A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Last week I became curious about my “German” ancestors actually being Luxembourgers. I had finally found a map which helped me with the historical boundaries of the country I live in.

My maternal grandfather was born in 1906 in Mettendorf, Germany, and came to live in Luxembourg in July 1914, the month the First World War began. I have avoided seriously researching his line for nearly a quarter of a century. Last year I began writing about his parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and 4 sets of great-grandparents.

Now that I have access to the family books of the towns his ancestors lived in at the library of my genealogy society, I am revisiting what I have and what I need to locate. I knew that the towns were just across the border of Luxembourg to Germany but was not aware of exactly when this area belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Surprisingly, this week, I learned the records I have been avoiding researching are actually at my fingertips.

The Church Records for Echternach

While inputting data from the family books I noticed that the compiler of the Ernzen book included annotations concerning the marriage records of certain couples being found in the church records of Echternach. These records are online at FamilySearch.

I spent hours adding birth, marriage, and death records to this German branch of the family. I have not even scratched the surface. I will be busy for weeks, maybe months.

I want to have all information inputted before I do any more in-depth posts on my 4th great-grandparents and each generation back. But I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful discovery!

A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Marriage records in Luxembourg have always been my favorite source for information. They were the first and sometimes the only records I obtained for ancestors in this country. Some habits cannot be broken. The first thing I did when I realized the records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler were located in Echternach for religious events which took place before the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to check for marriages.

Title page of the Echternach church records of marriage from 1706
1713 Marriage Entry in Church Records of Echternach

Dabam Dimissoriales honesti Joannis Adami
Mayers ex Ernzen relicto legitimo filio
Joanni in ordine ad matrimonium contra=
hendu in honesti Adami Dietzen ex
Esseling relicta legitima filia Elisabetha

I gave the certificate to the honorable Johann Adam
Meyers from Ernzen’s surviving legitimate son
Johann in order to contract marriage
to the honorable Adam Dietzen from
Eßlingen’s surviving legitimate daughter Elisabetha

These five lines written in Latin give interesting information. The fathers of the bride and groom were both deceased in 1713. The bride Elisabetha DIETZEN’s father was from Eßlingen while the groom Johann MEYERS’ father was from Ernzen.

Elisabetha and Johann were married on Monday, 27 November 1713. One has to go back to the previous page to see that the marriage took place in November and leaf back to page 22 of the register to see that the year the marriage took place was 1713.

This is, so far, the oldest marriage record I’ve found for the “German” branch of my family tree. A branch which I have disregarded for too long.

Three hundred and three years ago this month my 7th great-grandparents married and their nuptials were recorded in the church records of the very same town my husband and I married in and live today.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 17 of 293. 1713 Marriage Dimissoriale, left page, first entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-12662-32?cc=2037955 : accessed 12 November 2016).


© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.



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.

22 thoughts on “A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents”

  1. Seventh-great-grandparents! How amazing. Congratulations on the find. I am curious—you said you’ve been avoiding this line for a long time, and I wondered why that was. If that’s too personal, just ignore the question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy, it isn’t too personal. As you may know there aren’t a lot of German records available online. FamilySearch has some German Catholic church records indexed but the images are not available.
      In my early days of doing genealogy I was more mother and homemaker and did not have the time to visit the German villages to find the church or civil records. And being shy about speaking German doesn’t help. Thank you for the congrats and question.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s somewhat ironic since other than records from the US, the place I’ve had the best luck finding records online is Germany! I think it depends on the location and type of record you’re looking for.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. In the beginning of my research and up until about 3 years ago I thought the connection to Echternach was very new. But as I go farther back I am finding more and more ancestors who center in Echternach. Amazing. Thank you, Linda.


    1. I’ve found older ones for other families in the French departmental archives (online) but their terms for use do not allow sharing images online. Some are beginning to add permalinks which can be used to link to the document. What is so amazing about this marriage is that the marriage record is in the collection of church records for the town I live in! Thanks Sheryl.


  2. THANK YOU for the great comment about looking in the Luxembourg records for the Ernzen marriages. I just found my 5th great grandparents in the records! How exciting! I always wished there was someone there that could give me some help on this. I had already found a lot of my family’s records in the St. Mark’s Catholic Church records in Ernzen, but this takes me back even farther. Thanks again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW! Congrats on the find. I was really happy to find many of the Ernzen and Ferschweiler ancestors in the Echternach parish records especially since I live in Echternach. Thanks, Laurie, for letting me know the tip was helpful. You’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

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