Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ and Johannes HAMES of Mamer

Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ (1755-1836)

On 29 October 1755 twin girls were born in Luxembourg in the town of Septfontaines.1 Maria Catherina and Agnes were the daughters of Nicolas HEITZ and Anna Catharina RONAS. Agnes was my fifth great-grandmother and her parents my sixth great-grandparents.

1755 Baptismal Records of Maria Catharina BOUR and Agnes BOUR

In Maria Catharina’s baptismal record the priest gave her parents’ names as Nicolai BOUR alias HEITZ and Anna Catharina RONAS. In Agnes’ record, he wrote Nicolai HEITZ and Anna Catharina BOUR alias RONAS. The difference in how the names are listed is due to the use of the house name BOUR. In the first record, it’s associated with the father while in the second it’s associated with the mother.

The twins were the first children of Anna Catharina RONAS and Nicolas HEITZ who married on 6 February 1755.2 However, these girls were not Anna Catharina’s first children. She was the widow of Dominique MAMER with whom she had eight children. Dominique died on 20 May 1753 in Septfontaines.3 Anna Catharina and her first husband’s house name was BOUR. Her second husband Nicolas HEITZ would also be known by the same house name (BOUR alias HEITZ or HEITZ domo BOUR) in later records.

A view of the castle of Septfontaines

Following the births of the twins, Anna Catharina had four more children with Nicolas. In all, she had a dozen children between 1741 and 1762.

In 1766 Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in a large part of the territories under the rule of the House of Habsburg. This included Luxembourg, along with Belgium, a part of the Netherlands.

The household of Nicolas HEITZ in Septfontaines in the 1766 census.

Nicolas HEITZ was found on the 1766 census with his wife Anna Catharina, her two sons Antoine and Dominique MAMER from her first marriage, and their daughters Agnes, Maria Catharina, and Marie HEITZ.4 They were living in Septfontaines in the Bourhouse near the pond.  A complete history of the house can be found in a book on the house and family history of Septfontaines for the years 1654-1985.5 Anna Catharina’s father Leonardus RONAS, a stonemason and builder, was mentioned as early as 1713 in a Septfontaines record.6

This line is of special interest to me as Agnes HEITZ and her mother Anna Catharina RONAS are my matrilineal ancestors. The continuation of my mitochondrial DNA line is stuck at this point as the name of the wife of Leonardus RONAS is unknown to me at this time.

Johannes HAMES (c1756-1826)

Town sign of Schoenfels (Schëndels in Luxembourgish) with a partial view of the church in the distance.

On 15 October 1755 Jacob HAMES of Schoenfels and Magdalena MATHIEU of Septfontaines were married in the chapel of Schoenfels Castle.7 They were my sixth great-grandparents.

Schoenfels Castle in the village of Schoenfels in the Mamer Valley between Kopstal and Mersch

Jacob and Magdalena would make their home in Mamer from at least 1759. The baptismal dates and godparents of nine of their children born between 1759 and 1776 are recorded in the alphabetical family group register of births/baptisms and marriages for Mamer.8 Actual baptismal records for this time period are missing.

Two pages out of the Family Register of the Paris of Mamer with the Hames-Mathieu and Hames-Heitz families

Their oldest son Johannes born after their marriage in 1755 and before 1759 appears to have been added as an afterthought in the entry but without a baptismal/birth date. Following Jacob and Magdalena’s family group there is an entry for my fifth great-grandfather Johannes, his wife, and their children. In Latin the compiler added filius praedictorum conjugum, indicating Johannes was the son of the couple in the previous entry.

Although my fourth great-grandfather Michel TRAUSCH indicated his father-in-law Johannes HAMES was born in Mamer when he reported his death in 1826, I think it unlikely. Baptismal records for Septfontaines, where his mother hailed, and Mersch (the parish Schoenfels was part of), where his father was from, have been checked without avail. Could his parents have been on the move after the marriage and before they settled in Mamer?

As Jacob and Magdalena were having children in Mamer, their household on the census would include their oldest son Johannes as well as Nicolas, Catherine, Willibrod, and Anton who were all born before 1766. The last two have been found in records after 1766. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate the Mamer census for 1766 in the browse-only collection on FamilySearch. As I understand Mamer was part of the Decanat Mersch which I have looked through several times.

