52 Ancestors: #2 den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, a Brick Wall

Last week I introduced you to my 2017 New Season of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge with 52 Ancestors: #1 The WILMES-SCHOOD Family of Diekirch 1739-1825. As in 2014 and 2015, I have a plan for my posts in 2017. I will be writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents who have not yet been featured. In 2014 their American ancestors in this generation were spotlighted.

We have 64 sets of 5th great-grandparents. In this pedigree chart, on the right, are the first 8 sets of my children’s 5ggp. The MEDER-LAMBERT family was featured in several posts last year so I began with the next couple, WILMES-SCHOOD.

Pedigree chart generated using Ancestral Quest 15

I had planned to skip Théodore REIFFER‘s parents as they are unknown (as seen in the green boxes above) and continue with the parents of his wife Elisabetha CLOS. I even “announced” in the last post that Elisabeth’s parents would be up next. But one of the nice things about blogging is you can change your mind and re-schedule posts. 🙂

I didn’t expect to find a key to open a door in the REIFFER brick wall in the near future. However, why should I skip this set of 5th great-grandparents? By writing all I know and don’t know, I may find someone who’s already knocked down the brick wall or who may be able to help me open the door.

1831 Death Record Nr. 23 [1]
Théodore REIFFER was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] His age and place of birth were 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 searched page by page through the church records of Diekirch from 1768 to 1776. In later times the civil records for Gilsdorf would be found in Bettendorf. However, the church records for the village were recorded in Diekirch during the time period I am interested in.

I reviewed the records found for his children. None of the records included information on Théodore’s place of birth. His age was consistent with the estimated 1771 birth year in all records except for one where he was seen a little younger, born about 1774.

On all records found for Théodore, he was seen as a sheep herder which explains his moving around so much. Records were found starting in Landscheid and going to Wahlhausen, Tandel, Fouhren, Bastendorf, and Gilsdorf. His wife was from Körperich.

Google map

I consulted the Körperich Family Book[2] to see if there were any REIFFER connections in the villages of the area. A few REIFFER families were in the area for a later time period. One man, Johann REIFFER, born abt. 1767 in Gralingen to parents from Pütscheid seemed interesting.  If you look at the map these places are to the left and right of the arrow pointing from Landscheid to Wahlhausen.

I searched Rob Deltgen’s site for the parents, Nicolas REIFFER and Margaretha SCHMITZ. He has the couple with the son, found above in the Körperich FB, and several daughters. No other sons. What caught my attention was the place of birth of two of the daughters: Nachtmanderscheid. This lies between Landscheid and Wahlhausen. A coincidence, or could this REIFFER family be Théodore’s family?

I searched for the marriage record of the couple and found they may have married in Brandenbourg in 1759. The groom was named Nicolas REIFFER and was from Nachtmanderscheid. The entry for the marriage in the church records has only the groom’s name. It looks like the person writing the information was interrupted and never went back to write the name of the bride.

My next step is to search through the church records of Brandenbourg for baptisms from 1759 to 1780 for the children of this couple. I hope to find those mentioned on Rob’s site and perhaps some he has not found. Will Théodore be one of them?

If the children of this family are found in the Brandenbourg church records, I plan to check the same for the deaths of the parents.

For the time being, all I know is that den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, parents of Théodore, died before 31 January 1833. This is known as they were mentioned although not named in the 1833 marriage record of Théodore’s daughter Susanna. She married after the death of her parents and confirmed, along with a witness, that her grandparents were also deceased.

den Här an d’Madame = Mr. and Mrs.

[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).

© 2017, 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.

9 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #2 den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, a Brick Wall”

  1. It is always good to write about those brick walls. A reader contacted me last weekend after finding a post from last year about someone (I am writing up the story so I don’t want to give anything away) from who, it turns out, her husband is descended. My suspicions about what happened to this female were correct, but the surname was way too common in the 1800-1830 time period to even pick a place to start researching. Hope you have unlocked this Reiffer mystery yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire your persistence and your diligence. These old records can be so hard to find and to read. I hope you find the connection and learn more about Theodore and his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have set yourself quite a task to cover all 64 of the 5x great grandparents. Do you try to visit many of the locations of your ancestors? I hope you find the connection. I also like your creativity with your “Opening Doors in Brick Walls”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll let you in on a secret, Kendra. I read a post on how to do the font with a photo and had to try it out. It isn’t perfect but I was so happy with it that I had to use it in this post – which meant writing about a brick wall. 🙂
      All of the towns for the Luxembourg ancestors are within even cycling distance for me, so yes we visit the locations. Although many times I’ve had to make a note to come back for photos because when we are riding our bikes I don’t want to stop and start all the time. Once I’m rolling I have to keep rolling. 😉
      Thank you, Kendra.


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