52 Ancestors: #27 The Dahm-Kimes Family and the History of a House Name

The small village of Moestroff in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg lies between Reisdorf and Bettendorf. It was once part of the parish of Reisdorf and from about 1763 was attached to Bettendorf. During the late 1700s to about 1804, there were, however, children of Moestroff being baptized in the parish of Reisdorf instead of Bettendorf. From 1794, when civil records began to be recorded, Moestroff has been part of the commune of Bettendorf.

Road into Reisdorf from Wallendorf, it’s German neighbor.

For the time period I am now researching, the history of the families is intertwined in the villages of Reisdorf and Moestroff due to the marriages of ancestors of my children from both towns.

Former train station in Reisdorf along the bike route to Moestroff

Several roads lead to Reisdorf. The main road from Echternach to Diekirch passes through Reisdorf. Roads lead down to Reisdorf from Beaufort, Larochette, and Vianden. There is also a “back road” from Wallendorf, Germany, to Reisdorf. The shortest route between Reisdorf and Moestroff is the bike path where the railroad used to run.

Chapel of Reisdorf

At the intersection of the road from Wallendorf and the main road to Diekirch is a small chapel which was built during the lifetime of the couple I am featuring this week. Above the doorway the year 1808 is chiseled in stone and highlighted with gold leaf paint.

Entrance of the little chapel of Reisdorf

A quick tour of the town of Reisdorf takes us to the church built in 1900.

Catholic church of Reisdorf

And behind the church is the town hall.

Town hall, Mairie de Reisdorf.

As seen in my last 52 Ancestors post when we visited Moestroff, my children’s 5th great-grandparents Franz ZWANK of Moestroff married Clara WELTER of Reisdorf. This is also the case of the next set of 5th great-grandparents, Pierre DAHM and Anna Catharina STRENG. Pierre was from Moestroff and Anna Catharina from Reisdorf. Both couples made their homes in Moestroff.

Pierre DAHM (1764-1830) and Anna Catharina KIMES (1762-1832)

Pierre DAHM, son of Jean DHAM (d. 1790) and Marie WELTER (d. 1814), was born and baptized on 14 April 1764 in Moestroff.[1] The baptism of Petrus Dham took place in Moestroff due to imbecillitatem infantis, or the child’s weakness. Children born in Moestroff at this time were baptized in the parish of Bettendorf which makes this entry for Pierre a bit unusual. The family surname at the time was spelled DHAM instead of the later DAHM.

1764 Baptismal Record of Petrus DHAM [1]
Pierre’s oldest sibling was his sister Elisabeth who was born about 1756. This is known as she was the informant for the death of their mother Marie Welter in 1814. It is not known if there were children born between Elisabeth and my children’s 5th great-grandfather Pierre but I suspect there must have been as they were eight years apart. Baptismal records for Bettendorf begin only in 1763 which explain the missing records, including that of Elisabeth’s baptism. A daughter Susanne was born in 1768, four years after Pierre. Death records are sparse for this period and no record has been found that Susanna survived or that there may have been other children.

Pierre married Anna Catharina KIMES, daughter of Nicolas KIMES (d. 1797) and Anna Maria STRENG (d. 1804), on 5 April 1796 in Bettendorf.[2] Anna Catharina was born on 8 December 1762 in Reisdorf,[3] likely their oldest child. She had three younger brothers who survived to adulthood. Wilhelm lived in Reisdorf, Martin in Bettendorf, and Theodor in Nusbaum-Stockigt (about 14 km from Reisdorf and in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany).

Pierre and Anna Catharina’s children

Pierre and Anna Catharina had four children, all lived to adulthood, but only two married and had issue.

Maria DAHM (1797-1859) was born on 10 July 1797 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[4] She married Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK, son of Franciscus “Franz” ZWANCK and Maria Clara “Clara” WELTER, on 22 October 1823 in Bettendorf.[5] Jacques was born on 17 May 1795 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[6] He died on 15 February 1858 in Moestroff.[7] Maria died nearly two years later on 28 November 1859 in Moestroff.[8] They were the parents of seven children and were featured in 52 Ancestors: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff in 2015.

Wilhelm DAHM (1799-1843) was born on 8 September 1799 in Moestroff.[9] He married Margretha STEFFEN, daughter of Nicolas STEFFEN and Elisabeth ZENNER, on 28 January 1830 in Bettendorf.[10] Margretha was born on 27 December 1807 in Erpeldange.[11] They had three children who all continued this line. Wilhelm died on 19 June 1843 in Erpeldange (Diekirch) at the age of 43 years.[12] His widow Margretha died on 26 January 1876 in Diekirch.[13] Her death was reported by her son-in-law Theodore BAULER. His relationship with her was not clearly stated. She was 71 years old (off by 3 years) and born in Erpeldange. All of this information “fit” however there was an error on the death record. Her deceased husband was listed as Michel DAHM instead of Wilhelm. After finding Margretha in Theodore BAULER’s 1875 household in the census, I believe this is the correct person. Her son-in-law did not know the name of her husband, a man he had likely never met as Wilhelm died when his daughter Maria DAHM, Theodore’s wife, was not quite four years old.

Mathias DAHM (1802-1829) was born on 31 July 1802 in Moestroff.[14] He died on 26 February 1829 in Moestroff at the age of 26 years.[15] He was a tailor or Schneider and never married.

Théodore DAHM (1804-1879) was born on 4 August 1804 in Moestroff.[16] He died on 2 February 1879 in Ettelbruck at the age of 74 years.[17] He was never married and outlived all of his siblings. Over the years he worked as a day laborer and a domestic servant.

The children’s father Pierre DAHM died on 1 February 1830 at 2 in the afternoon.[18] His widow and the mother of the children Anna Catharina STRENG died two years later on 10 January 1832 at 5 in the morning.[19] They both passed away at home in Moestroff. The informants for their deaths were their youngest son Théodore and their neighbor Nicolas WEYLAND.

Genealogy F.A.N. Club

The fact that Nicolas WEYLAND was the neighbor of the DAHM-STRENG family led me to a discovery concerning the home the DAHM family lived in.

Nicolas WEYLAND was the son-in-law of Franz ZWANK and Clara WELTER mentioned earlier. They were the parents of Jacques ZWANK who married Maria DAHM, daughter of Pierre DAHM and Anna Catharina KIMES. It would appear that the ZWANK and DAHM families were neighbors before their children connected the families by marriage, the N. (neighbor) part of F.A.N.

You may ask, what about the WELTER connection? This I cannot answer. Clara WELTER’s father Johann was born in Reisdorf about 1730 and Pierre DAHM’s mother Marie WELTER was born about 1729, location unknown. If Johann and Marie were siblings, then Pierre and Clara would have been first cousins, and Jacques and Maria second cousins. Maybe when the earlier generations are researched I will be able to answer this question on the F. (family) part of F.A.N.

House name for the DAHM-KIMES family’s home

Now that we see how close these families were to each other geographically, I’d like to discuss the home of the DAHM family.

When Pierre’s younger sister Susanna was born in 1768 her baptismal record[20] indicated the family lived in Moestroff in a house known as Scheuer. (the Latin being adibus Scheur)

1768 Baptismal Record [20]
On 26 April 1790 when Pierre’s father Jean DAHM died, the priest wrote in Latin, pater familias in adibus Scheur or the father of a family in house Scheuer.[21]

1790 Death Record [21]
No other birth, marriage, or death record was found which documents the house name of the family. However, the Luxembourg census included the house name during some of the census years, mainly from 1855 to 1875.

I began by following Théodore as he was the longest living child of the DAHM family.

In 1843[22] and 1846[23] Théodore was living with his sister Maria, her husband Jacques ZWANK, and their children. In 1847 he was not found. In 1849 Théodore was in the household of a WENANDY family and working as a domestique.[24] In 1851 he was again with the ZWANK-DAHM family.[25] In 1852 he had his own household but as with previous years, the house name was not listed.[26]

Those were the years the census did not include the name of the house.

1855 Census sheet for the Zwank-Dahm household including Théodore Dahm, brother-in-law of the head of household. The name of the house (maison dite in French) in the red box.

In 1855 the names of the houses were included on the census sheet. Théodore was in the household of his sister Maria and brother-in-law Jacques. The house name was Scheuer.[27] In 1858 Maria was widowed and living in Scheier (Luxembourgish version of Scheuer) house with two of her unmarried children.[28] Not only Maria but also two of her married children and her brother Théodore had households of their own and were listed on consecutive pages of the census in a home called Scheier. Maria, being the oldest child of Pierre and Anna Catharina, likely was the owner of the family home and her children and brother were all living with her but had their own households.

Maria died in 1859[8] two days before her daughter Marie ZWANK married Nicolas PEFFER Sr.[29] The PEFFER-ZWANK couple, my children’s 3rd great-grandparents, lived in Maria DAHM’s home from the time they married. In 1861 it was called the Peffers house[30], in 1864 Dahms[31], in 1867[32], 1871[33], and 1875 Scheier.[34] From 1880 to 1900 no house names were given on the census sheets of the PEFFER family.

From 1768 until 1875 the name of the home the families were living in was Scheuer or Scheier. Both words mean barn but are also surnames. Were they living in a building which was once a barn, or could SCHEUER have been the name or occupation of one of Pierre DAHM’s ancestors?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to Reisdorf and the discussion of the house name of the DAHM-KIMES family of Moestroff.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 5 of 94. 1764 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-M9Y3?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accesed 31 July 2017).
[2] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 78 of 94. 1796 Marriage Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-M341?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 31 July 2017).
[3] Ibid., Reisdorf > Baptêmes 1725-1805, mariages 1763-1805 > image 19 of 59. 1762 Baptismal Record (left, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-H9MQ-4?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-RM8%3A1501010555%2C1501010556 : accessed 31 July 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[5] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 82 of 1494. 1823 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38177-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[6] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 57 of 94. 1795 Baptismal Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2824-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[7] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1462 of 1494. 1858 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36487-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[8] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1487 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39674-59?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1797-1800, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1797-1800, décès 1797-1800, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 189 of 222. 1799 (22 fructidor an VII) Birth Record (left bottom and right top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-MS31?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPK%3A1500974653%2C1500990942 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[10] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 211 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-D6F?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[11] Ibid., Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 951 of 1493. 1807 Birth Record (left page, middle). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D42Q-KQV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38%3A129628901%2C130575701 : accessed 2 Augut 2017).
[12] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 437 of 1379. 1843 Death Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D17S-7MM?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-FM9%3A129625001%2C1290913101 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[13] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1034 of 1358. 1876 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6XY7-BSK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL%3A129628901%2C129628902 : accessed 3 August 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 22 of 306. 1802 Birth Record No. 29 (12 Thermidore an X). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLP-R9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DPD%3A129626601%2C129760501 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1084 of 1494. 1829 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-CWQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1335 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record NO. 64 (16 Thermidor an XII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2MS-BQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[17] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1879-1881 > image 3 of 119. 1879 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6F79-Q1Z?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-GPF%3A129625001%2C129625002 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1093 of 1494. 1830 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38720-90?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1116 of 1494. 1832 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37297-72?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[20] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 8 of 94. 1768 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd to last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-M9TY?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 1 August 2017).
[21] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 121 of 238. 1790 Death Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLY-K3?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 1 August 2017).
[22] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1843 > image 2 of 288. 1843 Zwank-Dahm household. “Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32360-26751-78?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-T3L:346114101,345863501 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1846 > image 325 of 334. Zwank-Dahm household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28692-50?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 286 of 343. Pierre Winandy household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-FWGK?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW%3A346114101%2C345864801 : accessed 4 August 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1851 > image 359 of 386. Zwank-Dahm household No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32351-20262-71?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-446:346114101,345865601 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[26] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1852 > image 352 of 365. Theodore Dahm household No. 57. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-ZRX?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-S58%3A346114101%2C345865501 : accessed 4 August 2017).
[27] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1855 > image 325 of 358. Zwank-Dahm household No. 28. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-20635-34?cc=2037957 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[28] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1858 > image 336 of 365. Zwank-Dahm household No. 45. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32359-9055-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-2JF:346114101,345867601 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 521 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35911-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[30] Luxembourg Census Records, Bettendorf > 1861 > image 118 of 367. 1861 Peffer-Zwank household no. 33. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32377-4921-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-MNL:346114101,345867101 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1864 > image 350 of 395. 1864 Peffer-Zwank household no. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-22900-4?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1867 > image 279 of 364. 1867 Peffer-Zwank household No. 19 maison dite Scheier. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32373-10122-70?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-3TR:346114101,345869101 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1871 > image 736 of 823. 1871 Peffer-Zwank houshold no. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32377-18258-50?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-J46:346114101,345869501 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[34] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1875 > image 246 of 789. 1875 Peffer-Zwank household no. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32380-14325-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-VZK:346114101,345870501 : accessed 17 February 2015).

