52 Ancestors: #37 Antoine WECKERING Becomes Father of his 13th Child at Age 72!

Week 37 (September 10-16) – Large Family. Did you know that all 10 of the most common birthdays are in September? (If you’re a chart geek like me, check out this heat map of birth date frequencies.) So let’s feature an ancestor who had a large family or who was a member of a large family.

Over a period of 54 years Antoine “Anton” WECKERING (1781-1857) fathered 13 known children, his first child when he was 18. He was 72 years old when his last child was born, my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother Elisabeth “Elise” WECKERING (1853-1905).

Antoine WECKERING was born 1 July 1781 in Unterschlinder, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to Pierre WECKERING (1752-1820) and Marguerite LASCHEID (1753-1792). This date of birth was found in his 1799 marriage record.[1] The place of birth was mentioned in his 1843 marriage record[2], census records from 1846 through 1855, and his 1857 death record[3]. At the time of his first marriage, his surname was spelled without a g at the end – WECKERIN.

1799weckeringmarriage1
Index Card of Marriage [4]
The index card with the marriage information for “Antoine WECKERIN” and Marguerite MÜLLER includes most of the information found in the marriage record. Marguerite was the daughter of Nicolas MÜLLER and Marie Cathérine COLLING. The (+) indicates they were deceased at the time of the marriage.

The date 20 pluviose 7 calculates to 8 February 1799. Missing on the card but found in the “copie conforme” of the marriage record[1] is the fact that the groom was only 17 years old. As he didn’t have the necessary age to marry, his father Pierre gave his consent before the witnesses present.

This is an important item since Antoine’s  birth date was again recorded as 1 July 1781 when he married the second time in 1843. A record of birth or baptism has not been located. [Later research turned up a birth record for a brother born on 7 December 1781 making it impossible for Antoine to have been born five months earlier.] The baptismal records for Brandenbourg, where I believe the record may be found, have considerable shortcomings and are not in chronological order for the period Antoine was born.

1799 Marriage Record of Antoine WECKERING and Marguerite MÜLLER[1]

1799weckeringmarriage21799weckeringmarriage31799weckeringmarriage4The bride Marguerite MÜLLER (1773-1841) was twenty-six years old; both of her parents were deceased. The difference in age of the bride and groom and the fact that the groom was underage led me to this assumption: the marriage may have been taking place due to the bride being with child.

Finding Proof for this Assumption

Antoine and Marguerite were living in Merscheid, a village in the commune of Landscheid, when their daughters Margaretha (1803)[5] and Anne Marie (1805)[6] were born. I searched the birth records from 1799 to 1803 for their first child to prove my assumption. No birth was found in the Bastendorf where the Landscheid records for the time period were housed.

I checked the deaths records for possible stillborn children. I found a daughter Anne Marie who died on 14 February 1803[7] at the age of 3 years in Merscheid, also seen as her place of birth. Her age at death suggested she was born February 1800 or earlier. The birth records of the commune of Landscheid are missing for year 8 of the French republican calendar – 23 September 1799 to 22 September 1800. Anne Marie was not found in year 7 or 9 and since she died on 25 Pluviose year 11 or 14 February 1803 at age 3 years, her birth must have been in year 8, between 23 September 1799 and 14 February 1800.

She may or may not have been the reason for the marriage of her parents. If I had not made the assumption and searched for documentation to prove/disprove my theory their first known daughter Anne Marie (~1800-1803) may have remained hidden in the records.

The Children of Antoine and Marguerite (wife #1)

    • Ch 1: Anne Marie WECKERING born abt 1800 and died 14 February 1803, both events in Merscheid.[7]
    • Ch 2: Margaretha WECKERING (1803-?) born, a little over a week after the death of Anne Marie, on 23 February 1803 in Merscheid.[5] No further documentation was found for this child. It’s possible she died young as another daughter was given the same name in 1818.
    • Ch 3: Anne Marie WECKERING (1805-1880) born 29 November 1805 in Merscheid.[6] Anne Marie married Jean HAAN (1808-1870) on 18 January 1832 in Bourscheid.[8] She died 31 August 1880 in Lipperscheid.[9]
    • Ch 4: Catherine WECKERING (1808-1810) born abt 1808 and died 28 October 1810 in Lipperscheid.[10]
    • Ch 5: Théodore WECKERING (1811-1893) born 10 October 1811 in Lipperscheid.[11] Théodore married Gertrude FAUTSCH (1812-1847) on 8 February 1840 in Bourscheid.[12] He married 2nd Anna Maria STEINMETZ who survived him when he died on 11 December 1893 in Michelau.[13]
    • Ch 6: Marie Catherine WECKERING (1814-1884) born 16 April 1814 in Lipperscheid.[14] Marie Catherine married Nicolas MALGET on 9 February 1836 in Boevange les Clervaux.[15] She was present at the marriage of her daughter on 1 December 1884[16] and died after this date.
    • Ch 7: Margueritte WECKERING (1818-1871) born 1 April 1818 in Lipperscheid.[17] Marguerithe married Louis THILGES on 29 October 1847 in Basbellain.[18] She died 10 July 1871 in Trotten (Troine) in the Boevange-Clervaux commune.[19]

Antoine’s children from his first marriage were all born before the death of his father Pierre WECKERING on 17 March 1820 in Hoscheid.[20] Pierre was the only grandparent the children ever knew as their mother’s parents and their father’s mother were deceased at the time their parents married.

Marguerite MÜLLER, Antoine’s first wife, died 7 April 1841 in Lipperscheid.[21]

1843 Marriage of Antoine WECKERING and Margaretha BERNARD[2]

1843marriageTwo years after the death of his first wife, 61 years old Antoine found a new life partner. On 30 May 1843 he married Margaretha BERNARD (1815-1878) in Bourscheid.[2]

Margaretha, 27 years old, was born 2 November 1815 in Hoscheid and was about the same age as her groom’s youngest children. She was the daughter of the deceased Pierre BERNARD (1790-1820) and Antoinette GROEBER (1790-1843). Her mother Antoinette died less than three months before the marriage.[22] Antoinette had been widowed twice and left four daughters: Margaretha, her sister Marie Cathérine and their twin half-sisters Elisabetha and Anna Maria KAUFMANN.

The Children of Anton and Margaretha (wife #2)

Margaretha gave Anton six children, sadly only the youngest lived.

