52 Ancestors: #13 The MEDER-REIFFER Family of Diekirch 1807-1930

Week 13 (March 26 – April 1) – Different. What ancestor seems to be your polar opposite? What ancestor did something that seems completely different than what they “should” have done or what you would have done?

Moving on to the next generation, my children’s 16 sets of great-great-great-grandparents. A quarter of these were discussed last year when I did 8 individuals (4 sets in red on the chart) of my/their American lines. See links for 2014 52Ancestors #8 through #15.

7gen
Courtesy of TreeSeek.com

Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) is on the opposite side of the chart from Maria MAJERUS (1850-1931). My son inherited Théodore’s Y-DNA through his father and Maria’s mtDNA through me. I need to learn more about DNA, but this I get: Y-DNA and mtDNA are completely opposite.

The MEDER-REIFFER Family (1807-1930)

1807birth
1807 Birth Record of Théodore MEDER[1]
The father of this family group, Théodore MEDER (1807-1898) was born at four in the morning on Tuesday the 14th of July 1807 in Diekirch (Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) to Nicolas and Apolline. Nicolas MEDERT (sic, MEDER) was a 43 years old basket-maker (vannier). His wife Apolline WILMES’ age is not given but she would have been 38 at the time. Mathias KELLEN, a 33 years old farmer (laboureur) from Gilsdorf, and Philippe SCHAACK, a 36 years old tawer (mégissier), were the witnesses who signed the birth record. The father Nicolas declared not being able to sign his name.[1]

379px-G._Bruno_-_Le_Tour_de_la_France_par_deux_enfants_p161
G. Bruno – Le Tour de la France par deux enfants p161 » par G. Bruno, gravure Perot — http://archive.org/details/letourdelafrance00brunuoft Univ. of Toronto. Sous licence Domaine public via Wikimedia Commons

Please excuse my going off on a tangent here but I find old occupations quite fascinating and it is interesting to learn more about the crafts and trades of our ancestors, or as was the case here, of their neighbors or acquaintances.

I had a bit of difficulty finding a translation for the French word mégissier. Google Translate “knew” the French word but did not come up with the English equivalent. After a bit, I found that mégissier is a tawer. In search of the translation and definition I found this illustration (left). A tawer is a person who taws or makes leather out of hide without the use of tanning.

Let’s get back to the main subjects!

The mother of this family group, Susanna REIFFER (1808-1877) born Wednesday, 6 April 1808 in Wahlhausen, Clervaux, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, according to the extract of her baptismal record that was presented in Diekirch in 1833 when she married. The same date and place are also listed on the 1843 census. She was the daughter of Théodore REIFFER and Elisabethe CLOS whose dates of death were listed on her 1833 marriage record.[2]

publication
Publication of Marriage in Diekirch[3]
At eight o’clock the morning of Thursday the 31st of January 1833, Théodore MEDER, a 25 years old day laborer and Susanna REIFFER, a 24 years old house servant from Bastendorf, were joined in marriage in Diekirch. The bride’s parents were both deceased, her father in 1831 and her mother in 1829. Théodore’s father Nicolas was present and consenting to the marriage. His mother had died in 1824. Banns were published in Bastendorf and in Diekirch on the 20th and the 27th of January. As is normal with marriage records in Luxembourg, 4 witnesses were present and signed the record. Their relationships to the bride and groom are not listed. The bride, the groom and the father of the groom declared not being able to write and did not sign the marriage record.[2], [3]

Théodore and Susanna were the parents of a dozen children:

Child 1: Jean MEDER (1834-1901) was born 6 January 1834[4] in Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He married Barbara “Barbe” ADAM (1837-1906) on 10 January 1864[5] in Bettendorf where they raised a family of 4 children. Jean died on 26 October 1901[6] in Bettendorf. His wife Barbe died in the same town on 6 October 1906.[7]

Child 2: Mathias MEDER (1835-1912) was born 25 November 1835[8] in Diekirch.  He married Maria “Marie” KAUFMANN (1833-1912) on 24 June 1863[9] in Bettendorf where they raised a family of 3 children. Mathias died 23 April 1912[10] in Bastendorf a little over a year after Marie who died on 2 April 1911[11] in Bettendorf.

