52 Ancestors: #40 Happy Birthday to Michel of the MERTES-ERPELDING Family

Week 40 (October 1-7) – October: What ancestor has a birthday or anniversary in October?

François, the Groom

François “Franz” MERTES (1806-1864) was the son of Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN (1783-1854). Franz’s parents were married on 21 February 1803[1] in Bertrange (Bartringen). François, the name given to him at birth, is believed to have been their first born child. He was born at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 5 April 1806[2] in Bertrange. On Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. when Nicolas reported his son’s  birth another father, Martin JUNG was at the city hall to report his daughter’s birth. Martin JUNG witnessed Nicolas’ son’s birth record and Nicolas witnessed JUNG’s daughter’s birth record. Both men did not know how to write and signed with an X.

1806mertesbirth
1806 Birth Record of François MERTES (left) and of the JUNG baby girl (right) with the fathers and witnesses X marks.[2]
François had the following known siblings:  Anne 1808, Catherine 1811, Nicolas 1814, Joannes 1817, and Nicolas 1821. Their marriages and children have not been researched.

While doing François’ census work I saved the links in Evernote of all pages with the MERTES name from 1843 through 1855. “Census work” for families in Luxembourg during this time period means viewing every image in the batches at FamilySearch as they are browse only and don’t have a list or index similar to the later census years. It is very time consuming but usually helpful when developing a timeline for the family.

François marries Margaretha ERPELDING

In the year eighteen hundred thirty-four, the twenty-fifth of the month of February at 9 o’clock in the morning, there came before us, the mayor, civil officer of the commune of Bertrange in the province of Luxembourg, François MERTES, single, age twenty-seven years, born in Bertrange in this commune on the fifth day of April eighteen hundred sixteen (sic, 1806), a civil day laborer, resident of Bertrange, adult son of  Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN who are both present, consulting to this marriage.

and the demoiselle Marguerithe ERPELDING age thirty-three years born on the Kackerter farm in Oetrange in the commune of Contern on the eleventh day of the month of Nivôse in the ninth year of the French Republic, corresponding to the first of January eighteen hundred and one, without an occupation, resident of Kackerter farm, adult daughter of Nicolas ERPELDING and Madelaine KUNERATH who died at the named Kackerter farm, the mother on the twenty-eighth January eighteen hundred eighteen and the father on the ten May eighteen hundred twenty-nine, during their lifetimes civil day laborers.

Who requested that we procede in the celebration of this marriage planned between them, and banns were published in Contern on Sundays the second and ninth of the month of February and in Bertrange on the ninth and sixteenth of the same month.

No opposition to the marriage was given us, granting them the right of their request, after reading all above mentioned, as well as the title of Chapter Six of the Civil Code entitled the Marriage, we asked the future husband and the future wife if they want to take each other to be husband and wife; each responding separately and affirmatively, we declare, on behalf of the law, that François MERTES and Marguerithe ERPELDING are united by marriage.

All of this took place in the presence of witnesses named below, namely
Mathias Erpelding, age forty years, farmer, resident of the said Kackerter farm, brother of the future bride
Pierre Erpelding, age thirty-five years, residing abroad, weaver, brother of the future bride
Jean Reichling, age twenty-five years, farmer, resident of Bertrange, acting as a friend of the future groom
And Nicolas Goergen, age twenty-five years, farmer, resident of Bertrange, acting as a friend of the future groom
Who after it was read to them, signed with us, with the exception of the groom, the bride, and the mother and father of the groom who declared not knowing how to sign.[3]

marriagesignatures
Signatures from the 1834 Marriage Record No. 9 with translation of French text above.[3]

Margaretha, the Bride

Margaretha, seen above as Marguerithe, was born 10 Nivôse year IX[4] (1 January 1801) on Kackerterhoff (Kackerterhaff) in Oetrange in the commune of Contern to Nicolas ERPELDING (1765-1829)  and Madelaine “Magdalena” KUNERATH (1759-1818). Her date of birth was recorded in the civil records using the French Republican Calendar. Church records were kept using the Gregorian or Christian calendar and her baptismal record shows she was baptized on 16 November 1800[5] – six weeks before her birth! Civil records are the legal records used in Luxembourg. I am not sure how this discrepancy in the church records came about but it was brought to my attention by Cyndi Speltz Gipp.

