The Farm Where the Majerus Family Lived in the 1700s

After crashing through the Jean MAJERUS brick wall I thought things would become simpler.

I’d planned on writing about my 5th great-grandparents Jean MAJERUS (1766-1852) and Margretha BREGER (1767-1851) and their four known children.

When I wrote about their son Jean Baptiste MAJERUS (1797-1868) and his wife Catharina CORNELY (1794-1871) in January 2018 I had dropped rough citations in the notes of his children and grandchildren for miscellaneous records I’d found. I’ve spent hours adding these to the correct individuals while making notes in the Research Manager of Ancestral Quest, my genealogy software, to check for more records.

I got carried away down in a rabbit hole as I tried to round up Jean Baptiste’s siblings’ children’s marriage records in order to learn when his three siblings died. Normally I would use the Tables Décennales (ten-year lists of births, marriages, and deaths) to quickly search for a name and date. However, the MAJERUS families in Strassen used the same first names for their children (over and over) and I was looking up multiple records before I found what I was looking for.

As I viewed each I ended up copying the citation and adding the event to the correct individual. I’m glad I took the time to go through the motions of inputting, citing, and formulating items to be added to the research manager. I now have a clearer picture of several generations of descendants of Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER.

Still, I realized I’m not ready for the planned post. I want to have everything in place before I begin to write about Jean and Margretha. Instead of the planned post, I’m sharing these wonderful photos my husband took last week.

Scherfenhof in the commune of Heffingen

The day after I posted How the Jean MAJERUS Brick Wall Crumbled – The Keys and Doors Which Made It Happen! my husband took a bike ride in the Larochette area of Luxembourg. He planned the ride so he would pass by the farm my MAJERUS ancestors lived on in the 1700s.

The road from Christnach to Larochette with the farm up on a little hill to the right of the road.
The sign at the entrance to Scherfenhaff, Luxembourgish for Scherfenhof.

When he arrived at the farm he asked some men working there if any of them were the owner. They pointed to a car pulling up and said the driver was the owner. My husband explained to him that I  had recently learned some of my ancestors lived on the farm in the 1700s. He asked permission to take some pictures of the farm and the owner kindly agreed.

A little chapel at the entrance to the farm.
The barn at Scherfenhof on one side of the cobblestoned yard.
The main house at Scherfenhof with it’s the cobblestoned yard.
An addition to the main house.
Leaving Scherfenhof. That’s my photographer’s bicycle on the right.

I hoped you’ve enjoyed visiting the farm my 7th great-grandparents Jean MAJERUS and Elisabeth AMBROSI (aka DITGES) and my 6th great-grandfather Jean MAJERUS lived and worked on during the 18th century.

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

How the Jean MAJERUS Brick Wall Crumbled – The Keys and Doors Which Made It Happen!

Did you hear the brick wall come crashing down?

Finding an index to the church records for Luxembourg City helped add several generations to my 5th great-grandmother Margretha BREGER‘s branch of the family tree. I was so excited and motivated that I began looking for a way to find more information on her husband Jean MAJERUS whose parentage is was unknown.

Research Questions

Who were the parents of Jean MAJERUS born between 1765 and 1773 in Luxembourg or France? When and where was he actually born?

Keys: Known Facts

The following records were found for Jean MAJERUS and included some information which may help with the research questions.

Birth records of four children born in 17971, 17992, 18013, and 18064 included the father’s signature showing he was literate and could write. His occupation was listed as drapier or clothier on the first and as fileur de laine or wool weaver on the last three. His age was only found on one birth record, in 1806 age 33 years.

Census records from 18435, 18466, 18477, 18498, and 18519 included the place of birth for Jean. In 1843 he was 80 years old and born in Luxembourg. In 1846 he was 82 years old and born in Boulé. In 1847 he was 85 years old and born in Bouvigne, France. In 1849 he was 86 years old and born in Boulé, France. In 1851 he was 86 years and 6 months old and born in Felz (Fels or Larochette). In all of these, he was without an occupation which is not surprising considering his age.

Death record from 185210 shows he was 87 years old (born about 1765) and born in Felz (Fels or Larochette). He was the widower of Margaretha BRECKER. The information was given by a grandson who would have only known his grandfather’s birthplace by word of mouth.

Keys: Place of Birth

From the above records, Jean’s place of birth was seen as being either Boulé in France or Larochette (Felz or Fels) in Luxembourg. Boulé is not a place name in France. However, Boulay which is pronounced the same lies in the Moselle department in northeastern France. His age fell in the time range 1765-1773.

A Door: A Possible Match

Last year when I gathered the above records, I located a baptismal record for a child named Jean MAJERUS born in 1769 in Felz in the parish of Nommern.11

1769 Baptismal Record for Joannes son of Joannis Majerus and his wife Anna Catharina

On 21 April 1769 Joannes was baptized, the son of Jean MAJERUS, blacksmith, and his wife Anna Catharina, a couple living in Feltz. The godfather was Joannes HANSEN from Feltz and the godmother was Catharina GILLEN, the wife of Nicolai GILLEN of Scharftenhoft (sic, Scherfenhof). [rough translation]

This record fell within the date range. No marriage was found for this couple in Luxembourg. I consulted the family book of Nommern12 and found they were included in the book with only this child; no marriage date and no parents. This would suggest they may have only been living in the Feltz (as seen in the record, today Fels in German and Larochette in French) and the Nommern area at the time the child was born.

The residence of the godmother and her husband was spelled Scherferhof in the book which is in pdf form and easily searchable. I checked for other entries for the GILLEN couple and found the wife was listed as Maria Catherina MAJERUS when she was named godmother of a child in 1783 (page 283, family #896, child #5). There was no entry for them as a couple, only entries in which one or the other was a godparent.

The baptismal record of Joannes MAJERUS with godmother Maria Catherina MAJERUS, wife of Nicolas GILLEN, cannot be proven to be a record for my Jean MAJERUS as there is not enough information.

A Key: Was Boulé meant to be Boulay?

When the census was taken in 1846 and 1849, Jean MAJERUS and his wife were the only persons in the household. One of them must have given information about their ages and places of birth. It was on these two census sheets that Boulé was given as Jean’s birthplace. In 1849 it specified Boulé was in France. Searching for this town did not turn up any exact hits. I tried other spellings as é sounds the same as ait, ais, and ay and found Boulay-Moselle in the Moselle department in northeastern France, not far from Luxembourg.

A Door: Geneanet

I did a broad search for MAJERUS in Boulay on Geneanet, a genealogy site used mainly by European users to share their GEDCOM files. Four trees and a marriage record abstract were found.

Screenshot from Geneanet of the abstracted marriage information from a marriage record.

There is no farm called Schressenhoff in the parish of Medernach. Could this be Scherfenhof? All fours trees had this couple, Jean MAJERUS and Catherine ALBERT who married on 17 August 1767 in Boulay. Three of the trees included children, two sons, Jean born 2 June 1766 and Barthélémy born and died in 1772.

A Door: Archives Moselle

The above-abstracted information for the 1767 marriage of the MAJERUS-ALBERT couple would have to be confirmed by consulting the parish records of Boulay on the Archives Moselle site.

These are the general conditions for reuse of images of public information held by the Departmental Archives of the Moselle: The departmental council of the Moselle has not deliberated on the establishment of licenses in case of reuse of public information it publishes on the site As a result, the reuse of the digitized archival images disseminated by this site is free (sections L. 321-1 and L. 323-1 of the Code of relations between the public and the administration).

After reviewing the conditions for use of the images I did searches for the birth record of the child Jean and for the marriage record of the MAJERUS-ALBERT couple.

A Key: 1766 Birth/Baptismal Record

Jean was born on 2 June 1766 as the natural son of Catherine ALBERT. The record did not give the name of the father.13 In the margin of the church register, children were listed with their baptismal name and their father’s surname or in the case of illegitimate children, with their given name and the phrase a natural child of followed by the mother’s name.

1766 Baptismal Record of Jean, natural son of Catharine ALBERT. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de la Moselle (57)

Could this illegitimate child be my 5th great-grandfather Jean MAJERUS? The time period and place of birth fit.

A Key: 1767 Marriage Record

Was Catherine ALBERT, the mother of little Jean, the same woman who married Jean MAJERUS on 17 August 1767 in Boulay as seen in the trees?

This is the marriage record14 I found:

1767 Marriage Record of Jean MAJERUS and Anne Catherine ALBERT (bottom of left page). Image courtesy of Archives départementales de la Moselle (57)
1767 Marriage Record of Jean MAJERUS and Anne Catherine ALBERT (top of right page). Image courtesy of Archives départementales de la Moselle (57)

It included the following information:

  • Date of marriage: 17 August 1767
  • Three banns were read in Boulay and one in Medernach
  • Groom: Jean MAJERUS, the underaged son of the deceased Jean MAJERUS and (his widow) Elisabeth AMBROS, farmers at Schrefsen Hof in the parish of Medernach
  • Bride: Anne Catherine ALBERT, the of age daughter of Jean ALBERT, cordonnier (shoemaker), and Louise BECK of the parish of Boulay
  • The dispense for the two banns in Medernach was allowed by Jean Philippe the Archbishop of Trier
  • Consent of Nicolas GILLEN, a farmer at Schreffenhoff and guardian of Jean MAJERUS
  • After the bride and groom were joined in marriage they declared having had Jean, the natural son of Catherine ALBERT, born 2 June 1766 and baptized the 3rd of the same month, before their marriage. The son was declared a legitimate child of the couple through this marriage.
  • Four witnesses were present, all relatives of the bride and from Boulay. Her father, a brother-in-law, and two maternal uncles. None of the groom’s family were present.
  • The bride declared she could not write and signed with her mark. The groom, witnesses, and priest signed.

The information found in the marriage record confirmed Jean, the natural son of Catherine ALBERT, was the son of Jean MAJERUS and Anne Catherine ALBERT and was legitimized with their marriage.

