52 Ancestors: #17 Mathias Friederich dite Thivels and Maria Olsem of Dillingen

Sometimes I am amazed at the discoveries I make when I sit down to write about these ancestral couples. Of course this only happens when I do a new round of research to learn more about the couple, their children, their parents and siblings, and any other possible connections.

While working through this family group, I discovered the father of the nearly 20 years old Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS had not died in 1791 as believed. The discovery of his death record started an avalanche of records which I will work through when I do the next generation. You’ll get a tiny peek below.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Mathias FRIEDERICH dite TIVELS
Parents: Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH and Catharina FEDERSPIEL
Spouse: Maria OLSEM
Parents of spouse: Martin HUNTGES aka Martin OLSEM and Margaretha MAY
Whereabouts: Dillingen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 4th great-grandfather

2. Elisabeth FRIEDERICH
3. Anton KREMER
4. Nicolas KREMER
5. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
6. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
7. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

My children’s 4th great-grandmother Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was the daughter of Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS and Maria OLSEM. As seen in the post I wrote about her and her husband Nicolas KREMER, 52 Ancestors: #34 KREMER-FRIEDERICH Family – Using Substitutes to Tell Their Story, she was the only child of Mathias and Maria known to have grown to adulthood and marry. This is her parents’ story.

Mathias and Maria Marry in Wallendorf

The parish church of Wallendorf built in 1748. Photo credit: Egon Meder.

After the marriage banns had been read in Wallendorf and Bissen, and there being no objection to the marriage, a minor young man named Mathias FREDERICH and a young woman who was of age named Maria OLSEM were married on 7 February 1791 in the parish of Wallendorf. At the time Wallendorf was part of Luxembourg; after 1815 it became part of Germany.

Mathias was the legitimate son of Joannis FREDERICH, a farmer who was present, and the deceased Catharina FEDERSPIEL, both of Dillingen. Maria was the legitimate daughter of the deceased couple Martini OLSEM and Margaretha MAY of Colmar. Witnesses to the marriage were J.P. MAY from Bastendorf (could he have been a maternal uncle?) and Franciscus CONCEMIUS from Bettendorf. The groom, bride, and father of the groom left their mark while the two witnesses to the marriage signed their names. [Names are given as found in the marriage record.]

1791 Marriage Record of Mathias and Maria [1]

Mathias’ Parents

Mathias’ parents were Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH (1741-1811) and Catharina FEDERSPIEL (1746-1785). Catharina died on 30 November 1785 in Dillingen.[2] She left her husband Johann with three sons and a daughter between the ages of 2 and 15 years. Records for this family were found in Wallendorf-Pont and Beaufort.

Maria’s Parents

Maria’s parents were Martin HUNTGES also known as Martin OLSEM (1722-1782) and Margaretha MAY (1727-1789). They were the parents of six known children who carried the OLSEM surname and were born in Colmar between 1756-1773. When Martin OLSEM died on 13 October 1782 in Colmar and was buried in Berg,[3] he left his wife with five children at home. Their oldest son had married earlier in the year. Margaretha, Maria’s mother, saw her two oldest daughters marry before she died on 6 June 1789 in Colmar and was buried in Berg.[4] Maria was now the oldest unmarried child with a younger brother and sister.

The First Clue to an Error

1791 death entry in the parish register of Wallendorf [5]
Following the marriage of Mathias and Maria in 1791, a Johann TIVELS died on 20 August 1791 in Dillingen.[5] The record was misinterpreted by an earlier researcher who attributed the death to Mathias’ father Johann TIVELS. When I viewed the death record, I questioned it being for the father as it read Joannes infansis Joannis Tivels (Johann child or infant of Johann Tivels). Johann Sr. was, I thought, a widower at the time and would have been seen in the parish register entry as viduus.

Mathias and Maria’s Children

Mathias and Maria lived in Dillingen their entire married life. They likely attended the little church seen above in the background. The old cobblestone paved bridge which crosses the Sauer River, the border between Luxembourg and Germany, leads into the town.

The first known child of Mathias and Maria was a male stillborn on 5 July 1794 in Dillingen.[6] The information is attributed to the Familienbuch der kath. Pfarrei St.Peter und Paul in Wallendorf by Mathias Emil Hubsch. The family book of Wallendorf includes the towns of Hösdorf (1744-1822), Ammeldingen and Biesdorf (1744-1899) and Dillingen (1744-1807). I’ll check the book when I visit the Archive Luxracines tomorrow.

Maria and Mathias’s second child, a daughter Maria FRIDERICH was born on 14 April 1796 in Dillingen.[7] Her birth was found in the index to the microfilm records Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898.

