My children’s 5th great-grandparents Johann Adam GORGES and Eva Clara RODENS were both born in the 1760s in the small town of Fell. Eva Clara was 14 months older than Johann Adam. Living in such a small town, they must have known each other from a young age. Fell is today part of the municipality of Schweich an der Römischen Weinstraße (Schweich on the Roman wine road) in the district of Trier-Saar in the west of the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.
The first child of the newlyweds Nikolaus RODENS (1744-1795) and Anna SCHUE (d. 1805), Eva Clara was born on 28 November 1764 in Fell. She was baptized the following day in the Catholic church Sankt Martinus in the town of Fell. The parish church is no longer standing today. In it’s place is a church built from 1865 to 1868. The new church was built crosswise on the same spot as the old church.
Eva Clara was the first of ten children. Her siblings were Barbara 1767, Nikolaus 1770, Nikolaus 1774, Philipp 1775, Matthias d. 1776, two stillborn children in 1778 and 1779, Anna 1781, and Maria Margaretha d. 1784.
By the time Eva Clara was 24 years old and ready to marry she had only two siblings still living, her 13 years old brother Philipp and her 7 years old sister Anna.
Johann Peter GORGES (1718-1784) and Anna Maria HORSCH had four children before their son Johann Adam was born and baptized on 28 January 1766 in Fell. Like all of his siblings, he was baptized in the Sankt Martinus church in Fell.
His older siblings were Anna Maria 1758, Elisabeth 1760, Maria Angela 1762, and Barbara 1763. His younger siblings were Maximin 1767, Johann Peter 1769, and Maria Angela 1771. Johann Adam also had four older half-siblings as his father was previously married and widowed. They were Anna Maria 1752, Johann 1753, Johann Joseph 1755, and Katharina 1757.
Johann Adam was 14 years old when his mother Anna Maria HORSCH died on 17 October 1780. He was 18 when his father Johann Peter GORGES died on 31 January 1784.
Couplehood and Parenthood
Johann Adam GORGES was 23 years old when he married Eva Clara RODENS on 11 February 1789 in Fell. They would make their home in Oberfell (Upper Fell).
The young couple was married five months when the French Revolution erupted on 14 July 1789 with the storming of the Bastille in Paris. Three years later when French troops invaded Germany they were at first pushed back. But the German imperial army was defeated in late 1792 in Valmy. In August 1794, French Republican troops took Trier. All German territories on the left bank of the Rhine River were ceded to France in 1797 at the peace treaties of Basel and Campo Formio making Trier a French city. Control of the Rhineland was secured by France who would occupy the area for twenty years.
During the years France was in control of the Rhineland Johann Adam and Eva Clara raised their family of ten children. The first children born were Nikolaus on 15 March 1790, Barbara on 25 March 1792 and Anton on 12 April 1794.
Only these first three children would know their maternal grandfather Nikolaus RODENS who died two days after the youngest son Anton celebrated his first birthday. Nikolaus was buried on 15 April 1795, a day after his death.
The next two children, Matthias born 26 April 1796 and Ann born 3 July 1798 both died in 1799 within a month of each other. Matthias died on 18 February and Anna on 18 March. There was, however, a more joyful event during the year with the marriage of Eva Clara’s only brother Philipp RODENS to Gertrud HOFFRANZEN.
The French Revolution ended with the coup of 18/19 Brumaire in the Year VIII of the Republican Calendar. This was the 9th to 10th of November 1799 when Napoleon Bonaparte’s dictatorship began.
Unbeknownst to Johann Adam and Eva Clara over a decade of constant warfare was on the horizon but they continued to grow their family with the births of Johann on 21 January 1800, Katharina on 11 September 1801, and Anna on 17 May 1803.
The Napoleonic Wars began 18 May 1803, the day after their 8th child was born. The following year Eva Clara’s only sister Anna married Johann Adam SPIELES.
The family continued to increase with the birth of another son, Matthias on 8 July 1805.
The children lost their only living grandmother, Anna SCHUE, on 1 December 1805, the day before the Battle of Austerlitz. This historical event brought about the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine. A year and a half later the last child of Johann Adam and Eva Clara was born on 2 May 1807. He would live only nine months, dying on 21 February 1807.
Did not return!
Seven of the ten children born to Johann Adam and Eva Clara were living when they bade farewell to their oldest brother Nikolaus when he went off to serve in the French army. Little did they know their son Nikolaus would not return. As with many German families who received news of their sons who were fighting in foreign parts, they learned of his death. According to the Extrait Mortuaire (death notice) recorded in the Fell death register for 1812, he died on 27 November 1811 in Dax, France. He was a soldier and a chasseur. This designation is given to certain regiments of French light infantry or light cavalry to denote troops trained for rapid action.
I checked the death records for Dax, Landes, France, and did not find a death record for Nicolas GORGES dying on 27 November 1811. However, on 30 December 1811 Joseph BERNARD and Fabian SIEULANNE, an employee of the military hospital established in Dax, informed civil authorities of the deaths of fifteen men, one of them being Georges NICOLAS of the 20e Régiment de Chasseurs à Chevals. (20th Regiment of Light Cavalry). He was admitted to the hospital at Dax on 15 September 1811 and died on 27 December 1811. Could this be Nikolaus, and his first and last names were switched? There is a discrepancy in the month of death compared to the entry in the Fell death register.
In 1814 Prussian troops took Trier ending the French rule. After Napoleon’s defeat, the Franco-German borders of 1792 were restored during the Paris peace treaties of 1814 and 1815. Trier was proclaimed part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815. With the new political situation and taxes on goods crossing the western border, Trier’s economy began to steadily decline.
