How a Surname Had Me Spiraling Down a Rabbit Hole

For the most part, we research our family trees from ourselves back one generation at a time, moving on and continuing back to the oldest known ancestor as the line is proven. To write about my children’s 5th great-grandparents, Johann MEDER (ca. 1720-1784) and Susanna LAMBERT (1729-1803) of Ettelbruck, I had to research the changes in their surnames in order to locate their baptismal records. This took me back another 100 years to the 1600s and sent me spiraling down a rabbit hole.

goingbackintimeWhen Did Mederhansen become Meder?

The surname MEDER evolved from MEDERHANSEN in the 1700s. During the 1600s, when the earliest church records were kept, the name was almost exclusively found as MEDERHANSEN. During the 1700s both versions of the name were found.

In the church records for Ettelbruck at FamilySearch.org, I found a register with extracted data from the baptismal records for the years 1640-1710, pages of families tree diagrams of the first families of Ettelbruck, and lists of marriages with numbers cross-referencing to the family trees. A treasure of information but a rabbit hole which had me looking up each baptismal record for children with surnames MEDERHANSEN.

lapsus calami
a slip of the pen

Extracted information of baptismal records from the 1600s was printed in 1896 or earlier and included in the register likely put together by the priest who was serving Ettelbruck before 1900. The person who transcribed the names for the printed version had difficulty with the handwriting in some documents and was not consistent with the second part of the name which resulted in MEDERHANSEN also being seen as MEDERHAUSEN.

hay

*Mader, Meder – a person who mows grain or hay.

I consulted Luxemburger Familiennamenbuch by Cristian Kollmann, Peter Gilles and Claire Muller (2016), a book on family names in Luxembourg. MEDER is a surname derived from an occupation.* The author(s) also believed Mederhausen to be a copyist’s error as the name was not a toponym (place name) or a family name which is still in use. In 1611 the name MEDERT was found in the Feuerstattenverzeichnisse, a census of fireplaces or households in Luxembourg. In genealogical databases (church records) MEDERHANSEN evolved into MEDER around 1670. In the 1880 Luxembourg census there were 67 households in the country with the name MEDER, a whopping 0.35%. In 2009 only 24  (0.15%) listings were found in the Luxembourg telephone book for MEDER.

2016-08-27 10.44.48 EttelbruckFollowing the end of the Thirty-Years’ War in 1648, the population of Ettelbruck, Ettelbréck as it is known in Luxembourgish, was 281 per the table below. When Johannes MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT married in 1752 the population had likely surpassed the 763 seen in 1750.

BevölkerungstablleEttelbrück

“Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2361-92?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1710, tables généalogiques des premières familles > image 2 of 70; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

The wrong first name in the printed list for the father of Adam MEDERHANSEN (Johannes’ father) had me wondering if the others may contain errors as well. Adam’s father’s name was listed as Nic., short for Nicolas, in the printed list.

1696printedindex

“Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2196-7?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1710, tables généalogiques des premières familles > image 59 of 70; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

The baptismal record showed a son of Jacobus MEDERHANSEN and his wife Susanna was baptized on 24 August 1696 with godparents Adam MEDERHANSEN of Ettelbruck and Eva JACOBS of Warken. The name of the son was omitted but as it was tradition to name the child after the godparent of the same gender the omitted name had to be Adam.

1696AdamMederhansenBaptism

1696 Baptismal Record of the son of Jacobus MEDERHANSEN and his wife Susanna

After making a list of all MEDERHANSEN children born in Ettelbruck between 1645 and 1710 I gathered the baptismal records which included the names of the father, mother, and godparents. Once the list was complete an examination showed there were two families having children at the same time.

  • Henricus MEDERHANSEN and his wife Elisabeth
  • Nicolas MEDERHANSEN and his wife Margaretha

Both of the men and their wives had children from about 1645-1646 into the 1660s which leads me to believe they were about the same age and possibly brothers.

A large problem in analyzing the family connections this far back is the lack of death and marriage records for the period 1640 to 1725. Both MEDERHANSEN families had a son named Jacob. Nicolas’ son was born in 1646 and Henri’s son was born in 1655. To further complicate matters I found three women having children with men named Jacob.

  • Jacob and Maria had children in 1671, 1672, and 1674 (Nicolas)
  • Jacob and Eva had children in 1688 and 1690 (Nicolas or Henri)
  • Jacob and Susanna had children in 1696, 1698, and 1703 (my husband’s line)

Are all three Jacobs the same person, two persons, or even three – the last perhaps a grandson and not a son of one of the two first MEDERHANSEN families in Ettelbruck?

MRIN39230 MEDER Family Tree from 1600s to 1800s tiny

“Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32461-2471-13?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1710, tables généalogiques des premières familles > image 12 of 70; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

Also found in the register were these diagrams of MEDER family trees including the MEDERHANSEN version of the name. Heinrich MEDER seen at the top of the diagram above was one of the two MEDERHANSEN men whose families were in Ettelbruck in the 1600s. Nicolas MEDERHANSEN in the diagram below was a son of Heinrich seen above.

MRIN39230 Nicolas MEDER Family Tree from 1600s to 1800s cropped

“Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2316-29?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1710, tables généalogiques des premières familles > image 13 of 70; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

The person who did these diagrams (mind-mapping on paper) would have greatly profited from today’s technology. Following all of the diagrams he included a list of marriages he used to create them. Many of the earliest marriages are “guesstimates” as a question mark was included before the year. How reliable are the early connection he made in the above diagrams? Further research may any this question.

As the births, marriages, and deaths for Ettelbruck appear to be complete from 1725 until 1815 in the church records, my next step will be to slowly go through all records beginning in 1725. It may be a while before I climb out of this rabbit hole or dig deeper into it.