  • Ch 1: Marie Catherine WECKERING (1844-1845) born 25 April 1844 in Lipperscheid.[23] When she died on 25 March 1845 in Hoscheid her name was recorded as Anna Maria on her death record.[24]
  • Ch 2: Corneil WECKERING (1845-1848) born 2 June 1845 in Hoscheid.[25] He was seen with his parents on the 3 December 1846* and 31 December 1847* census. Corneil died on 23 May 1848 in Hoscheid.[26]
  • Ch 3: Anna Maria WECKERING (1847-1850) born 13 July 1847 in Hoscheid.[27] She was seen with her parents on the 31 December 1847* and 3 December 1849* census. Anna Maria died 15 June 1850 in Hoscheid.[28]
  • Ch 4: Marie WECKERING (1849-1851) born 20 July 1849 in Hoscheid.[29] She was seen with her parents on the 3 December 1849* census. She died 7 February 1851 in Hoscheid.[30]
  • Ch 5: Margaretha WECKERING (1851-1852) born 3 June 1851 in Hoscheid.[31] She was seen with her parents on the 31 December 1851* census. Margaretha died 9 June 1852 in Hoscheid.[32]
  • Ch 6: Elisabeth “Elise” WECKERING (1853-1905) born 9 May 1853 in Hoscheid.[33] She was with her parents on the 3 December 1855* census.

Antoine was seen with his second wife Margaretha BERNARD and children mentioned above (*) on the Hoscheid census on 4 December 1846[34], 31 December 1847[35], 3 December 1849[36], 31 December 1851[37], 9 December 1852[38], and 3 December 1855.[39]

Life After Antoine’s Death

Antoine WECKERING died 25 March 1857 in Hoscheid.[40] He left his widow Margaretha, four married children from his first marriage and his youngest daughter Elise who was not yet four years old.

His widow Margaretha and their daughter Elise were seen in the Hoscheid census on 3 December 1858[41], 3 December 1861[42], 3 December 1864[43], 3 December 1867[44], 1 December 1871.[45]

Elisabeth “Elise” WECKERING married Heinrich “Henri” GRISIUS (1839-1904) on 29 October 1874 in Hoscheid.[46] Her mother Margaretha was living with the couple on 1 December 1875 when the census was taken in Hoscheid.[47]

Margaretha BERNARD died on 15 April 1878 in the Central Hospiz in Ettelbruck.[48] She had been a widow for 20 years, without an occupation, and she raised her only living child Elise on her own. Did her deceased husband Antoine WECKERING leave her financially independent? 

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Vianden > Naissances 1829-1890 Mariages 1797-1833 > image 1010 of 1493;. 1799 Marriage Record (page 1 or 3).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11589-60838-94?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-929:130504801,130760501 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1872-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 > image 995 of 1447. 1843 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11561-51550-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-C68:129628601,129997101 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[3] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 47 of 296. 1857 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-67708-27?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B8:n401754830 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[4] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Vianden > Tables des mariages 1691-1802 (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 401 of 641. 1799 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-18353-81?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-2N1:1501150301,1501150302 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[5] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 193 of 1476. 1803 Birth Record No. 10. (4 Ventose ans XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-141568-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 10 September 2015).
[6] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 210 of 1476. 1805 Birth Record No. 7 (8 frimaire ans XIV). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-137092-23?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 10 September 2015).
[7] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1798-1823 > image 37 of 143. 1803 Death Record (25 pluviose an 11). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-256757-36?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-827:129624201,129649901 : accessed 11 September 2015). Birth estimated from age at time of death.
[8] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1872-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 > image 868 of 1447. 1832 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11561-49117-26?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-C68:129628601,129997101 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bourscheid > Décès 1797-1890 > image 1023 of 1157. 1880 Death Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12650-32071-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-N38:129628601,129626302 : accessed 13 September 2015).
[10] Ibid., Bourscheid > Décès 1797-1890 > image 107 of 1157. 1810 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12650-34076-37?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-N38:129628601,129626302 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[11] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1797-1871 > image 203 of 1296. 1811 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12397-97469-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-VZ9:129628601,129837501 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[12] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1872-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 > image 952 of 1447. 1840 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11561-52607-40?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-C68:129628601,129997101 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 124 of 138. 1893 Death Record No. 35. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11693-111710-94?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-3TT:129628601,129717601 : accessed 13 September 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1797-1871 > image 230 of 1296. 1814 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12397-104021-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-VZ9:129628601,129837501 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[15] Ibid., Boevange-Clervaux > Naissances 1880-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1798-1855 > image 521 of 1498. 1836 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12411-79430-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-YWL:129627001,129809801 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[16] Ibid., Boevange-Clervaux > Naissances 1880-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1798-1855 > image 958 of 1498. 1884 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12411-82357-68?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-YWL:129627001,129809801 : accessed 13 September 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1797-1871 > image 274 of 1296. 1818 Birth Record.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12397-98922-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-VZ9:129628601,129837501 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[18] Ibid., Troisvierges > Mariages 1805-1890 Sépultures 1779-1793 Décès 1797-1869 > image 269 of 1404. 1847 Marriage Record No. 10 (number omitted, previous record No. 9). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11576-121326-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-7M9:130477701,130510501 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Boevange-Clervaux > Décès 1856-1890 > image 191 of 400. 1871 Death Record No. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12346-160954-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-FM9:129627001,129627002 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[20] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1445 of 1491. 1820 Death Record.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-59000-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL:129844501,129973001 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bourscheid > Décès 1797-1890 > image 438 of 1157. 1841 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12650-33893-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-N38:129628601,129626302 : accessed 11 September 2015).
[22] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 103 of 162. 1843 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-65980-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR:129844501,129896301 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bourscheid > Naissances 1797-1871 > image 719 of 1296. 1844 Birth Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12397-103092-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-VZ9:129628601,129837501 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[24] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 120 of 162. 1845 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-69273-27?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR:129844501,129896301 : accessed 8 September 2015). Note: Her birth name was Marie Catherine.
[25] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 408 of 459. 1845 Birth Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11669-99975-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR:129844501,129804701 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[26] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 145 of 162. 1848 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-63179-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR:129844501,129896301 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[27] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 426 of 459. 1847 Birth Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11669-99187-42?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR:129844501,129804701 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[28] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1827-1850 > image 159 of 162. 1850 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-72126-46?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WR:129844501,129896301 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[29] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 446 of 459. 1849 Birth Record No. 23.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11669-115631-29?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-6TR:129844501,129804701 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[30] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 1 of 296. 1851 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-64093-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WP:129844501,129625502 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[31] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 9 of 1491. 1851 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-67517-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-JWL:129844501,129973001 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[32] Ibid., Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 12 of 296. 1852 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-67494-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4WP:129844501,129625502 : accessed 8 September 2015).
[33] Ibid., Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 29 of 1491. 1853 Birth Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-56798-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B6:1412473990 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[34] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Hoscheid > 1846 > image 37 of 114. Weckering-Bernard household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32356-24372-68?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQV:345858701,345858602 : accessed 4 September 2015).
[35] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1847 > image 82 of 146. Weckering-Bernard household No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32356-13533-89?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-PYG:345858701,345864101 : accessed 12 September 2015).
[36] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1849 > image 43 of 120. Weckering-Bernard household No. 61. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32361-12101-72?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-1X8:345858701,345864801 : accessed 12 September 2015).
[37] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1851 > image 120 of 145. Weckering-Bernard household No. 88. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32367-1265-69?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-44S:345858701,345865601 : accessed 12 September 2015).
[38] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1852 > image 28 of 149. Weckering-Bernard household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32377-22627-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-GPB:345858701,345865501 : accessed 12 September 2015).
[39] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1855 > image 38 of 159. Weckering-Bernard household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32378-8149-57?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-T3Y:345858701,345866501 : accessed 7 May 2015).
[40] Luxembourg Civil Records, Hoscheid > Décès 1851-1890 > image 47 of 296. 1857 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-67708-27?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B8:n401754830 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[41] Luxembourg Census, Hoscheid > 1858 > image 66 of 152. Weckering-Bernard household no. 65. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32379-22004-71?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-SPR:345858701,345867601 : accessed 7 May 2015).
[42] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1861 > image 54 of 158. Weckering-Bernard household no. 60. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32372-14250-15?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-1XF:345858701,345867101 : accessed 7 May 2015).
[43] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1864 > image 15 of 171. Weckering-Bernard household no. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32382-32051-11?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-WQ7:345858701,345868401 : accessed 7 May 2015).
[44] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1867 > image 7 of 155. Margaretha Weckering Bernard household no. 97.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32376-10317-84?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-RMP:345858701,345869101 : accessed 7 May 2015).
[45] Ibid., Hoscheid > 1871 > image 224 of 350. Weckering-Bernard household no. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32381-15965-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-T3Y:345858701,345869501 : accessed 7 May 2015). See front and back matter on images 223 and 225.
[46] Luxembourg Civil Records, Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 1238 of 1491. 1874 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-59490-61?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B6:1412473990 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[47] Luxembourg Census, Hoscheid > 1875 > image 234 of 335. Grisius-Weckering household no. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32380-20048-66?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-PT1:345858701,345870501 : accessed 7 May 2015). See front and back matter on images 233 and 235.
[48] Luxembourg Civil Records, Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 1356 of 1379. 1878 Death Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11675-61468-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-FM9:129625001,1290913101 : accessed 8 September 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Antoine WECKERING
Parents: Pierre WECKERING and Marguerite LASCHEID
Spouse: Marguerite MÜLLER and Margaretha BERNARD(*)
Parents of Spouse(*): Pierre BERNARD and Antoinette GROEBER
Whereabouts: Merscheid, Lipperscheid, Hoscheid
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Antoine WECKERING
2. Elisabeth “Elise” WECKERING
3. Cathérine GRISIUS
4. Frantz “Fritz” KREMER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.

