52 Ancestors: #18 The KREMER-MERKES Family of Bettendorf

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.[1]
  • 1836 June 5: Anton KREMER was born in Bettendorf, Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the son of Nicolas KREMER and Elisabeth FRIEDERICH.[2]
  • 1859 September 1: Anton KREMER married Anna Maria MERKES in Bettendorf.[3]
  • 1860 July 14: Child #1 Nicolas KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[4]
  • 1861 December 3: Anton, Anna Maria, and Nicolas were living in the house called “Schneidisch” in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[5]
  • 1862 April 27: Child #2 Maria “Marie” KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[6]
  • 1864 May 18: Child #3 Adam KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[7]
  • 1864 December 3: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, and Adam were living in the “Fenton” house in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[8]
  • 1865 December 3: Child #4 Mathias KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[9]
  • 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.[10]
  • 1867 December 24: Child #5 Eva KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[11]
  • 1869 January 9: Child #6 Peter “Pierre” KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[12]
  • 1869 May 23: Child #5 Eva died in Bettendorf.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 1871 July 31: Child #7 Maria died in Bettendorf.[15]
  • 1871 October 29: Anton KREMER was the informant for the death of his mother Elisabetha FRIEDERICH.[16]
  • 1871 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, Adam, Mathias and Peter were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[17]
  • 1872 August 12: Child #8 Michel KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[18]
  • 1872 October 14: Child #8 Michel died in Bettendorf.[19]
  • 1874 August 5: Child #9 Maria KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[20]
  • 1874 September 28: Child #9 Maria died in Bettendorf.[21]
  • 1875 November 18: Child #10 Nicolas KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[22]
  • 1875 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Nicolas, Marie, Adam, Mathias, Peter and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[23]
  • 1878 April 1: Child #11 Anna KREMER was born in Bettendorf.[24]
  • 1878 July 22: Child #11 Anna died in Bettendorf.[25]
  • 1880 December 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Mathias, Peter, and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[26]
  • 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.[27]
  • 1886 April 13: Child #3 Adam died in Bettendorf.[28]
  • 1887 February 1: Anton, Anna Maria, Peter and young Nicolas were living in Bettendorf at the time of the census.[29]
  • 1887 December 28: Child #2 Marie married Michel ERNZEN in Bettendorf.[30]
  • 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.[31]
  • 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. [32]
  • 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.[33]
  • 1900 February 26: Child #4 Mathias married Louise “Elise” SCHOCKMEL in Rumelange.[34]
  • 1900 November 28: Child #10 Nicolas married Cathérine GRISIUS in Bettendorf.[35]
  • 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.[36]
  • 1914 June 28: Beginning of World War I
  • 1918 April 19: Cathérine GRISIUS, wife of Nicolas, died in Moestroff.[37]
  • 1918 April 28: Anton KREMER died in Bettendorf.[38]
  • 1918 November 11: End of World War I
  • 1920 June 3: Anna Maria MERKES died in Bettendorf.[39]
  • 1936 November 29: Louise “Elise” SCHOCKMEL, wife of Mathias, died in Esch-sur-Alzette.[40]
  • 1939 September 1: Beginning of World War II.
  • 1945 March 4: Child #4 Mathias died in Rumelange.[41]
  • 1945 August 14: End of World War II.
  • 1951: Child #10 Nicolas KREMER, the younger, died in Moestroff.[42]
hand
Through the records they left, our ancestors are reaching out to open doors in brick walls.

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.

miningMine 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.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Hosingen > Naissances 1823-1890 > image 271 of 1477. 1835 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11690-153577-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2BG:675906683 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 176 of 1507. 1836 Birth Record No. 45. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5516-98?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 516 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37146-86?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 669 of 1507. 1860 Birth Record No. 40. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4672-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[5] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1861 > image 48 of 367. 1861 Kremer-Merkes household no. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-11444-68?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-MNL:346114101,345867101 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[6] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 705 of 1507. 1862 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-2262-15?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[7] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 747 of 1507. 1864 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6800-99?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[8] Census, Bettendorf > 1864 > image 26 of 395. Kremer-Merkes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-24158-86?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 13 February 2015).
[9] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 776 of 1507. 1865 Birth Record No. 57. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-3630-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[10] Census, Bettendorf > 1867 > image 362 of 364. Kremer-Merkes household No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32373-12273-77?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-3TR:346114101,345869101 : accessed 13 February 2015).
[11] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 817 of 1507. 1867 Birth Record No. 58. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7185-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 840 of 1507. 1869 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-972-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[13] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 143 of 465. 1869 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-61036-58?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[14] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 881 of 1507. 1871 Birth Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6470-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010),.
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 187 of 465. 1871 Death Record No. 76. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-59652-23?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 21 August 2011).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 189 of 465. 1871 Death Record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60058-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[17] Census, Bettendorf > 1871 > image 269 of 823. Kremer-Merkes household No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32382-11432-63?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-J46:346114101,345869501 : accessed 12 February 2015). Note: images 268 and 270 are the cover and back of the census.
[18] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 900 of 1507. 1872 Birth Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5974-60?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[19] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 900 of 1507. 1872 Birth Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5974-60?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[20] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 938 of 1507. 1874 Birth Record No. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5404-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[21] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 226 of 465. 1874 Death Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60066-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[22] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 969 of 1507. 1875 Birth Record No. 68. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1624-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[23] Census, Bettendorf > 1875 > image 456 of 789. Kremer-Merkes household 3.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32381-23431-9?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-VZK:346114101,345870501 : accessed 12 February 2015). Note: images 455 and 457 are the cover and back of the census.
[24] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1019 of 1507. 1878 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-2448-3?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[25] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 291 of 465. 1878 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-65421-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[26] Census, Bettendorf > 1880 > image 192 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household No. 93. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32377-17916-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-JWR:346114101,345872201 : accessed 12 February 2015). Note: images 191 and 193 are the cover and back of the census.
[27] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1885 > image 300 of 773. Kremer-Merkes household No. 60. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32379-28140-51?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-C65:346114101,345873701 : accessed 12 February 2015). Note: images 299 and 301 are the cover and back of the census.
[28] Civil records, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 408 of 465. 1886 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-63719-42?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[29] Census, Bettendorf > 1887 > image 437 of 781. Kremer-Merkes household Nr. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32390-1374-15?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-GPR:346114101,345875201 : accessed 11 February 015). Note: images 436 and 438 are the cover and back of the census.
[30] Civil records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 816 of 1494. 1887 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36421-6?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 29 April 2015).
[31] Census, Bettendorf > 1890 > image 564 of 778. Kremer-Merkes household No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32393-3622-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5GC-YWB:346114101,345876401 : accessed 11 February 2015).Note: images 563 and 565 are the cover and back of the census.
[32] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1895 > image 304 of 810. Kremer-Merkes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32467-11113-98?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-FM4:346114101,345878001 : accessed 11 February 2015).Note: images 305 and 306 are the cover and back of the census.
[33] Civil records, Rumelange > Décès 1891-1923 > image 83 of 923. 1895 Death Record No. 80. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32036-3166-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-L23:130319501,130319502 : accessed 29 April 2015).
[34] Ibid, Rumelange > Naissances 1913-1923 Mariages 1891-1902 > image 598 of 670. 1900 Marriage No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32063-906-3?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-4WR:130319501,130583901 : accessed 29 April 2015).
[35] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 530 of 777. 1900 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-7034-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[36] Census, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 85 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household with Kremer-Grisius. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32396-11048-31?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NN : accessed 13 January 2015). Note: images 84 and 86 are the cover and back of the census.
[37] Civil records, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 328 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23912-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
[38] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 329 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24192-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[39] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 353 of 389. 1920 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-24158-80?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[40] Tageblatt, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Zeitung fir Lëtzebuerg, Esch-sur-Alzette : Editpress Luxembourg S.A), 1 December 1936, No. 283, p. 4, col. 4. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=645053&search_terms=louise%20schockmel#panel:pp|issue:645053|article:DTL356|query:louise schockmel : accessed 2 May 2015)
[41] Ibid, 6 March 1945, No. 53, p. 2, col. 4. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=109573&search_terms=mathias%20kremer#panel:pp|issue:109573|article:DTL154|query:mathias kremer : accessed 2 May 2015)
[42] Moestroff Kierfecht, Moestroff, Luxembourg. KREMER-GRISIUS family gravemarker (photo © 1995 Egon Meder)

Source for UPDATE:
Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 159 of 465. 1870 Death Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66852-22?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Anton KREMER
Parents: Nicolas KREMER and Elisabeth FRIEDERICH
Spouse: Anna Maria MERKES
Parents of spouse: Pierre MERKES and Anna Katharina HASTERT
Whereabouts: Bettendorf, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

1. Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES
2. Nicolas KREMER
3. Franz KREMER
4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
5. 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: #8 The PEFFER-MERTES Family (1866-1995)

Week 8 (Feb 19-25) – Good Deeds. Does this mean a generous ancestor or one you found through land records? You decide :)

2002obit
Newspaper clipping of the obituary of Maria POLFER-PEFFER from the 18 April 2002 issue of the Luxembourger Wort.