Either way, I’m hopeful I will get additional help from my genealogy association in Luxembourg. Luxracines will soon be opening a library to the members and public. As treasurer and a member of the board, I’ve been helping set up the library and will be sharing some of the “behind the scenes” moments in next week’s post.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Genealogy, Luxembourg | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #69 George H. Brown 1872-1929

George H. BROWN was born on 11 March 1872 to Orilla C. SCHUCHARD and John R. BROWN. His mother passed away between 1872-1878. George resided in Columbus, Pope County, Illinois, in 1880 with his father, stepmother Maggie RUBLE, and half-brother John R. His father John R. passed away on 30 October 1884 at the age of 41. George married Anna Mary BARNES in 1894 when he was 22 years old. They had one child during their marriage. Their daughter Anna Idell was born on 2 March 1898 in Paducah, Kentucky, where the family resided in 1900 nad 1910. George lived in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1920. He died on 24 June 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 57, and was buried in Carbondale, Illinois.

BrownGeorgebrotherofJohnfrontGeorge BROWN ca. 1890

BrownGeorgebrotherofJohnbackGeorge BROWN, brother of John “Pid”

This is how I identified George H. Brown

Written on the back of the photograph was the only information I had to identify the young man featured today. Since many of the actors in this mystery series (a.k.a. people who have been featured in Florence’s collection) were from Pope County, Illinois, I took the chance and searched for George Brown with a brother named John in Pope County in all collections on Ancestry. georgebrownresultThe top result was for George H. Brown b. abt. 1872 in Illinois, living in Columbus, Pope County, Illinois.

1880censusbrownpopeillOnly the persons highlighted in the image above were shown in the indexed household. They were not the only persons living in the same household as the Brown family. The head of household was a hotel keeper and dry goods merchant. A half brother of the head of household was also living with the family. The importance of looking at the images and following other persons in the household was seen as I continued the search.

It would appear that George H. age 8 and John T. age 2 were the sons of John R. Brown age 37 and his wife Maggie age 23. But wait, Maggie would have been 15 years old at the time of George’s birth. Is she his mother or not?

  1. I searched for George’s father in previous census listings. Since John T. Baldwin was listed as a half brother I used this information to narrow the search. This led to all census listings for John Baldwin from 1860 to 1930, his marriage to Ida Ellis who was seen on the same 1880 census listing, and his death record. George’s father was with John Baldwin in 1860. It is not possible to tell if the head of household was his stepfather or if the woman listed next was his mother as relationships are not given.
  2. I searched for George’s brother John T. Brown who turned out to be John R. Brown. He married Allie Steagall about 1902 and had several of her sisters in his household in 1910. One of the sisters was the widow of John Jay Hardin Hodge, a brother of Anna Mae Hodge. This looked promising. A connection to another person in Florence’s collection. John’s SS application (index) showed his parents were John R. Brown and Maggie Ruble.
  3. I searched for more information on Maggie Ruble Brown. A marriage record for John R. Brown and Maggie Ruble showed they married 1877 in Pope County, Illinois. This meant George Brown was most likely not a child of this marriage. John appears to have died and Maggie married William J. Reeves in 1894. By 1900 Maggie was once again widowed per the 1900 census. Her occupation was “Post Master” and boarding with her was Samuel L. ROYALTY. Another connection to the collection as Sam was Florence’s father.
  4. The fact that Maggie Ruble Brown was a postmaster led to the appointments of U.S. Postmasters database. This showed John R. Brown was appointed postmaster of Wool on 30 April 1872, his half-brother John T. Baldwin on 15 December 1884, and his wife/widow Maggie Brown on 2 Jan 1885. On 27 August 1892 Wool became Brownfield and Maggie Brown was still postmaster.
  5. Maggie Ruble Brown Reeves married Dr. Thomas Jefferson Rich about 1903 and lived in Anna, Union County, Illinois, in 1910 through 1940. She died in Anna in 1948.

I found information on George’s father, stepmother, half-brother, and uncle but what about George. Since the family lived in Wool, later known as Brownfield, I added this to the search criteria for George H. BROWN b. abt. 1872 in Brownfield.

top2hintsgeorgehbrownThis added a death certificate to the top matching records. The death record led to the Find A Grave memorial of George H. BROWN, his wife Anna Mary and his daughter Anna Idell. The daughter’s FAG page included this statement, “Next to her parents, G. H. Brown and Annie Brown. Besides her mother, she was also survived by her grandmother, Mrs. Rich of Anna, and an uncle John R. Brown of Benton.” This backed up the information I found while researching the family group and confirmed George H. BROWN was the right person even though his birth information on FAG did not match the death certificate.

1929georgehbrowndeathThe death certificate confirms George H. Brown was the son of John R. Brown of Brownfield and Ourell Schuhard of Gall (sic) County, Illinois. As I suspected, Maggie Ruble was not his mother.

George’s mother was seen as Orilla Schuchard in the household of John V. Schuchard and Catherine Young of Golconda in Pope County, Illinois.  She married John R. Brown on 1 June 1868 in Pope County.

georgehbrownfamilytreeGeorge H. BROWN’s only grandchild did not have children. His stepmother Maggie RUBLE married three times and had only one son, John R. BROWN who did not have children. There are no descendants to confirm the sad looking young man in the photograph above was George H. BROWN of Brownfield. Close in age to Florence born in 1868, she may have known George BROWN as the young boy who was orphaned at the age of 12 and lived with the postmaster, who was his stepmother, and his half-brother.  Am I grasping at straws or do you think I’ve identified this young man correctly?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The MEDER-LAMBERT Family of Ettelbrück (1753-1859)

Following the marriage of Johannes MEDER (1723-1784) and Susanna LAMBERT (1729-1803) on 27 December 1752[1] their first child was born eight months later. More children followed about every two years until the family included nine children in 1770. The baptisms of each child took place on the day of birth in Ettelbrück where the couple lived following their marriage in Mersch.