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

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Violate, Evoline, and Samuel

In Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, the slaveholder of the enslaved Henry was John S. Roberts. Further research turned up connections to others who owned slaved. John Shelton Roberts was the son of Alexander Roberts and Sarah Shepherd of Nelson County, Virginia. He married Adeline B. Landcraft, daughter of Nathaniel Landcraft and Sarah B. Hardin, on 6 September 1829 in Nelson County. John and Adeline very likely came to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area with Adeline’s parents. By 1830 John was living in Nicholas County where he (male 20 thru 29) was seen on the census with his wife (female 20 thru 29) and two young slaves under 10 years of age. When he died the appraisement of his estate included only the enslaved Henry. Was it possible the other slave belonged to his widow Adeline B. Landcraft? Did she receive the enslaved person in their 1830 household from her parents?

Nathaniel Landcraft was seen in Nelson County, Virginia, with the following household in 1820:

1820 United States Federal Census

Name: Nathaniel Landcraft
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 4
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 1
Slaves – Females – 26 thru 44: 2
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 5
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 11
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 19

Source: 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia; Page: 196; NARA Roll: M33_130; Image: 374; Ancestry.com

In 1830 Nathaniel Landcraft was found in Summersville, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, where his daughter Adeline and son-in-law John S. Roberts were also living. The image is very light, however, I was able to confirm the entry is for Nathaniel Landcraft and not Sanderson as indexed below.

1830 United States Federal Census

Name: Nathaniel Sanderson
[Nathaniel Snderapt] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 3
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1
Slaves – Males – Under 10: 4
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 10: 2
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total Slaves: 9
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 16

Source: 1830; Census Place: Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia; Series: M19; Roll: 198; Page: 193; Family History Library Film: 0029677; Ancestry.com

As can be seen in the census listings above, Landcraft had 11 slaves in his household in 1820 and 9 (6 of whom were born after 1820) in 1830. At the time of his death, the appraisement of his estate included only three enslaved persons: Violate, Evoline and Samuel.

1835 Appraisement of the Estate of Nathaniel Landcraft

 

“West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SQ-64?cc=1909099&wc=Q816-MG7%3A179689901%2C179689902 : accessed 30 July 2017), Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 28 of 292; county courthouses, West Virginia.

We the undersigned (after first duly sworn)
have proceeded to appraise in Current money the
person (sic) estate and Negro Belonging to the Estate
of Nathaniel Landcraft decd as followeth, to wit.

One Negro Woman named Violate $375
One    Do    Girle          ”     Evoline 150
One    Do    Boy            ”      Samuel 125
One Cupboard & Furniture 35
One Safe & furniture 10
One Sideboard & Table 5
One Clock 10
One Bed & furniture 30
Two Beds, Bedsteads & furniture 60
One Trunk, Chist & Bedstead 4
One Looking Glass 2
Two Waiters 1.50
Nine Chairs 4.50
One Tea Kittle and Irons & Shovels & Tongs 3
Kitchen furniture 15
Books 2.50
TOTAL $832.50

Given under our hand this 2nd day
of January 1855_
. . . . . . . . . . . .T.B. Hamilton
. . . . . . . . . . . .P. Keenan             Appraisers
. . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Morris

Fayette County Court Clerks Office Jany Term 1835
The Appraisement Bill of the Estate of Nathaniel Land-
craft decd was Recd and ordered to be recorded_
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Test
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hiram Hill CK

End of transcription

About the time Nathaniel Landcraft died, his daughter Adeline, 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 Adeline Woodson owned one female slave age 30. Who was this female slave? Did Rev. Woodson die before 1860? Did he leave a will, inventory, or appraisement mentioning the slave enumerated under his name in 1850?

To be continued in next month’s post….

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: #26 A Visit of Moestroff, Ancestral Home of the Zwanck-Welter Family

I love it when I’m speculating about a relationship, searching for records to back it up, and end up finding the one document that brings it all together!

Remember doing jigsaw puzzles as a child? Did you try to connect the pieces even when they didn’t fit? The pieces of my puzzle were all spread out and I was sure they would come together into one picture.

Castle of Moestroff hidden behind walls and overgrown hedges and trees

Clara WELTER and Franz ZWANCK are another set of my children’s 5th great-grandparents in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Clara and Franz lived in the town my husband often visited while growing up. Being the oldest grandchild of Suzanne PEFFER and Fritz KREMER he would spend his summer vacation with his grandparents, running around the little village, and playing with the children there. Little did he know, his friends were most likely distantly related to him as many families have deep roots in the little hamlet.

The mill of Moestroff across the Sauer River from the castle and church.

Moestroff is a village which is on one of our main bike routes when riding north of Echternach and we stopped there to take a few photos this week.

The church of Moestroff (side view from back) with the priest’s entry door.

Franz ZWANCK (1750-1820)

Franciscus “Franz” ZWANCK was born about 1750 in Moestroff, commune of Bettendorf, district of Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His estimated date of birth was calculated from the age at death seen in his death record. I believe he may have been born several years after 1750. He was the son of Pierre ZWANG (d. aft. 1789) and Anne Marie HUSCHET (d. bef. 1789) per Franz’s 1789 marriage record. He died on 3 June 1820 in Moestroff.[1]

Clara WELTER (1766-1826)

Franciscus married Maria Clara WELTER, daughter of Johann WELTER and Anna Maria FELTES, on 26 October 1789 in Bettendorf.[2] Clara, as she was known, was born on 4 July 1766 in Reisdorf[3], the fifth of seven children. She died on 25 January 1826 in Moestroff.[4]

The steeple of the church of Moestroff

Franz and Clara’s children

  1. Catherine ZWANK was born on 2 August 1790[5] and died on 29 March 1852.[6] (more below)
  2. Peter ZWANK § was born on 19 August 1793 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[7] He died at the age of 3 years on 8 September 1796 in Moestroff.[8]
  3. Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born on 17 May 1795[9] and died on 15 February 1858.[10] (more below)
  4. Johann ZWANCK was born on 26 April 1797.[11] He died on 28 February 1832.[12] (more below)
  5. Margreta ZWANG § was born on 22 April 1799 in Moestroff.[13] She lived only eight days dying on 29 April 1799.[14]
  6. Maria ZWANG § was born 26 May 1800[15] and died on 26 January 1815 at the age of 14 years in Moestroff.[16]
  7. Franciscus ZWANCK § was born on 28 April 1804
    [17] and died on 18 July 1804 at the age of nearly three months.[18] Both events took place in Moestroff.

§ is the symbol I use for children who are the end of the line. The additions of Margreta and Maria were only made today. I had found the death record of Maria who died in 1815 and was searching for her birth record when I found Margreta’s birth record. So close in age, I thought they may have been the same person. I continued to search and found the birth record of Maria and the death record of Margaretha proving they were two.

The children who survived to adulthood

Catherine ZWANK

Catherine ZWANK was born and baptized on 2 August 1790 in Moestroff. Catherine married Matthias ABENS, son of Théodore ABENS and Susanne HASTERT, on 29 May 1811 in Bettendorf.[19] Matthias was born on 2 January 1785 in Ralingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.[19] He died on 3 August 1819 in Moestroff.[20] Catherine and Matthias had two children: Christophe (1816-1880) who remained in Moestroff and Anna Maria (1819-aft. 1889) who moved to the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium.

Catherine also married Nicolas WEYLAND, son of Hubert WEYLAND and Marguerite ÖRNTZEN (I believe this name may have later been ERNZEN), on 22 January 1828 in Bettendorf.[21] Nicolas was born on 29 January 1779 in Örntzheim (Nommern).[22] He died on 25 June 1859 in Moestroff.[23] Catherine and Nicolas also had two children: Catharina (1830-1900) who went to live in Paris, France, with her husband and family and Jacques Hubert (1833-aft. 1909) who went to live in the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium with his family.

Catherine died on 29 March 1852 in Moestroff.

UPDATE: My friend Linda, a researcher in Luxembourg, confirmed: Örntzheim (Nommern) is in fact Ernzen, part of Larochette (also called Feels or in Latin Rupe, all meaning -Little-Rock). Larochette was in the parish of Nommern before the French Revolution.

Jacques ZWANK

 

The castle, with the steeple of the church in the background, in the town of Moestroff where Jacques ZWANK raised his family

Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born on 17 May 1795 in Moestroff and baptized the same day in Bettendorf. Jacques married Maria DAHM, daughter of Pierre “Peter” DAHM and Anne Cathérine KIMMES, on 22 October 1823 in Bettendorf.[24] Maria was born on 10 July 1797 in Moestroff and christened the same day in Bettendorf.[25] Jacob died on 15 February 1858 in Moestroff and Maria died on 28 November 1859 in Moestroff.[26] Their story was told in 52 Ancestors: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff. Jacob and Maria’s children remained in Moestroff.

Johann ZWANCK

The castle of Vianden, the town where Johann ZWANCK raised his family

Johann ZWANCK was born on 26 April 1797 in Moestroff. He died on 28 February 1832 in Vianden. Johann married Cathérine HIERTZ, daughter of Jean HIERTZ and Barbe WEYRICH, on 17 January 1826 in Vianden.[27] Cathérine was born on 2 October 1804 in Vianden[28] Her death record has not been located. Johann and Cathérine had four children: Johann (1826-aft. 1886), Jacob (1828-1898), Wilhelm (1828-1832), Agathe (1831-?).

Getting back to the jigsaw puzzle

What I do when I have a genealogy puzzle is to add assumed children with TEMPORARILY ATTACHED typed in at the top of their notes to a set of parents in my database. These parents may already have proven children whose timelines are helpful in determining if I am on the right track. I work through each “child” adding information as it is found. If they end up not being connected I can easily detach the child leaving all of the information in my database. I don’t delete the information because, even if it is not useful to me, it may help someone else with their research.

The puzzle the ZWANG family presented was partly solved in this way. As you can see in the genealogical information above, the family name was seen with several different spellings: ZWANG, ZWANK, and ZWANCK. I had to be careful that all of these spellings were variations of the same name and not another family name.

Before I found the one document that brings it all together! this was what I knew. Pierre ZWANG and Anne Marie HUSCHET may have had at least 4 children. This was speculation on my part. Records were found for a possible son Ludovicus (1748-1776), a possible daughter Irmina Catharina (b. 1750), and sons Franz (b. abt. 1750) and Nicolas (b. 1764). The baptismal records of the first two children DID NOT have the maiden name of the mother –  HUSCHET. For Franz, the subject of this post, no baptismal record was found however his marriage record gave the maiden name of his mother as HUSCHET. Nicolas’ baptismal record only had Anne Marie as his mother’s name.

