Seventh Blogiversary!

It’s Amy Johnson Crow’s fault that I started my blog on 23 January 2014. Along with many others who joined in her first year of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I took her up on the challenge to begin writing. One story at a time, I learned and improved my research and writing skills. One story at a time, I got to know my ancestors and their history. Follow the link above to learn more about this free challenge – it’s never too late to start.

2020

The past year has been difficult for everyone. Due to the pressures of all things out of my control, I wasn’t able to keep up the pace of writing at least once a week. Still, with the previous six years’ worth of ancestral stories and other genealogy-related articles, my blog continued to draw followers, visitors, and views.

The top posts from the past year were included in my post, 2020 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2021.

I published my 640th post Teaching a Friend to Find Records on FamilySearch on January 15th. At the same time, views on Opening Doors in Brick Walls surpassed 250,000. A quarter of a million. Wow!

All-Time Top 10 Posts and Pages

How I Got My MISSING AncestryDNA Circles Back (

Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code (

The Ancestors – a page listing all of the articles I’ve written in the past 7 years.

6 AncestryDNA Notes for Easier Comparison (

Dear Cousin – We Have a DNA Match, Now What? ()

Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can – a page listing the articles I wrote on a collection of photographs.

James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia (my first attempt at writing about an ancestor, written in February 2002, updated on )

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

Genealogy Toolbox: Links to West Virginia Land Deeds on FamilySearch ()

How I Use and Manage AncestryDNA Notes ()

All-Time Stats – Top 10 Countries

I love that Luxembourg is #2 on the Top 10 list of countries that my visitors come from.

One Story at a Time…

During the seven years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve written about all of my children’s ancestors from generation 3 (grandparents with the exclusion of my mother who is still living) to generation 8 (their 5th great-grandparents). The only exceptions being William A. W. DEMPSEY‘s parents and grandparents, John COOLEY‘s parents, Sarah TREADWAY‘s parents, and the unknown father of Mary E. DOSS. Some ancestors in generations 9 through 12 have also been featured. A full list with links can be found on my page, The Ancestors. The list also includes the ancestors that still need to be written about.

Happy 7th Blogiversary

Thank you to everyone for motivating me to continue by visiting my blog and commenting on my posts during the past seven years.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Teaching a Friend to Find Records on FamilySearch

Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey writes about her Jewish ancestors documenting their descendants’ lines to the present time. By reading her blog for the past several years, I’ve learned about Jewish families, customs, and traditions.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, Amy reached out to me for help. She’d been researching her relative Falk Goldschmidt using the Ancestry collection Mannheim, Germany, Family Registers, 1760-1900 (available in the World subscription). The original source is digital images of Polizeipräsidium Mannheim Familienbögen, 1800-1900 at the Mannheim State Archive.

From the description of the collection on Ancestry: When a family moved into their home, they registered at the local police station. Anytime a child was born or a household member married, died, or moved out, it was recorded on the family register with the civil authorities.

While looking into Falk, she came across two entries in the family registers for his marriage on the same date, 18 October 1868, to Clara “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of David, and to Pauline “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of Julius.

Ancestry image (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7575/images/41680_b155960-00489?pId=160805 : accessed 6 January 2021)
Ancestry image (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/7575/images/41680_b155960-00472?pId=160763 : accessed 6 January 2021)

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy posted both images on the GerSIG: German Jewish Genealogy Special Interest Group on Facebook. Michael, a member of the group, amazingly (to her) almost immediately found both a birth and marriage record on FamilySearch for Clara/Babetta/Pauline.

Amy wrote, “I can’t read either, and I tried to retrace his steps to find them myself, but couldn’t begin to do so because (1) I can’t read the script and (2) I have no idea how he narrowed down the search to find the right pages or even the right matrikel.”

In reaching out to me, Amy had three questions:

  • First, can you translate all of these for me? I know that’s a lot, and Michael gave me the essentials, but I want to be sure I haven’t missed anything.
  • How do you explain the conflict in the Family Registers? A clerical error? It sure seems that Babetta was the daughter of Julius/Juda, not David.
  • And finally—how in the world did Michael locate the birth and marriage records so quickly? I know being able to read the script is a huge step, but how did he narrow down which matrikel and then locate the page?

She also wrote, “I figured I would ask the third question. I’d much rather be able to do this myself at some point—assuming I can also put in the time and effort to learn how to read that awful script.”

Locating Records on FamilySearch

After this lengthy introduction, I’ll now come to the point of this post. How the birth and marriage records were found so quickly by Michael.

If the geographical location (in this case, Mannheim) and the time period (in this case, 1844-1845) can be narrowed down then FamilySearch‘s catalog is the key to finding records. It is important to read through the description of the collection found in the catalog as well as any further information included under NOTES.

These are the steps I shared with Amy for finding the birth records of the young women associated with the marriage of Falk Goldschmidt.

Go to the Catalog on FamilySearch. The catalog is in the dropdown menu Search. I’ve bookmarked it as it is the first place I go to search. https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog

Type Mannheim in the search box for Place. For this search, it automatically brought up Germany, Baden, Mannheim at the top of the list. I usually leave the Availability selection on Any so that I can see all collections available. Click Search.

On the list of Mannheim collections that comes up, you can open each category. I chose Germany, Baden, Mannheim – Jewish records ( 6 ) as your research is for Jewish families. My second choice would have been Civil Registrations which contains Familienstandsbogen, 1807-1900. This is the collection that you found to be indexed on Ancestry. [A collection on Ancestry that requires a World subscription but is FREE on FamilySearch.]

Open up the Jewish Records to view the 6 collections. The first two are for Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim. The next two are for Feudenheim. The last two are for records outside of the period you wanted to search. We are only interested in the first two.

Open the first two in new windows. [I use The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck’s tip: Ctrl+left mouse click.] This brings up the catalog information for each.

While trying to figure out the easiest way to explain to you how I found the records on FamilySearch, I discovered that the two collections were actually the same but filmed at different times. This is where reading the notes on a collection comes in handy. [There is an advantage to having duplicates as images were filmed or digitized under different conditions and may be easier to decipher in one collection than in the other.]

Note: The collections appear to be duplicated from the Mannheim birth register. I cannot be sure but it looks like they extracted all Jewish records from the main register of births to make this Jewish collection.

One of the collections was filmed by the Reichssippenamt, Berlin, in 1937. The left-side pages were filmed separately from right-side pages and sometimes in reverse order. The other collection is of microfilm recordings of duplicates in the Badisches Generallandesarchiv, Karlsruhe. The images are the same only that in the second the left and right pages are on one image – making them much easier to search through.

Before we go into browsing, you need to be able to recognize title pages in the collections so that you can navigate (browse) them. For each year, the records are arranged by births, marriages, and deaths (normally, in this order). If they are out of order, it is helpful to know how the German words are written in the old script.

Browsing the FamilySearch collection

In the Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim we want to find the 1844 birth record of Clara and the 1845 birth record of Pauline.

You will want to use the “3 microfilms collection” and the film for the years up to 1859. The 3rd microfilm in this collection is restricted. You can use the search feature but the images aren’t available online. You can, however, view them in the “9 microfilms collection” in the 8th and 9th microfilm (not restricted).

Click on the camera of the microfilm for Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1815-1859. This is where browsing comes into play. It isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. The records are in chronological order. For each year you will find a title page for births, marriages, and deaths. There are 44 years of records. The years 1844-1845 are about 2/3 of the way timewise but there are usually more records in later years than in early years so I would suggest jumping in at the middle with image 400.

The first title page with the type of record following image 400 is on image 403 and is for the year 1841 Trauungs-Register (marriages).

Click on Browse Multiple Images (tile button) to see the small images. Notice that microfilm item 3 ends and item 4 starts in the row of images after image 403. This is where the year 1842 begins. Count over three title pages per year to get to the year 1844.

If you check the title pages for 1844 you will find two for births. For some reason, the births for this year were extracted twice. As you know from the image of Clara’s birth record you received from your help angel, her entry was the last for 1844 and followed by the index.

The index gives you the page number but not the date of birth. The indexes for births for 1844 are on images 451 and 458. The script used in this collection can be difficult to decipher. To help you find the Carlebach child’s name in the index, you need to become familiar with the letters.

As you can see the capital B and L are very similar. Since this is in alphabetical order, it is a good example to use for comparison. The capital C is similar to our E which is confusing until you get used to the script. In the list, the surnames beginning with C are for Cohn Ferdinand, Carlebach Heinrich, and Carlebach Clara (später Babetta). I only figured out the word später (later) after I did the screenshot annotations. [This indicates a later change in name.]

Clara’s record of birth is on page 8, the left page on this image. It is the last birth to be recorded. Labeled 35 in the margin at the bottom of page 8, it continues on page 9 at the top. Hirsch Traub, the scribe who made the entries, used the # sign to indicate missing words that he added in the margin. He made quite a few corrections including some on both records found for Clara (1844).

The Carlebach child born in 1845 was named Paulina. In Browse Multiple Images view, skip past the title page for 1844 marriages and 1844 deaths to 1845 births. Go to the last birth image with the index. Carlebach Paulina is on page 6. Go back to page 6. Her record is #26.

Rabbit holes

There were a lot of emails flying back and forth between Amy and me. She had many questions and quickly learned to browse the images even though her biggest handicap was not being able to read the script. We both went down rabbit holes trying to find answers to the questions we had concerning the fact that the two young girls were born close together to parents who shared the same surname – not only the fathers’ surname but also the mothers’ maiden name – and they both had their birth name changed to Babetta. Amy amazed me (and herself) by finding a death record which put much in perspective.

Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin? 

Amy had one remaining question she asked me early on in our email exchange about the script. Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin?

I really don’t bother thinking about which script it is. It’s like being multi-lingual. You switch between languages without thinking about the language you are using.

I had to actually look up what the difference is between the two. Kurrent was used from about 1865 and Sutterlin earlier. I’d say these records are in Sutterlin. I find Kurrent harder to read than Sutterlin. Kurrent looks to me like half the letters are m’s.