  • Ch 1: Margaretha on 30 August 1753. Her godparents were Nicolaus Flamman and Margaretha Eichorn, both of Ettelbrück.[2]
1753margarethamederbaptism

1753 Baptismal Record of Margaretha MEDER

  • Ch 2: Magdalena on 24 July 1755. Her godparents were Wilhelm Benderin and Magdalene Philips, both of Ettelbrück.[3]
1755magdelenamederbaptism

1755 Baptismal Record for Magdelena MEDER [3]

  • Ch 3: Pierre on 11 January 1757. His godparents were Petrus Kremer and Barbara Meder, both of Ettelbrück.[4]
1757petrusmederbaptism

1757 Baptismal Record for Petrus MEDER [4]

  • Ch 4: Nicolas on 13 August 1758. His godparents were Nicolaus Polfer and Anna Maria Meder, both of Ettelbrück.[5]
1758nicolasmederbaptism

1758 Baptismal Record for Nicolaus MEDER [5]

  • Ch 5: Joannes on 18 January 1761. His godparents were Joannes Wagener and Elisabetha Hoffman, both of Ettelbrück.[6]
1761joannesmederbaptism

1761 Baptismal Record for Joannes MEDER [6]

  • Ch 6: Agnès on 15 September 1762. Her godparents were Philippus Frisch of Ettelbrück and Agnes Schodeck of Mersch.[7]
1762agnesmederbaptism

1762 Baptismal Record for Agnes MEDER [7]

  • Ch 7: Elisabetha 5 October 1764. Her godparents were Théodorus Welter of Ettelbrück and Elisabetha Bettendorf of Warken.[8]
1764elisabethamederbaptism

1764 Baptismal Record for Elisabetha MEDER [8]

  • Ch 8: Joannes Nicolaus on 26 October 1766. His godparents were Joannes Nicolaus Bequinet and Barbara Wagner of Ettelbrück.[9]
1766joesnicolausmederbaptism

1766 Baptismal Record for Joannes Nicolaus MEDER [9]

  • Ch 9: Margaretha on 21 September 1770. Her godparents were Joannes Cames and Margaretha Flamand, both of Ettelbrück.[10]

1770margarethamederbaptism

1770 Baptismal Record for Margaretha MEDER [10]

One of my readers last week wrote, “So great to have such a wealth of records, not to mention being able to read them!” I admit that being fluent in several languages I forget sometimes that my readers not only may have difficulties reading the handwriting but also knowing the language it is writing in. The text of each baptismal record above was in Latin and reads:

Natus et baptimus est [child’s name] filius/filia legitimus/legitima [father] et [mother] conjugum ex [town], Susceptores fuerunt [godfather] ex [town] et [godmother] ex [town]

Born and baptized [child] legitimate son/daughter of married [parents] of [town], godparents were [godfather] and [godmother] of [town]

The paternal grandfather of the children lived long enough see all of them born. Adami MEDER also known as “Juckes” died at the age of 77 years on 9 March 1774 in Ettelbrück.[11] To date, no record of death has been found for his wife Elisabetha ESCH. An exhaustive search, viewing every page of the church death register from December 1771 when she was last seen as living, has not been done.

The first of Johannes and Susanna’s children Pierre MEDER married Anne Marie FABER (1755-1812) on 11 January 1779 in Ettelbrück.[12] It was to be the only marriage of a child attended by Johannes as he died at the age of 61 years on 13 February 1784 in Ettelbrück.[13]

Johannes’ widow Susanna saw four of their children marry in three years:

  • Ch 4: Nicolas MEDER married Marguerite BRACHTENBACH (1764-1823) on 27 December 1793 Ettelbrück[14]
  • Ch 8: Johann Nicolas MEDER married Apolonia WILMES (1769-1824) on 13 January 1794 Diekirch[15]
  • Ch 7: Elisabeth MEDER married Jacques BROCHMAN (1757-1831) on 23 May 1796 Diekirch[16]
  • Ch 9: Margaretha MEDER married Martin SCHMIDT (1750- ) on 9 September 1796 Ettelbrück[17] Note: Only the index card with marriage information was found for this couple. The church records appear to be missing pages (or they may be out of order) for May to November 1796. Civil marriages were first registered in the Republican Year 5, a week after this marriage took place.

No marriages or death records have been found for the oldest daughters Margaretha and Magdalena or for the third son Joannes. Did they die young or marry and live in a town other than Ettelbrück? I suspect Margaretha (b. 1753) died before the younger Margaretha was born in 1770. A complete search of the church records is still in progress.

The mother of the family, Susanna LAMBERT, died at the age of 74 years on 8 September 1803 in Ettelbrück. Her death was reported by her second oldest son Nicolas.[18]

Two of Johannes and Susanna’s children moved to Diekirch to raise their families while four of their children remained in Ettelbrück. Their daughter Agnès never married. The MEDER name was carried on by Pierre and Nicolas in Ettelbrück and by Johann Nicolas in Diekirch.

Death records were found for the following children:

  • Ch 3: Pierre MEDER , the oldest son, died 28 March 1812 Ettelbrück[19]
  • Ch 4: Nicolas MEDER died 9 March 1823 Ettelbrück[20]
  • Ch 7: Elisabeth MEDER died 29 November 1844 Diekirch[21]
  • Ch 8: Johann Nicolas “Jean Nicolas” MEDER died 22 December 1844 Diekirch[22]
  • Ch 6: Agnès MEDER who never married died 23 December 1844 Ettelbrück[23]
  • Ch 9: Margaretha MEDER died 14 December 1859 Ettelbrück[24]

The winter of 1844 was not a good year for the family. Three siblings died within a month, two of them a day apart.