The years between 1766 and 1784

Following the birth of young Jean in 1766 and the marriage of Jean MAJERUS and Anne Catherine ALBERT in 1767, the couple appears to have moved to Larochette in Luxembourg before 1769. In Larochette (Feltz) they had a son Joannes in 1769 whose godmother was Catharina GILLEN, wife of Nicolas GILLEN, a farmer on Scherfenhof. This same Nicolas GILLEN had been the guardian of the father of the child in 1767 when he married. This would suggest a close family relationship between Jean MAJERUS and Catharina MAJERUS, wife of Nicolas GILLEN.

By 1772 Jean and Anne Catherine were back in her hometown as she gave birth to son Barthélémy on 25 February 1772. He died on 5 March 1772. His parents were living in Boulay at the time. His surname was spelled MACHERIUS.15

On 2 January 1784, Anne Catherine ALBERT died in Boulay. She was the widow of Jean MACHERI (sic, a variation of MAJERUS).16 This would mean her husband died between 1772 and 1784. I checked the death index for 1780-1790; he was not listed. For the years 1772-1780, there is no index and all records would need to be searched to find his death record – if he died in Boulay.

Have the research questions been answered?

Who were the parents of Jean MAJERUS born between 1765 and 1773 in Luxembourg or France? When and where was he actually born?

It is not known if Jean born in 1766 and Joannes born in 1769 were both living at the time of their mother’s death in 1784. They would have been 18 and 15 years old. As my Jean MAJERUS or his wife gave his place of birth on the census as being in Boulé (sic, Boulay), France, I have come to the conclusion he would have been the son born in 1766 in Boulay.

Jean born 2 June 1766 to a single mother, Anne Catherine ALBERT, was legitimized when his parents Jean MAJERUS and Anne Catherine ALBERT married on 17 August 1767 when Jean became Jean MAJERUS. The grandparents of little Jean were named in his parents’ marriage record: Jean MAJERUS and Elisabeth AMBROS as well as Jean ALBERT and Louise BECK. The ALBERT and BECK lines now have placeholders for several generations with RED tags to indicate research needs to be done to prove these names.

Keys and doors made it happen but also a place called Scherfenhof

I am convinced finding Scherfenhof mentioned in the 1769 baptismal record in the Nommern parish and in the 1767 marriage record in Boulay, France, was not a coincidence. They must be connected.

Jean MAJERUS deceased before 1767 and Elisabeth AMBROS will not be as easy to research however their being a married couple from Scherfenhof is an important clue.

Scherfenhof, known as Schäerfenhaff in Luxembourgish, is today part of the commune of Heffingen and lies between Larochette (Fels) and Christnach off of C.R. 118. Location of Scherfenhof (see the middle of the map).

Thomas Webers who compiled the Nommern family book using the church and civil records for the period 1637-1923 appears to have recorded all families found in the registers during this period. He also compiled family books for Medernach, Larochette, and Heffingen – all towns in the immediate area of Scherfenhof. I searched all of them for Scherfenhof and for the family names MAJERUS and GILLEN.

I noted miscellaneous instances of Scherfenhof (with various spelling variations) being found in GEDCOM files of members of Luxracines.

Death and burial information were found for Nicholas GILLEN17 and Elisabeth AMBROSI (spelling as seen on the death entry).18 Both Nicholas and Elisabeth died on Scherfenhof in 1787.

By following the timeline of the entries found in the family books, the GEDCOMs, and miscellaneous records, a chronological history of Scherfenhof came to light and is in part supported by the 1766 census.19

A Peter MAJERUS was living on Scherfenhof as early as 1722. He was the father of Conrad MAJERUS who married twice in Echternach, in 174320 and 1745.21 Conrad’s not remaining on Scherfenhof could mean he was not the oldest child.

1766 Luxembourg Census for Scherfenhof

I believe Jean MAJERUS, husband of Elisabeth AMBROSI (also seen as DITGES in 1776) and father of the Jean MAJERUS who married in France, was likely the oldest child of Peter. As the oldest child he would have taken over the farm and homeplace and following his death, it would have gone to his oldest child. This would explain the presence of his widow and several children on the 1766 census listing above. Nicolas GILEN (sic, GILLEN) was the head of household in the 1766 listing for Scherfenhof. Also in the household were Peter MAJERUS, Elisabeth MAJERUS, Catherine GILEN, Angelique MAJERUS, Catherine SCHMITTEN, and Conrad FABER.

How are these people related? Anna Catharina MAJERUS was likely the oldest child of Jean MAJERUS and his wife Elisabeth AMBROSI (DITGES). She married Michel FABER before 1756 and they had a son Conrad FABER  born about 1756. Between 1756 and 1766 Michel FABER died and his widow married Nicholas GILLEN. They would have a son Michel GILLEN but only after the 1766 census. The firstborn son of Anna Catharina, Conrad FABER would take over Scherfenhof after the death of Nicholas GILLEN in 1787.

The other children of Jean and Elisabeth were Conrad, Jean, Peter, and Angelique. Conrad, possibly named after his uncle, had married in Waldbillig in 1765. He was listed as the of age son of Jean MAJERUS of Scherfenhof.22 Son Jean was likely living in Boulay, France, as his son was born there in 1766. Peter was the son of Jean MAJERUS and Elisabeth DITGES per his 1776 marriage record.23 Angelique was very likely a daughter of the same couple. No marriage has been found for her.

This rounds up the individuals I found who likely made up the family group of the deceased Jean MAJERUS and his wife Elisabeth AMBROSI (DITGES). No baptismal records were found in the Nommern parish for these children but there was the fragile connection to Scherfenhof as seen in their marriage records, the 1766 census, and baptisms where Nicholas GILLEN, manager of Scherfenhof, was the godfather of several of the grandchildren.

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

  1. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 905 of 1504. 1797 Birth Record (9 Germinal year V). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 
  2. Ibid., Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 1200 of 1504. 1799 Birth Record, left, top (13 germinal an VII). ( : 5 January 2018). 
  3. Ibid., Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 1473 of 1504. 1801 Birth Record, right, bottom (21 prairial an IX). ( : accessed 8 January 2018). 
  4. Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 108 of 1464. 1806 Birth Record (lower left). ( : 17 July 2014),. 
  5. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1843 > image 309 of 407. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  6. Ibid., Bertrange > 1846 > image 324 of 431. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  7. Ibid., Bertrange > 1847 > image 198 of 448. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  8. Ibid., Bertrange > 1849 > image 388 of 474. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  9. Ibid., Strassen > 1851 > image 67 of 222. “Jean Majerus, his son Jean Baptiste Majerus, his daughter-in-law Catherine Cornely, their children Jacques, Baptiste, Pierre, Nicolas, Jean Pierre, Michel, and Marie.” Jean Majerus household No. 48. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  10. Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 21 of 446. 1852 Death Record No. 20. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  11. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Nommern > Baptêmes 1744-1787, confirmations 1750-1789, mariages 1751-1765, 1769-1787, sépultures 1752-1787 > image 45 of 170. 1769 Baptismal Record No. 324. ( : accessed 27 May 2019). 
  12. Thomas Webers, Familienbuch der Pfarrei und Gemeinde Nommern mit Cruchten 1637-1923, Luxracines a.s.b.l., 2015; page 415, family #1295. 
  13. Archives départementales de la Moselle (57), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online, Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772), Image RAD057_100EDGG8_0028.jpg, image 28 of 193. 1766 Baptismal Record (bottom left and top right).( : accessed 21 May 2019). Images from this site are free to use by the public per conditions viewed on 26 May 2019. 
  14. Ibid., Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772), Image FRAD057_100EDGG8_0061.jpg, image 61 of 193. 1767 Marriage Record (left bottom, right page). ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  15. Ibid., Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772), Image: FRAD057_100EDGG8_0173.jpg, image 173 of 193. 1772 Birth Record (left page, top) and 1772 Death Record (right page, middle)
    ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  16. Ibid., Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG10 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1780-1792), Image: FRAD057_100EDGG10_0108.jpg, image 108 of 307. Death Record No. 1. ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  17. Luxembourg Parish Records, Medernach > Baptêmes 1786-1797, mariages 1785-1797, sépultures 1786-1797 > image 51 of 56. 1787 Death Record. ( : accessed 22 May 2019). 
  18. Ibid., Medernach > Baptêmes 1786-1797, mariages 1785-1797, sépultures 1786-1797 > image 51 of 56. 1787 Death Record (right page, first entry).( : accessed 22 May 2019). 
  19. Luxembourg, Dénombrement, 1766 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles), Film #1781981, DGS #8182018 > Decanat de Mersch > Medernach > image 75 of 556 > household 49 > Nicolas Gilen. ( : accessed 30 May 2019). 
  20. Luxembourg Parish Records, Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 86 of 293. 1743 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 31 May 2019). 
  21. Ibid., Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 93 of 293. 1745 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 31 May 2019). 
  22. Ibid., Waldbillig > Baptêmes 1685-1797, mariages 1773-1779, 1785-1797, 1800-1804, sépultures 1779, 1785-1797 > image 160 of 201. 1765 Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry for 1765). ( : accessed 31 May 2019). 
  23. Ibid., Ospern > Baptêmes 1730-1796, mariages 1737-1779 > image 280 of 286. 1776 Marriage Record (left page, bottom). ( : accessed 22 May 2019). 

A Hidden Index for Luxembourg City’s Parishes and Garrison

When I opened up my genealogy program to gather material on my 5th great-grandparents Jean MAJERUS and Magretha BREGER for a new post it looked like I wouldn’t be writing a very detailed one about them. Everything I had had already been used when I wrote about their son Jean Baptiste MAJERUS in January last year. I had little information about his parents. In fact, I had only located the baptismal record for Margretha BREGER with the names of her parents the day before I posted. I added their names to a screenshot I’d made to illustrate a knothole in the fence.

