In Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING: Henry, a Slave in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, the slaveholder of the enslaved Henry was John S. Roberts. Further research turned up connections to others who owned slaved. John Shelton Roberts was the son of Alexander Roberts and Sarah Shepherd of Nelson County, Virginia. He married Adeline B. Landcraft, daughter of Nathaniel Landcraft and Sarah B. Hardin, on 6 September 1829 in Nelson County. John and Adeline very likely came to the Fayette/Nicholas counties area with Adeline’s parents. By 1830 John was living in Nicholas County where he (male 20 thru 29) was seen on the census with his wife (female 20 thru 29) and two young slaves under 10 years of age. When he died the appraisement of his estate included only the enslaved Henry. Was it possible the other slave belonged to his widow Adeline B. Landcraft? Did she receive the enslaved person in their 1830 household from her parents?
Nathaniel Landcraft was seen in Nelson County, Virginia, with the following household in 1820:
1820 United States Federal Census
Home in 1820 (City, County, State):
Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia
August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:
Slaves – Males – Under 14:
Slaves – Males – 14 thru 25:
Slaves – Females – Under 14:
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25:
Slaves – Females – 26 thru 44:
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture:
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures:
Free White Persons – Under 16:
Free White Persons – Over 25:
Total Free White Persons:
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other:
Source: 1820 U S Census; Census Place: Buckingham, Nelson, Virginia; Page: 196; NARA Roll: M33_130; Image: 374; Ancestry.com
In 1830 Nathaniel Landcraft was found in Summersville, Nicholas County, (West) Virginia, where his daughter Adeline and son-in-law John S. Roberts were also living. The image is very light, however, I was able to confirm the entry is for Nathaniel Landcraft and not Sanderson as indexed below.
1830 United States Federal Census
Nathaniel Sanderson [Nathaniel Snderapt]
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):
Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59:
Slaves – Males – Under 10:
Slaves – Males – 24 thru 35:
Slaves – Females – Under 10:
Slaves – Females – 24 thru 35:
Free White Persons – Under 20:
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49:
Total Free White Persons:
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):
Source: 1830; Census Place: Summersville, Nicholas, Virginia; Series: M19; Roll: 198; Page: 193; Family History Library Film: 0029677; Ancestry.com
As can be seen in the census listings above, Landcraft had 11 slaves in his household in 1820 and 9 (6 of whom were born after 1820) in 1830. At the time of his death, the appraisement of his estate included only three enslaved persons: Violate, Evoline and Samuel.
1835 Appraisement of the Estate of Nathaniel Landcraft
We the undersigned (after first duly sworn)
have proceeded to appraise in Current money the
person (sic) estate and Negro Belonging to the Estate
of Nathaniel Landcraft decd as followeth, to wit.
One Negro Woman named Violate $375
One Do Girle ” Evoline 150
One Do Boy ” Samuel 125
One Cupboard & Furniture 35
One Safe & furniture 10
One Sideboard & Table 5
One Clock 10
One Bed & furniture 30
Two Beds, Bedsteads & furniture 60
One Trunk, Chist & Bedstead 4
One Looking Glass 2
Two Waiters 1.50
Nine Chairs 4.50
One Tea Kittle and Irons & Shovels & Tongs 3
Kitchen furniture 15
Given under our hand this 2nd day
of January 1855_
. . . . . . . . . . . .T.B. Hamilton
. . . . . . . . . . . .P. Keenan Appraisers
. . . . . . . . . . . .Wm. Morris
Fayette County Court Clerks Office Jany Term 1835
The Appraisement Bill of the Estate of Nathaniel Land-
craft decd was Recd and ordered to be recorded_
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Test
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Hiram Hill CK
End of transcription
About the time Nathaniel Landcraft died, his daughter Adeline, widow of John S. Roberts, married the Baptist minister Edwin W. Woodson. They made their home in Monroe County, (West) Virginia. In 1840 Woodson had two slaves in his household, a male and a female, both were 10 thru 23 years old. Could either of them be one of the slaves mentioned in the Landcraft appraisement?
In 1850 E W Woodson owned one female slave age 20. In 1860 Adeline Woodson owned one female slave age 30. Who was this female slave? Did Rev. Woodson die before 1860? Did he leave a will, inventory, or appraisement mentioning the slave enumerated under his name in 1850?
I prompted my readers to ask me if they were interested in how I found the browse-only records on FamilySearch. Several took me up on the offer to explain how I found this particular record. One suggested I write an entire article talking about some of the shortcuts and easier ways I have learned to search the non-indexed records.
Your post – coupled with the recent announcement that Family Search is discontinuing microfilm distribution – is a good reminder for all genealogists to keep a close eye on the expanding online collections of digitized records. ~ Michael Dyer of Family Sleuther
I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. I also remember the days when I thought I would never get the hang of working with their immense collections. I’m more experienced today and it’s easier for me to find my way around the Library. Yes, I think of the FamilySearch site as a library with a librarian who will answer my questions and a catalog for helping me find the collections or books I’m looking for.
What will you find in the library?
Family history researchers have different levels of experience. A beginner may not get much further than the front desk and feel lost.
FamilySearch has changed and grown since I first began using the FREE site. I’ve gone from using the Search Historical Records box (as a beginner and, even now, as a more experienced researcher) to consulting the Find a Collection to doing geographical research with the Research By Location tool.
