What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records?

For some reason, the subject of maison dite or house names kept coming up while I was researching the MERTES-DONNEN family. Not only in my research but in several Facebook groups and pages I follow. Maybe the ancestors were trying to tell me something. Or maybe it’s time to discuss what I learned while researching this family – something I left out in my last post.

Before I share my discovery, let me give you an overview of the history of house names and surnames in Luxembourg.

This past June I attended a conference by Paul ZIMMER, Latein in den Kirchenbüchern korrekt lesen (Reading Latin Correctly in Church Records). His presentation included an explanation of the peculiarities of names found in church records. After the presentation, he kindly sent digital copies to all participants of a dozen articles published under his pseudonym, Victor Racine. I used his introduction to genealogy research adapted to the Luxembourg situation: Petite introduction à la recherche généalogique avec des conseils pratiques adaptés à la situation luxembourgeoise (Victor Racine) as a guide.

House Names and Surnames

Until around 1500 the first name of a person was sufficient enough to identify ordinary people. When pleading someone’s case, it was done orally and normally in the presence of the person eliminating the confusion of identities.

The appearance of the first written documents however required additional distinction. Nicolas, therefore, became known as Nicolas de Steinfort (by his residence), Nicolas le Meunier (by his occupation, i.e. miller), or Nicolas le Petit (by a trait, i.e. small person).

When these extensions to the first names finally became family names transmitted from one generation to the next, they were not, for a long time, patronymic. In about half the cases, the children’s names came from the mother, as the rules of family succession in Luxembourg were based on primogeniture – the right of the oldest child inheriting the parental home without any distinction between males and females.

Luxembourg researchers are confronted with the phenomenon of “house names” shared by all people living under one roof, regardless of their initial name received at birth.  At the time of the marriage, the spouse always acquired, whatever his sex, the name of the house into which he entered. Thus, each couple had only one and the same surname which was transmitted to all their children.

In the course of the eighteenth century when Luxembourg was under Austrian rule, the civil authorities imposed a contrary law, that each individual should keep his birth name – it could no longer be changed during the course of his life, notably at the time of marriage. Each legitimate child inherited his father’s surname.

During the long transition, the coexistence of the two rules and practices, totally opposite, constituted a complication which was the source of errors. The children of one and the same couple sometimes obtained different surnames. The second spouse of a widow or widower may have been known by the surname his spouse had previously taken from his first conjugal partner.

Priests were aware of the problem of the double and triple surnames of their parishioners. Some were careful to note more than one name. The different surnames of one and the same person were juxtaposed and linked together by Latin words: alias (otherwise called), vulgo (commonly called), modo (otherwise), sive and aut (or), dicta (said). Sometimes the correct connection with previous generations can be determined by useful references such as ex domo … (from the house) or in domo … (in the house). House names were also mentioned in the parish records using the term in aedibus (Latin for in house) followed by the name.

Our genealogical research may suffer from the rivalry of these two incompatible rules but in the following case, I profited from them.

Researching the MERTES-DONNEN Family

It took me longer than usual to research the MERTES-DONNEN family before I wrote about them in my last post. I couldn’t seem to get to the point I wanted to be before beginning to write. I wanted to know as much as possible about both Nicolas MERTES’ family and Maria Catharina DONNEN’s family so their timelines would be as complete as possible.

This led me down a rabbit hole as I also looked into their grandparents. When I finally thought I had the timeline ready, I began writing using information from the documents for each of the events.

As I was composing the post I went off on a tangent taking a new look at the death record of Margaretha BIVER, the mother of Nicolas MERTES. I ended up cutting out a large portion of what I wrote about the death record and my findings as I realized I had gotten sidetracked from the subject of the piece.

However, I saw an opportunity to use the information I had found to help other Luxembourg researchers.

The MERTES Family’s House Name

Screenshot of the family view of Margaretha BIVER and Peter MERTES as seen in my genealogy software Ancestral Quest 15.

Marguerite BIVER died on 20 December 1820 at nine in the evening in house number 69 in the Opperter road in Bertrange. The informant for the death was her son-in-law Jean KETTENMEYER. The record (below, top entry) did not indicate the address was also that of the informant.

