Monday morning I had a comment waiting to be approved on my post 52 Ancestors: #16 A Door Opens in the KREMER-WINANDY Brick Wall written nearly two years ago on 21 April 2017. The post on my husband’s 4th great-grandparents had attracted the interest of another researcher showing me once again that blogging is great cousin bait.
In a follow-up comment, I learned Nicolas’ son Anton KREMER (1836-1918) is the common ancestor Elodie shares with my husband. Anton was her 3rd great-grandfather and my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather making them 3C1R (third cousins once removed). Elodie and my children are fourth cousins; their common ancestors are their 3rd great-grandparents Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES. I wrote about this couple in May 2015 in my post 52 Ancestors: #18 The KREMER-MERKES Family of Bettendorf.
Twelve children were born into the KREMER-MERKES family between 1860 and 1878. Only five of these lived to adulthood. Elodie’s ancestor was their oldest child Nicolas born in 1860 while my husband and children descend from the youngest child who lived, also a Nicolas born in 1875. In between, there was Maria born in 1862, Mathias born in 1865, and Peter born in 1869.
When I wrote about the family in May 2015 I knew the elder Nicolas had worked in the mines and died in Rumelange, in southern Luxembourg on the French border, in 1895 at the age of 35. Per his death record, he was the widower of Margaretha NAU. The informants were Nicolas’ bother Mathias KREMER (1865-1945) and their uncle Mathias MERKES (their mother’s youngest brother).1
The only lead I had on Nicolas’ wife was the name found on his death record. I found no marriage in Luxembourg (using Luxracines‘ marriage database) and no children for Nicolas KREMER and Margaretha NAU born in Rumelange where the father worked and died. Records for Luxembourg are not indexed making it difficult to find births of children when families didn’t stay in one place and when the families have not been researched by others. As far as I could tell the elder Nicolas’ line ended with his death.
Elodie’s reaching out to me has solved the mystery of Nicolas KREMER (1860-1895) and has added a twig to the KREMER branch in our family tree.
Nicolas had a son Mathias born on 4 September 1890 to his wife Catharina NAU in Dudelange.2 The name given on Nicolas’ death record for his deceased wife was a mistake. I had searched for a death record for her with the wrong name. Nicolas’ wife Catharina NAU died 7 February 1892 at the age of 21.3 Her son Mathias was only seventeen months old.
Mathias was baptized on 7 September 1890. His godparents were his paternal uncle Mathias KREMER and a maternal aunt Anna NAU.4 His baptismal record is annotated with the date and place of his marriage as well as the name of his bride. Mathias married Catharina EICH on 11 December 1919 in Audun-le-Tiche, Moselle, Lorraine, France. The civil records for the département de la Moselle are not yet online for this period. The tables décennales (ten-year lists for BMD) are online and I found the date on the list to be 1 December 1919.5(Something to look into…)
Mathias and Catharina were already parents of a son when they married. Their son Nicolas who was born on 19 November 1919 in Audun-le-Tiche and died in 1992 in Loudun, Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France. Several GEDCOM files were found on Geneanet that include private living persons listed as siblings of this Nicolas. He had at least seven siblings, six of whom are married with children.6 Nicolas was Elodie’s grandfather.
Thanks to Elodie’s getting in touch through my Facebook page and by commenting on my post, another child of Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES is known to have descendants.
At this time, only the fate of Peter born in 1869 is still unknown. Peter had been working in Esch-sur-Alzette for 18 months per his father’s 1890 census record.7 On the 1895 census record, he was found to be working in France – the actual place is not mentioned on the father’s census record.8 Normally only single children working away from home were listed in the parents’ census records in Luxembourg.
Elodie’s ancestor Nicolas (1860) was also listed as working away from home on his father’s 1890 and 1895 census. As I now know, he was not single at the time of either of the enumerations. When the 1890 census was taken on 1 December 1890 Nicolas was not only on his father’s census record but also enumerated in the Italian neighborhood of Dudelange in his own household with his wife and child. Also in Nicolas’ household was his mother-in-law Margaretha TIMMER who was not at home at the time and in Rumelange for the day on a visit.9
If Nicolas was on his father’s census record when he should not have been, what does this mean for his brother Peter? Was he single in 1890 and/or in 1895? Could Anton have given information on his sons even though they were married and no longer his responsibility?