Click on Browse all published collections under Find a Collection to see a list of 2237 collections. A collection with a camera icon and the words Browse images in the Records column tell you it is BROWSE-ONLY and not indexed. The collections with a camera icon and the number of records available are indexed and linked to images. The collections with a camera with a rectangle are indexed on FamilySearch but the image will be found on another site which may be free or subscription.
Filter the list by searching for words in the name of the collection or choosing a place, time period, and/or type of collection. At the very bottom on the left under Collections, there is a little box you can check to view only collections with images.
Here I filtered the names of the collections with West Virginia in the title and shortened the list to ten collections. In this list I don’t see Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, the database where I found birth records of two slaves of Wilson M. DEMPSEY born in 1855 and 1857 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia.
The Genealogy Girl, Amberly Beck, mentioned in a comment on one of my posts awhile back that FamilySearch is adding browse-only collections at a faster pace. They may not be showing up in the Historical Record Collections list – but they are being added to the catalog.
Let’s click back to the front desk and see if the librarian is available.
The FamilySearch Wiki, in my opinion, is not used often enough by researchers. It is the first place you should look to learn about genealogy research in different areas. I think of the FamilySearch Wiki as the librarian who is there to help – if you ask.
What is the Wiki?
Welcome to the Wiki! The Wiki is a free, online genealogical guide, with links to genealogy databases, images of records, and instructions on how to search for your ancestors. ~ from the FamilySearch Wiki Overview
We’ve taken a short tour of the front desk and seen where the librarian works. Before we check out the catalog, we need to know what we’ll be searching for.
This is the indexed information from the birth record of William born in 1857. When FamilySearch shows a record with the camera icon and notation that no image is available, this means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be browse-only and available online.
Remember the days when you could do a Request for Photo Duplication on FamilySearch?
We were all disappointed when this service was discontinued. But wait! If they could look up the record and send it to us, couldn’t we do our own lookup in the collections of browse-only records – if they are online?
Let’s try looking for the 1857 birth record in the search result above. The GS Film Number or FHL microfilm is 34485.
This is where the catalog comes into play.
Click on Search and then Catalog on the drop-down menu on the main page of FamilySearch.
Under Search for: click on Film/Fiche Number to open the box and fill in the FHL number 34485. Click on the Search button.
This takes you to Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia. Click on the link for more information.
Under Notes you will see this collection is a group of records held at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia. Scroll down to see the 10 films listed. Search for the number in the Film/DGS column.
The magnifying glass indicates this collection is indexed and searchable. We already knew this as the indexed record was found using Search Historical Records tool. The camera icon means the collection is available for viewing. If it were microfilm which has not been digitized you would see a film icon. To browse the records, click on the camera next to film #34485 for Calhoun – Hampshire counties.
This is where many people are overwhelmed as they think they need to click through hundreds of images to find what they are looking for.
On the left side is the tool to zoom in and out and view single or all images. Start with the filmstrip view instead of single images. When records are filmed they do it in a logical order. This is Calhoun – Hampshire counties and, in alphabetical order, these counties would be Calhoun – Clay – Doddridge – Fayette – Gilmer – Grant – Greenbrier – Hampshire.
Tip: If you don’t know the names of the counties, go to the Wiki, search for the state or use the interactive map to get to the state level or county level.
As you scroll down you will notice there are images that look like title pages of books (green arrows). If you click on one of these you will see the title, West Virginia Vital Statistics, and below in very light typewriting, the name of the county. In this collection, you need to zoom in as close as possible to read it. But since you know Fayette is the 4th county in the batch you can go to 4th title image.
Fayette starts on image 107 and goes to 159 as image 160 is the next West Virginia Vital Statistics cover sheet. The collection is for the time period 1853-1860 and we are looking for a birth record for the year 1857. There are a little over 50 images for Fayette County.
How were birth, marriage, and death registers kept at this time? Did they have a register only for births or were the BMD records kept together by year? Look at the small images. Some of the pages are not filled with writing. These could be the last pages of a year’s entries. Getting familiar with the record keeping of the time and place makes it much easier to jump through the images to find records instead of looking at every single image.
Once you’ve found the record, an important step needs to be performed. You want to save the record AND you want to be able to find it again WITHOUT having to go through all the steps mentioned above.
FamilySearch usually makes this easy to do. Click on Information, scroll down to Citation, copy/paste, and save in your usual manner (in your genealogy software, on the image, in Evernote with the image). In this case, we see No citation is available. This means you need to write your own source citation, similar to the caption of the image above. You want to include the name of the collection, film # and batch name, and image # just in case the URL (which you also want to save) is no longer accessible.
Another example of browse-only records
Instead of using an FHL film number to access a record, you can search by location.
Go to the catalog, in the Place box begin typing West Virginia (or any location you are interested in). The place name is always from largest to smallest: Country, State, County.
You can refine your search by changing the place, for example from state to a specific county in the state, in the box at left. Or, on the right, you can click on Places within….
to get a list of the counties. I want to find a bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE of Fayette County in the 1880s. Clicking on Fayette opens up a list of all collections for the county. Court records should include bonds. Click to open list of all available records.
