A statue from about 1740 of Saint Jean-Népomucène can be found in the interior of the Saint-Nicolas church in Vianden, Luxembourg. A copy of the statue has been on the picturesque bridge over the Our River in Vianden since 1865. The people of Vianden have given him a bizarre but kind name, a phonetic deformation of “pomucène” – Bommenzënnes. In Echternach, he watched over the banks of the Sauer River until the bridge and his statue were destroyed in 1944 during World War II.
After the new bridge was built the statue was replaced by a replica as seen in my title photo which shows the Sauer River flooding its banks this week.
Saint John of Nepomuk
Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393) is the saint of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was drowned in the Vltava (Moldau) River at the command of King Wenzel IV (Wenceslaus), King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Historically John of Pomuk, a small market town later renamed Nepomuk, was drowned in 1393 on the orders of King Wenzel because of disagreements over church politics. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of Queen Johanna of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional despite threats and torture. On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against slander and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning. He was canonized in 1729 by Pope Benedict XII.
I found it interesting that my fourth great-grandfather Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER had the same first name as the saint who shares the honor of being the protector from floods and drowning with Saint Nicolas in Vianden. He was born and raised in Wiltz but Vianden was the town where he later married and raised his family.
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, the son of Joseph SCHLOESSER (1729-1800) and Catherine ARENDT (1730-1796), was born on 18 March 1764 in Wiltz. He was the sixth of ten children. Three of his siblings, the oldest and two youngest, died within a few days or months of their births. All others lived into their sixties and seventies except for one brother who died at the age of 44. His parents were both still living when Jean-Népomucène married Margaretha TRAUDT on 26 April 1790 in Vianden.
Margaretha TRAUDT, the daughter of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL, was born on 8 August 1766 in Vianden. She was the youngest of nine children. Several of her siblings are known to have lived to adulthood and marry. They may have grown up with a step-mother as Barbe BILL died on 18 May 1769 in Vianden when her youngest was only a little over two and a half years old. A widower named Nicolas TRAUDT married Barbara KÖNY on 1 October 1769 in Vianden. More research is needed to determine if this marriage was the second marriage for Margaretha’s father.
Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT were the parents of a dozen children born between 1791 and 1809 in Vianden. The father of these children worked as a nailsmith or Nagelschmied to support his family.
His wife Margaretha died 30 November 1809 at the age of 43 years, the day after giving birth to her last child. The children were:
Maria Catharina born 11 February 1791 and died 11 March 1791 at the age of 1 month
Joseph born 3 February 1792 and died 27 February 1811 at the age of 19 years
Maria Magdalena born 11 May 1793 and died 3 September 1859 at the age of 66 years
Johann born 9 November 1794, death unknown (may have died before 1799 when another child was named Johann)
Gregorius born 16 September 1796 and died 20 December 1847 at the age of 51 years
Catharina born 21 September 1798, death unknown
Johann born 7 August 1799 and died 6 April 1864 at the age of 64 years
Johann Peter born 19 July 1801, death unknown. He was living in 1825.
Peter born 29 June 1803 and died 8 June 1818 at the age of 14 years
Joseph Jacob born 30 March 1805 and died 10 February 1807 at the age of nearly 2 years
Jean Joseph born 29 March 1807 and died 25 November 1841 at the age of 34.
Maria Catharina born 29 November 1809 and died 5 August 1810 at the age of eight months. Her name was seen as Anna Catharina on her death record.
Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage
Jean-Népomucène waited a full year before he remarried. The bride, Elisabetha HAMELING, was fifteen years younger than the groom when they married on Christmas Eve in 1810. She gave him two children. Laurent was born on 12 August 1812 and Gregorius on 9 February 1815. The second son lived only a little more than six weeks dying on 27 March 1815.
The children marry
Ten years after his marriage to Elisabetha the SCHLOESSER children were growing and the banns were being published for the first marriages.
Gregorius SCHLOESSER, likely the oldest living son at the time, married Marguerite HACK (1794-1821) on 11 April 1820 in Clervaux. His younger brother Johann was one of the witnesses to his marriage.
Maria Magdalena SCHLOESSER, the oldest daughter, married Mathias COLLING (1793-1846) on 24 February 1824 in Vianden. Her brother Johann Peter SCHLOESSER was a witness to her marriage.
Gregorius’ wife died on 5 September 1821 and he waited four years before he married again. Marguerite ALFF (1797-1853) was his bride and they married on 21 December 1825 in Clervaux. His brother Johann Peter of Vianden was a witness.
Jean-Népomucène causes problems at my 3rd great-grandfather’s wedding
Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden. He was 69 years old and still working as a nailsmith or cloutier as this old profession was known in French. The informant on his death record was his youngest son Laurent from his second marriage who was 21 years old.
Jean-Népomucène’s death left my third great-grandfather without parents to give consent to the marriage he planned two years later. Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER was 28 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897) on 17 November 1835 in Metz, Department Moselle, in France. She was 25 and from Echternach.
When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family the civil records for the city of Metz were not available online. I had found their date of marriage and the dates of birth of their four daughters in the 10-year lists (Tables décennales) but did not have copies of the records. While writing this I realized it had been two years and the archives for the municipality should by now have the civil records online. [insert Happy Dance here]
I now have the digital copies of all five records but, due to terms and conditions, I cannot share images of them on my blog without getting special permission. What I can do is share the link to the Schloesser-Consbruèck marriage record for viewing:
From the record I learned, when presenting his paperwork to marry, Jean Joseph gave the name of his father as Jean SCHLOESSER. A copy of the death record of the father of the groom was presented as evidence. This caused a problem as the name on the death record was Jean-Népomucène and not Jean. Jean Joseph was then required to present the death records of his grandparents since his parents were deceased and there was a doubt the death record was for the correct person. Jean Joseph swore under oath that he did not know the dates of death or place of death for his grandparents and would not be able to obtain the records. He also presented a certificate from the commune of Vianden which stated he was able to enter into a contract of marriage with the person he had chosen according to the law.
