I had planned on researching and writing about the other half of my maternal fifth great-grandparents, these being from locations in present-day Germany, then a part of a greater Luxembourg.
The Ancestors: My mother’s paternal fourth great-grandparents
(448 & 449) Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG (450 & 451) Michael WELTER and Katharian KLEIN (452 & 453) Matthias SCHRAMEN and Anna Barbara LEIBRICH (BURG) (454 & 455) Sebastian SCHMITT and Maria LORANG
(456 & 457) Nikolaus WEYMAN and Maria Katharina HUSS
(458 & 459) Gerard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF
(460 & 461) Johann Bernard WELTER and Maria BRIMERS (462 & 463) Johann HENNES and Magdalena MÜLLER
(464 & 465) Peter BUBELREITER and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN
(466 & 467) Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN (468 & 469) Peter MERTSCHERT and Susanna “Anna”SCHNEIDER (470 & 471) Theodor MERGEN and Gertrud THELEN (472 & 473) Johann Nicolaus WAGNER and Anna Maria KLEIWER (474 & 475) Johann HARTERT and Elisabeth HEINZ
(476 & 477) Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS (478 & 479) Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THEILEN
I have marriage records for the couples marked in red as they married in the parish of Echternach, Luxembourg. Dates of marriage are known for the couples in blue but records are not accessible online (some possibly only due to my European residence). For the remaining couples, I have no dates of marriage. Their marriages are assumed to have occurred before the birth/baptism of legitimate children.
Missing or non-accessible documentation
My mother’s paternal ancestors lived in villages that became a part of Germany at the time of the Second Partition of Luxembourg in 1815. I have access to the family books of the German villages the 16 sets of 5th great-grandparents lived in. These finding aids are reliable but not error-free. They include dates and places of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial. Some have the register, page, and entry number to aid in finding the record.
I’ve used the information in family books to grow my family tree adding the documents to support the dates and places of events when accessible. For this group of ancestors, the records I’ve been able to obtain have been those that were recorded in catholic church registers that remained in Luxembourg mainly in the parish of Echternach. However, many of the events were recorded in the church registers archived in the Bistumsarchiv Trier and the civil registers archived in the Kreisarchiv Bitburg.
Although the church records were filmed by FamilySearch, access in Europe is limited to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of these are available stateside to the public but I don’t plan to request help from family or friends to do lookups for me.
Records found in these archives were used by the compilers of the family books of the German towns. Although primary sources were used, the publications are secondary sources. I’ve used them as sources in earlier posts but I don’t think they will be of benefit for the stories of this generation.
Our family schedule doesn’t leave much time for trips to either archive at this time. The past two years have not been easy for any of us. As with many of my other genealogy friends in my age group, we are caring for the older and the younger generations in our family. Keeping them safe during this pandemic.
Moving on to US research
I long to get back to US research as many records have been added to FamilySearch‘s online collections. I’ve stolen minutes here and there, working on finding my American ancestors in the personal property tax lists, land tax lists, court records, land deeds, etc. This is a time-consuming project as the records are not indexed and have to be browsed, cited, and evaluated. With each record, events are added to the ancestor’s timeline, adding detail to the yet unwritten story.
Another reason for fixing my focus on US research is the coming release of the 1950 US census in April 2022.
December will be quiet here at Opening Doors in Brick Walls as I take a break from writing.
My warmest thoughts for a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. May peace, love, and prosperity follow you always. May the world become a safer place for all.
On 14 February 1743 my sixth great-grandfather Henri NEU died in Athus, today a part of the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium. He left a widow, my sixth great-grandmother, Madeleine (Magdelaine) BACLESSE and six known daughters. Three of the daughters were already married and the other three would marry by the next decade.
One marriage documented in four countries
Eleven days later, on 25 February 1743, in Herserange, today a part of the départment Meurthe-et-Moselle in France, lettres de mariage or permission of marriage was given to Pierre FOURNEL (later seen as FOURNELLE), son of Jean FOURNEL, a farmer domiciled in Rodange, and Jeanne BERQUIN, to be married in Aubange to Jeanne NEU, daughter of Henri NEU of Athus and Magdelaine BACLESSE.1:
In the church register of Aubange, the parish to which Athus was attached, we find the death/burial entry for Henri NEU.2, 3 Here is a rough translation of the French record:
The year 1743 on the fourteenth of February died in Athus Henry Neu aged around sixty he was married to Magdalaine Baclesse His body was buried in the cemetery of the place with the ordinary ceremonies. D. Lambinet, parish priest
The marriage entry for Henri’s daughter Jeanne to Pierre FURNEL (a variation of FOURNEL and FOURNELLE) is recorded below the death entry.
The year 1743 the twenty-fifth of February Pierre Furnel son of Jean Furnel and Jeanne Berquin his father and mother of Rodange parish of Herserange and Jeanne Neu daughter of defunct Henry Neu and Magdalaine Baclesse of Athus after the publication of a bann made in the church of Herserange and that of Aubange at the time that they were obtained in the court of Trier, the exemption from the three banns on the date of February 23 before me, not finding any impediment, given the letter of intent of the governor of the said Herserange was solemnized in public in front of the church in the presence of the witnesses who signed or marked with the spouses.
Pierre Fournelle, the groom, signed his name Jeanne Neu, the bride, left her mark Jean Fournelle, the father of the groom, left his mark Nicolas Berquin, the maternal uncle of the groom, left his mark Henri Reuter, the brother-in-law of the bride, signed his name Jean Henrion, the brother-in-law of the bride, signed his name Philippe Seylen signed his name D. Lambinet, curé or parish priest, signed his name
Usually, banns were read on three Sundays in the parish churches of the bride and groom before the marriage. When Pierre and Jeanne married an exception was made and the banns were read only once, two days before the marriage. This dispense was granted by the diocese of Trier. The records for this marriage are located in places in four different countries: Trier, Germany; Rodange, Luxembourg; Herserange, France; and Aubange, Belgium.
Why the special treatment?
What might be the reason for the accelerated procedure for the marriage of Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU? Could it be the death of Jeanne’s father? Pierre’s father Jean FOURNEL was an elder synodal or member of the church council (ancien sinodal). Did he use his position to hasten the marriage procedure? The bride and groom were likely already well known to each other as Rodange and Athus are today separated only by the border between Luxembourg and Belgium and are a few kilometers from each other. The marriage may have been rushed due to pregnancy but this doesn’t seem too likely as a child was born eleven months into the marriage.
The FOURNELLE family in Rodange
Pierre and Jeanne made their home in Rodange where they earned their livings by farming. They had seven sons and a daughter born between 1744 and 1763, all in Rodange, Luxembourg. The children were baptized in the parish of Herserange, today in France.
After reading the history of the church of Rodange, I believe it’s likely that the children were baptized in the chapel of Rodange by the chaplain of Saulnes who was responsible for both branch villages in the parish of Herserange. The chapel of Rodange was built in 1677, had a consecrated altar in 1714, and was in good condition in 1737. Rodange received their own chaplain by decree in 1766.4
Jacques FOURNELLE (1744-1817)
The first child of Pierre and Jeanne was a son they named Jacques. He was born and baptized on 26 January 1744. His godparents were his paternal uncle Jacques FOURNELLE of Rodange and his maternal aunt Barbe NEU of Athus.5 Jacques married Marguerite SCHMIT (bef. 1747-1797) on 20 February 1770 in Rodange.6 They were the parents of eleven children. Eight of these died as infants between the ages of 0-6 years. Two more may have also died at a young age as no marriage or death records have been found. Only one child, their son Jacques, married and continued the line. Jacques died on 29 January 1817 in an unknown place. He was buried in Rodange the following day.7 He had been a widower for 20 years.
Jean FOURNELLE (1746-1818)
The second child of Pierre and Jeanne was born on 6 January 1746. The child was baptized on 8 January 1746 and named Jean. His godparents were Jean TOQUES and his maternal aunt Catherine NEU, both of Athus.8 At the age of 40, Jean married Agnès ALZIN (abt. 1758-1836) on 5 October 1786 in Rodange.9 They were the parents of 10 children. Five died in infancy, three have not been traced, and two continued the line. Jean died at the age of 72 years in Rodange on 12 April 1818.10 His wife outlived him by 18 years.