Child 3: Maria MEDER (1837-1918) was born 21 November 1837[12] in Diekirch. Maria married Nicolas WEBER (1836-1918) on 14 November 1860[13] in Diekirch where they raised 5 children. Nicolas died 20 January 1881[14] in Diekirch. Maria died 37 years later on 11 October 1918[15] in Diekirch.

Child 4: Philippe MEDER (1839-1839) was born 29 October 1839[16] in Diekirch. Philippe was not quite two months old when he died on 23 December 1839[17] in Diekirch.

Child 5: Anna Maria MEDER (1841-1911) was born 21 January 1841[18] in Diekirch. She married Nicolas SCHOLTES (1847-1897) on 28 November 1867[19] in Diekirch where 10 children were born. Nicolas died on 16 January 1897[20] in Diekirch. Anna, as she was usually known, died 5 January 1911[21] in Diekirch.

Child 6: Maria “Elisa” MEDER (1842- ) was born 26 October 1842[22] in Diekirch. When she married Célestin RENAUT (1830- ) on 3 July 1865[23] in Diekirch Elisa was listed as the name that she normally used. This family moved around a bit and were last seen in the 1875 census in Diekirch. At that time they had two daughters, the first born in Esch-sur-Alzette and the second in Magneux, Marne, France, where Célestin was from. In 1876 another daughter was born in Diekirch.[24] The family disappears [has not been found] after this birth and it is not known when Elisa and her husband died.

Child 7: Elisabetha MEDER (1844- ) was born 23 February 1844[25] in Diekirch. In 1858 and later she was no longer found with her parents. It’s possible that as a 14 years old in 1858 she may have been living and/or working in another household. There is no trace of a death record for her in Diekirch.

Child 8: Margaretha MEDER (1845-1845) was born 8 June 1845[26] in Diekirch. She only lived 16 days, dying on 24 June 1845[27] in Diekirch.

Child 9: Franz “François” MEDER (1846-1930) was born 17 May 1846 in Diekirch. Franz married Elisabetha “Elisabeth” “Elise” FABER (1846-1915) on 20 September 1869 in Diekirch. More about this child in 52 Ancestors: #5 The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954

Child 10: Johann “Jean Pierre” MEDER (1847-1848) was born 16 September 1847[28] in Diekirch and died 29 May 1848[29] in Diekirch at the age of 8 months. Although his birth and death record show that his name was Johann, on the 1847 census he was seen as Jean Pierre, most likely to distinguish him from his oldest brother Jean.

Child 11: [–?–] MEDER, a female, (1849-1849) was stillborn on 19 August 1849[30].

Child 12: Catharina MEDER (1850-1879) was born 5 December 1850[31] in Diekirch. Catharina married André WILHELMY (1853-?) on 15 May 1878[32] in Diekirch. She died 26 February 1879[33] in Diekirch 8 days after giving birth to a stillborn son.[34] Her widower André remarried a year later in Alscheid.[35]

The Occupations of Théodore MEDER

Life may have been hard for Théodore, Susanna, and their many children. As seen in the following chart Théodore worked as a day laborer from the time of his marriage in 1833 until 1846 when he became a shepherd. He remained in this occupation for about 10 years. On one record it is clearly noted that he was a goat shepherd. By 1858 he was once again working as a day laborer. In 1880 at the age of 73 he seen on the census as a miner (Bergbauarbeiter). This seems to be a very hard job for a man of his age. Finally at the time of his death, at the age of 91, he was seen as having no occupation.

occupationThe MEDER-REIFFER family in the Luxembourg census

Previous posts on family groups in Luxembourg have concentrated on the birth and marriage records of the children. For this family, I’ve decided to do something different. Above I used a pink or blue box for each child, including footnote links to the very long source list found at the end of this post. Instead of discussing the birth and/or marriage records, I’ve chosen to focus on the census records of this family.

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

1843census
1843 Luxembourg Census[36]
On the 1843 census, earliest census available online at FamilySearch, birthdates of persons in the household were included. From experience I’ve found that they do not always match up with the birth records found. And that is the case with this family listing. The father, mother and oldest son’s dates match but the other 4 children are off. In the household are children Jean, Mathias, Marie, Anne, and Marie (who will later be known as Elisa). I was happy to find Jean Nicolas MEDER in his son Theodore’s household.[36] His date of birth is seen as 1 April 1763. This cannot be correct as his baptismal record* shows that he was born and baptized on 26 October 1766. *Note: the baptismal record was located after footnotes were completed for this post.