His bride Anna Maria presented a notarized document giving parental permission to marry. Her parents were not present at the marriage as they were living in Echternach. On the marriage record as well as on the birth records the first three daughters, Anna Maria’s place of birth was seen as Etternach (Belgium). On the birth record of the youngest daughter, the mother Anna Maria’s place of birth was correctly given as Echternach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It shows the importance of finding all records to document a family group. Without all information, I may have disregarded the documents with the incorrect place of birth for Anna Maria.
Two more marriages take place
Johann SCHLOESSER, the second oldest son and 38 years old, married Anne Catherine Margaretha de THIERRY (1792-1862) on 13 September 1837 in Mompach, near Echternach. His bride was 45 years old.
The youngest son and only living child from Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage, Laurent married Anne-Marie FRIEDERICH (1812-1867) on 10 July 1838 in Beaufort, near Echternach. Laurent’s mother Elisabetha HAMELING was present and consenting to the marriage.
Deaths in the family
Five months after she attended the wedding of her only living child, Elisabeth HAMELING, the widow of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, died in Beaufort on 14 December 1838. She had been living with her son Laurent and his wife following their marriage.
My third great-grandfather Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 25 November 1841 in Metz. He was only 34 years old and had worked as a locksmith or serrurier. In German, this occupation is Schlosser with Schlösser or Schloesser being the plural form. Schlösser also translates to castles. Jean Joseph’s widow and daughters returned to Echternach where Anna Maria continued to make a living as a seamstress.
It is not known when Johann Peter, who was last seen in 1825 at the marriage of his brother Gregorius’ marriage, died. Gregorius died at the age of 51 on 20 December 1847 in Clervaux. Maria Magdalena died at the age of 66 on 3 September 1859 in Vianden.
In 1864 the last two known living SCHLOESSER children were Johann and his half-brother Laurent. Johann died at the age of 64 in Echternach on 6 April 1864; his deceased wife’s nephew was the informant. They likely did not have children as his wife had been 45 years old when they married. The baby of the family, Laurent died at the age of 51 in Beaufort on 31 May 1864; his son-in-law was the informant.
Jean-Népomucène’s SCHLOESSER family was large and he came from at least two generations of large families. Documenting these families was made a lot easier by using the research of my 6C1R Joseph SCHLOESSER, a direct male descendant of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Jeanette GASPERSCH, the grandparents of my Jean-Népomucène, as a guide. Villmols merci, Jos.
Sources: I’m taking the easy way out again this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.
Sometimes I am amazed at the discoveries I make when I sit down to write about these ancestral couples. Of course this only happens when I do a new round of research to learn more about the couple, their children, their parents and siblings, and any other possible connections.
While working through this family group, I discovered the father of the nearly 20 years old Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS had not died in 1791 as believed. The discovery of his death record started an avalanche of records which I will work through when I do the next generation. You’ll get a tiny peek below.
After the marriage banns had been read in Wallendorf and Bissen, and there being no objection to the marriage, a minor young man named Mathias FREDERICH and a young woman who was of age named Maria OLSEM were married on 7 February 1791 in the parish of Wallendorf. At the time Wallendorf was part of Luxembourg; after 1815 it became part of Germany.
Mathias was the legitimate son of Joannis FREDERICH, a farmer who was present, and the deceased Catharina FEDERSPIEL, both of Dillingen. Maria was the legitimate daughter of the deceased couple Martini OLSEM and Margaretha MAY of Colmar. Witnesses to the marriage were J.P. MAY from Bastendorf (could he have been a maternal uncle?) and Franciscus CONCEMIUS from Bettendorf. The groom, bride, and father of the groom left their mark while the two witnesses to the marriage signed their names. [Names are given as found in the marriage record.]
Mathias’ parents were Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH (1741-1811) and Catharina FEDERSPIEL (1746-1785). Catharina died on 30 November 1785 in Dillingen. She left her husband Johann with three sons and a daughter between the ages of 2 and 15 years. Records for this family were found in Wallendorf-Pont and Beaufort.
Maria’s parents were Martin HUNTGES also known as Martin OLSEM (1722-1782) and Margaretha MAY (1727-1789). They were the parents of six known children who carried the OLSEM surname and were born in Colmar between 1756-1773. When Martin OLSEM died on 13 October 1782 in Colmar and was buried in Berg, he left his wife with five children at home. Their oldest son had married earlier in the year. Margaretha, Maria’s mother, saw her two oldest daughters marry before she died on 6 June 1789 in Colmar and was buried in Berg. Maria was now the oldest unmarried child with a younger brother and sister.
The First Clue to an Error
Following the marriage of Mathias and Maria in 1791, a Johann TIVELS died on 20 August 1791 in Dillingen. The record was misinterpreted by an earlier researcher who attributed the death to Mathias’ father Johann TIVELS. When I viewed the death record, I questioned it being for the father as it read Joannes infansis Joannis Tivels (Johann child or infant of Johann Tivels). Johann Sr. was, I thought, a widower at the time and would have been seen in the parish register entry as viduus.
