Reviewing Research and Records Opens the Door in Regina Huberty’s Brick Wall

When I wrote about my 4th great-grandmother Regina HUBERTY (1761-1840) in my January 2018 post 52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions, I was skating on very thin ice.

I’d found a family register for the parish of Mamer in Luxembourg on FamilySearch in 2016 when I worked on Regina’s daughter Elisabeta FRISCH’s family. A handwritten compilation of information from church records, it includes all Mamer family groups and links parents and children through several generations.

The following are examples of Regina’s family groups:1, 2

Family Register of Mamer with the entry for the Frisch-Huberty family group.
Family Register of Mamer with the entry for the Kalmes-Huberty family group.

The church records for the years 1790-1804 are missing at FamilySearch for the parish of Mamer and affiliated villages. The collection Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 is only a handwritten index to church records for the given years. The Luxembourg diocese has since added church records to Matricula Online including this missing register for Mamer. With the records available for the time Regina lived, I set out to open the door in her brick wall.

Reviewing Records and Research

I still have many 5th great-grandparents who have not been written about on my blog. The parents of my 4th great-grandmother Regina HUBERTY are one of these couples. Only their names were known. In the case of her mother, there were conflicting names.

Regina was married twice. Both marriages and all of her children are noted in the Mamer register entries above. Few records were found in 2018 to confirm the information and I could only reference the register for the children. Regina’s children from both of her marriages were born between 1792 and 1808. Church records are available for 1779 to 1793 and civil records from 1796 to 1923 on FamilySearch. Therefore, baptismal records were not available for seven of her eight children.

Regina’s marriage records had been found and as much information as possible was gleaned from them.

On 3 March 1789, there being no impediment to the marriage, the priest of Mamer and two witnesses were present when Jacob FRISCH, son of the deceased Joannis FRISCH and Margaretha ZEIMET of Huncherange, was united with Regina HUBERTY, daughter of Petri HUBERTY and the deceased Anna BENNERT.3

1789 Marriage Record for Jacobus FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY

The names of the parents matched those in the family register except for Regina’s mother’s name. Her maiden name was recorded as LENNERT in the family register but after a closer perusal of the marriage record, I found the name was written BENNERT. The capital L and B are often confused in the old script as they are similar to the lower case l and b when written in cursive.

Regina HUBERTY married Peter KALMES on 21 December 1801 in Mamer.4

1801 Marriage Record of Peter KALMES and Regina HUBERTY.

Her parents were listed as Peter HUBERTY and Johannata BEREND. Which of the two marriage records for Regina give the correct name for her mother? Were Anna BENNERT and Johannata BEREND the same person? What other sources could I check to solve this question?

Family Relationships and Godparents

As I reviewed the information I had for Regina’s parents, husbands, and children, I made a list of the records to check on Matricula that might help to answer the question of her parentage. I began with the names Peter HUBERTY and Johannata BEREND aka Anna BENNERT. I had no information on them. No known siblings for Regina who might lead to the shared parents.

Normally when children are baptized the godparents are chosen from both sides of the family. Regina’s children’s godparents could lead to siblings of both parents. Although I knew the names of the godparents from the family register, there was no information on where they were from or if they were married. Both of these could be indicators of the relationship between the godparent and the child and his/her parents.

For Regina’s children, in the family register, it was noted that her daughter Susanna FRISCH’s godmother was Susanna HUBERTY and her son Franciscus FRISCH’s godmother was Catharina HUBERTY.

I hadn’t seen Franciscus’ baptismal record until I searched for it last week on Matricula. His godmother was listed as Catharina HUBERTY uxor Nicolai OLINGER figols Nospelt = Catharina wife of Nicolas, a potter from Nospelt.

A search for Catherine’s marriage in an index of the Luxembourg marriages before 1797 turned up this information:5

Nicolas OLINGER and Catherine HUBERTI
Married: 07 Jan 1790 in Schoenberg
Parents: Jean OLINGER (+) – Anne KREMER (+)
Parents: Pierre HUBERTI – Anne BERNARD (+)

Susanna’s baptismal record from 1792 had originally been found on FamilySearch as the years 1779-1793 are available. However, I had missed an important detail in the record. The godmother was listed as Susanna HUBERTI amita. She was an aunt (Latin: amita) of the child and therefore Regina’s sister. No husband is mentioned suggesting she may not have been married at the time. A search for a possible marriage for Susanna turned up this information:6

Nicolas  BREISDORF and Susanne HUBERTI
Married: 16 Nov 1795 in Luxembourg-St Jean
Parents: Nicolas BREISDORF (+) – Susanne VELTER (+)
Parents: Pierre HUBERTI (+) – Jeannette MALLES (+)

The (+) indicates the person was deceased at the time of the noted marriage. Regina’s father was living in 1789 when she married and her mother was deceased. This matches up with Pierre HUBERTI living in 1790 when Catherine married. Regina’s father died on 4 June 17947 and therefore deceased by 1795 when Susanna married. The date of death for Pierre HUBERTI was proven by elimination and will be discussed in another post.

It is possible that Regina, Catherine, and Susanna had the same father. The mother of Regina and Catherine appear to be the same person.

In the family register of Mamer, there are 10 pages of information on HUBERTY families beginning with the earliest two families recorded in the missing church records. In the second generation, there is a Peter (Joannes) HUBERTY and Johanna MALESS who had three children: Catharina in 1766, Susanna in 1767, and Petrus in 1771.8 Church records for these births/baptisms are not available on Matricula or FamilySearch.

A marriage record for the HUBERTY-MALESS couple was not found. MALESS and MALLES could be different spellings for the same name. As the baptismal records for the children are not available, I put this aside for later reference, keeping in mind that the daughters Catharina and Susanna might be the godmothers of Regina’s children.

More pieces to the puzzle

If Catherine HUBERTY, wife of Nicolas OLINGER, and Regina were sisters then the baptismal records of the children of the OLINGER-HUBERTY couple might include godparents proving the siblingship.

Records for the first two children of the couple were quickly accessed as an index was found for baptisms in Schoenberg up to 1797 that included the year, entry number, and page number of the register. Their first child was a daughter named Regina and her godmother was Regina HUBERTY of Capellen.9

As Regina was the godmother of Catherine’s first child, can it be assumed that Pierre HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD listed Catherine’s parents on her marriage record are the parents of both Catharine and Regina?

I search for and located a marriage for Pierre HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD in the Luxembourg marriage index:10

Married: 16 Jun 1761 in Schoenberg
Parents: N. HUBERTI – N. N.
Parents: N. BERNARD – N. N.
Note: N. indicates unknown

The marriage record is a short two lines without information on the parents of either the bride or groom. Petrus HUBERTI was from Mamer and Anne BERNARD was from Nospelt.11

1761 Marriage Record for Petrus HUBERTI and Anna BERNARD

As the marriage took place in 1761, I searched the Schoenberg register for children of this marriage baptized between 1760 and 1770.

To my surprise, the first record I found confirmed my theory that Peter HUBERTI and Anne BERNARD were Regina’s parents and my 5th great-grandparents.

1761 Baptismal Record No. 10 for Regina HUBERTI

Regina was baptized on 3 March 1761, the daughter of Joanna BERENT of Nospelt and Petri HUBERTI of Mamer. The word illegitimate is crossed out. She was legitimized with the subsequent marriage of her parents three months later. Her godparents were Joannes BETTENDORFF and Regina KRANTZ both of Nospelt.12 At least one of these godparents would lead to the grandparents.

A sister Catherine was born/baptized on 20 May 1762 in Nospelt. Her parents’ names on the record were Petri HUBERTI and Anna BERNARD, the names seen on the marriage record.13 Born a year after Regina, she might be the same Catherine who married Nicolas OLINGER a year after Regina married.

No further baptisms were found in Nospelt suggesting the family moved to Mamer after May of 1762.

In the Family Register of Mamer, Regina is listed as the wife of Jacob FRISCH and of Peter KALMES in the respectively family group listings as they were married in Mamer and children were born in Capellen, a part of Mamer. Regina’s parents were from Capellen per both of her marriage records but Regina isn’t listed in any of the HUBERTY family groups. This is an indication that her parents did not marry in the Mamer parish and Regina was not born in Capellen or Mamer as was confirmed by the records found in Nospelt. Regina was not born in Capellen as indicated in her 1801 marriage record.

Admitting to a mistake

While reviewing and doing new research, I failed to read over Regina’s marriage records until I began to write this post. I found I’d misread Regina’s year of birth given on her second marriage record. This was my only source for her birth/baptism in 2018. I’d transcribed tausend sieben hundert sechzig vier (1764) instead of tausend sieben hundert sechzig eins (1761).

I should have realized the error as the marriage took place in 1801 and Regina was forty years old, i.e. born in 1761. However, I had allowed myself to be influenced by a date (13 March 1764) seen in a family tree. I’d noticed the date was the 3rd and not the 13th but I failed to see the word for the last digit in the year of birth was eins and not vier. Corrections have been made to the FamilySearch Family Tree and my online GEDCOM files on Luxracines, Ancestry (private/searchable), and Geneanet (ancestors-only for DNA).

Connecting the loose ends

While browsing the death records in the parish register of Mamer on Matricula, I found Joannetha MALES, wife of Peter HUBERTY, who died on 23 May 1793 in Capellen.14 Peter died the following year on 4 June 1794. Both were deceased in 1795 and the names match the names of the parents found on Susanna HUBERTY’s marriage record. Susanna was listed as the aunt of Susanna FRISCH, the oldest daughter of Regina HUBERTY, indicating Susanna and Regina were siblings. Regina’s mother was deceased in 1789 therefore they shared only a father, Peter HUBERTY, and were half-sisters.

The names found for Regina’s mother were: Joanna BERENT on the 1761 baptismal record, Anna BENNERT on the 1789 marriage record, and Johannata BEREND on the 1801 marriage records. In records for Regina’s sister Catherine, her mother was Anna BERNARD. Regina and Catherine were full sisters.

Regina’s godfather Joannes BETTENDORFF was the husband of Elisabeth BERNARD, daughter of Mathias BERNARD and Margaretha BIREN of Nospelt. It is my belief that Regina’s mother Anna/Joanna was a younger sister of Elisabeth.

Going through all baptismal records of the Kehlen parish to which Nospelt belonged, I found only one couple named BERENS with the first names Mathias and Margaretha. They had children from 1728 to 1745 including a daughter baptized on 24 May 1742 named Joanna BERENS.15 A baptismal record for Elisabeth who was born about 1720-1723 (married in December 1741) has not been found. The family name evolved from BERENS to BERENT to BERNARD.

