52 Ancestors: #20 The PEFFER-ZWANK Family of Moestroff 1832-1942

Week 20 (May 14-20) – Black Sheep: Each of us has an ancestor who was the troublemaker or the ne’er-do-well. This is their week.

It may be hard to work the Black Sheep theme into this week’s family. It doesn’t look too promising but I think I might have an ace up my sleeve. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

The Births of Marie ZWANK and Nicolas PEFFER

1832birth
1832 Birth Record No. 51 [1]
In the year one thousand eight hundred thirty-two on the 7th of December at 7 o’clock in the morning Pierre Dondlinger, an officer of the civil office in the community of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the Province of Luxembourg, received Jacques ZWANCK, a day laborer in Moestroff age 33 years, living in this community, who presented us a female child born yesterday at 9 in the morning to him and his wife Marie DAHM and they declared their desire to give the name MARIE.
The declaration and presentation of the birth information was given in the presence of Nicolas Weyland, day laborer, 56 years old, and Nicolas Dondlinger, a farmer, 26 years old, both residents of the community, who signed the birth record after it was read to them. The father declared that he could not write and read. ~ followed by signatures of Nicolas Dondlinger, Nicolas Weyland, and P. Dondlinger.[1]

1833birth
1933 Birth Record No. 44 [2]
In the year one thousand eight hundred thirty-three on the 11th of August at 8 o’clock in the morning Nicolas May, an officer of the civil office in the community of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the Province of Luxembourg, received Antonius PEFFER, a linenweaver, age 29 years, living in this community, who presented us a male child born yesterday at 12 in the morning to him and his wife Marie GRASSER and they declared their desire to give the name NICOLAS.
The declaration and presentation of the birth information was given in the presence of Jean Weiler, school teacher , 30 years old, and Franciscus André, 28 years old, a day laborer, both residents of the community, who signed the birth record after it was read to them. ~ followed by signatures of J. Weiler, Anton PEFFER, J. Weiler, and N. May.[2]

annotation
Annotation at top of 1833 Birth Record No. 44

An interesting addition to the birth record of Nicolas PEFFER was the notation made above the record. The father Antoine was born in Obermertzig in Feulen on 2 prairial in the year XI. The handwriting is not at all similar to the rest of the page and makes me wonder why, when and who wrote this information. 

The Marriage of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

1859marriage
1859 Marriage Record No. 21 [3]
When Nicolas and Marie were married in 1859 the civil office had run out of pre-printed pages in the marriage book and the marriage record had to be written completely in longhand. In the 1990s when I obtained a photocopy of the page from the marriage book in Bettendorf I was a novice in reading the old handwriting. There are advantages to being able to do research in the country you live in but in this case the images at FamilySearch were invaluable. Twenty years ago I had to rely on help from my father-in-law to read the old handwriting. Today being able to zoom in on digital images makes it easier to read the old text. I will not bore you with the entire translation of the record as the wording is the same as in all Luxembourgish marriage records.

On 30 November 1859 Nicolas PEFFER, his mother Maria GRASSER, and his bride MARIE ZWANK met with Hubert SALENTINY, the mayor of Bettendorf. The fathers of the bride and groom had both died the previous year. Sadly, Marie’s mother had died only two days earlier on 28 November 1859. As both of her parents were deceased it was noted in the marriage record that her grandparents were also deceased and all death records were to be found in the death records of the town of Bettendorf. The four witnesses to the marriage were not related to the bride and groom. The bride and the mother of the groom declared not being able to write. ~ signatures of the groom, 4 witnesses, and the mayor followed.[3]

Note: Marie’s surname was spelled ZWANCK on her birth record and ZWANK on her marriage record.

The Deaths of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

1887death
1887 Death Record No. 12 [4]
Nicolas PEFFER died 4 March 1887 at 7 in the evening in Moestroff at home. His older son Nicolas PEFFER, 21 years old, was the informant. Young Nicolas’ cousin Nicolas ZWANK accompagnied him.[4] At the time of his death he did not have an occupation. During his married life he worked as a day laborer and a stonemason.

1892death
1892 Death Record No. 24 [5]
Marie ZWANK died 6 May 1892 at 10 in the evening in Moestroff at home. Her younger son Johann PEFFER, 22 years old, was the informant. As was the case at the time of her husband death her nephew Nicolas ZWANK accompagnied his cousin Johann PEFFER to make the declaration.[5]

The children of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

Nicolas and Marie had seven known children, five daughters and two sons. Three of their daughters, all named Margaretha, died in childhood:

  • Margaretha born 9 June 1860[6] died 24 April 1862[7]
  • Margaretha born 3 June 1871[8] died 8 July 1871[9]
  • Margaretha born 16 November 1874[10] died 30 April 1881[11]

The two daughters who lived to adulthood never married and lived to the ages of 66 and 51.

  • Margaretha born 5 January 1863[12] died 6 March 1929[13]
  • Marie born 4 November 1867[14] died 29 November 1918[15]

One of the two sons was my husband’s great-grandfather Nicolas PEFFER.

  • Nicolas born 9 February 1866[16] and died 31 December 1941[17]
  • Johann born 28 October 1869[18] and died after 6 May 1892

The Luxembourg census records of this family were found for the years following the marriage of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK until their deaths in 1887 and 1892. Links to the census can be found in the sources for the census events of Nicolas PEFFER in my GEDCOM file.

