52 Ancestors: #33 Surprising Discovery Made While Researching the Schramen-Schmitt Family

Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT were my 4th great-grandparents. They lived in Ferschweiler, a small village in the Eifel in Germany.

Elisabetha SCHMITT’s Parents and Siblings

Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG (1756-1818) was born in November 1756 in Berdorf, Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] Her father, Sebastian SCHMITT (1764-1825) was born on 7 December 1764 in Hoffmanns Backhaus in Schankweiler in the Eifel (present-day Germany).[2]

1766 census for the village of Schankweiler. The Schmitz can be seen under household #3.[3]
Sebastian was with his family in 1766 in Schankweiler (above). His father was a shepherd or berger. Four persons made up the family: father, mother, brother Hubert, and Sebastian.[3] Maria was found on the 1766 census in Berdorf with her family (below). The LORANG family was with a THILL couple and a young DEFRANG man. The men’s occupation was listed as plower or labourent.[4]

1766 census for the village of Berdorf in the parish of Consdorf. The Lorang family was in household #6.[4]
Elisabetha’s parents, Sebastian and Maria were married on 27 December 1784 in Echternach.[5] By this time Sebastian’s family had moved from Schankweiler and taken up residence in Ferschweiler where he would also set up his household with Maria. They were the parents of three known children: two daughters named Elisabetha born in 1786 and 1790 and a son Nikolaus born about 1791 and died at age 19 on 9 March 1810. [Note: the burial records from 1786-1790 need to be checked for a possible death of the first daughter named Elisabetha.]

Their second daughter Elisabetha was my 4th great-grandmother. The FB Ferschweiler (Familienbuch or family book) lists her birthday as 4 March 1790 in Ferschweiler and mentions her baptism on 9 April 1790. This is unusual for the time period when children were baptized the same day or at latest the next day. I wonder if the date of birth was recorded or transcribed incorrectly in the source used by the author/compiler of the family book. Her baptismal record clearly states she was born “on the ninth day of the fourth hour of the morning” and baptized the same day.[6]

1790 Baptismal Record for Elisabetha SCHMITT[6]

Michael SCHRAMEN’s Parents and Siblings

Michael’s father Matthias SCHRAMEN (1742-1809) was born and baptized on 10 March 1742 in  Ferschweiler.[7] His mother Anna Barbara LEIBRICH also known as BURG (1744-1810) was born and baptized on 21 May 1744 in Menningen.[8]

Mathias’ parents were using his mother’s maiden name SCHMIDT in 1766 when the first census was enumerated. Mathias was working as a weaver or tisserand at the time.[9] Anna Barbara was living with her mother in the household of her brother-in-law Guillaume MOSSAL. They were enumerated as BURG instead of LEIBRICH.[10]

Barbara, as she was more commonly known, was found in the FB Edingen. However, the proper connections were not made by the author/compiler of this family book. In fact, there was a glaring error in the book. A second marriage in 1771 for her mother born in 1704 to a 21 years old man already in my database. The marriage was unlikely due to his age and known births of children between 1773-1796 for this man and his wife born in 1750.

Further research to clear up the error led to an amazing discovery.

My husband and I are 8th cousins!

Barbara’s maternal grandparents (my 7th great-grandparents) were Mathias and Katharina FEILEN (FEYLEN). They are also my husband’s 7th great-grandparents. This is the first and only time I have found common ancestors for my husband and myself.

The road into Ferschweiler.

Barbara LEIBRICH and Matthias SCHRAMEN married on 11 January 1770 in Ferschweiler.[11] They were the parents of seven children all born in Ferschweiler: Katharina bp. 22 January 1771[12]; Johann bp. 5 December 1773[13]; Magdalena bp. 18 November 1776[14]; Margaretha bp. 31 March 1780[15]; Jakob bp. 11 July 1783[16]; Michael bp. 5 October 1786[17]; and Nikolaus bp. 4 October 1789.[18]

Matthias saw the marriage of his three oldest children and the death of his youngest before he passed away on 12 May 1809.[19] His widow Barbara followed a little over a year later on 26 September 1810.[19]

Michael and Elisabetha marry and have a family

Michael SCHRAMEN married Elisabetha SCHMITT on 27 November 1811 in Ferschweiler.[20] Michael whose parents were both deceased may have had siblings present while Elisabetha’s parents would have been consenting to the marriage. During the first thirteen years of their union, they became the parents of five children.

Ch 1: Catherine (1812-1869) born on 23 October 1812 and baptized the following day.[20]

Ch 2: Johann (1817-1894) born and baptized on 14 January 1817.[20]

Ch 3: Catharina (1820-1842) born 21 February 1820 and baptized the next day.[20]

Ch 4: Margaret (1821-1822) born and baptized on 7 November 1821. She died nearly a year later on 22 October 1822.[20]

Ch 5: Nicolaus (1824-1875) born and baptized on 31 October 1824.[20]

Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG died on 11 February 1818 a little over a year after the birth of the second SCHRAMEN child.[2] The maternal grandfather, Sebastian SCHMITT died after the birth of the last child, on 12 January 1825.[2] Both of these deaths took place in Ferschweiler.

Elisabetha’s husband Michael SCHRAMEN died on 20 September 1833 at the age of 46 years.[21] He left a widow and four children aged between 8 and 20.

Soon after Michael’s death, his oldest child turned 21 and planned to marry. Catherine SCHRAMEN married Nicolas WILDINGER (1798-1874) on 18 January 1834 in Ferschweiler in a civil ceremony and then on 21 January 1834 in a religious ceremony.[22] They were my 3rd great-grandparents.

Michael’s widow Elisabetha may have had her three unmarried children in her household for nearly a decade. Her second daughter Catharina married on 18 January 1842, after turning 21 years, to Johann MARX.[23] Her marriage took place on her sister Catherine’s 8th wedding anniversary. Both girl’s names were found to be Catharina on the German Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 index[24], [25] and I am using Catherine for the oldest to keep them apart. Catharina gave birth to a son Theodor on 8 November 1842; she died less than two weeks later on 24 November 1842.[23]

During the next decade, Elisabetha’s two sons Johann and Nicolaus may have still lived at home and cared for their mother. Times were hard for most families in the area and many were emigrating to Luxembourg and America. Elisabeth’s youngest son Nicolaus was 27 years old and unmarried when he went to America in 1852 likely leaving her in the care of his older brother Johann.[21]

St. Lucia Catholic church in Ferschweiler

Johann, the only unmarried child of Michael and Elisabetha still in Germany, was 35 years old when he finally married. His brother Nicolaus’ departure may have been a deciding factor in his decision to marry. His bride Katharina ADAM was 29 years old when she married Johann on 15 November 1852 in Ernzen. The religious ceremony took place in St. Lucia Catholic church in Ferschweiler two days earlier.[26] Like his older sister Catherine, Johann named his first daughter Elisabetha after his mother.

Further research into census records, etc. needs to be performed to learn where the mother of this family lived. Elisabetha had two married children in the same town, two children were deceased, and her youngest was in America. Did she live with her son Johann following his marriage? Did he remain in the family home? Or did she go to live with daughter Catherine and son-in-law Nicolas WILDINGER? Elisabeth died at the age of 79 years on 20 May 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried two days later.[21]

Elisabetha’s daughter Catherine died nearly six months later on 2 November 1869 at the age of 57 years and was buried two days later in Ferschweiler.[27]

The last living child of Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT was their oldest son Johann. He died on 20 January 1894 in Ferschweiler at the age of 77 years.[26]

What became of the son who went to America?

Did Elisabetha, Catherine, and Johann know anything of the youngest son/sibling Nicolaus who went to America? Did they exchange letters? What became of him?

The compiler of the FB Ferschweiler cites Werner Lichter’s work on emigration for at least 5 persons from Ferschweiler who went to America on the ship Clotilde in 1852 including Nicolaus SCHRAMEN. The Clotilde left from Antwerp, Belgium around late May 1852 arriving at the port of New York on 3 June 1852. Nicolaus SCHRAMEN is said to have been on this ship. He likely traveled in steerage, similar to a cargo hold where many passengers were accommodated but with poor conditions. Steerage was the most common class of travel for immigrants.

While doing research on Nicolaus in US records I found there were two men of the same name and close in age. I contacted Aaron D., a great-great-grandson of Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dubuque County, Iowa. While trying to learn the parentage of his immigrant ancestor he had also looked into the other Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dupage County, Illinois, but did not know if there was a family relationship. Aaron had no proof of where in Germany his ancestor came from but had searched for the surname and found a concentration in the Ernzen/Ferschweiler area. He had not connected his Nicholas SCHRAMEN to my Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. I checked the FB Ferschweiler again and found Michael’s older brother Johann also had a son named Nicolaus born in 1819 and married to Katharina EWEN. His year of birth and the first name of his wife were a match for the man from, Illinois. Apparently, he did not remain in Ferschweiler as no children are listed nor is another family book referenced. It is a possibility the two men living in America were first cousins.

I believe Michael and Elisabetha’s Nicolaus was Nicholas SCHROMEN from Dubuque County, Iowa. He married Elizabeth GROSSBUSCH (1827-1896) on 28 February 1854 in Dubuque. The marriage record found by Aaron does not mention parents. Nicholas died on 13 January 1875 in Dubuque County, Iowa. The photo on FindAGrave for Nicholas’ grave marker is hard to decipher. What I can read is his date of birth was 1 Nov. The date found in the FB Ferschweiler was 31 October 1824. Aaron’s mother and my brother would be 3C2R – can this relationship be proven with their DNA?

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch< (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Consdorf > Baptêmes 1719-1782, confirmations 1738-1792, mariages 1726-1782, sépultures 1726-1781 > image 80 of 279. 1756 Baptismal Record, right page, last entry (continued on next page).(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-9185-30?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[2] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) 1680-1899, PDF (Kordel, 1999), p. 282, Family #1316. Schmitt-Lorang.
[3] Luxembourg, Dénombrement, 1766 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles), Film/DGS 1781975 > Film #008198977 > Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Schouweiler (sic, Schanweiler) > Image 593 of 753. Household No. 3 with the Schmitz family. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M761-F?i=592&cat=1184675 : accessed 13 October 2017).
[4] Ibid., Film/DGS 1781980 > Film # 008198978 > Decanat de Mersch v. 1 A-E > Berdorff (paroisse de Consdorff) > Image 260 of 618. Household Nr. 6 with Nicolas Thill and Nicola Lorange. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-993F-2?i=259&cat=1184675 : accessed 7 October 2017).
[5] Luxembourg Church Records, Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1787 > image 212 of 319. 1784 Marriage Record, right page, 1st entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-7420-58?cc=2037955 : accessed 13 October 2015).
[6] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1788-1797 > image 71 of 331. 1790 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry from bottom).(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-8920-61?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[7] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes 1638-1676, 1706-1760 > image 210 of 291. 1742 Baptismal Record, left page, 5th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-2147-70?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[8] Ibid., Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 250 of 293. 1744 Baptismal Record, right page, 3rd entry from bottom. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32399-12068-48?cc=2037955 : accessed 15 November 2016).
[9] Luxembourg 1766 Census, Film/DGS 1781975 > Film # 008198977 > Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Feischveiler > Image 251 of 753. Household No. 6 for SCHMIDT family instead of SCHRAMEN.
(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DV-F?i=250&cat=1184675 : accessed 13 October 2017).
[10] Ibid., Film/DGS 1781975 > Film # 008198977 > Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Feischveiler > Image 263 of 753. Household No. 3 with the Mossal family
(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DJ-R?i=262&cat=1184675 : accessed 13 October 2017).
[11] Luxembourg Church Records, Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 156 of 293. 1770 Marriage Record, right page, 2nd entry from bottom. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32399-12088-47?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[12] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 51 of 131. 1771 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd to last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1XZG?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-PY3%3A1500937901%2C1501065634 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[13] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 66 of 131. 1773 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry from bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1X7L?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-PY3%3A1500937901%2C1501065634 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[14] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 80 of 131. 1776 Baptismal Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1XHY?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-PY3%3A1500937901%2C1501065634 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[15] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1783 > image 48 of 177. 1780 Baptismal Record (bottom left, top right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-M6QF?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-YWT%3A1500937901%2C1500939202 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[16] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1783 > image 153 of 177. 1783 Baptismal Record (left, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-MD57?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-YWT%3A1500937901%2C1500939202 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[17] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1784-1788 > image 92 of 172. 1786 Baptismal Record, left page, last entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32400-11183-3?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[18] Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1789-1793 > image 13 of 132. 1789 Baptismal Record (left, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-MXSB?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-YW1%3A1500937901%2C1500983996 : accessed 12 October 2017).
[19] FB Ferschweiler, p. 294-295, Family #1376. Schramen-Leibig.
[20] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 463,565. Michel Schromen and Elisabetha Schmit, married 27 Nov 1811 in Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JH8N-PP5 : accessed 11 October 2017).
[21] FB Ferschweiler, p. 295, Family #1378. Schramen-Schmitt.
[22] Germany Marriages, FHL microfilm 463,565. Nicolaus Wildinger and Catharina Schromen, married 21 Jan 1834 in Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JH8N-53L : 26 December 2014).
[23] FB Ferschweiler, p. 184, Family #847. Marx-Schramen.
[24] Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), <i>FamilySearch</i>, FHL microfilm 463,565. Catharina Schromen, female, christened 24 Oct 1812 in Sankt Lucia Kathlisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia; father Michaelis Schromen; mother Elisabetha Schmit. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NDZ1-8MK : accessed 11 October 2017).
[25] Ibid., FHL microfilm 463,565. Catharina Schromen, female, christened 22 Feb 1820 in Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia; father Michaelis Schromen; mother Elisabetha Schmit. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NDZ1-8MG : accessed 11 October 2017),.
[26] FB Ferschweiler, p. 294, Family #1374. Schramen-Adam.
[27] Ibid., p. 349, Family #1625. Wildinger-Schramen.

