Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?
Halfway finished with 2015 and this year’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. What better time to switch gears and begin on a new generation. The 3rd great-grandparents will take me through to the end of the year. Sixteen paternal and maternal sets for my husband and 8 maternal sets for myself. My paternal sets were discussed during the first year of the challenge in 2014.
This generation of ancestors will be take me into a time period which has only been researched halfway. Civil record keeping in Luxembourg began ca. 1796 while the country was under Napoleonic rule (1795- 1812). During the first half of this year I featured many state-gathered records (births, marriages, deaths). The church records (baptisms, marriages, burials) for Luxembourg went online at Family Search at the beginning of this year. At the time I made a resolution to focus on the planned families each week and not check for church records for earlier generations and families until it was time to write about them.
I admit it was hard to keep this resolution, knowing the database was there for the pickings. I went in a few times to check on this or that ancestor and I told myself it was only a practice run. The family I’m doing this week gave me the first opportunity to really dig in and work with the church records. I was only halfway done when I began cleaning up source citations, etc. and adding records for this family.
The MEDER-WILMES Family of Diekirch
Jean Nicolas (Johann Nicolaus) MEDER and Apolonia (Apolline) WILMES were my husband’s 3rd great-grandparents. Due to the nature of the civil and church records in Luxembourg their names were spelled differently over time. It is hard to choose the correct spelling as records were in German, French and Latin. The different spellings, however, did not make it difficult to find the records as I have become familiar with FamilySearch’s browse-only databases.
1766 Baptism of Johann Nicolaus MEDER
Baptismal record of Johann Nicolaus MEDER 
Johann Nicolaus MEDER was born and baptized on 26 October 1766 in Ettelbrück. His parents were Joannis MEDER and Susanna LAMBER. His godparents were Johann Nicolaus BEQUINET and Barbara WAGENER.
In later records the father’s name was seen as Johannes and Jean and the mother’s maiden name was spelled LAMBERT.
1769 Baptism of Apolonia WILMES
Baptismal record of Apolonia WILMES 
Apolonia WILMES was baptiszed on 27 February 1769 in Diekirch. Her parents were Gangolphe WILMES and Anna Marguerite SCHODEN. Her godparents were Nicolas THEYS and Apolonia SCHOLTES, both of Diekirch.
1794 Marriage of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES
Marriage record of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES 
Normally I don’t have much trouble reading the old handwriting in these documents however this marriage record for Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES was an exception.
I knew the date of marriage as it was found in the Family Book of Diekirch compiled by Rob Deltgen, Komplettes Familienbuch der Gemeinde 1796-1923
. The names of the bride and groom were underlined which helped me find the record. I can make out the names of the bride and groom’s parents and witnesses however a complete transcription would take more time.
Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, Burials of Children
Baptismal record of Elizabeth MOEDERS, sic MEDER 
Burial record of Elizabeth MEDER 
Jean Nicolas and Apolinia’s first child was a daughter Elizabeth born and baptized on 16 November 1794 in Diekirch.
Her godparents were her grandfather “Gangolphus” WILMES and her aunt Elisabeth MEDER, wife of Jacques BROCHMAN, all of Diekirch. The record has the surname spelled MOEDERS instead of MEDER. Little Elizabeth lived only two months, dying at midnight from the 27th to the 28th of January 1795. She was buried on the 29th.
Baptismal record of Christina MEDER 
Baptismal record (continued) of Christina MEDER 
The second daughter of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 3 December 1795 at 7 in the evening and was baptized the next day. Christina MEDER’s godparents were Pierre GOSSENS and Christine MOCHY, both of Diekirch.
Birth record of Antonius (Anton) MOEDER 
The first son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 30 Pluviose year VI.
Antonius MOEDER, as the name was written, was born during the Napoleonic rule when the Republican calendar was in effect. The date was 18 February 1798. No baptismal record was found however his name is on a list of baptisms performed in 1798. The church did not use the Republican calendar and his date of baptism was seen as 17 February 1798.
Was this an error on the list of baptisms or on the part of the civil servant using the Republican calendar? In any case he could not have been baptized the day before he was born.
Death record of Christina MEDER 
Three year old Christina MEDER died on 7 March 1799. Her death record filled an entire page of the register.