My father-in-law helped me in my early days and I learned to recognize letters that usually go together. When I’m really stuck on a word, I try to trace over the lines so that the letters will stand out for me. The more you work with the records the easier (yeah) it gets. After taking a break, it takes me a while to get back to my reading level. [Transcripts of the German text and translations of the records found were sent to Amy.]

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy learned how to find the records on FamilySearch. Did they help her resolve her research question concerning the two ladies named Babetta? Her post for Falk Goldschmidt with the answer to this question and this post will be published simultaneously. To read about Falk and the two women associated with his marriage date, please visit her article The Mystery of Falk Goldschmidt’s Wife: A Lesson in German Vital Records on her blog Brotmanblog: A Family Journey.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Dempsey Research Question Crafted During the Research Planning Magic Challenge

In September 2020 I participated in the Research Planning Magic Challenge hosted by Julie Cahill Tarr in a private Facebook group.

Participants ranged from beginners to advanced genealogists. Even though there were a little over 150 members, the group worked well together. Each participant focused on their own research project. The group remained positive as members helped each other by reviewing the day’s assignment, giving suggestions, and useful resources.

During the 5-day genealogy challenge, we learned to craft a research question, evaluate the background information, brainstorm ideas for records (even if non-existent), and set up a research plan.

This is my research question, the background information, and the research plan developed from the brainstorming.

Research Question

Was William DEMPSEY (b. abt. 1779) who married Martha LANDRUM in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799, the same man as William DEMPSEY (b. bet. 1771-1780 per 1840 census) who married Jane CALHOUN in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1831 and found on the 1840 census for Noble County, Indiana, where he died in 1845?

Note: William(1) is William DEMPSEY, son of Susannah of Amherst County, Virginia, my 4th great-grandfather.

Background Information

William(1) DEMPSEY, son of Susannah (maiden name unknown) DEMPSEY and an unknown father, was born about 1779 in Virginia. He married Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM in 1799 in Amherst VA with his mother’s permission.

They had 6 children who lived to adulthood as seen in probate and chancery records. He was named on the 1820 census; no tick was made for his age group. His wife was named in the 1830 census. After his wife died in 1834, newspapers in Ohio were “requested to publish the foregoing (wife’s death), for the information of Mr. William Dempsey, the husband of the deceased, who is supposed to be somewhere in that State.”

William(2) DEMPSEY born bet. 1771-1780 married Jane CALHOUN in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1831. They were the parents of 6 children mentioned in an affidavit relative to his will. His children’s places of birth show he moved from Ohio to Indiana about 1833-1835 (a coincidence that this overlaps with the published death notice of Martha in the Ohio newspapers?). He died in Noble County, Indiana in 1845. No records have been found for him before 1831 although a son was born about 1822 in Gallia County, Ohio.

I’ve known for 20 years that William(1) of Amherst went to Ohio and never returned.

Shared Clustering of my AncestryDNA turned up a match who descends from William(2) of Indiana. The match is in a cluster that goes back further than William(1) of Amherst has been traced – to Barnett Dempsey of Spartanburg, South Carolina. I have 2 clusters for this potential ancestor – possibly for him and his wife OR for his parents. I was trying to find the connection between William(2) of Noble and Barnett of SC when I ran into the brick wall. William(2) “appears” in Gallia OH for his 1831 marriage with no records found prior. I wondered if he might be my 4th great-grandfather who “disappeared” in Ohio after 1820 and before his wife died in 1834.

At this time no records have been found that would definitely prove William(1) and William(2) are two persons – no records placing both men in different places at the same time.

Research Manager 

Originally formatted to include a column for Date (search performed) on the left and a column for Notes at the right, the table was not WordPress friendly.

What Where
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

The marriage records in Gallia OH begin in 1803

1789-2013 – Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 at FamilySearch — index and images
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

1800-1958 – Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1958 at FamilySearch Historical Records – free; Index. Name index to marriage records from the state of Ohio. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later.
Marriage record for William(2) DEMPSEY

Was William(2) married 1822 or earlier as a son was born abt. 1822 in Gallia

1800-1942 – Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1942 at FamilySearch — index
Birth Record for Perry E. DEMPSEY b. 1822 in Gallia OH

Online trees show his mother was Jane CALHOUN, the wife William DEMPSEY married in 1831, 9 years before Perry’s birth.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863.

What substitutes are available to determine who the mother of Perry was?

Birth Record for Elizabeth Ann DEMPSEY b. 6 Nov 1830 in Gallia OH

Her parents married in 1831. The date of birth was found on her death record.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863

What substitutes are available to determine who the mother of Elizabeth Ann was?

Birth Record for Lydia DEMPSEY b. abt. 1833 in Gallia OH

She was the last child born in Ohio per census records.

Birth records are not available in Gallia for years before 1863

What substitutes are available to prove Lydia’s place of birth?

Is Noble County, Indiana a burned county? If yes, what substitute records are available?

An 1861 affidavit claims the will of William DEMPSEY (d. 1845) was burned.

FamilySearch Wiki for Noble Co., Indiana

1843 and 1859 — Courthouse burned and many records were damaged.

See suggestions on the wiki for researching in burned counties.

A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

Alvord’s History of Noble County, Indiana. 1902. By Samuel E. Alvord. Logansport, Indiana: B. F. Bowen, Publisher. Online at: FamilySearch Digital LibraryInternet Archive.
A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

Counties of La Grange and Noble, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. 1882. Chicago, Illinois : F.A. Battery Co. Online at FamilySearch Digital Library (scroll to page 435 for Noble County history), HathitrustInternet ArchiveAncestry ($)At various libraries (WorldCat).
A County History of Noble County, Indiana

Is there a history of Noble County, Indiana, that mentions early settlers including William(2)?

History of Northeast Indiana, Lagrange, Steuben, Noble, and DeKalb Counties. 2 volumes. 1920. By Ira Ford. Chicago, Illinois : Lewis Pub. Co. Online at FamilySearch Digital LibraryHathiTrust, Vol. 2 – Internet ArchiveGoogle BooksAncestry ($)At various libraries (WorldCat).
Census records for 1790
A new look at different spellings of the DEMPSEY surname in VA and including surrounding states of OH, KY, NC, and SC for William(1) and William(2)
Ancestry.com 1790 Census
Census records for 1800
idem.
Ancestry.com 1800 Census
Census records for 1810
idem.
Ancestry.com 1810 Census
Census records for 1820
idem.
Ancestry.com 1820 Census
Census records for 1830
idem.
Ancestry.com 1830 Census
Chancery Records: Amherst Co., VA
Chancery records have recently gone online for this county.
Do they cover the period following William(1)’s wife’s death? The probate, chancery, land deeds, etc. from a cousin who did courthouse research includes photocopies of records found. But were all records found and/or copied?
Chancery Records index at Library of Virginia

Case files (digitized) for Amherst are presently only available up to about 1836.

NOTE: This was checked when the records for Amherst were added. The file is indexed (as of Sept 2020) but not yet digitized.1848-03 Original Case No. 024. Now available. Needs to be transcribed.

Presumption of death – law in Virginia for the 1830s period?
Would there be records other than the administrator’s bond, inventory of the estate, sale of land that would indicate William(1) was deceased when his estate was administered?
??
DNA matches(1)
Re-new contact with the match on AncestryDNA that lead to William(2). Would he consider sharing his paternal ICW matches for research purposes? At this time only two matches have been proven to be descendants of William(2). Other cousins may have matches I am not seeing.
AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, FTDNA, Gedmatch

Analysis of DNA data in Genome Mate Pro, master repository.

DNA matches(2)
Review all unknown matches (no MRCA set) for clusters [C77] and [C81] to determine other possible descendants of William(1) or William(2) and set their MRCA.
AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, FTDNA, Gedmatch

Analysis of DNA data in Genome Mate Pro, master repository.

War of 1812 Pension Record
Pension records need to be checked as William(2) is seen on Find A Grave as a veteran of the War of 1812. If this was the case, his widow might have tried to obtain a pension.
FREE database on Fold3
War of 1812 Pension RecordsNEGATIVE result: the database was checked on 22/11/19
War of 1812 Veteran
William(2) DEMPSEY is on a list of veterans for the War of 1812 (see photo on Find A Grave)
Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 20 September 2020), memorial page for William Dempsey (15 Feb 1770–17 Aug 1845), Find a Grave Memorial no. 46143160, citing Cosperville Cemetery, Wawaka, Noble County, Indiana, USA; Maintained by Kay Cynova (contributor 47064119).
Cosperville Cemetery, Wawaka, Noble County, Indiana

Note: He was a veteran per cemetery records according to this list from the Indiana Lineage Society: http://lineage.gradeless.com/1812_burials.htm

Check newspapers as suggested in Research Planning Magic Challenge group https://virginiachronicle.com/

NEGATIVE results (21/9/20): 49 hits for Dempsey for period 1787-1837.

What other newspaper collections are available for this range?

Ohio Early Land Ownership Records

Did William(1) or William(2) own land in Ohio in the 1820s and 1830s?

https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/4642/

Collection not loading 21/9/20. Still not loading 9/1/21: We’re sorry, this page is temporarily unavailable.

Following the Research Plan

After setting up the research question, reviewing the known information, and drawing up the research plan, I set everything aside.

Since the preliminary work has been done and recorded in writing, I can always come back to the research question to work on as I have time.

As the Amherst County Chancery record I mentioned above is now available, it will be the first thing I’ll pursue in more detail. I’ve skimmed through the 36 images but a transcription of the pages needs to be done to save time and get all pertinent information recorded.

I’m hoping that other DEMPSEY cousins will become interested in this research question.

I’d love to hear from any DEMPSEY cousins who have DNA matches with DEMPSEY lines in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas as this is where the descendants of Barnett DEMPSEY were found. Also, DNA matches with DEMPSEY lines coming out of Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri where descendants of William(2) DEMPSEY lived. It is always possible that the matches share DNA from an as yet unknown distant “common” ancestor.

