Week 31 (July 30-August 5) – Easy: We ended July with “Challenging,” so it seems fitting to begin August with “Easy.” Which ancestor has been pretty easy to research? (Come on, there has to be one!)
Easy peasy, easy peasy. This has been going around and around in my mind while reviewing the SCHMITT-WOLLSCHEID family. This family was not always easy to research. Not only is SCHMITT a common name in Germany, it was spelled many different ways in the records found: Schmitt, Schmidt, Schmit, Schmid, Schmiz, Schmitz. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I found these records there was a moment in this researcher’s life when everything fell into place without any effort on my part.
Early in 2011 I discovered Geneanet, a favorite of European genealogists. Since my GEDCOM file was too large to upload I decided to prune the tree and upload only the European branches. Not long after I had things in place I began getting messages from people who found connections.
Although my uploading to Geneanet wasn’t meant to be cousin bait, I reeled in a key to open the door in my brick wall. Fabienne, a French lady, recognized the names SCHMITT and WOLLSCHEID and their place of residence. The family wasn’t very large at the time. It consisted of Nicolas SCHMITT, his wife Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID, and their daughter Catharina who married Johann SCHWARTZ. As far as I knew Catharina was their only child and her grandparents were unknown. The little I knew about the family was found in Catharina and Johann’s marriage record.
Fabienne is a 3rd great-granddaughter of the SCHMITT-WOLLSCHEID couple through their son Jakob making her my husband’s 4th cousin. After she told me Jakob married in Echternach, things fell into place. His marriage record gave the complete location of his birth – Kalberger Hof, Burgermeisterei Heidweiler, Kreis Wittlich.
A new search for Kalberger Hof turned up Heckenmünster, the homepage of Thomas Eifel, with the history of Kalbergerhof from 1409 to present, including the time period it belonged to the SCHMITT family, nearly 100 years from 1748-1844:
- 1748 – 1783 Philipp Schmitt (died 1784)
- 1769 – 1798 Johann Schmitt (1754-1789, first son of Philipp)
- 1789 – 1796 Appolonia Schmitt geb. Mathes (widow of Philipp)
- 1796 – 1811 Friedrich Schmitt (1761-1829, second son of Philipp)
- 1841 – 1844 Nikolaus Schmitt (1795-1852, son of Friederich)
I immediately acquired permission from Thomas Eifel on 30 July 2011 to use the article in my family tree notes as long as I linked back to his site.
After learning the family came from the Heidweiler area, I searched the following databases and was able to fill in two generations back for the family:
- Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898 (index at FamilySearch)
- Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929 (index at FamilySearch)
- Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958 (index at FamilySearch)
- Eifel Birth and Marriage Data compiled by Thomas A. Pick (1946-2008)
Several years have since passed. With the information found in Family Books (FB) of the towns of Longuich, Arenrath, and Heidweiler, I’ve been able to increase the once three person family group to 4-7 generations.
I viewed the Heidweiler FB when I visited Peter Daus’ private library in Wittlich in 2013 and photographed the pages with the family groups of Philipp SCHMITZ and his son Friederich SCHMITZ. I didn’t have enough time to look closely at the information and cannot remember if I noticed the remark about Friederich’s children being found under SCHMITT in the book. Most likely not as I didn’t get a photograph of the page with Nicolas SCHMITT and Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID’s family group. [To-do: Get the information from the Heidweiler FB on the Schmitt-Wollscheid couple AND check if there are family groups listed for their children.]
The SCHMITT-WOLLSCHEID Family
Nicolaus “Nicolas” SCHMITT was born on Kalberger Hof in the commune of Heidweiler, Wittlich, Rhineland, Germany, to Fridericus “Friederich” SCHMITT (1761-1829) and Maria Elisabeth PLEIN (1766-1845). He was baptized on 12 July 1795 in the Catholic church of Heidweiler. He was one of eight children. A brother, also named Nicolas, may have died before the younger Nicolas’ birth. The six other siblings were all sisters.
Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID was born on 24 December 1800 in Kirsch, Longuich, Trier-Saarburg, Rhineland. She was the daughter of Jacobus “Jacobi” WOLLSCHEID (1766-1826) and Catharine BARTHELMES (1763-1822) and baptized on 25 December 1800 in the Catholic church in Longuich.
Nicolas married Anna Maria on 17 January 1827 in Longuich. Anna Maria’s parents were both deceased at the time of the marriage. Nicolas and Anna Maria were the parents of 4 known children. [The Heidweiler FB, on my to-do list, may have more information.]
- Ch 1: Friedrich SCHMITT (1827-1904) born 3 December 1827 on Kalberger Hof
- Ch 2: Nicolas SCHMITT (1828- ) born abt. November 1828. Nicolas was in the household of Johann SCHWARTZ and his wife Catharina SCHMITT in 1864. He was listed as 35 years and one month and the brother of Catharina. No further information has been found on this child.
- Ch 3: Catharina SCHMITT (1829-1910) born 14 June 1829 on Kalberger Hof
- Ch 4: Jakob SCHMITT (1836-1885) born 7 March 1836 on Kalberger Hof
The number of years between the birth Catharina and Jakob make me wonder if there were more children. Also the child Nicolas may have been younger than indicated on the 1864 census as the estimated month and year of birth, calculated from the age seen on the census, is cutting it way too close. I wonder if perhaps it was Jakob who was in the SCHWARTZ household and his father’s name was written instead of his.
While proofreading I realized the children Friedrich, Catharina, and Jakob were named after their grandparents.