It’s often hard to see the big picture. Hopefully, I have not confused my readers and you will agree with me that Regina HUBERTY’s mother was a lady named Anna (Joanna) BERNARD of Nospelt. Regina’s mother is no longer just a name but a person who has records that lead to her parents, siblings, and perhaps even grandparents.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. “Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch, Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 59 of 375. ( : accessed 25 November 2015) 
  2. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > image 155 of 375. ( : accessed 28 November 2015) 
  3. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 106 of 168. 1789 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 29 November 2015). 
  4. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1176 of 1504. 1801 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 26 March 2010). 
  5.   “Marriages before 1797”, searchable database, Luxracines ( 
  6. Ibid. 
  7. Luxembourg Church Records, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1790-1804 > image 27 of 30. 1794 Death Entry (75 years old). ( : accessed 5 January 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes 1718-1940, familles alphabétique > images 89-93 of 375. Entries for Huberty families. ( : 9 January 2015). 
  9. Ibid., Schoenberg > Baptêmes 1760-1797 > image 120 of 169 > page 232. 1791 Baptismal Record No. 6. ( : 9 January 2015). 
  10. “Marriages before 1797.” 
  11. Luxembourg Church Records, Schoenberg > Tables des mariages, mariages 1756-1793 > image 8 of 88 > page 9, entry 1761 No. 2. 1761 Marriage Record No. 2. ( : accessed 4 April 2021),. 
  12. Matricula Online, Luxembourg, Microfilm GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-06, Taufen – 1760 – 1796, image 3 of 167, page 3, baptismal record 10. 1761 Baptismal Record No. 10. ( : accessed 3 April 2021). 
  13. Ibid., image 6 of 167, page 8, entry number 16. 1762 Baptismal Record No. 16. ( : accessed 3 April 2021). 
  14. Ibid., Mamer, KB-18, Taufen – Heiraten – Sterbefälle – 1779 – 1793, image 170 of 172, page 347, 4th entry. “.” 1793 Death/Burial Record. ( : accessed 6 April 2021). 
  15. Ibid., Microfilm GV.MF 172-285, Kehlen, KB-02, TTaufen – 1708 – 1760, image 98 of 158, page 193. 1742 Baptismal Record (right page, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 6 April 2021). 

Teaching a Friend to Find Records on FamilySearch

Amy Cohen of Brotmanblog: A Family Journey writes about her Jewish ancestors documenting their descendants’ lines to the present time. By reading her blog for the past several years, I’ve learned about Jewish families, customs, and traditions.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, Amy reached out to me for help. She’d been researching her relative Falk Goldschmidt using the Ancestry collection Mannheim, Germany, Family Registers, 1760-1900 (available in the World subscription). The original source is digital images of Polizeipräsidium Mannheim Familienbögen, 1800-1900 at the Mannheim State Archive.

From the description of the collection on Ancestry: When a family moved into their home, they registered at the local police station. Anytime a child was born or a household member married, died, or moved out, it was recorded on the family register with the civil authorities.

While looking into Falk, she came across two entries in the family registers for his marriage on the same date, 18 October 1868, to Clara “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of David, and to Pauline “Babetta” Carlebach, the daughter of Julius.

Ancestry image ( : accessed 6 January 2021)
Ancestry image ( : accessed 6 January 2021)

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy posted both images on the GerSIG: German Jewish Genealogy Special Interest Group on Facebook. Michael, a member of the group, amazingly (to her) almost immediately found both a birth and marriage record on FamilySearch for Clara/Babetta/Pauline.

Amy wrote, “I can’t read either, and I tried to retrace his steps to find them myself, but couldn’t begin to do so because (1) I can’t read the script and (2) I have no idea how he narrowed down the search to find the right pages or even the right matrikel.”

In reaching out to me, Amy had three questions:

  • First, can you translate all of these for me? I know that’s a lot, and Michael gave me the essentials, but I want to be sure I haven’t missed anything.
  • How do you explain the conflict in the Family Registers? A clerical error? It sure seems that Babetta was the daughter of Julius/Juda, not David.
  • And finally—how in the world did Michael locate the birth and marriage records so quickly? I know being able to read the script is a huge step, but how did he narrow down which matrikel and then locate the page?

She also wrote, “I figured I would ask the third question. I’d much rather be able to do this myself at some point—assuming I can also put in the time and effort to learn how to read that awful script.”

Locating Records on FamilySearch

After this lengthy introduction, I’ll now come to the point of this post. How the birth and marriage records were found so quickly by Michael.

If the geographical location (in this case, Mannheim) and the time period (in this case, 1844-1845) can be narrowed down then FamilySearch‘s catalog is the key to finding records. It is important to read through the description of the collection found in the catalog as well as any further information included under NOTES.

These are the steps I shared with Amy for finding the birth records of the young women associated with the marriage of Falk Goldschmidt.

Go to the Catalog on FamilySearch. The catalog is in the dropdown menu Search. I’ve bookmarked it as it is the first place I go to search.

Type Mannheim in the search box for Place. For this search, it automatically brought up Germany, Baden, Mannheim at the top of the list. I usually leave the Availability selection on Any so that I can see all collections available. Click Search.

On the list of Mannheim collections that comes up, you can open each category. I chose Germany, Baden, Mannheim – Jewish records ( 6 ) as your research is for Jewish families. My second choice would have been Civil Registrations which contains Familienstandsbogen, 1807-1900. This is the collection that you found to be indexed on Ancestry. [A collection on Ancestry that requires a World subscription but is FREE on FamilySearch.]

Open up the Jewish Records to view the 6 collections. The first two are for Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim. The next two are for Feudenheim. The last two are for records outside of the period you wanted to search. We are only interested in the first two.

Open the first two in new windows. [I use The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck’s tip: Ctrl+left mouse click.] This brings up the catalog information for each.

While trying to figure out the easiest way to explain to you how I found the records on FamilySearch, I discovered that the two collections were actually the same but filmed at different times. This is where reading the notes on a collection comes in handy. [There is an advantage to having duplicates as images were filmed or digitized under different conditions and may be easier to decipher in one collection than in the other.]

Note: The collections appear to be duplicated from the Mannheim birth register. I cannot be sure but it looks like they extracted all Jewish records from the main register of births to make this Jewish collection.

One of the collections was filmed by the Reichssippenamt, Berlin, in 1937. The left-side pages were filmed separately from right-side pages and sometimes in reverse order. The other collection is of microfilm recordings of duplicates in the Badisches Generallandesarchiv, Karlsruhe. The images are the same only that in the second the left and right pages are on one image – making them much easier to search through.

Before we go into browsing, you need to be able to recognize title pages in the collections so that you can navigate (browse) them. For each year, the records are arranged by births, marriages, and deaths (normally, in this order). If they are out of order, it is helpful to know how the German words are written in the old script.

Browsing the FamilySearch collection

In the Matrikel, 1805-1870 for Mannheim we want to find the 1844 birth record of Clara and the 1845 birth record of Pauline.

You will want to use the “3 microfilms collection” and the film for the years up to 1859. The 3rd microfilm in this collection is restricted. You can use the search feature but the images aren’t available online. You can, however, view them in the “9 microfilms collection” in the 8th and 9th microfilm (not restricted).

Click on the camera of the microfilm for Geburten, Heiraten, Tote 1815-1859. This is where browsing comes into play. It isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you might think. The records are in chronological order. For each year you will find a title page for births, marriages, and deaths. There are 44 years of records. The years 1844-1845 are about 2/3 of the way timewise but there are usually more records in later years than in early years so I would suggest jumping in at the middle with image 400.

The first title page with the type of record following image 400 is on image 403 and is for the year 1841 Trauungs-Register (marriages).

Click on Browse Multiple Images (tile button) to see the small images. Notice that microfilm item 3 ends and item 4 starts in the row of images after image 403. This is where the year 1842 begins. Count over three title pages per year to get to the year 1844.

If you check the title pages for 1844 you will find two for births. For some reason, the births for this year were extracted twice. As you know from the image of Clara’s birth record you received from your help angel, her entry was the last for 1844 and followed by the index.

The index gives you the page number but not the date of birth. The indexes for births for 1844 are on images 451 and 458. The script used in this collection can be difficult to decipher. To help you find the Carlebach child’s name in the index, you need to become familiar with the letters.

As you can see the capital B and L are very similar. Since this is in alphabetical order, it is a good example to use for comparison. The capital C is similar to our E which is confusing until you get used to the script. In the list, the surnames beginning with C are for Cohn Ferdinand, Carlebach Heinrich, and Carlebach Clara (später Babetta). I only figured out the word später (later) after I did the screenshot annotations. [This indicates a later change in name.]

Clara’s record of birth is on page 8, the left page on this image. It is the last birth to be recorded. Labeled 35 in the margin at the bottom of page 8, it continues on page 9 at the top. Hirsch Traub, the scribe who made the entries, used the # sign to indicate missing words that he added in the margin. He made quite a few corrections including some on both records found for Clara (1844).

The Carlebach child born in 1845 was named Paulina. In Browse Multiple Images view, skip past the title page for 1844 marriages and 1844 deaths to 1845 births. Go to the last birth image with the index. Carlebach Paulina is on page 6. Go back to page 6. Her record is #26.

Rabbit holes

There were a lot of emails flying back and forth between Amy and me. She had many questions and quickly learned to browse the images even though her biggest handicap was not being able to read the script. We both went down rabbit holes trying to find answers to the questions we had concerning the fact that the two young girls were born close together to parents who shared the same surname – not only the fathers’ surname but also the mothers’ maiden name – and they both had their birth name changed to Babetta. Amy amazed me (and herself) by finding a death record which put much in perspective.

Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin? 

Amy had one remaining question she asked me early on in our email exchange about the script. Is it Kurrent or Sutterlin?

I really don’t bother thinking about which script it is. It’s like being multi-lingual. You switch between languages without thinking about the language you are using.

I had to actually look up what the difference is between the two. Kurrent was used from about 1865 and Sutterlin earlier. I’d say these records are in Sutterlin. I find Kurrent harder to read than Sutterlin. Kurrent looks to me like half the letters are m’s.

My father-in-law helped me in my early days and I learned to recognize letters that usually go together. When I’m really stuck on a word, I try to trace over the lines so that the letters will stand out for me. The more you work with the records the easier (yeah) it gets. After taking a break, it takes me a while to get back to my reading level. [Transcripts of the German text and translations of the records found were sent to Amy.]

Was Babetta the daughter of David or Julius?

Amy learned how to find the records on FamilySearch. Did they help her resolve her research question concerning the two ladies named Babetta? Her post for Falk Goldschmidt with the answer to this question and this post will be published simultaneously. To read about Falk and the two women associated with his marriage date, please visit her article The Mystery of Falk Goldschmidt’s Wife: A Lesson in German Vital Records on her blog Brotmanblog: A Family Journey.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: Luxembourg Civil Marriage Records and Their Amazing Detail

In my post Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records I shared a lengthy reply I sent to J. who posed a question via the contact form on Luxracines website asking for assistance on finding a Luxembourg civil birth record.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, J. had a follow-up question.

