxembourg (city area).20
The parish of Mamer is one of the missing parishes. Peter and Johanna would have been listed with Peter’s two daughters, Regina and Catherine, from his first marriage, as well as Catherine, the first daughter born to his second marriage if she survived.
Peter’s sister-in-law Elisabeth BERNARD and her husband Jean BETTENDORFF were living in Nospelt and enumerated on the 1766 census with two sons.21 Their three oldest sons, all over 16 years old, were missing in their father’s household and likely working and living outside of the family home. One of the sons, Jean born in 1746 has not been traced after his baptism and may not have survived. The other two sons married several years after the 1766 census.
Per the family register of Mamer, Peter and his second wife had three children whose baptisms were recorded in the (missing) parish records. Catherine was baptized on 22 February 1766, Susanne on 12 June 1767, and Pierre on 12 June 1771.22 Catherine and Pierre may not have survived infancy. [Research to-do: search the parish death/burial records of Mamer when available.]
Following the births of these three children, things were quiet on the document front until 1789 when my 4th great-grandparents married. Peter and Anna’s oldest daughter, Regina HUBERTY married Jacob FRISCH (1755-1800) on 3 March 1789 in Mamer.23
Less than a year later Peter’s second daughter Catherine married Nicolas OLINGER (1755-1809) in Schoenberg on 7 January 1790. 24
In 1791 and 1792 the first two granddaughters of Peter HUBERTY and his deceased wife Anna BERNARD were born. Regina OLINGER born in 1791 to Catherine and Jean BETTENDORFF was named after her aunt Regina HUBERTY.25 Susanna FRISCH born in 1792 to Regina and Jacob FRISCH was named after her aunt Susanna HUBERTY.26
Peter’s second wife Johanna MALESS died on 23 May 1793 in Capellen at the age of about 66 years. Her husband was listed as a day laborer. She was buried the next day.27
Peter died a little over a year later on 4 June 1794 in Capellen at the age of about 75 years and was buried the following day.28
Peter and Johanna’s daughter Susanne married Henri BREISTROFF (1767-1844) in Luxembourg-St Jean on 16 November 1795.29 They made their home in Stadtgrund.
On 31 August 1796, Catherine HUBERTY served as the godmother of Franciscus FRISCH, son of her sister Regina.30 Regina had asked both her full sister Catherine and her half-sister Susanne to be godmothers of two of her children.
Regina was widowed in 180031 and remarried on 21 December 1801 in Mamer to Peter KALMES (1760-1833).32
Susanne died in 1829, her husband would outlive her by 14 years.33,34 Catherine who had been widowed in 180935 died a week after Susanne.36 Regina, the oldest child of Peter, outlived her second husband who died in 1833.37 She died in 1840 in Capellen.38
Speculation on the parentage of Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794)
No records are available at this time to prove the parentage of Peter HUBERTY, husband of Anna BERNARD and Johanna MALESS. Peter was born. Peter died at the age of about 75 in 1794, therefore was born about 1718-1719. In the family register of Mamer, there are two couples named HUBERTY who were having children in Mamer when Peter was born.
The first family was that of Adamus HUBERTY and his wife Magdalena ex LOENERTZ (in domo LOENERTZ). They had a son named Peter who married Anna HANNEN in 1744. This lady died on 17 January 1793 in Holzem and was described as the widow of Petrus HUBERTY of Holzem. My Peter was still living, resided in Capellen, was not the husband of Anna HANNEN, and consequently cannot have been the son of Adamus HUBERTY and his wife Magdalena.
This leaves the family of Peter HUBERTY and Johanna ex MELLERJANS. They had a son named Peter baptized on 14 March 1718, a son named Joannes baptized on 22 September 1720, and a daughter Catherine baptized on 13 June 1726. When Peter’s second daughter Catherine was baptized on 20 May 1762, he chose a man named Joannes HUBERTY of Mamer. The godfather was likely an uncle, brother of Peter. Hence it is possible that Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794) was the son of Peter HUBERTY and Johanna ex MELLERJANS and the brother of Joannes HUBERTY born in 1720.
