How DNA Results Helped Discover Luxembourg Emigrants

Earlier this year I wrote about my 4th great-grandparents Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY in 52 Ancestors: #45 Missing Parish Records in Mamer Leave Unanswered Questions. As the title suggests there were things which were left unresolved in the article. No trace was found of their son Franciscus “Franz” FRISCH  born in 1796 after the 1849 census nor of their son Nicolaus FRISCH born in 1798 after his birth. Franz married and had a family as seen in the census but Nicolaus was completely off the radar.

One of Franz’s sons, Peter John FRISCH was known to have come to America in 1854 as seen in Sandra L. Hammes’ From Luxembourg to La Crosse And Beyond 1851-1910, however, I did not find a birth record to connect him to his parents Franz and Magdalena.

Last month I found a DNA match with a FRISCH ancestor in her family tree. This post is about how I discovered the match, which new website I used to confirm relationships, and how both helped me to prove the missing brothers of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta FRISCH emigrated from Luxembourg to America on the ship Pauline which departed from Le Havre, France and arrived in the port of New York in May 1854.

“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” (database with images), FamilySearch (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), NARA microfilm publication M237, 140 – 23 May 1854-11 Jun 1854 > images 131 thru 134 of 651. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939V-55J8-K?cc=1849782&wc=MX62-X3X%3A165779201 : accessed 12 October 2018).

DNA Match Labeling

It all began in mid-September when Blaine Bettinger announced his Chrome extension DNA Match Labeling was now available in the Chrome Web Store. This extension lets you use eight colored dots to label your AncestryDNA matches. Michael John Neill wrote an interesting post Label Your AncestryDNA Matches stressing the necessity of giving thought to how to use these on the thousands of matches we have. I decided to use them to label ONLY the paternal matches of the test results I manage.

Different tools used to sort and analyze matches on AncestryDNA

An example of several matches which have been labeled with the red dot:

Matches labeled with the red dot for the line back to William A. W. DEMPSEY

Why not the maternal matches? Our mother is Luxembourgish and all of her ancestors were from Luxembourg or the surrounding regions of Germany, France, and Belgium which were once part of Luxembourg. Compared to the number of paternal matches, the maternal ones are few and far between. The top maternal match is a 4C1R (4th cousin once removed) on page 3 (50 matches per page) with 44 cMs. Since there are so few at this time, I’m using Ancestry’s star feature for maternal matches because it lets me pull up all of these matches and sort them by date or relationship. The colored dots, which I am saving for paternal matches, are only visual aids and cannot be sorted.

Kate, a new match, starred to indicate possible Luxembourg ancestry and Shared DNA amount information open in black box.

While starring the matches, I checked the Shared Matches of the highest maternal cousin and found a new match with a great-grandmother named Anna Katrina FRISCH. Unfortunately, there were no dates and places of birth, marriage, and death in the tree and no parents for this FRISCH young lady.

Kate’s privatized Ancestry tree with the in common with surname: FRISCH.

The new match, Kate in honor of her great-grandmother, is a Shared Match of Mary, a 4C1R who descends through my 4th great-grandparents Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. Mary had first gotten in touch with me in 2009. We have been in touch about the DNA match but she has not uploaded to GEDMATCH. This is important to note as shared matches do not necessarily share the DNA on the same segment of a chromosome. The only way to determine this is to do a comparison using a chromosome browser which at this time is not available on Ancestry.

Building Kate’s Family Tree

Building out a DNA match’s family tree is like playing connect the dots. The first run through is all about piecing together hints and bits of information for a temporary tree which can later, if it turns out to be the correct family, be filled out with care and sourced.

I found Joe and Anna DAVIS in Sanborn County, Dakota Territory, in 1885 with a daughter named Lena. I continued to find them in the same county in the state of South Dakota from 1900 to 1930. These helped me to determine I was on the right track and these were Kate‘s great-grandparents. Anna K. as she was seen in the census was born in Iowa with parents born in Germany. This is in conflict with my FRISCH family being from Luxembourg.

Working backwards I searched for Anna K. FRISCH born about 1861 in Iowa and found a promising family group. John and Lena FRISCH in Johnson County, Iowa. They had a Catherine born about 1858 and a Kate born about 1859. In 1860 and in 1880 the father John was seen as born in Luxembourg while in 1870 Holland was listed. The most interesting census listing was the 1860 where the young family was in the household of Francis FRISH (sic), a 60 years old farmer born in Luxembourg. Was this Franz who I had not been able to locate after the 1849 Luxembourg census? When did Franz and his son Jean come to America? Perhaps at the same time as Peter John FRISCH mentioned in the La Crosse book?

A search for a passenger list with FRISCH individuals who arrived in America in the 1850s turned up the list featured at the beginning of this post. Two family groups with the surname FRISCH were on the Pauline in May 1854: François, Pierre, Jean, and Angelique as well as Nicolaus, Catherine, Paul, Canada (sic), Marie, and Catherine. Had I found both of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabetha FRISCH’s brothers?

Members of my genealogy society Luxracines have been working on a project to index the marriages from the 10-year tables of the civil records of the Luxembourg municipalities and former municipalities for the years 1797 to 1923. Using this new online database (available to members only)  I found Nicolaus FRISCH married Catherine WESTER in Reckange-sur-Mess in 1825. I searched the birth and death records in Reckange and found nine children, five of whom died by 1853 leaving four living: Paul, Jeanette, Maria, and Katharina. All names with the exception of Jeanette (Canada on the list) matched the passenger list.

What about Franz FRISCH? Where was his wife? I found she’d died in 1850 in Capellen. Their oldest son Franz was found marrying in 1851 in Steinsel to Margaretha REUTER. [This is a recent find and I have not spent much time searching for more information on this couple and their children, if they had any.] 

This left two unmarried sons, Pierre and Jean, whose names matched those on the passenger list. But who was Angelique? Pierre married Angelique TRINKES on 4 September 1856 in Dubuque, Iowa, according to the La Crosse book. No marriage record has been found to confirm this date and place. Is it possible she came over with the FRISCH families or did Pierre marry her before their arrival in America?

Matricula Online

Not all of the dots have been connected. The church records are missing on FamilySearch for the parish of Mamer and the affiliated villages. A family register for the parish of Mamer was found on FamilySearch over two years ago when I worked on Elisabeta FRISCH’s family. Would I ever be able to find records to confirm the information in the handwritten register?

This past July the Catholic church records for Luxembourg went online on Matricula Online. Included in this new database are Mamer’s missing church records. The baptismal record of Petrus FRISCH, son of Franz FRISCH and Magdalena MORRET was found on Matricula Online. He was born 25 May 1830 in Capellen.  This is not the date found in the La Crosse book (29 Oct 1832), in the Mamer register (25 March 1830), or on the 1849 census (30 May 1830). I can only hope Peter married his first wife Angelique in Luxembourg as the record would include his correct date of birth. But I feel confident the Pierre seen on the passenger list with François is Petrus found in the baptismal record and Peter who lived in La Crosse County.

The Incomplete Story

Franz and his brother Nicolaus came with their families to America in May 1854. By 1860, everyone was in Jackson County, Iowa. Franz’s son John had married Lena WEBER and was the father of two young girls. Peter had married Angeline TRINKES and did not have children. Nicolaus was with his wife Catherine, son Paul, and daughter Maria. Their daughter Jeanette had married Jean FORRET. They had two children as well as Jean’s mother and two siblings in their household. Nicolaus’ daughter Catherine is the only person from the passenger list who has not been located.

Nicolaus died in 1862 leaving everything to his son Paul. His widow Catherine died in 1872. Franz died in 1867. John was widowed in 1877 and followed his brother to La Crosse County, Wisconsin, after the 1880 census.

Now that I know there are descendants of my 3rd great-grandmother Elisabeta’s brothers living in America, I will continue to fill in the family tree and check for new DNA matches. I looked for Jeanette’s married name and found two matches! Messages have been sent. I can’t wait to see these on my chromosome map.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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My Ancestor Score as of Valentine’s Day 2018

De Vältesdag, deen den 14. Februar a ville Länner gefeiert gëtt, ass deen Dag vun den Verléiften.  Ouni déi Koppelen, déi virun eis gelieft hun géifen mir net existéieren.

Valentine’s Day reminds me of the couples who came before me – without whom I would not exist.

This is my fifth year doing the Ancestor Score on Valentine’s Day.  I first learned this way of keeping tabs on the progress in my genealogy research from Barbara Schmidt in 2014. She posted her latest Ancestor Score February 2018 last week.

My Ancestor Score

The names of 57 new ancestors were added to my family tree database during the year. Most of these are 6th and 7th great-grandparents who were found while writing about my Luxembourgish and German 5th great-grandparents last year.

Generation 6 is still hanging in there at 30 of 32 ancestors. I continue to search for the key to the door of my most frustrating DEMPSEY brick wall. Who were the parents of William A. W. DEMPSEY 1820-1867 of Fayette County, West Virginia?

I wrote the above last year and it’s still the case and has been for at least a half-dozen years or longer.

My focus this year is on the American ancestors as I organize and set up the groundwork for more serious DNA research. I am now seeing descendants of William A. W. DEMPSEY in my matches. I have matches for descendants of his four sons (James Alexander, John Henry, William Henderson, and Elijah Lewis) and daughter Mary Virginia. I’m still looking for matches who descend from Lizzie and Eunice, the other two daughters. All I need is for all of the matches to upload their raw DNA to GEDmatch so I can compare the chromosomes, separate the chromosomes coming from his wife Sarah Ann WOOD, and compare all unknowns with what is left in hopes of finding matches who descend from William’s parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents. Sounds easy?

My Children’s Ancestor Score

My children’s ancestor score looks a lot better mostly due to their paternal line being mainly from Luxembourg. Ninety-five percent of their ancestors to the 8th generation are known. Their numbers for the next two generations are quite high compared to mine – even when you consider the difference in generations.

