52 Ancestors: #27 The Sheep Herder’s Family

Week 27 (July 2-8) – Independent: This is the week for Independence Day! Which one fought for (or against) America’s independence? Or which of your ancestors was independent?

The REIFFER-CLOS Family

Théodore REIFFER, my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] His parents are at this time still unknown. His place of birth was listed on his death record. I suspect he was not born in Gilsdorf and it was an error made by his son-in-law who was the informant for this death. I will have to begin searching the towns around Gilsdorf (parish records were checked for this location and nothing found) and other places where he was known to have lived. This brick wall will have to wait for now as searching the browse only parish records is time consuming.

Théodore married Elisabeth CLOS. The religious marriage ceremony may have taken place around 1799, definitely before 1803, however I am still searching for a marriage record. As with Théodore’s birth/baptism I will have to come back to this at a later time.

Elisabeth CLOS, my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother, was born and baptized on 9 March 1774 in Körperich, Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Her parents were Michel CLOS (b. abt. 1747 d. 1775) and Elisabeth THEVES (b. abt. 1750). At her baptism, Elisabeth’s godparents were Elis. KLEIN from Körperich and Michael WINDANDY.[2] Elisabeth’s father Michel died on 20 December 1775.

While checking the information in the Körperich Family Book[2] on Elisabeth’s family I came upon entries for several REIFFERs which leads me to believe the “Théodore brick wall” may be solved using German records instead of those in Luxembourg. I have one ace up my sleeve. While on the field trip to Koblenz to visit the archives one of the other participants proudly showed his draft of the Family Book for Bastendorf, a town Théodore’s family lived in. He may have the information I need to open the door in this brick wall. Wish me luck!

The Children

cannotwrite
1810 Birth Record No. 47 [6]
While searching for the birth record of Théodore and Elisabeth’s daughter Susanna, my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother, I found the birth of a son (above) who had not been included on Rob Deltgen’s site, the first place I look for clues in the greater Diekirch area.

These are the known children of Théodore and Elisabeth:

  • Anne Marie born 4 February 1803 in Landscheid.[3]
  • Johann or Jean born 17 May 1805 in Landscheid. His birth has been documented using his marriage record.[4]
  • Susanna born on 6 April 1808 in Wahlhausen. Her birth has been documented using her marriage record.[5]
  • Jean born 12 November 1810 in Wahlhausen.[6] No further trace of this child has been found.
  • François born 19 June 1814[7] in Tandel and died 9 December 1819[8] in Tandel.

On all records found for Théodore he was seen as a sheep herder which may explains his moving around so much.

Whereabouts

map
Google map

The whereabouts of the family is a bit spotty. Elisabeth, the mother of the family, was born in Körperich. The entries in the Körperich Family Book for her family group do not continue into a new generation which suggests her widowed mother may have moved the family to another town and/or remarried. The place of marriage of Théodore and Elisabeth is unknown and not mentioned in the Körperich FB. They lived in Landscheid in 1803 and 1805. In 1808 and 1810 they were in Wahlhausen. In 1814 and 1819 they were in Tandel. By 1826 and 1828 they were in Fouhren when the first of their children married in 1826 and 1828. In 1829 Théodore and Elisabeth were in Bastendorf and in 1831 Théodore was in Gilsdorf.

Grandchildren

Their son Johann married Catharina EISEN on 30 October 1826.[9] The young couple’s first two daughters were born in Fouhren in 1827[10] and 1829.[11] Johann had the same occupation as his father which may be the reason for possible missing records for children during the time period from 1830-1834. The next child was born in Bastendorf in 1835[12] as were five more children between 1837-1847.[13][14][15][16][17] During this time the father’s occupation was day laborer. Johann may have given up on sheep herding when his father died in 1831.

Their daughter Anne Marie married Jean POTT on 16 December 1828.[18] This couple made their home in Gilsdorf where they had four children between 1830-1838.[19][20][21][22]

In 1829 Théodore and Elisabeth were living in Bastendorf. Théodore, a shepherd, reported the death of his wife Elisabeth in Bastendorf on 27 December 1829.[23] After her death Théodore may have gone to live with his eldest daughter in Gilsdorf or was visiting with her family when he died in 1831. His death on 7 May 1831 was reported by his son-in-law Jean POTT. Per the death record Théodore died in the town he was born in. As already noted, this is the only record found for his place of birth.[24]

Two years later in 1833 Susanna, the last of their living children, married Théodore MEDER on 31 January 1833 in Diekirch.[25] At the time of her marriage Susanna was living in Bastendorf. Susanna and her husband were the parents of a dozen children. From 1846 to 1855 Susanna’s husband, like her father, worked as a shepherd.