Vannerus Jules. Les anciens dénombrements du Luxembourg. In: Compte-rendu des séances de la commission royale d’histoire. Deuxième Série, Tome 11, 1901. pp. 434-435. (https://doi.org/10.3406/bcrh.1901.2322 : accessed 12 April 2021) ↩
Luxembourg, 1766 Dénombrement (census), (images), FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film 1781980, DGS 8198978 > Decanat de Mersch: v. 1 A-E: > Nospelt (paroisse de Kehlen) > image 605 of 618 > household number 10. 1766 Census for Jean Bettendorff and family. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-99Q9-H?i=604&cat=1184675 : accessed 13 April 2021). ↩
Ibid., Microfilm GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, Heiraten – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1790 – 1804, image 122 of 128, page 235 (stamped), 6th entry. 1800 Burial Record. (http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=122 : accessed 2 October 2018). Conflicting dates in the civil record (11 Mar 1800) and the burial record (7 April 1800). ↩
The following are examples of Regina’s family groups:1, 2
The church records for the years 1790-1804 are missing at FamilySearch for the parish of Mamer and affiliated villages. The collection Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 is only a handwritten index to church records for the given years. The Luxembourg diocese has since added church records to Matricula Online including this missing register for Mamer. With the records available for the time Regina lived, I set out to open the door in her brick wall.
Reviewing Records and Research
I still have many 5th great-grandparents who have not been written about on my blog. The parents of my 4th great-grandmother Regina HUBERTY are one of these couples. Only their names were known. In the case of her mother, there were conflicting names.
Regina was married twice. Both marriages and all of her children are noted in the Mamer register entries above. Few records were found in 2018 to confirm the information and I could only reference the register for the children. Regina’s children from both of her marriages were born between 1792 and 1808. Church records are available for 1779 to 1793 and civil records from 1796 to 1923 on FamilySearch. Therefore, baptismal records were not available for seven of her eight children.
Regina’s marriage records had been found and as much information as possible was gleaned from them.
On 3 March 1789, there being no impediment to the marriage, the priest of Mamer and two witnesses were present when Jacob FRISCH, son of the deceased Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET of Huncherange, was united with Regina HUBERTY, daughter of Petri HUBERTY and the deceased Anna BENNERT.3
The names of the parents matched those in the family register except for Regina’s mother’s name. Her maiden name was recorded as LENNERT in the family register but after a closer perusal of the marriage record, I found the name was written BENNERT. The capital L and B are often confused in the old script as they are similar to the lower case l and b when written in cursive.
Regina HUBERTY married Peter KALMES on 21 December 1801 in Mamer.4
Her parents were listed as Peter HUBERTY and Johannata BEREND. Which of the two marriage records for Regina give the correct name for her mother? Were Anna BENNERT and Johannata BEREND the same person? What other sources could I check to solve this question?
Family Relationships and Godparents
As I reviewed the information I had for Regina’s parents, husbands, and children, I made a list of the records to check on Matricula that might help to answer the question of her parentage. I began with the names Peter HUBERTY and Johannata BEREND aka Anna BENNERT. I had no information on them. No known siblings for Regina who might lead to the shared parents.
Normally when children are baptized the godparents are chosen from both sides of the family. Regina’s children’s godparents could lead to siblings of both parents. Although I knew the names of the godparents from the family register, there was no information on where they were from or if they were married. Both of these could be indicators of the relationship between the godparent and the child and his/her parents.
For Regina’s children, in the family register, it was noted that her daughter Susanna FRISCH’s godmother was Susanna HUBERTY and her son Franciscus FRISCH’s godmother was Catharina HUBERTY.
I hadn’t seen Franciscus’ baptismal record until I searched for it last week on Matricula. His godmother was listed as Catharina HUBERTY uxor Nicolai OLINGER figols Nospelt = Catharina wife of Nicolas, a potter from Nospelt.