Pierre FOURNELLE (1748-1816)
Pierre and Jeanne’s third child was my 4th great-grandfather Pierre. He was born on 12 December 1748 and baptized the following day. His godparents were Pierre FRANCQ and his maternal aunt Elisabeth NEU, both of Athus.11 Pierre was 34 years old when he married Marianne SCHMIT (1760-1824) on 1 April 1783 in Rodange.12 She was a dozen years younger than Pierre. They were the parents of 10 children. Their firstborn died at the age of 16 months. One son has not been traced after his birth. Eight children married and seven continued the line. Pierre died suddenly in Soleuvre about a dozen kilometers from his home in Rodange on 17 October 1816 at the age of 67.13 He was buried on the 19th.14 His wife was the informant on his civil death record. Marianne died nearly eight years later.
The fourth child of Pierre and Jeanne was born on 10 September 1751. He was baptized the following day and named Henri. His godparents were his maternal uncle by marriage, Henri DE CHEVE of Rodange and Jeanne BOULANGER, wife of Joseph KEMP, of Sonne.15 Henri married Catherine GLOUTIN (1757-1923) on 25 November 1779 in Rodange.16 They were the parents of eleven children. No information has been found on three of the children after their baptism. Three children died young. The remaining five children married and four of them continued the line. Henri had been a widower for fourteen years when he died on 8 November 1837 in Rodange.17
Philippe FOURNELLE (1754-1827)
Philippe, the 5th son of Pierre and Jeanne, was born in Rodange and baptized on 22 July 1754. His godparents were his maternal uncle by marriage, Philippe MICHEL, husband of Barbe NEU, and Catherine GRANRY, wife of Dominique FELTEN.18 Philippe married Marie Julienne MATHIEU on 27 December 1787 in Halanzy, Province de Luxembourg, Belgium.19 They were the parents of nine children. Four of these married and continued the line. A son died at the age of one month. Four daughters have not been traced after their baptisms and may have also died young. Philippe died at the age of 73 years on 24 December 1827 in Rodange.20 His widow was still living four years later when their youngest child married.21
Marie Jeanne FOURNELLE (1757-1813)
The sixth child and only daughter of Pierre and Jeanne was Marie Jeanne baptized on 7 March 1757. Her godfather was Pierre FONTAINE of Rodange; her godmother was Jeanne LADURELLE of Rodange.22 Marie Jeanne married Laurent THIRION (1752-1817) in Rodange on 10 February 1782.23 Their first child was born in Rodange and died two and a half months later.24 They lived in Laurent’s birthplace, Mont-Saint-Martin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, from before 1792 until their deaths in 1813 and 1817. Three children born between 1792 and 1799 were found. Gaps between the births of all known children suggest several still need to be found. Marie Jeanne died on 15 April 1813 in Mont-Saint-Martin.25
Michel FOURNELLE (1760-aft. 1788)
Michel the second to last child of Pierre and Jeanne was baptized on 13 October 1760. His godparents were Michel GERVAIS and Marie DOMANGE.26 Michel was the godfather of three of his siblings’ children. On 9 October 1788, a few days before his 28th birthday, Michel signed his name to the baptismal record of Marie, the daughter of his brother Jean.27 No marriage or death record has been found for him after this date.
Philippe Christophe FOURNELLE (1763-aft. 1792)
The youngest child of Pierre and Jeanne was their son Philippe Christophe born and baptized on 21 October 1763. His godfather was a priest named Philippe Christophe SCHMIT and his godmother was Susanne SCHMIT, wife of Nicolas ETTINGER.28 Philippe Christophe was the godfather of two of his siblings’ children. On 20 February 1792 became the godfather of a PHILIPPART child.29 He was 28 years old. No marriage or death record has been found for him after this date.
The death of Pierre Fournelle
Pierre FOURNELLE died less than two years after the birth of his youngest child. Pierre was 45 years old when he died on 23 July 1765. This is not consistent with the age calculated from his 1713 baptismal record. Pierre was nearly 52 years old, 7 years older than stated in his death/burial entry in the church register. A farmer, he died in Rodange and was buried the next day in the Rodange cemetery.30
Jeanne was left with eight children between the ages of 19 months and 21 years. For the next five years, her older sons likely helped her with the farm.
A farmer for Baron d’HUART
In the records of the census of hearths found in dwellings in the Duchy of Luxembourg for taxation purposes, Jeanne NEU, the widow of Pierre FOURNELLE, was enumerated as a farmer in Rodange in 1770.31 The family lived in a house on the farm and cultivated nearly five and a half acres of land.
Our ancestors did not use the same weights and measures as we do today. The measurement on the cadastre for land was 160 verges de 16 pieds de Saint-Lambert or 1 jour. Information on old surface measurements was found online.32 I used them to calculate the amount of land Jeanne farmed in acres.
1 Jour = 160 Verges de 16 pieds de Saint-Lambert (measurement of reference on the cadastre) 1 Verge carrée de 16 pieds de Saint-Lambert=21,80 m² 160 Verges = 3,488 m² 6.25 jour = 21,800 m² = 5.39 acres
Jeanne cultivated 5 and a half jour = 19.184 m² = 4.74 acres of arable land planting in three cycles. The first season she planted rye, the second oats, and the third the field lay fallow to allow it to become more fertile. She tended a garden of half a jour = 1,744 m² = 0.43 acres. A meadow of a quarter jour = 872 m² = 0.22 acres produced 750 bales of hay. She also had the use of a communal pasture.
The death of Jeanne NEU
Jeanne died on 9 March 1783 less than a month before her son Pierre married. She was buried the following day in the cemetery of Rodange in the presence of witnesses including her son Henri FOURNELLE and her son-in-law Laurent THIRION who signed her burial record. Per this record, she was 60 years old. This cannot be confirmed as her baptismal record has not been found. The record included interesting information about her occupation. Jeanne was a fermière (farmer) for the Baron d’HUART.33
Baron Jean-François-Henri-Gérard d’HUART, known as Baron Henri d’HUART, died 1 January 1781 two years before Jeanne.34 His son Charles-Elisabeth-François, known as Charles, inherited the forges of Lasauvage and Herserange and was likely the owner of the land in Rodange that was farmed by Jeanne NEU at the time of her death.
My 5th great-grandmother Jeanne NEU worked the land for eighteen years following the death of her husband Pierre FOURNELLE, raising her family of eight to become fine members of the community.
In 1795 at the beginning of the French rule in Luxembourg, the church of Rodange was desecrated and closed. An upright man stood up to save what could be saved. Jeanne’s oldest son, Jacques FOURNELLE, bought the church furniture for 6 francs in a public auction on 23 January 1800. He later gave back the altar, communion bench, and pews to the church.35
This article completes the series on the FOURNELLE family from the 1600s to 2005 when my maternal grandmother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE died. The complete list of FOURNELLE articles can be found in The FOURNELLE Book.
Name: Pierre FOURNELLE Parents:Jean FOURNEL and Jeanne BERKIN Spouse: Jeanne NEU Parents of spouse: Henri NEU and Madeleine BACLESSE Whereabouts: Rodange and Athus Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, 1618-1868, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse d’Aubange (Luxembourg) > Film #619924 DGS #007944121 > Baptêmes 1729-1783 Mariages 1729-1776 Sépultures 1729-1776 > Image 342 of 605. 1743 Death Record – age about 60 years (right, middle). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZV-FS5T-F?i=341&cat=74664 : accessed 26 November 2017). ↩
Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Pétange > Naissances 1878-1886 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1858 > image 1199 of 1497. 1818 Death Record No. 67. Note: His wife was the informant but her name and age were omitted. She did not sign and a remark was included about her not being able to write. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12304-174226-37?cc=1709358&wc=M9QN-BMX:n289380544 : accessed 22 August 2013). ↩
Dénombrements des feux, aides et subsides 1473-1806, FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in Archives de l’Etat, Luxembourg. Censuses of hearths found in dwellings in the Duchy of Luxembourg for taxation purposes), Regime A, section 14: cadastre de Marie-Thérèse 1767, Film 2271568, DGS 8014687, liasse 60 (Rodange, La Madeleine), images 273 and 274 of 689. No. 17 Janne Neye veuve de Pierre Fournelle laboureuse demeurante à Rodange.(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSX4-K96W-9?i=273&cat=1152016 : accessed 25 February 2019). ↩
On 6 November 1756 Joannes SCHMIT of Oberkerschen (also known as Hautcharage) married Eva DUCKER of Differdingen (also known as Differdange).1 No other information was given in the three short lines written in the Obercorn parish register. Differdange at the time belonged to the Obercorn parish.
