On Wednesday, 30 July 1817 my fourth great-grandparents Michel and Catherine met at the city hall in Pétange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with two other couples. Michel was 39 years old and Catherine was 42 years old. At 8 o’clock the first couple was married, followed by Michel and Catherine at 9 o’clock, and the third couple at 10 o’clock. Michel witnessed the first and third marriage. This in itself is unusual but there is more to the story.
There may be another connection to Elisabeth MAMER as her mother’s parents were a BURKEL and a BERKIN, both surnames shared with my ancestors. But it is not the connections to the first couple which is so interesting. What did else did these couples have in common? The newlyweds – all three couples – had children who were legitimized at the time of marriage.
Michel and Catherine’s Marriage Record
Michel and Catherine’s record marriage record had notes in the margin showing they had children: 1. Marguerite, 2. Catherine, 3. Anne, and 4. Jean Pierre, all born prior to marriage. These were not the only children born to Michel and Catherine. They had had eight children in eighteen years, the last born in 1814. Only four were living at the time of their parents’ marriage in 1817. The marriage must have been blessed by the church in a religious ceremony at least eighteen to nineteen years prior to the civil ceremony in 1817. It must have so been believed to be legal by the civil servants who recorded the births of seven of the children as being born to a lawfully wedded couple.
In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for a Luxembourg ancestor during this time period.
The people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records around 1796 had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed on the civil marriage record following the line in which the groom and bride were joined as husband and wife. Often the list was so long that it had to be continued in the margin of the marriage record. (see image above)
Michel PHILIPPART, the son of Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1823) and Catherine SINGER also known as Catherine KETTER (1743-1835), was born and baptized on 16 October 1777 in Rodange. His godparents were his paternal uncle Michel PHILIPPART of Rodange and Nanette KETTER of Bettingen. His relationship to his godmother is still under investigation. [I couldn’t resist. Bettingen or Bettange-sur-Mess is a new parish for me and so far I have only found one SINGER/KETTER sibling named Barbara.]
Catherine MEUNIER, the daughter of Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR, was born in 1775 in Rodange. A birth/baptismal record has not been located. Catherine’s father was from Rodange and her mother from Esch-sur-Alzette where they married on 21 December 1774. Both Rodange and Esch parish records were checked for Catherine’s birth without results. Her 1775 year of birth was found on her 1817 marriage record without a month or date which suggests the officials also had difficulties finding a record for her. Variations of her year of birth (calculated from age at the time) on the census records in 1843, 1846, 1847, and 1849 and her 1851 death record ran between 1768 and 1780. The 1849 census had her date of birth as 5 June 1774. This is not reliable as the three other persons in the household had dates of birth which did not come close to being correct.
Michel was the oldest of four children while Catherine may have been an only child. Her father died before the 1 December 1793 as her mother remarried on Tuesday, 17 December 1793. The marriage banns were published before the marriage to André DOMANGE on three consecutive Sundays (1st, 8th, 15th) dating the death of the first spouse at before the first bann.
Michel and Catherine’s children
As mentioned Michel and Catherine had all of their children before their legal civil marriage ceremony. Their oldest daughter Marguerite was born about 1800. No record of birth was found for her. When the census was taken in 1849 her birth date was listed as 11 August 1802 which cannot be correct due to the date of birth of the next two children. Marie Catherine, my third great-grandmother, was born on 8 November 1801 and her brother Henri on 1 December 1802.
UPDATE (10 December 2017): My genealogy friend Linda (who has helped me out several other times with my families in Luxembourg) found the birth record of Michel and Catherine’s daughter Marguerite. She was born on 19 Nivôse in the year VIII (9 January 1800) to Catherine Meunier. The birth was reported by the grandmother Margaretha KILBOUR. No mention is made of the father. This helps to date the possible religious marriage of Michel and Catherine at between 9 January 1800 and 8 November 1801 when Marie Catherine was born to a legally married couple.
Daughter Anne was born 17 December 1804, followed by two sons, Jean Pierre on 25 October 1808 and Jean Baptiste on 29 January 1810. Jean Baptiste lived only a little more than a month dying on 2 March 1810. Their seventh child, Catherine was born on 17 April 1812. Before the birth of their last child, their oldest son Henri died on 9 August 1813 at the age of 10.
Michel and Catherine named their youngest child Michel when he was born on 2 June 1814. He lived a little over a month and died on 15 July 1814. His death was followed by the death of young Catherine on 20 November 1814 at the age of two years.
By 1817, when Michel and Catherine were legally married, they had lost four children while Marguerite age 18, Marie Catherine age 16, Anne age 12, and Jean Pierre age 10 were thriving. Michel was supporting his family working as a shoemaker or cordonnier.
The children are grown
Nearly four years later Catherine’s mother Margaretha KILBOUR died on 4 April 1821 at the age of 80.
Jacques PHILIPPART, the father of Michel, died on 23 March 1824 at the age of 75 years.
The second of four marriages took place on 20 September 1826 when Anne, the youngest daughter, married her first cousin once removed Jean Baptiste PHILIPPART (1798-1828). Jean Baptiste died on 6 April 1828 and his widow Anne gave birth to a son she named Joseph on 29 May 1828.
The oldest daughter Marguerite married her first cousin once removed, Joseph PHILIPPART (1801-1864), brother of Jean Baptiste, on 12 September 1828. Jean Baptiste and Joseph were the sons of Joseph PHILIPPART and Susanne SCHMIT. The men’s grandparents Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL were the great-grandparents of their wives, Anne and Marguerite.
Catherine’s step-father André DOMANGE died on 17 December 1833 at the age of 69 years.
The last of the children to marry was the youngest and only son Jean Pierre PHILIPPART. Until I began to review and research this family for this post I had no idea if Jean Pierre was still living or had married. I found his marriage in my genealogy society’s database for Luxembourg marriages for the years 1796-1923. It is still a work in progress and not yet online but as a member of the board of Luxracines, I have access to the beta version.
Jean Pierre was working as a border guard in Stadbredimus when he married Barbara GOVERS (also seen as GOUVERS) on 27 February 1834.
A year later Catherine SINGER, mother of Michel PHILIPPART, died on 9 February 1835 at the age of 91.
Michel and Catherine likely did not expect to outlive any of their remaining children. However, their daughter Marie Catherine, wife of André FOURNELLE, died on 20 July 1843 at the age of 41 years. She was the mother of eleven children, the last having been born only nine days earlier. André, my third great-grandfather, was left to raise the children on his own. He never remarried.
Michel PHILIPPART died at the age of 71 on 23 September 1849. His death was reported by Joseph PHILIPPART who was erroneously listed as his son instead of his son-in-law. Three months later Joseph reported the death of his wife Marguerite, daughter of Michel, who died on 31 December 1849 at the age of 50.
Catherine MEUNIER, Michel’s widow, died on 24 May 1851 at the age of 76 years. Once again it was Joseph who reported the death and was seen as her son and not son-in-law. She left two living children, Jean Pierre and Anne.
Jean Pierre and his wife had a daughter born in Osweiler in 1837. This event in the commune of Rosport gave Jean Pierre, his wife, and child an entry in Thomas Webers’ family book for Rosport. The daughter’s marriage was included – an event which took place in Namur, Belgium in 1862. This tiny tidbit along with her date and place of death was enough to trace the family further. The marriage record included the date and place of death of the bride’s father. Jean Pierre died on 21 October 1861 at the age of 52 in Hondelange, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium. He was a Belgian customs employee or employé des douanes belges, sous brigadier. He left a wife and a son who was the informant for his death. With each new record, a new clue was found and I learned he had at least five children and his widow was still living in 1875.
By 1861, after Jean Pierre’s death, the only living child of Michel and Catherine was their daughter Anne who was also known as Nanette. As mentioned earlier her husband died while she was pregnant with their son Joseph who was born nearly two months later. But Anne and her father Michel PHILIPPART left a puzzle I have not been able to figure out.
On 30 September 1832, Anne gave birth to a male child who was given the name Jean HOUTTEN (seen as HOULTEN on the index). Michel PHILIPPART, the grandfather, was the informant and named Jean HOUTTEN of Robelmont in Belgium as the father and his daughter Anne as the mother. They were not married. No trace of this male child has been found after the birth. In the census records, as early as 1843, Anne is seen with her son Joseph and a daughter named Catherine. This daughter married twice and both times she was listed as born on 25 September 1832, five days before the male child. Only her mother Anne PHILIPPART was named on her marriage records. No father’s name was given. Was an error made at the time of birth? Was the child born to Anne in 1832 a daughter and not a son? Are there any other possible scenarios?
Anne died on 24 January 1871 at the age of 66 years. Her death was reported by her son Joseph and her son-in-law André HILBERT, the second husband of her daughter Catherine.
I found many new records for this family group while reviewing my database. I added several generations to the PHILIPPART and MEUNIER branches of the family tree as I discovered marriage records for Catherine MEUNIER’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Nearly all the families who lived in the area during the 1700s appear to be related to each other and to my families of Rodange. Lots of loose ends to tie together. But they will have to wait for now as this ends my visit to Rodange – next stop will be Vianden.
Sources: I’m taking the easy way out this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb a.s.a.p. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.
The FOURNELLE family is one of my favorites to research. I spent nearly a year working exclusively on finding the records for every tiny branch of the descendants of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON in 2013.
This set of fourth great-grandparents, Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT take me back to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
For the time period this couple, their parents, and their children lived, the status and borders of Luxembourg changed. Pierre’s father was born in 1713 when the country was “only” a duchy. Pierre’s last living child died in 1870, fifty-five years after Luxembourg became a grand duchy and lost territory to France, Germany, and Belgium.
A genealogist’s work is never finished
The family group lived in Rodange in Luxembourg on the border to France. For the period before 1767 the parish of Rodange, where this family lived, was attached to Herserange which today lies in France. The baptismal, marriage, and death records for the years up to 1766 were found in the Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle in the collection for the parish of Herserange. Images from the French archives’ sites are not allowed to be used on the internet or for commercial purposes without permission. When I did the research in 2013 the image viewer or visionneuse did not have an option to save the link to the image. My source citations have enough information to quickly locate the record again on the Archives’ site to obtain the permalink which is now available on the visionneuse but the task is huge. I have over 500 citations for records found in the Meurthe-et-Moselle area which need to be re-visited to obtain the links.