Finding all of the above records was child’s play compared to what I went through to find the baptismal records of their parents Johann MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT. While doing the research for this family group I found myself slipping down a rabbit hole. I was pulled back in time to an era where family names were not the surnames we know today. Join me next week to see how I fared while exploring the rabbit hole.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mersch > Mariages 1749-1772 > image 13 of 88. 1752 Marriage Record (2nd entry on left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2935-92?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[2] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 19 of 147. 1753 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-1207-63?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[3] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 25 of 147;. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-1236-98?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[4] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 30 of 147. 1757 Baptismal Record for Petrus Meder son of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lampert.. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-1074-98?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[5] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 35 of 147. 1758 Baptismal Record for Nicolaus Meder son of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lampert.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32462-1152-14?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[6] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 42 of 147. 1761 Baptismal Record for Joannis Meder son of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lambert. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32462-999-11?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[7] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 48 of 147. 1762 Baptismal Record for Agnes Meder daughter of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lambert. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-928-12?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[8] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 53 of 147. 1764 Baptismal Record for Elisabetha Meder daughter of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lampert. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-1107-60?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[9] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 59 of 147. 1766 Baptismal Record for Joannis Nicolaus Meder son of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lambert.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-751-39?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-ZJ4:1500939401,1501045912 : accessed 23 March 2015).
[10] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 69 of 147. 1770 Baptismal Record for Margaretha Meder daughter of Joannis Meder and Susanna Lambert. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-831-96?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[11] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Mariages 1732-1778, sépultures 1732-1782 > image 83 of 95. 1774 Death Record (bottom of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-1343-92?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[12] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 17 of 328. 1779 Marriage Record (left page, bottom entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32468-7375-53?cc=2037955 : accessed 7 August 2016).
[13] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Sépultures 1782-1793 > image 6 of 69. 1784 Death Record (bottom of right page).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-1116-41?cc=2037955 : accessed 5 August 2016).
[14] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Mariages 1780-1796 > image 48 of 59. 1793 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32468-7595-91?cc=2037955 : accessed 19 August 2016).
[15] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1743-1794 > image 116 of 122. 1794 Marriage Record (lower right). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32400-5311-96?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-B87:1500890501,1500891002 : accessed 28 June 2015).
[16] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 110 of 243. 1796 Marriage Record (5 Prairial IV). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32467-4860-69?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[17] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Tables des mariages 1725-1799 Gevell-Z (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 603 of 809. 1796 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32461-3829-99?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-2NB:1500939401,1501183702 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[18] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Mariages 1845-1890 Décès 1796-1826 > image 1012 of 1436. 1803 Death Record No. 51 (21 Fructidor XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12869-158460-11?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2L6:n238132716 : accessed 11 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Mariages 1845-1890 Décès 1796-1826 > image 1131 of 1436. 1812 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12869-150587-25?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 August 2016).
[20] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Mariages 1845-1890 Décès 1796-1826 > image 1350 of 1436. 1823 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12869-152866-5?cc=1709358 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[21] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 335 of 1358. 1844 Death Record No. 54. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-167581-60?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 August 2016).
[22] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 335 of 1358. 1844 Death Record No. 56. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-167581-60?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 February 2013).
[23] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 472 of 1379. 1844 Death Record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11675-55724-76?cc=1709358 : accessed 19 August 2016).
[24] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 809 of 1379. 1859 Death Record No. 89. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11675-56883-78?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 August 2016).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johannes MEDER
Parents: Adam MEDERHANSEN and Elisabetha ESCH
Spouse: Susanna LAMBERT
Parents of spouse: Joannis REINERS and Maria ERPELDING
Whereabouts: Ettelbrück and Angelsberg, Grand Duché of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather of husband

  1. Johannes MEDER
  2. Jean Nicolas MEDER
  3. Theodore MEDER
  4. Franz “François” MEDER
  5. Johann Peter “Jean-Pierre” MEDER
  6. Marcel Mathias MEDER
  7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband Living MEDER

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Genealogy, Luxembourg | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

FamilySearch – First Batch of Luxembourg Civil Registration Records Now Searchable

Luxflag25pcWhat’s new on FamilySearch for Luxembourg? On Tuesday, 16 August 2016, records became searchable in the Luxembourg Civil Registration, 1662-1941 collection – 32,614.

FSLuxNewFrom time to time I do indexing for FamilySearch and found only one batch of Luxembourg records in the cue of current projects: Luxemburg, Esch Civil Registration, 1796–1923. “This project is a collection of birth, marriage, and death records from the city of Esch-sur-Alzette in south-western Luxembourg between 1796 and 1923.” Currently, 79% have been indexed and 71% arbitrated.

indexingIt looks like they are beginning to release the records which have been completed. If you have ancestors who were born, married or died in Esch-sur-Alzette you can now search by name instead of browsing the records.

Interested in doing indexing? Go to Find an Indexing Project. I’d love to see the Luxembourg records being done sooner than 2020!

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© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Genealogy, Luxembourg | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #68 Portrait of a Man with Beard

In the collection my cousin Joe Rooney sent to me there were two copies of the photograph I am sharing today of a bearded man. It took me a while to identify him. Bear with me while I work through this.

UNKGlassRoyaltyGBLTillie Rooney collectiontinyThe photographer Theodore C. Marceau per Wikipedia “pioneered the creation of a national chain of photographic studios in the United States in the 1880s.” I found an interesting biography of the photographer Marceau on Broadway Photographs. He lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1885-1886 and first went into a partnership with another photographer named Bellsmith around this time. Cabinet cards found online for the the studio in Cincinnati had Marceau Bellsmith as the photographer’s logo. I believe this photograph was one of Marceau’s early works and likely taken around 1885 before he partnered with Bellsmith.

The bearded man in this photograph was not a very young man and yet not old. The beard does not show any graying. The thinning of his hair would suggest he might have been in his 30s or 40s.

The backs of the photographs read:

Theo C. Marceau
The Leading Fotografer
Successor to Van Loo
148 West Fourth St.
Cincinnati

Also on the backs are dedications. The first reads, “To Uncle Sam – R.G.L.”

UNKPortraitmanbeardback Rooney collectionThe second, “To cousin Tillie R.G.L.” and a number “77030R” which could be for ordering duplicates.

UNKGlassRoyaltyGBLTillieback Rooney collectionBoth dedications were written by the same person, likely an adult. But who was R.G.L.?

Uncle Sam and cousin Tillie are a perfect fit for Samuel L. ROYALTY (1829-1902) and his daughter Mathilda J. “Tillie” (Royalty) WELLS (1859-1939). My problem is I don’t have a niece or nephew for Samuel with the initials R.G.L. The dedication on the back of the cabinet card to Uncle Sam would have to have been written before his death in 1902.