What did I miss in the brainstorming part? Any suggestions as to other resources that might help bring me closer to the answer. Were William(1) DEMPSEY and William(2) DEMPSEY the same person or two different individuals?

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

2020 A Year in Review and What’s Coming in 2021

2020 A Year in Review

The year 2020 got off to a good start on my blog with The Ancestors series. The plan was to get back to working on my children’s 6th great-grandparents on a more regular basis AND write a single post about each set. The WOOD, McGRAW, HONEGGER, and WISEMAN 6th great-grandparents (all on my paternal side) were done before Luxembourg went into COVID19 lockdown in mid-March. As these distant ancestors become more difficult to research and write about, a single post is not always feasible as seen in my having to break up the HONEGGER post into two parts.

Four months later, only one post had been published. From August until October I worked on the earliest FOURNELLE family in my tree. After setting up the stageintroducing the main characters and supporting cast, I discussed each of the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702). All of the posts can be found under the tab for Books: FOURNELLE Book.

A few how-to posts on using the block editor on WordPress, Luxembourg birth and marriage records, and an updated post on transferring AncestryDNA raw DNA files to Gedmatch got me to the end of the year.

Posts, Views, and Viewers

As you can see by the year in review, 2020 was not as productive as previous years on my blog. I wrote 33 posts compared to 50 in 2019 and 51 in 2018. Views were a bit lower than in the past two years but still 40,547. A total of 23,348 viewers visited my blog during the year. The number of followers grew from 500, a milestone reached in December 2019, to 544 by the end of 2020.

Top posts in 2020

Genealogy Toolbox: Links to West Virginia Land Deeds on FamilySearch

The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (396+397)

The Ancestors: Isaac WISEMAN (1738-1818) and Elizabeth DAVIS (1738-1807)

Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records

Dear Cousin – We Have a DNA Match, Now What? (Updated)

The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II)

The Ancestors: Bailey WOOD and Nancy, his wife (392 & 393)

Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor

Strong Women: Mary, wife of Isaac WISEMAN († 1779)

From Luxembourg to America –
The Tempestuous Voyage of the Cornely Family

What I was up to in 2020

Even though it was quiet on my blog during the summer months, I was still busy.

Mom’s AncestryDNA results came in a few days before the first lockdown. I went through each of the steps I’d set up for my brother’s and my own test. The matches were clustered using Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering Tool and notes with the cluster numbers were transferred to Ancestry. The raw DNA file was uploaded to FTDNA, MyHeritage, and Gedmatch. All DNA data (from the four sites) was imported into Genome Mate Pro, my major repository for DNA matches, trees, notes, correspondence, chromosome segments, mapping, and analysis.

I spent several Mondays in Walferdange at the Luxracines archive working with two other ladies from our genealogy society. With the archive being closed to the public, we had time to work on the inventory of the books in our collection, set up a classification system, and labeled all books with identifying numbers. The library was ready to receive visitors on an appointment basis due to COVIC19 restrictions. But before long we were once again under a soft lockdown and then a more strict lockdown at the end of the year. Other members of Luxracines were busy extracting marriages that took place in Belgium for people born in Luxembourg under the direction of our president Rob Deltgen.

I spent 241 hours (121 days out of 365) riding my racing bike with my husband. My longest activity was 114 kilometers. I rode a total of 5,657 kilometers while he chalked up 10,100 kilometers.

And still, I had time to keep up with new DNA matches. I developed a new color system for my AncestryDNA matches. It is so brilliant that I plan on sharing it in a future post. What I had before was good but this is even better – and transferred over to chromosome mapping it clearly shows from which of my father’s four grandparents matches with MRCAs are coming from.

What’s coming in 2021

Along with the last mentioned, I’d like to write about DNA discoveries and highlight the tools I’ve been using.

I hope I will be inspired by my mother’s DNA matches to work on my children’s 6th great-grandparents who have not yet been introduced here.

With two of her five children tested, Mom’s results include one 2C1R, three 3C2R, three 3C3R, and all other matches being “4th cousins or more distant.” Mom was an only child, had only three first cousins (1 paternal and 2 maternal), and her entire ancestry lies in the “greater” Luxembourg area. Clusters of matches include descendants of Luxembourg and German (from areas once part of Luxembourg) emigrants who for the most part settled in the US.

One FOURNELLE post still needs to be written on my 5th great-grandparents Pierre FOURNELLE (1713-1765) and Jeanne NEU (1723-1783) to complete the line between my grandmother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE (1909-2005) and her most distant FOURNELLE ancestor.

These are things I would like to work on in 2021 but I’m not setting goals. 2020 taught us to slow down and enjoy what we can as long as we can. The year also brought blessings in the form of a granddaughter, our first grandchild.

Happy New Year 2021. May it be filled with hope and a brighter future.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Dear Cousin – We Have a DNA Match, Now What? (Updated)

This is an updated version of a post I published in March 2018. The original post had been updated several times during the past two years. To avoid confusion I have added new images, as well as some steps, to reflect changes on the GEDmatch and Ancestry websites since the article was first written. 

Making the first contact with a DNA match has us running the gamut of emotions from excitement at finding the match to the disappointment of there being no tree. From the joy of hearing back to the exasperation of never receiving a reply. From the frustrations of trying to explain your need to use a chromosome browser to evaluate the match to the delight of making contact with cousins who are ready to work with you.

Running the gamut of emotions…

I’ve tried different approaches in writing messages to DNA matches on Ancestry.  Keeping them short, giving more or less information, asking right out to upload to GEDmatch, sending my email in the subject line, including links to articles on my blog about shared ancestors, etc. The number of persons who reply is very low.

So I’ve decided to use my blog to write to my cousins. I’ll continue to write short messages and include a link to this post. The instructions are up to date – I tried them out while writing. If anything changes, I can fix them and won’t have to copy/paste and re-write instructions I have been sending in messages or emails.

Dear Cousin,

We have a DNA match, now what? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and getting back to me. AncestryDNA does not offer a chromosome browser. I find the best solution to be GEDmatch.

GEDmatch provides applications for comparing your DNA test results with other people. There are also applications for estimating your ancestry. Some applications are free. More advanced applications require membership in the GEDmatch Tier1 program at $10 per month.

Some premium tools require payment but the chromosome browsers we are lacking on AncestryDNA are free on GEDmatch. Registration requires your name, email, and a password of your choice.

Would you please consider transferring your raw DNA to GEDmatch? Here are the latest instructions: [If you already have your GEDmatch kit number,  scroll down to Thank you to continue reading.]

Register with GEDmatch

To use GEDmatch you need to register for the site. The link is https://www.gedmatch.com/login1.php

GEDmatch screenshot 2020

Fill out the form per instructions and click on Register.

Download the raw DNA file

The next step would be to download your raw DNA from Ancestry. If you haven’t done this before:

On your AncestryDNA page in the upper right-hand corner click on Settings. Scroll to the bottom of the page, under Test Management > Actions > Click to open Download RAW DNA Data section.

AncestryDNA screenshot 2020

You will be prompted to enter your Ancestry password and check the box showing you understand Ancestry is not responsible for the file they are sending you. Click Confirm.

AncestryDNA screenshot 2020

As soon as you click Confirm a window will open advising you that they are sending an email to proceed with the download. It may take several minutes for the email to come in.

AncestryDNA screenshot of the email 2020

The email has a Confirm Data Download button. Be sure to make a note of where you save the file on your computer. The request expires after 7 days or after the first use.

Upload raw DNA file

Login to GEDmatch. Click on Generic Uploads (23andme, FTDNA, AncestryDNA, most others) on the right side under Upload your DNA files. Fill out the form and upload the file without unzipping it.

GEDmatch screenshot 2020

(If you are a Mac user the file may have been unzipped during download. As a Mac user, you are likely aware of this and know the procedure to get it zipped. The zipped file may be in the Trash.)

Meanwhile…

It doesn’t take long to upload the file but the processing on-site may take a day or two. This means you will NOT be able to use all features right away. A One-to-One Autosomal DNA Comparison will work before processing is finished. To try this one out, compare your kit to one I manage:  (see the kit number in my message to you). Please email your number to me as I won’t see you’ve been added until it’s completely processed. If our match is lower than my top 3000 matches it will not show up on my list but I can still do comparisons with your kit number.

What else can you do?

While you are waiting for your kit to complete all processing and have good status (GEDmatch lingo) consider exporting a GEDCOM from your genealogy software and uploading it to GEDmatch. Using genealogy software allows you to export as many or as few individuals in your tree as you need.

GEDmatch screenshot 2020

If you have a tree on Ancestry you can export your family tree data, as a GEDCOM file, to your computer via Trees > Create & Manage Trees > Manage Tree > right side > Export Tree.

When you click on either of the versions to upload a GEDCOM file to GEDmatch you will find some suggestions about the file. The most important thing to know is that the GEDCOM will be public and viewable to all persons who have access to the GEDmatch site. For this reason, it is recommended that you privatize living individuals before uploading.

You’ve uploaded the raw DNA and your GEDCOM file (optional, but so very valuable to your matches) to GEDmatch. On the homepage, there are some things which will be useful to you.

User Lookup: This lets you check by kit number, GEDCOM number, or email address to get more information on a person using GEDmatch.

GEDCOM + DNA Matches: This will generate a list of all persons who match you (or whoever’s kit # you search) and who have a GEDCOM file attached to their kit. This is practical as you won’t have to use the User Lookup to check each kit to see if they have a GEDCOM file. THE closest DNA matches are at the top of the list.

One-To-Many DNA Comparison Result: as soon as your kit is processed you will be able to check all matches to your kit. It will generate a list limited to the first 3000 matches with the closest matches at the top. In the first column kit numbers highlighted in different shades of green indicate new matches with dark green being the newest. As time goes by the color gets lighter and finally turns white.

