My children’s 5th great-grandparents Johann Adam GORGES and Eva Clara RODENS were both born in the 1760s in the small town of Fell. Eva Clara was 14 months older than Johann Adam. Living in such a small town, they must have known each other from a young age. Fell is today part of the municipality of Schweich an der Römischen Weinstraße (Schweich on the Roman wine road) in the district of Trier-Saar in the west of the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.
The first child of the newlyweds Nikolaus RODENS (1744-1795) and Anna SCHUE (d. 1805), Eva Clara was born on 28 November 1764 in Fell. She was baptized the following day in the Catholic church Sankt Martinus in the town of Fell. The parish church is no longer standing today. In it’s place is a church built from 1865 to 1868. The new church was built crosswise on the same spot as the old church.
Eva Clara was the first of ten children. Her siblings were Barbara 1767, Nikolaus 1770, Nikolaus 1774, Philipp 1775, Matthias d. 1776, two stillborn children in 1778 and 1779, Anna 1781, and Maria Margaretha d. 1784.
By the time Eva Clara was 24 years old and ready to marry she had only two siblings still living, her 13 years old brother Philipp and her 7 years old sister Anna.
Johann Peter GORGES (1718-1784) and Anna Maria HORSCH had four children before their son Johann Adam was born and baptized on 28 January 1766 in Fell. Like all of his siblings, he was baptized in the Sankt Martinus church in Fell.
His older siblings were Anna Maria 1758, Elisabeth 1760, Maria Angela 1762, and Barbara 1763. His younger siblings were Maximin 1767, Johann Peter 1769, and Maria Angela 1771. Johann Adam also had four older half-siblings as his father was previously married and widowed. They were Anna Maria 1752, Johann 1753, Johann Joseph 1755, and Katharina 1757.
Johann Adam was 14 years old when his mother Anna Maria HORSCH died on 17 October 1780. He was 18 when his father Johann Peter GORGES died on 31 January 1784.
Couplehood and Parenthood
Johann Adam GORGES was 23 years old when he married Eva Clara RODENS on 11 February 1789 in Fell. They would make their home in Oberfell (Upper Fell).
The young couple was married five months when the French Revolution erupted on 14 July 1789 with the storming of the Bastille in Paris. Three years later when French troops invaded Germany they were at first pushed back. But the German imperial army was defeated in late 1792 in Valmy. In August 1794, French Republican troops took Trier. All German territories on the left bank of the Rhine River were ceded to France in 1797 at the peace treaties of Basel and Campo Formio making Trier a French city. Control of the Rhineland was secured by France who would occupy the area for twenty years.
During the years France was in control of the Rhineland Johann Adam and Eva Clara raised their family of ten children. The first children born were Nikolaus on 15 March 1790, Barbara on 25 March 1792 and Anton on 12 April 1794.
Only these first three children would know their maternal grandfather Nikolaus RODENS who died two days after the youngest son Anton celebrated his first birthday. Nikolaus was buried on 15 April 1795, a day after his death.
The next two children, Matthias born 26 April 1796 and Ann born 3 July 1798 both died in 1799 within a month of each other. Matthias died on 18 February and Anna on 18 March. There was, however, a more joyful event during the year with the marriage of Eva Clara’s only brother Philipp RODENS to Gertrud HOFFRANZEN.
The French Revolution ended with the coup of 18/19 Brumaire in the Year VIII of the Republican Calendar. This was the 9th to 10th of November 1799 when Napoleon Bonaparte’s dictatorship began.
Unbeknownst to Johann Adam and Eva Clara over a decade of constant warfare was on the horizon but they continued to grow their family with the births of Johann on 21 January 1800, Katharina on 11 September 1801, and Anna on 17 May 1803.
The Napoleonic Wars began 18 May 1803, the day after their 8th child was born. The following year Eva Clara’s only sister Anna married Johann Adam SPIELES.
The family continued to increase with the birth of another son, Matthias on 8 July 1805.