A dozen years ago Cyndi, my husband’s 7th cousin, got in touch with me about her JEHNEN line. She spent hours at her local Family History Center viewing microfilms she ordered for her research of the JEHNEN descendants, including Nicolas ERPELDING whose mother was a JEHNEN. Cyndi found 5 siblings for Margaretha: Mathias 1791, Catharina 1793, Margaretha 1795, Petrus 1797 and Barbara 1804.

François and Margaretha’s Little Family

Ten months after their marriage, at 6 o’clock in the evening of Christmas Eve, François and Margaretha welcomed their first child into the family. François reported the birth of his daughter Marie Catherine MERTES[6] on Christmas Day 1834 in Bartringen. As was the case at the time of his marriage, he was not able to sign the record.

Their second child and only son, Michel MERTES was born on 6 October 1837[7] at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in the commune of Bertrange. His father reported the birth two hours later. The place of birth is not specifically stated. Later when Michel married in 1861 his place of birth on his marriage record was Bertrange but when he married a second time in 1874 his place of birth on the marriage record was Strassen.

Happy Birthday Michel MERTES

Tomorrow is the 178th anniversary of the birth of Michel, François and Margaretha’s only son, and only child to live to adulthood and marry.

Census Records Help to Fill in the Timeline

Census records were found for the little family. On 23 December 1843[8] they were living next door to François’ parents[9] in Bertrange. Following this census, the only one with the entire family listed, Marie Catherine died at the age of eleven years on 6 July 1846[10] in Strassen.

1843censusmertes
1843 Luxembourg Census for the MERTES-ERPELDING family.[8]
The family of three, father, mother and son Michel, was seen in Strassen for the censuses taken on 20 December 1846[11], 31 December 1847[12], 7 December 1849[13], 31 December 1851[14], and 6 December 1852[15].

François’ parents were still living in Bartringen when his mother Marie Catherine DONNEN died on 24 January 1854[16] and his father Nicolas MERTES died on 19 October 1855.[17]

The MERTES-ERPELDING family was seen in Strassen on 3 December 1855[18] and 3 December 1858[19] when the census was enumerated.

Their only living child Michel MERTES married(1) Catharina HEIN (1834-1874) on 10 January 1861[20] in Strassen. When the census was taken in December 1861[21] Michel and his wife were living with his parents.

François and Margaretha’s first granddaughter Maria lived only 5 days, born 1 February[22] and died 6 February 1862[23] in Strassen. Their second granddaugher Margaretha was born in 1863[24] about a year before François “Franz” MERTES died on 15 March 1864[25] in Strassen.

Margaretha ERPELDING was seen as the head of household on 3 December 1864.[26] Her son Michel, daughter-in-law Catharina, and granddaughter Margaretha were in her household. On 3 December 1867[27] Michel MERTES was the head of household in Strassen. His mother Margaretha was in his household and died less than a year later in Strassen on 1 November 1868.[28]

Michel MERTES, widowed with three children in February 1874[29], married Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) on 22 April 1874[30] in Strassen. Their story can be read here.

New Connections Found in the Census

While researching this small family I found two ladies with the maiden name ERPELDING and Oetrange as their place of birth in the Bertrange and Strassen census. They were both married to older men and did not have children. Their marriage records were found and proved they were sisters of Margaretha:

  • Catharina ERPELDING (b. 15 Oct 1793) married Jean BOUR (b. 1772) on 26 February 1831[31] in Bertrange
  • Margaretha ERPELDING (b. 15 Dec 1795) married Jean SCHMIT (b. 1780) on 10 April 1839[32] in Bertrange.