People who match both, or 1 of 2 kits: When you check your kit and another kit with this tool it will generate three lists: a list of all matches shared by both at the top, a list of all kits who match the first and not the second, and a list of all kits who match the second and not the first.

This is not a complete list of what you can do on GEDmatch but the most useful in the beginning. When you are just starting out, DNA is a complicated subject. Take it slowly and one day, after you have read something for the 3rd, 5th, 10th time it will sink in and seem EASIER.

Thank you!

Thank you, cousin, for taking the time to read this. If you already have your AncestryDNA on GEDmatch, please send me your kit number. Usernames on Ancestry do not always match up with the name or alias used on GEDmatch.

If you decide to upload your raw DNA to GEDmatch, I will do a One-to-One Autosomal DNA Comparison between our two kits as soon as I know your kit number. Then I’ll add the chromosome information to Genome Mate Pro (GMP), the program I use to keep track of all matches and to map chromosomes. I can then assign the segment(s) we share to the Most Recent Common Ancestor(s) (MRCA) and Voilà!

Cropped view of the Segment Map generated by Genome Mate Pro in 2018. New segments have been added since then. An updated segment map will be shared in a future post.

I will have our shared segment(s) in living color on my chromosome map and can use them to assist with other matches on the same segment. In turn, if we don’t know who our MRCA is, knowing the MRCA of other matches on the same segment will aid in the analysis.

There are also other possibilities: FTDNA and MyHeritage will accept uploads of raw DNA from AncestryDNA and both have chromosome browsers. It would be appreciated if you choose to upload your raw DNA to any of these sites. But, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, I will understand. We can continue working together, using the tools available on AncestryDNA (Shared Matches, ThruLines, Common Ancestors, and Trees).

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me and I will do my best to help.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: Luxembourg Civil Marriage Records and Their Amazing Detail

In my post Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records I shared a lengthy reply I sent to J. who posed a question via the contact form on Luxracines website asking for assistance on finding a Luxembourg civil birth record.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, J. had a follow-up question.

Another question, how do you proceed if you don’t have the date of birth or place?  For instance, the father Johann Peter Garnich.  How would I look for his father?

I hadn’t put her off with my lengthy answer and she appeared interested in learning. So once again I sent off a detailed reply.

Finding the date of marriage in the ten-year index

I was expecting your next question. That’s the reason I mentioned the tables décennales (TD) in my previous email.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the previous directions to find the record.

If a couple was having children in a commune, it was often also the place they married. By searching the tables décennales of Bettembourg where the child was born, you should be able to find a date of marriage for the parents in turn aiding you in finding the marriage record.

Details in marriage records

Marriage records are amazing due to the details they contain. They include the following information for the groom and the bride: name, occupation, age, place of residence, date and place of birth, names of the parents. This is followed by information for the parents: names, occupation, age, and place of residence. If any of the parents are deceased, the date and place of death are given. Four witnesses (name, age, occupation, residence) are also given and their relationship to the bride or groom is usually mentioned.

In my early days of research, I quickly learned marriage records had enough information to take me back a generation at a time.

As an aside, Luxracines has a very large database of civil marriages in Luxembourg (complete). It includes marriages of Luxembourgers in the bordering areas of Belgium (a work in progress) and Germany as well as several large cities (Paris, for example) known to have had workers from Luxembourg. Luxracinces is now accepting subscriptions for the year 2021 giving members access to the website and databases until January 2022. See the section on Becoming a Member on the Luxracines website. [I included this as she had initiated contact on the website.]

The entry in the tables décennales

Your couple of interest is in the above-mentioned marriage database with a date of marriage in Bettembourg in 1883. Without this information, you could have looked at the tables décennales to find their names and date of marriage. This is the page they are on in the TD on FamilySearch:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1).
Close-up of the entry for Jean Pierre GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN (seen here as Elise SCHALTGEN). Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2).

Click on the tiles button to view the small images. You can see the difference between the lists for births and deaths and the list for marriages. The marriage list always has two names and therefore looks different from the birth and death lists making it easy to navigate the images and each batch of 10 years.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3).

Now that you have the date of marriage, I’ll let you search for the record. When you find the marriage record, let me know and I’ll try to help you decipher the handwriting and point out the information from the record.

Locating the marriage record

Less than two hours later, J. sent me three links. The first was for a marriage record from 1884 instead of 1883. I had failed to be more precise about the index’s location in the marriage register. The second link she sent was the index to the 1883 marriages and included the names of the couple. The third link she sent was the link to the actual 1883 marriage record. Good work!

A detail I failed to pass on to J. is that the index is normally at the end of the year. She needed to go back through the images to find the record instead of forward from the index (i.e. the reason she found the 1884 marriage record first).

Before I went into the details concerning the marriage record, I gave J. some advice on citing the source of the marriage record.

Cite your Source

If you click on the Information tab at the bottom of the screen and scroll down in the small window, you will find the citation. Click on Copy Citation to save it. This will be extremely helpful when you want to point someone else to the marriage record. If the link is ever changed the waypoints > will help you or them to find the record again.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

This is the Source Citation:

“Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6X5Z-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-K68%3A129623601%2C129637201 : 17 July 2014), Bettembourg > Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1885 > image 571 of 1479; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg.

I always replace the date following the link with “accessed [the date accessed]” for later reference.

Annotations and translation of the marriage record

The marriage record of Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN is in German, the official language used at this time in Luxembourg.

1883 Marriage Record No. 5 for Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN in Bettembourg. Image courtesy of FamilySearch (see citation above)

This is the first part of the marriage record which deals with the groom.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

In the year 1883, the 22nd of May at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, (followed by the name of the civil servant of the commune of Bettembourg in Luxembourg) came before us Johann Peter Garnich (occupation), 28 years old, born in Bettembourg the 8 November 1854, a resident of Bettembourg, of age son of the here present and consenting parents Peter Garnich and Katharina Wind, a married couple, farmers living in Bettembourg. The civil birth record of the groom was found in the register of this commune.

Part two with the information on the bride:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

And Elisabeth Scheltgen, without an occupation, 25 years old, born in Bergem in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange) the 11 January 1858, a resident of Bergem, of age daughter of the here present and consenting parents Michel Scheltgen, an innkeeper, and Helena Nicola, without an occupation, residents of Bergem. An abstract of the birth record of the bride was furnished.

Part three concerning the banns, records read at the marriage, etc.

Who have asked us to proceed to the consummation of their marriage as agreed between them, and their proclamations, [place and date of the first reading of the banns, place and date of the second reading of the banns] were read the Sundays 6th and 13th of this month of May in this commune in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange).

Since no objection to the intended marriage has been announced to us, we give justice to their request; and after we have read out all the above-mentioned acts (birth records) and the sixth chapter of the civil code, entitled Marriage, we have asked the bridegroom and the bride whether they will take each other as husband and wife; since both replied, each specially and in the affirmative, we declare in the name of the law that Johann Peter Garnich and Elisabeth Scheltgen are united by marriage.

This is the last part of the marriage record.

Of all this, we have established this act in the presence of:
Nikolaus Mootz, without occupation, 88 years resident of Bettembourg, not related to bride and groom
Jakob Hoscheit, (occupation) 29 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Bernard Klinsch, day laborer, 37 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Johann Kunsch, day laborer, 21 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Who, after reading all to them, signed with us.
The mother of the bride declared not being able to write.

[Followed by signatures of the bride, groom, parents, 4 witnesses, and the civil servant]

The bride Elisabeth must have gone by Lisa as she signed Scheltgen Lisa. I thought this was an interesting detail and makes it more personal.

Occupation of the groom and the 2nd witness

Now it’s your turn to help J.  I was not able to decipher the occupation of the groom on this marriage record. The second witness appears to have had the same occupation. If anyone can help out, I’ll pass the information on to J.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records

As a member of the board of my Luxembourgish genealogy society Luxracines, I receive copies of the emails from visitors to our website. Often they are in French or German and answered by other members of the board. When they are in English, I help out with replies.

Recently the following message was received from J.:

Re: birth records
Looking for parents names for Peter (Pierre) John Garnich Born: Bettembourg, Canton d’Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, 29 Oct 1889. Any assistance would be appreciated.

I could have sent a quick one-liner with the names of the parents to the person making the inquiry. It would have been quick and easy but I don’t think it would have benefitted the person asking the question.

Any assistance would be appreciated…

J. wanted assistance in finding the parents of a person born in Luxembourg in 1889. I wanted my answer to also help her with FUTURE queries she may have on her ancestors in Luxembourg. The screenshots were not included in the email as I wanted J. to follow the instructions and have the wowser moment of finding the record on her own.

When a one-line question gets you a tutorial

Hello J.,

You can easily find the civil birth record of your ancestor by accessing FamilySearch’s database Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1796-1941.

You have his date of birth and his place of birth which will aid in your search. As Bettembourg is not one of the communes that have been indexed by FamilySearch, you will have to browse the collection instead of using their search engine. This is the case for most communes as indexing is ongoing and as far as I know, they have only finished Esch and Luxembourg City. Browsing the collection is not as hard as it sounds.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1)

Click on Browse through 767,518 images to see the list of communes.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2)

Click on Bettembourg to see the records available for the town your person of interest was born in.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3)

Choose the record collection that includes births (naissances) for 1889. The collection you want to look into is Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances 1796-1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

There are 1468 images in this collection. Don’t let this stop you. The collection has two parts. Tables décennales (ten-year index) and Naissances (births) – in most cases the names of the database reflect the order of the records in the microfilm. The births go to 1890, a year after the birth you are looking for. Therefore the register for 1889 will be nearly at the end. Choose image number 1468 and click on the tiles icon at the upper left of the images.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

This will give you a view of the images at the end of the collection. The last two images on the microfilm look like lists. Click on the left one. At the top, it shows this is the index for the year 1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

Click on the tile icon again to view the images. Going backward, look for the image with an index for the previous year. (see screenshot 5, green box in the first row of images)

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (7)

The index is in alphabetical order. Your GARNICH person of interest is on the first page, Johann Peter Joseph born on 29 October with record #54. Since this is close to the end of the year, you can use the back button on the image numbers to go back two images to record #54.