Maria POLFER-PEFFER, daughter of Francis PEFFER and granddaughter of Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES, is the person in this family who stands out for her good deeds which resulted in her being interned and deported. What good deeds did she perform? She was a part of the resistance movement in Luxembourg during World War II. The Résistance worked in secrecy against the German occupation of the country. They helped political refugees and those being conscripted into the German forces. They printed patriotic leaflets and flyers by hand or machine to encourage the people of Luxembourg and promote patriotic spirit. More about the Luxembourg Resistance and Luxembourg in World War II.

Maria was awarded the Médaille de la Résistance, a medal awarded to civilians for distinguished services to Luxembourg during World War II. She was a member of the Conseil national de la Résistance, a member of the central committee of the LPPD (League for Luxembourgish Political Prisoners and Deportees), an umbrella group of the Resistance groups, and President of the Bettembourg section of the  LPPD.

Yesterday, 22 February 2015, was the Nationalen Dag vun der Resistenz, National Day of the Resistance in Luxembourg. In 1997 the Conseil national de la Résistance made the decision to have an annual remembrance day on the Sunday in February closest to the 25th. A day to remember all those involved in the Résistance and who lost their lives while interned and deported. Especially remembered are the 23 members of the Résistance who were shot in the Hinzerter Bësch 71 years ago on 25 Februar 1944, as well as the victims killed during the general strike in September 1942 on Hinzert, a German concentration camp located in Germany, 30 km from the Luxembourg border.

The PEFFER-MERTES Family (1866-1995)

Early on in my research I knew that my husband’s great-grandparents Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES had three children. I personally knew two of the daughters, Bom and Tattes, and the only son’s daughter Maria POLFER-PEFFER.

On 29 November 2000 I received a telephone call from the son of a third, at that time unknown daughter. He found me through my GEDCOM file at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project. I still have the notes I scribbled while on the phone with him.

I always wondered why this couple did not have children during the first five years they were married. They married in 1894 and, being Catholic, birth control was not an option or even available. Last month when I began taking a new look at this family, checking for them in the census, I nearly missed looking for birth records for more children.

I found Nicolas and Maria in the 1895 census as newlyweds, I thought, enjoying their second year of marriage, and in 1900 with their 5 week old son Franz. No other children!

1895census
1895 Luxembourg Census, household of Nicolas PEFFER and his wife Maria MERTES.[1]
1900census
1900 Luxembourg Census, household of Nicolas PEFFER and his wife Maria MERTES with their son Franz.[2]
Records are very well kept in Luxembourg, however, for this time period, they did not include the cause of death on the civil death record. This has often bothered me as I’ve found many death records for children. I wondered if this family may have also had a child who died young.

So back to the birth and death records I went. What did I find? Nicolas and Maria had 4 children before Franz came along and all four died young.  Eight months, two months, two weeks, and less than a month. That is how long Maria’s babies lived.

The next three children were born in 1900, 1902, and 1904 followed by the youngest in 1910. These were the 4 children that I knew about and they all lived to marry and have children. Could there also be more children, siblings of my husband’s Bom, born between 1905-1909?

My husband’s grandmother Suzanne, known to him as Bom, was their youngest child. She was not born in Moestroff where all the other children were born. Her father, a shepherd (Hirt), had moved with his family to Wecker sometime after 1904 and before Suzanne’s birth in 1910.  Not finding any other children in Moestroff I looked in Biwer, the commune that Wecker belongs to. And I found another child’s birth and death records. A son born in 1907 died in his fourth month. Maria was 35 years old and still young enough to have more children.

I did not find any more records in the communes of Biwer or Bettendorf. The family may have lived in other towns however the census is only available until 1900 at FamilySearch and in any case only browable making it impraticable to search all areas. Without a lead to a town I would have to check through the Luxembourg Civil Registration database which would mean browsing through 767,518 images or at least checking the Tables Décennales (ten year lists of births, marriages and deaths) for the time period 1905-1922 of each of the 145 communes. Perhaps one day the records for Luxembourg at FamilySearch will be searchable, until then….

I know that Maria carried nine children to term, gave birth to them, and cared for them. Maria and Nicolas buried five of these children between 1895-1907.

Maria saw three of her grown children marry and held two of her grandchildren before she died in 1929 at the age of 54. Only her youngest daughter Suzanne would marry after her death. Her widower Nicolas died at the age of 75 on the 31st of December 1941.

I don’t have a copy of his death record. I have three sources for his death – that should be proof enough. On the other hand, the three sources have conflicting information.

  1. Photocopy of the 1866 birth record No. 11 located in the birth register of Bettendorf at the town hall. This record includes the annotation in the left margin of his death on 31 December 1941 in Moestroff as well as the location of the death record, No. 1 in the 1942 death register. This birth record was obtained in 1995.[3]
  2. Digital image of the birth record located in the Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg, microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993 at the Archives in Luxembourg. This record includes an annotation in the left margin indicating that he died in Moestroff, no date, and the death record is No. 11 from 1942.[4]
  3. Digital image of the marriage record of Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES located in the Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg, microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993 at the Archives in Luxembourg. This record includes an annotation in the left margin made by the Landessippenamt. At the time of Nicolas’ death the civil records offices in Luxembourg were in the hands of the Germans. The official of the Landessippenamt wrote that Nicolas died on 31 February 1866 and that the death is recorded in the 1941 Sterbebuch (death register) as record No. 1. The annotation on the marriage record was made on 10 August 1941.[5]

photocopy
1. Annotation on the photocopy of the original birth record in Bettendorf.[3]
digital
2. Annotation on the digital copy of duplicate of original birth record in the archives.[4]
digitalmarriage
3. Annotation on the digital copy of the duplicate of the original marriage record in the archives.[5]
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that the first record is the most reliable. If the protocol was followed the civil registrar would have issued the death record, recorded it in the death register or Sterbebuch in Bettendorf, made a duplicate to be lodged in the Courts of Justice in Diekirch and Luxembourg City, and included the annotation to the original birth record which was housed in Bettendorf. The duplicate sent to the Courts of Justice would have been the source for the annotation made on the records 2. and 3. which were later digitized.

Now on my to-do list is a visit to the Bettendorf town hall to acquire copies of the records that are not available online for 1923 and later and specifically for a copy of the death record of Nicolas PEFFER.

Three Generations in a Photographic Series

Maria and Nicolas PEFFER-MERTES’ children were quite close as can be seen by this series of photos taken in the latter part of 1956 of two of their daughters and a daughter-in-law with their daughters/daughter-in-law and the grandchildren.

3generationsLeft to right: Baby B. with her mother Maria PEFFER and grandmother (Maria’s mother) Mrs. Francis PEFFER; Baby M. with her mother E. and grandmother (E.’s mother-in-law) Marguerite “Tattes” PEFFER; Baby E. (my husband) with his mother Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER and grandmother Suzanne “Bom” PEFFER.

granddaughters and great-grandchildrenLeft to right: Maria with her daughter B.; E. with her daughter M.; and my mother-in-law Maisy with my husband E.

grandmothers with babiesHere the grandmothers switched places. Left to right: Marguerite PEFFER with her granddaughter M., Francis PEFFER’s wife with her granddaughter B., and Suzanne PEFFER with her grandson E.

Who Were They, Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES?

Nicolas PEFFER, my husband’s great-grandfather, was the third child of seven known children of Nicolas PEFFER Sr. ( or “der Ältere“) and Marie ZWANK. His father Nicolas b. 1833  had a younger brother also named Nicolas b. 1836 who was known as Nicolas Jr.

Nicolas PEFFER was born 9 February 1866 in Moestroff, Commune of Bettendorf, District of Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His parents were both 32 years old when he was born. His father Nicolas was a day laborer.[6]

Maria MERTES, my husband’s great-grandmother, was the oldest of seven children of Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT. She had 13 known siblings as her father had six children with his first wife. It was the second marriage for her mother as well but the first marriage lasted only 6 months, due to the death of the groom, and there were no children.