I slowly went through all the digital images of the fronts and backs of all photographs in the collection searching for the same handwriting. There are 250 items in the digital file.

carrieback2carrieback

These are the backs of two identical photographs of Caroline “Carrie” ENOCH, daughter of Ellen ROYALTY, oldest sister of Samuel L. ROYALTY. Sam’s niece and Tilly’s cousin.

When I shared Carrie’s portrait I had little information on her and was unable to locate her in any census after 1870. The backs of her photos suggested a marriage to a LANGLEY or LANGSTON. After writing about her photograph last November my cousin Joe posted several comments about her having been married at least three times. This led to the census enumerations in 1900, 1910, 1920 with her 2nd husband and in 1930 with her 3rd husband. I have not gone back to check on the 1940. All three of her marriages took place  in Hamilton County, Ohio:

Robert G. LANGSDALE 1851-1920

Carrie’s first husband’s initials were R.G.L. Here is a biographical sketch from the History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana, 1885.

1885historyofdearbornandohiocountiesp808-809R. G. LANGSDALE, M.D., a popular druggist and pharmacist, Rising Sun, is a native of Kentucky, born in 1851. He was educated at Moore’s Hill College, and for seven years was engaged in teaching “the young idea how to shoot.” In 1879 he entered the Ohio Medical College, of Cincinnati, and took a thorough course in the study of medicine, graduating March 4, 1881. He then sold out his interest in the drug business at Florence, Ind., and located in the same year in Rising Sun. In January, 1882, he purchased a stock of drugs of B.F. Buchanan, and, since that date, has done a good business in the drug line, keeping a full stock of goods peculiar to the trade. Dr. Langsdale began the study of medicine with Drs. Fairhurst & Mantle, of Vincennes, Ind., and later, with Dr. J.M.W. Langsdale, of Florence, Ind.  He now confines his professional services to city practice exclusively. In the fall of 1885 Dr. LANGSDALE was married to Miss Carrie Enochs, one of the most prepossessing young ladies of Rising Sun.
[Source: History of Dearborn and Ohio Counties, Indiana, 1885 online https://archive.org/stream/historyofdearbor00chic#page/n5/mode/2up]

Carrie and Robert’s marriage did not last. Carrie remarried in 1900 and Robert in 1906. Neither had children.

Before you leave, please take a moment to scroll back up to the top and meet Dr. Robert G. Langsdale.

RGLsignature
bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Johannes MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT Married in 1752 in Mersch

Last year during the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge I blogged about my children’s ancestors starting with their paternal grandparents back to their 4th great-grandparents. Nearly a quarter of their 5th great-grandparents were featured in 2014 as part of the American branch of the family tree but three quarters have not been written about. As the remaining are all European and mostly Luxembourgish families the records are available and the ancestors are waiting for their stories to be told.

In 1723 a baptismal record[1] was recorded in the church records of Ettelbrück in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Joes, the abbreviated form of Joannes (Johannes or Jean), a son of Adam and Elisabetha MEDERHANSEN of Ettelbrück was baptized. His godparents were  Joannes Petrus (Jean Pierre) Barthels of Elscheid and Joanna (Jeanne) Mederhansen of Ettelbrück. The record was not dated and other records on the page are not in true chronological order.

His baptismal record had this comment in the margin: n. b. non e ni ordine. This translate to “Take special notice, not in order.” The record therefore was not recorded in chronological order. His next sibling was born on 19 June 1724 which would mean Joannes had to have been born before September 1723. He was the oldest known child and his younger siblings were born with an average of about 3 years between births. When Joannes died on 13 February 1784 he was in his 65th year which places his birth at around 1720.

1723JoannesMederhansenBaptism

Baptismal Record of Joannes MEDERHANSEN [1]

In the church records Latin forms of the names were used. To avoid confusion I will mention the form used in records but for narration will use the German form of the names.

Johannes MEDER’s (1720-1784) parents were Adam MEDERHANSEN (1696-1774) and Elisabetha ESCH. They likely married about 1719 and continued to have children until 1740. To date no record has been found to confirm the date of marriage of his parents who lived in Ettelbrück nor dates of birth and death of his mother Elisabetha. Why the change in the surname from MEDERHANSEN to MEDER? This will be discussed in a later post.

1752MedertLamberMarriageCard

Marriage Index Card for Johannes MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT [2]

Johannes MEDER, whose surname was spelled MEDERT, and Susanna LAMBERT, whose surname was spelled LAMBER, were married on 27 December 1752 in Mersch. Susanna was from Angelsberg. A remark on the above index card[2] in Latin ambo olim famulantes apud MEYERS im EHSINGEN translates to “both were formerly serving for the MEYERS in ESSINGEN.” Since Johannes was from Ettelbrück and Susanna was from Angelsberg they likely met while working for the MEYERS family in Essingen. The spelling of the town name is recorded incorrectly on the index card but written Essingen (the double s appears as fs in cursive) in the marriage record[3] below.

1752MederLambertmarriagerecord

1752 Marriage Record of Joannes MEDERT and Susanna LAMBER [3]

As Susanna (1729-1803) was from Angelsberg, a town whose records are found in Mersch, I searched through all the baptisms between 1720 and 1735 for a birth record for Susanna LAMBERT. I found a Susanna born in Angelsberg and baptized on 2 January 1729. The only problem was her parents names were Joannis and Maria REINERS. I made a note of the location of the record for further reference.

While checking for the birth, marriage and death records of the children of Johannes and Susanna, to be discussed in my next post, I ran across one record with a different surname for Susanna. In 1779 Johannes and Susanna had been married 27 years and the first of their children, their oldest son Pierre married a young lady named Marie FABER from Mamer.

MRIN25783 1779 Pierre Meder and Marie Faber marriage index card

Marriage Index Card for Pierre MEDER and Marie FABER [4]

The index card[4] for the marriage has the mother of the groom listed as Suzanne REINERS. Using the index card as a guide I located the marriage record[5] in the church records. The mother’s maiden name was REINERS in the text as well as at the bottom of the document where all persons present at the marriage signed or left their mark.