My fourth great-grandfather Pierre FOURNELLE was born on 12 December 1748 in Rodange and was christened the following day. He was the third child of Pierre FOURNEL (1713-1765) and Jeanne NEU (1823-1783). They were married in 1743 in Aubange, Belgium, where Jeanne lived with her widowed mother.
Pierre and Jeanne had eight children from 1744-1763, all born in Rodange. All of their children lived to adulthood. Six are known to have married and had children while the two youngest sons have not been traced. They were last seen as godfathers of two children of their brother Pierre when they were still single and in their twenties.
Pierre’s mother died 9 March 1783 less than a month before her son Pierre married. Her death record included interesting information about her occupation.
Jeanne NEW was a fermière (farmer) for the Baron d’HUART. Baron Jean-François-Henri-Gérard d’HUART, known as Baron Henri d’HUART, died 1 January 1781 two years before Jeanne. His son Charles-Elisabeth-François, known as Charles, inherited the forges of Lasauvage and Herserange and was likely the owner of the land in Rodange which were farmed by Pierre’s mother Jeanne NEU.
Young Pierre’s wife was Marianne SCHMIT, daughter of Jean SCHMIT and Eve DECKERS of Niederkorn. The SCHMIT-DECKERS couple has had not been researched. They were seen living in 1783 when Pierre and Marianne married and had died by 1795 when another daughter married – according to index cards with information on the marriages. A brother and a sister of Marianne turned up as godparents for two of Pierre and Marianne’s children. Pierre was the godfather of an illegitimate child born to one of Marianne’s sisters. These are all individuals I hoped would help to open the door in Marianne’s brick wall.
How I opened the door
Pierre FOURNELLE married Marianne SCHMIT on 1 April 1783 in Rodange. For years I have had her birth listed as 1 January 1763 in Rodange. I had found this date in a GEDCOM on Geneanet owned by a descendant of Pierre FOURNEL and Jeanne NEU. However, no sources were given. Over the years I’ve used it as a guide but have found errors which were corrected using the online records for Luxembourg at FamilySearch.
In all this time I never was able to find a record to support the date and place of birth for Marianne SCHMIT. While writing this and reviewing the records I realized there was information in the 1783 marriage record I had overlooked due to the almost impossible handwriting.
Parish marriage records for Luxembourg have been indexed on cards which were microfilmed and accessible on FamilySearch. Two copies are available for the marriage of Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT. One is for the marriage record I found in Rodange.
The other was for a marriage record which appears to have been included in the Herserange parish records.
I have gone over and over the Herserange collection and cannot find the record on the second index card.
I took yet another look at the marriage record (above) and realized Marianne was 22 years old at the time of marriage. This would place her birth at 1760-1761. Her father is referred to as deceased but not named while her mother is named Eve DECQUESSES. Both of her parents were from Niederkorn in the parish of Oberkorn. If they lived in Niederkorn, could it be that Marianne was born there and not in Rodange?
Armand Logelin-Simon’s family book of Oberkorn compiled from the parish records for the years 1637-1804, a popular publication in the online library of Luxracines, is available as a free pdf download to members of the society. The compilation is handwritten and includes a family which appears to be that of Marianne SCHMIT.
Joes (Joannes) SCHMIT and Eva DICKEN (Dücker, Ducker, Dick) had seven children born between 1756 and 1769 including a daughter Maria born 20 December 1760. There was a second daughter named Maria born in 1765. I am certain this is the right family and the older daughter named Marie is Marianne. I found the baptismal records of the seven children born in Niederkorn in the parish records of Oberkorn. Also included in the entry for the family are the dates of death for the father and mother as well as their date of marriage. Joannes died in 1777 and Eva in 1792. The records of death and marriage need to be looked up.
The children of Pierre and Marianne
With this research problem out of the way, I will give a brief run-down of the children of Pierre and Marianne.
i. Michael FOURNELLE was born on 27 April 1783 in Rodange. Michael was baptized the same day and his godparents were Michael FOURNELLE, his uncle (one of the brothers of Pierre who has not been found after this date), and Marianne NICOLAY. He died on 30 August 1784 in Rodange.
ii. Jean Baptiste FOURNELLE was born on 13 November 1784 in Rodange. Jean was baptized on 13 November 1784 in Rodange; the godparents were Jean Baptiste SCHMITZ, uncle (this brother of Marianne is seen only as Jean in the Oberkorn compilation), and Jeanne FELTEN. He died on 17 January 1864 in Niederkorn.
Jean married Marie Anne HEINRICH on 30 January 1825 in Differdange. Marie was born on 30 September 1795 in Niederkorn. She died on 23 November 1855 in Niederkorn. They were the parents of three children.
iii. Susanne FOURNELLE was born on 14 March 1786 in Rodange. Susanne was baptized on 14 March 1786 in Rodange; the godparents were Christophel FOURNELLE, her uncle (the other brother of Pierre who has not been found after 1792), and Susanne SCHMIT, her aunt. She died on 20 June 1845 in Rodange.
Susanne married Jean Pierre LUCAS, son of Théodore LUCAS and Margueritte MEUNIER, on 27 December 1804 in Pétange. Jean was born about 1773 in Rodange. He died on 18 June 1852 in Rodange. They were the parents of at least six children.
iv. Pierre FOURNELLE was born on 5 May 1787 in Rodange. He was baptized the same day. His godparents were Pierre FOURNELLE, his cousin, and Jeanne LADURELLE. He worked as a stone mason, bricklayer (maçon, Steinmetz). He died on 12 August 1856 in Rodange.
Pierre married Appoline WESTER, daughter of Jean Baptiste WESTER and Anne Catherine HANSEN, on 18 August 1812 in Pétange. Appoline was born on 14 November 1781 on Bouferterhaff (Beaufort farm) near Bertrange. She died on 13 February 1827 in Rodange. They were the parents of five children.
Pierre also married Marie ARENDT, daughter of François ARENDT and Claire SCHILTZ, on 5 December 1827 in Pétange. Marie was born on 23 September 1783 in Pétange. She died on 29 November 1843 in Rodange. They did not have children.
v. Henri FOURNELLE was born on 12 November 1788 in Rodange. Henri was baptized the same day; the godparents were Henri LUCAS and Marie SCHMITZ, his aunt. He worked as day laborer (journalier). He died on 8 October 1861 in Rodange.
Henri married Anna Catherine FEYEREISEN on 22 February 1819 in Pétange. Anna was born on 21 October 1789 in Nobressart (present-day Commune d’Attert, Province de Luxembourg, Belgium). She died on 11 September 1828 in Rodange. They were the parents of five children. She brought a son into the marriage who used the FOURNELLE name when he was in the militia.
Henri also married Marie Jeanne DOMMANGE on 25 February 1829 in Pétange. Marie was born on 10 October 1801 in Sepfontaines. She died on 3 September 1866 in Rodange. They were the parents of four children, two of whom went to America, one before 1885 and the other in 1890.
vi. Jean Baptiste Fournelle was born on 8 November 1791 in Rodange. He was baptized the same day with his godparents being Jean Baptiste FOURNELLE, his uncle, and Marie Julienne MATTHIEU, his aunt. A record of marriage or death has not been located for this child.
vii. Marie FOURNELLE was born on 2 January 1793 in Rodange. She was baptized the same day; the godparents were Nicolas MEUNIER and Marie FREDERIQUE. She died on 15 November 1860 in Sélange, Messancy, Belgium.
Marie married Pierre Joseph MONNET on 2 June 1824 in Villers devant Orval, Belgium. Pierre was born about 1780 in Bastogne, Belgium. He died on 28 December 1854 in Sélange, Messancy, Belgium. They were the parents of one known son.
viii. Philippe FOURNELLE was born on 8 November 1795 in Rodange. Philippe worked as a stone cutter (tailleur de pierres). He died on 17 January 1840 in Rodange, Grand Duché de Luxembourg.
Philippe married Anne-Marie JUNGERS, daughter of Pierre JUNGERS and Gertrude CUIR, on 10 October 1834 in Pétange. Anne-Marie was born on 23 April 1791 in Belvaux, Commune de Sanem. She died on 13 April 1874 in Rodange. Their marriage lasted only a little more than five years ending with the death of Philippe. They had no children.
ix. Jacques FOURNELLE was born on 26 September 1797 in Rodange. Jacques worked as day laborer (journalier). He died on 5 July 1870 in Rodange.
Jacques married Catherine PHILIPPART, daughter of Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER, on 9 December 1822 in Pétange. Catherine was born on 23 April 1789 in Rodange. She died on 24 December 1856 in Rodange. They were the parents of two sons.
x. André FOURNELLE, my third great-grandfather, was born on 21 August 1799 in Rodange. He died on 2 August 1866 in Rodange.
Note: Marie Catherine PHILIPPART’s aunt Catherine PHILIPPART was the wife of Jacques FOURNELLE.
They raised their children farming
Both of Pierre FOURNELLE’s parents and his paternal grandfather were farmers. Did Pierre own the land he farmed or did he take over the farming job his mother Jeanne NEU held with the Baron of HUART before her death? Pierre was seen as laboureur (plow man) in the baptismal/birth records of nine of his children, as a cultivateur (farmer) when his son André was born in 1799 and as an Ackersmann (tiller of the soil) when he died in 1816. André, the youngest of the FOURNELLE sons, was the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps. André worked as a farmer while his brothers were laborers, stone mason, and stone cutter.
Marianne SCHMIT was an informant for the death of her husband Pierre FOURNELLE on 17 October 1816 in Rodange. As mentioned above, Pierre and Marianne’s daughter Marie married Pierre Joseph MONNET on 2 June 1824 in Villers devant Orval in Belgium. Marianne may not have been well enough to attend the marriage. She gave permission for her daughter Marie to marry via a document drawn up by a notary. She died twelve days later on 14 June 1824 in Rodange.
Marianne left eight living children and was the grandmother of 37 grandchildren many of whom were born years after her death.
Last month Luxracines hosted the 12th National Day of Genealogy and Local History. Several versions of our members’ family trees were featured in an exhibit. This colored 9-generation fan chart of my family tree was printed out on DIN A0 paper (33.1 in × 46.8 in) for presentation. At the time of printing, I didn’t know who the parents of my 4th great-grandmother Maria Katharina SCHACMOTTE were. I used BRICK WALL as a placeholder for their names.
