When our children were small St. Nicholas Day usually fell in the week between the First and Second Sunday of Advent. They would set their shoes by the front door for about a week before the 6th of December. Depending on whether they had been naughty or nice, they would wake up in the morning and find a piece of chocolate or some other treat or a switch if they had been bad.
On the 6th of December, they would find a plate full of candy, nuts, clementines, toys, and a Boxemännchen. These little men are made of sweet brioche dough. A roll snipped here and there to form the arms and legs, and a ball of dough for the head. If you don’t make them yourself, you can buy them at the bakery in all sizes, with or without sugar glaze. I like the plain ones the best.
Since the children are grown and have left home, the week before the Second Sunday of Advent is our time to begin putting up decorations for the holidays. Unlike my cousins in the US, we don’t put up a tree as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers have been cleared away. We’ve never had an artificial tree and wait until the week before Christmas.
I brought the decorations down from the attic on Friday and began with the lighted garland in the hallway.
My husband brought up the ladder from the basement yesterday and put up the outside garland before we worked on the lights and garland in the living room. He then left to do some errands.
My favorite part came next. The finishing touches. I get to do this all by myself – while listening to Motown Soul music. It gets turned up and no one is there to hear me sing or watch me dance while I move things around until I’m satisfied with the way everything looks.
Finally, this morning we lit the second candle on our Advent wreath.
May the peace of Advent be with you and your families.
As I’m coming closer to the end of this project of writing about my children’s 5th great-grandparents, I’ve started missing the days when I spent weeks and months working on the all descendants of a brick wall ancestor. The focus on one family a week is taking its toll.
As I write these posts I find myself wanting to go back one generation and then another searching for a common thread which ran through the families. The thrill of adding a new most distant ancestor is still great but I find myself having to set aside the research before I am ready to quit.
With Eva LANSER and Henri CONSBRÜCK, my fourth great-grandparents, I tried to keep from working further however relationships mentioned in records made me seek the answers to questions I had. This led to new ancestor discoveries and several new names in the family tree.
Eva LANSER (1777-1862)
My fourth great-grandmother Eva LANSER was born and baptized on 13 May 1777 in Echternach. She was the daughter of Sébastian LANSER (1732-1804) and Maria Catharina HASTERT (1743-1808).
Eva’s parents were married in 1760 and were found on the 1766 census in Echternach with their second son Henri. Their first son named after the paternal grandfather Johann Adam HASTERT had likely died between the time of his birth in 1762 and the 1766 census. After the census six daughters were born, Eva being the 5th, and then finally two more sons. All of these children grew to adulthood except for one daughter who has not been traced. As with the oldest son Johann Adam, her death may not have been recorded in the church register. I have found this to be the case in some parishes where mostly only adult deaths were recorded. Eva’s father worked as a cloth maker (draper) or drapier. None of his sons followed in his steps.
On 20 September 1791, a double marriage took place in the LANSER family. The oldest son Henri and his sister Catherine married the HERR siblings, Anne-Marie and Johann. Their children would later be close to Eva’s small family.
Eva’s father Sébastian LANSER died on 13 June 1804. His oldest son Henri was the informant on his death. Henri was working as a messenger or messager. I suspect this may have been military-related as the Napoleonic Wars were going on at this time. With the death of the father Sébastian the family’s livelihood may have been in jeopardy.
Eight months later Eva married Henri CONSBRÜCK, son of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT, on 10 February 1805 in Echternach.
Henri CONSBRÜCK (1775-1850)
Henri was a cloth maker and I suspect the trade he was proficient in was one of the reasons he and Eva married. Had he been working in Sébastian’s atelier before his death or did he take over the looms only when he married Eva?
Henri CONSBRÜCK was born and baptized on 5 April 1775 in Echternach. He was the oldest of three children born to Johann and Barbara after their marriage in 1773. His sister Anna Maria was born in 1779 and lived only 8 years. He also had a brother Matthias who was born in 1782 and moved away from Echternach to the Trier, Germany, area when he married sometime before 1816.
Eva and Henri’s Marriage Record
Present at the marriage of Eva and Henri were both of their mothers as well as four witnesses who were relatives. Eva’s brother Henri LANSER, her brother-in-law Johann HERR, as well as Bernard and Mathias WAMPACH, both “uncles” of the groom.
The relationship of the last two witnesses is still under investigation. Bernard was married to Maria CONSBRÜCK (daughter of Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK and Anna Maria PROMMENSCHENKEL) however her relationship to Henri has not been established. I suspect the relationship given in the marriage record was not that of an uncle as we define it today. This might be a blessing in disguise as so far no connection has been made between my CONSBRÜCK line and the parents of Maria. Further confusion has been caused by my Henri’s grandfather also being a Johann Wilhelm. His grandfather was about the same age, married about the same time, and lived about as long as the other man with the same name and in the same location.
The years after their marriage
Henri and Eva’s first child Barbara was born on 21 February 1806. Two years later Eva’s mother Maria Catharina HASTERT died on 10 March 1808. Her death was reported by her oldest son Henri LANSER who was still working as a messenger.
Eva was pregnant with twins when her mother died. Bernard and Marguerite were born on 2 September 1808. They survived only seven months. Marguerite died on 5 April 1809 and Bernard less than a week later on 11 April 1809.
Little Barbara was nearly four years old when Anna Maria, my third great-grandmother, was born on 4 February 1810 to Eva and Henri. Anna Maria went by Maria to distinguish her from a sister with the same name who would be born later.
Eva’s younger sister Margaretha LANSER was 31 years old when she married the 25 years old Johann SELM (1786-1846) on 9 June 1811. None of the witnesses to the marriage were relatives.
Henri and Eva’s next child was born on 3 July 1812. She lived five months, dying on 8 December 1812. They named her Odile.
Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)
War had overshadowed the CONSBRÜCK and LANSER families since before Eva and Henri’s marriage. The wars may not have been raging in Echternach but the people were still affected. Eva’s youngest brother Peter LANSER joined the corps on 27 frimaire in the year XIV or 18 December 1805.
Peter was presumed to be a prisoner of war in Russia as of 11 October 1812. He was in 108e régiment d’infanterie de ligne with his 1C1R Sébastian LANSER (whose godfather in 1784 had been Peter’s father) and several other young men from the Echternach area. The presumption of his being a prisoner of war probably came about when Napoleon’s army was evacuating Moscow in October following the Battle of Borodino on 7 September 1812, the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. The information on Peter’s being in the military and a possible POW came from the Matricules Napoléoniens 1802-1815 database.
Eva’s second youngest brother Nicolas LANSER was 30 years old when he married Catharina Magdalena JOERG (1790-1847) in September 1813. A date is missing on the marriage record however it must have taken place between the 7th and the 20th as these are the dates on the previous and next records.
Two years later another daughter was named Anna Maria and would be known as Anna. She was born on 8 January 1814.
Eva’s brother Peter had returned from Russia and was living in Echternach on 3 February 1815 when he, a former soldier for the French army, died at the age of 29 years (31 years on the death record). The Napoleonic Wars ended later in the year on 13 September 1815.
Years after the wars
Henri was still working as a cloth maker and was likely hoping to have a son to teach the cloth-making trade to. On 31 March 1816, Eva gave him a son they named Jean. He lived only a few days and died on 3 April 1816.
Henri and Eva named their last child, a daughter born on 4 July 1817, Odile. I suspect the name was important to Eva and the LANSER family members as Eva’s maternal grandmother was named Odilia FUNCK (abt. 1715-1778) and the name continued to be used in the family for several more generations.
Eva and Henri’s family was now made up of four daughters. Not having any sons to pass the trade on to, did his daughters help him with the wool weaving as they grew older? What I do know is that all of the daughters worked as seamstresses, maybe even sewing the cloth made by their father.
Ten years after the birth of the last daughter, Eva would be attending several funerals as she lost two brothers and a sister: Henri (63) died on 19 November 1827, Nicolas (45) died on 23 October 1828, and Odile (58) died on 24 December 1828.