A Visit to the Landeshauptarchiv in Koblenz

logo_klengLast Thursday I participated in another interesting visit organized by my genealogy society Luxracines. This time we went to Koblenz, Germany, and visited the Rhineland Archives (Landeshauptarchivs).

signOur group of 23 genealogists was divided into two groups for a guided tour of the premises. Currently the Landeshauptarchivs preserves 56 kilometers of documents. The tour began in an area normally not accessible to non-authorized persons.

Archives

DSCN2408
The new addition to the archives, at right, allows very little daylight to enter the area where the archives are kept.
co2
Entrance to the CO2 storeroom.

Our group was first shown the storeroom with the most precious books and documents. It is climate controlled and equipped with a CO2 extinguishing system. Old documents and books have several enemies. As light accelerates the aging of parchment, vellum, and paper, the building in which the archives reside has only very small windows. The storeroom is kept at a constant temperature as changing temperatures and humidity can also cause damage. The precious treasures in the storeroom are preserved in archival safe boxes or bindings. Anyone who has ever experienced flooding or fire knows water and books do not mix.  If a fire should break out, the storeroom is flooded with CO2 which, by displacing oxygen, smothers the fire.

To protect document surfaces from marks made by oily or sweaty hands our guide used thin cotton gloves while showing us several objects.

She removed a vellum document from the 12th century from its protective sleeve, unfolded it and allowed us to examine the seal hanging from it on a ribbon and make a guess about the purpose of the document and who may have had it drawn up. Usually seals are made of wax – this one was made of lead. It was a lead papal bull on a document drawn up by a pope.

She also showed us the Codex Balduini Trevirensis, a book made in 1341 telling of Henry VII’s expedition to Italy from 1310 to 1313 to obtain a papal imperial coronation. The Codex is best known for the illustrations once found in the front of the book and removed due to their historical importance. Blank pages were added in place of the illustrations which were on exhibition in the Landesarchiv in 2000.

Document Restoration and Bookbinding Department

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Dry sponges and soft brush

I found this part of the tour the most interesting. It began with the first steps in cleaning up paper material. Dry sponges are used like erasers to remove dirt and grime, a soft brush is used to remove dislodged materials before the object is placed in a dusting unit where air is circulated and dust is removed by a suction system.

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Damaged (upper) and restored (lower) documents

Once a document has been cleaned the damage caused over the years needs to be brought to a halt. In the background of the above photo is a document with ragged edges. In the foreground is document that has been filled in where areas where missing. On the damaged document at the top, what looks like dark smears (see arrow on right), are scraps of very lightweight Japanese papers.  They are made from long, strong, flexible fibers that produce a lasting repair. Japanese paper does not discolor or become brittle and is translucent making it suitable to repair text areas in documents.

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Miniature screen

The technique used to repair missing areas on paper documents is similar to paper making. The damaged paper is placed on a screen (miniature at left used for explanation) and lowered into a water bath of the leaf casting machine. Paper or fiber scraps of similar color to the item being repaired are mixed in a blender with water and pumped over the screen. The suction is turned on and the water level recedes and the holes are filled with pulp. The sheet is then slid off of the screen onto a draining area. Covered with a blotter sheet the paper is flipped and covered with another blotter sheet and dried under pressure in a paper press. Blotter sheets are replaced on a daily basis until the document is completely dry. To stiffen and protect the paper it is then treated with a glutenous paste which is applied with a wide short-bristled brush similar to those use when wallpapering.

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Draining area with sheets in process of restoration covered with blotter

Seals attached to documents with ribbons are also restored in this department. After cleaning, they fill the cracked areas with same colored wax, molding it to blend in but without reproducing the missing design. It sounds very simple but from the looks of the work space it is a slow process. Colors need to be matched and seals are hung to dry during each step before continuing the miniscule work.

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Manual bookbinding equipment
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Sample of a bound book with wooden cover

A short demonstration on how books are bound was given. I had recently watched a video on the subject but seeing it in person is even more fascinating, especially for a book lover.