Was There a Black Sheep in this Family?

Nothing is known of Nicolas and Marie’s younger son Johann PEFFER after he reported his mother’s death on 6 May 1892.[5] Like his brother Nicolas he was single and living at home when his mother died.

    • He was not present at the marriage of his brother Nicolas in 1895.[19]
    • He was not an informant on the death of his sister Marie in 1918.[15]
    • No record of marriage for the years 1892-1922 was found for Johann  PEFFER in Bettendorf or in Strassen where his brother Nicolas married.
    • No record of death was found for him in Bettendorf for the years following his mother’s death until 1922.
    • No articles were found in the Luxembourgish newspapers for a Johann PEFFER.

As long as the civil records of Luxembourg are not indexed at FamilySearch I will probably wonder about Johann PEFFER. What became of this illusive man? Was he a troublemaker or a ne’er-do-well? In terms of researching, yes, he caused a lot of trouble!

Afterthought – Who Wants a Black Sheep in their Family?

I did not like the fact that I couldn’t find my husband’s great-grand uncle Johann PEFFER after the death of his mother Marie ZWANK. This was ready to post but I had to give him one more chance. I searched for “Jean Peffer” instead of “Johann Peffer” on  eluxemburgensia, the National Library of Luxembourg’s newspaper site. And I hit the jackpot!

MRIN38411 1937 Jean Peffer death
Escher Tageblatt [20]
Jean PEFFER, also known as “de Naertzenger Jängel” died unexpectedly on 25 August 1937. He was from Moestroff and came to Tetingen when he was young making it his second home where he raised his family. He worked as a stonemason for G.L. and gave his best to bring his large family through life. Three of his children emigrated to America. His jovial life brought him many friends and had been retired for a few years. His funeral service was held at on Saturday the 28th at 5 in the afternoon.

MRIN38411 1937 Jean Peffer avis mortuaire
Escher Tageblatt [21]
I searched and found the 1897 marriage record[22] of Jean PEFFER and Marie JUNG in Kayl, the commune in which Tétange is located. The record shows that his parents were Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK.

Now I’m off to find the birth records of the children, search for the three who went to American, and hope to find some new American cousins who’ll forgive me for suspecting a Black Sheep in the family.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 103 of 1507. 1832 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-3911-1?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 116 of 1507. 1833 Birth Record No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6643-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 521 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35911-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 422 of 465. “.” 1887 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60202-94?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[5] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 122 of 155. 1892 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-25158-66?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28F:1967249950 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 668 of 1507. 1860 Birth Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1625-14?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 39 of 465. 1862 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-62212-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[8] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 879 of 1507. 1871 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1561-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 186 of 465. 1871 Death Record No. 70. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66815-15?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[10] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 940 of 1507. 1874 Birth Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-983-44?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 334 of 465. 1881 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66596-11?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 719 of 1507. 1863 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6303-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[13] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), No. 94, Thursday, April 4, 1929, p. 6 column 3. Zivilstand der Stadt Ettelbrück, Margaretha Peffer age 66 yrs of Moestroff.
(http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=1362224&search_terms=avis#panel:pp|issue:1362224|article:DTL404|query:avis : accessed 19 Feb 2015).
[14] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 815 of 1507. 1867 Birth Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5306-94?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 334 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23908-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 849 of 1507. 1869 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4385-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[19] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[20] Escher Tageblatt, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlag Editpress S.A., Esch-sur-Alzette), Nr. 201, Friday, 27 August 1937, p.5 column 3. Death Announcement. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=654384&search_terms=jean%20peffer#panel:pp|issue:654384|article:DTL82|query:jean peffer : accessed 18 May 2015).
[21] Ibid, Nr. 200, Thursday, 26 August 1937, p. 7 column 4. Avis Mortuaire. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=654117&search_terms=jean%20peffer#panel:pp|issue:654117|article:DTL440|query:jean peffer : accessed 18 May 2015).
[22] Civil records, Kayl > Naissances 1913-1923 Mariages 1895-1912 > image 414 of 767. 1897 Marriage Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-12961-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-MJM:129946501,130450502 : accessed 18 May 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas PEFFER
Parents: Antoine PEFFER and Marie GRASSER
Spouse: Marie ZWANK
Parents of spouse: Jacques ZWANK and Maria DAHM
Whereabouts: Moestroff, Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

  1. Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK
  2. Nicolas PEFFER
  3. Suzanne PEFFER
  4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  5. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This 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.

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Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

As a military brat I've lived in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, Texas, and Luxembourg. Married 39 years with two grown children. When I’m not doing genealogy, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful countryside in Luxembourg and surrounding countries.

6 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #20 The PEFFER-ZWANK Family of Moestroff 1832-1942”

  1. Cathy, I love your stories and how fantastic that you were able to pick up Johann/Jean’s trail at the last moment. Even better that you now have another new branch of the family to research.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One bonus about taking part in this 52 Ancestors project is the focus that is given to one individual each week, sometimes resulting in finding new information. Good for you for sticking to his story and finding that elusive documentation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right about the bonus of this project. The 52 Ancestors challenge has helped me to review and add information to my database while writing the story others cannot “see” when looking at my GEDCOM file. I don’t like loose ends so finding “Jean” was so satisfying. Thank you Joanne for stopping by.

      Like

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