Bonds, 1870-1926 matches the type of record and the period for the record we are looking for.
Scroll down the page to see if collections are available to browse or search.
Under Note check for the 1880s time period which would be in Vol. 1 1870-1887 or Vol. 2-3 1887-1900. We’ll try the first batch: Film #584751 Item 3. If you’ve browsed through microfilm you know they continue filming collections back to back. Because of this the mention of Item 3 is important for the search.
This is the beginning of the film starting with Item #1. We scroll down to the next black image.
There is a black image with End, an image with the title of the next item, and then a black image with Begin. Scroll to next black image.
Here we see the end of Item #2, info and beginning of Item #3. You can see it is a book and the index is on the front pages. If they aren’t at the front, you’d scroll to the end of the item and check the back of the book for the index.
Tip: There are some collections, for example, Wills where the index to all books in one section.
Item #3 is Releases and Official Bonds 1870-1887 Vol.1. We are also in the correct location: Fayette County, West Virginia.
The first page of the index had several Blake individuals including the one we are looking for. The bond is indexed as being on page 210. Click on one of the first pages of the batch to see where the page numbers are located and if both left and right pages are numbered or counted.
In this case, each page in the ledger has a page number in the upper corner. Jump forward about 100 images by changing the number in the little box at the top left of the image from 129 to 229.
Image 229 was for pages 178 and 179. We are 32 pages or 16 images away from page 210. Go to image 245 (229+16) to get to page 210 which has the guardian bond taken out by Augustus BLAKE in 1886.
Click the Information tab on the bottom left, grab the top edge and pull it up to expand. We see the entire film is made up of four items. As was the case in the previous record searched for, there is no citation available.
An example of European browse-only records
In November 2015 FamilySearch started using the new viewer with the small images. I wrote an article, The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it! on how I locate the browse-only records in the Luxembourg collections.
Tip: European civil records for births, marriages, and deaths have an index at the end of each year. Instead of browsing through the records searching for the yearly index, check the tables décennales or TD. These are lists of BMD for an entire decade and also know as the 10-year index.
In the first two examples for West Virginia records the citations were not available. Don’t let this keep you from working with the browse-only records. This is not the norm. In The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it! you will see the source citations are found in the Information tab in the lower left of the window.
If you’ve never had much luck finding non-indexed records on FamilySearch, I hope these steps and tips will help you become a successful browse-only researcher on the FamilySearch site.
Earlier this month I discovered a wonderful batch of pre-Civil War records for the counties in the western Virginia which would become West Virginia in 1863. FamilySearch’s collections of digital images have been growing at an amazing speed in recent years. Every now and then I will do fairly simple searches for birth, marriage, and/or death records in Fayette County, West Virginia, for the surname DEMPSEY. This surname is in two branches of my family tree. I am always looking for new information to possibly connect the two lines or to fill in some blanks in either line.
I was not disappointed when something new showed up in a search for births in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. The hit indicated a son born to my 3rd great-grand uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY. A son I did not have in my database. When I opened up the details of the search results, I found the birth record was not for a son but for a slave.
From experience, I know when FamilySearch shows a record is not available (see camera icon with the notation in the above image) this actually means there is no image attached to the indexed material. However, the film may be available online and browse-only. I checked their catalog for the FHL microfilm number given and found Vital statistics, 1853-1860 of West Virginia, microreproduction of original manuscripts at the Virginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia, for West Virginia counties.
I spend hours working with the browse-only records at FamilySearch. Being experienced made it easy for me to find the image to the record indexed above. This post deals with the content of the record, not how I found it. If you are interested, please ask, and I will explain how in a comment to this post.
The birth of William, a son of Mary, was recorded in the birth register of Fayette County. He was born at Meadow Fork on 11 February 1857. The column for the name of the father is titled: Father’s Name in full if Child be free and born in wedlock, or Name of Owner if Child born a Slave. Wilson M. Dempsey’s name is in this column as well as the column for the informant. In the column, Relationship of Informant, he is noted as Owner.
I took a bit of time to browse through the entire batch of registers for Fayette County and found another entry with Wilson M. Dempsey as the informant. This one did not turn up in my original search which made me wonder if the entire collection has been indexed. Different search criteria turned up this indexed record in the Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917.
This indexed record shows “Orange Dempsy” was a child of “Wilson Dempsy” and “Mary.” A closer look at the actual entry in the register shows Orange was a slave.
On this entry, the child Orange was born in June 1855 on the Loop in Fayette County. He was a slave owned by Wilson Dempsey. The mother’s name was Mary. The occupation of the father is blank and his residence is listed as Amherst. Another child born as a slave of another slaveholder on the same page has blanks for the occupation and residence of the father. It’s possible Amherst refers to the residence of the father of Orange, indicating the enslaved family was separated due to Wilson Dempsey’s recent move to Fayette County. Or, Wilson Dempsey had not yet moved his family and may have taken his slave(s) there to prepare for his move.
In 1840 Wilson Dempsey was recently married to Evalina Carolyn Rhodes, a daughter of Reuben Rhodes and Tabitha Rowsie of Amherst County, Virginia. In the 1840 census of the same county, Wilson was seen with his bride and two slaves, one male 10 thru 23 and one female under 10 years. In 1850 Wilson was listed as an overseer in the Eastern District of Amherst. His wife had died in the 1840s and he’d remarried. His second wife’s maiden name is not known. The 1850 slave schedule does not have a listing for him and it is unknown for whom he was working as an overseer.