Stats for previous years are included in both tables above. The posts from previous years can be found here:

Have you done your Ancestor Score recently? I’d love to have a look. Please post your link in a comment below. Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #47 Michel Trausch and Catharina Hames of Mamer

With this post, all of my children’s known ancestors from their grandparents to their 5th great-grandparents have been featured since I began blogging four years ago. I actually did it in three years as I took a break from the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks in 2016.

Michel and Catharina

Michel TRAUSCH (1792-1869) and Catharina HAMES (1789-1864) married in Mamer, Luxembourg, on 18 February 1817.1 Their marriage record included the groom and bride’s dates and places of birth. His parents were both deceased; their names and dates and places of death were included. Her parents were living, present and consenting to the marriage. Also present were four witnesses. Michel KOLBACH, the bride’s brother-in-law, and three unrelated persons.

1817 Marriage Record No. 3 [1]
Michel was born on 9 May 1792 in Colmar-Berg, Mersch, Luxembourg, to Remacle TRAUSCH (1761-1804) and Theresia BRAUN (COLLING) (1766-1798).2 Catharina was born on 17 May 1789 in Mamer to Johannes HAMES (~1758-1826) and Agnes HERTZ (1755-1836).3 I will come back to the parents and siblings of Michel and Catharina after I have discussed their children.

Michel and Catharina had the following children:

1. Anna Catharina TRAUSCH was born the day after her parents’ first wedding anniversary on 19 February 1818 in Mamer.4 She died on 26 February 1819 in Mamer at the age of a year and a week.5
2. Maria TRAUSCH was born exactly two years after Anna Catharina, on 19 February 1820.6 She married and had one daughter. She died on 13 May 1875. She was my 3rd great-grandmother and her daughter was my 2nd great-granddaughter.
3. Peter TRAUSCH was born on 3 October 1821 in Mamer.7 He was last seen at the age of 34 years in Mamer with his parents in 1855. At this time it is unknown if he married or had children.
4. Elisabeth TRAUSCH was born on 23 July 1823.8 She married and had three sons. She died on 7 March 1877.
5. Susanna TRAUSCH was born on 23 September 1825.9 She married and had three sons. She died on 29 August 1903.
6. Catherine TRAUSCH was born on 13 March 1827 in Mamer.10 She died on 4 April 1900 in Mamer. Catherine never married.
7. Marie Catherine TRAUSCH was born on 26 April 1829 in Mamer.11 She died on 13 May 1832 in Mamer at the age of three years.12

As can be seen above Michel and Catharina had seven children, two of whom died young, one who never married, three who married and gave them seven grandchildren, and one son who has not been traced after 1855. Of the grandchildren, only one was a girl – an important fact as will be seen at the end of this post.

Three daughters marry and have children

Maria TRAUSCH although the second born was always the oldest of the bunch as her older sibling died a year before her birth. Maria married Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) on 31 May 1849 in Mamer.13 He was the son of Jean Baptiste MAJERUS and Catharina CORNELY. Their daughter Marie MAJERUS (1850-1931) was born on 19 June 1850 in Mamer.14 Marie was my 2nd great-grandmother. She lived with her parents and grandparents in the home in Mamer.

Soon after the birth of their first grandchild, Michel and Catharina saw their daughter Elisabeth marry in Kehlen. She married Jean Henri KLEIN (1811-1866) on 15 December 1852.15 A year later, she gave birth to the second grandchild Johann KLEIN on 7 December 1853 in Nospelt.16

The third daughter to marry was Susanna. She married Pierre KLEES (1823-1903) on 14 February 1855 in Kehlen where her sister Elisabeth had married.17

These marriages in Kehlen were only found with the help of the Marriage Database dedicated members of my genealogy association Luxracines are working on. As a member of the board, I have access to the database which will soon be made available on our website. It will be a real time-saver for all researchers who have ancestors who married in Luxembourg between 1797-1923 as marriage records include so much genealogical information.
Lëtz Play! Can You Top This? A Marriage Record With 15 Events

Following Susanna’s marriage five more grandsons were born into the family:

  • Mathias KLEIN on 11 December 1855 in Nospelt18
  • Peter KLEES on 7 March 1856 in Kehlen19
  • Nicolas KLEIN on 2 October 1857 in Nospelt20
  • Michel KLEES on 30 October 1857 in Kehlen21
  • Johann KLEES on 25 May 1860 in Kehlen22

It is unknown if Nicolas, the only son of Catharina and Michel, ever married and had children. Perhaps when the Marriage Database 1797-1923 is finished he will be found. Without this information, it is at this time only possible to note that all known grandchildren of Catharina and Michel were born before their deaths.

Catharina and Michel die in a three-generation house

Catharina HAMES died on 22 November 1864 at the age of 75 years.23 Her husband Michel TRAUSCH died five years later on 28 December 1869 at the age of 77 years.24 They both died in Mamer in the house called Schreinesch where they had raised their family. It had been a three-generation home as their son-in-law Jean MAJERUS, who was the informant at the time of both deaths, lived there with his wife Maria and their only daughter Marie.

Marie would marry Jean FRANTZ (1837-1929) in 1870.25 Her mother Maria TRAUSCH died on 13 May 1875.26 The oldest of the grown siblings, she was the first to die. She was followed by her sisters Elisabeth who died on 7 March 1877 in Goeblange27, Catherine, an old maid, on 4 April 1900 in Mamer28, and Susanna on 29 August 1903 in Kehlen.29

The Parents and Siblings of Michel TRAUSCH

Michel’s parents Remacle TRAUSCH and Theresia BRAUN (also seen as COLLING) were married on 24 July 1787 in Bissen.30 The marriage index cards for marriages in the parish records incorrectly listed the year as 1789. I was searching for a marriage in 1789 and wondering why a child was born in 1788. After not finding the marriage in 1789, I continued back until it was located in 1787. The marriage was recorded twice, by two different persons, first on the 23rd of July and then on the 24th. The later was complete and included signatures.

Remacle and Theresia had six children all born in Colmar-Berg. The oldest three grew to adulthood, married and had children. Franz born in 1788 was the father of 10 children; Catherine born in 1790 was the mother of 14 children; and Michel, as was seen above, was born in 1792 and was the father of 7 children. The three youngest have not been traced past their baptisms: Nicolas b. 1794, Susanna b. 1796, and Maria b. 1798. The mother Theresia died on 16 February 1798 in Berg, a week after the birth of her last child.31 Michel was not yet six years old when he lost his mother. Four of the six children’s baptismal records had their mother’s maiden name listed as COLLING instead of BRAUN(ERS). The different names will hopefully lead to more information on Theresia’s ancestors.

Remacle remarried six months later on 26 August 1798 in Berg to Anne Marie WIROTH.32 They had one known daughter, Peternelle born in 1799. Remacle  and Anne Marie had removed to Luxembourg City from Colmar-Berg sometime after the birth of their daughter and before Remacle’s death on 31 August 1804.33

Two years later Catherine, sixteen years and six months, was in a family way and the conseil de famille, or family counsel, gave their permission for her to marry Peter OLINGER. This was necessary as she was under age and both parents were deceased. Catherine’s uncle Nicolas COLLING, a witness to the marriage, was likely one of the family counsel. It was not mentioned in the marriage record dated 29 November 180634 that she was expecting but four months later on 2 April 1807 she gave birth to a son François.35

By 1813 Franz, the oldest of Remacle and Theresia’s children, was living in Schieren near Ettelbrück where he would marry Eva MERTZ and raise a large family.36 His brother Michel remained in Colmar-Berg until 1817 when he married Catharina HAMES of Mamer.

The Parents and Siblings of Catharina HAMES

Catharina’s parents, Johannes HAMES and Agnes HERTZ were married in Mamer on 18 January 1785.37 They were the parents of six known children. Three sons died as infants, one son died at the age of 18, leaving only two daughters who would marry and raise families. Catharina was the younger of the two. Her sister Susanne was the first to marry. She married Michel KOLBACH, son of Michel KOLBACH and Susanne KIEFFER, on 11 January 1815 in Mamer.38 Her mother-in-law Susanne KIEFFER was one of my 4th great-grandmothers. She had married Paulus FRANTZ after the death of the elder Michel KOLBACH. Susanne and Michel (the younger couple) were the parents of six, two of whom died in infancy. Their four children married and had children.

Agnes HERTZ, her daughter Catharina HAMES, her granddaughter Maria TRAUSCH, and her great-granddaughter Marie MAJERUS are my mitochondrial line down from Agnes’ mother Anna Catharina RONAS. The parents of Anna Catharina are at this time unknown to me. A couple of years ago I talked to a person who appears to have been “on to something” concerning the RONAS family but did not want to make the research public at the time.

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.

P.S. A special thank you to Amberly Peterson Beck, The Genealogy Girl, for letting me know I can enable Markdown in WordPress.com posts, pages, and comments for easier styling, including footnotes – see below, aren’t they beautiful? Note: Footnotes in numbered and bulleted lists did not seem to work until I tricked the editor into not using html formatting for the lists.