1779marriage

1779 Marriage Record for Pierre MEDER and Maria FABER [5]

This marriage record had me going back to the record I found for the REINERS child named Susanna born in 1729 in Angelsberg to Joannis and Maria.[6]

1729Susannareinersbaptism

1729 Baptismal Record for Susanna REINERS aka LAMBERT [6]

The LAMBERT family was also known as REINERS in earlier records. The LAMBERT name appears to have come into use after the death of Joannis REINERS in 1750. Both names were likely “house” names.

The marriage of Johannes and Susanna lasted 31 years, 1 month, and 17 days ending with the death of Johannes in 1784. Next week we will take a look at the records found for their children.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1724 > image 227 of 229. 1723 Baptismal Record for Joannes Meder son of Adam and Elisabetha  (right page 3rd entry).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-2084-4?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[2] Ibid., Grand Duché du Luxembourg > Tables des mariages avant 1802 (Marcky, Kaiser-Meyers, Karres) > image 652 of 1622. 1752 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32464-15985-50?cc=2037955 : 6 August 2016).
[3] Ibid., Mersch > Mariages 1749-1772 > image 13 of 88. 1752 Marriage Record (2nd entry on left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2935-92?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[4] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Tables des mariages 1725-1799 Gevell-Z (index organisée par l’époux) > image 289 of 761. 1779 Marrie Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-3135-43?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[5] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 17 of 328. 1779 Marriage Record (left page, bottom entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32468-7375-53?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[6] Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 42 of 280. 1729 Baptismal Record (right page 3rd entry from bottom). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32461-2307-24?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johannes MEDER
Parents:  Adam MEDERHANSEN and Elisabetha ESCH
Spouse: Susanna LAMBERT
Parents of spouse: Joannis REINERS and Maria ERPELDING
Whereabouts: Ettelbrück and Angelsberg, Grand Duché of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather of husband

  1. Johannes MEDER
  2. Jean Nicolas MEDER
  3. Theodore MEDER
  4. Franz “François” MEDER
  5. Johann Peter “Jean-Pierre” MEDER
  6. Marcel Mathias MEDER
  7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband Living MEDER

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Genealogy, Luxembourg | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #67 John ROYALTY (b. bef. 1803-d. bef. 1850)

This photograph was printed by D. K. Walton in Rising Sun, Indiana. The photographer Daniel K. Walton was born about 1852 and was first seen with the occupation of photographer on the 1880 census at the age of 28.

MRIN38282 RoyaltyJohnCould this be a reproduction of a photograph taken in the 1840s? The stand up collar touching the cheek and the large wraparound bow tie suggest this period. The back of the photograph identifies the man as John ROYALTY.

MRIN38282 RoyaltyJohnbackJohn ROYALTY married Sarah LUNDERMON (1796-1870) on 3 February 1824 in Spencer County, Kentucky. They were the parents of Ellen ROYALTY (1824-1903), Hester Ann ROYALTY (1827-1910s), and Samuel L. ROYALTY (1829-1902). They named their only son after his maternal grandfather Samuel LUNDERMON. While writing this it dawned on me that Samuel L. ROYALTY’s middle name may have been Lundermon.

John and his little family may have lived in Washington County, Kentucky in 1830. A census record was found in the county which “fits” and includes an additional older woman. If this is the correct family group, John would have been a bit younger than his wife. The family hasn’t been found in the 1840 census and John may have died before 1850. His wife Sarah was found in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 census, years in which the status of a person was not included, and may have been widowed as John was not present.

If John ROYALTY named his first son after his father-in-law, were his daughters named after his mother-in-law and mother?

Getting back to the photograph, John’s oldest daughter Ellen lived in Rising Sun, Ohio County, Indiana, at the same time as the photographer D. K. Walton. Could she have had an earlier photo of her father reproduced?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #66 Cousin Bait Success Story

I’ve been writing about and sharing photographs from this collection since April 2015. During this time I’ve heard from three persons who recognized their ancestor or ancestors in the photos.

I want to tell you about the most recent one. Scot Holt wrote to me via private message to my Facebook page Opening Doors in Brick Walls. He recently began working on his family tree. His mother is a LILLIE and he’d found my post on his great-great-grandfather Albert Spencer LILLIE (1848-1913). He descends from Albert through the son of the youngest son Robert Wiley LILLIE (1895-1947) and knew very little about the LILLIE side of the family. My problem was that I had a marriage and two daughters for Robert but no son. In fact Robert was missing in the 1930 and 1940 census. His wife was found in with their oldest daughter in 1930 and 1940 but the second daughter was missing in 1930. If one daughter was missing in 1930, was it possible other children were missing? On the other hand, could Scot be barking up the wrong tree?

I checked and found his grandfather Robert Walton LILLIE at the age of 3 years in the 1930 household of his uncle and aunt Ray and Clara OWENS. This had to be him as Robert Sr.’s wife was Neele Audrey OWENS. I would have to look into the OWENS family to see if Neele and Ray were siblings but it looked like Scot was on the right track.

Scot wrote back, “This is definitely him. I looked at your page and my mom has a similar picture of Neele Audrey Owens” and promised to dig through a box of stuff his grandma left him to see if he could get some more information for me.

Less than five hours later he wrote, “Thought you might like to see this picture. It’s all of Albert’s children, minus one.

MRIN21907 1920 Lillie Reunion photo of the 11 children courtesy of Scot HoltYou know what’s coming? A genealogy happy dance!

You might remember my post on the 1920 LILLIE Family Reunion in which I included the same photograph:

smallgroupTen men and a woman were lined up in front of a bank. My cousin Joe Rooney had labeled it “SamRoy3rdleft.” When I was working on the post I compared photos of Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE, son of Isaac, with this photo and #5 was Roy. But who were the others?

I noticed everyone in the lineup was also in the family group photo and wearing the same clothes. It had to have been taken the same day as the reunion and, with the exception of Roy, it looked like a lineup of youngest to oldest (left to right) of the sons and only daughter of Albert Spencer Lillie and Pernecia Elizabeth Glass. Cousin Joe agreed with my idea and we came to the conclusion that Roy was standing in for Reuben D. LILLIE who was the family black-sheep and had gone underground after robbing banks – at least according to one cousin’s version!