A search for Catherine’s marriage in an index of the Luxembourg marriages before 1797 turned up this information:5
Nicolas OLINGER and Catherine HUBERTI
Married: 07 Jan 1790 in Schoenberg
Parents: Jean OLINGER (+) – Anne KREMER (+)
Parents: Pierre HUBERTI – Anne BERNARD (+)
Susanna’s baptismal record from 1792 had originally been found on FamilySearch as the years 1779-1793 are available. However, I had missed an important detail in the record. The godmother was listed as Susanna HUBERTI amita. She was an aunt (Latin: amita) of the child and therefore Regina’s sister. No husband is mentioned suggesting she may not have been married at the time. A search for a possible marriage for Susanna turned up this information:6
Nicolas BREISDORF and Susanne HUBERTI
Married: 16 Nov 1795 in Luxembourg-St Jean
Parents: Nicolas BREISDORF (+) – Susanne VELTER (+)
Parents: Pierre HUBERTI (+) – Jeannette MALLES (+)
The (+) indicates the person was deceased at the time of the noted marriage. Regina’s father was living in 1789 when she married and her mother was deceased. This matches up with Pierre HUBERTI living in 1790 when Catherine married. Regina’s father died on 4 June 17947 and therefore deceased by 1795 when Susanna married. The date of death for Pierre HUBERTI was proven by elimination and will be discussed in another post.
It is possible that Regina, Catherine, and Susanna had the same father. The mother of Regina and Catherine appear to be the same person.
In the family register of Mamer, there are 10 pages of information on HUBERTY families beginning with the earliest two families recorded in the missing church records. In the second generation, there is a Peter (Joannes) HUBERTY and Johanna MALESS who had three children: Catharina in 1766, Susanna in 1767, and Petrus in 1771.8 Church records for these births/baptisms are not available on Matricula or FamilySearch.
A marriage record for the HUBERTY-MALESS couple was not found. MALESS and MALLES could be different spellings for the same name. As the baptismal records for the children are not available, I put this aside for later reference, keeping in mind that the daughters Catharina and Susanna might be the godmothers of Regina’s children.
More pieces to the puzzle
If Catherine HUBERTY, wife of Nicolas OLINGER, and Regina were sisters then the baptismal records of the children of the OLINGER-HUBERTY couple might include godparents proving the siblingship.
Records for the first two children of the couple were quickly accessed as an index was found for baptisms in Schoenberg up to 1797 that included the year, entry number, and page number of the register. Their first child was a daughter named Regina and her godmother was Regina HUBERTY of Capellen.9
As Regina was the godmother of Catherine’s first child, can it be assumed that Pierre HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD listed Catherine’s parents on her marriage record are the parents of both Catharine and Regina?
I search for and located a marriage for Pierre HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD in the Luxembourg marriage index:10
Pierre HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD
Married: 16 Jun 1761 in Schoenberg
Parents: N. HUBERTI – N. N.
Parents: N. BERNARD – N. N.
Note: N. indicates unknown
The marriage record is a short two lines without information on the parents of either the bride or groom. Petrus HUBERTI was from Mamer and Anne BERNARD was from Nospelt.11
As the marriage took place in 1761, I searched the Schoenberg register for children of this marriage baptized between 1760 and 1770.
To my surprise, the first record I found confirmed my theory that Peter HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD were Regina’s parents and my 5th great-grandparents.
Regina was baptized on 3 March 1761, the daughter of Joanna BERENT of Nospelt and Petri HUBERTI of Mamer. The word illegitimate is crossed out. She was legitimized with the subsequent marriage of her parents three months later. Her godparents were Joannes BETTENDORFF and Regina KRANTZ both of Nospelt.12 At least one of these godparents would lead to the grandparents.
A sister Catherine was born/baptized on 20 May 1762 in Nospelt. Her parents’ names on the record were Petri HUBERTI and Anna BERNARD, the names seen on the marriage record.13 Born a year after Regina, she might be the same Catherine who married Nicolas OLINGER a year after Regina married.
No further baptisms were found in Nospelt suggesting the family moved to Mamer after May of 1762.