The End of French Influence
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars on 13 Sep 1815, the GORGES-RODENS family would soon lose their patriarch. Anton, the now oldest son, was the informant for the death of Johann Adam GORGES who died on 5 May 1816.
Eva Clara was now a widow with six children, the youngest being only nine years old. Over the next half a dozen years she saw four of them marry. Anton married Anna Maria LEHNEN (1799-1864) on 15 February 1817 in Longuich and the religious ceremony took place two days later in Fell. Barbara married Matthias SCHMITT (18200-1828) on 30 January 1823 in Longuich and the religious ceremony took place the same day in Fell. Johann married his first wife Anna Maria GRACH (1798-1832) on 26 February 1824 in Longuich. Anna married Johann ASEM (1801-1853) on 28 February 1824 in Ruwer where the religious ceremony took place the next day.
The oldest daughter Barbara was widowed when she had been married only 5 years. Three months later, on 5 April 1728, her brother Johann GORGES was the informant on her death. Who would raise the little two boys who were four and less than a year old?
The youngest son Matthias married Anna Maria FELTES (1798-1875) on 19 February 1830 in Longuich. And finally, the last of the children to marry was Katharina who married Johann DIER on 3 January 1832 in Trier. The religious ceremony took place two days later at St. Matthias, in Trier.
Johann GORGES first wife Anna Maria GRACH died on 7 November 1832 in Fell. Two months later he was marrying his second wife, Anna Maria BOTZ (1808-1863) on 10 January 1833 in Fell. Johann and Anna Maria were my children’s 4th great-grandparents.
On 22 January 1836 Anton GORGES, the oldest son, was the informant for the death of his mother Eva Clara RODENS. She left five children, all married, whose situations may have become better from 1840 due to the improving economic climate in the area.
Name: Johann Adam GORGES Parents: Johann Peter GORGES and Anna Maria HORSCH Spouse: Eva Clara RODENS Parents of Spouse: Nikolaus RODENS and Anna SCHUE Whereabouts: Fell, Longuich, Trier, Germany Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: children’s 5th great-grandfather
Thomas Schmitt and Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Klemens Ruwer mit den Orten, Ortsteilen. Höfen und Muhlen Mertesdorf (1083-1850), Eitelsback ab 1803, sowie Duisburgerhof, Grünhaus, Karthäuserhof, Koxmühle, Reisenmühle, Grünhäusermühle, Karlsmühle und Schippenmühle 1672-1905 (2007)
Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch
The JNGH 2016, an international meeting of friends of genealogy and local history in Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was on my calendar last Sunday.
The day began quite early for me since it’s a 45 minutes drive to Leudelange. I had to be there at 8:30 a.m. to set up my table representing my blog. My husband took the time to drop me off and pick me up in the evening. I was a bit nervous and driving myself would have had me out of my comfort zone.
After hooking up my laptop and second monitor and hanging up my sign and family tree, I had time for Luxracines business. As treasurer of the association, I made the rounds with Christiane, our secretary, to welcome the participants and hand out free breakfast coupons. The coupons for a cup of coffee with a croissant went over well last year and the tradition was continued by Luxracines this year.
Preparations for JNGH 2016
I attended the JNGH 2014 as a visitor and to the JNGH 2015 as a member of Luxracines helping out at their booth. I wrote about this last year in my post Working a Genealogy Stand at JNGH 2015, A First for Me! This year was completely new to me as I had a table all to myself, representing the only genealogy blog written in Luxembourg. If there are others “Made in Luxembourg” I would like to know about them.
During the summer I designed a logo for my blog and used it on visiting cards I printed up on linen paper. I placed a QR code with a link to my blog on the back of the cards. Genealogy is my hobby, not a business. I didn’t see the necessity of paying for having a logo designed and cards printed up.
I prepared my first slide presentation using LibreOffice Impress, part of the free office suite program. I rarely use MS Word or Excel and haven’t seen the necessity of updating MS Office 2003. A simple presentation on how to start a genealogy blog was all I needed. I included French and German text annotations to the screenshots for creating a blog on WordPress.com. One slide showed how the dashboard looks in English, French, and German using side by side images. Simple explanations of posts, pages, comments, tools, appearance, media, and the menu were given in English. As I said, this was my first slide presentation and there are definitely things which can be improved on it.
Not having any kind of printed material or posters, I transferred my logo to canvas (at right) using a distressed technique I learned about on Delia Creates. I’ve made a few of these since reading her posts in 2010 and have given them away as gifts. Delia posted an updated tutorial for distressed canvas in May 2011.
I had library duty last Wednesday and our president offered to print up a poster-sized family tree for my booth on the library’s plotter. My genealogy program does fan charts – full, half and quarter circles but not those nice family trees everyone envies. A few years ago I made one using Inkscape and Family Tree Art Tutorial by Jessica of Cutesy Crafts. Luckily I hadn’t deleted the file when cleaning up my laptop.
I like the way it turned out since, at the time, I put a lot of hours into placing all the names on the tree. But if I’d have known it was going to be of used I would have gone in and added a few of the recently found ancestors and framed it with a nice border.
How was my day?
Most visitors were from Luxembourg and the surrounding area. Beginners were seeking help on how to get started with their genealogy research. People who were more advanced in their research visited the stands with family and history books which could be looked through or even bought on the spot.
Christine K. from the National Library of Luxembourg’s stand came over to talk to me. She reads my blog and especially likes my Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can posts. Thank you very much! She found my blog by googling an ancestor’s name.
Julie Ann Jochum comes every year from Iowa to Luxembourg to represent Building Bridges with René Daubenfeld. She speaks only English and while things were a bit quiet she stopped by to talk to me. She had a question about Luxembourg research which probably would have even a more advanced genealogist stumped. Where can I find the birth record of an ancestor born in Spanish Luxembourg with the surname Spaniol? Without the name of a town this would mean searching through church records of all towns in Luxembourg. But where were the borders of Luxembourg when the Spanish had possession of the county? If anyone knows the answer please get in touch. Julie would love to be able to say she has an ancestor from Luxembourg.