If it had been #10, you would click the tile icon again, look for the beginning of the records for 1889, then go to the 4th image for record #10 (as #1 is always on the first page followed by 4 records per image).

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (8)

Now comes the hardest part: reading the record. The records are filled in as opposed to completely written in longhand which makes it easy to pick out the names.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (9): Father, mother, and child’s names

The informant of the birth (line 5) was his father Johann Peter GARNICH. In the middle of the record (line 12) you will see the child was named Johann Peter Joseph. In the two handwritten lines above his name is the information on the mother. Her name was Elisabeth SCHELTGEN and she was 34 years old, without an occupation, and residing with the informant.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the above directions to find the record.

Although your question was simple and could have been answered with the names: Johann Peter GARNICH and his wife Elisabeth SCHELTGEN, I felt it more helpful to you to know how I found the answer. This will aid you in your future research of your Luxembourg ancestors.

Permission to use the question in this blog post was obtained from J. She had a follow-up question which will be shared in my next post.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Adding Footnotes to your WordPress Posts Using Block Editor

WordPress would like us to believe that footnotes are not as popular as they once were and that linking directly to the source is much easier. This might be the case for many blogs but serious writers, including genealogists, need to cite their sources, i.e. include citations in their blog posts.

There are several ways to integrate citations into our writing.  In-text or parenthetical citations interrupt the flow of our writing and our followers’ reading. On the other hand, a reference outside the main text to the source of information (or even a comment for consideration) adds professionalism to our research and writing. These references are footnotes.

Skip intro and go directly to
The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post.

HTML code and/or Markdown for Footnotes

In May 2017 I wrote Source Citation Trick for WordPress.com – HTML Code with instruction for adding footnotes to blog posts using HTML code. It’s the second most viewed post on my blog. In January 2018 Amberly Peterson Beck, who blogs at thegenealogygirl, added a comment to the post:

Cathy, I learned a new trick you might like. It’s a little bit faster than how you have been doing it.

Amberly pointed me to an article on Markdown and a footnote cheat on the Markdown Quick Reference Cheat Sheet. After adding [^1] where the footnote number should be, a new line starting with [^1]: followed by the source citation is added below the line or paragraph. When published the Markdown functions are converted to HTML code. All of the [^#] become superscript numbers with links to the footnotes. The [^#]: with citations are listed at the bottom of the post as footnotes with a link back to the original reference. Quick and easy.

The New WordPress Editor: Block Editor

In the last few years, WordPress has been working on and promoting the Block Editor on its platform. The Classic Editor is still available although accessing it is a bit tricky. We’ve been told that the Classic Block in Block Editor can be used instead of the Classic Editor. But will the Classic Block also one day disappear?

In the past few days, my friend Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog has been talking to the support people at WordPress about the problems she is having with footnotes in the Block Editor. What she came away with was that footnote functionality is not a top priority at WordPress and the ability to use Markdown is also disappearing. This is hard to believe as the Block Editor includes a Markdown Block.

If you search online for articles on how to add footnotes to blog posts you will find either how-to’s on adding and using footnote plugins or creating footnotes with HTML code. Plugins are out of the question for the free-plan users on WordPress and HTML code is, for most people, too complicated.

Preparing for the unavoidable

The fate of the Classic Editor, now only available on the WP-Admin page, is at this time unknown. We need to prepare for the day we can no longer use it.

Presently, Markdown is a standard feature of the built-in plugins on WordPress.com sites with the free plan. Even if WordPress doesn’t get rid of Markdown on the free-plan sites, it isn’t compatible with the new WordPress Editor. This is one of the reasons Amy got in touch with support.

Until two days ago, I had not bothered to look at the Block Editor. I’ve been using the Classic Editor for nearly seven years and have finally developed a routine that works for me. Learning how to use the blocks is not as easy as the young ones at WordPress would like us to believe. This is my first post written in the new editor.

Adding Footnotes in the Block Editor

After a bit of searching, reading, and experimenting, I worked out this routine to add footnotes to a post in the new editor.

The main function needed is Page Jumps, the term WordPress uses for the advanced HTML anchor. This is the same function as bookmarks in Microsoft Word. Although the feature is called HTML anchor, we won’t be working with HTML code.

To make this simple, let’s pretend we have a post in the Block Editor ready to publish and all it’s missing is the footnotes. We want to make it easy for our readers who want to consult the citations while reading our post to switch between the post and the list of sources. This requires linking to and from the list.

The routine to add footnotes and sources to the post

Add footnote numbers to your post. This can be a 1 or [1], in regular font or smaller text slightly above the normal line of type (superscript) – whichever format you prefer. For superscript, highlight your footnote number, click on the down arrow in the top toolbar, and choose superscript. Do this with all footnote numbers.

Formatting the footnote numbers with superscript.

Add the citation list. For our list of citations, we need a List block. Add it below the first paragraph with a footnote. In the top toolbar choose a numbered list.

Adding a List block with numbered list to your post

With your cursor in the List block, scroll to the bottom of the right sidebar, click the down arrow open the Advanced option. In the HTML anchor box enter fn. This will be your anchor or bookmark for the footnote list. The List block is now ready for citations to be added.

Adding an anchor to the List block

Add the source citations to the list. With your List block below the paragraph with the first footnote, click into the List block and add the citation for footnote [1]. At the end of the citation, leave a space and add a return arrow symbol – ↩

List block with first citation.

Using the down button on your toolbar, move the List block down below the next paragraph with a footnote. Add the citation. Repeat to the end of the article.

Add the link to the source list to all footnote numbers. Highlight the footnote number (including brackets if used), click on the Link symbol in the top toolbar or Ctrl+K, type #fn in the pop-up and return. Repeat with each footnote number.

Adding a link from footnote to source list.

Add an anchor to the text with a footnote. Each paragraph with a footnote requires an anchor to jump from the citation list back to the text. Go to the first paragraph with a footnote, add fnref-1 as an anchor (same procedure as with the fn anchor in List block). Repeat with each footnote changing only the number.

Recap of what we’ve done so far. All footnote numbers are formatted and linked (#fn) to the List block (anchor fn). The citation list is complete, anchors back to the text are in place (fnref-1, etc.), and we can now add links back to the text with the footnotes.

Add links to the end of each citation in the source list. At the end of the first citation, highlight the return arrow symbol ↩, add the link #fnref-1 back to the anchor. Repeat with each citation. #fnref-2, #fnref-3, etc.

Add a Separator block above the List block. Place the List block with the citations at the end of your post. To separate it from your post, add a Separator block. Choose Wide Line as the style and choose a color. (I believe white may be the default color and if your background is white, no line will be seen in your Separator block) Following the Separator line, you could also add a heading or paragraph titled sources, references, etc.

What this looks like when published

Caveat. There are some limitations to this procedure. Only one anchor can be used per block. If more than one footnote is in a paragraph, you can only use one anchor. Example: If [5], [6], and [7] are the footnotes in one paragraph, I would suggest always using the lowest or highest number consistently (fnref-5 or fnref-7) as an anchor.

Speeding up the process

Once you understand the routine, there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

  1. If you write directly in the WordPress editor, footnote numbers can be added and formatted to superscript while you write.
  2. You can place the anchors for the footnote reference number (fnref-1) in the paragraph block while writing.
  3. The List block can be positioned below your writing area and citations added as you write.
  4. Consider creating a Reusable block for the source list including links to each anchor for the return arrows to take the reader back to the text. If you average 3 or 20 footnotes and citations per post, create a List block (1. Source. ↩) with your average number of footnotes and save it as Sources.
  5. You can also group blocks. I’m going to try grouping the Separator block, a title for the source list, and the List block for the sources. Then after the three are grouped as one block, I will make it a reusable block. I’ve already tried this with my signature image and my copyright line that I use at the end of each post.

Getting over the fear of using the Block Editor

While writing this post I had to learn how to use the Block Editor. There are things that frustrated me. For example, I was unable to copy/paste snippets of text from one block to another. This was very annoying as I ended up re-typing things I wanted to copy. Adding images to the media gallery while in the Block Editor failed every time today and I hope it was only due to the servers being busy. On the positive side, I like that blocks can be moved around so easily.

The routine I described above is my first attempt at footnotes in the Block Editor. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get used to the routine of placing anchors and links, it becomes easier and quicker to do. 

If there is a better way or if you can think of anything that would improve my routine, I’d be happy to hear from you. Feel free to ask for help if anything is unclear. Good luck with your footnotes and using the Block Editor.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Jacques Fournelle (~1699-1774) and Marie Jacob (1695-1758)

This is the 10th in a series of posts on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. After setting up the stageintroducing the main characters and supporting cast, I am now discussing each of the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702). All posts written to date are listed at the end of this post.

Jacques FOURNELLE was the youngest son of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON. He was born about 1699 in Saulnes (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France). At the time of his birth, there were seven siblings living at home: Françoise b. 1678, Nicolas b. 1683, Jean b. 1686, Henri b. 1688, Jeanne b. bet. 1689-1693, Sébastienne b. abt. 1692, and Marie b. 1696.

Jacques may have had a younger sister, Marie Catherine, born after 1699 and before the death of their mother Catherine SETON on 21 September 1702.1

Following the death of their mother, the youngest children were likely cared for by their oldest sister Françoise who was 24 years old. She did not marry until 1708 when Jacques was about 9 years old.2

Over the years, Jacques’ older siblings married and started their own families. On 4 Feb 1717, Jacques and his sister Jeanne were chosen to be the godparents of their nephew Jacques COURTOIS, the 5th and youngest child of their oldest sister Françoise. They were both unmarried. The baptismal record of this child is the first record to mention Jacques FOURNELLE in relation to his siblings.3

On 24 November 1720 Jacques and his brother Jean witnessed the marriage of his sister Sébastienne to Jean FRANÇOIS (1681-1741) in Saulnes. She was to be the last of his siblings to marry.4 The residences of her brothers are not mentioned in the record. Jean was married and known to be living in Rodange.