© 2018, 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), Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1283 of 1504. 1817 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-51831-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9:130065401,130365601 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  2. Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1785-1793 > image 146 of 186, 1792 Baptismal Record part 1 (right, bottom (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-94K3?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : accessed 15 January 2018) and image 147 of 186, 1792 Baptismal Record part 2 (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-9H9Z?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  3.  Ibid., Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 102 of 168. 1789 Baptismal Record (left, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-SPR?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6G%3A1500941501%2C1500913302 : accessed 14 January 2018). 
  4. Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 307 of 549. 1818 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-23016-9?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  5.  Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 708 of 1497. 1819 Death Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119965-11?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  6. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 337 of 549. 1820 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-22797-81?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  7. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 359 of 549. 1821 Birth Record No. 42. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-21344-82?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  8. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 386 of 549. 1823 Birth Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-22469-66?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  9. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 419 of 549. 1825 Birth Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-23598-78?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  10. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 443 of 549. 1827 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-23242-91?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  11. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1796-1833 > image 473 of 549. 1829 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12667-22404-81?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). Note: listed as Maria. 
  12. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 832 of 1497. 1832 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119559-99?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). Note: listed as Marie Catherine. 
  13. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 114 of 1497. 1849 Marriage Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120796-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9:130065401,130130201 : accessed 6 September 2014). 
  14. Ibid., Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 311 of 1504. 1850 Birth Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12585-50928-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9:130065401,130365601 : accessed 27 March 2010). 
  15. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1887-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1828 > image 737 of 1490. 1852 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRYS-RV9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-K68%3A129987101%2C130453502 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  16. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 715 of 1501. 1853 Birth Record No. 85. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-7Z9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  17. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1887-1890 Mariages 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1828 > image 763 of 1490. 1855 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRYS-YVG?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-K68%3A129987101%2C130453502 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  18. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 762 of 1501. 1855 Death Record No. 72. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-4RK?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  19. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 771 of 1501. 1856 Birth Record No. 14.”Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1796-1941,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-C9T?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  20. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 803 of 1501. 1857 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-7YC?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  21. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 804 of 1501. 1857 Birth Record No. 56. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-7J7?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  22. Ibid., Kehlen > Naissances 1833-1886 > image 873 of 1501. 1860 Birth Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6YJS-472?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-4WL%3A129987101%2C130292501 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  23. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1250 of 1497. 1864 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-121075-9?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  24. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1336 of 1497. 1869 Death Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119820-91?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 August 2011). 
  25. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 310 of 1497. 1870 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-120441-3?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-VZ9:130065401,130130201 : accessed 6 September 2014). 
  26. Ibid., Mamer > Mariages 1838-1890 Décès 1796-1880 > image 1412 of 1497. 1875 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12143-119726-4?cc=1709358 : accessed 27 March 2010). 
  27. Ibid., Koerich > Décès 1861-1890 > image 194 of 332. 1877 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRN3-HHG?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-ZNG%3A129989801%2C129816202 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  28. Ibid., Mamer > Décès 1895-1923 > image 67 of 379. 1900 Death Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32050-1365-5?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 November 2015). 
  29. Ibid., Kehlen > Décès 1895-1923 > image 104 of 363. 1903 Death Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G97V-W6FQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RM9%3A129987101%2C129623802 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  30. Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bissen > Mariages 1779-1791, sépultures 1779-1791 > image 65 of 91. 1787 Marriage Record (p.120+121). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-Q784?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-DPJ%3A1500938201%2C1501129408 : accessed 15 January 2018). 
  31.  Ibid., Berg > Décès 1796-1830 > image 4 of 167, 1798 Death Record part 1 (bottom left page and all of right page),  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-KYG?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 14 January 2018) and image 5 of 167, 1798 Death Record part 2 (top left page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-645?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 14 January 2018). 
  32. Luxembourg Civil Records, Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 9 of 270. 1798 Marriage Record part 1 (right, lower half). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-XCY?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : accessed 14 January 2018). parts 2 and 3 of record on next two images. 
  33.  Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1888-1890 Décès 1796-1806 > image 1070 of 1420. 1804 Death Record (right, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-69H9-W6S?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-DP8%3A130045801%2C131708201 : accessed 14 January 2018). 
  34.  Ibid., Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 28 of 270. 1806 Marriage Record part 1 (right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-L1X?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : accessed 16 January 2018), part 2 on next image. 
  35.  Ibid., Berg > Naissances 1796-1814 > image 92 of 140. 1807 Birth Record (lower right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6L2S-V5Y?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-K68%3A129623401%2C129773501 : accessed 17 January 2018), second half of record on next image. 
  36.  Ibid., Ettelbruck > Naissances 1885-1890 Mariages 1796-1844 > image 627 of 1505. 1813 Marriage Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X2S-MB5?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-FM9%3A129625001%2C130529102 : accessed 16 January 2018). 
  37. Luxembourg Parish Records, Mamer > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 65 of 168. 1785 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-17714-18?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6G:1500941501,1500913302 : accessed 6 June 2015). 
  38. Luxembourg Civil Records, Mamer > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1796-1837 > image 1259 of 1504. 1815 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-61F9-R26?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-FM9%3A130065401%2C130365601 : accessed 8 October 2015). 

52 Ancestors: #46 Jean Baptiste Majerus and Catharina Cornely of Strassen

My second great-grandmother Marie MAJERUS (1850-1931) is like a knothole in a fence. She was the only child of her parents Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) and Maria TRAUSCH (1820-1875). On one side of the fence, she was the mother of ten children, eight of whom married and continued the line. On the other side of the fence, are her parents, grandparents, and other ancestors. Marie is a mitochondrial ancestress whose direct line goes back to my 6th great-grandmother Anna Catharina RONAS (b. abt. 1710).

When I re-visited my research this week for Marie’s paternal grandparents, Jean Baptiste MAJERUS (1797-1868) and  Catharina CORNELY (1794-1871), I realized how much information was hidden behind the fence. She had many aunts and uncles and cousins.

Nearly all of my maternal fourth great-grandparents were born in the 1760s or 1770s. Jean Baptiste and Catharina were much younger being born in the 1790s.  In turn, their children were born after civil records became required in Luxembourg. They lived long lives and were found on eleven censuses taken between 1843 and 1867.

Jean Baptiste MAJERUS

Faubourg de Grund, Luxembourg City

Jean Baptiste, son of Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER, was born on 9 Germinal in the year V or 29 March 1797 in the Faubourg de Grund, a suburb located on the banks of the Alzette River in the valley below the center of Luxembourg City. In Luxembourgish, it is known as Gronn.

At the time of his birth, his parents were a legally married couple. The informants who accompanied the father to report the birth were Jean Baptiste BRETER, age 64 years, and Michel BRETER’s wife Anne Catherine GRASBERGER, age 36 years.

A marriage record for the couple has not yet been located. I suspect Jean Baptiste was their first child and the informants who accompanied the father were the child’s maternal grandfather and maternal uncle’s wife.

Faubourg de Grund, Luxembourg City

Jean and Margaretha had two more children born in the Gronn in 1799 and 1801 before moving their family to Strassen where their last known child was born in 1806. Jean MAJERUS was a draper in 1797, a wool spinner or fileur de laine in 1799 and 1801 as well as in 1823 and 1830 when two children married. He was no longer working by 1843 when the census was taken.

Catharina CORNELY

Catharina, daughter of Hubert CORNELY  and Margaretha EVEN, was born on 24 April 1794 in Wickrange in the commune of Reckange-sur-Mess. She was baptized on 25 June 1794 in Reckange-sur-Mess. It is unusual, for this time period, for a baptism to take place two months after the birth. Normally the rite was performed the same or following day. Other baptismal entries on the same page of the register show delays. The priest may have had more than one parish under his jurisdiction and did not travel on a daily or weekly basis.

Catharina was the second youngest of nine known children. Her parents were married in 1779. When their first child was born on 17 June 1780 they chose a maternal uncle by marriage to be the godfather. Joannes ERPELDING of Kackerterhof, the husband of Catherine EVEN.

Kackerterhof was the ancestral home of my husband’s 5th great-grandparents Caspar ERPELDING (d. 1779) and Gertrudes JEHNEN (1724-1774). Joannes, the godfather mentioned above, was an older brother of my husband’s 4th great-grandfather Nicolas ERPELDING. When I worked on the ERPELDING line I wondered if the EVEN lady who married into the family could be related to my Margaretha EVEN. The marriage records of both EVEN ladies show their parents were Léonard EVEN and Marie IRY, my 6th great-grandparents.

Hubert CORNELY died on 29 August 1816 in Wickrange. Of his nine children, only his oldest son Jean and his two youngest daughters Catharina and Catherine have been researched. It is not known, at this time, if the six children born between 1782 and 1793 survived, married, or had lines which continue.

Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s Marry Young

My fourth great-grandparents, Catharina, 22 years old, and Jean Baptiste, 20 years old, were married on Friday, 25 April 1817. The bride and groom could not write but the father of the groom, Jean MAJERUS signed his name to the marriage record. The record officialized just in the nick of time as a month later their first child Jean, my third great-grandfather, was born on 24 May 1817 in Strassen.

The newlywed father Jean Baptiste complicated things a bit when he reported the birth of his first son. He may have been a bit nervous when he went to the city hall at four in the afternoon. The mother of the child on the birth record was seen as Maria CORNELY instead of Catharina – was it the father’s nervousness or an error made by the clerk? Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s son Jean was born at 11 o’clock in the morning. His father could not read and write and did not sign the record which was witnessed by two other persons who were present.

These were the children born to Catharina and Jean Baptiste:

  • Ch 1: Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) born 24 May 1817
  • Ch 2: Mathias MAJERUS (1819-1895) born 29 Jan 1819
  • Ch 3: Jean MAJERUS (1821-1880) born 6 Aug 1821
  • Ch 4: Maria Catharina MAJERUS (1823-1823) born 27 Sep 1823. She died at the age of two months on 6 December 1823.
  • Ch 5: Jacques MAJERUS (1825-1900) born 12 Apr 1825
  • Ch 6: Jean Baptiste MAJERUS (1827-1893) born 8 Aug 1827
  • Ch 7: Marie MAJERUS (1830-?) born 12 May 1830
  • Ch 8: Peter MAJERUS (1832-1884) born 25 Dec 1832
  • Ch 9: Nicolas MAJERUS (1835-?) born 27 May 1835
  • Ch 10: Jean Pierre  MAJERUS (1837- ) born 25 Sep 1837
  • Ch 11: Michel MAJERUS (1840-1906) born 14 Dec 1840

The maternal grandmother of the children, Margaretha EVEN died on 14 September 1839 in Wickrange before the youngest grandchild was born. Her death was reported by her oldest son who lived in the village. Her youngest daughter Catherine had married in 1824 and was raising a small family in Bertrange. Sadly, six of Catherine’s known eight children died infancy, unlike Catharina’s children who were strong and lived to adulthood. All except for one daughter who died at the age of two months.

A little over a half a dozen years later Catharina and Jean Baptiste’s nine sons and a daughter began to marry.

  • Ch 2: Mathias married Barbara SCHMIT (1819- ) on 6 May 1846 in Strassen.
  • Ch 1: Jean married Maria TRAUSCH (1820-1875) on 31 May 1849 in Mamer. They were my third great-grandparents and the only couple to not raise a family in Strassen.
  • Ch 3: Jean married Anna Maria HENGEN (1819-1881) on 24 Apr 1850 in Strassen.