My new cousin Scot, 5th cousins through Landon S. GOWING and Sally CRISP, not only sent me his copy of the photo above but also a view of the back.

MRIN21907 1920 Lillie Reunion back of photo of the 11 children courtesy of Scot HoltLeft to right:                                                                                Children of
1. Robert W. Lillie                                                                       Albert Lillie born 1847 KY
2. Jess Lillie                                                                                              &
3. Roy Lillie – standing in for Rueben (sic) Lillie                  Pernecie Lillie born 1851 KY
4. Ed Lillie                                                                                      mad. (maiden) name
5. Bert Lillie                                                                                                             Glass
6. John Lillie                                                                                 Lillie
7. Tom Lillie                                                                                  Brothers & Sister
8. Rose Lillie
9. Frank Lillie
10. George Lillie
11. Ike Lillie – Roy Lillie is Ike’s son

Scot’s copy of the back of the photograph proves my labeling of the picture was right on the money!

This side of the family has always been a bit of a mystery so I’m very excited to share information with you or anyone else who would like to get in touch with me.~ Scot Holt

Even though Scot says the Lillie side of the family has been a mystery he had been told there was an uncle who went to prison. This fit in well with the story of why Reuben was missing at the 1920 family reunion. Now all we need is for another cousin to take the bait and get in touch with the answer to this mystery.

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Amy, Addison, Henry and his Enslaved Family

Samuel Pack (1779-1850) wrote his Last Will and Testament on 1 January 1850 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Three weeks later, on 23 January 1850, Raleigh County was formed. The will was the first item recorded in the Will Book for Raleigh County.

RELEASING Amy, Addison, and Henry

Saml Pack’s Will (in margin)

In the name of God Amen I Samuel Pack of the County of
Fayette & state of Virginia, calling to mind that is alotted (sic) once for
man to die do make and constitute this my last Will an (sic) testment (sic)
revoking all Wills or writings heretofore made by me in the manner
an (sic) form following (to wit)
first After my decease I desire my body may be buried in neat and
Christian like manner, that all my funeral expenses an (sic) just debts be paid
2 I give an (sic) bequeath unto my Deer (sic) Beloved wife Sally Pack absolutely
the whole of my estate both Real an (sic) personal and (sic) at disposal at her death
forever
3rd The heirs of William Pack each one I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
to Each one to be paid by my Executor
4th To my son Andrew Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One Dollar
5/ To my son Augustus Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
6/ To my daughter Rachel Honaker I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
7/ With this special Reservation that my three Negroes Amy, Addison,
& Henry at the death of my wife Sally Pack shall have the
Liberty of chewsing (sic) ther (sic) own Master out of all my schildren (sic) or
grand schildren (sic) an (sic) if that dont suit they shall be at Liberty to
take some other master by him paying the valuation of said Negro
or Negroes over to said heirs.
I have omitted certain of my children with this my last will
testament which is in consequence of the Land conveyed to William
Pack at the mouth Greenbrier River. Land to Andrew Pack on Cole
River, Land to Augustus Pack on Cole River
I do hereby appoint James M. Byrnsides as my executor
at this my last Will & testament
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed my seal this 1 day January 1850
test                                             mark
Anderson Pack               Samuel   X   Pack      Seal
Washington H. Boyd                    his                
Jackson Vest

At a Court held for the County of Raleigh on Monday the
28th day of October 1850.
                                         The last Will and Testament of Samuel
Pack deceased was proved according to law by the Oaths of Anderson
Pack, and Jackson Vest, Witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be
recorded.
                                          A Copy
                                                    Teste
                                                         Daniel Shumate clk

True's statement

When doing genealogy research you realize how small the world really is. Samuel’s widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living only a few households away from my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. Peters and Rachel Proffitt in 1850. Samuel and Sarah’s daughter Rachel Byrnside Pack was married to Henry Honaker (my 2C4R), grandson of my 4th great-grandfather Frederick Honaker‘s brother Henry. This led me to do a bit more research than usual on the slaves Amy, Addison, and Henry mentioned in Samuel Pack’s will.

After the Last Will and Testament

Samuel Pack died in July 1850 per the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index. I found only one GEDCOM on RootsWeb with this date of death. All others have the day his will was proved in court as his date of death – 28 October 1850. On Ancestry there are over 550 trees and a little over 1/5 have the correct date of death. He was not on the 1850 census – a red flag that something must be wrong!

In 1850 his widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living in Raleigh County and was enumerated on Schedule 2 for Slave Inhabitants with a 50 years old black female, a 29 years old black male, and a 25 years old black male. The schedule was dated 5 July 1850 and the three slaves mentioned are likely Amy, Addison, and Henry. As Samuel was not on the schedule his death must have been before July 5. Further, as the official enumeration day of the 1850 census was 1 June 1850 it is more likely he died before July or even June. Why else would Sarah be alone as of 1 June 1850 on the census?

By 1860 Sarah had moved in with her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Henry Honaker in Newbern, Pulaski County, Virginia. Once again she was enumerated on the Slave Schedule. This time with a 38 years old black male and a 35 years old mulatto male. From this I assume Amy may have died between 1850-1860. I believe the two males were Addison and Henry.

By the end of the year 1860 Sarah Pack was deceased. I have not found a record to confirm the 13 December 1860 date of death found on Find A Grave. Per her husband’s will at her death his Negroes should have the liberty to choose their own master out of his children or grandchildren or “take some other master.” I don’t know if they chose to remain with Rachel and Henry Honaker with whom they, as well as Sarah, were living. However I am sure Henry remained in Pulaski County. But what of Addison?

Addison

At this point I would like to note that I did not find any trace of Addison. “A cohabitation register, or as it is properly titled, Register of Colored Persons…cohabiting together as Husband and Wife on 27th February 1866, was the legal vehicle by which former slaves legitimized both their marriages and their children.” ~ Library of Virginia.  Pulaski County is not included on the site and may be one of the counties for which this register does not exist. I checked the surrounding counties and none had a Pack or Addison on their register. Without Addison‘s surname it is nearly impossible to locate him in the census or other records or even to guess if he was related to Amy and Henry.

