Monday morning I had a comment waiting to be approved on my post 52 Ancestors: #16 A Door Opens in the KREMER-WINANDY Brick Wall written nearly two years ago on 21 April 2017. The post on my husband’s 4th great-grandparents had attracted the interest of another researcher showing me once again that blogging is great cousin bait.
In a follow-up comment, I learned Nicolas’ son Anton KREMER (1836-1918) is the common ancestor Elodie shares with my husband. Anton was her 3rd great-grandfather and my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather making them 3C1R (third cousins once removed). Elodie and my children are fourth cousins; their common ancestors are their 3rd great-grandparents Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES. I wrote about this couple in May 2015 in my post 52 Ancestors: #18 The KREMER-MERKES Family of Bettendorf.
Twelve children were born into the KREMER-MERKES family between 1860 and 1878. Only five of these lived to adulthood. Elodie’s ancestor was their oldest child Nicolas born in 1860 while my husband and children descend from the youngest child who lived, also a Nicolas born in 1875. In between, there was Maria born in 1862, Mathias born in 1865, and Peter born in 1869.
When I wrote about the family in May 2015 I knew the elder Nicolas had worked in the mines and died in Rumelange, in southern Luxembourg on the French border, in 1895 at the age of 35. Per his death record, he was the widower of Margaretha NAU. The informants were Nicolas’ bother Mathias KREMER (1865-1945) and their uncle Mathias MERKES (their mother’s youngest brother).1
The only lead I had on Nicolas’ wife was the name found on his death record. I found no marriage in Luxembourg (using Luxracines‘ marriage database) and no children for Nicolas KREMER and Margaretha NAU born in Rumelange where the father worked and died. Records for Luxembourg are not indexed making it difficult to find births of children when families didn’t stay in one place and when the families have not been researched by others. As far as I could tell the elder Nicolas’ line ended with his death.
Elodie’s reaching out to me has solved the mystery of Nicolas KREMER (1860-1895) and has added a twig to the KREMER branch in our family tree.
Nicolas had a son Mathias born on 4 September 1890 to his wife Catharina NAU in Dudelange.2 The name given on Nicolas’ death record for his deceased wife was a mistake. I had searched for a death record for her with the wrong name. Nicolas’ wife Catharina NAU died 7 February 1892 at the age of 21.3 Her son Mathias was only seventeen months old.
Mathias was baptized on 7 September 1890. His godparents were his paternal uncle Mathias KREMER and a maternal aunt Anna NAU.4 His baptismal record is annotated with the date and place of his marriage as well as the name of his bride. Mathias married Catharina EICH on 11 December 1919 in Audun-le-Tiche, Moselle, Lorraine, France. The civil records for the département de la Moselle are not yet online for this period. The tables décennales (ten-year lists for BMD) are online and I found the date on the list to be 1 December 1919.5(Something to look into…)
Mathias and Catharina were already parents of a son when they married. Their son Nicolas who was born on 19 November 1919 in Audun-le-Tiche and died in 1992 in Loudun, Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France. Several GEDCOM files were found on Geneanet that include private living persons listed as siblings of this Nicolas. He had at least seven siblings, six of whom are married with children.6 Nicolas was Elodie’s grandfather.
Thanks to Elodie’s getting in touch through my Facebook page and by commenting on my post, another child of Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES is known to have descendants.
At this time, only the fate of Peter born in 1869 is still unknown. Peter had been working in Esch-sur-Alzette for 18 months per his father’s 1890 census record.7 On the 1895 census record, he was found to be working in France – the actual place is not mentioned on the father’s census record.8 Normally only single children working away from home were listed in the parents’ census records in Luxembourg.
Elodie’s ancestor Nicolas (1860) was also listed as working away from home on his father’s 1890 and 1895 census. As I now know, he was not single at the time of either of the enumerations. When the 1890 census was taken on 1 December 1890 Nicolas was not only on his father’s census record but also enumerated in the Italian neighborhood of Dudelange in his own household with his wife and child. Also in Nicolas’ household was his mother-in-law Margaretha TIMMER who was not at home at the time and in Rumelange for the day on a visit.9
If Nicolas was on his father’s census record when he should not have been, what does this mean for his brother Peter? Was he single in 1890 and/or in 1895? Could Anton have given information on his sons even though they were married and no longer his responsibility?
Hearing from Elodie not only pushed me to do new research on the KREMER family but also led me to another cousin. While checking FamilySearch for the records of Nicolas’ wife and son the site froze up on me. As I clicked around trying to solve the problem, I noticed a little red dot on the messages icon in the upper right corner. A researcher from Brazil had left a message for me on March 22 and I was only now seeing it two weeks later. Another one of my husband’s distant cousins from a line that had not been researched due to an unknown emigration in the 1820s.
Have you been reaching out to distant cousins or have distant cousins been getting in touch with you lately?
In 1756 two children were born in Bertrange, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one on September 20th and the other on October 2nd. Their baptismal records are on the same page in the parish register, the second right below the first. The twelve days between no children were born in Bertrange.
A little over twenty years later, on 10 February 1777, the two children were once again seen in the parish register, this time getting married – to each other.
Peter SCHMIT (1756-1816) and Rosa CLEMENS (1756-1815), the children who were baptized in 1756 and the couple who married in 1777, had ten children born between 1778 and 1799. Their second son Peter SCHMIT, my children’s 5th great-grandfather, was born and baptized on 3 April 1779 in Bertrange. His godparents were Petrus KREMER and Catharina SCHMIT. His father was present and signed the record in longhand.
Peter SCHMIT married Margaretha WEICKER before 1811. Their marriage took place before their first child was born however a marriage record has not been found. The couple was always referred to as legally married when their children were born. The marriage record was not found in Bertrange parish records from 1802-1811 or in the tables décennales (10-year lists) for the years 1802-1812 for Bertrange and Steinfort. Records were usually very well kept and I believe one day Peter and Margaretha’s marriage will turn up. Perhaps sooner than later as my genealogy society Luxracines has dedicated members working on a marriage project – indexing all marriages in Luxembourg from 1802 to 1923.
Why is Margaretha WEICKER’s Parentage Unknown?
Margaretha, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, was born about 1795 in Hoën (Hagen), Sterpenich, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The year of birth was estimated from her age at the time of death. Records for Hagen, a village in the Steinfort area, are not in the FamilySearch collection for Luxembourg for this period.
The Grand Duchy was under a double administration for about eight years before the Treaty of London was passed in 1839 when the present borders of Luxembourg were defined. Repatriation of the records (return to the country of origin) was not simple. Records for Steinfort for the period before the borders were changed can be found in Autelbas in the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium. Civil records beginning in 1796 for Autelbas are online at FamilySearch.
As Margaretha’s birth may have been earlier I checked the parish records for Sterpenich in the FamilySearch catalog. The parish records of Sterpenich for the years 1779-1793 are conformed copies made from the originals by the Luxembourg authorities and given to the Belgium government in December 1844 per the convention of Utrecht signed in 1843, i.e. repatriation. I have no idea where the records for the years 1794-1795 may be found and am at a standstill on my research for Margaretha, her birth, and parentage.