Before finding the above records, we knew Wilson moved to Fayette County in western Virginia in the 1850s. The records place him in the county in 1855, either setting up his household or permanently settled.
In 1860 the slave schedule of Fayette County includes the following enslaved black persons for Wilson M. Dempsey:
one male age 35 (possibly the male seen in 1840?)
one female age 30 (possibly Mary)
one female age 22 (or, possibly Mary)
one female age 12
one female age 8
two females age 7
one male age 3 (possibly William)
one male age 1
I have known since I first began researching my 3rd great-grandfather Seaton Y. Dempsey that his brother Wilson had slaves as well as their father William Dempsey of Amherst. However, the only indication of their keeping enslaved persons had been the 1810 census for William (3 slaves), the 1840 census for Wilson (2 slaves), and the 1860 census for Wilson (9 slaves). The birth records found this month help to name at least three of the enslaved people: Orange, William, and their mother Mary.
Each week, as I write about another set of my children’s Luxembourgish 5th great-grandparents, I review the information I have. If I haven’t worked on the family in a while, I search for baptismal and/or birth records, marriage banns, marriage records, death and/or burial records, census records on FamilySearchin the collections for Luxembourg or Lëtzebuerg.
This week I looked into the SCHAEFFER-GREISCH family. I’ll be sharing the post on Friday. However, I couldn’t wait to play this little game with you.
Lëtz Play! Can You Top This?
Have you found a record in your genealogy research which reveals as many events as the one I discovered?
When I re-read the 1810 marriage record of the SCHAEFFER-GREISCH couple who married in Esch-sur-Sûre in north-western Luxembourg, I found the widowed father of the groom was living in Bourglinster, a town in the commune of Junglinster in central Luxembourg. I found his 1819 death record in Junglinster and learned he had remarried. When and where did this marriage take place?
I located the 1809 marriage record in Junglinster and it is filled with genealogical information. Imagine finding the dates for fifteen (15) events in one record!
21 April 1809 – Date of marriage for Johann Baptiste SCHAFFER and Catherine WEINTZ
22 June 1752 – Date of birth of the groom, Johann Baptiste SCHAFFER
7 Frimaire year X – Date of death of the groom’s first wife Catherine JACQUES (aka SCHAACK)
16 January 1795 – Date of death of Jean SCHAFFER, father of the groom
21 February 1771 – Date of death of Marie BRAACK, mother of the groom
15 March 1760 – Date of death of Jean SCHAFFER, grandfather of the groom
25 March 1760 – Date of death of Susanne SCHAFFER, grandmother of the groom
3 Nov 1765 – Date of birth of the bride, Catherine WEINTZ
9 Pluviose year XII – Date of death of the bride’s first husband, Matthias REIDELER
21 February 1773 – Date of death of Michel WEINTZ, father of the bride
3 Frimaire 1797 – Date of death of Marie BRAUN, mother of the bride
12 April 1749 – Date of death of Theodore WEINTZ, grandfather of the bride
19 April 1767 – Date of death of Marguerite WEINTZ, grandmother of the bride
26 March 1809 – First proclamation of the marriage banns
2 April 1809 – Second proclamation of the marriage banns
It’s normal to find dates of death of the first spouse and deceased parents of the bride and/or groom in Luxembourgish marriage records. I have also seen the fact that the grandparents were deceased when the party was an orphan. But this was the first record I’ve seen with names and dates for the grandparents of the bride and groom.
Have you found a record with this many events mentioned? I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment or link to a post you’ve written about your extraordinary find.
This morning I had a Message Request on Facebook from Linda. Her message helped me open another door in the KREMER-WINANDY brick wall. This isn’t the first time she’s helped me out. She’s the lady who inspired me to write A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known.
In my 52 Ancestors: #16 A Door Opens in the KREMER-WINANDY Brick Wall post yesterday I wrote about how my excitement dwindled as I read through the actual entry in the parish register for the marriage event of Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDY in Fouhren. The marriage record I found didn’t have the names of the parents of the groom and I did not know where the names seen on the marriage index card (above) came from.
Linda found the another copy of the marriage record in Fouhren in which Wilhelmus CREMERS’ parents’ names were included.
May I introduce you to my children’s 6th great-grandparents Henri and Magdalena CREMERS of Arzfeld, parents of Wilhelm CREMERS aka Wilhem KREMER (ca. 1762-1814).
A Lesson Learned
While working with the parish records on FamilySearch I’ve noticed some records are included twice – having been kept in a kind of double accounting system. I should have thought of this when I noticed the parents of the groom’s names were missing.
Linda once again taught me a lesson. When working with FamilySearch collections, check the catalog and pay attention to the year range given for each batch. There may be more than one copy of the record and they may not be identical.
Included in the collection of church records are the Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index organisée par l’époux/l’épouse), a card index of marriages performed in parishes in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before 1800.
How this neat tool came to be
The Luxembourg Association of Genealogy and Heraldry (ALGH) was founded in 1984 and has its headquarters in the castle of Mersch. It does not have an internet presence. ALGH launched a huge project when the association was still young. A team of volunteers extracted all marriage information from the 156 old parish registers from before 1800 onto index cards.