Jacques was probably living at home with his father Jean FOURNEL and his sister Marie Catherine. She would serve as the godmother of Jeanne’s and of Sébastienne’s children in 1721. The two baptismal records would be the first and last records to document this sister if she was not Marie.5,6

Jacques’ father Jean FOURNEL died on 3 September 1721 in Saulnes and was buried in the church cemetery the same day. Jacques’ brothers Jean and Nicolas witnessed the death record.7

Jacques Fournelle and Marie Jacob marry

Jacques married Marie JACOB, daughter of François JACOB and Madeleine CLESSE of Hussigny, following the death of his father in 1721 and probably before 1724. Although no marriage record is available, abstracts of judicial and notary records show Jacques FOURNELLE and Marie JACOB were married.

Jacques and his wife Marie were a married couple living in Hussigny when they sold part of a meadow to Simon JACOB and his wife Marguerite NOEL on 30 June 1725. They were therefore married before this date.8

The fact that Jacques and his family lived in Hussigny from about 1724 until their deaths made researching this family a challenge. There are no birth or baptismal records for the years that Marie was of the childbearing age.

Jacques and Marie had two daughters: Marguerite, born about 1724, and Elisabeth, born about 1726. No baptismal records are available, and, although both married and had children, marriage records were not found for them.

Judicial and notary records

To work around the paucity of vital records for Hussigny-Godbrange, the compiler of the family book for the town recorded abstracts of judicial records found for family groups during the period.

Aimé Tarnus, compiled Histoires des Familles, Hussigny-Godbrange de 1550 à 1900, a family book for the town of Hussigny that is lacking church records for the years between 1716-1765 with only 1753-1756 and 1758 being available. To get around the lack of records for the town, Mr. Tarnus consulted records of the Archives Départementales de Moselle, the Archives Départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle, the National Library in Paris, and the Luxembourg National Archives. A good part of the work in the departmental archives, other than the church and civil records, was done using the judicial archives and the notary deeds.

Over the years, Jacques FOURNELLE, and his wife Marie JACOB disposed of a variety of assets including meadows, fields of hemp, fruit orchards, and a house. The abstracts of the notarial records give little information on the property and only the names of the parties. It isn’t known if they were selling property that once belonged to Jacques’ family or to Marie’s. [The Series E records are not available online.] 

In 1734 the FOURNEL siblings sold land they likely inherited from their parents Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON.

M. et M. 23 E 147 : le 06/09/1734, Jean FOURNIER, lab. à G. et Nicolas FOURNIER, lab. à H., Jean COURTOIS, marchand à Sosnes, en qualité de père et tuteur des enfants de lui et de + Françoise FOURNEL, sa fe. en 1ères noces, Jacques FOURNIER; curateur, vendent à Gérosme PERTRISOT, man. à La Sauvage et Jeanne FOURNIER, sa fe., une masure et un jardin etc…

Le 06/09/1734, Jacques FOURNEL, man. à H., vend à Jean FRANÇOIS, man. à Sosnes la Basse, et Sébastienne FOURNEL, sa fe., une masure à Sosne etc…

Jean, Nicolas, Françoise’s widower, and Jacques sold a dwelling and a garden to their sister Jeanne and her husband. Jacques sold a dwelling to his sister Sébastienne and her husband.9

On 18 January 1743, Jacques FOURNELLE of Hussigny, uncle of the bride, was present at the marriage of his niece Jeanne FOURNELLE, daughter of Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN, and Henri DE CHAIVE.10 Jacques’ presence at the marriage of his brother Jean’s daughter confirms Jacques FOURNELLE, a laborer of Hussigny, is the son of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON.

A new recordset: inventaires après décès

On 8 April 1748, an inventory after death (inventaire après décès) for Julien FOURNELLE was witnessed by his uncle Jacques.11 This was the first of several inventaires après décès that Jacques witnessed over the years.

I only recently learned about this set of records when I followed-up on a link Elise Lenoble mentioned in a recent post on her blog Auprès de nos Racines. Her post Inventories after death or How to enter an ancestor’s house, with the French title
Les inventaires après décès ou Comment entrer dans la maison d’un ancêtre, gives an amazing insight into the lives of French ancestors using these inventories.

Drawn up shortly after a person’s death, the inventory after death contained a list of goods owned by the family and an appraisal. The furniture, clothing, kitchen utensils, tapestries, etc., a description of the dwelling, land owned, and contracts or debts of the deceased were included. The inventaires après décès are not only helpful in learning more about how an ancestor lived but also determining when they died. Jacques’ nephew Julien died during the years when death records are missing and his inventory after death, drawn up shortly after his death, gives us a more precise window for his date of death.

Jacques and Marie’s daughters marry

About 1749 or earlier, Jacques and Marie’s daughter Marguerite married Mathias LIBERT (1727-1760) of Audun-le-Tiche (Moselle, France). They were the parents of four known children. The oldest, a son Charles, was born about 1749. His year of birth has been estimated from the age given at the time of his second marriage in 1810. The three other children left records with precise dates of birth in 1753, 1754, and 1757.

Jacques and Marie’s daughter Elisabeth married Charles WACHONRUE (1725-1793) before 18 January 1751 when they were cited in a land deed as husband and wife.12 The land they purchased in 1751 was sold on 28 May 1753 to Jean François Henry Gérard Baron d’HUART.13

Elisabeth and Charles were the parents of four known children. The date of birth of their first child Marie Barbe is not known and has been estimated at about 1751. A marriage record for their second child gives a date of birth in 1753 and baptismal records were found in 1755 and 1758 for the third and the fourth child.

On 6 August 1753 Jacques FOURNELLE witnessed the death record of his brother Henri.14 The brothers lived in the same town and Jacques appears to have been close to his brother’s family. Two and a half years later, he was a witness at the marriage of his nephew Henri, son of Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS.15

Jacques and Marie sell their house

On 5 April 1756 Jacques and his wife Marie sold their house to their son-in-law Charles WACHONRUE.16 His wife Elisabeth was not mentioned in the abstract. On the same day, Jacques and Marie also sold a field of hemp to Jean WILLOTTE. This was the last mention of Jacques selling property.

The last of Jacques and Marie’s eight grandchildren, Marguerite WACHONRUE was born on 10 September 1758 and baptized the following day.17 Her godfather was Mathias LIBERT, husband of her maternal aunt, Marguerite FOURNELLE. The godfather is not explicitly noted as the child’s uncle but this record gives some support to Marguerite and Elisabeth being sisters.

Jacques is widowed

1758 Death Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 268/R 1 vue 38 de 677.

Marie JACOB, wife of the surviving “Jacques Fournier” died three months later on 7 December 1758 in Hussigny at the age of 63 years.18 In the presence of her family and neighbors, she was buried in the parish cemetery.

Jacques’ son-in-law Mathias LIBERT died in January 1760 at the age of 33. This is known as his inventory after death was filed on 30 January 1760 and was witnesses by Jacques FOURNELLE, Henri FOURNEL (Jacques’ nephew), Jean JACOB, and Antoine LAINE (husband of Marie LIBERT, Mathias’s brother).19 The fact that Jacques was a witness lends support to the assumption that Mathias was Jacques’ son-in-law.

Jacques, age 60, was mentioned in a judicial record on 23 February 1760.20 His occupation was charbonnier, a person who makes, sells, or delivers charcoal. In the years since his marriage, he had disposed of all of his property and still had to make a living. He was a widower with two daughters, one widowed and one married, and eight grandchildren. And he was still giving moral support to his brother Henri’s sons.

Jacques, the caretaker of his sibling’s family

On 8 February 1763, Jacques once again was a witness to the marriage of one of his nephews, Dominique, son of Henri FOURNEL and Anne LAUNOIS.21 Dominique was widowed less than a year later when his wife died giving birth to their son Mathias. By the end of the following year, Dominique was at the notary and, with the assistance of his brother Henri and Pierre and their uncle Jacques, was having a marriage contract drawn up for his second marriage.22 On 28 December 1765, Jacques was one of the witnesses to the marriage of Dominique FOURNEL and Barbe SCHMIT.23

More inventories after death

1766 Death Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 268/R 1 vue 48 de 677.

On 9 May 1766, Jacques and Marie’s daughter Elisabeth died in Hussigny at the age of about 40. She was buried the following day.24 A little over two weeks later, on 27 May 1766 her inventory after death was filed and Jacques FOURNELLE was one of the four witnesses.25 Ten months later, Elisabeth’s widower, Charles WACHONRUE married again. He would have another son with his second wife.

1774 Death Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 268/R 1 vue 83 de 677.

Eight years after Elisabeth’s death her father Jacques died. Marguerite’s oldest son Charles LIBERT and her cousin Henri FOURNEL (son of Henri) were the witnesses on the death record of her Jacques FOURNELLE. He died on 9 December 1774 and was buried the following day.26 On the day Jacques FOURNELLE’s was buried his inventory after death was filed. He was described as a poor beggar for the last 10 years.27

1788 Death Record. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 268/R 1 vue 237 de 677.

Fourteen years later Marguerite FOURNELLE died on 12 November 1788 in Hussigny and was buried the following day. Her sons, Charles and Antoine, both married and living in Villers-la-Montagne were the witnesses on her death record.28

Jacques’ son-in-law Charles WACHONRUE was still living. He died five years later on 30 January 1793 in Hussigny.29 All of the parents of the grandchildren of Jacques and Marie were now deceased.

Jacques and Marie’s grandchildren

Five of the eight grandchildren of Jacques and Marie are known to have survived their grandfather Jacques FOURNELLE. They lived to see the turn of the century and three more marriages in 1800, 1801, and 1810.