Jean Baptiste’s parents died before the rest of the children married. His mother Margretha BREGER died on 1 April 1851 and his father Jean MAJERUS died on 5 July 1852, both in Strassen where they had lived since 1802. This census listing for 1847 shows they had been living in the commune for 45 years.

This census record, as well as the preceding and following ones, give Jean MAJERUS’s place of birth as France while the last he was seen on indicates he was born in Larochette (Felz). This same place was seen on his death record. Was he born in Boulay-Moselle in France (the only place I could find which sounded like Boulé seen on the 1846 and 1849 census) or in Larochette? Will this lead to his parents?

The children continued to marry:

  • Ch 7: Marie married Théodore JOST (1834- ) on 6 November 1855 in Strassen.
  • Ch 5: Jacques married Catharina GOFFINET (1826-1898) on 18 February 1857 in Luxembourg City.
  • Ch 8: Peter married Madelaine HOFFMANN (1827-1884) on 30 November 1857 in Strassen.
  • Ch 6: Jean Baptiste married Elisabeth HUBERT (1832- ) on 28 December  1858 in Strassen.
  • Ch 10: Jean Pierre married Anne KLEIN (1840- ) on 28 May 1862 in Strassen.

In 1865 Michel, the youngest of the children went to America. All of his living siblings [except perhaps Nicolas who has not been traced after the 1855 census] were now married and raising families. Birth records for 40 grandchildren of Jean Baptiste and Catharina were found – all except for one, my Maria MAJERUS, were born in Strassen. During some years there were between three to five MAJERUS grandchildren born within months of each other.

Due to the amount of time it took to look up, download, and correctly cite the birth records,  I have not even begun to look for the death records of the spouses and children of the MAJERUS children of Jean Baptiste and Catharina. [Note: RootsWeb WorldConnect where I keep my GEDCOM is supposed to be back online within the next few weeks.]

Jean Baptiste MAJERUS died on 7 July 1868 in Strassen at the age of 71 years. His two youngest sons Peter and Jean Pierre were the informants on his death record.

Michel, the youngest of the bunch who had gone to America in 1865, married Mary MAUS about 1870 in Minnesota. Did he write to his mother, letting her know he was doing well, married, and living in St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota?

Catharina CORNELY was 77 years old when she died on 10 June 1871 in Strassen. Her oldest and youngest sons who lived in Strassen, Jean and Jean Pierre were the informants for her death.

All of Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s children who married had children except for their youngest son Michel. He and his wife raised two of her MAUS nieces. Michel died in 1906 and his widow Mary died in 1923. She was a very religious woman who left bequeaths in her will for masses to be read for the soul of her husband, herself, and other poor souls. She also left bequeaths to a Catholic church, for an orphanage to be built ($5000), to a nephew who was studying for the priesthood, to the children of several of her deceased siblings as well as two godchildren. To her niece Mary A. MAJERUS (a MAUS niece she raised who took the MAJERUS name) she left $10,000, all real estate, and the residue and remainder of all property. Mary A. MAJERUS never married and died in 1960.

Until next week, when I will be writing about the last set of 4th great-grandparents, Michel TRAUSCH and Catharina HAMES of Mamer.

© 2018, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #43 A Draper and Four Seamstresses

As I’m coming closer to the end of this project of writing about my children’s 5th great-grandparents, I’ve started missing the days when I spent weeks and months working on the all descendants of a brick wall ancestor. The focus on one family a week is taking its toll.

As I write these posts I find myself wanting to go back one generation and then another searching for a common thread which ran through the families. The thrill of adding a new most distant ancestor is still great but I find myself having to set aside the research before I am ready to quit.

With Eva LANSER and Henri CONSBRÜCK, my fourth great-grandparents, I tried to keep from working further however relationships mentioned in records made me seek the answers to questions I had. This led to new ancestor discoveries and several new names in the family tree.

Pedigree of a daughter of Henri CONSBRÜCK and Eva LANSER with the new ancestors found while updating information (my 3rd to 7th great-grandparents).

Eva LANSER (1777-1862)

My fourth great-grandmother Eva LANSER was born and baptized on 13 May 1777 in Echternach. She was the daughter of Sébastian LANSER (1732-1804) and Maria Catharina HASTERT (1743-1808).

1766 Census for the town of Echternach in Luxembourg with the LANSER family.

Eva’s parents were married in 1760 and were found on the 1766 census in Echternach with their second son Henri. Their first son named after the paternal grandfather Johann Adam HASTERT had likely died between the time of his birth in 1762 and the 1766 census. After the census six daughters were born, Eva being the 5th, and then finally two more sons. All of these children grew to adulthood except for one daughter who has not been traced. As with the oldest son Johann Adam, her death may not have been recorded in the church register. I have found this to be the case in some parishes where mostly only adult deaths were recorded. Eva’s father worked as a cloth maker (draper) or drapier. None of his sons followed in his steps.

Vincent van Gogh 0141

On 20 September 1791, a double marriage took place in the LANSER family. The oldest son Henri and his sister Catherine married the HERR siblings, Anne-Marie and Johann. Their children would later be close to Eva’s small family.

Eva’s father Sébastian LANSER died on 13 June 1804. His oldest son Henri was the informant on his death. Henri was working as a messenger or messager. I suspect this may have been military-related as the Napoleonic Wars were going on at this time. With the death of the father Sébastian the family’s livelihood may have been in jeopardy.

Eight months later Eva married Henri CONSBRÜCK, son of Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT, on 10 February 1805 in Echternach.

Henri CONSBRÜCK (1775-1850)

Henri was a cloth maker and I suspect the trade he was proficient in was one of the reasons he and Eva married. Had he been working in Sébastian’s atelier before his death or did he take over the looms only when he married Eva?

Henri CONSBRÜCK was born and baptized on 5 April 1775 in Echternach. He was the oldest of three children born to Johann and Barbara after their marriage in 1773. His sister Anna Maria was born in 1779 and lived only 8 years. He also had a brother Matthias who was born in 1782 and moved away from Echternach to the Trier, Germany, area when he married sometime before 1816.

Eva and Henri’s Marriage Record

Present at the marriage of Eva and Henri were both of their mothers as well as four witnesses who were relatives. Eva’s brother Henri LANSER, her brother-in-law Johann HERR, as well as Bernard and Mathias WAMPACH, both “uncles” of the groom.

The relationship of the last two witnesses is still under investigation. Bernard was married to Maria CONSBRÜCK (daughter of Johann Wilhelm CONSBRÜCK and Anna Maria PROMMENSCHENKEL) however her relationship to Henri has not been established. I suspect the relationship given in the marriage record was not that of an uncle as we define it today. This might be a blessing in disguise as so far no connection has been made between my CONSBRÜCK line and the parents of Maria. Further confusion has been caused by my Henri’s grandfather also being a Johann Wilhelm. His grandfather was about the same age, married about the same time, and lived about as long as the other man with the same name and in the same location.

The years after their marriage

Henri and Eva’s first child Barbara was born on 21 February 1806. Two years later Eva’s mother Maria Catharina HASTERT died on 10 March 1808. Her death was reported by her oldest son Henri LANSER who was still working as a messenger.

Eva was pregnant with twins when her mother died. Bernard and Marguerite were born on 2 September 1808. They survived only seven months. Marguerite died on 5 April 1809 and Bernard less than a week later on 11 April 1809.

Little Barbara was nearly four years old when Anna Maria, my third great-grandmother, was born on 4 February 1810 to Eva and Henri. Anna Maria went by Maria to distinguish her from a sister with the same name who would be born later.

Eva’s younger sister Margaretha LANSER was 31 years old when she married the 25 years old Johann SELM (1786-1846) on 9 June 1811. None of the witnesses to the marriage were relatives.

Henri and Eva’s next child was born on 3 July 1812. She lived five months, dying on 8 December 1812. They named her Odile.

Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

War had overshadowed the CONSBRÜCK and LANSER families since before Eva and Henri’s marriage. The wars may not have been raging in Echternach but the people were still affected. Eva’s youngest brother Peter LANSER joined the corps on 27 frimaire in the year XIV or 18 December 1805.

Battle of Borodino 1812
Battle of Borodino 1812
Peter was presumed to be a prisoner of war in Russia as of 11 October 1812. He was in 108e régiment d’infanterie de ligne with his 1C1R Sébastian LANSER (whose godfather in 1784 had been Peter’s father) and several other young men from the Echternach area. The presumption of his being a prisoner of war probably came about when Napoleon’s army was evacuating Moscow in October following the Battle of Borodino on 7 September 1812, the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. The information on Peter’s being in the military and a possible POW came from the Matricules Napoléoniens 1802-1815 database.

Eva’s second youngest brother Nicolas LANSER was 30 years old when he married Catharina Magdalena JOERG (1790-1847) in September 1813. A date is missing on the marriage record however it must have taken place between the 7th and the 20th as these are the dates on the previous and next records.

Two years later another daughter was named Anna Maria and would be known as Anna. She was born on 8 January 1814.

Eva’s brother Peter had returned from Russia and was living in Echternach on 3 February 1815 when he, a former soldier for the French army, died at the age of 29 years (31 years on the death record). The Napoleonic Wars ended later in the year on 13 September 1815.

Years after the wars

Henri was still working as a cloth maker and was likely hoping to have a son to teach the cloth-making trade to. On 31 March 1816, Eva gave him a son they named Jean. He lived only a few days and died on 3 April 1816.

Henri and Eva named their last child, a daughter born on 4 July 1817, Odile. I suspect the name was important to Eva and the LANSER family members as Eva’s maternal grandmother was named Odilia FUNCK (abt. 1715-1778) and the name continued to be used in the family for several more generations.

Eva and Henri’s family was now made up of four daughters. Not having any sons to pass the trade on to, did his daughters help him with the wool weaving as they grew older? What I do know is that all of the daughters worked as seamstresses, maybe even sewing the cloth made by their father.