*Source: Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 59 of 147. Jean Nicolas Meder baptismal record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-751-39?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-ZJ4:1500939401,1501045912 : accessed 23 March 2015).

1846census
1846 Luxembourg Census[37]
In 1846 Théodore and his brother Antoine’s families are listed together in one household. Children in Théodore and Susane’s household are Jean, Mathias, Marie, Marie, Marie, Elisabeth, and François. Three girls named Marie! From one census or civil record to the next these girls would use different variations of their names. The years of birth are off for the older children but the younger ones born in the 1840s are correct.[37]

1847census
1847 Luxembourg Census[38]
In 1847 the family had grown to 10, parents and 8 children: Jean, Mathias, Marie, Anne Marie, Marie, Elisabeth, François, and Jean-Pierre.[38]

1849census
1849 Luxembourg Census[39]
In 1849 the family has one less member as their youngest child Jean-Pierre passed away in May 1848. As in 1847 none of the children are listed with an occupation. Their father is a shepherd (pâtre) and one can imagine that his older sons Jean and Mathias may have helped their father while the four girls helped their mother care for little François.[39]

1851census
1851 Luxembourg Census[40]
In 1851 young Catherine born in 1850 is now seen on the list of children. The mother is mistakenly listed as Marguerite however her maiden name and place of birth are correct. The ditto marks in the column for occupation make it appear as if the mother and the three sons are working as day laborers like the father. It seems very unlikely that 6 years old François would be working. All of the daughters are listed as having no occupation. An interesting addition to this census sheet is the column for the number of years each person has lived in the present community. The mother, who came to Diekirch at the time of her marriage, is seen as living in Diekirch for 18 years while for all other members of the family the time of residence is equal to their age.[40]

1852census
1852 Luxembourg Census[41]
In 1852 the oldest son Jean is missing on the census. As I am concentrating on Théodore and Susanne’s family as a unit I have not taken the time to search further for their oldest son once he left the nest. I know that after his marriage in 1864 he lived in Bettendorf a village to the east of Diekirch. He “disappears” between 1852-1864 and depending on where he was working I will have to do a lot of browsing to find him.[41]

1855census
1855 Luxembourg Census[42]
In 1855 the next two oldest children, Mathias and the eldest Marie have also flown the coop, most likely due to their living with their employer. Children still at home are Anna, Marie, Elisa, François, and Catherine.[42]

1858census
1858 Luxembourg Census[43]
The 1858 census gave me a few problems. Marie seen here is Anna Marie and Elisa is the younger Marie. The reason that I know this is not Elisabeth is that when Marie marries in 1865 the marriage record has a note that she is known as Elisa and the date of birth matches Marie born in 1842. It is my belief that Elisabeth (1858 age 14) may be working in a nearby village. As long as the census is not indexed finding her will be a lot of work or I might get lucky and find her while checking on other families in the area. This means that I have to be careful to look at all persons listed in each household, especially at the end of the list where domestics’ names were listed.[43]

1861census
1861 Luxembourg Census[44]
In 1861[44] (above) and in 1864[45] (below) the family group remains the same as in 1858.

1864census
1864 Luxembourg Census[45]
In 1867, below, the family has become even smaller. Only the two youngest children are still at home, François and Catherine.[46] By this time all of the other children were married and had their own households. Marie in 1860, Mathias in 1863, Jean in 1864, Marie “Eisa” in 1865, and Anna Marie in 1867.

1867census
1867 Luxembourg Census[46]
I went through the entire 1871 census collection for Diekirch and did not find Théodore, Susanna, and their youngest daughter Catherine. Are they living with one of their three married daughters? Their son François married in 1869 and was enumerated with his wife and children in the household of the in-laws. Jean and Mathias are in Bettendorf with their wives and children.