Another question, how do you proceed if you don’t have the date of birth or place?  For instance, the father Johann Peter Garnich.  How would I look for his father?

I hadn’t put her off with my lengthy answer and she appeared interested in learning. So once again I sent off a detailed reply.

Finding the date of marriage in the ten-year index

I was expecting your next question. That’s the reason I mentioned the tables décennales (TD) in my previous email.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the previous directions to find the record.

If a couple was having children in a commune, it was often also the place they married. By searching the tables décennales of Bettembourg where the child was born, you should be able to find a date of marriage for the parents in turn aiding you in finding the marriage record.

Details in marriage records

Marriage records are amazing due to the details they contain. They include the following information for the groom and the bride: name, occupation, age, place of residence, date and place of birth, names of the parents. This is followed by information for the parents: names, occupation, age, and place of residence. If any of the parents are deceased, the date and place of death are given. Four witnesses (name, age, occupation, residence) are also given and their relationship to the bride or groom is usually mentioned.

In my early days of research, I quickly learned marriage records had enough information to take me back a generation at a time.

As an aside, Luxracines has a very large database of civil marriages in Luxembourg (complete). It includes marriages of Luxembourgers in the bordering areas of Belgium (a work in progress) and Germany as well as several large cities (Paris, for example) known to have had workers from Luxembourg. Luxracinces is now accepting subscriptions for the year 2021 giving members access to the website and databases until January 2022. See the section on Becoming a Member on the Luxracines website. [I included this as she had initiated contact on the website.]

The entry in the tables décennales

Your couple of interest is in the above-mentioned marriage database with a date of marriage in Bettembourg in 1883. Without this information, you could have looked at the tables décennales to find their names and date of marriage. This is the page they are on in the TD on FamilySearch:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1).
Close-up of the entry for Jean Pierre GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN (seen here as Elise SCHALTGEN). Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2).

Click on the tiles button to view the small images. You can see the difference between the lists for births and deaths and the list for marriages. The marriage list always has two names and therefore looks different from the birth and death lists making it easy to navigate the images and each batch of 10 years.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3).

Now that you have the date of marriage, I’ll let you search for the record. When you find the marriage record, let me know and I’ll try to help you decipher the handwriting and point out the information from the record.

Locating the marriage record

Less than two hours later, J. sent me three links. The first was for a marriage record from 1884 instead of 1883. I had failed to be more precise about the index’s location in the marriage register. The second link she sent was the index to the 1883 marriages and included the names of the couple. The third link she sent was the link to the actual 1883 marriage record. Good work!

A detail I failed to pass on to J. is that the index is normally at the end of the year. She needed to go back through the images to find the record instead of forward from the index (i.e. the reason she found the 1884 marriage record first).

Before I went into the details concerning the marriage record, I gave J. some advice on citing the source of the marriage record.

Cite your Source

If you click on the Information tab at the bottom of the screen and scroll down in the small window, you will find the citation. Click on Copy Citation to save it. This will be extremely helpful when you want to point someone else to the marriage record. If the link is ever changed the waypoints > will help you or them to find the record again.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

This is the Source Citation:

“Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 17 July 2014), Bettembourg > Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1885 > image 571 of 1479; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg.

I always replace the date following the link with “accessed [the date accessed]” for later reference.

Annotations and translation of the marriage record

The marriage record of Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN is in German, the official language used at this time in Luxembourg.

1883 Marriage Record No. 5 for Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN in Bettembourg. Image courtesy of FamilySearch (see citation above)

This is the first part of the marriage record which deals with the groom.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

In the year 1883, the 22nd of May at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, (followed by the name of the civil servant of the commune of Bettembourg in Luxembourg) came before us Johann Peter Garnich (occupation), 28 years old, born in Bettembourg the 8 November 1854, a resident of Bettembourg, of age son of the here present and consenting parents Peter Garnich and Katharina Wind, a married couple, farmers living in Bettembourg. The civil birth record of the groom was found in the register of this commune.

Part two with the information on the bride:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

And Elisabeth Scheltgen, without an occupation, 25 years old, born in Bergem in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange) the 11 January 1858, a resident of Bergem, of age daughter of the here present and consenting parents Michel Scheltgen, an innkeeper, and Helena Nicola, without an occupation, residents of Bergem. An abstract of the birth record of the bride was furnished.

Part three concerning the banns, records read at the marriage, etc.

Who have asked us to proceed to the consummation of their marriage as agreed between them, and their proclamations, [place and date of the first reading of the banns, place and date of the second reading of the banns] were read the Sundays 6th and 13th of this month of May in this commune in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange).

Since no objection to the intended marriage has been announced to us, we give justice to their request; and after we have read out all the above-mentioned acts (birth records) and the sixth chapter of the civil code, entitled Marriage, we have asked the bridegroom and the bride whether they will take each other as husband and wife; since both replied, each specially and in the affirmative, we declare in the name of the law that Johann Peter Garnich and Elisabeth Scheltgen are united by marriage.

This is the last part of the marriage record.

Of all this, we have established this act in the presence of:
Nikolaus Mootz, without occupation, 88 years resident of Bettembourg, not related to bride and groom
Jakob Hoscheit, (occupation) 29 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Bernard Klinsch, day laborer, 37 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Johann Kunsch, day laborer, 21 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Who, after reading all to them, signed with us.
The mother of the bride declared not being able to write.

[Followed by signatures of the bride, groom, parents, 4 witnesses, and the civil servant]

The bride Elisabeth must have gone by Lisa as she signed Scheltgen Lisa. I thought this was an interesting detail and makes it more personal.

Occupation of the groom and the 2nd witness

Now it’s your turn to help J.  I was not able to decipher the occupation of the groom on this marriage record. The second witness appears to have had the same occupation. If anyone can help out, I’ll pass the information on to J.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records

As a member of the board of my Luxembourgish genealogy society Luxracines, I receive copies of the emails from visitors to our website. Often they are in French or German and answered by other members of the board. When they are in English, I help out with replies.

Recently the following message was received from J.:

Re: birth records
Looking for parents names for Peter (Pierre) John Garnich Born: Bettembourg, Canton d’Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, 29 Oct 1889. Any assistance would be appreciated.

I could have sent a quick one-liner with the names of the parents to the person making the inquiry. It would have been quick and easy but I don’t think it would have benefitted the person asking the question.

Any assistance would be appreciated…

J. wanted assistance in finding the parents of a person born in Luxembourg in 1889. I wanted my answer to also help her with FUTURE queries she may have on her ancestors in Luxembourg. The screenshots were not included in the email as I wanted J. to follow the instructions and have the wowser moment of finding the record on her own.

When a one-line question gets you a tutorial

Hello J.,

You can easily find the civil birth record of your ancestor by accessing FamilySearch’s database Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1796-1941.

You have his date of birth and his place of birth which will aid in your search. As Bettembourg is not one of the communes that have been indexed by FamilySearch, you will have to browse the collection instead of using their search engine. This is the case for most communes as indexing is ongoing and as far as I know, they have only finished Esch and Luxembourg City. Browsing the collection is not as hard as it sounds.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1)

Click on Browse through 767,518 images to see the list of communes.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2)

Click on Bettembourg to see the records available for the town your person of interest was born in.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3)

Choose the record collection that includes births (naissances) for 1889. The collection you want to look into is Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances 1796-1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

There are 1468 images in this collection. Don’t let this stop you. The collection has two parts. Tables décennales (ten-year index) and Naissances (births) – in most cases the names of the database reflect the order of the records in the microfilm. The births go to 1890, a year after the birth you are looking for. Therefore the register for 1889 will be nearly at the end. Choose image number 1468 and click on the tiles icon at the upper left of the images.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

This will give you a view of the images at the end of the collection. The last two images on the microfilm look like lists. Click on the left one. At the top, it shows this is the index for the year 1890.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

Click on the tile icon again to view the images. Going backward, look for the image with an index for the previous year. (see screenshot 5, green box in the first row of images)

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (7)

The index is in alphabetical order. Your GARNICH person of interest is on the first page, Johann Peter Joseph born on 29 October with record #54. Since this is close to the end of the year, you can use the back button on the image numbers to go back two images to record #54.

If it had been #10, you would click the tile icon again, look for the beginning of the records for 1889, then go to the 4th image for record #10 (as #1 is always on the first page followed by 4 records per image).

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (8)

Now comes the hardest part: reading the record. The records are filled in as opposed to completely written in longhand which makes it easy to pick out the names.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (9): Father, mother, and child’s names

The informant of the birth (line 5) was his father Johann Peter GARNICH. In the middle of the record (line 12) you will see the child was named Johann Peter Joseph. In the two handwritten lines above his name is the information on the mother. Her name was Elisabeth SCHELTGEN and she was 34 years old, without an occupation, and residing with the informant.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the above directions to find the record.

Although your question was simple and could have been answered with the names: Johann Peter GARNICH and his wife Elisabeth SCHELTGEN, I felt it more helpful to you to know how I found the answer. This will aid you in your future research of your Luxembourg ancestors.

Permission to use the question in this blog post was obtained from J. She had a follow-up question which will be shared in my next post.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Mary and her child Esther

While researching my families who lived in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) I found the following record which names two enslaved persons.

This indenture names female slave Mary & her child Esther, together with all and singular the natural increase of both said slaves.1

1846 Hix to J. B. Cobbs Indenture

In the margin:

Hix to J.D. Cobbs final

Tax paid J.A.N.

Delivered to
Jno. Clowes for ____
his mother.