The children lost their only living grandmother, Anna SCHUE, on 1 December 1805, the day before the Battle of Austerlitz. This historical event brought about the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine. A year and a half later the last child of Johann Adam and Eva Clara was born on 2 May 1807. He would live only nine months, dying on 21 February 1807.
Did not return!
Seven of the ten children born to Johann Adam and Eva Clara were living when they bade farewell to their oldest brother Nikolaus when he went off to serve in the French army. Little did they know their son Nikolaus would not return. As with many German families who received news of their sons who were fighting in foreign parts, they learned of his death. According to the Extrait Mortuaire (death notice) recorded in the Fell death register for 1812, he died on 27 November 1811 in Dax, France. He was a soldier and a chasseur. This designation is given to certain regiments of French light infantry or light cavalry to denote troops trained for rapid action.
I checked the death records for Dax, Landes, France, and did not find a death record for Nicolas GORGES dying on 27 November 1811. However, on 30 December 1811 Joseph BERNARD and Fabian SIEULANNE, an employee of the military hospital established in Dax, informed civil authorities of the deaths of fifteen men, one of them being Georges NICOLAS of the 20e Régiment de Chasseurs à Chevals. (20th Regiment of Light Cavalry). He was admitted to the hospital at Dax on 15 September 1811 and died on 27 December 1811. Could this be Nikolaus, and his first and last names were switched? There is a discrepancy in the month of death compared to the entry in the Fell death register.
In 1814 Prussian troops took Trier ending the French rule. After Napoleon’s defeat, the Franco-German borders of 1792 were restored during the Paris peace treaties of 1814 and 1815. Trier was proclaimed part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815. With the new political situation and taxes on goods crossing the western border, Trier’s economy began to steadily decline.
The End of French Influence
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars on 13 Sep 1815, the GORGES-RODENS family would soon lose their patriarch. Anton, the now oldest son, was the informant for the death of Johann Adam GORGES who died on 5 May 1816.
Eva Clara was now a widow with six children, the youngest being only nine years old. Over the next half a dozen years she saw four of them marry. Anton married Anna Maria LEHNEN (1799-1864) on 15 February 1817 in Longuich and the religious ceremony took place two days later in Fell. Barbara married Matthias SCHMITT (18200-1828) on 30 January 1823 in Longuich and the religious ceremony took place the same day in Fell. Johann married his first wife Anna Maria GRACH (1798-1832) on 26 February 1824 in Longuich. Anna married Johann ASEM (1801-1853) on 28 February 1824 in Ruwer where the religious ceremony took place the next day.
The oldest daughter Barbara was widowed when she had been married only 5 years. Three months later, on 5 April 1728, her brother Johann GORGES was the informant on her death. Who would raise the little two boys who were four and less than a year old?
The youngest son Matthias married Anna Maria FELTES (1798-1875) on 19 February 1830 in Longuich. And finally, the last of the children to marry was Katharina who married Johann DIER on 3 January 1832 in Trier. The religious ceremony took place two days later at St. Matthias, in Trier.
Johann GORGES first wife Anna Maria GRACH died on 7 November 1832 in Fell. Two months later he was marrying his second wife, Anna Maria BOTZ (1808-1863) on 10 January 1833 in Fell. Johann and Anna Maria were my children’s 4th great-grandparents.
On 22 January 1836 Anton GORGES, the oldest son, was the informant for the death of his mother Eva Clara RODENS. She left five children, all married, whose situations may have become better from 1840 due to the improving economic climate in the area.
Name: Johann Adam GORGES Parents: Johann Peter GORGES and Anna Maria HORSCH Spouse: Eva Clara RODENS Parents of Spouse: Nikolaus RODENS and Anna SCHUE Whereabouts: Fell, Longuich, Trier, Germany Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: children’s 5th great-grandfather
Thomas Schmitt and Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Klemens Ruwer mit den Orten, Ortsteilen. Höfen und Muhlen Mertesdorf (1083-1850), Eitelsback ab 1803, sowie Duisburgerhof, Grünhaus, Karthäuserhof, Koxmühle, Reisenmühle, Grünhäusermühle, Karlsmühle und Schippenmühle 1672-1905 (2007)
Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch
Week 6 (Feb 5-11) – So Far Away.Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?