1875census
1875 Luxembourg Census[47]
In 1875 Théodore and Susanna were found living alone in Diekirch. Their youngest daughter Catherine was not yet married and may be working and living with another family.[47]

1880census
1880 Luxembourg Census[48]
By 1880 Théodore was widowed and seen living with his son Franz and his family.[48]  Following the 1880 census Théodore no longer lived with Franz or any of his children who have been located in the 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895 censuses.

Théodore and Susanna were married nearly 45 years when Susanna died at 9 o’clock in the evening on 11 October 1877 in their home in Diekirch. Théodore who was the informant of her death declared that he could not write and did not sign the death record.[49] The place of birth of the deceased was seen as Merscheid instead of Wahlhausen as seen in her marriage record and on several census sheets. I hoped that this would lead to her birth record but was disappointed once again.

Théodore spent the next 22 years as a widower and may have spent some time in the local hospital before his death. He died at three o’clock in the morning on 29 July 1898 in the hospital (Spital) in Diekirch. His death was reported by Dominik ZENNER, the 64 years old overseer in the hospital (Aufseher im Spital).[50] It was interesting to see that Mathias WENGLER, age 72 was still the secretary of the civil hall in Diekirch and a witness on this death record. In 1877 at the age of 50 he had been the witness and secretary on Susanna’s death record.

If you have any connection to this family, please let me know. I look forward to reading your comments.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Théodore MEDER
Parents: Johann Nicolas “Jean Nicolas” MEDER and Apolline WILMES
Spouse: Susanna REIFFER
Parents of Spouse: Theodore REIFFER and Elisabetha CLOS
Whereabouts: Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-great-grandfather

1. Théodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER
2. Franz MEDER
3. Johann Peter “Jean Pierre” MEDER
4. Marcel Mathias MEDER
5. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 937 of 1493. 1807 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-125548-25?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N5:n983817566 : accessed 24  Apr 2010).
[2] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1300 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Publication, upper left. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-104226-22?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 267 of 1507. 1834 Birth Record No.3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-32931-0?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[5] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 565 of 1494. 1864 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35377-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 94 of 389. 1901 Death Record No. 42. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32048-25476-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 165 of 389. 1906 Death Record No. 34 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-24647-64?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 22 March 2015).
[8] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 311 of 1507. 1835 Birth Record No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29914-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : acccessed 18 March 2010).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 558 of 1494. 1863 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36446-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[10] Ibid, Bastendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 128 of 213. 1912 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32027-17450-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-JW1:129624201,129623802 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 234 of 389. 1911 Death Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24398-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[12] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 363 of 1507. 1837 Birth Record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-34390-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[13] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 408 of 1493. 1860 Marriage Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48463-31?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[14] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1136 of 1358. 1881 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-165899-41?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 22 March 2015).
[15] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 378 of 500. 1918 Death Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32027-19878-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 10 March 2015).
[16] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 405 of 1507. 1839 Birth Record No. 64. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-35084-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : acccessed 18 March 2010).
[17] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 262 of 1358. 1839 Death Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-170780-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[18] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 437 of 1507. 1841 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29201-28?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[19] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 538 of 1493. 1867 Marriage Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48372-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[20] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 513 of 661. 1897 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-1472-27?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-92Q:129628901,130043302 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[21] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 203 of 500. 1911 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32027-19532-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 10 March 2015).
[22] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 476 of 1507. 1842 Birth Record No. 68. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-30337-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[23] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 496 of 1493. 1865 Marriage Record No. 13. Note: Lists her name as Maria “known as Elisa” Meder.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49678-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[24] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1423 of 1507. 1876 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29780-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[25] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 514 of 1507. 1844 Birth Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29227-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[26] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 546 of 1507. 1845 Birth Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-25504-24?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[27] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 347 of 1358. 1845 Death Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-161635-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[28] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 600 of 1507. 1847 Birth Record No. 63. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29087-80?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[29] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 393 of 1358. 1848 Death Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-170739-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[30] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 413 of 1358. 1849 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-159137-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[31] Ibid, Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 683 of 1507. 1850 Birth Record No. 77. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-24855-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[32] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 687 of 1493. 1878 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49334-55?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[33] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1096 of 1358. 1879 Death Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-166632-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19‎ ‎May ‎2011).
[34] Ibid, Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1095 of 1358. 1879 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-168135-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[35] Ibid, Alscheid > Mariages 1831-1890 > image 233 of 287. 1880 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12419-77701-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-L27:129624001,129733101 : accessed 23 March 2015).
[36] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1843 > image 332 of 444. Meder-Reiffer household (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32349-22719-47?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-MJ4:345999901,345863501 : accessed 25 January 2015).
[37] Ibid, Diekirch > 1846 > image 170 of 347. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32358-17571-45?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-82R:345999901,345858602 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[38] Ibid, Diekirch > 1847 > image 85 of 506. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32360-31013-36?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-7MB:345999901,345864101 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[39] Ibid, Diekirch > 1849 > image 496 of 504. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32357-25769-37?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-44Q:345999901,345864801 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[40] Ibid, Diekirch > 1851 > image 28 of 601. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32358-23247-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6Y3:345999901,345865601 : accessed 11 March 2015).
[41] Ibid, Diekirch > 1852 > image 28 of 551. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32376-17058-35?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-Y4T:345999901,345865501 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[42] Ibid, Diekirch > 1855 > image 212 of 534. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32378-30312-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-K6Y:345999901,345866501 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[43] Ibid, Diekirch > 1858 > image 122 of 635. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32378-12764-40?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-VZL:345999901,345867601 : accessed 12 March 2015).
[44] Ibid, Diekirch > 1861 > image 150 of 646. Meder-Reiffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-11875-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-16P:345999901,345867101 : accessed 13 March 2015).
[45] Ibid, Diekirch > 1864 > image 483 of 689. Meder-Reiffer household No. 3 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-10399-87?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-168:345999901,345868401 : accessed 25 January 2015).
[46] Ibid, Diekirch > 1867 > image 361 of 649. Meder-Reiffer household No. 198 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-7605-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-SP8:345999901,345869101 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[47] Ibid, Diekirch > 1875 > image 233 of 1488. Meder-Reiffer household No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-20952-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-SPK:345999901,345870501 : accessed 15 March 2015).
[48] Ibid, Diekirch > 1880 > image 321 of 1562. Meder-Faber household No. 85 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32389-5935-92?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-GPL:345999901,345872201 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[49] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1066 of 1358. 1877 Death Record No. 58. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-166176-67?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[50] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 550 of 661. 1898 Death Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-1425-70?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #12 The One Who Went To Paris

