The Ancestors: Jacques Philippart (1749-1824) of Rodange and Catherine Singer (1743-1835) of Bettange-sur-Messe

My fifth great-grandparents Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1824) and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER (1743-1835) made their home in Rodange (Luxembourg) following their marriage in 1777. Their records were found in three European countries.

A quick geography lesson

Rodange is in a tri-border area – the geographical point at which the boundaries of three countries meet – Belgium, France, and Luxembourg. The tripoint is located between the localities of Athus (municipality of Aubange, province of Luxembourg, Belgium), Mont-Saint-Martin (department of Meurthe-et-Moselle, France) and Rodange (municipality of Pétange, canton of Esch-sur-Alzette, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg).

Where are the records located?

Although the geographical location is important, to find the records we also need to be aware of the repository of the different records.

The three partitions of Luxembourg reduced Luxembourg’s area substantially, to the advantage of the three surrounding countries. Media file courtesy of Spanish_Inquisition, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Consequently, records for this family were found in three countries in Europe even though they lived in the same village the entire time.

The 1777 marriage record was found in Belgium

The marriage entry for my fifth great-grandparents’ marriage was recorded in the Roman Catholic parish registers of Aubange, Belgium. The entry includes the reason the marriage was performed in the village of Lamadelaine, Luxembourg.1

1777 Marriage Record of Jacques Philippart and Catherine Singer (bottom of page 28)

After the banns were read three times, no impediment was found, and consent was given by their relatives for Jacques PHILIPPART to marry Catherine SINGER. Jacques, son of Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURQUELLE of Rodange and Catherine, daughter of Jean SINGER and Barbara KETTER of Bettange-sur-Messe, were joined in marriage on 8 January 1777. The nuptial benediction was given by the priest of the parish of Lamadelaine as the parents of the bride had been living there for several years. The marriage took place in the presence of the undersigned.

1777 Marriage Record of Jacques Philippart and Catherine Singer (top of page 29)

Unfortunately, only Father Kerschen, the priest in Lamadelaine signed the marriage record on the top of page 29 in the register. No signatures or marks of the bride, groom, or their parents were included.

The children of Jacques and Catherine

Jacques and Catherine were the parents of four known children. In 1777, 1780, 1784, and 1789 when the children were baptized their mother Catherine was identified with the surname KETTER(S), her mother’s maiden name.

Michel PHILIPPART (1777-1849)

Their firstborn was my fourth great-grandfather. Michel was born and baptized on 16 October 1777 in Rodange. His godfather was his father’s brother Michel PHILIPPART of Rodange. His godmother was a maternal relative Nannette KETTER of Bettange.2 The identity of Nannette may one day help to take the SINGER-KETTER line back further than Catherine SINGER’s parents.

Michel married Catherine MEUNIER (1775-1851),  daughter of Henri MUNIER and Margaretha KILBORN, on 30 July 1817 in Pétange in a civil ceremony.3 They were likely married by the church about 1800 but no record survives. They were the parents of 8 children; 4 lived to adulthood, married, and continued the line.

Jean PHILIPPART (1780-?)

Their second child, a son named Jean was born and baptized on 10 November 1780. His godparents were Jean FOURNELLE and Elisabeth FELTEN, both of Rodange.4 The godfather’s signature was compared to signatures on other records signed by Jean FOURNELLE (1746-1818) to confirm he was my 4th great-granduncle, the son Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU.

No marriage or death record has been found for Jean.

Philippe PHILIPPART (1784-1874)

Their third son, Philippe was born and baptized on 25 January 1784. His godparents were Philippe FOURNELLE of Rodange and Marie Catherine DIXQUES of Pétange.5 The godfather was another son of my FOURNELLE-NEU ancestors.

Philippe at the age of 31 married Anne COLLINET (1775-1848) on 9 January 1816 in Saulnes, France. She was a 40-year-old widow with six children.6 They had only one son who died at the age of two and a half years.

Catherine PHILIPPART (1789-1856)

Their fourth child and only daughter Catherine was born and baptized on 23 April 1789. Pierre ALZIN and Catherine MUNIER, both of Rodange, were the godparents.7 The godmother was described as a young girl. She was likely the father’s second cousin and daughter of Simon MUNIER and Marie Jeanne BURKEL.

Catherine married Jacques FOURNELLE (1797-1870), son of Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT (my 4th great-grandparents), on 9 December 1822 in Pétange.8 They were the parents of two sons.

Jacques PHILIPPART’s occupation

The baptismal records of Jean, Philippe, and Catherine listed Jacques PHLIPPART’s occupation as charpentier or carpenter.

The deaths of Jacques and Catherine

Jacques died on 23 March 1824 in Rodange at the age of 75. His death was reported by Jacques FOURNELLE. The informant, his son-in-law, was mistakenly listed as his son.9 Jacques’s wife Catherine SINGER died at the age of 91 on 9 February 1835 in Rodange. Her death was reported by her oldest son Michel.10

Research Manager

Was there a connection between the PHILIPPART and FOURNELLE families? In later years the families would be joined in marriage. In 1823, Jacques’ granddaughter Marie Catherine PHILIPPART would marry André FOURNELLE, grandson of Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU. But the families had a bond as early as 1744 and 1749.

Jacques PHILIPPART’s father Jacques (1714-1783) was widowed in 1744 when he was living in Doncourt-lès-Longuyon, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France. His wife likely died in childbirth or soon after. He married Elisabeth BURKEL two months after the birth. One of the witnesses to the marriage was Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749), father of Pierre FOURNELLE (1713-1765). Jacques PHILIPPART (1714-1783), Elisabeth BURKEL (1720-bef 1782), and Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) were my 6th great-grandparents.

When Jacques PHILIPPART was baptized on 18 March 1749, his godmother was Jeanne NEU (1723-1783), wife of Pierre FOURNELLE whose father had been a witness to Jacques’s parents’ marriage.


Most of the DNA matches on my maternal side are very small segments indicating distant connections. Mom and I have one match with the PHILIPPART surname. The match has no tree and has not replied to a message I sent two years ago. The match is on two segments totaling 34 cMs with the largest segment being 24.4 cMs. As I was checking these details I realized that I might NOW be able to work out the match’s tree with only his name, country of residence, and approximate age.

Why now? The National Library of Luxembourg has recently added the daily newspaper Luxemburger Wort for the years 1951-1980 to their subsite eLuxembourgensia.

With the details I knew about the match, I searched the obituaries (avis mortuaires) and found the 1973 and 1978 death notices of the match’s paternal grandparents in the Luxemburger Wort. From there I was able to connect the match to my family tree by researching only one generation. Over the years I’ve done a lot of descendant research and it is now paying off. The match and I are related in at least six different ways through ancestors from the Rodange area:

5C Michel PHILIPPART and Catherine MEUNIER
6C1R Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL
6C Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
6C1R Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
8C1R Pierre LADURELLE and Jeanne SALIN

With so many common ancestors, figuring out which of the above couples might have passed their DNA down to both the match and myself (or my Mom) will be difficult.

In the next two posts, I will be writing about the last of my mother’s maternal 4th great-grandparents. The first couple will be Jean SCHMIT and Eve DUCKER and the second, Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1824)
Parents: Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL
Spouse: Catherine SINGER aka KETTER (1743-1835)
Parents of spouse: Jean SINGER and Barbara KETTER
Whereabouts: Rodange, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents

1. Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER
2. Michel PHILIPPART and Catherine MEUNIER
3. Marie Catherine PHILIPPART and André FOURNELLE
4. André FOURNELLE and Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
5. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE and Catharina FRANTZ
6. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE and Nicolas WILDINGER
7. Living WILDINGER and Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
8. Catherine Ann “Cathy” DEMPSEY and Living MEDER
9. Our children

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, 1618-1868, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse d’Aubange (Luxembourg) > Film 619924 DGS 7944121 > Baptêmes 1729-1783 Mariages 1729-1776 Sépultures 1729-1776 > image 15 of 605. 1777 Marriage Record on page 18 of register, 3rd entry with the signature of the priest on top of page 19. ( : accessed 5 December 2017). 
  2. Ibid., Rodange > Baptêmes 1767-1777, 1779-1796, confirmations 1791, mariages 1767-1777, 1779-1795, sépultures 1767-1777, 1779-1797 > image 21 of 102. 1777 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 15 November 2015). 
  3. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Pétange > Naissances 1878-1886 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1858 > image 475 of 1497. 1817 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 17 November 2015). 
  4. Luxembourg Church Records, Rodange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 14 of 108. 1780 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 5 December 2017). 
  5. Ibid., Rodange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 46 of 108. 1784 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 5 December 2017). 
  6. Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online, Saulnes B., M., S. (1782-1792), N., M., D. (1793-1822) image 303 of 376. 1816 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 5 December 2017). New terms of use: En application du règlement sur la réutilisation des données publiques adopté par le conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle (délibération de sa commission permanente n°17, en date du 16 janvier 2017), je m’engage à mentionner la source du document téléchargé (Arch. dép. de Meurthe-et-Moselle, [suivi de la cote complète]), en cas de réutilisation. 
  7. Luxembourg Church Records, Rodange > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 77 of 108. 1789 Baptismal Record (right, middle).( : 5 December 2017). 
  8. Luxembourg Civil Records, Pétange > Naissances 1878-1886 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1858 > image 508 of 1497. 1822 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 29 March 2010). 
  9. Ibid., Pétange > Naissances 1878-1886 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1858 > image 1244 of 1497. 1824 Death Record No. 8. ( : accessed 1 Jul 2011). 
  10. Ibid., Pétange > Naissances 1878-1886 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1858 > image 1325 of 1497. 1835 Death Record No. 3. ( : accessed 1 July 2011). 

Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) and the Papal Zouave

Today would have been my father-in-law Marcel MEDER‘s 95th birthday. When I began researching our family history in 1995 my father-in-law was the one who helped me read the old handwriting in the documents I obtained from the records offices I visited in different towns in Luxembourg. He died too soon in 1996, less than two months before his 70th birthday.

In March 2015, I wrote about his great-grandparents Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) and Susanna REIFFER (1808-1877), a couple with a dozen children.

In previous posts for the family groups in Luxembourg, I concentrated on the birth and marriage records of the children. For the MEDER-REIFFER family, I tried something different. I used pink and blue boxes for the children, adding footnote links for their birth, marriage, and death records to the very long source list at the end of the post. Instead of discussing the birth and/or marriage records, I chose to focus on the census records of the family.

