52 Ancestors: #22 A New Beginning for my German Genealogy Research

Week 22 (May 28 – June 3) – Commencement: Countless schools will be having their commencement ceremonies around this time. Think not only about school, but also about commencement meaning “a beginning.”

A New Beginning

Nearly two and a half years ago a visit of an exposition by Luxracines at our local mall was a new beginning for my genealogy research. Soon afterwards I joined Luxracines, a genealogy society in Luxembourg, and was making plans for my first field trip, Luxracines on Tour 2013 Part I. The Luxracines on Tour 2013 (Part II) field trip in May 2013 was a great success.

Roman ship on the Mosel River

Following a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship and lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus” we visited Peter Daus’ private library above the Restaurant Daus in the Haus Daus in Wittlich.

Restaurant Daus in Haus Daus in Wittlich, Germany

The library had about 2000 Familienbücher (family books) for towns in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz and Saarland. Ortsfamilienbücher or Familienbücher are compilations of information extracted from civil and parish registers for all families of a town or village and arranged in alphabetical order. Information on occupations, military service and emigration can also be found in these books.

I pulled the books on the villages my ancestors came from and began taking pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine with my Nikon Coolpix (macro and without flash). Although time was short and work space a bit cramped, I took nearly 120 photos – some (below) came out a bit blurry but still useful for citing sources.

Familienbuch Ferschweiler[1]
The WILDINGER-WEIMANN family was the very first family I looked up. I knew Bernard WILDINGER was born in Ferschweiler and found him in Richard Schaffner’s 1999 compilation Familienbuch Ferschweiler.[1]

Page 249, entries for families no. 1624 and 1625[1]
My second great-grandfather Bernard WILDINGER is listed under family number 1624 with his wife Maria WEIMANN. Next to Bernard’s name the number <1625.3> links him to family number 1625 (his parents and siblings) in the same book (next entry) and as the 3rd child of the couple.

Abbreviations used in family books:
   geboren / born
~    getauft / christened
+     gestorben / born
bgr or ¨    begraben / buried
oo    Ehe / marriage
o-o     außerehelich / extramarital
S    standesamtlich / civil
   kirchlich / religious
?    fraglich / questionable
   vermutlich / presumably
   errechnet / estimated
NN    Name(n) unbekannt / unknown name
P.    Paten / godparents
Q.    Quelle / source
u.    und / and
zw.    zwischen / between
lu    lutherisch / Lutheran
rk    römisch-katholisch / Roman Catholic

Familienbuch Ernzen[2]
Not only were Bernard and Maria listed in Ferschweiler[1] but also in Ernzen[2] where they were married and had their children. These entries helped me to write the following story of this family.

The WILDINGER-WEIMANN Family of Ernzen, Germany

Bernard WILDINGER was born on 7 November 1838 in Ferschweiler to Nikolaus WILDINGER und Catharina SCHRAMEN.[1] He was baptized Bernardus on 9 November 1838 in Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler.[3]

Bernard married Maria WEIMANN on 25 January 1866 in a civil ceremony [Source: St.A. (Standesamtliche=civil) Heirats-Act Nr. 5] in Bollendorf/Ernzen.[2] They were married on 3 February 1866 (Source: Kirchenbuch 4/152/2)[2] in a religious ceremony in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[4]

Maria WEIMANN was born on 18 June 1839 in Ernzen to Hubert WEIMANN and Elisabeth WELTER.[2] She was baptized on 19 June 1839 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[5] Her godparents were Maria WELTER and Anton PROMMENSCHENKEL, both of Ernzen.[2]

Bernard and Maria had eight known children:

  1. Hubert was born on 23 December 1866 in Ernzen. After Christmas, on St. Stephen’s Day, 26 December 1866 he was baptized in the catholic church. His godparents were Hubert WEIMANN from Ernzen and Kath. SCHRAMEN from Ferschweiler. He died at nine months on 20 September 1867 and was buried two days later in Ernzen.[2]
  2. Peter was born 19 October 1868 in Ernzen.[2] He was baptized on 21 October 1868 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[6] His godfather was Peter WILDINGER. Peter did not marry and died at the age of 31 years on 11 May 1899 in Ernzen.[2]
  3. Elise was born unknown and died 14 May 1870 in Ernzen.[2]
  4. Peter was born 7 August 1871 in Ernzen. He was baptized 8 August 1871 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen[7] in the presence of his godparents Peter STEIL and Marg. DEUTSCH. He was deaf and dumb (taubstumm), never married and died in 1952 in Ernzen.[2]
  5. Johann was born on 25 February 1874 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Johann WEIMANN and Elis. WILDINGER. He was a mason (Maurer), married Katharina PÖPPELREITER on 16 September 1874 in Mettendorf where the family moved in 1904.[2] Johann and Katharina were my great-grandparents.