One avenue I have not considered is that the ZWANG-HUSCHET couple may have had children in another town. In records found for the HOSCHEID family (which I worked through when I wrote A Priest Born in the 16th Century Leaves a Key to Open the Door in a Brick Wall) the surname HOSCHEID was also spelled HUSCHETE. I may have to re-visit the Brandenbourg records to see if there is a connection.

It must be mentioned here that early parish records for Moestroff were found in Reisdorf and later parish records were found in Bettendorf. Unfortunately, there is a period between the two where records are missing. Notably for Bettendorf before 1763.

Further speculation on my part was that Irmina Catharina went by Catharina and married Johann KELSCH on 9 March 1777 in Bettendorf. The marriage record does not list parents. Johann KELSCH was the godfather of Franz’s son Johann in 1797. As no age was listed, this Johann KELSCH could have been either the husband of Catharina ZWANG or her son. I found two researchers who list a date of death for Catharina’s husband. The date was 6 March 1798.

1798 Death Record of Pierre ZWANG found on pages 345 and 346 of the civil register of Bettendorf.[29]
While searching for the death record of Johann KELSCH (I still have not found it!) I found a death record I had not expected to find.

The early civil records for Luxembourg begin in 1796. This is the period in which the Republican Calendar was being used. The date I was searching for, 6 March 1798, would have been 16 Ventôse in the year VI. I found records dated the 3rd and the 20th of the month of Ventôse in the year VI but none in between.

One of the death records for the 3rd included the name KELSCH but it was the name of one of the informants and not the person who had died. The civil servant who was likely not very well educated in French made many spellings errors. They were errors he repeated in other entries and therefore likely how he thought they were written.

The handwriting and the spelling made it difficult to decipher the document, a death record for Pierre ZWANG, the father of Franz ZWANG. The record clearly states Franz was the son of Pierre but the relationship of Johann KELSCH who was the second informant is not given. However, his age was given as 21 which could only mean he was the son of Catharian ZWANG and Johann KELSCH.

From this record, I now know Pierre ZWANG was born about 1728 as his age was 70 years at the time of death on 21 February 1798.[29]

The family name ZWANG is a German word which means force. In the end, I did not need to use force to piece the puzzle together. The pieces fell into place although it did take hours of looking through the Luxembourg records, adding the records to my database, and citing the sources.

Do you have a similar way of solving the problems you run into in your genealogy research? I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to Moestroff with the ZWANCK-WELTER family.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 993 of 1494. 1820 Death Record (age at death 70). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37494-69?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 112 of 238. 1789 Marriage Record (left page, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLB-BM?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[3] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Reisdorf > Baptêmes 1725-1805, mariages 1763-1805 > image 20 of 59. 1766 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-H9M2-Z?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-RM8%3A1501010555%2C1501010556 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[4] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1045 of 1494. 1826 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35658-79?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[5] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 47 of 94. 1790 Baptismal Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-1478-56?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[6] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1388 of 1494. “.” 1852 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37526-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 7 Sep 2011).
[7] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 53 of 94. 1793 Baptismal Record (last entry on right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2766-52?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 94 of 94. 1796 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-MS17?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 57 of 94. 1795 Baptismal Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2824-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1462 of 1494. 1858 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36487-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[11] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[12] Luxembourg Civil Records, Vianden > Mariages 1834-1890 Décès 1797-1866 > image 918 of 1406. 1832 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTQS-LJ6?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-DP8%3A130504801%2C130555401 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 198 of 238. 1799 (3 Floreal year VII) Birth Record part 1 (right, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLT-2L?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017) See also image 199 for part 2.
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 216 of 238. 1799 Death Record ( 9 Floreal year VII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLL-B8?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 227 of 238. 1800 Birth Record No. 19 (6 Prairial year VIII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLB-RV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 950 of 1494. 1815 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35621-4?cc=1709358 : accessed 25 September 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1328 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record No. 46 (8 Floreal an XII). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-175-20?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1328 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record No. 46 (8 Floreal an XII). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-175-20?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1439 of 1507. 1811 Marriage Record (left page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2MW-CV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 985 of 1494. 1819 Death Recod (left, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-DJV?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 166 of 1494. 1828 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-6C4?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[22] Luxembourg Parish Records, Nommern > Baptêmes 1744-1787, confirmations 1750-1789, mariages 1751-1765, 1769-1787, sépultures 1752-1787 > image 68 of 170. 1779 Baptismal Record (part 1, right page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9SWR?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-L2V%3A1500981117%2C1501018978 : accessed 29 July 2017). See also image 59 for second part.

[23] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1481 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-FQH?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 27 July 2017).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 82 of 1494. 1823 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38177-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[25] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[26] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1487 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39674-59?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[27] Ibid., Vianden > Naissances 1793-1828 > image 113 of 484. 1804 Birth Record (10 vendémiaire an XIII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-XCWW-SC?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-SPD%3A130504801%2C130707001 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[28] Ibid., Vianden > Naissances 1829-1890 Mariages 1797-1833 > image 1437 of 1493. 1826 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DTCS-W58?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-929%3A130504801%2C130760501 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[29] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 179 of 238. 1798 Death Record part 1 (3 ventôse an VI) (right, bottom).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRL1-Y1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017). See also image 180 for second part.

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

A Priest Born in the 16th Century Leaves a Key to Open the Door in a Brick Wall

On Sunday I was checking my post, 52 Ancestors: #25 A Family on Two Continents, and doing miscellaneous searches for descendants of this family from Luxembourg when I made a fantastic discovery.

While searching the newspapers and periodicals on eluxemburgensia, part of the National Library of Luxembourg site, I got a surprising hit for Elisabetha HOBSCHEID and Michel GRASSER, my children’s 5th great-grandparents who I wrote about in the above article.

The hit brought up the book Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois, published in 1858. Imagine my surprise. Michel died in 1821, Elisabetha in 1831, and this book was from 1858. A manual of scholarships available to Luxembourgers written by Jean-Pierre Koltz (1804-1880), a teacher.

Unlike the newspapers where you are taken directly to the page the name is found on, this search took me to a chapter in the book. It was not immediately obvious why I was getting a hit in the chapter titled Penninger Foundation. I leafed through until I found Elisabetha and Michel. Their names were on a list of genealogical information. I slowly went back through each generation to find myself at the beginning of the family tree of Pierre PENNINGER.

It took me a few days to get my thoughts together and figure out how to share this discovery. This morning we took a bike ride to Brandenbourg to take pictures which I’ve added throughout this post. I’d like to thank my husband for sharing my enthusiasm through his photography. I hope you enjoy and they don’t distract too much from the rest of the story.

Who was Pierre PENNINGER?

Pierre PENNINGER, a native of Diekirch, took his vows for the priesthood and was the pastor of Brandenbourg at the time of his death.

On 4 June 1632, he donated 2,500 écus to the Jesuit priests. On the 1st of December of the same year, the Conseil provincial (Provincial Council) approved the donation to be used for two scholarships for the seminary in honor of the Holy Trinity.

The road into Brandenbourg with the castle on top of the hill.

In his last will and testament dated 5 January 1636 Father Penninger added the sum of 700 écus for a total of 3,200 écus (7,680 francs in 1848) for the scholarship fund to benefit three students of the Jesuit seminary. Relatives of Pierre PENNINGER, the founder, were the first eligible for the scholarships. If no relatives applied then the scholarships would go to poor young men of the Brandenbourg parish or its environs.

Kapell Brandenbourg (Chapel)

The original capital of the Penninger Foundation was 2,500 écus. The revenue of the capital was enough to fund two students during their stay at the seminary. The wars of the times caused the value of the scholarships to be reduced by nearly half so that only one scholarship for offered.

Inside the Chapel of Brandenbourg

However, through the wise administration of the capital, the fund increased in value to 12,698 francs in 1848. By a royal decree in 1848 it was decided to increase the number of scholarships to two.

Cornerstone of the Chapel of Brandenbourg

As the terms of the will were that the scholarships should go to the priest’s relatives, a family tree, in the possession of the Société Archéologique du Grand-Duché, was kept for consultation by candidates for the scholarships.

Brandenbourg Castle

Why all the excitement?

In my last post about Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID, I wrote:

Elisabetha’s family lived in Brandenbourg. This parish’s records are lacking and those which are included are out of order. I have not gone through them to find her parents’ family group.

I did not even try to go through the records. The genealogy information in the chapter about the Penninger Foundation in the book mentioned above turned out to be the key I needed to open the door, or maybe a window, in this brick wall.

Stained glass window in the chapel of Brandenbourg

The PENNINGER Family Tree from 1672 and 1705

What follows are extracts of the Penninger family tree pertaining to my children’s direct line from Pierre PENNINGER’s parents to Elisabeth and Michel.

  • All screenshots (below) are from Jean-Pierre Koltz’s Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois. Link to the book (public domain) is found at the end of this article.

The genealogical information for the grandfather of Pierre PENNINGER was certified by the aldermen of the town of Diekirch on 7 April 1672 and 21 April 1705.

The grandfather of the founder, Pierre PENNINGER, had two sons. One of the sons was the father of a son and a daughter: Pierre PENNINGER, a lawyer in Diekirch, who was already deceased at the time his cousin, the pastor of Brandenbourg, made his will on 5 January 1636 and Elisabeth PENNINGER who married Regnard HERMAN.

The other son of the grandfather had three children. 1. Pierre, the pastor of Brandenbourg and founder of the scholarship foundation in his name. 2. Hélène, referred to as Hildegarde in her brother’s will, married Pierre FUNCK of Brandenbourg. 3. Marguerite married Jean KLEIN of Bockoltz who the founder referred to as Mercatoris (merchant) in his will.

The descendency of the two sisters of pastor Penninger of Brandenbourg.

My children’s line goes through the second sister Marguerite PENNINGER who married Jean KLEIN and had the following children:

  1. Jean KLEIN
  2. Dominique KLEIN, who was mentioned in Pierre PENNINGER’s will
  3. Jean KLEIN married Eve FLORENTZ
  4. Nicolas KLEIN married Odile BERNARD of Wiltz

The descendency of the KLEIN-PENNINGER couple was certified on 11 August 1768 by the mayors and aldermen of the high justice of Wiltz. The information was later complemented by information found in the civil records.

Jean KLEIN and Eve FLORENTZ had a daughter Hélène KLEIN who married Nicolas BOCK.

Nicolas BOCK and Hélène KLEIN had the following children:

  1. Ludovine BOCK married Jean-Michel REULAND
  2. Marguerite BOCK married Jean KETTELS of Niederwiltz
  3. Jean-Grégoire BOCK married Marie LEMMAER of Brandenbourg
  4. Jean-Nicolas BOCK, a notary from Merzig-sur-la-Sarre, was a Penninger scholar

Jean-Michel REULAND and Ludovine BOCK had the following children:

  1. Marie-Marguerite REULAND married Guillaume FISCHBACH (conflicting information – this daughter is also seen in the line down from the founder’s sister Hélène)
  2. Anne-Marguerite REULAND married N. Fischbach
  3. Jean-Philippe REULAND
  4. Jean-Nicolas REULAND
  5. Marie-Catherine REULAND married Léonard HOSCHEID of Brandenbourg

Léonard HOBSCHEID (sic, HOSCHEID) and Marie-Catherine REULAND of Brandenbourg had the following children:

  1. Marie-Catherine HOBSCHEID (sic) married(1) Philippe FISCHBACH and married(2) Michel LIMES of Brandenbourg
  2. Michel HOBSCHEID (sic) of Brandenbourg married an unknown lady
  3. Elisabeth HOBSCHEID (sic) married Michel GRASSER of Moestroff

Children #1 and #2 continue with another generation while my children’s 5th great-grandparents Elisabeth HOSCHEID and Michael GRASSER of Moestroff do not have children listed.