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

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52 Ancestors: #32 DNA Discoveries in the WILDINGER Family

Last year my brother had his DNA tested and turned the results over to me. As I write these last articles on my maternal 4th great-grandparents, I will be checking his matches to see if any hold the key to open a door in a brick wall on this side of the family tree. These brick walls being mostly descendants of my maternal ancestors who have not been traced mainly due to emigration.

I have been waiting impatiently to write about this couple, Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER. This is what I know about their lives and where I found information which has not all been documented.

Where the Information Was Found

Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER of Ernzen, Germany, were my 4th great-grandparents. The bits and pieces I have for them come mostly from Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 – such a long title for the family book of the town of Ernzen and environs. I call it simply FB Ernzen.

Church records are available online at FamilySearch for Ernzen up to 1797 as it was then part of the parish of Echternach in Luxembourg. Civil records for births from about 1798 to 1907, marriages from 1798 to 1937, and deaths from 1798 to 1987 are not online. Although a short 20 minutes drive from where I live, the Kreisarchiv in Bitburg, Germany, houses these records. Tentative plans are being made to visit the archives with my genealogy society Luxracines next spring.

From WILTINGER to WILDINGER

Wilhelm WILTINGER was born about 1770 in Ettelbrück, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He was the son of Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG of Ettelbrück. These two “facts” were likely taken from his 1849 death record.[1] As he died in Ernzen, this record will have to be obtained from the archives in Bitburg. I am hoping the person who took the information off of the death record may have made an error in noting both parents were from Ettelbrück.

I have tried to shed more light on Wilhelm’s parents. I am inclined to think Margaretha DIESBURG was not originally from Ettelbrück. My guess is she is from the DIESBURG line which originated on Diesburgerhof near Ferschweiler, the next village over from Ernzen. I found a child with the same name born in 1744 who would be a perfect match. Her family group is recorded in the FB Ferschweiler[2] and I found her in the 1766 census living with one of her married sisters.[3] She was not yet married. This leaves me with a four year period from 1766-1770 when Michel and Margaretha could have met and married. But where? Marriages in Luxembourg have been indexed for the time period and I have tried all variations of the names without locating a marriage. It has crossed my mind that a different surname may have been used by the groom, i.e. a house name.

1766 Luxembourg Census.[3]
As for Wilhelm’s father I have searched all available GEDCOM files online to find persons with the WILDINGER name – the spelling which has been used in my family from 1798 to present. It is my mother’s maiden name. The only hits I get on the Luxracines website (members only access to GEDCOMs) are my own file. I am beginning to suspect that while my ancestor’s name may have been WILTINGER and changed to WILDINGER, the original surname may have evolved to the more common and widespread WILDANGER. Most were found in the Girst and Dickweiler area and spread out to Echternach. These are all in Luxembourg.

For now Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG, the parents of Wilhelm WILTINGER will remain a brick wall. A more time consuming one-name study of the WILDANGER individuals in Luxembourg and the nearby German area may the only way to solve this brick wall. Or could DNA also be part of the solution.

The WELTER line

Margaretha WELTER was the daughter of Michael WELTER and Katharina KLEIN. Michael and Katharina married in Ernzen on 22 November 1764.[4]

1764 Marriage Record for Michael Welter and Katharina Klein.[4]
They had not yet had any children when the 1766 census was taken. Their names were spelled Michel and Catherine and they were living in a KLEIN household.[5]

1766 Luxembourg Census[5]
Their first child was born the year the census was enumerated, followed by a set of twins in 1768, a son in 1770, another set of twins in 1773, and finally their youngest in 1777. Both sets of twins were a boy and a girl.[6]

1777 Baptismal Record[7]
Margaretha was their youngest, born and baptized on 18 April 1777 in Ernzen (present-day Germany). Her godparents were Margaretha KLEIN and Nicolaus HUSS, both of Ernzen.[7]

A Marriage Before 1798?

Margaretha married Wilhelm WILTINGER before 1798. The marriage is estimated from the time their first known child was born. No marriage record has been found. Church and civil records were checked in Ettelbrück and Echternach to no avail.

Wilhelm and Margaretha had the following children, all born in Ernzen:[8]

  1. Nicolas born on 29 September 1798.
  2. Elisabeth born on 21 August 1805.
  3. Franciscus “Franz” born on 6 Aug 1810. He died on 8 December 1812 in Ernzen.
  4. Bernardus born on 12 May 1813.

The only daughter Elisabeth married Dominik WEBER (1803-1840), son of Johann WEBER and Katharina PETRI of Hoesdorf, on 13 December 1831 in Ernzen.[9] Hoesdorf (Luxembourgish: Héischdref) is a village in the commune of Reisdorf, in eastern Luxembourg.

Margaretha WELTER, the mother of Nicolas, Elisabeth, and Bernard, died on 8 January 1833 in Ernzen.[9] Her oldest son Nicolas was 35 years old and still single. Her youngest son Bernard was going on 20. Her daughter Elizabeth had been married a little more than a year.

On 12 October 1833, nine months after the death of her mother, Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, a daughter Maria. She chose her brother Nicolas to be the godfather. Maria THEIS of Hoesdorf was the godmother.[9]

My third great-grandparents, Nicolas WILDINGER and Catherine SCHRAMEN married on 18 January 1834 in Ferschweiler.[10] Catherine was the daughter of Michael SCHRAMEN and Elizabeth SCHMITT. She was born on 23 October 1812 in Ferschweiler and was baptized the next day.[11] Their story can be found here: 52 Ancestors: #42 The WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN Family of Ferschweiler .

Elisabeth’s husband Dominik WEBER died on 9 May 1840 in Ernzen and was buried two days later.[9] He left Elisabeth with four children.

Wilhelm WILTINGER, likely now using the WILDINGER spelling, died on 28 September 1849 in Ernzen and was buried two days later.[1]

Where Are the Children?

Wilhelm’s death came at a time when many were thinking about moving across the newly established border to Luxembourg or even further abroad, to America. Elisabeth’s brother-in-law Theodor JARDIN went to America with all of his living children after the death of his wife Katharina WELTER, sister of Dominik, in 1855.[12] Elisabeth and her brother Bernard had been close to the JARDIN family, both being godparents to JARDIN children.

Elisabeth WILDINGER was 53 years old and had been widowed seventeen years when she obtained an Auswanderungsgenehmigung (emigration approval) on 9 October 1857 for herself and her two children, Mathias, born on 10 November 1840, and Maria, born on 12 October 1833. The petition was admitted to the hearing without a stamp due to poverty. Elisabeth made her mark on the petition.[13]

There is no mention of where the family immigrated to or of the other two children, Anna Katharina born 1835 or Theodor born in 1838. However….

Richard Schaffner was not the first to compile a family book for the parish of Ernzen. A copy of Familienbuch Ernzen 1 (1823-1900) is in the parish of Ernzen according to Schaffner. He does not mention the compiler’s name. In the entry for Elisabeth WILDINGER in Schaffner’s version, he notes on page 45 of the first book the following information was found: “Die Witwe Elis. Weber zog im Jahr 1857 mit ihren 4 Kindern und ihrem Bruder Bernard Wildinger nach Nordamerika.” The widow Elisabeth WEBER moved in the year 1857 with her four children and her brother Bernard Wildinger to North America.

Early on I searched for Elisabeth and her brother Bernard WILDINGER in the USA but never found either of them or her WEBER children. Perhaps they went to Canada or Mexico. Not having experience with these countries I left this research problem for another day.

My third great-grandparents Catherine SCHRAMEN and Nicolas WILDINGER had five children born between 1835 and 1852. Catherine died on 2 November 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried on 4 November 1869.[10] Four and a half years later Nicolas, the only child of Wilhem WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER to remain in Germany, died on 3 June 1874 in Ferschweiler.[10] They left three living children, two of whom have been traced. All that was known of their youngest son Peter is that he fled from military service – “militärflüchtig laut Anzeiger z. Amtsbl. Trier 1873, Seite 243.”[10]

Let’s Talk About DNA

As mentioned earlier I now manage my brother’s DNA. As our mother is from Luxembourg (and all of her ancestry is centered in this tiny area) the DNA we share with her is either not getting many matches or is difficult to find within the thousands of matches showing on AncestryDNA.

There are several ways to sort matches on AncestryDNA. The most obvious (easiest) are those who have matching ancestors in their trees followed by matching surnames. Many users have private trees. When you search for a surname, matches with private trees will turn up in the list but you cannot access to the information and therefore do not know who their ancestor is with the surname.

Even today searching for the WILDINGER surname on AncestryDNA turns up zero hits. Checking the box to Include similar surnames is not helpful as it turns up too many matches. I tried the known spellings and still had no results.

Then in April 2017, a match was found which looked promising.

DNA match’s profile on Ancestry

This predicted 4th cousin match showed PETERS as a shared surname. My Peters line is not a German line. There were no Shared matches with this person. Shared matches are only listed up to 4th cousins.

Clicking on Location I found he had a WEBER ancestor from Ernzen. This is not one of my ancestral surnames and at the time I was not expecting a match to a family on our maternal side. Taking a closer look at the attached tree I realized the connection could be WELDINGER on his tree. A spelling I had not tried.

Pedigree chart of the match on Ancestry.

Predicted 4th cousin is a 4C1R

The year of birth for the daughter of the WEBER-WELDINGER couple in the pedigree chart above is 1818. My 3rd great-grand aunt Elisabeth WILDINGER was born in 1805 and would have been only 13 when this child was born. Even with this error, it looked promising as the husband’s name matched that of Elisabeth’s husband and the location fit.

I got to do US research – checking census, BMD, etc. – and found Elisabeth WILDINGER had emigrated to America before 1860. She was living in Berwick in Seneca County, Ohio, with her married daughter Catherine in 1860. She was listed with the surname WEAVER. Her daughter was only 24, born abt. 1835, and a good match for the child seen in the pedigree chart above with year of birth being 1818. Although she was still living, I have not found Elisabeth in the 1870 or 1880 census. She died on 10 March 1891 in Big Spring, Seneca County, Ohio, at the age of 86 years.[14]

1891 Death Entry for Elisabeth WEAVER.[14]
Two of her children were also found. Catherine, who was the ancestor of the match with my brother, and her younger brother Mathias. I have not found the older daughter Maria or the son Theodor nor have I found the immigration records. I entered this match’s line back to my WILDINGER ancestor into the tree I have attached to my brother’s DNA.

This was done only after confirming this match’s line back to my WILDINGER ancestor. The tree has only the direct ancestors – no siblings, children, etc. I am considering the pros and cons of adding each confirmed match’s line back to the MRCA (most recent common ancestor). This tree includes sources but I have not attached records from Ancestry. I don’t usually work with it and have not considered the hints (shaky leaves) that are showing up.

2nd Great-Grand Uncle Discovered

However while entering this match’s line, I took the time to check the hints for Ancestry Member Trees. I was surprised to find Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER’s grandson Peter WILDINGER through their son Nicolas (my third great-grandfather) in four trees. All four had my Nicolas as the earliest known ancestor. No mention of Wilhelm and Margaretha. One member tree has for Peter: “Killed in WWI Action on the German Lines” in 1873. That is not what I would call a reliable statement.

The other three member trees are for a Peter WELDINGER who married in Illinois, had children there, and later moved to Iowa. The 1900, 1910, and 1920 census show he came to America in 1870 and was naturalized in 1880 (U.S. Naturalization Record confirms 30 October 1880). If this Peter WELDINGER is my second great-granduncle (there is presently no match or the owner/descendant has not done a test) then he must have fled from military service by emigrating to America.

Another DNA discovery was made as several new matches showed up when I did a new search for the locations Ernzen and Ferschweiler while writing this. I will have to work through these first but it looks promising as one of them may be the key to unlock the door in the DIESBURG brick wall.

Sources:
[1] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 246, Family #869. Wiltinger-Welter.
[2] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) 1680-1899, PDF (Kordel, 1999), p. 43-44, Family #193. Diesburg-Schmitt.
[3] Luxembourg, Dénombrement, 1766 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles), Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Feischveiler (paroisse d’Echternach) > Image 250 of 753. Household Nr. 13, Mathias Petri. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DK-Y?i=249&cat=1184675 : accessed 6 October 2017).
[4] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 145 of 293. 1764 Marriage Record, right page, 1st entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32399-12418-50?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[5] Luxembourg 1766 Census, Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Erntzen (paroisse d’Echternach) > Image 245 of 753. Household Nr. 7, Jean Klein (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DL-W?cat=1184675 : accessed 6 October 2017).
[6] FB Ernzen, p. 240, Family #846. Welter-Klein.
[7] Luxembourg Church Records, Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 83 of 131. 1777 Baptismal Record, left page, 7th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-12819-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 9 November 2016).
[8] FB Ernzen, p. 246, Family #869. Wiltinger-Welter.
[9] Ibid., p. 225, Family #800. Weber-Wildinger.
[10] FB Ferschweiler, p. 349, Family #1625. Wildinger-Schramen.
[11] Ibid., p. 295, Family #1378. Schramen-Schmitt.
[12] FB Ernzen, p. 117-118, Family #380. Jardin-Welter.
[13] Josef Mergen, Die Amerika-Auswanderung aus dem Kreis Bitburg im 19.-Jahrhundert 
[14] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6CM-WJX : accessed 5 October 2017), Elizabeth Weaver, 10 Mar 1891; citing Death, Big Spring, Seneca, Ohio, United States, source ID v 4 p 216, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 388,771.