The Luxembourg Census

The census in Luxembourg was taken every three or so years. At FamilySearch there are 1,115,931 census images available for these years: 1843, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1855, 1858, 1861, 1864, 1867, 1871, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895 and 1900.

Théodore MEDER should have been found in every single year the census was taken except for 1900 as he lived from 1807 to 1898.

I went through the entire 1871 census collection for Diekirch and did not find Théodore, Susanna, and their youngest daughter Catherine. Their married sons were found. Their married daughters, however, still need to be looked into.

The missing 1871 census listing is not the focus of this post.

After the death of his wife in 18771 and the first census following her death in 18802, Théodore went missing in 1885, 1887. 1890, and 1895.

Théodore was a widower for 22 years and may have spent some time in the local hospital before his death. This was known as when he died at three o’clock in the morning on 29 July 1898 his death was reported by Dominik ZENNER, the 64 years old overseer in the hospital (Aufseher im Spital) in Diekirch. The overseer stated that the death occurred in the hospital.3

Notes to myself and how my sister uses them

I share my GEDCOM file on GeneaLux.Net, a sub-site reserved for members of my genealogy society Luxracines. Earlier this month my sister, who also does genealogy and is a member of Luxracines, ran across Théodore’s 1885 census listing by accident.

Recognizing the surname, she checked my tree as she knows I keep notes to myself about the records I’m searching for. With the information on where he was found in 1885, she went on to successfully find him in the same place in 1887, 1890, and 1895.

Where did she find Théodore? In Diekirch, in the hospital where he was known to have died, in all four census years.

The Hospital of Diekirch

Rob Deltgen, the compiler of the family book for Diekirch, wrote about the hospital of Diekirch: “Offiziel wurde 1882 mit dem Bau des Hospitals begonnen, vorher existierte jedoch auch ein Bürgerhospital.” The construction of the hospital officially began in 1882, but before that, there was also a community hospital.4

In the center of town, the area around the church and judicial building is called ob der Klouster by the older generations of Diekirch. Behind the church, in the rue de l’Hôpital, is the rest home run by the nuns of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Elisabeth.

Théodore MEDER in the census

In 1885 Théodore was in pflege or in care at the hospital run by Catholic nuns. He had no occupation and was living on support or von unterstützung lebend. He was listed a few lines below Dominique ZENNER, Krankenwärter (nurse) in the hospital.5

On 1 February 1887, in the Klosterstrasse, the Abbess Généviève BOVÉ, as in 1885, headed the list of nuns who cared for the patients. The patients’ names were listed on the census page and then crossed out. Dominique ZENNER was listed as a nurse, two lines above Théodore whose name was marked out.6

On 1 December 1890, the street name was hinter dem Kloster or behind the convent. Abbess BOVÉ was still head of the convent. Dominique ZENNER is listed on line 18 and Théodore on line 20. Dominique’s occupation was Krankenwärter (nurse) and Théodore was living from support.7

By 2 December 1895, the hospital had grown. Personnel and patients were enumerated on five pages. The information included the number of years each had been at the establishment. The persons living the longest at the hospital were Pauline SCHROELL (line 33), Théodore MEDER (line 62), and Dominique ZENNER (line 67). All three had been there for 12 years, likely since the hospital had been built. Dominique was still working as a nurse, likely overseeing the men’s ward.8

Dominik, a Papal Zouave

Dominique ZENNER, as noted earlier, was the informant on the civil death record of Théodore MEDER. His name was used to learn more about the hospital. Searches, however, brought up more interesting information about the life of Dominique or Dominik as he was known by those he worked with him in the hospital.

Expo Strasbourg Zouaves
Thomon, CC BY-SA 4.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons

The Zuavi Pontifici or Papal Zouaves were an infantry battalion and later a regiment dedicated to defending the Papal States. Young unmarried Roman Catholic men volunteered to assist Pope Pius IX in his struggle against the Italian unificationist.

Dominik ZENNER (1834-1924) worked as a nurse during the cholera epidemic of 1866 in Luxembourg. At the age of 34, he crossed the Alps to fight for the freedom of the Papal States in the ranks of the Papal Zouaves. Soon after his arrival, he contracted cholera but after several months was cured and able to leave the hospital. In 1869 he visited his homeland but returned to his military duties. In 1870 he was taken prisoner at Porta Pia by the Garbaldians. He received the papal blessing from Pope Pius IX from the loggia of the Saint Peter’s Church along with 1200 of his fellow prisoners. In October 1870 he was released to his homeland where he devoted himself to nursing the sick in the Diekirch hospital until his death.9

On 4 May 1920, Zenner celebrated his military jubilee with his brothers-in-arms Wilhelm LEYDER from Eppeldorf and Peter KIEFFER from Wiltz in the monastery of Diekirch. Her Royal Highness, CHARLOTTE, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg presented the jubilarians with the Silver Medal of the Grand Ducal Order of the Crown of Oak. At the same time, they received from the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Mgr. Pierre NOMMESCH the Pontifical Order Pro Ecclesia and Pontifice awarded by Pope Benedikt XV. It was pinned on their chests beside the Pontifical Medal Bene Merenti they had already received from  Pope Leo XIII.10, 11, 12

Thank you to my sister

I’d like to thank my sister for keeping an eye out for records I’ve been unable to find and for letting me know when she finds them. Also, for unknowingly helping me to learn more about the history of the people of Luxembourg. I knew little of the Zuavi Pontifici and found interesting articles in the Luxembourg newspapers about the men who served.

As for Théodore and his nurse Dominik, did a friendship develop between the two as one was cared for by the other? Did Théodore know of Dominik’s military service? Did Dominik share stories of his adventures fighting for the freedom of the Papal States? What was it like for Théodore, who had spent most of his life working as a day laborer and shepherd, to live in an establishment for the last 15 years of his life run by women?

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1066 of 1358. 1877 Death Record No. 58. ( : accessed 01 Apr 2013). 
  2. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1880 > image 321 of 1562. Meder-Faber household No. 85 (,345872201 : accessed 7 January 2015). See images 320 and 322 for the front and back of the census sheet. 
  3. Luxembourg Civil Records, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 550 of 661. 1898 Death Record No. 53. ( : accessed 17 Feb 2013). 
  4. Rob Deltgen, Familienbuch Der Gemeinde Diekirch, published as part of the 750th anniversary of the city of Diekirch in 2010, page 6. 
  5. Luxembourg Census 1843-1900, Diekirch > 1885 > image 1523 of 1613. line 20. 1885 Zählungsliste No. 165a. ( : accessed 26 September 2021). 
  6. Ibid., Diekirch > 1887 > image 82 of 1594, line 4. 1887 Zählungsliste No. 37. ( : accessed 26 September 2021). Note: The nuns, servants, and patients being cared for were listed on Zählungsliste 36 and 37. All entries for patients were marked out. 
  7. Ibid., Diekirch > 1890 > image 357 of 1663, line 20. 1890 Zählungslist No. 36a. ( : accessed 26 September 2021). 
  8. Ibid., Diekirch > 1895 (n 1432) > image 34 of 590, line 62. 1895 Zählungsliste No. 87d. ( : accessed 26 September 2021). 
  9. Luxemburger Wort, 1924. Jg., nº 17 (17.01.1924), p. 3. Digitized by the National Library of Luxembourg, ( : accessed 25 September 2021) 
  10. Escher Tageblatt, 1920. Jg., nº 106 (07.05.1920), p. 3. Digitized by the National Library of Luxembourg, ( : accessed 25 September 2021) 
  11. Avis Mort. 6 Page 3. In: Luxemburger Wort, 1924. Jg., nº 17 (17.01.1924), p. 3. Digitized by the National Library of Luxembourg, ( : accessed 25 September 2021) 
  12. Obermosel-Zeitung, 44. Jg., nº 282 (05.12.1924), p. 3. Digitized by the National Library of Luxembourg, ( : accessed 25 September 2021) 

The Ancestors: Johann Consbrück (1749-1796) of Echternach and Barbara Schmidt (1747-1829) of Koedange

My 5th great-grandparents Johann CONSBRÜCK (1749-1796) of Echternach and Barbara SCHMIDT (1747-1829) of Koedange celebrated their marriage in the hometown of the groom.1

One of several roads leading into Echternach.

In this direct line from myself to Johann’s parents, only two of the nine couples did not marry in Echternach. My great-grandparents married in Mamer in 1900 and my 3rd great-grandparents married in Metz, France, in 1835. My husband and I were married in Echternach in 1978, my parents in 1957, my grandparents in 1935, my 2nd great-grandparents in 1867, 4th in 1805,  5th in 1773, and 6th in 1735. My 7th great-grandparents likely married in Echternach or Mersch about 1705. After the death of my 7th great-grandfather, his widow, my 7th great-grandmother married again, in Echternach.

1773 Marriage Record

1773 Marriage Record

On Monday, 22 February 1773, in the presence of Johann HINCKES and Martin HERCKES, citizens of Echternach, Father LUCIUS solemnized the marriage between the respectable young Johann, the legitimate son of Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK of Echternach, and Barbara, the legitimate daughter of Peter SCHMIDT of Koedingen, after prior review of the dismissal by the priest of the parish of Waldbillig.2

Barbara Schmidt’s hometown Koedange – Kéidéng in Luxembourgish.
A view of the few houses in Koedange.

The parish priest provided a dimissionis, a dismissal or nuptial certificate for the party (bride or groom) marrying in a different parish. In this document, the parish priest certified to his colleague who was to celebrate the marriage that the person in question was single (or widower/widower) and that the prescribed bans (public announcement of the marriage) had been correctly made.


Barbara’s nuptial certificate came from Waldbillig as the hamlet of Koedingen (Kéidéng in Luxembourgish) was at the time attached to the parish of Waldbillig.

Riding our bikes through the ancestral villages in Luxembourg.

The CONSBRÜCK Children

Johann CONSBRÜCK (1749-1796) and Barbara SCHMIDT (1747-1829) made their home in Echternach. They were the parents of three known children born between 1775 and 1782.

Henri CONSBRÜCK was born on 5 April 1775 in Echternach.3 He died at the age of 75 years on 22 May 1850 in Echternach.4 He married Eva LANSER, daughter of Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT, on 10 February 1805 in Echternach.5 Henri and Eva were my 4th great-grandparents. They were the parents of eight children, four of whom died between the ages of one and seven months. Three of the four surviving daughters never married but lived long lives working as seamstresses. Only one daughter, Anna Maria (1810-1897), my 3rd great-grandmother, married and continued this line.

Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK was born on 29 October 1779 in Echternach.6 She died on 10 September 1788 in Echternach at the age of 8.7

Matthias CONSBRÜCK was born on 3 June 1782 in Echternach.8 He died at the age of 54 years on 30 October 1836 in Trier, Germany.9 He was married twice. He married Katharina BASTIAN (1797-1831) on 9 January 1810 in St. Laurentius Church in Trier.10 They had four known children. After her death, he married Elisabetha RAMMES (1791-1861) on 8 June 1832 in Trier.11 Their marriage lasted only four years, ending with Matthias’ death. They had no children.

Twenty-three years of marriage

Johann CONSBRÜCK died on 21 July 1796 in Echternach at the age of 47.12 His wife of 23 years outlived him by 33 years. Barbara SCHMIDT died in Echternach in the rue de Luxembourg on 10 May 1829 at the age of 81 years.13

Research Manager

In May 2018, a photo was posted in a Facebook group taken during WWI. The text included two of my surnames associated with the CONSBRÜCK-SCHMIDT line. I commented on the post and received a private message from the lady who posted the photo. During our conversation, I learned she is my third cousin once removed, a descendant of Henri CONSBRÜCK’s daughter Anna Maria, the only child to marry and have children.

In 1894 Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK at the age of 84 years divided six pieces of land she owned between her two living daughters and their husbands by selling the land to them. The daughters were Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER, my 2nd great-grandmother, and Maria SCHLOESSER, my newfound cousin’s great-grandmother. My cousin had the original notary record of the sale and sent photos of the four pages. The plots were likely once owned by Anna Maria’s father Henri CONSBRÜCK and his parents before him.

On my to-do list is the transcription and analysis of the 1894 deed of sale for land owned by Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK, granddaughter of the CONSBRÜCK-SCHMIDT couple. It may help to determine the present-day address of the home of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann CONSBRÜCK
Parents: Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK and Maria Magdalene KLEIN
Spouse: Barbara SCHMIDT
Parents of spouse: Peter SCHMIDT sive CASPARS and Catharina CASPARS
Whereabouts: Echternach and Koedange
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandparents

1. Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT
3. Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK and Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER
4. Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER and André FOURNELLE
5. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE and Catharina FRANTZ
6. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE and Nicolas WILDINGER
7. Living WILDINGER and Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
8. Catherine Ann “Cathy” DEMPSEY and Living MEDER
9. Our children

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Tables des mariages 1706-1797 A-Lahr (index organisée par l’époux) > image 407 of 1598. 1773 Marriage Card. ( : accessed 19 November 2015). 
  2. Ibid., Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 165 of 293. 1773 Religious Marriage Record (left page, 2nd entry).( : accessed 19 November 2015). 
  3. Ibid., Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 73 of 131. 1775 Baptismal Record, bottom left page. ( : accessed 19 November 2015). 
  4. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages 1887-1890 Décès 1796-1853 > image 1347 of 1463. 1850 Death Record No. 39. ( : accessed 18 November 2015). 
  5. Ibid., Echternach > Tables décennales 1823-1892 Registres paroissiaux 1779-1797 Naissances 1796-1808 > image 1343 & 1344 of 1446. 1805 (21 pluviose an 13) Marriage Record No. 100 (part 1). ( : accessed 19 November 2015) and 1805 (21 pluviose an 13) Marriage Record No. 100 (part 2). ( : accessed 19 November 2015). 
  6. Ibid., Echternach > Tables décennales 1823-1892 Registres paroissiaux 1779-1797 Naissances 1796-1808 > image 421 of 1446. 1779 Baptismal Record. ( : accessed 8 October 2015). 
  7. Ibid., Echternach > Tables décennales 1823-1892 Registres paroissiaux 1779-1797 Naissances 1796-1808 > image 730 of 1446. 1788 Death Record. ( : accessed 8 October 2015). 
  8. Ibid., Echternach > Tables décennales 1823-1892 Registres paroissiaux 1779-1797 Naissances 1796-1808 > image 510 of 1446. 1782 Baptismal Record (right page, last entry). ( : accessed 27 May 2021. 
  9.   “Trier, Germany, Deaths, 1798-1950,” (index and images),, citing “Zivil- und Personenstandsregister Sterberegister”, Stadtverwaltung Trier, Stadtarchiv, Trier, Germany. 1836 Death Record No. 540. ( : accessed 28 May 2021). 
  10. “Trier, Germany, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1600-1798,” (index and images),, citing Genealogische dokumentation des Dechanten Heinrich Wurringent anhand der Trierer Kirchenbücher vor 1798, Bestand 60. Stadtverwaltung Trier, Trier, Deutschland. 1810 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 27 May 2021). 
  11. Ibid., 1832 Marriage Record. ( : accessed 27 May 2021). 
  12. Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Tables décennales 1823-1892 Registres paroissiaux 1779-1797 Naissances 1796-1808 > image 946 of 1446. 1796 Death Record (left, 5th entry). ( : accessed 21 November 2015). 
  13. Ibid., Echternach > Mariages 1887-1890 Décès 1796-1853 > image 770 of 1463. 1829 Death Record No. 39. ( : accessed 8 October 2015). 

The Ancestors: A New Approach

The Ancestors series is taking on a new look and perspective.

I finished writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents in January of 2018. Those posts were part of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I’d planned to continue with the next generation, their 6th great-grandparents, with my series The Ancestors but dropped the ball several times.

Family history research will never be finished or ready to publish. Share what you have, make corrections and additions, write about your ancestors. Yes, it probably will remain a work in progress or a draft of a family book. By sharing what you think is incomplete, you may reach someone who has the missing information or the key to open the door in your brick wall.

This closing paragraph from my final post on my children’s 5th great-grandparents, 52 Ancestors: #47 Michel Trausch and Catharina Hames of Mamer, is my new approach for the posts I’ll be doing on their 6th great-grandparents.

The Ancestors – 9th Generation
6th Great-grandparents

The list of 6th great-grandparents is LONG. I’ve spent a lot of time researching a few of them, as seen in the number of posts I’ve written for the maternal ancestors (my side of our children’s tree) at the end of the list. Ancestor numbers in bold indicate those that have been featured on this blog.