This Indenture made and entered into this 22nd day of September 1845 by and between William Hicks of Amherst County of the first part. Emma Clowes the wife of Sidney B. Clowes and James M. Cobbs of the Town of Lynchburg of the second and third parts. Witnesseth: that whereas the said William Hicks is desirous to settle upon and secure to the sole & separate use of the said Emma Clowes, one female slave named Mary and her child Esther, together with the increase of both said slaves, to be held and enjoyed by the said Emma for and during her natural life, and at her death to go to & belong to the child or children of said Emma, share & share alike or the survivors of them by the present or any future husband, and the descendants of any who may die before the mother, such descendants taking such share or shares as their parents or parents would have taken, had he she or they survived the said Emma. Now therefore in considerations of the premises, and the further consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid to the said William Hicks, at & before the enscaling and delivery of these presents, the receipts of which is hereby fully acknowledged, he the said Hicks hath bargained & sold & delivered and by these presents do bargain sell and deliver unto the said James M. Cobbs, the said female slave Mary & her child Esther, together with all and singular the natural increase of both said slaves. To have & to hold the said slaves together with their increase, the said William Hicks for himself his Exors & admins doth hereby warrant & defend a good lawful and sufficient right & titles as against himself his executors & admrs. & as against all & every person or persons, claiming by through or under him and not otherwise. In trust nevertheless that it shall be the duty of the said James M. Cobbs to permit the said Emma Clowes to have take & enjoy the hires use & profits of the said slaves & their increase for and during her natural life as a sole and separate estate free from the actual contracts or liabilities of her said husband or of any future husband. And at her death shall cause the said slaves together with all & singular their future increase to be equally divided amongst the children or child of said Emma who may survive her, and amongst the descendants of any child who may have died before her, giving to such descendant or descendants only such share as their parent or parents would have taken had he or she survived her or her mother. In testimony of all which the parties hereto have signed their names sealed with their seals the day & year above written.
J. J. Watson

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Hix
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emma Clowes
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James M. Cobbs
In the Clerks Office of the Lynchburg Hustings? Court, March 10th 1846.
. . . . . . This deed from William Hix to James M. Cobbs for the benefit of Emma Clowes, which was acknowledged by all the parties before the clerk on the 15th January 1846, was this day admitted to record, the tax thereon being paid.
. . . . . . . Teste
. . . . . . . . . James Benagh clk

Clerks Office of Greenbrier
County Court October 13th 1847
. . . . . . . . This deed was this day presented in the office and with the above certificates of the acknowledgments, is admitted to record.
. . . . . . . Teste
. . . . . . . . . John A. North D.C

About the persons in the indenture

William Hicks was found in Amherst County in 1840 as William Hix with 12 slaves.2

Emma Clowes was born Emma Handley, daughter of Alexander Handley. She married Sydney Bailey Clowes in Botetourt County, Virginia, in 1833.3 Both of her parents were deceased when the indenture was drawn up.

In 1850 S. B. Clowes was on the Slave Schedule of Greenbrier County, Virginia, with one 25 years old female black and one 7 years old female black.4

By 1860 the Clowes family had moved to Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. S. B. Clowes was on the Slave Schedule with four black females ages: 35, 18, 9, and 6.5 Could they be Mary and her daughter Esther as well as two daughters born to Mary after 1850?

Sydney B. Clowes was listed on the 18506, 18607, and 18708 census as a Stage Agent.

As the slave schedule does not give names of the enslaved persons it is a guess on my part that Mary may have been born about 1825 and Esther may have been born about 1843 and seen on the 1850 schedule. Mary was the mother of Esther per the indenture. Mary may have also been the mother of the two younger girls born about 1851 and 1854 and seen on the 1860 schedule.

It has been a while since I’ve been able to release the names found in records as I am only now getting back to doing US research. In hopes that Mary and Esther will be recognized by descendants and this will help them to break through their brick wall.

True's statementFollowing my three-part series on the slaves of my 5th great grandfather James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post every month until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors.

These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project (About the Project) administered by Schalene Jennings Dagutis who also blogs at Tangled Roots and Trees.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Greenbrier County (West Virginia) County Clerk, “Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901” (non-indexed images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg, West Virginia), Film 593555, DGS #8152881, Deeds, v. 17-18 1843-1851, image 174+175 of 612, page 333-334. Hix to J. D. Cobb Indenture. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  2. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 550, Family History Library Film: 0029683, Virginia, Amherst, Page: 209, line 3, William Hix. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  3.   “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940” (index), Ancestry, citing FamilySearch, Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City., FHL Film Number: 30734, page 366. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  4. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry, citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Slave Schedule, Virginia, Greenbrier, image 2 of 7, line 1-2, S. B. Clews. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  5. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Slave Schedule, Virginia, Rockbridge, Lexington, page 6, line 14-17, S. B. Clowes. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  6. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Virginia, Greenbrier, District 18, image 252, page 283A, S. B. Clows household. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  7. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Virginia, Rockbridge, Lexington, page 24, Sidney B. Clowes household. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 
  8. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1675, Family History Library Film: 553174, Virginia, Rockbridge, Lexington, page 477B, Sydnor Clows household. ( : accessed 2 January 2020). 

Genealogy Toolbox: Links to West Virginia Land Deeds on FamilySearch

As I’m back to working on US families, I found it necessary to search the catalog at FamilySearch for records which would help to fill in the timeline of the ancestors.

The people at FamilySearch have been busy changing the availability of collections in their catalog. More and more can be viewed at our leisure from home instead of in a family history center or an affiliated library.

Last year I found Mason County Land Deeds were online which helped with The Estate of William Clonch (1807-1863) of Mason County, West Virginia. Land deeds for Greenbrier and Monroe counties were found with the camera icon when I worked on my last post, The Ancestors: Bailey WOOD and Nancy, his wife (392 & 393).

I’ve been waiting quite some time for the Nicholas County land deeds to be available as I have a special project planned for an ancestor from the county. Nicholas County, West Virginia County Clerk has a site for Public Records Search. All of the land deeds are indexed and linked to the deeds on the site. However, downloading images from the site was not possible. I sent an email to the county clerk requesting permission to use screenshots from the site but never received a reply. Last week I found the land deeds are now available online on FamilySearch.

When I realized Nicholas (and most of the counties I research) were available, I decided to share the links in a blog post. As I checked the catalog, I found land deeds are available for 54 of the 55 West Virginia counties.

The links below will take you to the FamilySearch catalog page for the land deeds of each county. Below the description, you will find the BROWSE-ONLY collections. Most counties include an index of grantee (a person to whom a grant or conveyance is made) and index of grantor (a person or institution that makes a grant or conveyance) which facilitates the search.

Land Deeds and Index to Deeds for West Virginia counties

Barbour County est. 1843 from Harrison, Lewis, and Randolph counties
Deeds, 1843-1965

Berkeley County est. 1772 from Frederick County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1772-1926

Boone County est. 1847 from Cabell, Kanawha, and Logan counties
Deeds, 1847-1968

Braxton County est. 1836 from Kanawha, Lewis, and Nicholas counties
Deeds, 1836-1969

Brooke County est. 1796 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1797-1901; deed index, 1797-1948

Cabell County est. 1809 from Kanawha County
Deed records, 1808-1901; index to deeds, 1808-1968

Calhoun County est. 1856 from Gilmer County
Deeds, 1856-1903; index to deeds, 1856-1969

Clay County est. 1858 from Braxton and Nicholas counties
Deed books, 1858-1914

Doddridge County est. 1845 from Harrison, Lewis, Ritchie, and Taylor counties
Deeds, 1845-1912; deed index, 1845-1970

Fayette County est. 1831 from Kanawha, Greenbrier, Logan, and Nicholas counties
Deed book, 1831-1902; deed book index, 1831-1951

Gilmer County est. 1845 from Kanawha and Lewis counties
Deeds, 1845-1902; index to deeds, 1845-1969

Grant County est. 1866 from Hardy County
Deeds, 1865-1908; index to deeds, 1866-1969

Greenbrier County est. 1778 from Montgomery County (Virginia) and Botetourt County (Virginia)
Deeds (Greenbrier County, West Virginia), 1780-1901
Deed index, 1780-1969 (11 of the 35 are not yet online)

Hampshire County est. 1754 from Augusta County (Virginia) and Frederick County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1757-1901; index to deeds, 1757-1969

Hancock County est. 1848 from Brooke County
Deeds, 1863-1902; deed index, 1848-1928

Hardy County est. 1786 from Hampshire County
Deeds, 1786-1901; index to deeds, 1786-1970

Harrison County est. 1784 from Monongalia County
Deeds, 1786-1903; deed index, 1786-1923

Jackson County est. 1831 from Kanawha, Mason, and Wood counties
Deed books, 1831-1901

Jefferson County est. 1801 from Berkeley County
Deeds, 1801-1901; deed index, 1801-1968

Kanawha County est. 1789 from Greenbrier and Montgomery County (Virginia)
Record of deeds, 1790-1946

Lewis County est. 1816 from Harrison County
Deeds, 1817-1902; deed index, 1817-1965

Lincoln County est. 1867 from Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, and Putnam counties
No deed books (online) found in the catalog.

Logan County est. 1824 from Cabell and Kanawha counties, Giles County (Virginia), and Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deed books, 1835-1968

Marion County est. 1842 from Harrison and Monongalia counties
Deeds, 1842-1905; deed index, 1842-1968

Marshall County est. 1835 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1835-1901; index to deeds, leases, etc., 1835-1971

Mason County est. 1804 from Kanawha County
Deed books, 1803-1901

McDowell County est. 1858 from Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1868-1969

Mercer County est. 1837 from Giles County (Virginia) and Tazewell County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1837-1900; index to deeds, 1837-1968

Mineral County est. 1866 from Hampshire County
Deeds, 1866-1903; index to deeds, 1806-1969

Mingo County est. 1895 from Logan County
Deeds, 1836-1955

Monongalia County est. 1776 from Augusta County (Virginia)
Deeds (Monongalia County, West Virginia), 1789-1900; indexes to deeds, 1789 (1776?)-1935

Monroe County est. 1799 from Greenbrier County
Deed book, 1789-1901; deed index, 1789-1969

Morgan County est. 1820 from Berkeley and Hampshire counties
Deeds, 1820-1969

Nicholas County est. 1818 from Greenbrier, Kanawha, and Randolph counties
Deed book, 1818-1907; deed book index, 1818-1969

Ohio County est. 1776 from Augusta County (Virginia)
Deeds, 1778-1901; index to deeds, 1778-1935

Pendleton County est. 1788 from Augusta County (Virginia), Rockingham County (Virginia), and Hardy
Deeds, 1788-1902; deed index, 1788-1951

Pleasants County est. 1851 from Ritchie, Tyler, and Wood counties
Deeds, 1851-1904; deed index, 1851-1948

Pocahontas County est. 1821 from Bath County (Virginia), Pendleton, and Randolph
Deeds, 1822-1904; index to deeds, 1822-1869 (of 26 microfilms, 3 films with the index of grantees and/or grantors are not available as of 15 January 2020)

Preston County est. 1818 from Monongalia County
Deed index, 1869-1960
Deeds, 1854-1947

Putnam County est. 1848 from Cabell, Kanawha, and Mason counties
Deed books, 1848-1900

Raleigh County est. 1850 from Fayette County
Deeds, 1850-1903

Randolph County est. 1787 from Harrison County
Deeds, 1787-1905; index to deeds, 1787-1966

Ritchie County est. 1843 from Harrison, Lewis, and Wood counties
Deeds, 1843-1903

Roane County est. 1856 from Gilmer, Jackson, and Kanawha counties
Deed books, 1856-1902

Summers County est. 1871 from Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer, and Monroe counties
Deed book, 1870-1904; deed index, 1871-1969

Taylor County est. 1844 from Barbour, Harrison, Marion counties
Deeds, 1844-1901, index to deeds, 1844-1970 (24 Films are viewable only in a family history center or FamilySearch affiliate library as of 15 January 2020.)