Ten years after the birth of the last daughter, Eva would be attending several funerals as she lost two brothers and a sister: Henri (63) died on 19 November 1827, Nicolas (45) died on 23 October 1828, and Odile (58) died on 24 December 1828.

Henri’s mother Barbara SCHMIDT, the only living grandparent of the four CONSBRÜCK girls, died on 10 May 1829 at the age of 81. She died in house number 360 in the rue de Luxembourg in Echternach. Henri and Eva also lived in the rue de Luxembourg, however, their house number at that time is not known. Had Barbara been living with her daughter Eva and her family?

Eva’s sister Catherine LANSER died on 15 January 1833 at the age of 60. Her death was reported by her husband Johann HERR.

Sometime before 1835 my third great-grandmother, the daughter known as Maria, went to the city of Metz in France to work. While there she may have met Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER (1807-1841) of Vianden. He was the son of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT. The young couple married in Metz on 17 November 1835. During the next six years, Maria gave birth to four daughters, the only grandchildren of Eva and Henri. Maria’s husband Jean Joseph died in Metz on 25 November 1841. Their oldest daughter likely died before 1843 as she was not found in the census with her three sisters. A death record for Madelaine was not found in Metz or in Echternach. This makes me wonder if she may have died while the family was traveling from Metz back to Echternach.

The extended family in the census

In 1843 Henri was the head of a household with his wife, his daughter Barbara and his three SCHLOESSER granddaughters. His daughters Maria, Odile, and Anna are missing and were likely working someplace other than Echternach. Henri’s occupation on the 1843 census was wool weaver (fileur de laine).

In 1846 he was again seen as a cloth maker (drapier). As in 1843 his daughter Barbara and the grandchildren were with Henri and Eva in 1846. Maria, the mother of the grandchildren, may be in the household but listed as single. It is also possible that the entry is her sister Anna Maria who usually went by Anna. Using their full names on official documents caused problems like this.

In 1847 the entire family group is listed: Henri and Eva with their four daughters and three granddaughters. The two younger daughters Anna Maria (Anna) and Odile are listed as absent and working as servants in France. Henri was now seen as a laborer and his daughters Barbara and Maria did not appear to be working.

In 1849 Henri may have not been well or had given up his cloth making. He was listed as having no occupation. However, his three single daughters are listed as seamstresses. Along with his wife Eva, there were two more young ladies in the household. They were Eva’s nieces Eve and Catherine HERR who were also working as seamstresses. His widowed daughter Maria and her three daughters were living in their own household.

More deaths in the family

Henri CONSBRÜCK died on 22 May 1850 in Echternach at the age of 75. His death was reported by his nephew Johann HERR, the youngest son of Eva’s sister Catherine.

Eva’s only living sibling Margaretha LANSER died on 9 March 1852 at the age of 71. Eva LANSER was now the only person left from her generation. She lived a decade longer.

Shortly before her death all of her daughters and granddaughters were living with her when the census was taken on 3 December 1861. Eva LANSER died three months later on 19 March 1862 at the age of 84 years. Her death was reported by her nephews Peter LANSER and Johann HERR.

The four seamstresses

Eva’s three single daughters Barbara, Anne, and Odile continued to work as seamstresses as did her widowed daughter Maria. The four sisters continued to live and most likely work together in their home in the rue de Luxembourg.

Eight years after the death of their mother Eva, the sisters lost their oldest sibling Barbara. She died on 2 November 1870 at the age of 64. Johann HERR, her cousin, and Heinrich DIESCHBOURG, a neighbor and tailor, were the informants for her death.

The remaining three sisters lived two more decades. Odile, the youngest, died on 17 July 1890 at the age of 73. Two years later Anna died on 2 March 1892 at the age of 78. Both of their deaths were reported by their sister Maria’s son-in-law Dyonisius Johann Peter MAAS.

My third great-grandmother Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK was the last of the seamstress sisters. She died on 29 September 1897 at the age of 87 years. Her death was also reported by her son-in-law. Maria born in 1810 left a mystery which took me two decades to solve.

Chiseled in stone: “Veuve Schloesser 1800-1889”

Henri CONSBRÜCK and Eva LANSER came from large families but only one of their daughters married and had children. Of the four grandchildren, three grew to adulthood but only two married. The name Odile was passed on to this generation to my 2nd great-grandmother Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER and to her granddaughter, my grand-aunt, Odile Lucie FOURNELLE.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Henri CONSBRÜCK
Parents: Johann CONSBRÜCK and Barbara SCHMIDT
Spouse: Eva LANSER
Parents of spouse: Sébastian LANSER and Maria Catharina HASTERT
Whereabouts: Echternach, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Henri CONSBRÜCK
2. Anna Maria “Maria” CONSBRÜCK
3. Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
4. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
5. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
6. Living WILDINGER
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #42 My Schloesser Ancestor was Named after St. John of Nepomuk

Bommenzënnes

A statue from about 1740 of Saint Jean-Népomucène can be found in the interior of the Saint-Nicolas church in Vianden, Luxembourg. A copy of the statue has been on the picturesque bridge over the Our River in Vianden since 1865. The people of Vianden have given him a bizarre but kind name, a phonetic deformation of “pomucène” – Bommenzënnes.  In Echternach, he watched over the banks of the Sauer River until the bridge and his statue were destroyed in 1944 during World War II.

Temporary bridge built in 1945 by the 1303th Engineers in Kack in Echternach. Photo from my grandmother’s photo album.

After the new bridge was built the statue was replaced by a replica as seen in my title photo which shows the Sauer River flooding its banks this week.

Saint John of Nepomuk

Saint John of Nepomuk (c. 1345 – March 20, 1393) is the saint of Bohemia (Czech Republic) who was drowned in the Vltava (Moldau) River at the command of King Wenzel IV (Wenceslaus), King of the Romans and King of Bohemia. Historically John of Pomuk, a small market town later renamed Nepomuk, was drowned in 1393 on the orders of King Wenzel because of disagreements over church politics. Later accounts state that he was the confessor of Queen Johanna of Bohemia and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional despite threats and torture. On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against slander and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods and drowning. He was canonized in 1729 by Pope Benedict XII.

Czechowicz St. John NepomukJean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER

I found it interesting that my fourth great-grandfather Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER had the same first name as the saint who shares the honor of being the protector from floods and drowning with Saint Nicolas in Vianden. He was born and raised in Wiltz but Vianden was the town where he later married and raised his family.

1764 Baptismal Record of “Joannes Nepomucenus Schloesser”

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, the son of Joseph SCHLOESSER (1729-1800) and Catherine ARENDT (1730-1796), was born on 18 March 1764 in Wiltz. He was the sixth of ten children. Three of his siblings, the oldest and two youngest, died within a few days or months of their births. All others lived into their sixties and seventies except for one brother who died at the age of 44. His parents were both still living when Jean-Népomucène married Margaretha TRAUDT on 26 April 1790 in Vianden.

Margaretha TRAUDT

1766 Baptismal Record of Margaretha Traudt

Margaretha TRAUDT, the daughter of Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL, was born on 8 August 1766 in Vianden. She was the youngest of nine children. Several of her siblings are known to have lived to adulthood and marry. They may have grown up with a step-mother as Barbe BILL died on 18 May 1769 in Vianden when her youngest was only a little over two and a half years old. A widower named Nicolas TRAUDT married Barbara KÖNY on 1 October 1769 in Vianden. More research is needed to determine if this marriage was the second marriage for Margaretha’s father.

Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER and Margaretha TRAUDT were the parents of a dozen children born between 1791 and 1809 in Vianden. The father of these children worked as a nailsmith or Nagelschmied to support his family.
Mendel I 144 v

His wife Margaretha died 30 November 1809 at the age of 43 years, the day after giving birth to her last child. The children were:

  1. Maria Catharina born 11 February 1791 and died 11 March 1791 at the age of 1 month
  2. Joseph born 3 February 1792 and died 27 February 1811 at the age of 19 years
  3. Maria Magdalena born 11 May 1793 and died 3 September 1859 at the age of 66 years
  4. Johann born 9 November 1794, death unknown (may have died before 1799 when another child was named Johann)
  5. Gregorius born 16 September 1796 and died 20 December 1847 at the age of 51 years
  6. Catharina born 21 September 1798, death unknown
  7. Johann born 7 August 1799 and died 6 April 1864 at the age of 64 years
  8. Johann Peter born 19 July 1801, death unknown. He was living in 1825.
  9. Peter born 29 June 1803 and died 8 June 1818 at the age of 14 years
  10. Joseph Jacob born 30 March 1805 and died 10 February 1807 at the age of nearly 2 years
  11. Jean Joseph born 29 March 1807 and died 25 November 1841 at the age of 34.
  12. Maria Catharina born 29 November 1809 and died 5 August 1810 at the age of eight months. Her name was seen as Anna Catharina on her death record.

Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage

Jean-Népomucène waited a full year before he remarried. The bride, Elisabetha HAMELING, was fifteen years younger than the groom when they married on Christmas Eve in 1810. She gave him two children. Laurent was born on 12 August 1812 and Gregorius on 9 February 1815. The second son lived only a little more than six weeks dying on 27 March 1815.

The children marry

Ten years after his marriage to Elisabetha the SCHLOESSER children were growing and the banns were being published for the first marriages.

Gregorius SCHLOESSER, likely the oldest living son at the time, married Marguerite HACK (1794-1821) on 11 April 1820 in Clervaux. His younger brother Johann was one of the witnesses to his marriage.

Maria Magdalena SCHLOESSER, the oldest daughter, married Mathias COLLING (1793-1846) on 24 February 1824 in Vianden. Her brother Johann Peter SCHLOESSER was a witness to her marriage.

Gregorius’ wife died on 5 September 1821 and he waited four years before he married again. Marguerite ALFF (1797-1853) was his bride and they married on 21 December 1825 in Clervaux. His brother Johann Peter of Vianden was a witness.

Jean-Népomucène causes problems at my 3rd great-grandfather’s wedding

Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER died on 29 July 1833 in Vianden. He was 69 years old and still working as a nailsmith or cloutier as this old profession was known in French. The informant on his death record was his youngest son Laurent from his second marriage who was 21 years old.