(256 & 257) Adami MEDER and Elisabetha ESCH
(258 & 259) Joannes REINERS and wife Maria (parents of Susanna REINERS aka LAMBERT)
(260 & 261) Michaelis WILMES and Barbara JACQUEMIN
(262 & 263) Mr. SCHEID (SCHOOD) and Anna Maria FETH
(264 & 265) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of Théodore REIFFER)
(266 & 267) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of Théodore REIFFER)
(268 & 269) Joannes CLOOS and Anne Marie KLAREN
(270 & 271) Nikolaus THEWES and Gertrud LESSEN
(272 & 273) Joannis ADAM and Margaritha (first married to THOMMES)
(274 & 275) Jacobi WOLTER and Marie Elisabeth MEYERS
(276 & 277) Joannes SCHENTEN x KOECHER and Catharina KOSTERS
(278 & 279) Parents of Cathérine OBERECKEN
(280 & 281) Mathias LORENS and Eva FRENTZ
(282 & 283) Petri STENGENFORT and unknown wife
(284 & 285) Joannis PREISER and Anna Maria FETH
(286 & 286) Petrus SCHRANTZ and Anne Marie HAMEN
(288 & 289) Jean “Joannis” SCHWARTZ and Maria HEINZ
(290 & 291) Mathia HALER and Angela ALENTS
(292 & 293) Johann Gerard TRIERWEILER and Elisabeth KERSCH
(294 & 295) Carl HOFFMANN and Angela ROSPORT
(296 & 297) Philippi SCHMITT and Apollonia MATTES
(298 & 299) Matthias PLEIN and Margaretha VALERIUS
(300 & 301) Johann WOLLSCHEID and Anna Maria WILLWERT
(302 & 303) Johann BARTHELMES and Eva BARZEN
(304 & 305) Johann Peter GORGES and Anna Maria HORSCH
(306 & 307) Nikolaus RODENS and Anna SCHUE
(308 & 309) BRICK WALL (parents of Caspar BOTZ)
(310 & 311) BRICK WALL (parents of Magdalena MASEN)
(312 & 313) Nicolaus SCHERFF and Helena OTTO
(314 & 315) Dominique STEIMETZ and Helena “Magdalena” KOCH
(316 & 317) Daniel and Elisabetha CLEMENS
(318 & 319) Matthias WEBER and Anna Margaretha FEILEN
(320 & 321) Henri and Magdalena  CREMERS
(322 & 323) Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER
(324 & 325) Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH and Catharina FEDERSPIEL
(326 & 327) Martin HUNTGES and Marguerite MAY
(328 & 329) Johann Heinrich “Henri” MERKES and Anna ROSS
(330 & 331) Anton WAGENER and Catharina PIRSCH
(332 & 333) Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN
(334 & 335) Jean SCHMIDT and Maria LENTZ
(336 & 337) Leonard GRITIUS and Marie NEIEN
(338 & 339) Jean SCHETTERT and Anna Catharina SCHAACK
(340 & 341) Jean Baptiste SCHAEFFER and Catherine SCHAACK
(342 & 343) Nicolas GREISCH and Susanne ROLLINGER
(344 & 345) Michel WECKERING and Anna Maria DALEYDEN
(346 & 347) BRICK WALL  (parents of Marguerite LASCHEID)
(348 & 349) Jacob BERNARD and Jeanne CAPPUS
(350 & 351) Valentin GREBER and Christina STEFFEN
(352 & 353) Dominique PEFFER and Marguerite SINTGEN
(354 & 355) Nicolas PIERRET and Anna Maria ROBINET
(356 & 357) Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS and Elisabetha WINANDY
(358 & 359) Léonard HOSCHEID and Marie Catharina REULAND
(360 & 361) Pierre ZWANG and Anne Marie HUSCHET
(362 & 363) Johann WELTER and Anna Maria FELTES
(364 & 365) Jean DHAM and Marie WELTER
(366 & 367) Nicolas KIMES and Anna Maria STRENG
(368 & 369) Peter MERTES and Marguerite BIVER
(370 & 371) Johann DONNEN and Barbara CHRITOPHORY
(372 & 373) Casparus ERPELDING and Gertrudes JEHNEN
(374 & 375) Peter CONRADT and Anna Catharina ROEDER
(376 & 377) Petrus RUCKERT and Anna Catharina SPEYER
(378 & 379) Petrus MICHELS and Susanna MARTIN aka MERTES
(380 & 381) Peter SCHMIT and Rosa CLEMENS
(382 & 383) Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margarethe HARTMANN
(384 & 385) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(386 & 387) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(388 & 389) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(390 & 391) BRICK WALL (great-grandparents of William A. W. DEMPSEY)
(392 & 393) Bailey WOOD and Nancy, his wife (8 January 2020)
(394 & 395) Martin McGRAW and Margaret “Polly”, his wife (22 January 2020)
(396 & 397) Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ:
The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (396+397) (29 January 2020)
The Ancestors: Hans Jacob HONEGGER and Maria GOETZ (Part II) (6 February 2020)
(398 & 399) Isaac WISEMAN and Elizabeth DAVIS:
The Ancestors: Isaac WISEMAN (1738-1818) and Elizabeth DAVIS (1738-1807) (10 March 2020)
(400 & 401) Ester INGRAM – an assumption
(402 & 403) John KINCAID and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE
(404 & 405) William JOHNSON Sr. and Amy NELSON
The 1806 Administrator Bond for the Estate of William Johnson Sr. (1755-1805) (13 September 2019)
(406 & 407) James SIMS and Phebe (see the link to the page with all posts for James SIMS) (April to September 2018)
James SIMS (1754-1845) Pioneer of Nicholas County, West Virginia (biography written in 2002)
(408 & 409) Susannah (maiden name unknown) DEMPSEY and her BRICK WALL husband
(410 & 411) James LANDRUM and his unknown wife
(412 & 413) Phillip GOING and Judith POTTER
(414 & 415) William CRISP and his wife Lucy
(416 & 417) Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ The Early Years in Maryland (1765-1793) (19 March 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ The Years in Rockbridge (1793-1801) (26 March 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ At Home on the Old Henry Roop Place (3 April 2016)
Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ Family Life in Montgomery County, Virginia (9 April 2016)
The Last Will and Testament of Henry RUPE 1765-1845 (16 April 2016)
Henry RUPE’s Estate and his Widow Catherine’s Last Days (23 April 2016)
A Date of Death for Catherine Barbara NOLL (1768-1859) (1 March 2017)
(418 & 419) Robert CARROLL and his wife Anne
(420 & 421) John LESTER II and Mary Ann TERRY
(422 & 423) Owen SUMNER and Sarah NEWTON
(424 & 425) John PETERS and wife – Can this be proven with DNA?
(426 & 427) Joseph LIVELY and Mary L. CASH
(428 & 429) Augustin PROFFITT and Elizabeth “Betsy” ROBERTSON
(430 & 431) Edward COCKRAM and his wife Mary
(432 & 433) Jeremiah CLAUNCH and his wife
(434 & 435) BRICK WALL (parents of Nancy BEASLEY)
(436 & 437) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of Mary E. DOSS)
(438 & 439) James DOSS Jr. and Elizabeth LESTER
(440 & 441) BRICK WALL (paternal grandparents of John COOLEY)
(442 & 443) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of John COOLEY
(444 & 445) Edward TREDWAY and Nancy MAGNESS
(446 & 447) BRICK WALL (maternal grandparents of Sarah Ann TREADWAY)
(448 & 449) Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG
(450 & 451) Michael WELTER and Katharian KLEIN
(452 & 453) Matthias SCHRAMEN and Anna Barbara LEIBRICH (BURG)
(454 & 455) Sebastian SCHMITT and Maria LORANG
(456 & 457) Nikolaus WEYMAN and Maria Katharina HUSS
(458 & 459) Gerard MALAMBRÉ and Barbara BIESDORF
(460 & 461) Johann Bernard WELTER and Maria BRIMERS
(462 & 463) Johann HENNES and Magdalena MÜLLER
(464 & 465) Peter BUBELREITER and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN
(466 & 467) Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN
(468 & 469) Peter MERTSCHERT and Susanna “Anna”SCHNEIDER
(470 & 471) Theodor MERGEN and Gertrud THELEN
(472 & 473) Johann Nicolaus WAGNER and Anna Maria KLEIWER
(474 & 475) Johann HARTERT and Elisabeth HEINZ
(476 & 477) Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS
(478 & 479) Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THEILEN
(480 & 481) Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU
(482 & 483) Jean SCHMIT and Eve DUCKER
(484 & 485) Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER
(486 & 487) Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR
(488 & 489) Joseph SCHLOESSER and Catherine ARENDT
(490 & 491) Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL
(492 & 493) Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT
(494 & 495) Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT
(496 & 497) Nicolas Frantz and Angélique Bartel of Semming, Rodemack, France (10 May 2021)
UPDATE to The Ancestors: Nicolas Frantz and Angélique Bartel of Semming, Rodemack, France (18 May 2021)
(498 & 499) Nicolaus Küffer and Susanna Schiltz of Mamer, Luxembourg (3 May 2021)
(500 & 501) Joannes FRISCH (1713-1759) and Margaretha ZEIMES (1727-1792) of Huncherange (25 April 2021)
(502 & 503) Peter HUBERTY (1718-1794) of Mamer and Anna BERNARD (1742-ca1763) of Nospelt (14 April 2021)
(504 & 505) Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER
A Hidden Index for Luxembourg City’s Parishes and Garrison (24 May 2019)
How the Jean MAJERUS Brick Wall Crumbled – The Keys and Doors Which Made It Happen! (2 June 2019)
The Farm Where the Majerus Family Lived in the 1700s (11 June 2019)
Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER from Gronn to Strassen (21 June 2019)
Proving the True Identity of Jean Baptiste BREGER 1738-1805 (28 June 2019)
(506 & 507) Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN
Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN of Wickrange, Luxembourg (4 May 2019)
The Key that Opened the Door in the Schintgen Brick Wall (4 May 2019)
Luxracines’ Marriage Database Helps Solve the Confusion of John Monner’s Marriage(s) (19 May 2019)
(508 & 509) Remacle TRAUSCH and Theresia BRAUN (COLLING)
Part I: Remacle Trausch (1761-1804) and Theresia Braun (1766-1798) of Colmar (26 July 2019)
Part II: Why was Theresia BRAUN also seen as Theresia COLLING? (2 Ausgut 2019)
Part III: “Maison dite” Leads to Parents and Grandparents of Magdalena SCHMIDT (1743-1782) (9 August 2019)
Part IV: The Parents and Siblings of Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804) (16 August 2019)
Part V: A Horrific Crime in the Fortress City of Luxembourg (23 August 2019)
Part VI: Tying up the loose ends (30 August 2019)
Was the Verdict in the 1816 Murder Case a Miscarriage of Justice? (6 September 2019)
(510 & 511) Johannes HAMES and Agnes BOUR alias HEITZ (8 July 2019)

128 sets of 6th great-grandparents

Fourteen couples are brick walls, i.e. names are not known, and fifteen couples have already been featured. That leaves 99 known couples who have been looked into (some research done) who still need to be written up.

Blogging has helped me to improve my research skills. As I worked on the posts, I found that I was doing deeper and more thorough research into all couples’ children, siblings, and parents. This was taking up a lot of time as I documented each new piece of evidence. New research questions came up as the records were analyzed. Interesting facts were found and asked to be researched further – taking me down some very interesting rabbit holes.

At a rate of one post a week, it would take two years to get this generation of ancestors done. Researching, analyzing documentation, citing sources, and putting everything together to write the post (as I have been doing them) now takes much longer than a week.

The length of my posts has also become an issue. I need to choose between too much information in one post, writing multiple posts, or trying a new concept.

I’ve decided that for the 3/4 of my children’s tree that is Luxembourgish, I will be featuring the marriage record of each couple and a list of known children. The records will be more easily located for their maternal side as they are from the mid-1700s to about 1800. For their paternal side, these will be records from the early to mid-1700s. If they are non-existent, I will have to use substitutes to “prove” the marriage. The Genealogy Sketch box will be included at the end of each post, bringing together all articles written for the direct line of the ancestral couple to my children.

I’m thinking of working my way up the list from the bottom to the top, starting with ancestors 494 & 495: Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT. Hopefully, this will get me back to blogging and give me a little more time for the other important things in my life.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

We Are Safe after Severe Flooding in Western Europe

Our family and friends have been sending messages, emails, and calling to find out how we are doing. Looking back, we can say that we were very lucky this time around.

No fatalities were reported in Luxembourg but the devastation is terrible.

We’ve been through flooding before and have learned to take steps to be somewhat prepared. In 1993 we were flooded twice, again in 1995, and in 2003. After the 2003 flooding, when we had 167 cm of water in our basement, we had an electrician come in and move all the light switches and sockets up above the water level.

The flood levels recorded during those years are still in the top 5 recorded for the Sauer River in the town of Bollendorf, 7 km upriver from Echternach. The flooding this summer surpassed the 2003 record and was 635 cm.

13 Jan 1993: 579 cm
21 Dec 1993: 608 cm
23 Jan 1995: 570 cm
03 Jan 2003: 615 cm
15 Jul 2021: 635 cm at 16:30

If you have not experienced something similar to the images you’ve been seeing in the news, you cannot imagine what it is like when your home is filling with water with no end in sight.

In previous years our part of town was the first to be flooded. People still come to check our street whenever it looks like it the Sauer River may flood. About 15 or so years ago they set up a pump station across the street from our house. It pumps the floodwater from the Osweiler Bach, a stream coming down from the nearby village of Osweiler, under the main road that serves as a natural dike between the pump station and the Sauer River.

Osweiler Bach (stream) looking down toward the bridge in our street.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Our daughter called to check up on us in the late afternoon. When she heard how serious things were getting, she said they would come right away. It took longer than expected for them to get here as several routes they tried were closed due to flooding or trees and debris blocking the roads.

Our son also called and said he would come with the cargo cart that we needed to move the heavy appliances. He and our son-in-law moved our freezer, refrigerator, washer, and dryer out of our basement and onto our back porch where we were able to keep the freezer and refrigerator running. We put our bikes upstairs in the front hallway and parked the car on a higher street. Around midnight water started filling the basement.

The barrier in the Osweiler Bach before it was raised.

The pump system is set up to raise a barrier into the stream and pump the flood water through a 2-meter diameter pipe when the river is at a certain flood level. This time the stream flooded faster than the river, the barrier wasn’t closed, and water wasn’t pumped. We got about 20 centimeters of water in the basement. They were able to manually close the barrier. The pump had to be re-started time and time again during the night. This emptied out our basement and we remained dry afterward.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Our street to the right of our house
Our street where the Osweiler Bach runs under the bridge. One row of sandbags in our driveway. Another was added later.