The project took years to finish. The original aim of the ALGH was to make xerox copies of the index cards by parishes for members to consult in their headquarters making it unnecessary to go to the original.
FamilySearch microfilmed the marriage index cards in 1995 and included them in the church records collection for Luxembourg when they were digitized in 2012 and finally went online in 2015. The cards are in alphabetical order by groom’s and by bride’s surnames for each parish. They are also accessible in alphabetical order by groom’s surname for the entire country in Grand Duché du Luxembourg.
Why did I have to use a back door?
As I’m now working on the paternal 5th great-grandparents of my children in Luxembourg, I’ve gotten into an area which is no longer covered by the civil records kept in the country. Most of these ancestors were born, married, and had children before 1800. These can only be documented by searching through the church records.
Records after 1800 are relatively easy to access as civil records are indexed in the tables décennales, decennial tables produced every ten years since 1802. However, church records are not indexed and very hard to read.
I check the card index for marriages first as they make it easy to search for marriage records in the church records collection. Most of the time. In the example at the top, for the marriage of the SCHWARTZ-HAALER couple, the volumes and page numbers of the records are notes. Not all persons who filled out these index cards gave this information but the records can still be more easily found as the cards include the date and place of marriage.
However not all ancestors married in the town they lived in, so finding the card is not always easy. Some married in neighboring towns or in the town a bride was from. To be sure I didn’t miss anyone, I checked all persons (this works for grooms only) of a surname in the cards for the entire country.
And this is where I had a problem. The links for marriages of grooms with surnames from BIVER to HEISDORF are missing.
I went to the FamilySearch catalog to find out where they might be found. I refined the search with Luxembourg as the place and church records as the subject. Under Luxembourg Church Records Indexes I found 8 entries including Fichier des actes de mariage avant de 1800 (index cards of marriages before 1800).
Scrolling down to the Film Notes I found the collection is divided into 30 films including the missing ones (outlined in red).
The camera icon is my back door to access the cards for grooms with the surnames BIVER through HEISDORF.
This back door at FamilySearch can be used for any and all of their collections. When you go in through the front door, the name of a collection may not reflect the complete content of a collection. Not all records are indexed and not all browse only records may be showing up in a list as seen in my example above of the missing marriages for Luxembourg. Get into the habit of checking the FamilySearch catalog for the town, county, state, or country you are working on. Happy Huntings!
Last week I became curious about my “German” ancestors actually being Luxembourgers. I had finally found a map which helped me with the historical boundaries of the country I live in.
My maternal grandfather was born in 1906 in Mettendorf, Germany, and came to live in Luxembourg in July 1914, the month the First World War began. I have avoided seriously researching his line for nearly a quarter of a century. Last year I began writing about his parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and 4 sets of great-grandparents.
Now that I have access to the family books of the towns his ancestors lived in at the library of my genealogy society, I am revisiting what I have and what I need to locate. I knew that the towns were just across the border of Luxembourg to Germany but was not aware of exactly when this area belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Surprisingly, this week, I learned the records I have been avoiding researching are actually at my fingertips.
The Church Records for Echternach
While inputting data from the family books I noticed that the compiler of the Ernzen book included annotations concerning the marriage records of certain couples being found in the church records of Echternach. These records are online at FamilySearch.
I spent hours adding birth, marriage, and death records to this German branch of the family. I have not even scratched the surface. I will be busy for weeks, maybe months.
I want to have all information inputted before I do any more in-depth posts on my 4th great-grandparents and each generation back. But I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful discovery!
A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents
Marriage records in Luxembourg have always been my favorite source for information. They were the first and sometimes the only records I obtained for ancestors in this country. Some habits cannot be broken. The first thing I did when I realized the records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler were located in Echternach for religious events which took place before the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to check for marriages.
Dabam Dimissoriales honesti Joannis Adami Mayers ex Ernzen relicto legitimo filio Joanni in ordine ad matrimonium contra= hendu in honesti Adami Dietzen ex Esseling relicta legitima filia Elisabetha
I gave the certificate to the honorable Johann Adam
Meyers from Ernzen’s surviving legitimate son
Johann in order to contract marriage
to the honorable Adam Dietzen from
Eßlingen’s surviving legitimate daughter Elisabetha
These five lines written in Latin give interesting information. The fathers of the bride and groom were both deceased in 1713. The bride Elisabetha DIETZEN’s father was from Eßlingen while the groom Johann MEYERS’ father was from Ernzen.
Elisabetha and Johann were married on Monday, 27 November 1713. One has to go back to the previous page to see that the marriage took place in November and leaf back to page 22 of the register to see that the year the marriage took place was 1713.
This is, so far, the oldest marriage record I’ve found for the “German” branch of my family tree. A branch which I have disregarded for too long.
Three hundred and three years ago this month my 7th great-grandparents married and their nuptials were recorded in the church records of the very same town my husband and I married in and live today.
Source: Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 17 of 293. 1713 Marriage Dimissoriale, left page, first entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-12662-32?cc=2037955 : accessed 12 November 2016).