Jean-Népomucène’s death left my third great-grandfather without parents to give consent to the marriage he planned two years later.  Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER was 28 years old when he married my third great-grandmother Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897) on 17 November 1835 in Metz, Department Moselle, in France. She was 25 and from Echternach.

When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family the civil records for the city of Metz were not available online. I had found their date of marriage and the dates of birth of their four daughters in the 10-year lists (Tables décennales) but did not have copies of the records. While writing this I realized it had been two years and the archives for the municipality should by now have the civil records online. [insert Happy Dance here]

I now have the digital copies of all five records but, due to terms and conditions, I cannot share images of them on my blog without getting special permission. What I can do is share the link to the Schloesser-Consbruèck marriage record for viewing:

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 1)

From the record I learned, when presenting his paperwork to marry, Jean Joseph gave the name of his father as Jean SCHLOESSER. A copy of the death record of the father of the groom was presented as evidence. This caused a problem as the name on the death record was Jean-Népomucène and not Jean. Jean Joseph was then required to present the death records of his grandparents since his parents were deceased and there was a doubt the death record was for the correct person. Jean Joseph swore under oath that he did not know the dates of death or place of death for his grandparents and would not be able to obtain the records. He also presented a certificate from the commune of Vianden which stated he was able to enter into a contract of marriage with the person he had chosen according to the law.

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 2)

His bride Anna Maria presented a notarized document giving parental permission to marry. Her parents were not present at the marriage as they were living in Echternach. On the marriage record as well as on the birth records the first three daughters, Anna Maria’s place of birth was seen as Etternach (Belgium). On the birth record of the youngest daughter, the mother Anna Maria’s place of birth was correctly given as Echternach in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It shows the importance of finding all records to document a family group. Without all information, I may have disregarded the documents with the incorrect place of birth for Anna Maria.

Two more marriages take place

Johann SCHLOESSER, the second oldest son and 38 years old, married Anne Catherine Margaretha de THIERRY (1792-1862) on 13 September 1837 in Mompach, near Echternach. His bride was 45 years old.

The youngest son and only living child from Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage, Laurent married Anne-Marie FRIEDERICH (1812-1867) on 10 July 1838 in Beaufort, near Echternach. Laurent’s mother Elisabetha HAMELING was present and consenting to the marriage.

Deaths in the family

Five months after she attended the wedding of her only living child, Elisabeth HAMELING, the widow of Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER, died in Beaufort on 14 December 1838. She had been living with her son Laurent and his wife following their marriage.

My third great-grandfather Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER died on 25 November 1841 in Metz. He was only 34 years old and had worked as a locksmith or serrurier. In German, this occupation is Schlosser with Schlösser or Schloesser being the plural form. Schlösser also translates to castles. Jean Joseph’s widow and daughters returned to Echternach where Anna Maria continued to make a living as a seamstress.

It is not known when Johann Peter, who was last seen in 1825 at the marriage of his brother Gregorius’ marriage, died. Gregorius died at the age of 51 on 20 December 1847 in Clervaux. Maria Magdalena died at the age of 66 on 3 September 1859 in Vianden.

In 1864 the last two known living SCHLOESSER children were Johann and his half-brother Laurent. Johann died at the age of 64 in Echternach on 6 April 1864; his deceased wife’s nephew was the informant. They likely did not have children as his wife had been 45 years old when they married. The baby of the family, Laurent died at the age of 51 in Beaufort on 31 May 1864; his son-in-law was the informant.

Jean-Népomucène’s SCHLOESSER family was large and he came from at least two generations of large families. Documenting these families was made a lot easier by using the research of my 6C1R Joseph SCHLOESSER, a direct male descendant of Nicolas SCHLOESSER and Jeanette GASPERSCH, the grandparents of my  Jean-Népomucène, as a guide. Villmols merci, Jos.

Sources: I’m taking the easy way out again this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER
Parents: Joseph SCHLOESSER and Catherine ARENDT
Spouse: Margaretha TRAUDT(*) and Elisabetha HAMELING
Parents of spouse(*): Nicolas TRAUDT and Barbe BILL
Whereabouts: Wiltz and Vianden, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Jean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER
2. Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER
3. Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER
4. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
5. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
6. Living WILDINGER
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #41 The Philippart-Meunier Family of Rodange

On Wednesday, 30 July 1817 my fourth great-grandparents Michel and Catherine met at the city hall in Pétange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with two other couples. Michel was 39 years old and Catherine was 42 years old. At 8 o’clock the first couple was married, followed by Michel and Catherine at 9 o’clock, and the third couple at 10 o’clock. Michel witnessed the first and third marriage. This in itself is unusual but there is more to the story.

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 Records. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-1956-61?cc=1709358 : accessed 17 November 2015).

The first bride to be married the same day as my fourth great-grandparents is also a part of my family tree. The bride Elisabeth MAMER was my first cousin six times removed. Elisabeth’s father Dominique MAMER was the half-brother of my fifth great-grandmother Agnes HERTZ. Agnes and Dominique were children of Anna Catharina RONAS, my most distant ancestress on my direct matrilineal line.

There may be another connection to Elisabeth MAMER as her mother’s parents were a BURKEL and a BERKIN, both surnames shared with my ancestors. But it is not the connections to the first couple which is so interesting. What did else did these couples have in common? The newlyweds – all three couples – had children who were legitimized at the time of marriage.

Michel and Catherine’s Marriage Record

1817 Marriage Record of Michel Philippart and Catherine Meunier. The boxes are the section where the children were named.

Michel and Catherine’s record marriage record had notes in the margin showing they had children: 1. Marguerite, 2. Catherine, 3. Anne, and 4. Jean Pierre, all born prior to marriage. These were not the only children born to Michel and Catherine. They had had eight children in eighteen years, the last born in 1814. Only four were living at the time of their parents’ marriage in 1817. The marriage must have been blessed by the church in a religious ceremony at least eighteen to nineteen years prior to the civil ceremony in 1817. It must have so been believed to be legal by the civil servants who recorded the births of seven of the children as being born to a lawfully wedded couple.

Luxembourg History

In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for a Luxembourg ancestor during this time period.

The people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records around 1796 had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed on the civil marriage record following the line in which the groom and bride were joined as husband and wife. Often the list was so long that it had to be continued in the margin of the marriage record. (see image above)

Michel PHILIPPART

Michel PHILIPPART, the son of Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1823) and Catherine SINGER also known as Catherine KETTER (1743-1835), was born and baptized on 16 October 1777 in Rodange. His godparents were his paternal uncle Michel PHILIPPART of Rodange and Nanette KETTER of Bettingen. His relationship to his godmother is still under investigation. [I couldn’t resist. Bettingen or Bettange-sur-Mess is a new parish for me and so far I have only found one SINGER/KETTER sibling named Barbara.]

Catherine MEUNIER

Catherine MEUNIER, the daughter of Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR, was born in 1775 in Rodange. A birth/baptismal record has not been located. Catherine’s father was from Rodange and her mother from Esch-sur-Alzette where they married on 21 December 1774. Both Rodange and Esch parish records were checked for Catherine’s birth without results. Her 1775 year of birth was found on her 1817 marriage record without a month or date which suggests the officials also had difficulties finding a record for her. Variations of her year of birth (calculated from age at the time) on the census records in 1843, 1846, 1847, and 1849 and her 1851 death record ran between 1768 and 1780. The 1849 census had her date of birth as 5 June 1774. This is not reliable as the three other persons in the household had dates of birth which did not come close to being correct.

Michel was the oldest of four children while Catherine may have been an only child. Her father died before the 1 December 1793 as her mother remarried on Tuesday, 17 December 1793. The marriage banns were published before the marriage to André DOMANGE on three consecutive Sundays (1st, 8th, 15th) dating the death of the first spouse at before the first bann.

Michel and Catherine’s children

As mentioned Michel and Catherine had all of their children before their legal civil marriage ceremony. Their oldest daughter Marguerite was born about 1800. No record of birth was found for her. When the census was taken in 1849 her birth date was listed as 11 August 1802 which cannot be correct due to the date of birth of the next two children. Marie Catherine, my third great-grandmother, was born on 8 November 1801 and her brother Henri on 1 December 1802.

UPDATE (10 December 2017): My genealogy friend Linda (who has helped me out several other times with my families in Luxembourg) found the birth record of Michel and Catherine’s daughter Marguerite. She was born on 19 Nivôse in the year VIII (9 January 1800) to Catherine Meunier. The birth was reported by the grandmother Margaretha KILBOUR. No mention is made of the father. This helps to date the possible religious marriage of Michel and Catherine at between 9 January 1800 and 8 November 1801 when Marie Catherine was born to a legally married couple.

Daughter Anne was born 17 December 1804, followed by two sons, Jean Pierre on 25 October 1808 and Jean Baptiste on 29 January 1810. Jean Baptiste lived only a little more than a month dying on 2 March 1810. Their seventh child, Catherine was born on 17 April 1812. Before the birth of their last child, their oldest son Henri died on 9 August 1813 at the age of 10.

Michel and Catherine named their youngest child Michel when he was born on 2 June 1814. He lived a little over a month and died on 15 July 1814. His death was followed by the death of young Catherine on 20 November 1814 at the age of two years.

By 1817, when Michel and Catherine were legally married, they had lost four children while Marguerite age 18, Marie Catherine age 16, Anne age 12, and Jean Pierre age 10 were thriving. Michel was supporting his family working as a shoemaker or cordonnier.

The children are grown

Nearly four years later Catherine’s mother Margaretha KILBOUR died on 4 April 1821 at the age of 80.

Two years later the first of the four children married. My third great-grandmother Marie Catherine PHILIPPART married André FOURNELLE (1799-1866) on 23 April 1823.

Jacques PHILIPPART, the father of Michel, died on 23 March 1824 at the age of 75 years.

