52 Ancestors: #39 The Last of the German Fourth Great-Grandparents

The last set of fourth great-grandparents who lived in what is now Germany were Mathias KERSCHT and Anna EWEN. Mathias’ surname was spelled differently in several family books (Familienbücher=FB). As KIRSTEN in the FB Meckel1; KIRST, KIERSCH, and KIERSTEN in the FB Messerich2; and as KERSCH and KIRSCH in the FB Mettendorf3. For Anna’s maiden name EWEN, no variations were found.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Mathias KERSCHT
Parents: Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS
Spouse:  Anna EWEN
Parents of Spouse: Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIELEN
Whereabouts: Meckel, Messerich, Mettendorf (Germany)
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Mathias KERSCHT
2. Anna Maria KERSCHT
3. Magdalena WAGNER
4. Katharina “Catherine” PÖPPELREITER
5. Nicolas WILDINGER
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Mathias KERSCHT, the son of Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS, was born on 28 March 1759 in Meckel, Eifel, Rheinland, Germany, and baptized the same day. His godparents were Matthias BERENS and Anna Maria SCHUL, both of Meckel. His godfather was likely a brother or relative of his mother Eva. Matthias BERENS went by his wife’s maiden name and was known as Matthias SCHMITZ before his marriage. Mathias KERSCHT had only one known sister Luzia who was two years older. It is not known if she married and had descendants.

Mathias married Anna EWEN, daughter of Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIELEN, on 26 November 1785 in Messerich. Anna was born on 6 June 1766 in Messerich. She was the fourth of ten children.

Mathias worked as a sheepherder (Schäfer) in Messerich until about 1795 and then moved to Mettendorf where he continued to work in the same occupation.

Mathias and Anna had the following children.

1. Margaretha was born on 9 September 1786 in Messerich. She was baptized the same day. Her godparents were Peter KIRST of Meckel and Margaretha BAUER of Messerich. Was the godfather also the child’s grandfather? The FB Meckel in which Mathias’ father was found as Peter KIRSTEN does not include a date of death.

2. Anna was born on 4 October 1788 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. Her godfather was Theodore EWEN, single, from Messerich, likely her maternal uncle who was 27 years old at the time. Her godmother was likely her paternal grandmother Eva. The entry in the FB Messerich shows Evan KIERSTEN of Meckel. The godmother’s first name may be a typo in the book and the child was not given the name Eva or Evan but Anna. She married Heinrich LUDEWIG on 23 January 1809 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of eleven children. Anna died on 8 January 1843 in Mettendorf.

3. An unnamed child was born on 19 December 1790 in Messerich and died the same day.

4. Catharina was born on 14 December 1791 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. Her godparents were Jakob WEILER, a sheepherder (Schäfer) and Katharina LOCH of Spangdahlem. Catharina married Joannes Friedericus LOCHEMES on 19 September 1811 in Mettendorf. Joannes Friedericus was born about 1784 in Dahlem. From the time of their second child’s birth, her husband was given as Theodore LOCHEMES on all births thereafter. They were the parents of seven children. Catharina died on 9 December 1851 in Mettendorf. Her husband died on 16 January 1864 in Mettendorf.

5. Matthias was born on 19 April 1794 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Mathias SCHMITZ, a pig herder (Sauhirt) of KIRCHWEILER and Luzia BICHELER of Messerich. Matthias married Angela ACHEN on 21 January 1818 in Mettendorf. Angela was born on 11 December 1793 in Mettendorf. She died on 21 December 1870 in Mettendorf and Matthias died on 16 November 1876 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of seven children, two of whom died young. Their three youngest children went to America in the 1850s and settled in Wright County, Minnesota. Two were sons and their descendants spelled the surname KIRSCHT.

The towns where this family lived. Cropped from a larger map from 1789. Courtesy of http://wiki-commons.genealogy.net/Datei:Rheinprovinz-1789-00-Uebersicht-kl.djvu

6. Anna Maria, my third great-grandmother, was born between 1795-1798 in Mettendorf. She is not included in the FB Messerich listing for her parents which suggests she must have been born after her brother Mathias. His birth in Messerich and her birth in Mettendorf places the relocation of the family from Messerich to Mettendorf during this time period. Anna Maria married Johann WAGNER, son of Matthias WAGNER and Maria Katharina HARTERT, on 22 February 1830 in Mettendorf. Johann, my third great-grandfather, was born on 19 June 1804 in Fließem and was baptized the same day. Johann worked as a shepherd. He died on 15 June 1858 in Mettendorf and was buried two days later. Anna Maria died on 21 July 1876 in Mettendorf.

7. Christoph was born on 19 June 1799 in Mettendorf. He married Elisabetha MERTES on 23 February 1824 in Sülm, also in the Eifel. Elisabetha was born in 1804 in Röhl. Christoph died on 30 September 1871 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of seven children, two of whom died young.