Not only are the records missing, Margaretha’s name has been found with several variations. Her family name was spelled WEIKER or WEICKER and also seen as WIKERT. Her first name was Margaretha in early documents and Anne Marguerite in later years. These are all things which need to be considered when future research is done on her parentage.
Peter and Margaretha’s Children
Peter and Margaretha were the parents of seven children. Two died before their 2nd birthdays while the five others grew to adulthood, married, and had their own children. These are the SCHMIT children:
Magdalena SCHMIT was born on 10 February 1811 in domo Donnen in Bertrange. She was baptized the same day. Her godfather was Joannes SCHMIDT from Bertrange and her godmother was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Was her godmother her grandmother, an aunt, or cousin? This may be a clue to solving the question of her mother’s parentage.
Rosa SCHMIT was born on 7 Feb 1815 in domo Bour in Bertrange and baptized the same day. Her godmother was her paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS. Her godfather was Nicolaus WEICKER of Hohen. Could he have been her maternal grandfather or an uncle?
Rosa’s godmother and paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS died only a few months later on 22 May 1815. Her paternal grandfather Peter SCHMIT died on 11 February 1816.
Rosa died two weeks later on 26 February 1816 in domo Donnen in Bertrange shortly after her first birthday. She was buried the following day. Her religious death and burial record has her mother’s name as Anna Margaretha Hinnicker instead of Weicker.
Nicolas SCHMIT was born at seven in the morning on 8 April 1817 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth two hours later. As baptismal records for Bertrange are only available online up to 1816 the godparents of Nicolas and his younger siblings were not found as they were for Magdalena and Rosa.
Michel SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 10 February 1819 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth eight hours later.
Following their youngest child Michel’s first birthday, Peter and Margaretha lost their second child, son Nicolas. He died on 21 February 1820 in Bertrange at the age of nearly three years.
Jean SCHMIT* was born at three in the afternoon on 12 July 1820. His father reported the birth two days later at eight in the morning on the 14th. This child’s birth record was only found after this post was ready to be published. While reading through the final draft I realized something was wrong and checked again on SCHMIT children born in Bertrange.
Maria Catharina SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 25 February 1822 in Bertrange. Her father reported the birth the same day at nine in the morning.
Jean SCHMIT was born at 9:30 in the morning on 3 September 1825 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth the same day at eleven in the morning. As was the case with all of his children’s births, Peter declared not being able to write. I found this strange, his being the second born of a father who was able to write as seen above at the time of his own baptism in 1779.
Margaretha WEICKER’s Death in 1826
The mother of the five living children, Margaretha WEICKER, died on 17 January 1826 in Bartringen. She was 31 years old at the time of her death. Her youngest child was only four months old and her oldest would shortly be turning fifteen. Her name on the record was Anne Marguerithe WEICKER. The addition of Anne to her name was also seen on the birth records of her two youngest children.
Widowed Peter Remarries
Following the death of his wife, Peter waited two years before taking a second wife. This seems unusual as he had been left with five children, one still a baby. Magdalena, his oldest child, likely took on the responsibilities of a little mother, helping care for her younger siblings.
Peter married Anne Marie SCHOLER, daughter of Jean SCHOLER and Susanne BOURENS, on 22 March 1828 in Bertrange. Anne Marie was born on 4 June 1792 in Obersyren (Schuttrange).
Peter and his second wife Anne Marie had only one child, a daughter, Madelaine born four years into the marriage on 16 July 1832 in Bertrange. Her half-siblings were by this time 7, 10, 12, 13, and 21 years old. She did not, however, grow up without a playmate.
Peter’s oldest daughter Magdalena gave birth to a natural daughter on 7 November 1835. Anne’s father’s name was not on the birth record. Natural was the term used for children born out of wedlock. Anne appears to have been raised in her maternal grandfather’s household as she was listed with Peter and Anne Marie on the 1843 and 1846 census.
Peter’s second wife Anne Marie had a sister Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) who was married to Jacob RUCKERT (1787-1856). Margaretha gave Jacob eight children, six of whom were living when she died after giving birth to the last on 20 March 1842.. Peter’s brother-in-law Jacob became his son-in-law eight months later.
At eleven in the morning of 27 March 1847 Peter SCHMIT age 22 reported the death of his father Peter SCHMIT who had died only two hours earlier at his home in the neighborhood called Eichels in Bertrange.
I have a small problem with this death record as Peter did not have a son named Peter. Both of Peter’s wives are correctly named on the death record. Is the signature of the informant that of Jean SCHMIT the youngest son who was 22 years old at the time? The younger Jean was the only child to remain in his father’s household in 1843 and 1846 and was seen with his step-mother in 1847. Due to the fact that I found another son named Jean born in 1820, I believe the younger son may have been known as Johann Peter (Jean Pierre) to distinguish him from his older brother Jean.
Widow Anne SCHOLER last seen in 1847 census
In the 1847 census, Peter’s widow Anne SCHOLER was the head of household with her stepsons Michel, Jean (26), Jean (22) and stepdaughter Maria Catharina (children from Peter’s first marriage) and her only child, daughter Madelaine from her marriage to Peter. This entry in the census led me to search once again for children of Peter and Margaretha but only after I had finished the research and written this post.
Michel, the elder Jean, and Maria Catharina were not in their father’s household in 1843 or 1846. This was not unusual as they were of an age to be working outside of the home. I had wrongly assumed the elder Jean found in the 1847 census was an error or relative other than child.
Peter’s widow Anne Marie SCHOLER and their daughter Madelaine have not found after the 1847 census.
The SCHMIT children lived in the three districts of Luxembourg
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is divided into three districts: Luxembourg, Diekirch, and Grevenmacher (dark gray areas in the maps below). Each district is divided into cantons (red areas in the maps below) and each canton is divided into communes. Several towns and villages may be part of a commune.
The District of Luxembourg
Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s children grew up in the town of Bertrange. Peter had deep roots in the town as his parents and grandparents all came from the town.
Their oldest daughter Magdalena SCHMIT raised her family in Bertrange. She was likely the first of the siblings to pass away.* She died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange. Other than her natural daughter Anne, she had a son and three daughters with Jacob RUCKERT. The son has not been found after he turned 21 in 1864. One daughter died as an infant. The youngest daughter had a natural son (1867-1868) and it is not known if she ever married or where she lived after her mother’s death. The older daughter Margaretha, my children’s 3rd great-grandmother, married but there is still the mystery of what happened to her and of her family after 1895. It is only through the marriage of her daughter Maria MERTES in 1894 and the census of 1895 that I know that Margaretha and her husband Michel MERTES were still living in 1895.