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

Update on the Still Not Quite Done Schmit-Weicker Family of Bertrange

The rewards of blogging are awesome, astounding, astonishing, amazing… those are only the A’s and I could go on and on.

The Missing Marriage Record of the
SCHMIT-WEICKER Couple

Yesterday, less than an hour after I posted the link to 52 Ancestors: #31 The Still Not Quite Done Schmit-Weicker Family of Bertrange on Facebook, my friend Linda* wrote this comment:

I found a marriage that could match in Clemency, 28/08/1810, but I can’t access Family Search, it’s probably too busy. You could check yourself later.

I didn’t wait until later and was able to pull up the record she believed was the marriage of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER.

1810 Marriage Record No. 2 (left page, bottom entry)[1]
In 1810 on the 28th of August at 8 in the morning Pierre SCHMITT age 31 born in Bertrange the 3 April 1779, a domestic living in the commune of Fingig, the of age son of Pierre SCHMITT and Rose CLEMMENT, a married couple living in the commune of Bertrange…. and a young woman Anne Margaretha WEICKER age 25 born in Hagen the 7 September 1785, a servant living in the same commune of Fingig, the of age daughter of Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margaretha HARTMANN, a married couple living in the commune of Hagen… all were present and consenting to the marriage for which banns had been read before the entrance of the Clemency civil office.

1810 Marriage Record No. 2 (right page, top entry)[1]
The paperwork of the bride and groom was presented according to the legal requirements of the time. The bride and groom were declared husband and wife after affirming this was their choice. Four witnesses were present and signed along with the civil officer, the mayor of Clemency. The bride and groom declared not being able to write. The fathers of the bride and groom signed first as seen above.

Five and a half months later, Peter and Margaretha became the parents of their first child Magdalena, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

One Record Leads to the Next

The marriage record led to the 1785 baptismal record of Anna WEICKERS [sic, Margaretha was not included on this record], daughter of Nicolai WEICKERS and Anna Margaretha HARTMAN.[2] Why didn’t I notice abt. 1795 could not have been her year of birth? She would have been only 16 when her first child was born.

With the names of the parents, I was able to add three generations to the WEICKER line. I had suspected Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margarethe HARTMANN were the bride’s parents because….

The godmother of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s first child Magdalena was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Anna Margaretha HARTMANN was the widow of Peter KÜNSCH when she married Nicolas WEICKER. Was Magdalena KÜNSCH an older half-sister of Margaretha WEICKER? Further research may tell.

With the names of three new couples in the family tree, I will be busy finding the records to document them and may even be able to add more ancestral names.

Special thanks to my friend Linda for taking the time to read my posts, give me advice, and for telling me where to find the marriage record of Peter SCHMIT and Anne Margaretha WEICKER. *Linda has helped me out several times already. A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known was the result of one of her tips.

Happy Family History Month to all. Wishing you lots of keys to open the doors in your brick walls.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Clemency > Naissances, mariages, décès 1804-1805 Naissances 1805-1890 Mariages 1796-1885 > image 1034 of 1491. 1810 Marriage Record (bottom left, top right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XHPS-511?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-SP8%3A129628001%2C129815201 : accessed 30 September 2017).
[2] Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse de Sterpenich (Luxembourg) now part of Autelbas, Luxembourg, Belgium > Baptêmes, mariages, sepultures 1779-1793 > Film/DGS 1658890 > Film # 008126375 > Item 8 > image 1106 of 1430. 1785 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry > right page, first entry). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVK-Y8VF-9?i=1105&cat=203740 : accessed 1 October 2017).

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

52 Ancestors: #31 The Still Not Quite Done Schmit-Weicker Family of Bertrange

Peter SCHMITT’s Parents

In 1756 two children were born in Bertrange, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one on September 20th[1] and the other on October 2nd.[2] Their baptismal records are on the same page in the parish register, the second right below the first. The twelve days between no children were born in Bertrange.

1756 Baptismal Record No. 242 for Petrus Schmid[1] and No. 243 for Rosa Clemens[2]
A little over twenty years later, on 10 February 1777, the two children were once again seen in the parish register, this time getting married – to each other.[3]

1777 Marriage Record No. 318 for Petrus Schmid and Rosa Clemens.[3]
Peter SCHMIT (1756-1816) and Rosa CLEMENS (1756-1815), the children who were baptized in 1756 and the couple who married in 1777, had ten children born between 1778 and 1799. Their second son Peter SCHMIT, my children’s 5th great-grandfather, was born and baptized on 3 April 1779 in Bertrange.[4] His godparents were Petrus KREMER and Catharina SCHMIT. His father was present and signed the record in longhand.

1779 Baptismal Record of Petrus Schmit with father’s signature [pater].[4]
Peter SCHMIT married Margaretha WEICKER before 1811. Their marriage took place before their first child was born however a marriage record has not been found. The couple was always referred to as legally married when their children were born. The marriage record was not found in Bertrange parish records from 1802-1811 or in the tables décennales (10-year lists) for the years 1802-1812 for Bertrange and Steinfort. Records were usually very well kept and I believe one day Peter and Margaretha’s marriage will turn up. Perhaps sooner than later as my genealogy society Luxracines has dedicated members working on a marriage project –  indexing all marriages in Luxembourg from 1802 to 1923.

Why is Margaretha WEICKER’s Parentage Unknown?

Margaretha, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, was born about 1795 in Hoën (Hagen), Sterpenich, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The year of birth was estimated from her age at the time of death.[5] Records for Hagen, a village in the Steinfort area, are not in the FamilySearch collection for Luxembourg for this period.

The Grand Duchy was under a double administration for about eight years before the Treaty of London was passed in 1839 when the present borders of Luxembourg were defined. Repatriation of the records (return to the country of origin) was not simple. Records for Steinfort for the period before the borders were changed can be found in Autelbas in the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium. Civil records beginning in 1796 for Autelbas are online at FamilySearch.

As Margaretha’s birth may have been earlier I checked the parish records for Sterpenich in the FamilySearch catalog. The parish records of Sterpenich for the years 1779-1793 are conformed copies made from the originals by the Luxembourg authorities and given to the Belgium government in December 1844 per the convention of Utrecht signed in 1843, i.e. repatriation. I have no idea where the records for the years 1794-1795 may be found and am at a standstill on my research for Margaretha, her birth, and parentage.

Not only are the records missing, Margaretha’s name has been found with several variations. Her family name was spelled WEIKER or WEICKER and also seen as WIKERT. Her first name was Margaretha in early documents and Anne Marguerite in later years. These are all things which need to be considered when future research is done on her parentage.

Peter and Margaretha’s Children

Peter and Margaretha were the parents of seven children. Two died before their 2nd birthdays while the five others grew to adulthood, married, and had their own children. These are the SCHMIT children:

Magdalena SCHMIT was born on 10 February 1811 in domo Donnen in Bertrange.[6] She was baptized the same day.[7] Her godfather was Joannes SCHMIDT from Bertrange and her godmother was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Was her godmother her grandmother, an aunt, or cousin? This may be a clue to solving the question of her mother’s parentage.

1811 Baptismal Record for Magdalena Schmit[7]
Rosa SCHMIT was born on 7 Feb 1815 in domo Bour in Bertrange[8] and baptized the same day.[9] Her godmother was her paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS. Her godfather was Nicolaus WEICKER of Hohen. Could he have been her maternal grandfather or an uncle?

Rosa’s godmother and paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS died only a few months later on 22 May 1815. Her paternal grandfather Peter SCHMIT died on 11 February 1816.

1815 Baptismal Record of Rosa Schmit[9]
Rosa died two weeks later on 26 February 1816 in domo Donnen in Bertrange shortly after her first birthday.[10] She was buried the following day. Her religious death and burial record has her mother’s name as Anna Margaretha Hinnicker instead of Weicker.[11]

1816 Death and Burial Record of Rosa Schmit[11]
Nicolas SCHMIT was born at seven in the morning on 8 April 1817 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth two hours later.[12] As baptismal records for Bertrange are only available online up to 1816 the godparents of Nicolas and his younger siblings were not found as they were for Magdalena and Rosa.

Michel SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 10 February 1819 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth eight hours later.[13]

Following their youngest child Michel’s first birthday, Peter and Margaretha lost their second child, son Nicolas. He died on 21 February 1820 in Bertrange at the age of nearly three years.[14]

Jean SCHMIT* was born at three in the afternoon on 12 July 1820. His father reported the birth two days later at eight in the morning on the 14th.[40] This child’s birth record was only found after this post was ready to be published. While reading through the final draft I realized something was wrong and checked again on SCHMIT children born in Bertrange.

Maria Catharina SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 25 February 1822 in Bertrange. Her father reported the birth the same day at nine in the morning.[15]

Jean SCHMIT was born at 9:30 in the morning on 3 September 1825 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth the same day at eleven in the morning.[16] As was the case with all of his children’s births, Peter declared not being able to write. I found this strange, his being the second born of a father who was able to write as seen above at the time of his own baptism in 1779.[4]

Margaretha WEICKER’s Death in 1826

The mother of the five living children, Margaretha WEICKER, died on 17 January 1826 in Bartringen. She was 31 years old at the time of her death.[5] Her youngest child was only four months old and her oldest would shortly be turning fifteen. Her name on the record was Anne Marguerithe WEICKER. The addition of Anne to her name was also seen on the birth records of her two youngest children.

Widowed Peter Remarries

Following the death of his wife, Peter waited two years before taking a second wife. This seems unusual as he had been left with five children, one still a baby. Magdalena, his oldest child, likely took on the responsibilities of a little mother, helping care for her younger siblings.

Peter married Anne Marie SCHOLER, daughter of Jean SCHOLER and Susanne BOURENS, on 22 March 1828 in Bertrange.[17] Anne Marie was born on 4 June 1792 in Obersyren (Schuttrange).

Peter and his second wife Anne Marie had only one child, a daughter, Madelaine born four years into the marriage on 16 July 1832 in Bertrange.[18] Her half-siblings were by this time 7, 10, 12, 13, and 21 years old. She did not, however, grow up without a playmate.

Peter’s oldest daughter Magdalena gave birth to a natural daughter on 7 November 1835.[19] Anne’s father’s name was not on the birth record. Natural was the term used for children born out of wedlock. Anne appears to have been raised in her maternal grandfather’s household as she was listed with Peter and Anne Marie on the 1843[20] and 1846 census.[21]

Changing Relationships

Peter’s second wife Anne Marie had a sister Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) who was married to Jacob RUCKERT (1787-1856). Margaretha gave Jacob eight children, six of whom were living when she died after giving birth to the last on 20 March 1842.[22]. Peter’s brother-in-law Jacob became his son-in-law eight months later.

Peter and Margaretha’s oldest daughter Magdalena married Jacob RUCKERT, son of Johann RUCKERT and Angelique MICHELS, on 26 November 1842 in Bartringen.[23] Jacob was born on 23 July 1787 in domo Michels in Bertrange and baptized the same day.[24] The marriage would last fourteen years ending with Jacob’s death on 24 June 1856 in Bertrange.[25] Magdalena and Jacob were my children’s 4th great-grandparents. This is their story: 52 Ancestors: #41 How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law.

Peter SCHMIT’s Death in 1847

At eleven in the morning of 27 March 1847 Peter SCHMIT age 22 reported the death of his father Peter SCHMIT who had died only two hours earlier at his home in the neighborhood called Eichels in Bertrange.[26]

1847 Death Record No. 15 for Peter Schmit[26]
I have a small problem with this death record as Peter did not have a son named Peter. Both of Peter’s wives are correctly named on the death record. Is the signature of the informant that of Jean SCHMIT the youngest son who was 22 years old at the time? The younger Jean was the only child to remain in his father’s household in 1843 and 1846 and was seen with his step-mother in 1847. Due to the fact that I found another son named Jean born in 1820, I believe the younger son may have been known as Johann Peter (Jean Pierre) to distinguish him from his older brother Jean.

Widow Anne SCHOLER last seen in 1847 census

1847 Luxembourg Census. Household of Anne Scholer, widow of Peter Schmit, with her step-children and daughter.[27]
In the 1847 census, Peter’s widow Anne SCHOLER was the head of household with her stepsons Michel, Jean (26), Jean (22) and stepdaughter Maria Catharina (children from Peter’s first marriage) and her only child, daughter Madelaine from her marriage to Peter.[27] This entry in the census led me to search once again for children of Peter and Margaretha but only after I had finished the research and written this post.

Michel, the elder Jean, and Maria Catharina were not in their father’s household in 1843 or 1846. This was not unusual as they were of an age to be working outside of the home. I had wrongly assumed the elder Jean found in the 1847 census was an error or relative other than child.

Peter’s widow Anne Marie SCHOLER and their daughter Madelaine have not found after the 1847 census.

