A statue from about 1740 of Saint Jean-Népomucène can be found in the interior of the Saint-Nicolas church in Vianden, Luxembourg. A copy of the statue has been on the picturesque bridge over the Our River in Vianden since 1865. The people of Vianden have given him a bizarre but kind name, a phonetic deformation of “pomucène” – Bommenzënnes. In Echternach, he watched over the banks of the Sauer River until the bridge and his statue were destroyed in 1944 during World War II.
After the new bridge was built the statue was replaced by a replica as seen in my title photo which shows the Sauer River flooding its banks this week.
Saint John of Nepomuk
Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393) is the saint of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was drowned in the Vltava (Moldau) River at the command of King Wenzel IV (Wenceslaus), King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Historically John of Pomuk, a small market town later renamed Nepomuk, was drowned in 1393 on the orders of King Wenzel because of disagreements over church politics. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of Queen Johanna of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional despite threats and torture. On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against slander and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning. He was canonized in 1729 by Pope Benedict XII.
I found it interesting that my fourth great-grandfather Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER had the same first name as the saint who shares the honor of being the protector from floods and drowning with Saint Nicolas in Vianden. He was born and raised in Wiltz but Vianden was the town where he later married and raised his family.
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, the son of Joseph SCHLOESSER (1729-1800) and Catherine ARENDT (1730-1796), was born on 18 March 1764 in Wiltz. He was the sixth of ten children. Three of his siblings, the oldest and two youngest, died within a few days or months of their births. All others lived into their sixties and seventies except for one brother who died at the age of 44. His parents were both still living when Jean-Népomucène married Margaretha TRAUDT on 26 April 1790 in Vianden.
Margaretha TRAUDT, the daughter of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL, was born on 8 August 1766 in Vianden. She was the youngest of nine children. Several of her siblings are known to have lived to adulthood and marry. They may have grown up with a step-mother as Barbe BILL died on 18 May 1769 in Vianden when her youngest was only a little over two and a half years old. A widower named Nicolas TRAUDT married Barbara KÖNY on 1 October 1769 in Vianden. More research is needed to determine if this marriage was the second marriage for Margaretha’s father.
Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT were the parents of a dozen children born between 1791 and 1809 in Vianden. The father of these children worked as a nailsmith or Nagelschmied to support his family.
His wife Margaretha died 30 November 1809 at the age of 43 years, the day after giving birth to her last child. The children were:
Maria Catharina born 11 February 1791 and died 11 March 1791 at the age of 1 month
Joseph born 3 February 1792 and died 27 February 1811 at the age of 19 years
Maria Magdalena born 11 May 1793 and died 3 September 1859 at the age of 66 years
Johann born 9 November 1794, death unknown (may have died before 1799 when another child was named Johann)
Gregorius born 16 September 1796 and died 20 December 1847 at the age of 51 years
Catharina born 21 September 1798, death unknown
Johann born 7 August 1799 and died 6 April 1864 at the age of 64 years
Johann Peter born 19 July 1801, death unknown. He was living in 1825.
Peter born 29 June 1803 and died 8 June 1818 at the age of 14 years
Joseph Jacob born 30 March 1805 and died 10 February 1807 at the age of nearly 2 years
Jean Joseph born 29 March 1807 and died 25 November 1841 at the age of 34.
Maria Catharina born 29 November 1809 and died 5 August 1810 at the age of eight months. Her name was seen as Anna Catharina on her death record.
Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage
Jean-Népomucène waited a full year before he remarried. The bride, Elisabetha HAMELING, was fifteen years younger than the groom when they married on Christmas Eve in 1810. She gave him two children. Laurent was born on 12 August 1812 and Gregorius on 9 February 1815. The second son lived only a little more than six weeks dying on 27 March 1815.
The children marry
Ten years after his marriage to Elisabetha the SCHLOESSER children were growing and the banns were being published for the first marriages.
Gregorius SCHLOESSER, likely the oldest living son at the time, married Marguerite HACK (1794-1821) on 11 April 1820 in Clervaux. His younger brother Johann was one of the witnesses to his marriage.