In the Family Register of Mamer, Regina is listed as the wife of Jacob FRISCH and of Peter KALMES in the respectively family group listings as they were married in Mamer and children were born in Capellen, a part of Mamer. Regina’s parents were from Capellen per both of her marriage records but Regina isn’t listed in any of the HUBERTY family groups. This is an indication that her parents did not marry in the Mamer parish and Regina was not born in Capellen or Mamer as was confirmed by the records found in Nospelt. Regina was not born in Capellen as indicated in her 1801 marriage record.
Admitting to a mistake
While reviewing and doing new research, I failed to read over Regina’s marriage records until I began to write this post. I found I’d misread Regina’s year of birth given on her second marriage record. This was my only source for her birth/baptism in 2018. I’d transcribed tausend sieben hundert sechzig vier (1764) instead of tausend sieben hundert sechzig eins (1761).
I should have realized the error as the marriage took place in 1801 and Regina was forty years old, i.e. born in 1761. However, I had allowed myself to be influenced by a date (13 March 1764) seen in a family tree. I’d noticed the date was the 3rd and not the 13th but I failed to see the word for the last digit in the year of birth was eins and not vier. Corrections have been made to the FamilySearch Family Tree and my online GEDCOM files on Luxracines, Ancestry (private/searchable), and Geneanet (ancestors-only for DNA).
Connecting the loose ends
While browsing the death records in the parish register of Mamer on Matricula, I found Joannetha MALES, wife of Peter HUBERTY, who died on 23 May 1793 in Capellen.14 Peter died the following year on 4 June 1794. Both were deceased in 1795 and the names match the names of the parents found on Susanna HUBERTY’s marriage record. Susanna was listed as the aunt of Susanna FRISCH, the oldest daughter of Regina HUBERTY, indicating Susanna and Regina were siblings. Regina’s mother was deceased in 1789 therefore they shared only a father, Peter HUBERTY, and were half-sisters.
The names found for Regina’s mother were: Joanna BERENT on the 1761 baptismal record, Anna BENNERT on the 1789 marriage record, and Johannata BEREND on the 1801 marriage records. In records for Regina’s sister Catherine, her mother was Anna BERNARD. Regina and Catherine were full sisters.
Regina’s godfather Joannes BETTENDORFF was the husband of Elisabeth BERNARD, daughter of Mathias BERNARD and Margaretha BIREN of Nospelt. It is my belief that Regina’s mother Anna/Joanna was a younger sister of Elisabeth.
Going through all baptismal records of the Kehlen parish to which Nospelt belonged, I found only one couple named BERENS with the first names Mathias and Margaretha. They had children from 1728 to 1745 including a daughter baptized on 24 May 1742 named Joanna BERENS.15 A baptismal record for Elisabeth who was born about 1720-1723 (married in December 1741) has not been found. The family name evolved from BERENS to BERENT to BERNARD.
It’s often hard to see the big picture. Hopefully, I have not confused my readers and you will agree with me that Regina HUBERTY’s mother was a lady named Anna (Joanna) BERNARD of Nospelt. Regina’s mother is no longer just a name but a person who has records that lead to her parents, siblings, and perhaps even grandparents.
While searching for court records for one of my ancestors who lived in Kanawha County in 1811-1812, I found a Bill of Sale for four enslaved persons.
At that time, Kanawha was part of Virginia and had the same court jurisdictions as Virginia counties. The primary responsibility of the county court was to serve as the administrative body of the county.
The county court record book and county court records go hand in hand. The record book is similar to a calendar or diary of causes brought before the county court. Entries are mostly short and with little further information. The county court records include records produced during the court case.
The loose papers filed in envelopes have been digitized and include labels describing the cause, a list of the records included in the batch, and, in some cases, further information.