Mathias and Maria’s Children
Mathias and Maria lived in Dillingen their entire married life. They likely attended the little church seen above in the background. The old cobblestone paved bridge which crosses the Sauer River, the border between Luxembourg and Germany, leads into the town.
The first known child of Mathias and Maria was a male stillborn on 5 July 1794 in Dillingen. The information is attributed to the Familienbuch der kath. Pfarrei St.Peter und Paul in Wallendorf by Mathias Emil Hubsch. The family book of Wallendorf includes the towns of Hösdorf (1744-1822), Ammeldingen and Biesdorf (1744-1899) and Dillingen (1744-1807). I’ll check the book when I visit the Archive Luxracines tomorrow.
Maria and Mathias’s second child, a daughter Maria FRIDERICH was born on 14 April 1796 in Dillingen. Her birth was found in the index to the microfilm records Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898.
On 14 April 1802, exactly six years later Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, the last known child of Mathias and Maria, was born in Dillingen. Her birth record has not been located. The date of birth was found on the 1846 census. Or should I use 15 April 1803, the date found on the 1849 census? Normally a date of birth would be found on her marriage record but, in this case, her age and date of birth were omitted on the record. At the time of death on 28 October 1871, she was listed as 70 years old.
Mathias’ Father Dies
Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH, father of Mathias, lived twenty years longer than first believed. Mathias was 39 years old when he went before Johann Georg EVEN, mayor of Beaufort, and reported the death of his father in Dillingen on 4 August 1811 in his home known as Thivels. The death record had a surprising detail. Johann left a widow named Maria BOUR.
Further research showed that due to the nature of the surnames used in different records [changing surnames and house names] the connection had not been made by others who have researched the areas of Wallendorf, Dillingen, Colmar, and Beaufort. I believe this is due to the difference between research done for family books of towns and research done for families. Town family books are wonderful references but verification of the dates and places for the individuals and family groups needs to be obtained by accessing the records.Johann THIVELS married Catharina FEDERSPIEL and Johann FRIEDERICH married Maria BOUR. Since the Johann who married Catharina was believed to have died in 1791 the connection to Johann who married Maria BOUR was not made. The son Mathias from the first marriage is the common denominator and led me to the records which I believe prove only one Johann married both ladies. His second marriage took place three and a half months after his first wife’s death. I am still working on the children of the second marriage. The death record of a son Peter who lived less than a month and died in 1786 lists the father as Joannis FREDERICH vulgo TIVELS and shows the connection between the two names as is later seen on Johann’s death record.
A year after he was seen as the informant on his father’s death record, Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS died on 16 August 1812 in Dillingen. He left a wife, Maria OLSEM, and a daughter Elisabeth who was just ten years old.
So little is known of the FRIDERICH-OLSEM couple that I focused my research a bit more closely on the siblings of Mathias and Maria. Although I knew Maria lived another 16 years after Mathias died and would die in Dillingen, I wondered if there may be stronger connections between her and her family in Colmar. This turned up a strange intertwined connection.
Maria’s brother Dominique OLSEM was 38 years old when he married the 26 years old Susanne HAMES on 18 May 1806 in Berg.  They had four children.
Mathias’ youngest sibling and only sister Marie TIWELS married Joseph KOOB on 11 January 1808 in Bettendorf. She was 26 years old. They had a son.
Dominique OLSEM died on 28 Mar 1813 in Colmar and Marie TIWELS died on 16 May 1815 in Moestroff. Dominique’s widow Susanne HAMES and Marie’s widower Joseph KOOB married on 29 November 1815 in Berg. Perhaps Marie played matchmaker for her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Or the matchmaker could have been her older brother Nicolas OLSEM who was a witness to the marriage in Berg.
Marie OLSEM died on 1 April 1828 in Dillingen.  The informant gave her age as 73 years but she was only 64. She was survived by her daughter Elisabeth and one living sibling, Maria Barbara OLSEM who died on 16 December 1829 in Wiltz.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was not yet married and celebrated her 26th birthday a little over two weeks after her mother’s death. Almost two years later, on 17 February 1830, she married Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) in Bettendorf  to begin her own little family. It would not be a happy first year of marriage…. Her story continues here.
Before I begin writing my 52 Ancestors posts, I review the information I have, revise notes, check for missing information, and add or fix source citations. The process has twofold results. I’m getting my stories written and my database is being cleaned up at the same time.
But the parents and siblings of Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867), my children’s 4th great-grandfather, still deserved a few hours of research.
A Key to Open the Door in this Brick Wall
Let me introduce you to Joseph CREMERS who had the key in his baptismal record which led to my finding the missing information.
Today the 23rd day of the month Frimaire in the 7th year of the French Republic at 9 o’clock in the morning came before me, Pierre Peters, agent of the commune of Hosingen … Wilhelm CREMERS, herder, resident of Wahlhausen, assisted by Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis, both of age and residents of Wahlhausen, and declared that Magdelene VENANDY, a native of Fouhren in the canton of Vianden and his legal wife gave birth yesterday the 22nd day of the present month at [illegible] o’clock in the evening at his home in Wahlhausen, a male child who he presented and gave the name Joseph, …. the citizens Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis confirmed this was true …. they signed in the presence of the agent and the father declared not being able to write. (a rough translation)
The Wall Came Tumbling Down
Joseph’s baptismal record led to my searching the church records of Fouhren for the baptismal record of the mother who was a native of the town. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I had no idea how old the mother was and soon became frustrated with viewing the old script. I asked myself, “If she was a native of the town, did she marry there?”
I checked the marriage index cards and found the marriage of Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDY in Fouhren.