Maria MERTES was born 14 February 1875 in Strassen, District of Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father was 38 and her mother was 28 years old.[7]

The Marriage of Maria and Nicolas

As with all of our ancestors I wondered how Maria MERTES and Nicolas PEFFER met. They were not born and raised in the same town or even the same community. What brought them together? I can only guess and by studying their marriage record I found a connection and reason why Nicolas would meet a young lady named Maria from Strassen.

Before I get to the actual marriage let’s take a look at the witnesses of the marriage. Two of the witnesses were listed as relatives:

    • Nicolas REITER, Maurer, 39 years old, living in Moestroff. cousin of the groom
    • Mathias GLODT, Taglöhner, 26 years old, living in Strassen, cousin of the groom

The Reiter connection is easy: Nicolas’ paternal aunt Marguerite PEFFER married Jean REITER and Nicolas REITER was their son. Census listings for Marguerite show that another one of her sons, Jean married Maria GLODT of Strassen. Mathias GLODT was Maria’s brother. This would not make him a cousin to Nicolas PEFFER. Further research led to the marriage of Mathias GLODT to Marie REITER, a daughter of Marguerite PEFFER and cousin of Nicolas PEFFER. So Mathias was a cousin-in-law!

Could this be the answer to how Nicolas PEFFER met Maria MERTES? In 1890 Nicolas PEFFER’s cousins Jean and Maria REITER were marrying the GLODT siblings Maria and Mathias.[8],[9] In May 1890 when Maria married Mathias her brothers Jean and Nicolas were present and named as witnesses. Both of these men were masons (Maurer), the same occupation as Nicolas PEFFER.

At six o’clock in the evening on the 19th of February 1894, Nicolas and Maria were married in Strassen. Nicolas was 28, worked as a mason and lived in Moestroff. Nicolas’ parents were both deceased as were his grandparents. Maria was 19, underage, did not work and lived in Strassen. She had recently returned to Strassen after living in Livange in the commune of Roeser. Both of her parents were present and agreeable to the marriage. The banns had been read in Bettendorf and in Roeser, both of the communes that the bride and groom lived in prior to their marriage, on the 4th and the 11th of February, both Sundays.[10]

The Children of Maria and Nicolas

Nicolas and Maria lived in Moestroff following their marriage. Maria was pregnant when the couple married. This may be an explanation for her recently having lived in Livange. She may have been working there, was dismissed for being pregnant and unmarried, and returned home to her parents. She gave birth to their son Johann on 12 June 1894, four months after the marriage.[11] Maria was pregnant with her second child when Johann died on 10 February 1895.[12] The first wedding anniversary was not a happy occasion with their mourning the death of their first child.

Daughter Margaretha was born on 11 August 1895[13] and lived a little less than two months, dying on 1 October 1895.[14] In 1895 when they were enumerated on the census they had been married 22 months. There is no field on the Luxembourg census for the number of children born and the number of children living as seen on the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

On 8 February 1897 their son Jacques, most likely named after both of the parents’ maternal grandfathers, was born.[15] They may have raised their glasses on the 19th to celebrate their third anniversary and their son’s birth but days later little Jacques died on 23 February 1897.[16]

Their fourth child Wilhelm was born 4 March 1899[17] and died less than a month later on 1 April 1899.[18] So much heartbreak and loss.

Finally, on 26 October 1900[19] a son, François, was born – the first child who would survive infancy. The pattern of their lives was changing. On 2 August 1902[20] their second daughter, named the same as their first Margaretha, was born followed by Maria on 15 September 1904.[21] These children were healthy and striving.

During all this time Nicolas’ occupation was seen as Maurer or mason on the birth and death records of his children. After 1904 his occupation changed. In 1907 Nicolas and his wife Maria were living in Wecker in the commune of Wecker. Nicolas’ occupation was seen as Hirt or shepherd. On 9 August 1907 their son Nicolas was born.[22] How sad it must have been for both of the parents, especially to Nicolas, to have to report the death of their son Nicolas, named after his father, on 21 November 1907.[23]

Maria and Nicolas’ little family of five was not complete until Suzanne PEFFER was born on 18 February 1910 in Wecker.[24] Nicolas was still a shepherd. How many years of Suzanne’s childhood were spent in Wecker is not known. The family of six was back in Moestroff by the time Suzanne’s oldest siblings began to marry.

Nicolas and Maria’s oldest child François, also known as Francis, PEFFER was most likely the first to marry. I have not done research on his marriage, however, believe that the marriage took place 1928 or earlier as his daughter Maria PEFFER was born about 1928 (she was 74 when she died on 16 April 2002).

Maria PEFFER was the first of the daughters to marry. She married Louis LONGATTE (1904-1996) on 2 May 1928 in Bettendorf. This date of marriage has not been confirmed with a marriage record.

A year later Marguerite PEFFER married Jean REUTER (1903-?) on 10 February 1929 in Bettendorf. This date of marriage has not been confirmed with a marriage record.

Maria MERTES, the mother of this family, died 6 August 1929 in Moestroff. Her date of death was found on the marriage record of her youngest daughter Suzanne PEFFER who married Franz “Fritz” KREMER (1905-1972) on 7 January 1931 in Bettendorf.[25]

In 1931, when Suzanne married, her 64 years old father Nicolas was once again seen in the occupation of mason (Maurer). During World War II (1 Sep 1939-14 Aug 1945) Nicolas PEFFER died on 31 December 1941 in Moestroff[3], [4], [5] as discussed earlier in this post.

Daughter Maria LONGATTE-PEFFER was the first to pass away after the death of the parents. Her son André, also known as Ender, said his mother died of cancer at the age of 40. He also said she died in 1956. There is some discrepancy in his statements as she was born in 1904 and not in 1916. It is my understanding that André was her only child. His father remarried to a French woman.[26]

The three remaining PEFFER children lived longer lives.

  • François “Francis” PEFFER died 20 July 1974 in Ettelbrück at the age of 74.[19]
  • Suzanne KREMER-PEFFER died 13 June 1987 in Moestroff at the age of 77.[24]
  • Marguerite “Tattes” REUTER-PEFFER died 27 June 1995 in Esch-sur-Alzette at the age of 92.[20]

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1895 > image 695 of 810. Peffer-Mertes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32467-9673-13?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-FM4:346114101,345878001 : accessed 26 December 2014).
[2] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 743 of 793. Peffer-Mertes household No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32396-9937-99?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NL : accessed 14 January 2015).
[3] Zivilstandes der Gemeinde Bettendorf im Kanton Diekirch, Großerzogtum Luxemburg, Photocopy of the 1866 Birth Record No. 11 obtained in 1995 from the town hall of Bettendorf
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[5] 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).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[7] 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 2013).
[8] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1458 of 1464. “.” 1890 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61343-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 February 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 841 of 1494. 1890 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38052-5?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 20 February 2015),.
[10] 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).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 59 of 155. 1894 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-20242-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2NT:129626601,130263301 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 4 of 389. 1895 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-22801-16?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[13] Ibid, Bettendorf > Tables décennales 1893-1902 > image 8 of 29. NOTE: The records for 1895 are missing on FamilySearch as of 15 Jan 2015. This entry was found in the Tables décennales 1893-1902.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-20951-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2JH:129626601,129745501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[14] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 14 of 389. 1895 Death Record No. 52. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-22723-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 25 of 777. 1897 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-6350-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 36 of 389. 1897 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32048-23240-11?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 60 of 777. 1899 Birth Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-6751-2?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 62 of 389. 1899 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24868-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[19] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 87 of 777. 1900 Birth Record No. 49; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-6345-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[20] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 121 of 777. 1902 Birth Record No. 47; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-6408-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014),.
[21] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 157 of 777. 1904 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-6109-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[22] Ibid, Biwer > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 146 of 293. 1907 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32024-6424-50?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-FMZ:129627101,129648901 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[23] Ibid, Biwer > Décès 1895-1923 > image 95 of 216. 1907 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32037-102-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-YWB:129627101,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[24] Ibid, Biwer > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 176 of 293. 1910 Birth Record No. 9; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32024-6158-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-FMZ:129627101,129648901 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[25] Zivilstandes der Gemeinde Bettendorf im Kanton Diekirch, Großerzogtum Luxemburg, Heiratsurkunde No. 1 Kremer Franz mit Peffer Susanna. Mothers of the bride and groom were deceased at the time of the marriage and their dates of death are listed on this record.
[26] Telephone conversation between Cathy Meder-Dempsey and Mr. André Longatte on 29 November 2000.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas PEFFER
Parents: Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK
Spouse: Maria MERTES
Parents of spouse: Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT
Whereabouts: Moestroff and Strassen, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

1. Nicolas PEFFER
2. Suzanne PEFFER
3. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
4. Cathy’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: #7 The Railroad Switchman’s Family

Week 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love. Which ancestor do you love to research? Which ancestor do you feel especially close to? Which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

The KREMER-GRISIUS family had a lot of love. Two daughters loved enough have sons without marrying. A daughter loved God and the Catholic Church enough to become a nun. A daughter was killed in the City of Love during World War II in the bombardment of a train. A daughter married and moved to Manosque, a town in the heart of the French Provence. A son died in his 6th month only days after Valentine’s Day. Son Fritz, who loved to fish, married and had two children he dearly loved, one of them was Maisy, the mother of my husband, the love of my life.