These marriages were unknown to Cyndi who concentrated her search in the Oetrange, Contern area. Finding these records however brings up new questions. The birth dates above were found in the marriage records and match dates of birth found by Cyndi. Unfortunately not only were there two sisters named Margaretha, there was a second sister named Catharina b. abt. 1793 who married in 1814 and died in 1848. Both Cyndi and I have her listed with the birth date 15 October 1793. But which of the two Catharina’s was born on this date? I’ll have to add this research question and all it entails to my to-do list.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1329 of 1480. 1803 Marriage Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-107050-84?cc=1709358 : accessed 5 October 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 61 of 1480. 1806 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109075-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 63 of 1416. 1834 Marriage Record No. 9.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55620-99?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 49 of 484. 1800 Birth Record (10 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12325-25034-93?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[5] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 4 of 91. Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32461-8208-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[6]  Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 459 of 1480. 1834 Birth Record No. 58. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105648-16?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 520 of 1480. 1837 Birth Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102810-32?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[8] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1843 > image 141 of 407. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32355-16960-73?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bertrange > 1843 > image 142 of 407. Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32355-17053-91?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 976 of 1416. 1846 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52441-82?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[11] Luxembourg Census, Bertrange > 1846 > image 383 of 431. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32358-11205-4?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[12] 4. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1847 > image 230 of 448. Mertes-Erpelding household No.13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32349-25713-78?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > 1849 > image 326 of 474. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32350-6186-25?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-7MY:346116301,345864801 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[14] Ibid., Strassen > 1851 > image 112 of 222. Mertes-Erpelding household No. 93. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32351-8545-20?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[15] Ibid., Strassen > 1852 > image 72 of 259. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32368-16226-41?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1062 of 1416. 1854 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56882-33?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1077 of 1416. 1855 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54541-99?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[18] Luxembourg Census42-32375-912-15?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[19] Ibid., Strassen > 1858 > image 239 of 297. Mertes household no. 57.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-17028-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-R97:346409101,345867601 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[20] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1221 of 1464. 1861 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-59528-4?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[21] Luxembourg Census, Strassen > 1861 > image 227 of 297. Mertes household no. 126. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32371-8385-74?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-Y4G:346409101,345867101 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[22] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 450 of 1464. 1862 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61420-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[23] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 120 of 446. 1862 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-160448-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[24] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 466 of 1464. 1863 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57722-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[25] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 140 of 446. 1864 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-166420-69?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Luxembourg Census, Strassen > 1864 > image 210 of 293. Mertes-Erpelding houshold no. 152. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32569-16533-34?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-FMT:346409101,345868401 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[27] Ibid., Strassen > 1867 > image 31 of 312. Mertes household no. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32380-28790-79?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-SPL:346409101,345869101 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[28] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 189 of 446. 1868 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165726-80?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[29] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 251 of 446. 1874 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-487-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[30] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 33 of 1416. 1831 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52218-77?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 119 of 1416. 1839 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51841-94?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: François “Franz” MERTES
Parents: Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN
Spouse: Margaretha ERPELDING
Parents of Spouse: Nicolas ERPELDING and Madelaine “Magdalena” KUNERATH
Whereabouts: Kackerterhaff, Bertrange, and Strassen
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. François “Franz” MERTES
2. Michel MERTES
3. Maria MERTES
4. Suzanne PEFFER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This 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.

52 Ancestors: #21 The MERTES-RUCKERT Family of Strassen

Week 21 (May 21-27) – Military: This week, the United States will be observing Memorial Day. Do you have any military ancestors? Were any ancestors affected by the military or by war?

Luxembourg was considered a neutral country during the time period the MERTES-RUCKERT  family lived. They did not have a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter who died while serving the country.

The Luxembourg Crisis, a diplomatic dispute and confrontation over the political status of Luxembourg between the French Empire and Prussia almost led to war between the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London signed on 11 May 1867. The immediate effect of the treaty was the reaffirmation of the neutrality of Luxembourg and the union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg under the House of Orange-Nassau.

To ensure Luxembourg’s neutrality, the fortifications of Luxembourg City, known as the Gibraltar of the North, were to be demolished and never to be rebuilt. Dismantling the fortifications required the destruction of underground defences, casemates, batteries, barracks, etc. Fortunately some remains of the fortress survived and can be visited today.

casematesLet’s Begin With A Ridddle

My husband’s great-grandmother Maria MERTES, a first born child, was the seventh child of Michel MERTES and the second daughter of Margaretha RUCKERT. She was the oldest of seven children? How many siblings did she have?