Reading Room

Our next stop was the reading room where patrons are allowed to view the material they are interested in. Everything you bring into the building has to be locked up in a locker near the reception area. Laptops are allowed in the reading room as well as pencil and paper for taking notes. Images of documents can be saved to a flash drive purchased in the reading room.

The documents in the archives are open to persons with a legitimate interest in, for example, academic research of the past or for genealogical and private research. However you cannot drop in and request to see records. If you plan to do research in Koblenz please check out the Rheinland Archives’ very informative website which is unfortunately only in German.  Any document collection you want to view needs to be requested per email at least two weeks in advance. 

Lunch and Afternoon Activities

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Historiensäule

Following our visit to the archives we took a short walk to the Josef-Görres Square (Josef-Görres Platz) which is noted for its 13 meter high history column, Historiensäule, that tells the history of Koblenz.

DSCN2402We had lunch at a restaurant on the square before once again dividing up into two groups. The largest group went on a sightseeing tour of the city fortifications. I joined the group of five who went back to the archives to do research.

We were taken to the back room of the reading room where the microfilm readers are located. All records requested were brought in on a cart and were soon spread out on the table. I had requested birth, marriage, and death records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler. For the period I was interested in there are no civil records and the church records are housed in Trier in the Catholic archives.

As I couldn’t do research I helped one of the others in my group. He had ordered marriage records from 1900 to 1910 for Welschbillig. It was fun to see his reaction when he found a record he was searching for. As he was not familiar with the handwriting I read the important facts from the documents: names, dates and places of birth, parents’ names and residences, date of marriage, while he inputted them into his computer. The more experienced researcher (in me) cringed at his entering the data without citing the source of each fact. He did note the number of the marriage document and I hope he takes time to add a full citation.

While I was busy helping my new friend, an archive employee reviewed the list of requested material and made a note of microfilm with ten-years lists of births, marriages, and deaths for Ernzen and Ferschweiler and other material that could be ordered in advance if and when I plan on going back.

Our time ran out too soon and we had to meet our bus for the return trip home. As always the trip was well organized and everyone enjoyed a wonderful day of sightseeing and/or research.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

 

52 Ancestors: #22 A New Beginning for my German Genealogy Research

Week 22 (May 28 – June 3) – Commencement: Countless schools will be having their commencement ceremonies around this time. Think not only about school, but also about commencement meaning “a beginning.”

A New Beginning

Nearly two and a half years ago a visit of an exposition by Luxracines at our local mall was a new beginning for my genealogy research. Soon afterwards I joined Luxracines, a genealogy society in Luxembourg, and was making plans for my first field trip, Luxracines on Tour 2013 Part I. The Luxracines on Tour 2013 (Part II) field trip in May 2013 was a great success.

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Roman ship on the Mosel River

Following a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship and lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus” we visited Peter Daus’ private library above the Restaurant Daus in the Haus Daus in Wittlich.

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Restaurant Daus in Haus Daus in Wittlich, Germany

The library had about 2000 Familienbücher (family books) for towns in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz and Saarland. Ortsfamilienbücher or Familienbücher are compilations of information extracted from civil and parish registers for all families of a town or village and arranged in alphabetical order. Information on occupations, military service and emigration can also be found in these books.

I pulled the books on the villages my ancestors came from and began taking pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine with my Nikon Coolpix (macro and without flash). Although time was short and work space a bit cramped, I took nearly 120 photos – some (below) came out a bit blurry but still useful for citing sources.

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Familienbuch Ferschweiler[1]
The WILDINGER-WEIMANN family was the very first family I looked up. I knew Bernard WILDINGER was born in Ferschweiler and found him in Richard Schaffner’s 1999 compilation Familienbuch Ferschweiler.[1]

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Page 249, entries for families no. 1624 and 1625[1]
My second great-grandfather Bernard WILDINGER is listed under family number 1624 with his wife Maria WEIMANN. Next to Bernard’s name the number <1625.3> links him to family number 1625 (his parents and siblings) in the same book (next entry) and as the 3rd child of the couple.

Abbreviations used in family books:
   geboren / born
~    getauft / christened
+     gestorben / born
bgr or ¨    begraben / buried
oo    Ehe / marriage
o-o     außerehelich / extramarital
S    standesamtlich / civil
   kirchlich / religious
?    fraglich / questionable
   vermutlich / presumably
   errechnet / estimated
NN    Name(n) unbekannt / unknown name
P.    Paten / godparents
Q.    Quelle / source
u.    und / and
zw.    zwischen / between
lu    lutherisch / Lutheran
rk    römisch-katholisch / Roman Catholic

ernzen
Familienbuch Ernzen[2]
Not only were Bernard and Maria listed in Ferschweiler[1] but also in Ernzen[2] where they were married and had their children. These entries helped me to write the following story of this family.

The WILDINGER-WEIMANN Family of Ernzen, Germany

Bernard WILDINGER was born on 7 November 1838 in Ferschweiler to Nikolaus WILDINGER und Catharina SCHRAMEN.[1] He was baptized Bernardus on 9 November 1838 in Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler.[3]

Bernard married Maria WEIMANN on 25 January 1866 in a civil ceremony [Source: St.A. (Standesamtliche=civil) Heirats-Act Nr. 5] in Bollendorf/Ernzen.[2] They were married on 3 February 1866 (Source: Kirchenbuch 4/152/2)[2] in a religious ceremony in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[4]

Maria WEIMANN was born on 18 June 1839 in Ernzen to Hubert WEIMANN and Elisabeth WELTER.[2] She was baptized on 19 June 1839 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[5] Her godparents were Maria WELTER and Anton PROMMENSCHENKEL, both of Ernzen.[2]

Bernard and Maria had eight known children:

  1. Hubert was born on 23 December 1866 in Ernzen. After Christmas, on St. Stephen’s Day, 26 December 1866 he was baptized in the catholic church. His godparents were Hubert WEIMANN from Ernzen and Kath. SCHRAMEN from Ferschweiler. He died at nine months on 20 September 1867 and was buried two days later in Ernzen.[2]
  2. Peter was born 19 October 1868 in Ernzen.[2] He was baptized on 21 October 1868 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.[6] His godfather was Peter WILDINGER. Peter did not marry and died at the age of 31 years on 11 May 1899 in Ernzen.[2]
  3. Elise was born unknown and died 14 May 1870 in Ernzen.[2]
  4. Peter was born 7 August 1871 in Ernzen. He was baptized 8 August 1871 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen[7] in the presence of his godparents Peter STEIL and Marg. DEUTSCH. He was deaf and dumb (taubstumm), never married and died in 1952 in Ernzen.[2]
  5. Johann was born on 25 February 1874 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Johann WEIMANN and Elis. WILDINGER. He was a mason (Maurer), married Katharina PÖPPELREITER on 16 September 1874 in Mettendorf where the family moved in 1904.[2] Johann and Katharina were my great-grandparents.