Maria Magdalena SCHLOESSER, the oldest daughter, married Mathias COLLING (1793-1846) on 24 February 1824 in Vianden. Her brother Johann Peter SCHLOESSER was a witness to her marriage.
Gregorius’ wife died on 5 September 1821 and he waited four years before he married again. Marguerite ALFF (1797-1853) was his bride and they married on 21 December 1825 in Clervaux. His brother Johann Peter of Vianden was a witness.
Jean-Népomucène causes problems at my 3rd great-grandfather’s wedding
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden. He was 69 years old and still working as a nailsmith or cloutier as this old profession was known in French. The informant on his death record was his youngest son Laurent from his second marriage who was 21 years old.
Jean-Népomucène’s death left my third great-grandfather without parents to give consent to the marriage he planned two years later. Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER was 28 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897) on 17 November 1835 in Metz, Department Moselle, in France. She was 25 and from Echternach.
When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family the civil records for the city of Metz were not available online. I had found their date of marriage and the dates of birth of their four daughters in the 10-year lists (Tables décennales) but did not have copies of the records. While writing this I realized it had been two years and the archives for the municipality should by now have the civil records online. [insert Happy Dance here]
I now have the digital copies of all five records but, due to terms and conditions, I cannot share images of them on my blog without getting special permission. What I can do is share the link to the Schloesser-Consbruèck marriage record for viewing:
From the record I learned, when presenting his paperwork to marry, Jean Joseph gave the name of his father as Jean SCHLOESSER. A copy of the death record of the father of the groom was presented as evidence. This caused a problem as the name on the death record was Jean-Népomucène and not Jean. Jean Joseph was then required to present the death records of his grandparents since his parents were deceased and there was a doubt the death record was for the correct person. Jean Joseph swore under oath that he did not know the dates of death or place of death for his grandparents and would not be able to obtain the records. He also presented a certificate from the commune of Vianden which stated he was able to enter into a contract of marriage with the person he had chosen according to the law.
His bride Anna Maria presented a notarized document giving parental permission to marry. Her parents were not present at the marriage as they were living in Echternach. On the marriage record as well as on the birth records the first three daughters, Anna Maria’s place of birth was seen as Etternach (Belgium). On the birth record of the youngest daughter, the mother Anna Maria’s place of birth was correctly given as Echternach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It shows the importance of finding all records to document a family group. Without all information, I may have disregarded the documents with the incorrect place of birth for Anna Maria.
Two more marriages take place
Johann SCHLOESSER, the second oldest son and 38 years old, married Anne Catherine Margaretha de THIERRY (1792-1862) on 13 September 1837 in Mompach, near Echternach. His bride was 45 years old.
The youngest son and only living child from Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage, Laurent married Anne-Marie FRIEDERICH (1812-1867) on 10 July 1838 in Beaufort, near Echternach. Laurent’s mother Elisabetha HAMELING was present and consenting to the marriage.
Deaths in the family
Five months after she attended the wedding of her only living child, Elisabeth HAMELING, the widow of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, died in Beaufort on 14 December 1838. She had been living with her son Laurent and his wife following their marriage.
My third great-grandfather Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 25 November 1841 in Metz. He was only 34 years old and had worked as a locksmith or serrurier. In German, this occupation is Schlosser with Schlösser or Schloesser being the plural form. Schlösser also translates to castles. Jean Joseph’s widow and daughters returned to Echternach where Anna Maria continued to make a living as a seamstress.
It is not known when Johann Peter, who was last seen in 1825 at the marriage of his brother Gregorius’ marriage, died. Gregorius died at the age of 51 on 20 December 1847 in Clervaux. Maria Magdalena died at the age of 66 on 3 September 1859 in Vianden.
In 1864 the last two known living SCHLOESSER children were Johann and his half-brother Laurent. Johann died at the age of 64 in Echternach on 6 April 1864; his deceased wife’s nephew was the informant. They likely did not have children as his wife had been 45 years old when they married. The baby of the family, Laurent died at the age of 51 in Beaufort on 31 May 1864; his son-in-law was the informant.
