52 Ancestors: #41 How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law

Week 41 (October 8-14) – Colorful. Everyone has at least one “colorful” ancestor. Share the story of one of yours. 🙂

I didn’t expect this story to fit the “colorful” ancestor theme until I discovered an illegitimate child (and then another) in the family. I was not surprised and wondered if this would be colorful enough to fit the theme. Since I’m writing about an ancestral couple two people are involved, six when I add their parents, and the number increases when children (and most families had quite a few) and their spouses are added. What I’m getting at is – when researching a person or a family you need to look at all persons involved. And that is how I discovered my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Jacob RUCKERT’s brother-in-law became his father-in-law. Colorful enough?

Jacob RUCKERT

Jacob RUCKERT was born and baptized on 23 July 1787 in Bertrange. His parents were Johann RUCKERT, a farmer, and Angelique MICHELS. Present at his baptism were Jacob RUCKERT, a farmer, from Sandweiler and Margaretha RUCKERT alias KING from Hagen in the parish of Sterpenich (Province of Luxembourg in Belgium).[1] Today Hagen is part of the commune of Schuttrange in the Grand Duché of Luxembourg.

1787baptismruckert
1787 Baptismal Record (bottom left page) of Jacobus RUCKERT [1]
1787baptismruckert2
1787 Baptismal Record (top right page) of Jacobus RUCKERT [1]
Angelique (1748-1825) of Bertrange and Johann (?-1803) of Sandweiler married two years before Jacob’s birth on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange.[2] This was Angelique’s third marriage. I found the marriages on marriage index cards and need to locate the actual documents in the parish records which are online at FamilySearch. As the first two marriages are new to me I haven’t had time to work through possible siblings of Jacob RUCKERT. While searching through the census I found his brother Johann RUCKERT (1789-1862) who was born 2 years, 1 month, and 18 days after him. Jacob and his brother Johann may have had full siblings and half-siblings with different surnames as their mother was married to Petrus HANSEN on 5 February 1770[3] and to Willibrordus WESTER on 11 January 1774.[4]

1770michelmarriage
Marriage #1 for Angela Mertes aka Angela Michels [3]
1774michelsmarriage
Marriage #2 for Angelica Michels, a widow [4]
1785michelsmarriage
Marriage #3 for Angelica Michels, a widow [2]

These index cards are a treasure trove of information. By following the names of the parents listed for Angelique MICHELS I discovered the names of her paternal grandparents and great-grandparents giving me three new generations to research. Also I see an unexpected MERTES connection which needs to be looked into.

Jacob’s father Johann died on 15 February 1803[5] and his mother Angelique died 15 April 1825[6], both in Bartringen. It was only after the death of his mother that Jacob at the age of 40 years married Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) on 19 February 1828 in Bertrange.[7] Margaretha was born on 15 September 1802 in Obersyren in the commune of Schuttrange per the marriage record.

Margaretha’s sister Anne Marie SCHOLER married a month after Jacob and Margaretha on 22 March 1828 in Bertrange to Peter SCHMIT.[8] Peter had become a widower in 1826. This is when Jacob RUCKERT and Peter SCHMIT became brothers-in-law.

Jacob and Margaretha were the parents of at least eight children:

  • Ch 1: Heinricus “Henri” RUCKERT (1830-1863) born 8 February 1830 in Bertrange.[9] He died on 15 March 1863 in Luxembourg City.[10]
  • Ch 2: Johann RUCKERT (1832-1835) born 9 January 1832 in Bertrange.[11] He died 20 September 1835 in Bertrange.[12]
  • Ch 3: Elisabeth RUCKERT (1833-?) born 12 August 1833 in Bertrange.[13]
  • Ch 4: [–?–] RUCKERT (1835-1835) born 5 December 1835 in Bertrange.[14] He died 5 December 1835 in Bertrange.[15]
  • Ch 5: Jean RUCKERT (1836-?) born 9 December 1836 in Bertrange.[16] He may have died in Luxembourg City in 1865.
  • Ch 6: Catherine RUCKERT (1839-?) born 12 May 1839 in Bertrange.[17]
  • Ch 7: Franciscus RUCKERT (1840-1842) born 5 October 1840 in Bertrange.[18] He died 10 August 1842 in Bertrange.[19]
  • Ch 8: Catharina RUCKERT (1842-?) born 20 March 1842 in Bertrange.[20]

Margaretha SCHOLER died giving birth to her eighth child on 20 March 1842 in Bertrange.[21] Jacob was left with Henri, Elisabeth, Jean, Catherine and newborn baby Catharina.