Tucker County est. 1856 from Randolph County
Deeds, 1856-1902; index to deeds, 1856-1970 (Of the 19 microfilm reels, the one for Deeds, v. 1-2 1856-1872 is only available on microfilm at the family history center as of 15 January 2020)

Tyler County est. 1814 from Ohio County
Deeds, 1815-1902; deed index, 1815-1970 (There are restrictions on about half of the films; only deed books 4-29 and 50 are available online as of 15 January 2020.)

Upshur County est. 1851 from Barbour, Lewis, and Randolph counties
Deeds, 1851-1901; index to deeds, 1851-1970 (2 of the 34 microfilms are not viewable online as of 15 January 2020)

Wayne County est. 1842 from Cabell County
Deed book, 1842-1901; index, 1848-1969

Webster County est. 1860 from Braxton, Nicholas, and Randolph counties
Deed index, 1888-1969 and deed books, 1798-1902

Wetzel County est. 1846 from Tyler County
Deeds, 1845-1902; deed index, 1845-1970

Wirt County est. 1848 from Jackson and Wood counties
Deeds, 1848-1901; deed index, 1848-1951

Wood County est. 1798 from Harrison County
Deed book, 1802-1901; deed book index, 1798-1969

Wyoming County est. 1850 from Logan County
Deeds, 1850-1902; deed index, 1850-1969

Happy hunting and I hope these keys will open the doors in your brick walls.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


The 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia Voter List

My friend and follower Brian S. Miller called me the record whisperer. His comment reminded me I hadn’t been checking the catalog at FamilySearch to see if new old records were available to view online. I’d been too busy working on my last series of posts on a Luxembourgish family to even think about other things.

Half of my ancestry is Luxembourgish with a few more distant ancestors coming from areas of France, Germany, and Belgium which were once part of Luxembourg. It hasn’t been difficult to find birth, marriage, and death records for these ancestors and their collaterals. My paternal side of the family tree which includes ancestors who lived in West Virginia and old Virginia for more than 200 years has been more arduous.

I have a frustrating brick wall at the 2nd great-grandfather level for one of these West Virginia ancestors. Compared to the rest of my tree, his branch is short and stubby!

A Reminder to Check the FamilySearch Catalog

Fayette County, West Virginia, is the first location I usually check for new collections as my Dad and many of his ancestors lived in the county even before its formation in 1831.

Map of West Virginia highlighting Fayette County

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I discovered a database I had not seen or been able to access. I can’t keep a secret when it comes to new collections which may help others. I immediately posted the find to the Facebook group for Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy.

Did your male ancestor live in Sewell Mountain, Mountain Cove, or Fayetteville in April-May 1866? If he was of age, he may have registered to vote. I found these lists on FamilySearch which include the age and place of birth of the person of interest.

Being a long-time user of the FamilySearch, I posted the link to the catalog not realizing how many group members were not familiar with this important tool on the site.

After several members commented the link was not working I revised my post. It was a long weekend and traffic to several genealogy sites was higher than normal causing temporary this site can’t be reached errors.

Screenshot of FamilySearch page with Evernote annotations.

In my revised post, I included instructions to scroll down to the camera to view the images to the non-indexed browse-only records. I added a short description of the collection which has six items for three districts with the names of voters being listed in alphabetical order. I also let new users know they needed to sign-in to the FREE site.

The 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia, Voter List

Here is the link to the collection: Register of name of voters : 1866. Since not all are familiar with FamilySearch or some may need a refresher course on using the site, here are simple steps to view the images. The link will take you to this page:

You aren’t there yet! To see all images, you need to either use the little > to go to image 2 of 154, image 3 of 154, etc. or click on the tiles icon on the left to view all images. You can then click on any of the images you might be interested in.

The items in this collection have many blank images. An item starts at the Begin image and ends at the End image. After studying the six items I learned they are for three districts – two similar copies of the same information for each district. At the end is a seventh item for the year 1867. Below are the direct links to the first page of each item for a district.

Item 1: Sewell Mountain 1

Item 2: Mountain Cove 1

Item 3: Fayetteville 1

Item 4: Sewell Mountain 2

Item 5: Fayetteville 2

Item 6: Mountain Cove 2

Item 7: Fayetteville 1867

Why is this set of records important?

Consider when the voter list was created. In 1866, three years after the state of West Virginia was formed. Immediately following the Civil War period when many records were moved to other locations or missing.

The fields on the form include:

  • Names of persons registered
  • Whether Sworn
  • Age – includes men between 21 and 84 years of age, i.e. born 1782-1845
  • Place of birth
  • Time of residence in ward, township, or district
  • Time of residence in state
  • If naturalized, date of papers and by what Court issued [in some cases this field was used to record honorable discharges from US militia service]
  • When registered

The list may be the only record you will find for the place of birth of an ancestor born between 1782-1845. Example: Enoch WOOD was in Lawrence County, Ohio, in 1830; in Gallia County, Ohio, in 1840; and in Fayette County, Virginia, in 1850 per the census. The 1850 census had all of his children listed as born in Virginia. Enoch and his wife Margaret JOHNSON had been known to be members of the Sand Fork Missionary Baptist Church in Gallia County, Ohio, before transferring to the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Fayette County. Their sons Levi and Felix WOOD are on the voter list with Gallia County as their place of birth.

Are you searching for naturalization papers? Example: Daniel McGuffin, age 36, born in Ireland, was naturalized in 1855 and his papers were filed in the County Court of Alleghany, Virginia.

The voter list could help you add events to your ancestor’s timeline. When and where was he born? Did he serve in the US militia? Was he naturalized? The voter list may be the last record your ancestor created before leaving the county or passing away.

And the search continues…

My 2nd great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY was NOT found in the voter list. Family tradition is he died in a logging accident in the 1860s. Does this mean he died before April-May 1866 when the voter list was created? Perhaps. However,  the three districts didn’t cover the entire county of Fayette. Other names are missing from the voter list including William’s father-in-law Elijah WOOD who died in 1885.

If you haven’t recently checked the catalog at FamilySearch take a moment to do so. If you’ve never used the catalog an Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog is a good place to learn more.  Please leave a comment if you make a discovery. Happy hunting.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Proving the True Identity of Jean Baptiste BREGER 1738-1805

The steeple of the Saint Michael’s Church in Luxembourg City is in the upper right quadrant of the featured image.

There is a reason why we look at the entire family group including grandparents and grandchildren when trying to solve a genealogy problem.

Adding new ancestors to the family tree

My fifth great-grandmother, Margretha BREGER’s baptismal record1 was found the day before I wrote 52 Ancestors: #46 Jean Baptiste Majerus and Catharina Cornely of Strassen, a post about my fourth great-grandparents. Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER were the parents of Jean Baptiste MAJERUS and my fifth great-grandparents.

The status of this branch of the family tree in January 2018.

With this find, I was able to add the names of her parents to my family tree. The next step was finding a marriage record for Jean Baptiste and Susanne, my 6th great-grandparents.

1758 Marriage Index Card for Brigert-Mertens couple

The marriage index card for the 1758 marriage of Jean Baptiste BRIGERT and Susanna MERTENS gave the parents of the bride and groom.2 The information was verified in the actual entry for the marriage in the church records of St. Jean-du-Grund.3

1758 marriage entry in church records for Jean Baptiste Brigert (parents: Michaelis Brigert p.m. et Maria Joanna Hackenberger) and Susanne Mertens (parents: Theodori Mertens et Joanna Bevinger p.m.). Note: p.m. means deceased.

The bride’s parents, Theodore MERTENS and Jeanne BEVING,  and maternal grandparents, Nicolas BEVING and Anne Marie KURTZ, were proven by accessing records found using A Hidden Index for Luxembourg City’s Parishes and Garrison. The groom’s line was a bit more complicated.


I used different spellings of the surnames of Michel BRIGERT and Maria Joanna HACKENBERGER to search for a marriage record in the Marriage Index Database for Luxembourg for the years 1610-1797 but without any success.

I utilized the index I’d found for the parishes in Luxembourg City to find baptisms of children with the surname BREGERDT, BROEGER, BRIGERT, BRETER, BRECKER, BREDER, and BREGER.

For the period 1725 to 1736, I found three baptismal records for children born to a couple with the same surnames as the parents of Johann Baptiste. However, the first name of the father of the children was Caspar or Gaspar and not Michel.

1725 Baptismal Record of Jean Adam BREYER

On 15 May 1725, an illegitimate male child was baptized Joannes Adamus (Jean Adam). His parents were Caspar BREYER, a soldier, and Joanna HACKENBERG. His godparents were Jean Adam WEBER and Elisabetha RECKIN. The entry was followed by an annotation made at a later date. It stated the child was legitimized with the subsequent marriage of Gaspar BREYER and Joanna HACKENBERGER.4

1733 Baptismal Record of Elisabeth BRYER (sic)

On 1 May 1733, Elisabetha the legitimate daughter of Gaspar BREYER and Johannata HACKENBERG was baptized. Her godparents were Elisabetha BISSDORFF and Jean Georges HACKENBERG.5

1736 Baptismal Record of Maria BRIGER

On 12 August 1736, Maria the legitimate daughter of Gaspar BRIGER and Maria Joanna HACKENBERGER was baptized. Her godparents were Maria CHRISTOFF and Jean WEBER.6

These baptismal records show Maria Joanna HACKENBERGER was the wife of Caspar aka Gaspar BREYER (later seen as BRIGER) and not of Michel BRIGERT as noted on the marriage index card above for Johann Baptiste BRIGERT. A marriage record for the BREYER-HACKENBERGER couple was not found although the first baptismal record indicates they were married after the birth of Jean Adam. A baptismal record for a son named Jean Baptiste was not found.

Jean Adam BREYER

I researched the three children above. When I ran the son Jean Adam BREYER (b. 1725) through the marriage database for 1610-1797 there were no hits. However in the database for 1797-1923 there was a hit in 1801. Could he have married at the age of 76 years?

1801 Publication of marriage for Jean Adam BREYER and Catherine GASPAR

The publication of the marriage of Jean Adam BREYER included the following information: Jean Adam BREYER, 76 years old, maçon or builder, widower of Susanne MERTENS, son of Gaspar BREYER and Jeanne HACKENBERG, marrying Catherine GASPAR, 46 years old and widow of Jean DUNCKHOLTZ.7

We have Jean Adam the son of Gaspar and Jeanne which matches the child born in 1725. If he was the widower of Susanne MERTENS his name should have been Jean Baptiste and not Jean Adam.

1801 Marriage Record of Jean Adam BREYER and Catherine GASPAR

The actual marriage record has more information.8

  • The upper third part of the record has the groom and bride’s information.
  • The lower third part has the names, occupations, residence, and age of the four witnesses as well as their signatures.
  • The middle third of the record is completely handwritten and explains which records were consulted.