Henri’s mother Barbara SCHMIDT, the only living grandparent of the four CONSBRÜCK girls, died on 10 May 1829 at the age of 81. She died in house number 360 in the rue de Luxembourg in Echternach. Henri and Eva also lived in the rue de Luxembourg, however, their house number at that time is not known. Had Barbara been living with her daughter Eva and her family?
Eva’s sister Catherine LANSER died on 15 January 1833 at the age of 60. Her death was reported by her husband Johann HERR.
Sometime before 1835 my third great-grandmother, the daughter known as Maria, went to the city of Metz in France to work. While there she may have met Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER (1807-1841) of Vianden. He was the son of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT. The young couple married in Metz on 17 November 1835. During the next six years, Maria gave birth to four daughters, the only grandchildren of Eva and Henri. Maria’s husband Jean Joseph died in Metz on 25 November 1841. Their oldest daughter likely died before 1843 as she was not found in the census with her three sisters. A death record for Madelaine was not found in Metz or in Echternach. This makes me wonder if she may have died while the family was traveling from Metz back to Echternach.
The extended family in the census
In 1843 Henri was the head of a household with his wife, his daughter Barbara and his three SCHLOESSER granddaughters. His daughters Maria, Odile, and Anna are missing and were likely working someplace other than Echternach. Henri’s occupation on the 1843 census was wool weaver (fileur de laine).
In 1846 he was again seen as a cloth maker (drapier). As in 1843 his daughter Barbara and the grandchildren were with Henri and Eva in 1846. Maria, the mother of the grandchildren, may be in the household but listed as single. It is also possible that the entry is her sister Anna Maria who usually went by Anna. Using their full names on official documents caused problems like this.
In 1847 the entire family group is listed: Henri and Eva with their four daughters and three granddaughters. The two younger daughters Anna Maria (Anna) and Odile are listed as absent and working as servants in France. Henri was now seen as a laborer and his daughters Barbara and Maria did not appear to be working.
In 1849 Henri may have not been well or had given up his cloth making. He was listed as having no occupation. However, his three single daughters are listed as seamstresses. Along with his wife Eva, there were two more young ladies in the household. They were Eva’s nieces Eve and Catherine HERR who were also working as seamstresses. His widowed daughter Maria and her three daughters were living in their own household.
More deaths in the family
Henri CONSBRÜCK died on 22 May 1850 in Echternach at the age of 75. His death was reported by his nephew Johann HERR, the youngest son of Eva’s sister Catherine.
Eva’s only living sibling Margaretha LANSER died on 9 March 1852 at the age of 71. Eva LANSER was now the only person left from her generation. She lived a decade longer.
Shortly before her death all of her daughters and granddaughters were living with her when the census was taken on 3 December 1861. Eva LANSER died three months later on 19 March 1862 at the age of 84 years. Her death was reported by her nephews Peter LANSER and Johann HERR.
The four seamstresses
Eva’s three single daughters Barbara, Anne, and Odile continued to work as seamstresses as did her widowed daughter Maria. The four sisters continued to live and most likely work together in their home in the rue de Luxembourg.
Eight years after the death of their mother Eva, the sisters lost their oldest sibling Barbara. She died on 2 November 1870 at the age of 64. Johann HERR, her cousin, and Heinrich DIESCHBOURG, a neighbor and tailor, were the informants for her death.
The remaining three sisters lived two more decades. Odile, the youngest, died on 17 July 1890 at the age of 73. Two years later Anna died on 2 March 1892 at the age of 78. Both of their deaths were reported by their sister Maria’s son-in-law Dyonisius Johann Peter MAAS.
My third great-grandmother Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK was the last of the seamstress sisters. She died on 29 September 1897 at the age of 87 years. Her death was also reported by her son-in-law. Maria born in 1810 left a mystery which took me two decades to solve.
Henri CONSBRÜCK and Eva LANSER came from large families but only one of their daughters married and had children. Of the four grandchildren, three grew to adulthood but only two married. The name Odile was passed on to this generation to my 2nd great-grandmother Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER and to her granddaughter, my grand-aunt, Odile Lucie FOURNELLE.
A statue from about 1740 of Saint Jean-Népomucène can be found in the interior of the Saint-Nicolas church in Vianden, Luxembourg. A copy of the statue has been on the picturesque bridge over the Our River in Vianden since 1865. The people of Vianden have given him a bizarre but kind name, a phonetic deformation of “pomucène” – Bommenzënnes. In Echternach, he watched over the banks of the Sauer River until the bridge and his statue were destroyed in 1944 during World War II.
After the new bridge was built the statue was replaced by a replica as seen in my title photo which shows the Sauer River flooding its banks this week.
Saint John of Nepomuk
Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393) is the saint of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was drowned in the Vltava (Moldau) River at the command of King Wenzel IV (Wenceslaus), King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Historically John of Pomuk, a small market town later renamed Nepomuk, was drowned in 1393 on the orders of King Wenzel because of disagreements over church politics. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of Queen Johanna of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional despite threats and torture. On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against slander and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning. He was canonized in 1729 by Pope Benedict XII.
I found it interesting that my fourth great-grandfather Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER had the same first name as the saint who shares the honor of being the protector from floods and drowning with Saint Nicolas in Vianden. He was born and raised in Wiltz but Vianden was the town where he later married and raised his family.
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, the son of Joseph SCHLOESSER (1729-1800) and Catherine ARENDT (1730-1796), was born on 18 March 1764 in Wiltz. He was the sixth of ten children. Three of his siblings, the oldest and two youngest, died within a few days or months of their births. All others lived into their sixties and seventies except for one brother who died at the age of 44. His parents were both still living when Jean-Népomucène married Margaretha TRAUDT on 26 April 1790 in Vianden.
Margaretha TRAUDT, the daughter of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL, was born on 8 August 1766 in Vianden. She was the youngest of nine children. Several of her siblings are known to have lived to adulthood and marry. They may have grown up with a step-mother as Barbe BILL died on 18 May 1769 in Vianden when her youngest was only a little over two and a half years old. A widower named Nicolas TRAUDT married Barbara KÖNY on 1 October 1769 in Vianden. More research is needed to determine if this marriage was the second marriage for Margaretha’s father.
Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT were the parents of a dozen children born between 1791 and 1809 in Vianden. The father of these children worked as a nailsmith or Nagelschmied to support his family.
His wife Margaretha died 30 November 1809 at the age of 43 years, the day after giving birth to her last child. The children were:
Maria Catharina born 11 February 1791 and died 11 March 1791 at the age of 1 month
Joseph born 3 February 1792 and died 27 February 1811 at the age of 19 years
Maria Magdalena born 11 May 1793 and died 3 September 1859 at the age of 66 years
Johann born 9 November 1794, death unknown (may have died before 1799 when another child was named Johann)
Gregorius born 16 September 1796 and died 20 December 1847 at the age of 51 years
Catharina born 21 September 1798, death unknown
Johann born 7 August 1799 and died 6 April 1864 at the age of 64 years
Johann Peter born 19 July 1801, death unknown. He was living in 1825.
Peter born 29 June 1803 and died 8 June 1818 at the age of 14 years
Joseph Jacob born 30 March 1805 and died 10 February 1807 at the age of nearly 2 years
Jean Joseph born 29 March 1807 and died 25 November 1841 at the age of 34.
Maria Catharina born 29 November 1809 and died 5 August 1810 at the age of eight months. Her name was seen as Anna Catharina on her death record.
Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage
Jean-Népomucène waited a full year before he remarried. The bride, Elisabetha HAMELING, was fifteen years younger than the groom when they married on Christmas Eve in 1810. She gave him two children. Laurent was born on 12 August 1812 and Gregorius on 9 February 1815. The second son lived only a little more than six weeks dying on 27 March 1815.
The children marry
Ten years after his marriage to Elisabetha the SCHLOESSER children were growing and the banns were being published for the first marriages.
Gregorius SCHLOESSER, likely the oldest living son at the time, married Marguerite HACK (1794-1821) on 11 April 1820 in Clervaux. His younger brother Johann was one of the witnesses to his marriage.
Maria Magdalena SCHLOESSER, the oldest daughter, married Mathias COLLING (1793-1846) on 24 February 1824 in Vianden. Her brother Johann Peter SCHLOESSER was a witness to her marriage.