    wildinger
    My great-grandfather, Johann “Jean” WILDINGER 1874-1924
  6. Nikolaus was born 3 May 1876 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Nik. ROOS and Elis. SCHRAMEN. He died in 1948 in Ernzen.[2]
  7. Anna Maria was born 25 November 1878 in Ernzen and was baptized in the catholic church. She married Michael RAIER, an ironworker (Hüttenarbeiter) from Bollendorf on 3 September 1907.[2]
  8. Bernhard was born on 19 June 1881 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Bernard SCHRAMEN and Kath. HANSEN. He married Marg. HANSEN on 30 January 1908. His wife was born 20 May 1888 and died in 1915. Bernhard and his family lived in Ernzen and had six children between 1908-1921.[2]

Bernard WILDINGER was a stonemason (Steinhauer). He died at the age of 55 years in Ernzen on 14 October 1893 in Ernzen.[2] His wife Maria was a widow for 22 years before dying on 2 September 1915 in Ernzen.[2]

The Next Step

Although Mr. Schaffner has facilitated my research of this family this is only the beginning for German families. I still need to obtain the records he used for his compilations. The next step is to visit the Rhineland Archives (Landeshauptarchivs) in Koblenz where I hopefully will be able to access the original or digital copies of the church and civil records.

Thanks to my Luxracines membership I’ll be making the trip to Koblenz, Germany, to visit the archives of Rhineland on June 25th. When I registered to participate on this trip I had to give advance notice of the records I’m interested in seeing – birth, marriage, and death records for Ernzen and Ferschweiler for the years (range) the WILDINGER-WEIMANN and the WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN families lived in those towns.

The original documents ordered by researchers are made available for viewing four times a day. The information from the documents may be copied (transcribed) or the page(s) can be scanned on their in-house scanner and saved to a USB flash drive. The use of digital cameras is not permitted.

I am looking forward to this trip to the Landeshauptarchivs in Koblenz and will definitely be blogging about it!

Sources:
[1] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 1 der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler 1680-1899, mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) (compiled in 1999), p. 349, family #1624. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].
[2] Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 245-246, family #867. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].
[3] “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 463,565. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NDZ1-H61 : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Wildinger; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
[4] “Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929,”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JH8P-DXT : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Weldinger and Maria Weimann, 03 Feb 1866; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.
[5] “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-54C : accessed 23 February 2015), Maria Weiman, 19 Jun 1839; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
[6] Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2CB-2JL : accessed 23 February 2015), Peter Wildinger, 21 Oct 1868; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.
[7] Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-V9B : accessed 23 February 2015), Petrus Wildinger, 08 Aug 1871; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Bernard WILDINGER
Parents: Nicolas WILDINGER and Catherina SCHRAMEN
Spouse: Maria WEIMANN
Parents of spouse: Hubert WEIMANN and Elisabeth WELTER
Whereabouts: Ferschweiler and Ernzen, Germany
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 2nd great-grandparents

1. Bernard WILDINGER and Maria WEIMANN
2. Johann “Jean” WILDINGER
3. Nicolas WILDINGER
4. Living WILDINGER
5. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52ancestors-2015This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge:
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.

Luxembourg, Church Records, 1601-1948 ~ New at FamilySearch

Happy New Year from FamilySearch!! I love how they come out with new databases for Luxembourg at the beginning of a year.

While working on my Luxembourg families I noticed that a new collection was recently added or updated. Church Records from Luxembourg for the years 1601-1948.

Luxrecords

I’m quite sure that this is a NEW database that was added yesterday!

I checked a few of the towns and villages I’ll be working with in the next few weeks and found that so far they have records for mid- to late 1700s and very early 1800s. This is a nice era to begin with church records as it is a time period where the civil records are a bit lacking. I’ll have to keep an eye on this and make a list of direct ancestors who may be found in these records.

I couldn’t resist checking to see what the records look like and how easy or hard they may be to search.

Click: Luxembourg, Church Records, 1601-1948

Click: Browse through 272,699 images

Click: Diekirch

recordsMarriages are indexed! Information from the marriage record has been extracted to an index card and filed alphabetically by groom AND by bride. I found this index card for my husband’s 4th great-grandparents in the Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index by groom):

index
“Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-11523-97?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-DPV:1500890501,1501181502 : accessed 10 January 2015), Diekirch > Tables des mariages 1700-1798 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 263 of 1195; paroisses, Luxembourg [parishes, Luxembourg].
Then I browsed the Marriages 1743-1794 and found:

marriage
“Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-6049-74?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-B87:1500890501,1500891002 : accessed 10 January 2015), Diekirch > Mariages 1743-1794 > image 31 of 122; paroisses, Luxembourg [parishes, Luxembourg].
I had the date of marriage in my database but I did not have an image of the marriage record.

I am going to have to make a resolution:

  • Keep focused on the planned families for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge and check this database only for the those families.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

 

52 Ancestors Goes to Luxembourg in 2015

logo_klengLéif Frënn vum Luxracines,

E grousse Merci un all déi Leit dei meng Blogposts gelies hunn.

Der best besuchte Tag des Jahres 2014 war am 1. Juni mit 230 Anssichten. Von den drei unten aufgeführten Beiträgen war der erst genannte der meist besuchte Post an diesem Tag:
A Visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp

A Visit to the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg

A Visit to the Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V.

52 Ancestors Goes to Luxembourg in 2015

Es lief so gut, während der Herausforderung 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge (52 Vorfahren in 52 Wochen) letztes Jahr als ich über meine Vorfahren väterlicherseits, von meinem Vater bis zu meinen vierten Urgroßeltern bloggte, dass ich beschlossen habe, im Jahr 2015 fortzufahren.

52ancestors-2015Amy Johnson Crow schrieb diesen Beitrag; Announcing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: 2015 Edition, am 17. Dezember. Obwohl ich die von Ihr vorgeschlagenen Themen für Januar gut gefunden habe, werde ich es ein wenig anders machen in diesem Jahr.

Ich habe vor über eine Familiengruppe pro Woche zu schreiben, z.B. ein Paar und ihre Kinder, für die Vorfahren väterlicherseits meiner Kinder und meine Vorfahren mütterlicherseits.

Dies sind die Familien über die ich schreiben möchte – die Großeltern, dann die Urgroßeltern, den ganzen Weg bis zu den dritten Urgroßeltern. Wie Sie von den Ahnentafeln unten sehen können, gibt es keine Vorfahren in diesen Generationen die ich noch nicht gefunden habe.