Over a year later, the tree was still pretty bare. Margretha’s parents’ names had been added but without dates or places.

Screenshot of my 4th great-grandfather Jean Baptiste MAJERUS in my tree on Ancestry which is attached to the DNA test I manage.

Jean MAJERUS’ parentage was still unknown. There are discrepancies concerning his place of birth. On the census taken from 1843 to 1852, he had been listed as born in Luxembourg or France. The places in France were not found on a map and likely misspelled. The last census he was enumerated in had Felz, also known as Larochette, in Luxembourg. This was the place his 24 years old grandson gave when he declared the death of his 87 years old grandfather, Jean MAJERUS.

No marriage record was found in Luxembourg for Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER. A record which would include his birth date and place, his parents’ names and location if living or dates of death if deceased.

I didn’t let the lack of information on Jean MAJERUS stop me from continuing my research with his wife Margretha and her parents.

Before I began with a time-consuming search for siblings in the church records of Saint Michel where Margretha was born, I checked the marriage database on Luxracines to see if I could locate a date of marriage for her parents. I needed to know when they would be having children and if they were married in the same church their daughter was baptized or if their marriage even took place in Luxembourg City. While Jean and Margretha’s marriage date was not found in either the church or civil marriage databases, I found her parents married on 20 April 1758 in the Saint Jean parish in Luxembourg City.

The index card for the marriage had me stumped.  The last line on the card shows the parish was LSJ = Luxembourg, Saint Jean. I had no idea what the AVL abbreviation meant. I went to FamilySearch > Luxemburg Kirchenbücher 1601-1948 > Luxembourg, Saint Jean and Luxembourg, Saint Jean à Grund. Neither collection had marriage records for the time period 1758 would fell in for the Saint Jean parish.

I can’t keep this wonderful discovery a secret!

Switching back and forth between the two Saint Jean collections I noticed Luxembourg, Saint Jean had only the Tables des mariages 1709-1789 which is the collection of marriage index cards (as seen above) while Luxembourg, Saint Jean à Grund had two collections I had overlooked.

This is what I found when I checked the first:

An alphabetical and chronological index of births in the parishes and garrison of the city of Luxembourg for the years 1601-1796 with over 710 images of double pages in the book. The second was the same but for marriages and deaths (nearly 500 images). The same two collections were found under Luxembourg, Saint Michel; Luxembourg, Saint-Ulrich; and Chapelle de la Garnison, Luxembourg. The information at the front of the collections has a key for the abbreviations used for the parishes and gives credit to a Mr. Weyer, secretary, for making this inventory of the baptismal, marriage, and death records. Each entry includes the name, date of event, parish, and page of the parish book making it easy to find the actual record in the collections for these parishes.

Using this NEW index I found the names and records for both sets of grandparents of Margretha BREGER, one set of great-grandparents, the name of a great-great-grandparent, and children of several of these marriages. My Ancestor Score is increasing!

How many of the researchers for Luxembourg who follow my blog knew about this amazing compilation of births, marriages, and deaths from the church records of the city of Luxembourg? Two books with a total of over 2,400 pages of names, dates, and page numbers for records from 1601 to 1796. Did I discover something everyone was already using or is this also new to you?

I was so excited and motivated after adding generations to Margretha that I began looking for a way to find more information on her husband Jean MAJERUS. Did you hear that wall come crashing down? I’ll tell you about it in my next post.

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

How DNA Results Helped Discover Luxembourg Emigrants

Earlier this year I wrote about my 4th great-grandparents Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY in 52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions. As the title suggests there were things which were left unresolved in the article. No trace was found of their son Franciscus “Franz” FRISCH  born in 1796 after the 1849 census nor of their son Nicolaus FRISCH born in 1798 after his birth. Franz married and had a family as seen in the census but Nicolaus was completely off the radar.

One of Franz’s sons, Peter John FRISCH was known to have come to America in 1854 as seen in Sandra L. Hammes’ From Luxembourg to La Crosse And Beyond 1851-1910, however, I did not find a birth record to connect him to his parents Franz and Magdalena.

Last month I found a DNA match with a FRISCH ancestor in her family tree. This post is about how I discovered the match, which new website I used to confirm relationships, and how both helped me to prove the missing brothers of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta FRISCH emigrated from Luxembourg to America on the ship Pauline which departed from Le Havre, France and arrived in the port of New York in May 1854.

“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” (database with images), FamilySearch (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), NARA microfilm publication M237, 140 – 23 May 1854-11 Jun 1854 > images 131 thru 134 of 651. ( : accessed 12 October 2018).

DNA Match Labeling

It all began in mid-September when Blaine Bettinger announced his Chrome extension DNA Match Labeling was now available in the Chrome Web Store. This extension lets you use eight colored dots to label your AncestryDNA matches. Michael John Neill wrote an interesting post Label Your AncestryDNA Matches stressing the necessity of giving thought to how to use these on the thousands of matches we have. I decided to use them to label ONLY the paternal matches of the test results I manage.

Different tools used to sort and analyze matches on AncestryDNA

An example of several matches which have been labeled with the red dot:

Matches labeled with the red dot for the line back to William A. W. DEMPSEY

Why not the maternal matches? Our mother is Luxembourgish and all of her ancestors were from Luxembourg or the surrounding regions of Germany, France, and Belgium which were once part of Luxembourg. Compared to the number of paternal matches, the maternal ones are few and far between. The top maternal match is a 4C1R (4th cousin once removed) on page 3 (50 matches per page) with 44 cMs. Since there are so few at this time, I’m using Ancestry’s star feature for maternal matches because it lets me pull up all of these matches and sort them by date or relationship. The colored dots, which I am saving for paternal matches, are only visual aids and cannot be sorted.

Kate, a new match, starred to indicate possible Luxembourg ancestry and Shared DNA amount information open in black box.

While starring the matches, I checked the Shared Matches of the highest maternal cousin and found a new match with a great-grandmother named Anna Katrina FRISCH. Unfortunately, there were no dates and places of birth, marriage, and death in the tree and no parents for this FRISCH young lady.

Kate’s privatized Ancestry tree with the in common with surname: FRISCH.

The new match, Kate in honor of her great-grandmother, is a Shared Match of Mary, a 4C1R who descends through my 4th great-grandparents Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. Mary had first gotten in touch with me in 2009. We have been in touch about the DNA match but she has not uploaded to GEDMATCH. This is important to note as shared matches do not necessarily share the DNA on the same segment of a chromosome. The only way to determine this is to do a comparison using a chromosome browser which at this time is not available on Ancestry.

Building Kate’s Family Tree

Building out a DNA match’s family tree is like playing connect the dots. The first run through is all about piecing together hints and bits of information for a temporary tree which can later, if it turns out to be the correct family, be filled out with care and sourced.

I found Joe and Anna DAVIS in Sanborn County, Dakota Territory, in 1885 with a daughter named Lena. I continued to find them in the same county in the state of South Dakota from 1900 to 1930. These helped me to determine I was on the right track and these were Kate‘s great-grandparents. Anna K. as she was seen in the census was born in Iowa with parents born in Germany. This is in conflict with my FRISCH family being from Luxembourg.

Working backwards I searched for Anna K. FRISCH born about 1861 in Iowa and found a promising family group. John and Lena FRISCH in Johnson County, Iowa. They had a Catherine born about 1858 and a Kate born about 1859. In 1860 and in 1880 the father John was seen as born in Luxembourg while in 1870 Holland was listed. The most interesting census listing was the 1860 where the young family was in the household of Francis FRISH (sic), a 60 years old farmer born in Luxembourg. Was this Franz who I had not been able to locate after the 1849 Luxembourg census? When did Franz and his son Jean come to America? Perhaps at the same time as Peter John FRISCH mentioned in the La Crosse book?

A search for a passenger list with FRISCH individuals who arrived in America in the 1850s turned up the list featured at the beginning of this post. Two family groups with the surname FRISCH were on the Pauline in May 1854: François, Pierre, Jean, and Angelique as well as Nicolaus, Catherine, Paul, Canada (sic), Marie, and Catherine. Had I found both of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabetha FRISCH’s brothers?

Members of my genealogy society Luxracines have been working on a project to index the marriages from the 10-year tables of the civil records of the Luxembourg municipalities and former municipalities for the years 1797 to 1923. Using this new online database (available to members only)  I found Nicolaus FRISCH married Catherine WESTER in Reckange-sur-Mess in 1825. I searched the birth and death records in Reckange and found nine children, five of whom died by 1853 leaving four living: Paul, Jeanette, Maria, and Katharina. All names with the exception of Jeanette (Canada on the list) matched the passenger list.

What about Franz FRISCH? Where was his wife? I found she’d died in 1850 in Capellen. Their oldest son Franz was found marrying in 1851 in Steinsel to Margaretha REUTER. [This is a recent find and I have not spent much time searching for more information on this couple and their children, if they had any.] 

This left two unmarried sons, Pierre and Jean, whose names matched those on the passenger list. But who was Angelique? Pierre married Angelique TRINKES on 4 September 1856 in Dubuque, Iowa, according to the La Crosse book. No marriage record has been found to confirm this date and place. Is it possible she came over with the FRISCH families or did Pierre marry her before their arrival in America?

Matricula Online

Not all of the dots have been connected. The church records are missing on FamilySearch for the parish of Mamer and the affiliated villages. A family register for the parish of Mamer was found on FamilySearch over two years ago when I worked on Elisabeta FRISCH’s family. Would I ever be able to find records to confirm the information in the handwritten register?