Time for a little Latin lesson
The word Octobris (or October) was marked out and corrected with 9bris in the marriage entry above. Nine does not designate the number of the month, but rather the name of the month in Latin when September, October, November, and December were the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th months. Nine was novem in Latin, making 9bris the month November, and not September the 9th month as we know it today. The suffix -bris or -ber indicates the number is to be spoken and pronounced as the standard names.
While searching for records, if you are using dates abstracted by someone who unknowingly assumed the number referred to the month as we number them today, this is likely what may be tripping you up. If you cannot find a record abstracted as July, it may be dated 7ber or September.
The children of Jean and Eva
Jean and Eva, my 5th great-grandparents, made their home in Niedercorn, a village in the parish of Obercorn. Their seven known children were born in Niedercorn and baptized in Obercorn.
Nicolaus SCHMIT (1756-?)
Jean and Eva cut it close when they married. Their first child, a son, was born less than a month after their marriage. Nicolaus was born and baptized on 1 December 1756. His godparents were Rdus (Reverendus or reverend) Dominicus SCHMIT of Oberkerschen and Catherine DÜCKER of Rodange, formerly of Differdange.2 No further record was found for this child.
Franciscus SCHMIT (1758-1814)
The second child of Jean and Eva was baptized on 27 September 1758. His godparents were Franciscus SCHMIT and Maria SCHMIT, both of Niedercorn.3 Franciscus was married twice. He married(1) Elisabeth KETTENMEYERS on 8 January 1788.4 Elisabeth gave birth to two children5,6 before dying on New Year’s Eve in 1792.7 Franciscus married(2) Magdalena NOEL on 20 November 1793.8 They had at least two sons, one born in 17959 and a second in 1804.10 Franciscus died on 7 April 1814 at the age of 55.11 Magdalena died on 8 November 1820 at the age of 63.12
Marianne SCHMIT (1760-1824)
The first daughter and third child of Jean and Eva was my 4th great-grandmother Marianne SCHMIT. She was born and baptized on 21 December 1760. Her godparents were Frederico SCHAUS of Niederkorn and Maria DECKEN (a variation of DUCKER) of Differdange. Her baptismal name was Maria.13 Later, when she married, had children, and died her name was seen as Marianne. She married Pierre FOURNELLE (1748-1816) on 1 April 1783.14 Marianne was 22 and Pierre was 34. They were the parents of ten children. Their oldest lived only a little more than a year. Eight of the nine children married. One son has not been traced after his baptism in 1791. Marianne’s husband Pierre died on 17 October 1816 at the age of 67.15 Marianne died on 14 Jun 1824 at the age of 63.16 More about this family can be read here: 52 Ancestors: #40 The Fournelle-Schmit Family of Rodange.
Jean SCHMIT (1762-aft. 1821)
The fourth child of Jean and Eva, Jean was born and baptized on 19 Sep 1762. His godparents were Jean REDING from Reding and Margaritha THILTGES from Niedercorn.17 He married Françoise MARTIN on 6 February 1792 in Rodange.18 Jean was 29 and Françoise, a widow, was 50. Witnesses to the marriage were the bride Françoise’s father Jean TONNELIER (he was her step-father) and her son Pierre VAUDOIS, and the groom Jean’s brother François SCHMIT, and his brother-in-law Pierre FOURNELLE. Jean TONNELIER had married Françoise’s mother Angélique MUSQUIN following the death of his wife Catherine DUCKER. Catherine was the sister of Jean’s mother Eva. Therefore Jean TONNELIER was Jean’s uncle by marriage and became his step-father-in-law. Jean and Françoise likely didn’t have children due to her age at the time of the marriage. Françoise was 79 years old when she died in Thil, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, on 29 October 1821 at the home of her husband Jean SCHMIT.19 A death record after 29 October 1821 was not found in Thil for Jean.
Marie SCHMIT (1765-aft. 29 Nov 1803)
Jean and Eva’s 2nd daughter and 5th child, Marie was born and baptized on 30 March 1765. Her godparents were Peter LIPPERT and Maria SAMPSON, both of Niedercorn.20 Marie married Antoine MAUER on 10 February 1789 in Obercorn.21 They were the parents of five children born between 1789-1803. No trace of this couple or their children was found after the birth of their last known child and only daughter Maria on 29 November 1803.22
Magdalena SCHMIT (1766-1785)
The third daughter and 6th child, Magdalena was born and baptized on 14 October 1766. Her godparents were Michael LORANG and Magdalena DECKES (a variation of DUCKER), both of Niedercorn.23 Magdalena never married. She died on 17 May 1785 at the age of 18 while visiting or living with her sister Marianne in Rodange. Her brother-in-law Pierre FOURNELLE was present at her funeral and signed the burial notice.24
Susanne SCHMIT (1769-1819)
Jean and Eva’s youngest child was a daughter Susanne born and baptized on 5 March 1769. Her godparents were Michael GRUND and Susanna BASSENDORF.25 Susanne was likely the mother of a natural child born and baptized on 22 October 1789 in Rodange. The child was named Angelique SCHMIT. Her godparents were her uncle Pierre FOURNELLE and Angélique MUSQUIN, wife of Jean TONNELIER (her mother Eva’s brother-in-law).26 By elimination, only Susanne could have been the mother. Angelique died at the age of two months on 2 January 1790. The entry in the parish records for her death and burial does not name her parents. The death was witnessed by her godfather/uncle.27 Five years later, Susanne married Joseph PHILIPPART on 23 January 1795 in Rodange.28 Joseph was the brother of my 5th great-grandfather Jacques PHILIPPART. Susanne and Joseph were 25 and 30 when they married. They were the parents of six children born between 1796-1809. Susanne died on 17 September 1819 at the age of 50.29 Her husband Joseph died at the age of 63 on 19 January 1828.30
Death on Wedding Anniversary
The marriage of Jean SCHMIT and Eva DUCKER lasted exactly 21 years. Jean died on their anniversary, 6 November 1777 in Niedercorn. He was buried the following day in the cemetery of Obercorn.31 He was a sexagenarian at the time of his death, i.e. born before 1717.
Eva, 50 years old, was left with two sons and four daughters aged between 9 and 19 years.
Eva died fourteen years later on 18 March 1792 in Niedercorn. She was buried the following day in the cemetery of Niedercorn. Her oldest son Franciscus was a witness who signed the death/burial record. Her funeral was said by J. B. NEUERS of the parish of Obercorn, the same priest who had celebrated her husband’s funeral.32 Eva had lived to see four of her children marry. Two children predeceased her.
Jean SCHMIT and Eva DUCKER’s names were found in the 1783 marriage record of my 4th great-grandparents Marianne SCHMIT and Pierre FOURNELLE. When I wrote about Marianne and Pierre in December 2017, I mentioned the family book for the village of Obercorn.33
Eva’s parents were Peter DUCKER, formerly of Mamer, and Maria SCHMIT of Niedercorn, They raised their family of eight children in Differdange. While Eva’s parents and siblings were found and documented with the help of information found in the family book of Obercorn, a few questions remain.
As Eva’s mother and husband shared the SCHMIT surname, were they related? Who were the parents of Jean SCHMIT from Oberkerschen or Hautcharage?
SCHMIT is the number one most common family name in Luxembourg. Without any finding aids, it’s nearly impossible to research a person named Jean SCHMIT or John SMITH.
Baptismal records for Hautcharage are available from 1713-1793 on FamilySearch and Matricula. Marriages and burials are not available until 1779. Marriages before 1779 can be inferred from the baptismal records of the children of married couples.
Jean SCHMIT died in 1777 and was a sexagenarian, i.e. born before 1717. There were two SCHMITT men in Hautcharage having children with their wives around the time Jean SCHMIT was born: Henricus and Jacobus. A third man Joannes who used the surnames MERCIENIUS, SCHMITT, and MORITZ at the time of three daughters’ baptisms is also a candidate.34 More records than the baptismal entries of the children of these three SCHMITT men will be needed to prove if any of them were the father of Jean SCHMIT of Oberkerschen.
This research will be saved for another day. The subjects of my next post will be Marianne SCHMIT’s parents-in-law Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU.