The SCHMIT children lived in the three districts of Luxembourg

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is divided into three districts: Luxembourg, Diekirch, and Grevenmacher (dark gray areas in the maps below). Each district is divided into cantons (red areas in the maps below) and each canton is divided into communes. Several towns and villages may be part of a commune.

The District of Luxembourg
The darker gray area is the District of Luxembourg

Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s children grew up in the town of Bertrange. Peter had deep roots in the town as his parents and grandparents all came from the town.

Their oldest daughter Magdalena SCHMIT raised her family in Bertrange. She was likely the first of the siblings to pass away.* She died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange.[28] Other than her natural daughter Anne, she had a son and three daughters with Jacob RUCKERT. The son has not been found after he turned 21 in 1864. One daughter died as an infant. The youngest daughter had a natural son (1867-1868) and it is not known if she ever married or where she lived after her mother’s death. The older daughter Margaretha, my children’s 3rd great-grandmother, married but there is still the mystery of what happened to her and of her family after 1895. It is only through the marriage of her daughter Maria MERTES in 1894 and the census of 1895 that I know that Margaretha and her husband Michel MERTES were still living in 1895.

Peter and Margaretha’s youngest son Jean SCHMIT (b. 1825) also spent his married life in Bertrange. But before this, he was living and working in other places. One residence was Mondercange where he was in May 1852 when his brother Michel married. He was one of the four witnesses and signed “Jang Schmit.” Six years later he was living and working in Noertzange (Bettembourg) when he made plans to marry. Jean married Maria RISCHARD on 20 January 1858 in Schuttrange.[29] Maria was born on 16 March 1827 in Uebersyren (Schuttrange), the same place Jean’s step-mother was born.[30] They lived in Bertrange their entire married life. They were the parents of 6 children, three of whom died at a young age. Of the three living children, a daughter married and had children. The two sons were working in Lothringen (France) in the late 1890s – they have not been traced.

Jean SCHMIT died on 28 November 1892 in Bertrange.[31] His death record has the right wife but the wrong parents. The information was given by his son-in-law Mathias HANSEN. Jean’s wife died six years later on 30 April 1898 in Bertrange.[32]

The District of Diekirch

The second daughter of Peter and Margaretha, Maria Catharina married Joseph POECKER on 20 February 1852 in Bettendorf.[33] Joseph was born on 25 February 1819 in Bettendorf.[34]

The darker gray area is the District of Diekirch

How Maria Catharina came to marry in Bettendorf is unknown at this time. She and her husband raised their family on Fooshof. They had seven children, four of whom died in infancy. A daughter who never married died at the age of 38 years. The youngest living son born in 1864 was unmarried at the time of the 1900 census. He was living with his brother Nicolas who had married in 1893 and continued the line.

Maria Catharina died on 1 September 1879 on the family farm, Fooshof in Bettendorf.[35] Her husband Joseph died on 19 January 1895 on Fooshof.[36]

The District of Grevenmacher
The darker gray area is the District of Grevenmacher

Peter and Margaretha’s oldest son Michel married Anna Margretha BRAUN on 5 May 1852 in Waldbillig.[37] Anna was born on 12 May 1826 in Bettange-sur-Mess (Dippach). Michel and Anna Margretha started their family when they were working on the Wolperhof in the commune of Consdorf. Three of their children were born here.

The District of Diekirch
The darker grey area is the District of Diekirch

 

The third child’s birth at Wolper was followed by a move to the western part of Luxembourg in the commune of Bettborn. Three more children were born in Pratz, part of the commune of Bettborn.

Michel and Anna Margretha lived in Horaz from 1885. Not far from Pratz, Horaz, which is also spelled Horass, only had two households.

Michel SCHMIT was the oldest son and last living child of Peter and Margaretha. He died on 26 December 1898 in Horaz.[38] His wife Anna Margretha predeceased him on 12 November 1890 in Horaz.[39]

Still Not Quite Done

* Due to my only learning of the existence of the elder son Jean born in 1820 after writing this post, I have not had the time to research where he may have lived and worked, if he ever married and had children, and when and where he died. Considering his name Jean SCHMIT – just another John Smith – the search may take a while.

There is an update to this post!

Coming Next…

This is the last post on my children’s paternal 5th great-grandparents. I already wrote about half of their maternal 5th great-grandparents (my paternal 4th great-grandparents) in 2014 when I did the first round of Amy Johnson Crow‘s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

Next up will be 16 sets of my maternal 4th great-grandparents. The first eight being from small towns and villages which are now part of Germany near the Luxembourg border. The last eight will be from Luxembourg. I hope to finish up this series by the end of the year even though there are only 13 weeks left. Wish me luck and lots of free time.

bestwishescathy1

Maps used are in the Public domain (Wikimedia Commons) and were annotated using Evernote.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 59 of 200. 1756 Baptismal Record No. 242. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CGD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 59 of 200. 1756 Baptismal Record No. 243. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CGD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 150 of 200. 1777 Marriage Record No. 318 (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C6Q?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[4] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 106 of 200. 1779 Baptismal Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1CTL?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 13 September 2017).
[5] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 684 of 1416. 1826 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52047-76?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[6] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 125 of 1480. 1811 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-TRT?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[7] Luxembourg Church Records, Bertrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1808-1816 > image 32 of 86. 1811 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZWW?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3YW%3A1500936901%2C1500942502 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[8] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 168 of 1480. 1815 Birth Record (right, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-RLJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[9] Luxembourg Church Records, Bertrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1808-1816 > image 69 of 86. 1815 Baptismal Record (left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SCF7?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3YW%3A1500936901%2C1500942502 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 595 of 1416. 1816 Death Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-1WQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[11] Luxembourg Church Records, Bertrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1808-1816 > image 84 of 86. 1816 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SCHD?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3YW%3A1500936901%2C1500942502 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[12] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 191 of 1480. 1817 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-SWY?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 210 of 1480. 1819 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-RCS?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : acccessed 14 September 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 637 of 1416. 1820 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-39Q?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 242 of 1480. 1822 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-SHK?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[16] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 288 of 1480. 1825 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-TST?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 11 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54927-45?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 411 of 1480. 1832 Birth Record No. 28. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-RKD?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : acccessed 14 September 2017).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 479 of 1480. 1835 Birth Record No. 69. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-987?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[20] Luxembourg Census Records, Bertrange > 1843 > image 144 of 407. Schmit-Scholer household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897B-FJ1T?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-NQ9%3A346116301%2C345863501 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > 1846 > image 206 of 431. Schmit-Scholer household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-VDT6?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-ZJF%3A346116301%2C345858602 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[22] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 907 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51891-68?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 156 of 1416. 1842 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57204-95?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[24] Luxembourg Church Record, Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 64 of 254. 1787 Baptismal Record No. 215. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-8679-85?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[25] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1084 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55634-51?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 988 of 1416. 1847 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51852-95?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[27] Luxembourg Census Records, Bertrange > 1847 > image 386 of 448. Schmit-Scholer household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-CYTF?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-MJG%3A346116301%2C345864101 : accessed 16 September 2017).
[28] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1215 of 1416. 1870 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-58375-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 11 Apr 2013).
[29] Ibid., Schuttrange > Naissances 1826-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1843 > image 996 of 1488. 1858 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6F8K-J9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-T38%3A130363201%2C130466501 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[30] Ibid., Schuttrange > Naissances 1826-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1843 > image 22 of 1488. 1827 Birth Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6F8K-RN?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-T38%3A130363201%2C130466501 : accessed 29 September 2017).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 82 of 99. 1892 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRHS-CY5?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-L2V%3A129622901%2C129717601 : accessed 19 September 2017).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 252 of 370. 1898 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97J-JZWQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4C%3A129622901%2C129807601 : accessed 15 September 2017).
[33] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 444 of 1494. 1852 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-8PB?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[34] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 177 of 306. 1819 Birth Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLL-2Y?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DPD%3A129626601%2C129760501 : accessed 19 September 2019).
[35] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 305 of 465. 1879 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6M8S-HJV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S%3A129626601%2C129626602 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[36] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 2 of 389. 1895 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97V-HR8J?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926%3A129626601%2C129623802 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[37] Ibid., Waldbillig > Naissances 1871-1890 Mariages 1796-1798, 1800-1803, 1805-1890 Décès 1796-1803, 1805-1838 > image 863 of 1486. 1852 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DR53-L8K?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-N38%3A130535001%2C130636701 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[38] Ibid., Bettborn > Décès 1895-1923 > image 34 of 217. 1898 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-9X2K?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-C6L%3A129627501%2C129623802 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[39] Ibid., Bettborn > Décès 1813-1891 > image 691 of 695. 1890 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRL2-1J?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP6%3A129627501%2C129627502 : accessed 14 September 2017).
[40] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 224 of 1480. 1820 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-948?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 29 September 2017).

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

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Tom or McKinney, Larry, Ame, Silvia, Nan, York, Tom, Jack, and Jenny

Today, I’m especially pleased to bring to you a guest article written by Susan Speers. She reached out to me by sending a message to my Facebook page Opening Doors in Brick Walls. She’d found the image of the last will and testament of an ancestor in Georgia which included names of slaves and thought I would be interested in using it. I doubt I could bring across the connectivity I feel when writing about the names I find in West Virginia and Virginia as I have no experience researching families in Georgia. I believe the post will be much more powerful coming from a descendant of the slaveholder. Susan was a bit “blown away” when I asked her to be my first guest writer. After taking a day to consider, she came back thanking me “for offering the space and platform.”

Take it away, Susan…..

The Slaves of John Nicholson, Scriven County, Georgia, 1817

In searching for my maternal ancestors on Ancestry.com, I came across the last will and testament of John Nicholson, Jr.[1] (born about 1768, South Carolina – died after 12 March 1817) of Screven County, Georgia. Nicholson’s will lists the names of nine enslaved people which may be of interest to anyone looking for enslaved ancestors in this part of Georgia.

Screven County (formerly called “Scriven” County) is on the Savannah River; the first county seat was Jacksonboro but it was moved to Sylvania in about 1847. German immigrants who arrived on the coast in the 1740s pushed inland to establish farms along the Savannah River in the second half of the 18th Century. Nicholson’s family was originally from Scotland.

From his will and a later deed, it appears that John Nicholson and his heirs were working several hundred acres in Scriven County, but I am not yet sure where his home farm was located. According to Wikipedia and local sources, cotton was the main crop by the turn of the century. For those searching for their ancestors in this part of Georgia, there are apparently additional wills on record in the Screven County Courthouse which may be helpful to search.

Georgia, Wills and Probate Records 1742-1992, Ancestry.com (original records at District and Probate Courts at the county level in Georgia), Court of Ordinary, Screven County, Wills, Volume 2b, 1810-1902, image 34 of 475 (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=8635 : accessed 25 September 2017).

I have attempted to transcribe the will to make reading easier.

Will of John Nicholson

In the name of God, Amen. I, John Nicholson, of the state of Georgia & County of Scriven, Planter, being very sick & weak in body but of perfect mind & memory thanks be given unto God, calling into mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make & ordain this my last will & Testament; That is to say principally & first of all, I Give & recommend my soul into the hand of Almighty God that gave it & my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian Burial at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Almighty power of God; and as touching such worldly state wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life. I give demise & dispose of the same in the following manner & form. First I give & bequeath to Elizabeth my dearly beloved wife during her natural life_ the following property namely one hundred acres more or less lying & being in the state & County aforesaid, bounded by Sarah Nicholson’s land on the south & Thomas Nicholson’s land on the north_ Also five negroes namely Tom or McKinney, Larry, Ame, Silvia & Nan, to have & to hold the said property during her natural life, at the expiration of which the aforesaid property shall be equally divided betwixt my three beloved children, Sarah, Thomas & Mary for their individual & particular use severally forever__ I also order & ordain that the present negroes which are deeded off say York, Tom, Jack & Jenny do remain in the present situation they are now in until the Debts are paid off__

I also demise & bequeath unto my daughter in law Margaret Streigle one hundred Dollars__ Also to her daughter Mary Streigle fifty_Dollars_ I also bequeath unto Sarah Streigle daughter to Martha Herrington fifty dollars _ Also to my Grandson John Sewall [Sowell] fifty dollars___ I Do hereby utterly disallow revoke & disannul all & every other former Testaments, Wills, Legacies, bequests & so forth, by me in any wise before named willed & bequeathed, ratifying & confirming this & no other to be my last will & testament, In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this twelfth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & Seventeen__ Signed, Sealed published pronounced & declared by the said John Nicholson as his last will & testament in the presence of us – who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereto subscribed our names. __

Nicholas Streigle
Joby Herrington                                John his mark Nicholson
Georgia
Scriven County
Personally appeared in open Court Nicholas Streigle, who being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelist of Almighty God, deposeth & saith that he was present & saw John Nicholson Dec.d acknowledge & make his mark to the within written will & T. [the] deponent further saith that he saw Job Herrington together with himself subscribe the same as witness thereto Sworn to in open Court of 7th July 1817. Nicholas Streigle.

Seaborn Goodall Cl’k, Recorded this 8th day of July 1817 by me S. Goodall, CCOSC

[Transcribed by Susan Speers]

Nicholson named five men and women who would remain with his widow Elizabeth Streigle (originally Streagle) Nicholson after his death and four others who were working out in 1817 but may have been sold as soon as his debts were paid.