The SCHWARTZ-GORGES Family of Osweiler (1866-1996)
The summer of 1991 the grandchildren, and possibly a great-granddaughter, of Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES met for lunch and had a group photo taken. Unfortunately most of them are deceased and I have only been able to identify three of the cousins.
Back to the Beginning
Johannes SCHWARTZ was born on 26 January 1866 at 9 in the evening in Osweiler, in the community of Rosport, canton of Echternach, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His father Johann SCHWARTZ, 41 years old mason (Maurer), reported the birth two days later at one o’clock in the afternoon to Mathias HASTERT, an alderman in Rosport. The age of the mother of the child, Catharina SCHMIT (sic, SCHMITT), was not mentioned.
Margaritha GORGES was born on 27 July 1868 at 8 in the evening in Born, in the community of Mompach, canton of Echternach, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father Johann GORGES, a 30 years old laborer (Taglöhner) reported the birth two days later at 9 in the morning to Victor GRAF de VILLERS, mayor of Mompach. The age of the mother of the child, Catharina SCHERFF, was not mentioned.
So Far Away – Married in 1891, Rectified in 1907
The villages that Johannes and Margaritha grew up in, Osweiler and Born, are not that far apart. I have no idea how they met but by the time they were in their twenties they came to be married in Rosport.
In 1996 I took at short trip, less than 9 km from where I live, to visit the records office at the town hall of Rosport. The plan was to ask if they would look up several marriage records and make copies for me to take home.
The person in the office opened the vault and gave me permission to find the documents on my own. I had never been given access to original records and you can imagine how nervous I was handling the old ledgers.
I found several of the marriage records that I was interested in, including the 1891 marriage record my children’s great-great-grandparents Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES. Photocopies were kindly made and I was on my way home within an hour.
Johann SCHWARTZ age 25 married Margaritha GORGES age 23 on the 24th of August 1891 in Rosport. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon they met with Mathias BISDORFF, alderman, and were joined in marriage. In the marriage record Mr. BISDORFF named the parents of the bride and groom, including their ages and occupations, and remarked that they were agreeable to the marriage. He also included a sentence about the birth records of the bride and groom having been seen. Banns had been read in both communities on two Sundays, the 2nd and 9th of August in Rosport, and the 9th and 16th in Mompach. Four witnesses, none of whom were relatives of either party, were present: Johann Peter HIPPERT, Franz SCHABERT, Johann DALEIDEN, and Johann SCHABERT. Everyone present, it was believed, signed the marriage record.
I didn’t have to go far to get the record. But was it enough? I was still so far away from having a document that would prove their legal marriage. In the left margin of the marriage record, an annotation was made 16 years later, in 1907: The absence of thesignatureof the civilofficial was rectified by a judgmentof the District Courtin Diekirchon5 June1907.SeeRegister ofMarriage1907 record No.16.The civil servantof the communityRosport, Mayor M.RIES.
What happened? In 1907 or earlier someone realized that Mathias BISDORFF, who did a great job with information on all the persons concerned, never signed the marriage record. Not only was the original in Rosport not signed by him but also the duplicate that was sent to the archives. I have a copy of both. Above right, the one I obtained in 1996 and, above left, the scanned image of the copy found in the Luxembourg National Archives that I accessd at FamilySearch in 2013.
Note: When I began doing genealogy in the early 1990s I did not have internet access and concentrated on the families in Luxembourg, visiting, calling, and writing to the city/town halls for information. In 2000 I switched over to doing research on my American families when we got access to the internet. Fast forward to the early 2010s when I finally went back to working on the Luxembourg families using the records on FamilySearch. That is one of the reasons being able to use the “so far away” theme.