The KREMER-GRISIUS Family of Bettendorf and Moestroff (1875-1996) 

marker

1875birth
Nicolas

Nicolas KREMER, son of Anton (Antoine) KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES, was born at one o’clock in the morning on 18 November 1875 in Bettendorf, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His parents were 40 and 39 at the time of his birth.[1]

1879birth
Catherine

Catherine GRISIUS, daughter of Heinrich GRISIUS and Elisabeth WECKERING, was born at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on 7 September 1879 in Hoscheid, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her parents were 40 and 29 when she was born.[2]

In 1895 Nicolas was with his brother Peter working as a servant (Dienstknecht) in France. Nicolas had been there a year and a half while his brother Peter had been there five years. By 1900 Nicolas was back in Luxembourg and planning to marry.[3]

An Early Marriage for Nicolas and Catherine

1900marriage
1900 Marriage Record No. 21

Catherine, a 22 years old maid (Dienstmagd), and Nicolas, a 25 years old worker (Arbeiter) must have gotten up very early to get married at 8 o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, 28 November 1900. Banns had been read only once on Sunday the 18th of November in Bettendorf as both the bride and groom had their residence in that town. They brought with them a copy of the birth record from the register of Hoscheid for the bride. Catherine’s parents were from Hoscheid, a village about 17 km from Bettendorf, and Nicolas’ parents were from Bettendorf where the marriage took place. Nicolas’ brother Pierre KREMER, one of the witnesses, lived in Mersch, 26 km from Bettendorf. Another witness was the 63 years old Nicolas KREMER, a first cousin once removed of the groom. The two other witnesses were not related to the bridal couple. The mother of the groom and the parents of the bride did not sign the marriage record and it was noted they they could not write.[4]

What gifts, if any, did the bridal couple receive? What would they need to buy for their life together? Did they need or own a bedroom, living room, or dining room set?

ad4
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they have to buy a matress for their bed? Would the bride bring sheets, duvets, pillows, and blankets to keep them warm in their bed?

ad1
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they have a fancy oven to heat their home?

ad3
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they even have their own home from the begining? Apparently not, as Catherine was seen with her parents-in-law in the 1900 census. This was taken three days after their marriage and Nicolas was seen as not living with his bride and parents. He had been in Oberanven, a town near Luxembourg City, for two days on business. What a way to spend a honeymoon![6][7]

1900census
1900 Luxembourg Census. Persons in the household.[6]
1900census2
1900 Luxembourg Census. Persons absent from household.[7]

 The Children of Catherine and Nicolas KREMER-GRISIUS

1901birth
Elise

Child 1: Elise KREMER was born 26 September 1901 at 11 o’clock in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. It is very probable that this was the home of her grandfather Anton KREMER was was one of the witnesses on her birth record. Elise’s parents were 25 and 22 at the time. Her father Nicolas, a worker (Arbeiter), was the informant. Elise’s grandfather, also a worker, signed his name Antoine KREMER rather than Anton as his name was written on the record by the second witness Georges MORES, farmer (Ackerer).[8]

1903 birth
Anna

Child 2: Anna KREMER was born 20 November 1903 at 9 o’clock in the evening in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, a railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth the next day at 9 o’clock in the morning. Her grandfather Anton KREMER, town crier/messenger (Gemeindebote), was one of the witnesses. The other witness, Georges MORES, was the secretary who did the clerical work for the mayor, Michel CONZEMIUS. Anna’s parents were 28 and 25.[9]

1905irth
Franz

Child 3: Fritz KREMER was born 6 March 1905 at 2:30 in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. His father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth the same day at 10 o’clock in the morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor who was listed as Michel CONZEMIUS. The mayor may not have been available as the record was signed by M. ERNZEN. The parents were 29 and 25.[10]

1907birth
Margaretha

Child 4: Margaretha KREMER was born 11 February 1907 at one o’clock in the afternoon in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth four hours later. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. As was the case when her first three siblings’ births were reported, the 71 years old grandfather Antoine was a witness. The parents were 31 and 27.[11]

1909birth
Marie

Child 5: Marie KREMER was born 7 December 1909 at 2:30 in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 10 o’clock the same morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. Grandfather Antoine was a witness. The parents were seen as 33 and 30. In 1996 a civil official annotated the record in the left top margin with the date and place of death and the death record number.[12]

1910birth
Johanna

Child 6: Johanna KREMER was born 2 December 1910 at 3 o’clock in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 10 o’clock the same morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. Grandfather Antoine was not present this time. Instead Franz GRISIUS, named as an acquaintance, actually the brother of the mother of the newborn child, was the witness. The parents were 35 and 31.[13]

1912birth
Theresia

Child 7: Theresia KREMER was born at 7 o’clock in the evening of 13 July 1912 in Moestroff, the neighboring village to Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 9 o’clock the next morning in Bettendorf and his 76 years old father Antoine was present as a witness. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. The parents were 36 and 32. In 1987 a civil official annotated the record in the left margin with the date and place of death and the death record number.[14]

1913birth
Nicolas, birth
1914death
Nicolas, death

Child 8: Nicolas KREMER was born at 11 o’clock in the evening of 14 September 1913 in Moestroff. As with Theresia, the name of the house he was born in is not given. His father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at one o’clock the next afternoon in Bettendorf. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. The parents were 38 and 35.[15] A little over five months later his father Nicolas had the sad duty of reporting little Nicolas’ death at 7 o’clock in the evening of 20 February 1914, an hour after the death took place. A railroad colleague, Nicolas MULLER from Moestroff, came with the father to report the death.[16]

UPDATE: On 2 May 2015 I found the birth and death record of another child.
Child 9: Théodore KREMER was born 7 April 1916* and died nine months later on 22 January 1917**. Both events took place in Moestroff.
* Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 365 of 777. 1916 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-7600-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 2 May 2015).
** Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 315 of 389. 1917 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-24224-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 2 May 2015).

 Child 10: Catherine GRISIUS gave birth to a stillborn female child at 3 o’clock in the morning of 19 April 1918 in Moestroff.[17] An hour later she died at the age of 38. Her husband Nicolas KREMER had the responsibility of reporting the deaths of his wife Catherine and their 9th child at 3 o’clock that afternoon. Nicolas’ occupation was a bit different than it had been when he reported the births of his children from 1903-1913. He was now seen as a switchman (Weichensteller). Theodore Doffing, a farmer and acquaintance of Nicolas, accompanied him to the town hall in Bettendorf and served as a witness.[18]

1918deaths
Deaths of Mother and Child

Transportation Between Moestroff and Bettendorf

My husband and I have ridden through Moestroff and Bettendorf many times on our racing bikes. It’s a short distance between the two towns, less than 2 km. The building (below) is the former train station of Moestroff and is now a private home. The bike route follows the path where the railroad tracks used to be.

Below the bike route is a rural road, now strict access only, used to connect the two towns. The main road used today is on the other side of the Sauer River which runs through both towns.

moestroff
Train station in Moestroff. Photo used with permission.

While writing this I wondered if Nicolas walked or rode a bike on the rural road from Moestroff to Bettendorf when he went to register the births of the children born in Moestroff and his wife’s death. Or, since he was a railroad worker, did he take the train from Moestroff to Bettendorf?

bettendorf
Train station in Bettendorf. Photo taken and used with permission.

We took a special trip to Moestroff and Bettendorf this morning to take these photos of the former train stations. The building in Bettendorf is also now a private home. A person who was at home gave us permission to take this picture as well as one of the back side of the building where the railroad tracks used to be. A collections of photos of the stations in Luxembourg can be found on The Railways in and around Luxembourg (D’Eisebunn zu an ëm Lëtzebuerg) and includes some older photos of the stations in Moestroff and Bettendorf.

