52 Ancestors: #26 Halfway: The MEDER-WILMES Family of Diekirch

Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?

Halfway finished with 2015 and this year’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. What better time to switch gears and begin on a new generation. The 3rd great-grandparents will take me through to the end of the year. Sixteen paternal and maternal sets for my husband and 8 maternal sets for myself.  My paternal sets were discussed during the first year of the challenge in 2014.

This generation of ancestors will be take me into a time period which has only been researched halfway. Civil record keeping in Luxembourg began ca. 1796 while the country was under Napoleonic rule (1795- 1812). During the first half of this year I featured many state-gathered records (births, marriages, deaths). The church records (baptisms, marriages, burials) for Luxembourg went online at Family Search at the beginning of this year. At the time I made a resolution to focus on the planned families each week and not check for church records for earlier generations and families until it was time to write about them.

I admit it was hard to keep this resolution, knowing the database was there for the pickings. I went in a few times to check on this or that ancestor and I told myself it was only a practice run. The family I’m doing this week gave me the first opportunity to really dig in and work with the church records. I was only halfway done when I began cleaning up source citations, etc. and adding records for this family.

The MEDER-WILMES Family of Diekirch

Jean Nicolas (Johann Nicolaus) MEDER and Apolonia (Apolline) WILMES were my husband’s 3rd great-grandparents. Due to the nature of the civil and church records in Luxembourg their names were spelled differently over time. It is hard to choose the correct spelling as records were in German, French and Latin. The different spellings, however, did not make it difficult to find the records as I have become familiar with  FamilySearch’s browse-only databases.

1766 Baptism of Johann Nicolaus MEDER

1766baptism
Baptismal record of Johann Nicolaus MEDER [1]
Johann Nicolaus MEDER was born and baptized on 26 October 1766 in Ettelbrück. His parents were Joannis MEDER and Susanna LAMBER. His godparents were Johann Nicolaus BEQUINET and Barbara WAGENER.[1] In later records the father’s name was seen as Johannes and Jean and the mother’s maiden name was spelled LAMBERT.

1769 Baptism of Apolonia WILMES

1769baptism
Baptismal record of Apolonia WILMES [2]
Apolonia WILMES was baptiszed on 27 February 1769 in Diekirch. Her parents were Gangolphe WILMES and Anna Marguerite SCHODT. Her godparents were Nicolas THEYS and Apolonia SCHOLTES, both of Diekirch.[2]

1794 Marriage of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES

1794marriage
Marriage record of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES [3]
Normally I don’t have much trouble reading the old handwriting in these documents however this marriage record for Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES was an exception.[3] I knew the date of marriage as it was found in the Family Book of Diekirch compiled by Rob Deltgen, Komplettes Familienbuch der Gemeinde 1796-1923. The names of the bride and groom were underlined which helped me find the record. I can make out the names of the bride and groom’s parents and witnesses however a complete transcription would take more time.

Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, Burials of Children

1794birth
Baptismal record of Elizabeth MOEDERS, sic MEDER [4]
1795death
Burial record of Elizabeth MEDER [5]
Jean Nicolas and Apolinia’s first child was a daughter Elizabeth born and baptized on 16 November 1794 in Diekirch.[4] Her godparents were her grandfather “Gangolphus” WILMES and her aunt Elisabeth MEDER, wife of Jacques BROCHMAN, all of Diekirch. The record has the surname spelled MOEDERS instead of MEDER. Little Elizabeth lived only two months, dying at midnight from the 27th to the 28th of January 1795. She was buried on the 29th.[5]

1795birth
Baptismal record of Christina MEDER [6]
1795birth2
Baptismal record (continued) of Christina MEDER [6]
The second daughter of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 3 December 1795 at 7 in the evening and was baptized the next day. Christina MEDER’s godparents were Pierre GOSSENS and Christine MOCHY, both of Diekirch.[6]

1798birth
Birth record of Antonius (Anton) MOEDER [7]
The first son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 30 Pluviose year VI.[7] Antonius MOEDER, as the name was written, was born during the Napoleonic rule when the Republican calendar was in effect. The date was 18 February 1798. No baptismal record was found however his name is on a list of baptisms performed in 1798. The church did not use the Republican calendar and his date of baptism was seen as 17 February 1798.[8] Was this an error on the list of baptisms or on the part of the civil servant using the Republican calendar? In any case he could not have been baptized the day before he was born.