Peter and Margaretha’s youngest son Jean SCHMIT (b. 1825) also spent his married life in Bertrange. But before this, he was living and working in other places. One residence was Mondercange where he was in May 1852 when his brother Michel married. He was one of the four witnesses and signed “Jang Schmit.” Six years later he was living and working in Noertzange (Bettembourg) when he made plans to marry. Jean married Maria RISCHARD on 20 January 1858 in Schuttrange. Maria was born on 16 March 1827 in Uebersyren (Schuttrange), the same place Jean’s step-mother was born. They lived in Bertrange their entire married life. They were the parents of 6 children, three of whom died at a young age. Of the three living children, a daughter married and had children. The two sons were working in Lothringen (France) in the late 1890s – they have not been traced.
Jean SCHMIT died on 28 November 1892 in Bertrange. His death record has the right wife but the wrong parents. The information was given by his son-in-law Mathias HANSEN. Jean’s wife died six years later on 30 April 1898 in Bertrange.
The District of Diekirch
The second daughter of Peter and Margaretha, Maria Catharina married Joseph POECKER on 20 February 1852 in Bettendorf. Joseph was born on 25 February 1819 in Bettendorf.
How Maria Catharina came to marry in Bettendorf is unknown at this time. She and her husband raised their family on Fooshof. They had seven children, four of whom died in infancy. A daughter who never married died at the age of 38 years. The youngest living son born in 1864 was unmarried at the time of the 1900 census. He was living with his brother Nicolas who had married in 1893 and continued the line.
Maria Catharina died on 1 September 1879 on the family farm, Fooshof in Bettendorf. Her husband Joseph died on 19 January 1895 on Fooshof.
The District of Grevenmacher
Peter and Margaretha’s oldest son Michel married Anna Margretha BRAUN on 5 May 1852 in Waldbillig. Anna was born on 12 May 1826 in Bettange-sur-Mess (Dippach). Michel and Anna Margretha started their family when they were working on the Wolperhof in the commune of Consdorf. Three of their children were born here.
The District of Diekirch
The third child’s birth at Wolper was followed by a move to the western part of Luxembourg in the commune of Bettborn. Three more children were born in Pratz, part of the commune of Bettborn.
Michel and Anna Margretha lived in Horaz from 1885. Not far from Pratz, Horaz, which is also spelled Horass, only had two households.
Michel SCHMIT was the oldest son and last living child of Peter and Margaretha. He died on 26 December 1898 in Horaz. His wife Anna Margretha predeceased him on 12 November 1890 in Horaz.
Still Not Quite Done
* Due to my only learning of the existence of the elder son Jean born in 1820 after writing this post, I have not had the time to research where he may have lived and worked, if he ever married and had children, and when and where he died. Considering his name Jean SCHMIT – just another John Smith – the search may take a while.
This is the last post on my children’s paternal 5th great-grandparents. I already wrote about half of their maternal 5th great-grandparents (my paternal 4th great-grandparents) in 2014 when I did the first round of Amy Johnson Crow‘s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.
Next up will be 16 sets of my maternal 4th great-grandparents. The first eight being from small towns and villages which are now part of Germany near the Luxembourg border. The last eight will be from Luxembourg. I hope to finish up this series by the end of the year even though there are only 13 weeks left. Wish me luck and lots of free time.
Maps used are in the Public domain (Wikimedia Commons) and were annotated using Evernote.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A quick tour of the town of Reisdorf takes us to the church built in 1900.
And behind the church is the town hall.
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. 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.
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. Anna Catharina was born on 8 December 1762 in Reisdorf, 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.
Wilhelm DAHM (1799-1843) was born on 8 September 1799 in Moestroff. He married Margretha STEFFEN, daughter of Nicolas STEFFEN and Elisabeth ZENNER, on 28 January 1830 in Bettendorf. Margretha was born on 27 December 1807 in Erpeldange. They had three children who all continued this line. Wilhelm died on 19 June 1843 in Erpeldange (Diekirch) at the age of 43 years. His widow Margretha died on 26 January 1876 in Diekirch. 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. He died on 26 February 1829 in Moestroff at the age of 26 years. He was a tailor or Schneider and never married.
Théodore DAHM (1804-1879) was born on 4 August 1804 in Moestroff. He died on 2 February 1879 in Ettelbruck at the age of 74 years. 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. His widow and the mother of the children Anna Catharina STRENG died two years later on 10 January 1832 at 5 in the morning. 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 indicated the family lived in Moestroff in a house known as Scheuer. (the Latin being aedibus Scheur)
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.
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 and 1846 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. In 1851 he was again with the ZWANK-DAHM family. In 1852 he had his own household but as with previous years, the house name was not listed.
Those were the years the census did not include the name of the house.
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. In 1858 Maria was widowed and living in Scheier (Luxembourgish version of Scheuer) house with two of her unmarried children. 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 two days before her daughter Marie ZWANK married Nicolas PEFFER Sr. 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, in 1864 Dahms, in 1867, 1871, and 1875 Scheier. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clara WELTER (1766-1826)
Franciscus married Maria Clara WELTER, daughter of Johann WELTER and Anna Maria FELTES, on 26 October 1789 in Bettendorf. Clara, as she was known, was born on 4 July 1766 in Reisdorf, the fifth of seven children. She died on 25 January 1826 in Moestroff.
Franz and Clara’s children
Catherine ZWANK was born on 2 August 1790 and died on 29 March 1852. (more below)
Peter ZWANK § was born on 19 August 1793 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf. He died at the age of 3 years on 8 September 1796 in Moestroff.
Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born on 17 May 1795 and died on 15 February 1858. (more below)
Johann ZWANCK was born on 26 April 1797. He died on 28 February 1832. (more below)
Margreta ZWANG § was born on 22 April 1799 in Moestroff. She lived only eight days dying on 29 April 1799.
Maria ZWANG § was born 26 May 1800 and died on 26 January 1815 at the age of 14 years in Moestroff.
Franciscus ZWANCK § was born on 28 April 1804  and died on 18 July 1804 at the age of nearly three months. 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 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. Matthias was born on 2 January 1785 in Ralingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He died on 3 August 1819 in Moestroff. 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. Nicolas was born on 29 January 1779 in Örntzheim (Nommern). He died on 25 June 1859 in Moestroff. 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 “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. Maria was born on 10 July 1797 in Moestroff and christened the same day in Bettendorf. Jacob died on 15 February 1858 in Moestroff and Maria died on 28 November 1859 in Moestroff. Their story was told in 52 Ancestors: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff. Jacob and Maria’s children remained in Moestroff.
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. Cathérine was born on 2 October 1804 in Vianden 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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael GRASSER was born on 8 July 1772 in Moestroff, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.1 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 17742, Michael 24 February 17763, Susanna 26 September 17774, Wilhelm 11 February 17805, Joannes 26 October 17826, Mathias 12 November 17847 (d. 5 March 17858), and Philippe 24 July 17869. Baptismal records were found for all of these children. Their father was often referred to as Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS.
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.10 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.
Elisabeth and Michael marry in 1796
Michael married Elisabetha on 20 January 1796 in Bettendorf. The marriage index card11 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).
The children of Michael and Elisabetha
Michael and Elisabetha had the following children:
Nicolas GRASSER was born on 11 November 179612 in Moestroff and died on 18 February 180113 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
2. Margaretha GRASSER was born on 31 December 179714 in Moestroff and died on 24 April 184815 in Moestroff. She married Pierre RAUSCH, son of Mathieu RAUSCH and Marie SCHMIT, on 25 January 182016 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]
Jean GRASSER was born on 13 February 179917 in Moestroff and died on 19 November 180318 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
Anna Catharina GRASSER was born on 15 December 180119 in Moestroff and died on 6 December 182120 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 188221 in Moestroff. She married Antoin “Anton” PEFFER, son of Adam PEFFER and Marguerite PIERRET, on 17 February 183022 in Bettendorf. Anton was born on 20 May 180323 in Obermertzig (Feulen) and died on 26 December 185824 in Moestroff. Maria and Anton were my children’s 4th great-grandparents. [7 children]
Phillippe GRASSER was born on 26 July 180425 in Moestroff and died on 12 March 180526 in Moestroff at the age of nearly 8 months.
Cathérine GRASSER was born on 12 November 180527 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 183228 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]
Nicolas GRASSER was born on 4 July 180729 in Moestroff and died on 1 June 185230 in Moestroff. He married Anne Cathérine STAUDT, daughter of Jean STAUDT and Madeleine SCHILTZ, on 2 March 183531 in Bastendorf (Diekirch). Anne Cathérine was born on 16 January 180832 in Brandenbourg and died on 24 November 185933 in Moestroff. [4 children]
Nicolas GRASSER was born on 23 April 180934 in Moestroff and died on 8 May 186735 in Lultzhausen (Neunhausen). He married Madeleine LENTZ, daughter of Jean LENTZ and Anne Marie MARTEN, on 9 June 183236 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 184437 in Bettendorf. Marguerite was born on 2 March 1820 in Beaufort (Echternach) and died on 22 May 189138 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.39 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.
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 oldest single daughter Maria, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.
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
Elisabetha HOSCHEID’s son-in-law Pierre RAUSCH was the informant of her death on 17 September 1831 in Moestroff.40 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.
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.
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.
Name: Michael GRASSER Parents: Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS and Elisabetha WINANDY Spouse: Elisabetha HOSCHEID Parents of Spouse: Léonard HOSCHEID and Marie Catharina REULAND Whereabouts: Moestroff, Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: my children’s 5th great-grandparents
Sometimes I am amazed at the discoveries I make when I sit down to write about these ancestral couples. Of course this only happens when I do a new round of research to learn more about the couple, their children, their parents and siblings, and any other possible connections.
While working through this family group, I discovered the father of the nearly 20 years old Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS had not died in 1791 as believed. The discovery of his death record started an avalanche of records which I will work through when I do the next generation. You’ll get a tiny peek below.
After the marriage banns had been read in Wallendorf and Bissen, and there being no objection to the marriage, a minor young man named Mathias FREDERICH and a young woman who was of age named Maria OLSEM were married on 7 February 1791 in the parish of Wallendorf. At the time Wallendorf was part of Luxembourg; after 1815 it became part of Germany.
Mathias was the legitimate son of Joannis FREDERICH, a farmer who was present, and the deceased Catharina FEDERSPIEL, both of Dillingen. Maria was the legitimate daughter of the deceased couple Martini OLSEM and Margaretha MAY of Colmar. Witnesses to the marriage were J.P. MAY from Bastendorf (could he have been a maternal uncle?) and Franciscus CONCEMIUS from Bettendorf. The groom, bride, and father of the groom left their mark while the two witnesses to the marriage signed their names. [Names are given as found in the marriage record.]
Mathias’ parents were Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH (1741-1811) and Catharina FEDERSPIEL (1746-1785). Catharina died on 30 November 1785 in Dillingen. She left her husband Johann with three sons and a daughter between the ages of 2 and 15 years. Records for this family were found in Wallendorf-Pont and Beaufort.
Maria’s parents were Martin HUNTGES also known as Martin OLSEM (1722-1782) and Margaretha MAY (1727-1789). They were the parents of six known children who carried the OLSEM surname and were born in Colmar between 1756-1773. When Martin OLSEM died on 13 October 1782 in Colmar and was buried in Berg, he left his wife with five children at home. Their oldest son had married earlier in the year. Margaretha, Maria’s mother, saw her two oldest daughters marry before she died on 6 June 1789 in Colmar and was buried in Berg. Maria was now the oldest unmarried child with a younger brother and sister.
The First Clue to an Error
Following the marriage of Mathias and Maria in 1791, a Johann TIVELS died on 20 August 1791 in Dillingen. The record was misinterpreted by an earlier researcher who attributed the death to Mathias’ father Johann TIVELS. When I viewed the death record, I questioned it being for the father as it read Joannes infansis Joannis Tivels (Johann child or infant of Johann Tivels). Johann Sr. was, I thought, a widower at the time and would have been seen in the parish register entry as viduus.
Mathias and Maria’s Children
Mathias and Maria lived in Dillingen their entire married life. They likely attended the little church seen above in the background. The old cobblestone paved bridge which crosses the Sauer River, the border between Luxembourg and Germany, leads into the town.
The first known child of Mathias and Maria was a male stillborn on 5 July 1794 in Dillingen. The information is attributed to the Familienbuch der kath. Pfarrei St.Peter und Paul in Wallendorf by Mathias Emil Hubsch. The family book of Wallendorf includes the towns of Hösdorf (1744-1822), Ammeldingen and Biesdorf (1744-1899) and Dillingen (1744-1807). I’ll check the book when I visit the Archive Luxracines tomorrow.
Maria and Mathias’s second child, a daughter Maria FRIDERICH was born on 14 April 1796 in Dillingen. Her birth was found in the index to the microfilm records Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898.
On 14 April 1802, exactly six years later Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, the last known child of Mathias and Maria, was born in Dillingen. Her birth record has not been located. The date of birth was found on the 1846 census. Or should I use 15 April 1803, the date found on the 1849 census? Normally a date of birth would be found on her marriage record but, in this case, her age and date of birth were omitted on the record. At the time of death on 28 October 1871, she was listed as 70 years old.
Mathias’ Father Dies
Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH, father of Mathias, lived twenty years longer than first believed. Mathias was 39 years old when he went before Johann Georg EVEN, mayor of Beaufort, and reported the death of his father in Dillingen on 4 August 1811 in his home known as Thivels. The death record had a surprising detail. Johann left a widow named Maria BOUR.
Further research showed that due to the nature of the surnames used in different records [changing surnames and house names] the connection had not been made by others who have researched the areas of Wallendorf, Dillingen, Colmar, and Beaufort. I believe this is due to the difference between research done for family books of towns and research done for families. Town family books are wonderful references but verification of the dates and places for the individuals and family groups needs to be obtained by accessing the records.Johann THIVELS married Catharina FEDERSPIEL and Johann FRIEDERICH married Maria BOUR. Since the Johann who married Catharina was believed to have died in 1791 the connection to Johann who married Maria BOUR was not made. The son Mathias from the first marriage is the common denominator and led me to the records which I believe prove only one Johann married both ladies. His second marriage took place three and a half months after his first wife’s death. I am still working on the children of the second marriage. The death record of a son Peter who lived less than a month and died in 1786 lists the father as Joannis FREDERICH vulgo TIVELS and shows the connection between the two names as is later seen on Johann’s death record.
A year after he was seen as the informant on his father’s death record, Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS died on 16 August 1812 in Dillingen. He left a wife, Maria OLSEM, and a daughter Elisabeth who was just ten years old.
So little is known of the FRIDERICH-OLSEM couple that I focused my research a bit more closely on the siblings of Mathias and Maria. Although I knew Maria lived another 16 years after Mathias died and would die in Dillingen, I wondered if there may be stronger connections between her and her family in Colmar. This turned up a strange intertwined connection.
Maria’s brother Dominique OLSEM was 38 years old when he married the 26 years old Susanne HAMES on 18 May 1806 in Berg.  They had four children.
Mathias’ youngest sibling and only sister Marie TIWELS married Joseph KOOB on 11 January 1808 in Bettendorf. She was 26 years old. They had a son.
Dominique OLSEM died on 28 Mar 1813 in Colmar and Marie TIWELS died on 16 May 1815 in Moestroff. Dominique’s widow Susanne HAMES and Marie’s widower Joseph KOOB married on 29 November 1815 in Berg. Perhaps Marie played matchmaker for her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Or the matchmaker could have been her older brother Nicolas OLSEM who was a witness to the marriage in Berg.
Marie OLSEM died on 1 April 1828 in Dillingen.  The informant gave her age as 73 years but she was only 64. She was survived by her daughter Elisabeth and one living sibling, Maria Barbara OLSEM who died on 16 December 1829 in Wiltz.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was not yet married and celebrated her 26th birthday a little over two weeks after her mother’s death. Almost two years later, on 17 February 1830, she married Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) in Bettendorf  to begin her own little family. It would not be a happy first year of marriage…. Her story continues here.
Michel LORENTZ and Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) are the 5th great-grandparents of my children through their paternal line. Michel married Catharina on 21 November 1756 in Diekirch., 
The marriage index card for their marriage gives the date and parish but no information on the volume number of the register or the page. This means a bit more page by page searching but I am getting used to searching the church records.
Michael Lorens filius legitimus Mathias
Lorens p.m. in Ingeldorf et Catharina
Stengenfort filia legitima Petri
Stengenfort ex Naschem copulati
sunt 21t 9bris 1756.
The abbreviation p. m. (piae memoriae) after the name of the groom’s father is an indication that he was deceased at the time of his son’s marriage. This abbreviation is not found after the bride’s father’s name. His place of residence is Naschem which is Nagem (Luxembourgish: Nojem). Nagem belonged to the parish of Rédange-sur-Attert. I have not been able to locate a death entry for Petri or a birth record for the bride Catharina in these church records which begin in 1733. Her maiden name was spelled STENGENFORT on the marriage and death record; this was taken into consideration while searching for the baptismal record.
Michael LORENTZ was born on 6 December 1733 in Ingeldorf to Mathias LORENS and his wife Eva. Michel, as his name was later written, was baptized the same day in Ingeldorf; the godparents were Michael LORENTZ and Appollonia FRENTZ from “Nomeren”.
Victor Racine’s Le Petit Latin pour la généalogie au Luxembourg includes tidbits of information on parish records including the following (translated from German to English):
At baptism, a girl always gets the first name of the godmother, a boy that of the godfather. Baptism usually takes place on the day of birth, but at the latest the next morning. Substitutes are allowed for non-local sponsors. Godfather and godmother are very often for the first son of a couple, the paternal grandfather and the maternal grandmother and for the first daughter, the maternal grandfather and the paternal grandmother. In the case of a life-threatening condition, the midwife performs an emergency baptism. The absence of the father, “patre absente” in some cases is irrelevant, since besides the priest and the godfather, no man attends a baptism. Lords and other notables were very popular godparents with their staff and respected families.
Michel LORENTZ appears to be the first child of Mathias and Eva. I found one other child, a son Jean Philipp born in 1737. If I follow the rule for godparents, above, then Appollonia FRENTZ may be a maternal relative if not Michel’s grandmother.
I checked Thomas Webers’ Familienbuch Nommern und Cruchten 1637-1923 and found only one person of this name, a daughter of Nicolas FRENTZ and Gudula BRITZ. Appollonia’s parents were both deceased in 1733. She had a younger sister named Eva who was born 7 February 1698, a month after the death of her father, Nicolas FRENTZ. Mr. Webers does not have marriage information for the daughter Eva most likely because marriages for Nommern are only available for the years 1678-1719, 1751-1765, 1769-1797. The missing years between 1720 and 1750 may be the downfall of the research and evaluation that needs to be performed before I can add FRENTZ as the maiden name of Michel’s mother Eva.
Michel’s father Mathias LORENS died on 21 September 1753 in Ingeldorf. Death records were searched from 1737 to 1773 for a death record for Eva, wife or widow of Mathias LORENS. This search was not fruitful but I was not at the time on the lookout for Eva FRENTZ, her possible maiden name.
Michel’s wife Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) was, as seen in the marriage record, the daughter of Petri STENGENFORT of Nagem. If Michel and Catharina followed the naming pattern, the godparents chosen for their ten children, below, may lead to more information on Catharina’s family.
Eva was born and baptized on 10 December 1757 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Philippus LORENS and Eva LORENS, both of Ingeldorf.
Philippus was born and baptized on 21 December 1760 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Philippus LORENS from Ingeldorf and Anna Catharina STENGENFURT from Nierenhausen (an old form of the village named Nagem).
Maria Elisabetha “Maria” was born and baptized on 27 February 1762 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Petrus HONEN from Kruchten and Maria Elisabetha FRENTZ from Nommern.
Susanna was born and baptized on 22 April 1764 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Nicolaus JUTTEL and Susanna REIGER, both of Diekirch.
Catharina “Catherine” was born and baptized on 14 July 1767 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Petrus MERTEN of Diekirch and Catharina LINKELS of Ingeldorf.
Joannes “Johan” was born and baptized on 18 March 1769 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Joannes CLOSTER of Erpelding and Barbara MOSINGER of Bettendorf.
Eva was born and baptized on 27 April 1771 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Mathias WILLEMS from Mosinger Hof and Eva LINCKELS of Ingeldorf.
Anna Catharina was born and baptized on 13 February 1773 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Jacobus CONRADT of Diekirch and Anna Catharina HENGEN of Cruchten.
Mathias was born and baptized on 27 May 1775 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Mathias MOSINGER of Bettendorf and Anna Maria PÜTZ of Nagem.
Anna Maria was born and baptized on 28 December 1777 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Henniricus MATHAI of Ingeldorf and Anna Maria RIEGER of Diekirch.
The godmother of child #2 Anna Catharina STENGENFURT and of child #9 Anna Maria PÜTZ, both of Nagem, will be researched for the connection to Catharina STENGENFORT. A handwritten genealogy of the families from Nagem written in 1880 by the parish priest Martin BLUM may also provide missing pieces.
Ch 3: Maria Elisabetha “Maria” LORENTZ married Mathias STERES (1753-1826) of Bettendorf, son of Michel STERES and Susanne CARIERS, on 27 January 1778 in Diekirch.
Ch 2: Philippus LORENTZ married Catharina GRASSER (1768-1829), daughter of Georgii GRASSER and Anna Maria DENNEWALT, on 11 January 1785 in Bettendorf. Philippus’ father Michel worked as a ploughman in Ingeldorf at the time of son’s marriage.
Ch 4: Susanna LORENTZ died on 16 October 1789 in Ingeldorf at the age of 25 years. She never married or had children.
The father of this family, Michel LORENTZ died 9 November 1791 in Ingeldorf. He lived long enough to see two children marry and give him seven grandchildren. He was followed by his wife Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) on 14 April 1793 in Ingeldorf.
Five of Michel and Catharina’s children were still single. Two of their daughters, both named Eva, may have predeceased them. No record has been found for their deaths. After the deaths of the parents, the family timeline continued as follows:
Ch 5: Catharina “Catherine” LORENTZ married Jean MOHNEN (1776-1817) on 30 December 1793 in Diekirch.
Ch 6: Joannes “Johan” LORENTZ married Cathérine ROBERTY (1772-1819) of Warken on 16 July 1797 in Ettelbrück.
Ch 8: Anna Catharina LORENTZ married Simon TIRARD (1780- ) on 12 May 1802 in Ettelbrück. Simon was from Thionville, Meurthe et Moselle, France.
Ch 2: Philippus LORENTZ died 30 April 1803 in Bettendorf. His widow remarried after Philippe’s death to Michel KAYSER on 12 March 1804 in Bettendorf.
Ch 10: Anna Maria LORENTZ married Johann WEIMERSKIRCH (1769-1832) on 18 July 1803 in Weimerskirch. The 1803 record of marriage was likely lost as a new record was written up on 17 June 1826 in Neudorf (Eich). I examined the church records of Weimerskirch; the marriages for the year 1803 are missing. The civil marriage record created on 17 June 1826 includes information about Johann WEIMERSKIRCH’s parents and their deaths; his first marriage; the death of wife in 1803; the marriage to Anna Maria LORENTZ on 18 July 1803 performed by Jos. MATHIEU in Weimerskirch; and the 4 children with their dates of birth born during the marriage to Anna Maria LORENTZ, legitimizing the children. The 1826 marriage record is very difficult to read.
Week 38 (September 17-23) – Favorite Place:What has been your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?
Can you guess my favorite place to research? Without a doubt, in 2015, it’s been the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as this year’s research and writing has been dedicated to families from this county! If I had to narrow it down to a specific canton it would be a toss up between Diekirch, where most of my husband’s families came from, and Echternach. Narrowing it down even further I’d say the commune of Bettendorf and the village of Méischtref(Moestroff) would win out.
When I met my husband in 1975 he had only one living grandparent, his grandmother Suzanne PEFFER. She lived most of her life in Méischtrefwhere we often visited her on Sundays until her death in 1987. Her father Nicolas PEFFER (1866-1941) was born and raised there as was his father Nicolas PEFFER Sr. (1833-1887). The senior did not come from his having a son of the same name. It came from his being the elder of two boys named Nicolas in the family of Antoine “Anton” PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.
Antoin PEFFER was born on 20 May 1803 in Obermertzig which at that time was in the commune of Feulen, canton of Diekirch. His parents were Adam PEFFER (1777-1848) and Marguerite PIERRET (1777-1843). They had married the previous year on 28 June 1802 in Feulen. He had six known siblings: Nicolas (1805-1896), Eve (1808-1808), Christian (1809-1883), Christine (1811-1866), Susanne (1814-1826), and Angélique (1817-1891).
Antoin lived with his parents and siblings in Obermertzig until about 1811-1814 when the family moved to Gilsdorf in the commune of Bettendorf.
Maria GRASSER (1802-1882) was born about 1802-1803 in Moestroff to Michel GRASSER (1772-1821) and Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831). Her parents were married on 2 January 1796 in Bettendorf. She had eight known siblings: Nicolas (1796-1801), Margaretha (1797-1848), Jean (1799-1803), Anna Catharina (1801-1821), Phillippe (1804-1805), Cathérine (1805-aft 1855), Nicolas (1807-1852), and Nicolas (1809-1867). It is interesting to note both of Maria’s brothers who were named Nicolas lived to marry and have children. Did her growning up with two brothers named Nicolas influence her and her husband to name two of their sons Nicolas?
Marriage of Antoine and Maria
Antoin PEFFER married Maria GRASSER on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf. When they married the date of birth of Maria’s deceased sister Anna Catharina was given on the marriage record instead of her own. I have not been able to locate a birth record for Maria. Not only did the civil servant get the wrong date of birth for Maria, he forgot to include her age AND he gave her deceased father Michel GRASSER’s date of death as 7 June 1809 instead of 26 February 1821. The death record for Michel GRASSER who died on 7 June 1809 was for a child who died at the age of 3 years. Was the civil officer who checked for the supporting documentation for this marriage having a bad day or did rushing cause the errors?
Since the marriage record had the incorrect date of birth and no age for Maria I wanted to find a document which would have the missing information. She is not listed in the Tables Décennales for the years 1803-1812 leaving a small window in 1802. There is one other record with a date of birth for Maria – the 1846 census has 2 May 1802. This record is not very reliable. First it is too close to the date of birth of her sister Anna Catharina who was born on 15 December 1801. Second the dates of birth of all other persons in the household were compared with the dates found in their birth records. Not one of them is correct! Her husband was born in May but has July listed. Maria has May listed – could she have been born in July?
Where else could I find her date of birth? Church records! Yes. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s Sunday and FamilySearch is DOWN!! Three hours without access to the Luxembourg records – I had to take some more drastic measures! I made a list of every record with an age for Maria:I compared the dates of birth of her siblings and Maria most likely fits in as child #5 in the list of children for Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID:
When the FamilySearch site was working again I checked the church records and the civil records for Bettendorf and found there are records missing for the 1802-1803 period Maria was born in. Unless there are other, yet to be discovered, records for Maria GRASSER which state her birth date this may remain an unknown. For now I am using abt. 1802-1803 as her year of birth.
Antoin and Maria Move to Méischtref (Moestroff)
While his two brothers and two sisters who also married chose to remain in Gilsdorf, Antoin moved to Moestroff, Maria’s hometown, sometime after the birth of their first child and before the birth of their second child, between 1830 and 1833. Bettendorf lies between Gilsdorf and Moestroff and both villages are part of the commune of Bettendorf.
The children of Antoin and Maria were: (§ = end of line)
Ch 1: Marguerithe (1830-1892) born 6 October 1830 in Gilsdorf
Ch 2: Nicolas, the elder, (1833-1887) born 10 August 1833 in Moestroff
Ch 3: Nicolas, the younger, (1836-1911) born 28 July 1836 in Moestroff
Ch 4: Marie (1836-1843) born 28 July 1836 and died 20 April 1843 in Moestroff §
Ch 5: Catherine (1839-1839) born 24 July 1839 and died 19 September 1839 in Moestroff §
Ch 6: Catherine (1840-1840) born and died 4 December 1840 in Moestroff §
Ch 7: Michel (1842-1910) born 23 June 1842 in Moestroff
Antoin PEFFER and his wife Maria GRASSER and their living children Marguerithe, Nicolas the elder, Nicolas the younger, and Michel were not found in the 1843 census. It was enumerated on 23 December 1843 in Moestroff. Antoin’s mother died on 22 December 1843 in Gilsdorf. His father’s household was enumerated on the day his wife, Antoin’s mother, died. Adam was listed as married. This was then crossed out and changed to widowed. It is strange Antoin and his family were missed. I wonder if they had gone to Gilsdorf for the funeral and the person visiting the families for the census information forgot to go back when they got home.
Antoin, Maria and their four children were found in Moestroff when the census was taken on 15 December 1846, 31 December 1847, 5 December 1849, and 31 December 1851.
Before the next census the oldest child and only daughter Marguerithe married Jean REITER (1827-1878) on 29 September 1852 in Bettendorf. The couple lived with the bride’s parents at the time of the census taken on 3 December 1852. The first grandchild was Nicolas REITER (1855- ) born on 2 July 1855 in Moestroff. Following his birth Marguerite and her husband continued the tradition of naming two son Nicolas when their 2nd son was born in 1857. The REITER-PEFFER family continued to live with Antoin and Maria when the census was taken on 3 December 1855 and 3 December 1858. The two son named Nicolas and son Michel were also still living at home.
Antoin PEFFER died three weeks after the 1858 census on 26 December 1858 in Moestroff. He may have been weak and ill when the census was taken as his daughter Marguerithe signed the census.
Less than a year later the first of the sons married. The elder of the two sons named Nicolas married Marie ZWANK (1832-1892) on 30 November 1859 in Bettendorf.
Maria GRASSER had in her household her two unmarried sons, Nicolas the younger and Michel, as well as her daughter Marguerite and her family when the census was taken on 3 December 1861 in Moestroff.
Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, married(1) Margaretha SCHMIT (1836-1865) on 21 January 1862 in Wallendorf, Germany.
After the younger Nicolas married, his mother Maria GRASSER was seen for the last time on the census of 3 December 1864 in Moestroff as the head of household which included her youngest son Michel and her daughter’s REITER-PEFFER family.
Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, was widowed on 29 June 1865 and married(2), only three months later, Margaretha MORETTE (1840-1911) on 9 October 1865 in Bettendorf.
From 1867 on Maria, the widowed mother of this family, was seen as a member of her son-in-law and daughter’s REITER-PEFFER household on 3 December 1867, 1 December 1871, 1 December 1875, and 1 December 1880.
Michel PEFFER was still living at home at the time of the 1867 census and several weeks later on 23 December 1867 he married(1) Anna MÜLLER (1840-1876) in Bettendorf. Following Anna’s death on 17 November 1876 Michel married(2) Elizabeth FRISCH (1849- ) two months later on 24 January 1877 in Bettendorf. His mother Maria was present at both marriages.
Maria GRASSER died on 4 January 1882 in Moestroff. Her 48 years old son Nicolas was the informant and gave her age as 81 years. The age of the son matches that of Nicolas the elder. To be sure I compared the signature on the death record with the signatures on the marriage records of Nicolas the elder and Nicolas the younger. Signature comparison proves Nicolas the elder was the informant.
Maria left four living children. They all died in Moestroff in the following order: Nicolas, the elder, on 4 March 1887; Marguerithe REITER-PEFFER on 5 September 1892; Michel on 27 September 1910; and Nicolas, the younger, on 30 November 1911. They gave her at least 30 grandchildren, 1/3 of whom died young. This ratio may go up as further research is done on the grandchildren of Antoin PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.
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.
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.
Week 3, Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?
My husband’s maternal grandparents were Franz KREMER (1905-1971) and Susanna PEFFER (1910-1987). Their names were seen on their birth records and marriage record as Franz and Susanna. In later years their first names were spelled François and Suzanne. Records in Luxembourg were kept in German and French at different times. It is not unusual to see the German spelling of a name on records and the French spelling on the index and/or Tables Décennales – ten year tables.
Franz KREMER was born on the 6th of March 1905 in Bettendorf, Canton of Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the first son of Nicolas KREMER, a railroad worker, and Catharina GRISIUS. Nicolas, the 29 years old father, went to the records office at 10 o’clock in the morning to have his son’s birth recorded. Franz was born at 2:30 in the morning. The child’s grandfather Anton KREMER, the 70 years old municipal crier, was a witness. He signed his name Antoine KREMER, the French spelling, while the municipal secretary wrote in his name with the German spelling, Anton. Franz’s mother was listed as 25 years old and without an occupation.
Franz spent his childhood in Bettendorf were he was born. He grew up with six sisters and a little “brother” who was actually his oldest sister’s son. That is a story for Week #7 when his parents and siblings will be highlighted.
Susanna PEFFER was born on the 18th of February 1910 in Wecker, in the community of Biwer, Canton of Grevenmacher, Luxembourg. She was the youngest daughter of Nicolas PEFFER, a shepherd, and Maria MERTES. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon on the 19th of February 1910, Nicolas, 45 years old, arrived at the records office in Biwer to have the birth of his daughter recorded. His 34 years old wife Maria had given birth to Susanna the day before at noon. An annotation of Susanna’s death is included in the left margin of the record.
Susanna/Suzanne caused problems in my research from the very beginning and so you could say that she was tough to research. Twenty years ago my first call to Biwer to get a copy of her birth record from the records office did not go well. This is not meant in a negative way. Some records offices would send copies of records requested by telephone after a small fee was received while others required a written request with or without a fee. In this particular case they would not search unless I came in person. I didn’t pursue it further as I already had a copy of her marriage record which listed her birth information.
When the images of civil births, marriages, deaths, and indexes became available at FamilySearch.org I did not immediately look for hers. I finally got around to looking for her birth record this past December.
While putting everything together I learned that she was a lot tougher than any of us knew. My husband’s grandmother had two sisters and a brother – this was a known fact. What we did not know was that she was the 9th and most likely last child of Nicolas and Maria PEFFER-MERTES. Her first four siblings, three brothers and a sister, were born and died during the first five years of her parents’ marriage. Another brother, her closest sibling as he was born the 8th child, lived less than three months. I searched the birth records of Bettendorf, where 7 of her siblings were born, and of Biwer which includes Wecker where the two youngest were born, but did not find a child born after Susanna. Census records are presently available to 1900 on FamilySearch for Luxembourg. How I wish the census of Luxembourg were available to 1940 as they are in the U.S. so that I could trace Susanna’s location during her childhood.
Franz and Suzanne most likely knew each other growing up as the villages of Bettendorf and Moestroff are only 2.5 km apart.
On the 7th of January 1931 at 6 o’clock in the evening the mayor of Bettendorf, Johann Peter MULLER, joined Franz and Suzanne in marriage. Franz was 25 and Suzanne was 20 years old and considered underage. Franz’s father Nicolas was present and agreeable to the marriage, his mother was deceased. Suzanne’s father Nicolas was present and agreeable to the marriage, her mother was deceased. The banns had been read only once on the 28th of December 1930. A marriage contract was not drawn up by the couple prior to their marriage. No witnesses are listed on this marriage record which was signed by the bride and groom, the fathers of the couple and the mayor.
Susanna had already begun to use Suzanne as the spelling of her name when she signed the marriage record (above).
Their first child Marie Françoise was born in Rumelange on 29 August 1931. As previously discussed in 52 Ancestors: #1 The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996) Maisy, as their daughter was known, believed that she had been a twin. As no records were found we will never know if this story was true.
Some time after Maisy’s birth theymoved into their newhomeon the bank of theSauer River in Moestroff.
Four years later, in 1935, a son was born and named Aloyse. On the 1st of April 1936 his father François was notified at work that his son had died. He was very upset with the people who brought the news because he thought they were playing an April Fool’s joke on him. Unfortunately it was true. In 1939 their third child, a son, was born and they named him Aloyse.
In 1937 François worked for the road construction administration (Straßenbauverwaltung or Ponts et Chaussées) and was promoted to roadman (Staatswegewärter or Cantonnier). In 1960 he was promoted to chief roadman (Chef-Cantonnier).
In 1946, hewasentrustedwith the post offirstaldermen (1. Schöffen)of the municipalityof Bettendorf for the Moestroff section. Heunselfishlyprovided them withgreat skill andprudence until 1958.
Suzanne and François’ daughter Maisy KREMER married Marcel MEDER on 6 June 1952. On the 7th of June after the religious ceremony as the bride and groom, their parents and guests left the church each couple was photographed on the steps of the church. François left the church with the mother of the groom and Suzanne left the church with the father of the groom. The photographer remained in the same place and I was able to make a composite photograph (below) of Maisy’s parents Suzanne and François KREMER-PEFFER.
A Family and Town Tradition
Above right, is the Kremer-Peffer house as it is today, renovated by the new owners. The Kremer-Peffer family used the land on the left side and behind the house to raise a vegetable garden and an apple tree. François also had another larger garden located on the other side of the building next door (above, left) that was used for storage by the town. He planted rows and rows of potatoes, grew green beans on poles, and had 6-8 plum trees.
Quetschen, Luxembourgish plums, are a deep purple, elongated in shape with a long thin stone. The family and the town had a tradition associated with this tasty plum, the cooking of Quetschekraut. In late August when the Quetschen were ripe and picked, François would build a fire in front of his house for the large copper pot that would be used to cook Quetschekraut. The townpeople would bring their own Quetschen to the Kremer house. They were weighed before the women would cut them and remove the pits. The adults would take turns stirring the fruit, sugar and spices until it became a thick compote. This was then filled into stone jars like the smaller ones (below) to be taken home by all of the families who participated. How many they took home depended on how much fruit they had contributed to the huge batch.
This tradition of cooking Quetschekraut is no longer kept up as it was in their days. Today we buy ours in a mason jar at the mall from the musicians of the “Schëtter Musek”. It is only sold on one weekend so we always make sure to mark our calendars.
Not all of the fruit was used for Quetschekraut as Quetschentaart is another favorite in Luxembourg.
The Death of a Spouse
Just two monthsbefore his66thbirthdayFrançoisKREMER diedfrom a prolonged illness in his home in Moestroff.The insidiousdisease that had attackedhim was lung cancer and slowly with severe suffering put anend to his life on 7 January 1971.
His opennatureandcorrectnessearned himfriendship, trust andrespect. For years he waspresident of the localchurchchoir.This associationwasvery dear to him.
Fritz, as he was known by his colleagues, was an avidfisherman.He was oftenseen on thebanks of the Sauer Riverwere heswung his rod andchasedpike andcarp,silentlyandpatientlyoutwitting them. Only the illness that claimed his life stopped him from enjoying this sport in his last years.
His marriage to his faithful companion Suzanne and his children, his daughter Maisy and his son Aly, brought deep happiness to him. He was fond of his four grandchildren who called him Bop. They were dear to his heart and filled his days with love to the last.
Suzanne continued to live in Moestroff in the home near the Sauer River. She would telephone with her children everyday, alternating between her calling them and their calling her. On Fridays she would take the bus to Diekirch to do her shopping, visit the butcher for a beef roast to serve on Sunday, see her doctor, and pick up her medicine at the pharmacy.
The family often joked about the shoe box full of pills and other medicine that she used everyday and brought along when she spent a few days with one or the other of her children.
On Sundays she would often have her daughter’s or her son’s family come to dinner. Before her daughter Maisy and her son-in-law Marcel had a car they would take the bus from Echternach to Moestroff, arriving while Suzanne was at church. Maisy would begin preparations for dinner while the family waited for Bom, as she was known by her grandchildren, to come back from church.
On Mother’s Day and Kirmes Sunday Bom would invite both families to dinner at a restaurant. Kirmes, the traditional fair, is an important event in the religious and social lives of the inhabitants of a town. Bom had not always taken the family to a restaurant for Kirmes. When she was a little younger she would cook for the whole bunch. Everyone would squeeze into her small front parlor, which was her living and dining room. If someone needed “to go” and he was sitting with the table between him and the door several people would have to get up to let him out. The grandchildren enjoyed crawling under the table to get out.
Suzanne was a tough woman during these years that she lived without her husband. But this changed when her daughter Maisy died in 1986 of cancer. She also lost her grit after her first and only stay in a hospital at the age of 77. She gave up on life when she was diagnosed with an illness “down there.” It wasn’t talked about and only later would we learn that she may have had cancer in her reproductive organs.
On Saturday afternoon the 13th of June 1987, the day before Mother’s Day, she took her afternoon nap, as usual, in her armchair resting her legs on the foot rest. She wanted to be well rested for the planned dinner with the family on Mother’s Day. But that was not to be. Her sister Tattes found her later that afternoon. Suzanne, our Bom, had died in her sleep of heart failure.
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.