Dies sind die väterlichen Stammbäume für meine Kinder:

chart1

chart2

Sowie meinen mütterlichen Stammbaum:

chart3Ich würde mich sehr freuen von Ihnen zu hören, wenn Sie einen Familiennamen erkennen oder wenn einer Ihrer Vorfahren sich in einem dieser Stammbäume befinden würde.

Beste Wünsche,
Cathy

Hinterlassen sie hier (Leave a Reply) einen Kommentar oder besuchen Sie meine Facebook-Seite Opening Doors in Brick Walls, wo Sie auch einen Kommentar hinterlassen können. Sie dürfen selbstverständlich auch eine private Nachricht senden.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

A Visit to the Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V.

logo_klengYesterday I participated in another interesting visit organized by my genealogy society Luxracines. This time we went to Saarlouis in Germany and visited the Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V.

building1
Kreisarchiv im Landratsamt built in 1894-95

Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V., an association formed in 1958, deals with genealogy and history in the district of Saarlouis and surrounding areas. They have several rooms at their disposal in the building of the Kreisarchiv im Landratsamt built in 1894-95.

With a little over 800 members, the association has been publishing a quarterly newsletter “Unsere Heimat” (Our Homeland) since 1976. Members work in groups on general history, archaeology, family history, and new medias with the largest group being that of the genealogists. They correspond and exchange publications with over 60 clubs, archives and libraries at home and abroad (including in France, Luxembourg and USA). Their rich family and local history library, a center for family research in Saarland and beyond, is open to the public during the work week (except Wednesdays) from 2 to 5 in the afternoons.

left
Photo used courtesy of Rob Deltgen
right
Photo used courtesy of Rob Deltgen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hans Peter KLAUCK and Helmut GREIM welcomed our group of genealogists, gave us an overview of the history of their association, and explanations of the club’s collections and publications.

More than 2500 family books of towns in Saarland and Rheinland-Pfalz, a huge selection of Ortfamilienbücher (family books) of the Banat, and numerous books on local history of the area and beyond are available in the library –  a collection of 15,000 publications. Everything that a genealogist needs for researching and writing about family history.

We were able to spent about an hour browsing through the library, pulling family books of interesting, taking notes or photographing entries of interest in this or that family book.

Our hour of research was quickly over and we were then taken on a guided tour of the city of Saarlouis by Hans Peter KLAUCK. Saarlouis was built as a fortress in 1680 by the French King Louis XIV.

Hans Peter KLAUCK was a fantastic guide with great knowledge and passion for the history of the fortress city constructed by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, France’s famous military engineer.

At noon we took a break from our guided tour for lunch in the restaurantKartoffelhaus” (Potato House“) where specialities of the region were found on the menu card.

After lunch we continued our tour of the city by first visiting the Städtischen Museum (local history museum) where Mr. KLAUCK explained the military importance and functions of the buildings in Vauban’s fortress using the 1726 model of Saarlouis (scaled at 1:625 and built in 1980).

model
Model of the Saarlouis Fortress ca. 1726 (Scaled at 1:625) in the Städtischen Museum.

Following our museum visit we continued our tour of the city across the Great Market, passing the Saint Louis Church.

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The Ludwigskirche (Saint Louis Church) on the Great Market

It was a coincidence that Roland HENZ, Oberbürgermeister der Kreisstadt Saarlouis, was on the market place as Saarlouis’ volunteer fire department, one of the oldest in Germany, were having their yearly exercise in fire fighting. Mayor HENZ took a moment to greet our group and welcome us to Saarlouis.

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Roland HENZ, Oberbürgermeister der Kreisstadt Saarlouis (left) and our guide Hans Peter HAUCK (right)

We continued our walk through the Old Town, along the Casemates,

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Kasematten (The Casemates)
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Kasematten (The Casemates)

through the German Gate,

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Deutsches Tor (German Gate)

along the Saar River,

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Saar Schleusenbrücke (water gates)

passing the “Ravelin V” park that is currently under construction

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“Ravelin V” park (under construction) with the Protestant Church in the background.

before we were back to our point of departure.

The general concensus of the Luxracines participants regarding our visit with the Vereinigung für die Heimatkunde im Landkreis Saarlouis e.V. and tour of the City of Saarlouis was  ~~ Et war e flotten dag!” It was a great day!

Frenn vum Luxracines, et gif mech freen wan dir mir a klengen Kommentar geift hannerlossen. Merci.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

A Visit to the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg

logo_klengLast Saturday I participated in an interesting visit of the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (National Library of Luxembourg) with my genealogy society Luxracines.

A Brief History

The origins of the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg (BnL) date back to 1798, a time when French troops occupied the former duchy. In 1802 part of it’s most ancient collections, the manuscripts from the Benedictine Abbey of Echternach, were moved to the National Library of France. The library went from being a central library of the Département des Forêts (during French occupation) to ownership by the city of Luxembourg after 1815. The Luxembourg state, after gaining independence through the Treaty of London in 1839, reclaimed ownership in 1848 when the name was changed to Bibliothèque de Luxembourg. In 1899 following a rise in national sentiment among the Luxembourgish population, the name was changed to the present form, Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg. It’s role as an encyclopaedic library to the education system prevailed during the early years. Today BnL is also a heritage library.

012 fixedThe BnL has been housed in the former Athénée grand-ducal (Athenaeum), located next to the Cathédrale de Luxembourg, since 1973. To give you an idea of the age of the building, the Athenaeum was originally founded in 1603 by the Jesuit Order. Steel beams have been added in the old building to support the weight of the collections housed there.

Luxembourg’s national library is a small institution compared to other national libraries. It is the largest repository in Luxembourg with 1.5 million physical documents and a growing number of digital publications. The library is bursting at it’s seams and at the moment documents are located at several different sites.

Introduction by Mr. Pascal Nicolay

Before taking us on a tour of the premises, Mr. Pascal Nicolay, librarian and documentalist, explained the mission and collections of the library.

An important role of the library is the collection of cultural heritage of Luxembourg. Materials printed on different media (books, periodicals, video, CD, DVD) and produced nationally are preserved for the future generations. Because several languages are spoken in Luxembourg publications are usually simultaneously produced in Luxembourgish, French, German and English. This means that the number of copies kept is greater than in a country with only one language.

Through legal deposit BnL collects and makes all Luxembourgish publications accessable in their comprehensive collection. This is a legal requirement to submit a certain number of copies of a publication to a repository, usually the national library of a country.

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Léa Linster signing books Nov 8, 2011 in Bitburg. Photo credit: Egon Meder, used with permission.