1820 death records of Margareta Biver (top) and Maria Christophory (bottom). Source: Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 640 of 1416. 1820 Death Record No. 20+21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-322?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).

The next entry in the register (above, bottom entry) was for a baby with the surname CHRISTOPHORY who died in house number 73 of the same street.

The importance of the deaths taking place in the same street, likely only two houses away from each other, can be seen in the pedigree of Franz MERTES, the son of the MERTES-DONNEN couple and grandson of Marguerite BIVER.

Pedigree view in Ancestral Quest 15

I haven’t followed through to see how the baby’s family was related to Barbe CHRISTOPHORY, Maria Catharina’s mother. But it had me wondering if the DONNEN-CHRISTOPHORY and the MERTES-BIVER couples had been neighbors when their daughter and son married. I tried to locate the address in present-day Bertrange but the list of street names on the Luxembourg post office’s site did not turn up any matches.

My next step was to check if perhaps the KETTENMEYER family’s street name may have been mentioned on the census or in a vital record. Jean KETTENMEYER died before the first available census. The two listings I found for his widow Anne MERTES did not include the street name.

Jean’s death record revealed an interesting fact. He died in la maison dite Karpen, an Oppert or a house named Karpen in Oppert.

Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 830 of 1416. 1837 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-32F?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 23 August 2017).

This was an amazing discovery. When I read maison dite Karpen on the record I knew right away the KETTENMEYER family was living in the home of the MERTES family.

The significance of “la maison dite Karpen”

Peter, the father of Nicolas MERTES and Jean KETTENMEYER’s wife Anne MERTES, was the son of Mathias MERTES and Maria HOLTZEMER of Steinsel. At this time I do not have a baptismal record for Peter. His death record indicates he was born about 1733. I suspect his age was over-estimated at the time of death.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 350 of 572. 1771 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-92B3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-L2S%3A1500936901%2C1501112974 : accessed 17 August 2017).

The parents of the groom were married in 1726 at which time their names were given as Mathias MERTENS and Maria HOLTZEMER. The family name had evolved from MERTENS to MERTES by the time Peter married.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Steinsel > Tables des mariages 1697-1802 Fridchy-Z (index organisée par l’époux) > image 430 of 980. 1726 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-18530-86?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).

Mathias and Maria had six children born in Müllendorf and baptized in Steinsel from 1729 to 1741. The baptismal records have been found. The priest gave the following names for the parents on the children’s records:

  1. Theodore b. 1729: Mathias MARTINI and Maria HOLTZEMER
  2. Magdalena b. 1731: Mathias MARTINI and Maria CARPEN dicta HOLTZEMER
  3. Johann b. 1733: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  4. Mathias b. 1736: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  5. Anna Maria b. 1737: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  6. Johann Peter b. 1741: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER

As mentioned in the explanation of surnames in Luxembourg, the priest gave a Latin twist to the surname and added an alias to Mathias’ surname as well as dicta (said) to Maria’s.

Although I know that Peter MERTES was the son of Mathias MERTES (MERTENS) and Maria HOLZTEMER as these were the names given at the time of his marriage, I still do not know for sure when he was born and baptized. I believe he may have been the youngest son, Johann Peter born in 1741. Further research will have to be done to prove or disprove this assumption.

The alias CARPEN was found to go back further through Maria HOLTZEMER’s line. She was born in 1704 when her parents were listed as Nicolas HOLZEM and Angela PEIFFERS. When Maria’s her sister Angela was born in 1707 the parents’ names were given as Nicolas HOLZEM dicti KARP and his wife Angela.

Digging a bit deeper I learned Angela’s family did not use a surname until their fourth child was born. It would have been very unlikely that I would figure this out on my own. Claude Bettendroffer, vice-president of Luxracines, made the connection and shared it in his database on our society’s website. When the first two children were born the parents were seen Godefridus (also seen as Godfroid and Godart), a sutor or cobbler, and Dorothée. When Angela was born her father was seen with the same occupation, only written in German, Schuhmacher. The father’s occupation was used to distinguish him from other men with the same first name in Steinsel. By the time their fourth child was born the family was using the surname or house name PEIFFERS. The oldest child, a daughter, inherited the home and passed the name on to the children of both of her marriages as her husbands took on her house name PEIFFERS.