1799death
Death record of Christina MEDER [9]
Three year old Christina MEDER died on 7 March 1799. Her death record filled an entire page of the register.[9]

1800civilbirth
Birth record of Mathias MOEDER [10]
1800birth
Baptismal record of Mathias MEDER [11]
Mathias MEDER, the second son and fourth child of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 30 December 1800. In the civil record his surname was spelled MOEDER[10] while in his baptismal record it was spelled MEDER.[11]

1804baptism
Baptismal record of Elisabeth MEDERT [12]
Elisabeth MEDER was born on 10 Pluviose year 10 to Jean Nicolas and Apolonia. Her baptismal record shows she was baptized the same day and gives both dates: 30 January 1804 and 10 Pluviose year 10. Her godparents were Mathias WILMES and Elizabeth WILMES, both of Diekirch.[12]

1807baptism
Baptismal record of Theodore MEDERT[13]
The third son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 14 July 1807 in Diekirch.[13] Theodore MEDER’s godparents were Theodore RITSCHDORFF and Eva KNEIP, both of Diekirch.

1810birth
Birth Record of Anne Marie MEDER [14]
Jean Nicolas and Apolonia’s youngest child Anne Marie was born 12 September 1810.[14] No baptismal record was found for Anne Marie MEDER. Baptismal records for 1810 were not available at FamilySearch as of 23 June 2015.

1821marriagepublication
Marriage publication for Antoine MEDER and Maria Catharina WAGENER [15]
At the end of 1821 the first of Nicolas and Apolonia’s children made plans to marry. The marriage of Antoine MEDER married Maria Catharina WAGENER was “published” on the 23rd and 30th day of December 1821.[15] The civil marriage took place on 8 January 1822 in Diekirch.[16]

1824mathiasdeath
Death record of Mathias MEDER [17]
The year 1824 was not a happy year for the MEDER-WILMES family. Son Mathias MEDER died at the age of 23 years on 29 July 1824 in Diekirch.[17]

1824apoloniadeath
Death record of Apollonia WILLMES [18]
Four months later Apolonia WILMES died at the age of 55 years on 26 November 1824. Her death record however gives her age as 62.[18] At the time of her death she left a husband, two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren.

1833marriagepublication
Marriage publication for Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER [19]
On the 20th and the 27th of December 1832 the marriage of Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER was published – read out loud and posted on the door of the city hall.[19] They married a month later on 31 January 1833 in Diekirch.[20]

1838marriage
Marriage record of Elisabeth MEDER and Mathias BOCK [21]
Nicolas and Apolonia’s oldest living daughter Elisabeth married 24 January 1838 to Mathias BOCK.[21] Elisabeth had been an unmarried mother since 22 June 1829 when her son Mathias MEDER was born.[22] Mathias BOCK had the permission of his reserve regimental commander to marry. The publication of the marriage was noted on the marriage record and not on a separate document as seen when Antoine and Theodore married.

1843census
1843 Census [23]
In December 1843 Jean Nicolas MEDER was seen on the Luxembourg census in the household of his married son Theodore. This census sheet included dates of births of the persons in the household. Jean Nicolas’ birthdate was incorrectly listed as 1 April 1763.[23]

1844marriage
Marriage record of Anne Marie MEDER and Heinrich KNOPS [24]
On 28 August 1844 the youngest child of this family married. Anne Marie MEDER married the widowed Heinrich KNOPS who was 21 years older.[24]

1844death
Death record of Jean Nicolas MEDER [25]
When Jean Nicolas MEDER died on 22 Dec 1844 he had seen all four of his children marry. His son Theodore was the informant on his death record. Nicolas’ age on the death record was 75 although he was actually 78 as calculated from his birth record.[25]

1861death
Death record of Elisabeth MEDER [26]
Elisabeth MEDER died on 7 December 1861 in Diekirch.[26] She was survived by her husband Mathias BOCK, son Mathias MEDER and possible a daughter Anne Marie BOCK (last seen with her parents in 1858 on census, no marriage record or further trace of her found).