Magdalena SCHMITT

As mentioned earlier Peter SCHMIT,a widower, married Jacob RUCKERT’s sister-in-law. Peter had first married Anne Marguerithe WEICKER (date and place unknown at this time) and they had one known child, Magdalena SCHMIT born 10 February 1811 in Bertrange.[22] Her birth record, being in French, has Madelaine as her name.

1811madelainebirth
1811 Birth Record for “Madelaine” SCHMIT [22]
Her mother Anne Marguerithe died shortly before Magdalena’s 15th birthday, on 17 January 1826 in Bertrange.[23] Two years later Peter SCHMIT remarried and became the brother-in-law of Jacob RUCKERT.[9]

At the age of 24 Magdalena SCHMIT had a daughter born out of wedlock. Anne SCHMIT was born on 7 November 1835 in Bertrange. A midwife reported her birth and only gave the name of the mother. There was no mention of the father, known or unknown.[24]

When Magdalena was 31 years old she married the widowed Jacob RUCKERT. The wedding took place on 26 November 1842 in Bertrange, eight months after the death of Jacob’s first wife. None of the four witnesses present were related to the bride and groom. The bride’s father Peter SCHMIT was present at the marriage and became his brother-in-law Jacob’s father-in-law.[25]

Jacob and Magdalena had four children:

  • Ch 9: Franciscus “François” RUCKERT (1843-?) born 10 July 1843 in Bertrange.[26]
  • Ch 10: Catharina RUCKERT (1845-1845) born 7 September 1845 in Bertrange.[27] She died 25 December 1845 in Bertrange.[28]
  • Ch 11: Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.[29]
  • Ch 12: Maria RUCKERT (1850-?) born 17 February 1850 in Bertrange.[30]

Although I was able to find the birth records of the children of Jacob RUCKERT and his two wives, I had a difficult time with the census. Browsing the images at FamilySearch is tedious and time consuming. I didn’t have the time to go through the 1843, 1846, 1847, and 1849 census images especially after viewing ALL images for 1852 and not finding the family in Bertrange. I did find them in the 1851 and 1855 census. The 1851 was surprising and brought to light one “family secret” I may not have found otherwise.

As SCHMIT is such a commmon surname I have not even begun to look at the SCHMIT births, marriages, and deaths in Bertrange. But the 1851 census had a 16 years old girl Anne SCHMIT listed in the household of Jacob RUCKERT and Magdalena SCHMIT. The relationship was not listed so I checked for her birth record and found she was the daughter of Magdalena.[31]

1851census
1851 Luxembourg Census [32]
By 1855 Jacob and Magdalena’s three children Franciscus, Margaretha and Maria were still at home as well as both of Jacob’s two daughters, both named Catherine from his first marriage.[33]

Jacob RUCKERT died on 24 June 1856 in Bertrange. A neighbor reported his death.[34]

Marriages for two of Jacob’s children from his first marriage were found. Elisabeth married on 26 November 1857 in Bertrange[35] and Henri married on 6 May 1859 in Luxembourg City.[36]

Jacob’s widow Magdalena raised their children as well as Jacob’s two youngest daughters at least until the end of 1858 when they were with her on the census.[37] By 1861[38], 1864[39], and 1867[40] only Magdalena’s two youngest daughters were at home.

Magdalena and Jacob’s son François was mentioned on the 1864 census as being in Leudelange and I was able to locate him with a family in Leudelange and working as as servant (domestique).[41]

Marie, the youngest daughter, had an illegitimate son Mathias two months before the 1867 census on 2 October 1867 in Bertrange.[42]

Events in the life of Jacob and Magdalena’s daughter Margaretha, my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother and the only child I found marriage records for, took a fast pace before and after the death of Magdalena SCHMIT.[43]

Margaretha married Jacob ANTON (1822-1871) on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange.[44] Eight days later her mother Magdalena died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange.[43] Margaretha’s husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871[45] and she gave birth to their daughter Susanne ANTON nearly four months later on 28 July 1871 in Bertrange.[46]