Name: Jean SCHMIT of Hautcharage Parents: Unknown at this time Spouse: Eva DUCKER of Differdange Parents of spouse: Peter DUCKER and Marie SCHMIT Whereabouts: Niedercorn, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Armand Logelin-Simon, Livre de famille de Obercorn, Tables familiales manuscrites de la localité de Obercorn d’après les registres paroissiaux. Période: 1637-1804 – Pages: 278 – Langue: Français/Latin (Digitized by Luxracines asbl), page 201, family 81. ↩
Robert Wagner, Dépouillement de Hautcharage, Dépouillement des naissances, mariages et décès à partir des registres de la paroisse de Hautcharage. Inclut la filiale de Linger. Période: 1713-1797 – Pages: 48 – Langue: Français (Digitized by Luxracines asbl). ↩
My fifth great-grandparents Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1824) and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER (1743-1835) made their home in Rodange (Luxembourg) following their marriage in 1777. Their records were found in three European countries.
A quick geography lesson
Rodange is in a tri-border area – the geographical point at which the boundaries of three countries meet – Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The tripoint is located between the localities of Athus (municipality of Aubange, province of Luxembourg, Belgium), Mont-Saint-Martin (department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, France) and Rodange (municipality of Pétange, canton of Esch-sur-Alzette, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg).
Where are the records located?
Although the geographical location is important, to find the records we also need to be aware of the repository of the different records.
For the Catholic church records, Rodange was attached to the parish of Herserange in the department of Meurthe-et-Moselle in France up to the year 1766. These records are available online at the Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle.
More recent parish records are online at Matricula.
Civil records begin in 1796 when Luxembourg was under French control as part of the Departement des Forêts. Civil records for Rodange and Lamadelaine, the neighboring town east of Rodange, are found in the commune of Pétange. Civil records are available on FamilySearch for the years 1796-1923.
Consequently, records for this family were found in three countries in Europe even though they lived in the same village the entire time.
The 1777 marriage record was found in Belgium
The marriage entry for my fifth great-grandparents’ marriage was recorded in the Roman Catholic parish registers of Aubange, Belgium. The entry includes the reason the marriage was performed in the village of Lamadelaine, Luxembourg.1
After the banns were read three times, no impediment was found, and consent was given by their relatives for Jacques PHILIPPART to marry Catherine SINGER. Jacques, son of Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURQUELLE of Rodange and Catherine, daughter of Jean SINGER and Barbara KETTER of Bettange-sur-Messe, were joined in marriage on 8 January 1777. The nuptial benediction was given by the priest of the parish of Lamadelaine as the parents of the bride had been living there for several years. The marriage took place in the presence of the undersigned.
Unfortunately, only Father Kerschen, the priest in Lamadelaine signed the marriage record on the top of page 29 in the register. No signatures or marks of the bride, groom, or their parents were included.
The children of Jacques and Catherine
Jacques and Catherine were the parents of four known children. In 1777, 1780, 1784, and 1789 when the children were baptized their mother Catherine was identified with the surname KETTER(S), her mother’s maiden name.
Michel PHILIPPART (1777-1849)
Their firstborn was my fourth great-grandfather. Michel was born and baptized on 16 October 1777 in Rodange. His godfather was his father’s brother Michel PHILIPPART of Rodange. His godmother was a maternal relative Nannette KETTER of Bettange.2 The identity of Nannette may one day help to take the SINGER-KETTER line back further than Catherine SINGER’s parents.
Michel married Catherine MEUNIER (1775-1851), daughter of Henri MUNIER and Margaretha KILBORN, on 30 July 1817 in Pétange in a civil ceremony.3 They were likely married by the church about 1800 but no record survives. They were the parents of 8 children; 4 lived to adulthood, married, and continued the line.
Jean PHILIPPART (1780-?)
Their second child, a son named Jean was born and baptized on 10 November 1780. His godparents were Jean FOURNELLE and Elisabeth FELTEN, both of Rodange.4 The godfather’s signature was compared to signatures on other records signed by Jean FOURNELLE (1746-1818) to confirm he was my 4th great-granduncle, the son Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU.
No marriage or death record has been found for Jean.
Philippe PHILIPPART (1784-1874)
Their third son, Philippe was born and baptized on 25 January 1784. His godparents were Philippe FOURNELLE of Rodange and Marie Catherine DIXQUES of Pétange.5 The godfather was another son of my FOURNELLE-NEU ancestors.
Philippe at the age of 31 married Anne COLLINET (1775-1848) on 9 January 1816 in Saulnes, France. She was a 40-year-old widow with six children.6 They had only one son who died at the age of two and a half years.
Catherine PHILIPPART (1789-1856)
Their fourth child and only daughter Catherine was born and baptized on 23 April 1789. Pierre ALZIN and Catherine MUNIER, both of Rodange, were the godparents.7 The godmother was described as a young girl. She was likely the father’s second cousin and daughter of Simon MUNIER and Marie Jeanne BURKEL.
Catherine married Jacques FOURNELLE (1797-1870), son of Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT (my 4th great-grandparents), on 9 December 1822 in Pétange.8 They were the parents of two sons.
Jacques PHILIPPART’s occupation
The baptismal records of Jean, Philippe, and Catherine listed Jacques PHLIPPART’s occupation as charpentier or carpenter.
The deaths of Jacques and Catherine
Jacques died on 23 March 1824 in Rodange at the age of 75. His death was reported by Jacques FOURNELLE. The informant, his son-in-law, was mistakenly listed as his son.9 Jacques’s wife Catherine SINGER died at the age of 91 on 9 February 1835 in Rodange. Her death was reported by her oldest son Michel.10
Was there a connection between the PHILIPPART and FOURNELLE families? In later years the families would be joined in marriage. In 1823, Jacques’ granddaughter Marie Catherine PHILIPPART would marry André FOURNELLE, grandson of Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU. But the families had a bond as early as 1744 and 1749.
Jacques PHILIPPART’s father Jacques (1714-1783) was widowed in 1744 when he was living in Doncourt-lès-Longuyon, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. His wife likely died in childbirth or soon after. He married Elisabeth BURKEL two months after the birth. One of the witnesses to the marriage was Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749), father of Pierre FOURNELLE (1713-1765). Jacques PHILIPPART (1714-1783), Elisabeth BURKEL (1720-bef 1782), and Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) were my 6th great-grandparents.
When Jacques PHILIPPART was baptized on 18 March 1749, his godmother was Jeanne NEU (1723-1783), wife of Pierre FOURNELLE whose father had been a witness to Jacques’s parents’ marriage.
Most of the DNA matches on my maternal side are very small segments indicating distant connections. Mom and I have one match with the PHILIPPART surname. The match has no tree and has not replied to a message I sent two years ago. The match is on two segments totaling 34 cMs with the largest segment being 24.4 cMs. As I was checking these details I realized that I might NOW be able to work out the match’s tree with only his name, country of residence, and approximate age.
With the details I knew about the match, I searched the obituaries (avis mortuaires) and found the 1973 and 1978 death notices of the match’s paternal grandparents in the Luxemburger Wort. From there I was able to connect the match to my family tree by researching only one generation. Over the years I’ve done a lot of descendant research and it is now paying off. The match and I are related in at least six different ways through ancestors from the Rodange area:
5C Michel PHILIPPART and Catherine MEUNIER
6C1R Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL
6C Jean SCHMIT and Eve DUCKER
6C Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
6C1R Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
8C1R Pierre LADURELLE and Jeanne SALIN
With so many common ancestors, figuring out which of the above couples might have passed their DNA down to both the match and myself (or my Mom) will be difficult.
In the next two posts, I will be writing about the last of my mother’s maternal 4th great-grandparents. The first couple will be Jean SCHMIT and Eve DUCKER and the second, Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU.
Name: Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1824) Parents: Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL Spouse: Catherine SINGER aka KETTER (1743-1835) Parents of spouse: Jean SINGER and Barbara KETTER Whereabouts: Rodange, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, 1618-1868, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse d’Aubange (Luxembourg) > Film 619924 DGS 7944121 > Baptêmes 1729-1783 Mariages 1729-1776 Sépultures 1729-1776 > image 15 of 605. 1777 Marriage Record on page 18 of register, 3rd entry with the signature of the priest on top of page 19. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSZV-FSPR-C?i=14&cat=74664 : accessed 5 December 2017). ↩
Four years ago when I wrote about my 4th great-grandparents Catherine MEUNIER and Michel PHILIPPART several loose ends hadn’t been tied up. Their story was complicated by their marriage taking place when Luxembourg was under French rule.
In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for a Luxembourg ancestor during this period.
The people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records around 1796 had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed on the civil marriage record following the line pronouncing the couple husband and wife. Often the list was so long that it had to be continued in the margin of the marriage record.
Civil marriage records
The civil marriage records of Luxembourg include the dates and places of birth of the bride and groom, names of parents of each and their residence, as well as, the date and place of death of any deceased parent.