When I wrote about her son, my third great-grandfather Johann WAGNER, two years ago I knew when he married in 1830 that his mother’s maiden name was SCHAEMOTTE per the index of his marriage record. The FB Mettendorf listed his mother as Maria Katharina SCHACMOTTE with the surname variations: SCHAKEMUTTE and JAQUEMOT. All other information on Johann’s parents and siblings were at the time unknown. I wasn’t expecting to open the door in this brick wall anytime soon.
In preparation for this post, I used several family books of German towns (Familienbuch=FB) as seen below in the sources. I checked the FB Fließem for Johann WAGNER born about 1804 in Fließem to Matthias WAGNER and Maria Katharina SCHACMOTTE. Although the FB Mettendorf gives information on his life after marriage, only an estimated year of birth in Fließem was included. His parents’ names seen in the Mettendorf compilation were also found (with similar but not exact spelling) in the indexed German Marriages 1558-1929 on FamilySearch.
In the FB Fließem, I found a WAGNER family with a son named Johann born on 16 June 1804 in Fließem. The father’s name was Matthias and the mother’s name was Maria Katharina. However, the mother’s maiden name was HARTERT.
Could this be the right family? Johann’s mother was born during the time period when surnames would change depending on, for example, where they lived, i.e. house name. Could this be the case with Maria Katharina HARTERT?
I went back one generation to the entry for the parents of Maria Katharina HARTERT. The father was a HARTERT and the mother was a HEINZ. As I studied the information for the family group, I found they had only three daughters. One died at the age of four years. The other was three years older than Maria Katharina. This older sister Anna Maria married Adam SCHACKMOD in 1787. Is it possible Maria Katharina and her parents lived with the SCHACKMOD couple following the marriage and were then known by this variation of SCHACMOTTE?
Can I assume Matthias WAGNER and Maria Katharina HARTERT were the parents of my Johann WAGNER? If they aren’t, then I will be following the wrong paternal and maternal grandparents.
Family books are organized in alphabetical order by the husband’s surname. To make searching easier, the compilers of these books also include an index at the back for the maiden names found in the book. When I checked the FB Mettendorf‘s maiden names index I noticed two family numbers were given for Maria Katharina SCHACMOTTE:
M3013 for my Johann WAGNER’s family group
M3020 for a Peter WAGNER son of Math. Wagner and Maria Kath. Schakemut of Fließem.
The family group entry M3020 showed Peter was living and working as a Dienstknecht or servant in Mettendorf at the time he married a lady from Ferschweiler in 1837. Dim. (Dimissoriales) was written before the date of marriage indicating the nuptials were recorded in Mettendorf as he had permission to marry in Ferschweiler. No further information was given for the couple.
My next step was to check the FB Ferschweiler for an entry for the bride and her parents and/or an entry for this couple.
In the FB Ferschweiler, Peter WAGNER born 5 August 1806 in Fließem was listed as a servant (Knecht) and son of Matth. Wagner, Schäfer 30.12.1814 u. Maria-Kath. Hartert + 31.07.1823. There is a cross-reference to the entry in the FB Mettendorf. The compiler of the Ferschweiler family book had made the connection between Maria Katharina SCHAKEMUT and Maria Katharina HARTERT. He had probably gone through the same process of comparing the names, dates, and places to come to this conclusion.
As family books deal with only one location, a family may not be complete in one town book. Children born to a couple in a different town due to the occupational move of the father would not be included. As children married spouses from other towns the continuation of the line would end in the book. Compilers of family books today have a much better opportunity to cross-reference a family who lived in several locations during their lifetime as many more family books are available.
Johann Nicolaus WAGNER married Anna Maria KLEIWER on 23 April 1759 in Sefferweich. They were the parents of three children:
Matthias WAGNER was born on 21 January 1761 in Sefferweich
Gerhard WAGNER (1764- ) born 18 January 1764 in Sefferweich
Anna Maria WAGNER (1767- ) born 2 June 1767 in Sefferweich
The parents and siblings of Maria Katharina HARTERT
Johann HARTERT(1739-1803) married Elisabeth HEINZ ( -1794) on 12 May 1767 in Fließem. They were the parents of the following children all born in Fließem:
Anna Maria HARTERT (1767- ) born 3 July 1767
Maria Katharina HARTERT born 19 August 1770
Johanna HARTERT (1774-1778) born 28 May 1774. She died 12 July 1778.
The oldest daughter of Johann and Elisabeth, Anna Maria HARTERT married Adam SCHACKMOD on 20 December 1787 in Fleißem. This is the marriage which led to the possibility of this family group being my fourth great-grandmother Maria Katharina’s family.
Matthias and Maria Katharina Marry
Matthias WAGNER married Maria Katharina HARTERT on 4 January 1791 in Fließem. Matthias was twenty-nine years old and Maria Katharina was twenty.
By the end of the year, their first child Nikolaus was born two days before Christmas on 23 December 1791 in Fließem. He died less than two months later on 9 February 1792.
Maria Katharina’s mother Elisabeth HEINZ died 23 September 1794 in Fließem. She lived to see her two daughters marry and give her grandsons born within two months of each other in 1791. Sadly she lost one before her death and the other would die a year after her.
Matthias and Maria Katharina’s next two children were born about 1797 and 1799 and shared their parents’ names. Their son Matthias died on 8 April 1800 at the age of 3 years. Their daughter Maria Katharina died on 16 July 1803 at the age of 4 years.
The second child’s death was not the only one during that week. The maternal grandfather Johann HARTERT died on 13 July 1803.
The Napoleonic Wars had begun the previous May. Times must have been hard for Matthias and Maria Katharina who had lost three children and both of her parents. Matthias who was a sheepherder (Schäfer) in Fleißem shared the same occupation as his father who was from Gondorf. Were his parents still living? Had they moved away from Sefferweich?
Matthias and Maria Katharina had several more children. My third great-grandfather Johann was their fourth child but would grow up as the oldest of four boys. Johann was born on 16 June 1804, Peter on 8 August 1806, Calixtus Nikolaus on 16 April 1808, and Johann Friedrich on 26 May 1810.
Matthias WAGNER died on 30 December 1814 at the age of 53. Maria Katharina was left to raise her four sons between 4 and 10 years old.
Her youngest, Johann Friedrich died on 28 March 1818 at the age of nearly 8 years.
Maria Katharina HARTERT died on 31 July 1823. At the time of her death, her three living sons were not yet of age. Johann had turned 19 the previous month, Peter would turn 17 the following month, and Calixtus Nikolaus was 15.
Even though the youngest of the boys had an interesting and unusual name, I have not found further trace of him.
My third great-grandfather Johann was 25 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria KERSCHT (est.1793-1876) on 22 February 1830 in Mettendorf. Anna Maria appears to have been older than Johann.
As I now know Johann’s brother Peter was living and working in Mettendorf in 1837, I wonder if Peter may have lived with his brother and been a witness to their marriage. The list of records to be obtained at the Archives in Bitburg is getting longer and longer.
Peter WAGNER married Elisabetha FASSBINDER (1801-1853) on 10 June 1837 in Ferschweiler. Peter was 30 years old at the time and his bride was 35. Their religious marriage took place two days later in Ferschweiler.
Peter’s wife Elisabetha died at the age of 51 years on 10 January 1853 in Ferschweiler. She had given him three daughters, two of whom were still living. The youngest of these two would die the following year. The FB Ferschweiler which covers up to the year 1899 does not include a date of death for Peter. Did he live into his nineties, passing away after 1899, or did he move to another town?
His brother Johann died at the age of 58 years, the same age as his father had been at the time of his death, on 15 June 1858 in Mettendorf.
There are still many questions which need to be answered concerning this family. However, I believe I am on the right track concerning this couple being Matthias WAGNER and Maria Katharina HARTERT aka SCHACMOTTE. Now all I need to have a new version of the fan chart printed out. But I think I’ll wait until I need it for a presentation. In the meantime, I hope to add a few more missing names to this 9-generation chart.
 Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z (1992).
 Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Kreuzerhöhung und St. Stephan – Fliessem – Mit allem Einzelgehöften und Mühlen 1662-1899, PDF (Trier 1998, version Aug 2011).
 Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch Pfarrei Seffern 1663-1899 mit dem Gemeinden Heilenbach, Schleid, Seffern und Sefferweich sowie Balesfeld, Burbach, Feuerscheid Lasel, Nimhuscheid, Wawern (bis 1803) (Trier 1995/1996).
 Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) 1680-1899, PDF (Kordel, 1999).
My 4th great-grandfather Johann GROELINGER (1766-1840), son of Peter MERTSCHERT (c1737- 1768) and Susanna SCHNEIDER (1737-1778), was born in Holsthum on 8 May 1766. He was their fifth and last child. The family lived on the Schneider-Vogtei which had come into their “possession” through Johann’s mother Susanna’s family.
The historical background of the SCHNEIDER family and the Schneider-Vogtei were dealt with in the Prequel to The Groelinger-Mergen Family of Holsthum, Germany in order to make it easier for my readers to understand the confusion of the surnames used by Johann GROELINGER and his parents. To simplify it a bit more I created this mind map with Scapple.
Johann GROELINGER and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN
Johann married Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN (1769-1829) on 24 March 1798 in Schankweiler. At the time Holsthum was part of the Schankweiler parish. In the marriage record, the father of the groom’s surname was given as GROELINGEN alias MERTSCHERT. His father had passed away in 1768 when Johann was 21 months old. His mother Susanna SCHNEIDER remarried within a month and her husband Johann BARTZEN became the holder of the Schneider-Vogtei.
Johann’s bride Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN was born on 5 February 1769 in Holsthum. She was the daughter of Gertrud THELEN (1746-1818) and Theodor MERGEN (1746-1817). She was their oldest child. In the Schankweiler family book, her name is given only as Maria. She is referred to as Anna Maria Benedikta in several of the family books which have entries for her and her husband and/or for her children. [see sources 1-9 for the family books of Biersdorf, Edingen, Ernzen, Körperich, Mettendorf, Nusbaum, Schankweiler, Utscheid, and Wissmannsdorf]
Gertrud THELEN and Theodor MERGEN had married on 21 December 1767 in Holsthum. Theodor was a Rinderhirt or cowherd in Holsthum as was his father-in-law. Neither of Anna Maria Benedikta’s parents was found in the 1766 census.