The groom and bride had to furnish pièces à l’appui or documents supporting the information they gave.  The birth record of Jean Adam BREYER came from a register of Luxembourg City. This can only be the church register as civil records were not kept prior to 1796. The date listed on the marriage record is the date seen on the baptismal record found above, i.e. 15 May 1725.

The bride was the widow of Jean DUNCKHOLS and daughter of Jean GASPAR and Petronille SPECK.

Following the bride’s information, the deceased wife of the groom, Susanne MERTENS, and deceased husband of the bride, Jean DUNCKHOLS, are mentioned with their dates and places of death.

Death record of the first wife

Susanne MERTENS died on 16 Fructidor of the year 7 (2 September 1799) in Luxembourg City per the marriage record of her widower. The death record confirms she was the wife of Jean Baptiste BREGER.9

1799 Death Record of Susanne MERTENS

Were Jean Adam and Jean Baptiste the same person?

1805 Death Record of Jean Baptiste BREGER

On 24 October 1805, Jean Baptiste BREGER died in house number 22 in the rue de Thionville in Luxembourg City. He is listed as the husband of Catherine GASPAR.10

I was convinced the two men were the same and my 6th great-grandfather was born in 1725 as Jean Adam but for some reason later called himself Jean Baptiste and made himself younger.

Until I continued research on the HACKENBERGER branch…

Baptisms in St. Michel from 1649 to 1786

Fernand G. EMMEL, during his years working for the municipal archives, compiled a list of 12,210 baptisms which took place in the church of St. Michel from 1649 to 1786. This compilation was published by Luxracines and includes the names of the parents as well as godparents and their residence when mentioned.11

I searched my digital copy of this book for Jean Georges HACKENBERG(ER) who had been the godfather of one of Gaspar BREYER and Maria Joanna HACKENBERGER’s daughters. He was found to be the son of Nicolas HACKENBERG (also seen as HACKENBERGER and HACKENBURGER) and Agatha CHINY (also seen as SCHINY, CHINAY, SEINECKEN, SCHYNE). HACKENBERG(ER) is not a common name in Luxembourg.

I added all information from the baptismal entries for Nicolas and Agatha’s children to an unattached branch in my family tree. There were eight children but no daughter named Maria or Joanna. I then searched for each baptismal record to confirm the dates as well as the names of the children, parents, and godparents.

A son Jean listed in Mr. EMMEL’s compilation turned out to be Jeannatta, a daughter, born on 4 February 1700.12 I had found the parents of my 7th great-grandmother.

As she had been listed incorrectly in the compilation, I searched again for all HACKENBERG(ER) individuals in the book paying close attention to women’s names, either as mothers or as godmothers.

Jean Baptiste YGEL (sic, a possible error)

There was an entry for a child named Jean Baptiste YGEL baptized on 13 October 1738, son of Gaspard YGEL and Jeanette HACKENBERG. The baptismal record13 confirmed the names in the compilation…

1738 Baptismal Record of a child named Jean Baptiste

…however, I believe the priest made a mistake when he wrote the father’s surname. It should be BREYER or BREGER and not IGEL or YGEL.

I didn’t come to this conclusion without first checking baptismal records for all IGEL children, a marriage between an IGEL and a HACKENBERG(ER), or any possible mention of these names in relation to each other. The only couple found having children at this time was Guillaume IGEL and Marguerite KRICK (KREITZ).

A last piece of evidence

To pull this all together I needed one more record to prove Jean Baptiste BREGER and not Jean Adam BREYER had married Catherine GASPAR.

As seen above when Jean Baptiste BREGER died in 1805 his surviving wife was listed as Catherine GASPAR. She died three years later. Her death record shows she was the widow of Jean DUNCKHOLS, a first marriage, and Jean Baptiste BREGER, a second marriage.14

1808 Death Record of Catherine GASPAR

This matches the information found in the 1801 marriage record of Jean Adam BREYER and Catherine GASPAR with the exception of the name of her second husband.


Jean Baptiste BREGER was seen as Jean Baptiste BREGER on his first marriage record in 1758, on the 176015 and 176716 baptismal records of his children, on the  1783 marriage record of his son Michel17, on the 1797 birth record of his grandson Jean Baptiste MAJERUS18, on the 1799 death record of his first wife Susanna MERTENS, on his 1805 death record, and on his second wife Catherine GASPAR’s 1808 death record.

The wrong name, Jean Adam BREYER, was found only on his marriage publication and marriage record in 1801. As civil records were required to make a marriage legal, Jean Baptiste had to present supporting documentation in the form of a baptismal record to identify his parents and a death record of his first wife to show he was free to marry. His baptismal record was not found as the priest had written the wrong surname for his father. The next best record was that of Jean Adam BREYER, Jean Baptiste’s older brother who was born ten years earlier.

Who would have known an error made on a baptismal record of a child born in 1735 would cause problems for a 66 years old groom when he married in 1801 and hours of research for this genealogist 274 years later?

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1764-1788 > image 27 of 360. 1767 Baptismal Record (right page, left column, 5th entry). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 
  2. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Jean > Tables des mariages 1709-1789 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 52 of 445. 1758 Marriage Index Card. ( : accessed 19 May 2019). 
  3. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint-Jean à Grund > Mariages, décès 1708-1791 > image 181 of 208. 1758 Marriage Record (page 191 back, top). ( : accessed 5 June 2019). 
  4. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1702-1763 > image 112 of 371. 1725 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 5 June 2019). 
  5. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1702-1763 > image 169 of 371. 1733 Baptismal Record (left page, left column, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 5 June 2019). 
  6. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1702-1763 > image 186 of 371. 1736 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 5 June 2019). 
  7. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Luxembourg > Mariages 1799 > image 169 of 1529. 1801 Marriage Publication (30 Brumaire an X). ( : accessed 7 June 2019). 
  8. Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1799 > image 213 of 1529. 1801 Marriage Record (left page). ( : accessed 23 June 2019). 
  9. Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1888-1890 Décès 1796-1806 > image 523 of 1420. 1799 Death Record (16 Fructidor an 7) right page, bottom. ( : accessed 23 June 2019). 
  10. Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1888-1890 Décès 1796-1806 > image 1256 of 1420. 1805 Death Record (2 Brumaire year XIV). ( : accessed 7 June 2019). 
  11. Fernand G. Emmel, Baptêmes Luxembourg Saint-Michel 1649-1786, (Recherches effectuées par Fernand G. Emmel), a publication of Luxracines a.s.b.l. 
  12. Luxembourg Church Records, Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1649-1701, mariages 1706 > image 228 of 240. 1700 Baptismal Record (right page, right column). ( : accessed 22 June 2019). 
  13. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1702-1763 > image 197 of 371. 1738 Baptismal Record for Jean Baptiste Igel (sic, Breyer) (left page, right column, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 22 June 2019). Error on the record concerning the surname of the father and child. 
  14. Luxembourg Civil Records, Luxembourg > Décès 1807-1814 > image 257 of 1511. 1808 Death Record (right, top). ( : accessed 25 June 2019). 
  15. Luxembourg Church Records, Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1702-1763 > image 341 of 371. 1760 Baptismal Record (right page, right column, last entry). ( : accessed 20 May 2019). 
  16. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1764-1788 > image 27 of 360. 1767 Baptismal Record (right page, left column, 5th entry). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Mariages 1764-1796 > image 108 of 305. 1783 Marriage Record (lower left and upper right). ( : accessed 19 May 2019). 
  18. Luxembourg Civil Records, Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 905 of 1504. 1797 Birth Record (9 Germinal year V). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 

Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER from Gronn to Strassen

Église Saint-Jean-du-Grund. The featured image was taken in December 2008 while walking in Luxembourg City’s Grund. At the time I had no idea I was looking at the church where Margretha BREGER’s parents were married in 1758.

I’m finally at a point where I can write about my 5th great-grandparents Jean MAJERUS (1766-1852) and Margretha BREGER (1767-1851). As I mentioned in The Farm Where the Majerus Family Lived in the 1700s I’ve spent a lot of time researching their descendants.

The main objective of the research was to find out how many children Jean and Margretha had and which ones produced families. By the time I had gone through ALL civil birth, marriage, and death records in Strassen as well as census records, I was able to generate a descendants report for the couple in question with nine generations, 74 pages, and over 350 source citations. The number of citations will likely reach 400 by the time I finish adding more census records, recent church records, and newspaper clippings.

After taking the time to evaluate and cite the records found, I now have a clear picture of several generations of descendants of Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER.

Jean MAJERUS (1766-1852)

As we learned in How the Jean MAJERUS Brick Wall Crumbled – The Keys and Doors Which Made It Happen! my 5th great-grandfather was born in France. He was born on 2 June 1766 in Boulay-Moselle to the single mother Anne Catherine ALBERT.1 She married Jean MAJERUS of Scherfenhof (near Medernach in Luxembourg) on 17 August 1767 in Boulay.2 It was at this time that Jean’s birth was legitimized and he became Jean MAJERUS. He was not quite 18 years old when his widowed mother died on 2 January 1784.3 His father had already passed away but when and where this event took place is not known.

Between Jean’s birth in 1766 and his mother’s death in 1784, I found he had two younger brothers, Joannes born in 17694 and Barthélémy who lived only ten days in 1772.5 Joannes was born in Larochette, Luxembourg, while Barthélémy was born in Boulay, France. No trace of Joannes has been found after his baptism.

What brought Jean MAJERUS back to Luxembourg? Did he return to his father’s home place before or after his mother’s death? When did he settle in Luxembourg City where he was found in 1797?

Margretha BREGER (1767-1851)

Margretha BREGER was baptized on 12 January 1767 in the church of Saint Michel in Luxembourg City.6 She was the daughter of Jean Baptiste BREGER (1738-1805) and Susanne MERTENS (1728-bef. 1801). She had one older brother Michel (1760-1810). Margretha’s surname was spelled many different ways in the records found, evolving from BREYER to BREGER during her father’s lifetime and including these spellings: BREGERDT, BROEGER, BRIGERT, BRETER, BRECKER, and BREDER.

Interesting details about her father were uncovered while researching the family group. The records connecting Jean Adam BREYER to Jean Baptiste BREGER will be revealed in a later post.

When and where were Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER married?

When I wrote about Jean and Margretha’s son in 52 Ancestors: #46 Jean Baptiste Majerus and Catharina Cornely of Strassen I mentioned a marriage record had not been found for his parents. However, they were a legally married couple in 1797 when Jean Baptiste was born. Birth records of the children born after him also indicate they were a married couple.