They also collect works published in other countries which deal with Luxembourg in some way. If a book published in another country includes a biography of a well known personality from Luxembourg, the library takes steps to acquire the required number of copies of the publication. For example, a German publication on restaurants in Europe may include a section on the Luxembourgish chef Léa Linster, gold medal winner of the 1989 Bocuse d’Or, the first and to date only woman to accomplish this.

More importantly, for the genealogist, the library collects publications that may mention the not so well known people. Top of the list are newspapers followed by town bulletins; political parties paraphernalia; local fire department anniversary brochures which often discuss early members of the corps, history of the “house names” and town; yearbooks. Imagine the stories that can be told about an ancestor mentioned in any of these.

The Tour

We began the tour by visiting some of the rooms accessible to the public. The periodical room where, for example, patrons can read the daily newspapers or recent publications that may be harder to find on the local newspaper stand. The tiny microfilm room where newspapers can be viewed and prints made. Very old newspapers, from 1850 and earlier, can be found and searched on BnL’s eluxemburgensia site. The general reference (dictionaries, encyclopias, etc.) and more specific reference (agriculture, science, etc.) material also has a place in the library.

The best part was when Mr. Nicolay took us “behind the scenes” into the areas not normally accessible to the public. We saw books stored in electrically powered shelving systems and hand crank shelving systems.

015014016023

026

 

 

 

Shelves filled with old, old books!

 

 

 

 

We climbed up a spiral staircase to the attic where old wooden beams held together by wooden dowels could be seen along the full length of the building.

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Banana boxes filled with books are stacked in the spaces between shelving.

Fire extinguishers are everywhere. The fire department can be on site in five minutes. However there is no modern sprinkling system in the building.

Back in the public area we saw the multi-media room where material can be viewed or loaned out for a week.

Finally, in the projection room, Mr. Nicolay explained how their collections can be searched from the library’s homepage using the new joint search interface of Luxembourg’s libraries’ network a-z.lu.

With a free library card patrons can order material online that they are interested in borrowing or viewing at the library. Orders can be picked up at the library a half hour later.

Unlike other national libraries, the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg is a loaning library and allows patrons to “check out” books, periodicals, multimedia, etc. with a valid library card.

As mentioned in the begining the library has outgrown its location. Last month a ground breaking ceremony took place for Luxembourg’s new National Library. The construction is is estimated to take four years to complete.

This was the first time I’d set foot in a library since I was in college in 1977. One of my favorite pastimes while going to school was the hour once a week when we went to the library. Beelining to the biography section or fiction for the newest Nancy Drew, learning how to use the card catalogue and how to research. I didn’t know at the time that those skills would help me later with my genealogy research.

Next time I go to Luxembourg City I’m going to apply for a library card. I want to learn how to use the National Library before they move into their new premises, hopefully, in 2018!

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

A Visit to the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp

logo_klengAre you curious about what your immigrant ancestors had to endure to come to America? Last May 24th I got a glimpse of what it was like. I participated in a day trip with my genealogy society Luxracines to Antwerp (Belgium) with a visit of the Red Star Line Museum. As always the trip was well planned with enjoyable transportation. Everyone had a good time visiting the sights in the city of Antwerp before going on the guided tour scheduled at the museum.

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The Luxracines group. © Romain Krier, used with permission.

We were divided up into three groups, two guides spoke French and the third English. Of course I chose to go with the English group. Our storyteller Lien Vloeberghs gave us a wonderfully informative tour of the museum. I mentioned to her that I wanted to write a blog post about the visit and she offered to send me the museum’s press kit and answer any questions I would have.

The Red Star Line Museum tells the story of millions of people and the quest for happiness. It is a story we can all relate to.
~
Red Star Line Museum press kit

The Red Star Line Museum on the Rijnkaai in Antwerp, Belgium, opened it’s doors to the public in September 2013. The museum is in the restored departure warehouses for third-class passengers. It is full of remarkable exhibits documenting the history of the shipping line and the more than two million passengers who left through this port between 1873 and 1934. Did one of your ancestors arrive in America on a ship whose name ended with land? Then the ship was most likely one of the Red Star Line fleet.

Between 1815 and 1940, about 60 million migrants left Europe in hope of a better life.

Visitors follow in the footsteps of emigrants and experience their enthusiasm and anxiety, their tension and uncertainty; they experience the farewells and obstacles as well as the adventure, the discoveries and the hope for a new life on the other side of the ocean.
~ Red Star Line Museum press kit

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Red Star Line Museum exhibit, photographed during visit 24 May 2014.

In the late 19th and early 20th century the Red Star Line provided direct passage across the Atlantic to New York, Philadelphia, and Boston to migrants. Their journey began in their country of origin, usually Germany and Eastern Europe. The emigrants frequently left their countries because of poverty.

Several of my relatives from Luxembourg immigrated to the United States on a Red Star Line ship. A cousin of my great-great-grandfather André FOURNELLE (1838-1908) took this big step with his family.

Nicolas FOURNELLE (1830-1913) made the trip across the Atlantic on the Friesland in 1890 at the age of 59 with his wife Margaret HUBERTY 49, their children J. Baptist 17, Anna Maria 10, and Pierre 5, as well as, their son-in-law Frederick BROEDER 32, his wife Marie FOURNELLE 28, and their children Joh. Herm. 4 and Josephine 2. The group of nine went to join up with Nicolas’ son Jean Pierre and daughter Marie Catherine who had made the same trip on the Belgenland in 1887.

Let us join the Fournelle family on their journey

The Departure

The FOURNELLE and BROEDER families of Rodange most likely bought their tickets from the Red Star Line travel agency Derulle-Wigreux und Sohn in Luxembourg City. The travel agency advertised in local newspapers for all classes of passengers.

Ad
Luxemburger Wort Nr. 245, 2 Sep 1885, page 4; digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg [online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu : accessed 26 May 2014]
The Train Journey

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Gare Centrale in Antwerp. Red Star Line Museum collection. Photo taken during visit.

The ocean crossing itself was only part of the voyage. Migrants first had to leave their country and take a long train trip to Antwerp arriving at the Gare Centrale which can be compared to Grand Central Station in New York.

For the families coming from Luxembourg the train trip was short compared to those travelling from Eastern Europe. These people may have had to make stops along the way to work and replenishing their money pouches. For some the trip lasted up to several years as they moved from one location to the next. The gaps between leaving the homeland and arriving in America should be taken into consideration when researching your families.

Staying in Antwerp

The migrants arrived in the dynamic city of Antwerp. Imagine these impoverished people walking to their lodgings and seeing the bustling shopping streets and luxurious buildings of the city. They often stayed in filthy hotels with swindlers waiting to cheat them out of their money or ticket. For most the stay in Antwerp was short but for others, who did not pass the controls or needed to earn more money for passage, their time in the city was longer than planned.