While preparing to write this, nineteen years after finding the original marriage record, I searched for the 1907 marriage entry that was noted in the margin. It was not a regular marriage record. It was a transcript of the court records that finally rectified the error on the marriage record. See page 1 and page 2 & 3 of the judgment transcript. By the time that the courts got involved Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES had been married nearly 16 years and were the parents of 10 children.
Johann and Margaritha in the Luxembourg Census
In 1895 Johann and Margaritha are seen for the first time together on the Luxembourg census in their own household. Johann’s occupation was Tüncher Meister which could be translated today as a master plasterer.In earlier days due to the overlapping of crafts, a painter was also called aTüncher. This is the only record in which Johann was seen as Tüncher, a term that is no longer widely used. The word Tünch was a term used in the mid-19th century for a fine layer of plaster that was put on walls and ceilings. In the birth records of his children, Johann was seen as Weißer (literally, whiter) or Anstreicher (painter).
In the household were their four children Catherine, Marie, Josephine, and Johann. At the time that this census was enumerated Johann had only three living siblings: Heinrich, Nicolas, and Marie. A closer study of the census shows that Johann’s parents Johann SCHWARTZ and Catharina SCHMITT and his brother Nicolas were living with the young SCHWARTZ-GORGES family. Turning the page, on the back side of the sheet, are the names of two persons who normally would be living in this home but were away from home. Johann’s sister Marie had been working in Trier, Germany, as a maid (Dienstmagd) for 6 months. Johann’s brother Heinrich was in America and had been there 5 years.
By 1900 there were more children in the household of Johann and Margaritha SCHWARTZ-GORGES. Along with Catherine, Marie, Josephine, and Johann seen in the 1895 census we now see Magdalena, Angela, and Elise. Johann’s widowed mother Catharina SCHMITT is also in the household. His brothers Heinrich, back home from his stay in America, and Nicolas married during the year and have their own households.
The Children of Johann and Margaritha SCHWARTZ-GORGES
Child 1: Catherine “Ketty” SCHWARTZ (1892-1974), my husband’s grandmother, was born 2 February 1892 in Osweiler. At the time of her marriage on 15 June 1923 in Diekirch to Johann Peter MEDER (1888-1954), Ketty was working as a midwife. Ketty and Johann Peter were married in a religious ceremony the next day. They were the parents of two sons, Fritz and Marcel. Ketty died 1 February 1974 in Ettelbrück, as annotated in her birth record.
Child 2: Maria Anna SCHWARTZ (1893- ) was born 2 April 1893 in Osweiler. She married Mathias “Metti” WOLF (1879- ) on 16 February 1917 in Echternach. They were the parents of three daughters and two sons. The death date of both Maria Anna and her husband Metti are not annotated on their birth records which would suggest that they died before this became a practice.
Child 3: Maria Josephine SCHWARTZ (1894-1982) was born 24 July 1894 in Osweiler. She married Mathias SCHAMINÉ (1892- ) on 24 February 1919 in Rosport. They were the parents of a son and a daughter. Maria Josephine died 8 November 1982 in Esch-zur-Alzette, as annotated on her birth record.
Child 4: Johann Bernard “Jean” SCHWARTZ (1895-1969) was born 20 August 1895 in Osweiler. He married Sophie Cathérine LEHNEN (1896- ) on 29 August 1923 in Ettelbrück. At that time his occupation was a caretaker of the ill (Kranken-Wärter). Jean and Sophie were the parents of two daughters. He died 3 January 1969 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on his birth record.
Child 5: Magdalena “Madeleine” SCHWARTZ (1897-1949) was born 16 January 1897 in Osweiler. She married Pierre RECKING and they did not have children. Madeleine died 23 January 1949 after a long and painful illness in Luxembourg City per her obituary found in the Luxemburger Wort.