Several friends also dropped by but there were no visitors interested in blogging. On the way home my husband and I talked about what could be done about this.
People who do not know me may think I speak only English since my blog is in English. We agreed that it might be a good idea to make three slide presentations in English, French, and German. Translating each post on the blog into French and/or German is not doable. To work around this I added translation buttons on the right widget of my blog last year. My husband suggested putting up a sign next year and adding a notice to my blog that I speak Luxembourgish, German, and French.
I’ve been thinking about putting together a few “books” with the content of my blog in pdf form. Perhaps they could be printed and placed on exhibit for people to leaf through. What else could be done to draw more attention to genealogy blogs in Luxembourg?
2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.
The JNGH 2016, an international meeting for genealogy and local history in Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, was on my calendar yesterday. JNGH is the abbreviation for the French version of the event name:
Journée Nationale de Généalogie et histoire locale
Internet Genealogy (recherches en Belgique et France)
Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Saarländische Familienkunde
GENPLUS_win (BERWE Gisbert)
Verein für Landeskunde im Saarland e. V.
Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V.
Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. – Trier
Gruppen Familien-und Wappenkunde
Ass. généalogique de Hambach-Sarreguemines
Cercle Généalogique du Pays de la Nied
Cercle Généalogique Yutz 3 Frontières
Cercle Généalogique de Longwy
Archives Nationales de Luxembourg
Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg
Building Bridges (René Daubenfeld and Julie Ann Jochum)
Cercle Culturel et Historique de Leudelange
Commune de Leudelange
Rob Deltgen (deltgen.com)
Tun Jacoby (carnifex.lu)
Kayser – Vanolst
Cathy Meder-Dempsey (Opening Doors in Brick Walls)
Books (Luxemburgensia and Postcards)
Members of the Jugendhaus Leudelingen cartered to the exhibitors and guests during the day.
Gisbert BERWE: Das Genealogie-Programm Gen-Plus (The Genealogy Program Gen-Plus)
John FELLER: Unsere Vor-, Haus- und Familiennamen – Ihre Herkunft und Bedeutung (Origins and Meanings of First, House, and Family Names)
Paul ZIMMER: Latein in den Kirchenbüchern korrekt lesen (Reading Latin Correctly in Church Records)
René DAUBENFELD: Auswanderung nach Amerika (Emigration to America)
The event, free and open to the public, began at 10 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. when the Éierewäin was offered to the participants by the commune of Leudelange. Éierewäin, Ehrenwein in German, is honorary wine in English.
Our president Rob Deltgen giving his speech at the Éierewäin
Yours truly listening to Rob’s speech.
The caterers, members of the Jugendhaus Leudelingen
Christiane and Cathy at their tables
Next year the event may need a new name as “international” better describes the participation.
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.
I mentioned in an earlier post that the images found on the Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67) site are under certain restrictions. Any utilization other than for private use, even non-commerical, is subject to a signed license agreement. What this means is I cannot share images of the records on my blog.
I’ve been working through my source citations adding as many layers as necessary to direct my reader to the actual document and had planned on writing a post on how to use the site. While putting the finishing touches to my latest post on the RUPP-FETZER family I discovered there have been changes made to their site. As I write this the news has been added to their site.
The Adeloch (parish and civil records) and Ellenbach (census) applications are now available online on all supports including tablets or phones.
More records have been added and can be viewed using their new and improved viewer. A function to embed images has been added as well as the collaborative indexation of images.
More records have been added to their online inventory.
A Personal Space has been added where you can register to help with indexation and save images.
The best part of these improvements to the site is the ability to embed images. This will allow users to upload to their website or on their blog, one or more images from thedigitized collections.The image will beavailable in high quality withabuilt-in zoom. With the use ofthis technology, itwill not be necessaryto purchasea specific licensefor public displayofimages.
Warning: Some disruption may occur on 17 and 18 May 2016 relating to the updating of content and the higher traffic on the website.
I have not yet been able to embed an image. In the post I had planned to publish today the embedded code created a link to the image on the Archives site and not an embedded image in the blogpost. It will probably be a few days before the feature is live and working correctly.
Back in the 1990’s my 4th cousin twice removed (4C2R) Theron Arvel RUPE consulted the microfilm of the Family History Library for the Protestant church records before 1752 for the little town of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg in the Bas-Rhin department in Alsace in north-eastern France. Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg is the longest name of any commune in the Bas-Rhin department. It should always be referred to in it’s entirety [previous posts have been corrected] as there is another Oberhoffen in the Bas-Rhin department. Oberhoffen-sur-Moder lies 40 km (25 miles) south of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.
An entry in Annette Kunsel Burgert’s Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America led Theron to research in Bas-Rhin for the Johann Jacob RUPP family. On pages 413-414 under entry 409 for Rubb, Joh. Jacob of Oberhoffen (Burgert did not give the full name of the town) the following information was given:
Johannes NONNENMACHER of Merckweyler md. 25 November 1721 Maria Barbara STAMBACH, daughter of Jacob STAMBACH of Oberkutzenhausen. They had 5 children: Maria Barbara 1722 md. Joh. Jacob RUBB, Anna Eva 1724-1733, Anna Maria 1727, Christina 1730 md. Joh. Michel WERNER, and Margaretha 1733. After the death of Johannes NONNENMACHER his widow Maria Barbara md. 1734 Joh. Michael FÜNFROCK. She died in 1768 and he emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1770.