Jean-Népomucène’s SCHLOESSER family was large and he came from at least two generations of large families. Documenting these families was made a lot easier by using the research of my 6C1R Joseph SCHLOESSER, a direct male descendant of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Jeanette GASPERSCH, the grandparents of my Jean-Népomucène, as a guide. Villmols merci, Jos.
Sources: I’m taking the easy way out again this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.
Week 34 (August 20-26) – Non-Population:While we’re on the subject of special census schedules, have you found an ancestor on a non-population census — agriculture, industry, manufactures, or 1890 Union veterans? Tell us about him or her.
“Putting Flesh on the Bones”
If the birth, marriage, and death records are the bones of your ancestors then the Non-Population Schedules and Special Censuses are the muscles and flesh we need to cover the skeleton. They provide information about the communities in which our ancestors lived making their stories more interesting. One difference between U.S. and Luxembourgish research is the lack of these special schedules.
I would be happy to have agriculture, industry, manufacturers, mortality, and veterans schedules for my Luxembourgish ancestors. I make do with the birth, marriage, death and census records for Luxembourg as they usually include enough information to substitute for misssing records and, at the same time, give more substance to the story of the entire family.
By analyzing the records of all persons in this week’s family I made some very interesting discoveries and found stand-ins for some of the missing key records.
Visiting the Ancestral Towns
While out on our bikes last week my husband and I rode through the German and Luxembourgish countryside. I often think of the families who lived in the towns we ride through. We passed through Vianden (above), the canton where the KREMER family lived before coming to Bettendorf, and rode into Dillingen (below), where the FRIEDERICH family lived, crossing over this old cobblestone bridge.
Nicolas KREMER 1797-1867
My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Nicolas KREMER was born in Hosingen, Clervaux, Luxembourg, on the 11 Ventôse Year 5 of the French Republic. Ventôse is the “windy” third month of winter and the date converts to 1 March 1797. The date and place were found on his 1830 marriage record. Other dates were seen on the census: 29 December 1800 (1846) and the year 1795 without a day or month (1849).
I searched the Hosingen birth records and found the years 1794-1797 were missing. To further complicate matters the 1843 census shows his place of birth as Stolzembourg and the 1846 and 1847 census list Wahlhausen, part of the commune of Hosingen. I checked Putscheid as Stolzembourg belongs to this commune and, once again, I found records were missing from 1794-1816. I’ve nearly given up on finding the birth record.
Nicolas’ marriage record is the substitute I use for his date of birth as well as the names of his parents. He was the son of Wilhelm “Guillaume” KREMER and Madelaine “Magdalena” WINANDY. The marriage record gives his father Wilhelm’s date of death as 28 January 1814 in Weiler, part of the commune of Putscheid. A death record was not found as this year is missing. I checked the Tables Décennales (the 10 year lists of births, marriages, and deaths) for Putscheid and Vianden and did not find him in the 1813-1822 lists. Can I trust the date and place given in the marriage record?
Nicolas had two sisters, Eva and Marie, and two brothers, Paul and Jacques. Marie never married. What did I find on the marriage records of Eva and her brothers? Wilhelm died 28 January 1814 in Weiler. Four marriage records with his date of death. Are these substitutes enough for his death record?
Sib 1: Eva (1793-1867) born 10 Sep 1793 Putscheid (Vianden). She married Nicolas DIFFERDING (1792-1869) on 15 October 1822 in Landscheid (Vianden). Eva died 3 July 1867 in Gralingen (Putscheid).
Sib 3: Marie (1801-1840) born about 1801 Walhausen. She died 12 May 1840 in Bettendorf.
Sib 4: Paul (1808-1859) born 30 May 1808 Weiler (Putscheid). He died 9 March 1859, both in Bettendorf.
Sib 5: Jacques (1813-1848) born 9 November 1813 Weiler (Putscheid). He died 23 July 1848 in Bettendorf.