Child 6: Angela SCHWARTZ (1898-1983) was born 5 August 1898 in Osweiler. She married August KRAEMER and they had one daughter. Angela died 25 May 1983 in Salzgitter, Niedersachsen, Deutschland, as annotated on her birth record.
Child 7: Elisabetha SCHWARTZ (1900-1978) was born 15 March 1900 in Osweiler. She married Nicolas RIPP and had a daughter and a son. Elisabetha died 3 November 1978 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on her birth record.
Child 8: Florentine SCHWARTZ (1901-1996) was born 15 September 1901 in Osweiler. She married Pierre POOS. They had two daughters, one who died at the age of 12 years. Florentine died 24 October 1996 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on her birth record.
Child 9: Anna Margaretha SCHWARTZ (1903- ) was born 30 July 1903 in Osweiler. She died at the age of three months on 23 Oct 1903 in Osweiler.
Child 10: Virginie SCHWARTZ (1905-1974) was born 8 October 1905 in Osweiler. She married Michel WOLF (1894-1979) and had one son. Virginie died 17 December 1974 in Esch-sur-Alzette, as annotated on her birth record. Her husband Michel WOLF was the brother of Mathias “Metti” WOLF who married her sister (Child 2) Anna Maria in 1917.
Child 11: Anna SCHWARTZ (1907-1919) was born 26 September 1907 in Osweiler. She died 8 June 1919 in Osweiler at the age of 12.
Child 12: Ernst Johann SCHWARTZ (1910-1975) was born 23 September 1910 in Osweiler. He married a Miss ROULLING, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. ROULLING-WEISGERBER. They had a daughter and a son. Ernst died 29 January 1975 in Esch-sur-Alzette, as annotated on his birth record.
The Deaths of Johann and Margaritha
Johann SCHWARTZ, a painter (Anstreicher) was the first person in the community of Rosport to die in 1920 as is reflected in his death record being the first in the death register for that year. He died on 4 January 1920 in Osweiler at 6 in the evening at the age of 53. His brother Nicolas, 51, and an acquaintance, the 71 years old Peter CLASSEN, reported his death the following day.Johann’s widow lived nearly 19 years longer. Margaritha GORGES died 23 October 1938 in Osweiler after a short illness in her 71st year. Ten of her twelve children survived her as well as 18 grandchildren. Only one grandchild was born after her death. Robert Pierre Schwartz, known as Roby, was born in 1950 and lived less than three months.
Funeral Notice Mr and MrsPierre Meder-Schwartz and theirsonsFrançois andMarcel; Mr and Mrs MathiasWolf-Schwartz and their children Lisy, Ketty,Albert,Marguerite and Charles; Mr and MrsMath.Schaminé-Schwartz and their children Marcel and Angèle;Mr and MrsJean Schwartz–Lehnen and their daughtersNellyand Marie-Thérèse; Mr and MrsPierreReking-Schwartz; Mr and MrsAug.Kraemer-Schwartz and their daughter Yvonne; Mr and MrsNicolasRipp-Schwartz and their childrenMarguerite andFredy; Mr and MrsPeterPoos-Schwartz and their daughters Thilly and Maisy;Mr and MrsMich. Wolf-Schwartz and their sonErny; Mr. and Mrs. ErnestSchwartz–Roulling and their daughterMarie-Josée; the Gorges, Schwartz, and relatedfamilies have the profound painto sharethe irreparable lossthey have experiencedin the person of Mrs. (widow of) Jean SCHWARTZ née Marg. GORGES their belovedandlamentedmother,stepmother,grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, andcousindiedpiouslyin Osweiler, October 23, at 8 o’clock in themorning after a short illness, in her 71styear,provided with the last rites of the church. Burialfollowed by funeral serviceto be heldatOsweiler, Wednesday, October 24, at 10.30am. Osweiler, Diekirch, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette., Niedercorn, Pétange, Bettembourg, Belvaux, 24 October 1938.4954 This notice serves as aletter of participation.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.