Michel MERTES, Maria’s father

Michel MERTES was born on 6 October 1837 in Strassen.[1] His birth was registered in the commune of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His father François MERTES, a 31 years old day laborer, did not sign the birth record as he was unable to write. Michel’s mother’s name was given as Marguerite ERPELDING, no age was listed.

Michel married Catharina HEIN on 10 January 1861 in Strassen[2]. By this time the town of Strassen was a commune and no longer a part of the Bertrange commune. Catharina gave Michel six children before she died on 14 February 1874[3]. At the time of her death five children were living, their first born child had died at the age of six days.

  1. Maria MERTES born 1 February 1862[4] and died 6 February 1862[5]
  2. Margaretha MERTES born 11 April 1863[6]
  3. Johann MERTES born 16 November 1865[7] and died 26 February 1875[8]
  4. Maria MERTES born 11 October 1867[9] and died 24 June 1877[10]
  5. Barbara MERTES born 5 January 1870[11] and died 12 March 1900[12]
  6. Jacob MERTES born 24 April 1872[13]

All of the above children were born in Strassen.

Margaretha RUCKERT, Maria’s mother

Margaretha RUCKERT was born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.[14] Her father Jacob RUCKERT was 59 years old and her mother Magdalena SCHMIT was 37 years old. On the birth record her mother’s maiden name was spelled with two T’s. Her father was literate and signed the birth record.

Margaretha, at the age of 23, married Jacob ANTON on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange.[15] Anton was a 49 years old widower – over twice her age. The father of the bride, the parents of the groom, and the first wife of the groom were deceased at the time.

Margaretha was married a little over six months when her husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871 in Bertrange.[16] At the time Margaretha was carrying his child. On 28 July 1871 she gave birth to their daughter Susanna ANTON.[17] As the father of the child was deceased, the midwife Susanna TIMMESCH (sic, THIMMESCH), who delivered Susanna, declared the birth.

Susanna ANTON has only been traced until 1890 when she was unmarried and working as a servant possibly in Belgium.

The Widower Michel MERTES Marries the Widow of Jacob ANTON

Michel had only been widowed two months when he married Margaretha RUCKERT, the widow of Jacob ANTON, on 22 April 1874 in Bertrange.[18] The parents of both the bride and the groom were deceased. The dates of death of six persons were listed on the marriage record: 4 parents and 2 deceased spouses. None of the witnesses were related the the bridal couple. Michel and Margaretha were both able to write and signed their names to the marriage record.

signaturesThe Children of Michel and Margaretha

Michel’s and Margaretha’s first child Maria was born on 14 February 1875 in Strassen[19] exactly one year after the death of Michel’s first wife Catharina HEIN.

Less than two weeks after the birth of their first child Maria, Michel’s son Johann from his first marriage died at the age of ten years.[20]

Their second child, a son Franz, was born 9 March 1877.[21] Three months later, another of Michel’s children from his first marriage, Maria, died on 24 June 1877. As with her brother Johann in 1875 Maria also died at the age of ten years.[22]

Five more children were born to Michel and Margaretha:

  • Catharina born 3 January 1880[23] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Maria “Margaretha” born 10 March 1882[24] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Jacob born 24 October 1885[25] and died 9 June 1886[26]
  • Barbara born 23 December 1887[27] died 3 January 1888[28]
  • Susanna born 4 January 1889[29] and died unknown (after 1895)

In 1890 the Michel MERTES household was made up of Michel, his wife Margaretha, and their children Franz, Catharina, Margaretha, and Susanna. Three children were listed on the back of the census as working away from home. Michel’s son Jacob MERTES was  in Belgium learning the carpentry trade. Michel and Margaretha’s daughter Maria MERTES and Margaretha’s daughter Susanna ANTON were working as servants at an illegible location.

What Happened to this Family after 1890?

On 19 February 1894 Maria MERTES, oldest daughter of Michel and Margaretha, married Nicolas PEFFER.[30] Her parents were living in Strassen at the time.