Have you counted through the generations found for this family? I had the names of Elisabeth HOSCHEID’s parents and, with the above, I have been able to add four more generations back to my children’s 10th great-grandmother Marguerite PENNINGER, sister of Pierre PENNINGER, the pastor who set up the scholarship fund for his relatives or needy young men of the parish of Brandenbourg and environs.

The church of Brandenbourg with the cemetery on the sides and back.

Although the Brandenbourg parish records aren’t complete, I have been able to find baptismal, marriage, and death/burial records for several of the person’s named above as well as for children who were not included in the list. The genealogical information lacks dates and can only be used as a guide until records are found to confirm the line back to the PENNINGER grandfather of Pierre, Hélène, and Marguerite and their cousins Pierre and Elisabeth.

As I began to look for records to support the information found in the published family tree, I learned I was not the first to make this discovery. It kind of burst my bubble but I still feel really good about this since I came across it on my own – even if it was a bit by chance.

Sources:

Auguste Neÿen, Biographie luxembourgeoise: histoire des hommes distingues …, Volume 2, Luxembourg 1861; pg. 40 and 105; online https://archive.org/stream/biographieluxem00negoog#page/n45/mode/2up/search/Penninger

Koltz, Jean-Pierre, Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois; V. Bück , Luxembourg, 1858; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=2828373&search_terms=Elisabeth%20Hobscheid#panel:pp|issue:2828373|article:DTL3386|page:107|query:Elisabeth Hobscheid

52 Ancestors: #25 A Family on Two Continents

Michael GRASSER (1772-1821)

Michael GRASSER was born on 8 July 1772 in Moestroff, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He was the son of Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS and Elisabetha WINANDY. Michael was the oldest of eight children born as follows: Michael 8 July 1772, Maria Margaretha 3 April 1774, Michael 24 February 1776, Susanna 26 September 1777, Wilhelm 11 February 1780, Joannes 26 October 1782, Mathias 12 November 1784 (d. 5 March 1785), and Philippe 24 July 1786. Baptismal records were found for all of these children. Their father was often referred to as Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS.

1772 Baptismal Record for Michäel GRASSER [1]
Michael’s baptismal record was more revealing. The priest wrote:

Nicolai et Elisabetha Grasser conjugum in aedibus Reuters x Moestroff

This indicated the parents were a married couple who lived in a house known as Reuters in Moestroff. Reuters was their house name but the family would keep the GRASSER surname.

Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831)

Michael married Elisabetha HOSCHEID, daughter of Léonard HOSCHEID and Marie REULAND, on 20 January 1796 in Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Elisabetha was born about 1772 in Brandenbourg.

Elisabetha’s family lived in Brandenbourg. This parish’s records are lacking and those which are included are out of order. I have not gone through them to find her parents’ family group. However, it is interesting that both her parents’ surnames are also names of town in Luxembourg. HOSCHEID variations are Hoscheit, Hoschet, Hoschette, Houschette; REULAND variations are Reiland, Reyland. Both names may have originated from town names. Did their families originally come from Hoscheid and Reuland? This thought went through my mind as I was climbing the hill up to Reuland, a village in the commune of Heffingen in central Luxembourg, yesterday on my bike. This was the view we were rewarded with after riding through the village to the top of the hill.

A field outside of Reuland on the way to Heffingen

Elisabeth and Michael marry in 1796

1796 M;arriage Record of Michael GRASSER and Elisabetha “HOSCHET” or HOSCHEID

Michael married Elisabetha on 20 January 1796 in Bettendorf. The marriage index card gives 2 January 1796 but the record clearly is for the 20th. More interesting is the name of one of the witnesses for this religious marriage. Nicolas MERCKES of Bettendorf signed the entry making it easier for me to prove who he was. The signature matches those found on the baptismal records of his children. Nicolas was the great-great-grandfather of Fritz KREMER (1905-1972) who would marry Suzanne PEFFER (1910-1987), the great-great-granddaughter of Michael and Elisabetha, one hundred and thirty-five years later, on 7 January 1931. They were the parents of my mother-in-law Maisy KREMER (1931-1986).

Pedigree chart of Suzanne PEFFER (1910-1987 )

The children of Michael and Elisabetha

Michael and Elisabetha had the following children:

  1. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 11 November 1796 in Moestroff and died on 18 February 1801 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
  2. Margaretha GRASSER was born on 31 December 1797 in Moestroff and died on 24 April 1848 in Moestroff. She married Pierre RAUSCH, son of Mathieu RAUSCH and Marie SCHMIT, on 25 January 1820 in Bettendorf. Pierre was born on 27 July 1796 in Consdorf (Canton Echternach). He died on 17 December 1875 in St. Nicholas, Stearns County, Minnesota. [8 children]
  3. Jean GRASSER was born on 13 February 1799 in Moestroff and died on 19 November 1803 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
  4. Anna Catharina GRASSER was born on 15 December 1801 in Moestroff and died on 6 December 1821 in Moestroff, a week before her 20th birthday.
  5. Maria GRASSER was born about 1801 in Moestroff. Her birth record has not been found and when she married her sister Anna Catharina’s date of birth was listed. Maria died on 4 January 1882 in Moestroff. She married Antoin “Anton” PEFFER, son of Adam PEFFER and Marguerite PIERRET, on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf. Anton was born on 20 May 1803 in Obermertzig (Feulen) and died on 26 December 1858 in Moestroff. Maria and Anton were my children’s 4th great-grandparents. [7 children]
  6. Phillippe GRASSER was born on 26 July 1804 in Moestroff and died on 12 March 1805 in Moestroff at the age of nearly 8 months.
  7. Cathérine GRASSER was born on 12 November 1805 in Moestroff and died on 1 March 1862 in Luxemburg, Stearns County, Minnesota. She married Michel LESCH, son of Jean LESCH and Elisabeth MAJERUS, on 28 March 1832 in Bettendorf. Michel was born on 15 April 1807 in Biesdorf, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, and died on 27 June 1878 in Rockville, Stearns County, Minnesota. [8 children]
  8. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 4 July 1807 in Moestroff and died on 1 June 1852 in Moestroff. He married Anne Cathérine STAUDT, daughter of Jean STAUDT and Madeleine SCHILTZ, on 2 March 1835 in Bastendorf (Diekirch). Anne Cathérine was born on 16 January 1808 in Brandenbourg and died on 24 November 1859 in Moestroff. [4 children]
  9. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 23 April 1809 in Moestroff and died on 8 May 1867 in Lultzhausen (Neunhausen). He married Madeleine LENTZ, daughter of Jean LENTZ and Anne Marie MARTEN, on 9 June 1832 in Bettendorf. Madeleine was born on 17 February 1814 in Moestroff and died on 7 August 1844 in Moestroff. Following her death, Nicolas married Marguerite FRISCH, daughter of Michel FRISCH and Susanne WEBER, on 11 December 1844 in Bettendorf. Marguerite was born on 2 March 1820 in Beaufort (Echternach) and died on 22 May 181 in Lultzhausen (Neunhausen). [10 children]

This is a long list of children but, sadly, not all survived childhood. Daughters Margaretha, Maria, and Cathérine, and the two sons named Nicolas were the ones who would marry and continue the line.

Michael dies at the age of 48

Michael and Elisabetha would only be present at the marriage of their oldest daughter Margaretha who married in 1820. A little over a year later, on 26 February 1821, Michael GRASSER died at 11 o’clock in the morning. His wife Elisabetha went to the records office in Bettendorf the following afternoon at 2 o’clock to have his death recorded. She was not able to write and left only a mark on the death record. Mathias HESSE, the secretary, was the second witness and Nicolas RECHT, the mayor, was the civil official.

1821 Death Record of Michael GRASSER

How close was the family after Michael’s death?

Elisabetha HOSCHEID lived another ten years. Did all of her unmarried children live with her and support her?

On 17 February 1830 Elisabetha made her last appearance in a legal document when she was present and consenting to the marriage of her her oldest single daughter Maria, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

1830 Marriage Record of Anton PEFFER and Maria GRASSER

Reviewing the marriage record (once again) I found things I had questioned earlier. Maria’s age was left off and her date of birth was incorrect as mentioned above under #5. Her father was deceased and his date of death on the marriage record was the date for a child of the same name who died in 1809 and not for Michael who died in 1821.

Looking at the record now, in relation with the GRASSER family, it seems strange that neither of the bride’s brothers named Nicolas GRASSER nor her brother-in-law Pierre RAUSCH were present at the marriage. In the section for the witnesses, there is room for four persons and only three are listed, two PEFFER men – an uncle and a brother of the groom – and an unrelated man. I believe this is the only marriage record I have come across which does not have all four witnesses listed. Further, the marriage record appears to have been prepared in advance or at least by two persons. Notice the light handwriting at the top and bottom, while the middle section is darker and a different handwriting.

Were Maria’s family not happy with her choice? Or, was she in a family way and the rush to get her married caused errors to be made on the marriage record? Maria gave birth to her first child less than eight months after the marriage. Cutting it close or a premature birth, did it really matter as Maria was nearly 30 years old when she married?

Elisabetha dies at the age of 59

Her son-in-law Pierre RAUSCH was the informant of her death on 17 September 1831 in Moestroff. She died at 7 in the morning and Pierre was at the civil records office by 11. The record shows she died at the home of the RAUSCH family which makes me wonder if all of the family was living together at the time – Elisabetha’s unmarried children as well as her married daughter and grandchildren.

1831 Death Record of Elisabetha HOSCHEID

The years after Michael and Elisabetha

Following the death of their mother, Cathérine was the first to marry in March 1832 followed by the younger Nicolas in June 1832. The elder Nicolas married in March 1835.

Two families go to America

In 1848 [many family trees incorrectly list 1840] the oldest child Margaretha died. Her death was followed by the elder Nicolas GRASSER’s death in 1852. This appears to be a turning point in the family history.

Margaretha’s husband Pierre RAUSCH and five of their children emigrated from Luxembourg to Stearns County, Minnesota. Only the oldest daughter remained in Moestroff. A county history places the immigration at the latter part of the 1850s. They may have been the first to go to America but others would follow.

Cathérine and her husband Michael LOESCH (as the name was seen from 1852) also went to Stearns County. The move can be placed at after December 1855 when they were last seen in the Luxembourg census. The LOESCH family also had two sons named Nicolas. The elder was not with his parents in 1855 and likely accompanied Pierre RAUSCH and his children to America. From the History of Stearns County, Minnesota, Volume II by William Bell Mitchell:

Nicholas [Loesch] set out for America in 1854. In 1855 he started for the West with a party of eight young men. They were among the first to pass through the canal at Sault Ste. Marie. Through swamps and woods they pursued their course and finally reached St. Paul. From there Nicholas came to St. Cloud. He first took a homestead in Rockville township, but allowed his right to lapse. His parents obtained a homestead in Rockville township, where they ended their days. Nicholas finally secured a location in section 3, near Pearl lake in Maine Prairie township. Here he erected a log cabin, and with a yoke of oxen and a cow started farming operations.

Two families remain in Luxembourg

While the families of Margaretha and Cathérine went to America, Elisabetha and Michael’s last living son Nicolas remained in Luxembourg but moved away from Moestroff to Lultzhausen. Only Maria, my children’s ancestress, remained in Moestroff as did several generations of her descendants until Suzanne PEFFER died there in 1987.

Genealogical Jackpot!