Anna Maria Benedikta had at least three sisters: Anna Maria born in 1771, Anna Maria born in 1781, and Maria Katharina born in 1786. The repeated use of the name Anna Maria may mean one of them did not survive but as seen in other families there is the possibility of names being used for multiple living children. The Familienbuch Schankweiler does not give any further information on these girls. Church records, according to the compiler of the book, are missing for large periods of time. Perhaps when I visit the archives in Bitburg I may be able to pick up the trail of these siblings. For example, if they were godmothers of one or the other child born to Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta. Also, if they married, a husband may have been the informant on the deaths of the parents-in-law.
Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta named their first two sons after their fathers. Their first son was born on 10 January 1799 and named after Johann’s father Peter and their second son was born on 17 November 1800 and named after the maternal grandfather Theodor.
Johann’s brother who shared the same name died on 11 November 1801 at the age of 39 years. He likely never married.
The Napoleonic Wars had been underway five months when Johann and Anna Maria’s first daughter was born on 14 October 1803. Their next daughter Maria Catherina was born on 28 February 1805 followed by Susanna, named after the paternal grandmother, on 1 August 1807.
I find it unusual that neither of the first two daughters nor the three born after Susanna was named Gertrud after the maternal grandmother. Magdalena was born on 20 August 1809, Elisabeth on 17 April 1812, and Maria Katharina on 2 June 1814.
The Napoleonic Wars came to an end in 1815. Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta were still having children. Their son Wilhelm was born on 3 February 1817. His birth was followed three weeks later by the death of his maternal grandfather Theodor MERGEN on 24 February 1817. The widow Gertrud THELEN died a little over a year later on 2 April 1818. It is the death records of these two individuals which I hope may include the names of one or the other son-in-law who is at this time unknown.
Two more sons were born to Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta. Johann on 18 August 1818 and Gerhard on 2 May 1821. All of the children were born in Holsthum where Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta lived.
The first of these children to marry was the third child Maria. She married Ludwig GERMAN on 23 August 1827 in Schankweiler. Their first child, a son named Johann, was born a month later. The family moved from Holsthum to Ließem were at least two other children were born.
Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN died on 6 February 1829 at the age of 60. Preparations for the marriage of her oldest son Peter may have been underway when she died. Peter married Margaretha PROST on 1 March 1829 in Biersdorf.
The second son Theodor married Margarethe WALLENBORN on 5 June 1831, also in Biersdorf. And the next marriage also took place in the same town when Maria Catherina married Johann Adam ERSFELD on 11 January 1832.
One last marriage took place before Johann GROELINGER passed away. Magdalena married Johann PHILIPP on 19 January 1839 in Schankweiler.
Johann GROELINGER died on 11 December 1840 in Biersdorf. As this record of death has not been viewed I can only assume he was visiting one of his children who had married in Biersdorf or he was living with one of them. Johann lived to the age of 74 years.
The first of his and Anna Maria Benedikta’s eleven children to die was Maria who had been the first to marry. She was living with her husband in Menningen at the time. She died on 30 March 1841. He remarried within two months.
Slowly but surely Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta’s children were setting up their own households.
Susanna married Johann JÜNGELS (1805-1862) on 23 October 1843 in Wißmannsdorf
Elisabeth married Mathias SCHMITZ (1810-1879) on 13 January 1845 in Altscheid
Johann married Catharina BURES on 5 January 1850 in Biersdorf
Gerhard married Helena Rosa LUDES on 25 October 1850 on Bickendorf.
Ten of the eleven children were married by 1850. Only son Wilhelm’s marital status is unknown at this time. A family with nearly a dozen children and all (except for Wilhelm whose fate is unknown) married and had children. No infant deaths. This may have something to do with the family coming from the Schneiders-Vogtei and possibly being more prosperous than families who came from manual and domestic laborers.
While up to nine different family books were used to trace the children, the family of the youngest son Gerhard was only traced through Thomas Pick’s Homepage for Eifel Birth and Marriage Data. The extracted information shows he married and had eight children in Bickendorf but does not include the names of the parents of Gerhard. The family book for the town of Bickendorf may be in our Luxracines archives in Walferdange. I was working my way back through the ancestors and had not gotten around to searching for descendants or checking for the Bickendorf book.
DNA Match with a 4C1R in America
Pick’s database shows the surname spelled GRELINGER which had me wondering if this Gerhard was the son of Johan GROELINGER and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN. I didn’t want to be following the wrong family.
After finding a descendant who is a DNA match to my brother on AncestryDNA with one of those shaky leaves which indicate a Shared Ancestor Hint, I am convinced the spelling of the GROELINGER name changed to GRELINGER for youngest son Gerhard when he married and moved to Bickendorf.
Gerhard’s son, a farmer, Johann GREHLINGER, born on 20 March 1858, single, requested permission to go to North America on 29 August 1881. He said his parents owned residential and economy buildings, and he had the necessary means to travel.
Records indicate this son who went to America in 1881 was Johann Michael GRELINGER. He bought a farm five miles outside of Beloit, Mitchell County, Kansas, in 1893 and married in 1894. The match my brother has is a descendant of this line and shares 25 cMs across 2 segments.
He had three siblings who also went to America. His oldest brother John arrived in 1871 and his second oldest brother Michael in 1876 per the 1900 and 1910 census when they were living together with their youngest sister Elizabeth who came in 1893. John and Michael both owned farms in Jewell County, Kansas, likely adjoining. The siblings, seen as GRELIER on the 1900 and 1910 census, were and would remain single.
DNA Match with a 5C in America
The GRELINGER cousin was found with a Shared Ancestor Hint. Since there were no other hints I searched for matches with the surname GROELINGER and GRELINGER in their trees. I found GROELINGER in this tree.
The surname GERMANN was a red flag as this was the surname seen in the first marriage to take place for one of the children of Johann and Anna Maria Benedikta. Their daughter Maria married Ludwig GERMAN in 1827. The owner of this tree has not made the connection to the parents. The match is a fifth cousin and shares 11.4 cMs across one segment.
Since the second match is considered a distant match, Ancestry does not show it as a shared match with the first test which is classified as a fourth cousin match. To compare the chromosome segments I need both of these matches to upload their raw DNA to Gedmatch. I sent messages this morning but they only went through after several attempts.
I would like to finally be able to add a maternal segment to the DNA map I am working on – it would be the first.
Sources:  Lika Hellwig, Ortsfamilienbuch 1 Biersdorf mit Hamm, Wiersdorf, Oberweiler, Nierderweiler, Beifels sowie zeitweise Echtershausen und Ließem 1714 bis 1899 (July 2002).  Bodo Bölkow and Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Lambertus Edingen an der Sauer Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals für Minden und Menningen zuständig) mit Edingerberg, Minden u. Menningen 1680-1899 Edingen selbst ab 1705 (2000).  Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (2000).  Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Hubertus Körperich in der Südeifel mit Körperich, Niedersgegen, Obersgegen, Gentingen, Roth an der Our, Seimerich und Scheuerhof (später Neuscheuerhof) 1689-1899 (2002).  Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z (1992).  Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Petrus Nusbaum in der Südeifel mit Nusbaum, Nusbaumerhöhe, Freilingen, Freilingerhöhe, Enzen, Silberberg, Stockigt, und Rohrbach 1722-1899, PDF (Kordel bei Trier, 2001).  Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen (Trier, 1990).  Werner Lichter, Familienbuch Utscheid (Outscheid) St. Peter 1728-1899 mit den Ortsteilen Buscht und Rußdorf (2009).  Irmgard Schmitz, Familienchronik der Pfarrei Wissmannsdorf mit ihren Filialen Brecht, Hermesdorf und Koosbüsch (2009).
 Josef Mergen (1954) and Heinz Weber (1995), Die Amerika-Auswanderung aus dem Kreis Bitburg im 19. Jahrhundert (2009).
Before I share the story of my 4th great-grandparents Johann GROELINGER (1766-1840) and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN (1769-1829) I need to go into a bit of detail on the life of Johann’s parents and the place they lived and worked.
Peter MERTSCHERT (1732-1768) of Röhl married Susanna “Anna” SCHNEIDER (1737-1778) on 27 January 1753 in Holsthum. The marriage most likely had to be approved by the Vogt of the Schneiders-Vogtei.
What was a Vogt and a Vogtei?
The Vogt or overlord exerted guardianship or military protection as well as secular justice over a certain territory or area of responsibility called a Vogtei. The Schneiders-Vogtei was one of fifteen smaller farms (Hof=farm, Höfe pl.) of the larger Hof Schankweiler which comprised the present-day villages of Schankweiler and Holsthum. Hof Schankweiler was under the rule of Herschaft Bourscheid (Luxembourg) at the end of the 17th century.
The Vogtei holders (Inhaber) were similar to vassals in feudal service who could use the fief as long as they were loyal to the overlord. They were entitled to a limited use of the property owned by the lord. They were serfs and not allowed to make decisions for themselves and their children without the consent of the lord. They could not leave the fief without consent or marry off their children at their own discretion. But on the other hand, without grave reasons, they could not be deprived of the property they worked and many families were holders of a Vogtei for decades if not for a century or two.
The lease on the land was transferred by legal means to the oldest-born, or to the child married during the lifetime of the parents with the consent of the lord. The younger children, who were actually servants and maids, were only entitled to a kind of apanage. This was determined by the parents, or relatives if the parents were deceased, and came from the furniture and other household goods, excluding the farm equipment and livestock.
This approach, perceived as unfair today, ensured the existence of economically sound farms. The Vogtei holders were able to afford, without any particular difficulty, the taxes on their farms. Despite serfdom, the holders of the property prospered and their coffers were filled not only with linens and other materials but also jewelry and thalers.
Peter’s surname was MERTSCHERT before his marriage. However, with the marriage to Susanna, he became the Inhaber (holder) of the Schneiders-Vogtei and used his wife’s maiden name SCHNEIDER. As the actual records (birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial) for this extended family group have not been viewed, it is at this point difficult to say how their children were named in the records.
Peter and Susanna’s family
Peter and Susanna were the parents of five children. Their first, Gertrud born in 1754, lived less than five months. Margaretha was born in 1757, Peter in 1759, and Johann in 1762. Their youngest child, also named Johann, was born on 8 May 1766 on the Schneiders-Vogtei, as were all his siblings.