I’ve estimated that the religious marriage of Catherine and Michel took place between 9 January 1800 and 8 November 1801. The first is the date of birth of Catherine’s first child, Marguerite. No mention is made of the father of the child, i.e. born to an unmarried mother.1 The second date is the date of birth of my 3rd great-grandmother Marie Catherine born to Catherine and Michel, a married couple.2 The marriage record, if it was recorded, may never turn up as religious marriage records are missing for Rodange for the years 1796-1807.
Since Catherine and Michel’s marriage wasn’t recorded in the civil registers, it had to be legalized in 1817 (see image above). It included the names of their four living children. Four other children died between 1810 and 1814. Two important dates were missing in the 1817 marriage record. For Catherine’s date of birth, only the year 1775 was noted and her father’s date of death was not included.3
When I began reviewing the information on Catherine’s parents for this post, her baptismal record had not been located.
1774 Marriage of the parents of Catherine MEUNIER
On 21 December 1774 in Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Henri MUNIER (b. 1749), son of Dominic MUNIER (1718-1760s) and Catherine LADURELLE (1717-1771) of Rodange, both deceased, married Margaretha KILBORN (b. 1751), daughter of Jean KILBORN (abt. 1720-aft. 1793) and Margaretha STEFFEN (abt. 1723-1777), both living in Esch-sur-Alzette. Henri was 25 years old and Margaretha was 23 years old.4
Henri and Margaretha were my 5th great-grandparents. Margaretha was expecting at the time of their marriage as Catherine MEUNIER, my 4th great-grandmother, was born and baptized in July 1775 in Rodange.
Baptismal record of their only known child
Catherine’s baptismal record had been eluding me since I last searched in November 2015. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone through the church records searching for Catherine’s baptism. Two weeks into researching this post, I browsed through the records once again on the assumption that she may have been born before her parents’ marriage.
The search was made difficult by the fact that the records for the years 1767-1777 are not in chronological order. Records for a year are together but the years are not consecutive. The baptismal record of Catherine MEUNIER was finally found between a death record of a man who fell from a tree in the woods of Sonne-la-Haute dated 10 July 1775 and the baptismal record of a child born in Rodange on 28 July 1775.5
With no date other than the year 1775, the four lines of the record give the names of the parents and godparents. The places of residence of the parents and godparents were omitted by Jean Guilleaume, the priest who resided in Sonne or Saulnes as it is known today. He also failed to include the name of the legitimate female child. As children were named after the godparent of their gender, this record is for a daughter named Catherine.
Saulnes (France) and Rodange (Luxembourg) are neighboring towns separated by the border between the two countries. It can be assumed that Catherine was baptized between 10-28 July 1775 in Sonne or Rodange.
No further children have been found for Margaretha and Henri. Records of marriage in Luxembourg and records of death in the Rodange area of persons with the MUNIÉ, MUNIER, and MEUNIER surnames did not turn up any references of other children of Henri and Margaretha.
When did Henri MUNIER die?
The length of the MUNIER-KILBORN marriage is unknown as no record of death has been found for Henri. As with his daughter Catherine’s record of birth, his death record was not found by the civil servant who wrote up the 1817 record when Catherine’s marriage was legalized. The authorities noted only that Henri MUNIER died in Rodange.
Catherine was eight years of when her father Henri witnessed the marriage of his youngest sister Catherine MUNIER in Rodange on 29 August 1783.6 This was the second to last event that mentions Henri.
A decade later, on 17 December 1793, Margaretha KILBORN was described as the widow of Henri MUNIER when she married André DOMANGE in Rodange. Witnesses to the marriage included André’s father Nicolas DOMANGE, André’s maternal first cousin Pierre BERKIN, Margaretha’s brother-in-law Théodore LUCAS (husband of Margaretha MUNIER, sister of the bride’s deceased husband), and Margaretha’s father Jean KILBORN.7
When they married Margaretha was 42 years old and André was 31. the marriage lasted 27 years and was childless.
As an aside, André DOMANGE was my second cousin six times removed. We share Domange BERKIN and Anne WARCOLLIER (d. 1726) as ancestors.
Margaretha KILBORN died on 4 April 1821 in Rodange at the age of 69 years. Her husband André was the informant and gave her age as 80.8 He died 12 years later on 17 December 1833 at the age of 71.9 They were both buried in the cemetery of Rodange.
There are still items that need to be researched for this couple.
Death/burial entries in the church records of Rodange need to be checked (again) for the years 1783 to 1793 on the off chance that Henri MUNIER’s entry was missed.
The spelling of the surnames MUNIER and KILBORN needs to be considered when searching for records. Henri’s surname was spelled MUNIÉ on the 1774 marriage record. MUNIÉ is pronounced the same as MUNIER. Later, the name was also seen as MEUNIER. KILBORN has been difficult to research as so many different spellings have been found: Kubborn, Kilborn, Kibourg, Kilbourg, Kubourg, and Quilbourt. One example, in 1793, when Margaretha married for the second time and her father was still living, the priest who wrote the marriage entry spelled the surname Kuborne.
Research for this couple was slow going. Although Henri MUNIER and Margaretha KILBORN had only one known child, she gave them many descendants. The ancestry of the MUNIER-KILBORN couple goes back four generations on Henri’s side and two generations on Margaretha’s side, leaving much to be discovered.
As this is not the only branch in my family tree that lived in Rodange, more records and connections will likely be found while looking into the next three sets of 5th great-grandparents.
Name: Henri MUNIER b. 7 Jan 1749 Parents: Dominic MUNIER and Catherine LADURELLE Spouse: Margaretha KILBORN b. 25 Oct 1751 Occupation: day laborer Parents of spouse: Jean KILBORN and Margaretha STEFFEN Whereabouts: Esch-sur-Alzette and Rodange, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Father’s Day in Luxembourg and Four Catholic Priests
Research on the featured couple brought to light more than I expected. What I learned fits in nicely, I think, with the holiday we are celebrating in Luxembourg today: Father’s Day.
The Marriage Record
On Sunday, 3 February 1754, a Catholic priest named Nicolas KNEIP married my 5th great-grandparents in Ettelbrück. The 24-year-old groom was Joseph SCHLOESSER of Wiltz and his 23-year-old bride was Catherine ARENT of Warken. Joseph was the son of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Johanna GASPERSCH (also seen as CASPER). Catherine was the daughter of Michel ARENT, deceased, and Anna Margaretha KNEIP.1
Before I tell you about the rabbit hole the priest took me down, here is a list of the children of this set of 5th great-grandparents.
The children of Catherine and Joseph
Catherine and Joseph made their home in Wiltz where their 10 known children were born and baptized. Unless noted otherwise all events took place in Wiltz or Wooltz as it is known in Luxembourgish.
Anna Margareta was baptized on 30 December 1754.2 She died on 25 December 1755, days before her first birthday.3
Laurent was baptized on 12 June 1756.4 He married(1) Marie-Elisabeth DUHR (1744-1789) on 28 December 1778.5 They had 4 children. He married(2) Anne-Marguerite SCHAUL (1774-1817) on 4 August 1794.6 They had 10 children. He died on 17 September 1823 at the age of 67.7
Maria Catharina was baptized on 31 May 1759.8 She married Jean-Baptiste Jean BARNICH (1756-1811) on 19 May 1791.9 They were the parents of 5 children. She died on 22 December 1821 at the age of 62.10
Nicolas was baptized on 29 December 1760.11 He married Marie SCHMAL (1752-aft. 1824) on 20 June 1779.12 They had 9 children. He died on 22 January 1805 at the age of 44.13
Valentin was baptized on 1 August 1762.14 He married(1) Elisabeth THIES (1765-1802) on 15 April 1787.15 They had 8 children. He married(2) Marie Elisabeth DECKER (1775-1837) on 17 August 1804.16 They had 9 children. He died on 27 March 1832 in Lutremange, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, Province de Luxembourg, Belgium at the age of 69.17
Jean-Népomucène was baptized on 18 March 1764.18 He married(1) Margaretha TRAUDT (1766-1809) on 26 Apr 1790 in Vianden.19 They were the parents of a dozen children. He married(2) Elisabeth HAMELING (1779-1838) on 24 Dec 1810 in Vianden.20 They had two sons, one of whom died before the age of two months. He died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden at the age of 69.21Jean-Népomucène and his first wife Margaretha were my 4th great-grandparents.