While checking the National Library of Luxembourg site for newspapers and periodicals for further information on the grandchildren of this couple I made a fantastic discovery concerning Elisabetha HOSCHEID. She and her husband were mentioned in a book written in 1858. I am overwhelmed and will share as soon as I get my thoughts together in a few days.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
Sources will be added during the week as the remarkable discovery I made today kept me from adding the footnotes and citations.

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

52 Ancestors: #24 The Peffer-Pierret Family of Feulen and Gilsdorf

Sometimes when I start to search for information on a family it looks like it will be quick and easy. This family was supposed to be one of these. I did much of the preliminary research two years ago when I wrote about the oldest son Anton PEFFER and his wife Maria GRASSER. They were my children’s fourth great-grandparents.

I put off writing the post the end of June because it fell on the same day I planned to publish my Slave Name Roll Project article. My readers took me up on my offer to explain how I found the records with the names of the slaves and I wrote a very successful spin-off Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch.

The weather finally improved and my husband and I were able to get back on our racing bikes for some much-needed exercise. Two of our rides took us through the town of Gilsdorf where this family lived.

I delayed doing the post again in preparation for my visit to the State Archives of Arlon in Belgium and instead wrote Luxracines on Tour in Belgium and France.

This family had me searching through browse-only church records, civil records, and census records for a period of 150 plus years. This takes time. Not only to browse but to download the images, cite them, analyze them, and attach them to the events of each individual. Each time I put off writing this story, I picked up the research again and I found more records which had to be dealt with.

I now have a nearly complete timeline for the family with so many records that my citation list would be longer than the story. I’m going to leave it up to you to visit my GEDCOM file to consult the sources if you are interested. As the family’s story develops, I have linked each person at the time of their death to his or her individual page on RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

The PEFFER-PEIRRET Family Story

Dominique PEFFER (1743-1813) and Marguerite SINTGEN (1750-1821) married on 8 January 1775 in Diekirch. He was from Niederglabach (Mersch) and she was from Gilsdorf, a neighboring town of Diekirch. This couple would have nine children born between 1775 and 1797. All were born in Gilsdorf likely in the ancestral home of the mother. Marguerite was the oldest child and, as was the custom of the time, she may have inherited the family home. Of the nine children born to Dominique and Marguerite, three are known to have married and had children. One of these was Adam PEFFER born on 25 July 1777.

Nicolas PIERRET (1740-1808) and Anna Maria ROBINET (1747-1785) were married on 14 March 1761. The marriage record has not been located. The marriage index card indicates it took place in Eischen/Arlon. This may mean the marriage took place in Eischen and the record will be found in the Arlon parish records. What a strange coincidence when only last Saturday I was visiting the archives in Arlon. Nicolas and Anna Maria were the parents of ten children born between 1764 and  1784 in Eischen (Capellen). Their seventh child was Marguerite PIERRET who was born on 4 August 1777 in Eischen. Anna Maria ROBINET died in 1785 and her widower remarried in 1786. His second wife gave him a daughter in 1787 before dying in 1793.

The PEFFER and PIERRET Union

Adam PEFFER married Marguerite PIERRET on 28 June 1802 in Feulen (Diekirch). Why Adam, who was born and raised in Gilsdorf, and Marguerite, who was born and raised in Eischen, ended up marrying in Feulen is not known. They would remain in the Feulen area, living in Obermertzig where their first five children were born. When Adam had the births of these children recorded his occupation was seen as Taglöhner or day laborer.

  • Antoin “Anton” born 20 May 1803
  • Nicolas born 23 October 1805
  • Eva PEFFER born 4 February 1808 and died 19 March 1808
  • Christian Peffer born 7 May 1809
  • Christina born 15 April 1811

Two days before the birth of their first daughter Eva, Marguerite lost her father Nicolas PIERRET who died in Eischen on 2 February 1808.

Sometime after the birth of daughter Christina, Adam and his family moved back to his hometown of Gilsdorf. This may have had something to do with the death of Adam’s father Dominique PEFFER who died on 11 April 1813 in Gilsdorf. His death was reported by his second oldest son Theodore. At this time it is not known if Adam and Theodore’s older sister was still living. It’s possible that Adam was now the oldest child and may have come home to care for his mother and work in the occupation of his father.

Town sign at the entrance of Gilsdorf via the road coming from the bridge which crosses the Sauer River.

Back in Gilsdorf, Adam and Marguerite added two more children to their family. Both daughters.

  • Susanne born 21 August 1814
  • Angelique born 11 February 1817

In 1814 and 1817 when Adam reported the births of his daughters his occupation was Leinenweber (tisserant in French) or linen weaver – the same occupation as his father Dominique PEFFER.

Five days before Angelique was born, her father Adam’s next oldest brother Théodore married Marie Cathérine KAISER on 6 February 1817 in Stegen. Their youngest brother Peter was a witness. Did Adam stay home to be with his wife Marguerite who was ready to give birth to their last child?

The entrance of the Gilsdorf cemetery where the family is likely buried. We did not walk the cemetery to check for the names.

Adam’s mother Marguerite SINTGEN died four years later at the age of 68 years on 22 February 1821 in Gilsdorf. Her son Théodore reported her death.

The chapel of the Gilsdorf cemetery.

Adam and Marguerite’s family of eight would be reduced to seven on 17 August 1826 when their daughter Susanne PEFFER died four days short of her 12th birthday. Her father reported the death. No longer seen as a linen weaver, his occupation was Ackerer (farmer) at the time of her death.

Adam and Marguerite’s oldest son, my children’s 4th great-grandfather, Antoin “Anton” PEFFER married Maria GRASSER (1801-1882) of Moestroff on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf, the commune to which Gilsdorf and Moestroff belonged. Adam was a Taglöhner when his son Anton married.

The Catholic church of Gilsdorf. Likely the place the religious marriage ceremonies took place for the children who lived in Gilsdorf and married (civil) in the commune of Bettendorf.

It was another 7 years before the next child of this couple married. Their second oldest son Nicolas married Susanna SCHARLÉ (1810-1873) of Gilsdorf on 6 January 1837 in Bettendorf.

Four years later, Adam and Marguerite’s oldest daughter Christina who was 30 years old married Johann SCHEUER (1794-1875) on 15 February 1841 in Bettendorf. Johann who was 47 years old and widowed with several children.

On 22 December 1843 when the census was taken Adam PEFFER had in his household his only unmarried son Christian and his youngest daughter Angelique who was also still single at the age of 26. Adam and Christian were day laborers and Angelique was seen as having no profession. Where was Adam’s wife Marguerite? The person who filled out the sheet wrote marié (married) as Adam’s marital status and then struck it out replacing it with veuf (widowed). Marguerite PIERRET died the same day as the census sheet was filled out and signed. She died at 9 in the morning at home. Adam and his son-in-law Johann SCHEUER went to the records office at 4 in the afternoon the same day to report her death. Her occupation was listed as day laborer and her place of birth was seen as Eischen in Belgium near Arlon.A month later on 20 January 1844 and on 4 February 1844 the banns were read for the marriage of Adam’s youngest daughter Angelique PEFFER and Nicholas POTT (1815-1873). They married on 10 February 1844 in Bettendorf.

A month later on 20 January 1844 and on 4 February 1844 the banns were read for the marriage of Adam’s youngest daughter Angelique PEFFER and Nicholas POTT (1815-1873). They married on 10 February 1844 in Bettendorf.

When the next two censuses were taken in December of 1846 and of 1847 Adam was had in his household his son Christian in Gilsdorf. His son Anton was living in Moestroff with his wife who was from Moestroff. Adam’s children Nicolas, Christina, and Angelique were in their own households in Gilsdorf.

Adam PEFFER died a few weeks after the 1847 census at the age of 70. He died on 16 January 1848 in Gilsdorf at noon. His death was reported the next day by his oldest son Anton PEFFER and his son-in-law Johann SCHEUER. He died at his home in the “first” street of Gilsdorf. Was this the name of the street or only an indication of where the street was located in the village?

The Years After Adam and Marguerite’s Deaths

Town sign at the entrance from Diekirch. The PEFFER family lived on this side of the village, on a street behind the pink house seen in the center between the two signs.

In December 1849, when the census sheets were once again being filled out, the children of Adam and Marguerite were found mostly where they had been the previous years. Only Christian, the son who had been living with Adam, was now staying with his sister Christiane and her husband Johann SCHEUER.

The single son Christian became my focal point in this family. Would he marry or remain single? In December 1851 he was single and living alone. In December 1852 he was not found alone nor with Angelique, Christina, Nicolas, or Anton. Perhaps he was living with another family in Gilsdorf and the census sheets need to be more closely examined. In December 1855 he was again found alone in his own household.

In December 1858 Christian was now seen with his sister Christina and his brother-in-law Johann SCHEUER. Angelique, Nicolas, and Anton were still in their usual places. Three weeks after the census was taken, the oldest of the siblings, Anton PEFFER, died in Moestroff the day after Christmas. He left a wife and four children.

In December 1861 Christian was 50 years old, still a bachelor, and once again not found in the census. Three years later, in December 1864, he was in his brother-in-law Johann SCHEUER’s household.

His sister Christina PEFFER died on 28 March 1866 leaving a husband and two daughters. By the next census in December 1867 her oldest daughter Margaret had married Markus REIFFER and in the household were her single uncle Christian and her widowed father Johann SCHEUER.

In December 1871 the configuration of the PEFFER-SCHEUER-REIFFER household changed only with the births of REIFFER children. Where their father had been the head of household in 1867, their grandfather Johann was seen as the head in 1871. Christian was still with the family even though his sister was deceased.

By December 1875 Johann SCHEUER had been dead for nine months. His son-in-law Markus now was the head of household and had Christian PEFFER living with the family.Markus’ wife Margaret SCHEUER died on 25 August 1877. By the time the next census was enumerated in December 1880 her widower Markus had remarried. Christian PEFFER was not found with his niece’s widower or with either of his living siblings Angelique POTT-PEFFER or Nicolas PEFFER.

Markus’ wife Margaret SCHEUER died on 25 August 1877. By the time the next census was enumerated in December 1880 her widower Markus had remarried. Christian PEFFER was not found with his niece’s widower or with either of his living siblings Angelique POTT-PEFFER or Nicolas PEFFER.

On 6 March 1883 Nicolas, 78 years old, was the informant for the death of his 74 years old brother Christian PEFFER who died the same day at noon in Gilsdorf. At the time of his death, he did not have a profession and likely was too old or feeble to work.

Angelique and Nicolas were now the last surviving children of Adam and Marguerite PEFFER-PIERRET. Angelique had been widowed in 1873. In 1875 and 1880 she had her two youngest children, sons Jean and Mathias, still living at home. By 1885 they had “disappeared.”

On the February 1887 census, Angelique, as in December 1885, was seen alone in her household. However, on the back page of the census her son Jean was mentioned as being in St. Paul (America) and he had been gone for eight years. With this census listing, I discovered both her sons went to America. John and Matt, as they were later known, had emigrated to America in 1882 and 1883. Matt was married by the 1887 census and therefore not mentioned on his mother’s census sheet. In December 1890, Angelique was still living in her own household only a few doors away from her brother Nicolas.

During our second ride through Gilsdorf, I was on the lookout for the street sign for the Ahlstrasse or Aalstrasse and found “Am Aal” a street which is on the outskirts of Gilsdorf.

In December 1885, February 1887, and December 1890 Nicolas PEFFER was living in the household of his son Adam, who had been named after his grandfather. The PEFFER home was the same as it had always been. Over the years the name of the street was Ahlstrasse or Ahlgasse with Ahl also being seen as Aal.