The 1766 census is important to the story of the youngest son of Peter and Susanna born on the Schneiders-Vogtei the same year.
Note: The town names in the 1766 census collection do not always match the spelling used today and some names were not indexed correctly. The citation above includes the incorrect spelling of the parish. If the link is changed or broken then to get to the image we need to follow FamilySearch’s incorrect naming of the parish of Schankweiler, i.e. Schouweiler. On the actual pages of the census it is written Schauweiler on images 592 and 593 and Schanckwei…r (missing letters in the gutter) on image 594.
When the census was taken in 1766 Johann’s family was living together with his mother Susanna’s mother Margaretha WAXWEILER and stepfather Matthias KRIPPES who, like Susanna’s husband, was going by the SCHNEIDER surname. Interesting to note here is the occupation of the head of household. Enumerated in French, the occupation was tailleur or tailor which is also the translation of the name and/or occupation Schneider. Also in the household were a few of Susanna’s half-sisters. Susanna’s step-father may have been a younger brother or cousin of Peter KRIPPES, holder of the Krippes-Vogtei in Schankweiler.
Peter MERTSCHERT died on 20 February 1768 in Holsthum. His widow Susanna remarried only a month after her husband’s death on 24 March 1768 to Johann BARTZEN. With this marriage, Johann BARTZEN became the new holder of the Schneiders-Vogtei. Johann and Susanna had a daughter Eva ten months later. This daughter would also later be found in records with the GROELINGER surname when she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter in 1793.
Susanna SCHNEIDER died in October 1778 and her widower Johann BARTZEN married the following month. This makes me wonder if the owner or the manager of the larger Hof Schankweiler may have been playing matchmaker with the families living on the fifteen smaller farms since the marriages took place so soon after the deaths of the holders of the Schneiders-Vogtei.
There were no other families in the area named GRELINGER or GROELINGER but the Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen (Familienbuch Schankweiler) indicates the family of Peter MERTSCHERT and Susanna SCHNEIDER also went by the name GRELINGER as seen in their son’s marriage record in 1798 where the father of the groom’s surname was given as GROELINGEN alias MERTSCHERT.
Skimming through the Familienbuch Schankweiler, I found at least one mention of a family where a man married into a Vogtei from another village. He went by his wife’s (Vogtei) name and at times by the surname his father was known by in his native village after the marriage.
Seeing this I wonder if Peter MERTSCHERT’s family of Röhl may have later gone by the GRELINGEN name which I have seen in other family books with a slight variation of spelling as coming from Röhl. Richard Schaffner is working on the family book of Sülm including Röhl and Scharfbillig. Once it is available, I may learn more about the MERTSCHERT family and if they also went by the name GRELINGEN, GROELINGEN, KRELINGEN, or KRALINGEN.
Hopefully, this prequel will help clear up any confusion there may be about the surnames used by the family of my 4th great-grandfather Johann GROELINGEN alias MERTSCHERT in my next post.
Source: Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen, p. I-III, Foreword to the book.
Why do we blog about our genealogy research and our ancestors? For me, it began with wanting to tell their stories, one post at a time. As I’m coming to the end of my fourth year blogging, I’m amazed at the number of distant cousins who have found my blog.
As genealogy bloggers, we can’t just sit back and wait for our posts to bait a new cousin. We also need to actively search for and contact cousins who may help us with our research.
In my post, Surprising Discovery Made While Researching the Schramen-Schmitt Family I wrote about the Ferschweiler Family Book having information about the emigration of the SCHRAMEN a.k.a. SCHROMEN family to America. Werner Lichter, the compiler of Familienbuch der Gemeinden Eisenach und Gilzem 1550-1900 as well as works on emigration, was cited as the source for the name of the ship they traveled on and the year they went.
I contacted Aaron, a SCHROMEN descendant who has his family tree on Ancestry. Although the information in the FB Ferschweiler seemed to be a match, we needed more information to prove Aaron and I descend from the same ancestor. Best bet would be to go to the original source.
Werner Lichter had recently commented in a Luxembourg genealogy group so I knew he was on Facebook. I sent him a message asking for help and a friend request just in case he didn’t notice the message.
Werner accepted my friend request about the same time I took my latest 100 km bike ride. We chatted about riding, the weather, that his great-grandfather lived in Echternach for a while, and that he has a PÖPPELREITER connection. Yes, to the family I wrote about yesterday.
I’d gotten in touch with Werner to help Aaron trace his immigrant back to Germany. By reaching out to both of them I ended up with not one but two new cousins. Aaron is my 4C1R through Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. Werner and I are 5th cousins as we descend from Johann PÖPPELREITER and Margaret BOMMES.
When was the last time you reached to a cousin or a cousin reached out to you?
Whenever we rode by the fisher sculpture I had to think of cousin bait and how I could work it into a post. Special thanks to my husband for doing the photoshoot with me.
What is the most interesting or unusual name in your family tree? Do you have one like PÖPPELREITER? It’s the maiden name of one of my two great-grandmothers named Catherine. For the three generations back to her great-grandfather (my fourth great-grandfather) Johann PÖPPELREITER, the name mostly remained the same. However, during his lifetime it was spelled several different ways, evolving from BUBELREITER to BOPPELREUTER to PEPPELREUTER to PÖPPELREITER.
Some people with this name emigrated from Mürlenbach, Germany, to America and the name lost the umlaut (the double dots over the vowel) and became POPPELREITER. The ones I have found were a father and son who came to America before 1860 and another family group who came in 1893. Further research is needed to prove their connection to my line which also comes out of Mürlenbach.
My fourth great-grandfather Johann PÖPPELREITER was the son of Peter BUBELREITER (abt. 1741-1793) and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN (abt. 1738?-1807). He was born and baptized on 15 February 1782 in Mürlenbach. The extracted information from his baptismal record does not include his mother’s maiden name. She was seen as LAMBERTI when Johann’s brother Mathias married. Later when she died her surname was given as BOSEN. His father Peter may have been married twice, Gertrud being his second wife. His surname was spelled with B’s instead of P’s.
Johann’s father Peter was a Köhler or charcoal maker. I believe this craft was passed down through the family as several PÖPPELREITER men during his time had the same occupation.
Charcoal burning is perhaps one of the oldest forms of forest use. The coal plates were roundish pinnacles with a diameter of 6 to 8 meters. During the construction of the kilns, split logs of one to two meters length were set up in several levels into a hemispherical structure and covered with branches, sod, and soil to make it as airtight as possible. After firing, it took two to three weeks for all of the wood to become coal. From a fathom of wood (about three cubic meters) 600 kg of coal could be produced. With the same calorific value, the charcoal was much lighter and smaller than the wood.
Johann married Margaret BOMMES
Johann was 31 years old, could not write, and was living auf der Glasshütte near Utscheid when he married Margaret BOMMES, daughter of Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, on 28 October 1813 in Utscheid. Margaret was born on 13 July 1791 in Grimbach and was baptized the same day in Neuerburg.
It is quite possible Johann learned the Köhler trade from his father and left Mürlenbach to work in Utscheid auf der Glashütte (glassworks) where charcoal was produced. Johann and Margaret’s first two children were born auf der Glashütte near Utscheid. Lucia PÖPPELREITER was born in 1813 and her brother Wilhelm was born in September 1814.
Sometime after the birth of their second child, the little family moved to Brimingen were their son Wilhelm died on 28 June 1815. Less than a month after his death Margaret gave birth to her next child, Nicolas on 23 July 1815 in Brimingen.
A year and two days later my third great-grandfather Theodore PÖPPELREITER was born on 25 July 1816 in Brimingen and was christened the same day in Baustert.
In the following two years, the family moved again to Mettendorf where their next four children were born. Catherine (the elder) was born on 27 December 1818, Barbara on 29 September 1821, and Matthias on 8 August 1824. Matthias lived only one day. The fourth child born in Mettendorf, and the baby of the family, was Catherine (the younger) who was born on 21 October 1825. The practice of giving the same name to more than one living child is confusing and the reason I distinguish between them with elder and younger.
Johann PÖPPELREITER died on 6 June 1827 in Mettendorf and was buried the following day. He was 45 years old. He left a wife and six children aged between less than two years and 14 years.
The oldest daughter Lucia died on 23 February 1837 in Mettendorf at the age of 24 years. She had not married. Nothing is known of the next oldest child and oldest son Nicolas who would have been 21 years by this time.
Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, was the youngest son. He was working as a servant in Nusbaum when he married Maria Katharina GROELINGER, daughter of Johann GROELINGER and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN, on 20 January 1842 in Mettendorf. Maria Katharina was born on 2 June 1814 in Holsthum and was working as a servant in Mettendorf. She was my 3rd great-grandmother. Theodore and Maria Katharina’s story: The PÖPPELREITER-GROELINGER Family
Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder), now the oldest daughter of the widowed Margaret BOMMES, was 26 years old when she gave birth to a natural child, a son Theodore, born on 31 August 1844. For new readers, a natural child’s father’s name is not known or given. After his birth, Catherine married the widower Johann WAGNER (b. 1804) on 30 January 1847 in Baustert.
The youngest daughter also named Catherine married Nicolas BLEY, son of André “Andreas” BLEY and Hélène Charlotte MAY, on 13 July 1848 in Echternach. Nicolas was born on 17 November 1813 in Ettelbrück.
Following the marriages of Theodore and the two daughters named Catherine, Margaret BOMMES was likely left only with her daughter Barbara living at home as mention earlier, nothing is known of the oldest son Nicolas. On 19 January 1850 twenty-eight-year-old Barbara married Peter SCHNEIDER in Oberweis. Peter, a shoemaker, was born on 23 August 1814 and was seven years older than Barbara.
Johann WAGNER, the husband of the elder Catherine, died on 22 December 1856 in Mülbach (not to be confused with Mürlenbach). They had been married less than ten years. Catherine was left with four children, her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER and two sons and a daughter she had with Johann.
Margaret BOMMES, the widow of Johann PÖPPELREITER, died on 5 February 1860 in Mettendorf. She was 68 years old. She left a son and three daughters.
Following the death of her mother, the elder Catherine lost her two youngest children. Her daughter Anna Maria died at the age of 10 in 1862 and her son Peter died at the age of 11 in 1867. Six years later her son Nicholas WAGNER went to America and she was left only with her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER. He had married the previous year in Baustert and lived in Mülbach where she was living.