8. Anna Catharina was born about 1806 in Mettendorf. She died on 22 May 1824 in Mettendorf at the age of about 18 years and was buried the following day.

9. Heinrich was born on 8 August 1809 in Mettendorf and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Heinrich LUDEWIG, a sheepherder (Schäfer) of Mettendorf, and Margaretha ROCK, a servant (Magd) of Hisel. The godfather was his brother-in-law, newlywed husband of his second oldest sister Anna. He died 10 days later on 18 August 1809 in Mettendorf and was buried the following day.

10. Johann was born on 18 February 1811 in Mettendorf and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Johann WEYERS and Margaretha THEISEN, both of Mettendorf. Johann married Elisabeth ROTH on 7 January 1841 in Nusbaum. The family lived in Sinspelt, part of the Mettendorf parish. They were the parents of two known children, one of whom died young. No entry for his death was given in the FB Mettendorf which may mean he died after 1899.

The mother of these children, Anna EWEN died on 15 November 1828 in Mettendorf and was buried on the same day. Her widower Mathias KERSCHT died on 9 February 1841 in Mettendorf. He was buried on 11 February 1841 in Mettendorf.

As mentioned at the beginning, this is the last of my fourth great-grandparents who lived in the Eifel area of Germany. Next up will be the eight sets of fourth great-grandparents who lived in Rodange, Wiltz, Vianden, Echternach, Mamer, Capellen, and Strassen in Luxembourg. With only five weeks to the end of the year, it looks like I may not be able to get them done on schedule.

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

  1. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Meckel Dekanat Bitburg 1632-1900, (including Meckel, Eßlingen, Hof Badenborn, Kaschenbach) (1992). 
  2. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Messerich Dekanat Bitburg 1720-1900 (1992). 
  3. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z, (including Mettendorf, Bierendorf, Burg, Halsdorf, Hisel, Lahr, Hüttingen, Nasingen, Niederraden, Niehl, Ober- und Niedergeckler, Sinspelt) (1992). 

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.

19 thoughts on “52 Ancestors: #39 The Last of the German Fourth Great-Grandparents”

  1. Another great post Cathy! I so enjoy seeing other’s heritage, and with the amount of Germanic heritage in my family trees, both paternal and maternal, I have a strong need and curiosity towards that end. The more I learn about my German roots, the closer I feel to their origins. Just recently found another ancestor, through my Haertter family documented by Rev. Stoever and Rev. Shultz, that attended the same church(s) my Mueller family attended in Berks Co., PA. 1st Lt. Bernhardt Zimmerman, served under George Washington at Valley Forge. I believe one of my Zimmermans married a Schmid. I’ll have to look deeper into that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian. The thing about German families is that they either had names which were so unusual for the English that they were butchered or they had common names like Schmid or M(ue)iller. I’m always amazed at the history you uncover – George Washington at Valley Forge.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, let’s just say I learn from the best! Another great mentor I have is James Beidler, who is probably one of the best German authors, historians and genealogical researchers that helped me understand how to dig into my German ancestry. You keep up the great work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on completing this set. It does sound ambitious to try and get through so many before the end of the year. And I am always surprised at how long it takes me to get through one line in my family. I started the Katzensteins last November and am just now finishing. A whole year! I’d never have expected that, but I also discovered so many more relatives than I’d have ever expected. Good luck1

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luanne, for this large branch of my Mom’s paternal side I don’t consider them Prussia as this is an area of present-day Germany which was part of a larger Luxembourg when the 1766 census was taken. This area only became a part of Germany, then the Kingdom of Prussia after Napoleon. Technically they became Prussians when the Rhine province was regained in 1815 and then became Germans when the German Empire was founded in 1871. Very good question, Luanne.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So complicated as with all things “continental boundaries” haha. My own thinking on how to think of where ancestors came from is what country they were from at the time of immigration. It’s not really a better way to my thinking than any other way, but at least the most helpful to me for research. My Prussian ancestors’ records sometimes say Prussia and sometimes Germany, but they spoke German and were ethnically German, so either works, I guess. But today so often where they were from is now Poland. That would not be a good way of looking at it as the Germans were all removed from those regions at the end of WWII.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Cathy. Mattias’ occupation as a sheepherder jumped out at me. I have come across so many occupations of my own ancestors during my 20 years of research. But not once have I found a sheepherder in my family, at least, not that I can recall. I wonder if I have any…?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve run across a lot of sheepherders in my families. The photograph of the sheep was taken in Irrel, the closest German village to where I live. The sheep graze a field and then are moved on to the next. Sheep (cheap) lawnmowers. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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