Gregorius’ wife died on 5 September 1821 and he waited four years before he married again. Marguerite ALFF (1797-1853) was his bride and they married on 21 December 1825 in Clervaux. His brother Johann Peter of Vianden was a witness.
Jean-Népomucène causes problems at my 3rd great-grandfather’s wedding
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden. He was 69 years old and still working as a nailsmith or cloutier as this old profession was known in French. The informant on his death record was his youngest son Laurent from his second marriage who was 21 years old.
Jean-Népomucène’s death left my third great-grandfather without parents to give consent to the marriage he planned two years later. Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER was 28 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897) on 17 November 1835 in Metz, Department Moselle, in France. She was 25 and from Echternach.
When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family the civil records for the city of Metz were not available online. I had found their date of marriage and the dates of birth of their four daughters in the 10-year lists (Tables décennales) but did not have copies of the records. While writing this I realized it had been two years and the archives for the municipality should by now have the civil records online. [insert Happy Dance here]
I now have the digital copies of all five records but, due to terms and conditions, I cannot share images of them on my blog without getting special permission. What I can do is share the link to the Schloesser-Consbruèck marriage record for viewing:
From the record I learned, when presenting his paperwork to marry, Jean Joseph gave the name of his father as Jean SCHLOESSER. A copy of the death record of the father of the groom was presented as evidence. This caused a problem as the name on the death record was Jean-Népomucène and not Jean. Jean Joseph was then required to present the death records of his grandparents since his parents were deceased and there was a doubt the death record was for the correct person. Jean Joseph swore under oath that he did not know the dates of death or place of death for his grandparents and would not be able to obtain the records. He also presented a certificate from the commune of Vianden which stated he was able to enter into a contract of marriage with the person he had chosen according to the law.
His bride Anna Maria presented a notarized document giving parental permission to marry. Her parents were not present at the marriage as they were living in Echternach. On the marriage record as well as on the birth records the first three daughters, Anna Maria’s place of birth was seen as Etternach (Belgium). On the birth record of the youngest daughter, the mother Anna Maria’s place of birth was correctly given as Echternach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It shows the importance of finding all records to document a family group. Without all information, I may have disregarded the documents with the incorrect place of birth for Anna Maria.
Two more marriages take place
Johann SCHLOESSER, the second oldest son and 38 years old, married Anne Catherine Margaretha de THIERRY (1792-1862) on 13 September 1837 in Mompach, near Echternach. His bride was 45 years old.
The youngest son and only living child from Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage, Laurent married Anne-Marie FRIEDERICH (1812-1867) on 10 July 1838 in Beaufort, near Echternach. Laurent’s mother Elisabetha HAMELING was present and consenting to the marriage.
Deaths in the family
Five months after she attended the wedding of her only living child, Elisabeth HAMELING, the widow of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, died in Beaufort on 14 December 1838. She had been living with her son Laurent and his wife following their marriage.
My third great-grandfather Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 25 November 1841 in Metz. He was only 34 years old and had worked as a locksmith or serrurier. In German, this occupation is Schlosser with Schlösser or Schloesser being the plural form. Schlösser also translates to castles. Jean Joseph’s widow and daughters returned to Echternach where Anna Maria continued to make a living as a seamstress.
It is not known when Johann Peter, who was last seen in 1825 at the marriage of his brother Gregorius’ marriage, died. Gregorius died at the age of 51 on 20 December 1847 in Clervaux. Maria Magdalena died at the age of 66 on 3 September 1859 in Vianden.
In 1864 the last two known living SCHLOESSER children were Johann and his half-brother Laurent. Johann died at the age of 64 in Echternach on 6 April 1864; his deceased wife’s nephew was the informant. They likely did not have children as his wife had been 45 years old when they married. The baby of the family, Laurent died at the age of 51 in Beaufort on 31 May 1864; his son-in-law was the informant.
Jean-Népomucène’s SCHLOESSER family was large and he came from at least two generations of large families. Documenting these families was made a lot easier by using the research of my 6C1R Joseph SCHLOESSER, a direct male descendant of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Jeanette GASPERSCH, the grandparents of my Jean-Népomucène, as a guide. Villmols merci, Jos.
Sources: I’m taking the easy way out again this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.
What is the most interesting or unusual name in your family tree? Do you have one like PÖPPELREITER? It’s the maiden name of one of my two great-grandmothers named Catherine. For the three generations back to her great-grandfather (my fourth great-grandfather) Johann PÖPPELREITER, the name mostly remained the same. However, during his lifetime it was spelled several different ways, evolving from BUBELREITER to BOPPELREUTER to PEPPELREUTER to PÖPPELREITER.
Some people with this name emigrated from Mürlenbach, Germany, to America and the name lost the umlaut (the double dots over the vowel) and became POPPELREITER. The ones I have found were a father and son who came to America before 1860 and another family group who came in 1893. Further research is needed to prove their connection to my line which also comes out of Mürlenbach.
My fourth great-grandfather Johann PÖPPELREITER was the son of Peter BUBELREITER (abt. 1741-1793) and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN (abt. 1738?-1807). He was born and baptized on 15 February 1782 in Mürlenbach. The extracted information from his baptismal record does not include his mother’s maiden name. She was seen as LAMBERTI when Johann’s brother Mathias married. Later when she died her surname was given as BOSEN. His father Peter may have been married twice, Gertrud being his second wife. His surname was spelled with B’s instead of P’s.
Johann’s father Peter was a Köhler or charcoal maker. I believe this craft was passed down through the family as several PÖPPELREITER men during his time had the same occupation.
Charcoal burning is perhaps one of the oldest forms of forest use. The coal plates were roundish pinnacles with a diameter of 6 to 8 meters. During the construction of the kilns, split logs of one to two meters length were set up in several levels into a hemispherical structure and covered with branches, sod, and soil to make it as airtight as possible. After firing, it took two to three weeks for all of the wood to become coal. From a fathom of wood (about three cubic meters) 600 kg of coal could be produced. With the same calorific value, the charcoal was much lighter and smaller than the wood.
Johann married Margaret BOMMES
Johann was 31 years old, could not write, and was living auf der Glasshütte near Utscheid when he married Margaret BOMMES, daughter of Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, on 28 October 1813 in Utscheid. Margaret was born on 13 July 1791 in Grimbach and was baptized the same day in Neuerburg.
It is quite possible Johann learned the Köhler trade from his father and left Mürlenbach to work in Utscheid auf der Glashütte (glassworks) where charcoal was produced. Johann and Margaret’s first two children were born auf der Glashütte near Utscheid. Lucia PÖPPELREITER was born in 1813 and her brother Wilhelm was born in September 1814.
Sometime after the birth of their second child, the little family moved to Brimingen were their son Wilhelm died on 28 June 1815. Less than a month after his death Margaret gave birth to her next child, Nicolas on 23 July 1815 in Brimingen.
A year and two days later my third great-grandfather Theodore PÖPPELREITER was born on 25 July 1816 in Brimingen and was christened the same day in Baustert.
In the following two years, the family moved again to Mettendorf where their next four children were born. Catherine (the elder) was born on 27 December 1818, Barbara on 29 September 1821, and Matthias on 8 August 1824. Matthias lived only one day. The fourth child born in Mettendorf, and the baby of the family, was Catherine (the younger) who was born on 21 October 1825. The practice of giving the same name to more than one living child is confusing and the reason I distinguish between them with elder and younger.
Johann PÖPPELREITER died on 6 June 1827 in Mettendorf and was buried the following day. He was 45 years old. He left a wife and six children aged between less than two years and 14 years.
The oldest daughter Lucia died on 23 February 1837 in Mettendorf at the age of 24 years. She had not married. Nothing is known of the next oldest child and oldest son Nicolas who would have been 21 years by this time.
Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, was the youngest son. He was working as a servant in Nusbaum when he married Maria Katharina GROELINGER, daughter of Johann GROELINGER and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN, on 20 January 1842 in Mettendorf. Maria Katharina was born on 2 June 1814 in Holsthum and was working as a servant in Mettendorf. She was my 3rd great-grandmother. Theodore and Maria Katharina’s story: The PÖPPELREITER-GROELINGER Family
Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder), now the oldest daughter of the widowed Margaret BOMMES, was 26 years old when she gave birth to a natural child, a son Theodore, born on 31 August 1844. For new readers, a natural child’s father’s name is not known or given. After his birth, Catherine married the widower Johann WAGNER (b. 1804) on 30 January 1847 in Baustert.
The youngest daughter also named Catherine married Nicolas BLEY, son of André “Andreas” BLEY and Hélène Charlotte MAY, on 13 July 1848 in Echternach. Nicolas was born on 17 November 1813 in Ettelbrück.
Following the marriages of Theodore and the two daughters named Catherine, Margaret BOMMES was likely left only with her daughter Barbara living at home as mention earlier, nothing is known of the oldest son Nicolas. On 19 January 1850 twenty-eight-year-old Barbara married Peter SCHNEIDER in Oberweis. Peter, a shoemaker, was born on 23 August 1814 and was seven years older than Barbara.
Johann WAGNER, the husband of the elder Catherine, died on 22 December 1856 in Mülbach (not to be confused with Mürlenbach). They had been married less than ten years. Catherine was left with four children, her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER and two sons and a daughter she had with Johann.
Margaret BOMMES, the widow of Johann PÖPPELREITER, died on 5 February 1860 in Mettendorf. She was 68 years old. She left a son and three daughters.
Following the death of her mother, the elder Catherine lost her two youngest children. Her daughter Anna Maria died at the age of 10 in 1862 and her son Peter died at the age of 11 in 1867. Six years later her son Nicholas WAGNER went to America and she was left only with her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER. He had married the previous year in Baustert and lived in Mülbach where she was living.
My third great-grandparents lived in Mettendorf all of their married life as far as I can tell. However, for some reason, my third great-grandmother Maria Katharina GROELINGER, the wife of my Theodore PÖPPELREITER (not Theodore, son of the elder Catherine), died on 27 January 1877 in Schankweiler.
Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder) died on 5 March 1883 in Mülbach. She was buried on 8 March 1883 in Mettendorf. Her son Theodore likely took care of the burial arrangements as her only other living son Nicholas was living in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois with his four children and wife who was expecting their fifth child in less than two months.
Barbara PÖPPELREITER died on 24 March 1886 in Oberweis. She and her deceased husband Peter SCHNEIDER who died on 1 May 1882 were the parents of three children. A daughter died at the age of 5 years. Nothing is known of Maria born in 1858 or Michael born in 1861.
Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, died on 2 May 1891 in Mettendorf. He left two sons who are known to have continued the PÖPPELREITER line.
Nicolas BLEY, the husband of the younger Catherine, died on 27 October 1894 in the street called Mussgasse (above) in Echternach. The houses in this street are built against the old wall of the town as can be seen by the tower in the background.
Catherine PÖPPELREITER, the youngest and only living PÖPPELREITER child of Johann and Maria Katharina, died on 18 November 1908 in Echternach. She had given birth to ten children, five of whom died young. Two of her children married in the 1880s. Her oldest son André never married and was a professor at the Athénées Royaux (similar to middle and high school) of Arlon and of Ghent as well as the University of Ghent in Belgium. He died at the age of 87 in Ghent.
Catherine (the younger) would not be the only Pöppelreiter to live and die in Echternach. In July 1914 my great-grandparents Catherine PÖPPELREITER and Johann WILDINGER moved from Mettendorf to Echternach with their three children. Their story is Close to Home and Close to My Heart.
Please come back tomorrow for a little P.S.
Sources:  Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 475030. Joannes Boppelreuter, male, christened 15 Feb 1782 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preussen, Germany; father Peter Boppelreuter; mother Gertrudis. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NZMV-2L9 : accessed 27 OCtber 2017).  Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Mathiam Poppelreuter and Anna Maria Servatius married 10 Jun 1808 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father of groom Petri Poppelreuter; mother of groom Gertrudis Lamberti; father of bride Mathiae Servatius; mother of bride Catharinae Linden. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4J4-VP8 : accessed 30 October 2017).  Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Gertrudis Bosen Poppelreuter, female, age 69, widowed; died 25 Sep 1807 and buried 26 Sep 1807 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; Spouse’s Name Petri Poppelreuter.
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J43D-8L4 : accessed 27 October 2017).  Heinrich Theodore Weber (+) / Thomas J. Schmitt, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei St. Lucia in Mürlenbach 1803-1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Bd. 177, Köln 2003), pg. 302, Family #1226. Poppelreiter-Lamberti.  M.E. Hubsch, Heribert Ambros, K.G. Oehms, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Sankt Nikolaus mit ihrem Filialen Neuerburg/Eifel 1700 bis 1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Köln 2007), page 155, family number 271. Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, SCHOMERS.  Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z (compiled in 1992), p. 38, Family # M1958. Pöppelreiter-Bommes.  Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Maximin Baustert (bei Bitburg, Eifel) mit Brimingen, Feilsdorf, Hisel, Hütterscheid, Mülbach, Olsdorf, Family No. Br 830. Poppelreuter-Bommes.  Germany Births and Baptisms, Theodorus Poppelreuter, christened 25 Jul 1816, parents Joannis Poppelreuter and Margarethae Bommes; citing Roemisch-Katholische, Baustert, Rheinland, Prussia.(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NPNR-SZG : accessed 4 November 2015).  Ibid., Catharina Pepelerreuter, female, christened 28 Dec 1818 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Pepelerreuter; mother Margarita Bommes. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ74-SHC : accessed 1 November 2017).  Germany Deaths and Burials, Joannes Peppelreuter, male, age 42, burial 7 Jun 1827, born abt 1785, married, spouse Margarita Bommes; citing v. 2 p.227. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4Z3-KL5 : accessed 27 October 2017).  Germany Marriages, Theodorus Poeppelreiter; spouse Maria Catharina Groelinger; md. 20 Jan 1842 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Poeppelreiter; mother Margaretha Bommes; spouse’s father Joannis Groelinger; spouse’s mother Maria Mergen; citing Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4LQ-4ZL : accessed 27 October 2017).  Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen, p. 60, Family # H370. Groelinger-Mergen. Familienbuch Baustert, Family No. 1225. Wagner-Poppelreiter.  Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 873 of 1462. 1848 Marriage Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-175616-83?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 November 2015).  Alois Schleder, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Remegius Oberweis Dekanat Bitburg 1744-1899, 1999 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. (WGfF), Sitz Köln), pg. 132, Family #467. Schneider-Pöppelreiter.  Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Naissances, mariages, décès 1894-1894 > image 17 of 23. 1894 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12050-133644-0?cc=1709358 : accessed 12 January 2015).  21. Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1906-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 584 of 675. 1908 Death Record No. 66. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32043-12126-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-6YZ:129623201,130153902 : accessed 12 January 2015).
Gerard MALAMBRÉ first turned up in the baptismal record of his daughter Susanna, my 4th great-grandmother, on 7 November 1772.
Before this date, there is no evidence of his existence. If I am to trust the information in the family book of Ernzen where he lived from this time, he died on 7 September 1808 at the age of 80. Where can I find him between his birth around 1728 and the birth of his daughter in 1772? If his age at the time of death is correct, he was 44 years old when Susanna was born and baptized. After Susanna’s birth, six more children were born to Gerard MALAMBRÉ and his wife Barbara BIESDORF between 1775 and 1788., , , , , 
This is a moot point to make but, as no record has been found prior to the baptism of Susanna in 1772, no marriage record has been found for Gerard and Barbara.
Susanna was likely their second child of eight. Her sister Anna Maria, whose date of birth and baptism are not known, was the first to marry in 1792 which makes me suspect she was their first born. Anna Maria was seen as a godmother in 1786. If she was 16 at the time she would have been born about 1770. How young could a godmother be?
The baptismal records of Susanna and her other siblings were found in the Echternach parish to which Ernzen was affiliated. As already mentioned, they were born between 1772 and 1788. The 1788 baptismal record of their youngest daughter Maria Catharina brought new information to light.