Life After Catherine’s Death

Nicolas was left with 7 children, 6 daughters between 6 and 17 years of age and a 13 years old son Franz. Nine days later Nicolas once again reported a death, his 81 years old father Anton KREMER.[19]

Elise, Nicolas and Catherine’s oldest daughter, raised her siblings in place of her mother. Her son Nic. was born out of wedlock in 1919 and raised along with her siblings who considered him a brother. Elise never married and died at the age of 40 in 1941.[20]

MRIN14674 1941 Elise Kremer death
Luxemburger Wort[20]
Elise’s sister Anna went to Paris to work and during World War II was killed when the train she was on was bombarded. This is a family story and no record has been found as yet to support it. Paris was listed in Elise’s death notice as one of the residences of a family member. This could mean that Anna died after 7 April 1941 and before the end of World War II in 1945. Another of Elise’s siblings was living in Sfax in Tunisia, most likely Johanna, who went by Jeanne, and was married to Frédéric DE GIORGIO.

World War II brought many changes. In Nicolas’ case it meant that the first name he was given at birth was changed to Nikolaus. I would not have known this if I hadn’t obtained a photocopy of his original birth record from the town hall in Bettendorf in 1995. During World War II Luxembourg was occupied by the Germans and all administrations were headed by them. They went through the birth records of the people living in a town and placed a stamp in the margin changing the name to the German equivalent. Luckily KREMER was German enough for them not to change it. After the war the Luxembourg authorities added their own stamp making the first nul and void.

1875birth
Photocopy of the original birth record found in Bettendorf birth register.
1943stamp
Stamps seen in the left margin of the birth record

Translation (first stamp):
Due to the
regulation of the C.d.Z.*
from 31 January 1941 to change the first
and 
surnames in Luxembourg the
designated person (in this record)

Name: Nikolaus
Certificate of Diekirch District
from 21 December 1942
Diekirch, the 1 March 1943

Registrar: representative
signature of the registrar
Translation (second stamp):
Declared nul and void
in Bettendorf on [date omitted]
The civil officer:
signed J. Pierre Goebel

*C.d.Z. = Chef der Zivilverwaltung or Head of Civil Administration.

Nicolas KREMER died in 1951.[21] The year of death was found on the family gravemarker in the cemetery (Kirfecht) in Moestroff. I have not taken steps to obtain his death record. He left a son, four daughters, three grandsons, a granddaughter, and two great-grandsons.

MRIN04944 1971-01-08 François Kremer obitHis son Franz KREMER married Suzanne PEFFER on 7 January 1931 and died in 1972.[22]

Nicolas’ daughter Margaretha, also known as Gréit, died in 1975 as seen on her birth record.[11] I have not been able to find out if she ever married. She did not have children living in 1987 when her sister Thérèse died.

His daughter Theresia, or Tatta Thérèse, became a nun when she was young, left the order at some time, and worked as a nurse with the same doctor she had worked for as a nun. Tatta Thérèse died on 2 November 1987 leaving two sisters, Jeanne and Marie.[14]

1996obitJeanne was living in Manosque, a town in the heart of the French Provence, at the time that Thérèse died.[23] No trace of her has been found after 1987 when the succession of Thérèse’s estate was settled.

Jeanne must have died before 1996 as she was not mentioned in the obituary her sister Marie, Tatta Marie, as she was known to her niece, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. In her obituary at right the surname Schneider is an error and should be Schleider. Tatta Marie never married and had a son.[24]

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 969 of 1507. 1875 Birth Record No. 68. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1624-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 282 of 1491. “.” 1879 Birth Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-57323-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B6:1412473990 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1895 > image 305 of 810. Kremer-Merkes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-10959-35?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-FM4:346114101,345878001 : accessed 11 February 2015).
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 530 of 777. “.” 1900 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-7034-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[5] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 1 December 1900, page 4 (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=1033115&search_terms=#panel:pp|issue:1033115|page:4 : accessed 11 Feb 2015)
[6] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1900 > image 85 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household with Kremer-Grisius. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32396-11048-31?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NN : accessed 13 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 86 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household with Kremer-Grisius. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32396-10670-43?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NN : accessed 13 January 2015).
[8] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 104 of 777. 1901 Birth Record No. 42. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-6214-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 >  Image 141 of 777. 1903 Birth Record No. 49. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-5949-12?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 2 Mar 2013).
[10] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 168 of 777. 1905 Birth Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-5938-16?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 206 of 777. 1907 Birth Record No. 6;  includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-6057-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 257 of 777. 1909 Birth Record No. 50; includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-5705-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[13] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 296 of 777. 1910 Birth Record No. 52. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-5744-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[14] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 307 of 777. 1912 Birth Record No. 23; includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-5778-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 323 of 777. 1913 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-5960-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 275 of 389. 1914 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24390-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 328 of 389. 1918 Stillbirth Kremer No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23912-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 328 of 389. “.” 1918 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23912-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
[19] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 329 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24192-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[20] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 7 April 1941, No. 97, page 12, top of column 2. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=770518&search_terms=elise%20kremer%20moestroff#panel:pp|issue:770518|article:DTL340|query:elise kremer moestroff : accessed 10 Feb 2015).
[21] Moestroff Kierfecht, Moestroff, Luxembourg. KREMER-GRISIUS family gravemarker (photo © 1995 Egon Meder)
[22] Luxemburger Wort, 8 January 1971, clipping
[23] Lucien Schuman, Notarial Act No. 1839 dated 13 November 1987 concerning the succession of the estate of Thérèse Kremer.
[24] Luxemburger Wort, 4 October 1996, clipping

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas KREMER
Parents: Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES
Spouse: Cathérine GRISIUS
Parents of Spouse: Heinrich “Henri” GRISIUS and Elisabeth WECKERING
Whereabouts: Moestroff, Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

1. Nicolas KREMER and Cathérine GRISIUS
2. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
3. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
4. Cathy’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: #3 The KREMER-PEFFER Family (1905-1987)

Week 3, Tough woman — Who is a tough, strong woman in your family tree? Or what woman has been tough to research?

My husband’s maternal grandparents were Franz KREMER (1905-1971) and Susanna PEFFER (1910-1987).  Their names were seen on their birth records and marriage record as Franz and Susanna. In later years their first names were spelled François and Suzanne. Records in Luxembourg were kept in German and French at different times. It is not unusual to see the German spelling of a name on records and the French spelling on the index and/or Tables Décennales – ten year tables.

MRIN04944 François KremerFranz KREMER was born on the 6th of March 1905 in Bettendorf, Canton of Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the first son of Nicolas KREMER, a railroad worker, and Catharina GRISIUS. Nicolas, the 29 years old father, went to the records office at 10 o’clock in the morning to have his son’s birth recorded. Franz was born at 2:30 in the morning. The child’s grandfather Anton KREMER, the 70 years old municipal crier, was a witness. He signed his name Antoine KREMER, the French spelling, while the municipal secretary wrote in his name with the German spelling, Anton. Franz’s mother was listed as 25 years old and without an occupation.[1]

1905irth
1905 Birth Record No. 12 for Franz Kremer.[1]
Franz spent his childhood in Bettendorf were he was born. He grew up with six sisters and a little “brother” who was actually his oldest sister’s son. That is a story for Week #7 when his parents and siblings will be highlighted.

MRIN04944 Suzanne PefferSusanna PEFFER was born on the 18th of February 1910 in Wecker, in the community of Biwer, Canton of Grevenmacher, Luxembourg. She was the youngest daughter of Nicolas PEFFER, a shepherd, and Maria MERTES. At 4 o’clock in the afternoon on the 19th of February 1910, Nicolas, 45 years old, arrived at the records office in Biwer to have the birth of his daughter recorded. His 34 years old wife Maria had given birth to Susanna the day before at noon. An annotation of Susanna’s death is included in the left margin of the record.

1910birth
1910 Birth Record No. 3 for Susanna PEFFER.[2]
Susanna/Suzanne caused problems in my research from the very beginning and so you could say that she was tough to research. Twenty years ago my first call to Biwer to get a copy of her birth record from the records office did not go well. This is not meant in a negative way. Some records offices would send copies of records requested by telephone after a small fee was received while others required a written request with or without a fee. In this particular case they would not search unless I came in person. I didn’t pursue it further as I already had a copy of her marriage record which listed her birth information.