The names of the enslaved persons on the Bill of Sale were included on the typewritten index cards: Kate, Rueben, Margett, and Sam.1
1809 Bill of Sale
This Indenture made this 4th day of April 1809 Between Thomas Joplan of the One part and Ralph Joplan of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Thomas Joplan for and in Consideration of Six Hundred Dollars to him in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby Acknowledged hath Bargained & sold and by these presents Doth Bargain sell and deliver unto the said Ralph Joplan the following personal property to wit) One negro woman named Kate, One negro Boy named Rueben, One negro girl named Margett, & One negro child named Sam, One Grey Mare & year old Stone colt, One three year old sorrel Mare, five Milch cows and Two calves; three feather Beds and furniture thereto ____, One Sow and Seven shoats, One large Kittle, one
pot & one Dutch oven, One pewter Bason, One pewter dish and Nine pewter plates, One Man’s saddle, one plough and Geers & four Broad Hoes & One Sprouting hoes all which property as before recited respectively the said Thomas Joplan hereby covenants to Warrant & defend unto the said Ralph Joplan or his assigns against the claims of all and every person or persons whatsoever. In Witness whereof he hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and date aforesaid. Thos. Joplan Seal Signed sealed and acknowledged In presence of G. Christian R. Christian
At a Court held and continued for Kanawha County the 14th day of June 1809. This deed of trust (or bill of sale) from Thomas Jopling to Ralph Jopling was presented in Court and duly acknowledged by the said Thomas & the same is ordered to record. A Copy Teste A. Donnally C.K.C.
A bit of background information
Various spellings of the surname were found in the records, including Joplan, Joplin, and Jopling. Thomas Joplin and Ralph Joplin were either father and son or brothers. I suspect the first and that Ralph was preparing to set up his own household when he bought the enslaved persons, stock, and household goods in 1809.
In 1810 Ralph Joplin married Susanna Casdorph. The exact marriage date is not known as John Lee, the minister of the gospel, kept only a list of the marriages by year without dates of marriage.2
The marriage took place before 27 October 1810 when Ralph was hit over the head with a rifle and killed by William C. Wilson, a Kanawha schoolmaster.3 Wilson was acquitted on 30 April 1811.4
The widow Susanna appears to have married while the case was in court as her name was first seen as Susanna Joplin and later as Susanna Wilson. No marriage record has been found.
This post was written to help the descendants of Kate, Rueben, Margett, and Sam connect and fill in their family tree.
Kanawha County Court Records, 1773-1875 (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Kanawha County courthouse. Film 189907, DGS 8291458, Court records, v. 10-11 1809-1811, images 513-520, Ralph Joplin, dec’d vs Thomas Joplin, Bill of Sale (images 515-516) (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSR9-X7XN-9?i=514&cat=94212 : accessed 3 January 2020) ↩
West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History, (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at http://www.wvculture.org/vrr). 1810, Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, Ralph Jopling and Susannah Casdorph. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12565937&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 February 2021). ↩
Earlier this month I received an email from Tina CORNELY. She’d stumbled upon my blog AND loves the name! That was enough to get my attention. She also wrote:
My family tree has been pretty successful on both my maternal and paternal sides, and I have gotten as far back as the early medieval times. The odd thing is I can’t find any information about my great-great-grandfather John Feis CORNELY. John was born in 1857 Germany. That’s all I can dig up. I was just about to give up when I came across your blog.
That said, I still was unable to find his parents. However, I do know that he lived in Wyandot, Ohio which is where some of your relatives lived.
Any tips you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
John Feis CORNELY born in 1857 in Germany
Tina’s query didn’t include much information for me to go on. I suspected the birthplace and year of birth likely came from a census record. My search for a John CORNELY born in 1857 in Germany turned up this census record:
John F. COONLEY (surname on index corrected by a user to CORNELY) was enumerated in the 1900 census. The index shows he was born in Germany in May 1857. But wait, John’s age on the census index is 49 which would mean he was born about 1851.1
Let’s take a look at the census image.
The month and year of birth on the census image are May 1851 which fits with the age of 49. John and his wife Mary had been married for 17 years. Mary was the mother of six with only one living child in 1900. A son Edward F. age 15, born in Ohio, is listed in the household. The columns for citizenship (year of emigration to the US, the number of years in the US, and naturalization) are filled out with “Un” or unknown.
Very few online trees for Edward F. CORNELY were found. Only one had the names of his parents. The attached source for the parents was this 1900 census with the incorrect date and place of birth for John CORNELY. There are no parents listed for John in any of the trees found. No further information on John F. CORNELY. This was where Tina was stuck. But had I found the right person?