Faubourg de Grund, Luxembourg City

Jean Baptiste, their oldest son, was born on 9 Germinal in the year V or 29 March 1797 in the Faubourg de Grund, a suburb located on the banks of the Alzette River in the valley below the center of Luxembourg City. In Luxembourgish, it is known as Gronn. Witnesses to the birth record were the maternal grandfather Jean Baptiste BRETER, age 64 years, and Michel BRETER’s wife Anne Catherine GRASBERGER, age 36 years, the maternal aunt by marriage.7

As the birth records of their first three children indicate, Jean and Margretha lived their early years of marriage in the Gronn. Elisabeth was the second child, born on 2 April  17998, and their third was a son, Jean born on 10 June 1801.9

In 1797 Jean was a clothier (drapier) but, with the births of the children who followed, his occupation was seen as a wool spinner (fileur de laine). He continued to practice this occupation until he was at least in his mid-sixties as seen in the 1830 marriage record of his daughter Elisabeth.

Faubourg de Grund, Luxembourg City

Following Jean’s birth in 1801 the family moved to Strassen where their youngest child Marie was born on 19 December 1806.10 The five-year gap between the two children has always made me wonder if the change of residence was direct – from Gronn to Strassen – or if they may have lived somewhere else – a place where another child may have been born. If the move was from Gronn to Strassen, in what year did it take place?

Same place, same surname research

The oldest three children were fairly easy to research. Their marriage records, the birth records for their children, the grandchildren of Jean and Margretha, as well as census records from 1843 to 1900 were found. They lived in Strassen, had their children in Strassen, and died in Strassen. No other families with the MAJERUS name were found living in Strassen before 1923. Their living in one place for a long period of time made the research easier even though in several generations many children did not survive infancy.

A discovery made by error and omission

The youngest child Marie caused difficulties while researching but also helped with a new discovery. Her father Jean MAJERUS, the informant on her birth record dated 19 December 1806, stated she was born the same day at one in the morning. As no marriage record or trace of Marie were found following her birth, I assumed she must have died. FamilySearch has only civil records for this time period and no death record was found.

I located her baptismal record on Matricula Online where Catholic church records for Luxembourg are now available. The priest who recorded her baptism gave her date of birth and baptism as 18 December 1806, the day before she was born per the civil birth record.11 The switch from the Republican calendar to the Gregorian calendar in January 1806 in the civil records may explain this discrepancy. Generally, the Catholic church didn’t use the Republican calendar during the 13 years it was in use.

Next, I searched for a death and burial record in the church records. As these are browse-only I had to find a point of entry for a death which took place in late 1806 or later. No death record was found for Marie. However as I jumped in a bit early in 1806 I found a death record for a child named Margaretha MAJERUS, daughter of Jean MAJERUS, who died on 9 June 1806.12 I was able to translate most of the record but was stumped at the part which revealed her age at death.

I asked for help with the translation from my friend Linda who has helped me several times after reading one or the other of my posts. She came through with a transcription for the record.

Anno Dni Millesimo octingentisimo sexto die nonae mensis primi horae nonae matutinae in Strassen mortua est Margaretha, infans duorum annorum et stat idem mensium, filia legitima Joannis MAJERUS lanifici et Margarethae BRIGER conjugum hie habitantium.

Linda translated the part I could not read, infans duorum annorum et stat idem mensium, as meaning the child Margaretha was two years and two months old at the time of death.

I went back to the civil records to find the birth of a child in April 1804. The 1804 handwritten index for Luxembourg City had been cut off at the bottom of the page with the M’s and I had to look at every record for the year 1804. There was no MAJERUS child born in the city in 1804. Next, I checked Strassen’s index. Again no MAJERUS birth. There was a Margaretha MEYERS born 16 Germinal in the year XII which computes to 6 April 1804. MEYERS is a variation of MAJERUS. After viewing hundreds of records for this family, this was the first time I’d seen it spelled this way. Jean and Margretha were living in Strassen in April 1804 when their second daughter and fourth child was born.13

Margaretha’s death in 1806 was not found in the civil records. Could Marie’s death also have been omitted?  The first person of the surname to die in Strassen according to the civil records was a granddaughter of Jean and Margretha, Marie Catherine MAJERUS who died in 1823 at the age of three months.14

Three marriages in thirteen years

I now had five children for the MAJERUS couple who moved to Strassen between June 1801 and April 1804. I’m convinced only three of them grew to adulthood, married, and had children. Margaretha was proven to have died at two years and two months. No trace of Marie has been found after her birth.

My 4th great-grandfather Jean Baptiste MAJERUS was the first to marry on 25 April 1817 in Strassen to Catharina CORNELY.15 Of the parties involved, only the father of the groom was able to sign his name. The groom Jean Baptiste was only twenty years old and the bride Catharina was twenty-three and expecting their first child. A month later their son Jean was born.16 The first grandchild of Jean and Margretha and my 3rd great-grandfather.

Signature of Jean MAJERUS on the 1817 marriage record of his son Jean Baptiste

The next wedding took place in Dippach on 16 August 1823 when Jean MAJERUS married Josephine HESS of Sprinkange in the commune of Dippach.17 Jean’s brother Jean Baptiste was one of the four witnesses at the marriage. Neither of the brothers nor their mother was able to sign their names but Jean MAJERUS signed as the father of the groom.

Signature of Jean MAJERUS on the 1823 marriage record of his son Jean

The third marriage took place on 20 January 1830 in Strassen when Elisabeth MAJERUS, thirty years old, married Jean DAMY, twenty-eight years old.18 Jean MAJERUS, the father of the bride, signed the marriage record while the bride and her mother did not.

Signature of Jean MAJERUS on the 1830 marriage record of his daughter Elisabeth

Twenty-five grandchildren born between 1817 to 1841

Jean and Margretha’s three married children gave them twenty-five grandchildren in fourteen years.

  • Jean Baptiste and his wife Catharina had eleven children from 1817 to 1840 with only one child dying at the age of two months in 1823 (Marie Catherine mentioned earlier). All of their children married with the exception of their son Nicolas (still being researched). Their sons Nicolas (b. 1835) and Michel (b. 1840) went to America in 1853 and 1865. Later three grandsons and a granddaughter would go to America and one granddaughter to England.
  • Elisabeth and her husband Jean DAMY had six sons between 1830 and 1841. Three of these died as babies. The two older sons married and lived in Strassen while their son Jean (b. 1838) went to America likely at the same time as his cousin Michel MAJERUS in 1865. In 1870 they were living next door to each other in St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota.
  • Jean and his wife Josephine HESS had five sons and then three daughters. One daughter died as a baby and a son died at the age of 19 years. All of the children except for one daughter married.

Jean and Margretha lived another decade after the last of their grandchildren were born. They were found ont the census of 184319, 184620, 184721, and 184922 in their own household without any other persons. Finally, in 1847 the answer to when they moved to Strassen was found in the census. The census sheet for 1847 included a column with the number of years they had lived in the commune – forty-five years which placed their move to Strassen at during the year 1802.

Margretha died at the age of 84 years on 1 April 1851.23 Her oldest son Jean Baptiste was the informant on her death record. He had not been able to sign his name when he married in 1817. On the birth records of his first nine children born between 1817 and 1835 he had declared each time that he could not write or sign. In 1837 he had finally learned to sign his name and his signatures were found on the 1837 and 1840 birth records of his two youngest children as well as on his mother’s death record.

Signature of Jean Baptiste MAJERUS on the 1851 death record of his mother Margretha BREGER
Signature of Jean Baptiste MAJERUS on the 1837 birth record of his son Jean Pierre MAJERUS
Signature of Jean Baptiste MAJERUS on the 1840 birth record of his son Michel MAJERUS

Jean appeared on the 1851 census with the family of his oldest son Jean Baptiste.24 His name was added to the top of the list likely after the names of his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren were listed.

1851 Luxembourg Census sheet No. 48 with the MAJERUS family of Strassen

Jean lived a little over a year longer, dying on 5 July 1852. His death was reported by his grandson Jean Baptiste, 5th son of his son Jean Baptiste. Jean was 86 years old.25

I once compared my second great-grandmother Marie MAJERUS (1850-1931) to a knothole in a fence. She was the only child of Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) and Maria TRAUSCH (1820-1875). Jean being the first grandchild of Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER. On one side of the fence, Marie was the mother of ten children, eight of whom married and continued the line. On the other side of the fence I found her parents, grandparents, and now at last count 185 relatives with the MAJERUS name.

I still don’t know what Jean MAJERUS’ life was like before he met and married Margretha BREGER nor when or where the marriage took place. However, their marriage produced a large number of descendants in Luxembourg, America, England, and who knows where else….

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Archives départementales de la Moselle (57), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online, Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772), Image: RAD057_100EDGG8_0028.jpg, image 28 of 193. 1766 Baptismal Record (bottom left and top right).( : accessed 21 May 2019). Images from this site are free to use by the public per conditions viewed on 26 May 2019. 
  2. Ibid., Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil : BOULAY et Après 1760 et avant 1770; Description : Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772); Image: FRAD057_100EDGG8_0061.jpg. ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  3. Ibid., Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY, Document 9NUM/100ED/GG10 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1780-1792), Image: FRAD057_100EDGG10_0108.jpg, image 108 of 307. Death Record No. 1. ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  4. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Nommern > Baptêmes 1744-1787, confirmations 1750-1789, mariages 1751-1765, 1769-1787, sépultures 1752-1787 > image 45 of 170. 1769 Baptismal Record No. 324. ( : accessed 27 May 2019). 
  5. Archives 57, Registres paroissiaux et d’état civil BOULAY; Document 9NUM/100ED/GG8 Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures (1765-1772); Image: FRAD057_100EDGG8_0173.jpg. 1772 Birth Record (left page, top) and 1772 Death Record (right page, middle). ( : accessed 21 May 2019). 
  6. Luxembourg Church Records, Luxembourg, Saint Michel > Baptêmes 1764-1788 > image 27 of 360. 1767 Baptismal Record (right page, left column, 5th entry). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 
  7. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 905 of 1504. 1797 Birth Record (9 Germinal year V). ( : accessed 13 January 2018). 
  8. Ibid., Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 1200 of 1504. 1799 Birth Record, right, top (13 germinal an VII). ( : 5 January 2018). 
  9. Ibid., Luxembourg > Tables décennales 1863-1872, 1863-1872, 1873-1892 Naissances 1796-1800 > image 1473 of 1504. 1801 Birth Record, right, bottom (21 prairial an IX). ( : accessed 8 January 2018). 
  10. Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 108 of 1464. 1806 Birth Record (lower left). ( : 17 July 2014),. 
  11. Diözesanarchiv Luxemburg / Archives diocésaines Luxembourg (images), Matricula Online,, Creative Commons License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (original records in the Luxembourg Diocesan Archives, Luxembourg City), Microfilm/-fiche GV.MF 314; GV.MF 349, Strassen, KB-01, Firmungen – Heiraten – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1799 – 1844, no page number, image 16 of 138, left page, 4th entry. 1806 Baptismal Record (left page, 4th entry). ( : accessed 11 June 2019). 
  12. Ibid., Microfilm/-fiche GV.MF 314; GV.MF 349, Strassen, KB-01, Firmungen – Heiraten – Sterbefälle – Taufen – 1799 – 1844, no page number, image 53 of 138, right page, 3rd entry. 1806 Death Record. ( : accessed 18 June 2019). 
  13. Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 55 of 1464. 1804 Birth Record (left page, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 19 June 2019). 
  14. Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1796-1823 > image 148 of 149. 1823 Death Record No. 16. ( : accessed 5 December 2015). 
  15. Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1000 of 1464. 1817 Marriage No. 4. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  16. Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 214 of 1464. 1817 Birth Record No. 8. ( : accessed 27 March 2010). Note: mother listed as Maria Cornely. 
  17. Ibid., Dippach > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1386 of 1485. 1823 Marriage Record (right page). ( : accessed 29 August 2017). 
  18. Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 23 of 1416. 1830 Marriage Record No. 2. ( : accessed 7 January 2018). 
  19. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1843 > image 309 of 407. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  20. Ibid., Bertrange > 1846 > image 324 of 431. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  21. Ibid., Bertrange > 1847 > image 198 of 448. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  22. Ibid., Bertrange > 1849 > image 388 of 474. Majerus-Breger household. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  23. Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 8 of 446. 1851 Death Record No. 6. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  24. Luxembourg Census Records, Strassen > 1851 > image 67 of 222. “Jean Majerus, his son Jean Baptiste Majerus, his daughter-in-law Catherine Cornely, their children Jacques, Baptiste, Pierre, Nicolas, Jean Pierre, Michel, and Marie.” Jean Majerus household No. 48. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 
  25. Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 21 of 446. 1852 Death Record No. 20. ( : accessed 2 December 2015). 