When the images of civil births, marriages, deaths, and indexes became available at FamilySearch.org I did not immediately look for hers. I finally got around to looking for her birth record this past December.

While putting everything together I learned that she was a lot tougher than any of us knew. My husband’s grandmother had two sisters and a brother – this was a known fact. What we did not know was that she was the 9th and most likely last child of Nicolas and Maria PEFFER-MERTES. Her first four siblings, three brothers and a sister, were born and died during the first five years of her parents’ marriage. Another brother, her closest sibling as he was born the 8th child, lived less than three months. I searched the birth records of Bettendorf, where 7 of her siblings were born, and of Biwer which includes Wecker where the two youngest were born, but did not find a child born after Susanna. Census records are presently available to 1900 on FamilySearch for Luxembourg. How I wish the census of Luxembourg were available to 1940 as they are in the U.S. so that I could trace Susanna’s location during her childhood.

Franz and Suzanne most likely knew each other growing up as the villages of Bettendorf and Moestroff are only 2.5 km apart.

On the 7th of January 1931 at 6 o’clock in the evening the mayor of Bettendorf, Johann Peter MULLER, joined Franz and Suzanne in marriage. Franz was 25 and Suzanne was 20 years old and considered underage. Franz’s father Nicolas was present and agreeable to the marriage, his mother was deceased. Suzanne’s father Nicolas was present and agreeable to the marriage, her mother was deceased. The banns had been read only once on the 28th of December 1930. A marriage contract was not drawn up by the couple prior to their marriage. No witnesses are listed on this marriage record which was signed by the bride and groom, the fathers of the couple and the mayor.[3]

MRIN04944 1931 Franz Kremer and Suzanne Peffer marriage
1931 Marriage Record No. 1 for Franz KREMER and Susanna PEFFER.[3]
Susanna had already begun to use Suzanne as the spelling of her name when she signed the marriage record (above).

Their first child Marie Françoise was born in Rumelange on 29 August 1931. As previously discussed in 52 Ancestors: #1 The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996) Maisy, as their daughter was known, believed that she had been a twin. As no records were found we will never know if this story was true.

Some time after Maisy’s birth they moved into their new home on the bank of the Sauer River in Moestroff. 

Four years later, in 1935, a son was born and named Aloyse. On the 1st of April 1936 his father François was notified at work that his son had died. He was very upset with the people who brought the news because he thought they were playing an April Fool’s joke on him. Unfortunately it was true. In 1939 their third child, a son, was born and they named him Aloyse.

In 1937 François worked for the road construction administration (Straßenbauverwaltung or Ponts et Chaussées) and was promoted to roadman (Staatswegewärter or Cantonnier). In 1960 he was promoted to chief roadman (Chef-Cantonnier).

In 1946, he was entrusted with the post of first aldermen (1. Schöffen) of the municipality of Bettendorf for the Moestroff section. He unselfishly provided them with great skill and prudence until 1958.

MRIN04944 2015-01-07 Moestroff church door
Doors of the church of Moestroff in Luxembourg, 7 Jan 2015. Photo courtesy of Egon Meder.

Suzanne and François’ daughter Maisy KREMER married Marcel MEDER on 6 June 1952. On the 7th of June after the religious ceremony as the bride and groom, their parents and guests left the church each couple was photographed on the steps of the church. François left the church with the mother of the groom and Suzanne left the church with the father of the groom. The photographer remained in the same place and I was able to make a composite photograph (below) of Maisy’s parents Suzanne and François KREMER-PEFFER.

MRIN04944 1952-06-07 Suzanne Peffer and François Kremer, parents of the bride
Suzanne and François on the steps of the church of Moestroff, 7 June 1952. Composite photograph.

A Family and Town Tradition

MRIN04944 1949-03-30 Suzanne and Maisy on street in front of house
Suzanne and her daughter Maisy on the street in front of the Kremer house (right, steps to front door) with the municipal building to the left of the house. This photo was taken on 30 March 1949. The children are unknown.
MRIN04944 2015-01-07 Moestroff, next door to Kremer house
This building to the left of the Kremer-Peffer house was owned by the municipality and was used to store machinery etc. Photo taken in Jan 2015 courtesy of Egon Meder.
MRIN04944 2015-01-07 Moestroff, Kremer house
The house which was once the home of the Kremer-Peffer family as it is today. Photo courtesy of Egon Meder.

 

Above right, is the Kremer-Peffer house as it is today, renovated by the new owners. The Kremer-Peffer family used the land on the left side and behind the house to raise a vegetable garden and an apple tree. François also had another larger garden located on the other side of the building next door (above, left) that was used for storage by the town. He planted rows and rows of potatoes, grew green beans on poles, and had 6-8 plum trees.

Quetschen,  Luxembourgish plums, are a deep purple, elongated in shape with a long thin stone. The family and the town had a tradition associated with this tasty plum, the cooking of Quetschekraut. In late August when the Quetschen were ripe and picked, François would build a fire in front of his house for the large copper pot that would be used to cook Quetschekraut. The townpeople would bring their own Quetschen to the Kremer house. They were weighed before the women would cut them and remove the pits. The adults would take turns stirring the fruit, sugar and spices until it became a thick compote. This was then filled into stone jars like the smaller ones (below) to be taken home by all of the families who participated. How many they took home depended on how much fruit they had contributed to the huge batch.

2015-01-19 stone jars
Stone jars used for keeping Quetschekraut in their cool cellar. The large jar was used for making sauerkraut.

2015-01-19 canned

This  tradition of cooking Quetschekraut is no longer kept up as it was in their days. Today we buy ours in a mason jar at the mall from the musicians of the “Schëtter Musek”. It is only sold on one weekend so we always make sure to mark our calendars.

Not all of the fruit was used for Quetschekraut as Quetschentaart is another favorite in Luxembourg.

The Death of a Spouse

Just two months before his 66th birthday François KREMER died from a prolonged illness in his home in Moestroff. The insidious disease that had attacked him was lung cancer and slowly with severe suffering put an end to his life on 7 January 1971.

MRIN04944 1971-01-08 François Kremer obitHis open nature and correctness earned him friendship, trust and respect. For years he was president of the local church choir. This association was very dear to him.

Fritz, as he was known by his colleagues, was an avid fisherman. He was often seen on the banks of the Sauer River were he swung his rod and chased pike and carp, silently and patiently outwitting them. Only the illness that claimed his life stopped him from enjoying this sport in his last years.[4]

His marriage to his faithful companion Suzanne and his children, his daughter Maisy and his son Aly, brought deep happiness to him. He was fond of his four grandchildren who called him Bop. They were dear to his heart and filled his days with love to the last.

MRIN04944 Suzanne Peffer laterSuzanne continued to live in Moestroff in the home near the Sauer River. She would telephone with her children everyday, alternating between her calling them and their calling her. On Fridays she would take the bus to Diekirch to do her shopping, visit the butcher for a beef roast to serve on Sunday, see her doctor, and pick up her medicine at the pharmacy.

The family often joked about the shoe box full of pills and other medicine that she used everyday and brought along when she spent a few days with one or the other of her children.

On Sundays she would often have her daughter’s or her son’s family come to dinner. Before her daughter Maisy and her son-in-law Marcel had a car they would take the bus from Echternach to Moestroff, arriving while Suzanne was at church. Maisy would begin preparations for dinner while the family waited for Bom, as she was known by her grandchildren, to come back from church.

On Mother’s Day and Kirmes Sunday Bom would invite both families to dinner at a restaurant. Kirmes, the traditional fair, is an important event in the religious and social lives of the inhabitants of a town. Bom had not always taken the family to a restaurant for Kirmes. When she was a little younger she would cook for the whole bunch. Everyone would squeeze into her small front parlor, which was her living and dining room. If someone needed “to go” and he was sitting with the table between him and the door several people would have to get up to let him out. The grandchildren enjoyed crawling under the table to get out.

MRIN04944 1987-06-15 Suzanne Peffer obitSuzanne was a tough woman during these years that she lived without her husband. But this changed when her daughter Maisy died in 1986 of cancer. She also lost her grit after her first and only stay in a hospital at the age of 77. She gave up on life when she was diagnosed with an illness “down there.” It wasn’t talked about and only later would we learn that she may have had cancer in her reproductive organs.

On Saturday afternoon the 13th of June 1987, the day before Mother’s Day, she took her afternoon nap, as usual, in her armchair resting her legs on the foot rest. She wanted to be well rested for the planned dinner with the family on Mother’s Day. But that was not to be. Her sister Tattes found her later that afternoon. Suzanne, our Bom, had died in her sleep of heart failure.