Three of the four suggested records (see on the right of the 1900 census result image above) were for Edward and mentioned his father John F. CORNELY.
I followed the son and found, in later census records, he gave his father’s birthplace as Luxembourg.2
Edward’s death certificate listed Feis CORNELY and Mary KEANY as his parents.3
The Social Security Applications and Claims Index listed John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY as the parents of Edward.4
Searching for records before 1900, I found Felix Edward CORNELY was born in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio to J. F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY on 11 February 1885.5 This matches the date listed on his death certificate and social security application.
John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANY were married in Wyandot County, Ohio on 10 November 1883.6 [Note: The bride’s maiden name was seen as KEANY and KEANEY and listed here as seen in each record.]
More information was found for John’s son and his descendants which led to Tina’s generation. With the line down from John to Tina confirmed, I turned to my relatives in Wyandot County who shared the CORNELY surname with this family.
The CORNELY family of Wyandot County, Ohio, and their connection to my line
My favorite was the post about a CORNELY family who emigrated from Luxembourg in 1854.
Jacques CORNELY (1800-1855) and his wife Magdalena KUNNERT (1807-1887) with their seven children arrived in America on 18 May 1854.7 Jacques died a little over a year later in October 1855.8 The widow was in Seneca County, Ohio in 18609 and in Wyandot County, Ohio in 187010 and 1880.11
Jacques and my 4th great-grandmother Catharina were first cousins. I learned about Jacques’ branch in my family tree when I found a DNA match for a descendant of Jacques and Magdalena’s only daughter Catherine.12
Could Tina’s John Feis CORNELY be related to my CORNELY family?
If the information in the indexation of the 1900 census had been correct, then John F. CORNELY couldn’t have been the son of Jacques and Magdalena as the father of the family died in 1855.
However, by taking a closer look at the census record, I found John F. “Feis” CORNELY was born in May 1851 and, per later census records of his son, his birthplace was likely Luxembourg.
The youngest son of Jacques CORNELY was named Johann when he was born on 4 May 1851 in Obercorn, Luxembourg.13 This son was seen in 1860 as Jacob age 8, in 1870 as John age 18, and in 1880 as J.F. age 29 in the household of his mother Magdalena. Not uncommon in Luxembourg families, there were two sons named Johann. In 1860 the elder was listed as John and the younger as Jacob, most likely to keep them apart.
In 1870 and 1880 they were living in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio. The same county that the 1883 marriage for John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY was found, the same township that their son Edward was born in.
A newspaper article written in 1899 further supports the theory that J.F. CORNELY of Wyandot County is the same person as John F. CORNELY seen in the 1900 census listing in Putnam County, Florida.14
We received a pleasant call Tuesday afternoon from an old Wyandot County friend, Mr. J. F. Cornely, now a resident of West Mansfield where he operates a saw mill. He has arranged to go to Florida next fall as a member of the Northern Colony that has secured 24000 acres of land near Palatka and therefore is going to dispose of his mill at West Mansfield at Public Sale, Saturday, June 17. This colony was organized by the Chicago Farm, Field and Fireside and consists of some 200 families among its patrons in the different states who expect to locate on their new possessions in the Peninsular state this coming fall. Each head of a family buys as much of the land at $10 per acre as he can pay for and makes his own selection. The colony proposes to devote its energies to farming. We wish our esteemed friend success both in the sale of his saw mill at West Mansfield and in his proposed home in Florida.
Lastly, a broad search for CORNELY in Florida on Newspaper.com turned up a notice for the funeral services of John F. CORNELY. His son Edward arrived on 4 November 1908 in Tampa, attended the funeral on the 6th, and then returned to Jacksonville the following day. No widow was listed.15 A record of his death, other than the clipping, was not found.
Quick Tip: View the Image Before Attaching it to Your Family Tree
When the 1900 census hint was accepted and attached to the trees on Ancestry, the incorrectly indexed birth date and birthplace for John F. CORNELY was added to his biographical information throwing up a brick wall that hid his parentage. The wrong birth date was also found on FamilySearch‘s Family Tree citing the 1900 census as the source!