Johannes and Agnes likely met as children

Although the 1766 listing for the HAMES family in Mamer wasn’t found, Johannes HAMES’ maternal grandmother was. Marie Jeanne ENDRÉ, the mother of Magdalena MATHIEU and the widow of Mathias MATHIEU, was living with her son Jean MATHIEU in Septfontaines next door to Nicolas HEITZ and Anna Catharina RONAS.

This means my fifth great-grandmother Agnes HEITZ was living next door to the grandmother of her future husband Johannes HAMES and they likely knew each other as children.

An aside concerning Marie Jeanne ENDRÉ

Johannes HAMES’ grandmother Marie Jeanne ENDRÉ came from Marienthal to Septfontaines in 1722 when she married Mathias MATHIEU alias BODEN. Their first child’s godmother was Ursula de Manteville, a religious lady from the convent of Marienthal. At that time, Marie-Catherine de Manteville was the prioress of the convent.

Former Abbey Marienthal

Marie Jeanne’s parents are at this time unknown. Could this connection to the convent, founded in the 13th century for daughters of nobility, mean she was of nobility, a convert, or only a servant? Will further research lead to records with her parents’ names?

Agnes and Johannes marry in 1785

1785 Marriage Record of “Joannes Hames” and “Agnes Heutz”

Agnes HEITZ married Johannes HAMES on 18 January 1785 in Mamer.9 Two weeks short of their first wedding anniversary their first child was born followed by five others in ten years.

The children of Johannes and Agnes

Willibrodus was born 4 January 1786. He was baptized the following day with Willibrod HAMES of Mamer and Catharina TRAUSCH, wife of Anton MANGEL of the Koerich quarry, being named as his godparents.10 Willibrodus died less than a month later on 30 January.11

Susanne was born 28 December 1786 at 6 o’clock in the morning. She was baptized the same day with Susanna MULLER, the wife of Wilhelm MAMER of Septfontaines, and Anton HAMES of Mamer serving as her godparents.12

Catharina was born 16 May 1789 and baptized the following day. Her godparents were Catharina HAMES and Joannes GOEDERS both of Mamer.13

Antonius was born 22 December 1790 at 2 o’clock in the morning and baptized the same day. His godparents were Anton MAMER of the Koerich quarry and Maria HINTGEN, wife of Nicolas KNEPPER of Mamer.14 Antonius died at the age of two years on 20 December 1792.15

Petrus was born 14 September 1792 and baptized the same day in the presence of his godparents Peter HEBER of Mamer and Maria BRAUSCH, wife of Willibrod HAMES of Bertrange.16 Petrus died at the age of a year on 10 October 1793.17

Baltasar was born 29 January 1795. He was baptized the same day with Baltasar WAGENER and Catharina FREYMAN both of Mamer being his godparents.18

Only the girls survived to marry

Susanne and Catharina grew up with their little brother Baltasar. Sadly, he died at the age of nearly 19 years on 4 January 1814 in Mamer.19

A year later on 11 January 1815, my 4th great-grand aunt Susanne married Michel KOLBACH, the half-brother of my 3rd great-grandfather Johannes FRANTZ. Michel was the son of my 4th great-grandmother Susanne KIEFFER (1754-1808) and her first husband Michel KOLBACH (1748-1796). The groom’s parents were both deceased. The bride’s parents, as well as two of her paternal uncles, were present at the marriage.20

The connections between the Hames, Trausch, and Kolbach families

Catharina, my fourth-great-grandmother, likely lived alone with her parents for two years following her sister’s marriage. Like her sister Susanne, she married a man named Michel whose parents were both deceased. Michel TRAUSCH, son of Remacle TRAUSCH and Theresia BRAUN (also seen as COLLING), married Catharina HAMES on 18 February 1817. Her parents Johannes and Agnes were present at the marriage as well as her brother-in-law Michel KOLBACH.21:

The family grows as grandchildren are born

Susanne gave Agnes and Johannes six grandchildren between 1816 and 1827, five granddaughters and a grandson. The two youngest granddaughters did not live past the age of 2 and 4 years. The four older grandchildren all married and continued the KOLBACH line.

Catharina gave Agnes and Johannes seven grandchildren between 1818 and 1829. Six granddaughters and a grandson. The oldest and the youngest died as infants. The grandson was last seen in 1855 with his parents – no trace of him has been found thereafter. The three oldest granddaughters married and had children. The youngest granddaughter never married and died at the age of 73 years in 1900.