On 22 April 1874, three years after the death of her first husband, Margaretha SCHMIT married Michel MERTES in Strassen.[47] She would give him seven children as seen in their story 52 Ancestors: #21 The MERTES-RUCKERT Family of Strassen.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 64 of 254. 1787 Baptismal Record No. 215. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-8679-85?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 417 of 572. 1785 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-18359-79?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 199 of 572. 1770 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-19970-46?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[4] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 Hassel-Z (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 174 of 376. 1774 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-2184-12?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[5] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 91 of 108. 1803 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-8929-70?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[6] 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 673 of 1416. 1825 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56264-53?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 10 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54990-54?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 11 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 9.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54927-45?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 370 of 1480. 1830 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-106857-63?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[10] Ibid., Luxembourg > Décès 1856 > image 785 of 1516. 1863 Death Record No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11662-166376-78?cc=1709358 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[11] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 405 of 1480. 1832 Birth Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109195-60?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[12] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 805 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 40. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-58440-51?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 435 of 1480. 1833 Birth Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102982-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 808 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-53339-95?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[15] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 808 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-53339-95?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 503 of 1480. 1836 Birth Record No. 77.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103346-89?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 559 of 1480. 1839 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103970-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 593 of 1480. 1840 Birth Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105897-85?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 914 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55046-3?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 633 of 1480. 1842 Birth Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105568-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 907 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51891-68?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 125 of 1480. 1811 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105176-7?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 684 of 1416. 1826 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52047-76?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[24] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 479 of 1480. 1835 Birth Record No. 69. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109235-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 156 of 1416. 1842 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57204-95?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 670 of 1480. 1843 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102051-57?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[27] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 725 of 1480. 1845 Birth Record No. 63. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105231-33?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[28] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 965 of 1416. 1845 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56392-74?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[29] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 770 of 1480. 1847 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104061-29?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[30] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 834 of 1480. 1850 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104996-65?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 479 of 1480. 1835 Birth Record No. 69. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109235-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[32] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1851 > image 211 of 215. Ruckert-Schmit household. “Luxembourg Volkszählungen 1843-1900,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32358-27390-47?cc=2037957 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bertrange > 1855 > image 12 of 207. Ruckert-Schmit household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32378-10504-67?cc=2037957 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[34] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1084 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55634-51?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[35] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 279 of 1416. 1857 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52834-59?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[36] Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1847-1868 > image 808 of 1501. 1859 Marriage Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12576-91871-46?cc=1709358 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[37] Luxembourg Census, Bertrange > 1858 > image 91 of 215. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32359-27766-22?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[38] Ibid., Bertrange > 1861 > image 125 of 220. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 88. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32369-15777-10?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[39] Ibid., Bertrange > 1864 > image 214 of 258. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 196. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32379-36631-51?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[40] Ibid., Bertrange > 1867 > image 143 of 252. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 122. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-24540-26?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[41] Ibid., Leudelange > 1864 > image 24 of 123. Wester household No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-18449-52?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[42] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1050 of 1480. 1867 Birth Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-107323-82?cc=1709358 : accessed 9 October 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1215 of 1416. 1870 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-58375-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 11 Apr 2013).
[44] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 372 of 1416. 1870 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56851-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[45] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1223 of 1416. 1871 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56358-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 25 May 2015).
[46] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1091 of 1480. 1871 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103996-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL:129622901,129854201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[47] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jacob RUCKERT
Parents: Johann RUCKERT and Angelique MICHELS
Spouse: Margaretha SCHOLER and Magdalena SCHMIT(*)
Parents of Spouse(*): Peter SCHMIT and Anne Marguerite WEICKER
Whereabouts: Bertrange, Grand Duché de Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Jacob RUCKERT
2. Margaretha RUCKERT

3. Maria MERTES
4. Suzanne PEFFER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.

52 Ancestors: #21 The MERTES-RUCKERT Family of Strassen

Week 21 (May 21-27) – Military: This week, the United States will be observing Memorial Day. Do you have any military ancestors? Were any ancestors affected by the military or by war?

Luxembourg was considered a neutral country during the time period the MERTES-RUCKERT  family lived. They did not have a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter who died while serving the country.

The Luxembourg Crisis, a diplomatic dispute and confrontation over the political status of Luxembourg between the French Empire and Prussia almost led to war between the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London signed on 11 May 1867. The immediate effect of the treaty was the reaffirmation of the neutrality of Luxembourg and the union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg under the House of Orange-Nassau.