Although the above was very helpful for the ancestry of Johann Jacob RUPP’s wife Barbara no information was given for his parents. Nevertheless, Burgert included very important information on the three sons of Jacob RUPP and his wife Barbara – their dates of birth and baptism as well as the name of the church record they were found in: Steinseltz Reformed Kirchenbuch.
Theron consulted the film (above) and found several entries for Johann Jacob RUPP. The first (below) was for his birth on 8 March 1723 and his baptism the next day. His parents are seen as Johann Jacob RUPP jun. (Jüngere=the younger) and his wife Maria Apolnia (sic). His godparents were Hans Georg RUPP’s son Johann Peter, Peter THOMAS’ son Johann Jacob, and Johann Philipp ERLMANN’s daughter Anna Juliana. Hans Georg RUPP was an older brother of the father of the child. The relationship of the other two sponsors has not been researched.
As fate would have it, also on the same page of the church book was the birth and baptism of a set of twins born to Johann Jacob RUPP sen. (Senior=the elder) and his wife Anna Catharina (2. above) At the time Theron, or the person helping him with deciphering and translating, thought the elder RUPP was the father of the younger RUPP and followed the elder’s trail back. Rupp Sen. was the son of another man named Johann Jacob RUPP. Confusing? At the time it seemed logical and the line of Jacob RUPP b. 1723 was seen going back two more generations with father and grandfather having the same name.
Access to the Archives of the Bas-Rhin is free. To access the site you must agree to their conditions by checking the box at the bottom “J’accepte ces conditions” (I accept these conditions). These are in French and in a nutshell allow you to use the images for your own personal use. You are not allowed to distribute them to the public or third parties without permission. If you wish to share them on the internet or in a publication you must sign a license for the public release of the images and send it to the Bas-Rhin archives for approval. This applies to commercial and non-commercial use. A fee may be applied when the use is of a commercial nature. There are several different variants of the license depending on the use of the images. Once you have agreed to the conditions, by checking the box, you may proceed to the graphic version or the adapted version of the site.
I learned about the records being online in May 2013 and found about 130 church records for RUPP individuals for the time period 1685-1752 within days but it took a bit longer to figure out where they belonged in the RUPP family tree.
The Most Important Discovery
Hans Barthol RUPP was the father of the younger Johann Jacob RUPP. Johann Jacob RUPP the elder was NOT the father of Johann Jacob RUPP the younger. They were born two years apart and most likely were cousins. Johann Jacob (father of Johann Jacob sen.) and Hans Barthol (father of Johann Jacob jun.) had an 8 years difference in age and died the same year. They were the only RUPP men of similar age during the time period in the Steinseltz church records. No reference to their parents was made in the records found. My assumption at this time is they may have been brothers. Further research will take me to Lembach and Wissembourg for Protestant church records before 1685 and more specifically during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) most likely the period in which Hans Barthol RUPP’s parents were born and married.
Above is the title page the Protestant church register of Steinseltz. This is from the LDS film and not an image from the Bas-Rhin archives site. It is in this register that all information was found for the RUPP family from the time the register began in 1685 to 1752 when the Johann Jacob RUPP family emigrated to America. As I do not have a license to use the images I have listed complete source citations at the end for all interested in seeing the actual record for the births, marriages, and deaths found. If you have problems accessing or finding them please feel free to get in touch with me for help.
Johann Jacob RUPP, son of Johann Jacob RUPP, der Jüngere (the younger) and Maria Apollonia FETZER, was born on 8 March 1723 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. He was baptized on 9 March 1723 in Steinseltz, the neighboring town where the Protestant Church was located. He died after 1792 in Maryland or Virginia.
Johann marriedMaria Barbara NONNENMACHER, daughter of Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH, on 7 February 1746 in Kutzenhausen, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France., ,  Maria was born on 17 November 1722 in Merkwiller, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France. She was baptized on 19 November 1722 in Kutzenhausen. She died after 1792 in Maryland or Virginia.
Jacob and Barbara had the following children.
Jörg Heinrich Rupp was born on 17 November 1746 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 20 November 1746 in Steinseltz. He died at less than two months of age on 7 January 1747 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was buried on 8 January 1747 in Steinseltz.
Johann Jacob Rupp was born on 22 December 1747 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 26 December 1747 in Steinseltz. It is not known if this son came to Baltimore County with his parents or where he lived during his lifetime.
Johann Michel “Michael” Rupp was born on 6 April 1749 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 11 April 1749 in Steinseltz., Michael married Magdalena “Magdaline” Tanner before 1776. Magdalena died before 3 April 1806. He also married Mary (Rhinehart) Weaver after 3 April 1806. Michael died before 13 April 1816 in Manchester, Baltimore County, Maryland, and left a will. His second wife Mary died 19 September 1848.
Johann Martin Rupp was born on 6 March 1751 in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and was baptized on 12 March 1751 in Steinseltz.,  Martin married Mary Barbara Mattias about 1777. Mary was born after 1755. He died between 1830-1835, most likely in Tennessee.
Anna Maria “Mary” Rupp was born about 1753 in Pennsylvania or Maryland. Anna married John Shower about 1772 in Manchester, Baltimore County (present-day Carroll County), Maryland. John was born about 1750. He died before 2 March 1810 and left a will. Mary died intestate in 1833.
Barbara Rupp was born about 1759 in Baltimore County, Maryland. She married George Weaver before 1778. George was born before 1755. He died in between 1800-1810. Barbara died between 1830-1840 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
The family decided to go to America after the birth of child #4. Burgert wrote, “Zweibruecken Manumissions Protocoll, Clee- and Catharinenburg, 1752: Jacob Rubb with wife and three children, from Oberhoffen, leaves for America.”