Was Théodore an Independent Man?

Did Théodore’s occupation make him independent man? As a sheep herder he did not live permanently in one place. His moving around from place to place did not make it easy to document his family. All records found show Théodore, his wife Elisabeth, and the three children who lived to marry could not write. I don’t believe this would be a hinderance as his occupation did not rely on his being literate.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Richard Schaffner, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Hubertus Körperich in der Südeifel mit Körperich, Niedersgegen, Obersgegen, Gentingen, Roth an der Our, Seimerich und Scheuerhof (später Neuscheuerhof) 1689-1899 (2002), p. 73 family #319 and 320, p. 247 family #1153.
[3] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 193 of 1476. 1803 Birth Record No. 7 (15 Pluviôse XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-141568-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 16 August 2011). Note: Mother’s maiden name seen as Claes.
[4] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 84 of 167. 1826 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-91346-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[5] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1798-1822 > image 217 of 395. 1810 Birth Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-64341-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4W5:129905301,130379001 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[7] Ibid., Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 1178 of 1493. 1814 Birth Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-124220-54?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38:129628901,130575701 : accessed 24 June 2015).
[8] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1388 of 1493. 1819 Birth Record, lower left. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49804-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 24 June 2015).
[9] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 84 of 167. 1826 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-91346-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[10] Ibid., Fouhren > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 182 of 325. 1827 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12160-34223-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-RM9:129626001,129804701 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[11] Ibid., Fouhren > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 194 of 325. 1929 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12160-30445-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-RM9:129626001,129804701 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[12] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 421 of 1476. 1835 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-143702-49?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 451 of 1476. 1837 Birth Record No. 36.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-146834-2?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 477 of 1476. 1839 Birth Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-141935-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[15] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 498 of 1476. 1841 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-144884-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 524 of 1476. 1843 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-139652-13?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 562 of 1476. 1846 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-143208-54?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[18] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 110 of 167. 1828 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-84810-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 46 of 1507. 1830 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6341-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 100 of 1507. 1832 Birth Record No. 40. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4194-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 150 of 1507. 1835 Birth Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4288-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 220 of 1507. 1838 Birth Record No. 43. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-123-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 14 of 305. 1829 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-256460-30?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2CM:n117549397 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[25] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Théodore REIFFER
Parents: unknown
Spouse: Elisabeth CLOS
Parents of Spouse: Michel CLOS and Elisabeth THEVES
Whereabouts: Landscheid, Wahlhausen, Tandel, Fouhren, Bastendorf, Gilsdorf
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

  1. Théodore REIFFER
  2. Susanna REIFFER
  3. Franz “François” MEDER
  4. Johann Peter “Jean Pierre” MEDER
  5. Marcel Mathias MEDER
  6. 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 36 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.

5 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #27 The Sheep Herder’s Family”

  1. My 4G-grandfather was Joannes Reiffer, born about 1767 in Gralingen, Luxembourg. He married Anna Maria Pott in 1769. Just wondering if you had run across them in your research. Hoping we can make a connection! Most of the family I can find after them lived in Roth, Koerperich area. I see that is right on the border with Luxembourg, so I am thinking there must be a connection there somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There could be a connection somewhere. Please check your dates again – you have Joannes born about 1767 and marrying two years later. The church records for this period are online but I don’t want to go browsing without the correct years. Appreciate your reading my post and getting in touch.

      Like

      1. Sorry, the marriage should be 1789. Checking my tree, their son Theodore was born Sept 1789. He married Anna Marie Tiex in 1823 in Koerperich. Does this match your information? Also wondering if anyone in that family had their DNA tested through Ancestry. IF so, there should be a match there somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Christine, I had a look at Rob Deltgen’s database and found your Joannes listed as born about 1759 in Gralingen and died 1848 in Roth. He married 20 April 1789. Interesting is the only child Rob has listed for Jean and Anne Marie (Joannes and Anna Maria) was named Theodore. I will have to look into the parents of your Joannes. One of his sisters married a CLOS – maybe another connection!

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