Happy Mother’s Day – My Mitochondrial DNA Line

Yes, where I live this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Luxembourg is the only country to celebrate Mother’s Day on the 2nd Sunday in June. What better day to honor my direct matrilineal line since it goes back 10 generations in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg?

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Anna Catharina RONAS alias BOUR
Parents: Unknown
Spouse: Dominique MAMER and Nicolai HERTZ(*) (also seen as HEITZ, HEURTZ)
Children: (*)twins: Agnes and Maria Catharina HERTZ
Whereabouts: Septfontaines, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandmother

1. Anna Catharina RONAS ca.1710-aft. 1785
2. Agnes HERTZ 1755-1836
3. Catharina HAMES 1789-1864
4. Maria TRAUSCH 1820-1875
5. Maria MAJERUS 1850-1931
6. Catharina FRANTZ 1872-1934
7. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE 1909-2005
9. Catherine Ann DEMPSEY
10. Living MEDER

As you can see in the Genealogy Sketch box my given name is nearly the same as my 6th great-grandmother’s, only reversed. Catherine (and other spellings) is a name I share with at least 27 ancestors. Fearless Females: 27 Female Ancestors Share My First Name!

Happy Mother’s Day to all Mother’s in Luxembourg!

Generation 1:

My 6th great-grandmother Anna Catharina RONAS (Ronnas, Rones) is my oldest known direct matrilineal ancestor. She was born around 1710 to unknown parents. She gave birth to ten children between 1741-1755, all in Septfontaines or Siebenbüren. This village name translates to Seven Fountains or Seven Wells. Since all modern Europeans are classified into seven mitochondrial haplogroups it seems fitting that my mitochondrial line goes back to a place with SEVEN in the name.

My 6th great-grandmother Anna Catharina RONAS’ marriage record shows her with her deceased husband’s house name, BOUR. Her parents are not listed.[1]
When Anna Catharina married my 6th great-grandfather Nicolaus HEITZ in 1755 she was the widow of Dominique MAMER alias BOUR alias FRIDGES and mother of 8 children. With her second husband she had twin daughters, my 5th great-grandmother Agnes and her sister.

1755 baptismal records of Maria Catharina and Agnes. Even the person who record the baptisms was confused about which surname or house name was used for the daughters of Nicolai Bour alias Heitz and Anna Catharina Bour alias Ronas.[2]
She was living in Koerich in January 1785 when her daughter Agnes HERTZ married in Mamer.

Generation 2:

My 5th great-grandmother Agnes HERTZ’s marriage record show’s her mother’s name: Catharina RONAS

1785 Marriage Record of Agnes Hertz and Joannes Hames [3]

Generation 3:

My 4th great-grandmother Catharina HAMES’ marriage record show’s her mother’s name: Agnes HERTZ

1817 Marriage Reocrd of Michel Trausch and Catharina Hames [4]

Generation 4:

My 3rd great-grandmother Maria TRAUSCH’s marriage record shows her mother’s name: Catharina HAMES

1749 Marriage Record of Johann Majerus and Maria Trausch [5]

Generation 5:

My 2nd great-grandmother Maria MAJERUS’ marriage record shows her mother’s name: Maria TRAUSCH

1870 Marriage Record of Johann Frantz and Maria Majerus [6]

Generation 6:

My great-grandmother Catherine FRANTZ’s marriage record shows her mother’s name: Maria MAJERUS

1900 Marriage Record of Johann Joseph Fournelle and Catharina Frantz ¨[7]
My great-grandmother Catherine FRANTZ

Generation 7:

My grandmother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE’s marriage record shows her mother’s name: Catherine FRANTZ

1935 Marriage of Nicolas WIldinger and Marie Marcelle Fournelle noted in the Wildinger-Fournelle Family Book, Commune d’Echternach Nr. 13/1935 [8]

Generation 8:

My mother’s marriage record to my father Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY shows her mother’s name: Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE. I have a copy of the record but will not share as she is still living.

Mom with her mother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE

Generation 9:

My marriage record lists my mother’s name.

Yours truly!

Generation 10: 

Through my daughter, the matrilineal line continues.

Our daughter

[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Septfontaines > Baptêmes 1735-1797, confirmations 1774-1791, mariages 1738-1797, sépultures 1738-1788 > image 155 of 208. 1755 Marriage Record, 1st entry on left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32463-3700-90?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-4WR:1501152901,1501459884 : accessed 7 June 2015).
[2] Ibid., Septfontaines > Baptêmes 1735-1797, confirmations 1774-1791, mariages 1738-1797, sépultures 1738-1788 > image 34 of 208. 1755 baptismal records for twins Agnes and Maria Catharina, 3rd and 4th entries on left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32463-3785-56?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-4WR:1501152901,1501459884 : accessed 7 June 2015).
[3] Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 65 of 168. 1785 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-17714-18?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6G:1500941501,1500913302 : accessed 6 June 2015).
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1283 of 1504. 1817 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-51831-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9:130065401,130365601 : accessed 22 August 2011).
[5] Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 114 of 1497. 1849 Marriage Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120796-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9:130065401,130130201 : accessed 6 September 2014).
[6] Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 310 of 1497. 1870 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120441-3?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9:130065401,130130201 : accessed 6 September 2014).
[7] Ibid., Mamer > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 > image 547 of 819. 1900 Marriage Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32045-16170-78?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LQS:415858536 : accessed 6 March 2015).
[8] Commune d’Echternach Nr. 13/1935, Wildinger-Fournelle Family Book. This is an official document given to the bride and groom at the time of their civil marriage. It is used to record births, christenings, and deaths of children as well as death of one or the other spouse. Scanned copy of the original, in possession of their daughter.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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.

13 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day – My Mitochondrial DNA Line”

    1. Thank you Jake. I am lucky that civil and census records for Luxembourg are online at FamilySearch. They’ve added church records so I’m hoping to find the parents of Anna Catharina Ronas. The biggest problem when going this far back is the use of house names instead of surnames. But they often included “alias” on records which makes it easier.


    1. Thank you Elizabeth. The kids are grown up and we don’t have any traditions. Many families go out to eat on Mother’s Day. We spent the day helping out at a bike racing event. My husband and son directed traffic and I sold mettwursts and grillinger – Luxembourg’s hot dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ten generations is an impressive amount! I love the photo of the cute little Cathy ;-). I didn’t know that the Luxembourgish Mother’s Day is different from ours.

    Liked by 1 person

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