The record not only includes the place of residence of Gerard and Barbara at the time of the baptism of their youngest child but also where they hailed from. Barbara BIESDORF’s town of origin was Dickweiler.
Now, this is where my newest not so secret new tool comes into play. The 1766 Luxembourg census. Dickweiler was a part of the parish of Rosport. Only one BIESDORF family lived in Dickweiler in 1766 and it included Anna Barbara who was 14 years or older. Also in the household were three siblings (the census does not indicate this relationship) who were godparents of her children in 1772, 1775, and 1777. Thomas Webers’ family book of Rosport includes the BIESDORF family. Anna Barbara was born in 1744 and was 22 years old at the time of the census. Her parentage has been proven with her baptismal record with secondary evidence coming from the baptismal records of her children who had her siblings as godparents. Case closed?
The 1788 baptismal record was the case cracker for the child’s mother’s parentage but what of the father? Gerard MALAMBRÉ was from “Ramrig” per the record. This is likely Rambrouch, also known as Rammerech in Luxembourgish, a commune and small town in western Luxembourg, in the canton of Redange. It lies close to the border with Belgium. The 1766 census for the parish of Rambrouch did not have any families with a name similar to Malambré, Malampré, or Malampreux. It is a rare surname not even mentioned in the Dictionary of Luxembourgish Family Names.
I searched the 1766 census in several other villages I thought Gerard might have lived in but without an index, this is hit and go. Two Melampré siblings married in Hemstal in 1758. By 1766 the male was deceased without issue and his wife had remarried. Their place of residence at the time of marriage was Pletschet on the marriage record. Pleschette is a village in the Medernach area. The 1766 census for the parish of Medernach did not yield any results. A family book of Helmstal published in 1907 gives the place of residence as Pascheterhof which was part of the parish of Consdorf. Once again this did not produce any new leads. My next attempt may be to look through all the villages in the parish of Echternach.
The names MALAMPRÉ, MALAMPREUX, and MALAMBRÉ fascinate me and I would like to get past this brick wall. The name has not, as far as I can tell, been passed on to very many descendants.
Gerard (d. 1808) had only one son Christian (1775-1811) who had only one son Matthias (1807-1884) who had only one son Michael (1840-1912) who had a son Albert Peter (1878-1952) who had eight children between 1909-1928. These children have descendants with the Malambré name. Albert Peter also had a son who married in Saarbrücken where the name may also have been passed on.
Let me now bring the attention back to Susanna who was born and raised in Ernzen where she brought up her children from two marriages.
My Ancestor Susanna MALAMBRÉ
Susanna MALAMBRÉ was born on 7 November 1772 in Ernzen (present-day Germany) to Gerard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF. She was baptized the same day in the parish of Echternach. Her godparents were Susanna BIESDORF, her maternal aunt, and Hubertus VILLAR, both from Dickweiler.
Susanna MALAMBRÉ’s First Marriage
Susanna married Bernard WEYMANN before 1796. A marriage record has not been found. In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for Susanna and Bernard.
According to Rob Deltgen, President of Luxracines and owner of deltgen.com, the people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed in the margin of the marriage record.
Susanna’s first husband Bernard was born and baptized on 15 August 1763 in Ernzen. The son of Nikolaus WEYMAN and Maria Katharina HUSS, Bernard was my 4th great-grandfather. In the 1766 Luxembourg census, he was seen in his maternal grandfather’s household with his father and siblings, an older sister and brother. His mother, the daughter of Hubert HUSS, had died the previous year and his father would remarry in the census year.
Susanna and Bernard had the following children:
Anna Maria WEYMANN was born and baptized on 28 January 1796 in Ernzen. She married Bernard RAUSCH on 11 February 1823 in Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen. Bernard was born in 1797 in Geichlingen, Bitburg-Prüm, Germany. They were the parents of seven children. Anna Maria died on 8 July 1852 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Her widower Bernard died on 28 March 1855 in Ernzen and was buried three days later.
Before their next child was born, Susanna’s mother Barbara BIESDORF died in 1804 in Ernzen.
Hubert WEIMANN was born and baptized on 13 July 1805 in Ernzen. He married Elisabeth WELTER, daughter of Anton WELTER and Anne Catherine HENNES, on 11 February 1835 in Ernzen. Elisabeth was born and baptized on 31 January 1807 in Ernzen. Hubert and Elisabeth had seven children of whom only three lived to adulthood. Hubert died on 29 October 1872 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Elisabeth died on 24 September 1877 in Ernzen and was buried three days later. They were my 3rd great-grandparents and their story can be found here.
Elisabeth WEIMANN was born and baptized on 20 August 1807 in Ernzen. It is not known if she lived to marry or when she died.
Bernard WEYMANN died on 2 January 1807 in Ernzen. He left his wife Susanna with Anna Maria nearly 11 years old and Hubert a year and a half old. Bernard and Susanna may not have known they were expecting another child when he died. Nearly eight months later Susanna gave birth to their daughter Elisabeth.
Susanna’s father was still living at the time of her husband Bernard’s death. Gerard MALAMBRÉ died 7 September 1808 in Ernzen.
Susanna’s Second Marriage
Two years after the death of her first husband and five months after the death of her father, Susanna married Matthias WELTER, son of Johann WELTER and Magdalena MEYER, on 13 February 1809 in Ernzen. Matthias was born and baptized on 3 May 1772 in Ernzen. He was not only my 4th great-grandmother’s second husband, he was also my first cousin six times removed. His grandparents Mathias WELTER and Anna Margaretha Elisabetha HUSS were my 6th great-grandparents. Further, Susanna’s first and second husbands were second cousins through Peter and Catharina HUSS, my 7th great-grandparents.
Susanna and Matthias had the following children:
Nicolas WELTER was born and baptized on 20 November 1809 in Ernzen.
Joannes WELTER was born and baptized on 4 May 1812 in Ernzen. He died on 4 December 1812 in Ernzen at the age of seven months.
Matthias WELTER was born on 4 November 1813 in Ernzen. He was baptized the following day. He died on 29 May 1814 in Ernzen at the age of nearly seven months.
Magdalena WELTER was born and baptized on 16 September 1815 in Ernzen. She had a son Michael in 1848 whose father was unknown. Magdalena married Dominik FABER on 13 February 1861 in Ernzen. Dominik was born on 26 June 1797 in Consdorf (Luxembourg). He was previously married and had eight children with his first wife. Magdalena and Dominik had a son born the same year they were married. Dominik died on 11 December 1871 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. Magdalena died on 25 January 1879 in Ernzen.
Matthias WELTER died on 3 April 1830 in Ernzen. Susanna MALAMBRÉ likely had three to four of her children still at home. Her oldest daughter Anna Maria WEYMANN had married in 1823 but her son Hubert WEIMANN and daughter Magdalena WELTER were unmarried and likely living at home. Nothing is known of the life of her son Nicolas WELTER who would have been 20 years old at the time.
Susanna lived nearly two more decades, dying on 5 December 1848 in Ernzen. She was buried two days later. She’d lived to see the births of 15 grandchildren but also the deaths of six of these. One more grandchild would be born a dozen years later.
The Problem Remains
This article’s focus should have been mostly on my 4th great-grandparents Susanna MALAMBRÉ and Bernard WEYMANN, however, the missing information on her father Gerard MALAMBRÉ compelled me to do more research on her paternal side of the family. By discussing the steps I took to search for Gerard in the 1766 census I hope someone will notice what I may have missed. Still, Gerard MALAMBRÉ will have to wait for someone, perhaps one of my readers, to find the key to open the door in his brick wall.
Joannes CLEMENS (1750-1827) and Susanna WEBER (1750-1825) were my children’s 5th great-grandparents. Their research took me to villages I had not yet researched but I wasn’t surprised they had me searching through the parish records of the town I live in. The parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials for Echternach (blue cross) date from 1637 to 1797 and include the villages of Bech, Osweiler, and Steinheim (all in Luxembourg) and Ernzen, Ferschweiler, Irrel, Menningen, and Minden (all in Rhineland, Germany) (ruby icons).