From time to time I do indexing for FamilySearch and found only one batch of Luxembourg records in the cue of current projects: Luxemburg, Esch Civil Registration, 1796–1923. “This project is a collection of birth, marriage, and death records from the city of Esch-sur-Alzette in south-western Luxembourg between 1796 and 1923.” Currently, 79% have been indexed and 71% arbitrated.
It looks like they are beginning to release the records which have been completed. If you have ancestors who were born, married or died in Esch-sur-Alzette you can now search by name instead of browsing the records.
Interested in doing indexing? Go to Find an Indexing Project. I’d love to see the Luxembourg records being done sooner than 2020!
If there is no pedigree collapse in the family tree we’ll have 512 sets of 8th great-grandparents. The last time I checked I had the names of 37 of these 1024 ancestors. But how many of these are well documented? Or is it possible to have them as well documented as the later generations? If we calculate three generations per century our 8th great-grandparents (generation 11) may have lived about 366 years ago or around 1650 – during the 17th century.
My 8th great-grandparents Anna Sybilla and Hannes Bartel RUPP are my earliest known RUPP ancestors. They are 2 of the 37 known ancestors in this generation. More importantly, their lives and their children’s have been documented from 1685 until their deaths using the Reformed Protestant church records of Steinseltz.
Hannes Bartel RUPP was born about 1650. This estimate was made from his age at death recorded in the church record for his death and burial. The names of his parents are unknown. In his children’s records his name was seen as Hans Barthol, Hannes Bartel and Joh. Barthol (Joh. being the abbreviation of Johann or Johannes). Naming the father when a young single person was confirmed, became a godparent, or married was characteristic of the church records. Early records for Hannes Bartel, for the time prior to his 36th year, were not found as the church records for Steinseltz, including Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, did not cover the period before 1685.
He married Anna Sybilla about 1670. The names of her parents as well as her maiden name are not known. Anna Sybilla was born about 1648 – her age at death was recorded in a short sentence about her death and burial in the church records. On 26 December 1687, when she was already a mother and married to Hannes Bartel, she became the godmother of Anna Margaretha, daughter of Hans Barthel KUNTZ and his wife Anna Juditha of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg. This child would later marry her youngest son and become her daughter-in-law.
Hannes Bartel and Anna Sybilla had the following children.
Johann Jörg “Hans Georg” RUPP was born about 1670 – his age at death was 51 years in 1721. Records were found documenting his being a godfather of at least two children.,  Johann married Anna Maria OSTERTAG, daughter of Hans Peter OSTERTAG and his wife Anna Judith, on 3 November 1693 in Steinseltz. Anna was born on 23 July 1674. Hans Georg, as he was also known, died on 24 December 1721 in Steinseltz and was buried there two days later on 26 December 1721. His widow Anna Maria died on 30 May 1749 in Steinseltz and was buried there the following day. Anna Maria was the godmother of at least five children., , , , 
Hans Martin RUPP was born before 1680 – assuming he was at least 21 years of age at the time of his marriage in 1700. He was the godfather of at three children., ,  Hans Martin married Anna Apollonia WENNER, daughter of Hans WENNER, on 16 January 1700 in Steinseltz. He died before 28 April 1707 when his widow Anna Apollonia married Johann Nicolaus NAEGER.
Anna Eva RUPP was born before 1680 as she became a godmother in 1693 – she would have had to be confirmed, likely at the age of 14-17 years, to become a godmother. Anna Eva and her future husband became a godparents for the same child on 9 October 1695. Anna Eva married Wendel RUMMEL of Cleeburg on 16 January 1700 in Steinseltz. After their marriage they lived in Cleeburg. The church records for Cleeburg for the years 1685-1755 were lost making nearly impossible to research the line. On 13 May 1725 Anna Eva of Cleeburg was mentioned in the church records of Steinseltz when she became the godmother of her brother Johann Jacob’s daughter.
Catharina RUPP was born before 1686 (birth was not found in the Steinseltz church records which begin in 1685). She became a godmother on 21 December 1703 in Steinseltz. No further record was found for her in Steinseltz.
Maria Margaretha RUPP was born before 1686 (birth was not found in the Steinseltz church records which begin in 1685). She became a godmother for Maria Dorothea, daughter of Johann Jacob RUPP Senior and his wife Anna Catharina of Steinseltz, on 24 August 1720 in Steinseltz. No further record was found for her in Steinseltz.
Johann Daniel RUPP was born about 1680. He became a godfather in 1700 in Steinseltz. He married Anna Catharina FETZER, daughter of Hans Paulus FETZER and and his wife Apollonia, on 10 February 1711 in Steinseltz. He became a godfather in 1719 in Steinseltz. Johann Daniel died at the age of 52 years on 26 January 1732 in Steinseltz and was buried there two days later.
Johann Michael RUPP was born on 3 November 1686 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized in Steinseltz. He married Anna Barbara WOLTER on 14 January 1710 in Steinseltz. Johann Michael died on 22 November 1711 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 24 November 1711 in Steinseltz.
Johann Jacob RUPP Jun. was born on 27 April 1689 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 1 May 1689 in Steinseltz. He married Maria Apollonia FETZER (1689-1743), daughter of Hans Paulus FETZER and his wife Apollonia, on 21 February 1713 in Steinseltz. Johann Jacob died on 30 October 1732 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 1 November 1732 in Steinseltz. This couple, my 7th great-grandparents, were featured in The RUPP-FETZER Family of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.