In 1895 Michel and Margaretha were in Strassen with three daughters: Catharina, Margaretha and Susanna. None of these young ladies were old enough to be married. Michel’s son Jacob from his first marriage had been working in Belgium for four years per this census. Michel and Margaretha’s son Franz was not at home and had been in Dudelange for 8 days.[31] Michel’s daughter Barbara, wife of Jean Pierre PARRAGE, was also living in Strassen with her husband and their son Jean Pierre who was born in Belgium in 1891.[32]

In 1891 Michel’s daughter from his first marriage, Barbara age 21 married Jean Pierre PARRAGE[33] a 47 years old widower who had lost his wife while living in Dippach. Barbara died 12 March 1900 in Hautcharage[34] and it was only due to her death being registered in Strassen[35] that I was able to trace her to Hautcharage. Her widower was found in the 1900 census[36] in Hautcharage with his older children from a previous marriage, their son Jean Pierre born in 1891 in Messancy (Belgium) and their son Nicolas born in 1897[37] in Steinfort.

This census information lead to the birth records of Nicolas and a daughter Anna Maria born in Steinfort in 1899.[38] She was not with her father in 1900 and no record of death was found in the communes of Steinfort or Bascharage where they were known to have been living. Was this young child with her MERTES grandparents in 1900?

Michel and Margaretha have not been located in the 1900 census in Strassen. Control lists give only the names of the head of household. If the MERTES family was living with another family each page of the census needs to be viewed to find them. No MERTES marriages were found in Strassen between 1895-1923. No death records were found for this family in Strassen between 1895-1923. The family appears to have disappeared from Strassen after the 1895 census, but where did they go?

Answer to the Riddle

Maria had 13 siblings: 6 half-siblings through her father, a half-sister through her mother, and 6 full siblings.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 520 of 1480. 1837 Birth Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102810-32?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1221 of 1464. 1861 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-59528-4?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 251 of 446. 1874 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-487-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[4] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 450 of 1464. 1862 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61420-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[5] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 120 of 446. 1862 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-160448-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[6] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 466 of 1464. 1863 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57722-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[7] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 504 of 1464. 1865 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57972-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[8] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[9] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 528 of 1464. 1867 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61010-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[10] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[11] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 563 of 1464. 1870 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60560-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).  Note: mother is listed as Margaretha Hein instead of Catharina Hein.
[12] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[13] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 594 of 1464. 1872 Birth Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61213-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010),.
[14] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 770 of 1480. 1847 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104061-29?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[15] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 372 of 1416. 1870 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56851-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1223 of 1416. 1871 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56358-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 25 May 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1091 of 1480. 1871 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103996-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL:129622901,129854201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[18] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 645 of 1464. 1875 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58599-17?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 01 Apr 2010).
[20] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[21] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 684 of 1464. 1877 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58094-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[22] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[23] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 731 of 1464. 1880 Birth Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60407-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[24] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 760 of 1464. 1882 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60698-90?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[25] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 805 of 1464. 1885 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57425-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[26] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 403 of 446. 1886 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165545-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[27] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 834 of 1464. 1887 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57481-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[28] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[29] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[30] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[31] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Strassen > 1895 > image 335 of 648. Mertes household no. 145. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-20646-31?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 334 and 336
[32] Ibid, Strassen > 1895 > image 503 of 648. Parrage household no. 229. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32395-19554-40?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 25 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 502 and 504.
[33] Civil records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 49 of 117. 1891 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19882-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-N3D:130458601,129717601 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[34] Ibid, Bascharage > Décès 1895-1923 > image 52 of 300. 1900 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32025-16034-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-N3X:129625601,129623802 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[35] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[36] Luxembourg census, Bascharage > 1900 > image 599 of 738. Parrage household no. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-18055-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-2JW:346198501,345873901 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 598 and 600.
[37] Civil records, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 25 of 410. 1897 Birth Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-11964-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).
[38] Ibid, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 60 of 410. 1899 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32046-12405-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Michel MERTES
Parents: François “Franz” MERTES and Margaretha ERPELDING
Spouse:  Catharina HEIN and (*) Margaretha RUCKERT
Parents of spouse(*): Jacob RUCKERT and Magdalena SCHMIT
Whereabouts: Strassen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

  1. Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT
  2. Maria MERTES
  3. Suzanne PEFFER
  4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  5. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This 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.