The people listed to remain with Elizabeth Nicholson were: “Tom or McKinney, Larry, Ame, Silvia and Nan.” Nicholson stated that after his widow passed, these people were to be included in the division of the rest of his estate and divided among his three children: Thomas Nicholson, Sarah Nicholson, and Mary Nicholson, who later married James Gamble.

The people who were deeded out at the time Nicholson wrote his will in March of 1817 were: “York, Tom, Jack & Jenny.” It is not clear where they were working out or what would have happened to these people when Nicholson’s debts were paid.

In the 1830 U.S. Federal Census, Thomas Nicholson appears in “District 37” Scriven County with a total of 7 enslaved people and 11 free colored people. The ages range from children under 10 to adults. Other property owners on the same page include John Meades, who did not own slaves; James Gamble (2 female slaves and 9 free colored); and Robert M. Williamson (21 enslaved boys and men; 11 enslaved girls and women.)

In 1836, John Nicholson’s heirs Sarah Nicholson and James Gamble, who had married Mary Nicholson about 1816 and thus owns the land she inherited[2], sold three parcels of land totaling 375 acres to Thomas Nicholson. The deed description includes the names of adjacent owners which may be helpful to note: Thomas Green, James Meades, Alexander Herrington and Richard Herrington, Sr. The Herringtons were related by marriage to the Nicholsons; public trees on Ancestry indicate that Martha Striggles/Streagle Nicholson, born in 1787, had married Richard Herrington, Sr. in 1807. I have found no record that Sarah Nicholson ever married and no record for her past 1840.

In 1840, the U.S. Federal Census identifies the households of Richard Herrington, Martha Herrington, Sara Nicholson and Thomas Nicholson all on the same page.

  • Sarah Nicholson had a total household of 25 people, including of whom 21 were slaves. At this time, Sarah’s age is reported to be between 20 and 30 years old.
  • Thomas Nicholson had a larger immediate family of 10 with 6 slaves.
  • Richard M. Herrington reported a family of 4 with one slave. Richard M. would die before the end of the year.
  • Martha Herrington, between 30 and 40 years old, had a household of 23 people, including 15 slaves. This Martha could be the daughter of Richard M. and Martha, born about 1806.

This one page of Scriven County lists 31 households with a total of 503 people on these 31 farms, of whom 310 were slaves[3]. 61% of the area residents were enslaved, and 108 of those people were children under age 10, fully 21% of the overall population and 34% of the enslaved population.[4]

For more information on published slave names from Screven County, see the USGenweb page on the county.

I come into this tree because my mother was a descendant of Martha Gamble Carter, who I believe was a daughter of James Gamble and Mary Nicholson, although the records are not clear. I continue to research this line and would be interested in hearing from anyone in the Gamble, Carter, Streagle/Strigle or Nicholson families.

[1] Nicholson was a Revolutionary War soldier and his service is the basis for several membership applications to The Sons of the Revolution society.

[2] According to the property laws of the time…

[3] In 1840, in contrast to the 1830 census for members of the Nicholson family, there were no free blacks listed.

[4] The 1840 census form had different age brackets for white and slaves: white children were counted in columns for under 5, 5-10, 10-15, and 15-20 while enslaved children were counted as under 10, 10-24, on up. The census taker was asked to report how many individuals were actively working in agriculture or a trade. In Scriven County, anyone who worked worked in agriculture. These property owners did not report (or the taker did not enumerate) that the enslaved children were working in the fields.

© 2017, copyright Susan Speers.

Thank you, Susan, for releasing the names of Tom or McKinney, Larry, Ame, Silvia, Nan, York, Tom, Jack, and Jenny. If you are interested in getting in touch with Susan, please leave a comment for her below.

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

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

52 Ancestors: #30 Three Times a Wife – Angelique MICHELS of Bertrange

I have days when I’m ready to finish up researching a family and begin to write their story then something distracts me enough to set them aside for a day or two. When I come back to the research and begin or continue writing about them, I usually find something I’ve missed or was unable to find. Are there angels watching over our genealogy work?

The genealogies of the families of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have been well researched by René KIRSCH who shares his work La Généalogie de BERTRANGE on his website. Using it as a guide, I was able to quickly find the records for Angelique’s family. However using other people’s work as a guide, even if you are able to confirm the research, may result in your not finding all records. I usually do the research first and then compare with research done by others. This works well for me. I should stick with this modus operandi as I ended up going through the parish records a second time to search for records I needed to prove relationships which were missed in La Généalogie de BERTRANGE.

Angelique MICHELS (1750-1825)  

On 15 April 1825 at eight o’clock in the morning Rosa WESTER, 47 years old, was at the records office in Bertrange declaring the death of her mother Angelique MICHELS, the widow of Johann RUCKERT, who had died only an hour earlier at the age of 77 years.[1] Angelique had led a long and interesting life. During her lifetime her first name was also seen as Angelica and Angela. The mother of nine children and grandmother of at least 38 grandchildren was one of my children’s many fifth great-grandmothers.

Angelique’s Parents and Siblings

Over a hundred years earlier her father Petrus MICHELS (1726-1776) was born in Bertrange on 12 September 1726.[2] He married her mother Susanna MARTIN (1727-1775) on 21 January 1750 in Bertrange.[3] Susanna’s maiden name would later be seen as MERTES in records produced when her children were born and when she died. Susanna’s father was living in Buschdorf at the time of the marriage in 1750. At this time, a connection to The Mertes-Donnen Family of Bertrange featured in What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records? has not been found.

1750 Baptismal Record [4]
Nearly ten months to the day after Petrus and Susanna married they had their first child, Angelique, seen here as Angelica, born on 23 November 1750 in Bertrange.[4] The godparents chosen for this child were Jean MERTES (alias MARTIN) of Buschdorf and Angelica MICHELS of Bertrange. The godfather was her maternal grandfather and the godmother was her paternal grandmother.

Angelique would not grow up as an only child nor would she be the only child with this name. In 1753 when she was nearly 3 years old her sister Rosa was born[5] followed by Nicolas in 1756[6], Angelica in 1759[7], Joannatha in 1762[8], and Susanna in 1768[9].

Angelique’s First Marriage

1770 Marriage Index Card for Hansen-Michels marriage [10]
Angelique MICHELS married Petrus HANSEN on 5 February 1770 in Bertrange.[10] Petrus, the son of Jean HANSEN and Marie CLAUDT, was born on 21 December 1745 in Bertrange.[11] On the marriage record, her name was listed as Angela MERTES alias MICHELS. The marriage lasted only seven months as Petrus died on 15 September 1770 in Bertrange.[12]

Angelique was expecting her first child when her husband died. Anna Catharina HANSEN was born on 9 November 1770 in Bertrange.[13] Her godfather was her maternal grandfather Petrus MERTES alias MICHELS and her godmother was likely a sister of her deceased father, Anna Catharina HANSEN of Berdorf.

This daughter gained a playmate and uncle a year later when Joannes MICHELS was born on 30 October 1771 to Angelique’s parents Petrus and Susanna.[14]

Angelique’s Second Husband

1774 Marriage Index Card for Wester-Michels marriage [15]
Angelique was a widow for a little over three years. On 11 January 1774, she married her second husband Willibrordus WESTER.[15] Willibrordus, the son of Willibrord VESTER (also seen as WESTER) and Marie BRIMMEYER, was born on 12 November 1747 in Strassen.[16]

Willibrordus and Angelique’s first child Antonetta was born eleven months later on 4 December 1774.[17] The child was two months old when her maternal grandmother Susanna MARTIN aka MERTES died on 15 February 1775.[18] Her maternal grandfather, Petrus MICHELS, died nearly a year later on 1 February 1776.[19]

Angelique, widowed once, married for the second time, and mother of two young daughters was only 25 years old when her father died and she became the head of household in domo Michels.

Willibrordus and Angelique’s family grew with the birth of Rosa on 1 January 1777[20] and Joanna on 3 August 1779.[21]

1781 Baptismal Record for Barbara Wester [22]
On 6 August 1781, daughter Barbara was born in the Michels house, in domo Michels, in Bertrange.[22] This is the first reference to the home Angelique grew up in and, as the oldest child, now owned. Sadly, the next time the home was mentioned was when baby Barbara died six months later on 12 February 1782.[23]

Willibrordus WESTER was 35 years old when he died on 30 December 1782 in Bertrange.[24] Angelique was 32 years old, widowed twice, mother of four daughters, and expecting another child when her husband died. I found a possible error pertaining to his date of death. The parish records are in chronological order. The death entry is the first for December although he died on the 30th. I believe he may have died in November and the month was written incorrectly in the parish book.

Three to four months later, Willibrordus and Angelique’s son Peter was born on 11 April 1783 in domo Michels in Bertange.[25]

Angelique now had five little children: a newborn son and four daughters between the ages of 12 and nearly 2 years. She was still young. Both her parents had died before they were 50. Did she consider all of these things when she married for the third time?

Angelique’s Third Husband

1785 Marriage Record of Johann RUCKERT and Angelique MICHELS [26]
Angelique MICHELS married Johann RUCKERT on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange.[26] The marriage proclamations were made in Sandweiler and Bertrange. The groom signed his name to the marriage record while the bride declared not being able to write and left her mark.

Before continuing with Angelique and Johann’s life together, let’s take a look at Johann RUCKERT’s parents and childhood as he was my children’s fifth great-grandfather.

Johann, the son of Petrus RUCKERT (1715-1790) and Anna Catharina SPEYER (1718-1793), was born on 10 April 1754 in Sandweiler.[27] He was the seventh of nine children and was honored by having his uncle, Joannes RUCKERT, a Catholic priest, as his godfather.

Johann’s father Petrus was born and baptized on 15 June 1715 in Sandweiler.[28] He married Johann’s mother Anna Catharina on 29 November 1739 in Sandweiler.[29] She was born about 1718 in Burange (Dudelange). Petrus and Anna Catharina had nine children born from 1740-1759.

After going through the parish books of Sandweiler, I was able to deduct that Anna Catharina, who was having children with Petrus RUCKERT, was always the same wife. Some records show only her given name while others indicate her maiden name was SPEYER or KNEPPESCH, KNEPCHEN, KNEPGEN. In 1759 her daughter Maria’s godmother’s name was Maria SPEIER dicta KNEITGEN which shows the SPEYER family was also called KNEPPESCH (and several other spellings).

Johann and Angelique became the parents of three children in four years. Their births all took place in domo Michels, the house known as Michels, in Bertrange.

1785 Baptismal Record of Anna Catharina RUCKERT [30]
Their first child, Anna Catharina, born and baptized on 30 October 1785, was named after her paternal grandmother who was also her godmother. The godmother was not present at the baptism. The procuratrix Agnèse KIELL widow of Jean SCHINY represented the godmother Anna Catharina RUCKER alias KNEBGEN of Sandweiler per procurationem. The father and the godfather signed the record while the substitute godmother could not write and left her mark.[30]

1787 Baptismal Record of Jacob RUCKERT [31]
The second child Jacob was born and baptized on 23 July 1787. The godfather was Jacob RUCKERT, a farmer from Sandweiler and his paternal uncle, and the godmother was Margaretha RUCKERT alias KING from Hoën (Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich.[31] Her relationship is unknown, however, I suspect she may be a grand-aunt, sister of Petrus RUCKERT. The father and the godfather signed the record and the godmother declared not being able to write and left her mark. The child Jacob was my children’s 4th great-grandfather.

1789 Baptismal Record of Johann RUCKERT [32]
Angelique and Johann’s third and last child was Johann born and baptized on 11 September 1789. His father was a farmer or agricola and, as with his other children, signed the baptismal record.[32]

Following the births of these three children, their paternal grandparents passed away. Their grandfather Petrus RUCKERT died on 13 June 1790 at the age of 74 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler.[33] Their grandmother Anna Catharina SPEYER died on 14 April 1793 at the age of 75 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler.[34]

Angelique’s Children Begin to Marry

Two of Angelique’s daughters from her second marriage married in 1800 and 1801. I stumbled on the marriage records while searching for birth records of the daughters’ children. The marriage records were mixed in with the birth records and out of order. They were included in one of three little notebooks kept by the priest during 1800-1801. Joanna WESTER married Michel KRIER (1778-1851) on 3 May 1800[35] and Rosa WESTER married Leonard WAGENER (1773-1823) on 3 January 1801[36], both in Bertrange.

1803 Death and Burial Record of “Joannes” RUCKERT [37]
Angelique’s third husband Johann RUCKERT died on 15 February 1803 in domo Michels, Bertrange, at the age of 48.[37] Widowed a third time at the age of 52, Angelique was left with three teenagers and two married daughters. No trace has been found of the daughter from her first marriage or the oldest daughter and the only son from her second marriage. A more thorough search of the parish books for marriages and/or death records is on my to-do list.

The daughter Anna Catharina RUCKERT who was born in 1785 was still living in 1803. She was the godmother of her half-sister Rosa’s daughter Anna KRIER born on 27 November 1803[38] as well as for her half-sister Joanna’s daughter Anna WAGENER born on 9 May 1801.[39] In both records, she was seen as Anna RUCKERT é domo Michels placing her in the household of Angelique. In future research, I will take into account the fact that her name may have been shortened to Anna.

Angelique’s youngest son Johann RUCKERT married Anna Catharina SCHUHMANN (1794-1862) on 18 December 1817 in Sandweiler.[40] Did he meet her while visiting RUCKERT relatives in Sandweiler? Although the bride was from Sandweiler the couple made their home in Bertrange.