Our son called us at 8 o’clock to see how things were. We had been up several hours in the early morning after the pump started working and had not yet gotten up. When we looked out the window, we saw the street was flooding up onto the sidewalk. Water was gushing up from the canal lids, the pavement of the street raised up about 5-10 cm, water was bubbling up between the street and the bricks bordering the parking spots and the sidewalk. It looked like the street drains couldn’t handle all of the water and, without the pumping system that was emptying them, flooding in the street would get worse. We got sandbags to keep the water from running down our driveway into the basement which is also our garage.

The bridge between Echternach, Luxembourg, and Echternacherbruck, Germany that crosses the Sauer River.

In the meantime, the flood level in Bollendorf climbed above the record high bringing the water level to a critical point. The river kept rising and several campers along the banks were pulled in. They floated down river and got stuck under the bridge in Wasserbillig about 20 kilometers further down the river from us. A special crane had to be brought in from France to get them out as they were completely blocking the flow and backing up the river. The floodwall on the other side of Echternach where the train station used to be was threatening to overflow.

The stream at the other end of our street with its floodwalls.

At one point it looked like the river might rise enough to flood the main road that runs between our house and the river. The overflow would have quickly filled up the area we live in. We decided to clear everything out of our basement before the expected flooding.

View from the main road that runs between our house and Sauer River

The fire department was ready for the worst and told us to pack a bag and be ready to evacuate as there were plans to run off excess water from the reservoir in northern Luxembourg to keep it from overflowing. Fortunately, they were able to hold it back long enough while the bridge was cleared in Wasserbillig. In the meantime, the flood walls in town overflowed flooding the other end of town and into the center. People had to be evacuated as they didn’t have electricity and/or water.

Although the river was still rising, it hadn’t rained all day. We went to our son’s house around 4 in the afternoon with plans to spend the night there. Our granddaughter was ready for her afternoon nap, so our son and I took her out in the stroller for a walk while my husband rested at the house. We enjoyed the time with our granddaughter, son, and daughter-in-law but were only able to relax a bit. After supper, my husband talked to one of our neighbors who had stayed in his house. The campers had been removed and the level of the river had gone down below the critical point. We decided to go back home instead of staying the night at our son’s.

When we got to our house, no change could be seen. But there were a lot of gawkers!

Friday, July 16, 2021

When we got up on Friday, the water in the street had begun to recede. There wasn’t any in front of our house but it was still bubbling up through the canal lids. Next door, the house closest to the stream, the street was still flooded. The pavement had nearly lowered back to normal. There is a crack from one side of the street to the other by the bridge. The person who came to look at it didn’t think it would affect the concrete bridge’s stability. We’ll have to wait and see. We don’t have to drive across it to get out of our street.

On the positive side, even though we had only a small amount of water, we got an opportunity to deep clean the basement. After the flooding in 2003, we had the walls tiled which made it easier to wipe everything down. We cleaned up the pantry floor and got all of the foodstuff and wine back on the shelves. We were too tired to clean up the rest of the basement/garage floor.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

We made plans with our daughter to have pancakes for breakfast before she would help us with the rest of the cleanup and putting everything back in place. Slowly my dining room and living room were cleared. Our son-in-law came after work to help put the appliances back. Then all we had were the bikes and a few odds and ends to put away. Our son was helping out at his wife’s grandmother’s house. She also lives in Echternach, in one of the streets that had the worst flooding.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

We spent the day with our daughter and son-in-law at their house. We were still tired but glad that the pump station did its job and kept our basement empty of floodwaters. Without the pumping station, we would have had about 185 cm of water in our garage/basement – very close to the ceiling.

Monday, July 19, 2021

We thought we would begin the new week without any more issues. We’d planned on having our son and daughter-in-law over for lunch and then some playtime with our granddaughter. An ant invasion changed those plans. It was winter the other times we were flooded and didn’t have this problem. We set a new date with the kids. We ended up running the vacuum cleaner on and off all morning, sprinkled baking powder and baking soda all along the ants’ pathway. A day later, we still had a few strays.

My husband took the photos you see here on Thursday morning before things became critical. He only went as far as the end of our road. We’ve only seen photos of the rest of Echternach and haven’t visited in person. We believe the only reason people should be visiting the damaged areas is to offer their help. The others times we experienced the terrible flooding, nosy people walked down our driveway nearly into our basement to get a good look while we were cleaning up. I would not wish this on anyone!

We were very lucky this time around. Compared to others in our town we had only minor issues.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: The Hidden Villages of Luxembourg

Luxembourg genealogy research may seem daunting to new and even experienced researchers. With a country the size of Rhode Island, the smallest US state, one might assume Luxembourg research would/should be easier.

I learned a lot through trial and error when I first began searching for vital records for my Luxembourg ancestors. I browsed the records to figure out which communes the villages belonged to. When I got far enough back in time, I went through the same time-consuming trial and error system with the parish records.

Today, I use two online lists created by Jean THOMA to check for the commune and the parish a village belonged to at different points in time:

The Communes in Luxembourg during four centuries
(includes the year when a village changed commune)

The Parishes in Luxemburg about 1803

Still, even with these lists, there are records for some villages that are not easily found.

I received a query from Shirley who was searching for an 1813 marriage record for ancestors who married in Buschdorf.

  • She had the date that had been abstracted by a volunteer at Luxracines from the Tables Décennales (later referred to as TD in this post) or ten-year tables for births, marriages, and deaths.
  • She knew that Buschdorf was part of the commune of Boevange-sur-Attert.
  • The marriage record was not found in the collection of marriages for the years 1796-1890 where she thought it would be.

She wanted to know if records for Buschdorf might be found in a different commune.

Thoma’s list of communes indicates that Buschdorf was its own commune until 1823. This means that they kept their own TD, birth, marriage, and death records before 1823.

I went to the FamilySearch catalog and looked up Buschdorf. The catalog showed civil records for Buschdorf are in the Boevange-sur-Attert collection.

FamilySearch screenshot.

For more information, I clicked on the link (see arrow above) to open up the catalog entry for the collection.

FamilySearch screenshot.

This is the top of the page for the collection of records for the commune of Boevange-sur-Attert. There is a link that will take you directly to the civil records for all locations in Luxembourg. Stop. Don’t use this yet. Scroll down further on the page to view all films included in the collection for this commune.

FamilySearch screenshot.

If you aren’t familiar with entries in the catalog, there are a few things you need to know.

  1. The camera icon with a key indicates some kind of restriction. Before becoming discouraged, check to see if you are signed in to FamilySearch. Very often, as in this case, the key will disappear indicating the collection is not restricted.
  2. In the column with the film number, Item numbers may also be included. These will help you navigate an entire film with more than one item included. Images identifying the beginning of new items are easily found when scrolling through the collection.

In the above screenshot, the title of the collection/film Naissances 1841-1880 — BUSCHDORF: Naissances 1798-1822 — Mariages 1796-1890 indicates that part of this collection includes births for the years 1798-1822 for Buschdorf. As Buschdorf was keeping their own records up to 1823 there should also be marriage and death records for the town, not just births.

Going into the collection by clicking on the camera icon will take you to the film.

FamilySearch screenshot.

Although all information is included in this screenshot, I find it more useful to go to the Luxembourg Civil Registration, 1796-1941 collection…

FamilySearch screenshot.

…scroll down in the Information box at the bottom to the citation and copy/paste the link into your browser to go to the image below.

FamilySearch screenshot.

Here the name of the collection is Naissances 1841-1880, 1798-1822 Mariages 1796-1890 and doesn’t indicate the records for 1798-1822 are only for Buschdorf. The title Naissances 1841-1880 — BUSCHDORF: Naissances 1798-1822 — Mariages 1796-1890 in the catalog suggests that there are three items in this collection. When you look at the collection using thumbnails you can see where each item begins and ends. (see end of item 2 and beginning of item 3 in image above)

FamilySearch screenshot.

Births for 1841-1880 were filmed in two batches and are under Item 1 and Item 2. Item 3 is named Naissances (or births) 1798-1822.

FamilySearch screenshot.

Item 4 is Marriages for 1796-1890. This is where Shirley searched without results for the 1813 marriage.

Going back to Item 3, a closer look at the records shows that this part of the collection not only has births but also the TDs, marriage, and death records for Buschdorf for the period it was a commune. This is the entire collection of records for the now extinct commune of Buschdorf.

Other “Hidden Villages”

About a half-dozen years ago, I had the same problem with Osweiler, a village that is part of the commune of Rosport. Sometime after 2011 and before 2015 FamilySearch “reworked” the Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1662-1941 collection. They have a link with the known issues in the collection that included this statement in 2015:

At the recent rework of this collection, the town/hamlet names were combined into the Commune/municipality level. The records are still there, but the search is different.

After much searching, I accidentally found that the Osweiler records to 1822 were included in Rosport in the collection titled “Naissances, mariages, décès 1800-1815.”  The title deceived me and I didn’t take the time to view the records more closely. If I had, I would have found the births and marriages for Osweiler for the years 1816-1822 in this misnamed collection. The FamilySearch catalog gives the correct year range for the Osweiler records:

Other examples are:

Alzingen, a commune until 1823, then part of Hesperange

Brandenburg, a commune until 1823, then part of Bastendorf

Berbourg, a commune until 1823, then part of Manternach

…and the list goes on.

The commune or municipal system was adopted in Luxembourg in 1795 during the French occupation to mirror the systems employed in the rest of the French Republic. Many villages kept their own records until they became part of a larger commune in 1823 when the system was overhauled. These smaller villages that were municipalities or communes until 1823 are easily found on Thoma’s list of communes by searching for the year 1823.

The moral of the story is…

Shirley was happy to learn where she could find the record. She wrote, “I have so many “missing” records.  Not always sure if they’re truly missing from FamilySearch, or if I’m just not looking in the right place.” Hopefully, this post will help her and others find their “missing” records.

If you are having problems finding your ancestors’ records, check Jean THOMA’s list of Luxembourg communes as well as the FamilySearch catalog for the location you are researching.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Cousin Bait, a Brick Wall, and a Quick Tip

Earlier this month I received an email from Tina CORNELY. She’d stumbled upon my blog AND loves the name! That was enough to get my attention. She also wrote:

My family tree has been pretty successful on both my maternal and paternal sides, and I have gotten as far back as the early medieval times. The odd thing is I can’t find any information about my great-great-grandfather John Feis CORNELY. John was born in 1857 Germany. That’s all I can dig up. I was just about to give up when I came across your blog. 