    My great-grandfather, Johann “Jean” WILDINGER 1874-1924
  6. Nikolaus was born 3 May 1876 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Nik. ROOS and Elis. SCHRAMEN. He died in 1948 in Ernzen.[2]
  7. Anna Maria was born 25 November 1878 in Ernzen and was baptized in the catholic church. She married Michael RAIER, an ironworker (Hüttenarbeiter) from Bollendorf on 3 September 1907.[2]
  8. Bernhard was born on 19 June 1881 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Bernard SCHRAMEN and Kath. HANSEN. He married Marg. HANSEN on 30 January 1908. His wife was born 20 May 1888 and died in 1915. Bernhard and his family lived in Ernzen and had six children between 1908-1921.[2]

Bernard WILDINGER was a stonemason (Steinhauer). He died at the age of 55 years in Ernzen on 14 October 1893 in Ernzen.[2] His wife Maria was a widow for 22 years before dying on 2 September 1915 in Ernzen.[2]

The Next Step

Although Mr. Schaffner has facilitated my research of this family this is only the beginning for German families. I still need to obtain the records he used for his compilations. The next step is to visit the Rhineland Archives (Landeshauptarchivs) in Koblenz where I hopefully will be able to access the original or digital copies of the church and civil records.

Thanks to my Luxracines membership I’ll be making the trip to Koblenz, Germany, to visit the archives of Rhineland on June 25th. When I registered to participate on this trip I had to give advance notice of the records I’m interested in seeing – birth, marriage, and death records for Ernzen and Ferschweiler for the years (range) the WILDINGER-WEIMANN and the WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN families lived in those towns.

The original documents ordered by researchers are made available for viewing four times a day. The information from the documents may be copied (transcribed) or the page(s) can be scanned on their in-house scanner and saved to a USB flash drive. The use of digital cameras is not permitted.

I am looking forward to this trip to the Landeshauptarchivs in Koblenz and will definitely be blogging about it!

[1] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 1 der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler 1680-1899, mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) (compiled in 1999), p. 349, family #1624. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].
[2] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 245-246, family #867. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].
[3] “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 463,565. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NDZ1-H61 : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Wildinger; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
[4] “Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929,”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JH8P-DXT : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Weldinger and Maria Weimann, 03 Feb 1866; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.
[5] “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-54C : accessed 23 February 2015), Maria Weiman, 19 Jun 1839; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
[6] Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2CB-2JL : accessed 23 February 2015), Peter Wildinger, 21 Oct 1868; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.
[7] Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-V9B : accessed 23 February 2015), Petrus Wildinger, 08 Aug 1871; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Bernard WILDINGER
Parents: Nicolas WILDINGER and Catherina SCHRAMEN
Spouse: Maria WEIMANN
Parents of spouse: Hubert WEIMANN and Elisabeth WELTER
Whereabouts: Ferschweiler and Ernzen, Germany
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 2nd great-grandparents

1. Bernard WILDINGER and Maria WEIMANN
2. Johann “Jean” WILDINGER
3. Nicolas WILDINGER
5. 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.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

11 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #22 A New Beginning for my German Genealogy Research”

  1. I also have Welter ancestors in the Eifel region (in Monschau). Arnold Welter was born in 1687 in Monschau and died there in 1729. He was the son of Wilhelm Welter and Maria Agnes Saurbier. I have no dates for them. Arnold married Maria Catharina Schlösser (1695-1747). They were my 6th-great-grandparents. Maybe there is a connection.

    Charles Anderson


  2. Hello Cathy!

    We have not talked for some time, but I keep up with your work!
    What a wonderful tour!
    I read about the subject you did from Koblenz! Caring for books and documents, sensational!
    I really did it to parable it!
    All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Miguel, I always think of you when I see views are coming from Brazil! I will be doing posts on families in your area of Germany starting about August-September. Thank you for continuing to read my posts.


  3. Very cool! I’ll be looking forward to it!
    I really enjoyed your trip to Koblens! One of my great-great-grandfather’s children, stayed in Germany and lived in Koblens! While all the other children accompanied Peter Kapp that arrived at Brazil 3 of July of 1862.
    I continue reading and following your posts and watched all the videos on the Luxracines site, fantastic!
    Once again Congratulations on all your work!

    God be with you!

    Liked by 1 person

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