In 1770 Jacob RUPE bought Rhineharts Folly in Baltimore County, Maryland. The following year on 12 April 1771, per Burgert, Jacob RUP, German, was naturalized. Her source: Colonial Maryland Naturalizations by Jeffrey A. Wyand, Florence L. Wyand (Genealogical Publishing Com, 1975).
There may have been a son named George RUPE who signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1778 in Baltimore County, Maryland. I have not found any documentation to support his being a son nor have I located a person by this name with an estimated birth being between 1752-1757. Could the oldest living son of the emigrant have used the name George? His father owned land in Baltimore County and was most likely the Jacob Rupe who signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1778 with George Rupe and Martin Ra(u)pe.
Also included in many family trees for Jacob RUPE and his wife Barbara is a son named John. I found no trace of a John RUPE in Baltimore County, Maryland. The brothers Johann Michael and Johann Martin went by their second names, Michael and Martin. Could the fact that Jacob and Barbara named three of their sons Johann with a middle name in the German tradition have caused this confusion? There was a John RUPE in Franklin County, Virginia, from at least 1799 to after 1827. In 1812 and 1817 he was surety for the marriage of two RUPE ladies to BECKNER men. In 1827 he was security for his son-in-law Samuel BECKNER. He did not appear to have sons who lived to adulthood and his line was likely continued by 3 or 4 daughters. Further research is planned to determine if he was a son of Jacob RUPE.
Next week I will be going back another generation to Johann Jacob RUPP jun. and his family. Have you missed one or the other post about Johann Jacob RUPP and his wife Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER? Here’s a list:
Sources:  Annette Kunsel Burgert, Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America (Camden Press, Camden, Maine, 1992), pg. 413-414. Photocopy of 4 pages received from Louise Roop Akers in March 2001.  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 36 of 268, right page. Images from this site are not allowed to be shared with others, used on the internet, or for commercial purposes without permission. 1723 Baptismal Record, 6th entry under MDCCXXIII. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1737-1784, 3 E 253/13, image 14 of 54, bottom left . 1746 Marriage Record (part 1). (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 27 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1737-1784, 3 E 253/13, image 14 of 54, top right. 1746 Marriage Record (part 2). (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 27 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Kutzenhausen, Parroise protestante, BMS, 1714-1736, 3 E 253/9, image 20 of 81, right page. 1722 Baptismal Record, 4th entry (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 16 June 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 85 of 268, left page. 1746 Baptismal Record. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 2 June 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 242 of 268, left page. 1747 Death Record, right page 1st entry. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 28 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 88 of 268. 1747 Baptismal Record, right page bottom. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 92 of 268. 1749 Baptismal Record, left page bottom, 1st part. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 93 of 268. 1749 Baptismal Record, right page top, 2nd part. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 98 of 268 . 1751 Baptismal Record, left page bottom, 1st part. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).  Archives départementales du Bas-Rhin (67), Steinseltz, Paroisse protestante (réformée), BMS, 1685-1787, 3 E 4791/1, image 99 of 268. 1751 Baptismal Record, right page top, 2nd part. (http://etat-civil.bas-rhin.fr/adeloch/index.php : accessed 26 May 2013).
or How to use the (online) Municipal Archives in Metz, France
Things have been a lot busier than normal for me since the New Year. I haven’t had the time to go to my WordPress Reader and read the blogs I usually follow. Luckily most of my favorite bloggers use Facebook, Google, and Twitter and I see them as I go through my feeds. A few days ago I had a bit of time and began reading the most recent (unread) posts on my Reader.
It wasn’t very sporting of my 3rd great-grandfather Johann Joseph SCHLOESSER to spend the last years of his life in Metz, France. It’s not fair he chose to work, live, marry, have children, and die in Metz. You ask why?
While most French departmental archives I’ve consulted have civil records online, at this time, the Archives départementales de la Moselle doesn’t. They have the Tables décennales from 1792 to 1952 (10 years lists of births, marriages, deaths) and the pre-1792 parish records online but no vital records.
There may be a light at the end of the tunnel as an article I found online suggests they were to go online before 2015. On the Archives de la Moselle homepage there is a message which translates: Gradually, themicrofilms of vitalrecordswill be unavailablefrom 17November 2015.Usersare advised toinquirebefore planning a trip to the archives. None online and may not be available in the archives? Hopefully this means they are pulling the microfilms to make digital copies for the internet. I’ve subscribed to their newsletter so I won’t miss the big announcement when they go online. I promise to be a good sport until they do!
So far I haven’t received any newsletters but thanks to Laura’s post I went to the site for a quick look around. I clicked on: Recherches > Archives en Ligne > Registres Parroissiaux > Concernant Metz et ses nombreuses paroisses. I was surprised to find a notice about the municipal and departmental archives being complementary and only the images of the departmental archives were on the 57 site.
For the municipal archives of the city of Metz I followed their link which took me to the Ville de Metz – Archives Municipals. I had to jump through more than a few hoops before I got to the page which took me to the records I was interested in. The site is entirely in French (I did not find a Translate button) so I’d like to share with you how I found my way to the records.
How to get from A to B on the City of Metz’s Archives Municipals Site
This is where it starts getting interesting. Metz was divided into 5 sections so there are 5 batches of birth, marriage and death records for each year. I was searching for Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER’s death record. I knew from the 10 years lists (Tables Décennale) that he died on 24 November 1841 in Metz but not which part of Metz. We can leave out a few clicks here (I checked section 1, then section 2 and would have continued through 5).
Note: If at this point you realize you are not in the right time period and you use your back button or their Page précédente button to go back to the Plan de classement des Registres you will have to repeat clicks 5 through 8 as the list collapses when you go back.
