52 Ancestors: #24 The Heirloom: 1866 Military Accounts Book (Part I)

Week 24 (June 11-17) – Heirloom: What heirloom do you treasure? Who gave it to you? What heirloom do you wish you had?

The Heirloom: 1866 Military Accounts Book

What is an heirloom? A valuable object which has belonged to a family for several generations. This book has been in our family for 5 generations, 149 years, and the information found in it is valuable to us and, hopefully, the many generations to come.

On 11 May 1857 André FOURNELLE became a militiaman for a period of six years during the 1857 recruitment of the Petange No. 6 Ersatz (replacements) in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

  • On 6 April 1858 he was on active duty.[p. 2]
  • On 29 September 1860 he committed himself for 2 years and 9 months according to Article 10 of the act of 22 Jun 1845. Article 10 stipulated the voluntary enrollment of young men over 14 and under the age of 25. This was most likely a commitment to serve until he turned 25 years of age.[p. 2]
  • On 1 January 1862 he was named Corporal (Korporal tituliert).[p. 2]
  • On 16 June 1862 he became a Corporal (Korporal).[p. 2]
  • On 15 May 1863 according to Article 10 of the 18 April 1836 instructions of the war department his time as a militiaman ended and his service became voluntary.[p. 2]
  • His time of duty was extended another six years on 30 June 1863.[p. 2]
  • On 20 June 1866 he was assigned an account book as a militiaman in 5th Company of the Luxemburgisches Jäger-Bataillon (Luxembourg’s Rifle Battalion).[p. 2]
  • On 25 June 1866 he risked his own life saving Bugler 3rd Class WAGNER from death of drowning in the Sauer River.[p. 4]
  • He received his first honors on 1 October 1866. [p. 4] Was this for his heroic deed a few months earlier?
  • He became a Sergeant on 11 October  1866.[p. 2]
  • He was a border guard until his retirement.[BMD and census]

André FOURNELLE was the son of André FOURNELLE and Catherine PHILIPPART and born in Rodange on 26 August 1838. His last residence (most likely at the time the book was issued to him) was Esch-sur-Alzette. He was 1 meter 62 centimeters tall, round eyes, smooth forehead, brown eyes, pointed nose, small mouth, round chin, brown hair and eyebrowns. He was vaccinated in 1839. I believe this would have been a smallpox vaccination. [p. 5]

MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 1
Front cover

No. 28. The Luxembourg Rifle Battalion. 5th Company. Accounting book of FOURNELLE André. Issued to him by the undersigned chief officer. Diekirch, 20 June 1866, Captain (signature)

MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 2
Title page: No. 28. Luxemburgisches Jäger-Bataillon. 5ten Kompagnie. Abrechnungs-Buch des FOURNELLE André. An ihn abgegeben durch mich unterzeichneten Kompagnie-Chef. Diekirch, den 20 Juni 1866 der Hauptmann (signature)

Page 2 of the books lists information on the “how & why” he was admitted to the corps, as mentioned in the first paragraph above. Page 3, for previous service and dismissals is blank.

MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 3
Page 2 gives information on his military time.

Page 4 lists campaigns, wounds, and deeds at top and honors on the lower half.

More personal information is given on page 5.

MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 4
Page 5 gives his information and physical description

Complete list of equipment and clothing on page 6.

MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 5
Accounts section pages 6-7
MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 6
Accounts section pages 8-9
MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 7
Accounts section pages 10-11
MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 8
Accounts section pages 12-13
MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book 9
Last page 28 and inside back cover
MRIN00166 1866 Fournelle book
Back and front cover

My mother owns my 2nd great-grandfather André FOURNELLE’s original account book (above) from his time with the Luxemburgisches Jäger-Bataillon. When I scanned it in 2006 I did not realize I needed to use a higher quality scan to be able to zoom in on the text for easier transcription and translation. I need to go through it more carefully to extract all information but the most important has been discussed above.

This was to be a post on my 2nd great-grandparents André FOURNELLE and Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER with the usual information on births, marriages, census and deaths in the family. But the theme for this week had me scrambling to figure out how to share this wonderful heirloom and tell the family story. I did not realize the wealth of information contained in this book until I began to write about it. André and Odile’s story will have to wait…..until tomorrow.

Genealogy Sketch

Parents: André FOURNELLE and Marie Catharine PHILIPPART
Spouse: Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
Children: Marie, Jean Joseph, and Marie Joséphine
Whereabouts: Rodange, Esch-sur-Alzette, Boulaide, Strasbourg, Echternach
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 2nd great-grandfather

2. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
3. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
4. Living (Mom) 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: #24 The Heirloom: 1866 Military Accounts Book (Part I)”

  1. What a treasure this Account Book is, great your family has been able to pass it on and on. I have a Military Pass from my grandfather, I have to blog about it one day. Where I found it is worth a story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dara. The most difficult part with the survival of heirlooms is who it is passed on to. I’m glad it remained in Luxembourg as it was passed on to the only son. It could have ended up in Lille, France, as one daughter married and lived there. Or in Strasbourg, France, where a granddaughter’s family lives.


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