P.S. About Pöppelreiter and Cousin Bait

Why do we blog about our genealogy research and our ancestors? For me, it began with wanting to tell their stories, one post at a time. As I’m coming to the end of my fourth year blogging, I’m amazed at the number of distant cousins who have found my blog.

As genealogy bloggers, we can’t just sit back and wait for our posts to bait a new cousin. We also need to actively search for and contact cousins who may help us with our research.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

In my post, Surprising Discovery Made While Researching the Schramen-Schmitt Family I wrote about the Ferschweiler Family Book having information about the emigration of the SCHRAMEN a.k.a. SCHROMEN family to America. Werner Lichter, the compiler of Familienbuch der Gemeinden Eisenach und Gilzem 1550-1900 as well as works on emigration, was cited as the source for the name of the ship they traveled on and the year they went.

I contacted Aaron, a SCHROMEN descendant who has his family tree on Ancestry. Although the information in the FB Ferschweiler seemed to be a match, we needed more information to prove Aaron and I descend from the same ancestor. Best bet would be to go to the original source.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

Werner Lichter had recently commented in a Luxembourg genealogy group so I knew he was on Facebook. I sent him a message asking for help and a friend request just in case he didn’t notice the message.

Werner accepted my friend request about the same time I took my latest 100 km bike ride. We chatted about riding, the weather, that his great-grandfather lived in Echternach for a while, and that he has a PÖPPELREITER connection. Yes, to the family I wrote about yesterday.

Sculpture by Katarzyna Kot-Bach in Wasserbillig, Luxembourg

I’d gotten in touch with Werner to help Aaron trace his immigrant back to Germany. By reaching out to both of them I ended up with not one but two new cousins. Aaron is my 4C1R through Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. Werner and I are 5th cousins as we descend from Johann PÖPPELREITER and Margaret BOMMES.

When was the last time you reached to a cousin or a cousin reached out to you?

Whenever we rode by the fisher sculpture I had to think of cousin bait and how I could work it into a post. Special thanks to my husband for doing the photoshoot with me.


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

Moving Day! Umzug der Daus Bibliothek

logo_klengIn May 2013 I went on a fieldtrip to Germany with my genealogy society Luxracines. Starting with a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship, followed by lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus” and a tour of Peter Daus’ private library, in Haus Daus.

_MG_5159 a
Peter Daus

The library was made up of about 2000 family books for localities in Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland. In comparison, the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg had a collection of about 150 family books for the Eifel area and the Bistumsarchiv (diocese archives) of Trier had about 1200 family books in 2013.

When we visited Mr. Daus’ library I thought it would be my my last chance to see the amazing collection of Family Books as he had plans to dispose of the collection.

Little did I know two and a half years later my husband and I would be making a trip to Wittlich, Germany, to help move Peter Daus’ library to Luxembourg.

Umzug der Daus Bibliothek
30 September 2015

_MG_5152 aPacking boxes had to be set up.

_MG_5158 aThe cabinets were opened and we began filling the boxes,
labelling with felt tip markers, and taping.

_MG_5157 aConditions were a bit cramped and the room heated up as we worked.

_MG_5160 a The boxes had to be transported down one flight of stairs

IMG_1221and loaded into the vehicles.

_MG_5167 aIn less than two hours we had everything packed, loaded,

_MG_5169 aand the cabinets emptied and once again closed.

_MG_5177 aTen of the eleven helpers taking a break after the hard work.
Romain Krier who took most of these photos is missing here.

IMG_1231We enjoyed a nice lunch on the covered terrace of Restaurant Daus before we left Wittlich with Daus Bibliothek for Luxembourg.

IMG_1238In Luxembourg the moving boxes were removed from the vehicules, placed on wooden pallets for easier transportation with the hand pallet truck.

Daus BiblioThe Daus Bibliothek, in it’s temporary storage space.

The permanent location needs to be equipped, the material catalogued and bookshelves filled with the collection.

Until then, be still my impatient genealogy heart….

Photos courtesy of Romain Krier and Rob Deltgen, used with permission.

logo_klengMany thanks to Erich Singer who did a great job filming, cutting and editing.
Click here to watch the video.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey


Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part II

logo_klengMy field trip to Germany last Saturday was a huge success. It was an enjoyable day and the best part was the RESEARCH! With just one hour to check out the genealogy library, it was a good thing I was prepared.

I’d generated ancestral reports in pdf format for all lines with individuals born in what is now Germany and emailed the file to my Kindle Paperwhite so that I wouldn’t be shuffling through all kinds of paper.

In the library, I consulted my reports and worked fast pulling the books on the villages that my ancestors came from. With my Nikon Coolpix (set on macro and without flash) I took pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine. Although time was short and there was not much elbow room, I took nearly 120 photos.

Halfway through evaluating these, I have 50 family groups that fit into my tree. On several lines, I was able to go back 3 generations further than I had. One ancestral couple, Hubert WELTER (d. 1744) and Anna Margaretha BERNARD (d. 1760), turned out to be my 6th and 7th great-grandparents!

I’m going to be busy inputting all of the data, citing the sources, and planning a trip to the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg to look up the families I missed.


A quick explanation of entries in family books: In this photo of family group 822 in Ernzen we see Hubert WEIMANN <858.2> which means that he is the 2nd child of family group 858. Symbols seen are * (birth), oo (marriage), and + (death). Following P.: are names of godparents. Further information for child #3 is found under family group 867.

For the surname PLEIN there were 28 pages in one town – it will take me a while to go through these as the family groups were not numbered or cross-referenced (as in the photo).

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.