Angelique PEFFER died on 31 December 1891 in Diekirch in the Bürger Spital (hospital). Her death was reported by her son-in-law Mathias MEITER of Stegen. He gave her age as 79 although she was only 74 years old. Her residence was seen as Diekirch which could mean she may have been a resident of the hospital for some time during the year 1891 until her death.

Nicolas PEFFER, the only living child of Adam and Marguerite, was seen as the head of household on 2 December 1895 in Gilsdorf. He was still living with his son Adam and his family. A year later, on 6 December 1896, he died in his home in Gilsdorf. His son Adam reported his death, gave the name of Nicolas’ deceased wife but did not know the names of his parents. Nicolas was 91 years old and his parents had been dead for around 50 years. Sad but maybe no wonder his 59 years old son Adam did not know their names.

Where will the research go from here?

For now, I believe I have wrapped up this family group. There are still the missing census records for son Christian – he may have been missed or I may have overlooked them. More important to this family’s story may be the emigration of the two grandsons, Jean and Mathias POTT, to America. What became of them and are there descendants waiting to be found? This task is not on the immediate schedule but, if I hear from a descendant, I could be convinced to speed up the research.

bestwishescathy1

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

Luxracines on Tour in Belgium and France

Luxracines, my genealogy society in Luxembourg, organized a field trip to the State Archives in Arlon, Belgium, and the archives of the Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Longwy in Mont-Saint-Martin, France, yesterday.

We departed from Luxembourg by bus for the Archives de l’État in Arlon in the Province of Luxembourg, Belgium. Greeted by the director of the archives, Mr. Michel TRIGALET, we were served coffee and cookies while he gave us an overview.

Luxracines members having coffee while Mr. Michel TRIGALET explains the workings of the archives of Arlon

He explained how the archives were busy preparing to move the 18 kilometers of documents found in the present building as well as more kept in storage in different locations for a move into the new annex they are building. They have a small team of five persons and part-time personnel will be coming in to help. After completion of the new building, all collections will be moved there. They will have about 32 kilometers of archives in one place. The present home of the archives will be renovated to allow for better storage and preservation of the archives.

Conference by Mr. TRIGALET was held in the reading room.

Following our short coffee break, Mr. TRIGALET took us to the reading room where he held a conference on the separation of the two Luxembourg(s). Instead of a slide presentation, Mr. TRIGALET had pulled records from the archives, laid them out on the two large tables, using them to supplement his presentation while explaining the intricacies of the historical period and showing us documents and maps relating to the subject.

By Spanish_Inquisition (LuxembourgPartitionsMap_english.jpg), via Wikimedia Commons

Over time the borders of the Luxembourg went through various changes as seen in the above map. Although familiar with the events of the times, I did not know the effect it had on the countries involved or the people and the records they produced. Have you wondered why records are found in a specific archive and not where you would assume them to be?

The archives have records which pertain to Luxembourg but are kept in Arlon as they are included in collections which could not be separated. The history of Luxembourg explains the reason for this.

The Duchy of Luxembourg was annexed to France as a part of the département of Forêts (Forest Department) in 1795 during the French Revolution.

Luxembourg was liberated from French rule under the Treaty of Paris in 1814, following the defeat of Napoleon. The dark green area on the map (above), a part of the Duchy of Luxembourg, went to Prussia. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the Duchy became a Grand Duchy. The House of Orange received all of the Low Countries: Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was made up of the dark pink and the blue area on the map and came under the rule of Guillaume I (William I) of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

Following the Belgian Revolution of September 1830, most of the area was administered by the Belgian authorities while the capital, Luxembourg City, remained under Dutch control. A large part of the area around today’s western border of Luxembourg was administered by the two governments during the period 1831-1839. In 1833 a convention was concluded which simplified the lives of the people under the double rule.

Following the Treaty of London in 1839 which recognized the independence of the Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the partition between the two countries was established using mainly two criteria: linguistics and military reasons. All French-speaking territories went to Belgium. The Arlon region although German-speaking was given to neutral Belgium to remove the Athus-Arlon road which joined the road leading to Brussels from Arlon from the influence of the German Confederation.

Ledger with the entries for the border markers

The boundaries were vague and more precise limitations were set in 1843. Landmarks were set and the inventory of these can be found in the archives in Arlon.

Entry for marker No. 168 which mentions the road to Arlon

These historical events led to inventories being made of the archives of Luxembourg and Belgium in preparation for moving them to the country of origin. The archivists worked on the inventories from 1840 to 1847 with the Luxembourg side taking more time as 1. the main archives of the times had been kept in Luxembourg and in Maastricht and 2. the number of archivists had decreased with the partition of the two countries.

The repatriation of archives was made more difficult by the fact that the collections of some institutions could not be separated as entries had been made in chronological order instead of by place (for ex. military and mortgage). This is one of the reasons Luxembourg researchers should consult the State Archives in Arlon when searching for information on their ancestors who were in the military or owned land during the time period before this final partition of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Register of men who served in the military
Register with entries of land owned by Jean Limpach, a farmer from Bascharage, and Jean-Pierre Michel, a mason from Pétange

Repatriation continues even today as archivists are finding documents in their vast collections and return them to their country of origin. One example is this book of atlases for the Canton of Arlon from 1808. It was in such a bad condition that it had to be completely taken apart and restored. The double-sided cadastre plans now fill a box instead of being in book form (see box on back table in group photo below).

Members of Luxracines examining the material used during the conference

Following the conference, Mr. Trigalet took us into the area not normally open to the public.

The area of the archives which is normally off limits to the public. Packing boxes and containers are being filled in preparation for the move to the new premises.

He proudly showed us the oldest document in the archives, a charter of the Orval Abbey from 1163.

Opening up the charter of the Orval Abbey from 1163.
Charter of the Orval Abbey from 1163.

After a wonderful lunch at De Bouches à Oreilles Restaurant, we were back on the bus for a very short ride to the archives of the Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Longwy in Mont-Saint-Martin, France. We were received by their president Bernard BARTHELEMY and vice-president Aimé TARNUS, as well as, a few members eager to serve us. They have published an amazing amount of family books for the towns in the Longwy district which Luxracines has acquired for its library in Walferdange.

Members of Luxracines who participated in the field trip with several members of the Cercle Généalogique du Pays de Longwy including their president Bernard BARTHELEMY and vice-president Aimé TARNUS.

Our little trip which took us through three European countries was very enjoyable. It was a fascinating day with other genealogists, persons interested in the two Luxembourg(s) as it concerns their family and/or town histories.

I would like to thank Rob Deltgen, president of Luxracines, for sharing his photos and allowing me to use them.

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

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

In my monthly contribution to the Slave Name Roll Project a few days ago, the content of the record I was writing about was more important than the steps I took to find the record featured in the post Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: William, Mary, and Orange.

I prompted my readers to ask me if they were interested in how I found the browse-only records on FamilySearch. Several took me up on the offer to explain how I found this particular record. One suggested I write an entire article talking about some of the shortcuts and easier ways I have learned to search the non-indexed records.

Your post – coupled with the recent announcement that Family Search is discontinuing microfilm distribution – is a good reminder for all genealogists to keep a close eye on the expanding online collections of digitized records. ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther

I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. I also remember the days when I thought I would never get the hang of working with their immense collections. I’m more experienced today and it’s easier for me to find my way around the Library. Yes, I think of the FamilySearch site as a library with a librarian who will answer my questions and a catalog for helping me find the collections or books I’m looking for.

What will you find in the library?

Family history researchers have different levels of experience. A beginner may not get much further than the front desk and feel lost.

FamilySearch has changed and grown since I first began using the FREE site. I’ve gone from using the Search Historical Records box (as a beginner and, even now, as a more experienced researcher) to consulting the Find a Collection to doing geographical research with the Research By Location tool.

Click on Browse all published collections under Find a Collection to see a list of 2237 collections. A collection with a camera icon and the words Browse images in the Records column tell you it is BROWSE-ONLY and not indexed. The collections with a camera icon and the number of records available are indexed and linked to images. The collections with a camera with a rectangle are indexed on FamilySearch but the image will be found on another site which may be free or subscription.

Filter the list by searching for words in the name of the collection or choosing a place, time period, and/or type of collection. At the very bottom on the left under Collections, there is a little box you can check to view only collections with images.

Here I filtered the names of the collections with West Virginia in the title and shortened the list to ten collections. In this list I don’t see Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, the database where I found birth records of two slaves of Wilson M. DEMPSEY born in 1855 and 1857 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.

The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck, mentioned in a comment on one of my posts awhile back that FamilySearch is adding browse-only collections at a faster pace. They may not be showing up in the Historical Record Collections list – but they are being added to the catalog.

Let’s click back to the front desk and see if the librarian is available.

The FamilySearch Wiki, in my opinion, is not used often enough by researchers. It is the first place you should look to learn about genealogy research in different areas. I think of the FamilySearch Wiki as the librarian who is there to help – if you ask.

What is the Wiki?
Welcome to the Wiki! The Wiki is a free, online genealogical guide, with links to genealogy databases, images of records, and instructions on how to search for your ancestors. ~ from the FamilySearch Wiki Overview
We’ve taken a short tour of the front desk and seen where the librarian works. Before we check out the catalog, we need to know what we’ll be searching for.
“West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1928,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5PK-X25 : 12 December 2014), William Dempsey, 11 Feb 1857; citing Meadow Fork, Fayette, Virginia, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

This is the indexed information from the birth record of William born in 1857. When FamilySearch shows a record with the camera icon and notation that no image is available, this means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be browse-only and available online.

Remember the days when you could do a Request for Photo Duplication on FamilySearch?

We were all disappointed when this service was discontinued. But wait! If they could look up the record and send it to us, couldn’t we do our own lookup in the collections of browse-only records – if they are online?

Let’s try looking for the 1857 birth record in the search result above. The GS Film Number or FHL microfilm is 34485.

This is where the catalog comes into play.

Click on Search and then Catalog on the drop-down menu on the main page of FamilySearch.

Under Search for: click on Film/Fiche Number to open the box and fill in the FHL number 34485. Click on the Search button.

This takes you to Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia. Click on the link for more information.

Under Notes you will see this collection is a group of records held at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia. Scroll down to see the 10 films listed. Search for the number in the Film/DGS column.

The magnifying glass indicates this collection is indexed and searchable. We already knew this as the indexed record was found using Search Historical Records tool. The camera icon means the collection is available for viewing. If it were microfilm which has not been digitized you would see a film icon. To browse the records, click on the camera next to film #34485 for Calhoun – Hampshire counties.

This is where many people are overwhelmed as they think they need to click through hundreds of images to find what they are looking for.

On the left side is the tool to zoom in and out and view single or all images. Start with the filmstrip view instead of single images. When records are filmed they do it in a logical order. This is Calhoun – Hampshire counties and, in alphabetical order, these counties would be Calhoun – Clay – Doddridge – Fayette – Gilmer – Grant – Greenbrier – Hampshire.

Tip: If you don’t know the names of the counties, go to the Wiki, search for the state or use the interactive map to get to the state level or county level.

As you scroll down you will notice there are images that look like title pages of books (green arrows). If you click on one of these you will see the title, West Virginia Vital Statistics, and below in very light typewriting, the name of the county. In this collection, you need to zoom in as close as possible to read it. But since you know Fayette is the 4th county in the batch you can go to 4th title image.

Fayette starts on image 107 and goes to 159 as image 160 is the next West Virginia Vital Statistics cover sheet. The collection is for the time period 1853-1860 and we are looking for a birth record for the year 1857. There are a little over 50 images for Fayette County.