Click 11: Most registers have an index at the end. The site is not slow but it’s faster to click on 1 (see image above) and choose the last or second to last image to get to the end of the book. Click 12: After choosing the image number you have to click on 2 (see image), an “eye” to view the image.
This is a screenshot of the the 2nd to last page (zoomed and pixelated*) in the register of deaths for 1841. The index shows my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record is number 194. Since he died the end of November I chose a page I thought would be in the area and then went forward/backwards until I found record number 194. This is similar to using images on FamilySearch (before their new feature was added) where you had to “play the numbers” to get to the page you were looking for.
*Due to the terms and conditions of the archives a license (free) must be obtained for non-commercial online use of images. I have pixelated parts of the index page to be on the safe side since I have not applied for a license.
After finding my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record I went on to search for the birth records of his four daughters who were born in section 2 of Metz in 1836, 1838, 1840, and 1841.
Now the work begins. I’ve picked out the most important items in the records (to be sure they are for the correct individuals) but a full transcriptions of each might turn up some little known clue. On item I found very interesting was the name of the street the family lived on was mentioned in each record. I’ve already taken a virtual visit of the street, rue Saulnerie in Metz, courtesy of a French blogger, Marc de Metz.
Un grand merci à Laura Aanenson for mentioning her favorite French website where I found the information about the Municipal Archives of Metz!
Week 25 (June 18-24) – The Old Homestead:Have you visited an ancestral home? Do you have photos of an old family house? Do you have homesteading ancestors?
Homesteading, Ancestral Home, and a Famous Cousin
None of my American ancestors took advantage of the Homestead Act. But homesteading is not restricted to settling on goverment land and farming it. Homesteading was and is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. The farther back we go in our families trees the more independent our ancestors were. They provided for themselves through farming, hunting, home preservation of foodstuffs, and, in the case of my 2nd great-granfather Jean FRANTZ, a linenweaver, the production of textiles.
While we are on the subject of homesteading and ancestral homes, when I was a child we visited a FRANTZ family in Mamer, Luxembourg, to watch a bicycle race. I have no idea if the house was lived in by my FRANTZ ancestors, i.e. an ancestral home.
At the time I was also unaware of the significance and the connections between FRANTZ, the town of Mamer and cycling. Family tradition, once we genealogists get involved, is often debunked. However the story of my grandmother being a cousin of the famous Tour de France winner was proven true. My grandmother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE (1909-2005) and Nicolas FRANTZ (1899-1985) were 3rd cousins – not quite as close as the story told. Their common ancestors were Paulus FRANTZ (1763-1847) and his wife Susanne KEIFFER (1754-1808).
Nicolas FRANTZ took second place in the Tour de France in 1924 and 1926 and was the winner of the tour in 1927 and 1928. In 1928 Nicolas was the first, and to date only winner of the Tour de France, to wear the maillot jaune, the yellow jersey, during the entire 20 days of the race, from the first day, due to his being the previous year’s winner, to the last day.
Having a Tour de France winner as a cousin is amazing. Even more so is I actually enjoy the same sport he excelled in. This is quite a statement for a girl who did everything to get out of doing sports while growing up.
Jean “Johann” FRANTZ and Marie “Maria” MAJERUS
My 2nd great-grandfather Jean FRANTZ was born in Mamer on 3 December 1837 to Jean FRANTZ (1794-1880) and his wife Elisabeth “Elise” FRISCH (1800-1880). On 16 February 1870 he married Marie MAJERUS. Marie was born in Mamer on 19 June 1850 to Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) and his wife Marie TRAUSCH (1820-1875).
The young couple lived with Marie’s parents in 1871 and with her widowed father in 1875. Census records indicate Marie was the only child of the MAJERUS-TRAUSCH couple. By 1880 Jean FRANTZ and his wife had their own household. Marie’s widowed father lived with them in 1880, 1885, and 1887. Jean and Marie continued to be enumerated as a family in Mamer in the census in 1890, 1895, and 1900. From 1858 to 1900 Jean’s occupation was a linen weaver. They lived in the “Brücke bis Weweschgâss” area of Mamer. At the time mostly farm land, today this is a residential area.
When Jean and Marie’s children married the occupation of the parents was consistently listed as farmers, Ackerer or Ackerleute, on the marriage records for the period 1892 to 1916.
When Jean died on 24 February 1929, in his 92nd year, his occupation was cultivateur or farmer in his obituary.
Jean was survived by his wife Mrs. Jean FRANTZ, née Marie MAJERUS; his children Mrs. Jos. FOURNELLE, née Cath. FRANTZ; Mrs. Paul GERSTEL, née Joséphine FRANTZ; Jean FRANTZ; Mrs. François VESQUE, née Pauline FRANTZ; Jean-Pierre FRANTZ; Mrs. Théophile HILBERT, née Marguerite FRANTZ; and Joseph FRANTZ.
His wife Marie died two years later, on 13 September 1931 in her 82nd year.
For Jean’s widow Marie, the same children were listed. Missing in both obituaries is the oldest daughter Marie FRANTZ who predeceased her parents. Suzanne MIETTE and Guy HOSTERT, listed after the children of Jean and Marie, were Marie FRANTZ’s children.
The FRANTZ Children
1. Marie FRANTZ 1871-bef. 1929
Marie FRANTZ was born 11 January 1871 in Mamer. She lived at home with her parents and siblings until about 1885 when she went to Metz, France, to work as a servant. In February 1887 she was still in Metz and by the next year, she took a position in Reims, France, where she was working in 1890. By 1895 she was no longer mentioned in her parents’ household on the census suggesting she married between 1891-1895. Her marriage to Eugène Léon MIETTE was found in the 2e Arrondissement of Paris. They were married on 21 June 1892 and divorced on 16 July 1906. They had a daughter Suzanne Léonide Jeanne Marie MIETTE born in 1895. After her divorce, Marie married Mr. (given names unknown) HOSTERT and had a son Guy HOSTERT who was photographed in Paris, France, at the time of his Communion in 1921. Marie died before 24 February 1929.