1866death
Death record of Anton MEDER [27]
On 6 Sep 1866 the oldest child of this family, Anton MEDER, died in Diekirch.[27] He was survived by his wife, two sons, two (?) daughters, and four grandchildren. The daughters were last seen 10 years prior to his death and no further information on them has been found.

1890death
Death record of Anne-Marie MEDER [28]
The youngest child of this family, Anne Marie MEDER died on 15 April 1890 in Diekirch.[28] She remained childless and had been widowed for 30 years.

1898death
Death record of Theodore MEDER [29]
Theodore MEDER, the last of living child of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES, died on 29 July 1898 in Diekirch at the age of 91 years.[29] Theodore had been widowed for 20 years and left 5 known children. Two daughters have not been traced further and may have also still been living.

As can be seen by the records above and the sources cited below, nearly half of the records used came from the Luxembourg Church Records, 1601-1948 which have only been online since the beginning of the year. I can honestly say this family was only researched halfway before I got everything ready for this blogpost.

bestwishescathy1Sources:
[1] 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).
[2] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1743-1790, confirmations 1768-1789 > image 149 of 373. 1769 Baptismal record, entry 4 left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32421-7593-86?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-ZNL:1500890501,1500918030 : accessed 22 June 2015).
[3] ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1743-1794 > image 116 of 122. 1794 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32400-5311-96?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-B87:1500890501,1500891002 : accessed 28 June 2015).
[4] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 59 of 243. 1794 Baptismal record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32467-5084-87?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[5] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 103 of 243. 1795 Death Record, left page 5th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-4892-39?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[6] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 95 of 243. 1795 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-5031-88?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[7] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1796-1802 > image 82 of 311. 1798 Birth Record No. 36 (30 Pluviose an VI).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-14704-80?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-MNP:1500890501,1500941302 : accessed 23 June 2015),.
[8] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 10 of 133. 1798 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-10780-42?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[9] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1796-1803 > image 71 of 203. 1799 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-15764-70?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-4WY:1500890501,1500953084 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[10] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1796-1802 > image 261 of 311. 1800 Birth Record No. 30 (9 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-16888-72?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-MNP:1500890501,1500941302 : accessed 23 April 2010).
[11] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 19 of 133. 1800 Baptismal Record, right page last entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-10802-46?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[12] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 34 of 133. 1804 Baptismal Record, left page 6th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-10492-39?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[13] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1805-1807 > image 25 of 29. 1807 Baptismal Record, right page, 3rd entry.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-10382-45?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-16Y:1500890501,1501023134 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[14] 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 1036 of 1493. 1810 Birth Record No. 102. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-124370-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38:129628901,130575701 : accessed 24 April 2010).
[15] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1064 of 1492. 1821 Marriage Publication (lower left). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-98975-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[16] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1093 of 1492. 1822 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-97291-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[17] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1483 of 1493. 1824 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48739-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 29 April 2010).
[18] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1487 of 1493. 1824 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49769-12?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ND:n1913802954 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1300 of 1492. 1832 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).
[20] 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).
[21] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1400 of 1492. 1838 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-102794-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[22] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 152 of 1507. 1829 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-26885-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[23] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (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).
[24] Luxembourg Civil Records, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 34 of 1493. 1844 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49245-53?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ND:n1913802954 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[25] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 335 of 1358. 1844 Death Record No. 56. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-167581-60?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[26] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 640 of 1358. 1861 Death Record No. 64. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-160895-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 23 May 2011).
[27] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 820 of 1358. 1866 Death Record No. 303. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-169081-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 22 May 2011).
[28] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1342 of 1358. 1890 Death Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-163369-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 23 May 2011).
[29] 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).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jean Nicolas MEDER
Parents: Johannes “Jean” MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT
Spouse: Apolonia “Apolline” WILMES
Parents of spouse: Gangolf “Gangolphe” WILMES and Anne Marguerite SCHODT
Whereabouts: Diekirch, Grand Duché of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather of husband

1. Jean Nicolas MEDER
2. Theodore MEDER
3. Franz “François” MEDER
4. Johann Peter “Jean-Pierre” MEDER
5. Marcel Mathias MEDER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband Living MEDER

© 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.