As with Nicolas, I had to rely on the marriage records of Paul and Jacques as a substitute for their birth records. Eva’s baptismal record was located in the collection of church records and confirms her parents were Wilhelm KREMER and Magdalena WINANDY. Next on my research list is to locate the marriage record of Wilhelm and Magdalena.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH 1802-1871
My husband’s 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeth FRIEDERICH (1802-1871) was born 14 April 1802, per the 1846 census, or 15 April 1803, per 1849 census, in Dillingen, Luxembourg. Can these conflicting records be used as substitutes for her birth record? Per her 1830 marriage record her parents were Mathieu “Mathias” FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS (1771-1812) and Maria OLSEM (1763-1828). Elisabeth had a brother who was stillborn in 1794 and a sister born in 1796. Rob Deltgen, who has access to more than the Luxembourg church and civil records, includes the full dates in his database. I was not able to locate the records in Beaufort, the commune Dillingen belongs to. Mathias and Maria’s death records were found in Beaufort.
While looking at the map of our ride, I remembered I had found information on the FRIEDERICH family (also seen as TIVELS and THIVELS) coming from Wallendorf in Germany. Across the river from Wallendorf is the Luxembourgish village of Wallendorf-Pont which lies only 4 km from Dillingen. On an off chance Wallendorf-Pont may have kept church records I browsed the database at FamilySearch and located the 1791 marriage record of Elisabeth’s parents. This wonderful find made up for the lack of records for their children’s births.
KREMER Marriages Solve Dilemma
What do you do when you find an error in someone else’s database? What if you are not sure it’s a mistake?
Nicolas KREMER (seen here as KREMESCH) married Elisabeth FRIEDERICH on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf. This is the famous marriage record (above, top half) which contains the information missing due to lack of documents concerning births and deaths. Elisabeth’s parents were both deceased and their dates of death were included. If these were known why was the age and date of birth of the bride not included?
Nicolas’ father was deceased and his mother was present and consenting to the marriage. Her residence was “Eisback” or “Eisbach,” neither a place in Luxembourg. I wonder if the person who wrote up the record meant “Eisleck” which is the northern region of Luxembourg and covers a third of the country. Years ago when I obtained the marriage record from the civil hall in Bettendorf I thought it might even be the name of a German town. Today I believe it should be Eisenbach (Eesbech) which lies north of Wahlhausen, Weiler, Putscheid, and Stolzembourg.
A little over a month later Nicolas’ brother Paul married Marie DIEDERICH (1811-1847) on 27 March 1830 in Bettendorf. Again the mother of the groom Magdalena WINANDY a resident of Merscheid was present for the marriage. Christian DIEDERICH and his wife, the parents of the bride, were also present and consented to the marriage.
Five years later the third KREMER son was married in Bettendorf. Jacques KREMER married Cathérine KORB (1813-1895) on 27 February 1835. Both of Jacques’ parents were noted as deceased. Wilhelm died on 21 January 1814 as opposed to the 28th seen on Eva, Nicolas, and Paul’s marriage records. Magdalena died on 31 March 1814 in Weiler. As seen in the marriages records of Nicolas and Paul, this is a mistake.
Marie KREMER, the daughter who never married, died on 12 May 1840 in Bettendorf in the house of Christian DIEDERICH, her brother Paul’s father-in-law.
After studying the marriage records and finding Magdalena WINANDY living in 1830 and present at two of her sons’ marriage, I had to find her death record. First stop, the reliable online database maintained by Rob Deltgen. Unfortunately, he had the 1814 date found in Jacques’ marriage record. I was back to searching the towns seen as her residence when her children married.
Since my success rate for the records in the Putscheid was near zero I was not surprised I was unable to find the death record there. As several of the families in this branch of my husband’s tree lived in the Bettendorf area, I took a chance and searched for her death in the Tables Décennales of Bettendorf. I found a lady of the same name but the death record showed she was born in Bettendorf and 73 years old at the time of death. At first, I did not believe I had the right person even though Wilhelm KREMER was the name of her deceased husband. She would have been 56 in 1813 and too old when her son Jacques was born. But once I realized she died in the home of her son Paul’s father-in-law and only a few days after the marriage I was sure there must be an error in her age at death.