It was astonishing to have followed a family line back using surnames, to using a house name, to only being identified by the father’s occupation during a documented period from 1666 back to 1659.

The house name KARPEN was not used by the PEIFFERS family as far as I can tell at this time. It was used by the HOLTZEM family in Müllendorf as early as 1707, by the MERTENS-HOLTZEMER family in 1731-1741 in Müllendorf, and finally by the MERTES family in Bertrange as late as 1837 when the son-in-law died. It appears the house name followed the son when he married and made his home in Bertrange.

Karpen house in Oppert. Where was Oppert?

When I searched for Oppert as seen in the 1837 death record instead of Opperter as seen in the 1820 death record, I found it is now a street in Bertrange called rue des Champs. I know this street. We’ve ridden our bikes on this road which runs from the center of town out of Bertrange into the fields to the west of town where bike paths link it to Mamer in the northwest and Dippach in the southwest.

Zooming in on Google maps street view I found the street sign, a bit above and to the left of the shutter on the left side of the house, for rue des Champs includes the Luxembourgish name Oppert.

What’s the secret?

I don’t believe there is a secret to the maison dite or house names in Luxembourg records. As long as we know how surnames evolved and how house names were used to identify people, we can use the rules to benefit our research.

Even today the older generations can be heard referring to a person by their house name instead of their surname in Luxembourg. But it is a custom which is quickly disappearing.

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

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52 Ancestors: #28 The Mertes-Donnen Family of Bertrange

The Donnen-Christophory Family

Johann DONNEN of Ellingen (Canton Remich) married Barbe CHRISTOPHORY of Bertrange about 1772 or earlier. No marriage record has been found for the couple who were having legitimate children from 1772. Johann was born about 1747, per the age found on his death record, and his wife Barbe was born in 1743.[1] They were the parents of four known children all born in Bertrange. A daughter Barbara was born in 1772[2], twins Nicolas Johann and Catharina in 1775[3], and Maria Catharina in 1783.[4]

Bertrange Water Tank Tower (no longer in use) with its new look including the commune logo, a lion.

The Mertes-Biver Family

During the same time period, another couple was also raising a family in Bertrange. Peter MERTES and Marguerite BIVER were married on 3 December 1771 in Bertrange.[5] They were the parents of Margaretha born in 1772[6], Willibrod 1774[7], Anna Marguerite est. 1775[8], Anna 1776[9], Barbara 1779[10], Nicolas 1781[11], Magdalena 1783[12], and Anna 1786. [Update: Baptismal record of Anna b. 1786 was found on 17 Sep 2017.]

The MERTES-DONNEN Family

The daughter of the DONNEN-CHRISTOPHORY couple, Maria Catharina DONNEN, married the son of the MERTES-BIVER couple, Nicolas MERTES, on 21 February 1803 in Bertrange.[13] Nicolas’ occupation was given on the marriage record as Akersmann or plowman. During the years that followed he was always seen as a day laborer: when his children were born, when they married, and when the census was taken.

From the 2nd to the 26th of August 2017 the Belle Etoile mall in Bertrange and De Lederwon offered the public a time capsule of the countryside of Luxembourg through with exhibition of old tractors.

Two weeks after the marriage the newlyweds were attending the funeral of Johann DONNEN, the bride’s father, who died 9 March 1803.[14] Nicolas, only six days short of his twenty-second birthday, was one of the informants on the death record.

After the torments of the French Revolution (1789-1799), poverty and misery did not disappear. Many left Bertrange for southern Hungary and Transylvania in the years 1723-1726 and for North America from 1853 onward. This was not the case for the MERTES-DONNEN family.

Children’s births and grandparents’ deaths

Following their marriage, Nicolas and Maria Catharina had seven children, all born in Bertrange, during a period of seventeen years. Their first two children were sons, Michel born on 5 May 1804 at 9 in the morning[15] and François, better known as Franz, on 5 April 1806 at 11 in the morning.[16]

Maria Catharina’s mother Barbe CHRISTOPHORY died on 17 December 1807. Her son-in-law Nicolas, the informant, gave her place of death as his home. The occupation of her deceased husband Johann DONNEN was given as charron or wheelright.[17]

A wagon with wooden wheels and a manure pile in the background.