Save

Save

Save

52 Ancestors: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife

Week 2, King – January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Since I hadn’t planned on using the themes I was surprised that once again this one works for my chosen ancestral couple. Mr. and Mrs. MEDER-SCHWARTZ married, worked, and raised their children in Diekirch, a city in north-eastern Luxembourg. According to old sources the town received its name when Charlemagne, King of the Franks, converted the pagan Saxons to Christianity in the late 8th century. A church was built and the settlement was given the name “Diet-Kirch” (people’s church).

The MEDER-SCHWARTZ Family (1888-1974)

MRIN00003 1923-06-15 Jean-Pierre Meder and Catherine Schwartz wedding

1923 Wedding Portrait of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ

Jean-Pierre MEDER was born on 20 November 1888 in Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the youngest of twelve children. His father Franz MEDER was 42 years old and his mother Elisabetha FABER was 43 years old at the time of his birth.

1888birth
Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-105421-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 297 of 1492.]
Jean-Pierre MEDER was seen on the census (Volkszählungen) of Luxembourg in 1890, 1895, and 1900 with his parents and unmarried siblings. These census listings will be discussed in the Week #5 post for his parents.

Luxembourg, Census Records, 1843-1900
The Luxembourg census which was taken approximately every three to five years for the years 1843 to 1900. The records include all household members, places, names, ages (sometimes a full birth date), professions, genders, and marital statuses. Sometimes they also show nationalities, religions, places of birth, family positions, and information on persons who normally lived in the household but were living outside of Luxembourg.

1892birth
Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-230679-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6R:n2017357688 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 19 of 176.]
Catharina (also known as Catherine) SCHWARTZ was born on 2 February 1892 in Osweiler, a village belonging to the commune of Rosport, in the canton of Echternach in Luxembourg. She was the oldest of twelve children. Her father Johann SCHWARTZ was 26 years old and her mother Margaritha GORGES was 25 years old at the time of her birth.

Catherine, as her name was spelled on census, was with her parents, younger siblings, and her SCHWARTZ grandparents in 1895 and 1900.  These census listings will be discussed in the Week #6 post for her parents.

I have no idea how Catherine came to be living in Diekirch before her marriage. Echternach would have been a much closer town for her to work. Catherine, age 31, and Jean-Pierre, age 34, most likely met in Diekirch where they both lived and worked, Catherine as a midwife and Jean-Pierre as a brewery worker.

On the 7th and the 20th of May 1923 banns were read for their marriage which took place on the 15th of June 1923. The importance of the dates that the banns were read will be seen shortly.

1923marriage
1923 Marriage Record No. 9 [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32037-28712-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 461 of 661.]
Marriage records in Luxembourg are a treasure of information. The age, occupation, date and place of birth, and residence of the bride and the groom are listed. The names of the parents of the bride and groom are seen along with their occupation, place of residence, age if they are still living, and date and place of death if they are deceased. Four additional witnesses are also named with their age, occupation, residence, and sometimes even the relationship to the bride and groom.

When Catherine and Jean-Pierre married her mother and his father were present and agreeable to the marriage. Catherine’s father and Jean-Pierre’s mother were deceased. Also present were Jean-Pierre’s brother Joseph, Catherine’s brother Johann, and two innkeepers or publicans (Wirt). Joseph GORGES, one of the innkeepers, may have been Catherine’s cousin. This needs to be researched. All persons present signed the marriage record.

Catherine and Jean-Pierre were presented with their personal Family Book. They signed their names in it as “J.P. Meder” and “Ketty Schwartz” and took the book with them the next day when they were married in a religious ceremony in the church.

livret   livret

livretKetty and Jean-Pierre were the parents of two boys, François Jean born 21 February 1924 and Marcel Mathias born 26 September 1926, as seen in their Family Book on the page following the marriage information (left).