That said, I still was unable to find his parents. However, I do know that he lived in Wyandot, Ohio which is where some of your relatives lived.

Any tips you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

John Feis CORNELY born in 1857 in Germany

Tina’s query didn’t include much information for me to go on. I suspected the birthplace and year of birth likely came from a census record. My search for a John CORNELY born in 1857 in Germany turned up this census record:

Ancestry search results for John F. Cornely born 1857 in Germany

John F. COONLEY (surname on index corrected by a user to CORNELY) was enumerated in the 1900 census. The index shows he was born in Germany in May 1857. But wait, John’s age on the census index is 49 which would mean he was born about 1851.1

Let’s take a look at the census image.

1900 U.S. Federal Census image courtesy of Ancestry

The month and year of birth on the census image are May 1851 which fits with the age of 49. John and his wife Mary had been married for 17 years. Mary was the mother of six with only one living child in 1900. A son Edward F. age 15, born in Ohio, is listed in the household. The columns for citizenship (year of emigration to the US, the number of years in the US, and naturalization) are filled out with “Un” or unknown.

Very few online trees for Edward F. CORNELY were found. Only one had the names of his parents. The attached source for the parents was this 1900 census with the incorrect date and place of birth for John CORNELY. There are no parents listed for John in any of the trees found. No further information on John F. CORNELY. This was where Tina was stuck. But had I found the right person?

Three of the four suggested records (see on the right of the 1900 census result image above) were for Edward and mentioned his father John F. CORNELY.

I followed the son and found, in later census records, he gave his father’s birthplace as Luxembourg.2

Edward’s death certificate listed Feis CORNELY and Mary KEANY as his parents.3

The Social Security Applications and Claims Index listed John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY as the parents of Edward.4

Searching for records before 1900, I found Felix Edward CORNELY was born in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio to J. F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY on 11 February 1885.5 This matches the date listed on his death certificate and social security application.

John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANY were married in Wyandot County, Ohio on 10 November 1883.6 [Note: The bride’s maiden name was seen as KEANY and KEANEY and listed here as seen in each record.]

More information was found for John’s son and his descendants which led to Tina’s generation. With the line down from John to Tina confirmed, I turned to my relatives in Wyandot County who shared the CORNELY surname with this family.

The CORNELY family of Wyandot County, Ohio, and their connection to my line

The CORNELY surname has been featured in several posts on this blog. First when I wrote about my 4th great-grandparents, Jean Baptiste MAJERUS and Catharina CORNELY of Strassen, Luxembourg. This was followed up by a post on Catharina’s parents, my 5th greats, Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN of Wickrange, Luxembourg.

My favorite was the post about a CORNELY family who emigrated from Luxembourg in 1854.

Click the image to view the post.

Jacques CORNELY (1800-1855) and his wife Magdalena KUNNERT (1807-1887) with their seven children arrived in America on 18 May 1854.7 Jacques died a little over a year later in October 1855.8 The widow was in Seneca County, Ohio in 18609 and in Wyandot County, Ohio in 187010 and 1880.11

Jacques and my 4th great-grandmother Catharina were first cousins. I learned about Jacques’ branch in my family tree when I found a DNA match for a descendant of Jacques and Magdalena’s only daughter Catherine.12

Could Tina’s John Feis CORNELY be related to my CORNELY family?

If the information in the indexation of the 1900 census had been correct, then John F. CORNELY couldn’t have been the son of Jacques and Magdalena as the father of the family died in 1855.

However, by taking a closer look at the census record, I found John F. “Feis” CORNELY was born in May 1851 and, per later census records of his son, his birthplace was likely Luxembourg.

The youngest son of Jacques CORNELY was named Johann when he was born on 4 May 1851 in Obercorn, Luxembourg.13 This son was seen in 1860 as Jacob age 8, in 1870 as John age 18, and in 1880 as J.F. age 29 in the household of his mother Magdalena. Not uncommon in Luxembourg families, there were two sons named Johann. In 1860 the elder was listed as John and the younger as Jacob, most likely to keep them apart.

In 1870 and 1880 they were living in Salem Township, Wyandot County, Ohio. The same county that the 1883 marriage for John F. CORNELY and Mary KEANEY was found, the same township that their son Edward was born in.

A newspaper article written in 1899 further supports the theory that J.F. CORNELY of Wyandot County is the same person as John F. CORNELY seen in the 1900 census listing in Putnam County, Florida.14

We received a pleasant call Tuesday afternoon from an old Wyandot County friend, Mr. J. F. Cornely, now a resident of West Mansfield where he operates a saw mill. He has arranged to go to Florida next fall as a member of the Northern Colony that has secured 24000 acres of land near Palatka and therefore is going to dispose of his mill at West Mansfield at Public Sale, Saturday, June 17. This colony was organized by the Chicago Farm, Field and Fireside and consists of some 200 families among its patrons in the different states who expect to locate on their new possessions in the Peninsular state this coming fall. Each head of a family buys as much of the land at $10 per acre as he can pay for and makes his own selection. The colony proposes to devote its energies to farming. We wish our esteemed friend success both in the sale of his saw mill at West Mansfield and in his proposed home in Florida.

Lastly, a broad search for CORNELY in Florida on turned up a notice for the funeral services of John F. CORNELY. His son Edward arrived on 4 November 1908 in Tampa, attended the funeral on the 6th, and then returned to Jacksonville the following day. No widow was listed.15 A record of his death, other than the clipping, was not found.

Quick Tip: View the Image Before Attaching it to Your Family Tree

When the 1900 census hint was accepted and attached to the trees on Ancestry, the incorrectly indexed birth date and birthplace for John F. CORNELY was added to his biographical information throwing up a brick wall that hid his parentage. The wrong birth date was also found on FamilySearch‘s Family Tree citing the 1900 census as the source!

Before accepting the information generated (indexed) by Ancestry and adding the record to your family tree, take the time to view the image and read the lines referenced in the index. Then, when saving the record to the person of interest in your tree, be sure to pay close attention to the extracted information and correct the incorrectly indexed information. It may take a few moments but will save you time later correcting errors in your family tree.

Proof that blogging is cousin bait

My posts on my CORNELY family were found by Tina who wrote to me and shared her brick wall. Solving it, I gained a new cousin. We are 6th cousins once removed, sharing Pierre CORNELY (1720-1793) and Marie SCHINTGEN (1725-bef. 1793), my 6th great-grandparents.

Tina thanked me by kindly sharing this picture of her great-great-grandparents, John Feis CORNELY and Mary KEANY.

Johann Feis Cornely and Mary Keaney courtesy of Tina Cornely. Used with permission.

From evidence found, Tina’s John F. CORNELY was the youngest of Jacques and Magdalena’s children. A young boy who survived the wreck of the ship Black Hawk, marked his 3rd birthday on the Currituck, and stepped onto American soil in New York – all within a month. A young man who supported his mother in her years of widowhood in Ohio. A husband and father who sold his sawmill in Ohio to acquire land in Florida.

Many thanks to Tina for sharing and allowing me to write about her brick wall.

One door opened only to find another closed door

Another mystery in the CORNELY family was discovered while I was searching for records to connect Tina’s family to mine. Two CORNELY men were already living in Seneca County, Ohio when Jacques CORNELY’s family came to America and first settled in Seneca County in 1854. They were not children of Jacques and Magdalena who might have paved the way for the family’s move to America. They may have been close or distant cousins and their place in the family tree will have to be found.

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1240176, Florida, Putnam County, Precinct 19, Enumeration District 150, Page 7A, line 17-19, John F. Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1900 census was 1 June 1900. ( : accessed 14 March 2021). 
  2. 1920 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls, Roll: T625_219, Florida, Duval, Mandarin, Enumeration District: 83, Page: 9A, lines 3-6, Edward F. Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1920 census was 1 January 1920. ( : accessed 14 March 2021). 
  3. “South Carolina, U.S., Death Records, 1821-1968,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing South Carolina Death Records, South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina. Edward Felix Cornely, born 11 Feb 1885, died 2 Aug 1958 in Abbeville SC, parents Feis Cornely and Mary Cornely. ( : accessed 14 March 2021). 
  4. “U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,” (index only), Ancestry, citing original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007, Edward Felix Cornely, SSN 719072511. Male, white, born 11 Feb 1885 in Salem Twp, WY (sic, Wyandot), Ohio, father John F Cornely, mother Mary Keaney, Apr 1937: Name listed as Edward Felix Cornely. ( : accessed 14 March 2021). 
  5. “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003,” (database with images), FamilySearch citing county courthouses, Ohio, Wyandot > Birth registers 1880-1891 > image 26 of 148 > line 64. ( : accessed 14 March 2021) 
  6. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” (database with images), FamilySearch citing county courthouses, Ohio, Wyandot > Marriage records 1877-1886 vol 5 > image 290 of 390, page 446-447, John F Cornely and Mary Keany married 10 November 1883. ( : accessed 14 March 2021) 
  7. “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” index and images, Ancestry, citing Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C. Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897, Roll 139, Arrival: 1854 New York, New York, List number 496, Line 304-312, Cornely family. ( : accessed 26 February 2020) 
  8. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 26 February 2020), memorial page for Jacob Cornely (19 May 1810–15 Oct 1855), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47794946, citing Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery, Kirby, Wyandot County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by Gathering Roots (contributor 47213048). 
  9. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1034, Family History Library Film: 805034, Ohio, Seneca County, Big Spring, sheet 42 (stamped) back (42B), page 84, lines 11-18, HH #594-574, Magdalena Cornelia. The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. ( : accessed 26 February 2020). 
  10. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1284, Family History Library Film: 552783, Ohio, Wyandot County, Salem, page 810B, lines 9-11, HH #27-27, Magdaline Cornelius. The official enumeration day of the 1870 census was 1 June 1870.  ( : accessed 26 February 2020). 
  11. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1079, Ohio, Wyandot County, Salem, Enumeration District 163, page 467B, lines 10-12, HH #193, Magdalena Cornely. The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. ( : accessed 26 February 2020). 
  12. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Differdange > Naissances 1807-1880 > image 548 of 1492. 1838 Birth Record No. 52. ( : accessed 26 February 2020). 
  13. Ibid.,  Differdange > Naissances 1807-1880 > image 817 of 1492. 1851 Birth Record No. 37. ( : accessed 26 February 2020). 
  14. “Local Department” item concerning J.F. Cornely, The Union County Journal (Marysville, Ohio), Thursday, 8 June 1899, p. 5, col. 2; image copy,, ( : accessed 23 March 2021). 
  15. “Funeral Services” of John F. Cornely, Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida), Saturday, 7 Nov 1908, p. 1, col. 6; image copy,, ( : accessed 26 March 2021). 