Week 12 (March 19-25) – Same. What ancestor is a lot like you? What ancestor do you have a lot in common? Same name? Same home town?

To give me a little break from serious research and writing, I’m sharing documents my husband’s cousin re-discovered a few weeks ago while cleaning out their Rumpelkammer or débarras [one of those catch-all rooms].

JohannPeterIIIIn 52 Ancestors: #5 The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954 I wrote about my husband’s great-grandparents Franz MEDER (1846-1930) and Elisabeth FABER (1846-1915). They had three sons with the same name – Johann Peter MEDER. The middle one was born 14 October 1876 and died 29 September 1877, shortly before his first birthday. The two other sons, with the same name, lived to marry and have children so it was not the case of a child being named after a child who had died. The youngest of the two was my husband’s grandfather (left) Johann Peter MEDER (1888-1954) who I wrote about in 52 Ancestors: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife. The other one was . . .

The One Who Went To Paris

Johann Peter, the elder, remained in Paris, married and had at least one child, a daughter Pierette who was born ca. 1920-1925. I suspected this but needed confirmation. I met Pierette and her husband in the late 1970s or early 1980s when they came from France to visit with my husband’s uncle Fritz and we saw them several times before Pierette’s death. At the time I knew that she was Fritz’s and my father-in-law’s cousin. By process of elimination I figured out that she had to be the daughter of the elder Johann Peter. My husband’s cousin confirmed that Pierette was the daughter of the brother who lived in Paris but she does not know when he died.

After talking to my husband’s cousin, she and her husband began cleaning out a room in their house and found documents that she share with me. What a find!!

As mentioned above, the elder Johann Peter MEDER, born 12 June 1873, lived and worked in Paris. He was known as Jean MEDER and worked as a Maître d’Hotel or butler for the family of the Marquis Gustave Lannes de Montebello (1838-1907), French Ambassador, like his father before him, to Russia in Saint Petersburg in 1891-1902. Following the death of the Marquis, Jean remained in the employ of the Marquise de Montebello and her family.