Johann Phillip RUPP was born on 26 August 1691 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 29 August 1691 in Steinseltz. He was confirmed in 1709 and became a godfather in 1714 and in 1723 Johann Phillip married Anna Margaretha KUNTZ, daughter of Hans Barthol KUNTZ and and his wife Anna Juditha, on 13 February 1714 in Steinseltz. Anna was born on 21 December 1687 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 26 December 1687 in Steinseltz. As noted earlier, her godmother became her mother-in-law. She died on 30 June 1741 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 2 July 1741 in Steinseltz. Johann Phillip died on 21 April 1751 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 22 April 1751 in Steinseltz.
Anna Margaretha RUPP was born about 23 July 1696 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 23 July 1696 in Steinseltz. Anna Margaretha was confirmed Easter of 1711 in Steinseltz. She became a godmother in 1712 and in 1715. She became a godmother for Maria Dorothea, daughter of Johann Jacob RUPP Senior and his wife Catharina, on 19 March 1723 in Steinseltz. Anna Margaretha married Johann Jacob WENNER, son of Simon WENNER and Maria Dorothea BEYERFALCK, on 13 April 1723 in Steinseltz. Johann Jacob was born on 4 March 1697 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 6 March 1697 in Steinseltz. Anna Margaretha died on 2 September 1732 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 3 September 1732 in Steinseltz. Her widower Johann Jacob WENNER died on 8 November 1732 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 10 November 1732 in Steinseltz.
Hannes Bartel RUPP died on 12 February 1707 at the age of 57 years in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, and was buried the next day in Steinseltz. His widow Anna Sybilla died a little over four years later on 11 December 1711 at the age of 63 years in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried the following day in Steinseltz.
The ages at death for Hannes Bartel and Anna Sybilla suggest she may have been two years older. This may be proven or refuted at a later date. The next step in researching this line would be to check the surrounding towns for Reformed Protestant church records or perhaps other denominations prior to 1685.
This concludes my series of posts for the RUPP line written since the beginning of the year. A complete list of posts can be found in The ROOP Book. I hope you have enjoyed meeting the ROOP, RUPE, RUPP families. Are they also your families? Please leave a comment below letting me know how you are related.
Den 21tn febr. seynd nach dreimaliger proclamation eingesegnet worden, Johann Jacob, Johann Barthol RUPP seel. gewesener burger zu Oberhoffen nachgelassener Sohn, und Maria Apollonia, Hans Paul FETZER burger zu Steinselz eheliche tochter.
On the 21st of February, after banns were proclaimed three times, Johann Jacob, the son of the deceased Johann Barthol Rupp, a former citizen of Oberhoffen, and Maria Apollonia, the legitimate daughter of Hans Paul Fetzer, a citizen of Steinseltz, were joined in marriage.
NOTE: Several birth, marriage and death records in this post may be accessed directly on the Bas-Rhin Archives’ site. On your first visit to the site, after you’ve clicked on one of the links below, you will have to scroll to the bottom of the pop-up window entitled License d’utilisation and click on Accepter to accept the terms and conditions.
The young couple, both 23 years old, were married on Tuesday, 21 February 1713 in Steinseltz, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. The groom Johann Jacob RUPP was the son of Hans Barthol RUPP and his wife Anna Sybilla, both deceased at the time of the marriage. The bride Maria Apollonia FETZER was the daughter of Hans Paulus FETZER and his deceased first wife Apollonia. The marriage entry found at the bottom of page 368 of the register is four lines long and read as seen above. The names of the mothers of the bridal couple were not given. Click here to see the image of the marriage record on the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin site.
Johann Jacob RUPP was born 27 April 1689 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized on 1 May 1689 in Steinseltz. These events were found on page 8, 2nd entry, of the church register. Click here to see the image of the birth record on the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin site. He had at least 9 siblings, 7 of whom married and 2 who lived long enough to be godparents. None of his siblings are known to have died at an early age. His father died when Johann Jacob was 17 years old and his mother when he was 22 years old.
During Johann Jacob’s adolescent years the church records include very few confirmations. Only those of his two younger siblings were recorded. However many of his older siblings were seen as godparents in birth/baptismal records. Young adults could only be godparents after they were confirmed. Before Johann Jacob married he was also the godfather of two children.
The first was quite unusual and the entry was on a piece of paper slipped into the church register. Click here to go to the image on the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin site. On 11 November 1709 an illegitimate child was presented for baptism. Johann Jacob, son of Barthel RUPP of Oberhoffen, and Anna Catharina, daughter of the deceased Hans Martin FETZER, were the godparents of the baby girl christened Anna Catharina. Her mother was Anna Maria, daughter of Michael SCHUHMACHER, a carpenter from Steinseltz. The father of the child was a regimental soldier. He may have gotten her with child without her consent or she offered her favors and ended up pregnant. The wording in German was: Anna Maria, Michael Schuhmachers seel.[ig] gew[esener] b.[ürger] u. Zimmermanns Zu St.[Steinseltz] ehelich nachgel.[assene] tochter, so mit einem soldaten beim regiment de Perry im Keüscher weiß Zugehalten, und durch Hurrerey schwanger worden. This statement suggests the young lady may have allowed the sexual intercourse as a virgin – at least in the eyes of the church.