The second of four marriages took place on 20 September 1826 when Anne, the youngest daughter, married her first cousin once removed Jean Baptiste PHILIPPART (1798-1828). Jean Baptiste died on 6 April 1828 and his widow Anne gave birth to a son she named Joseph on 29 May 1828.

The oldest daughter Marguerite married her first cousin once removed, Joseph PHILIPPART (1801-1864), brother of Jean Baptiste, on 12 September 1828. Jean Baptiste and Joseph were the sons of Joseph PHILIPPART and Susanne SCHMIT. The men’s grandparents Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL were the great-grandparents of their wives, Anne and Marguerite.

Catherine’s step-father André DOMANGE died on 17 December 1833 at the age of 69 years.

The last of the children to marry was the youngest and only son Jean Pierre PHILIPPART. Until I began to review and research this family for this post I had no idea if Jean Pierre was still living or had married. I found his marriage in my genealogy society’s database for Luxembourg marriages for the years 1796-1923. It is still a work in progress and not yet online but as a member of the board of Luxracines, I have access to the beta version.

Jean Pierre was working as a border guard in Stadbredimus when he married Barbara GOVERS (also seen as GOUVERS) on 27 February 1834.

A year later Catherine SINGER, mother of Michel PHILIPPART, died on 9 February 1835 at the age of 91.

Michel and Catherine likely did not expect to outlive any of their remaining children. However, their daughter Marie Catherine, wife of André FOURNELLE, died on 20 July 1843 at the age of 41 years. She was the mother of eleven children, the last having been born only nine days earlier. André, my third great-grandfather, was left to raise the children on his own. He never remarried.

Michel PHILIPPART died at the age of 71 on 23 September 1849. His death was reported by Joseph PHILIPPART who was erroneously listed as his son instead of his son-in-law. Three months later Joseph reported the death of his wife Marguerite, daughter of Michel, who died on 31 December 1849 at the age of 50.

Catherine MEUNIER, Michel’s widow, died on 24 May 1851 at the age of 76 years. Once again it was Joseph who reported the death and was seen as her son and not son-in-law. She left two living children, Jean Pierre and Anne.

Jean Pierre and his wife had a daughter born in Osweiler in 1837. This event in the commune of Rosport gave Jean Pierre, his wife, and child an entry in Thomas Webers’ family book for Rosport. The daughter’s marriage was included – an event which took place in Namur, Belgium in 1862. This tiny tidbit along with her date and place of death was enough to trace the family further. The marriage record included the date and place of death of the bride’s father. Jean Pierre died on 21 October 1861 at the age of 52 in Hondelange, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium. He was a Belgian customs employee or employé des douanes belges, sous brigadier. He left a wife and a son who was the informant for his death. With each new record, a new clue was found and I learned he had at least five children and his widow was still living in 1875.

By 1861, after Jean Pierre’s death, the only living child of Michel and Catherine was their daughter Anne who was also known as Nanette. As mentioned earlier her husband died while she was pregnant with their son Joseph who was born nearly two months later. But Anne and her father Michel PHILIPPART left a puzzle I have not been able to figure out.

On 30 September 1832, Anne gave birth to a male child who was given the name Jean HOUTTEN (seen as HOULTEN on the index). Michel PHILIPPART, the grandfather, was the informant and named Jean HOUTTEN of Robelmont in Belgium as the father and his daughter Anne as the mother. They were not married. No trace of this male child has been found after the birth. In the census records, as early as 1843, Anne is seen with her son Joseph and a daughter named Catherine. This daughter married twice and both times she was listed as born on 25 September 1832, five days before the male child. Only her mother Anne PHILIPPART was named on her marriage records. No father’s name was given. Was an error made at the time of birth? Was the child born to Anne in 1832 a daughter and not a son? Are there any other possible scenarios?

Anne died on 24 January 1871 at the age of 66 years. Her death was reported by her son Joseph and her son-in-law André HILBERT, the second husband of her daughter Catherine.

I found many new records for this family group while reviewing my database. I added several generations to the PHILIPPART and MEUNIER branches of the family tree as I discovered marriage records for Catherine MEUNIER’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Nearly all the families who lived in the area during the 1700s appear to be related to each other and to my families of Rodange. Lots of loose ends to tie together. But they will have to wait for now as this ends my visit to Rodange – next stop will be Vianden.

Sources: I’m taking the easy way out this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb a.s.a.p. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Michel PHILIPPART
Parents: Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER aka KETTER
Spouse: Catherine MEUNIER
Parents of spouse:  Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR
Whereabouts: Rodange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Michel PHILIPPART
2. Marie Catherine PHILIPPART
3. André FOURNELLE
4. Jean Joseph FOURNELLE
5. Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE
6. Living WILDINGER
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Update on the Still Not Quite Done Schmit-Weicker Family of Bertrange

The rewards of blogging are awesome, astounding, astonishing, amazing… those are only the A’s and I could go on and on.

The Missing Marriage Record of the
SCHMIT-WEICKER Couple

Yesterday, less than an hour after I posted the link to 52 Ancestors: #31 The Still Not Quite Done Schmit-Weicker Family of Bertrange on Facebook, my friend Linda* wrote this comment:

I found a marriage that could match in Clemency, 28/08/1810, but I can’t access Family Search, it’s probably too busy. You could check yourself later.

I didn’t wait until later and was able to pull up the record she believed was the marriage of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER.

1810 Marriage Record No. 2 (left page, bottom entry)[1]
In 1810 on the 28th of August at 8 in the morning Pierre SCHMITT age 31 born in Bertrange the 3 April 1779, a domestic living in the commune of Fingig, the of age son of Pierre SCHMITT and Rose CLEMMENT, a married couple living in the commune of Bertrange…. and a young woman Anne Margaretha WEICKER age 25 born in Hagen the 7 September 1785, a servant living in the same commune of Fingig, the of age daughter of Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margaretha HARTMANN, a married couple living in the commune of Hagen… all were present and consenting to the marriage for which banns had been read before the entrance of the Clemency civil office.

1810 Marriage Record No. 2 (right page, top entry)[1]
The paperwork of the bride and groom was presented according to the legal requirements of the time. The bride and groom were declared husband and wife after affirming this was their choice. Four witnesses were present and signed along with the civil officer, the mayor of Clemency. The bride and groom declared not being able to write. The fathers of the bride and groom signed first as seen above.

Five and a half months later, Peter and Margaretha became the parents of their first child Magdalena, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

One Record Leads to the Next

The marriage record led to the 1785 baptismal record of Anna WEICKERS [sic, Margaretha was not included on this record], daughter of Nicolai WEICKERS and Anna Margaretha HARTMAN.[2] Why didn’t I notice abt. 1795 could not have been her year of birth? She would have been only 16 when her first child was born.

With the names of the parents, I was able to add three generations to the WEICKER line. I had suspected Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margarethe HARTMANN were the bride’s parents because….

The godmother of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s first child Magdalena was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Anna Margaretha HARTMANN was the widow of Peter KÜNSCH when she married Nicolas WEICKER. Was Magdalena KÜNSCH an older half-sister of Margaretha WEICKER? Further research may tell.

With the names of three new couples in the family tree, I will be busy finding the records to document them and may even be able to add more ancestral names.

Special thanks to my friend Linda for taking the time to read my posts, give me advice, and for telling me where to find the marriage record of Peter SCHMIT and Anne Margaretha WEICKER. *Linda has helped me out several times already. A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known was the result of one of her tips.

Happy Family History Month to all. Wishing you lots of keys to open the doors in your brick walls.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Clemency > Naissances, mariages, décès 1804-1805 Naissances 1805-1890 Mariages 1796-1885 > image 1034 of 1491. 1810 Marriage Record (bottom left, top right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XHPS-511?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-SP8%3A129628001%2C129815201 : accessed 30 September 2017).
[2] Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse de Sterpenich (Luxembourg) now part of Autelbas, Luxembourg, Belgium > Baptêmes, mariages, sepultures 1779-1793 > Film/DGS 1658890 > Film # 008126375 > Item 8 > image 1106 of 1430. 1785 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry > right page, first entry). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVK-Y8VF-9?i=1105&cat=203740 : accessed 1 October 2017).

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! The 1766 Luxembourg Census is Online!

What do you do when you make one of those monumental discoveries about a genealogy collection you have been waiting and waiting and waiting to get access to?

Do you keep it a secret? Or do you shout it out for all to know?

Luxembourg Research

This year I’ve been concentrating on the Luxembourg families in my family tree, specifically the fifth-great-grandparents of my children. Three more posts and I will finish their paternal side. Only half of their maternal side is Luxembourgish, or coming from villages on the other side of the border in Germany and France, and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year.

Most of these ancestors from this generation were living, or their parents were living, when Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in 1766 in a large part of the territories under the rule of the House of Habsburg. This included Luxembourg, along with Belgium, a part of the Netherlands.

The census of 1766 for Luxembourg has only been available through FamilySearch’s microfilm circulation service which as we all know is being discontinued.

Thursday, September 7, 2017, marks the closing of an 80-year era of historic records access to usher in a new, digital model. FamilySearch is discontinuing its microfilm circulation services in concert with its commitment to make billions of the world’s historic records readily accessible digitally online. ~ FamilySearch blog

Amberly Beck who blogs at The Genealogy Girl has made several comments on my posts about the collections available online at FamilySearch.

FamilySearch is working at the fastest pace I have ever seen. I can’t keep up with the new records coming available that I am interested in. It’s a great time to be a genealogist! ~ thegenealogygirl

It’s a great time to be a genealogist!

On the FamilySearch blog, I learned that all microfilm which has been rented by patrons in the past 5 years have now been digitized by FamilySearch.

While researching my upcoming post, I checked on the 1766 census availability and found a little camera icon next to the films for the Decanat of Mersch, Remich, Bitburg, and Stavelot.

When Bryna O’Sullivan wrote The Luxembourg Census you haven’t heard of… only two weeks ago, there was no camera icon showing any of the census films were available.

In 2003, with a very slow internet modem, my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi sent me the 1766 census listing I used for the featured image of this post. Now, fourteen years later, I was able to access the digital image online and download a much clearer copy of the over 250 years old document.

Click this link to see the list of films available online for the 1766 census of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Luxembourg researchers, we have a new key to open the doors in our brick walls!

Amberly, thank you for telling me to check the FamilySearch catalog more often. It really paid off this time!

What? You aren’t checking the catalog at FamilySearch? Take a moment to read these articles:

Using the Back Door at FamilySearch for Missing Records

Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records?

For some reason, the subject of maison dite or house names kept coming up while I was researching the MERTES-DONNEN family. Not only in my research but in several Facebook groups and pages I follow. Maybe the ancestors were trying to tell me something. Or maybe it’s time to discuss what I learned while researching this family – something I left out in my last post.

Before I share my discovery, let me give you an overview of the history of house names and surnames in Luxembourg.

This past June I attended a conference by Paul ZIMMER, Latein in den Kirchenbüchern korrekt lesen (Reading Latin Correctly in Church Records). His presentation included an explanation of the peculiarities of names found in church records. After the presentation, he kindly sent digital copies to all participants of a dozen articles published under his pseudonym, Victor Racine. I used his introduction to genealogy research adapted to the Luxembourg situation: Petite introduction à la recherche généalogique avec des conseils pratiques adaptés à la situation luxembourgeoise (Victor Racine) as a guide.

House Names and Surnames

Until around 1500 the first name of a person was sufficient enough to identify ordinary people. When pleading someone’s case, it was done orally and normally in the presence of the person eliminating the confusion of identities.

The appearance of the first written documents however required additional distinction. Nicolas, therefore, became known as Nicolas de Steinfort (by his residence), Nicolas le Meunier (by his occupation, i.e. miller), or Nicolas le Petit (by a trait, i.e. small person).

When these extensions to the first names finally became family names transmitted from one generation to the next, they were not, for a long time, patronymic. In about half the cases, the children’s names came from the mother, as the rules of family succession in Luxembourg were based on primogeniture – the right of the oldest child inheriting the parental home without any distinction between males and females.

Luxembourg researchers are confronted with the phenomenon of “house names” shared by all people living under one roof, regardless of their initial name received at birth.  At the time of the marriage, the spouse always acquired, whatever his sex, the name of the house into which he entered. Thus, each couple had only one and the same surname which was transmitted to all their children.

In the course of the eighteenth century when Luxembourg was under Austrian rule, the civil authorities imposed a contrary law, that each individual should keep his birth name – it could no longer be changed during the course of his life, notably at the time of marriage. Each legitimate child inherited his father’s surname.

During the long transition, the coexistence of the two rules and practices, totally opposite, constituted a complication which was the source of errors. The children of one and the same couple sometimes obtained different surnames. The second spouse of a widow or widower may have been known by the surname his spouse had previously taken from his first conjugal partner.

Priests were aware of the problem of the double and triple surnames of their parishioners. Some were careful to note more than one name. The different surnames of one and the same person were juxtaposed and linked together by Latin words: alias (otherwise called), vulgo (commonly called), modo (otherwise), sive and aut (or), dicta (said). Sometimes the correct connection with previous generations can be determined by useful references such as ex domo … (from the house) or in domo … (in the house). House names were also mentioned in the parish records using the term in aedibus (Latin for in house) followed by the name.

Our genealogical research may suffer from the rivalry of these two incompatible rules but in the following case, I profited from them.

Researching the MERTES-DONNEN Family

It took me longer than usual to research the MERTES-DONNEN family before I wrote about them in my last post. I couldn’t seem to get to the point I wanted to be before beginning to write. I wanted to know as much as possible about both Nicolas MERTES’ family and Maria Catharina DONNEN’s family so their timelines would be as complete as possible.

This led me down a rabbit hole as I also looked into their grandparents. When I finally thought I had the timeline ready, I began writing using information from the documents for each of the events.

As I was composing the post I went off on a tangent taking a new look at the death record of Margaretha BIVER, the mother of Nicolas MERTES. I ended up cutting out a large portion of what I wrote about the death record and my findings as I realized I had gotten sidetracked from the subject of the piece.

However, I saw an opportunity to use the information I had found to help other Luxembourg researchers.

The MERTES Family’s House Name

Screenshot of the family view of Margaretha BIVER and Peter MERTES as seen in my genealogy software Ancestral Quest 15.

Marguerite BIVER died on 20 December 1820 at nine in the evening in house number 69 in the Opperter road in Bertrange. The informant for the death was her son-in-law Jean KETTENMEYER. The record (below, top entry) did not indicate the address was also that of the informant.

1820 death records of Margareta Biver (top) and Maria Christophory (bottom). Source: Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 640 of 1416. 1820 Death Record No. 20+21. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-322?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 August 2017).

The next entry in the register (above, bottom entry) was for a baby with the surname CHRISTOPHORY who died in house number 73 of the same street.

The importance of the deaths taking place in the same street, likely only two houses away from each other, can be seen in the pedigree of Franz MERTES, the son of the MERTES-DONNEN couple and grandson of Marguerite BIVER.

Pedigree view in Ancestral Quest 15

I haven’t followed through to see how the baby’s family was related to Barbe CHRISTOPHORY, Maria Catharina’s mother. But it had me wondering if the DONNEN-CHRISTOPHORY and the MERTES-BIVER couples had been neighbors when their daughter and son married. I tried to locate the address in present-day Bertrange but the list of street names on the Luxembourg post office’s site did not turn up any matches.

My next step was to check if perhaps the KETTENMEYER family’s street name may have been mentioned on the census or in a vital record. Jean KETTENMEYER died before the first available census. The two listings I found for his widow Anne MERTES did not include the street name.

Jean’s death record revealed an interesting fact. He died in la maison dite Karpen, an Oppert or a house named Karpen in Oppert.

Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 830 of 1416. 1837 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-32F?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 23 August 2017).

This was an amazing discovery. When I read maison dite Karpen on the record I knew right away the KETTENMEYER family was living in the home of the MERTES family.

The significance of “la maison dite Karpen”

Peter, the father of Nicolas MERTES and Jean KETTENMEYER’s wife Anne MERTES, was the son of Mathias MERTES and Maria HOLTZEMER of Steinsel. At this time I do not have a baptismal record for Peter. His death record indicates he was born about 1733. I suspect his age was over-estimated at the time of death.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 350 of 572. 1771 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-92B3?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-L2S%3A1500936901%2C1501112974 : accessed 17 August 2017).

The parents of the groom were married in 1726 at which time their names were given as Mathias MERTENS and Maria HOLTZEMER. The family name had evolved from MERTENS to MERTES by the time Peter married.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Steinsel > Tables des mariages 1697-1802 Fridchy-Z (index organisée par l’époux) > image 430 of 980. 1726 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-18530-86?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).

Mathias and Maria had six children born in Müllendorf and baptized in Steinsel from 1729 to 1741. The baptismal records have been found. The priest gave the following names for the parents on the children’s records:

  1. Theodore b. 1729: Mathias MARTINI and Maria HOLTZEMER
  2. Magdalena b. 1731: Mathias MARTINI and Maria CARPEN dicta HOLTZEMER
  3. Johann b. 1733: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  4. Mathias b. 1736: Mathias MARTINI alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  5. Anna Maria b. 1737: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER
  6. Johann Peter b. 1741: Mathias MERTENS alias CARPEN and Maria HOLTZEMER

As mentioned in the explanation of surnames in Luxembourg, the priest gave a Latin twist to the surname and added an alias to Mathias’ surname as well as dicta (said) to Maria’s.

Although I know that Peter MERTES was the son of Mathias MERTES (MERTENS) and Maria HOLZTEMER as these were the names given at the time of his marriage, I still do not know for sure when he was born and baptized. I believe he may have been the youngest son, Johann Peter born in 1741. Further research will have to be done to prove or disprove this assumption.

The alias CARPEN was found to go back further through Maria HOLTZEMER’s line. She was born in 1704 when her parents were listed as Nicolas HOLZEM and Angela PEIFFERS. When Maria’s her sister Angela was born in 1707 the parents’ names were given as Nicolas HOLZEM dicti KARP and his wife Angela.

Digging a bit deeper I learned Angela’s family did not use a surname until their fourth child was born. It would have been very unlikely that I would figure this out on my own. Claude Bettendroffer, vice-president of Luxracines, made the connection and shared it in his database on our society’s website. When the first two children were born the parents were seen Godefridus (also seen as Godfroid and Godart), a sutor or cobbler, and Dorothée. When Angela was born her father was seen with the same occupation, only written in German, Schuhmacher. The father’s occupation was used to distinguish him from other men with the same first name in Steinsel. By the time their fourth child was born the family was using the surname or house name PEIFFERS. The oldest child, a daughter, inherited the home and passed the name on to the children of both of her marriages as her husbands took on her house name PEIFFERS.

It was astonishing to have followed a family line back using surnames, to using a house name, to only being identified by the father’s occupation during a documented period from 1666 back to 1659.

The house name KARPEN was not used by the PEIFFERS family as far as I can tell at this time. It was used by the HOLTZEM family in Müllendorf as early as 1707, by the MERTENS-HOLTZEMER family in 1731-1741 in Müllendorf, and finally by the MERTES family in Bertrange as late as 1837 when the son-in-law died. It appears the house name followed the son when he married and made his home in Bertrange.

Karpen house in Oppert. Where was Oppert?

When I searched for Oppert as seen in the 1837 death record instead of Opperter as seen in the 1820 death record, I found it is now a street in Bertrange called rue des Champs. I know this street. We’ve ridden our bikes on this road which runs from the center of town out of Bertrange into the fields to the west of town where bike paths link it to Mamer in the northwest and Dippach in the southwest.

Zooming in on Google maps street view I found the street sign, a bit above and to the left of the shutter on the left side of the house, for rue des Champs includes the Luxembourgish name Oppert.

What’s the secret?

I don’t believe there is a secret to the maison dite or house names in Luxembourg records. As long as we know how surnames evolved and how house names were used to identify people, we can use the rules to benefit our research.

Even today the older generations can be heard referring to a person by their house name instead of their surname in Luxembourg. But it is a custom which is quickly disappearing.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.