The family increased with the birth of Anne on 24 August 1808 at 8 in the evening[18] and Catherine on 3 March 1811 at 11 in the evening.[19]

Nicolas’ father Peter MERTES died on 15 December 1811 around 8 in the evening at the home of his son-in-law Jean KETTENMEYER, husband of Anne, the only sibling of Nicolas to have married.[20]

Following the death, the pattern of two births and a death continued in the family. Sons, Nicolas, born on 24 August 1814 at 11 in the evening[21], and Jean, born on 24 November 1817 at 4 in the morning[22], brought the number of children up to six.

Marguerite BIVER, the last living grandparent of the MERTES-DONNEN children, died on 20 December 1820 at 9 in the evening in house number 69 in the Oppertergasse. The informant was her son-in-law Jean KETTENMEYER.[23]

Maria Catharina gave birth to her last child a month later on 28 January 1821.[24] They named the child Nicolas although they already had a 6 and a half years old son with this name. Little did they know that three years later the elder son named Nicolas would die on 12 January 1824 at the age of 9 years and 8 months.[25]

Marriages of the children

The next ten years are not documented. No children were born or died. The decade fell before the census of 1843 which is available online. The children grew and by 1834 the first marriage was being celebrated in the MERTES family.

The second son François “Franz” MERTES married on 25 February 1834 to Margaretha ERPELDING.[26] He and his wife, my children’s 4th great-grandparents, had two children before the next marriage took place in the family.

Catherine MERTES married Johann Wilhelm FEDERSPIEL (1801-1865) on 18 April 1839.[27] Catherine had given birth to a son the previous month[28] and he was legitimized with the marriage.

No trace has been found of the oldest son Michel or the oldest daughter Anne following their births in 1804 and 1808. Their deaths were not recorded in Bertrange. Did they leave Bertrange to find work or marry?

In December of 1843[29], 1846[30], 1847[31], 1849[32], and 1851[33] Nicolas and Maria Catharina were enumerated on the census with their two youngest children, already grown men, Jean and Nicolas. In 1851, Jean (34) and Nicolas (31) were both still single.

Only two of Nicolas MERTES’ six siblings were known to be living at this time. Anne who married Jean KETTENMEYER died on 9 February 1852.[34]

On the December 1852[35] census Nicolas and Maria Catharina had in their household son Jean but the youngest son Nicolas had disappeared. I have not made any effort to locate him as this was a time many were emigrating to North America. Hopefully, if he had descendants, one of them will read this and get in touch.

A little over a year later Nicolas was the informant on the death of his wife Maria Catharina DONNEN. She died on 24 January 1854.[36]

Nicolas and his son Jean were now alone. At the age of 37, Jean married a woman three years his senior, Magdalena WAGENER (1816-1883), on 2 May 1855.[37]

Had he seen his father’s health declining and decided it was time to marry? Or did the men need a woman to care for them? Five months after the marriage the father of the groom, Nicolas MERTES died. His son-in-law Johann Wilhelm FEDERSPIEL reported the death which took place on 19 October 1855. Peter CHRISTNACH, a shoemaker and Nicolas’ neighbor, also witnessed the death record.[38]

As far as I know, Nicolas left three children, eight grandchildren, and a sister, Anne Marguerite who never married. Her death followed a little over six months later on 5 May 1856.[39] It was reported by her nephew Dominique FERDERSPIEL and her niece Catherine MERTES’ husband Johann Wilhelm FEDERSPIEL. The record includes the names of her parents. Her baptismal record has not been found and the death record was the first mention I found for her.

Close up of the water tank tower of the commune of Bertrange

Around 1850 Bertrange was a village of about 200 houses and exceeding 1,000 inhabitants. A poor commune with an economy based on agriculture and small crafts, it underwent economic restructuring in 1859 when the first railway was inaugurated. People took on work as miners and railway workers. Times were changing for the MERTES-DONNEN children who remained.