Nicolas and Anna Maria were married a little over two years when Nicolas’ father Fridericus “Friederich” SCHMITT died on 5 March 1829 on Kalberger Hof. Nicolas, being the only son, most likely shared the management of the farm with his mother Maria Elisabeth PLEIN until her death on 22 January 1845 on Kalberger Hof. Seven years later Nicolaus “Nicolas” SCHMITT died 17 October 1852 on Kalberger Hof.,, His three oldest known children were in their early twenties and his youngest son Jakob was 16. The list of men who managed the Kalberger Hof is incomplete and it is not known how long the farm remained in the hands of the SCHMITT family.
The marriage record of Nicolas and Anna Maria’s only known daughter Catharina on 27 January 1855 in Rosport to Johann SCHWARTZ (1823-1898) included information on the residence of Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID in January 1855. She and her daughter Catharina lived in Dieschburg. The marriage banns were read in Rosport and Echternacherbrück, a German town across the Sauer River from Echternach. The banns being read in Echternacherbrück and the residence of the bride and the mother of bride being in the area could mean they lived on Diesburgerhof near Ferschweiler. This was about 40 km west of Kalberger Hof.
By the end of the year Anna Maria was living with her daughter Catharina, her son-in-law Johann and his father Mathias SCHWARTZ. Her age on the 1855 census was off by 15 years and she was seen as the mother-in-law of Mathias instead of Johann. Mathias’ mother-in-law died in 1815 and he did not remarry. Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID died 3 November 1857 in Osweiler at the home of her son-in-law Johann SCHWARTZ.
Following the death of Nicolas SCHMITT little is known of his son Friedrich SCHMITT until he married Elisabetha THILL (1832-1904) on 23 April 1860 in Echternach. The marriage record includes a notation concerning two children born to the couple before their marriage, a daughter in 1858 and a son in 1860, a month before the marriage. Elisabeth’s father’s whereabouts were unknown and her mother was deceased. None of the four witnesses appear to have been relatives and none of Friederich’s family appeared to be present.
On the 3 December 1864 census for Osweiler a previously unknown son of the SCHMITT-WOLLSCHEID couple showed up in the household of Johann SCHWARTZ and Catharina SCHMITT. Nicolas SCHMITT, 35 years and one month, was listed as Catharina’s brother.
The youngest son of Nicolas and Anna Maria, Jakob SCHMITT, married Anna Maria WEBER (1835- ) on 1 February 1866 in Echternach. None of the witnesses were related to the bridal couple. It was this marriage record, shared with me by Fabienne, which helped me to locate the death record of the mother of this family Anna Maria as her date and place of death were included.
The youngest son of this family, Jakob SCHMITT died 13 January 1885 in Echternach at the age of 48. Nearly twenty years later his brother Friedrich SCHMITT died on 7 February 1904 in Echternach at the age of 76. The only known daughter Catharina SCHMITT died on 1 December 1910 in Osweiler at the age of 81 years.
Another Cousin is Found
Fabienne told me she had a first cousin once removed living in my hometown of Echternach. Her cousin Josette’s mother was [surprisingly] a SCHWARTZ, a granddaughter of Catharina SCHMITT and Johann SCHWARTZ. This makes her my husband’s 2C1R and 3C1R as both her mother and her father descend from Nicolas SCHMITT and Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID. Fabienne and her husband visited Josette and her husband in Echternach and, while here, the four of them stopped by our house to spend some time with us talking about the family relationships. We were actually already acquainted with Josette and her husband.
Since making the connection with Fabienne through Geneanet I’ve taken down my GEDCOM file from the site. It was too much trouble to upload a partial file whenever I made changes to the database. Even a ZIP file of my database is twice the permitted size. Maybe other researchers who use the site can give me tips on how to work around this.
How many opportunities am I missing to bait more cousins by only having my family tree online at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect?
 Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Naissances 1889-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1853 > image 643 of 1410. 1855 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11613-10947-44?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6L:n1038283664 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
 Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 846,155. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NTXK-T6X : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmid, baptized 12 Jul 1795, father Friderici Schmid, mother Elisabetha Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
 Ibid., FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NC1V-N84 : accessed 28 July 2015), Maria Anna Wolschett, baptized 25 Dec 1800, father Jacobi Wolschett, mother Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
 Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TYK : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmidt and Maria Anna Wolschett, married 17 Jan 1827, parents of groom Friderici Schmidt and Elisabethae Plein, parents of bride Jacobi Wolschett and Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
 Luxembourg, Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 1067 of 1462. 1860 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-167828-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-C68:129623201,129776101 : accessed 28 July 2011).
 Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > 1864 > image 162 of 339. Schwartz-Schmit household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32384-1937-81?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-6YQ:346331501,345868401 : accessed 1 April 2015).
 Luxembourg, Civil Records, Rosport > Naissances 1889-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1853 > image 643 of 1410. 1855 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11613-10947-44?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6L:n1038283664 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
 Ibid., Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 1154 of 1462. 1866 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-166074-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-C68:129623201,129776101 : accessed 28 July 2011).
 Armin Giebel, Familienbuch Longuich nach den Standesamtsregistern von 1802-1931, Family No. 8740, June 2013 edition.
 Ibid., Rosport > Décès 1853-1891 > image 52 of 510. 1857 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11627-97505-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L62:1818144340 : accessed 05 Apr 2013).
 Luxembourg, Civil Records, Echternach > Décès 1882-1890 > image 88 of 251. 1885 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11022-11689-39?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-92W:129623201,129706801 : accessed 28 July 2011).
 Ibid., Echternach > Mariages 1906-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 474 of 675. 1904 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32043-10535-43?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-6YZ:129623201,130153902 : accessed 2 August 2015).
 Ibid., Rosport > Décès 1903-1923 > image 102 of 262. 1910 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32039-6194-7?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-7MC:130314401,129640001 : accessed 8 February 2015).
© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.