My Ancestor Score as of Valentine’s Day 2021

It’s time for my Ancestor Score! 

We would not be here without the ancestral couples who came before us. What better day to feature them than on Valentine’s Day. Nearly all of my ancestors were married, some cut it close, and two ancestresses never bothered to marry.

I’ve been writing about The Ancestors since I began blogging, going back one generation at a time. Generations 2 through 7 are complete except for one set of 4th great-grandparents. The 8th generation is off to a good start with nearly a dozen couples’ stories already written. Vital statistics, spouses, children, residence, occupation, ownership, military service, and miscellaneous biographical information were used in the stories.

There are close to 400 known ancestors in the next four generations – many have baptism, marriage, and burial records, some have more biographical detail,  while others may only be names gleaned from their children’s records.

In the past, I’ve kept track of the ancestors back to the earliest known ancestor in the 21st generation. This year I decided to count only the ancestors back to my 7th great-grandparents.

My Ancestor Score

Nearly 90% of my ancestors are known up to generation 8. The numbers go down significantly in the next two generations due to the brick walls in my paternal lines in the US.

New Names in the Family Tree

The name of Henry TREADWAY’s first wife was found this past year in a book with a series of sketches on early families of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio, written by Mrs. Mary Donaldson Sinclair  (1862-1940) in the early 1930s, and published at that time by The Steubenville Herald-Star. The article included not only Henry TREADWAY’s wife’s name but also her parents’ names and where they were from. Three new names in the family tree (generations 7 and 8) need to be researched. Perhaps they will firm up the assumption that Henry TREADWAY and Sarah JOHNSON were the parents of my 3rd great-grandmother Sarah Ann TREADWAY. DNA matches to descendants of three other children of Henry have been found in one cluster and are the reason I’ve taken a closer look at available publications.

Henry TREADWAY and his wife are the 4th great-grandparents I mentioned above that have not yet been featured on my blog. I plan to take time to review the research I’ve done and, finally, write about them sometime this year.

My Children’s Ancestor Score

My children’s numbers are looking a lot better than mine as their paternal line is Luxembourgish. The 4% missing in the subtotal up to generation 8 is due to my DEMPSEY, DOSS, and COOLEY brick walls, as well as, one set of 5th great-grandparents that is unknown on their paternal side.

How do you keep track of your ancestors?

I learned this way of keeping tabs on the progress of genealogy research on Barbara Schmidt’s blog Connecting the Worlds in 2014. This is my 8th year doing the Ancestor Score on Valentine’s Day.

The posts from previous years can be found here:

© 2021, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Lëtz Research: Luxembourg Civil Marriage Records and Their Amazing Detail

In my post Lëtz Research: How to Find Luxembourg Civil Birth Records I shared a lengthy reply I sent to J. who posed a question via the contact form on Luxracines website asking for assistance on finding a Luxembourg civil birth record.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, J. had a follow-up question.

Another question, how do you proceed if you don’t have the date of birth or place?  For instance, the father Johann Peter Garnich.  How would I look for his father?

I hadn’t put her off with my lengthy answer and she appeared interested in learning. So once again I sent off a detailed reply.

Finding the date of marriage in the ten-year index

I was expecting your next question. That’s the reason I mentioned the tables décennales (TD) in my previous email.

BTW, the ten-year indexes (tables décennales) are very helpful when you know the name and place but not the date of birth, marriage, or death (BMD). For each 10-year period, you will find 3 lists (BMD) that include the name of the person and the date of the event. With the date of the event, you can follow the previous directions to find the record.

If a couple was having children in a commune, it was often also the place they married. By searching the tables décennales of Bettembourg where the child was born, you should be able to find a date of marriage for the parents in turn aiding you in finding the marriage record.

Details in marriage records

Marriage records are amazing due to the details they contain. They include the following information for the groom and the bride: name, occupation, age, place of residence, date and place of birth, names of the parents. This is followed by information for the parents: names, occupation, age, and place of residence. If any of the parents are deceased, the date and place of death are given. Four witnesses (name, age, occupation, residence) are also given and their relationship to the bride or groom is usually mentioned.

In my early days of research, I quickly learned marriage records had enough information to take me back a generation at a time.

As an aside, Luxracines has a very large database of civil marriages in Luxembourg (complete). It includes marriages of Luxembourgers in the bordering areas of Belgium (a work in progress) and Germany as well as several large cities (Paris, for example) known to have had workers from Luxembourg. Luxracinces is now accepting subscriptions for the year 2021 giving members access to the website and databases until January 2022. See the section on Becoming a Member on the Luxracines website. [I included this as she had initiated contact on the website.]

The entry in the tables décennales

Your couple of interest is in the above-mentioned marriage database with a date of marriage in Bettembourg in 1883. Without this information, you could have looked at the tables décennales to find their names and date of marriage. This is the page they are on in the TD on FamilySearch:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (1).
Close-up of the entry for Jean Pierre GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN (seen here as Elise SCHALTGEN). Screenshot of FamilySearch website (2).

Click on the tiles button to view the small images. You can see the difference between the lists for births and deaths and the list for marriages. The marriage list always has two names and therefore looks different from the birth and death lists making it easy to navigate the images and each batch of 10 years.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (3).

Now that you have the date of marriage, I’ll let you search for the record. When you find the marriage record, let me know and I’ll try to help you decipher the handwriting and point out the information from the record.

Locating the marriage record

Less than two hours later, J. sent me three links. The first was for a marriage record from 1884 instead of 1883. I had failed to be more precise about the index’s location in the marriage register. The second link she sent was the index to the 1883 marriages and included the names of the couple. The third link she sent was the link to the actual 1883 marriage record. Good work!

A detail I failed to pass on to J. is that the index is normally at the end of the year. She needed to go back through the images to find the record instead of forward from the index (i.e. the reason she found the 1884 marriage record first).

Before I went into the details concerning the marriage record, I gave J. some advice on citing the source of the marriage record.

Cite your Source

If you click on the Information tab at the bottom of the screen and scroll down in the small window, you will find the citation. Click on Copy Citation to save it. This will be extremely helpful when you want to point someone else to the marriage record. If the link is ever changed the waypoints > will help you or them to find the record again.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (4)

This is the Source Citation:

“Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 17 July 2014), Bettembourg > Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1885 > image 571 of 1479; Archives nationales de Luxembourg (National Archives), Luxembourg.

I always replace the date following the link with “accessed [the date accessed]” for later reference.

Annotations and translation of the marriage record

The marriage record of Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN is in German, the official language used at this time in Luxembourg.

1883 Marriage Record No. 5 for Johann Peter GARNICH and Elisabeth SCHELTGEN in Bettembourg. Image courtesy of FamilySearch (see citation above)

This is the first part of the marriage record which deals with the groom.

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (5)

In the year 1883, the 22nd of May at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, (followed by the name of the civil servant of the commune of Bettembourg in Luxembourg) came before us Johann Peter Garnich (occupation), 28 years old, born in Bettembourg the 8 November 1854, a resident of Bettembourg, of age son of the here present and consenting parents Peter Garnich and Katharina Wind, a married couple, farmers living in Bettembourg. The civil birth record of the groom was found in the register of this commune.

Part two with the information on the bride:

Screenshot of FamilySearch website (6)

And Elisabeth Scheltgen, without an occupation, 25 years old, born in Bergem in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange) the 11 January 1858, a resident of Bergem, of age daughter of the here present and consenting parents Michel Scheltgen, an innkeeper, and Helena Nicola, without an occupation, residents of Bergem. An abstract of the birth record of the bride was furnished.

Part three concerning the banns, records read at the marriage, etc.

Who have asked us to proceed to the consummation of their marriage as agreed between them, and their proclamations, [place and date of the first reading of the banns, place and date of the second reading of the banns] were read the Sundays 6th and 13th of this month of May in this commune in the commune of Monnerich (Mondercange).

Since no objection to the intended marriage has been announced to us, we give justice to their request; and after we have read out all the above-mentioned acts (birth records) and the sixth chapter of the civil code, entitled Marriage, we have asked the bridegroom and the bride whether they will take each other as husband and wife; since both replied, each specially and in the affirmative, we declare in the name of the law that Johann Peter Garnich and Elisabeth Scheltgen are united by marriage.

This is the last part of the marriage record.

Of all this, we have established this act in the presence of:
Nikolaus Mootz, without occupation, 88 years resident of Bettembourg, not related to bride and groom
Jakob Hoscheit, (occupation) 29 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Bernard Klinsch, day laborer, 37 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Johann Kunsch, day laborer, 21 years old, resident of Bettembourg, not related
Who, after reading all to them, signed with us.
The mother of the bride declared not being able to write.

[Followed by signatures of the bride, groom, parents, 4 witnesses, and the civil servant]

The bride Elisabeth must have gone by Lisa as she signed Scheltgen Lisa. I thought this was an interesting detail and makes it more personal.

Occupation of the groom and the 2nd witness

Now it’s your turn to help J.  I was not able to decipher the occupation of the groom on this marriage record. The second witness appears to have had the same occupation. If anyone can help out, I’ll pass the information on to J.

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)

This is the 4th in a series of posts on my earliest FOURNELLE ancestors. After setting up the stageintroducing the main characters and supporting cast, I am now discussing each of the children of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702). All posts written to date are listed at the end of this post.

During the next few weeks, I will analyze and write about the seven children of Jean FOURNEL (1655-1721) and Catherine SETON (1657-1702) who married and had children.

In this post, I will go into the life of their oldest known child, Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729).

1678 Baptismal Record of Françoise FOURNELLE. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 19 de 529.

Françoise, my 6th great-grandaunt, was born on 18 March 1678 in Saulnes and baptized the same day. Her godparents were Guillaume DASSIS and a lady by the first name of Françoise.1 Her parents, Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON had likely married the previous year. As mentioned in previous posts on her parents, the spelling of the surname FOURNEL varied and was seen as FOURNELLE in this record.