Before accepting the information generated (indexed) by Ancestry and adding the record to your family tree, take the time to view the image and read the lines referenced in the index. Then, when saving the record to the person of interest in your tree, be sure to pay close attention to the extracted information and correct the incorrectly indexed information. It may take a few moments but will save you time later correcting errors in your family tree.
Proof that blogging is cousin bait
My posts on my CORNELY family were found by Tina who wrote to me and shared her brick wall. Solving it, I gained a new cousin. We are 6th cousins once removed, sharing Pierre CORNELY (1720-1793) and Marie SCHINTGEN (1725-bef. 1793), my 6th great-grandparents.
Tina thanked me by kindly sharing this picture of her great-great-grandparents, John Feis CORNELY and Mary KEANY.
From evidence found, Tina’s John F. CORNELY was the youngest of Jacques and Magdalena’s children. A young boy who survived the wreck of the ship Black Hawk, marked his 3rd birthday on the Currituck, and stepped onto American soil in New York – all within a month. A young man who supported his mother in her years of widowhood in Ohio. A husband and father who sold his sawmill in Ohio to acquire land in Florida.
Many thanks to Tina for sharing and allowing me to write about her brick wall.
One door opened only to find another closed door
Another mystery in the CORNELY family was discovered while I was searching for records to connect Tina’s family to mine. Two CORNELY men were already living in Seneca County, Ohio when Jacques CORNELY’s family came to America and first settled in Seneca County in 1854. They were not children of Jacques and Magdalena who might have paved the way for the family’s move to America. They may have been close or distant cousins and their place in the family tree will have to be found.
1900 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1240176, Florida, Putnam County, Precinct 19, Enumeration District 150, Page 7A, line 17-19, John F. Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1900 census was 1 June 1900. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 March 2021). ↩
1920 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls, Roll: T625_219, Florida, Duval, Mandarin, Enumeration District: 83, Page: 9A, lines 3-6, Edward F. Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1920 census was 1 January 1920. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 March 2021). ↩
“South Carolina, U.S., Death Records, 1821-1968,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing South Carolina Death Records, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina. Edward Felix Cornely, born 11 Feb 1885, died 2 Aug 1958 in Abbeville SC, parents Feis Cornely and Mary Cornely. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 March 2021). ↩
“U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” (index only), Ancestry, citing original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007, Edward Felix Cornely, SSN 719072511. Male, white, born 11 Feb 1885 in Salem Twp, WY (sic, Wyandot), Ohio, father John F Cornely, mother Mary Keaney, Apr 1937: Name listed as Edward Felix Cornely. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 March 2021). ↩
“New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” index and images, Ancestry, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C. Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897, Roll 139, Arrival: 1854 New York, New York, List number 496, Line 304-312, Cornely family. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 26 February 2020) ↩
Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 26 February 2020), memorial page for Jacob Cornely (19 May 1810–15 Oct 1855), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47794946, citing Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery, Kirby, Wyandot County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by Gathering Roots (contributor 47213048). ↩
1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1034, Family History Library Film: 805034, Ohio, Seneca County, Big Spring, sheet 42 (stamped) back (42B), page 84, lines 11-18, HH #594-574, Magdalena Cornelia. The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 26 February 2020). ↩
1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1284, Family History Library Film: 552783, Ohio, Wyandot County, Salem, page 810B, lines 9-11, HH #27-27, Magdaline Cornelius. The official enumeration day of the 1870 census was 1 June 1870. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 26 February 2020). ↩
1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1079, Ohio, Wyandot County, Salem, Enumeration District 163, page 467B, lines 10-12, HH #193, Magdalena Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 26 February 2020). ↩
“Local Department” item concerning J.F. Cornely, The Union County Journal (Marysville, Ohio), Thursday, 8 June 1899, p. 5, col. 2; image copy, Newspapers.com, (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 23 March 2021). ↩
“Funeral Services” of John F. Cornely, Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida), Saturday, 7 Nov 1908, p. 1, col. 6; image copy, Newspapers.com, (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 26 March 2021). ↩