Minden and Steinheim
Minden lies at the confluence of the Nims, a tributary of the Prüm, and the Sauer on the German side. The village was formerly attached to Echternach, but since the abbey was abolished it now belongs to the Edingen parish. Across the Sauer on the Luxembourg side lies the village of Steinheim (Steenem in Luxembourgish). It was also attached to Echternach and today belongs to the commune of Rosport. In a document from the 7th century, the place was called “Staneheim.” In earlier times quality stone was quarried there. In the Trierischen Chronik in 1822 Court of Appeals judge Müller tried to prove the stones used for the construction of the Roman baths near the monastery of St. Barbara in Trier, which had been uncovered that year, originated from Steinheim.
Susanna WEBER aka Susanna FEILEN
Susanna was baptized on 10 January 1750 in Minden. She was the daughter of Matthias WEBER and Anna Margaretha FEILEN who married on 19 November 1748 in Echternach. She was Matthias’ first born but not Anna Margaretha’s. Her mother was previously married in 1745, had a son in 1747, and was widowed in January 1748. Ten months later she married Matthias.
Susanna had five known full siblings, all baptized in Minden where they were born: Maria on 14 September 1752, Peter on 2 August 1755, Maria on 9 May 1758, Johann on 14 December 1760, and Matthias on 13 April 1763
Susanna WEBER married Joannes CLEMENT on 20 November 1771 in Steinheim. If you take a close look at the marriage entry in the church records, you may ask, can this be the correct record?
In the presence of Petri Saubert from Birckelt and Matthias Feilen from Minheim, R.D. Lucius solemnized a marriage in Steinheim between the respectable young Joem, legitimate son of Danielis Clement from Steinheim, and Susanna, the legitimate daughter of Matthias Feilen from Minheim.
Susanna and her father Matthias were seen with the surname FEILEN, her mother’s maiden name, on the marriage record. This was not unusual as men and their families were at times known by their wives’ surname if they were living and/or working in the woman’s family home and/or business.
Joannes CLEMENS aka Joannes CLEMENT
Joannes “Jean” CLEMENT (1750-1827) was born about 1750 in Steinheim. No baptismal record has been found. The estimated year and place were taken from his death record. He was seen as the son of Daniel CLEMENT on his marriage record (above). A woman named Elisabetha, wife of Daniel CLEMENT, died on 6 November 1777 and a man named Daniel CLEMENT died on 29 June 1778, both in Steinheim. These are believed to have been Joannes’ parents.
Over the years entries were found for Joannes with his surname spelled CLEMENT and CLEMEN. By the time he died his surname spelling had changed to CLEMENS.
Susanna and Joannis’ Children
Susanna and Joannes were the parents of eight children. When their first child was born in 1773 the mother’s maiden name was seen in the parish register as FEILEN. Later, at the time of the baptisms of their next seven children, she was seen with her father’s surname, WEBER.
Elisabeth was baptized on 22 September 1773 in Steinheim; the godparents were Matthias Weber of Minden and Elisabeth Clement of Steinheim. Her godparents were likely her paternal grandmother and her maternal grandfather.
Lucia was baptized on 9 December 1775 in Steinheim; the godparents were Peter Sauber of Steinheim and Lucia Diemer of Ernzen. Lucia Diemer was the wife of Johann Feilen, the brother of the maternal grandmother.
Anna was baptized on 17 March 1780 in Steinheim; the godparents were Mathias Sauber and Anna Maria Hemsthal, both of Steinheim.
Following the births of the first three children and before Susanna became pregnant with her fourth child, two of her daughters died. Lucia on 19 August 1781 and Anna Maria in 1782.
Pierre was baptized on 12 March 1783 in Steinheim; the godparents were Peter Kayser of Berdorf and Margaretha Feilen of Minden.
Johann was baptized on 9 February 1786 in Steinheim; the godparents were Johann Peters of Bollendorf and Maria Catharina Grupper of Steinheim.
The family was now made up of one daughter and two sons. Their oldest child, daughter Elisabeth died on 11 May 1787. It was about this time the family name spelling changed from CLEMENT to CLEMEN likely due to a change in the person who was in charge of making entries in the parish records (clearly seen in the change in handwriting).
Hubert was baptized on 8 July 1788 in Steinheim; the godparents were Hubert Helfen of Kirsch and Anna Maria Goeden of Steinheim.
Anna was baptized on 20 February 1792 in Steinheim; the godparents were Christian Schneider of Minden and Anna Maria Grupper of Steinheim. She lived only two days.
Elisabetha was baptized on 30 October 1796 in Steinheim; the godparents were Johann Feilen of Minden and Elisabeth Wagner of Steinheim.
The youngest of Susanna and Joannes’ children was my children’s 4th great-grandmother.
The first of Susanna and Joannes’ children to marry was Pierre who married Marguerite KOENIG on 9 January 1809 in Rosport. Pierre’s brother Johann must have met Marguerite’s sister following their marriage as Johann married Anna Maria KOENIG six years later, on 17 January 1815 in Rosport.
By 1815 four of the eight children born to Susanna were deceased and two were married leaving only Hubert (27) and Elisabetha (19) at home. The family surname was now spelled CLEMENS in most records. Ten years later Susanna WEBER died on 4 March 1725 in Steinheim at the age of 75. She left her husband Joannes (75), son Hubert (37), and daughter Elisabetha (28).
Nearly two years later Elisabetha at the age of 30 married the 34 years old Michel SCHERFF (1792-1865) on 12 February 1827 in Born. Elisabetha and Michel’s story can be read here.
Joannes CLEMENS died on 25 September 1827 in Steinheim at the age of 77. Three of his children were married. It is not known what became of his fourth child, Hubert who was not located in the marriage or death records of the commune of Rosport. Did he go off to work in another village or town in Luxembourg; in France, Germany, or Belgium; or did he emigrate to one of the Americas? Or do I really need to go back and check the parish records for deaths from the time of his birth in 1788 until 1797 (end of available church records online)?
Joannes and Susanna’s sons Pierre and Johann did not live to the ripe age of their parents. They died only a few years after their father, Pierre on 27 February 1830 at the age of 46 and Johann on 6 March 1831 at the age of 45.
The only known living child of Susanna and Joannes was their youngest, Elisabeth. She outlived her siblings by forty years, dying on 17 June 1870 at the age of 73. She did not live quite as long as her parents but came close to their 75 and 77 years.
This post brings me halfway through my children’s paternal 5th great-grandparents.
With the next set of my children’s 5th great-grandparents, we leave Diekirch and move to Osweiler, a little village located 4 kilometers from Echternach, the town where we live. These are the ancestors of my father-in-law’s mother, Ketty.
Ketty’s great-great-grandparents Lorentz SCHWARTZ and Magdalena HALER married on 27 January 1790 in Echternach.
I’m working on a post about these marriage index cards. In the meantime, I’d like to draw your attention to the number in the lower right corner of this card. These point to two records, one in Volume 8 page 110 and the other in Volume 10 page 178 of church records in Echternach. Unfortunately, FamilySearch does not name their batches by volume numbers. I found both records and compared them side by side to determine if they were the same record or one was a copy of the other., 
The page numbers for the records match those seen on the index card. The records were written by the same person and both were signed by the persons present. They are not the same record as can be seen by the signature of Mathias Haller, father of the bride and witness, being on two lines at the end of the document on the left and on one line in the document on the right. On comparison of the text, I found that the names of the two witnesses, Mathias Haller and Joannes Schmit, were not in the same order on both documents. I believe it is important to look at both records as the handwriting may be more legible in one or the other and one can check if there is missing or different information.
Laurentius, the groom
Lorentz “Laurentius” SCHWARTZ was born to Joannis SCHWARTZ (1725-1787) and Maria HEINTZ (1725-1793) on 31 March 1762 in Osweiler. His godparents were Laurentius URICH of Ensdorff and Margaretha LEONARDI of Echternach.
Lorentz was 15 years old when his father died in 1787 leaving two sons, Lorentz and Nicolas, and a daughter Magdalena. Two daughters were born before Lorentz. Death records have not been checked; however, it is possible they died young. By the time I get to the 6th greats I hope to have been able to locate more information on these girls.