This past July the Catholic church records for Luxembourg went online on Matricula Online. Included in this new database are Mamer’s missing church records. The baptismal record of Petrus FRISCH, son of Franz FRISCH and Magdalena MORRET was found on Matricula Online. He was born 25 May 1830 in Capellen.  This is not the date found in the La Crosse book (29 Oct 1832), in the Mamer register (25 March 1830), or on the 1849 census (30 May 1830). I can only hope Peter married his first wife Angelique in Luxembourg as the record would include his correct date of birth. But I feel confident the Pierre seen on the passenger list with François is Petrus found in the baptismal record and Peter who lived in La Crosse County.

The Incomplete Story

Franz and his brother Nicolaus came with their families to America in May 1854. By 1860, everyone was in Jackson County, Iowa. Franz’s son John had married Lena WEBER and was the father of two young girls. Peter had married Angeline TRINKES and did not have children. Nicolaus was with his wife Catherine, son Paul, and daughter Maria. Their daughter Jeanette had married Jean FORRET. They had two children as well as Jean’s mother and two siblings in their household. Nicolaus’ daughter Catherine is the only person from the passenger list who has not been located.

Nicolaus died in 1862 leaving everything to his son Paul. His widow Catherine died in 1872. Franz died in 1867. John was widowed in 1877 and followed his brother to La Crosse County, Wisconsin, after the 1880 census.

Now that I know there are descendants of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta’s brothers living in America, I will continue to fill in the family tree and check for new DNA matches. I looked for Jeanette’s married name and found two matches! Messages have been sent. I can’t wait to see these on my chromosome map.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research – When A Record Doesn’t Want to be Found

Why Lëtz Research? Luxembourg is known as Lëtzebuerg by Luxembourgers (Lëtzebuerger) and this is about genealogy research in/for Luxembourg. So instead of Let’s Research…

Lëtz Research!

Genealogists who have Luxembourg ancestry are fortunate in that FamilySearch has the digital images online of civil records, church records, census records, and notarial records. Nearly all of these are image-only, i.e. have not been indexed and are browse-only.

Birth, marriage, and death records found in the civil records collection are the first and easiest to research. Although volunteers are working on them, only a little more than 100,000 of these records have been indexed. The birth and death records have four records per image while the marriage records have two records per image. There are 716,518 images. Let’s assume an average of three records per image = over two million records which need to be indexed.

There’s no need to wait until indexing is finished. Even if the collections have not been digitally indexed, there are internal indexes which can be used to find records. This is the case for most collections no matter where the location. For example, will books in U.S. counties usually have an index at the front or back of the book. Clerks did not have search engines back when…so they created a list of names so they wouldn’t have to page through registers.

Index for Year

For Luxembourg after the civil records were produced the town secretary made an alphabetical index at year’s end and included it in the registers (birth, marriage, and death) at the end of the year’s records. These are most helpful when you know the date and place of an event.

Tables Décennales

If a family lived in a town for a long period of time and had, let’s say, a dozen children there is an easier way to search for the births records.

To further simplify a search, the clerks also created lists at the end of a ten-year period called tables décennales (TD). They begin in 1803. Created in alphabetical order they are arranged in order: birth, marriage, and death for the periods 1803-1812, 1813-1822, 1823-1832, etc. to 1922 the last publicly available year. The lists include the name of the person as well as the date of the event. Marriages are in alphabetical order by the surname of the groom only.

Like the yearly index which was done at the end of the year, the ten-year index was created at the end of the ten-year period. One peculiarity of both the one-year and the ten-year indexes is that they were usually used the French version of the person’s first name. Peter’s birth record may have been created for Peter while the index has the name as Pierre (Katharina=Catherine). Most names are similar in German and French, however, there are some names which can cause a bit of head scratching. For example, Stephan (German) and Etienne (French) or Wilhelm/Guillaume. This is further complicated by the old handwriting they used.

As with all indexing, there is the possibility of a mix-up in names or dates in the ten-year lists. Some may not be in perfect alphabetical order. When I’m searching for a name in the tables décennales, I always take this into consideration.

When an Index Isn’t Good Enough

Recently while working on my post, Retraction of Allegations Made Against Maisy Vesque (1913-1969), another peculiarity of the tables décennales was brought to my attention. Something we should all be aware of with any index (handwritten or digital) we are working with – an omission! We may all know this but do we always remember this may be the case?

Tables décennales for Rumelange in 1903-1912

I had checked the tables décennales for the birth of Maisy VESQUE around 1913 in Rumelange as this was the town her father lived and worked in when he married her mother in 1910. I checked 1903-1912 and 1913-1922 as I had only an estimated birth in 1913. Maisy, as I well knew, is a nickname so I was looking for any female child with the surname VESQUE. None were found. (see image above for 1903-1912)1

With A Little Help from a Friend

In my retraction post, I included a plea for help. My friend Linda K., who has come to my rescue several times, took the bait. She emailed me the date of birth and birth name. I immediately checked the TD (tables décennales) to see why I had missed it. It had been omitted from the list (see image above) but was found on the 1912 birth records’ index (below).

1912 Index of births in Rumelange

The record for Maria Margaretha VESQUE was easily found with the record number 107 found in the index.2 The birth record3 also included the date and place of death of the child as well as the record number in the margin which would make it easy to locate the death record – if it did not fall under the 100-year law for civil records.

1912 Birth Record No. 107 for Maria Margaretha Vesque

A closer look at the document made me wonder if the clerk might have NOT completely filled out the record at the time the father came to report the birth and sign the record. Information appears to have been pencilled in and written over.

The lesson I learned was to check the yearly indexes even when a record is not indexed in the ten-year index as an omission is possible. The title of this post: When a record doesn’t want to be found could also read When we don’t do a thorough search to find a record. Sometimes we need to try harder to find them or admit we need help and ask for it.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1.  “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 September 2018), Rumelange > Tables décennales 1883-1922 > image 109 of 220; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg. 
  2. Ibid., ( : accessed 26 June 2018), Rumelange > Naissances 1898-1912 > image 786 of 789; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg. 
  3.  Ibid., ( : accessed 26 June 2018), Rumelange > Naissances 1898-1912 > image 763 of 789; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg. 

Brick Wall Update: With a Little Help From My Friends

When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions I ended the post with a plea “Do any of my readers know where I may find the answers to the many unanswered questions?

Linda in Luxembourg and Fabrice in Belgium helped me break down this brick wall with answers to some of the questions I raised in my post. With this update I would like to thank them for paying close attention to my questions and giving me a push in the right direction to get more answers.

Regina HUBERTY and Jacob FRISCH

My fourth great-grandparents Regina HUBERTY (1764-1840) and Jacob FRISCH (d. March 1800) were married in Mamer, Luxembourg, in 1789.1

The record I found for the marriage was a parish record and did not include the ages of the bride and groom or their dates or places of birth. Were they both the same age or was the groom much older than the bride?

1789 Marriage Record [1]
The record showed Jacob FRISCH was the son of the deceased Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET of Huncherange. As Fabrice explained, the Latin word defuncti related only to the father. If both parents had been deceased, it would have been defuntorum.

I found a death record for Margaretha SIMON, widow of Joannis FRISCH.2 She died in Mamer in 1792, three years after the marriage of Jacob and Regina. Was she the mother of Jacob? I will come back to this question.

Elisabeta FRISCH’s civil birth record

Linda was more successful than I was in finding a civil birth record for my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta FRISCH. The youngest child of Jacob and Regina, she was born after the death of her father. Linda found the birth record as she searched for the date listed in Elisabeta’s 1827 marriage record – 13 Prairial year XIII.3 I had disregarded this date as it converted to 2 June 1800 and I had found a list with the FRISCH baby being born 2 April 1800 and baptized 3 April 1800.4 While church records continued to be dated with the Gregorian calendar, the civil records of the time used the Republican calendar. I suspected a conversion error.

The civil record Linda found included the age of the deceased father, 50 years old, and of the mother, 31 years old.

2 June 1800 civil birth record of Elisabetha FRISCH [3]
This answered my question concerning the possibility of Jacob being much older than Regina.

Jacob FRISCH’s baptismal record

I had searched for a baptismal record for him in the records of the parish of Noertzange to which Huncherange belonged for the years 1760 to 1770 without success. Both Linda and Fabrice were able to give me the baptismal date of Jacob FRISCH – 4 September 1755 in Noertzange.5

1755 Baptismal Record of Jacob FRISCH [5]
I had stopped searching too soon. Fabrice also gave me a few clues concerning siblings of Jacob FRISCH.

  • A brother Pierre married on 10 February 1777 in Dudelange (the marriage record mentioned the same parents).
  • There may have been another brother named Jean who married Catherine NIDERKORN. A son of this couple participated in the Napoleonic campaigns. She did not mention where she got this information. However, I checked the Matricules Napoléoniens 1802-1815 where I found Jaques FRISCH born 11 September 1784 in Huncherange to Jean FRISCH and Catherine NIDERKORN.

The second couple’s names were familiar as a son Michel was seen marrying in Mamer in 1812. His information was included directly below the entry for Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY in the family register for the parish of Mamer. I had not yet looked into how the two FRISCH men, both listed as being from Huncherange, may have been related.

Did Jacob FRISCH have siblings?

I checked for baptismal records of FRISCH siblings before and after the 1755 birth of Jacob and found six more children born between 1746 and 1757.

  • Maria FRISCH born 14 August 1746 and died 27 November 17466
  • Petrus FRISCH born 3 November 17477
  • Joannes FRISCH born 27 August 17508
  • Elisabetha FRISCH born 8 September 17529
  • Nicolas FRISCH born 10 September 1754 died 19 September 175410
  • Jacob FRISCH born 4 September 17555
  • Joanna FRISCH born 3 October 175711

Note: Maria and Nicolas’ deaths were annotated in the margin of the baptismal record.

After finding the information on the seven children of Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET, I checked for marriages for the children who lived to maturity. Four marriages were found which confirmed the parents’ names and that the father was deceased. The marriages took place in 177412, 177613, 177714, and 1789. Two children had died young. For the youngest daughter  no death or marriage record was found.