Hearing from Elodie not only pushed me to do new research on the KREMER family but also led me to another cousin. While checking FamilySearch for the records of Nicolas’ wife and son the site froze up on me. As I clicked around trying to solve the problem, I noticed a little red dot on the messages icon in the upper right corner. A researcher from Brazil had left a message for me on March 22 and I was only now seeing it two weeks later. Another one of my husband’s distant cousins from a line that had not been researched due to an unknown emigration in the 1820s.
Have you been reaching out to distant cousins or have distant cousins been getting in touch with you lately?
Christophe HASTERT and Barbara SCHMIT did not make it easy to research this set of 5th great-grandparents for my children. To begin with Christophe’s date of birth was not listed on their 1810 marriage record. He was thirty-two years old, born in Grevenmacher, and his parents Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN were day laborers living Hollenfels.
The Groom’s Family
Mathias HASTERT (1750-aft. 1810) and Anne NIEDERKORN (1755- aft. 1810) were the parents of two known children. No births of children were found in Grevenmacher in 1773 to 1777. On 1 April 1777 a daughter Catharina was born. Twenty months later, a son Christianus was born on 13 December 1778. This fits the age and place of birth for Christophe as seen in his marriage record. Were they the same person?
Both of the HASTERT-NIEDERKORN children were born in Grevenmacher, the town the father Mathias was born in on 25 January 1750. Although I have been able to find more information on the next generation back, I did not find a marriage record for Mathias and Anne. I suspected the family may have done some moving around after Christophe’s birth. How could I prove my suspicions and would any records found help to learn more about Christian/Christophe’s parents?
Let’s Analyze the Marriage Record
Christophe HASTERT married Barbara SCHMIT on 28 November 1810 in Nommern in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The groom’s father Mathias was present and consenting to the marriage. Down at the bottom of the marriage record were four witnesses. The fourth was a young man named Philippe HASTERT age 25 and from Mühlenbach.
Who was Philippe HASTERT?
Mühlenbach is part of the commune of Eich. This is on the outskirts of Luxembourg City and quite large compared to the towns and villages I have been researching. I took the chance that if he was living there in November 1810 he may, in time, also marry there. Surprisingly, I found Philippe married earlier in 1810. His parents were listed as Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN of Hollenfels, both present and consenting to the marriage which took place on 3 March 1810. Christophe was not present or a witness to the marriage. The parents’ names and place of residence confirmed Philippe and Christophe were brothers. Did this help in locating other siblings?
Philippe was born 29 September 1784 in Dudelange. His baptismal record was enlightening. Mathias HASTERT was listed as militis incliti Regimis Kaunitz. Did this mean Mathias was in Franz Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg’s infantry regiment? Being in the militia would explain his not remaining in Grevenmacher were his parents were from. Christian, as Christophe was seen in his baptismal record, was born in 1778 and Philippe in 1784. Six years in which one or two children could be missing. And for the years following Philippe’s birth until his marriage, where did the family live? This question will remain to be answered.
Getting Back to the Marriage Record
Christophe’s bride Barbara SCHMIT was the daughter of Jean SCHMIT (1752-1810) and Maria LENTZ (1759-1824) of Nommern. Barbara was born on 4 December 1783 in Schrondweiler, a part of the commune of Nommern. Her father was not present at the marriage on the 28 November 1810 as he had died only four days earlier.
In the last paragraph seen in this part of the marriage record above, the banns were read on November 11 and November 18 which shows the wedding was planned before the bride’s father passed away.
Barbara’s parents had been married only a little more than three months when she was born. She was the first of nine children born to them. Four of these died very young and only two of Barbara’s sisters are known to have married.
Only Daughters Born to the Couple
Christophe and Barbara were the parents of five daughters. Their not having sons makes it all the more difficult to follow possible descendants who may have already researched the family.
Ch 1: Anna Catharina was born on 15 December in Schrondweiler
Ch 2: Catharina was born 16 July 1815 in Niederglabach
Ch 3: Susanna was born 17 May 1818 in Niederglabach
Ch 4: Apollonia was born 31 March 1821 in Niederglabach
Ch 5: Margaretha was born 30 October 1823 in Niederglabach
The girls’ maternal grandmother Maria LENTZ lived long enough to witness their births. She died on 4 April 1824 in Oberglabach. Niederglabach, Oberglabach, and Schrondweiler were parts of the commune of Nommern.
Christophe and Barbara lost their youngest daughter Margaretha on 22 March 1827 at the age of nearly three and a half years. Five years later their oldest daughters began to marry.
Barbara and Christophe’s second daughter Catharina married Johann Nicolas STROESSER on 19 January 1836 in Nommern. Their third daughter Susanna married Johann RITGEN on 10 August 1841 in Nommern.