Birth record of Mathias MOEDER 
Baptismal record of Mathias MEDER 
Mathias MEDER, the second son and fourth child of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 30 December 1800. In the civil record his surname was spelled MOEDER
while in his baptismal record it was spelled MEDER.
Baptismal record of Elisabeth MEDERT 
Elisabeth MEDER was born on 10 Pluviose year 10 to Jean Nicolas and Apolonia. Her baptismal record shows she was baptized the same day and gives both dates: 30 January 1804 and 10 Pluviose year 10. Her godparents were Mathias WILMES and Elizabeth WILMES, both of Diekirch.
Baptismal record of Theodore MEDERT
The third son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 14 July 1807 in Diekirch.
Theodore MEDER’s godparents were Theodore RITSCHDORFF and Eva KNEIP, both of Diekirch.
Birth Record of Anne Marie MEDER 
Jean Nicolas and Apolonia’s youngest child Anne Marie was born 12 September 1810.
No baptismal record was found for Anne Marie MEDER. Baptismal records for 1810 were not available at FamilySearch as of 23 June 2015.
Marriage publication for Antoine MEDER and Maria Catharina WAGENER 
At the end of 1821 the first of Nicolas and Apolonia’s children made plans to marry. The marriage of Antoine MEDER married Maria Catharina WAGENER was “published” on the 23rd and 30th day of December 1821.
The civil marriage took place on 8 January 1822 in Diekirch.
Death record of Mathias MEDER 
The year 1824 was not a happy year for the MEDER-WILMES family. Son Mathias MEDER died at the age of 23 years on 29 July 1824 in Diekirch.
Death record of Apollonia WILLMES 
Four months later Apolonia WILMES died at the age of 55 years on 26 November 1824. Her death record however gives her age as 62.
At the time of her death she left a husband, two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren.
Marriage publication for Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER 
On the 20th and the 27th of December 1832 the marriage of Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER
was published – read out loud and posted on the door of the city hall.
They married a month later on 31 January 1833 in Diekirch.
Marriage record of Elisabeth MEDER and Mathias BOCK 
Nicolas and Apolonia’s oldest living daughter Elisabeth married 24 January 1838 to Mathias BOCK.
Elisabeth had been an unmarried mother since 22 June 1829 when her son Mathias MEDER was born.
Mathias BOCK had the permission of his reserve regimental commander to marry. The publication of the marriage was noted on the marriage record and not on a separate document as seen when Antoine and Theodore married.
In December 1843 Jean Nicolas MEDER was seen on the Luxembourg census in the household of his married son Theodore. This census sheet included dates of births of the persons in the household. Jean Nicolas’ birthdate was incorrectly listed as 1 April 1763.
Marriage record of Anne Marie MEDER and Heinrich KNOPS 
On 28 August 1844 the youngest child of this family married. Anne Marie MEDER married the widowed Heinrich KNOPS who was 21 years older.
Death record of Jean Nicolas MEDER 
When Jean Nicolas MEDER died on 22 Dec 1844 he had seen all four of his children marry. His son Theodore was the informant on his death record. Nicolas’ age on the death record was 75 although he was actually 78 as calculated from his birth record.
Death record of Elisabeth MEDER 
Elisabeth MEDER died on 7 December 1861 in Diekirch.
She was survived by her husband Mathias BOCK, son Mathias MEDER and possible a daughter Anne Marie BOCK (last seen with her parents in 1858 on census, no marriage record or further trace of her found).
Death record of Anton MEDER 
On 6 Sep 1866 the oldest child of this family, Anton MEDER, died in Diekirch.
He was survived by his wife, two sons, two (?) daughters, and four grandchildren. The daughters were last seen 10 years prior to his death and no further information on them has been found.
Death record of Anne-Marie MEDER 
The youngest child of this family, Anne Marie MEDER died on 15 April 1890 in Diekirch.
She remained childless and had been widowed for 30 years.
Death record of Theodore MEDER 
Theodore MEDER, the last of living child of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES, died on 29 July 1898 in Diekirch at the age of 91 years.
Theodore had been widowed for 20 years and left 5 known children. Two daughters have not been traced further and may have also still been living.
As can be seen by the records above and the sources cited below, nearly half of the records used came from the Luxembourg Church Records, 1601-1948 which have only been online since the beginning of the year. I can honestly say this family was only researched halfway before I got everything ready for this blogpost.
© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.