Joannis FRISCH’s death record

A death record for a Joannes FRISCH who died on 12 October 1759 in Huncherange was found.15 I believe it to be the record for Joannis FRISCH, husband of Margaretha ZEIMET. The age of the deceased person is in the gutter of the register and begins with 4. This is not the entry for a child as it would include the names of the parents.

1759 Death Record of Joannes FRISCH [15]
Margaretha ZEIMET (also seen as ZEIMES) raised her children in Huncherange after the death of her husband and did not remarry. I checked all of the marriage cards for Noertzange. Jacob was 33 years old in 1789 and the last of the FRISCH children to marry. His three siblings had married between 12 and 15 years earlier. Being the youngest (other than Joanna who has not been traced), Jacob likely lived at home with his mother in Huncherange. Following his marriage, Margaretha may have moved to Mamer.

Margaretha ZEIMET aka Margaretha SIMON?

1792 Death Record of Margaretha SIMON widow of Joannis FRISCH, linenweaver of Mamer [2]
In the book on Luxembourg family names16, the names ZEIMES and ZEIMET are seen with the SIMON as a variation of the name.

I believe it is possible that Margaretha SIMON who died in Mamer2 three years after Jacob FRISCH married could likely be the mother of this family. The name of her deceased husband is a match. I reviewed all baptismal and marriage records of their children and none give the occupation of their deceased father. The priest who made the entry wrote ex Mameren for the residence of Joannis FRISCH. This cannot be correct as the family register for Mamer does not include any FRISCH families before Jacob FRISCH (1789) and his nephew Michel FRISCH (1812) married and came to live in Mamer and raise families.

It is interesting to note that the answers to the questions in the post 52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions were not found in Mamer but in Huncherange (Noertzange) were the FRISCH family originated.

Although more is now known about my 5th great-grandparents Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET and their seven children, it is unlikely their parentage will be found in the parish records of Noertzange.

Fernand G. EMMEL compiled a small book of the families of Noertzange using research of parish records left by Eugène NEY (deceased). The compilation includes families groups with the surnames ZYMETS (baptism in 1700) and SYMONS (baptisms in 1669-1688) as well as FRECHEN (baptisms in 1667 and 1689), a name similar to FRISCH. However due to a gap in the records the connection between Joannis and Margaretha’s generation and these early families cannot be made without certainty.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 106 of 168. 1789 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  2. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 148 of 168. 1792 Death Record (right, 3rd entry from bottom).( : accessed 5 January 2018). 
  3. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 53 of 549. 1800 Birth Record, right, top (13 prairial an VIII). ( : accessed 8 January 2018). 
  4. Luxembourg Church Records, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 > image 12 of 30. 1800 Baptismal entry, left page, line 12. ( : accessed 27 November 2015). Note: The date of birth and baptism are prior to the date listed on her civil birth record. 
  5. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 14 of 75. 1755 Baptismal Record (right, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 8 January 2018). 
  6.  Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 9 of 75. 1746 Baptismal Record (right, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  7. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 10 of 75. 1747 Baptismal Record (left, bottom). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 11 of 75. 1750 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 12 of 75. 1752 Baptismal Record (right, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 14 of 75. 1754 Baptismal Record (left, 2nd entry); includes death annotation in margin. ( : acccessed 15 January 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 6 of 75. 1757 Baptismal Record (left, 1st entry). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  12.  Ibid., Noertzange > Tables des mariages 1662-1698, 1733-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 41 of 115. 1774 Mariage Index Card. ( : accessed 15 January 2018),. 
  13. Ibid., Noertzange > Tables des mariages 1662-1698, 1733-1796 (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 31 of 114. 1776 Marriage Index Card. ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  14. Ibid., Luxembourg > Tables des mariages avant 1802 (Folscheid, Thomas-Gett, Pierre) > image 653 of 1598. 1777 Marriage Index Card. ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  15. Ibid., Noertzange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1741-1796 > image 64 of 75. 1759 Death Record (left, bottom). ( : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  16. Kollmann, Cristian, Peter Gilles and Claire Muller. 2016. Luxemburger Familiennamenbuch. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Mouton. Retrieved 26 Apr. 2016, from 

52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions

Many genealogists are joining Amy Johnson Crow’s new 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge this week. While they are beginning, I am coming to the end of my own version which I began in 2017 (as seen in my feature image).

This set of fourth great-grandparents from Capellen in the parish of Mamer left me with more questions than answers.

Regina HUBERTY, my fourth great-grandmother, was born on 2 March 1764 in Capellen, Luxembourg.

The first event for my fourth great-grandmother and already I am treading in deep water trying to document this. The church records are missing on FamilySearch for the parish of Mamer and the affiliated villages. A family register for the parish of Mamer was found on FamilySearch two years ago when I worked on her daughter Elisabeta’s family.

The register (mentioned in the box above) includes two family groups for Regina HUBERTY. The first family group is from her first marriage and includes the names of her parents – Petri HUBERTY and Anna LENNERT.

Family Register of Mamer with the entry for the Frisch-Huberty family group. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch, Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 59 of 375. ( : accessed 25 November 2015)

On the 3rd of March 1789, there being no impediment to the marriage, the priest of Mamer and two witnesses were present when Jacob FRISCH, son of the deceased Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET of Huncherange, was united with Regina HUBERTY, daughter of Petri HUBERTY and the deceased Anna LENNERT. The bride and groom were both of age to marry. The names of the parents match those in the register above as the information was collected from parish records at the time.

1789 Marriage Record. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 106 of 168. 1789 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 29 November 2015).

Jacob’s parents were from Huncherange and I am not quite sure of the wording in the marriage record (above) concerning his parents. Defuncti Joannis Frisch et Margaretha Zeimet olim Conjugum ex Hunichringen parochia Noertzingen. Am I reading/translating this correctly – both of his parents were deceased?

I have no idea of Jacob’s age or if he actually was born in the village his parents were from. I searched in the records of the parish of Noertzange to which Huncherange belonged for the years 1760 to 1770 without success. Could he have been much older than Regina?

Usually, when I have this kind of predicament I search for baptismal, marriage, or death records of the siblings as well as records created when they were mentioned as godparents. The godparents of the children of Jacob and Regina are listed in the family register, however, none have the FRISCH or ZEIMET surnames. At this time I have no idea if Jacob had siblings.

Regina and Jacob had the following children.

1. Susanna FRISCH was born on 6 June 1792 in Capellen. She married Petrus KOLBACH, son of Michel KOLBACH and Susanne KIEFFER, on 14 January 1818 in Mamer. Petrus was born on 9 January 1789 in Mamer. He died on 23 April 1837 in Mamer. Susanna died on 20 October 1885 in Capellen. They were the parents of three sons.

2. Margaretha FRISCH was born on 24 April 1794 in Capellen. She died on 2 August 1828 in Capellen. She never married.

3. Franciscus “Franz” FRISCH was born on 30 August 1796 in Capellen. He married Magdalena MORRET on 22 January 1823 in Mamer. Magdalena was born about 1796. Franz was enumerated in Mamer the 1843 and 1849 census with his wife and three sons. The years 1846, 1847, and those after 1849 have not been checked. Death records have not been located for either Franz or his wife Magdalena. Their son Peter John FRISCH immigrated to America in 1854. He was married twice and lived in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. He is well documented in Sandra L. Hammes’ From Luxembourg to La Crosse And Beyond 1851-1910, however, I am still searching for his birth record to connect him to Franz and Magdalena. All of his siblings’ birth records were found. A date of birth (30 May 1830) was found on the 1849 census but does not match the date given (29 October 1832)  in From Luxembourg to La Crosse. And neither of these dates match that (25 March 1830) found in the family register of Mamer.

4. Nicolaus FRISCH was born on 13 July 1798 in Capellen. He has not been found later.

5. Elisabeta FRISCH was born on 5 April 1800 in Capellen. She was baptized the following day. She married Johannes FRANTZ, son of Paulus FRANTZ and Susanne KIEFFER, on 18 January 1827 in Holzem. Johannes was born on 21 November 1794 in Mamer. He died on 24 January 1880 in Mamer and his widow Elisabeta died ten months later on 15 November 1880 in Mamer. Elisabeta and Johannes were my 3rd great-grandparents.

Regina’s husband Jacob FRISCH, the father of the above children, died on 11 March 1800 in Capellen. Regina was the informant and pregnant with her fifth child, my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta.

1800 Death Record of Jacob FRISCH. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 541 of 1497. 1800 Death Record (right page). ( : accessed 29 November 2015).

A second family group was found for Regina in the family register. It included the name of her deceased husband and their five children as well as her second husband and their children.

Family Register of Mamer with the entry for the Kalmes-Huberty family group. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch, Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 155 of 375. ( : accessed 28 November 2015)

Nearly two years after the death of Jacob FRISCH, Regina HUBERTY married Peter KALMES on 21 December 1801 in Mamer. Peter was born on 22 November 1760 in Nospelt, Luxembourg, to Peter KALMES and Catharina SCHANTZ.

Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1176 of 1504. 1801 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 26 March 2010).

The marriage record of Regina and Peter is the source for Regina’s date of birth. In this record, her parents are listed as Peter HUBERTY and Johannata BEREND. Which of the two marriage records for Regina give the correct name for her mother? Was Anna LENNERT and Johannata BEREND the same person? Is the L in the early marriage record a B as I thought when I first saw it? Did the person who compiled the information in the family register mistake the B for an L? But still, BENNERT and BEREND may be close but are they the same? What other sources can I check to solve these questions?

Regina and Peter had the following children.

1. Petrus KALMES was born on 24 March 1803 in Capellen. He died a few weeks later on 12 April 1803 in Capellen.

2. Peter KALMES was born on 3 October 1804 in Capellen. He married Maria BOSSELER on 8 February 1844 in Mamer. He died on 18 December 1863 in Capellen. Note: The date of birth for Peter KALMES on his marriage record is that of his brother who was born and died before his birth.