Johannes and Agnes lived long lives

Johannes HAMES did not live to see the births of his three youngest grandchildren. He died on 13 May 1826 in Mamer at two o’clock in the morning at the age of 71 years. His death was reported by his son-in-law Michel TRAUSCH.22

Agnes HEITZ lived another ten years dying on 23 February 1836 in Mamer at four in the afternoon at the age of 80 years. Her death was also reported by her son-in-law Michel TRAUSCH.23 She was survived by her two daughters, their husbands, and nine grandchildren.

Susanne24 and her husband Michel KOLBACH25 died within a month of each other in 1855 at the ages of 68 and 70. Catharina lived until the age of 75 dying in 1864.26 Her widower Michel TRAUSCH died four years later in 1869.27

I would like to end this post with a very special thank you to my husband for the wonderful photographs he took last week. He planned his 140 kilometer bike ride around the towns where my HEITZ, RONAS, HAMES, and MATTHIEU families lived in the 1700s.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Septfontaines > Baptêmes 1735-1797, confirmations 1774-1791, mariages 1738-1797, sépultures 1738-1788 > image 34 of 208. 1755 baptismal records for twins Agnes and Maria Catharina, 3rd and 4th entries on left page. (,1501459884 : accessed 7 June 2015). 
  2. ibid., Septfontaines > Baptêmes 1735-1797, confirmations 1774-1791, mariages 1738-1797, sépultures 1738-1788 > image 155 of 208. 1755 Marriage Record, 1st entry on left page. (,1501459884 : accessed 7 June 2015). 
  3. Ibid., Septfontaines > Baptêmes 1735-1797, confirmations 1774-1791, mariages 1738-1797, sépultures 1738-1788 > image 194 of 208. 1753 Death Record (left page entry for 20 May 1753). (,1501459884 : accessed 7 June 2015). 
  4. Luxembourg, Dénombrement, 1766 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles), Film/DGS 1781981 > Film # 8182018 > Decanat de Mersch v. 2-3 > Septfontaines (paroisse de Septfontaines) > Image 328 of 556. Hietz family including Mamer step-sons. ( : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  5. Haus- und Familienchronik Simmern 1654-1985, herausgegeben anlässlich des 75. Stiftungsfestes der Feuerwehr Simmern und des Kantonalverbandes Capellen (unter der Schirmherrschaft der Gemeindeverwaltung Simmern), page 75, Nr. 41a. 
  6. Ibid., page 15. 
  7. Luxembourg Church Records, Mersch > Mariages 1749-1772 > image 19 of 88. 1755 Marriage Record (left page, last entry). ( : acccessed 26 June 2019). 
  8. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 102 of 375. Jacob Hames and Magdalena Mathieu family group information with 10 children, p. 193-194. ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 65 of 168. 1785 Marriage Record. (,1500913302 : accessed 6 June 2015). 
  10. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 70 of 168. 1786 Baptismal Record (right, 1st entry).( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 77 of 168. 1786 Death Record (right, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 73 of 168. 1786 Baptismal Record (right, last entry).( : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  13. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 102 of 168. 1789 Baptismal Record (left, first entry). ( : accessed 14 January 2018). 
  14. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 114 of 168. 1790 Baptismal Record (left, 1st entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  15. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 149 of 168. 1792 Death Record (left, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  16. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 139 of 168. 1792 Baptismal Record (bottom left and upper right). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 168 of 168. 1793 Death Record (left, 2nd entry from bottom). ( : accessed 5 January 2018). 
  18. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg / Archives diocésaines Luxembourg (images), Matricula Online,, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (original records in the Luxembourg Diocesan Archives, Luxembourg City), Microfilm/-fiche GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, Heiraten – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1790 – 1804, page 56, image 30, right page, last entry. 1795 Baptismal Record (right page, last entry). ( : accessed 14 May 2019). 
  19. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 644 of 1497. 1814 Death Record No. 1. ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  20. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1259 of 1504. 1815 Marriage Record No. 1. ( : accessed 8 October 2015). 
  21. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1283 of 1504. 1817 Marriage Record No. 3. (,130365601 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  22. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 770 of 1497. 1826 Death Record No. 20. ( : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  23. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 874 of 1497. 1836 Death Record No. 6. ( : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  24. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1119 of 1497. 1855 Death Record No. 15. ( : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  25. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1118 of 1497. 1855 Death Record No. 11. ( : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  26. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1250 of 1497. 1864 Death Record No. 19. ( : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  27. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1336 of 1497. 1869 Death Record No. 34. ( : accessed 22 August 2011). 