Entering the Museum (today)

Crossing the threshold of the “Shed” we entered the world of the European migrants who left their native countries in search of a better life. We were able to touch the walls that our immigrants touched while they endured the required procedures to allow them to travel to America.

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The Red Star Museum in Antwerp.

Showers and Disinfection

Passengers handed over their luggage to Red Star Line employees. Men and women where separated and took off their clothes to shower. Their clothes were put in a bag and with the luggage were placed in the large chambers which were hermetically sealed to be disinfected under high pressure steam.

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Red Star Line Museum exhibit, photographed during visit 24 May 2014.

While their clothes and belongings were chemically treated the passengers were cleaned of lice by taking an hour long shower with hot vinegar and benzene.

Passengers recall that their clothes were damp when returned to them. It is unknown what chemicals may have been used to disinfect the clothes and baggage as no records have been found about the procedure. The chambers used to disinfect the belonging are long gone however a photo of the room with the disinfection kettles survives.

The Doctor’s Visit

Following the shower the migrants climbed the stairs that led to the doctors’ area
and the final judgment.

The Red Star Line enforced the rules of the American authorities as anyone who was refused entry in the United States would be sent back at the expense of the shipping line. The hygienic procedures were insisted upon by the American authorities to avoid bringing infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and trachoma into the county. Migrants were put in quarantine if they came from an area known to have had an epidemic.

Doctors checked the passengers for lice running their hands through hair, lifting or pulling down eyelids to inspect for eye disease (trachoma), using instruments to press down the tongue to check for disease in the mouth. All examinations were done without the precautions that we are used to today.

Travelling Steerage

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Red Star Line Museum exhibit, photographed during visit 24 May 2014.

After the extensive checks in the building the migrants could finally embark and begin the ocean journey.

For the Fournelle family this meant that they would live together with other migrants in large dormitories for the circa ten day (to three week) trip.

Later, in the 20th century, crossing on ocean steamers was much more comfortable for passengers as companies began paying more attention to the comfort of third-class traveller.

In the museum’s exhibits the stark difference between the luxury of first class and the scarcity of third class can be seen.

Stories collected from former passengers tell of upper class passengers throwing food down to third class or of the migrants sneaking up to second class for scraps of food as there was no access to first class.

Frieslandsm
Passenger Ships and Images [Ancestry.com : accessed 26 May 2014]
What happened to the migrants during their journey? Who did they meet, what did they see and feel, why did they leave? The collection of stories allow visitors of the meusum to learn more about the people who crossed the Atlantic.

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New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [Ancestry.com : accessed 26 May 2014]

Steerages
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [Ancestry.com : accessed 26 May 2014]

Broder-Fournell
New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [Ancestry.com : accessed 26 May 2014]

Arriving in America

The Fournelle party arrived in New York on 12 March 1890. Tension was high as the crucial, last examination awaited third-class passengers. Crowd control barricades
lead them through the examination station.

Nicolas and his family finally passed through all controls and were able to continue their journey to Pawnee County, Nebraska, where they were reunited with 24 year old son John Peter FOURNELL (as he was now called) and 20 year old daughter Catherine. Not only were they reunited with these children but also with Nicolas’ sister Margaret (1833-1910) who immigrated about 1881 with her second husband Nicolas le jeune BOUCHÉ (aka Nicholas BOUCHE).

The Guided Tour Comes to an End

Our visit to the museum came to an end after climbing the observation tower which offers a 360° view of Antwerp. This showpiece, shaped like the bow of a steamer, was built on the new building between the corner building and the main building to replace a high chimney that was dismantled in 1936.

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Panorama view from the observation tower of the Red Star Line Museum.

A heartfelt thank you to Lien Vloeberghs and the rest of the staff at the Red Star Line Museum for making this a memorial journey.

★★★★★★★

From the Red Star Line Museum press kit, two famous passengers:

Albert Einstein made two historic journeys with the Red Star Line: the first time the Belgenland brought him from the United States to Antwerp, where he announced that he would not return to Nazi Germany.
His second journey, on the Westernland, brought Einstein and his wife to America for good.

★ Israel Isidore Baline, later known as Irving Berlin, the composer of ‘White Christmas’, travelled on the SS Rhynland as a 5-year-old boy.

The Red Star Line Trailer – English Subtitles  

★★★★★★★

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part II

logo_klengMy field trip to Germany last Saturday was a huge success. It was an enjoyable day and the best part was the RESEARCH! With just one hour to check out the genealogy library, it was a good thing I was prepared.

I’d generated ancestral reports in pdf format for all lines with individuals born in what is now Germany and emailed the file to my Kindle Paperwhite so that I wouldn’t be shuffling through all kinds of paper.

In the library, I consulted my reports and worked fast pulling the books on the villages that my ancestors came from. With my Nikon Coolpix (set on macro and without flash) I took pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine. Although time was short and there was not much elbow room, I took nearly 120 photos.

Halfway through evaluating these, I have 50 family groups that fit into my tree. On several lines, I was able to go back 3 generations further than I had. One ancestral couple, Hubert WELTER (d. 1744) and Anna Margaretha BERNARD (d. 1760), turned out to be my 6th and 7th great-grandparents!

I’m going to be busy inputting all of the data, citing the sources, and planning a trip to the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg to look up the families I missed.

familienbuch

A quick explanation of entries in family books: In this photo of family group 822 in Ernzen we see Hubert WEIMANN <858.2> which means that he is the 2nd child of family group 858. Symbols seen are * (birth), oo (marriage), and + (death). Following P.: are names of godparents. Further information for child #3 is found under family group 867.

For the surname PLEIN there were 28 pages in one town – it will take me a while to go through these as the family groups were not numbered or cross-referenced (as in the photo).

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Luxracines on Tour 2013 – Part I

logo_klengSaturday I’m going on a genealogy field trip! The genealogy association I belong to in Luxembourg, Luxracines, has organized a trip to Neumagen and Wittlich (Germany).

Starting with a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship, followed by lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus”, and a tour of Peter Daus’ private library, in Haus Daus. The library is made up of about 2000 family books for localities in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz, and Saarland.

In comparison, the Beda Bücherei (library) in Bitburg has a collection of about 150 family books for the Eifel area and the Bistumsarchiv (diocese archives) of Trier has about 1200 family books.

A family book (Familienbuch) is compiled from the parish and civil records (church books and town registers) – kind of like an index to where you can find the original records.

Unfortunately, Mr. Daus’ holdings are being disposed of so this will be my last chance to see this amazing collection.

Time is precious so I’ve made up a list of ancestors on my maternal grandfather’s branch and a few little twigs in my husband’s family tree that reach into Germany.

Don’t know how much research I can do but I’ll be prepared.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.