Nicolas Joseph was baptized on 18 November 1766.22 He married(1) Elisabeth METZ (1766-1816) on 3 June 1787.23 They were the parents of 13 children. He married(2) the widow Marie-Catherine SCHNEIDER (1769-?) on 30 December 1818.24 He died on 29 January 1839 in Eschweiler at the age of 72.25
Elisabeth was baptized on 15 September 1770.26 She married André SPEDENER (1768-1828) on 6 May 1791.27 They had 7 children. She died on 11 July 1844 at the age of 73.28
Marie was baptized on 11 March 177329 and died two days later.30
Jean was baptized on 30 November 1775.31 He died a little over seven months later, on 16 July 1776.32
The deaths of Catherine and Joseph
Catherine ARENT did not live to see the 19th century but she saw the seven children who lived to adulthood marry. She died at the age of 65 years on 21 Apr 1796.33 Her husband Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 31 March 1800 at the age of 71 at the home of his daughter. His son Valentin and a neighbor reported the death. Which of his daughters it was, the oldest or the youngest was not mentioned.34
Catherine and Joseph had 79 grandchildren per research done by my 6th cousin once removed, Joseph SCHLOESSER, a descendant of my Joseph’s oldest brother Jean SCHLOESSER (1719-1789). I’ve documented 14 grandchildren by their son Jean-Népomucène who is my direct ancestor. The remaining 65 still need to be looked into.
DNA Match adds a couple of generations to the tree
Anna Margaretha KNEIP, my 6th great-grandmother and the mother of Catherine ARENT of this post, showed up in the tree of one of my mother’s DNA matches. That’s seven generations back in Mom’s tree. The match shares only 14 cMs on one segment with Mom. Seven of the match’s eight great-grandparents were born in Luxembourg making researching and finding the MRCA time-consuming. Ancestry, however, found Anna Margaretha KNEIP to be a common ancestor of the match and my Mom. ThruLines suggested the match came through a descendant of Anna Margaretha and her second husband. At the time I didn’t have a second marriage for Anna Margaretha. In fact, I didn’t even have other children.
Instead of working out the match’s line, I looked into Anna Margaretha KNEIP. Searching for the ARENT children, the death of her husband Michel ARENT, the second marriage to Bernard AUDRIT, and the AUDRIT children took me further back. These gave me the names of her parents and I was able to locate baptismal records for 14 KNEIP siblings of Anna Margaretha KNEIP, all born in Bissen. Although many children had been born to André KNEIP and his wife Catherine FABER vulgo GOEDERT, I found no marriages in that town. That’s where I left off the research.
Coming back to the marriage entry for Joseph SCHLOESSER and Catherine ARENT, I asked myself if the mother of the bride, Anna Margaretha KNEIP, and the priest Nicolas KNEIP might have been related. This sent me down a rabbit hole where I made several discoveries.
An online search for the reverend father Nicolas KNEIP who was a priest in Ettelbück turned up a hit for the genealogy research of Charles THIELEN last updated 18 December 2004.
Mr. Thielen is a descendant of the most distant known KNEIP ancestor through the daughter Susanne, sister of my André KNEIP. He lists 17 children for André KNEIP. I had missed one child in the baptismal records. Another child, a son, was included although only mentioned in a publication by a catholic priest.
Mr. Theilen’s work traced the ARENT and KNEIP lines a further generation than I had. He cited notary records he used to make the connections in the families.
The most amazing information in his database was the fact that six of the nine sons of André KNEIP and Catherine FABER vulgo GOEDERT studied theology and that four of them became Catholic priests. Nicolas KNEIP (1697-1768) of the parish of Ettelbrück was their oldest son and the priest who performed the marriage ceremony between his niece Catherine ARENT and Joseph SCHLOESSER.
No wonder I couldn’t find marriages for the KNEIP children when six of the sons never married. Several of the children who did marry didn’t produce entries in the church marriage records. This seems unusual when four of the siblings were priests – persons responsible for keeping the church records. Mr. Theilen used the notary records to work around these missing records. I was able to locate some of the records he cited. I even found some that he didn’t cite including two marriage contracts. One proved a second marriage for Marie Josephine, a sister of the four priests. The religious marriage record did not include her widower’s name or her parents’ names.
Before finding these records, with the help of Mr. Thielen’s citation, I had only seen one notary record produced by an ancestor – again a record that had been referenced by another researcher. Now that I have figured out how to use these records and where to look for the notary’s index to the records, I will be checking the Luxembourg Notarial Records, 1621-1821 more often.
The handwriting from the 1700s is very hard to read and it will take some time to decipher the records. I am especially interested in the four-page record I found dated 7 February 1734, the day Anna Marguerite KNEIP married her second husband Bernard AUDRIT. Signed by several of her clergy brothers as well as a priest with the surname ARENT (her deceased husband’s surname), it appears to be a marriage contract between the two.
I still cannot believe that my 7th great-grandparents André and Catherine had so many sons who became priests but am pleased to see all the records this particular family left.
Name: Joseph SCHLOESSER Occupation: Labourer or farmer Parents: Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Johanna GASPERSCH Spouse: Catherine ARENT Parents of spouse: Michel ARENT and Anna Margaretha KNEIP Whereabouts: Wiltz, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
On Sunday, 22 January 1747, a young couple was married in Vianden, Luxembourg.
The 1747 marriage record
The marriage of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbara BILL was recorded in the Vianden church register volume 2 page 105. It was the first entry for the year 1747.1
Nicolas TRAUDT was 25 years old. Barbara BILL, his bride was 23. The entry in the church register of Vianden included the names of their fathers, Henri TRAUDT and Theodor BILL.2 The three lines give no additional information not already abstracted on the marriage index card.
The mother of the groom was Margaretha HEICKEL.3 The mother of the bride was only known as Maria.4 These names were not mentioned in the marriage record.
The children of Nicolas TRAUDT and Maria Barbara BILL
Nicolas and Barbe made their home in Vianden where all of their children were born. Nicolas made his living as a clothes tailor or tailleur d’habits.
Henri TRAUDT was born on 24 February 1748.5 He was listed as Nicolas Henri TRAUDT on the 1766 census.6 No marriage or death record has been found.
Nicolas TRAUDT was born on 13 January 1750.7 He was living at the time of the 1766 census. No marriage or death record has been found.
Théodore TRAUDT was born on 11 March 1752.8 He died on 11 October 1785 at the age of 33.9 He married Susanna WAGENER on 27 April 1777 in Vianden.10 Like his father, he was a clothes tailor.
Maria Magdalena TRAUDT was born on 17 June 1754.11 She married Michel WIRTZ on 13 May 1776.12 They were both living in January 1793 when their 8th child was born.13
Barbe TRAUDT was born on 19 March 1757.14 She died in der Unterstadt on 14 January 1794 at the age of 36.15 She married Johann MANDT on 7 April 1777 in Roth.16 They were the parents of nine children, all born in der Unterstadt.
Michael TRAUDT was born on 25 Jan 1759.17 He may have died before 1766 as he is not included in the household of Nicolas and Barbe in 1766.
Maria TRAUDT was born on 20 September 1761.18 A daughter named Anna Maria was with Nicolas and Barbe at the time of the 1766 census. No marriage or death record has been found.
Elisabeth TRAUDT (speculation!) was enumerated with Nicolas and Barbe on the 1766 census. She was listed in the under 14 years column. A baptismal record for this child needs to be found to prove she was a child of this couple with this name. It may have been an error on the census and meant to be Maria Clara, the next child born to the couple.
Maria Clara TRAUDT was born on 2 April 1764.19 She was not listed on the 1766 census with her parents although she is known to have lived. She married Jean METZ in Vianden on 6 May 1787.20 They had children who have not been researched. Clara died on 18 February 1828 at the age of 63.21
After 22 years of marriage and giving birth to nine children, Barbe died on 18 May 1769 at the age of 45.25 Nicolas remarried on 1 October 1769 to Barbara KÖNIG.26 They did not have children. Nicolas died on 19 April 1799 in Vianden.27
I used the Familienbuch von Roth / Vianden 1718-1797 as a guide for this family. The family book includes the register number, page number, and entry number of church records (baptism, marriage, burial) of Vianden and Roth used by the compilers to determine the family groups. Vianden records are online at FamilySearch. The records for Roth are indexed on FamilySearch but access in Europe is limited to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Kirchenbuch, 1718-1900 (Katholische Kirche Roth (Kr. Bitburg).
Jean-Paul Hoffmann’s Familienchronik der Stadt Vianden needs to be consulted for any further information available for this family group. A copy is available in the Luxracines archives in Walferdange.