1915Dominica 1915Jean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Paris, France, on 27 September 1913 Jean MEDER married Dominica PEYRÉ. At the time she was without an occupation. Jean’s parents François MEDER and Elisabeth FABER gave their consent on 30 August 1913 in Diekirch, Luxembourg, in an Acte de Consentement à Mariage:

1913acteAn extract of the original 1913 marriage record obtained on 31 May 1940 by Jean and Dominica for an unknown purpose.

1913marriageOn 16 August 1915, during World War I, Jean and Dominica obtained permission to travel in Switzerland, Italy, and France from the Consulate of the Netherlands in Geneva. The Consulate issued these papers.

1915Jeanpass

1915DominicapassThey appear to have then travelled to Paris, France, where on 27 September 1915 they obtained a passport for travel in Switzerland for a one year period.

1915passfrontReverse side of the passport with the stamps from Paris and Lausanne.

1915passbackOn 7 July 1920 Jean, maître d’hotel,  and Dominica, femme de chambre or maid, became the parents of a daughter Marie Pierette MEDER born in Paris, France. This is an extract they obtained on 29 May 1940.

1920birthThe extract of the 1913 marriage record, this extract of the 1920 birth record of the daughter, as well as Dominica’s extract of her 1878 birth record (below) were all obtained the end of May 1940. As this was during World War II it is very likely that the family was once again in need of passports to travel with their employer.

1878birthFollowing the war Pierette married René MEYER on 27 October 1947. It is very likely that they met in the diplomatic circles that her parents’ employers belonged to. René and Pierette lived in Russia while René served a tour of duty there.

1947marriageI located Dominica’s original birth record in the Archives des Pyrénées-Atlantique in Biarritz > Naissances 1873-1882 > image 200 of 379. These records cannot be reproduced without permission. In the margin of the birth record her date of marriage to Jean MEDER as well as her date and place of death were recorded. Dominica died on 29 January 1952 in Kremlin-Bicêtre, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France. It is not known when her husband Jean died.

Pierette, the only child of Jean and Dominica, and her husband René did not have children and this line ended with her death in October 1986.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #11 Lucky in Love

Week 11 (March 12-18) – Luck of the Irish. Do you have an ancestor who seemed particularly lucky? Do you have a favorite Irish ancestor? This is their week.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!

 

Why Lucky in Love? My husband and I are celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary on the 16th, the day before St. Patrick’s Day, AND on the 18th, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. The first date was our civil marriage and the second our religious marriage.

A Luxembourgish groom and his redhead DEMPSEY bride

Dempsey is an anglicised form of Ó Diomasaigh, from the Irish adjective diomasach, meaning “proud”

If we had not been so lucky to see each other twice on the first day we met, we may never have gotten together, married, and had our two wonderful children who are the focal point of our MEDER-DEMPSEY family tree.

My husband and I are not our ancestors however the knot we tied brought together all of our ancestors.

I’m doing the stories of the families in Luxembourg this year for my children. I thought that it would be easy going as the records for Luxembourg are available online at FamilySearch. The family groups are large, often with as many as a dozen children. But the records are not indexed. As long as I know what town they lived in I have no problem with the civil records.

However, the census records are doing me in. I have to go through them page by page unless they have a listing for the neighborhood which I have to locate in a batch of 500-600 images. I love FamilySearch but hate slow loading while browsing. And I’m not talking about one census every ten years. Luxembourg did 19 censuses from 1843 to 1900 – in 1843, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1855, 1858, 1861, 1864, 1867, 1871, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895, and 1900.

Last year I spent a week at a time on an American ancestor and on a family group this year for Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This hasn’t given me any time to get ahead on my posts. I research, scan paper documents and photos, cite sources, write the story during the week, just making my imposed Monday deadline. Last week I posted a day late and without the source citations (now done!). It was hard for me, considered so perfect by others, to admit this. Is that my proud Irish blood?