I was ecstatic when I found this card with the names of the bride and groom as well as their parents’ names. My excitement dwindled as I read through the actually entry in the parish records for the marriage event.
On the 3rd of June 1793 after proclamation in the church parishes of Fouhren and Stolzembourg and, there being no impediment to the marriage, were joined in marriage of mutual consent Wilhelmus CREMERS of Arsfeld, a parishioner of Stolzembourg, and Maria Magdalena VENANDI, daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg who attend the Walsdorff parish of Fouhren and have their fixed domicile in Stolzembourg. Witnesses were Joannes Urhausen, a married man of Stolzembourg, and Joannes Lentz, a widower from Walsdorff. The bride and groom signed with their mark and the witnesses with their names.(a rough translation)
The marriage record brought to light two things. First, the parents of the groom were not mentioned on the record. Did the person who typed up this index card “know” the names of the parents or did he misread the record as it is on the bottom of one page and top of the next? Second, the couple had a reason for marrying. Since the until now earliest record for this couple was the birth of their daughter Eva on 10 September 1793, we can imagine the reason they were married on 3 June 1793.
And Then I Found More Children
With the discovery of the son Joseph and the marriage record, I searched again for other children born in Hosingen and Weiler area, where previously found children were born. From Joseph’s baptismal record I knew Wilhelm was a herder and the family may have wandered around. I found two more baptismal records and two death records. Two sons were discovered in the GEDCOM file of a Luxracines member on my genealogy society’s site however I was not able to find the records to support the dates and places. After sending him a query, Rob Deltgen pointed me in the right direction. Using his tip I found three of the four missing birth records and three death records. I now have all marriages and deaths for the family documented as well as the births of seven of the nine children. For the two missing birth records I have marriage records, secondary evidence of the births.
CREMERS-VENANDI to KREMER-WINANDY
Wilhelm CREMERS married Maria Magdalena VENANDI on 3 June 1793 in Fouhren. Madelaine, as she would be known in later years, was the daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg.
Three months later at 9 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday, 10 September 1793 Maria Magdalena VENANDI gave birth to her first child. The father Wilhelmi KRIEMER reported the birth of the female child who was baptized the same day and named Eva. Her godmother was Eva VENANDI of Stolzembourg and her godfather was Joannes SCHNEIDERS of Putscheid. [The godparents have been tagged for future research.]
The second known child of Madelaine and Wilhelm was their son Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) born in Hosingen on 1 March 1797. The birth and/or baptism of this child was not found as records for the years 1794-1797 appear to be missing for Hosingen. The date and place of birth were found onhis 1830 marriage record.
On Wednesday the 22nd day of the month of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic (13 December 1798) Madelaine gave birth to Joseph CREMERS (1798-1822) in Wahlhausen. The father Wilhelm’s occupation at the time was herder or pâtre. The birth record was a civil record, not a church record, and did not include names of godparents.
Marguerite CREMERS (1801-1803) was born at 4 o’clock in the morning on the 9th day of the month Floreal in the 9th year of the French Republic or 29 April 1801 in Wahlhausen. Two farmers from the town were witnesses and the father declared not being able to write. Marguerite died at the age of 23 months on the 13th day of Pluviose in the 11th year or 2 February 1803 in Wahlhausen. At the time of her death the father Wilhelm was working as a day laborer or journalier.
Madelaine likely conceived shortly after her daughter Marguerite died. Marie CREMERS (1803-1840) was born at 8 in the evening of the 20th day of Brumaire year 12 or 12 November 1803 in Wahlhausen. Her birth was recorded in the commune of Hosingen and witnessed by two farmers from that town.
The sixth child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born at 5 in the morning on 26 April 1806 in Nachtmanderscheid. Mathias was the name his 40 years old father, a herdman or bouvier gave him.
A son named Paul was born on 30 May 1808 in Weiler. The record found to document the birth of Paul KREMER (1808-1859) was his 1830 marriage record.
On 20 February 1811 at 8 in the morning another son born in Weiler was given the name Mathieu, the French version of Mathias, even though the first son with this name was still living. His father was listed as a 46 years old cowherd or Kühhirt. Did the parents make a mistake when naming their son or did they know one or both would not survive the year?
On 14 October 1811 the elder Mathias died in Weiler. His baby brother, also named Mathias died on 27 December 1811, also in Weiler. The family was reduced to two daughters and three sons.
Two years later the last child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born in 9 November 1813 in Weiler. The father, a 50 years old cowherd, declared his son Jacob was born at 8 in the evening to his wife.
On 29 January 1814 at 9 o’clock in the morning Madelaine and a neighbor went to the commune of Landscheid to declare the death of her husband Wilhelm KREMER who died the previous day in Weiler in the Hintner Haus. Madelaine, who could not write, left her mark on the death record. Her age was given as 42 years (b. abt. 1772).
The mother of two daughters and four sons between the ages of 20 years and less than 3 months may have tried to keep the family together for the next 8 years. Her second oldest son Joseph was in his early twenties when he died at 6 o’clock in the morning on 20 February 1822 in Wahlhausen in a house called Schneiders. His mother and a farmer named Theodor SCHNEIDERS reported his death. Joseph had been working as a day laborer, likely in service with the farmer. [Further research is planned as the eldest daughter Eva’s godfather was also a SCHNEIDERS, i.e. a possible relation to the KREMER, WINANDY, or HOSINGER families?]