Henry

I found Henry in the 1870 census as Henry Pack with wife Margaret Ann, five children, and an older woman named Jane Hall. All were listed as mulattoes except Jane Hall who was black. Henry was a carpenter and owned 60 acres of land. By 1880 his family had grown to nine children. His place of birth as well as his parents’ were listed as West Virginia which supported my assumption that this was the same Henry as seen in Samuel Pack’s will. The 1880 census included the relationships missing on the 1870 census and prove Jane Hall (b.  1800-1802) was the mother of Henry’s wife Margaret Ann Hall.

I began following the children of Henry Pack using the nine names found in the census and their mother’s maiden name. A tenth child was born after 1880. Several death records found had years of birth which did not match the census and suggested that Henry fathered more than one child in the 1880s. I found a couple of trees on Ancestry which have confused him with another Henry Pack who lived in Wythe County and died in 1925. Because of the conflicting information I decided to input all information into a family tree on Ancestry and attach the records found. This is something I have never done. I always work directly from my genealogy software, downloading the records and attaching them to the correct individuals in my GEDCOM file. But I was not sure I was following the correct persons and decided to try a different approach, i.e. a family tree on Ancestry.

Amy Was Henry’s Mother

It was while attaching all the records that I found the indexed death record of Henry Pack.

1881HenryPackDeathThere is no image for this record however the indexed information matches on several points.

  • The age at death and estimated year of birth match with the ages seen for the younger male slave of Sarah Pack in 1850 and 1860.
  • Although Raleigh County did not exist in 1825 it is where Henry lived in 1850 and likely where he was born. Pre-1850 census records of Samuel Pack were found and with changing county lines taken into consideration he lived at the same place in 1825.
  • Henry’s occupation matches the occupation seen on the 1870 and 1880 census.
  • Although seen as mulatto on the 1860 slave schedule, 1870 and 1880 census the death index has black.
  • His wife is a match with Margaret Ann Pack, her married name.
  • But the most important entries are the names of father and mother and confirm that Amy was Henry’s mother. Mr. Pack who is listed as his father very likely was not a black man as Amy was black and Henry was mulatto.

Henry’s Children, Enslaved and Free

As I researched Henry’s children I was so fixed on the three slave names in the last will and testament of Samuel Pack that I did not consider that some of Henry’s children were born into slavery. Two were born before the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863 and another was born before the abolition of slavery in Virginia in 1865: Louis, Mary Belle, and Henry Ollie.

A daughter was born two months after Henry’s death bringing the total children of Henry Pack and Margaret Ann Hall to ten:

  1. Louis PACK b. 20 January 1860 d. 8 December 1942
  2. Mary Belle PACK b. 18 March 1862 d. 4 April 1913
  3. Henry Ollie PACK b. 14 November 1864 d. 10 January 1943
  4. James Warren PACK b. 17 January 1867 d. 27 March 1940
  5. Lucy Ann PACK b. abt. 1869 d. 4 September 1881
  6. Joseph William PACK b. 27 January 1872 d. 25 Feb 1941
  7. Thomas Philip PACK b. 28 Oct 1874 d. 29 Dec 1950
  8. Walter A. PACK b. Feb 1877 d. 27 Feb 1944
  9. Creasy Jane PACK b. abt 1879 d. bet. 1917-1920
  10. Henrietta PACK b. Dec 1881 d. 3 May 1955

A death record was not found for Margaret Ann Hall. The unmarried children are missing from the 1900 census. Was their mother still living? Had she remarried? Could they be enumerated with a different surname? The family does not appear to have stayed in Pulaski County as marriages were found in Montgomery County for nearly all the children beginning in 1886. Most spent their entire lives in Auburn, Montgomery County.

The connection to Montgomery County may go back to Margaret Ann Hall’s side of the family. There were no Hall slave owners in Pulaski County in 1850 and 1860 but several in Montgomery County including Asa Hall Jr., son of Asa Hall Sr. a Revolutionary War soldier.

After inputting all information found I had 143 persons in the family tree for Amy, Addison, and Henry. I temporarily attached Addison as the son of Amy and brother of Henry. This can easily be undone if and when more information is found on Addison to prove or disproves his relationship to Amy. The tree includes ten children of Henry Pack, 32 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and counting. I did not do an exhaustive search for the second and later generations of Henry Pack’s descendants.

This exercise of using Ancestry to build a family tree was a first for me. I plan to keep the tree private as I am not a fan of the ability to click and add information from other public trees. I will reach out to those who have Henry’s children in their public trees and will give them access if they are interested. If you are related to this family, please feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.

Many thanks to my blog sister True Lewis of NoTeS To MySeLf for her feedback on my draft.

. . . . . .
The Slave Name Roll Project page can be found on
Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees
.... ..

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project.

bestwishescathy1

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Black History, Brick Walls, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #65 The Collector and a Collectibles Book

This newspaper clipping was found with the old photographs. It is not dated and does not include the name of the newspaper.

clippingL. Vance LILLIE (1920-1993) was the son of Thelma HOLT (1901-1984) and Samuel Royalty “Roy” LILLIE (1895-1979). In his youth he suffered from tuberculosis and had only one functioning lung. The pulmonary impairment did not keep him from becoming a successful adult. As seen in the article, in 1960 Vance LILLIE and Robert P. Cosgriff started up the Cosgriff Company, a fund-raising consultants organization. Vance was named the first member of the “$100-Million-Dollar Club” of the organization for actively participating in fund raising campaigns totaling over $100 million.

LVanceLILLIEThis is the only photo of Vance found in the collection. Vance (right) is being presented with the book The Illustrated Guide to the Collectibles of Coca-Cola by Cecil Munsey. The photo taken about 1972 when the book was published.

Lynn Vance LILLIE  was the last owner of this collection before it was saved from the trash. I find it quite interesting that the only photograph of him in the collection is one where he is receiving a book on collectibles!

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Old Photographs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment