Rewriting the Biography: William SIMS Sr. in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

William SIMS Sr. (1780-1854) was the second son of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe. He was the father of seven children and thirty-one grandchildren.

The 1790 U.S. Federal Census

In 1790 when the first census was taken, William was living with his father James SIMS whose census records were discussed in Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census.

The 1800 U.S. Federal Census

This census is lost for Virginia. As a substitute, the 1802 Tax List for Kanawha County is being used. James SIMS’ second son William was found on the 1802 Tax List with one male over 16 years of age and one horse.1

1802 Kanawha County Tax List

William was 21 years of age or older as he was the person named on the list. Depending on the date the tax list was made up he would have been about 22 years of age in 1802 which matches the 6 November 1780 date of birth read on his grave marker in the Old Simms Cemetery in Beech Glen.2

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

William married Elizabeth WINDSOR around 1805 or earlier. No record of the marriage has been found nor any record confirming her maiden name.3

Update (18 April 2018)Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection

By 1810 William and Elizabeth had a daughter Nancy (b. abt. 1805) and two sons, William Jr. (b. 2 Feb 1807) and Jeremiah (b. abt. 1809, 1850 age 41).

Also living in their household was a young female age 10 thru 15. This young lady may have been William’s sister Nancy Ann, my 4th great-grandmother. James SIMS’ youngest daughter Nancy Ann was born about 1793 shortly before her mother’s death. She was not found with her father and step-mother in 1810. If the female in William’s household was Nancy Ann, her age would have placed her in the same group as her sister-in-law Elizabeth (16 thru 25) instead of the 10 thru 15 group.

1810 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1810 U.S. Federal Census 4
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 25
Simms, William
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William Jr. and Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (poss. sister Nancy Ann SIMS)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 1
Number of Household Members: 6

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

William would have been 40 years old at the time of the 1820 census. His wife Elizabeth was nearly 3 1/2 years younger. They had six children at the time. Also in the household was a young man 16 thru 25 years old. Could this be William’s half-brother James Jr. who was missing in his father James’ household? Two persons in the household were engaged in manufacturing. William, as well as his brother Martin who had his own household, were well-known rifle makers. James Jr. may have been apprenticing with his older half-brother William.

This census listing helped to narrow the time of their marriage and births of their oldest children. While in 1810 the children were under 10 years old, this listing showed the three children born before 1810 were 10 thru 15 in 1820, i.e. born between 1805-1810. The marriage would have taken place 1805 or earlier.

1820 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1820 U.S. Federal Census 5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 17
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Jonathan & Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 2 (William Jr. & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (poss. brother James)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 9

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William and his wife Elizabeth had their last child shortly after the 1820 census -a daughter who shows up on the 1830 census as being 10 thru 14. She was likely born in 1820 following the census. With this child, the family grew by one to nine. There were three sons and two daughters at home and two had married within the decade and had their own households.

1830 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims and William Sims Jr.

1830 U.S. Federal Census6
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 189A & 189B, Line 13
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jonathan)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (unknown, poss. b. 1820)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Miriam)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 7

Nancy SIMS and James Graham NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Nancy was found in the 1830 census in the household of James G. NEIL. Nancy married James Graham NEIL in 1825 and gave birth to two sons before the census. They were William and Elizabeth’s first grandchildren. Also in the household was a male in the same age group as James.

1830 U.S. Federal Census7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheets 186A & 186B, Line 9
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James G. Neil
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Randolph and Benjamin)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (James and unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Nancy)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 6

William SIMS Jr. And Elizabeth DORSEY

William and Elizabeth’s oldest son William Jr. married Elizabeth DORSEY on 30 May 1830. This was two days before the enumeration date of the census – William Jr. was found with his young bride. They were the only two persons in the household.

1830 U.S. Federal Census8
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 189A & 189B, Line 12
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims Junior
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William Jr.)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William Sr. was listed in the 60 thru 69 age group in 1840 but would not turn 60 until later in the year. His wife Elizabeth was 56. They had two sons living at home, Jeremiah and Edward. Only two persons were engaged in agriculture. Why not three as there were three men in the household? The 1850 census would hold the answer.

1840 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1840 U.S. Federal Census9
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 10, Line 4
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: William Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Edward)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

Nancy SIMS and James G. NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Nancy was found in her husband James G. NEIL’s household. They were now the parents of seven children. James was engaged in agriculture, likely with his two oldest sons.

Nancy and James named their first daughter Elizabeth Jane, likely after both grandmothers, Elizabeth SIMS and Jane NEIL. Their third son was named after his paternal grandfather Samuel NEIL. When would they name a son after his maternal grandfather?

1840 U.S. Federal Census10
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 5, line 8
Name: James G. Neil (page 4A&B, image 08-09)
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Samuel)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (Benjamin and Randolph)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (James G. Neil)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Vicella)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 3 (Elizabeth, Miriam, & Betty)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Nancy Sims Neil)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 7
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 9
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 9

William SIMS Jr. and Elizabeth DORSEY

William Jr. and his wife Elizabeth (I wonder how they kept all these women named Elizabeth apart) had been quite busy in the children department. Five children were born in six years. William farmed to feed his family of nine and did not have any other help. He did not move from Nicholas to Fayette County following the 1830 census. With the creation of Fayette County in February 1831, from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties, the land he lived on became part of the new county.

1840 U.S. Federal Census11
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 147, Line 7
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Miletus & John)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (Franklin)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7

Jonathan SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR

William and Elizabeth’s third oldest son Jonathan married Elizabeth “Betsy” WINDSOR on 30 December 1832 in Kanawha County. Jonathan and Elizabeth had two sons and a daughter by the time the census was taken in 1840. The enumerator likely made a mistake in the column for males 30 thru 39 and placed an X over the 1 making it look like an * asterisk. The same mistake may not have been caught for the two females in the household. Jonathan’s wife Elizabeth was only 26 but found in the 30 thru 39 age group and daughter Emeline was 6 and in the 10 thru 14 group. The fact that three persons were employed in agriculture may also be an error as there were only two adults in the household.

Jonathan and Elizabeth lived in Kanawha County, likely near Betsy’s family who owned land in the county. Betsy was the daughter of Benjamin “Benijah” WINDSOR and Mary “Polly” CHILDRESS.

1840 U.S. Federal Census12
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 16, Line 30
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: Jonathan Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2 (Newton and Thomas)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jonathan)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Emeline 6)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth 26)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 5

Miriam SIMS and Andrew NEIL

William and Elizabeth’s second oldest daughter Miriam married Andrew NEIL, a younger brother of James G. NEIL, on 8 October 1833 and was seen in his household with two daughters and two sons. Andrew was engaged in agriculture. Miriam and Andrew named their children after the grandparents, William and Elizabeth SIMS and Samuel and Jane NEIL.

1840 U.S. Federal Census13
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Sheet 6 & 7, Line 5
Name: Andrew Neil
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Samuel)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Andrew)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (Elizabeth and Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Miriam)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

An Unnamed Daughter

William and Elizabeth also had a daughter born likely in 1820 after the census and seen with them in the 1830 census. By 1840 she was no longer with her parents. It is possible this child did not survive. In November 2001 marriages of Sims and Simms persons in Nicholas County were checked and no possible match for this woman was found.14

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census

William SIMS and his wife Elizabeth

William, listed as a gunsmith on the 1850 census, was 70 and his wife Elizabeth was 67. In their household was their son Jeremiah who was 41 years old and did not have an occupation. He owned land valued at $400 while his father’s was worth $1500. Was Jeremiah in some way infirm and unable to work? Is this the reason only 2 of the 3 men in the William SIMS household in 1840 were working?

1850 U.S. Federal Census – William Sims

1850 U.S. Federal Census15
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated 12 August 1850 by D. O. Kelley Ass’t Marshal
Sheet No. 360A, Lines 33-35, HH #272-272
William Sims 70 M Gunsmith 1500 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 67 F Virginia
Jeremiah Sims 41 M None 400 Virginia

Nancy SIMS and James G. NEIL

William’s oldest daughter Nancy was with her husband James G. Neil at the time of the 1850 census. At least this is what I thought considering the 1850 census listing where James is seen with a wife named Nancy. At first glance, I did not question the gap between the youngest and second youngest child.

However, a record from 1846 found in the Order Books of Nicholas County may indicate Nancy died before 9 April 1846. The document will be shared and discussed in a separate post. If I am interpreting it correctly, Nancy in the 1850 census is a new wife and mother of the youngest child. No record of marriage was found for James G. NEIL around 1846-1849. It must be noted there are gaps in the marriage records from the 1830s to 1860s and death records are only available starting in 1853 for Nicholas County.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that James and Nancy had named Samuel, their third son, after the paternal grandfather. In the 1850 census listing, we see a son named William, likely named after the maternal grandfather.

1850 U.S. Federal Census16
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated on 2 Sept 1850 by D. Oliver Kelly Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 374B, Lines 32-42, HH# 457-457
James G. Neil 47 M W Farmer $4000 Virginia
Nancy Neil 44 F W Virginia
Benjamin Neil 22 M W Farmer $100 Virginia
Elizabeth Neil 20 F W Virginia
Miram Neil 18 F W Virginia
Betty Neil 16 F W Virginia
Vizilla Neil 14 F W Virginia
Samuel Neil 10 M W Virginia
William Neil 9 M W Virginia
Sarah Neil 7 F W Virginia
Mary Neil 1 F W Virginia

William SIMS Jr. and Elizabeth DORSEY

William Jr. and Elizabeth had one more child after the 1840 census. By 1850 the family had grown to include two adults and six children. William’s land which he farmed was valued at $500.

1850 U.S. Federal Census17
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District
Enumerated on the 1st day of August 1850 by J. B. Hamilton
Sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171
Wm. Sims 43 M Farmer $500 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 48 F Virginia
F. P. Sims 19 M Laborer Virginia
Miletus Sims 18 M Laborer Virginia
John Sims 17 M Laborer Virginia
Nancy Sims 15 F Virginia
Wm. Sims 13 M Virginia
Emeretta Sims 8 F Virginia

Jonathan SIMS and Elizabeth WINDSOR

Jonathan and Betsy’s family grew to include four more children. Jonathan was a blacksmith and owned land valued at $200. Their youngest child on the 1850 census was listed as Tiny, she would later be found as Caroline J. Two of their daughters, Mary and Virginia, were enumerated as deaf and dumb.

1850 U.S. Federal Census18
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Sheet No. 371A, Lines 31-40, HH #413-413
Jonathan Sims 37 M W Blacksmith $200 Virginia
Elizabeth Sims 36 F W Virginia
Emeline Sims 15 F W Virginia
Newton Sims 13 M W Virginia
Thomas Sims 11 M W Virginia
Mary Sims 9 F W Virginia deaf & dumb
Virginia Sims 7 F W Virginia deaf & dumb
William Sims 3 M W Virginia
Tiny Sims 2 F W Virginia
Alexander Johnston 34 M W Mail Carrier Virginia

Miriam SIMS and Andrew NEIL

Miriam SIMS died sometime following the 1840 census. Her widower Andrew NEIL married Elizabeth HAMRICK about 1842. Andrew died in June 1850 leaving a widow with two sets of twins. The widow had the twins as well as three of Miriam’s children in her household in 1850. Miriam’s youngest daughter Jane may have died between the 1840 and 1850 census.

1850 Mortality Schedule19
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Name: Neil, Andrew, male, born in Virginia, died at the age of 39 in June 1850 of consumption; occupation farmer; ID #MRT197_243597

Correction: Letters of Administration and Appraisement of the estate of Andrew NEIL were ordered in July 1849, therefore, his death was in June 1849 and not 1850.

1850 U.S. Federal Census20
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
The Western District (District 43)
Enumerated by me, on the 15th day of August 1850. D. Oliver Kelly, Ass’t Marshal
Sheet 362A, Lines 31-40, HH #297-297
Elizabeth Neil F 33 $1000 Virginia
William Neil M 15 Farmer Virginia
Samuel Neil M 14 Virginia
Elizabeth Neil F 12 Virginia
James Neil M 7 Virginia
Nancy Neil F 7 Virginia
Robert Neil M 5 Virginia
Gilson Neil M 5 Virginia
Morris Hamrick M 27 M Farmer $50
Sarah Hamrick 18 F Virginia

Edward SIMS and Rhoda COCHRAN

William and Elizabeth’s youngest son Edward, also known as Ned, lived next door to his older brother William Jr. in 1850. Edward SIMS married Rhoda COCHRAN in 1847. Edward was almost twice as old as Rhoda. By 1850 she had given him two children, a son David J. and a daughter Mary Jane.

1850 U.S. Federal Census21
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 43rd District (Western marked out)
Enumerated on the 15th day of August 1850 by J. B. Hamilton
Sheet 343A, Lines 24-31, HH #172
Edward Sims 33 M Farmer Virginia
Rhoda Sims 17 F Virginia
David Sims 1 M Virginia
Mary J. Sims 1/12 F Virginia

The years after the 1850 U.S. Federal Census

The years following the 1850 census brought much change to the family constellation.

Elizabeth died on 20 April 1852 and William on 15 October 1854. Their son Jeremiah, released from the payment of county and parish levies in August 1853, died before 1860. Their youngest son Edward died around July 1855 in the home of his wife’s sister Fannie COCHRAN and brother-in-law Alexander WAUGH in a part of Nicholas County which would become Clay County in 1858.

Three more grandchildren were born after the 1850 census: Andrew Dixon SIMS and Sarah F. (Fannie) SIMS, both children of Edward, and Henderson P. SIMS, son of Jonathan.

The only living children of William and Elizabeth were their sons William Jr. who lived to be 80 years old, dying in 1887, and Jonathan who died in 1889 at the age of 77 years.

The next child of James and Phebe SIMS was Martin who will be discussed in the next post.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Kanawha, Personal Tax List, page 21, line 11, William Sims (http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/21.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  2. Paul Guttman (1949-2006), a member of my Sims research group in 2001-2002 who worked with me when I wrote the original biography of James SIMS (1754-1845), was in contact with cousins who lived in the Beech Glen area in 2001. The Old Simms Cemetery (aka Sims Family Cemetery on Find A Grave) was visited on a rainy day and a list of the Sims/Simms markers was sent in an email to Paul on 25 June 2001. No photographs of the markers were taken. 
  3. William and Elizabeth’s son Jonathan married a lady named Elizabeth WINDSOR. This makes me question the maiden name of Elizabeth who married Williams SIMS. Further research is needed to prove/disprove her maiden name. Update (18 April 2018)Rewriting the Biography: The Windsor Connection 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 25, William Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  5. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 17, William Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  6. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Rol M19_198, Virginia, Nicholas, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 13, William Sims Sr. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  7. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, image 29+30 of 42, page 186A+B, line 9, James G. Neil. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, image 35+36 of 42, page 189, line 14, William Sims Jr. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  9. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10, line 4, William Sims Sr. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, No township, image 16&17 of 37, page 5, line 8, James G. Neil household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2018). 
  11. Ibid., Virginia, Fayette, page 147, line 7, William Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  12. Ibid., Virginia, Kanawha, page 16, line 30, Jonathan Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 
  13. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas, No township, image 20&21 of 37, page 7, line 5, Andrew Neil household. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 April 2018). 
  14. Neva Jane Stout Bryant, (abstracted and compiled by), SIMMS/SIMS Marriages, Nicholas County, West Virginia 1817-1933, (abstracted from James S. & Evelyn E. Blake, Early Nicholas County (West) Virginia Marriage Bonds (& Records) 1818-1864; Wes Cochran, Nicholas Co WV Marriages 1817-1903; Wes Cochran, Nicholas Co. WV Marriages 1903-1933). 
  15. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration,Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, District 43, sheet 360A, lines 33-35, HH #272-272, William Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  16. Ibid., Virginia, Nicholas County, District 43, sheet 374B, lines 32-42, HH #457-457, James G. Neil household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Roll M432_943, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 27 of 91, sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171, Wm. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  18. Ibid., Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 63 of 93, sheet 371A, lines 31-40, HH #413-413, Jonathan Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  19. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index, Ancestry, Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. AIS Mortality Schedules Index. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes. 
  20. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Roll M432_963, Virginia, Nicholas County, Western District, image 45 of 93, sheet 362A, lines 31-40, HH #297-297, Elizabeth Neil household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
  21. Ibid., Roll M432_943, Virginia, Fayette County, District 14, image 27 of 91, sheet 343A, lines 24-31, HH # 171-171, Wm. Sims household. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 April 2018). 
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Rewriting the Biography: Jeremiah SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

In my last post in this series, I analyzed the census records of James SIMS (1754-1845). I will now continue with his children beginning with his oldest son from his first marriage to Phebe (maiden name unknown). Jeremiah SIMS (1777-1824) did not move to Kanawha County, Virginia, with his father, stepmother, and siblings prior to 1800. He remained in Bath County, Virginia, where he married Sarah MILHOLLIN on 26 November 1800.

1800 U.S. Federal Census

As was mentioned in the previous post the 1800 census schedules for Virginia were lost. There are no online tax lists for Bath County for the time period around 1800.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah moved to Ohio around 1804. An 1810 census listing for Jeremiah is unavailable as all of Ohio except Washington County were lost. I was able to use the Virginia tax lists to substitute for the missing Virginia census of 1790 and 1800 for Jeremiah’s father James. Are similar records available for Ohio to substitute for the 1810 census?

I found in the FamilySearch catalog the book Ohio 1810 tax duplicate arranged in a state-wide alphabetical list of names of taxpayers : with an index of names of original entries compiled by Gerald M. Petty and published in 1976. It is available at the Family History Library and on microfilm but not online.

I also located the Tax records of Ohio, 1801-1814 and Duplicate tax records : 1816-1838 for Champaign County, Ohio in the FamilySearch catalog. More time and research is needed to find Jeremiah SIMS on the tax lists. I was unable to locate him on my first perusable of the tax records of Champaign for the years around 1810.

Could it be the land Jeremiah owned in Clark County, Ohio, after the county was formed on 26 December 1817, was not part of Champaign County? I checked the formation map for Ohio counties and found that Clark County was formed for the most part from Champaign County in the north, a small part of Greene County in the south, and a small part of Madison County in the east. German Township where Jeremiah’s land lay is located in the northern part of Clark County, bordering on Champaign County.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah was found on Duplicate tax record : 1818-1838 in Clark County for the years 1818 and later. Although these records will be useful later when his land holdings are studied, they will not be discussed at this time as a listing was found for Jeremiah SIMS in the 1820 census.

Jeremiah was the head of a household in German Township of Clark County. He was 43 years old and engaged in manufacturing. David Fridley, a member of my Sims group of researchers who helped with the original biography years ago, wrote, “given his family history, he was likely a gunsmith or blacksmith as his father and brothers were.”

Jeremiah appears to have had six children at home, five males and one female. One of the older males has not been identified. His wife Sarah was also 43 years old.

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark, German Township, Jeremiah Sims

1820 U.S. Federal Census 1
Clark County, Ohio
Green, German Township
Page 18, Line 41
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Name: Jeremiah Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (James Sanford & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 2 (Thomas & unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Phebe)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Sarah)
Free Colored Persons: 2 + 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 3
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 11

Also in the household were three free colored persons. Ohio abolished slavery when the state was formed in 1803, therefore, they had to have been free persons and not slaves. This was discussed in my post: Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Mary, Isaac, Charles, and John.

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

Jeremiah died in 1824. He was only 46 years old. In 1830, his widow Sarah had in her household their daughter Phebe (named after Jeremiah’s mother), son James (named after Jeremiah’s father), and son Jeremiah (named after his father or great-grandfather).

1830 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Sarah Simms and William Sims on page 147 (right)
1830 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Clark County, Sarah Simms and William Sims on page 147 (left)

1830 U.S. Federal Census 2
Clark County, Ohio
German Township
Sheets 147A & 147B, Line 1
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: Sarah Simms
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (James Sandford & Jeremiah)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Phebe)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 4

Not with Sarah was the oldest son Thomas who was named after Sarah’s father, Thomas MILHOLLIN. He was not found in the 1830 census. He married Sarah DONOVAN in 1822 and had at least three children by 1830.

Jeremiah and Sarah’s second son William, perhaps named after Jeremiah’s oldest brother, was married and living with his young wife Eliza DONOVAN in Clark County. Eliza was likely a sister of Sarah DONOVAN who married William’s brother Thomas. The 1830 census was in alphabetical order and not by order of visit by the enumerator. It is probable that William and his young wife were living close to his mother Sarah or even with her and his siblings.

1830 U.S. Federal Census 3
Clark County, Ohio
German Township
Sheet 147A & 147B, Line 2
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: William Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Eliza)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 2
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 2

Several months after the 1830 census was enumerated some deadly sickness fell upon the SIMS family in Clark County. William died on 22 September 1830 followed by his sister Phebe eight days later. William had been married barely thirteen months. A little over a month later, his youngest brother Jeremiah died on 5 November 1830. The mother Sarah was left with only two sons, James who was still at home a few months earlier and Thomas who was not found in the 1830 census.

Jeremiah’s widow Sarah died on 6 November 1838 in German Township in Clark County. Her son James had married Jane Perry SIDES in 1832.

By 1840 the only two living sons of Jeremiah SIMS had gone separate ways. Thomas was living with his family in Greenup County, Kentucky, and James was with his family in Logan County, Ohio. James, a farmer, would remain in Logan County until his death in 1887. His older brother Thomas, a physician, moved his family to Platte County, Missouri before 1850 and then to Daviess County, Missouri before 1860.

The next child of James and Phebe SIMS was William who will be discussed in the next post.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_88, image: 33, page 18, Ohio, Clark, Green, German, image 3 of 3, line 41, Jeremiah Sims (ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  2. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film 0337939, NARA Roll M19_128, Ohio, Clark, German, image 3+4 of 18, page 147A+B, line 1, Sarah Simms. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  3. Ibid., line 2, William Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 

Rewriting the Biography: James SIMS in the U.S. Federal Census

Rewriting the Biography is an ongoing theme for the rough draft notes of a new/updated biography of my 5th great-grandfather James SIMS (1754-1845) of Nicholas County.

I would like to begin this new series of notes with an analysis of the households of James SIMS and his sixteen children in the U.S. Federal Census from 1810 to 1880.

Generally, when doing census work I start with the most recent and work my way back to the earliest listing, hopefully finding the person of interest with his or her parents.

My 5th great-grandfather James SIMS died before the 1850 census. He was born in 1754 far too early to be found on a census with his parents. As will be seen, even the children of his first marriage born between 1777 and 1794 were not found with him, be it only tick marks, on the pre-1850 census. The reason being six of the eight children were already married and had their own households in 1810.

James was found on four pre-1850 census sheets: 1810, 1820, 1830, and 1840. This was only possible as he was the head of a household. He died between 12 August 1845 and 10 March 18461 missing the 1850 census, which would include his place of birth, by about four to five years. However, four of his youngest children from his second marriage lived long enough to be enumerated on the 1880 census, the first to include the place of birth for parents. Three of the four children had Virginia as the place of birth for their father James SIMS. Only daughter Jane’s listing shows West Virginia which is incorrect as the state was only formed in 1863, 109 years after James’ birth.

In the weeks to come, I will be analyzing the census records of James SIMS’ sixteen children in order of birth. Today I would like to start with James’ listings.

Census Analysis for James Sims 1754-1845

The 1790 and 1800 U.S. Federal Census

In 1830, Congress passed a law requiring the return of all decennial censuses from 1790-1830. At the time it was discovered that many of the schedules had been lost or destroyed. Virginia is one of the states with a complete loss of the census schedules for 1790 and 1800.  Tax lists can be used to re-create the schedules which were lost.

1790 U.S. Federal Census substitute: 1789 Tax List

It is known that James SIMS owned land in Bath County, Virginia, and lived there before going farther west. Bath County was created in 1790 from parts of Augusta, Botetourt, and Greenbrier counties.

1789 Tax List B for Botetourt County, Virginia (headings)

On 6 October 1789, James SIMS was in William Davidson’s district in Botetourt County and listed on the Personal Property Tax List B. To be a bit more certain this was the correct person I looked up Benjamin COTTON who would become James SIMS’ father-in-law in 1796. He was also found on the tax list of Botetourt in 1789.

1789 Tax List B for Botetourt County, Virginia

James SIMS was listed with 1 white, 1 black over 16 years of age, and 1 horse.2 The fact that he was a known slaveholder gives some support to this being his tax record.

1800 U.S. Federal Census substitute: 1802 Tax List
1802 Tax List for Kanawha County, Virginia (headers)

In 1802 we find James SIMS on the list of taxable property within the County of Kenhawa (Kanawha) of which Fleming Cobbs was the commissioner.3

1802 Tax List for Kanawha County, Virginia

James SIMS was listed with 1 white person over the age of 16 years and 3 horses. The two columns for blacks over 12 and over 16 are empty. The slave who was with him in 1789 would have been 29 years or older in 1802. As no slave was listed on the 1802 tax list, this brings up questions which need to be researched. Did James SIMS bring slaves with him when he moved from Bath County to Kanawha County? Or did he acquire the slaves seen in later census schedules only after 1802?

In 1802 James’ oldest sons Martin and William were also seen on this list indicating they were 21 years of age or older. In James’ household, there was one son who would turn 17 during the year, Edward born in June 1785. There is no date listed on any of the 24 pages of the Kanawha tax list.

If the tax list was drawn up after Edward turned 17 why was he not counted? Conclusive evidence that Edward was a son of James has not to date been found. He will, therefore, be included in this census work as well as future posts in relation to the James SIMS family.

The 1810 U.S. Federal Census

Column headers for the 1810 census of Kanawha County, Virginia.

In 1810 James SIMS was 56 years old had been married 16 years to his second wife Elizabeth COTTON. If she bore him children in the first four years of the marriage, they did not survive as no children age 10 years or older were seen on the 1810 census.

1810 U.S. Federal Census for Kanawha County, Virginia. Sheet 207A/132 (penned in) with the SIMMS households at the bottom.

In 1810 when the census was taken, James SIMS and his children were found in Kanawha County in western Virginia. Only one child, his oldest son Jeremiah (1777-1824) had remained in Bath County when the SIMS family moved to Kanawha. Jeremiah moved to Champaign County, Ohio around 1804.

1810 U.S. Federal Census, Kanawha County, Virginia

James was seen on the bottom of sheet 207A followed by his sons Martin and William from his first marriage. In James’ household were his second wife, their four children, and five enslaved persons.

1810 U.S. Federal Census 4
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
Kanawha
Sheet 207A, Line 23
Name: James Simms
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (James Jr.)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 3 (Margaret, Sarah, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Numbers of Slaves: 5 (Isaac, Jude, Fanny, Robert, and ?)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 11

In 1810 James SIMS had a dozen living children. Eight of these children were from his first marriage. Six of these were married and had their own households. The remaining two would marry after 1810 and did not have their own households. As each of the children are discussed in future posts we will see the two unmarried children were likely in siblings’ households.

The 1820 U.S. Federal Census

In 1820 only James’ son John was still in Kanawha County. Had James and his married children pulled up stakes and left the area?

One of the first things I was taught when I began doing genealogy research for my American families was to consider the formation of new counties and the changing county lines of established counties.

Nicholas County, West Virginia, was originally created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on 30 January 1818, from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha and Randolph counties. This was 45 years before West Virginia became a state. The county’s boundaries were disputed and altered to its current status by another act of the Assembly on 29 January 1820. The county was named in honor of Wilson Cary Nicholas (1761-1820) who was Governor of Virginia 1814-1816.

Therefore, in 1820 James SIMS, his wife, and their minor children were found in Nicholas County on the same land he bought in 1800 in what was then Kanawha County.

1820 U.S. Federal Census, Nicholas County, Virginia

When the census was taken the information was recorded as of 7 August 1820. (As can be seen in the image above, it was not the easiest to decipher.) James was 66 years old and his wife Elizabeth was less than 45 years old (likely 36-39 as will be seen below per 1830 census). They had two sons and four daughters at home. Their oldest son James was about 19 years old and not seen in this listing. Also in the household were nine slaves, two of whom were young men 14 thru 25 years of age. Three persons in the household were engaged in agriculture. As most of the children were under 10 years old with the exception of two daughters who were 10 thru 15, the three persons engaged in agriculture could only have been James and the two enslaved men. These two men were likely Isaac SIMS and perhaps his brother Robert.

1820 U.S. Federal Census 5
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Page No. 204A, Sheet 152, Line 19
Enumeration Date: 7 August 1820
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Dryden, Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Jane & Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 2 (Margaret, Mildred)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – Under 14: 2 (unknown)
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25: 2 (Isaac and Robert)
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 3 (unknown)
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 2 (Jude and Fanny)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total Slaves: 9
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 17

Slaves of the Sims family, black Jude and black Fanny were members of the senior class of the Bethel Methodist Church at Poe on Laurel Creek in 1821.6 The five young male and female slaves under 14 were likely not yet born in 1810 when only five slaves were counted on the census.

The 1830 U.S. Federal Census

The decade between the 1820 and 1830 census brought a change in the statistics of the family of James SIMS. His wife Elizabeth gave birth to their eighth and last child about the same time their oldest son James Jr. married Elizabeth STANLEY. This was in 1821. James was now the father of sixteen children born from 1777 to 1821. A range of 44 years.

Besides James Jr., three of James and Elizabeth’s daughters married during the decade. Margaret in 1822, Sarah in 1825, and Milly in 1826. Four children were still at home, a daughter and three young sons. James was by this time 75 years old and Elizabeth was in her late forties.

1830 U.S. Federal Census, Nicholas County, Virginia

1830 U.S. Federal Census 7
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1830
Name: James Sims
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (Dryden & Charles)
Free White Persons – Males – 70 thru 79: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Jane)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Elizabeth 46-49)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (1 of 2 seen in 1820?)
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35: 1 (Isaac?)
Slaves – Females – 10 thru 23: 2 (July Helen and another from 1820?)
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35: 1 (Jude or Fanny)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 4
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Slaves: 5
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 11

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census

During the 1830s the last single daughter of James and Elizabeth was married as well as one of their three unmarried sons. Jane married Joseph DARLINGTON in 1831 and Dryden married Rebecca BAYS in 1837. This left two unmarried sons Charles, who had his own household, and George.

James, Elizabeth, their youngest son George, two young boys who may be grandsons, and a young slave made up the household. Four persons were engaged in agriculture. James was by this time 86 years old. Was he included in the count of working persons? It seems likely as only 5 males were in the household with the youngest being under 5 years of age.

The decline in the number of slaves in the household in 1830 to only one in 1840 can be explained. By March 1836 James SIMS had disposed of all slaves with the exception of Isaac who he emancipated in July 1836.8

The sale of one woman slave was recounted to June Settle Ciocca by Lawrence M. Huddleston in 1990. In 1833 a young girl July Hulen (per bill of sale) was sold by James SIMS to John HUDDLESTON. July Helen’s mother had been sold to the Huddlestons earlier and both mother and daughter were so heart-broken that James SIMS agreed to sell the child as well. Mr. Huddleston was in possession of the bill of sale for the young girl.9

1840 U.S. Federal Census 10
Nicholas County, (West) Virginia
Enumeration Date: 1 June 1840
Name: James Sims Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 80 thru 89: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Elizabeth)
Slaves – Males – 10 thru 23: 1 (poss. a male age 20 thru 23 from 1830)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 4
Free White Persons – Under 20: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total Slaves: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 6

James SIMS’ wife Elizabeth predeceased him and like James would not be found in the 1850 census. Elizabeth’s date of death is unknown. James lived to see his last two children marry: Charles married Minerva J. SUMMERS in 1842 and George married Margaret Jane DORSEY in 1845.

Coming next…

The census work of James SIMS and his first wife Phebe’s oldest son Jeremiah SIMS.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. The range for the date of death was explained in Rewriting the Biography: When Did James Sims Die? 
  2. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses (Binns Genealogy, original records from Library of Virgina, Richmond, Virginia or Family History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), Botetourt, 1789 Personal Tax List B, page 13. (http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Botetourt/1789PersonalB/13.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  3. Ibid., Kanawha, 1802 Personal Tax List, image 21. (http://www.binnsgenealogy.com/VirginiaTaxListCensuses/Kanawha/1802Personal/21.jpg : accessed 13 March 2018). 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, FHL 0181429, roll 69, image 405, Virginia, Kanawha, Kanawha, page 129, sheet 207A, line 23, James Simms (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2018). 
  5. 1820 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 388, Virginia, Nicholas, page 204A, line 19, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 February 2018). 
  6. William Griffee Brown, History of Nicholas County, West Virginia, Dietz Press, 1954, p. 166. 
  7. 1830 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, FHL Film: 0029677, NARA Roll M19_198, Nicholas, Virginia, image 35+36 of 42, page 189A+B, line 17, James Sims. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2018). 
  8. Isaac SIMS was featured in Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 2 and Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 3 
  9. A photo of the bill of sale for  July Hulen can be found in Black History Month: The Slaves of James SIMS, Part 1 
  10. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i>, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029690, NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Nicholas, image 26+27 of 67, page 10A+B, line 8, James Sims. ‎(http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 March 2018). 

52 Ancestors: #29 The Erpelding-Conradt Family of Kackerterhaff

A decade before America declared its independence Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in a large part of the territories under the rule of the House of Habsburg, including the Netherlands which encompassed present-day Belgium and Luxembourg.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!

The 1766 census was grouped by villages and towns with each of these belonging to a paroisse or parish. Parishes were classified in a decanat or deanship (diocese). In a village or town, the names of all persons in a household were classified into four groups by age: men were listed as 16 or older and under 16 while women were seen as 14 or older and under 14 years. A column for occupations was only available for men 16 and older. On the last page of each village was a list of occupations of the inhabitants divided into several categories: public service jobs, merchants, laborers (including servants), craftsmen (masters and journeymen), and clergy.

ERPELDING of Kackerd

1766 Census page for the village of Oetrange in the parish of the same name[1]
The ERPELDING family lived and worked on Kackerterhaff near the village of Oetrange in the parish of Oetrange in the decanat of Remich.

Close-up of entry on census page[1]
1766 Census for a place called Kackerd in the Paroisse of Oettringen (Parish of Oetrange)
Household #20
Caspar Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs occupation laboureur or farmer
Jean Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs
Gertrude Erpeldingen female over 14 yrs
Jean Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Nicolas Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Barbe Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
Maria Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household[1]

CONRADT of Uebersyren

1766 Census page for the village of Uebersyren in the parish of Hostert[2]

The CONRADT family (written CONRADE on the sheet) lived in Uebersyren in the parish of Hostert not far from the parish of Oetrange.

Close-up of entry on census page[2]
1766 Census for the Village of Ubersyren in the Paroisse of Hostert
Household #8
Pierre Conrade 16 yrs or older occupation tisserand or weaver
Ann Catherine Conrad 16 yrs or older
no males under 16 yrs
Elizabeth Conrad female under 14 yrs
Madlene Conrad female under 14 yrs
Marie Conrad female under 14 yrs
Catherine Conrad female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household[2]

Twenty-two years later…

1788 Marriage Record of Nicolas ERPELDING and Magdalena CONRADT

Nicolas ERPELDING, 22 years old, married Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT, 29 years old, on 7 July 1788 in Schuttrange.[3] Nicolas, the youngest son of Caspar ERPELDING (d. 1779) and Gertrude JEHNEN (d. 1774), was born 7 November 1765 in Villa Kackert near Oetrange.[4] Magdalena, the second oldest daughter of Peter CONRADT (d. 1789) and Anna Catharina ROEDER (1736-1791), was born 2 June 1759 in Uebersyren.[5]

Courtesy of Egon Meder

The young couple made their home in Uebersyren during the first years of their marriage and this is where their first child Mathias was born on 27 March 1791.[6]

1791 Baptismal Record of Mathias ERPELDING[6]
Following the birth of Matthias and before their next child was born they left Uebersyren and made their home auf dem Kackert, in the home Nicolas had been born and raised in. The move may have followed the death of Magdalena’s mother in Uebersyren six months after the birth of Mathias.[7]

1793 Baptismal Record of Catharina ERPELDING[8]
When daughter Catharina was born on 15 October 1793, Nicolas and Magdalena were seen as a legally married couple and operariorum commorantuim in Kackert – workers residing at Kackert.[8] Nicolas’ parents had died in 1774[9] and 1779[10] and the farm likely went to their oldest son Jean ERPELDING. Catharina’s baptismal record lists Jean as her godfather and agricola habitans in Villa Kackert – a farmer who lives on the Kackert farm. Villa in Latin has several definitions including villa or country house, village, farm, or premises. As later documents refer to Kackerterhaff,  and it is still known as such, the translation would be a farm.

Kackerterhaff near Oetrange, Luxembourg (courtesy of Egon Meder)

At this point in the family timeline, there is a discrepancy which I have not been able to resolve. From marriage records found, it appears that there were two daughters named Catharina. No baptismal record has been found for the second daughter named Catharina. Her marriage record is a religious marriage record which names her parents but does not include her date of birth. No civil marriage record, which normally includes the date and place of birth, has been found. All birth records of her children and her death record place her birth at about 1793, the same as the first daughter named Catharina. Due to records found, they cannot be the same person.

1795 Baptismal Record of Margaretha ERPELDING[11]
Nicolas and Magdalena’s fourth child Margaretha was born and baptized on 15 December 1795. Her parents were seen as operariorum in Kackert – operators of Kackert.[11]

1797 Baptismal Record of Pierre ERPELDING[12]
Pierre, the next child, was born on 15 January 1797 and the entry in the parish records was the first for the new year. No godparents were listed. The parents were seen as a legally married couple living in Kackert.[12]

The sixth child of Nicolas and Magdalena was another daughter named Margaretha. Her sister who had the same name had not died. She would later marry and live in the same place as this Margaretha, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

1800 Baptismal Record of Margaretha ERPELDING[13]
The second daughter named Margaretha was baptized on 16 November 1800[13] and born on 1 January 1801.[14] That is not a typo. The records show she was baptized six weeks before her birth! While the church records continued to be kept using the Gregorian calendar, the civil records at the time used the French Republican calendar. A difference of a day or two could be explained but six weeks cannot be an error in calculation. The discrepancy in the church record vis-a-vis the civil record was brought to my attention by Cyndi Speltz Gipp 14 years ago. Cyndi is my husband’s 7th cousin through Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents.

1804 Baptismal Record of Barbara ERPELDING[15]
The last child of Nicolas and Magdalena was Barbara born on 25 February 1804.[15] As with all of her siblings, except for her oldest brother Mathias, she was born on the Kackert farm.

The Middle Years

All of the children Magdalena gave birth to survived to adulthood. The seven children remained on Kackerterhaff until they began to marry.

In the meantime, Nicolas’ brother Jean ERPELDING (his second brother named Jean) died on 20 May 1806 on Kréintgeshaff, a farm near Kackerterhaff.[16] His place of death has helped to differentiate between the two brothers named Jean.

On 15 December 1814, the first of Nicolas and Magdalena’s children married. Catharina married Nicolas GLODT (1793-1858) on 15 December 1814 in Oetrange.[17]

1814 Religious Marriage Record of Nicolas GLODT and Catharina ERPELDING[17]
Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT did not live long enough to see any of her other children marry. She died on 28 January 1818 on Kackerterhaff.[18]

Six years later the oldest son of the ERPELDING-CONRADT couple, Mathias, married Margaritha GROSS (1796-1872) on 25 February 1824 in Oetrange.[19] Mathias, being the oldest, remained on the farm.

A little more than a year later, the younger son Pierre married Margaretha KRUCHTEN (1797-1859) on 21 March 1825 in Contern.[20] They would make their home in Oetrange in the commune of Contern.

Four years later Nicolas ERPELDING died on 10 May 1829 at Kackerterhaff.[21] He left two married sons, a married daughter, and four unmarried daughters. His youngest daughter Barbara was 25 years old and expecting a child. The male child was born and died on 28 December 1829.[22] No father was listed on the birth record.

The oldest daughter Catharina married Johann BOUR (1772-1855) on 26 February 1831 in Bertrange.[23] She was 37 years old and he was 58 and had been a widower for two years. Catharina was living on Kackerterhaff up until the time of the marriage. It would be interesting to learn how she met her husband as two of her three sisters would also marry in Bertrange and live in Strassen, at that time part of the commune of Bertrange. What brought these women to Strassen and Bertrange which both lie on the other side of Luxembourg City from Kackerterhaff?

Nicolas ERPELDING’s oldest brother Jean died before 1833 as his widow Catharina EVEN’s death was declared by her nephew Mathias ERPELDING on 13 December 1833.[24] She died on Kackerterhaff. To date, no children have been found for this couple which may be the reason the farm was now seen in the hands of Mathias.

The younger Margaretha, my children’s ancestress, married François “Franz” MERTES (1806-1864) on 25 February 1834 in Bertrange. Both of her brothers, Mathias and Pierre, were present and signed as witnesses to her marriage.[25]

Five years later, the older Margaretha who was still living on the home farm married Johann SCHMIT (1780-1856) on 10 April 1839 in Bertrange. Margaretha was 44 and Johann, widowed only four months earlier, was 58 years old. None of the witnesses were relatives of the bride, however, Michel BRIMEYER, one of the witnesses, was listed as her acquaintance.[26]

Finally, on 11 February 1846, the youngest child of Nicolas and Magdalena married. Barbara married Peter ENTRINGER (1801-1867) on 11 February 1846 in Sandweiler.[27] Barbara’s son Mathias ERPELDING, born illegitimately on 29 May 1835,[28] was 10 years old. The marriage legitimized his birth as Peter ENTRINGER recognized him as his son. Between the time of Mathias’ birth and the marriage, the groom had been married to another woman and widowed.

The Later Years

Catharina ERPELDING who married Nicolas GLODT died on 6 January 1848 at the age of 55 in Oetrange.[29] She had given birth to at least eight children.

Margaretha ERPELDING who married Johann SCHMIT was widowed on 29 December 1856.[30] It is unknown when or where she died. She remained childless.

Catharina ERPELDING who married Johann BOUR was last seen in the census in December 1861 in Strassen. She was widowed in 1855[31] and also remained childless. No death record has been found.

Pierre ERPELDING died on 23 December 1865 in Oetrange.[32] He outlived his wife, who had given him seven children, by six years. Two of these children died as infants. His oldest son Theodore, after being widowed twice, would emigrate to America in 1884 with his sons John and Nicholas and his daughter Angelique to join his older son Peter who had emigrated the previous year. The line would continue in Nebraska.

The youngest daughter Barbara ERPELDING was widowed on 10 Sep 1867.[33] She was not found between the time of her marriage in 1846 and her husband’s death in 1867. It is unknown if they had other children and what happened to the son Mathias who was legitimized at the time of the marriage.

My children’s 4th great-grandmother Margaretha ERPELDING died on 1 November 1868 in Strassen.[34] Widowed in 1864,[35] she left only one child, a son Michel who fathered thirteen children.

Following Margaretha’s death, the only known living child of Nicolas and Magdalena was their oldest son Mathias ERPELDING. He died on 31 December 1871 on Kackerterhaff.[36] His wife followed him four months later.[37] They were the parents of eight children. Sons Peter and Mathias never married but worked the farm until their deaths on Kackerterhaff in 1897[38] and 1916.[39] They are the last known ERPELDINGs to have lived on the home place.

Although I have spent the past two weeks attaching (and citing sources for) birth, marriage, census, and death records to all individuals in this family (several generations), the largest part of the research was done by my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi. She ordered the FamilySearch microfilms and viewed them at her local Family History Center fourteen years ago. Not only did she research her line down from Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents Christophori “Stofel” JEHNEN and Maria SCHINGEN but also this ERPELDING family and shared all with me. In 2015 I got in touch with her again when I wrote 52 Ancestors: #40 Happy Birthday to Michel of the MERTES-ERPELDING Family and now we keep up via Facebook. Thank you, Cyndi, for all the work you’ve done on this branch of the family.

P.S. Kackerterhaff is Luxembourgish for the German Kackerterhof. So for those of you who noticed, I made the featured image first. While writing the post I decided to be consistent by using Kackerterhaff throughout and forgot I’d used the German version in the image.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1]1. 1766 Census of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, FamilySearch (Digitial copy of the microfilm of originals in the Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles, includes localities now in Luxembourg and Liège, Belgium), Film #008198979 > Decanat de Remich > Oetringen (paroisse d’Oetringen) > Image 249 of 438. p. 248, Kackerd, household no. 20. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-9Q65-V?i=248&cat=1184675 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[2] Ibid., Obersirn (paroisse d’Hostert) > Image 124 of 438. page 114, household no. 8. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-9QDP-C?i=123&cat=1184675 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[3] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Schuttrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 99 of 153. 1788 Marriage Record (left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-78KC?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3F%3A1501181201%2C1500913302 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[4] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 20 of 90. 1765 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9HDH?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[5] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes 1713-1778, 1782-1792, sépultures 1718-1733 > image 52 of 100. 1759 Baptismal Record (right, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-7ZM5?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3K%3A1501181201%2C1501244146 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[6] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes 1713-1778, 1782-1792, sépultures 1718-1733 > image 96 of 100. 1791 Baptismal Record (right page, 3rd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-7DK4?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3K%3A1501181201%2C1501244146 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[7] Ibid., Schuttrange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 135 of 153. 1791 Death Record (right page, 1st full entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-78P2?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-N3F%3A1501181201%2C1500913302 : accessed 2 September 2017).
[8] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 53 of 90. 1793 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9H42?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[9] Ibid., Oetrange > Mariages 1718-1755, 1761-1763, 1767-1785, sépultures 1719-1781 > image 83 of 90. 1774 Death Record (right, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9C65?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44D%3A1500972093%2C1500972096 : accessed 31 August 2017).
[10] Ibid., Oetrange > Mariages 1718-1755, 1761-1763, 1767-1785, sépultures 1719-1781 > image 84 of 90. 1779 Death Record (right page, bottom entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9CBD?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44D%3A1500972093%2C1500972096 : accessed 31 August 2017).
[11] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1684-1701, 1719-1799, confirmations 1738 > image 52 of 90. 1795 Baptismal Record (left page, 3rd entry). ((https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9HWH?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-448%3A1500972093%2C1500972094 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[12] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 3 of 91. 1797 Baptismal Record (right, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-9CDJ?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[13] Ibid., Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 4 of 91. Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd to last entry for 1800). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32461-8208-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[14] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 49 of 484. 1800 Birth Record (10 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12325-25034-93?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[15] Luxembourg Parish Records, Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 5 of 91. 1804 Baptismal Record (left, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9C75?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 26 August 2017).
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 1338 of 1476. 1806 Death Record (left, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1P7-BL2?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[17] Luxembourg Parish Records, Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 89 of 91. 1814 Marriage Record (religious). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9H5L?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-44C%3A1500972093%2C1501048046 : accessed 27 Augst 2017).
[18] Luxembourg Civil Records, Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 1433 of 1476. 1818 Death Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11693-157266-45?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015). Note: 20th is missing in the date on the record, i.e. record reads the death was reported on the 9th and should be on the 29th.
[19] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 824 of 1476. 1824 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1P7-2KR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[20] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1836-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1821 > image 830 of 1476. 1825 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-D1PW-SMJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-4WL%3A129626701%2C129799901 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[21] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 50 of 568. 1829 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11556-63378-89?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[22] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 408 of 484. 1829 Birth Record No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62R9-9NB?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-W3X%3A129626701%2C129744001 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 33 of 1416. 1831 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52218-77?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[24] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 78 of 568. 1833 Death Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8JR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 63 of 1416. 1834 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55620-99?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 119 of 1416. 1839 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51841-94?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[27] Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 995 of 1493. 1846 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X46G-P9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-MNL%3A130336601%2C130552301 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[28] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 474 of 484. 1835 Birth Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62R9-MHJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-W3X%3A129626701%2C129744001 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[29] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 195 of 568. 1848 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-ZSN?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[30] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 65 of 446. 1856 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-698Q-X5?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5%3A130458601%2C129625702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[31] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 52 of 446. 1855 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-69ZW-Q15?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5%3A130458601%2C129625702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[32] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 348 of 568. 1865 Death Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-84C?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 29 August 2017).
[33] Ibid., Sandweiler > Décès 1833-1890 > image 394 of 604. 1867 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRKS-9MT?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-929%3A130336601%2C130345701 : accessed 30 August 2017).
[34] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 189 of 446. 1868 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165726-80?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013)
[35] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 140 of 446. 1864 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-166420-69?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[36] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 419 of 568. 1871 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8JK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 27 August 2017).
[37] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1822-1890 > image 423 of 568. 1872 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRWS-8HQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-JWL%3A129626701%2C129626702 : accessed 5 September 2017).
[38] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1895-1912 > image 12 of 131. 1897 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97J-Y7XS?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-16P%3A129626701%2C129657201 : accessed 27 August 1897).
[39] Ibid., Contern > Décès 1913-1923 > image 22 of 84. 1916 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-897V-HTCJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-92X%3A129626701%2C129622902 : accessed 27 August 2017).

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

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!

What do you do when you make one of those monumental discoveries about a genealogy collection you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get access to?

Do you keep it a secret? Or do you shout it out for all to know?

Luxembourg Research

This year I’ve been concentrating on the Luxembourg families in my family tree, specifically the fifth-great-grandparents of my children. Three more posts and I will finish their paternal side. Only half of their maternal side is Luxembourgish, or coming from villages on the other side of the border in Germany and France, and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

Most of these ancestors from this generation were living, or their parents were living, when Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in 1766 in a large part of the territories under the rule of the House of Habsburg. This included Luxembourg, along with Belgium, a part of the Netherlands.

The census of 1766 for Luxembourg has only been available through FamilySearch’s microfilm circulation service which as we all know is being discontinued.

Thursday, September 7, 2017, marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make billions of the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online. ~ FamilySearch blog

Amberly Beck who blogs at The Genealogy Girl has made several comments on my posts about the collections available online at FamilySearch.

FamilySearch is working at the fastest pace I have ever seen. I can’t keep up with the new records coming available that I am interested in. It’s a great time to be a genealogist! ~ thegenealogygirl

It’s a great time to be a genealogist!

On the FamilySearch blog, I learned that all microfilm which has been rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch.

While researching my upcoming post, I checked on the 1766 census availability and found a little camera icon next to the films for the Decanat of Mersch, Remich, Bitburg, and Stavelot.

When Bryna O’Sullivan wrote The Luxembourg Census you haven’t heard of… only two weeks ago, there was no camera icon showing any of the census films were available.

In 2003, with a very slow internet modem, my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi sent me the 1766 census listing I used for the featured image of this post. Now, fourteen years later, I was able to access the digital image online and download a much clearer copy of the over 250 years old document.

Click this link to see the list of films available online for the 1766 census of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg researchers, we have a new key to open the doors in our brick walls!

Amberly, thank you for telling me to check the FamilySearch catalog more often. It really paid off this time!

What? You aren’t checking the catalog at FamilySearch? Take a moment to read these articles:

Using the Back Door at FamilySearch for Missing Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

House Names and Surnames

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researching the MERTES-DONNEN Family

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

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

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

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

The MERTES Family’s House Name

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

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

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

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

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

Pedigree view in Ancestral Quest 15

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

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

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

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

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

The significance of “la maison dite Karpen”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karpen house in Oppert. Where was Oppert?

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

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

What’s the secret?

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

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

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

52 Ancestors: #13 The MEDER-REIFFER Family of Diekirch 1807-1930

Week 13 (March 26 – April 1) – Different. What ancestor seems to be your polar opposite? What ancestor did something that seems completely different than what they “should” have done or what you would have done?

Moving on to the next generation, my children’s 16 sets of great-great-great-grandparents. A quarter of these were discussed last year when I did 8 individuals (4 sets in red on the chart) of my/their American lines. See links for 2014 52Ancestors #8 through #15.

7gen
Courtesy of TreeSeek.com

Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) is on the opposite side of the chart from Maria MAJERUS (1850-1931). My son inherited Théodore’s Y-DNA through his father and Maria’s mtDNA through me. I need to learn more about DNA, but this I get: Y-DNA and mtDNA are completely opposite.