Jean WACHONRUE (1755-1805) married Jeanne Hélène VRILLARD before 1786, lived in Paris for a while, and then moved to Itteville, south of Paris in the department of Essonne, where he died in 1805. His wife predeceased him. They had at least three children.

Marie Barbe WACHONRUE (1751-1818) married Joseph PHOND (1751-1833) before 1782. They were the parents of two known children. She died 2 February 1818 in Hussigny. Her widower married again four months later to Marie Barbe’s first cousin once removed, Anne Marie LIBERT (1782-1860), daughter of Antoine LIBERT.

Antoine LIBERT (1753-1833) was widowed in 1799. He’d married Elisabeth CLAUSSE (1750-1799) in 1775 and they had eleven children between 1775-1794. He married again a year later to Catherine MORANT (1757-?) on 17 December 1800. Antoine died 8 December 1833 in Haucourt-Moulaine.

Marie Catherine LIBERT (1757-1836) married Jean ANTOINE (1731-1820) on 20 Dec 1801 in Hussigny. She was 44 years old and this was her first marriage. Her brother Antoine and her cousin Marie Barbe WACHONRUE’s husband Joseph PHOND were two of the witnesses. Marie Catherine died on 13 February 1836 in Hussigny. She had no known children.

Charles LIBERT (1749-1812) was widowed in 1809 when his wife Barbe NICOLAS died. He’d married Barbe who was ten years older and a widow in 1772. They had 9 children between 1773-1782 including two sets of twins. He married again a year later to Madeleine SALIN (1765-1827) in Thil on 20 December 1810. Madeleine was the 2nd great-granddaughter of my 9th great-grandparents François SALIN and Catherine MASSON. Charles died in 1842 in Mercy-le-Bas at the age of about 93 years. His death record indicates he was 105 years old at the time of his death. This is an exaggeration as his mother would have been only 13 years old at the time of his birth. His 1810 marriage record gives a more accurate age of 60 years, i.e. born about 1749.

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 3)

Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)

Nicolas FOURNEL (1683-abt.1748) and Barbe AGARANT (abt.1678-1758)

Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) and Jeanne BERKIN (1683-1759)

Henri FOURNEL (1688-1753) and Anne LAUNOIS (1692-1758)

Jeanne FOURNEL (~1691-aft. 1756) and Jérôme PÉTRISOT (~1680-1761)

Sébastienne FOURNEL (~1692-1752) and Jean FRANÇOIS (~1681-1741)

Jacques FOURNELLE (~1699-1774) and Marie JACOB (1695-1758)

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online http://www.archives.cg54.fr/), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 333 of 529. New terms of use: En application du règlement sur la réutilisation des données publiques adopté par le conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle (délibération de sa commission permanente n°17, en date du 16 janvier 2017), je m’engage à mentionner la source du document téléchargé (Arch. dép. de Meurthe-et-Moselle, [suivi de la cote complète]), en cas de réutilisation. 1702 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538082e2f7 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  2. Ibid., Herserange > 1668 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 300 of 529.  1708 Marriage Record of Jean Courtois and Françoise Fournel (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380814b5d : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  3. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 234 of 529. 1717 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807d29ad : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 178 of 529. 1720 Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b09bb : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  5. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Obercorn > Baptêmes 1704-1727, 1746, 1794-1797, 1800-1805, mariages 1795-1797, 1800-1807, sépultures 1794-1797, 1802-1807 > image 78 of 296. 1721 Baptismal Record of Marie Catherine Pétrisot (right page, 2nd entry).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9SCK?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-N3T%3A1500974001%2C1500974302 : accessed 12 July 2020). 
  6. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 184 of 529. 1721 Baptismal Record of Marie Catherine François (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b4610 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 183 of 529. 1721 Death Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b3cf3 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  8. Aimé Tarnus, Histoires des Familles, Hussigny-Godbrange de 1550 à 1900, page 533, family 2028, abstract of a notary record. “Notaires de V.-la-M. : le 30/06/1725, Jacques FOURNIER, man. à H., et Marie JACOB, sa fe., vendent à Simon JACOB, lab. à H., et Marguerite NOEL, sa fe., une demi-fauchée de pré située sur le ban de Belvaux etc…” 
  9. Ibid., page 535, family 2029, abstract of a notary record for the sale of land. “M. et M. 23 E 147 : le 06/09/1734, Jean FOURNIER, lab. à G. et Nicolas FOURNIER, lab. à H., Jean COURTOIS, marchand à Sosnes, en qualité de père et tuteur des enfants de lui et de + Françoise FOURNEL, sa fe. en 1ères noces, Jacques FOURNIER; curateur, vendent à Gérosme PERTRISOT, man. à La Sauvage et Jeanne FOURNIER, sa fe., une masure et un jardin etc…
    Le 06/09/1734, Jacques FOURNEL, man. à H., vend à Jean FRANÇOIS, man. à Sosnes la Basse, et Sébastienne FOURNEL, sa fe., une masure à Sosne etc…” 
  10. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > images 197 and 198 of 328. 1743 Marriage Record, right page, last entry (part 1). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f06e6ad : accessed 9 July 2020). 1743 Marriage Record, right page, last entry (part 2). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f06f031 : accessed 9 July 2020). 
  11. Ibid., page 536, family 2031, abtract of an inventory after death. “Mos. B 8647 : le 8/4/1748, inv. ap. + Julien FOURNELLE ; Ts. Jacques FOURNELLE, Henry FOURNELLE, Nicolas PETIT et François BALTUS, tous de Hussigny.” 
  12. Ibid., page 1428, family 5741, abstract of a purchase. “M. et M. 23 E 102 : le 18/01/1751, Jean JACOB, lab. à H., au nom de Charles LOUIS, son beau-frère, vend a Charles WOICHONRUPT, cordonnier à H., et Elis. FOURNIER, sa fe., un jour 1/2 de terre à la pièce Grégoire pour 64 livres 10 sols etc…” 
  13. Ibid., page 1428, family 5741, abstract of a sale. “M. et M. 23 E 104 : le 28/05/1753, Charles WACHONRUE, cordonnier à H., et Elis FOURNIER, sa fe., vendent à Jean François Henry Gérard Baron d’HUART un jour 1/2 de terre sur le finage de H. à la pièce Grégoire pour 66 livres de France etc…” 
  14. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 455 of 529 . 1753 Death Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808948e4 : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3> image 123 of 328. 1756 Marriage Record (right page, top entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f040929 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  16. FB of Hussigny-Godbrange, page 1428, family 5741, abstract of a notary record of sale. “M. et M. 23 E 20 : le 05/04/1756, Jacques FOURNEL, man. à H., et Marie JACOB, sa fe., vendent à Charles WACHONRUE, man. à H., une maison à H. etc…” 
  17. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 37 of 677. 1758 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010531a887 : accessed 6 October 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 38 of 677. 1758 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010531aec1 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  19. FB of Hussigny-Godbrange, page 893, family 3439, abstract of the inventory after death. “Mos. B 8657 : le 30/01/1760, inv. ap. + de Mathias LIBERT. Ts. : Antoine LAINE, Jacques FOURNEL, Henry FOURNEL et Jean JACOB.” 
  20. Ibid., page 535, family 2028, abstract of a legal record. “Mos. B 8719 : le 23/02/1760, Jacques FOURNEL, charbonnier à H., a 60 ans.” 
  21. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 69 of 328. 1763 Marriage Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f0253fe : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  22. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > image 60 of 328. 1765 Marriage Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f021335 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  23. FB of Hussigny-Godbrange, page 529, family 2015, abstract of the marriage contract between Dominique Fournel and Barbe Schmit. “M. et M. 23 E 114 : le 18/12/1765, CM. entre Dominique FOURNEL, man. à Sosne la basse, assisté de Henry et Pierre FOURNEL ses frères, Jacques FOURNELLE de H., leur oncle, et Barbe FELMIN(?) fa. de Mathieu, marchal ferrant à Tiffer., et de Cath. GODFRIN etc….” 
  24. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 48 of 677. 1766 Death Record (right page, last entry).
    (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b0105321182 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  25. FB of Hussigny-Godbrange, page 1427, family 5741, abstract of inventory after death. “Mos. B 8662 : le 27/05/1766, inv. ap. + de Elis. FORNELLE. Ts. : Jacques FOURNEL, Joseph BARY, Jean MIRGAINE et Jean VUARCOLIER.” 
  26. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 83 of 677. 1774 Death Record (right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b010532f877 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  27. FB of Hussigny-Godbrange, page 535, family 2028, abstract of inventory after death. “Mos. B 8669 : le 10/12/1774, inv. ap. + de Jacques FOURNEL de H., pauvre mendiant depuis environ 10 ans.” 
  28. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 237 of 677. 1788 Death Record (right page, first full entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b0105383e99 : accessed 2 August 2020). 
  29. Ibid., Hussigny-Godbrange > 1714-1809 > 5 Mi 268/R 1 > image 560 of 677. 1793 Death Record (right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea53d8a/54b01054a92b3 : accessed 6 Octobe 2020). 

Sébastienne Fournel (~1692-1752) and Jean François (~1681-1741)

This is the 9th in a series of posts on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. After setting up the stage, introducing the main characters and supporting cast, I am now discussing each of the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702). All posts written to date are listed at the end of this post.

Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON married about 1677. Sébastienne was their sixth known child and third daughter. Her birth followed that of her siblings:

Baptismal records for Herserange, the parish Saulnes was attached to, are non-existent for the years 1689-1693. When Sébastienne died in 1752 her age at death was 60 therefore she was born about 1692. Due to the paucity of records, no baptismal entry was found.

She was not the last of Jean and Catherine’s children. She had two more (perhaps three) siblings before her mother died on 21 September 1702.1

      • Marie (1696-?)
      • Jacques (1699-1774)
      • Marie Catherine (?-?) (records have not been found to prove or disprove Marie Catherine was the same person as Marie)

Sébastienne was about 10 years old when her mother died. Her oldest sister Françoise was 24 years and probably spent the next six years raising her siblings before she married in 1708 at the age of 29. This marriage was followed by the marriages of Sébastienne’s two oldest brothers in 1710 and 1713.