A bit of history: Grafschaft Vianden
I wasn’t able to find records for individuals in this family group who were born, married, or died in der Unterstadt of Vianden. I had to study the history of the Grafschaft Vianden or County of Vianden to understand where the records were recorded.
During the Middle Ages, the fortified city of Vianden was the capital of the County of Vianden and included villages as far as Prum and Bitburg in present-day Germany. The county was as large as the present-day Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
In the first half of the 13th century, the Count of Vianden donated the parish church of Roth, the adjacent building, and land to the Order of the Templars.
In the middle of the 13th century, a dispute between the Templar knights and the Count of Vianden had to be settled by arbitration of the Archbishop of Trier. The Trinitarian monks ran the hospital for the count and had started building a church with a monastery and churchyard across from the hospital. This did not bode well with the Templars as Vianden was affiliated to the Templar parish of Roth as the city did not have its own church.
The city of Vianden was a divided city with a lower town (in der Unterstadt) and an upper town. Although residents of both sections of the town had the same rights, the lower town was more of a secondary town. This became more clear with the settlement of the dispute.
The dispute was resolved by attaching the lower town to the parish of Roth and creating a new parish assigned to the Trinitarian monks in the upper town.
The Templars built a small chapel on the parish boundary near the bridge in 1256 to accommodate the disgruntled lower town dwellers. The residents in der Unterstadt had to make do with a chapel with an open roof for their Sunday services.
They were, however, required to celebrate holidays (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost) as well as the sacraments of baptism, the first communion, and marriage at the church in Roth. They have to trek down and up to the church to attend these high masses as well as transporting the corpses of their deceased to the Roth churchyard for burial.
Thank you to my husband
We have two routes on our riding itinerary that take us through Roth, one on the German side and the other coming into Roth from the Luxembourg side. My husband and I rode our bikes through Roth on Tuesday in search of the church and castle. I had located them on the map, off our usual paths.
I didn’t realize that the buildings were located on the top of a wooded hill. The road up to the church is not well paved and the last piece was a 17% climb. My husband rode to the top while I had to walk my bike for the last part. It was worth the effort. The photos of the church and castle are my husband’s contribution to this post. Villmols merci.
Name: Nicolas TRAUDT Occupation:Tailleur d’habits or clothes tailor Parents: Henri TRAUDT and Margaretha HEICKEL Spouse: Maria Barbara BILL Parents of spouse: Theodorus BILL and Maria _____ Whereabouts: Vianden, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Heinrich Wagner and Willibald Reichertz, Familienbuch von Roth / Vianden 1718-1797 (1991). Family Book of the Parish of Roth / Vianden (today Roth an der Our, Germany) including Bauler, Gaymühle, Obersgegen, Rodershausen, Roth, Scheuerhof, and the lower town of Vianden. A PDF of the book is available for download to members of Luxracines for a small fee. ↩
Luxembourg, 1766 Dénombrement (census), (images), FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film 1781981 , DGS 008182018, Decanat de Mersch: Vianden, image 420 of 556. “.” Niolas Traudt household 120. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS21-FQ8K-L?i=419&cat=1184675 : accessed 24 August 2019). ↩
Robert Deltgen, Genealogie Rob Deltgen, online http://www.deltgen.com/. I have been unable to confirm this date since the records in der Unterstadt of Vianden were recorded in Roth, a parish with restricted online images. ↩
“Deutschland, Rheinland, Bistum Trier, katholische Kirchenbücher, 1704-1957”, database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D6F6-4ZMM : 3 November 2020), Barbarae Bill in entry for Joannes Mandt, 7 Apr 1777; citing Marriage, certificate , Roth, Daun, Rheinprovinz, Preußen, Deutschland, Bistumarchiv (Diocese Archive), Trier, Germany. ↩
My 5th great-grandparents Johann CONSBRÜCK (1749-1796) of Echternach and Barbara SCHMIDT (1747-1829) of Koedange celebrated their marriage in the hometown of the groom.1
In this direct line from myself to Johann’s parents, only two of the nine couples did not marry in Echternach. My great-grandparents married in Mamer in 1900 and my 3rd great-grandparents married in Metz, France, in 1835. My husband and I were married in Echternach in 1978, my parents in 1957, my grandparents in 1935, my 2nd great-grandparents in 1867, 4th in 1805, 5th in 1773, and 6th in 1735. My 7th great-grandparents likely married in Echternach or Mersch about 1705. After the death of my 7th great-grandfather, his widow, my 7th great-grandmother married again, in Echternach.
1773 Marriage Record
On Monday, 22 February 1773, in the presence of Johann HINCKES and Martin HERCKES, citizens of Echternach, Father LUCIUS solemnized the marriage between the respectable young Johann, the legitimate son of Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK of Echternach, and Barbara, the legitimate daughter of Peter SCHMIDT of Koedingen, after prior review of the dismissal by the priest of the parish of Waldbillig.2
The parish priest provided a dimissionis, a dismissal or nuptial certificate for the party (bride or groom) marrying in a different parish. In this document, the parish priest certified to his colleague who was to celebrate the marriage that the person in question was single (or widower/widower) and that the prescribed bans (public announcement of the marriage) had been correctly made.
Barbara’s nuptial certificate came from Waldbillig as the hamlet of Koedingen (Kéidéng in Luxembourgish) was at the time attached to the parish of Waldbillig.
The CONSBRÜCK Children
Johann CONSBRÜCK (1749-1796) and Barbara SCHMIDT (1747-1829) made their home in Echternach. They were the parents of three known children born between 1775 and 1782.
Henri CONSBRÜCK was born on 5 April 1775 in Echternach.3 He died at the age of 75 years on 22 May 1850 in Echternach.4 He married Eva LANSER, daughter of Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT, on 10 February 1805 in Echternach.5Henri and Eva were my 4th great-grandparents. They were the parents of eight children, four of whom died between the ages of one and seven months. Three of the four surviving daughters never married but lived long lives working as seamstresses. Only one daughter, Anna Maria (1810-1897), my 3rd great-grandmother, married and continued this line.
Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK was born on 29 October 1779 in Echternach.6 She died on 10 September 1788 in Echternach at the age of 8.7
Matthias CONSBRÜCK was born on 3 June 1782 in Echternach.8 He died at the age of 54 years on 30 October 1836 in Trier, Germany.9 He was married twice. He married Katharina BASTIAN (1797-1831) on 9 January 1810 in St. Laurentius Church in Trier.10 They had four known children. After her death, he married Elisabetha RAMMES (1791-1861) on 8 June 1832 in Trier.11 Their marriage lasted only four years, ending with Matthias’ death. They had no children.
Twenty-three years of marriage
Johann CONSBRÜCK died on 21 July 1796 in Echternach at the age of 47.12 His wife of 23 years outlived him by 33 years. Barbara SCHMIDT died in Echternach in the rue de Luxembourg on 10 May 1829 at the age of 81 years.13
In May 2018, a photo was posted in a Facebook group taken during WWI. The text included two of my surnames associated with the CONSBRÜCK-SCHMIDT line. I commented on the post and received a private message from the lady who posted the photo. During our conversation, I learned she is my third cousin once removed, a descendant of Henri CONSBRÜCK’s daughter Anna Maria, the only child to marry and have children.
In 1894 Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK at the age of 84 years divided six pieces of land she owned between her two living daughters and their husbands by selling the land to them. The daughters were Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER, my 2nd great-grandmother, and Maria SCHLOESSER, my newfound cousin’s great-grandmother. My cousin had the original notary record of the sale and sent photos of the four pages. The plots were likely once owned by Anna Maria’s father Henri CONSBRÜCK and his parents before him.
On my to-do list is the transcription and analysis of the 1894 deed of sale for land owned by Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK, granddaughter of the CONSBRÜCK-SCHMIDT couple. It may help to determine the present-day address of the home of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT.