Madelaine “Magdalena” WINANDY died at the home of Christian DIEDERICH in Bettendorf on 31 March 1830, four days after the wedding. Did she plan to stay a while after the marriage or was she not well enough to go home?
I’ve contacted Rob with the correction and will continue to search for the other missing records.
Nicolas and Elisabeth’s Family
Three months after the marriage of Nicolas and Elisabeth, twins boys, Jean and Paul, were born on 18 May 1830 in Bettendorf. On 6 June at 11 o’clock in the morning, Paul died and was followed by his older twin Jean at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The death of the second twin must have been expected as Nicolas waited to report the deaths at the same time, an hour after the second death.
Following the births and deaths of the twins more children were born:
Peter was born at 5 o’clock in the morning. Six hours later his brother Johann died at age 5 years. From 1843 to 1851 Peter was seen as Jean on the census. In 1858 and 1871 he was seen as Pierre. Was he known as Jean during his childhood in remembrance of his brother Johann who died the day he was born?
Another set of twins was born on 2 October 1841.The boy was given the name Paul , a name used with the first set of twins, and the girl was named Marie. Paul, like his namesake, died young, only a month old, on 4 November 1841.
Following the twins’ births, Catherine was born on 1 March 1844. She died on 15 February 1847, two weeks before her 3rd birthday.
Marie, Paul’s twin, died on 20 March 1850. By this time Elizabeth had given birth to 10 children and 6 of these were now deceased. Jacques, Anna Maria (known as Marie), Anton and Pierre were the four remaining children.
Jacques married Elisabeth PROMMENSCHENKEL (1832-1892) on 10 May 1854 in Waldbillig. They lived for a short time in Christnach, a town in the commune of Waldbillig, where they had two daughters in 1854 and 1858. The little family may have gone to Paris following the birth of the second daughter.
In 1858 Nicolas KREMER and his wife Elizabeth FRIEDERICH had only 19 years old Pierre living at home. An annotation to the census indicates one of his sons was working in Paris and his daughter was “en condition” in Luxembourg City. As Jacques was married he would no longer be mentioned on his father’s census listing. This could mean my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather Anton KREMER may have been the son who was in Paris.
If it was Anton who was working in Paris in December 1858 he did not stay for long. Anton was in Bettendorf on 1 September 1859 when he married my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother Anna Maria MERKES (1835-1920).
Anna Maria “Marie” KREMER was last seen with her parents on the 1861 census and was single. Her brother Jacques was last heard of when he reported the death of his second daughter on 18 November 1865 in the 19e arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France. On 2 November 1892, his wife Elisabeth PROMMENSCHENKEL died at the same address. Her husband Jacques was listed as deceased. These death records, found online in the Paris archives, help estimate his death at between 1865-1892.
Nicolas KREMER died 8 February 1867 Bettendorf. Nicolas, who had worked as a day laborer (Journalier or Taglöhner) his entire adult life, left his wife Elisabeth and sons Anton and Pierre. Were Marie and Jacques still living? Further research may uncover their whereabouts or death records.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH died 28 October 1871 in Bettendorf. Her son Anton was the informant. Later in the year her son Pierre was listed on the back page of Anton’s census record as being in service (in dienst) but without a location. He was most likely still single. If he had been married at the time he would have been listed in his own household. No further record was found for Peter/Pierre and I estimate his death at after December 1871.
Anton KREMER, the last living child of Nicolas KREMER and Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, died 28 April 1918 in Bettendorf at the age of 81.
Make Do With What You Find
I hope you’ve enjoyed the photographs taken for this week’s post as well my twist on the theme. No special census records for this family. And even though I’m missing key documents for the KREMER and FRIEDERICH families the list of sources used is still quite long. I thought this would be such an easy post but while writing and reviewing the documents I noticed facts I’d missed and had to do more than the usual amount of re-writing.
This 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.