1846 Census for the KREMER-FRIEDERICH family of Bettendorf [8]
On 14 April 1802, exactly six years later Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, the last known child of Mathias and Maria, was born in Dillingen. Her birth record has not been located. The date of birth was found on the 1846 census.[8] Or should I use 15 April 1803, the date found on the 1849 census?[9] Normally a date of birth would be found on her marriage record but, in this case, her age and date of birth were omitted on the record. At the time of death on 28 October 1871, she was listed as 70 years old.

Mathias’ Father Dies

Château de Beaufort by N. Maroldt, Diekirch. From a series of ten framed photographs of castles in Luxembourg, private collection of the Meder-Dempsey Family.

Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH, father of Mathias, lived twenty years longer than first believed. Mathias was 39 years old when he went before Johann Georg EVEN, mayor of Beaufort, and reported the death of his father in Dillingen on 4 August 1811 in his home known as Thivels. The death record had a surprising detail. Johann left a widow named Maria BOUR.[10]

1811 death record for Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH [10]
Further research showed that due to the nature of the surnames used in different records [changing surnames and house names] the connection had not been made by others who have researched the areas of Wallendorf, Dillingen, Colmar, and Beaufort. I believe this is due to the difference between research done for family books of towns and research done for families. Town family books are wonderful references but verification of the dates and places for the individuals and family groups needs to be obtained by accessing the records.
Marriage Index Cards for the marriages of Tivels-Federspiel [11] and Friderich-Boor [12]
Johann THIVELS married Catharina FEDERSPIEL[11] and Johann FRIEDERICH married Maria BOUR.[12] Since the Johann who married Catharina was believed to have died in 1791 the connection to Johann who married Maria BOUR was not made. The son Mathias from the first marriage is the common denominator and led me to the records which I believe prove only one Johann married both ladies. His second marriage[12] took place three and a half months after his first wife’s death.[2] I am still working on the children of the second marriage. The death record[13] of a son Peter who lived less than a month and died in 1786 lists the father as Joannis FREDERICH vulgo TIVELS and shows the connection between the two names as is later seen on Johann’s death record.[10]

Mathias Dies

A year after he was seen as the informant on his father’s death record, Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS died on 16 August 1812 in Dillingen.[14] He left a wife, Maria OLSEM, and a daughter Elisabeth who was just ten years old.

Other Connections

Château de Berg by N. Maroldt, Diekirch. From a series of ten framed photographs of castles in Luxembourg, private collection of the Meder-Dempsey Family.

So little is known of the FRIDERICH-OLSEM couple that I focused my research a bit more closely on the siblings of Mathias and Maria. Although I knew Maria lived another 16 years after Mathias died and would die in Dillingen, I wondered if there may be stronger connections between her and her family in Colmar. This turned up a strange intertwined connection.

Maria’s brother Dominique OLSEM was 38 years old when he married the 26 years old Susanne HAMES on 18 May 1806 in Berg. [15] They had four children.

Mathias’ youngest sibling and only sister Marie TIWELS married Joseph KOOB on 11 January 1808 in Bettendorf.[16] She was 26 years old. They had a son.

Dominique OLSEM died on 28 Mar 1813 in Colmar[17] and Marie TIWELS died on 16 May 1815 in Moestroff.[18] Dominique’s widow Susanne HAMES and Marie’s widower Joseph KOOB married on 29 November 1815 in Berg.[19] Perhaps Marie played matchmaker for her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Or the matchmaker could have been her older brother Nicolas OLSEM who was a witness to the marriage in Berg.

Marie Dies

Marie OLSEM died on 1 April 1828 in Dillingen. [20] The informant gave her age as 73 years but she was only 64. She was survived by her daughter Elisabeth and one living sibling, Maria Barbara OLSEM who died on 16 December 1829 in Wiltz.[21]

Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was not yet married and celebrated her 26th birthday a little over two weeks after her mother’s death. Almost two years later, on 17 February 1830, she married Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) in Bettendorf [22] to begin her own little family. It would not be a happy first year of marriage…. Her story continues here.