3. Jean KALMES was born on 2 February 1808 in Capellen. He died a little over a month later on 12 March 1808 in Capellen.

Peter KALMES died on 12 November 1833 in Capellen leaving a wife, a son, and at least three step-children. His widow Regina HUBERTY died on 19 January 1840 in Capellen. She left four living children: Susanne, Franz, Elisabeta, and Peter. She may have left another child, the son Nicolas who has not been found after his birth in 1798.

Do any of my readers know where I may find the answers to the many unanswered questions?

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #44 Legendary Two-Time Tour de France Winner’s Second Great-Grandparents

Susanne KIEFFER was born on 25 March 1754 in Mamer to Nicolaus KEIFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (1737-1807). Earlier variations of the KEIFFER surname were KIEFER and KÜFFER. Susanne was the oldest of eight known children. The only reference available online is an alphabetical family group register of births/baptisms and marriages for the town of Mamer. Actual parish records for baptisms, marriages, and burials in Mamer are only available on FamilySearch for the years 1779-1793.

Küffer-Schiltz family group from the Mamer parish book. “Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 November 2015), Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 135 of 375; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

Susanne was my fourth great-grandmother. She married Michel KOLBACH on 17 February 1783. Michel was born about 1748 in Kehlen to Francisci KOLBACH and Maria KAYSER. His parents were deceased at the time of his marriage. Michel and his parents were not my ancestors.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 46 of 168. 1783 Marriage Record (top of left page). ( : accessed 29 November 2015).

Susanne and Michel were the parents of five children.

  • Margaretha born on 4 January 1784
  • Michel born on 31 March 1785
  • Catherine born on 29 November 1786
  • Peter born on 9 January 1789
  • Anna Maria born on 14 May 1791

These children are documented as they were born during the period in which actual parish records are available on FamilySearch for baptisms, marriages, and burials during the years 1779-1793.

Following the birth of Susanne and Michel’s fourth child, her sister Elisabeth married Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY (1743-1803) on 11 May 1789. Elisabeth was the only known sibling of Susanne to also marry.

When their youngest child had just turned two years old, Susanne was widowed when Michel KOLBACH died on 30 May 1793. He had been a linen weaver or linitextor and was about 45 years old.

1793 Death Entry for Michel KOLBACH. 1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 167 of 168. 1793 Death and Burial Record. ( : accessed 29 November 2015).

A little over seven months later Susanne remarried. On 7 January 1794, she married Paulus FRANTZ. Paulus was the son of Nicolaus FRANTZ and Angela BARTEL of Senningen.

1794 Marriage Index Card. 2. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Tables des mariages 1779-1804 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 41 of 238. 1794 Marriage Index Card. ( : accessed 20 December 2017).

No marriage record has been found for Susanne and Paulus. Their marriage is recorded on a marriage index card. The information on the card points to Paulus being from Bergem in the parish of Schifflingen. Per the 1843 census, Paulus was born on 10 August 1763 in Senningen. On the 1846 census, the day and month were the same but the year was 1764. The place of birth on the 1846 census was blank. Although their names are known, his parents and siblings are at this time a brick wall.

Paulus was my fourth great-grandfather. When he married Susanne he took on a family of five children between the ages of 3 and 10 years. Like Susanne’s first husband Michel, Paulus was a linen weaver.

Susanne was soon expecting twins. Nicolas and Johannes were born on 21 November 1794. As no birth records are available for the twins it is not known who was the oldest. Nicolas or my third great-grandfather Johannes.

When the twins were seventeen months old their grandfather, Susanne’s father, Nicolaus KEIFFER died on 1 May 1796.

Susanne gave birth to another son on 10 January 1797. He was named Henri. Less than two months later Susanne’s youngest daughter from her first marriage, Anna Maria, died at the age of five years on 6 March 1797. The family may have been battling some kind of disease or the baby was not strong enough to survive as little Henri died on 6 June 1797 at the age of five months.

The children grew and by 1802 the Susanne’s oldest daughter was courting and the results were soon to be seen. Margaretha was 17 years old when she married Leonardus RÖELINGER on 18 November 1802. Three and a half months later, on 9 March 1803, she gave birth to a boy she named after her father Michel.

Susanne’s brother-in-law Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY died on 16 December 1803. His widow Elisabeth was 46 years old when she married Theodore HELLESCH on 7 May 1806. It was on this marriage record that the 1796 date of death for Nicolaus KIEFFER, the bride’s father, was found.

Susanne’s mother Susanna SCHILTZ died on 4 August 1807. Her son-in-law Paulus FRANTZ was the informant on her death record. A little over a year later, on 9 October 1808, he was once again at the city hall reporting a death. This time it was his wife Susanne KIEFFER who died at the age of 54 years. She left 4 KOLBACH children and the FRANTZ twins.

My 4th great-grandfather was now alone to care for his 13-year-old twin boys and three unmarried step-children who were in their twenties. Only his step-daughter Marguerite was married with two little boys but likely also living in the household as was her right as the oldest.

Five years after the death of Susanne her daughter Catherine KOLBACH married Jacques HENTGES in Mondercange on 29 December 1813. This marriage was only found in the last few days.

Her brothers Michel and Peter KOLBACH would add some very interesting branches to my family tree.

Michel KOLBACH married Susanne HAMES (1786-1855) on 11 January 1815 in Mamer. Susanne was the sister of my 4th great-grandmother Catherine HAMES (1789-1864), my direct matrilineal line.

Petrus KOLBACH married Susanna FRISCH on 14 January 1818 in Mamer. Susanna FRISCH, daughter of Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. Jacob and Regina are also my fourth great-grandparents.

Confused? I hope this will help.

Less than three weeks later Nicolas FRANTZ, one of the twins, married Anna KÜNSCH (1795-1875) on 3 February 1818 in Mamer.

It would be another nine years before the other twin, my fourth great-grandfather, would marry Elisabeta FRISCH (1800-1880), daughter of the above mentioned Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. They were married on 18 January 1827 in Holzem.

All of Paulus FRANTZ’s children, biological and step, were now married. I believe Paulus was living in the home he had shared with his wife Susanne with her oldest daughter Margaretha and her family. This is supported by the census taken in 1843 and 1846. But before the census was enumerated there were several deaths in the family.

Petrus KOLBACH, a father of three sons, died on 23 April 1837 in Mamer at the age of 48. His widow Susan FRISCH would live to the age of 93 dying on 20 October 1885.

The oldest of the bunch, Margaretha KOLBACH had given birth to ten children. She died on 16 December 1838 in Mamer. She left a widower and six children. During the years the family had changed the spelling of RÖELINGER to RELINGER and finally REDLINGER, the version seen when Margaretha’s widower Leonardus die on 20 March 1843.

1843 Paul Frantz household. “Luxembourg Volkszählungen 1843-1900,” images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Mamer > 1843 > image 73 of 291; Archives Nationales de Luxembourg (Luxembourg National Archives, Luxembourg).

In 1843 when the census was taken, Paulus FRANTZ was the head of a household in Mamer. Living with him was his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER, his wife Susana WAGNER and their four children. Both of Peter’s parents were deceased and he was likely the oldest of the REDLINGER children. The family home may have been passed on to him. In 1846 Peter REDLINGER was the head of household and Paulus FRANTZ, as well as three of Peter’s single brothers, was living with the family.

Paulus died at 8 in the morning on 27 July 1847 in Mamer at the age of 83. His death was reported by his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER.

Michel KOLBACH died on 18 April 1855 in Mamer at the age of 70. He had fathered six children, two of whom died at a young age. His widow Susanna HAMES died exactly a month later on 18 May 1855 at the age of 68.

The only living KOLBACH child, Catherine died on 30 October 1869 in Bergem. Until a few days ago I thought she may have died as a child. However, after finding her marriage record, I learned she was the mother of at least six children. Her husband Jacques died on the oldest son’s 15th birthday in 1830 leaving her widowed with children between the ages of 2 and 15.

Susanne KIEFFER’s KOLBACH children were now all deceased. Her twins, the sons she bore Paulus FRANTZ, lived into their eighties. Nicolas FRANTZ, father of seven children (at least two died young), died on 8 August 1879 at the age of 84 and my fourth great-grandfather Johannes FRANTZ, father of five children (one died young) died on 24 January 1880 at the age of 85.

One final note of interest and the reason for the peculiar title for this article. My 4th great-grandparents Paulus FRANTZ and Susanne KIEFFER were the 2nd great-grandparents of the famous Nicolas “Nic” FRANTZ, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tour de France. He was not the first Luxembourger to win the Tour but he was the only one to win it twice and twice in a row.

P.S. Things are always busy this time of the year and I have not had the time to include the sources at the end of my last few articles. I relied on being able to point my readers to my online GEDCOM file, however, Rootsweb is currently unavailable and it is not known how long the downtime will last. Three more sets of 4th great-grandparents to go and then I will come back and add the sources later in January 2018.

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

52 Ancestors: #43 A Draper and Four Seamstresses

As I’m coming closer to the end of this project of writing about my children’s 5th great-grandparents, I’ve started missing the days when I spent weeks and months working on the all descendants of a brick wall ancestor. The focus on one family a week is taking its toll.

As I write these posts I find myself wanting to go back one generation and then another searching for a common thread which ran through the families. The thrill of adding a new most distant ancestor is still great but I find myself having to set aside the research before I am ready to quit.

With Eva LANSER and Henri CONSBRÜCK, my fourth great-grandparents, I tried to keep from working further however relationships mentioned in records made me seek the answers to questions I had. This led to new ancestor discoveries and several new names in the family tree.

Pedigree of a daughter of Henri CONSBRÜCK and Eva LANSER with the new ancestors found while updating information (my 3rd to 7th great-grandparents).