As I mentioned last week, I had pointed out to my father-in-law that his brother, who was known to us as “Fritz,” was born 8 months following the marriage. He was born on 21 February 1924 which would mean that he was conceived between 27 May – 4 June 1923. Now for the part that would have interested my father-in-law. The marriage banns were read on the 7th and 20th of May so this was NOT a shotgun wedding arranged due to an unplanned pregnancy. Ketty, being a midwife, most likely knew how to prevent a pregnancy. I believe they truly desired to marry and as they were already 34 and 31 years old did not care to wait to start their family.

brauereidiekirch-1916
Brauerei Diekirch ca. 1916 (Archives de la Ville de Diekirch) [Source: The History of Industry of Luxembourg]
Jean-Pierre MEDER worked for the Diekirch Brewery (above ca. 1916). This drawing was found on The History of Industry of Luxembourg website. For persons researching their families in Luxembourg this is a wonderful resource. Historical timelines of the industries are included as well as many old photographs of places and products.

MRIN00003 1952 Meder-Schwartz mergedJean-Pierre and Ketty’s older son Fritz married Anne GREGORIUS on 8 December 1950. Their younger son Marcel married Maisy KREMER on 6 June 1952. On the 7th of June after the religious ceremony as the bride and groom, their parents and guests left the church each couple was photographed on the steps of the church. Jean-Pierre left the church with the mother of the bride and Ketty left the church with the father of the bride. The photographer remained in the same place and I was able to make a composite photograph (at right) of Marcel’s parents Jean-Pierre and Ketty MEDER-SCHWARTZ. Below is another photograph of them together in 1953 working in their garden.

MRIN00003 1953 Jean-Pierre Meder and Ketty Schwartz in their gardenAs is seen in their Family Book, Jean-Pierre MEDER died on 23 February 1954, two days after his oldest son Fritz turned 30. Fritz’s wife Anne was expecting her first child and Jean-Pierre was never called Bop or Bopa by grandchildren.

Since Catherine was also known as Ketty, I wonder if Jean-Pierre was nicknamed “Jemp” as many men in Luxembourg with this name have that nickname.

After her children were grown, Ketty was referred to by her son Marcel and his family as “Ged” a shortened form of Gedel or godmother in Luxembourgish. Ketty was the godmother of Marcel’s son. Below they are visiting the Château de Colpach located near Ell in western Luxembourg. The castle dates from the beginning of the 14th century when it was a stronghold.

MRIN00003 1958 ca. Ketty Schwartz with Marcel and his family
Ketty with her grandson and daughter-in-law Maisy and with her son Marcel in the insert ca. 1957.

Ketty lived another twenty years and was the grandmother of three grandchildren. In her later years she lived in the rest home in Vianden and died in Ettelbrück on 1 February 1974.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #1 The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996)

Week 1, Fresh startSeems appropriate for the beginning of the year. What ancestor had a fresh start? What ancestor has been so confusing to research that you’d like to have a fresh start?

I had all my families picked and scheduled for the entire year before the themes were announced for the first five weeks. The proposed theme for Week #1 is Start fresh. That definitely works for me. I’m starting fresh with my husband’s parents. I got out an old box of photos and notebooks that haven’t been looked through since I packed them away and went digital. This is going to help me get a fresh start on scanning the things that have been neglected.

The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996)

MRIN04646 Maisy and Marcel Meder-Kremer
Maisy and Marcel Meder-Kremer

MRIN04646 1935 ca. Marcel Meder communionMarcel MEDER was born on 26 September 1926 in Diekirch, the son of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ. He had one older brother. He was baptized on 10 October 1926 in Diekirch.[1] At left is a photo of him from his First Communion. I have no record of when this took place however this sacrament is typically received between the ages of seven and nine. He was confirmed about 1938 in Diekirch. Children are confirmed around the age of 12 years in Luxembourg. The date of confirmation is not listed on the baptismal certificate obtained for his religious marriage but it was noted that he was confirmed.

MRIN04646 1940 ca. Maisy Kremer communionMarie Françoise KREMER, also known as Maisy, was born on 29 August 1931 in Rumelange, the daughter of Franz KREMER and Susanne PEFFER. She had one younger brother. Maisy was baptized on 13 September 1931 in Rumelange.[2] At left is a photo of her from her First Communion, most likely ca. 1940. She was confirmed on 29 August 1943 in Diekirch. Maisy claimed that she was a twin and that her brother died at birth. I spoke with the records office in Rumelange and they could not find any record of a birth, stillbirth, or death of a child born at the time that Maisy was born. It is very unlikely that Maisy’s mother gave birth in two places.