Françoise was five years old when her brother Nicolas was born on 30 September 1683 in Saulnes.2 Other siblings were born when she was 8, 10, 12, 13, 18, and 20 years old. Her mother Catherine died on 21 September 1702 in Saulnes when Françoise was 24 years old.3

As a young single woman, Françoise became the godmother of two children born in her village. Etienne DELVA and Françoise LOUIS chose her to be their son Jean’s godmother on 26 September 1697 when she was 19 years old.4 Jean DROUET and Jeanne REMY requested her to be the godmother of their son François on 27 September 1705 when she was 26 years old.5

1708 Marriage Record of Jean COURTOIS and Françoise FOURNEL. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 300 de 529.

At the age of 29, Françoise became the wife of Jean COURTOIS. They were married on 23 January 1708 in Saulnes. Jean was 23 years old and the son of Jean COURTOIS and Barbe FRANÇOIS. Witnesses to the marriage were Jean’s step-father Henry STRAUT and his older brother Bernard COURTOIS as well as Françoise’s father Jean FOURNEL and her good friend Laurent BOULANGER.6

The groom, Jean COURTOIS lost his father at the young age of four months. His father died in Verdun while traveling in February of 1685.7 This was mentioned in the Herserange church records. I searched through the church records of Verdun but was unable to find a mention of the death. Verdun was a large city at the time with more than a half dozen parishes. Jean’s mother must have remarried as a step-father is named in her son’s marriage record. Further research is necessary to confirm the spelling of the step-father’s name.

Françoise and Jean’s first child was born ten months after their marriage on 14 October 1708. Their son Jean was baptized two days later on 16 October. His godparents were Jean BOULANGER and his maternal aunt Jeanne FOURNEL (seen as FOURNY on the record).8

When Françoise was eight months pregnant with her second child, her brother Nicolas married in Réhon to Barbe AGARANT on 29 June 1710.9

A daughter, Sébastienne COURTOIS was born on 26 July 1710 and was baptized the following day. The second child of Françoise and Jean had as godparents Jean DROUET and her maternal aunt Sébastienne FOURNEL (seen as FOURNY on the record).10

The third child of the couple was named Jean, born on 20 February 1712 and baptized the following day. His godparents were a young boy named Jean SMELER and a young girl named Catherine DASSIS.11 It is not unusual for more than one living child of a couple to be named the same. No death record nor other record has been found for the first son named Jean born in 1708. It’s possible the first son did not survive.

Françoise was pregnant with her fourth child when the next of her siblings married. Her brother Jean FOURNEL married on 22 January 1713 a young lady named Jeanne BERKIN in Rodange (present-day Luxembourg).12 Jean and Jeanne are my direct ancestors, my 6th great-grandparents.

A little over three months later, a daughter named Françoise was born on 2 May 1713 and baptized on 3 May 1713. Jean CHOLOT and Françoise HUGREL were named as her godparents.13 Per records found, all children of Françoise and Jean COURTOIS were born in Saulnes except for Françoise. Her birth/baptismal record was recorded in Larimont, a farm located northeast of Mexy, a village that was burnt down by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War. Herserange, the parish these villages belonged to, lies between Saulnes and Mexy.

The fifth child of this couple was born on 19 June 1715 and baptized the following day. The baby girl was named Barbe after her godmother Barbe DROUET. Her godfather was her maternal uncle Henri FOURNEL (seen as Henry FOURNY on the record).14

On 3 February 1717 Françoise gave birth to her last child, a son named Jacques. He was baptized the following day in the presence of his maternal aunt and uncle, Jeanne FOURNEL and Jacques FOURNEL.15

When Françoise was 42 years old, two of her sisters married. Jeanne FOURNEL married Jérôme PETRISOT in Obercorn, Luxembourg on 28 July 1720.16 Sébastienne FOURNEL married Jean FRANÇOIS on 24 November 1720 in Saulnes.17

A year after her sisters’ marriages, Françoise and her siblings lost their father, Jean FOURNEL who died 3 September 1721 in Saulnes.18

Françoise’s baby brother Jacques FOURNEL married Anne LAUNOIS before 1724. This was likely the last of her siblings she would see married as she died on 13 October 1729 at the age of 51 years. Her husband, who reported the death, gave her age as 45.19

Jean COURTOIS remarried less than two months later on 2 December 1729.20 He chose as his bride Catherine DASSIS, likely the young girl who served as the godmother of his son Jean in 1712. They would have four children during their first decade of marriage. Jean COURTOIS died 30 May 1745 at the age of 60.21

Of the six children of Françoise FOURNEL and Jean COURTOIS, only one has been found to have married and continued the line.

Sébastienne COURTOIS (1710-1766) married Dominique LUX (1706-1766) about 1735. This is a rough guestimate. They had five known children. Baptismal records for three of the five (born in 1745, 1750, and 1752) and marriages and death records for all five were found. The years of birth for the two children with missing baptismal records have been estimated from their age at death. They were born about 1736 and about 1741, i.e. the estimated marriage in 1735.

The two youngest children, Nicolas LUX and Michel LUX married their second cousins Catherine PETRISOT and Marie Jeanne FOURNELLE, both great-grandchildren of Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON, taking the family full circle.

1766 Death Record of Anne Sébastienne COURTOIS. Image courtesy of Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), 5 Mi 259/R 1 vue 412 de 529.

Sébastienne, in later years, was known as Anne Sébastienne, the name on her death record. She died on 20 February 1766 at the age of 55.22 The record names her as the daughter of the deceased Jean COURTOIS “dit la fleur” and wife of Dominique LUX. The only other record I found that refers to Jean COURTOIS as “La Fleur” was the death record of his second wife, Catherine DASSIS the following year.23

Anne Sébastienne’s husband Dominique died a week later on 27 February 1766 at the age of 60.24

Françoise FOURNEL and her husband Jean COURTOIS raised their family in Saulnes where her parents had raised her and her siblings. In my next post, we will see her brother Nicolas FOURNEL marry in a nearby village and raise his family in yet another village.

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 1)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 2)

Going Back to the Earliest Fournelle Ancestor (Part 3)

Françoise FOURNEL (1678-1729) and Jean COURTOIS (1684-1745)

Nicolas FOURNEL (1683-abt.1748) and Barbe AGARANT (abt.1678-1758)

Jean FOURNEL (1686-1749) and Jeanne BERKIN (1683-1759)

Henri FOURNEL (1688-1753) and Anne LAUNOIS (1692-1758)

Jeanne FOURNEL (~1691-aft. 1756) and Jérôme PÉTRISOT (~1680-1761)

Sébastienne FOURNEL (~1692-1752) and Jean FRANÇOIS (~1681-1741)

Jacques FOURNELLE (~1699-1774) and Marie JACOB (1695-1758)

© 2020, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

  1. Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), browsable images of microfilm collection of parish and civil records (online, Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 19 of 529. New terms of use: En application du règlement sur la réutilisation des données publiques adopté par le conseil départemental de Meurthe-et-Moselle (délibération de sa commission permanente n°17, en date du 16 janvier 2017), je m’engage à mentionner la source du document téléchargé (Arch. dép. de Meurthe-et-Moselle, [suivi de la cote complète]), en cas de réutilisation. 1678 Fournel, Françoise baptismal record (middle of right page under Sosne).( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  2. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 28 of 529. 1683 Baptismal Record (right page, 5th entry). This document is in poor condition. ( : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  3. Ibid., Herserange  1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 333 of 529. 1702 Death Record (right page, last entry). ( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  4. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 370 of 529. 1697 Baptismal Record of Jean Delva, son of Etienne Delva and Françoise Louis (right page, 3rd entry).( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  5. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > images 347+348 of 529. 1705 Baptismal Record of François Drouet, son of Jean Drouet and Jeanne Remy (right page, bottom and left page, top). ( : accessed 7 August 2020 and : accessed 7 August 2020). 
  6. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 300 of 529. 1708 Marriage Record of Jean Courtois and Françoise Fournel (right page, last entry). ( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  7. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 39 of 529.  1685 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). “Sonne…. février 1685 est mort Jean Courtois … de Verdun étant en voyage, est inhumé dans le cimetière de La Haye du dit Verdun.” ( : accessed 21 August 2020). 
  8. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 303 of 529. 1708 Baptismal Record (right page, 2nd to last entry). ( : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  9. Ibid., Réhon 1710-1792 > 5 Mi 450/R 2 > image 373 of 767. 710 Marriage Record (right page, 2nd entry). ( : accessed 7 August 2020). 
  10. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 284 of 529. 1710 Baptismal Record (left page, bottom entry). ( : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  11. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 276 of 529. 1712 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). ( : accessed 15 August 2020). 
  12. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 >  image 266 of 529. 1713 Marriage Record of Jean Fournel and Jeanne Berkin (right page, top). ( : accessed 2 July 2020). 
  13. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 270 of 529. 1713 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry). ( : accessed 16 August 2020). 
  14. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 253 of 529. 1715 Baptismal Record (right page, 1st entry). ( : accessed 16 August 2020). 
  15. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 234 of 529. 1717 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). ( : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  16. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Obercorn > Baptêmes 1704-1727, 1746, 1794-1797, 1800-1805, mariages 1795-1797, 1800-1807, sépultures 1794-1797, 1802-1807 > image 6 of 296. 1720 Marriage Record (left page, 4th entry from bottom). ( : accessed 12 July 2020). 
  17. Archives Meurthe-et-Moselle (54), Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 178 of 529. 1720 Marriage Record of Jean François and Sébastienne Fournel (left page, 2nd entry).( : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  18. Ibid., Herserange > 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 183 of 529. 1721 Death Record (left page, first entry). ( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  19. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 114 of 529. 1729 Death Record (left page, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 7 July 2020). 
  20. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1> image 129 of 529. 1729 Marriage Record of Jean Courtois and Catherine Dassis. ( : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  21. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 503 of 529. 1745 Death Record (left page, first entry). ( : accessed 8 July 2020). 
  22. Ibid., Herserange 1668- 1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 412 of 529. 1766 Death Record (left page, 3rd entry). ( : accessed 8 August 2020). 
  23. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773 > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 410 of 529. 1767 Death Record (left page, first entry). ( : accessed 21 August 2020). 
  24. Ibid., Herserange 1668-1773) > 5 Mi 259/R 1 > image 412 of 529. 1766 Death Record (bottom left and top right). ( : accessed 18 August 2020).