Eva LANSER (1777-1862)

My fourth great-grandmother Eva LANSER was born and baptized on 13 May 1777 in Echternach. She was the daughter of Sébastian LANSER (1732-1804) and Maria Catharina HASTERT (1743-1808).

1766 Census for the town of Echternach in Luxembourg with the LANSER family.

Eva’s parents were married in 1760 and were found on the 1766 census in Echternach with their second son Henri. Their first son named after the paternal grandfather Johann Adam HASTERT had likely died between the time of his birth in 1762 and the 1766 census. After the census six daughters were born, Eva being the 5th, and then finally two more sons. All of these children grew to adulthood except for one daughter who has not been traced. As with the oldest son Johann Adam, her death may not have been recorded in the church register. I have found this to be the case in some parishes where mostly only adult deaths were recorded. Eva’s father worked as a cloth maker (draper) or drapier. None of his sons followed in his steps.

Vincent van Gogh 0141

On 20 September 1791, a double marriage took place in the LANSER family. The oldest son Henri and his sister Catherine married the HERR siblings, Anne-Marie and Johann. Their children would later be close to Eva’s small family.

Eva’s father Sébastian LANSER died on 13 June 1804. His oldest son Henri was the informant on his death. Henri was working as a messenger or messager. I suspect this may have been military-related as the Napoleonic Wars were going on at this time. With the death of the father Sébastian the family’s livelihood may have been in jeopardy.

Eight months later Eva married Henri CONSBRÜCK, son of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT, on 10 February 1805 in Echternach.

Henri CONSBRÜCK (1775-1850)

Henri was a cloth maker and I suspect the trade he was proficient in was one of the reasons he and Eva married. Had he been working in Sébastian’s atelier before his death or did he take over the looms only when he married Eva?

Henri CONSBRÜCK was born and baptized on 5 April 1775 in Echternach. He was the oldest of three children born to Johann and Barbara after their marriage in 1773. His sister Anna Maria was born in 1779 and lived only 8 years. He also had a brother Matthias who was born in 1782 and moved away from Echternach to the Trier, Germany, area when he married sometime before 1816.

Eva and Henri’s Marriage Record

Present at the marriage of Eva and Henri were both of their mothers as well as four witnesses who were relatives. Eva’s brother Henri LANSER, her brother-in-law Johann HERR, as well as Bernard and Mathias WAMPACH, both “uncles” of the groom.

The relationship of the last two witnesses is still under investigation. Bernard was married to Maria CONSBRÜCK (daughter of Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK and Anna Maria PROMMENSCHENKEL) however her relationship to Henri has not been established. I suspect the relationship given in the marriage record was not that of an uncle as we define it today. This might be a blessing in disguise as so far no connection has been made between my CONSBRÜCK line and the parents of Maria. Further confusion has been caused by my Henri’s grandfather also being a Johann Wilhelm. His grandfather was about the same age, married about the same time, and lived about as long as the other man with the same name and in the same location.

The years after their marriage

Henri and Eva’s first child Barbara was born on 21 February 1806. Two years later Eva’s mother Maria Catharina HASTERT died on 10 March 1808. Her death was reported by her oldest son Henri LANSER who was still working as a messenger.

Eva was pregnant with twins when her mother died. Bernard and Marguerite were born on 2 September 1808. They survived only seven months. Marguerite died on 5 April 1809 and Bernard less than a week later on 11 April 1809.

Little Barbara was nearly four years old when Anna Maria, my third great-grandmother, was born on 4 February 1810 to Eva and Henri. Anna Maria went by Maria to distinguish her from a sister with the same name who would be born later.

Eva’s younger sister Margaretha LANSER was 31 years old when she married the 25 years old Johann SELM (1786-1846) on 9 June 1811. None of the witnesses to the marriage were relatives.

Henri and Eva’s next child was born on 3 July 1812. She lived five months, dying on 8 December 1812. They named her Odile.

Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

War had overshadowed the CONSBRÜCK and LANSER families since before Eva and Henri’s marriage. The wars may not have been raging in Echternach but the people were still affected. Eva’s youngest brother Peter LANSER joined the corps on 27 frimaire in the year XIV or 18 December 1805.

Battle of Borodino 1812
Battle of Borodino 1812
Peter was presumed to be a prisoner of war in Russia as of 11 October 1812. He was in 108e régiment d’infanterie de ligne with his 1C1R Sébastian LANSER (whose godfather in 1784 had been Peter’s father) and several other young men from the Echternach area. The presumption of his being a prisoner of war probably came about when Napoleon’s army was evacuating Moscow in October following the Battle of Borodino on 7 September 1812, the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. The information on Peter’s being in the military and a possible POW came from the Matricules Napoléoniens 1802-1815 database.

Eva’s second youngest brother Nicolas LANSER was 30 years old when he married Catharina Magdalena JOERG (1790-1847) in September 1813. A date is missing on the marriage record however it must have taken place between the 7th and the 20th as these are the dates on the previous and next records.

Two years later another daughter was named Anna Maria and would be known as Anna. She was born on 8 January 1814.

Eva’s brother Peter had returned from Russia and was living in Echternach on 3 February 1815 when he, a former soldier for the French army, died at the age of 29 years (31 years on the death record). The Napoleonic Wars ended later in the year on 13 September 1815.

Years after the wars

Henri was still working as a cloth maker and was likely hoping to have a son to teach the cloth-making trade to. On 31 March 1816, Eva gave him a son they named Jean. He lived only a few days and died on 3 April 1816.

Henri and Eva named their last child, a daughter born on 4 July 1817, Odile. I suspect the name was important to Eva and the LANSER family members as Eva’s maternal grandmother was named Odilia FUNCK (abt. 1715-1778) and the name continued to be used in the family for several more generations.

Eva and Henri’s family was now made up of four daughters. Not having any sons to pass the trade on to, did his daughters help him with the wool weaving as they grew older? What I do know is that all of the daughters worked as seamstresses, maybe even sewing the cloth made by their father.

Ten years after the birth of the last daughter, Eva would be attending several funerals as she lost two brothers and a sister: Henri (63) died on 19 November 1827, Nicolas (45) died on 23 October 1828, and Odile (58) died on 24 December 1828.

Henri’s mother Barbara SCHMIDT, the only living grandparent of the four CONSBRÜCK girls, died on 10 May 1829 at the age of 81. She died in house number 360 in the rue de Luxembourg in Echternach. Henri and Eva also lived in the rue de Luxembourg, however, their house number at that time is not known. Had Barbara been living with her daughter Eva and her family?

Eva’s sister Catherine LANSER died on 15 January 1833 at the age of 60. Her death was reported by her husband Johann HERR.

Sometime before 1835 my third great-grandmother, the daughter known as Maria, went to the city of Metz in France to work. While there she may have met Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER (1807-1841) of Vianden. He was the son of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT. The young couple married in Metz on 17 November 1835. During the next six years, Maria gave birth to four daughters, the only grandchildren of Eva and Henri. Maria’s husband Jean Joseph died in Metz on 25 November 1841. Their oldest daughter likely died before 1843 as she was not found in the census with her three sisters. A death record for Madelaine was not found in Metz or in Echternach. This makes me wonder if she may have died while the family was traveling from Metz back to Echternach.

The extended family in the census

In 1843 Henri was the head of a household with his wife, his daughter Barbara and his three SCHLOESSER granddaughters. His daughters Maria, Odile, and Anna are missing and were likely working someplace other than Echternach. Henri’s occupation on the 1843 census was wool weaver (fileur de laine).

In 1846 he was again seen as a cloth maker (drapier). As in 1843 his daughter Barbara and the grandchildren were with Henri and Eva in 1846. Maria, the mother of the grandchildren, may be in the household but listed as single. It is also possible that the entry is her sister Anna Maria who usually went by Anna. Using their full names on official documents caused problems like this.

In 1847 the entire family group is listed: Henri and Eva with their four daughters and three granddaughters. The two younger daughters Anna Maria (Anna) and Odile are listed as absent and working as servants in France. Henri was now seen as a laborer and his daughters Barbara and Maria did not appear to be working.

In 1849 Henri may have not been well or had given up his cloth making. He was listed as having no occupation. However, his three single daughters are listed as seamstresses. Along with his wife Eva, there were two more young ladies in the household. They were Eva’s nieces Eve and Catherine HERR who were also working as seamstresses. His widowed daughter Maria and her three daughters were living in their own household.

More deaths in the family

Henri CONSBRÜCK died on 22 May 1850 in Echternach at the age of 75. His death was reported by his nephew Johann HERR, the youngest son of Eva’s sister Catherine.

Eva’s only living sibling Margaretha LANSER died on 9 March 1852 at the age of 71. Eva LANSER was now the only person left from her generation. She lived a decade longer.

Shortly before her death all of her daughters and granddaughters were living with her when the census was taken on 3 December 1861. Eva LANSER died three months later on 19 March 1862 at the age of 84 years. Her death was reported by her nephews Peter LANSER and Johann HERR.

The four seamstresses

Eva’s three single daughters Barbara, Anne, and Odile continued to work as seamstresses as did her widowed daughter Maria. The four sisters continued to live and most likely work together in their home in the rue de Luxembourg.

Eight years after the death of their mother Eva, the sisters lost their oldest sibling Barbara. She died on 2 November 1870 at the age of 64. Johann HERR, her cousin, and Heinrich DIESCHBOURG, a neighbor and tailor, were the informants for her death.

The remaining three sisters lived two more decades. Odile, the youngest, died on 17 July 1890 at the age of 73. Two years later Anna died on 2 March 1892 at the age of 78. Both of their deaths were reported by their sister Maria’s son-in-law Dyonisius Johann Peter MAAS.