2. Catharine FRANTZ 1872-1934
Catharine FRANTZ, my great-grandmother, was born on 17 November 1872. She lived at home with her parents and siblings until about 1889 when she went to Arlon, Belgium, to work as a servant. Soon after December 1890, she began working in Reims, France, where she lived when the census was enumerated in December 1895. She was back home in Mamer on 9 July 1900 when she married Jean Joseph FOURNELLE, my great-grandfather. She went with her newlywed husband to live in Echternach where she raised three children. She died 16 March 1834 in Echternach.
3. Catharina Joséphine “Joséphine” FRANTZ 1874-aft. 1945
Catharina Joséphine FRANTZ was born 25 September 1874. She went by Joséphine. She lived at home with her parents and siblings until about 1893 when she went to work in Reims, France. She married Paul GERSTEL in 1900 and had two sons, Pierre and Jean. Her husband died before 24 February 1929. The family lived in Paris, France. Joséphine was living with her younger son Jean and his family on 1 January 1946. It is not known when she died.
4. Johann “Jean” FRANTZ 1876-1946
Johann FRANTZ was born 22 July 1876. He lived at home with her parents and siblings until about 1894 when he went to work in Reims, France. In December 1900 he had been in Esch-sur-Alzette for three months. A half a dozen years later he married Pauline VESQUE on 27 August 1906 in Contern. They had one daughter Daisy. Jean died 20 May 1946 in Dudelange. He was a retired postal worker decorated with the Order of the Oak Crown (l’Ordre Grand Ducal de la Couronne de Chêne). His wife Pauline died on 29 November 1956 in Hastière-Lavaux, Belgium.
5. Jean Pierre FRANTZ 1878-1879
Jean Pierre FRANTZ was born on 28 June 1878 and died 8 February 1879 at the home of his parents. He died at the age of 2/3 year per his death record.
6. Paulina “Pauline” FRANTZ 1880-1966
Paulina FRANTZ was born on 29 June 1880. In December 1880 when the census was enumerated she was listed as a son named Paul. She went by Pauline. She lived at home with her parents and siblings until about 1897 when she went to work in Reims, France. She may have lived with her sister Catharine and her family in Echternach around 1906 as she was included in a family portrait (seen above under #2). On 15 May 1910 Pauline married Johann Peter François “Franz” VESQUE. Franz worked for the railroad, Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois. Pauline and Franz had one daughter Maisy who served time in prison for killing a man and never married. The family lived in Oetrange in the commune of Contern. Franz died 11 Feb 1964 in Oetrange and Pauline died 27 December 1966 in Luxembourg City. Their daughter Maisy died in April 1969.
7. Johann Peter FRANTZ 1882-1970
Johann Peter FRANTZ was born 14 October 1882. Johann Peter married Hélène KILL on 2 April 1913 in Mamer. They were the parents of three children: Jos, Paul, and Anna Maria. Their son Paul continued the family tradition of cycling. In 1936 he participated in the Olympic Games in Berlin, representing Luxembourg along with three other cyclists in the individual and team road race events. Johann Peter died 1 December 1970 in Luxembourg City. His widow Hélène died 12 October 1972, also in Luxembourg City.
8. Maria Margaretha “Marguerite” FRANTZ 1885-1977
Maria Margaretha FRANTZ was born 12 March 1885 in Mamer. She went by Marguerite. She married Johann Theophile “Théo” HILBERT on 25 October 1908 in Mamer. In 1915 their only daughter Margot Thea was born. Marguerite’s husband Théo was the driver of the car owned by Nicolas Frantz I (Tour de France winner) involved in two accidents in 1927, the first resulting in the death of a young boy and the second in the death of Nicolas Frantz II. Théo died 3 January 1946 in Mamer. His widow Marguerite died 22 March 1977 in Mamer.
9. Nicolas FRANTZ 1886-1886
Nicolas FRANTZ was born 16 April 1886. He lived only a month, dying on 18 May 1886 at his parents’ home in Mamer.
10. Johann-Joseph “Jos” FRANTZ 1888-1940
Johann-Joseph FRANTZ was born 4 September 1888. He married Marguerite BERWICK on 24 April 1916 in Mamer. They were the parents of two sons, Erny and Germain, born in Dudelange where the family lived. Johann-Joseph, also known as “Jos” was a teacher. He died 23 April 1940 in Dudelange. His widow Marguerite died seven months later on 28 November 1940.
New Lessons Learned
Without the photographs, newspaper clippings, thank you notes, funeral cards and other memorabilia saved by my maternal grandmother I would not have been able to tell their story in such detail.
Questions remain and may lead to new stories. I want to know more about Maisy VESQUE who served time in prison for killing a man. I’ve found newspaper articles about the deaths caused by Theo HILBERT when he was driving the car owned by Nicolas FRANTZ. A third question, I was able to answer and in doing so learned a new lesson.
I don’t know how many times I have asked myself who are “Mr Eugène Raymond, Mme, née Suzanne Miette et leur(s) enfant(s)” mentioned in Jean and Marie FRANTZ-MAJERUS’ obituaries? I knew Guy Hostert was the son of their deceased oldest daughter, Marie. Eugène or Suzanne had to be their grandchild and, since great-grandchildren were also mentioned, he or she had to have been born to one of the oldest daughters.
I don’t give up easily and the question took me to the online archives of the cities of Reims and Paris, France. Finding records in large cities is daunting. My persistence paid off. I found the records I needed to prove the relationship of Suzanne MIETTE and in doing so also learned how to use the Archives of Paris database.