Magdalena, the bride
Magdalena HALER, daughter of Mathias HALER (1738-1812) and Angela ALENTS (d. 1768), was born and baptized on 4 November 1764 in Osweiler. Her godparents were Petrus MOTER from Hassel and Magdalena HALER of Osweiler.
Magdalena was only 4 years old when her mother died, likely during childbirth as a daughter was born the same day. She left a son age 6 and three daughters age 4, 2, and newborn. A month later Magdalena’s widowed father remarried and the family increased by five more children during the 1770s.
Lorentz and Magdalena
When Lorentz and Magdalena were married in 1790 neither were able to sign their names to the marriage record and made their cross. Following their marriage one of the first official entries found for Lorentz was as a witness for his sister Magdalena’s marriage on 29 November 1790 in Grevenmacher to Peter HENN. This record plays a very important role in identifying Magdalena who married Peter HENN as the sister of Lorentz and daughter of Joannis SCHWARTZ and Maria HEINTZ. The errors I found in previous genealogical research will be discussed when I write about the 6th greats as mentioned above.
A year later, Lorentz and Magdalena’s first child was born. Lorentz’s mother lived to see the birth of this child. She died 11 August 1793 in Osweiler.
Lorentz and Magdalena were the parents of five children, although one is a bit iffy.
Mathias was born and baptized on 21 November 1791. His godparents were Mathias HALER, a ploughman (aratoris) from Osweiler and Magdalena WILLEMS from Fromburg.
Anna was born and baptized on 28 Jun 1794. Her godparents were her paternal uncle Nicolas SCHWARTZ from Osweiler and Anna WOLZFELD from Eschweiler.
Heinrich was born and baptized on 8 June 1796. His godparents were Henrico HAALER and Jeanne HAALER, both of Osweiler.
Johann born about 1799. Records are missing for Osweiler during this time period and his birth cannot be proven.
Jorg was born on 20 February 1807 in Osweiler and died a week later on 1 March 1807 in Osweiler. The birth record was a civil record and did not have the names of his godparents.
There is quite a gap in births of children after the documented birth of Heinrich and the possible birth of son Johann about 1799. Magdalena was 43 years old when she gave birth to her last child. She and her husband may not have planned or expected to have a child so late in life. As the death record does not include cause of death, we will never know if the child was premature or if there were complications in the pregnancy.
The children in this family had their maternal grandfather in their lives until they reached their teenage years. Magdalena’s father died 5 January 1812 in Osweiler.
Lorentz and Magdalena’s oldest son Mathias married Anna TRIERWEILER (1794-1853), daughter of Nicolas TRIERWEILER and Catharina HOFFMANN, on 17 January 1820 in Osweiler. The bride and groom declared not being able to write. The father of the groom, Lorentz SCHWARTZ, worked as a cutter or tailor (Schneider).
Lorentz died on 7 April 1820 in Osweiler. His son Mathias who’d married less than three months earlier was an informant for the death.
The next marriage in the family was for the only daughter, Anna. She married Nicolas SCHACKMAN on 19 January 1821 in Rosport. Her godfather Nicolas SCHWARTZ, brother of her deceased father, was one of the witnesses at the marriage and her mother was present and consenting. A child was born in Osweiler in 1823 but the family did not stay there for long. They had other children in Prümzurlay (1822) and Eisenach (1825-1840). The family name was later written JACQUEMIN.
Heinrich married Eva RITSCHDORFF (1794-1853), daughter of Christofel RITSCHDORFF and Eva MULLER, on 4 September 1823 in Echternach. At the time of his marriage Heinrich was already living and working in Echternach as a linen weaver, the same occupation as his brothers, Mathias and Johann. His younger brother Johann, a 24 years old linen weaver (Leinenweber) from Osweiler, was a witness at the marriage. Is there a case of mistaken identity here? Could Mathias have been witness instead of a brother named Johann? Did Mathias and Heinrich have a brother named Johann and, if yes, where did he disappear to?
Over twenty years later, the mother of this family, Magdalena was found living in the Hospice Civil in Echternach. The hospice was run by Catholic nuns and had a gardener and several servants. They cared for the elderly, poor, and children. Magdalena was living in the hospice at the time of the 1843, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, and 1852 census.
She was in the hospice when her son Heinrich died on 13 November 1850 in Echternach. Both of her daughters-in-law also predeceased her. Mathias’ wife Anna died on 21 March 1853 in Osweiler and Heinrich’s wife Eva died on 5 April 1853 in Echternach. Magdalena died a year later on 20 April 1854 in Echternach. Her death was reported by Regnard WATHIER and his son Nicolas WATHIER. The first man no longer worked but had been a police officer (Polizeidiener) and his son worked for the town, similar to a town crier/messenger (Bannschütz).
Magdalena and Lorentz’s son Mathias SCHWARTZ died on 20 February 1860 in Osweiler. He was a linen weaver, day laborer, and plowman or farmer during his lifetime.
Was Mathias the last living child? Did his sister Anna outlive him? I will not know for sure until I learn more about his sister Anna who was living in Eisenach (present-day Germany) as late as October 1840 when a child was born. I’ll be checking out the Family Books of the area in Germany while on library duty Wednesday…if we don’t have too many visitors.
Rob DELTGEN, president of luxracines a.s.b.l. has announced the publication of the family book of ECHTERNACH by Thomas WEBERS (in German). Period 1796-1923, 5,862 families, 31,120 births, 751 pages.
Finally, researchers will have a family book for the commune of Echternach. For the longest time Echternach was the second largest town in Luxembourg. Even in the 1960s it had more hotel beds than Luxembourg City. No town in Luxembourg has a richer history.
Thomas WEBERS, an experienced author of numerous Luxembourgish and German family books, has embarked on this very extensive work and has mastered it with diligence and endurance.
Without the participation and support of the municipality of Echternach, this publication would not have been possible.
Please find below, the announcement made in German by Rob DELTGEN.
Familienbuch der Gemeinde Echternach
Neuerscheinung Anfang März lieferbar
Familienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH
Autor: Thomas WEBERS
Gemeinde Echternach und luxracines asbl
5.862 Familien, 31.120 Geburten, 15.265 Todesfälle
Vorverkauf 59 Euro (bis 28. Februar)
Ladenpreis ab 1. März: 69 Euro
Versand: Porto 15 € Inland, 25 € Ausland
Bitte angeben ob Versand oder SelbstabholerÜberweisung auf unser Bankkonto luxracines.lu asbl
IBAN: LU97 1111 2992 8237 0000
Abholbar bei der Buchpräsentation in Echternach (Termin wird mitgeteilt)
oder in unserem Lokal in Walferdingen während der Öffnungszeiten
Endlich liegt uns das Ortsfamilienbuch der Gemeinde ECHTERNACH vor. Diese Ortschaft war lange die zweitgrößte Ortschaft des Landes und noch in den sechziger Jahren besaß Echternach mehr Hotelbetten als die Hauptstadt Luxemburg. Es gibt keine Ortschaft in Luxemburg, die reicher an Geschichte ist. Funde aus der Stein- und Römerzeit belegen dies.
Thomas WEBERS, routinierter Autor zahlreicher Luxemburger und Deutscher Familienbücher, hat sich an diese doch sehr umfangreiche Arbeit herangewagt und sie mit Fleiß und Ausdauer bewältigt. Nicht immer war es für Thomas einfach, die Namen der Orte korrekt wiederzugeben. Wie schwer ist es für einen deutschen Forscher zu wissen, dass z.B. die in der Urkunde bezeichnete Ortschaft Siebenbrunnen identisch ist mit Septfontaines. Wir haben versucht die Orte-Datei soweit wie möglich zu berichtigen. Mein Dank geht hier auch an unsere fleißige Sekretärin Christiane OTH-DIEDERICH, welche mit großer Kompetenz vieles korrigiert hat.
Ohne die Beteiligung und Unterstützung der Gemeinde Echternach wäre diese Publikation nicht möglich gewesen. Dieses Buch ermöglicht nicht nur der Gemeinde die Originaldokumente zu schonen, denn jede Fotokopie schädigt die Tinte, sondern darüber hinaus ermöglicht dies den Unerfahrenen im Lesen der Akten, welche ja größtenteils in der alten deutschen Schreibweise, Spitzschrift genannt, verfasst sind, an exakte Daten zu kommen.