MRIN04646 1943 ca. Marcel MederDuring World War II when the German army occupied Luxembourg Marcel was still going to school and wanted to become a teacher. The young people who were not yet of age to join the army were required to join the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth). At first this was voluntary but later it was forced. Those who did not join were not allowed to continue in school or start an apprenticeship. Marcel refused to join, was kicked out of school, and forced to work for a German farmer. He kept all the correspondence that went on between him and the German authorities and his Wehrpass (service book). These will be featured in a later blogpost.

MRIN04646 1948 ca. Marcel Meder in militaryBy the time that World War II was over Marcel was too old or no longer wanted to go back to school. He worked for a while for a farmer in Bettendorf (above) before joining the Luxembourgish army. At right he is the middle soldier in the front row.

MRIN04646 1950 ca. Maisy KremerWhile Marcel was working  in Bettendorf he met and fell in love with Maisy who lived in the neighboring village. While he was doing his military service they saw each other only on Sundays. To make the time between their meetings shorter they would send each other cards and short notes. January 16th is St. Marcel’s day and in 1950 Maisy sent Marcel a card wishing him a Happy Name Day.

After finishing his military service Marcel began working for the post office. In the meantime Marcel and Maisy continued to see each other until they set a date for their marriage.

The civil marriage ceremony was performed on Friday, 6 June 1952 by Pierre Straus, mayor of the commune of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the district of Diekirch, in the Grand Duché of Luxembourg. A commune is the basic administrative division in Luxembourg. Within the hierarchy of administrative subdivisions, communes come directly below cantons, which are in turn directly below districts. Similar to town, county, state in the United States.

Following the ceremony the couple was presented with a Family Book which they were required to present to the records office when a child was born or when either of the spouses died. Ten children could be entered in the book that Maisy and Marcel received.

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 1MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 2

 

 

 

The book number (7) is also the number of the record in the marriage register of the town. This register is so large that I was not able to scan the photocopy they made for me at the records office with my printer/scanner. I will have to work on “knitting” two scans together or may have to try getting a good photograph of the sheet. Marriage records for Luxembourg are online at FamilySearch however the cut off year is presently 1923 for Bettendorf.

The religious marriage ceremony was performed Saturday, 7 June 1952 in the church of Moestroff, part of the commune of Bettendorf.[3]

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer wedding 1MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer wedding 2

 

The Wedding Portrait

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer weddingMarried Life

MRIN04646 1952-06-10 Maisy Kremer at homeMarcel was a resident of Diekirch from the time of his birth until his marriage in 1952, except for the time that he was forced to work for the Germans and lived on a farm in Germany. Maisy who had been born in Rumelange when her father was working there, lived most of her life in Moestroff. From 7 June 1952 until 16 October 1953 Marcel and Maisy lived in Moestroff in the home of the bride’s  parents.

At left Maisy is seen in the upstairs bedroom window of her parents’ home. The home was very small and living conditions were a bit difficult for the young married couple.

MRIN04646 1954 ca. Marcel Meder at work in EchternachOn 14 October 1953 Marcel and Maisy moved from her parents’ home in Moestroff to Echternach where Marcel worked for the post office (Employé des postes et télécommunications) first as a telephone operator (front left) and then as a mailman (below). He rode a motorcycle on his route through the neighboring villages of Osweiler, Dickweiler, Girst and the farms in between until, for health reasons, he put in a request for a car.

MRIN04646 1960 ca. Marcel Meder

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. ~ inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.[4]

Marcel and Maisy lived in an apartment for a short time before renting a house. They rented out a spare bedroom during the tourist season, a common practice during those days. The tourist season in Echternach begins when tourists and pilgrims come to watch or participate in the dancing procession on the Tuesday after Pentecost. This hopping procession of Echternach was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

MRIN04646 1956 Maisy Meder-Kremer with her son and godparents
Maisy with her son and his godparents, her mother-in-law and her father.