If anyone is interested, feel free to leave a comment and I may write a post on how to use the Archives de Paris site.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.
André FOURNELLE, my 2nd great-grandfather, was born at 11 o’clock on the morning of 25 August 1838. The following day his father André FOURNELLE (1799-1866), 40 years old and a farmer, went to the records office of Rodange, Canton of Messancy, Province of Luxembourg, at 8 o’clock in the morning to inform the officials of the birth. Marie Catherine PHILIPPART (1801-1843), 38 years old and without an occupation, was the mother of André.
Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER, my 2nd great-grandmother, was born on 16 February 1840 in Metz, Department Moselle, Region Lorraine, France. She was the daughter of Johann Joseph SCHLOESSER (1807-1841) and Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897). Odile’s father was from Vianden (Luxembourg) and her mother from Echternach (Luxembourg). They may have met while working in Metz as this is where they married in 1835. Following her father’s death Odile moved to Echternach with her mother and sisters to live with their CONSBRÜCK family.
It is not known how André and Odile came to meet. Since Echternach is a border town it is possible André was stationed there for a time as a border guard. From his military accounts book, we know he saved a man’s life on 25 June 1866 from drowning in the Sauer River which is the border between Luxembourg and Germany and passes by Echternach.
When André and Odile married on 28 September 1867 in Echternach the groom was a resident of Surré (Syr or Sarre) a village belonging to the commune of Boulaide, a town in northern Luxembourg. André was 29 years old and his parents were both deceased. Odile was 27 years old and her date and place of birth were listed on the marriage record. Her father’s death in Metz was mentioned; her mother was living, present, and consenting to the marriage. The banns had been read in Boulaide and in Echternach on four consecutive Sundays: the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd of September. The four witnesses present, Laurent KIESEL, Mathias Gaspard SPOO, Johann HERR, and Peter LANSER, were cousins of the bride. All persons present signed the marriage record.
A little over two months later on 3 December 1867 the census was enumerated in the village of Surré in the commune of Boulaide where André and Odile were living as newlyweds in a house known as Hannes. André signed the census slip in the lower right corner.
On 17 February 1869 André went to the records office of Boulaide to have the birth of his first child recorded. It was 6 in the evening when he met with the mayor Johann Reding to have the birth record filled out. Maria was born only an hour earlier to André’s wife Odile. He must have been anxious to get the formalities taken care of!
On 20 Feb 1871, two years and 3 days later, André was once again meeting with Johann Reding to register the birth of his son Johann Joseph. The child was born at 6 in the morning to Lucie SCHLOESSER in Surré. Lucie being Odile’s second name. André waited a bit longer than he did following the birth of Maria, until 1 in the afternoon, to go to Boulaide.
On 1 December 1871 the entire family was auf Besuch (visiting) in Elsaß (Alsace, France) when the census was enumerated in Surré. André’s wife’s name was incorrectly listed as Louise Schneider by Mr. Thilmani who gave the information. Beside André’s name in the second column he noted as the father of the family group and in Alsace. I have not been able to decipher the word before Elsaß.
In 1875 the family was in Surré. The person who recorded the names used the German spelling. Andreas, Audile, Maria, Joseph FOURNELLE as well as Odile’s sister Anna SCHLOESSER were in the household. In line 4 my great-grandfather Joseph, who was 4 years old, is listed as normally NOT being a member of the household and had been auf Besuch (visiting) for 10 days. I believe the recorder meant for this to be in line 5 for Odile’s sister Anna. She was also listed on the census with her mother in Echternach.
A year and a half later André and Odile’s third child Marie Josephine was born on 29 May 1877 in Winseler, Wiltz, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Both of the parents are listed as 39 years old although Odile was only 37 years old at the time. The birth record helps to place the family in Winseler in 1877. André was still working as a border guard but we do not know when the family made the move to Winseler or how long they stayed there.
Because of André’s occupation the family may have moved around more than I know of. I did not find them on the control lists for the commune of Winseler in 1880. They were not in Winseler or Echternach in 1890. In 1895 and 1900 they were found in Echternach. This leaves a gap of 16 years between 1877-1895 which I haven’t found records for.
In 1895 André was living in Echternach with his wife and their three single children. His wife Odile was now using her middle name Lucie. André was now retired from his job as a border guard.
When Marie Josephine married in 1902 to Aloyse BAUER her brother Johann Joseph and her brother-in-law Émile MONNIER were witnesses. Émile was from Lille, France, and was the husband of the oldest FOURNELLE daughter Marie. Did Marie leave Luxembourg to work in a city in France? Did she meet Émile and marry him in Lille where she raised a family of 4 sons?
André FOURNELLE didn’t sit back and do nothing after his retirement. He had several fruit orchards in Echternach which he cared for after he was pensioned. He entered is prize fruits in the local agricultural exhibition which took place in Echternach on 28 September 1904. André received honorary mentions for his table apples and a second place with a silver medal, for his table pears.
On 21 November 1908 at 11 a.m. André was one of four witnesses at the marriage of his niece Maria-Josephine MAAS and her groom Johann MISCHAUX. That evening at 6 p.m. he died at his home. I wrote about this in The Very Last Signature of André FOURNELLE. My great-grandfather Johann Joseph FOURNELLE and Johann MAAS, father of the bride, were the informants on André’s death record.
Less than three years later André’s widow died at nine in the evening at home in Millenoacht. Her son Johann Joseph FOURNELLE and her nephew-in-law Johann MISCHAUX were the informants on her death. Odile SCHLOESSER was the name seen on her death record. She was seventy-one years old.
The prayer cards printed after her death had the name favored by my 2nd great-grandmother Lucie.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.