To ensure Luxembourg’s neutrality, the fortifications of Luxembourg City, known as the Gibraltar of the North, were to be demolished and never to be rebuilt. Dismantling the fortifications required the destruction of underground defences, casemates, batteries, barracks, etc. Fortunately some remains of the fortress survived and can be visited today.

casematesLet’s Begin With A Ridddle

My husband’s great-grandmother Maria MERTES, a first born child, was the seventh child of Michel MERTES and the second daughter of Margaretha RUCKERT. She was the oldest of seven children? How many siblings did she have?

Michel MERTES, Maria’s father

Michel MERTES was born on 6 October 1837 in Strassen.[1] His birth was registered in the commune of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His father François MERTES, a 31 years old day laborer, did not sign the birth record as he was unable to write. Michel’s mother’s name was given as Marguerite ERPELDING, no age was listed.

Michel married Catharina HEIN on 10 January 1861 in Strassen[2]. By this time the town of Strassen was a commune and no longer a part of the Bertrange commune. Catharina gave Michel six children before she died on 14 February 1874[3]. At the time of her death five children were living, their first born child had died at the age of six days.

  1. Maria MERTES born 1 February 1862[4] and died 6 February 1862[5]
  2. Margaretha MERTES born 11 April 1863[6]
  3. Johann MERTES born 16 November 1865[7] and died 26 February 1875[8]
  4. Maria MERTES born 11 October 1867[9] and died 24 June 1877[10]
  5. Barbara MERTES born 5 January 1870[11] and died 12 March 1900[12]
  6. Jacob MERTES born 24 April 1872[13]

All of the above children were born in Strassen.

Margaretha RUCKERT, Maria’s mother

Margaretha RUCKERT was born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.[14] Her father Jacob RUCKERT was 59 years old and her mother Magdalena SCHMIT was 37 years old. On the birth record her mother’s maiden name was spelled with two T’s. Her father was literate and signed the birth record.

Margaretha, at the age of 23, married Jacob ANTON on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange.[15] Anton was a 49 years old widower – over twice her age. The father of the bride, the parents of the groom, and the first wife of the groom were deceased at the time.

Margaretha was married a little over six months when her husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871 in Bertrange.[16] At the time Margaretha was carrying his child. On 28 July 1871 she gave birth to their daughter Susanna ANTON.[17] As the father of the child was deceased, the midwife Susanna TIMMESCH (sic, THIMMESCH), who delivered Susanna, declared the birth.

Susanna ANTON has only been traced until 1890 when she was unmarried and working as a servant possibly in Belgium.

The Widower Michel MERTES Marries the Widow of Jacob ANTON

Michel had only been widowed two months when he married Margaretha RUCKERT, the widow of Jacob ANTON, on 22 April 1874 in Bertrange.[18] The parents of both the bride and the groom were deceased. The dates of death of six persons were listed on the marriage record: 4 parents and 2 deceased spouses. None of the witnesses were related the the bridal couple. Michel and Margaretha were both able to write and signed their names to the marriage record.

signaturesThe Children of Michel and Margaretha

Michel’s and Margaretha’s first child Maria was born on 14 February 1875 in Strassen[19] exactly one year after the death of Michel’s first wife Catharina HEIN.

Less than two weeks after the birth of their first child Maria, Michel’s son Johann from his first marriage died at the age of ten years.[20]

Their second child, a son Franz, was born 9 March 1877.[21] Three months later, another of Michel’s children from his first marriage, Maria, died on 24 June 1877. As with her brother Johann in 1875 Maria also died at the age of ten years.[22]

Five more children were born to Michel and Margaretha:

  • Catharina born 3 January 1880[23] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Maria “Margaretha” born 10 March 1882[24] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Jacob born 24 October 1885[25] and died 9 June 1886[26]
  • Barbara born 23 December 1887[27] died 3 January 1888[28]
  • Susanna born 4 January 1889[29] and died unknown (after 1895)

In 1890 the Michel MERTES household was made up of Michel, his wife Margaretha, and their children Franz, Catharina, Margaretha, and Susanna. Three children were listed on the back of the census as working away from home. Michel’s son Jacob MERTES was  in Belgium learning the carpentry trade. Michel and Margaretha’s daughter Maria MERTES and Margaretha’s daughter Susanna ANTON were working as servants at an illegible location.

What Happened to this Family after 1890?

On 19 February 1894 Maria MERTES, oldest daughter of Michel and Margaretha, married Nicolas PEFFER.[30] Her parents were living in Strassen at the time.