Nicolas and Maria Catharina’s living children

Franz, my children’s 4th great-grandfather, had spent his entire married life in the neighboring town of Strassen. He died at the age of 57 on 15 March 1864.[40] Catherine and Jean both remained in Bertrange. Catherine died at the age of 69 on 11 March 1880[41] and Jean on 1 September 1888[42] at the age of 70.

It took me longer than usual to research this family. For some reason the subject of maison dite or house names kept coming up everywhere I turned. Maybe the ancestors were trying to tell me something. Or maybe it is time to discuss what I learned while researching this family – something I left out above.

I’ll be at Luxracines’ archives in Walferdange on Wednesday with Rob Deltgen and, hopefully, I’ll learn enough to fill in the spaces in the draft I’ve prepared for my upcoming post.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch< (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 33 of 200. 1743 Baptismal Record No. 562. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1C12?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 16 August 2017).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 92 of 200. 1772 Baptismal Record No. 777. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C27?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 16 August 2017).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 97 of 200. 1775 Baptismal Records No. 866 and 867. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C2P?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : 9 January 2015).
[4] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 29 of 254. 1783 Baptismal Record (bottom left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SHYQ?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[5] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 147 of 200. 1771 Marriage Record No. 248. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1CL8?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[6] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 91 of 200. 1772 Baptismal Record No. 767. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CL2?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 95 of 200. 1774 Baptismal Reocord No. 831. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1ZM4?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[8] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1083 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-BMN?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[9] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 99 of 200. 1776 Baptismal Record No. 898. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CJV?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[10] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 106 of 200. 1779 Baptismal Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1CTL?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[11] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 6 of 254. 1781 Baptismal Record No. 10 (right page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZHN?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[12] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 26 of 254. 1783 Baptismal Record No. 63. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SCTD?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 10 Augut 2017).
[13] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1329 of 1480. 1803 Marriage Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-107050-84?cc=1709358 : accessed 5 October 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 511 of 1416. 1803 Death Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-37S?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[15] Luxembourg Church Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 25 of 1480. 1804 (15 Florial an 12) Birth Record (part 1, part 2 on next image). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-56W?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 11 August 2017).
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 61 of 1480. 1806 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-97R?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 521 of 1416. 1807 Death Record (right page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-3SH?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 94 of 1480. 1808 Birth Record (left, middle). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-1J4?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 127 of 1480. 1811 Birth Record (left, middle). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-TY4?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[20] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 558 of 1416. 1811 Death Record (bottom left and top right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-SB6?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 162 of 1480. 1814 Birth Record No. 19. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-52M?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[22] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 195 of 1480. 1817 Birth Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109265-65?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 March 2016).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 640 of 1416. 1820 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-322?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[24] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 230 of 1480. 1821 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X36Q-9DJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 662 of 1416. 1824 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-BQK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 18 August 2017).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 63 of 1416. 1834 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55620-99?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[27] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 120 of 1416. 1839 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-1YH?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[28] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 555 of 1480. 1839 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X363-TKY?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL%3A129622901%2C129854201 : accessed 20 August 2017).
[29] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1843 > image 142 of 407. Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32355-17053-91?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[30] Ibid., Bertrange > 1846 > image 211 of 431. Nicolas Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G97B-V69B?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-ZJF%3A346116301%2C345858602 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > 1847 > image 387 of 448. Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-CY2G?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-MJG%3A346116301%2C345864101 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > 1849 > image 78 of 474. Nicolas Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G97B-Z423?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-7MY%3A346116301%2C345864801 : accessed 15 August 2017).
[33] Ibid., Bertrange > 1851 > image 11 of 215. Mertes-Donnen household No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32358-23034-28?cc=2037957 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[34] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1047 of 1416. 1852 Death Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-YZV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : acccessed 10 August 2017).
[35] Luxembourg Census Records, Bertrange > 1852 > image 136 of 205. Nicolas Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32381-15410-15?cc=2037957 : accessed 8 August 2017).
[36] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1062 of 1416. 1854 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56882-33?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[37] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 265 of 1416. 1855 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52019-88?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 March 2016).
[38] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1077 of 1416. 1855 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54541-99?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[39] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1083 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-BMN?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 10 August 2017).
[40] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 140 of 446. 1864 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-166420-69?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[41] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1305 of 1416. 1880 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-18Q?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 11 August 2017).
[42] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1384 of 1416. 1888 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-9NG?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 11 August 2017).