My third great-grandparents lived in Mettendorf all of their married life as far as I can tell. However, for some reason, my third great-grandmother Maria Katharina GROELINGER, the wife of my Theodore PÖPPELREITER (not Theodore, son of the elder Catherine), died on 27 January 1877 in Schankweiler.
Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder) died on 5 March 1883 in Mülbach. She was buried on 8 March 1883 in Mettendorf. Her son Theodore likely took care of the burial arrangements as her only other living son Nicholas was living in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois with his four children and wife who was expecting their fifth child in less than two months.
Barbara PÖPPELREITER died on 24 March 1886 in Oberweis. She and her deceased husband Peter SCHNEIDER who died on 1 May 1882 were the parents of three children. A daughter died at the age of 5 years. Nothing is known of Maria born in 1858 or Michael born in 1861.
Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, died on 2 May 1891 in Mettendorf. He left two sons who are known to have continued the PÖPPELREITER line.
Nicolas BLEY, the husband of the younger Catherine, died on 27 October 1894 in the street called Mussgasse (above) in Echternach. The houses in this street are built against the old wall of the town as can be seen by the tower in the background.
Catherine PÖPPELREITER, the youngest and only living PÖPPELREITER child of Johann and Maria Katharina, died on 18 November 1908 in Echternach. She had given birth to ten children, five of whom died young. Two of her children married in the 1880s. Her oldest son André never married and was a professor at the Athénées Royaux (similar to middle and high school) of Arlon and of Ghent as well as the University of Ghent in Belgium. He died at the age of 87 in Ghent.
Catherine (the younger) would not be the only Pöppelreiter to live and die in Echternach. In July 1914 my great-grandparents Catherine PÖPPELREITER and Johann WILDINGER moved from Mettendorf to Echternach with their three children. Their story is Close to Home and Close to My Heart.
Please come back tomorrow for a little P.S.
Sources:  Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 475030. Joannes Boppelreuter, male, christened 15 Feb 1782 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preussen, Germany; father Peter Boppelreuter; mother Gertrudis. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NZMV-2L9 : accessed 27 OCtber 2017).  Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Mathiam Poppelreuter and Anna Maria Servatius married 10 Jun 1808 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father of groom Petri Poppelreuter; mother of groom Gertrudis Lamberti; father of bride Mathiae Servatius; mother of bride Catharinae Linden. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4J4-VP8 : accessed 30 October 2017).  Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Gertrudis Bosen Poppelreuter, female, age 69, widowed; died 25 Sep 1807 and buried 26 Sep 1807 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; Spouse’s Name Petri Poppelreuter.
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J43D-8L4 : accessed 27 October 2017).  Heinrich Theodore Weber (+) / Thomas J. Schmitt, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei St. Lucia in Mürlenbach 1803-1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Bd. 177, Köln 2003), pg. 302, Family #1226. Poppelreiter-Lamberti.  M.E. Hubsch, Heribert Ambros, K.G. Oehms, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Sankt Nikolaus mit ihrem Filialen Neuerburg/Eifel 1700 bis 1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Köln 2007), page 155, family number 271. Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, SCHOMERS.  Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z (compiled in 1992), p. 38, Family # M1958. Pöppelreiter-Bommes.  Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Maximin Baustert (bei Bitburg, Eifel) mit Brimingen, Feilsdorf, Hisel, Hütterscheid, Mülbach, Olsdorf, Family No. Br 830. Poppelreuter-Bommes.  Germany Births and Baptisms, Theodorus Poppelreuter, christened 25 Jul 1816, parents Joannis Poppelreuter and Margarethae Bommes; citing Roemisch-Katholische, Baustert, Rheinland, Prussia.(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NPNR-SZG : accessed 4 November 2015).  Ibid., Catharina Pepelerreuter, female, christened 28 Dec 1818 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Pepelerreuter; mother Margarita Bommes. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ74-SHC : accessed 1 November 2017).  Germany Deaths and Burials, Joannes Peppelreuter, male, age 42, burial 7 Jun 1827, born abt 1785, married, spouse Margarita Bommes; citing v. 2 p.227. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4Z3-KL5 : accessed 27 October 2017).  Germany Marriages, Theodorus Poeppelreiter; spouse Maria Catharina Groelinger; md. 20 Jan 1842 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Poeppelreiter; mother Margaretha Bommes; spouse’s father Joannis Groelinger; spouse’s mother Maria Mergen; citing Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4LQ-4ZL : accessed 27 October 2017).  Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen, p. 60, Family # H370. Groelinger-Mergen. Familienbuch Baustert, Family No. 1225. Wagner-Poppelreiter.  Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 873 of 1462. 1848 Marriage Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-175616-83?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 November 2015).  Alois Schleder, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Remegius Oberweis Dekanat Bitburg 1744-1899, 1999 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. (WGfF), Sitz Köln), pg. 132, Family #467. Schneider-Pöppelreiter.  Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Naissances, mariages, décès 1894-1894 > image 17 of 23. 1894 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12050-133644-0?cc=1709358 : accessed 12 January 2015).  21. Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1906-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 584 of 675. 1908 Death Record No. 66. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32043-12126-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-6YZ:129623201,130153902 : accessed 12 January 2015).
Anton WELTER, son of Johann Bernard WELTER and Maria BRIMERS, was born on 15 December 1773 on Ernzerhof outside of Ernzen. He was baptized the same day in Ernzen.
Anton was the only son, a middle child, but also the youngest as his two younger sisters died at an early age. His mother Maria died in 1781 leaving an 8-year-old Anton and his two older sisters. Her widower Bernard, as he was known, married again six months after her death. He and his second wife Maria BARTZ had a daughter nearly nine months after the marriage. The baby only survived two months. Bernard and Maria did not have any other children. Anton’s step-mother died in 1791. By this time Bernard’s children were nearly all grown. His oldest daughter Elisabeth had been married two years at the time and Catharina would marry in 1800. His only son Anton was nearly 18 years old. Bernard never married again.
Anna Katharina HENNES (1779-1845)
Anna Katharina HENNES, daughter of Johann HENNES and Magdalena MÜLLER, was born on 14 May 1779 in Holsthum.
Like Anton WELTER, Anna Katharina was a middle child and had two older sisters. Her father Johann died in 1786 when his wife was pregnant with their youngest child. Matthias, their only son, was born two months later. Two months after giving birth to her deceased husband’s child, Magdalena MÜLLER married Johann TRAMPERT. Magdalena was 44 and Johann was 27. With this marriage, her husband took on the responsibility of five step-children between 9 years and 2 months. Magdalena and her second husband did not have children of their own.
Anna Katharina and Anton marry in 1803
Anna Katharina HENNES married Anton WELTER on 23 March 1803 in Ernzen. They had three children during their first seven years of marriage. Their first, Bernard was born in 1805 and named after his paternal grandfather. A record of baptism has not been searched for but it is likely his grandfather was his godfather as was the practice of the times. Their next two children were girls: Elisabeth was born on 31 January 1807 and Katharina WELTER on 21 July 1810.
Before they had more children there were several deaths in the family. Anna Katharina’s step-father Johann TRAMPERT died on 19 August 1812 at the age of 55 years. Anton and Anna Katharina youngest daughter Katharina died on 5 December 1812 at the age of nearly two and a half years. Anton’s father Johann Bernard WELTER died on 27 March 1813 at the age of 76 years. Almost a week later the family would be attending another funeral. Anna Katharina’s mother Magdalena MÜLLER died on 2 April 1813 at the age of 70 years. Three deaths in four months make me wonder if they were caused by disease or a hard winter.
A year later Anna Katharina and Anton named their son born on 4 April 1814 Peter. He lived only ten months dying on 6 February 1815. A little more than two years later another son was born and named Peter. He was born on 10 August 1817 and died on 12 May 1819 at the age of twenty months.
Anton and Anna Katharina’s youngest child, Anna Maria was born on 3 April 1822. Anna Katharina was 43 and Anton was going on 49.
Their oldest son Bernard married Katharina WEBER on 2 April 1837 in Aach (Eifel). Katharina was born on 2 January 1795 in Aach to Peter WEBER und Susanna KREIN.
The mother of this family, Anna Katharina HENNES died on 9 March 1845 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Her widower Anton was left with three children, two of whom were married.
The youngest daughter Anna Maria married Peter STEIL on 18 February 1846 in Ernzen. Peter was born on 3 January 1810 in Berdorf (Luxembourg).
The father of this family, Anton WELTER died on 26 January 1849 in Ernzen and was buried two days later.
After their parents’ deaths
The oldest of the WELTER children, Bernard died on 1 February 1855 in Ernzen at the age of 55. His widow Katharina WEBER died two decades later on 30 April 1875 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. They may have remained childless.
Anna Maria, the youngest of the WELTER children, died on 9 January 1861 and was buried two days later. She was 38 years old and left a husband and four children.
Elisabeth’s husband Hubert WEIMANN died at the age of 67 on 29 October 1872 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. He left her with three children.
Peter STEIL, Anna Maria’s widower, died on 21 December 1872 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. He was survived by two daughters and a son. The son emigrated to North America during the year and likely only learning of the death of his father after the new year.
A Peter STEIL, age 18, was found on a passenger list with an arrival in New York on 20 May 1872 via Liverpool, England. A match for Peter STEIL born 12 January 1854 in Ernzen was not found in America. He cannot be the same person as the Peter Steil 1852-1913 who lived in Stearns County, Minnesota, as he came over in 1867. Suggestions on other spelling for the STEIL name would be appreciated.
Elisabeth WELTER, the last living child of Anton and Anna Katharina, died on 24 September 1877 in Ernzen and was buried three days later. Elisabeth, my third great-grandmother, was 70 years old. She left three children who would live to see the outbreak of World War I. Only one of these would live to see the end of it.
How are the DNA matches looking for this branch?
One of the first Shared Ancestor Hints on Ancestry DNA for my brother’s test was for a match who descends from Johann HENNES, the father of Anna Katharina HENNES.