Luxracines’ Marriage Database Helps Solve the Confusion of John Monner’s Marriage(s)

A year and a half ago Richelle Murray, a member of the Luxembourg Genealogy group on Facebook, asked for help with one of her families in Luxembourg. She was interested in John MONNER who married Anna HAUPERT on 10 February 1836. The conversation kind of fizzled out as the marriage I found for the date and place queried was for an Anna HAUPERT and Peter HAUPERT, a bride and groom with the same surname.1

Fast forward six months later Richelle asked about a record of a child born to Johann MONNER and Catharina HAUPERT. She found birth record No. 36 for her 3rd great-grandmother Marianna. A clerk had filled the left margin of both pages of the book with a court record. She needed help figuring out it is had anything to do with the record she was interested in. It pertained to birth record No. 35 correcting information in a record by court order and was of no importance to Marianna’s record.

While looking into this I checked the Luxracines site to see if the indexing project for marriages, a work-in-progress at the time, would include the wedding date of the MONNER-HAUPERT couple as she had previously asked about the marriage which she thought took place on 10 February 1836.

The search turned up two marriages for the same names in the same place but different dates. What could this mean? Had there been two marriages for two, three, or four different people? The actual marriage records needed to be consulted.

NEW! Marriage Database for Luxembourg 1796-1923

As of this May 2019, indexing is finally complete for the marriages in Luxembourg per the Tables Décennales (10-year lists for births, marriages, and deaths) for the years 1796-1923. This very important database for researchers with Luxembourg ancestry is available online to members of Luxracines.

• 170 communities (communes, Gemeinde) are included!
• 171,688 marriages for the period 1796-1923
• 108,642 marriages for the period 1610-1797
• A total of 280,330 marriages in Luxembourg

Luxracines is grateful to all members who worked on this project.

The Indexing Project for Luxembourg Marriages

Before going any further I need to say a few words about this project. A group of dedicated members of my genealogy society Luxracines worked on this project to index all of the marriages in the Luxembourg civil records using the Tables Décennales.

The indexing is complete and this new database is turning out to be a real time-saver. Researchers no longer need to search through town after town of the 10-year lists to find the marriage of a person who married in a place other than his place of birth or last known residence. Although many families remained in one town for generations there were times when children left home to find work or when entire families moved around seeking work and marriages took place in towns one would not think to look.

Marriages of Luxembourgers abroad are also being added and presently include Paris, Chiry-Ourscamp (a commune in the Oise department in northern France), and the city of Brussels (Bruxelles). Arlon (Belgium) is in the works and plans are to work on Attert (Belgium) next.

Getting back to the MONNER and HAUPERT marriages

Before looking up the marriage records I checked to see if any of our Luxracines members had worked on this particular family. Claude Bettendroffer, who has inputted baptisms, births, marriages, deaths, and burials for the parish and commune of Sandweiler from the church and civil records into his database, had Johann MONNER listed with two wives: Catharina HAUPERT and Catharina HAUPERT, both with the same parents but with different dates of birth. It’s work like Claude’s which makes it easier to find connections in Luxembourg families.

Lëtz look at the marriage records

Luxembourg (Lëtzebuerg) marriage records can be divided into four parts. Following the date, place, and names of authorities present for the marriage ceremony, the record contains:

• Groom’s information
• Bride’s information
• Dates of the publication of banns and the declaration that the bride and groom are joined in marriage by law
• Witnesses, usually four, to the marriage and signatures of all person’s present

The marriage record dated 5 April 18372 included this section on the groom:

1837 Marriage Record of Johann Monner and Catharina Haupert (groom’s info)

Johann Monner, carpenter, 27 years of, born in Pulfermuhl, in the commune of Sandweiler on 8 March 1810, a resident of Pulfermuhl, in the commune of Sandweiler, of age son of Peter Monner, carpenter, and Margaretha Cornely, no occupation, a married couple residing in Pulfermuhl, present and consenting to the marriage. Militia service was rendered per certificate of the Hamm police dated 28 March 1837.

And this section on the bride:

1837 Marriage Record of Johann Monner and Catharina Haupert (bride’s info)

The young lady Catharina Haupert age 25 years born in Sandweiler in the Canton of Sandweiler, without occupation, born on 22 November 1811 and a resident of Sandweiler, the of age daughter of Nicolas Haupert and Catharina Stümper, a legally married couple of Sandweiler who are agreeable to the marriage.

The marriage record dated 10 November 18413 included this section on the groom:

1841 Marriage Record of Johann Monner and Catharina Haupert (groom’s info)

Johann Monner, carpenter, 31 years of, born in Pulfermuhl, in the commune of Sandweiler on 8 March 1810, a resident of Pulfermuhl, in the commune of Sandweiler, of age son of Peter Monner, carpenter, and Margaretha Cornely, no occupation, a married couple residing in Pulfermuhl, present and consenting to the marriage.Widower of the deceased Catharina Haupert who died in Sandweiler on 7 May 1841.

And this section on the bride:

1841 Marriage Record of Johann Monner and Catharina Haupert (bride’s info)

The young lady Catharina Haupert, without occupation, 18 years old, born in Sandweiler in the Canton of Luxembourg the 17 August 1823, a resident of said Sandweiler, and the underage daughter of Johann Nicolas Haupert and Catharina Stümper, a married couple, farmers, residents of Sandweiler, present and consenting to the marriage. [I have not been able to transcribe and translate the last three lines which appear to be a kind of special permission given for the marriage on 12 October 1841.]

The groom in both marriage records was the same person. The brides in the marriage records were sisters, both daughters of Nicolas HAUPERT and Catharina STÜMPER. The second marriage record clearly shows Johann was widowed from his first wife.

Why the interest in Johann MONNER?

When Richelle posted to the Luxembourg Genealogy group, I didn’t know we had a connection. Richelle and I share common ancestors. Johann MONNER was the grandson of my 5th great-grandparents Hubert CORNELY and MARGARETHA EVEN through their daughter Margaretha CORNELY and her husband Peter MONNER.

Margaretha and Peter married on 15 June 18054 in Sandweiler and started a family of eight children. Johann was born on 8 March 18105 in Pulvermühle on the outskirts of Luxembourg City.

At the time Pulvermühle was part of the commune of Sandweiler. It would become part of the commune of Hamm in 1874, and then later of Luxembourg City. These changes in the location of the records would make researching the descendants more difficult as the communes were more populated. Also the spelling of the surname would change for some of the children from MONNER to MONNEUR.

Johann was the second son and third child of Margaretha CORNELY and Peter MONNER. Following his birth, Margaretha had five more children: a daughter and four sons. The youngest two were twin boys.

As seen above Johann married twice. His first wife bore him two sons. His second wife gave him three sons and three daughters from 1842 to 1850. One of the daughters died at the age of five months.

In 1852 Johann, his second wife Catharina, their children, and Johann’s two older sons departed from Le Havre, France, for New York where they arrived on 31 May 1852. Catharina was carrying a child on the journey and gave birth to a son Hillary “Henry” on 23 October 1852 in Dubuque County, Iowa. He would be the first and only MONNER child of Johann and Catharina to be born in America. Catharina died two years later on 10 May 1854.

John, as he was now called, raised his children in Dubuque County and then Jackson County, Iowa, before dying in 1880.

John was not the only child of Peter MONNER and Margaretha CORNELY to leave Luxembourg. Their second youngest son Peter moved to Paris between 1854 and 1860. Pierre MONNEUR was found on the marriage index database of Paris as he remarried there in 1861 following the death of his wife in 1860. One of his sons married his second wife’s daughter in 1868. Two more marriages found with the help of the Luxracines Marriage Database.

Full circle

Richelle’s tree back to our common ancestors.

The marriage record dated 10 February 1836 for Anna HAUPERT and Peter HAUPERT turned out to be important to Richelle’s research. Peter, like the two Catharina’s above, was a child of Nicolas HAUPERT and Catharina STÜMPER. Peter and Anna also went to Dubuque County, Iowa, a year earlier than the MONNER family. They had a son Michael who married Marianne MONNER, daughter of John, in 1865. Michael and Marianna were first cousins and Richelle’s 3rd great-grandparents.

Richelle and I are 6C1R but she does not share DNA with my brother whose test I manage. He has several matches to descendants of John MONNER and his first wife as well as his second wife. The trees these matches have attached to their DNA mistakenly list only one wife for John MONNER and by writing this post I hope the error can be rectified.

Thank you to Richelle and Claude for giving me permission to use their names in this post.

© 2019, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 929 of 1493. 1836 Marriage Record No. 7. ( : accessed 19 May 2019). 
  2. Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 936 of 1493. 1837 Marriage Record No. 3. ( : accessed 3 April 2019). 
  3. Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 963 of 1493. 1841 Marriage Record No. 7. ( : accessed 3 April 2019). 
  4. Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1797-1864 > image 75 of 932. 1805 Marriage Record (26 prairial an XIII) page 1 and 2. ( : accessed 17 April 2019) and ( : accessed 17 April 2019). 
  5. Ibid., Sandweiler > Naissances 1797-1864 > image 123 of 932. 1810 Birth Record No. 8. ( : accessed 17 April 2019).