Eva KREMER married Nicolas DIFFERDING (1792-1869) on 15 October 1822 in Landscheid. In retrospect, the location of her marriage should have lead me to the records of her missing siblings. Records for Weiler and Nachmanderscheid for the period the siblings were born and died were kept in Landscheid and found in the Bastendorf collection.
Following Joseph’s death and Eva’s marriage things were quiet until 1830. The oldest son Nicolas had moved to Bettendorf sometime prior to his marriage on 17 February 1830 to Elisabeth FRIEDERICH (1802-1871). His mother came to Bettendorf for the marriage from Eisenbach where she was living at the time.
A little more than a month later Nicolas’ brother Paul who was living in Hosingen married Marie DIEDERICH on 27 March 1830 in Bettendorf. His mother Madelaine was living in Merscheid but came to Bettendorf for the marriage.
Madelaine may have taken ill soon after the wedding or planned on staying in Bettendorf as she did not go back home to Merscheid. Four days later on 31 March 1830 at 7 o’clock in the morning she died in the house of Christian DIEDERICH, Paul KREMER’s father-in-law. Christian DIEDERICH was the informant on her death record and listed as her neighbor. The age given on the death record was 74 years (b. abt. 1756). She was more likely about 58 years old. The only record with an age for her was the death record of her husband Wilhelm in 1814 when she was listed as 42 years old. Another discrepancy on her death record was her place of birth which was listed as Bettendorf, the town she died in. No birth or baptismal record was found for Madelaine however her marriage record indicates she may have been from Stolzembourg or according the baptismal record of her son Joseph she was a native of Fouhren.
Five years after the marriages of Nicolas and Paul and the death of their mother, their youngest brother Jacques was marrying Cathérine KORB (1813-1895) on 27 February 1835 in Bettendorf. Jacques was living in Weiler at the time and Cathérine was from Bettendorf. They made their home in Bettendorf after the marriage.
The marriage record of Jacques KREMER erroneously listed his mother’s death as taking place on 30 March 1814 in Weiler instead of in 1830 in Bettendorf. Marriage records in Luxembourg are full of important genealogical information however the primary source is needed to substantiate the information which is only secondary evidence. It took me a while to learn this lesson in the early years of my genealogical research as I relied heavily on marriage records.
After the marriage of the youngest KREMER only the oldest daughter Eva was not living in Bettendorf. She lived and raised her family in Gralingen. Her three married brothers Nicolas, Paul, and Jacques were raising their families in Bettendorf where their sister Marie also lived. At the time of Marie’s death she was living in the home Christian DIEDERICH and did not work. She died on 12 May 1840 at the age of 36 years (the death record indicates 39) and her death was reported by her oldest brother Nicolas.
Eight years later the youngest of the KREMER siblings, Jacques, died on 23 July 1848 in Bettendorf. His death was reported by his father-in-law. Jacques who was only 34 when he died, had lived with his wife and children in the home of his father-in-law. His wife Cathérine outlived him by 47 years.
NIne years after Jacques’ death the now youngest living sibling, Paul KREMER died on 9 March 1859 in Bettendorf. His son-in-law Johann THEIS reported his death and did not know the names of the deceased parents. Paul’s age on the record was 52 years although he was only 50.
From 1859 until 1867 the only living children of Wilhelm and Madelaine were their two oldest children Eva and Nicolas. On 8 February 1867 Nicolas KREMER died in Bettendorf at the age of 69. His son Anton reported the death and added 10 years to his father’s age.
This must have been a family trait as Eva’s son Johann DIFFERDING reported that his mother Eva KREMER who died on 3 July 1867 in Gralingen was 80 years old when her true age was only 73.
Wilhelm CREMERS later known as Wilhelm KREMER and Maria Magdalena VENANDI later known as Madelaine WINANDY were a challenge to research. I began with five known children and very few records and ended up with nine children and records to document nearly all important dates in the family’s life other than the births of Wilhelm ca. 1766 and Madelaine ca. 1772, my children’s 5th great-grandparents.
Week 34 (August 20-26) – Non-Population:While we’re on the subject of special census schedules, have you found an ancestor on a non-population census — agriculture, industry, manufactures, or 1890 Union veterans? Tell us about him or her.
“Putting Flesh on the Bones”
If the birth, marriage, and death records are the bones of your ancestors then the Non-Population Schedules and Special Censuses are the muscles and flesh we need to cover the skeleton. They provide information about the communities in which our ancestors lived making their stories more interesting. One difference between U.S. and Luxembourgish research is the lack of these special schedules.
I would be happy to have agriculture, industry, manufacturers, mortality, and veterans schedules for my Luxembourgish ancestors. I make do with the birth, marriage, death and census records for Luxembourg as they usually include enough information to substitute for misssing records and, at the same time, give more substance to the story of the entire family.
By analyzing the records of all persons in this week’s family I made some very interesting discoveries and found stand-ins for some of the missing key records.
Visiting the Ancestral Towns
While out on our bikes last week my husband and I rode through the German and Luxembourgish countryside. I often think of the families who lived in the towns we ride through. We passed through Vianden (above), the canton where the KREMER family lived before coming to Bettendorf, and rode into Dillingen (below), where the FRIEDERICH family lived, crossing over this old cobblestone bridge.
Nicolas KREMER 1797-1867
My husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Nicolas KREMER was born in Hosingen, Clervaux, Luxembourg, on the 11 Ventôse Year 5 of the French Republic. Ventôse is the “windy” third month of winter and the date converts to 1 March 1797. The date and place were found on his 1830 marriage record. Other dates were seen on the census: 29 December 1800 (1846) and the year 1795 without a day or month (1849).