The person who matches was quick to reply to my short message sent in June 2016 and we have not corresponded since then. It’s been over a year since she has signed in. I really need to get in touch with her as I realized while writing this post that we have another set of common ancestors who do not show up as a hint. She does not have the parents of Mathias HENNES’ wife Elisabetha MALAMBRÉ. My 4th great-grandmother Susanna MALAMBRÉ was Elisabetha’s sister. This match is a 6th cousin through Johann HENNES and Magdalena MÜLLER and through Gérard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF.
Mathias HENNES, the brother of Anna Katharina HENNES, had two sons who went to America. The youngest son Michael went in 1837 at the age of 21. He appears to have not been married and therefore without known descendants. The older son Peter went in 1856 with his wife and their seven children. They had lived in Silberberg/Nusbaum since their marriage in 1836, the year before Michael left. They met up with him in Lemont, Cook County, Illinois, and he was in their household at the time of the 1860 census.
At the time I found this match I did not know so many people with connections in my tree left the Eifel area for America. This gives me another reason which may convince people to upload their raw data to GEDmatch. I haven’t been able to map any of the maternal chromosomes as matches are few and hard to figure out. It would be nice to get this tiny 14 centimorgans segment labeled but with there being two sets of MRCAs I’d need more matches to triangulate.
Sources:  Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 66 of 131. 1773 Baptismal Record, right page, 3rd entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32399-12771-29?cc=2037955 : accessed 9 November 2016).  Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1783 > image 102 of 177. 1781 Death Record, right page, bottom. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32400-11740-46?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015) and part 2 of 1781 Death Record, left page top. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32400-11629-47?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 237-238, Family #839. Welter-Brimers and Welter-Bartz.  Luxembourg Church Records, Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1783 > image 122 of 177. 1782 Baptismal Record, left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32400-11658-39?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).  Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1779-1783 > image 140 of 177. 1782 Death Record, right page, 2nd from bottom. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32400-11497-19?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).  Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes, mariages, décès 1788-1797 > image 118 of 331. 1791 Death Record, left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-8336-15?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015). FB Ernzen, p. 234, Family #830. Welter-Hennes.  Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen, pg. 79, Family #485. Hennes-Mühler. FB Schankweiler, pg. 238, Family #1377. Trampert-Müller. FB Ernzen, p. 234, Family #830. Welter-Hennes.  Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462714. Elisabetha Welter, christened 31 Jan 1807 in Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia; father Antonii Welter; mother Chatarinae Hennes.(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NTJ5-T7S : accessed 15 October 2017). FB Ernzen, pg. 219, Family #775. Trampert-Müller.  Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. Hubertum Wayman and Elisabetham Welter, married 12 Feb 1835; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JH8P-DBZ : accessed 15 October 2017). FB Ernzen, p. 235, Family #832. Welter-Weber. FB Ernzen, pg. 203, Family #719. Steil-Welter.  Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Berdorf > Naissances 1799-1858 > image 84 of 534. 1810 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6S5H-ND?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-HZ9%3A129626101%2C129760301 : accessed 22 October 2017).  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Petrus Nusbaum in der Südeifel mit Nusbaum, Nusbaumerhöhe, Freilingen, Freilingerhöhe, Enzen, Silberberg, Stockigt, und Rohrbach 1722-1899, PDF (Kordel bei Trier, 2001), pg. 113-114, Family #464. Hennes-Hostert.
Gerard MALAMBRÉ first turned up in the baptismal record of his daughter Susanna, my 4th great-grandmother, on 7 November 1772.
Before this date, there is no evidence of his existence. If I am to trust the information in the family book of Ernzen where he lived from this time, he died on 7 September 1808 at the age of 80. Where can I find him between his birth around 1728 and the birth of his daughter in 1772? If his age at the time of death is correct, he was 44 years old when Susanna was born and baptized. After Susanna’s birth, six more children were born to Gerard MALAMBRÉ and his wife Barbara BIESDORF between 1775 and 1788., , , , , 
This is a moot point to make but, as no record has been found prior to the baptism of Susanna in 1772, no marriage record has been found for Gerard and Barbara.
Susanna was likely their second child of eight. Her sister Anna Maria, whose date of birth and baptism are not known, was the first to marry in 1792 which makes me suspect she was their first born. Anna Maria was seen as a godmother in 1786. If she was 16 at the time she would have been born about 1770. How young could a godmother be?
The baptismal records of Susanna and her other siblings were found in the Echternach parish to which Ernzen was affiliated. As already mentioned, they were born between 1772 and 1788. The 1788 baptismal record of their youngest daughter Maria Catharina brought new information to light.
The record not only includes the place of residence of Gerard and Barbara at the time of the baptism of their youngest child but also where they hailed from. Barbara BIESDORF’s town of origin was Dickweiler.
Now, this is where my newest not so secret new tool comes into play. The 1766 Luxembourg census. Dickweiler was a part of the parish of Rosport. Only one BIESDORF family lived in Dickweiler in 1766 and it included Anna Barbara who was 14 years or older. Also in the household were three siblings (the census does not indicate this relationship) who were godparents of her children in 1772, 1775, and 1777. Thomas Webers’ family book of Rosport includes the BIESDORF family. Anna Barbara was born in 1744 and was 22 years old at the time of the census. Her parentage has been proven with her baptismal record with secondary evidence coming from the baptismal records of her children who had her siblings as godparents. Case closed?
The 1788 baptismal record was the case cracker for the child’s mother’s parentage but what of the father? Gerard MALAMBRÉ was from “Ramrig” per the record. This is likely Rambrouch, also known as Rammerech in Luxembourgish, a commune and small town in western Luxembourg, in the canton of Redange. It lies close to the border with Belgium. The 1766 census for the parish of Rambrouch did not have any families with a name similar to Malambré, Malampré, or Malampreux. It is a rare surname not even mentioned in the Dictionary of Luxembourgish Family Names.
I searched the 1766 census in several other villages I thought Gerard might have lived in but without an index, this is hit and go. Two Melampré siblings married in Hemstal in 1758. By 1766 the male was deceased without issue and his wife had remarried. Their place of residence at the time of marriage was Pletschet on the marriage record. Pleschette is a village in the Medernach area. The 1766 census for the parish of Medernach did not yield any results. A family book of Helmstal published in 1907 gives the place of residence as Pascheterhof which was part of the parish of Consdorf. Once again this did not produce any new leads. My next attempt may be to look through all the villages in the parish of Echternach.
The names MALAMPRÉ, MALAMPREUX, and MALAMBRÉ fascinate me and I would like to get past this brick wall. The name has not, as far as I can tell, been passed on to very many descendants.
Gerard (d. 1808) had only one son Christian (1775-1811) who had only one son Matthias (1807-1884) who had only one son Michael (1840-1912) who had a son Albert Peter (1878-1952) who had eight children between 1909-1928. These children have descendants with the Malambré name. Albert Peter also had a son who married in Saarbrücken where the name may also have been passed on.
Let me now bring the attention back to Susanna who was born and raised in Ernzen where she brought up her children from two marriages.
My Ancestor Susanna MALAMBRÉ
Susanna MALAMBRÉ was born on 7 November 1772 in Ernzen (present-day Germany) to Gerard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF. She was baptized the same day in the parish of Echternach. Her godparents were Susanna BIESDORF, her maternal aunt, and Hubertus VILLAR, both from Dickweiler.
Susanna MALAMBRÉ’s First Marriage
Susanna married Bernard WEYMANN before 1796. A marriage record has not been found. In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for Susanna and Bernard.
According to Rob Deltgen, President of Luxracines and owner of deltgen.com, the people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed in the margin of the marriage record.
Susanna’s first husband Bernard was born and baptized on 15 August 1763 in Ernzen. The son of Nikolaus WEYMAN and Maria Katharina HUSS, Bernard was my 4th great-grandfather. In the 1766 Luxembourg census, he was seen in his maternal grandfather’s household with his father and siblings, an older sister and brother. His mother, the daughter of Hubert HUSS, had died the previous year and his father would remarry in the census year.
Susanna and Bernard had the following children:
Anna Maria WEYMANN was born and baptized on 28 January 1796 in Ernzen. She married Bernard RAUSCH on 11 February 1823 in Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen. Bernard was born in 1797 in Geichlingen, Bitburg-Prüm, Germany. They were the parents of seven children. Anna Maria died on 8 July 1852 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Her widower Bernard died on 28 March 1855 in Ernzen and was buried three days later.
Before their next child was born, Susanna’s mother Barbara BIESDORF died in 1804 in Ernzen.
Hubert WEIMANN was born and baptized on 13 July 1805 in Ernzen. He married Elisabeth WELTER, daughter of Anton WELTER and Anne Catherine HENNES, on 11 February 1835 in Ernzen. Elisabeth was born and baptized on 31 January 1807 in Ernzen. Hubert and Elisabeth had seven children of whom only three lived to adulthood. Hubert died on 29 October 1872 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Elisabeth died on 24 September 1877 in Ernzen and was buried three days later. They were my 3rd great-grandparents and their story can be found here.
Elisabeth WEIMANN was born and baptized on 20 August 1807 in Ernzen. It is not known if she lived to marry or when she died.
Bernard WEYMANN died on 2 January 1807 in Ernzen. He left his wife Susanna with Anna Maria nearly 11 years old and Hubert a year and a half old. Bernard and Susanna may not have known they were expecting another child when he died. Nearly eight months later Susanna gave birth to their daughter Elisabeth.
Susanna’s father was still living at the time of her husband Bernard’s death. Gerard MALAMBRÉ died 7 September 1808 in Ernzen.
Susanna’s Second Marriage
Two years after the death of her first husband and five months after the death of her father, Susanna married Matthias WELTER, son of Johann WELTER and Magdalena MEYER, on 13 February 1809 in Ernzen. Matthias was born and baptized on 3 May 1772 in Ernzen. He was not only my 4th great-grandmother’s second husband, he was also my first cousin six times removed. His grandparents Mathias WELTER and Anna Margaretha Elisabetha HUSS were my 6th great-grandparents. Further, Susanna’s first and second husbands were second cousins through Peter and Catharina HUSS, my 7th great-grandparents.
Susanna and Matthias had the following children:
Nicolas WELTER was born and baptized on 20 November 1809 in Ernzen.
Joannes WELTER was born and baptized on 4 May 1812 in Ernzen. He died on 4 December 1812 in Ernzen at the age of seven months.
Matthias WELTER was born on 4 November 1813 in Ernzen. He was baptized the following day. He died on 29 May 1814 in Ernzen at the age of nearly seven months.