Marcel and Maisy’s first child, a son, was born in 1956. Nine years later, when they had nearly given up hope of having another child, a daughter was born. Both births are recorded in the Family Book that they received when they married. Also recorded were the baptisms and first vaccinations of the children.

Finally in 1970 Marcel and Maisy were able to buy a home, two doors away from the place they had rented and kept fixed up for a decade and a half believing that the owner would sell to them.

Marcel enjoyed working in the garden and fixing things around the house. He loved to play ninepin bowling with his colleagues from work who nicknamed him Max. Maisy worked part time at the local supermarket and delighted in cooking Luxembourgish specialities on holidays for guests. When at home she would always wear an apron, a dress-length sleeveless smock buttoned down the front with pockets. She canned the produce from their garden, put up sauerkraut, made jams and jellies storing them in the basement along the potatoes from their garden which were kept in a special bin.

In 1977 Maisy was especially proud of having lost a lot of weight over a year’s time and it wasn’t hard to get her to pose for a picture on their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

MRIN04646 1977 Marcel and Maisy Meder-Kremer 35th anniversary
In 1977 Maisy and Marcel celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 3Maisy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 while I was expecting her first grandchild. A loving grandmother to her grandson, she was given a clean bill of health early in the year of 1986. Later in the year when I was expecting her second grandchild she began having back pain. Her house doctor prescribed this and that but did not consider her medical history. Finally after being rushed by ambulance to the hospital for a second time, the family was told that the cancer had spread to her liver and there was no hope for recovery. She died on 31 August 1986 in Luxembourg City. Marcel once again took out the Family Book that they had received when they married and had her death recorded on the second page (left).

Marcel did not take her death very well. He had been retired only a short time. They had hopes of travelling, something they had never had time or money to do. Marcel had to learn to do all the things that his wife had taken care of all the years that he worked. Washing, ironing, cleaning, and cooking. He even learned to make the liver pâté that his wife had always made. He had often helped Maisy grind the bacon, meat and liver, cut the shallots, and chop parsley but no written recipe was left, so he tweaked it until it tasted like hers.

In the beginning I would visit him everyday with the children until we established a ritual of his coming by with the daily newspaper. He would stay about a half hour, talking and playing with the grandchildren. As they became older they would run next door to visit with their Bopa or he would watch them playing in front of the house from his living room window.

When I began researching our family history in 1995 my father-in-law Marcel was the one who helped me read the old handwriting in the documents that I obtained from the records offices I visited in different towns in Luxembourg. He liked seeing the old handwriting since it reminded him of the days when he would deliver letters that had been written by an older person in the old handwriting. Marcel had his parents’ Family Book and showed it to me one day. The genealogist in me noticed that the first child was born when the couple was married only eight months. The first thing he said was that must be a mistake. So I asked him when his brother’s birthday was and we saw that it was correct in the book. He shrugged his shoulders and went on to another subject.

Nearly ten years after the death of his wife, Marcel was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach in May 1996. He had his stomach removed and learned to consume small portions of the foods that he was allowed to eat. He appeared well and was positive about the treatment he had just started. One Sunday morning 4 August 1996 his shutters remained closed longer than usual and his son found him dead in his bed of heart failure.

Although I knew Maisy ten years and Marcel twenty years I don’t have the memories of them that their children do. The pictures and the records should make up for what I don’t know but there were no photo albums with memories of the years before I met them, only a box of miscellaneous photos that weren’t dated or labelled.

Sources:
[1] Extractume Libro Baptizatorum, Ecclesia Parochialis Diekirch, Diocesis Luxemburgensis; Certificate of baptism with addendum concerning the sacrament of confirmation; the date of confirmation was not listed on this certificate obtained for the religious marriage.
[2] Extractum e Libro Baptizatorum, Ecclesia Parochialis Rümelingen, Diocesis Luxemburgensis; Certificate of baptism with addendum concerning confirmation, (baptismal records of the church of Rumelange)
[3] Commune de Bettendorf Nr. 7/1952, Meder-Kremer Family Book, This is an official document given to the bride and groom at the time of their civil marriage. It is used to record births, christenings, and deaths of children as well as the death of one or the other spouse.
[4] http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/post-office-motto.html

© 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.