The Family Moves to Oberglabach
In 1832 and in 1836 when the first two daughters married Christophe and Barbara were living in Niederglabach. At some time before the 1841 marriage of their daughter Susanna their residence changed to Oberglabach.
On 16 December 1843 when the census was taken in Oberglabach as expected we see Christophe and Barbara with their only single daughter, Apollonia, living at home. However, their married daughter Susanna was listed as well as a young boy named Nicolas RITGEN who was born in 1842 in Useldange. The birth record confirms he was Susanna’s son. The whereabouts of her husband are unknown.
On the 6 December 1846 census Apollonia age 24 was still living with her parents Christophe and Barbara in Oberglabach. Susanna was no longer in the household.
Apollonia HASTERT married Joseph GALLION (1823-1854) on 26 September 1847 in Nommern. She and her husband remained in her parents home and were seen with them on the 31 December 1847 census. The enumerator omitted the location on this census record. The grandson Nicolas RITGEN who had been with his mother in Christophe’s household in 1843 was listed but then marked out.
On the December 1849 census no distinction was made between Niederglabach and Oberglabach and we see only that Christophe and Barbara were living in Gladbach. Apollonia, her husband Joseph, and their nine months old son Nicolas were living in the home as a second family.
Apollonia had another son six months before the 31 December 1851 census. He was listed with the same name as his three years old brother Nicolas. They were living with their parents in their maternal grandparents’ home in Oberglabach. This would be the last time Christophe would be seen on the census. He died on 1 October 1852. His death was reported by Peter LENTZ, a relative of his wife Barbara.
Lenzen House in Oberglabach
In December 1852 the widowed Barbara SCHMIT was living in the household of her son-in-law Joseph GALLION and daughter Apollonia. The two sons were both identified as Nicolas.
Barbara and Christophe’s daughter Susanna at some time went to Paris as she died there on 22 May 1854. Not only Susanna but also Apollonia’s husband Joseph GALLION died while in Paris. Joseph was a mason living in the 9th arrondisement in impasse Putigneux No. 2 and died at 7 in the evening of 1 July 1854 at Parvis Nôtre Dame No. 4.
The address Joseph died at is likely that of Paris’ Hôtel Dieu hospital which is on the square of the Nôtre Dame. Joseph’s death record was acquired in 1860 and recorded in the Nommern death register at the time of his widow’s remarriage. The records for Paris for the years prior to 1860 are missing however some have substitutes in the form of cards with the name, date, and arrondisement. Susanna’s card indicates she also died in the 9th arrondisement. Could she have also been a patient in the hospital? During 1854 there was a cholera epidemic within the walls of the city of Paris.
On 1 December 1858 the widowed Apollonia was the head of household with her three sons and her mother Barbara SCHMIT. Since the 1852 census the house they were living in was named Lenzen. This was very likely the home of Barbara’s mother’s LENTZ family.
The name GALLION is seen (above) as GALGON. Last week while working on the marriages in the 52 Ancestors: #18 The Merckes-Wagener Family of Bettendorf, one of the Merckes sons married a GALION lady. Her name was also seen in some records as GALGON. There may even be a connection between these two individuals who married into the Merckes and Hastert families.
Apollonia married Johann SCHAUS (1830-1869) on 29 December 1860 in Nommern. It was at the time of this marriage that the death record of her first husband was sent for in Paris and recorded in the death register of Nommern.
Barbara SCHMIT continued to live with her daughter Apollonia in the Lenzen house until death. She died at 3 in the afternoon on 29 August 1861 in the home. The death was reported by her new son-in-law Johann SCHAUS. Johann, or the official who recorded the death, incorrectly gave the place of residence of Johann as Niederglabach but correctly noted Lenzen house being in Oberglabach.
Apollonia remained in the Lenzen house after her mother’s death. She gave her second husband two sons, a third was stillborn. Johann SCHAUS died in 1869 leaving her to raise her sons on her own. She died on 30 October 1878. Her death was reported by her son Jean GALLION.
Ten years later the oldest daughter of Christophe and Barbara, Anna Catharina HASTERT, died on 9 May 1888 in Rumelange.
None of the daughters had children who carried on the HASTERT name. Their children were born with the surnames MERKES, RITGEN, GALLION, and SCHAUS. Catharina, the second oldest daughter, married a STROESSER but nothing has been found for her after her marriage. Were there also grandchildren with the STROESSER surname? If you know of any, please get in touch.