How were birth, marriage, and death registers kept at this time? Did they have a register only for births or were the BMD records kept together by year? Look at the small images. Some of the pages are not filled with writing. These could be the last pages of a year’s entries. Getting familiar with the record keeping of the time and place makes it much easier to jump through the images to find records instead of looking at every single image.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 120 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Z5-FZV3?i=119&cat=308753 : accessed 10 June 2017)

Once you’ve found the record, an important step needs to be performed. You want to save the record AND you want to be able to find it again WITHOUT having to go through all the steps mentioned above.

FamilySearch usually makes this easy to do. Click on Information, scroll down to Citation, copy/paste, and save in your usual manner (in your genealogy software, on the image, in Evernote with the image). In this case, we see No citation is available. This means you need to write your own source citation, similar to the caption of the image above. You want to include the name of the collection, film # and batch name, and image # just in case the URL (which you also want to save) is no longer accessible.

Another example of browse-only records

Instead of using an FHL film number to access a record, you can search by location.

Go to the catalog, in the Place box begin typing West Virginia (or any location you are interested in). The place name is always from largest to smallest: Country, State, County.

You can refine your search by changing the place, for example from state to a specific county in the state, in the box at left. Or, on the right, you can click on Places within….

to get a list of the counties. I want to find a bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE of Fayette County in the 1880s. Clicking on Fayette opens up a list of all collections for the county. Court records should include bonds. Click to open list of all available records.

Bonds, 1870-1926 matches the type of record and the period for the record we are looking for.

Scroll down the page to see if collections are available to browse or search.

Under Note check for the 1880s time period which would be in Vol. 1 1870-1887 or Vol. 2-3 1887-1900. We’ll try the first batch: Film #584751 Item 3. If you’ve browsed through microfilm you know they continue filming collections back to back. Because of this the mention of Item 3 is important for the search.

This is the beginning of the film starting with Item #1. We scroll down to the next black image.

There is a black image with End, an image with the title of the next item, and then a black image with Begin. Scroll to next black image.

Here we see the end of Item #2, info and beginning of Item #3. You can see it is a book and the index is on the front pages. If they aren’t at the front, you’d scroll to the end of the item and check the back of the book for the index.

Tip: There are some collections, for example, Wills where the index to all books in one section.

Item #3 is Releases and Official Bonds 1870-1887 Vol. 1. We are also in the correct location: Fayette County, West Virginia.

The first page of the index had several Blake individuals including the one we are looking for. The bond is indexed as being on page 210. Click on one of the first pages of the batch to see where the page numbers are located and if both left and right pages are numbered or counted.

In this case, each page in the ledger has a page number in the upper corner. Jump forward about 100 images by changing the number in the little box at the top left of the image from 129 to 229.

Image 229 was for pages 178 and 179. We are 32 pages or 16 images away from page 210. Go to image 245 (229+16) to get to page 210 which has the guardian bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE in 1886.

Click the Information tab on the bottom left, grab the top edge and pull it up to expand. We see the entire film is made up of four items. As was the case in the previous record searched for, there is no citation available.

An example of European browse-only records

In November 2015 FamilySearch started using the new viewer with the small images. I wrote an article, The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it! on how I locate the browse-only records in the Luxembourg collections.

Tip: European civil records for births, marriages, and deaths have an index at the end of each year. Instead of browsing through the records searching for the yearly index, check the tables décennales or TD. These are lists of BMD for an entire decade and also know as the 10-year index.

In the first two examples for West Virginia records the citations were not available. Don’t let this keep you from working with the browse-only records. This is not the norm. In The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it!  you will see the source citations are found in the Information tab in the lower left of the window.

If you’ve never had much luck finding non-indexed records on FamilySearch, I hope these steps and tips will help you become a successful browse-only researcher on the FamilySearch site.

P.S. thegenealogygirl left a comment below with another useful tip!

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

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: William, Mary, and Orange

Earlier this month I discovered a wonderful batch of pre-Civil War records for the counties in the western Virginia which would become West Virginia in 1863. FamilySearch’s collections of digital images have been growing at an amazing speed in recent years. Every now and then I will do fairly simple searches for birth, marriage, and/or death records in Fayette County, West Virginia, for the surname DEMPSEY. This surname is in two branches of my family tree. I am always looking for new information to possibly connect the two lines or to fill in some blanks in either line.

I was not disappointed when something new showed up in a search for births in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. The hit indicated a son born to my 3rd great-grand uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY. A son I did not have in my database. When I opened up the details of the search results, I found the birth record was not for a son but for a slave.

“West Virginia Births and Christenings, 1853-1928,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X5PK-X25 : 12 December 2014), William Dempsey, 11 Feb 1857; citing Meadow Fork, Fayette, Virginia, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

From experience, I know when FamilySearch shows a record is not available (see camera icon with the notation in the above image) this actually means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be available online and browse-only. I checked their catalog for the FHL microfilm number given and found Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, microreproduction of original manuscripts at the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, for West Virginia counties.

I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. Being experienced made it easy for me to find the image to the record indexed above. This post deals with the content of the record, not how I found it. If you are interested, please ask, and I will explain how in a comment to this post.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 120 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9Z5-FZV3?i=119&cat=308753 : accessed 10 June 2017)

The birth of William, a son of Mary, was recorded in the birth register of Fayette County. He was born at Meadow Fork on 11 February 1857. The column for the name of the father is titled: Father’s Name in full if Child be free and born in wedlock, or Name of Owner if Child born a Slave. Wilson M. Dempsey’s name is in this column as well as the column for the informant. In the column, Relationship of Informant, he is noted as Owner.

I took a bit of time to browse through the entire batch of registers for Fayette County and found another entry with Wilson M. Dempsey as the informant. This one did not turn up in my original search which made me wonder if the entire collection has been indexed. Different search criteria turned up this indexed record in the Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917.

“Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VRR7-K1C : 5 December 2014), Orange Dempsy, Jun 1855; citing Loop, Fayette, VA, reference ; FHL microfilm 34,485.

This indexed record shows “Orange Dempsy” was a child of “Wilson Dempsy” and “Mary.” A closer look at the actual entry in the register shows Orange was a slave.

Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia; Film # 007499353; Calhoun – Hampshire counties; image 112 of 554. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-F8FM?i=111&cat=308753 : accessed 29 June 2017)

On this entry, the child Orange was born in June 1855 on the Loop in Fayette County. He was a slave owned by Wilson Dempsey. The mother’s name was Mary. The occupation of the father is blank and his residence is listed as Amherst. Another child born as a slave of another slaveholder on the same page has blanks for the occupation and residence of the father. It’s possible Amherst refers to the residence of the father of Orange, indicating the enslaved family was separated due to Wilson Dempsey’s recent move to Fayette County. Or, Wilson Dempsey had not yet moved his family and may have taken his slave(s) there to prepare for his move.

In 1840 Wilson Dempsey was recently married to Evalina Carolyn Rhodes, a daughter of Reuben Rhodes and Tabitha Rowsie of Amherst County, Virginia. In the 1840 census of the same county, Wilson was seen with his bride and two slaves, one male 10 thru 23 and one female under 10 years. In 1850 Wilson was listed as an overseer in the Eastern District of Amherst. His wife had died in the 1840s and he’d remarried. His second wife’s maiden name is not known. The 1850 slave schedule does not have a listing for him and it is unknown for whom he was working as an overseer.

Before finding the above records, we knew Wilson moved to Fayette County in western Virginia in the 1850s. The records place him in the county in 1855, either setting up his household or permanently settled.

In 1860 the slave schedule of Fayette County includes the following enslaved black persons for Wilson M. Dempsey:

  • one male age 35 (possibly the male seen in 1840?)
  • one female age 30 (possibly Mary)
  • one female age 22 (or, possibly Mary)
  • one female age 12
  • one female age 8
  • two females age 7
  • one male age 3 (possibly William)
  • one male age 1

I have known since I first began researching my 3rd great-grandfather Seaton Y. Dempsey that his brother Wilson had slaves as well as their father William Dempsey of Amherst. However, the only indication of their keeping enslaved persons had been the 1810 census for William (3 slaves), the 1840 census for Wilson (2 slaves), and the 1860 census for Wilson (9 slaves). The birth records found this month help to name at least three of the enslaved people: Orange, William, and their mother Mary.

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 which can be found on Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees

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

52 Ancestors: #23 Antonia, Please Tell Me, Are You a STEFFEN or a GROEBER?

Today is Luxembourg National Day (Celebration publique de l’anniversaire du souverain). Grand Duchess Charlotte who ruled Luxembourg from 1919-1964 was born on 23 January 1896. The day was made a national holiday in 1941. The date of June 23 was set in 1961 by Ducal decree so that the weather would be nicer for celebrations.

During World War II on the evening of January 23 my grandmother’s neighbors met in her house to celebrate the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte. The windows were covered so that no light could be seen from the street but the German patrol could hear the celebrating. They knocked on the door and asked what was going on. Bomi, as we called my grandmother, told them they were celebrating her birthday. It’s a good thing they didn’t check her identification as her birthday was not until June 17. She asked the Germans to join them in a glass of wine. She would laugh when she told us how the Germans raised their glasses to the birthday girl, not knowing that they were toasting the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this with you since I’ve been blogging about my children’s fifth great-grandparents, who mostly came from Luxembourg, on Fridays under the theme of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. And, here is today’s post.

Antonia, Please Tell Me, Are You a STEFFEN or a GROEBER?

Antonia, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, is a bit of an enigma. I don’t know if I should list her as Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER in the family tree.

Antonia, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, is a bit of an enigma. I don’t know if I should list her as Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER in the family tree.

I haven’t found a birth or baptismal record for her. She was born in a time period and place where the church records are lacking. The likely substitute would be a marriage record. Yes! Antonia left more than one marriage record which, instead of simplifying matters, only added a complication.

A marriage took place in 1815

1814 Marriage Publication [1]
On 7 December 1814 Peter BERNARD, son of the deceased Jacob BERNARD (1764-1804) and his widow Johanna CAPPUS, and Antonia STEFFEN, daughter of Christina STEFFEN, made their intentions to marry public. The marriage banns were to be announced at the door of the town hall in Hoscheid on two Sundays, the 18th and 25th of December 1814.[1]

The publication was the first entry in the 1815 register, likely filled out after the fact and perhaps at the time they married. Taken out of context, it looks like the publication of the marriage was filled out and signed on 7 December 1815 instead of 1814.

1815 Marriage Record [2]
Peter and Antonia met with Jacob KOENIG at the Hoscheid town hall on 2 January 1815 at 10 o’clock in the morning.[2] The record produced at the time is the first mentioning Antonia’s date of birth. She appears to have been born on 8 March 1790 in Hoscheid to Christina STEFFEN. No father is mentioned. Antonia has the same surname as her mother which could mean she was an illegitimate child. Four witnesses were present for the marriage. One was Franz DUMONG, a twenty-year-old young man whose name would continue to be seen throughout this family’s story.

Another marriage took place in 1823

1822 Marriage Publication [3]
Let’s look at the second marriage of Antonia. Two days before Christmas of 1822 Johan KAUFMAN and Antonia GROEBER made their intentions to marry known. Their banns were read on the 15th and 22nd of December.[3] In this document, I found a new word, Wittib, which means widow. Antonia, the widow of the deceased Peter BERNARD, was the daughter of the widow Christina GROEBER.

How can I be sure this Antonia GROEBER is the same person as Antonia STEFFEN? Hopefully, the pieces will fall into place once all of her records are analyzed.