1825 Death Record of Angelique MICHELS veuve RUCKERT [1]
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Angelique MICHELS died on 15 April 1825 in Bertrange and her daughter Rosa was the informant.[1] Rosa who had been widowed nearly two years declared she could not write and another witness had to sign for her.

Three years after Angelique’s death, her son Jacob RUCKERT married Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) on 19 February 1828 in Bertrange.[41] The marriage produced eight children, five of whom were living when Jacob was widowed in 1842 shortly after the 14th wedding anniversary.[42] His wife died in childbirth and he likely needed a woman to care for his children as he married within eight months. His bride Magdalena SCHMIT (1811-1870) was 24 years younger and the single mother of a seven-year-old daughter. They were married on 26 November 1842 in Bertrange.[43] Magdalena was my children’s 4th great-grandmother. You can read their story here: How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law.

Of the nine children Angelique gave birth to, one died young, four have not been traced, leaving four who married and had children. Joanna WESTER died at the age of 71 on 12 December 1850[44], Rosa WESTER died at the age of 78 on 6 January 1855[45], Jacob RUCKERT died at the age of 68 on 24 June 1856[46], and Johann RUCKERT died at the age of 72 on 27 May 1862[47]. All of these deaths took place in Bertrange.

I would love to hear from Angelique’s descendants. Are there any readers who descend from the children I have not been able to follow or who know more about them?

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 673 of 1416. 1825 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56264-53?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 9 of 200. 1726 Baptismale Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1ZZS?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 133 of 200. 1750 Marriage Record No. 7 (left page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1C57?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 48 of 200. 1750 Baptismal Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C5K?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 7 September 2017).
[5] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 53 of 200. 1753 Baptismal Record No. 136. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1CRW?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[6] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 59 of 200. 1756 Baptismal Record No. 244. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CGD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 64 of 200. 1759 Baptismal Record No. 330. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1Z39?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017.
[8] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 69 of 200. 1762 Baptismal Record No. 419. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1ZSM?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[9] Ibid., -1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 84 of 200. 1768 Baptismal Record No. 647. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1ZMG?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[10] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 199 of 572. 1770 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-19970-46?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[11] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 37 of 200. 1745 Baptismal Record No. 570. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1Z7F?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[12] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 190 of 200. 1770 Death Record No. 611. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1CK7?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 88 of 200. 1770 Baptismal Record No. 713. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C2M?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 90 of 200. 1771 Baptismal Record No. 745. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CR8?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 Hassel-Z (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 174 of 376. 1774 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-2184-12?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 41 of 200. 1747 Baptismal Record No. 634. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C1W?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 96 of 200. 1774 Baptismal Record No. 840. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1C2S?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptême 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 193 of 200. 1776 Death Record No. 765. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CWD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 192 of 200. 1775 Death Record No. 726. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1C8Y?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[20] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 99 of 200. 1777 Baptismal Record No. 903. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CJV?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 107 of 200. 1779 Baptismal Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1CPD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[22] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 9 of 254. 1781 Baptismal Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZWL?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 9 of 254. 1781 Baptismal Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZWL?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[24] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 200 of 254. 1782 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZTH?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 24 of 254. 1783 Baptismal Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SH1F?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 158 of 254. 1785 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-10044-69?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[27] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 57 of 133. 1754 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-S8?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[28] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 17 of 133. 1715 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-SHM?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[29] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 111 of 133. 1739 Marriage Record (right page, last entry for 1739). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-S9VL?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[30] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 48 of 254. 1785 Baptismal Record No. 148. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SHGF?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 6 September 2017).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 64 of 254. 1787 Baptismal Record No. 215. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-8679-85?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 80 of 254. 1789 Baptismal Record No. 298 (first part). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-8481-82?cc=2037955 : accessed 11 October 2015). Second part on image 81.
[33] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 95 of 119. 1790 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-S99X?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZQ%3A1501109439%2C1500913302 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[34] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 116 of 119. 1793 Death Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-S1Z?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZQ%3A1501109439%2C1500913302 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[35] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 36 of 108. 1800 Marriage Record. “Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SC86?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 12 September 2017).
[36] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 52 of 108. 1800 Marriage Record (right page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SCXG?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : 9 January 2015).
[37] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 91 of 108. 1803 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-8929-70?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[38] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 48 of 108. 1801 Baptismal Record (right page, bottom).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SZ3V?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 8 September 2017)).
[39] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 77 of 108. 1803 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SC8N?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 12 September 2017).
[40] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 796 of 1493. 1817 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X46X-4B?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-MNL%3A130336601%2C130552301 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[41] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 10 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54990-54?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[42] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 907 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51891-68?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 156 of 1416. 1842 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57204-95?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[44] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1032 of 1416. 1850 Death Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-B91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[45] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1069 of 1416. 1855 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-MVX?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[46] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1084 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55634-51?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[47] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1144 of 1416. 1862 Death Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57342-52?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).

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

52 Ancestors: #29 The Erpelding-Conradt Family of Kackerterhaff

A decade before America declared its independence 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, including the Netherlands which encompassed present-day Belgium and Luxembourg.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!

The 1766 census was grouped by villages and towns with each of these belonging to a paroisse or parish. Parishes were classified in a decanat or deanship (diocese). In a village or town, the names of all persons in a household were classified into four groups by age: men were listed as 16 or older and under 16 while women were seen as 14 or older and under 14 years. A column for occupations was only available for men 16 and older. On the last page of each village was a list of occupations of the inhabitants divided into several categories: public service jobs, merchants, laborers (including servants), craftsmen (masters and journeymen), and clergy.

ERPELDING of Kackerd

1766 Census page for the village of Oetrange in the parish of the same name[1]
The ERPELDING family lived and worked on Kackerterhaff near the village of Oetrange in the parish of Oetrange in the decanat of Remich.

Close-up of entry on census page[1]
1766 Census for a place called Kackerd in the Paroisse of Oettringen (Parish of Oetrange)
Household #20
Caspar Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs occupation laboureur or farmer
Jean Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs
Gertrude Erpeldingen female over 14 yrs
Jean Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Nicolas Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Barbe Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
Maria Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household[1]

CONRADT of Uebersyren

1766 Census page for the village of Uebersyren in the parish of Hostert[2]

The CONRADT family (written CONRADE on the sheet) lived in Uebersyren in the parish of Hostert not far from the parish of Oetrange.

Close-up of entry on census page[2]
1766 Census for the Village of Ubersyren in the Paroisse of Hostert
Household #8
Pierre Conrade 16 yrs or older occupation tisserand or weaver
Ann Catherine Conrad 16 yrs or older
no males under 16 yrs
Elizabeth Conrad female under 14 yrs
Madlene Conrad female under 14 yrs
Marie Conrad female under 14 yrs
Catherine Conrad female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household[2]

Twenty-two years later…

1788 Marriage Record of Nicolas ERPELDING and Magdalena CONRADT

Nicolas ERPELDING, 22 years old, married Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT, 29 years old, on 7 July 1788 in Schuttrange.[3] Nicolas, the youngest son of Caspar ERPELDING (d. 1779) and Gertrude JEHNEN (d. 1774), was born 7 November 1765 in Villa Kackert near Oetrange.[4] Magdalena, the second oldest daughter of Peter CONRADT (d. 1789) and Anna Catharina ROEDER (1736-1791), was born 2 June 1759 in Uebersyren.[5]

Courtesy of Egon Meder

The young couple made their home in Uebersyren during the first years of their marriage and this is where their first child Mathias was born on 27 March 1791.[6]

1791 Baptismal Record of Mathias ERPELDING[6]
Following the birth of Matthias and before their next child was born they left Uebersyren and made their home auf dem Kackert, in the home Nicolas had been born and raised in. The move may have followed the death of Magdalena’s mother in Uebersyren six months after the birth of Mathias.[7]

1793 Baptismal Record of Catharina ERPELDING[8]
When daughter Catharina was born on 15 October 1793, Nicolas and Magdalena were seen as a legally married couple and operariorum commorantuim in Kackert – workers residing at Kackert.[8] Nicolas’ parents had died in 1774[9] and 1779[10] and the farm likely went to their oldest son Jean ERPELDING. Catharina’s baptismal record lists Jean as her godfather and agricola habitans in Villa Kackert – a farmer who lives on the Kackert farm. Villa in Latin has several definitions including villa or country house, village, farm, or premises. As later documents refer to Kackerterhaff,  and it is still known as such, the translation would be a farm.

Kackerterhaff near Oetrange, Luxembourg (courtesy of Egon Meder)

At this point in the family timeline, there is a discrepancy which I have not been able to resolve. From marriage records found, it appears that there were two daughters named Catharina. No baptismal record has been found for the second daughter named Catharina. Her marriage record is a religious marriage record which names her parents but does not include her date of birth. No civil marriage record, which normally includes the date and place of birth, has been found. All birth records of her children and her death record place her birth at about 1793, the same as the first daughter named Catharina. Due to records found, they cannot be the same person.

1795 Baptismal Record of Margaretha ERPELDING[11]
Nicolas and Magdalena’s fourth child Margaretha was born and baptized on 15 December 1795. Her parents were seen as operariorum in Kackert – operators of Kackert.[11]

1797 Baptismal Record of Pierre ERPELDING[12]
Pierre, the next child, was born on 15 January 1797 and the entry in the parish records was the first for the new year. No godparents were listed. The parents were seen as a legally married couple living in Kackert.[12]

The sixth child of Nicolas and Magdalena was another daughter named Margaretha. Her sister who had the same name had not died. She would later marry and live in the same place as this Margaretha, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

1800 Baptismal Record of Margaretha ERPELDING[13]
The second daughter named Margaretha was baptized on 16 November 1800[13] and born on 1 January 1801.[14] That is not a typo. The records show she was baptized six weeks before her birth! While the church records continued to be kept using the Gregorian calendar, the civil records at the time used the French Republican calendar. A difference of a day or two could be explained but six weeks cannot be an error in calculation. The discrepancy in the church record vis-a-vis the civil record was brought to my attention by Cyndi Speltz Gipp 14 years ago. Cyndi is my husband’s 7th cousin through Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents.

1804 Baptismal Record of Barbara ERPELDING[15]
The last child of Nicolas and Magdalena was Barbara born on 25 February 1804.[15] As with all of her siblings, except for her oldest brother Mathias, she was born on the Kackert farm.

The Middle Years

All of the children Magdalena gave birth to survived to adulthood. The seven children remained on Kackerterhaff until they began to marry.

In the meantime, Nicolas’ brother Jean ERPELDING (his second brother named Jean) died on 20 May 1806 on Kréintgeshaff, a farm near Kackerterhaff.[16] His place of death has helped to differentiate between the two brothers named Jean.

On 15 December 1814, the first of Nicolas and Magdalena’s children married. Catharina married Nicolas GLODT (1793-1858) on 15 December 1814 in Oetrange.[17]

1814 Religious Marriage Record of Nicolas GLODT and Catharina ERPELDING[17]
Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT did not live long enough to see any of her other children marry. She died on 28 January 1818 on Kackerterhaff.[18]

Six years later the oldest son of the ERPELDING-CONRADT couple, Mathias, married Margaritha GROSS (1796-1872) on 25 February 1824 in Oetrange.[19] Mathias, being the oldest, remained on the farm.

A little more than a year later, the younger son Pierre married Margaretha KRUCHTEN (1797-1859) on 21 March 1825 in Contern.[20] They would make their home in Oetrange in the commune of Contern.

Four years later Nicolas ERPELDING died on 10 May 1829 at Kackerterhaff.[21] He left two married sons, a married daughter, and four unmarried daughters. His youngest daughter Barbara was 25 years old and expecting a child. The male child was born and died on 28 December 1829.[22] No father was listed on the birth record.

The oldest daughter Catharina married Johann BOUR (1772-1855) on 26 February 1831 in Bertrange.[23] She was 37 years old and he was 58 and had been a widower for two years. Catharina was living on Kackerterhaff up until the time of the marriage. It would be interesting to learn how she met her husband as two of her three sisters would also marry in Bertrange and live in Strassen, at that time part of the commune of Bertrange. What brought these women to Strassen and Bertrange which both lie on the other side of Luxembourg City from Kackerterhaff?

Nicolas ERPELDING’s oldest brother Jean died before 1833 as his widow Catharina EVEN’s death was declared by her nephew Mathias ERPELDING on 13 December 1833.[24] She died on Kackerterhaff. To date, no children have been found for this couple which may be the reason the farm was now seen in the hands of Mathias.

The younger Margaretha, my children’s ancestress, married François “Franz” MERTES (1806-1864) on 25 February 1834 in Bertrange. Both of her brothers, Mathias and Pierre, were present and signed as witnesses to her marriage.[25]

Five years later, the older Margaretha who was still living on the home farm married Johann SCHMIT (1780-1856) on 10 April 1839 in Bertrange. Margaretha was 44 and Johann, widowed only four months earlier, was 58 years old. None of the witnesses were relatives of the bride, however, Michel BRIMEYER, one of the witnesses, was listed as her acquaintance.[26]

Finally, on 11 February 1846, the youngest child of Nicolas and Magdalena married. Barbara married Peter ENTRINGER (1801-1867) on 11 February 1846 in Sandweiler.[27] Barbara’s son Mathias ERPELDING, born illegitimately on 29 May 1835,[28] was 10 years old. The marriage legitimized his birth as Peter ENTRINGER recognized him as his son. Between the time of Mathias’ birth and the marriage, the groom had been married to another woman and widowed.