I searched the Hosingen birth records and found the years 1794-1797 were missing. To further complicate matters the 1843 census shows his place of birth as Stolzembourg and the 1846 and 1847 census list Wahlhausen, part of the commune of Hosingen. I checked Putscheid as Stolzembourg belongs to this commune and, once again, I found records were missing from 1794-1816. I’ve nearly given up on finding the birth record.
Nicolas’ marriage record is the substitute I use for his date of birth as well as the names of his parents. He was the son of Wilhelm “Guillaume” KREMER and Madelaine “Magdalena” WINANDY. The marriage record gives his father Wilhelm’s date of death as 28 January 1814 in Weiler, part of the commune of Putscheid. A death record was not found as this year is missing. I checked the Tables Décennales (the 10 year lists of births, marriages, and deaths) for Putscheid and Vianden and did not find him in the 1813-1822 lists. Can I trust the date and place given in the marriage record?
Nicolas had two sisters, Eva and Marie, and two brothers, Paul and Jacques. Marie never married. What did I find on the marriage records of Eva and her brothers? Wilhelm died 28 January 1814 in Weiler. Four marriage records with his date of death. Are these substitutes enough for his death record?
Sib 1: Eva (1793-1867) born 10 Sep 1793 Putscheid (Vianden). She married Nicolas DIFFERDING (1792-1869) on 15 October 1822 in Landscheid (Vianden). Eva died 3 July 1867 in Gralingen (Putscheid).
Sib 3: Marie (1801-1840) born about 1801 Walhausen. She died 12 May 1840 in Bettendorf.
Sib 4: Paul (1808-1859) born 30 May 1808 Weiler (Putscheid). He died 9 March 1859, both in Bettendorf.
Sib 5: Jacques (1813-1848) born 9 November 1813 Weiler (Putscheid). He died 23 July 1848 in Bettendorf.
As with Nicolas, I had to rely on the marriage records of Paul and Jacques as a substitute for their birth records. Eva’s baptismal record was located in the collection of church records and confirms her parents were Wilhelm KREMER and Magdalena WINANDY. Next on my research list is to locate the marriage record of Wilhelm and Magdalena.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH 1802-1871
My husband’s 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeth FRIEDERICH (1802-1871) was born 14 April 1802, per the 1846 census, or 15 April 1803, per 1849 census, in Dillingen, Luxembourg. Can these conflicting records be used as substitutes for her birth record? Per her 1830 marriage record her parents were Mathieu “Mathias” FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS (1771-1812) and Maria OLSEM (1763-1828). Elisabeth had a brother who was stillborn in 1794 and a sister born in 1796. Rob Deltgen, who has access to more than the Luxembourg church and civil records, includes the full dates in his database. I was not able to locate the records in Beaufort, the commune Dillingen belongs to. Mathias and Maria’s death records were found in Beaufort.
While looking at the map of our ride, I remembered I had found information on the FRIEDERICH family (also seen as TIVELS and THIVELS) coming from Wallendorf in Germany. Across the river from Wallendorf is the Luxembourgish village of Wallendorf-Pont which lies only 4 km from Dillingen. On an off chance Wallendorf-Pont may have kept church records I browsed the database at FamilySearch and located the 1791 marriage record of Elisabeth’s parents. This wonderful find made up for the lack of records for their children’s births.
KREMER Marriages Solve Dilemma
What do you do when you find an error in someone else’s database? What if you are not sure it’s a mistake?
Nicolas KREMER (seen here as KREMESCH) married Elisabeth FRIEDERICH on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf. This is the famous marriage record (above, top half) which contains the information missing due to lack of documents concerning births and deaths. Elisabeth’s parents were both deceased and their dates of death were included. If these were known why was the age and date of birth of the bride not included?
Nicolas’ father was deceased and his mother was present and consenting to the marriage. Her residence was “Eisback” or “Eisbach,” neither a place in Luxembourg. I wonder if the person who wrote up the record meant “Eisleck” which is the northern region of Luxembourg and covers a third of the country. Years ago when I obtained the marriage record from the civil hall in Bettendorf I thought it might even be the name of a German town. Today I believe it should be Eisenbach (Eesbech) which lies north of Wahlhausen, Weiler, Putscheid, and Stolzembourg.
A little over a month later Nicolas’ brother Paul married Marie DIEDERICH (1811-1847) on 27 March 1830 in Bettendorf. Again the mother of the groom Magdalena WINANDY a resident of Merscheid was present for the marriage. Christian DIEDERICH and his wife, the parents of the bride, were also present and consented to the marriage.
Five years later the third KREMER son was married in Bettendorf. Jacques KREMER married Cathérine KORB (1813-1895) on 27 February 1835. Both of Jacques’ parents were noted as deceased. Wilhelm died on 21 January 1814 as opposed to the 28th seen on Eva, Nicolas, and Paul’s marriage records. Magdalena died on 31 March 1814 in Weiler. As seen in the marriages records of Nicolas and Paul, this is a mistake.
Marie KREMER, the daughter who never married, died on 12 May 1840 in Bettendorf in the house of Christian DIEDERICH, her brother Paul’s father-in-law.
After studying the marriage records and finding Magdalena WINANDY living in 1830 and present at two of her sons’ marriage, I had to find her death record. First stop, the reliable online database maintained by Rob Deltgen. Unfortunately, he had the 1814 date found in Jacques’ marriage record. I was back to searching the towns seen as her residence when her children married.