1823 Marriage Record [4]
Johan and Antonia met at the Hoscheid town hall on 7 January 1823 at 9 o’clock in the morning before Frans AUGUSTIN. This record has the same date and place of birth for Antonia as seen in her previous marriage record — 8 March 1790 in Hoscheid (see box next to first arrow above). The difference from her first marriage record in 1815 is that she is listed as the daughter of the deceased Valentin GROEBER and his widow Christina STEFFEN. This explains why Christina was seen as Christina GROEBER on the 1822 marriage publication. Witnesses of the marriage were two men with the BERNARD surname and Franz DUMONG.[4]

Antonia died in 1843

1843 Death Record of Antoinette STEFFEN [5]
Antonia produced one more record which infers her parentage. Her 1843 death record. On 11 March 1843 Nicolas GROEBER and Franz DUMONG were the informants for the death of Antonia STEFFEN. Her parents are not listed on this record. She died on 9 March 1843, the day after her birthday, at the age of 53 years.[5] By now the name of the second informant, Franz DUMONG, is familiar. More important here is the relationship of the informants to Antonia. Nicolas GROEBER was 43 years old, from Hoscheid, and the brother of the deceased. His 1830 marriage record[6] confirms his parents were Valentin GROEBER and Christina STEFFEN. Both Antonia and Nicolas were children of Christina STEFFEN, but was Valentin GROEBER the father of both of them?

Nicolas was ten years younger than Antonia and he carried the GROEBER surname and not STEFFEN as he claimed was his sister’s surname. Does this mean Antonia’s mother Christina STEFFEN married after Antonia’s birth in 1790 and before Nicolas’ birth abt. 1800?

GROEBER and STEFFEN surnames

I looked into the GROEBER-STEFFEN marriage. I did not find the actual record. It is very likely hidden away in the parish of Brandenbourg as I found a marriage index card citing the marriage.[7]

1794 Marriage Index Card for Valentin GREVES and Christina STEPHEN [7]
The card gives the names of the groom (époux) and bride (épouse) as well as their parents’ names with alternate spellings than were found in later records. The marriage took place on 29 January 1794 in Hoscheid.[7] Missing on the card, at the bottom, are the volume number and page in the Brandenbourg parish register where the record would be located. The date of marriage converts to the 10 pluviôse in the year II of the French Republican calendar. I may be looking in the wrong place for the marriage record as these index cards are known to have been filled out using information found on actual marriage records.

Were Christina STEFFEN and Valentin GREVES (or GROEBER as the name was seen later) a couple when Antonia was born in 1790? Very often in civil records in Luxembourg children born to a couple before their marriage are mentioned in the marriage record to make them legitimate. I have not seen this in church records. Valentin GROEBER died on 1 March 1806, a week before Antonia turned 16 years old. His wife Christina STEFFEN reported the death.[8]

Antonia’s first marriage and children

What other records can be found with Antonia’s full name? Did she have children whose birth or marriage records would include her name?

Following her first marriage to Peter BERNARD in January of 1815 the couple had a daughter Margaretha born on 2 November 1815 in Hoscheid.[9] The birth record shows the mother of the child was Anthonia STEFFEN. The same name was listed at the time of the next child Marie Cathérine’s birth on 12 September 1817.[10]

Who was Peter BERNARD and when did the marriage end?

Antonia’s first husband Peter BERNARD was born on 11 March 1790 in Holzthum.[11] He was the second of seven known children born to Jeanne CAPPUS (1763-1833) and Jacob BERNARD (1764-1804) in Buckels bei Hosingen, Bockholtz near Hosingen in the canton of Clervaux (and not Bockholtz near Goesdorf in the canton of Wiltz).

Peter died on 4 June 1820 in Hoscheid in a house called Christen.[12] Jacob KOENIG who officiated at the marriage of Peter and Antonia only five years earlier was one of the informants on the death record and he gave the widow’s name as Antonia STEFFEN.

Antonia’s second marriage and children

Following Peter’s death, Antonia married Jean KAUFMAN on 7 January 1823.[4] An interesting discovery was made when analyzing this marriage record (see image of 1823 Marriage Record above). Antonia’s brothers-in-law from her first marriage, Michel BERNARD and Nicolas BERNARD were two of the four witnesses at the marriage. This would suggest there was a close bond with the BERNARD family who did not live in Hoscheid but in Holzthum. Franz DUMONG was another witness.

Antonia’s second husband Jean KAUFMAN was ten months younger than her having been born on 1 January 1791 in Pettingen (Mersch) to Théodore KAUFMAN and Marguerite SCHILTZ.[13]

Ten months to the day they married Antonia gave birth to twins, Anna Maria and Elisabetha, at four in the morning on 7 November 1823 in Hoscheid. The father Jean went to the town hall the same day, at five in the evening, to report the births. The twins shared a birth record.[14] Their mother was listed as Antonia GROEBER – the same name found on her second marriage record.

Antonia’s first mother-in-law Johanna CAPPUS (1763-1833), paternal grandmother of Margaretha and Marie Cathérine, died on 21 January 1833 in Holzthum.[15]

Jean and Antonia spent 16 years together raising their twin daughters and Antonia’s two daughters from her first marriage.

Three deaths in the family

On 6 June 1839 at eight in the evening Jean died in the house called Christen in Hoscheid.[16] This was the same house where Antonia’s first husband Peter had died. Franz DUMONG and Mathias THIEVES were the informants for Jean’s death. They gave his widow’s name as Antonia STEFFEN. Finally, there is a record showing a relationship to Franz DUMONG. Both of the men listed as informants on this record were neighbors of the family who lived in the house called Christen in Hoscheid.

Later in the year, on 7 November 1839, the day the KAUFMAN twins would celebrate their 16th birthday, their maternal grandmother Christina STEFFEN’s died in the house called Christen. I wonder if she owned the house and this was the reason it was called Christen. Her son Nicolas GROEBER went to the town hall at one in the afternoon to declare the death took place the same day at seven in the morning.[17]

Antonia was now alone with her four daughters: Margaretha (24), Marie Cathérine (22), and the twins Anna Maria (16) and Elisabetha (16). Four years later her brother Nicolas and her neighbor Franz reported her death on 9 March 1843.[5]

What happened to her daughters?

Antonia and Peter’s first child, Margaretha BERNARD was my children’s 4th great-grandmother. She married two months after her mother’s death. On 30 May 1843, Margaretha married Anton WECKERING (1781-1857) in Bourscheid.[18] Anton was 61 years old and had been widowed in 1841.[19] Their marriage record lists the bride’s parents as Peter BERNARD and Antonette STEFFEN. Their story can be read in this post: Antoine WECKERING Becomes Father of his 13th Child at Age 72!.

Margaretha’s sister Marie Cathérine BERNARD and her half-sisters, the twins Anna Maria KAUFMAN and Elisabetha KAUFMAN lived together and worked as day laborers in 1843 when the census was taken in Hoscheid.[20]

Marie Cathérine BERNARD married Pierre ROMMES on 12 February 1846 in Hoscheid.[21] Her parents were listed as Peter BERNARD and Antonette STEFFEN.

Anna Maria KAUFMAN married Johann DUMONG (1824-1892) on 12 July 1849 in Hoscheid.[22] Johann’s father Franz DUMONG, who played a large part in the lives of Antonia and her family, died the previous year. He had been their neighbor as well as an informant and witness to many major events which took place from the time he was old enough to sign until his death. The DUMONG-KAUFMAN marriage record listed Jean KAUFMAN and Antoinette STEFFEN as the bride’s parents. Ten months later, like her mother Antonia, Anna Maria gave birth to twin daughters who shared a birth record.[23] They were not her only children.

Anna Maria KAUFMAN died on 26 April 1865 in Merscheid.[24] Her death record lists her parents as Johann KAUFMAN and Antoinette STEFFEN.

The oldest daughter, Margaretha BERNARD died on 15 April 1878 in the Central Hospiz in Ettelbruck.[25] Only the name of her deceased husband, Antoine WECKERING was noted on her death record.

Marie Cathérine BERNARD died on 17 January 1880 in Hoscheid.[26] Her parents were not mentioned on her death record, only her deceased husband Peter ROMMES.

Anna Maria’s twin, Elisabetha KAUFMAN, never married and worked as a seamstress. After the death of her twin, she took in Catharina DUMONG, one of her sister’s twin daughters. They were found together on the census in 1867, 1871 and 1875. Elisabetha died on 11 April 1880 in Hoscheid.[27] Her death was reported by her niece’s husband, Jean WECKERING. He gave her parents’ names as Johann KAUFMAN and Anna GRÖBER. He was a nephew of Antoine WECKERING who married Margaretha BERNARD.

Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER?

After looking at all of these records I’ve come to this conclusion. Antonia STEFFEN was her maiden name and Antonia GROEBER will be added as an alternate name. Antonia’s father may have been Valentin GROEBER or he may have been a man whose name will remain a mystery.

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Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch< (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 490 of 1491. 1814 Marriage Publication. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-7MS?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 20 June 2017).
[2] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 493 of 1491. 1815 Marriage Record (left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-D74?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[3] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 534 of 1491. 1822 Marriage Publication (right page, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-HDN?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 20 June 2017).
[4] ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 544 of 1491. 1823 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-FZF?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[5] ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 103 of 162. 1843 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-65980-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR:129844501,129896301 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[6] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 713 of 1491. 1830 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-QW6?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[7] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Brandenbourg > Tables des mariages 1675-1793 (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 246 of 313. 1794 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SS9G?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-L2W%3A1500940601%2C1501098802 : accessed 20 June 2017).
[8] Luxembourg Civil Records, Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1368 of 1491. 1806 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-Q11?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 20 June 2017).
[9] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 135 of 459. 1815 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11669-111343-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR:129844501,129804701 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[10] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 148 of 459. 1817 Birth Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DB1Q-9JN?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR%3A129844501%2C129804701 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[11] Ibid., Consthum > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1793 > image 101 of 145. 1790 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6SNN-BS?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-2NP%3A129626301%2C129967401 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[12] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1446 of 1491. 1820 Death Record (right, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-CRK?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[13] Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1773-1791 > image 264 of 274. 1791 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-9723?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-W3J%3A1500963301%2C1500995236 : accessed 23 June 2017).
[14] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 196 of 459. 1823 Birth Record for twins. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11669-109875-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR:129844501,129804701 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[15] Ibid., Consthum > Décès 1797-1890 > image 192 of 520. 1833 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DR3Q-BSW?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-DPD%3A129626301%2C129626302 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[16] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 76 of 162. 1839 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-GCC?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR%3A129844501%2C129896301 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[17] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 77 of 162. 1839 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-GFC?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR%3A129844501%2C129896301 : accessed 20 June 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1872-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 > image 995 of 1447. 1843 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11561-51550-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-C68:129628601,129997101 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bourscheid > Décès 1797-1890 > image 438 of 1157. 1841 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12650-33893-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-N38:129628601,129626302 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[20] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Hoscheid > 1843 > image 55 of 137. Bernard household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32359-9430-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-ZV3:345858701,345863501 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[21] Luxembourg Civil Records, Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1080 of 1491. 1846 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-F7Q?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[22] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1095 of 1491. 1849 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1SS-WJ4?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL%3A129844501%2C129973001 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[23] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 452 of 459. 1850 Birth Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DB13-R8P?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR%3A129844501%2C129804701 : accessed 23 June 2017).
[24] Ibid., Putscheid > Décès 1859-1890 > image 83 of 381. 1865 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRX9-KBP?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-T3D%3A130227001%2C129657101 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[25] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 1356 of 1379. 1878 Death Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11675-61468-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-FM9:129625001,1290913101 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[26] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 230 of 296. 1880 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-DZW?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WP%3A129844501%2C129625502 : accessed 19 June 2017).
[27] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 231 of 296. 1880 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-NQ9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WP%3A129844501%2C129625502 : accessed 22 June 2017).

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