The Later Years

Catharina ERPELDING who married Nicolas GLODT died on 6 January 1848 at the age of 55 in Oetrange.[29] She had given birth to at least eight children.

Margaretha ERPELDING who married Johann SCHMIT was widowed on 29 December 1856.[30] It is unknown when or where she died. She remained childless.

Catharina ERPELDING who married Johann BOUR was last seen in the census in December 1861 in Strassen. She was widowed in 1855[31] and also remained childless. No death record has been found.

Pierre ERPELDING died on 23 December 1865 in Oetrange.[32] He outlived his wife, who had given him seven children, by six years. Two of these children died as infants. His oldest son Theodore, after being widowed twice, would emigrate to America in 1884 with his sons John and Nicholas and his daughter Angelique to join his older son Peter who had emigrated the previous year. The line would continue in Nebraska.

The youngest daughter Barbara ERPELDING was widowed on 10 Sep 1867.[33] She was not found between the time of her marriage in 1846 and her husband’s death in 1867. It is unknown if they had other children and what happened to the son Mathias who was legitimized at the time of the marriage.

My children’s 4th great-grandmother Margaretha ERPELDING died on 1 November 1868 in Strassen.[34] Widowed in 1864,[35] she left only one child, a son Michel who fathered thirteen children.

Following Margaretha’s death, the only known living child of Nicolas and Magdalena was their oldest son Mathias ERPELDING. He died on 31 December 1871 on Kackerterhaff.[36] His wife followed him four months later.[37] They were the parents of eight children. Sons Peter and Mathias never married but worked the farm until their deaths on Kackerterhaff in 1897[38] and 1916.[39] They are the last known ERPELDINGs to have lived on the home place.

Although I have spent the past two weeks attaching (and citing sources for) birth, marriage, census, and death records to all individuals in this family (several generations), the largest part of the research was done by my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi. She ordered the FamilySearch microfilms and viewed them at her local Family History Center fourteen years ago. Not only did she research her line down from Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents Christophori “Stofel” JEHNEN and Maria SCHINGEN but also this ERPELDING family and shared all with me. In 2015 I got in touch with her again when I wrote 52 Ancestors: #40 Happy Birthday to Michel of the MERTES-ERPELDING Family and now we keep up via Facebook. Thank you, Cyndi, for all the work you’ve done on this branch of the family.

P.S. Kackerterhaff is Luxembourgish for the German Kackerterhof. So for those of you who noticed, I made the featured image first. While writing the post I decided to be consistent by using Kackerterhaff throughout and forgot I’d used the German version in the image.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1]1. 1766 Census of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film #008198979 > Decanat de Remich > Oetringen (paroisse d’Oetringen) > Image 249 of 438. p. 248, Kackerd, household no. 20. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-9Q65-V?i=248&cat=1184675 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[2] Ibid., Obersirn (paroisse d’Hostert) > Image 124 of 438. page 114, household no. 8. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-9QDP-C?i=123&cat=1184675 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[3] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Schuttrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 99 of 153. 1788 Marriage Record (left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-78KC?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3F%3A1501181201%2C1500913302 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[4] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 20 of 90. 1765 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9HDH?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[5] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes 1713-1778, 1782-1792, sépultures 1718-1733 > image 52 of 100. 1759 Baptismal Record (right, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-7ZM5?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3K%3A1501181201%2C1501244146 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[6] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes 1713-1778, 1782-1792, sépultures 1718-1733 > image 96 of 100. 1791 Baptismal Record (right page, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-7DK4?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3K%3A1501181201%2C1501244146 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[7] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 135 of 153. 1791 Death Record (right page, 1st full entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-78P2?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3F%3A1501181201%2C1500913302 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[8] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 53 of 90. 1793 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9H42?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[9] Ibid., Oetrange > Mariages 1718-1755, 1761-1763, 1767-1785, sépultures 1719-1781 > image 83 of 90. 1774 Death Record (right, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9C65?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44D%3A1500972093%2C1500972096 : accessed 31 August 2017).
[10] Ibid., Oetrange > Mariages 1718-1755, 1761-1763, 1767-1785, sépultures 1719-1781 > image 84 of 90. 1779 Death Record (right page, bottom entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9CBD?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44D%3A1500972093%2C1500972096 : accessed 31 August 2017).
[11] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 52 of 90. 1795 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). ((https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9HWH?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[12] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 3 of 91. 1797 Baptismal Record (right, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9CDJ?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[13] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 4 of 91. Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd to last entry for 1800). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32461-8208-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[14] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 49 of 484. 1800 Birth Record (10 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12325-25034-93?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[15] Luxembourg Parish Records, Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 5 of 91. 1804 Baptismal Record (left, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9C75?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 1338 of 1476. 1806 Death Record (left, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1P7-BL2?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[17] Luxembourg Parish Records, Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 89 of 91. 1814 Marriage Record (religious). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9H5L?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 27 Augst 2017).
[18] Luxembourg Civil Records, Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 1433 of 1476. 1818 Death Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11693-157266-45?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015). Note: 20th is missing in the date on the record, i.e. record reads the death was reported on the 9th and should be on the 29th.
[19] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 824 of 1476. 1824 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1P7-2KR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[20] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 830 of 1476. 1825 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1PW-SMJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[21] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 50 of 568. 1829 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11556-63378-89?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[22] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 408 of 484. 1829 Birth Record No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62R9-9NB?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-W3X%3A129626701%2C129744001 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 33 of 1416. 1831 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52218-77?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[24] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 78 of 568. 1833 Death Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8JR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 63 of 1416. 1834 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55620-99?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 119 of 1416. 1839 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51841-94?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[27] Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 995 of 1493. 1846 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X46G-P9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-MNL%3A130336601%2C130552301 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[28] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 474 of 484. 1835 Birth Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62R9-MHJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-W3X%3A129626701%2C129744001 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[29] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 195 of 568. 1848 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-ZSN?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[30] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 65 of 446. 1856 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-698Q-X5?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5%3A130458601%2C129625702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[31] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 52 of 446. 1855 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-69ZW-Q15?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5%3A130458601%2C129625702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[32] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 348 of 568. 1865 Death Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-84C?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[33] Ibid., Sandweiler > Décès 1833-1890 > image 394 of 604. 1867 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRKS-9MT?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-929%3A130336601%2C130345701 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[34] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 189 of 446. 1868 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165726-80?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013)
[35] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 140 of 446. 1864 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-166420-69?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[36] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 419 of 568. 1871 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8JK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[37] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 423 of 568. 1872 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8HQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 5 September 2017).
[38] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1895-1912 > image 12 of 131. 1897 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97J-Y7XS?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-16P%3A129626701%2C129657201 : accessed 27 August 1897).
[39] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1913-1923 > image 22 of 84. 1916 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-HTCJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-92X%3A129626701%2C129622902 : accessed 27 August 2017).

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

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!

What do you do when you make one of those monumental discoveries about a genealogy collection you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get access to?

Do you keep it a secret? Or do you shout it out for all to know?

Luxembourg Research

This year I’ve been concentrating on the Luxembourg families in my family tree, specifically the fifth-great-grandparents of my children. Three more posts and I will finish their paternal side. Only half of their maternal side is Luxembourgish, or coming from villages on the other side of the border in Germany and France, and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

Most of these ancestors from this generation were living, or their parents were living, when Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in 1766 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 census of 1766 for Luxembourg has only been available through FamilySearch’s microfilm circulation service which as we all know is being discontinued.

Thursday, September 7, 2017, marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make billions of the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online. ~ FamilySearch blog

Amberly Beck who blogs at The Genealogy Girl has made several comments on my posts about the collections available online at FamilySearch.

FamilySearch is working at the fastest pace I have ever seen. I can’t keep up with the new records coming available that I am interested in. It’s a great time to be a genealogist! ~ thegenealogygirl

It’s a great time to be a genealogist!

On the FamilySearch blog, I learned that all microfilm which has been rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch.

While researching my upcoming post, I checked on the 1766 census availability and found a little camera icon next to the films for the Decanat of Mersch, Remich, Bitburg, and Stavelot.

When Bryna O’Sullivan wrote The Luxembourg Census you haven’t heard of… only two weeks ago, there was no camera icon showing any of the census films were available.

In 2003, with a very slow internet modem, my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi sent me the 1766 census listing I used for the featured image of this post. Now, fourteen years later, I was able to access the digital image online and download a much clearer copy of the over 250 years old document.

Click this link to see the list of films available online for the 1766 census of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg researchers, we have a new key to open the doors in our brick walls!

Amberly, thank you for telling me to check the FamilySearch catalog more often. It really paid off this time!

What? You aren’t checking the catalog at FamilySearch? Take a moment to read these articles:

Using the Back Door at FamilySearch for Missing Records

Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch

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

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Evaline (formerly seen as Evoline)

In Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, the slaveholder of the enslaved Henry was John S. Roberts as seen in an appraisement bill from 1832. The research continued with Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Violate, Evoline, and Samuel in which I found the 1835 Appraisement of the Estate of Nathaniel Landcraft, father-in-law of John S. Roberts.

About the time Nathaniel Landcraft died, his daughter Adaline, widow of John S. Roberts, married the Baptist minister Edwin W. Woodson. They made their home in Monroe County, (West) Virginia. In 1840 Woodson had two slaves in his household, a male and a female, both were 10 thru 23 years old. Could either of them be one of the slaves mentioned in the Landcraft appraisement?

In 1850 E W Woodson owned one female slave age 20. In 1860 Adaline Woodson owned one female slave age 30. Who was this female slave?

Edwin W. Woodson died on 14 May 1853 leaving a will and an appraisement which named the enslaved person, Evaline.

Last Will and Testament of Edwin W. Woodson of Monroe County, (West) Virginia

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SC-5C?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MGN%3A179686801%2C179794201 : 22 May 2014), Monroe > Will book, v. 005 1849-1853 > image 326 of 334; county courthouses, West Virginia.

In the name of God Amen. I Edwin W. Woodson of the County of Monroe and State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory do make this my last will and testament in manner and form following to wit
Item 1st. I desire that after my death my representatives may sell all of my personal property that can be spared from the support of my family my library and Tobacco excepted, the latter of which is to remain in a partnership concern with N. H. Roberts and Andrew Campbell and myself for twelve months as per partnership agreement, at the expiration of which time, my interest in the Tobacco concern the amount of sale for my personal property and amt. from any debts due me is to be appropriated to my debts.
Item 2d. Any deficit in the payment of my debts after the appropriation of the above funds as above named is to be made up out of my negro gril & her increase & my tract of Land on on (sic) which Nehemiah Bonham now lives, or either as my representatives may deem most expedient.
Item 3d. In the event that the funds already named above & set apart for the payment of my debts should not be sufficient to pay the same, in that event I desire my home tract of land to be sold on a reasonable credit & the whole of my debts to be paid out of the same, & the residue if any remaining together with that arising or remaining from any other portion of my estate to be divided as follows, one third to my wife Adaline and the ballance equaly amongst my children.
Item 4th. Any of my lands that may be left after the payment of my debts, I give to my wife Adaline until the youngest child has arrived at the age of twenty one years at which time it is to be equally divided amongst my children subject to the dower of my wife Adaline.
Item 5th. In the event that my negro girl Evaline and her increase in part or whole should not be appropriated to the payment of my debts in that case, I give the same to my wife Adaline so long as she may live and at her death to be equally divided amongst my children.
Item 6th. I desire that my Library shall not be sold, but equally apportioned between my children

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SC-LN?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MGN%3A179686801%2C179794201 : 22 May 2014), Monroe > Will book, v. 005 1849-1853 > image 327 of 334; county courthouses, West Virginia.

the oldest to have choice of lots.
Item 7th. I do hereby appoint my dearly beloved wife Adaline to be my Executrix and Grandison C. Landcraft my Executor of this my last will & testament.
In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this the 12th day of May 1853.
Edwin W. Woodson *seal*
Teste
Boswell Vass
John Woodram
N.H. Roberts
At Monroe June Court 1853.
The Last Will and Testament of Edwin W. Woodson decd was presented in Court by Grandison C. Landcraft one of the Executors therein named and was proved by the oaths of John Woodram and Nathaniel H. Roberts two of the subscribing witneses thereto and the same is ordered to be recorded and thereupon the said Landcraft together with Rufus Pack, Robert L. Shanklin, Mathew Campbell and Nathaniel H. Roberts his securities entered into & acknowledged his bond in the penalty of $5000 with condition according to the law, probate of the said will in due form is granted him, reserving the liverty to Mrs. Woodson the Executrix named in said will to join in the probate hereafter if she choose.
A Copy
Teste
Geo W. Hutchinson CMC (Clerk, Monroe County)

Appraisement of the Estate of Edwin W. Woodson

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SH-9K?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG6%3A179686801%2C179821301 : 22 May 2014), Monroe > Will book, v. 006 1853-1857 > image 215 of 371; county courthouses, West Virginia.