The next time Johann Jacob was the godfather and namesake of a baby boy, son of Johann Martin PFÖRTER and his wife Anna Maria SCHUHMACHER of Steinseltz was on 11 October 1711. The mother was the same lady who had the illegitimate child in 1709. The baby boy, Johann Jacob PFÖRTER, would marry Johann Jacob RUPP’s niece 21 years later in 1732.
Following their marriage in 1713 Johann Jacob and Maria Apollonia became the parents of their first child, a daughter. Anna Maria was born on 24 April 1714 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and baptized five days later on 29 April 1714 in the Protestant church in Steinseltz. Her godparents were Johann Michel, son of the deceased Michael SCHUHMACHER, and Anna Maria, daughter of the deceased Hans MÜLLER. Anna Maria, the child, died a little more than three months later on 5 August 1714 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried in the cemetery in Steinseltz the next day. Her death and burial were annotated on the birth/baptism record and not found under deaths and burials.
Johann Jacob RUPP and the deceased Michael SCHUHMACHER were mentioned in the same records in 1709, 1711, and 1713? Was this a coincidence or was there some kind of family relation? Was Michael’s wife a RUPP? Could she have been a sister of Johann Jacob’s father Hans Barthol RUPP? Or was Hans Barthol’s wife Anna Sybilla a SCHUHMACHER?
On 10 June 1715 Johann Jacob’s brother Johann Phillip presented his first child in the church in Steinseltz for baptism. The baby boy was named after his uncle Johann Jacob who was one of the two godfathers along with Johann Walter MÜLLER, the schoolmaster of Steinseltz, and a godmother Anna Maria, the wife of Johann [surname illegible].The most interesting detail of this record was the word “Junior” seen for the first time beside the name of Johann Jacob RUPP. This was used to distinguish him from his cousin Johann Jacob RUPP who lived in Steinseltz and was two years his senior. From this time on the cousins were seen as Senior from Steinseltz and Junior from Oberhoffen (the full name of the town was not used in the parish records).
A few months later the second child of Johann Jacob and Maria Apollonia was born on 2 September 1715 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized Anna Maria on 8 September 1715 in Steinseltz. This birth was followed by Maria Margaretha on 14 November 1717, baptized a week later on 21 November 1717. Places of birth and baptism of all of their children would remain the same from 1714 to 1732.
Before the next child was born Johann Jacob was once again stepping forward to be the godfather of another child of his brother Johann Phillip RUPP. Maria Margareta was born in early August 1719 in Oberhoffen and baptized in Steinseltz on 6 August 1719. Two married ladies were the godmothers.
Johann Jacob’s wife and the mother of his children, Maria Apollonia FETZER, was a godmother for Anna Catharina, daughter of Johann Jacob WENNER and his wife Anna Margareta RUPP, born on 16 March 1724 and baptized on 19 March 1724. The mother of the child was the sister of Johann Jacob RUPP Junior.
Maria Apollonia was 36 years old when she gave birth to her 7th child, 5th living. Maria Magdalena was born 9 May 1725 and baptized on the 13th. Anna Barbara followed on 31 October 1727 and was baptized on 3 November. Maria Magdalena born in 1725 died on 13 August 1728 and was buried two days later. The next child born on 5 October 1729 was given the same name, Maria Magdalena, when she was baptized on the 9th.
Before Johann Jacob and Maria Apollonia’s last child was born, their two oldest daughters were of the age to be confirmed. The confirmation sacrament was usually received at the age of 14 or 15. Anna Maria was confirmed in 1730 and Maria Margaretha in 1731.
With her husband’s death Maria Apollonia was left a widow at the age of 43 with 6 daughters and a son between the ages of one month and 17 years. The number of children decreased a little over a week later when the baby Eva Magdalena died on 9 November 1732 and was buried the next day in the cemetery near her father.
Several events took place during the next decade and before the death of my 7th great-grandmother.
Her third oldest daughter Maria Dorothea b. 1719 was confirmed in 1733.
Three years later Maria Apollonia FETZER was the godmother of a child named Anna Rebecca baptized on 13 December 1736 in Steinseltz.
My 6th great-grandfather Johann Jacob RUPP was confirmed on 21 April 1737
The second oldest daughter Maria Margaretha b. 1717 became a godmother on 19 October 1738.
The youngest living daughter Maria Magdalena b. 1729 was confirmed in 1743.
In 1743 all of the RUPP children were confirmed but none as yet married. Their only living grandparent, Hans Paulus FETZER, Maria Apollonia’s father, died on 28 March 1743 and was buried the next day in the Steinseltz cemetery.
Daughter Maria Dorothea RUPP was 32 years old when she married Joseph EMINGER on 16 May 1752. This marriage took place the year her brother Johann Jacob was preparing to leave for America with his family.
One of these day I will go through the Steinseltz and Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg records for the period after 1752 to find possible descendants of my 6th great-grandfather’s sisters. At this point the only known descendants of Johann Jacob RUPP Junior and his wife Maria Apollonia FETZER are those of their only son, my immigrant ancestor, who went to America in 1752.