A month after the 1710 marriage, Sébastienne became the godmother of her sister Françoise’s daughter Sébastienne COURTOIS baptized on 27 July 1710 in Saulnes. The godmother was 18 years old.2

1713 Baptismal Record of an illegitimate child named Jean. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 274 de 529

The 1713 marriage took place in January. A few months later, Sébastienne’s relationship with a man produced a son born and baptized on 9 December 1713 in Saulnes. The mother declared at the time of birth that the father was Jean CHOLOT. She gave her son the name Jean. His godparents were Jean DELVA and Marie FOURNEL.3 Marie was his mother’s younger sister. Bastienne, as she was sometimes referred to, was not married to Jean CHOLOT. It isn’t known if the child was given his father’s surname as no further record has been found.

The children of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON appear to have married in order of birth. I’ve never heard of this being a pattern families followed. Following the marriages of her brother Henri who married before 1716 and her sister Jeanne in July 1720, it was Bastienne’s turn to marry.

1720 Marriage Record of Jean François and Sébastienne Fournel. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 178 de 529

Sébastienne FOURNEL married Jean FRANÇOIS on 24 November 1720. Sébastienne was 28 years old and her groom was 39. Jean was from Crusnes (Meurthe-et-Moselle, France) and the widower of Marie MARCHAL. Sébastienne’s brothers Jean and Jacques FOURNEL were her witnesses. Witnesses for Jean were his brother (of the same name) Jean FRANÇOIS and his cousin François NICOLAS.4

Ten months after her marriage, Sébastienne and her siblings lost their father Jean FOURNEL when he died on 3 September 1721 in Saulnes.5

Bastienne and her husband Jean had seven children

Marie Catherine FRANÇOIS was born and baptized on 19 October 1721. Her godparents were Jean BOULANGER and Marie Catherine FOURNEL, the child’s aunt.6 It’s possible that the godmother was a younger sister and not Marie FOURNEL born in 1696. Marie Catherine FRANÇOIS never married and died at the age of 37 on 16 February 1759. The witnesses at the time of her death were Philippe BAILLIEU, a priest, and Jean Baptiste THOMAS, a synodal (member of the church council).7

Jean FRANÇOIS was born and baptized on 20 December 1722. His godparents were Jean CLAUDE, a young man, and Margueritte FRANÇOIS, a young girl. Both of the godparents were from Bréhain-la-Cour.8 No further trace of Jean has been found.

Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS was born on 25 September 1724 and baptized two days later. His godfather was Jean COURTOIS and his godmother was Marguerite LELIEVRE. His name on his baptismal record was Jean.9 He married Marie Françoise THOMAS (1728-1796) on 27 February 1754 in Herserange. Witnesses to the marriage were his cousin Henry FOURNELLE and his uncle Jacques FOURNELLE; Jean and François THOMAS were witnesses for the bride. His name on his marriage record was Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS.10 The couple were the parents of at least seven children born between 1755-1772 (research is ongoing). Jean Baptiste died on 14 April 1795 in Saulnes.11 His wife died the following year.12

1726 Baptismal Record of Anne Sébastienne François. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 216 de 529

Anne Sébastienne FRANÇOIS was born on 23 September 1726 and baptized the following day. Her godfather was Pierre FOURNIER, a young man, and her godmother was her cousin Anne Sébastienne COURTOIS.13 Note: In this record, the father’s first name Jean was crossed out and replaced by François. No further trace of Anne Sébastienne has been found.

Charles FRANÇOIS was born on 12 October 1728 and baptized the following day. His godparents were Charles PELARDIN and Elisabeth PELARDIN.14 This baptismal record is so light that I could not read the surname of the godfather and had to rely on information found in the family book for Saulnes. No further trace of Charles has been found.

Marguerite FRANÇOIS was born on 10 March 1730 and baptized two days later. Her godparents were Jean SMELER, a young man, and Marguerite DROUET, a young girl.15 Marguerite married François DOMANGE (he signed DEMENGE) on 3 November 1785. Per this marriage record, Marguerite was the widow of Michel BAILLIEU. Her groom was a sergeant in the Régiment Royal de Roussillon and permission was given by his commanding officer, the Marquis de Vauborel, brigadier of the King’s armies, colonel of the royal regiment of Roussillon. Marguerite’s brother Jean Baptiste was a witness at the marriage.16 Marguerite died on 1 March 1799 at the age of 68.17 Her first marriage has not been researched, i.e. it is not known if she had children.

Marie Joseph FRANÇOIS was born on 14 December 1731 and baptized two days later. Her godfather was Jean THOMA, a young man, and Marie LELIEVRE.18 Marie Joseph served as the godmother of her niece Marie Joseph, daughter of Jean Baptiste FRANÇOIS and Marie Françoise THOMAS, on 15 July 1755 when she was 23 years old.19 No further trace of Marie Joseph has been found.

Confusion concerning Jean FRANÇOIS’ name

1741 Death Record of Jean François. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 525 de 529

Sébastienne’s husband Jean FRANÇOIS died on 19 October 1741 at the age of 60. Informants on the death were François COLLIGNON, the schoolmaster, and Pierre THEATE, a laborer, both of Herserange.20 On the death record the first name Jean was marked through and François written above. This correction is also marked out. Was the correction made at the time the record was produced or did someone make the changes later?

This question made me take another closer look at all records mentioning Jean FRANÇOIS. When Bastienne and Jean married his brother who had the same name was one of his witnesses. Both were named Jean. All baptismal records of the children except one has Jean as his first name. When his daughter Anne Sébastienne was baptized in 1726 her father was listed as Jean FRANÇOIS. With another pen and in possibly other handwriting, Jean was marked out and François was written above. In 1754 when his son Jean Baptiste married, he was named as the son of the deceased Jean FRANÇOIS. In 1759 when his oldest daughter died, his name was given as François FRANÇOIS. This was written at the time the record was produced and was not a correction.

One more record was found with the name François FRANÇOIS.

1752 Death Record of Sébastienne Fournelle. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 459 de 529

Sébastienne was a widow for 11 years and died on 29 December 1752, at the age of 60 like her husband. Witnesses to her death record were Philippe BAILLIEU, a priest, and Jean PERLOT, a laborer from Herserange. Sébastienne was described as the widow of François FRANÇOIS.21

Why were records found in 1741, 1752, and 1759 with the husband of Sébastienne named François instead of Jean? Why was the change also made to the birth record of only one of the children, Anne Sébastienne in 1726? Perhaps future research into Jean Baptiste and Marguerite, the only two children who married, will bring more to light to the question.

Three of Sébastienne’s siblings survived her. Henri died the following year, Jeanne died after 1756, and Jacques died in 1774.

Jacques FOURNELLE was the last of the children of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON to marry. He will be featured in the next post.

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 3)

Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)

Nicolas FOURNEL (1683-abt.1748) and Barbe AGARANT (abt.1678-1758)

Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) and Jeanne BERKIN (1683-1759)

Henri FOURNEL (1688-1753) and Anne LAUNOIS (1692-1758)

Jeanne FOURNEL (~1691-aft. 1756) and Jérôme PÉTRISOT (~1680-1761)

Sébastienne FOURNEL (~1692-1752) and Jean FRANÇOIS (~1681-1741)

Jacques FOURNELLE (~1699-1774) and Marie JACOB (1695-1758)

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online http://www.archives.cg54.fr/), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 333 of 529. New terms of use: En application du règlement sur la réutilisation des données publiques adopté par le conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle (délibération de sa commission permanente n°17, en date du 16 janvier 2017), je m’engage à mentionner la source du document téléchargé (Arch. dép. de Meurthe-et-Moselle, [suivi de la cote complète]), en cas de réutilisation. 1702 Death Record (right page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b538082e2f7 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  2. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 284 of 529. 1710 Baptismal Record (left page, bottom entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380807750 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  3. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 274 of 529. 1713 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807f3dc5 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 178 of 529. 1720 Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry).(http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b09bb : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 183 of 529. 1721 Death Record (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b3cf3 : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 184 of 529. 1721 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b4610 : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 434 of 529. 1759 Death Record (right page, 2nd to last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380882189 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 191 of 529. 1722 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807b8609 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 107 of 529. 1724 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380784d9f : accessed 27 Septembre 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange > 1743-1791 > 5 Mi 259/R 3 > images 135 of 328. 1754 Marriage Record for Jean Baptiste François and Marie Françoise Thomas (part 1) (right page bottom). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3ebca/54b536f046f98 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 160 of 376. 1795 Death Record – part 2 (left page, first entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf68310c : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 163 of 376. 1796 Death Record of Marie Françoise Thomas (left page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf684cd4 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 216 of 529. 1726 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807c6ee1 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 175 of 529. 1728 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807aa4c8 : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R > 1 image 132 of 529. 1730 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53807921a9 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  16. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 24 of 376. 1785 Marriage Record of François Domange and Marguerite François (bottom left page, top right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf64355e : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  17. Ibid., Saulnes > 1782-1822 > 5 Mi 492/R 1 > image 172+173 of 376. 1799 Death Record – part 1 (right page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf689bb0 : accessed 29 September 2020) and 1799 Death Record – part 2 (left page). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ed0f349/54ae6cf68a40f : accessed 29 September 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 140 of 529. 1731 Baptismal Record (left page, third entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380796c05 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  19. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 140 of 529. 1731 Baptismal Record (left page, third entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380796c05 : accessed 16 September 2020). 
  20. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 525 of 529 . 1741 Death Record (left page, 1st entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b53808d4979 : accessed 27 September 2020). 
  21. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 459 of 529. 1752 Death Record (left page, last entry). (http://archivesenligne.archives.cg54.fr/ark:/33175/s0054ad10ea3e74c/54b5380898021 : accessed 8 August 2020).