In Obedience to an order made at the June term to us directed John Vass, Boswell Vass and Nathaniel H. Roberts who were appointed to appraise the personal Estate of Edwin W. Woodson decd do now proceed as follows after being duly sworn

1 Negro Girl named Evaline $ 600.00
1 White Mare 50.00
1 Brown Horse 65.00
1 Grey Yearling Colt 45.00
1 Iron Gray Mare 85.00
1 Black Cow 12.00
1 Spotted Do. 12.00
1 Mewly Heifer 10.00
1 White face Do. 10.00
1 Speckled Cow 15.00 (subtotal 904.00)
20 head of Sheep at $1 20.00
2 Calves at $4 8.00
15 Hogs at $2 30.00
5 shrats at $1 5.00
1 wheat Fan 22.00
1 Scythe & Cradle 1.50
1 mowing sythe & snaith 0.75
2 Sets Plow Gears at $1.37 1/2 2.75
1 two Horse Wagon & 3 Bodys 65.00 (subtotal 155.00)
2 Single Trees & 1 Double do 1.00
1 Sog chain 1.50
1 Big Plow 5.00
1 shovel Plow, clevis do. 1.25
1 Bull Tounge Do. 0.75
1 Coalter Plow & Clevis 1.25
1 Plow shovel 0.37
1 Choping Axe 1.25
1 mattock 2.75
1 Iron Tooth Harrow 3.00 (subtotal 18.12)
$1077.12
Amount brot. over $1,077.12
2 Hilling Hoes 1.50
1 Weeding do 0.25
1 Bee stand 1.50
1 Brass Clock 4.00
5 feather Beds & Bedding 50.00
2 New Bed steads at $5.00 Ea. 10.00
2 old do at $2.00 Ea 4.00
2 old do at $1.00 Ea 2.00
1 shot gun 2.50 (subtotal 75.75)
1 Jack Reel 0.75
1 Flax spinning wheel 3.00

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SH-9K?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG6%3A179686801%2C179821301 : 22 May 2014), Monroe > Will book, v. 006 1853-1857 > image 215 of 371; county courthouses, West Virginia.

1 big wheel 1.50
1 man’s saddle & 2 riding bridles 12.00
1 Cupboard & contents 16.00
1 Beauro & Book Case 8.00
1 small table with drawer 1.00
1 Cooking glass 0.50 (subtotal 42.75)
1 Dining Table 2.50
10 Chairs 5.00
1 pr. small steelyears 0.34
1 old Hand saw 0.25
1 drawing Knife 0.25
2 Iron Wedges 0.50
Kitchen furniture including Pots, Ovens, Skillets
Kettles, Buckets, Pans & & & 5.00 (subtotal 13.84)
July 29th 1853 $1,209.46
Boswell Vass
John Vass
N.H. Roberts
Boswell Vass, John Vass, N. H. Roberts appeared before me and was duly sworn by me a justice of the peace for said County. Given under my hand.
Joseph Ellis J.O.
At Monroe County Court Octo. Tm. 1853
An appraisment of the Estate of E. W. Woodson decd was returned & ordered to be recorded
A Copy Teste Geo W. Hutchinson CMC

Fiduciary Records

I do not normally go to Ancestry to check on wills etc. for West Virginia as they are on FamilySearch. In this case I discoved fiduciary records for the estate of Edwin W. Woodson which included 200 images in the West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985 database.

I only skimmed through the images until I found this record which shows Evaline was included in the personal property which went to the widow Adaline B. Woodson.

West Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1724-1985; Fiduciary Records, Monroe County Court. (Ancestry.com : accessed 31 August 2017) Image 182 (full package from image 19-221)

Received from G. C. Landcraft Exr. of E. W. Woodson decd., as of the 29th day of July 1853, nine hundred and forty one dollars & 46 cents, in personal property belonging to the estate of said E. W. Woodson decd. at its appreaised value. The above includes one negro girl named Evaline, appraised at $600.00.
Given under my hand this 25 day of April 1873
                                                 A.B. Woodson Widow of
                                                  E. W. Woodson decd.

Evaline was most likely the young girl Evoline mentioned in Landcraft’s appraisement in 1835. By 1870 she would have been about 40 years old (1850 age 20 and 1860 age 30 as seen in the slave schedules). I was not able to locate her in the 1870 census but hope that by releasing her name a descendant may recognize her, make the connection, and leave a comment.

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

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

What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records?

For some reason, the subject of maison dite or house names kept coming up while I was researching the MERTES-DONNEN family. Not only in my research but in several Facebook groups and pages I follow. Maybe the ancestors were trying to tell me something. Or maybe it’s time to discuss what I learned while researching this family – something I left out in my last post.

Before I share my discovery, let me give you an overview of the history of house names and surnames in Luxembourg.

This past June I attended a conference by Paul ZIMMER, Latein in den Kirchenbüchern korrekt lesen (Reading Latin Correctly in Church Records). His presentation included an explanation of the peculiarities of names found in church records. After the presentation, he kindly sent digital copies to all participants of a dozen articles published under his pseudonym, Victor Racine. I used his introduction to genealogy research adapted to the Luxembourg situation: Petite introduction à la recherche généalogique avec des conseils pratiques adaptés à la situation luxembourgeoise (Victor Racine) as a guide.

House Names and Surnames

Until around 1500 the first name of a person was sufficient enough to identify ordinary people. When pleading someone’s case, it was done orally and normally in the presence of the person eliminating the confusion of identities.

The appearance of the first written documents however required additional distinction. Nicolas, therefore, became known as Nicolas de Steinfort (by his residence), Nicolas le Meunier (by his occupation, i.e. miller), or Nicolas le Petit (by a trait, i.e. small person).

When these extensions to the first names finally became family names transmitted from one generation to the next, they were not, for a long time, patronymic. In about half the cases, the children’s names came from the mother, as the rules of family succession in Luxembourg were based on primogeniture – the right of the oldest child inheriting the parental home without any distinction between males and females.

Luxembourg researchers are confronted with the phenomenon of “house names” shared by all people living under one roof, regardless of their initial name received at birth.  At the time of the marriage, the spouse always acquired, whatever his sex, the name of the house into which he entered. Thus, each couple had only one and the same surname which was transmitted to all their children.

In the course of the eighteenth century when Luxembourg was under Austrian rule, the civil authorities imposed a contrary law, that each individual should keep his birth name – it could no longer be changed during the course of his life, notably at the time of marriage. Each legitimate child inherited his father’s surname.

During the long transition, the coexistence of the two rules and practices, totally opposite, constituted a complication which was the source of errors. The children of one and the same couple sometimes obtained different surnames. The second spouse of a widow or widower may have been known by the surname his spouse had previously taken from his first conjugal partner.

Priests were aware of the problem of the double and triple surnames of their parishioners. Some were careful to note more than one name. The different surnames of one and the same person were juxtaposed and linked together by Latin words: alias (otherwise called), vulgo (commonly called), modo (otherwise), sive and aut (or), dicta (said). Sometimes the correct connection with previous generations can be determined by useful references such as ex domo … (from the house) or in domo … (in the house). House names were also mentioned in the parish records using the term in aedibus (Latin for in house) followed by the name.

Our genealogical research may suffer from the rivalry of these two incompatible rules but in the following case, I profited from them.

Researching the MERTES-DONNEN Family

It took me longer than usual to research the MERTES-DONNEN family before I wrote about them in my last post. I couldn’t seem to get to the point I wanted to be before beginning to write. I wanted to know as much as possible about both Nicolas MERTES’ family and Maria Catharina DONNEN’s family so their timelines would be as complete as possible.

This led me down a rabbit hole as I also looked into their grandparents. When I finally thought I had the timeline ready, I began writing using information from the documents for each of the events.

As I was composing the post I went off on a tangent taking a new look at the death record of Margaretha BIVER, the mother of Nicolas MERTES. I ended up cutting out a large portion of what I wrote about the death record and my findings as I realized I had gotten sidetracked from the subject of the piece.

However, I saw an opportunity to use the information I had found to help other Luxembourg researchers.

The MERTES Family’s House Name

Screenshot of the family view of Margaretha BIVER and Peter MERTES as seen in my genealogy software Ancestral Quest 15.

Marguerite BIVER died on 20 December 1820 at nine in the evening in house number 69 in the Opperter road in Bertrange. The informant for the death was her son-in-law Jean KETTENMEYER. The record (below, top entry) did not indicate the address was also that of the informant.

1820 death records of Margareta Biver (top) and Maria Christophory (bottom). Source: Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 640 of 1416. 1820 Death Record No. 20+21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-322?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).

The next entry in the register (above, bottom entry) was for a baby with the surname CHRISTOPHORY who died in house number 73 of the same street.

The importance of the deaths taking place in the same street, likely only two houses away from each other, can be seen in the pedigree of Franz MERTES, the son of the MERTES-DONNEN couple and grandson of Marguerite BIVER.

Pedigree view in Ancestral Quest 15

I haven’t followed through to see how the baby’s family was related to Barbe CHRISTOPHORY, Maria Catharina’s mother. But it had me wondering if the DONNEN-CHRISTOPHORY and the MERTES-BIVER couples had been neighbors when their daughter and son married. I tried to locate the address in present-day Bertrange but the list of street names on the Luxembourg post office’s site did not turn up any matches.

My next step was to check if perhaps the KETTENMEYER family’s street name may have been mentioned on the census or in a vital record. Jean KETTENMEYER died before the first available census. The two listings I found for his widow Anne MERTES did not include the street name.

Jean’s death record revealed an interesting fact. He died in la maison dite Karpen, an Oppert or a house named Karpen in Oppert.

Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 830 of 1416. 1837 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-32F?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 23 August 2017).

This was an amazing discovery. When I read maison dite Karpen on the record I knew right away the KETTENMEYER family was living in the home of the MERTES family.

The significance of “la maison dite Karpen”

Peter, the father of Nicolas MERTES and Jean KETTENMEYER’s wife Anne MERTES, was the son of Mathias MERTES and Maria HOLTZEMER of Steinsel. At this time I do not have a baptismal record for Peter. His death record indicates he was born about 1733. I suspect his age was over-estimated at the time of death.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 350 of 572. 1771 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-92B3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-L2S%3A1500936901%2C1501112974 : accessed 17 August 2017).

The parents of the groom were married in 1726 at which time their names were given as Mathias MERTENS and Maria HOLTZEMER. The family name had evolved from MERTENS to MERTES by the time Peter married.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Steinsel > Tables des mariages 1697-1802 Fridchy-Z (index organisée par l’époux) > image 430 of 980. 1726 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-18530-86?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).

Mathias and Maria had six children born in Müllendorf and baptized in Steinsel from 1729 to 1741. The baptismal records have been found. The priest gave the following names for the parents on the children’s records:

  1. Theodore b. 1729: Mathias MARTINI and Maria HOLTZEMER
  2. Magdalena b. 1731: Mathias MARTINI and Maria CARPEN dicta HOLTZEMER
  3. Johann b. 1733: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  4. Mathias b. 1736: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  5. Anna Maria b. 1737: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  6. Johann Peter b. 1741: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER

As mentioned in the explanation of surnames in Luxembourg, the priest gave a Latin twist to the surname and added an alias to Mathias’ surname as well as dicta (said) to Maria’s.

Although I know that Peter MERTES was the son of Mathias MERTES (MERTENS) and Maria HOLZTEMER as these were the names given at the time of his marriage, I still do not know for sure when he was born and baptized. I believe he may have been the youngest son, Johann Peter born in 1741. Further research will have to be done to prove or disprove this assumption.

The alias CARPEN was found to go back further through Maria HOLTZEMER’s line. She was born in 1704 when her parents were listed as Nicolas HOLZEM and Angela PEIFFERS. When Maria’s her sister Angela was born in 1707 the parents’ names were given as Nicolas HOLZEM dicti KARP and his wife Angela.

Digging a bit deeper I learned Angela’s family did not use a surname until their fourth child was born. It would have been very unlikely that I would figure this out on my own. Claude Bettendroffer, vice-president of Luxracines, made the connection and shared it in his database on our society’s website. When the first two children were born the parents were seen Godefridus (also seen as Godfroid and Godart), a sutor or cobbler, and Dorothée. When Angela was born her father was seen with the same occupation, only written in German, Schuhmacher. The father’s occupation was used to distinguish him from other men with the same first name in Steinsel. By the time their fourth child was born the family was using the surname or house name PEIFFERS. The oldest child, a daughter, inherited the home and passed the name on to the children of both of her marriages as her husbands took on her house name PEIFFERS.

It was astonishing to have followed a family line back using surnames, to using a house name, to only being identified by the father’s occupation during a documented period from 1666 back to 1659.

The house name KARPEN was not used by the PEIFFERS family as far as I can tell at this time. It was used by the HOLTZEM family in Müllendorf as early as 1707, by the MERTENS-HOLTZEMER family in 1731-1741 in Müllendorf, and finally by the MERTES family in Bertrange as late as 1837 when the son-in-law died. It appears the house name followed the son when he married and made his home in Bertrange.

Karpen house in Oppert. Where was Oppert?

When I searched for Oppert as seen in the 1837 death record instead of Opperter as seen in the 1820 death record, I found it is now a street in Bertrange called rue des Champs. I know this street. We’ve ridden our bikes on this road which runs from the center of town out of Bertrange into the fields to the west of town where bike paths link it to Mamer in the northwest and Dippach in the southwest.

Zooming in on Google maps street view I found the street sign, a bit above and to the left of the shutter on the left side of the house, for rue des Champs includes the Luxembourgish name Oppert.

What’s the secret?

I don’t believe there is a secret to the maison dite or house names in Luxembourg records. As long as we know how surnames evolved and how house names were used to identify people, we can use the rules to benefit our research.

Even today the older generations can be heard referring to a person by their house name instead of their surname in Luxembourg. But it is a custom which is quickly disappearing.

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