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.

27 thoughts on “Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ and Johannes HAMES of Mamer”

    1. Thank you, Kendra. Writing the stories helps me to bring out all the details I might have missed by just attaching the records to the persons in my database. I love my husband (not only) for taking the photos to enrich the posts. 🙂


  1. The photographs are wonderful and really give a feel for what the country looks like now and probably back then as well.

    So why would the “house name” be associated with the father for one twin and the mother for the other? Just random? Or was there some reason?

    And how wonderful that you were able to find evidence showing that your fifth-great-grandparents probably knew each other as children! That’s so sweet. I see a potential novel coming from that story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the reason the “house name” was associated with one parent and then the other was the priest’s not paying attention to detail. In this case the entries followed each other making it stand out more. It’s not unusual to see children of a couple listed with different surnames as time went by.

      I thought it an interesting tidbit about their possibly knowing each other as children. But a potential novel? I don’t know. Thanks for thinking I might have it in me, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You never know where the beginning of a story will take you—at least in your mind!

        I know you’ve explained house names before—but I’ve forgotten. Does it literally mean the name of the house where the family lives?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. House names were used before surnames. The house name could have been an occupation or a name given to the house due to location. The oldest child stayed in the house and kept the name. If it was a daughter then her husband became known by her house name. Sometime in the early 1700s they began adding an alias or known by name to keep people apart. Some people kept their house name as their surname. Finding the double names in records is very helpful when searching for a particular family. Like all changing surnames (spelling etc) you have to figure out how to input them in the surname field when recording them.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I haven’t seen it in Germany, but then again, I’ve only researched Jewish families, so maybe it existed in some form there also.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Richard. And thank you for reading my posts. I have several readers who faithfully look for their relatives in my posts. It’s always nice to hear from cousins however distant.


  2. Such a wealth of information and easily able to follow too 🙂 I always love the depth pictures bring. Interestingly, I picked up on some family history long put aside and Schoenfeld is the last name with a 1838ish birth date in Austria (?). I was also wondering how your got your name ‘opening doors in ….. ” on the entrance signs to towns. Great post 🙂 Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sharon, I have a subscription to PicMonkey and use it to add watermarks to my photos. At the top of my blog instead of using a photo I “created” the title with two different fonts. I liked it so much that I use it with a transparent background and overlay it on photos.
      Thank you, Sharon, for letting me know you were able to easily follow the post. I am always a bit worried about this – thinking they may be at time a bit much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting story here, Cathy. Not sure I can remember all the thoughts and questions that I had now as it’s early here and I’ve had an exhausting week. But one question is did convents have servants? I am also very plagued by my matrilineal line. It is my brick wall and although I haven’t had time recently to work on it when I did I just couldn’t get anywhere. The road leads to Prussia, but villages that might be leads are so far from each other it seems unlikely. Your family names always sound so similar to my Alsatian ones—that mix of French and German. i love the way that you use history in your research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean about the thoughts and questions. The same happens to me when I am reading blogs where the blogger is using methods I have used or never thought of using.
      This was a profitable convent and not usual for them to have servants.
      I’ve also often thought the names in Alsace are very familiar to those in Luxembourg.
      As for using history in my research, it’s not always planned. Thank you, Luanne.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Konzen Genealogy

Tracing the Konzen Family Line

Laura J. Hanson

City writer with a country view

Look into my eye

Mijn ervaring met Acanthamoeba Keratitis, meer dan alleen een ernstige oogaandoening

Secrets et ancêtres

Généalogie familiale

Finding My Ancestors

a personal family tree blog

B&F: Jewish Genealogy and More

Navigating Jewish Genealogy

Through The Byzantine Gate

The Serrapede and Muro Families-From Agropoli to America

Blackthorn Genealogy

tales of ancestral adventure, genealogical pursuit, and greater belonging

Many Branches, One Tree

...Understanding our roots helps us grow

Roots Revealed

Viewing African American History Through a Genealogical Lens

Decluttering the Stuff

Our Journey in Decluttering the Stuff so we can Live a Decluttered Life

Genealogy Bites

Little bites of genealogy.

Past Presence

A site for genealogists and family historians

Finding Progenitors

Ask Questions........Share Stories

Caroline's Chronicles

My family & other oddities


incorporating DNA in genealogy research

This Is Us

The Browns & The Moores, A Few Gauffreaus & Gustins


As my life goes by, the past gets closer and the future further away.

%d bloggers like this: