The Ancestors: Nicolaus Küffer and Susanna Schiltz of Mamer, Luxembourg

My 5th great-grandparents Nicolaus KÜFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (ca. 1737-1807) were likely not married in Mamer where they lived and raised their family. The baptisms of their children were found in Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique. This compilation of all baptisms in Mamer from 1718 to 1940 by family groups was filmed in 1962. The records of baptism from 1779-1793 are available on FamilySearch while the same and those from 1790-1804 and 1817-1911 are available on Matricula. I have had to rely on this Family Register of the Parish of Mamer for all children born to the KÜFFER families before 1779.

As the records are not available, I can only assume the compiler of the register used KÜFFER as the spelling of the surname as this is how it was written in the church records he consulted. Five of the eight children born to Nicolaus and Susanna were found in later records. The records show the surname’s various spellings, including Küffer, Küfers, Kiefer, Kieffer, Kifers, and Kiffer. The house they lived in was known as Kiefers house or Kéfisch in Luxembourgish.

The home, as well as the house name, was passed down several generations. In 1842 the King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, William II owned land in Mamer. In 1849, when some of the lands were sold, the king’s administrator Baron Ziegesar donated a piece of land to Pierre REDLINGER of Kéfesch for his faithful services.1 Pierre was a great-grandson of the KÜFFER couple. As the oldest living child of Margaretha KOLBACH he had inherited the homeplace from her. It had been passed on to Margaretha from her mother Susanne KIEFFER who’d taken it over from her parents Nicolaus KÜFFER  and Susanna SCHILTZ.

The parents of Nicolaus KÜFFER

Christophorus KÜFFER and Angelica PROBST, the parents of Nicolaus, were married on 7 November 1731 in Mamer. They were the parents of five children baptized in Mamer. Caecelia was baptized on 24 October 1732, Nicolaus on 31 March 1734, Theodorus on 24 September 1736, Petrus on 21 January 1739, and Martinus on 16 October 1742.2

Three months after the birth of Martinus, Angelica, mother of five, married Michael GOERGEN on 21 January 1743. It can only be assumed that her first husband Christophorus died after Martinus was conceived and before Angelica remarried. With her second husband, she had three children: Wilhelmus in 1744, Margaretha in 1747, and Joannes in 1753.3

Of the eight children born to Angelica, only my ancestor Nicolaus was found to have married and had children in Mamer. His brother Petrus is noted as having gone to Monnerich (Mondercange, Luxembourg) and married however no record has been found of such or of children. When Nicolaus’ fourth child was baptized in 1760, Petrus  KÜFFER was named as the godfather. No other KÜFFER or GOERGEN children were godparents of Nicolaus’ children. Could this mean none other than Nicolaus and Petrus survived to adulthood? Deaths and burials were not considered when the family register was compiled. Annotations were made concerning some persons who did not remain in the parish of Mamer but not all.

Angelica PROBST died on 29 April 1786 in Mamer.4 She was widowed for the second time. As her second husband’s death was not found in the deaths/burials from 1779-1786, it is assumed that he died before 1779.

The parents of Susanna SCHILTZ

Susanna SCHILTZ’s parentage is not mentioned in the family register of Mamer. There is no annotation concerning her former place of residence.

Susanna died in the house called Kéfisch in Mamer on 4 August 1807. Her civil death record includes the names of her parents as well as their residence. They were Johannes SCHILTZ and Anna Maria SIMON of Menster (Mensdorf, Luxembourg).5 No records have been found for this couple.

Nicolas KÜFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ become parents

Nicolaus and Susanna were the parents of eight children all baptized in Mamer. They are assumed to have married before the birth of their first child Susanne baptized on 25 March 1754. Their second child and first son, Joannes was baptized on 24 July 1756. His godparents were Joannes SCHILTZ and Anna Elisabeth SIMON. They could have been the maternal grandfather and a maternal aunt but without the record that may give their residence or relationship to the child, this cannot be determined.

The third child of Nicolaus and Susanna was also named Joannes and baptized on 2 October 1757. He was followed by Elisabeth baptized on 25 June 1760. Her godfather was Peter KÜFFER, likely her paternal uncle who went to Monnerich. The fifth child, Peter Nicolas was baptized on 4 August 1763.

In 1766-1767 when the census and cadaster of Marie-Thérèse were taken, Nicolaus and Susanna had five children. The census for Mamer is lost. It would have been a good source for this couple’s living children as all household members were named and placed in age categories. As far as can be determined, from later records, the first four children were likely living in 1766.

Regime A, section 14: cadastre de Marie-Thérèse 1767 — liasse 77 (Mamer) Nicolas Küffers. FamilySearch.

The cadaster of Marie-Thérèse for Mamer from 1767 survived and “Nicolas Kiefers” is enumerated as Hirt or a shepherd in Mamer. The acreage and value of the land he used and its income were calculated on the sheet. The handwriting is hard to read. It may include interesting information on how the family lived. I don’t have the patience needed at this time to sit down and decipher all of the details. What I have been able to figure out is that Nicolaus was using or owned 9 Morgens of farmland, some fallow farmland, a garden and fruit tree orchard, and 3 1/2 Morgens of meadows. I wasn’t able to decipher what he was cultivating and the reason for a deduction made to the total payable tax.6

A gap of nearly 8 years followed the birth of the fifth child. On 5 February 1771, a daughter Margaretha was baptized. Maria was baptized on 22 November 1772 and finally Nicolas on 26 December 1775.

The children begin to marry and start their own families

Of the eight children of Nicolaus and Susanna, three have been found to have married. […the 3rd marriage and family only as I was writing this post!]

Susanne KIEFFER (1754-1808) of Kéfesch house in Mamer, Luxembourg, was my 4th great-grandmother. I wrote about her, both of her husbands, and her children in my post, 52 Ancestors: #44 Legendary Two-Time Tour de France Winner’s Second Great-Grandparents. In January 2018 I was very busy and had little time for format citations for the post. Now over three years later, I noticed this omission and will try to get to the source list when I publish this post. [4 May 2021 Update: Done!]

Susanne KIEFFER married Michel KOLBACH (1784-1838) on 17 February 1783.7 Susanne’s father Nicolaus KÜFFER served as the godfather of their first child Margaretha born and baptized on 4 January 1784.8 With the birth of her daughter Margaretha, they were living in a four-generation house. As the oldest child, Susanne would take over the family home after the deaths of her parents.

1784 Baptismal Record of Margaretha COLBACH aka KOLBACH. FamilySearch.

Joannes KIEFFER married Barbara THIES on 21 January 1785 in Schoenberg.9 The marriage was witnessed by Joannes KIEFFER of Mamer who, if it is not an error in name, was his brother of the same name. Without any further information, it is impossible to tell which Joannes was the groom and which was the witness: Joannes b. 1756 or Joannes b. 1757. This marriage was only discovered when I looked more closely at the godparents of the KOLBACH children and found Barbara THIES wife of Joannes KIEFFER serving as the godmother of a child in 1789.

On 31 March 1785, Elisabeth KIEFFER served as godmother for her nephew Michel KOLBACH, son of her sister Susanne.10

Angelica PROBST, the mother of Nicolaus KÜFFER, died on 29 April 1786 in Mamer and was buried in the town cemetery the following day.11 The Kéfesch house now had only three generations living in it.

Nicolas KÜFFER again served as a godfather for his grandson Nicolaus KIEFFER, son of Joannes and Barbara, born and baptized on 17 September 1786 in Kehlen.12 Young Nicolas was the first of three known children of Joannes and Barbara. Michael KIEFFER was born and baptized on 13 July 1788 in Kehlen. His uncle Michel KOLBACH, husband of Susanne, was his godfather.13 Peter KIEFFER (1789-1849) was born and baptized on 29 December 1789.14

During this time, Susanna was still having children with Michel KOLBACH. Catherine was born and baptized on 29 Nov 1786 in Mamer15 and Petrus was born and baptized on 9 January 1789 in Mamer.16 His godmother was Barbara THIES of Kehlen. It was this record that added an entire branch to the KIEFFER family tree.

1789 Baptismal Record of Petrus COLBACH aka KOLBACH with Barbara THIES uxor Joannes KÜFER ex Kehlen. FamilySearch.

Elisabeth was the last of the three KIEFFER children to marry. She married Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY (1743-1803) on 11 May 1789 in Mamer.17 Their first child Michael CHRISTOPHORY (1790-1856) was born on 2 October 1790 in Mamer. His godfather was his uncle by marriage, Michel KOLBACH.18

Anna Maria, the youngest child of Susanne KIEFFER and Michel KOLBACH, was born on 14 May 1791 and baptized the same day.19

Joannes KIEFFER, the only known son of Nicolaus KIEFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ to marry, died in Kehlen on 26 January 1793.20 Four months later their son-in-law Michel KOLBACH died on 30 May 1793 in Mamer leaving his wife Susanne KIEFFER with 5 small children.21 Less than a year later, Susanne married Paul FRANTZ (1763-1847) on 7 January 1794 in Mamer.22

1794 Marriage Record of Paulus FRANTZ and Susanne KÜFFER aka KIEFFER. MatriculaOnline.

On 18 April 1794 Elisabeth gave birth to her second son Jean CHRISTOPHORY and named her younger sister Maria KIEFFER his godmother.23 Maria was 21 years old at the time. Neither marriage nor a death record has been found for her. However, the baptismal record was a good clue that she was still living in 1794.

Susanne KIEFFER and her new husband Paulus FRANTZ became the parents of twin boys, Nicolas and Johann, on 21 November 1794. The maternal grandfather Nicolaus KÜFFER was chosen to be the godfather of Nicolas.24 The second twin Johann was my 3rd great-grandfather.

1794 Baptismal Record for twins Nicolas and Johann FRANTZ. MatriculaOnline.

A year and a half after the birth of the twins, their maternal grandfather Nicolaus KÜFFER died on 1 May 1796 and was buried the following day. He left a widow, Susanna SCHILTZ.25

The following year brought two births but also two deaths. Susanne and Paul’s son Henri was born on 10 January 1797.26 Less than two months later, Anna Maria KOLBACH, Susanne’s youngest daughter from her first marriage, died on 6 March 1797 at the age of 5.27 Three months later baby Henri died on 6 June 1797 at the age of 5 months.28 Two days later, Susanne’s sister Elisabeth gave birth to her third child, Mathias CHRISTOPHORY.29

Following the turn of the century, the first of the grandchildren married. Margaretha KOLBACH the oldest child of Susanne who would later take over the house Kéfesch married Leonard RÖELINGER on 18 November 1802 in Mamer.30

The last grandchild was born on 31 March 1803 in Mamer when Elisabeth gave birth to Catharina CHRISTOPHORY.31 The child would not grow up knowing her father as Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY died nine months later on 16 December 1803.32 His widow Elisabeth married again on 7 May 1806 to Theodore HELLESCH (1756-?).33

Susanna SCHILTZ, the widow of Nicolaus KÜFFER, died in Kéfesch house on 4 August 1807. Her death was reported by her son-in-law Paul FRANTZ. Her death record, as noted earlier in this post, included the names of her parents. A little over a year later, Paul was back at the city hall reporting the death of his wife Susanne KIEFFER who died on 9 October 1808.34

Two grandsons fought at Waterloo

Battle of Waterloo 1815
William Sadler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

My 3rd great-grandfather Johann and his twin brother Nicolas FRANTZ joined the 6th Infantry Regiment in Phalsbourg, France on 5 November 1813 and served alongside each other in the regiment. They participated in campaigns of 1814 and 1815 in France and Belgium. Nicolas was wounded in the shoulder by a gunshot received on 10 February 1814 in Montmirail. Johann was wounded in the right arm by a saber cut received on 18 June 1815 at Waterloo.35 After the final fall of the Empire, the brothers returned to Luxembourg. They would marry and have children as did their four KOLBACH half-siblings.

Elisabeth, the last living child of the KÜFFER-SCHILTZ couple

Elisabeth KIEFFER was the only child of Nicolaus KÜFFER and Susanna SCHILTZ still living when her FRANTZ nephews returned from the Battle of Waterloo. Three of her four children married. Her second son, Jean became a Catholic priest serving the parish of Steinheim from 1830 to 184436 and the parish of Bous from 1844 to 1863.37 On 5 July 1872, he was granted honorary dismissal and retirement at his request and because of old age.38 He passed away on 16 November 1873 in Reckange where his older brother Michael had married and raised his family.39

Catholic Church in Steinheim. © 2021, copyright Egon Meder.

Elisabeth was living in the parsonage in Steinheim with her son Jean when she died on 28 April 1838.40 She had been living there since at least 1830 when her oldest son Michael married. She was not present at the marriage in Hesperange but her permission was given by letter from a notary of Echternach.41

A decade after Elisabeth’s death her youngest child and only daughter Catharina went to America with her husband Theodore SAUBER and their seven children. They departed from Antwerp, Belgium on the John Holland and arrived in the port of New Orleans on 18 May 1848.42 They settled in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, where Catharina was last seen in the 1880 census.43

Who said family history has to be boring?

Nicolaus KÜFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (ca. 1737-1807) were the parents of eight children. Only three are known to have married and had children. Their grandchildren led interesting lives. Twin grandsons fought at the Battle of Waterloo, a grandson was a Catholic priest, a granddaughter emigrated to America, and their grandson Nicolas FRANTZ (1794-1879) was the great-grandfather of the legendary two-time Tour de France winner Nicolas FRANTZ (1899-1985).

What of the two children who were mentioned in records, Joannes and Maria? Did they marry and have families? Do they have stories left to be told?

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Wikipedia, “Kulturzentrum Kinneksbond,” rev. 19:59, 8 Januar 2021 (https://lb.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulturzentrum_Kinneksbond : accessed 30 April 2021). Contributor’s source: “Op Nofro, Erklärunge vum Centre Culturel Mamer, op Basis vun engem Dokument vum Ralph Letsch.” 
  2. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 135 of 375. Family register entries for Küffer-Probst and Küffer-Schiltz. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32402-77-6?cc=2037955 : accessed 28 November 2015). 
  3. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 83 of 375. Family register entry for Goergen-Probst. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-SS2?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-3TY%3A1500941501%2C1500941502 : accessed 28 November 2015). 
  4. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg / Archives diocésaines Luxembourg (images), Matricula Online, http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (citing original records in the Luxembourg Diocesan Archives, Luxembourg City), Mamer, KB-18 neuer Einband, Paginierung übernommen, Taufen, Heiraten, Sterbefälle [1779-1793] S. 1-349, image 78 of 172, page 159, 7th entry. 1786 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-18/?pg=78 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  5. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 585 of 1497. 1807 Death Record No. 17 (age 70). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-65D?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 20 December 2017). 
  6. Cadastre de Marie-Thérèse (1752-1772), Dénombrements des feux, aides et subsides 1473-1806, FamilySearch, Film 2271574 DGS 8014693, Regime A, section 14: cadastre de Marie-Thérèse 1767, liasse 77 (Mamer), image 506+507 of 657, sheet no. 136. 1767 cadastre sheet of Nicolas Kuffers in Mamer.(https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSXW-1WK7-P?i=506&cat=1152016 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  7. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 46 of 168. 1783 Marriage Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-17711-69?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  8. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 51 of 168. 1784 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-18408-0?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  9. Ibid., Schoenberg > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1754-1759, 1778-1793 > image 175 of 329, page 429. 1785 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-9V3C?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-K6J%3A1501137301%2C1501248302 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  10. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 62 of 168. 1785 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-18173-83?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  11. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, Mamer, KB-18 neuer Einband, Paginierung übernommen, Taufen, Heiraten, Sterbefälle [1779-1793] S. 1-349, image 78 of 172, page 159, 7th entry. 1786 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-18/?pg=78 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  12. Ibid., GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-06, Taufen 1760-1796, image 91 of 167, page 179, entry no. 38. “.” 1786 Baptismal Record No. 38. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/kehlen/KB-06/?pg=91 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  13. Ibid., GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-06, Taufen 1760-1796, image 103 of 167, page 202, entry no. 28. 1788 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/kehlen/KB-06/?pg=103 : accessed 2 May 2021). 
  14. Ibid., GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-06, Taufen 1760-1796, image 113 of 167, page 220, entry no. 43. 1789 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/kehlen/KB-06/?pg=113 : accessed 2 May 2021). 
  15. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 73 of 168. 1786 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-17555-71?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  16. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 100 of 168. 1789 Baptismal Record (top of right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32402-806-79?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  17. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, Mamer, KB 18: neuer Einband, Paginierung übernommen, Taufen, Heiraten, Sterbefälle [1779-1793], image 108 of 172, page 217, entry at top of page. 1789 Marriage Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-18/?pg=108 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  18. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 6 of 128. 1790 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=6 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  19. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 122 of 168. 1791 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32402-540-56?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  20. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-06, Taufen 1760-1796, image 100 of 167, page 197. “.” 1793 Death Record (right page, 1st entry). (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/kehlen/KB-07/?pg=100 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  21. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 167 of 168. 1793 Death and Burial Record (right page, 7th entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32402-335-60?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  22. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 79 of 128, page 150 (stamped), first entry. 1794 Marriage Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=79 : accessed 28 April 2021). 
  23. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 25 of 128. 1794 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=25 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  24. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 29 of 128, page 52, bottom. 1794 Baptismal Record for twins Nicolas and Johann Frantz. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=29 : accessed 28 April 2021). 
  25. Ibid., Mamer, KB-01, image 118 of 128, page 227 (stamped). 1796 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=118 : accessed 25 April 2021). 
  26. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 40 of 128, page 52, bottom. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=40 : accessed 28 April 2021). 
  27. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 > image 28 of 30. 1797 Death Entry (index). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-SDQ?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6V%3A1500941501%2C1501074474 : accessed 23 December 2017). 
  28. Luxembourg Registres d’état civil 1662-1941, Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 521 of 1497. 1797 Death Record (18 Prairial V) (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-121172-9?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  29. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 42 of 128. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=42 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  30.   Luxembourg Registres d’état civil 1662-1941, Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1185 of 1504. 1802 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-49719-87?cc=1709358 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  31. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 62 of 128. 1803 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=62 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  32. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 127 of 128, page 244 (stamped), 4th entry. 1803 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=127 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  33. Luxembourg Registres d’état civil 1662-1941, Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1195+1196 of 1504. 1806 Marriage Record (part 1). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-RCL?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed ‎21. ‎August ‎2011) and 1806 Marriage Record (part 2). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-G1N?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed ‎21. ‎August ‎2011). 
  34. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 595 of 1497. 1808 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119238-21?cc=1709358 : accessed 23 March 2010). 
  35. Charles Schaack, Les Luxembourgeois soldats de la France 1792-1815. Tome I, (Luxembourg 1909), page 130. 
  36. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg, GV.MF 444-525, Steinheim, KB-02, Jean Christophory was the priest entering events from 1844 to 1863. 
  37. Ibid., GV.MF 628 – 719, Bous, KB-08, Firmungen – Heiraten – Kommunion – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1834 – 1865, Jean Christophory was the priest entering events from 1844 to 1863. 
  38. “II. Entlassungen.” Kirchlicher Anzeiger für die Diözese Luxemburg, 2. Jg., nº 12 (01.10.1872), p. 64. [Digitised by the National Library of Luxembourg, https://persist.lu/ark:70795/3xvqsv2v2/pages/4/articles/DTL50 : accessed 1 May 2021) 
  39. Luxembourg Registres d’état civil 1662-1941, Reckange-lès-Mersch-sur-Mess > Naissances 1867-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1883 > image 1422 of 1497. 1873 Death Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6FW9-WZ1?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-PTL%3A130234801%2C130234802 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  40. Ibid., Rosport > Naissances 1889-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1853 > image 1224 of 1410. 1838 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DY3D-SB?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-3TL%3A130314401%2C130555301 : accessed 25 April 2021). 
  41. Ibid., Hesperange > Naissances 1869-1890 Mariages 1797-1823, 1796-1868 > image 1122 of 1492. 1830 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DKRX-B8?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-7M9%3A129747201%2C130056301 : accessed 2 May 2021). 
  42. “New Orleans, Passenger List Quarterly Abstracts, 1820-1875” Ancestry.com, citing Quarterly Abstracts of Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820–1875. M272, 17 rolls. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. 
  43. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1431, Wisconsin, Kenosha, Kenosha, Enumeration District 76, page 23A, HH#6-6, lines 19-27, Paul Sauber household. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6742/images/4244754-00239 : accessed 26 April 2021). 

52 Ancestors: #44 Legendary Two-Time Tour de France Winner’s Second Great-Grandparents

Susanne KIEFFER was born on 25 March 1754 in Mamer to Nicolaus KÜFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (1737-1807). Earlier variations of the surname were KIEFER and KÜFFER. Susanne was the oldest of eight known children. The only reference available online is an alphabetical family group register of births/baptisms and marriages for the town of Mamer. Actual parish records for baptisms, marriages, and burials in Mamer are only available on FamilySearch for the years 1779-1793.

Küffer-Schiltz family group from the Mamer parish book. “Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32402-77-6?cc=2037955 : accessed 28 November 2015), Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 135 of 375; paroisses, Luxembourg (parishes, Luxembourg).

Susanne was my fourth great-grandmother. She married Michel KOLBACH on 17 February 1783.1 Michel was born about 1748 in Kehlen to Francisci KOLBACH and Maria KAYSER. His parents were deceased at the time of his marriage. Michel and his parents were not my ancestors.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 46 of 168. 1783 Marriage Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-17711-69?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015).

Susanne and Michel were the parents of five children.

Margaretha born on 4 January 17842
Michel born on 31 March 17853
Catherine born on 29 November 17864
Peter born on 9 January 17895
Anna Maria born on 14 May 17916

These children are documented as they were born during the period in which actual parish records are available on FamilySearch for baptisms, marriages, and burials during the years 1779-1793.

Following the birth of Susanne and Michel’s fourth child, her sister Elisabeth married Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY (1743-1803) on 11 May 1789.7 Elisabeth was the only known sibling of Susanne to also marry. [As of this writing. A brother’s marriage was found in April 2021. Read the post here: The Ancestors: Nicolaus Küffer and Susanna Schiltz of Mamer, Luxembourg]

When their youngest child had just turned two years old, Susanne was widowed when Michel KOLBACH died on 30 May 1793. He had been a linen weaver or linitextor and was about 45 years old.8

1793 Death Entry for Michel KOLBACH.

A little over seven months later Susanne remarried. On 7 January 1794, she married Paul FRANTZ. Paul was the son of Nicolaus FRANTZ and Angela BARTEL of Senningen.9

1794 Marriage Index Card. 2.

No marriage record has been found for Susanne and Paul. Their marriage is recorded on a marriage index card. The information on the card points to Paul being from Bergem in the parish of Schifflingen. Per the 1843 census, Paul was born on 10 August 1763 in Senningen.10 On the 1846 census, the day and month were the same but the year was 1764.11 The place of birth on the 1846 census was blank. Although their names are known, his parents and siblings are at this time a brick wall.

Paul was my fourth great-grandfather. When he married Susanne he took on a family of five children between the ages of 3 and 10 years. Like Susanne’s first husband Michel, Paul was a linen weaver.

Susanne was soon expecting twins. Nicolas and Johannes were born on 21 November 1794. As no birth records are available for the twins it is not known who was the oldest. Nicolas or my third great-grandfather Johannes.

When the twins were seventeen months old their grandfather, Susanne’s father, Nicolaus KEIFFER died on 1 May 1796.12

Susanne gave birth to another son on 10 January 1797. He was named Henri.13 Less than two months later Susanne’s youngest daughter from her first marriage, Anna Maria, died at the age of five years on 6 March 1797.14 The family may have been battling some kind of disease or the baby was not strong enough to survive as little Henri died on 6 June 1797 at the age of five months.15

The children grew and by 1802 Susanne’s oldest daughter was courting and the results were soon to be seen. Margaretha was 17 years old when she married Leonardus RÖELINGER on 18 November 1802.16 Three and a half months later, on 9 March 1803, she gave birth to a boy she named after her father Michel.17

Susanne’s brother-in-law Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY died on 16 December 1803.18 His widow Elisabeth was 46 years old when she married Theodore HELLESCH on 7 May 1806.19 It was on this marriage record that the 1796 date of death for Nicolaus KIEFFER, the bride’s father, was found.

Susanne’s mother Susanna SCHILTZ died on 4 August 1807. Her son-in-law Paul FRANTZ was the informant on her death record.20 A little over a year later, on 9 October 1808, he was once again at the city hall reporting a death. This time it was his wife Susanne KIEFFER who died at the age of 54 years.21 She left 4 KOLBACH children and the FRANTZ twins.

My 4th great-grandfather was now alone and caring for his 13-year-old twin boys and three unmarried step-children who were in their twenties. Only his step-daughter Marguerite was married with two little boys but likely also living in the household as was her right as the oldest.

Five years after the death of Susanne, her daughter Catherine KOLBACH married Jacques HENTGES in Mondercange on 29 December 1813.22 This marriage was only found in the last few days.

Her brothers Michel and Peter KOLBACH would add some very interesting branches to my family tree.

Michel KOLBACH married Susanne HAMES (1786-1855) on 11 January 1815 in Mamer.23 Susanne was the sister of my 4th great-grandmother Catherine HAMES (1789-1864), my direct matrilineal line.

Petrus KOLBACH married Susanna FRISCH, daughter of Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY, on 14 January 1818 in Mamer.24 Jacob and Regina are also my fourth great-grandparents.

Confused? I hope this will help.

Less than three weeks later Nicolas FRANTZ, one of the twins, married Anna KÜNSCH (1795-1875) on 3 February 1818 in Mamer.25

It would be another nine years before the other twin, my fourth great-grandfather, would marry Elisabeta FRISCH (1800-1880), daughter of the above-mentioned Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. They were married on 18 January 1827 in Holzem.26

All of Paul FRANTZ’s children, biological and step, were now married. I believe Paul was living in the home he had shared with his wife Susanne with her oldest daughter Margaretha and her family. This is supported by the census taken in 1843 and 1846. But before the census was enumerated there were several deaths in the family.

Petrus KOLBACH, a father of three sons, died on 23 April 1837 in Mamer at the age of 48.27 His widow Susan FRISCH would live to the age of 93 dying on 20 October 1885.28

The oldest of the bunch, Margaretha KOLBACH had given birth to ten children. She died on 16 December 1838 in Mamer.29 She left a widower and six children. During the years the family had changed the spelling of RÖELINGER to RELINGER and finally REDLINGER, the version seen when Margaretha’s widower Leonardus die on 20 March 1843.30

1843 Paul Frantz household.

In 1843 when the census was taken, Paul FRANTZ was the head of a household in Mamer. Living with him was his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER, his wife Susana WAGNER, and their four children. Both of Peter’s parents were deceased and he was likely the oldest of the REDLINGER children. The family home may have been passed on to him. In 1846 Peter REDLINGER was the head of household and Paul FRANTZ, as well as three of Peter’s single brothers, was living with the family.

Paul died at 8 in the morning on 27 July 1847 in Mamer at the age of 83. His death was reported by his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER.31

Michel KOLBACH died on 18 April 1855 in Mamer at the age of 70.32 He had fathered six children, two of whom died at a young age. His widow Susanna HAMES died exactly a month later on 18 May 1855 at the age of 68.33

The only living KOLBACH child, Catherine died on 30 October 1869 in Bergem.34 Until a few days ago I thought she may have died as a child. However, after finding her marriage record, I learned she was the mother of at least six children. Her husband Jacques died on the oldest son’s 15th birthday in 1830 leaving her widowed with children between the ages of 2 and 15.35

Susanne KIEFFER’s KOLBACH children were now all deceased. Her twins, the sons she bore Paul FRANTZ, lived into their eighties. Nicolas FRANTZ, father of seven children (at least two died young), died on 8 August 187936 at the age of 84 and my fourth great-grandfather Johannes FRANTZ, father of five children (one died young) died on 24 January 188037 at the age of 85.

One final note of interest and the reason for the peculiar title for this article. My 4th great-grandparents Paul FRANTZ and Susanne KIEFFER were the 2nd great-grandparents of the famous Nicolas “Nic” FRANTZ, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tour de France. He was not the first Luxembourger to win the Tour but he was the only one to win it twice and twice in a row.

 

P.S. Things are always busy this time of the year and I have not had the time to include the sources at the end of my last few articles. I relied on being able to point my readers to my online GEDCOM file, however, Rootsweb is currently unavailable and it is not known how long the downtime will last. Three more sets of 4th great-grandparents to go and then I will come back and add the sources later in January 2018. [Sources on this post were finally added 4 May 2021.]

© 2017-2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 46 of 168. 1783 Marriage Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-17711-69?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  2. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 51 of 168. 1784 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-18408-0?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  3. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 62 of 168. 1785 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-18173-83?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  4. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 73 of 168. 1786 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-17555-71?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  5. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 100 of 168. 1789 Baptismal Record (top of right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32402-806-79?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  6. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 122 of 168. 1791 Baptismal Record (top of left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32402-540-56?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  7. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg / Archives diocésaines Luxembourg (images), Matricula Online, http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (citing original records in the Luxembourg Diocesan Archives, Luxembourg City), Mamer, KB 18: neuer Einband, Paginierung übernommen, Taufen, Heiraten, Sterbefälle [1779-1793], image 108 of 172, page 217, entry at top of page. 1789 Marriage Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-18/?pg=108 : accessed 1 May 2021). 
  8. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 167 of 168. 1793 Death and Burial Record (right page, 7th entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32402-335-60?cc=2037955 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  9. Ibid., Mamer > Tables des mariages 1779-1804 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 41 of 238. 1794 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-431Q?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2NY%3A1500941501%2C1501133556 : accessed 20 December 2017). 
  10. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > 1843 > image 73 of 291. Households of Paul Frantz and his step-grandson Pierre Redlinger. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-2YDZ?cc=2037957&wc=M9MV-928 : accessed 3 May 2021). 
  11. Ibid., Mamer > 1846 > image 195 of 297. Households of Pierre Redlinger and his step-grandfather Paul Frantz. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L97B-2TK5?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-RMW%3A345860401%2C345858602 : accessed 3 May 2021). 
  12. Archives diocésaines Luxembourg, GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 118 of 128, page 227 (stamped). 1796 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=118 : accessed 25 April 2021). 
  13. Ibid., GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 40 of 128, page 52, bottom. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=40 : accessed 28 April 2021). 
  14. Luxembourg registres paroissiaux 1601-1948, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 > image 28 of 30. 1797 Death Entry (index). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-SDQ?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6V%3A1500941501%2C1501074474 : accessed 23 December 2017). 
  15. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 521 of 1497. 1797 Death Record (18 Prairial V) (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-121172-9?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  16. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1185 of 1504. 1802 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-49719-87?cc=1709358 : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  17. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 99 of 549. 1803 Birth Record (18 Ventôse year XI). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XS45-8K?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-L29%3A130065401%2C130303901 : accessed 23 December 2017). 
  18. Archives diocésaines Luxembourg, GV.MF 356-443, Mamer, KB-01, image 127 of 128, page 244 (stamped), 4th entry. 1803 Death Record. (https://data.matricula-online.eu/de/LU/luxemburg/mamer/KB-01/?pg=127 : accessed 26 April 2021). 
  19.   Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil 1662-1941, Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1195+1196 of 1504. 1806 Marriage Record (part 1). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-RCL?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed ‎21. ‎August ‎2011) and 1806 Marriage Record (part 2). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-G1N?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed ‎21. ‎August ‎2011). 
  20.   Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 585 of 1497. 1807 Death Record No. 17 (age 70). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-65D?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 20 December 2017). 
  21. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 595 of 1497. 1808 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119238-21?cc=1709358 : accessed 23 March 2010). 
  22. Ibid., Mondercange > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1870 > image 217 of 1385. 1813 Marriage Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-698S-6J1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-N38%3A130108901%2C130286801 : accessed 28 December 2017). 
  23. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1259 of 1504. 1815 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-R26?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed 8 October 2015). 
  24. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1289 of 1504. 1818 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-52496-64?cc=1709358 : accessed 30 November 2015). 
  25. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1290 of 1504. 1818 Marriage Records No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-48736-80?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  26. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1370 of 1504. 1827 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-48893-0?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  27. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 887 of 1497. 1837 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-X3D?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  28. Ibid., Mamer > Décès 1881-1890 > image 66 of 144;. 1885 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12699-122496-5?cc=1709358 : accessed 30 November 2015). 
  29. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 904 of 1497. 1838 Death Record (right, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-XM6?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  30. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 957 of 1497. 1843 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-XKN?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 23 December 2017). 
  31. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1002 of 1497. 1847 Death Record No. 28. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120450-0?cc=1709358 : accessed 24 March 2010). 
  32. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1118 of 1497. 1855 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-XXV?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  33. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1119 of 1497. 1855 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6XPQ-X88?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9%3A130065401%2C130130201 : accessed 22 December 2017). 
  34. Ibid., Mondercange > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1870 > image 1371 of 1385. 1869 Death Record No. 28. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-698S-ZLS?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-N38%3A130108901%2C130286801 : accessed 28 December 2017). 
  35. Ibid., Mondercange > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1870 > image 983 of 1385. 1830 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-698S-S22?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-N38%3A130108901%2C130286801 : accessed 28 December 2017). 
  36. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1472 of 1497. 1879 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120679-13?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  37. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1478 of 1497. 1880 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120588-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9:130065401,130130201 : accessed 23 March 2010). 

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

The Donnen-Christophory Family

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

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

The Mertes-Biver Family

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

The MERTES-DONNEN Family

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

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

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

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

Children’s births and grandparents’ deaths

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriages of the children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicolas and Maria Catharina’s living children

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

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

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

bestwishescathy1

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

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