Magdalena WELTER was born and baptized on 16 September 1815 in Ernzen. She had a son Michael in 1848 whose father was unknown. Magdalena married Dominik FABER on 13 February 1861 in Ernzen. Dominik was born on 26 June 1797 in Consdorf (Luxembourg). He was previously married and had eight children with his first wife. Magdalena and Dominik had a son born the same year they were married. Dominik died on 11 December 1871 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Magdalena died on 25 January 1879 in Ernzen.
Matthias WELTER died on 3 April 1830 in Ernzen. Susanna MALAMBRÉ likely had three to four of her children still at home. Her oldest daughter Anna Maria WEYMANN had married in 1823 but her son Hubert WEIMANN and daughter Magdalena WELTER were unmarried and likely living at home. Nothing is known of the life of her son Nicolas WELTER who would have been 20 years old at the time.
Susanna lived nearly two more decades, dying on 5 December 1848 in Ernzen. She was buried two days later. She’d lived to see the births of 15 grandchildren but also the deaths of six of these. One more grandchild would be born a dozen years later.
The Problem Remains
This article’s focus should have been mostly on my 4th great-grandparents Susanna MALAMBRÉ and Bernard WEYMANN, however, the missing information on her father Gerard MALAMBRÉ compelled me to do more research on her paternal side of the family. By discussing the steps I took to search for Gerard in the 1766 census I hope someone will notice what I may have missed. Still, Gerard MALAMBRÉ will have to wait for someone, perhaps one of my readers, to find the key to open the door in his brick wall.
Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT were my 4th great-grandparents. They lived in Ferschweiler, a small village in the Eifel in Germany.
Elisabetha SCHMITT’s Parents and Siblings
Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG (1756-1818) was born in November 1756 in Berdorf, Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father, Sebastian SCHMITT (1764-1825) was born on 7 December 1764 in Hoffmanns Backhaus in Schankweiler in the Eifel (present-day Germany).
Sebastian was with his family in 1766 in Schankweiler (above). His father was a shepherd or berger. Four persons made up the family: father, mother, brother Hubert, and Sebastian. Maria was found on the 1766 census in Berdorf with her family (below). The LORANG family was with a THILL couple and a young DEFRANG man. The men’s occupation was listed as plower or labourent.
Elisabetha’s parents, Sebastian and Maria were married on 27 December 1784 in Echternach. By this time Sebastian’s family had moved from Schankweiler and taken up residence in Ferschweiler where he would also set up his household with Maria. They were the parents of three known children: two daughters named Elisabetha born in 1786 and 1790 and a son Nikolaus born about 1791 and died at age 19 on 9 March 1810. [Note: the burial records from 1786-1790 need to be checked for a possible death of the first daughter named Elisabetha.]
Their second daughter Elisabetha was my 4th great-grandmother. The FB Ferschweiler (Familienbuch or family book) lists her birthday as 4 March 1790 in Ferschweiler and mentions her baptism on 9 April 1790. This is unusual for the time period when children were baptized the same day or at latest the next day. I wonder if the date of birth was recorded or transcribed incorrectly in the source used by the author/compiler of the family book. Her baptismal record clearly states she was born “on the ninth day of the fourth hour of the morning” and baptized the same day.
Michael SCHRAMEN’s Parents and Siblings
Michael’s father Matthias SCHRAMEN (1742-1809) was born and baptized on 10 March 1742 in Ferschweiler. His mother Anna Barbara LEIBRICH also known as BURG (1744-1810) was born and baptized on 21 May 1744 in Menningen.
Mathias’ parents were using his mother’s maiden name SCHMIDT in 1766 when the first census was enumerated. Mathias was working as a weaver or tisserand at the time. Anna Barbara was living with her mother in the household of her brother-in-law Guillaume MOSSAL. They were enumerated as BURG instead of LEIBRICH.
Barbara, as she was more commonly known, was found in the FB Edingen. However, the proper connections were not made by the author/compiler of this family book. In fact, there was a glaring error in the book. A second marriage in 1771 for her mother born in 1704 to a 21 years old man already in my database. The marriage was unlikely due to his age and known births of children between 1773-1796 for this man and his wife born in 1750.
Further research to clear up the error led to an amazing discovery.
My husband and I are 8th cousins!
Barbara’s maternal grandparents (my 7th great-grandparents) were Mathias and Katharina FEILEN (FEYLEN). They are also my husband’s 7th great-grandparents. This is the first and only time I have found common ancestors for my husband and myself.
Barbara LEIBRICH and Matthias SCHRAMEN married on 11 January 1770 in Ferschweiler. They were the parents of seven children all born in Ferschweiler: Katharina bp. 22 January 1771; Johann bp. 5 December 1773; Magdalena bp. 18 November 1776; Margaretha bp. 31 March 1780; Jakob bp. 11 July 1783; Michael bp. 5 October 1786; and Nikolaus bp. 4 October 1789.
Matthias saw the marriage of his three oldest children and the death of his youngest before he passed away on 12 May 1809. His widow Barbara followed a little over a year later on 26 September 1810.
Michael and Elisabetha marry and have a family
Michael SCHRAMEN married Elisabetha SCHMITT on 27 November 1811 in Ferschweiler. Michael whose parents were both deceased may have had siblings present while Elisabetha’s parents would have been consenting to the marriage. During the first thirteen years of their union, they became the parents of five children.
Ch 1: Catherine (1812-1869) born on 23 October 1812 and baptized the following day.
Ch 2: Johann (1817-1894) born and baptized on 14 January 1817.
Ch 3: Catharina (1820-1842) born 21 February 1820 and baptized the next day.
Ch 4: Margaret (1821-1822) born and baptized on 7 November 1821. She died nearly a year later on 22 October 1822.
Ch 5: Nicolaus (1824-1875) born and baptized on 31 October 1824.
Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG died on 11 February 1818 a little over a year after the birth of the second SCHRAMEN child. The maternal grandfather, Sebastian SCHMITT died after the birth of the last child, on 12 January 1825. Both of these deaths took place in Ferschweiler.
Elisabetha’s husband Michael SCHRAMEN died on 20 September 1833 at the age of 46 years. He left a widow and four children aged between 8 and 20.
Soon after Michael’s death, his oldest child turned 21 and planned to marry. Catherine SCHRAMEN married Nicolas WILDINGER (1798-1874) on 18 January 1834 in Ferschweiler in a civil ceremony and then on 21 January 1834 in a religious ceremony. They were my 3rd great-grandparents.
Michael’s widow Elisabetha may have had her three unmarried children in her household for nearly a decade. Her second daughter Catharina married on 18 January 1842, after turning 21 years, to Johann MARX. Her marriage took place on her sister Catherine’s 8th wedding anniversary. Both girl’s names were found to be Catharina on the German Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 index,  and I am using Catherine for the oldest to keep them apart. Catharina gave birth to a son Theodor on 8 November 1842; she died less than two weeks later on 24 November 1842.
During the next decade, Elisabetha’s two sons Johann and Nicolaus may have still lived at home and cared for their mother. Times were hard for most families in the area and many were emigrating to Luxembourg and America. Elisabeth’s youngest son Nicolaus was 27 years old and unmarried when he went to America in 1852 likely leaving her in the care of his older brother Johann.
Johann, the only unmarried child of Michael and Elisabetha still in Germany, was 35 years old when he finally married. His brother Nicolaus’ departure may have been a deciding factor in his decision to marry. His bride Katharina ADAM was 29 years old when she married Johann on 15 November 1852 in Ernzen. The religious ceremony took place in St. Lucia Catholic church in Ferschweiler two days earlier. Like his older sister Catherine, Johann named his first daughter Elisabetha after his mother.
Further research into census records, etc. needs to be performed to learn where the mother of this family lived. Elisabetha had two married children in the same town, two children were deceased, and her youngest was in America. Did she live with her son Johann following his marriage? Did he remain in the family home? Or did she go to live with daughter Catherine and son-in-law Nicolas WILDINGER? Elisabeth died at the age of 79 years on 20 May 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried two days later.
Elisabetha’s daughter Catherine died nearly six months later on 2 November 1869 at the age of 57 years and was buried two days later in Ferschweiler.
The last living child of Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT was their oldest son Johann. He died on 20 January 1894 in Ferschweiler at the age of 77 years.
What became of the son who went to America?
Did Elisabetha, Catherine, and Johann know anything of the youngest son/sibling Nicolaus who went to America? Did they exchange letters? What became of him?
The compiler of the FB Ferschweiler cites Werner Lichter’s work on emigration for at least 5 persons from Ferschweiler who went to America on the ship Clotilde in 1852 including Nicolaus SCHRAMEN. The Clotilde left from Antwerp, Belgium around late May 1852 arriving at the port of New York on 3 June 1852. Nicolaus SCHRAMEN is said to have been on this ship. He likely traveled in steerage, similar to a cargo hold where many passengers were accommodated but with poor conditions. Steerage was the most common class of travel for immigrants.
While doing research on Nicolaus in US records I found there were two men of the same name and close in age. I contacted Aaron D., a great-great-grandson of Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dubuque County, Iowa. While trying to learn the parentage of his immigrant ancestor he had also looked into the other Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dupage County, Illinois, but did not know if there was a family relationship. Aaron had no proof of where in Germany his ancestor came from but had searched for the surname and found a concentration in the Ernzen/Ferschweiler area. He had not connected his Nicholas SCHRAMEN to my Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. I checked the FB Ferschweiler again and found Michael’s older brother Johann also had a son named Nicolaus born in 1819 and married to Katharina EWEN. His year of birth and the first name of his wife were a match for the man from, Illinois. Apparently, he did not remain in Ferschweiler as no children are listed nor is another family book referenced. It is a possibility the two men living in America were first cousins.
I believe Michael and Elisabetha’s Nicolaus was Nicholas SCHROMEN from Dubuque County, Iowa. He married Elizabeth GROSSBUSCH (1827-1896) on 28 February 1854 in Dubuque. The marriage record found by Aaron does not mention parents. Nicholas died on 13 January 1875 in Dubuque County, Iowa. The photo on FindAGrave for Nicholas’ grave marker is hard to decipher. What I can read is his date of birth was 1 Nov. The date found in the FB Ferschweiler was 31 October 1824. Aaron’s mother and my brother would be 3C2R – can this relationship be proven with their DNA?