In 1895 Michel and Margaretha were in Strassen with three daughters: Catharina, Margaretha and Susanna. None of these young ladies were old enough to be married. Michel’s son Jacob from his first marriage had been working in Belgium for four years per this census. Michel and Margaretha’s son Franz was not at home and had been in Dudelange for 8 days.[31] Michel’s daughter Barbara, wife of Jean Pierre PARRAGE, was also living in Strassen with her husband and their son Jean Pierre who was born in Belgium in 1891.[32]

In 1891 Michel’s daughter from his first marriage, Barbara age 21 married Jean Pierre PARRAGE[33] a 47 years old widower who had lost his wife while living in Dippach. Barbara died 12 March 1900 in Hautcharage[34] and it was only due to her death being registered in Strassen[35] that I was able to trace her to Hautcharage. Her widower was found in the 1900 census[36] in Hautcharage with his older children from a previous marriage, their son Jean Pierre born in 1891 in Messancy (Belgium) and their son Nicolas born in 1897[37] in Steinfort.

This census information lead to the birth records of Nicolas and a daughter Anna Maria born in Steinfort in 1899.[38] She was not with her father in 1900 and no record of death was found in the communes of Steinfort or Bascharage where they were known to have been living. Was this young child with her MERTES grandparents in 1900?

Michel and Margaretha have not been located in the 1900 census in Strassen. Control lists give only the names of the head of household. If the MERTES family was living with another family each page of the census needs to be viewed to find them. No MERTES marriages were found in Strassen between 1895-1923. No death records were found for this family in Strassen between 1895-1923. The family appears to have disappeared from Strassen after the 1895 census, but where did they go?

Answer to the Riddle

Maria had 13 siblings: 6 half-siblings through her father, a half-sister through her mother, and 6 full siblings.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 520 of 1480. 1837 Birth Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102810-32?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1221 of 1464. 1861 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-59528-4?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 251 of 446. 1874 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-487-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[4] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 450 of 1464. 1862 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61420-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[5] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 120 of 446. 1862 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-160448-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[6] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 466 of 1464. 1863 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57722-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[7] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 504 of 1464. 1865 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57972-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[8] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[9] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 528 of 1464. 1867 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61010-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[10] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[11] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 563 of 1464. 1870 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60560-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).  Note: mother is listed as Margaretha Hein instead of Catharina Hein.
[12] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[13] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 594 of 1464. 1872 Birth Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61213-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010),.
[14] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 770 of 1480. 1847 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104061-29?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[15] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 372 of 1416. 1870 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56851-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1223 of 1416. 1871 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56358-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 25 May 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1091 of 1480. 1871 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103996-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL:129622901,129854201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[18] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 645 of 1464. 1875 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58599-17?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 01 Apr 2010).
[20] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[21] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 684 of 1464. 1877 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58094-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[22] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[23] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 731 of 1464. 1880 Birth Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60407-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[24] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 760 of 1464. 1882 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60698-90?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[25] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 805 of 1464. 1885 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57425-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[26] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 403 of 446. 1886 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165545-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[27] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 834 of 1464. 1887 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57481-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[28] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[29] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[30] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[31] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Strassen > 1895 > image 335 of 648. Mertes household no. 145. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-20646-31?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 334 and 336
[32] Ibid, Strassen > 1895 > image 503 of 648. Parrage household no. 229. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32395-19554-40?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 25 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 502 and 504.
[33] Civil records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 49 of 117. 1891 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19882-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-N3D:130458601,129717601 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[34] Ibid, Bascharage > Décès 1895-1923 > image 52 of 300. 1900 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32025-16034-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-N3X:129625601,129623802 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[35] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[36] Luxembourg census, Bascharage > 1900 > image 599 of 738. Parrage household no. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-18055-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-2JW:346198501,345873901 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 598 and 600.
[37] Civil records, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 25 of 410. 1897 Birth Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-11964-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).
[38] Ibid, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 60 of 410. 1899 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32046-12405-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Michel MERTES
Parents: François “Franz” MERTES and Margaretha ERPELDING
Spouse:  Catharina HEIN and (*) Margaretha RUCKERT
Parents of spouse(*): Jacob RUCKERT and Magdalena SCHMIT
Whereabouts: Strassen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

  1. Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT
  2. Maria MERTES
  3. Suzanne PEFFER
  4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  5. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.