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

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

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

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

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

Former train station in Reisdorf along the bike route to Moestroff

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

Chapel of Reisdorf

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

Entrance of the little chapel of Reisdorf

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

Catholic church of Reisdorf

And behind the church is the town hall.

Town hall, Mairie de Reisdorf.

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

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

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

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

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

Pierre and Anna Catharina’s children

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genealogy F.A.N. Club

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

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

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

House name for the DAHM-KIMES family’s home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bestwishescathy1

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

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

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

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

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

1820 United States Federal Census

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

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

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

1830 United States Federal Census

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

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

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

1835 Appraisement of the Estate of Nathaniel Landcraft

 

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

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

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

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

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

End of transcription

About the time Nathaniel Landcraft died, his daughter Adeline, widow of John S. Roberts, married the Baptist minister Edwin W. Woodson. They made their home in Monroe County, (West) Virginia. In 1840 Woodson had two slaves in his household, a male and a female, both were 10 thru 23 years old. Could either of them be one of the slaves mentioned in the Landcraft appraisement?

In 1850 E W Woodson owned one female slave age 20. In 1860 Adeline Woodson owned one female slave age 30. Who was this female slave? Did Rev. Woodson die before 1860? Did he leave a will, inventory, or appraisement mentioning the slave enumerated under his name in 1850?

To be continued in next month’s post….

bestwishescathy1

True's statementFollowing my three part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

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

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

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

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

Castle of Moestroff hidden behind walls and overgrown hedges and trees

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

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

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

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

Franz ZWANCK (1750-1820)

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

Clara WELTER (1766-1826)

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

The steeple of the church of Moestroff

Franz and Clara’s children

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

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

The children who survived to adulthood

Catherine ZWANK

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

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

Catherine died on 29 March 1852 in Moestroff.

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

Jacques ZWANK

 

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

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

Johann ZWANCK

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

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

Getting back to the jigsaw puzzle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

bestwishescathy1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who was Pierre PENNINGER?

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

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

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

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

Kapell Brandenbourg (Chapel)

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

Inside the Chapel of Brandenbourg

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

Cornerstone of the Chapel of Brandenbourg

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

Brandenbourg Castle

Why all the excitement?

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

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

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

Stained glass window in the chapel of Brandenbourg

The PENNINGER Family Tree from 1672 and 1705

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicolas BOCK and Hélène KLEIN had the following children:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

52 Ancestors: #25 A Family on Two Continents

Michael GRASSER (1772-1821)

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

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

Nicolai et Elisabetha Grasser conjugum in aedibus Reuters x Moestroff

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

Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831)

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

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

A field outside of Reuland on the way to Heffingen

Elisabeth and Michael marry in 1796

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

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

Pedigree chart of Suzanne PEFFER (1910-1987 )

The children of Michael and Elisabetha

Michael and Elisabetha had the following children:

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

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

Michael dies at the age of 48

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

1821 Death Record of Michael GRASSER

How close was the family after Michael’s death?

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

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

1830 Marriage Record of Anton PEFFER and Maria GRASSER

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

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

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

Elisabetha dies at the age of 59

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

1831 Death Record of Elisabetha HOSCHEID

The years after Michael and Elisabetha

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

Two families go to America

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

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

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

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

Two families remain in Luxembourg

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

Genealogical Jackpot!

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

bestwishescathy1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The PEFFER-PEIRRET Family Story

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

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

The PEFFER and PIERRET Union

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The chapel of the Gilsdorf cemetery.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Years After Adam and Marguerite’s Deaths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where will the research go from here?

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

bestwishescathy1

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

Luxracines on Tour in Belgium and France

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Spanish_Inquisition (LuxembourgPartitionsMap_english.jpg), via Wikimedia Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ledger with the entries for the border markers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members of Luxracines examining the material used during the conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What will you find in the library?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is where the catalog comes into play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another example of browse-only records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An example of European browse-only records

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

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

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

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

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

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