Name: Johann CONSBRÜCK Occupation: Parents: Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK and Maria Magdalene KLEIN Spouse: Barbara SCHMIDT Parents of spouse: Peter SCHMIDT sive CASPARS and Catharina CASPARS Whereabouts: Echternach and Koedange Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Tables des mariages 1706-1797 A-Lahr (index organisée par l’époux) > image 407 of 1598. 1773 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32468-29388-23?cc=2037955 : accessed 19 November 2015). ↩
Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages 1887-1890 Décès 1796-1853 > image 1347 of 1463. 1850 Death Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12662-58715-84?cc=1709358 : accessed 18 November 2015). ↩
“Trier, Germany, Deaths, 1798-1950,” (index and images), Ancestry.com, citing “Zivil- und Personenstandsregister Sterberegister”, Stadtverwaltung Trier, Stadtarchiv, Trier, Germany. 1836 Death Record No. 540. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 28 May 2021). ↩
“Trier, Germany, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1600-1798,” (index and images), Ancestry.com, citing Genealogische dokumentation des Dechanten Heinrich Wurringent anhand der Trierer Kirchenbücher vor 1798, Bestand 60. Stadtverwaltung Trier, Trier, Deutschland. 1810 Marriage Record. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 27 May 2021). ↩
My fifth great-grandparents, Sébastian LANSER of Echternach and Maria Catharina HASTERT of Steinheim were married on 10 September 1760 in Steinheim. Sébastian’s father Jean LANSER was deceased. Maria Catharina’s father Jean Adam HASTERT was still living. The information was found on the card index in a collection that includes all church marriages in Luxembourg before 1767.1
Not noted on the index card are the names of the mothers of the bride and groom. Both were still living. Maria Catharina’s mother was Odilia FUNCK (1718-1778); Sébastian’s mother was Johanna FASS (1692-1774).
Card Index of the Marriage Record
At the bottom of the card index, the name of the parish, the volume number of the church register, and the page number are found. These help find the original entry.
On FamilySearch in the church records for Echternach, I searched for the collection that would include marriages in 1760 and found Mariages, décès 1706-1778, that is to say, marriages and deaths for the years 1706-1778. The first image of the collection gives the volume number as well as a short table of content with page numbers.
The marriage record was found on page 248 of register 4. Two marriages took place on 10 September 1760 with the LANSER-HASTERT marriage being noted second.
The marriage entry in the register is in Latin.
On the same day (referring to the previous entry for the 10th) in the presence of Jean FUNCK of Bech and Jean Adam HASTERT of Steinheim, Father Constantine in Steinheim solemnized the marriage between the respectable young Sébastian, the legitimate son of the deceased Jean LANSER of Echternach, and Maria Catharina, the legitimate daughter of Jean Adam HASTERT of Steinheim.
The second man present at the marriage was Maria Catharina’s maternal grandfather Jean FUNCK (1688-1773) of Bech.2
The couple, in all likelihood, said their vows in Steinheim in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of the 17th-century Baroque sandstone altar.
The LANSER children
Sébastian, a draper, and his wife Maria Catharina lived in Echternach where they raised their family of ten children.
Johann Adam was baptized on 25 March 17623 and died before 1766. This child was not enumerated on the census of 1766 with his parents, brother Heinrich, and his paternal grandmother Johanna FASS (1692-1774).4
Heinrich was baptized on 13 March 17645 and died on 19 November 1827 at the age of 63.6 He married Anne-Marie HERR on 20 September 1791.7
Anna Maria was baptized on 20 May 17678 and died on 7 July 1803 at the age of 36.9 She was never married.
Odilia was baptized on 10 January 177010 and died on 24 December 1828 at the age of 58.11 She was never married.
Catharina was baptized on 11 November 177212 and died on 15 January 1833 at the age of 60.13 She married Johann HERR on 20 September 1791.14
Catharina was baptized was 2 February 1774.15 No record of marriage or death has been found. [See Research Manager at the end of this post.]
Eva was baptized on 13 May 177716 and died on 19 March 1862 at the age of 84.17 She married Henri CONSBRÜCK, son of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT, on 10 February 1805.18 Eva and Henri were my 4th great-grandparents.
Margaretha was baptized on 24 March 178019 and died on 9 March 1852 at the age of 71.20 She married Johann SELM on 9 June 1811.21
Nicolas was baptized on 18 November 178222 and died on 23 October 1828 at the age of 45.23 He married Catharina Magdalena JOERG between 7 and 20 September 1813. The date was omitted from the marriage record. The record was found between a marriage on the 7th and on the 20th.24
Peter was baptized on 5 June 178525 and died on 3 February 1815 at the age of 29.26 He was never married. Per military records found for Peter, he was presumed to be a prisoner of war in Russia on 11 October 1812. He was in the same military unit as his 1C1R Sébastian LANSER and other men from the Echternach area.27 He came home to Echternach where he died a little over two years later.
Forty-four years of marriage
Sébastian died at the age of 72 on 13 June 180428, a few months before his 44th marriage anniversary. His widow Maria Catharina died on 10 March 1808 at the age of 65.29
Two very low DNA matches for my mother lead me on a virtual trip to Danzig, England, and Australia. Nicolas, the middle child of Sébastian and Maria Catharina’s son Heinrich, went to Danzig, then a part of Prussia, where he married and raised a family of at least eleven children. One of these children, a son, went to Kent, England, where he raised a family of five sons with an English lady. Four of these sons eventually went to Australia. The matches, a 5th cousin (7 cMs > unweighted 10 cMs) and a 5th cousin once removed (10 cMs > unweighted 16 cMs), are descendants of two of the four Australian immigrants.
Update: A comment/question left by Amy yesterday on this post brought about a small change in the way I’ll be doing these posts. I’ve added one more section heading to the post: Research Manager, a place to add the things I’m not certain about and will be looking into in the future.
The LANSER-HASTERT couple had two daughters named Catharina. It is not unusual in Luxembourg families for children to have the same names. Others who’ve researched this line (including the compilers of both family books for Echternach) show the first daughter to be the one who married. I suspect this to be incorrect. I think it is possible that Catharina b. 1772 died before the birth of Catharina b. 1774. I searched for a death/burial entry in the church records from 1772-1778 without results. Records that would show the age of Catharina who married in 1791 need to be checked to prove/disprove when she was born, in 1772 or 1774.
Thanks to Amy’s question about the two daughters with the same name, this new section will include things I am planning to research. Hopefully, this will lead to answers from readers who may have already looked into the points in question.
Name: Sébastian LANSER Occupation: Draper, a person who sells cloth, clothing, etc. Parents: Johann Peter LANSER and Johanna FASS Spouse: Maria Catharina HASTERT Parents of spouse: Jean Adam HASTERT and Odilia FUNCK Whereabouts: Echternach and Steinheim Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents
Luxembourg, 1766 Dénombrement (census), (images), FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film/DGS 1781975 > Film # 008198977 > Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K: > Echternach > Image 222 of 753. Lanser and Metzdorf families. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DK-L?i=221&cat=1184675 : accessed 17 December 2017). ↩
The Ancestors series is taking on a new look and perspective.
I finished writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents in January of 2018. Those posts were part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I’d planned to continue with the next generation, their 6th great-grandparents, with my series The Ancestors but dropped the ball several times.
Family history research will never be finished or ready to publish. Share what you have, make corrections and additions, write about your ancestors. Yes, it probably will remain a work in progress or a draft of a family book. By sharing what you think is incomplete, you may reach someone who has the missing information or the key to open the door in your brick wall.
The Ancestors – 9th Generation
The list of 6th great-grandparents is LONG. I’ve spent a lot of time researching a few of them, as seen in the number of posts I’ve written for the maternal ancestors (my side of our children’s tree) at the end of the list. Ancestor numbers in bold indicate those that have been featured on this blog.
Fourteen couples are brick walls, i.e. names are not known, and fifteen couples have already been featured. That leaves 99 known couples who have been looked into (some research done) who still need to be written up.
Blogging has helped me to improve my research skills. As I worked on the posts, I found that I was doing deeper and more thorough research into all couples’ children, siblings, and parents. This was taking up a lot of time as I documented each new piece of evidence. New research questions came up as the records were analyzed. Interesting facts were found and asked to be researched further – taking me down some very interesting rabbit holes.
At a rate of one post a week, it would take two years to get this generation of ancestors done. Researching, analyzing documentation, citing sources, and putting everything together to write the post (as I have been doing them) now takes much longer than a week.
The length of my posts has also become an issue. I need to choose between too much information in one post, writing multiple posts, or trying a new concept.
I’ve decided that for the 3/4 of my children’s tree that is Luxembourgish, I will be featuring the marriage record of each couple and a list of known children. The records will be more easily located for their maternal side as they are from the mid-1700s to about 1800. For their paternal side, these will be records from the early to mid-1700s. If they are non-existent, I will have to use substitutes to “prove” the marriage. The Genealogy Sketch box will be included at the end of each post, bringing together all articles written for the direct line of the ancestral couple to my children.
I’m thinking of working my way up the list from the bottom to the top, starting with ancestors 494 & 495: Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT. Hopefully, this will get me back to blogging and give me a little more time for the other important things in my life.