Sources:
[1] “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-5938-16?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 168 of 777; Nationalen Archiven, Luxembourg.
[2] “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32024-6158-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-FMZ:129627101,129648901 : accessed 27 December 2014), Biwer > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 176 of 293; Nationalen Archiven, Luxembourg.
[3] Bettendorf Record Office, photocopy of the 1931 marriage record of Franz KREMER and Susanna PEFFER, obtained 1995.
[4] C. Kohn, “In Memoriam François Kremer, Moestroff,” Luxemburger Wort, January 1971.

© 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: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife

Week 2, King – January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Since I hadn’t planned on using the themes I was surprised that once again this one works for my chosen ancestral couple. Mr. and Mrs. MEDER-SCHWARTZ married, worked, and raised their children in Diekirch, a city in north-eastern Luxembourg. According to old sources the town received its name when Charlemagne, King of the Franks, converted the pagan Saxons to Christianity in the late 8th century. A church was built and the settlement was given the name “Diet-Kirch” (people’s church).

The MEDER-SCHWARTZ Family (1888-1974)

MRIN00003 1923-06-15 Jean-Pierre Meder and Catherine Schwartz wedding

1923 Wedding Portrait of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ

Jean-Pierre MEDER was born on 20 November 1888 in Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the youngest of twelve children. His father Franz MEDER was 42 years old and his mother Elisabetha FABER was 43 years old at the time of his birth.

1888birth
Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-105421-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 297 of 1492.]
Jean-Pierre MEDER was seen on the census (Volkszählungen) of Luxembourg in 1890, 1895, and 1900 with his parents and unmarried siblings. These census listings will be discussed in the Week #5 post for his parents.

Luxembourg, Census Records, 1843-1900
The Luxembourg census which was taken approximately every three to five years for the years 1843 to 1900. The records include all household members, places, names, ages (sometimes a full birth date), professions, genders, and marital statuses. Sometimes they also show nationalities, religions, places of birth, family positions, and information on persons who normally lived in the household but were living outside of Luxembourg.

1892birth
Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-230679-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6R:n2017357688 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 19 of 176.]
Catharina (also known as Catherine) SCHWARTZ was born on 2 February 1892 in Osweiler, a village belonging to the commune of Rosport, in the canton of Echternach in Luxembourg. She was the oldest of twelve children. Her father Johann SCHWARTZ was 26 years old and her mother Margaritha GORGES was 25 years old at the time of her birth.

Catherine, as her name was spelled on census, was with her parents, younger siblings, and her SCHWARTZ grandparents in 1895 and 1900.  These census listings will be discussed in the Week #6 post for her parents.

I have no idea how Catherine came to be living in Diekirch before her marriage. Echternach would have been a much closer town for her to work. Catherine, age 31, and Jean-Pierre, age 34, most likely met in Diekirch where they both lived and worked, Catherine as a midwife and Jean-Pierre as a brewery worker.

On the 7th and the 20th of May 1923 banns were read for their marriage which took place on the 15th of June 1923. The importance of the dates that the banns were read will be seen shortly.

1923marriage
1923 Marriage Record No. 9 [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32037-28712-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 461 of 661.]
Marriage records in Luxembourg are a treasure of information. The age, occupation, date and place of birth, and residence of the bride and the groom are listed. The names of the parents of the bride and groom are seen along with their occupation, place of residence, age if they are still living, and date and place of death if they are deceased. Four additional witnesses are also named with their age, occupation, residence, and sometimes even the relationship to the bride and groom.

When Catherine and Jean-Pierre married her mother and his father were present and agreeable to the marriage. Catherine’s father and Jean-Pierre’s mother were deceased. Also present were Jean-Pierre’s brother Joseph, Catherine’s brother Johann, and two innkeepers or publicans (Wirt). Joseph GORGES, one of the innkeepers, may have been Catherine’s cousin. This needs to be researched. All persons present signed the marriage record.

Catherine and Jean-Pierre were presented with their personal Family Book. They signed their names in it as “J.P. Meder” and “Ketty Schwartz” and took the book with them the next day when they were married in a religious ceremony in the church.

livret   livret

livretKetty and Jean-Pierre were the parents of two boys, François Jean born 21 February 1924 and Marcel Mathias born 26 September 1926, as seen in their Family Book on the page following the marriage information (left).

As I mentioned last week, I had pointed out to my father-in-law that his brother, who was known to us as “Fritz,” was born 8 months following the marriage. He was born on 21 February 1924 which would mean that he was conceived between 27 May – 4 June 1923. Now for the part that would have interested my father-in-law. The marriage banns were read on the 7th and 20th of May so this was NOT a shotgun wedding arranged due to an unplanned pregnancy. Ketty, being a midwife, most likely knew how to prevent a pregnancy. I believe they truly desired to marry and as they were already 34 and 31 years old did not care to wait to start their family.

brauereidiekirch-1916
Brauerei Diekirch ca. 1916 (Archives de la Ville de Diekirch) [Source: The History of Industry of Luxembourg]
Jean-Pierre MEDER worked for the Diekirch Brewery (above ca. 1916). This drawing was found on The History of Industry of Luxembourg website. For persons researching their families in Luxembourg this is a wonderful resource. Historical timelines of the industries are included as well as many old photographs of places and products.

MRIN00003 1952 Meder-Schwartz mergedJean-Pierre and Ketty’s older son Fritz married Anne GREGORIUS on 8 December 1950. Their younger son Marcel married Maisy KREMER on 6 June 1952. On the 7th of June after the religious ceremony as the bride and groom, their parents and guests left the church each couple was photographed on the steps of the church. Jean-Pierre left the church with the mother of the bride and Ketty left the church with the father of the bride. The photographer remained in the same place and I was able to make a composite photograph (at right) of Marcel’s parents Jean-Pierre and Ketty MEDER-SCHWARTZ. Below is another photograph of them together in 1953 working in their garden.

MRIN00003 1953 Jean-Pierre Meder and Ketty Schwartz in their gardenAs is seen in their Family Book, Jean-Pierre MEDER died on 23 February 1954, two days after his oldest son Fritz turned 30. Fritz’s wife Anne was expecting her first child and Jean-Pierre was never called Bop or Bopa by grandchildren.

Since Catherine was also known as Ketty, I wonder if Jean-Pierre was nicknamed “Jemp” as many men in Luxembourg with this name have that nickname.

After her children were grown, Ketty was referred to by her son Marcel and his family as “Ged” a shortened form of Gedel or godmother in Luxembourgish. Ketty was the godmother of Marcel’s son. Below they are visiting the Château de Colpach located near Ell in western Luxembourg. The castle dates from the beginning of the 14th century when it was a stronghold.

MRIN00003 1958 ca. Ketty Schwartz with Marcel and his family
Ketty with her grandson and daughter-in-law Maisy and with her son Marcel in the insert ca. 1957.

Ketty lived another twenty years and was the grandmother of three grandchildren. In her later years she lived in the rest home in Vianden and died in Ettelbrück on 1 February 1974.

© 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: #1 The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996)

Week 1, Fresh startSeems appropriate for the beginning of the year. What ancestor had a fresh start? What ancestor has been so confusing to research that you’d like to have a fresh start?

I had all my families picked and scheduled for the entire year before the themes were announced for the first five weeks. The proposed theme for Week #1 is Start fresh. That definitely works for me. I’m starting fresh with my husband’s parents. I got out an old box of photos and notebooks that haven’t been looked through since I packed them away and went digital. This is going to help me get a fresh start on scanning the things that have been neglected.

The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996)

MRIN04646 Maisy and Marcel Meder-Kremer
Maisy and Marcel Meder-Kremer

MRIN04646 1935 ca. Marcel Meder communionMarcel MEDER was born on 26 September 1926 in Diekirch, the son of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ. He had one older brother. He was baptized on 10 October 1926 in Diekirch.[1] At left is a photo of him from his First Communion. I have no record of when this took place however this sacrament is typically received between the ages of seven and nine. He was confirmed about 1938 in Diekirch. Children are confirmed around the age of 12 years in Luxembourg. The date of confirmation is not listed on the baptismal certificate obtained for his religious marriage but it was noted that he was confirmed.