Wir danken der Gemeindeführung für die Zusammenarbeit.
Last week I became curious about my “German” ancestors actually being Luxembourgers. I had finally found a map which helped me with the historical boundaries of the country I live in.
My maternal grandfather was born in 1906 in Mettendorf, Germany, and came to live in Luxembourg in July 1914, the month the First World War began. I have avoided seriously researching his line for nearly a quarter of a century. Last year I began writing about his parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and 4 sets of great-grandparents.
Now that I have access to the family books of the towns his ancestors lived in at the library of my genealogy society, I am revisiting what I have and what I need to locate. I knew that the towns were just across the border of Luxembourg to Germany but was not aware of exactly when this area belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Surprisingly, this week, I learned the records I have been avoiding researching are actually at my fingertips.
The Church Records for Echternach
While inputting data from the family books I noticed that the compiler of the Ernzen book included annotations concerning the marriage records of certain couples being found in the church records of Echternach. These records are online at FamilySearch.
I spent hours adding birth, marriage, and death records to this German branch of the family. I have not even scratched the surface. I will be busy for weeks, maybe months.
I want to have all information inputted before I do any more in-depth posts on my 4th great-grandparents and each generation back. But I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful discovery!
A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents
Marriage records in Luxembourg have always been my favorite source for information. They were the first and sometimes the only records I obtained for ancestors in this country. Some habits cannot be broken. The first thing I did when I realized the records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler were located in Echternach for religious events which took place before the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to check for marriages.
Dabam Dimissoriales honesti Joannis Adami Mayers ex Ernzen relicto legitimo filio Joanni in ordine ad matrimonium contra= hendu in honesti Adami Dietzen ex Esseling relicta legitima filia Elisabetha
I gave the certificate to the honorable Johann Adam
Meyers from Ernzen’s surviving legitimate son
Johann in order to contract marriage
to the honorable Adam Dietzen from
Eßlingen’s surviving legitimate daughter Elisabetha
These five lines written in Latin give interesting information. The fathers of the bride and groom were both deceased in 1713. The bride Elisabetha DIETZEN’s father was from Eßlingen while the groom Johann MEYERS’ father was from Ernzen.
Elisabetha and Johann were married on Monday, 27 November 1713. One has to go back to the previous page to see that the marriage took place in November and leaf back to page 22 of the register to see that the year the marriage took place was 1713.
This is, so far, the oldest marriage record I’ve found for the “German” branch of my family tree. A branch which I have disregarded for too long.
Three hundred and three years ago this month my 7th great-grandparents married and their nuptials were recorded in the church records of the very same town my husband and I married in and live today.
Source: Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 17 of 293. 1713 Marriage Dimissoriale, left page, first entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-12662-32?cc=2037955 : accessed 12 November 2016).
A little over two weeks ago the Dempsey family got together at our house to celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday. Normally I don’t blog about living persons but this is a milestone in Mom’s and our lives which deserves to be written about while she is still with us.
We had two family photographers and several others with their cell phones taking pictures but the only way to get a great family group photo is to have someone else do the job. Many thanks to Anne-Ly Mertens-Prott for the wonderful photos and for working over the Luxembourgish translation with her husband Nic for the local online newspaper at mywort.lu.
80ten Gebuertsdaag vum Josette Sassel-Wildinger
Freides, de 29. Mee 1936 kruten d’Marie Marcelle Fournelle an den Nicolas Wildinger vun Iechternach Nowuess. D’Josette, hirt eenzegt Kand, huet deen Daag zu Iechternach d’Liicht vun der Welt erbléckst. Seng Mamm huet dacks vum spéide Schnéi, deen et um Päischtweekend no senger Gebuert gouf, geschwat. E puer Woche virun sengem véierte Gebuertsdaag huet d’Josette materlieft wéi déi Däitsch Lëtzebuerg besat hunn. D’Joer duerno ass säi Papp un der Tuberkulos gestuerwen. Den 10. Oktober 1944, war hatt eent vu villen déi aus Iechternach evakuéiert goufen. Zu Fouss ass hatt mat senger Mamm an dem 73 Joer ale Grousspapp iwwer Uesweller, Bech, Hielem an d’Luerenzweiler Géigend gaangen, wou si bis an de Mee 1945, bei Frënn ënnerkomm sinn.
Den 2. Mäerz 1957 huet d’Josette en amerikanesche G.I., de Fred Roosevelt Dempsey vu Victor, West Virginia, deen zu Bitburg stationéiert war, bestuet. Si goufen Eltere vu fënnef Kanner, déi si am Laaf vun de Joren am Georgia, Frankräich, Idaho, West Virginia, Spuenien, South Carolina an Texas, opgezunn hunn. 1974 ass säi Mann Freddy gestuerwen, an d’Joer drop koum d’Josette mat de Kanner Cathy, Debby, Marc, Mike an André zréck op Iechternach. Nodeems hatt d’Kanner während méi wéi enger Dose Joer eleng grouss gezunn hat, huet hatt sech den 28. August 1987 mam Francis Sassel bestuet.
Fir dem Josette säin 80. Gebuertsdaag, si seng Kanner fir déi éischte Kéier zanter 1979 nees all zu Iechternach zesummekomm. Et gouf gefeiert mat sengem Mann, de Kanner, den Eedemen a Schnaueren, a véier vun de néng Enkelkanner: Sheila, Brian, Jenny, Duane. Gefehlt hunn fënnef Enkelkanner: Cindy, Erin, Mike, André an Ian, souwéi zwee Urenkel Savannah an Taylor, déi mat engem schéine Video der Bomi gewënscht hunn.
80th Birthday for Josette Sassel-Wildinger
On Friday 29 May 1936 Catherine Josette Wildinger was born in Echternach to Marie Marcelle Fournelle and Nicolas Wildinger. She would remain their only child. Her mother often told of the late snow which fell on Pentecost weekend following her birth. A few weeks before her fourth birthday Josette saw the Germans occupy Luxembourg. The following year her father died of tuberculosis. On 10 October 1944 she was one of many who were evacuated from Echternach, going on foot to Osweiler, Bech, Helmdange, and the Lorentzweiler area with her mother and 73 years old Grandpapa, only returning in May 1945.
On 2 March 1957 Josette married an America G.I., Fred Roosevelt Dempsey from Victor, West Virginia, while he was stationed in Bitburg, Germany. They became the parents of five children and raising them in Georgia, France, Idaho, West Virginia, Spain, South Carolina, and Texas. In 1975 Josette returned to Echternach with her children Cathy, Debby, Marc, Mike, and André following the death of her husband Freddy the previous year. After raising her children on her own for more than a dozen years she married François Sassel on 28 August 1987.
For Josette’s 80th birthday her children came together for the first time since 1979. She celebrated with her husband, her children and their spouses, and four of her nine grandchildren: Sheila, Brian, Jenny, and Duane. Missing were five grandchildren Cindy, Erin, Mike, André, and Ian, and her two great-grandchildren Savannah and Taylor, who sent a wonderful video with birthday wishes for their grandmother/great-grandmother.
The Day in Retrospect
Following a huge round of applause and a presentation of a large bouquet, a gift from two of her grandchildren, Mom and the rest of us enjoyed watching the video sent by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren who could not be here. It was very moving and there was not a dry eye in the room afterwards.
We were able to sit out on the back porch and in the back yard where a tent had been set up to enjoy our plates filled from the cold buffet. After everyone had had their fill and before the cake was brought out, Anne-Ly came by to take the group photos. Mom did not know what was going on when she and her five children were being set up on the steps of the back porch.
We reproduced a photo of Mom with the kids taken Easter Sunday in 1969 when Dad was on duty in Thailand. The photo was also used on her cake, a gift from the other two grandchildren who were present.
Mom getting ready to cut the cake with her grown up children.
Everyone had a great time, memories were shared and new ones were made. Hopefully it will not be 37 years before we can all get together again.