Since my success rate for the records in the Putscheid was near zero I was not surprised I was unable to find the death record there. As several of the families in this branch of my husband’s tree lived in the Bettendorf area, I took a chance and searched for her death in the Tables Décennales of Bettendorf. I found a lady of the same name but the death record showed she was born in Bettendorf and 73 years old at the time of death. At first, I did not believe I had the right person even though Wilhelm KREMER was the name of her deceased husband. She would have been 56 in 1813 and too old when her son Jacques was born. But once I realized she died in the home of her son Paul’s father-in-law and only a few days after the marriage I was sure there must be an error in her age at death.
Madelaine “Magdalena” WINANDY died at the home of Christian DIEDERICH in Bettendorf on 31 March 1830, four days after the wedding. Did she plan to stay a while after the marriage or was she not well enough to go home?
I’ve contacted Rob with the correction and will continue to search for the other missing records.
Nicolas and Elisabeth’s Family
Three months after the marriage of Nicolas and Elisabeth, twins boys, Jean and Paul, were born on 18 May 1830 in Bettendorf. On 6 June at 11 o’clock in the morning, Paul died and was followed by his older twin Jean at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The death of the second twin must have been expected as Nicolas waited to report the deaths at the same time, an hour after the second death.
Following the births and deaths of the twins more children were born:
Peter was born at 5 o’clock in the morning. Six hours later his brother Johann died at age 5 years. From 1843 to 1851 Peter was seen as Jean on the census. In 1858 and 1871 he was seen as Pierre. Was he known as Jean during his childhood in remembrance of his brother Johann who died the day he was born?
Another set of twins was born on 2 October 1841.The boy was given the name Paul , a name used with the first set of twins, and the girl was named Marie. Paul, like his namesake, died young, only a month old, on 4 November 1841.
Following the twins’ births, Catherine was born on 1 March 1844. She died on 15 February 1847, two weeks before her 3rd birthday.
Marie, Paul’s twin, died on 20 March 1850. By this time Elizabeth had given birth to 10 children and 6 of these were now deceased. Jacques, Anna Maria (known as Marie), Anton and Pierre were the four remaining children.
Jacques married Elisabeth PROMMENSCHENKEL (1832-1892) on 10 May 1854 in Waldbillig. They lived for a short time in Christnach, a town in the commune of Waldbillig, where they had two daughters in 1854 and 1858. The little family may have gone to Paris following the birth of the second daughter.
In 1858 Nicolas KREMER and his wife Elizabeth FRIEDERICH had only 19 years old Pierre living at home. An annotation to the census indicates one of his sons was working in Paris and his daughter was “en condition” in Luxembourg City. As Jacques was married he would no longer be mentioned on his father’s census listing. This could mean my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather Anton KREMER may have been the son who was in Paris.
If it was Anton who was working in Paris in December 1858 he did not stay for long. Anton was in Bettendorf on 1 September 1859 when he married my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother Anna Maria MERKES (1835-1920).
Anna Maria “Marie” KREMER was last seen with her parents on the 1861 census and was single. Her brother Jacques was last heard of when he reported the death of his second daughter on 18 November 1865 in the 19e arrondissement, Paris, Île-de-France, France. On 2 November 1892, his wife Elisabeth PROMMENSCHENKEL died at the same address. Her husband Jacques was listed as deceased. These death records, found online in the Paris archives, help estimate his death at between 1865-1892.
Nicolas KREMER died 8 February 1867 Bettendorf. Nicolas, who had worked as a day laborer (Journalier or Taglöhner) his entire adult life, left his wife Elisabeth and sons Anton and Pierre. Were Marie and Jacques still living? Further research may uncover their whereabouts or death records.
Elisabeth FRIEDERICH died 28 October 1871 in Bettendorf. Her son Anton was the informant. Later in the year her son Pierre was listed on the back page of Anton’s census record as being in service (in dienst) but without a location. He was most likely still single. If he had been married at the time he would have been listed in his own household. No further record was found for Peter/Pierre and I estimate his death at after December 1871.
Anton KREMER, the last living child of Nicolas KREMER and Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, died 28 April 1918 in Bettendorf at the age of 81.
Make Do With What You Find
I hope you’ve enjoyed the photographs taken for this week’s post as well my twist on the theme. No special census records for this family. And even though I’m missing key documents for the KREMER and FRIEDERICH families the list of sources used is still quite long. I thought this would be such an easy post but while writing and reviewing the documents I noticed facts I’d missed and had to do more than the usual amount of re-writing.
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.
Week 18 (April 30 – May 6) – Where There’s a Will:Do you have an ancestor who left an interesting will? Have you used a will to solve a problem? Or, what ancestor showed a lot of will in his or her actions?
The KREMER-MERKES Family of Bettendorf – Timeline
1835 August 14: Anna Maria MERKES (1835-1920) was born in Obereissenbach, Hosingen, Luxembourg. She was the daughter of Michel MERKES and Anna Catherina HASTERT.
1836 June 5: Anton KREMER was born in Bettendorf, Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the son of Nicolas KREMER and Elisabeth FRIEDERICH.
1859 September 1: Anton KREMER married Anna Maria MERKES in Bettendorf.
1860 July 14: Child #1 Nicolas KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1861 December 3: Anton, Anna Maria, and Nicolas were living in the house called “Schneidisch” in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1862 April 27: Child #2 Maria “Marie” KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1864 May 18: Child #3 Adam KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1864 December 3: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, and Adam were living in the “Fenton” house in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1865 December 3: Child #4 Mathias KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1867 December 3: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, Adam, and Mathias were living in the house called “Schneidisch” in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1867 December 24: Child #5 Eva KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1869 January 9: Child #6 Peter “Pierre” KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1870 July 5: UPDATE (as of 26 Sep 2015): a female child was stillborn in Bettendorf.