My third great-grandmother Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK was the last of the seamstress sisters. She died on 29 September 1897 at the age of 87 years. Her death was also reported by her son-in-law. Maria born in 1810 left a mystery which took me two decades to solve.

Chiseled in stone: “Veuve Schloesser 1800-1889”

Henri CONSBRÜCK and Eva LANSER came from large families but only one of their daughters married and had children. Of the four grandchildren, three grew to adulthood but only two married. The name Odile was passed on to this generation to my 2nd great-grandmother Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER and to her granddaughter, my grand-aunt, Odile Lucie FOURNELLE.

Genealogy Sketch

Parents: Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT
Spouse: Eva LANSER
Parents of spouse: Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT
Whereabouts: Echternach, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

2. Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK
3. Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
4. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
5. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #42 My Schloesser Ancestor was Named after St. John of Nepomuk


A statue from about 1740 of Saint Jean-Népomucène can be found in the interior of the Saint-Nicolas church in Vianden, Luxembourg. A copy of the statue has been on the picturesque bridge over the Our River in Vianden since 1865. The people of Vianden have given him a bizarre but kind name, a phonetic deformation of “pomucène” – Bommenzënnes.  In Echternach, he watched over the banks of the Sauer River until the bridge and his statue were destroyed in 1944 during World War II.

Temporary bridge built in 1945 by the 1303th Engineers in Kack in Echternach. Photo from my grandmother’s photo album.

After the new bridge was built the statue was replaced by a replica as seen in my title photo which shows the Sauer River flooding its banks this week.

Saint John of Nepomuk

Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393) is the saint of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was drowned in the Vltava (Moldau) River at the command of King Wenzel IV (Wenceslaus), King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Historically John of Pomuk, a small market town later renamed Nepomuk, was drowned in 1393 on the orders of King Wenzel because of disagreements over church politics. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of Queen Johanna of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional despite threats and torture. On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against slander and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning. He was canonized in 1729 by Pope Benedict XII.

Czechowicz St. John NepomukJean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER

I found it interesting that my fourth great-grandfather Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER had the same first name as the saint who shares the honor of being the protector from floods and drowning with Saint Nicolas in Vianden. He was born and raised in Wiltz but Vianden was the town where he later married and raised his family.

1764 Baptismal Record of “Joannes Nepomucenus Schloesser”

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, the son of Joseph SCHLOESSER (1729-1800) and Catherine ARENDT (1730-1796), was born on 18 March 1764 in Wiltz. He was the sixth of ten children. Three of his siblings, the oldest and two youngest, died within a few days or months of their births. All others lived into their sixties and seventies except for one brother who died at the age of 44. His parents were both still living when Jean-Népomucène married Margaretha TRAUDT on 26 April 1790 in Vianden.

Margaretha TRAUDT

1766 Baptismal Record of Margaretha Traudt

Margaretha TRAUDT, the daughter of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL, was born on 8 August 1766 in Vianden. She was the youngest of nine children. Several of her siblings are known to have lived to adulthood and marry. They may have grown up with a step-mother as Barbe BILL died on 18 May 1769 in Vianden when her youngest was only a little over two and a half years old. A widower named Nicolas TRAUDT married Barbara KÖNY on 1 October 1769 in Vianden. More research is needed to determine if this marriage was the second marriage for Margaretha’s father.

Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT were the parents of a dozen children born between 1791 and 1809 in Vianden. The father of these children worked as a nailsmith or Nagelschmied to support his family.
Mendel I 144 v

His wife Margaretha died 30 November 1809 at the age of 43 years, the day after giving birth to her last child. The children were:

  1. Maria Catharina born 11 February 1791 and died 11 March 1791 at the age of 1 month
  2. Joseph born 3 February 1792 and died 27 February 1811 at the age of 19 years
  3. Maria Magdalena born 11 May 1793 and died 3 September 1859 at the age of 66 years
  4. Johann born 9 November 1794, death unknown (may have died before 1799 when another child was named Johann)
  5. Gregorius born 16 September 1796 and died 20 December 1847 at the age of 51 years
  6. Catharina born 21 September 1798, death unknown
  7. Johann born 7 August 1799 and died 6 April 1864 at the age of 64 years
  8. Johann Peter born 19 July 1801, death unknown. He was living in 1825.
  9. Peter born 29 June 1803 and died 8 June 1818 at the age of 14 years
  10. Joseph Jacob born 30 March 1805 and died 10 February 1807 at the age of nearly 2 years
  11. Jean Joseph born 29 March 1807 and died 25 November 1841 at the age of 34.
  12. Maria Catharina born 29 November 1809 and died 5 August 1810 at the age of eight months. Her name was seen as Anna Catharina on her death record.

Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage

Jean-Népomucène waited a full year before he remarried. The bride, Elisabetha HAMELING, was fifteen years younger than the groom when they married on Christmas Eve in 1810. She gave him two children. Laurent was born on 12 August 1812 and Gregorius on 9 February 1815. The second son lived only a little more than six weeks dying on 27 March 1815.

The children marry

Ten years after his marriage to Elisabetha the SCHLOESSER children were growing and the banns were being published for the first marriages.

Gregorius SCHLOESSER, likely the oldest living son at the time, married Marguerite HACK (1794-1821) on 11 April 1820 in Clervaux. His younger brother Johann was one of the witnesses to his marriage.

Maria Magdalena SCHLOESSER, the oldest daughter, married Mathias COLLING (1793-1846) on 24 February 1824 in Vianden. Her brother Johann Peter SCHLOESSER was a witness to her marriage.

Gregorius’ wife died on 5 September 1821 and he waited four years before he married again. Marguerite ALFF (1797-1853) was his bride and they married on 21 December 1825 in Clervaux. His brother Johann Peter of Vianden was a witness.

Jean-Népomucène causes problems at my 3rd great-grandfather’s wedding

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden. He was 69 years old and still working as a nailsmith or cloutier as this old profession was known in French. The informant on his death record was his youngest son Laurent from his second marriage who was 21 years old.

Jean-Népomucène’s death left my third great-grandfather without parents to give consent to the marriage he planned two years later.  Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER was 28 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897) on 17 November 1835 in Metz, Department Moselle, in France. She was 25 and from Echternach.

When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family the civil records for the city of Metz were not available online. I had found their date of marriage and the dates of birth of their four daughters in the 10-year lists (Tables décennales) but did not have copies of the records. While writing this I realized it had been two years and the archives for the municipality should by now have the civil records online. [insert Happy Dance here]

I now have the digital copies of all five records but, due to terms and conditions, I cannot share images of them on my blog without getting special permission. What I can do is share the link to the Schloesser-Consbruèck marriage record for viewing:

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 1)

From the record I learned, when presenting his paperwork to marry, Jean Joseph gave the name of his father as Jean SCHLOESSER. A copy of the death record of the father of the groom was presented as evidence. This caused a problem as the name on the death record was Jean-Népomucène and not Jean. Jean Joseph was then required to present the death records of his grandparents since his parents were deceased and there was a doubt the death record was for the correct person. Jean Joseph swore under oath that he did not know the dates of death or place of death for his grandparents and would not be able to obtain the records. He also presented a certificate from the commune of Vianden which stated he was able to enter into a contract of marriage with the person he had chosen according to the law.

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 2)

His bride Anna Maria presented a notarized document giving parental permission to marry. Her parents were not present at the marriage as they were living in Echternach. On the marriage record as well as on the birth records the first three daughters, Anna Maria’s place of birth was seen as Etternach (Belgium). On the birth record of the youngest daughter, the mother Anna Maria’s place of birth was correctly given as Echternach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It shows the importance of finding all records to document a family group. Without all information, I may have disregarded the documents with the incorrect place of birth for Anna Maria.

Two more marriages take place

Johann SCHLOESSER, the second oldest son and 38 years old, married Anne Catherine Margaretha de THIERRY (1792-1862) on 13 September 1837 in Mompach, near Echternach. His bride was 45 years old.

The youngest son and only living child from Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage, Laurent married Anne-Marie FRIEDERICH (1812-1867) on 10 July 1838 in Beaufort, near Echternach. Laurent’s mother Elisabetha HAMELING was present and consenting to the marriage.

Deaths in the family

Five months after she attended the wedding of her only living child, Elisabeth HAMELING, the widow of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, died in Beaufort on 14 December 1838. She had been living with her son Laurent and his wife following their marriage.

My third great-grandfather Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 25 November 1841 in Metz. He was only 34 years old and had worked as a locksmith or serrurier. In German, this occupation is Schlosser with Schlösser or Schloesser being the plural form. Schlösser also translates to castles. Jean Joseph’s widow and daughters returned to Echternach where Anna Maria continued to make a living as a seamstress.

It is not known when Johann Peter, who was last seen in 1825 at the marriage of his brother Gregorius’ marriage, died. Gregorius died at the age of 51 on 20 December 1847 in Clervaux. Maria Magdalena died at the age of 66 on 3 September 1859 in Vianden.

In 1864 the last two known living SCHLOESSER children were Johann and his half-brother Laurent. Johann died at the age of 64 in Echternach on 6 April 1864; his deceased wife’s nephew was the informant. They likely did not have children as his wife had been 45 years old when they married. The baby of the family, Laurent died at the age of 51 in Beaufort on 31 May 1864; his son-in-law was the informant.

Jean-Népomucène’s SCHLOESSER family was large and he came from at least two generations of large families. Documenting these families was made a lot easier by using the research of my 6C1R Joseph SCHLOESSER, a direct male descendant of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Jeanette GASPERSCH, the grandparents of my  Jean-Népomucène, as a guide. Villmols merci, Jos.

Sources: I’m taking the easy way out again this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER
Parents: Joseph SCHLOESSER and Catherine ARENDT
Spouse: Margaretha TRAUDT(*) and Elisabetha HAMELING
Parents of spouse(*): Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL
Whereabouts: Wiltz and Vianden, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER
2. Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER
3. Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
4. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
5. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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