MRIN04646 1940 ca. Maisy Kremer communionMarie Françoise KREMER, also known as Maisy, was born on 29 August 1931 in Rumelange, the daughter of Franz KREMER and Susanne PEFFER. She had one younger brother. Maisy was baptized on 13 September 1931 in Rumelange.[2] At left is a photo of her from her First Communion, most likely ca. 1940. She was confirmed on 29 August 1943 in Diekirch. Maisy claimed that she was a twin and that her brother died at birth. I spoke with the records office in Rumelange and they could not find any record of a birth, stillbirth, or death of a child born at the time that Maisy was born. It is very unlikely that Maisy’s mother gave birth in two places.

MRIN04646 1943 ca. Marcel MederDuring World War II when the German army occupied Luxembourg Marcel was still going to school and wanted to become a teacher. The young people who were not yet of age to join the army were required to join the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth). At first this was voluntary but later it was forced. Those who did not join were not allowed to continue in school or start an apprenticeship. Marcel refused to join, was kicked out of school, and forced to work for a German farmer. He kept all the correspondence that went on between him and the German authorities and his Wehrpass (service book). These will be featured in a later blogpost.

MRIN04646 1948 ca. Marcel Meder in militaryBy the time that World War II was over Marcel was too old or no longer wanted to go back to school. He worked for a while for a farmer in Bettendorf (above) before joining the Luxembourgish army. At right he is the middle soldier in the front row.

MRIN04646 1950 ca. Maisy KremerWhile Marcel was working  in Bettendorf he met and fell in love with Maisy who lived in the neighboring village. While he was doing his military service they saw each other only on Sundays. To make the time between their meetings shorter they would send each other cards and short notes. January 16th is St. Marcel’s day and in 1950 Maisy sent Marcel a card wishing him a Happy Name Day.

After finishing his military service Marcel began working for the post office. In the meantime Marcel and Maisy continued to see each other until they set a date for their marriage.

The civil marriage ceremony was performed on Friday, 6 June 1952 by Pierre Straus, mayor of the commune of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the district of Diekirch, in the Grand Duché of Luxembourg. A commune is the basic administrative division in Luxembourg. Within the hierarchy of administrative subdivisions, communes come directly below cantons, which are in turn directly below districts. Similar to town, county, state in the United States.

Following the ceremony the couple was presented with a Family Book which they were required to present to the records office when a child was born or when either of the spouses died. Ten children could be entered in the book that Maisy and Marcel received.

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 1MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 2

 

 

 

The book number (7) is also the number of the record in the marriage register of the town. This register is so large that I was not able to scan the photocopy they made for me at the records office with my printer/scanner. I will have to work on “knitting” two scans together or may have to try getting a good photograph of the sheet. Marriage records for Luxembourg are online at FamilySearch however the cut off year is presently 1923 for Bettendorf.

The religious marriage ceremony was performed Saturday, 7 June 1952 in the church of Moestroff, part of the commune of Bettendorf.[3]

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer wedding 1MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer wedding 2

 

The Wedding Portrait

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer weddingMarried Life

MRIN04646 1952-06-10 Maisy Kremer at homeMarcel was a resident of Diekirch from the time of his birth until his marriage in 1952, except for the time that he was forced to work for the Germans and lived on a farm in Germany. Maisy who had been born in Rumelange when her father was working there, lived most of her life in Moestroff. From 7 June 1952 until 16 October 1953 Marcel and Maisy lived in Moestroff in the home of the bride’s  parents.

At left Maisy is seen in the upstairs bedroom window of her parents’ home. The home was very small and living conditions were a bit difficult for the young married couple.

MRIN04646 1954 ca. Marcel Meder at work in EchternachOn 14 October 1953 Marcel and Maisy moved from her parents’ home in Moestroff to Echternach where Marcel worked for the post office (Employé des postes et télécommunications) first as a telephone operator (front left) and then as a mailman (below). He rode a motorcycle on his route through the neighboring villages of Osweiler, Dickweiler, Girst and the farms in between until, for health reasons, he put in a request for a car.

MRIN04646 1960 ca. Marcel Meder

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. ~ inscription found on the General Post Office in New York City at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street.[4]

Marcel and Maisy lived in an apartment for a short time before renting a house. They rented out a spare bedroom during the tourist season, a common practice during those days. The tourist season in Echternach begins when tourists and pilgrims come to watch or participate in the dancing procession on the Tuesday after Pentecost. This hopping procession of Echternach was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010.

MRIN04646 1956 Maisy Meder-Kremer with her son and godparents
Maisy with her son and his godparents, her mother-in-law and her father.

Marcel and Maisy’s first child, a son, was born in 1956. Nine years later, when they had nearly given up hope of having another child, a daughter was born. Both births are recorded in the Family Book that they received when they married. Also recorded were the baptisms and first vaccinations of the children.

Finally in 1970 Marcel and Maisy were able to buy a home, two doors away from the place they had rented and kept fixed up for a decade and a half believing that the owner would sell to them.

Marcel enjoyed working in the garden and fixing things around the house. He loved to play ninepin bowling with his colleagues from work who nicknamed him Max. Maisy worked part time at the local supermarket and delighted in cooking Luxembourgish specialities on holidays for guests. When at home she would always wear an apron, a dress-length sleeveless smock buttoned down the front with pockets. She canned the produce from their garden, put up sauerkraut, made jams and jellies storing them in the basement along the potatoes from their garden which were kept in a special bin.

In 1977 Maisy was especially proud of having lost a lot of weight over a year’s time and it wasn’t hard to get her to pose for a picture on their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

MRIN04646 1977 Marcel and Maisy Meder-Kremer 35th anniversary
In 1977 Maisy and Marcel celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary.

MRIN04646 1952-06-02 Marcel Meder and Maisy Kremer family book 3Maisy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 while I was expecting her first grandchild. A loving grandmother to her grandson, she was given a clean bill of health early in the year of 1986. Later in the year when I was expecting her second grandchild she began having back pain. Her house doctor prescribed this and that but did not consider her medical history. Finally after being rushed by ambulance to the hospital for a second time, the family was told that the cancer had spread to her liver and there was no hope for recovery. She died on 31 August 1986 in Luxembourg City. Marcel once again took out the Family Book that they had received when they married and had her death recorded on the second page (left).

Marcel did not take her death very well. He had been retired only a short time. They had hopes of travelling, something they had never had time or money to do. Marcel had to learn to do all the things that his wife had taken care of all the years that he worked. Washing, ironing, cleaning, and cooking. He even learned to make the liver pâté that his wife had always made. He had often helped Maisy grind the bacon, meat and liver, cut the shallots, and chop parsley but no written recipe was left, so he tweaked it until it tasted like hers.

In the beginning I would visit him everyday with the children until we established a ritual of his coming by with the daily newspaper. He would stay about a half hour, talking and playing with the grandchildren. As they became older they would run next door to visit with their Bopa or he would watch them playing in front of the house from his living room window.

When I began researching our family history in 1995 my father-in-law Marcel was the one who helped me read the old handwriting in the documents that I obtained from the records offices I visited in different towns in Luxembourg. He liked seeing the old handwriting since it reminded him of the days when he would deliver letters that had been written by an older person in the old handwriting. Marcel had his parents’ Family Book and showed it to me one day. The genealogist in me noticed that the first child was born when the couple was married only eight months. The first thing he said was that must be a mistake. So I asked him when his brother’s birthday was and we saw that it was correct in the book. He shrugged his shoulders and went on to another subject.

Nearly ten years after the death of his wife, Marcel was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach in May 1996. He had his stomach removed and learned to consume small portions of the foods that he was allowed to eat. He appeared well and was positive about the treatment he had just started. One Sunday morning 4 August 1996 his shutters remained closed longer than usual and his son found him dead in his bed of heart failure.

Although I knew Maisy ten years and Marcel twenty years I don’t have the memories of them that their children do. The pictures and the records should make up for what I don’t know but there were no photo albums with memories of the years before I met them, only a box of miscellaneous photos that weren’t dated or labelled.

Sources:
[1] Extractume Libro Baptizatorum, Ecclesia Parochialis Diekirch, Diocesis Luxemburgensis; Certificate of baptism with addendum concerning the sacrament of confirmation; the date of confirmation was not listed on this certificate obtained for the religious marriage.
[2] Extractum e Libro Baptizatorum, Ecclesia Parochialis Rümelingen, Diocesis Luxemburgensis; Certificate of baptism with addendum concerning confirmation, (baptismal records of the church of Rumelange)
[3] Commune de Bettendorf Nr. 7/1952, Meder-Kremer Family Book, This is an official document given to the bride and groom at the time of their civil marriage. It is used to record births, christenings, and deaths of children as well as the death of one or the other spouse.
[4] http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/post-office-motto.html

© 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.