1871 June 25: Child #7 Maria KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1871 July 31: Child #7 Maria died in Bettendorf.
1871 October 29: Anton KREMER was the informant for the death of his mother Elisabetha FRIEDERICH.
1871 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, Adam, Mathias and Peter were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1872 August 12: Child #8 Michel KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1872 October 14: Child #8 Michel died in Bettendorf.
1874 August 5: Child #9 Maria KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1874 September 28: Child #9 Maria died in Bettendorf.
1875 November 18: Child #10 Nicolas KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1875 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, Adam, Mathias, Peter and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1878 April 1: Child #11 Anna KREMER was born in Bettendorf.
1878 July 22: Child #11 Anna died in Bettendorf.
1880 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Mathias, Peter, and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1885 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Marie and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census. Nicolas, the elder, and Adam (seen as Emil) were working in Rumelange.
1886 April 13: Child #3 Adam died in Bettendorf.
1887 February 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Peter and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.
1887 December 28: Child #2 Marie married Michel ERNZEN in Bettendorf.
1890 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Mathias, young Nicolas, and a nephew Johann Müller were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census. Peter had been working in Esch-sur-Alzette for the past 18 months.
1895 December 2: Per the census, Anton and Anna Maria were living alone in Bettendorf. Their sons were listed as follows: 1. Nicolas (the elder) working in Rumelange for 21 years. 2. Mathias working in Rumelange for 3 years. 3. Peter working in France for 7 years. 4. Nicolas (the younger) working in France for 1 1/2 years. 
1895 December 7: Child #1 Nicolas, the elder, died in Rumelange. His brother Mathias and his uncle Mathias MERKES were informants on his death. Nicolas was the widower of Margaretha NAU.
1900 February 26: Child #4 Mathias married Louise “Elise” SCHOCKMEL in Rumelange.
1900 November 28: Child #10 Nicolas married Cathérine GRISIUS in Bettendorf.
1900 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, and their daughter-in-law Cathérine GRISIUS were seen in a household in Bettendorf when the census was enumerated. Nicolas, Cathérine’s husband, was in Oberanven for the past two days on business.
1914 June 28: Beginning of World War I
1918 April 19: Cathérine GRISIUS, wife of Nicolas, died in Moestroff.
1918 April 28: Anton KREMER died in Bettendorf.
1918 November 11: End of World War I
1920 June 3: Anna Maria MERKES died in Bettendorf.
1936 November 29: Louise “Elise” SCHOCKMEL, wife of Mathias, died in Esch-sur-Alzette.
1939 September 1: Beginning of World War II.
1945 March 4: Child #4 Mathias died in Rumelange.
1945 August 14: End of World War II.
1951: Child #10 Nicolas KREMER, the younger, died in Moestroff.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES had a family of eleven children. Five died before the age of two. The causes of death of these children who died between 1869-1878 are not revealed on the civil death records. Was the age of the mother at the time of the pregnancy of importance? Were they preterm births? Did they die of malnutrition or other diseases?
Anton KREMER was a tailor (Schneider) and very likely did not have a large clientele in the small town he lived and worked in. Anton and Anna Maria’s older children were Nicolas (the elder), Marie, Adam, Mathias, and Peter. By the end of the 1860s, they had five growing children who needed to be fed.
My husband’s great-grandfather, also named Nicolas, was the baby of the family. He was the only child of five born in the 1870s to live. His older siblings began leaving home to work when he was still quite young.
Nicolas (the elder), Adam, and Mathias went to Rumelange located in southern Luxembourg on the French border. As the area was rich in iron ores they worked in the mines. Peter worked as a servant or farmhand (Knecht), first in his hometown and later in France. Nicolas, the younger, also went to France to work for a while when he was old enough. Anton and Anna Maria’s sons most likely sent part of their pay home to help with the family expenses.
Mine workers faced high health and safety risks. In December 1885 Adam had been working for 8 months in the mines in Rumelange. Four months later he died at home in Bettendorf. It is not known if his death was related to his working in the mines. His oldest brother Nicolas, also a mine worker, died at the age of 35 years in Rumelange. At the time of his death, he was widowed; it is not known if he had children.
I wonder if Adam and Nicolas’ death gave Mathias a kind of wake up call. Did he think of the danger of working in the mines? He married at 35 and had two sons. Of the three miners, he was the one to live the longest, dying in his 80th year.
The fate of Peter who went to France is unknown.
Anton and Anna Maria’s daughter Marie took the path of most girls at the time, marrying at age 25. She gave birth to 8 children, only 3 lived to adulthood. Her first child died at 5 years of age and, as with her mother, four of her youngest children did not survive. In 1920 at age 58 she was present at the marriage of her oldest daughter. It is not known how long she lived.
Nicolas, the baby of the family, remained near his parents after his marriage and likely cared for them in their old age. While preparing this post I found Nicolas and his wife Cathérine GRISIUS had a son Théodore (1916-1917) who was missed during earlier research bringing the total number of children in his family to 10. Once again, as with his parents and sister, the three youngest children in his family did not survive. Nicolas who died at 75 had a long life but not quite as long as his parents.
Anton died about 6 weeks short of his 82nd birthday and Anna Maria two months short of her 85th birthday.
Anton and Anna Maria KREMER-MERKES may not have been very well off but they raised children who worked hard and learned where there’s a will, there’s a way.
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.