[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 88 of 438. 1791 Marriage Record (second entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-5216-23?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F:1501154317,1501199302 : accessed 19 August 2015).
[2] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 47 of 438. 1785 Death Record (left page, 4th entry).  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-975T?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : 9 January 2015).
[3] Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes 1779-1784, mariages 1779-1784, sépultures 1779-1784 > image 45 of 68. 1782 Death Record (left page, 1st entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-QQRD?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-DPN%3A1500938201%2C1500938202 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1785-1793 > image 99 of 186. 1789 Death Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-9W7K?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : accessed 24 April 2017),.
[5] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 87 of 438. 1791 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-975C?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[6] Mathias Emil Hubsch, compiler. Die Pfarrei Sankt Peter und Paul in der Grenzortschaft Wallendorf (Kreis Bitburg-Prum) : mit den filialen Ammeldingen und Biesdorf 1744-1899 sowie den heutigen Luxemburger filialen Dillingen, Pfarrei Befort 1744-1807 und Hosdorf, Pfarrei Reisdorf 1744-1822
[7] Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 530,206. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLBY-1BV : accessed 25 April 2017), Maria Friderich, born and christened 14 Apr 1796, father Mathias Friderich, mother Anna Maria Olsem; citing Wallendorf, Rheinland, Preussen.
[8] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1846 > image 27 of 334. 1846 Kremer-Friederich household.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32356-27262-77?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 33 of 343. 1849 Kremer-Friederich household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-21299-31?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW:346114101,345864801 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[10] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890  > image 427 of 1474. 1811 Death Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRY7-FHY?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38%3A129623701%2C129687501 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[11] Luxembourg parish records, Wallendorf-Pont > Tables des mariages 1746-1802 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 197 of 210. 1769 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SKC7?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-K6P%3A1501154317%2C1501154318 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[12] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont >  Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 63 of 210. 1786 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-S29P?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-K6P%3A1501154317%2C1501154318 : accessed 26 April 2017).
[13] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 54 of 438. “1786 Baptismal Record (left page, 4th entry).” 1786 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-97PC?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : acccessed 26 April 2017).
[14] Luxembourg Civil Records, Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890 > image 440 of 1474. 1812 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11577-147496-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38:129623701,129687501 : accessed 17 August 2015).
[15] Ibid., Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 24 of 270. 1806 Marriage Record , part 1 (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-NCR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : accessed 25 April 2017) cont. on next image.
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1409 of 1507. 1808 Marriage Record (first part on right page).  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2M3-GF?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 25 April 2017) cont. on next image.
[17] Ibid., Berg > Décès 1796-1830 > image 80 of 167. 1813 Death Record (right page, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-K29?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 953 of 1494. 1815 Death Record (left page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-6XM?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[19] Ibid., Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 65 of 270. 1815 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-P4D?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : 17 July 2014).
[20] Ibid., Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890 > image 676 of 1474. 1828 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11577-141484-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38:129623701,129687501 : accessed 17 August 2015) Note: May be an error on record as she was listed as age 73 therefore b. 1755.
[21] Ibid., Wiltz > Mariages 1886-1890 Décès 1797-1862  > image 587 of 1390. 1829 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62TJ-G1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-4WL%3A130592301%2C130900801 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 220 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39950-62?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


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.

12 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #17 Mathias Friederich dite Thivels and Maria Olsem of Dillingen”

  1. Excellent work discovering the incorrect death date. “Infancis” is definitely a tip off that the person who died wasn’t an adult. Someone unfamiliar with the language and format of the records could easily have skipped over that word and assumed that the person who died had a father with the same given name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed it the first time around because I didn’t pay attention to the infansis on the register. It was only when I looked at the entire page and that I noticed a lot of children were dying around that time. Thank you, Linda.


  2. I look forward to being able to go back and find the errors I made the first time through. Good catch! I wonder how many would have noticed that one word that gave it all away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I first started researching my Italian ancestry, I made a similar mistake – misinterpreting a child’s death for an aged grandfather. That sure confused my research for a while! Thanks for your post and the reminder that a second set of eyes are never a bad thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember in the beginning I would compare letter by letter to decipher the records. Then I figured out where the important parts and paid special attention to them. Now I try to view it as a whole. Re-visiting each ancestor and seeing things I missed the first and second time around. Thank you, Michael.


      1. I see, the same in Québec. The history of dit names there is interesting and confusing. The reasons for a dit name are interesting and confusing. Basically, a name might change because of a change in status – social, military, financial – or you might choose to change your name. My great grandfather is a Duval. Partway back it becomes Dupolo dit Duval. The dit name seems to only last for one generation and then they just use Duval. Those dit names can make the trail a bit more tricky sometimes.

        (Sorry I wasn’t paying enough attention. I have a sinus infection and it’s making me a bit slower than normal. Grrrr.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In the Luxembourg records they have been really helpful especially when the husband was known by the wife’s family name or their house name. Tricky but a wonderful key to open the door in a brick wall. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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