The MEDER-REIFFER Family (1807-1930)

1807birth
1807 Birth Record of Théodore MEDER[1]
The father of this family group, Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) was born at four in the morning on Tuesday the 14th of July 1807 in Diekirch (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) to Nicolas and Apolline. Nicolas MEDERT (sic, MEDER) was a 43 years old basket-maker (vannier). His wife Apolline WILMES’ age is not given but she would have been 38 at the time. Mathias KELLEN, a 33 years old farmer (laboureur) from Gilsdorf, and Philippe SCHAACK, a 36 years old tawer (mégissier), were the witnesses who signed the birth record. The father Nicolas declared not being able to sign his name.[1]

379px-G._Bruno_-_Le_Tour_de_la_France_par_deux_enfants_p161
G. Bruno – Le Tour de la France par deux enfants p161 » par G. Bruno, gravure Perot — http://archive.org/details/letourdelafrance00brunuoft Univ. of Toronto. Sous licence Domaine public via Wikimedia Commons

Please excuse my going off on a tangent here but I find old occupations quite fascinating and it is interesting to learn more about the crafts and trades of our ancestors, or as was the case here, of their neighbors or acquaintances.

I had a bit of difficulty finding a translation for the French word mégissier. Google Translate “knew” the French word but did not come up with the English equivalent. After a bit, I found that mégissier is a tawer. In search of the translation and definition I found this illustration (left). A tawer is a person who taws or makes leather out of hide without the use of tanning.

Let’s get back to the main subjects!

The mother of this family group, Susanna REIFFER (1808-1877) born Wednesday, 6 April 1808 in Wahlhausen, Clervaux, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, according to the extract of her baptismal record that was presented in Diekirch in 1833 when she married. The same date and place are also listed on the 1843 census. She was the daughter of Théodore REIFFER and Elisabethe CLOS whose dates of death were listed on her 1833 marriage record.[2]

publication
Publication of Marriage in Diekirch[3]
At eight o’clock the morning of Thursday the 31st of January 1833, Théodore MEDER, a 25 years old day laborer and Susanna REIFFER, a 24 years old house servant from Bastendorf, were joined in marriage in Diekirch. The bride’s parents were both deceased, her father in 1831 and her mother in 1829. Théodore’s father Nicolas was present and consenting to the marriage. His mother had died in 1824. Banns were published in Bastendorf and in Diekirch on the 20th and the 27th of January. As is normal with marriage records in Luxembourg, 4 witnesses were present and signed the record. Their relationships to the bride and groom are not listed. The bride, the groom and the father of the groom declared not being able to write and did not sign the marriage record.[2], [3]

Théodore and Susanna were the parents of a dozen children:

Child 1: Jean MEDER (1834-1901) was born 6 January 1834[4] in Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He married Barbara “Barbe” ADAM (1837-1906) on 10 January 1864[5] in Bettendorf where they raised a family of 4 children. Jean died on 26 October 1901[6] in Bettendorf. His wife Barbe died in the same town on 6 October 1906.[7]

Child 2: Mathias MEDER (1835-1912) was born 25 November 1835[8] in Diekirch.  He married Maria “Marie” KAUFMANN (1833-1912) on 24 June 1863[9] in Bettendorf where they raised a family of 3 children. Mathias died 23 April 1912[10] in Bastendorf a little over a year after Marie who died on 2 April 1911[11] in Bettendorf.

Child 3: Maria MEDER (1837-1918) was born 21 November 1837[12] in Diekirch. Maria married Nicolas WEBER (1836-1918) on 14 November 1860[13] in Diekirch where they raised 5 children. Nicolas died 20 January 1881[14] in Diekirch. Maria died 37 years later on 11 October 1918[15] in Diekirch.

Child 4: Philippe MEDER (1839-1839) was born 29 October 1839[16] in Diekirch. Philippe was not quite two months old when he died on 23 December 1839[17] in Diekirch.

Child 5: Anna Maria MEDER (1841-1911) was born 21 January 1841[18] in Diekirch. She married Nicolas SCHOLTES (1847-1897) on 28 November 1867[19] in Diekirch where 10 children were born. Nicolas died on 16 January 1897[20] in Diekirch. Anna, as she was usually known, died 5 January 1911[21] in Diekirch.

Child 6: Maria “Elisa” MEDER (1842- ) was born 26 October 1842[22] in Diekirch. When she married Célestin RENAUT (1830- ) on 3 July 1865[23] in Diekirch Elisa was listed as the name that she normally used. This family moved around a bit and were last seen in the 1875 census in Diekirch. At that time they had two daughters, the first born in Esch-sur-Alzette and the second in Magneux, Marne, France, where Célestin was from. In 1876 another daughter was born in Diekirch.[24] The family disappears [has not been found] after this birth and it is not known when Elisa and her husband died.

Child 7: Elisabetha MEDER (1844- ) was born 23 February 1844[25] in Diekirch. In 1858 and later she was no longer found with her parents. It’s possible that as a 14 years old in 1858 she may have been living and/or working in another household. There is no trace of a death record for her in Diekirch.

Child 8: Margaretha MEDER (1845-1845) was born 8 June 1845[26] in Diekirch. She only lived 16 days, dying on 24 June 1845[27] in Diekirch.

Child 9: Franz “François” MEDER (1846-1930) was born 17 May 1846 in Diekirch. Franz married Elisabetha “Elisabeth” “Elise” FABER (1846-1915) on 20 September 1869 in Diekirch. More about this child in 52 Ancestors: #5 The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954

Child 10: Johann “Jean Pierre” MEDER (1847-1848) was born 16 September 1847[28] in Diekirch and died 29 May 1848[29] in Diekirch at the age of 8 months. Although his birth and death record show that his name was Johann, on the 1847 census he was seen as Jean Pierre, most likely to distinguish him from his oldest brother Jean.

Child 11: [–?–] MEDER, a female, (1849-1849) was stillborn on 19 August 1849[30].

Child 12: Catharina MEDER (1850-1879) was born 5 December 1850[31] in Diekirch. Catharina married André WILHELMY (1853-?) on 15 May 1878[32] in Diekirch. She died 26 February 1879[33] in Diekirch 8 days after giving birth to a stillborn son.[34] Her widower André remarried a year later in Alscheid.[35]

The Occupations of Théodore MEDER

Life may have been hard for Théodore, Susanna, and their many children. As seen in the following chart Théodore worked as a day laborer from the time of his marriage in 1833 until 1846 when he became a shepherd. He remained in this occupation for about 10 years. On one record it is clearly noted that he was a goat shepherd. By 1858 he was once again working as a day laborer. In 1880 at the age of 73 he seen on the census as a miner (Bergbauarbeiter). This seems to be a very hard job for a man of his age. Finally at the time of his death, at the age of 91, he was seen as having no occupation.

occupationThe MEDER-REIFFER family in the Luxembourg census

Previous posts on family groups in Luxembourg have concentrated on the birth and marriage records of the children. For this family, I’ve decided to do something different. Above I used a pink or blue box for each child, including footnote links to the very long source list found at the end of this post. Instead of discussing the birth and/or marriage records, I’ve chosen to focus on the census records of this family.

The census in Luxembourg was taken every three or so years. At FamilySearch there are presently 1,115,931 census images available for these years: 1843, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1855, 1858, 1861, 1864, 1867, 1871, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895 and 1900.

1843census
1843 Luxembourg Census[36]
On the 1843 census, earliest census available online at FamilySearch, birthdates of persons in the household were included. From experience I’ve found that they do not always match up with the birth records found. And that is the case with this family listing. The father, mother and oldest son’s dates match but the other 4 children are off. In the household are children Jean, Mathias, Marie, Anne, and Marie (who will later be known as Elisa). I was happy to find Jean Nicolas MEDER in his son Theodore’s household.[36] His date of birth is seen as 1 April 1763. This cannot be correct as his baptismal record* shows that he was born and baptized on 26 October 1766. *Note: the baptismal record was located after footnotes were completed for this post.

*Source: Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 59 of 147. Jean Nicolas Meder baptismal record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-751-39?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-ZJ4:1500939401,1501045912 : accessed 23 March 2015).

1846census
1846 Luxembourg Census[37]
In 1846 Théodore and his brother Antoine’s families are listed together in one household. Children in Théodore and Susane’s household are Jean, Mathias, Marie, Marie, Marie, Elisabeth, and François. Three girls named Marie! From one census or civil record to the next these girls would use different variations of their names. The years of birth are off for the older children but the younger ones born in the 1840s are correct.[37]

1847census
1847 Luxembourg Census[38]
In 1847 the family had grown to 10, parents and 8 children: Jean, Mathias, Marie, Anne Marie, Marie, Elisabeth, François, and Jean-Pierre.[38]

1849census
1849 Luxembourg Census[39]
In 1849 the family has one less member as their youngest child Jean-Pierre passed away in May 1848. As in 1847 none of the children are listed with an occupation. Their father is a shepherd (pâtre) and one can imagine that his older sons Jean and Mathias may have helped their father while the four girls helped their mother care for little François.[39]

1851census
1851 Luxembourg Census[40]
In 1851 young Catherine born in 1850 is now seen on the list of children. The mother is mistakenly listed as Marguerite however her maiden name and place of birth are correct. The ditto marks in the column for occupation make it appear as if the mother and the three sons are working as day laborers like the father. It seems very unlikely that 6 years old François would be working. All of the daughters are listed as having no occupation. An interesting addition to this census sheet is the column for the number of years each person has lived in the present community. The mother, who came to Diekirch at the time of her marriage, is seen as living in Diekirch for 18 years while for all other members of the family the time of residence is equal to their age.[40]

1852census
1852 Luxembourg Census[41]
In 1852 the oldest son Jean is missing on the census. As I am concentrating on Théodore and Susanne’s family as a unit I have not taken the time to search further for their oldest son once he left the nest. I know that after his marriage in 1864 he lived in Bettendorf a village to the east of Diekirch. He “disappears” between 1852-1864 and depending on where he was working I will have to do a lot of browsing to find him.[41]

1855census
1855 Luxembourg Census[42]
In 1855 the next two oldest children, Mathias and the eldest Marie have also flown the coop, most likely due to their living with their employer. Children still at home are Anna, Marie, Elisa, François, and Catherine.[42]

1858census
1858 Luxembourg Census[43]
The 1858 census gave me a few problems. Marie seen here is Anna Marie and Elisa is the younger Marie. The reason that I know this is not Elisabeth is that when Marie marries in 1865 the marriage record has a note that she is known as Elisa and the date of birth matches Marie born in 1842. It is my belief that Elisabeth (1858 age 14) may be working in a nearby village. As long as the census is not indexed finding her will be a lot of work or I might get lucky and find her while checking on other families in the area. This means that I have to be careful to look at all persons listed in each household, especially at the end of the list where domestics’ names were listed.[43]

1861census
1861 Luxembourg Census[44]
In 1861[44] (above) and in 1864[45] (below) the family group remains the same as in 1858.

1864census
1864 Luxembourg Census[45]
In 1867, below, the family has become even smaller. Only the two youngest children are still at home, François and Catherine.[46] By this time all of the other children were married and had their own households. Marie in 1860, Mathias in 1863, Jean in 1864, Marie “Eisa” in 1865, and Anna Marie in 1867.

1867census
1867 Luxembourg Census[46]
I went through the entire 1871 census collection for Diekirch and did not find Théodore, Susanna, and their youngest daughter Catherine. Are they living with one of their three married daughters? Their son François married in 1869 and was enumerated with his wife and children in the household of the in-laws. Jean and Mathias are in Bettendorf with their wives and children.

1875census
1875 Luxembourg Census[47]
In 1875 Théodore and Susanna were found living alone in Diekirch. Their youngest daughter Catherine was not yet married and may be working and living with another family.[47]

1880census
1880 Luxembourg Census[48]
By 1880 Théodore was widowed and seen living with his son Franz and his family.[48]  Following the 1880 census Théodore no longer lived with Franz or any of his children who have been located in the 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895 censuses.

Théodore and Susanna were married nearly 45 years when Susanna died at 9 o’clock in the evening on 11 October 1877 in their home in Diekirch. Théodore who was the informant of her death declared that he could not write and did not sign the death record.[49] The place of birth of the deceased was seen as Merscheid instead of Wahlhausen as seen in her marriage record and on several census sheets. I hoped that this would lead to her birth record but was disappointed once again.

Théodore spent the next 22 years as a widower and may have spent some time in the local hospital before his death. He died at three o’clock in the morning on 29 July 1898 in the hospital (Spital) in Diekirch. His death was reported by Dominik ZENNER, the 64 years old overseer in the hospital (Aufseher im Spital).[50] It was interesting to see that Mathias WENGLER, age 72 was still the secretary of the civil hall in Diekirch and a witness on this death record. In 1877 at the age of 50 he had been the witness and secretary on Susanna’s death record.

If you have any connection to this family, please let me know. I look forward to reading your comments.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Théodore MEDER
Parents: Johann Nicolas “Jean Nicolas” MEDER and Apolline WILMES
Spouse: Susanna REIFFER
Parents of Spouse: Theodore REIFFER and Elisabetha CLOS
Whereabouts: Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-great-grandfather

1. Théodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER
2. Franz MEDER
3. Johann Peter “Jean Pierre” MEDER
4. Marcel Mathias MEDER
5. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 937 of 1493. 1807 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-125548-25?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N5:n983817566 : accessed 24  Apr 2010).
[2] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1300 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Publication, upper left. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-104226-22?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 267 of 1507. 1834 Birth Record No.3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-32931-0?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[5] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 565 of 1494. 1864 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35377-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 94 of 389. 1901 Death Record No. 42. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32048-25476-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 165 of 389. 1906 Death Record No. 34 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-24647-64?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 22 March 2015).
[8] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 311 of 1507. 1835 Birth Record No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29914-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : acccessed 18 March 2010).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 558 of 1494. 1863 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36446-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[10] Ibid, Bastendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 128 of 213. 1912 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32027-17450-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-JW1:129624201,129623802 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 234 of 389. 1911 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24398-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[12] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 363 of 1507. 1837 Birth Record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-34390-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[13] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 408 of 1493. 1860 Marriage Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48463-31?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[14] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1136 of 1358. 1881 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-165899-41?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 22 March 2015).
[15] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 378 of 500. 1918 Death Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32027-19878-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 10 March 2015).
[16] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 405 of 1507. 1839 Birth Record No. 64. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-35084-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : acccessed 18 March 2010).
[17] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 262 of 1358. 1839 Death Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-170780-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[18] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 437 of 1507. 1841 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29201-28?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[19] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 538 of 1493. 1867 Marriage Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48372-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[20] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 513 of 661. 1897 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-1472-27?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-92Q:129628901,130043302 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[21] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 203 of 500. 1911 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32027-19532-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 10 March 2015).
[22] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 476 of 1507. 1842 Birth Record No. 68. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-30337-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[23] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 496 of 1493. 1865 Marriage Record No. 13. Note: Lists her name as Maria “known as Elisa” Meder.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49678-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[24] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1423 of 1507. 1876 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29780-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[25] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 514 of 1507. 1844 Birth Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29227-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[26] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 546 of 1507. 1845 Birth Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-25504-24?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[27] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 347 of 1358. 1845 Death Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-161635-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[28] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 600 of 1507. 1847 Birth Record No. 63. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29087-80?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[29] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 393 of 1358. 1848 Death Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-170739-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[30] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 413 of 1358. 1849 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-159137-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[31] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 683 of 1507. 1850 Birth Record No. 77. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-24855-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[32] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 687 of 1493. 1878 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49334-55?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[33] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1096 of 1358. 1879 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-166632-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19‎ ‎May ‎2011).
[34] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1095 of 1358. 1879 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-168135-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[35] Ibid, Alscheid > Mariages 1831-1890 > image 233 of 287. 1880 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12419-77701-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-L27:129624001,129733101 : accessed 23 March 2015).
[36] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1843 > image 332 of 444. Meder-Reiffer household (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32349-22719-47?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-MJ4:345999901,345863501 : accessed 25 January 2015).
[37] Ibid, Diekirch > 1846 > image 170 of 347. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32358-17571-45?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-82R:345999901,345858602 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[38] Ibid, Diekirch > 1847 > image 85 of 506. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32360-31013-36?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-7MB:345999901,345864101 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[39] Ibid, Diekirch > 1849 > image 496 of 504. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32357-25769-37?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-44Q:345999901,345864801 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[40] Ibid, Diekirch > 1851 > image 28 of 601. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32358-23247-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6Y3:345999901,345865601 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[41] Ibid, Diekirch > 1852 > image 28 of 551. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32376-17058-35?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-Y4T:345999901,345865501 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[42] Ibid, Diekirch > 1855 > image 212 of 534. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32378-30312-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-K6Y:345999901,345866501 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[43] Ibid, Diekirch > 1858 > image 122 of 635. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32378-12764-40?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-VZL:345999901,345867601 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[44] Ibid, Diekirch > 1861 > image 150 of 646. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-11875-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-16P:345999901,345867101 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[45] Ibid, Diekirch > 1864 > image 483 of 689. Meder-Reiffer household No. 3 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-10399-87?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-168:345999901,345868401 : accessed 25 January 2015).
[46] Ibid, Diekirch > 1867 > image 361 of 649. Meder-Reiffer household No. 198 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-7605-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-SP8:345999901,345869101 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[47] Ibid, Diekirch > 1875 > image 233 of 1488. Meder-Reiffer household No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-20952-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-SPK:345999901,345870501 : accessed 15 March 2015).
[48] Ibid, Diekirch > 1880 > image 321 of 1562. Meder-Faber household No. 85 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32389-5935-92?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-GPL:345999901,345872201 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[49] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1066 of 1358. 1877 Death Record No. 58. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-166176-67?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[50] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 550 of 661. 1898 Death Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-1425-70?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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