It turns out that I need to sneak in a little break and cheat a bit so I can get ahead. So this week I’m posting a photo of the two lucky people who found each other. Next week I’ll post some wonderful original documents that were loaned to me for scanning by my husband’s cousin.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #6 The SCHWARTZ-GORGES Family of Osweiler (1866-1996)

Week 6 (Feb 5-11) – So Far Away. Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?

The SCHWARTZ-GORGES Family of Osweiler (1866-1996)

The summer of 1991 the grandchildren, and possibly a great-granddaughter, of Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES met for lunch and had a group photo taken. Unfortunately most of them are deceased and I have only been able to identify three of the cousins.

MRIN00004 1991 Schwartz cousins reunion
Schwartz cousins. Back row: 4th person from left: Lisy BIRGEN-WOLF. Front row: 1st person from right: my father-in-law Marcel MEDER and 2nd person from right: Charles WOLF.

Back to the Beginning

1866birth
Johannes (birth)

Johannes SCHWARTZ was born on 26 January 1866 at 9 in the evening in Osweiler, in the community of Rosport, canton of Echternach, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His father Johann SCHWARTZ, 41 years old mason (Maurer), reported the birth two days later at one o’clock in the afternoon to Mathias HASTERT, an alderman in Rosport. The age of the mother of the child, Catharina SCHMIT (sic, SCHMITT), was not mentioned.[1]

1868birth
Margaretha (birth)

Margaritha GORGES was born on 27 July 1868 at 8 in the evening in Born, in the community of Mompach, canton of Echternach, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father Johann GORGES, a 30 years old laborer (Taglöhner) reported the birth two days later at 9 in the morning to Victor GRAF de VILLERS, mayor of Mompach. The age of the mother of the child, Catharina SCHERFF, was not mentioned.[2]

So Far Away – Married in 1891, Rectified in 1907

The villages that Johannes and Margaritha grew up in, Osweiler and Born, are not that far apart. I have no idea how they met but by the time they were in their twenties they came to be married in Rosport.

In 1996 I took at short trip, less than 9 km from where I live, to visit the records office at the town hall of Rosport. The plan was to ask if they would look up several marriage records and make copies for me to take home.

The person in the office opened the vault and gave me permission to find the documents on my own. I had never been given access to original records and you can imagine how nervous I was handling the old ledgers.

I found several of the marriage records that I was interested in, including the 1891 marriage record my children’s great-great-grandparents Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES. Photocopies were kindly made and I was on my way home within an hour.

Johann SCHWARTZ age 25 married Margaritha GORGES age 23 on the 24th of August 1891 in Rosport. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon they met with Mathias BISDORFF, alderman, and were joined in marriage. In the marriage record Mr. BISDORFF named the parents of the bride and groom, including their ages and occupations, and remarked that they were agreeable to the marriage. He also included a sentence about the birth records of the bride and groom having been seen. Banns had been read in both communities on two Sundays, the 2nd and 9th of August in Rosport, and the 9th and 16th in Mompach. Four witnesses, none of whom were relatives of either party, were present: Johann Peter HIPPERT, Franz SCHABERT, Johann DALEIDEN, and Johann SCHABERT. Everyone present, it was believed, signed the marriage record.[3]

1891signatures
Signatures on the marriage record.

I didn’t have to go far to get the record. But was it enough? I was still so far away from having a document that would prove their legal marriage. In the left margin of the marriage record, an annotation was made 16 years later, in 1907: The absence of the signature of the civil official was rectified by a judgment of the District Court in Diekirch on 5 June 1907. See Register of Marriage 1907 record No. 16. The civil servant of the community Rosport, Mayor M. RIES.[3]

1907annotation
Margin of 1891 Marriage Record No. 12 seen in Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images) [4]
1891marriagerosport
Margin of the 1891 Marriage Record No. 12. A photocopy I obtained from the records office of the town hall in Rosport in 1996.

What happened? In 1907 or earlier someone realized that Mathias BISDORFF, who did a great job with information on all the persons concerned, never signed the marriage record. Not only was the original in Rosport not signed by him but also the duplicate that was sent to the archives. I have a copy of both. Above right, the one I obtained in 1996[3] and, above left, the scanned image of the copy found in the Luxembourg National Archives that I accessd at FamilySearch in 2013.[4]

Note: When I began doing genealogy in the early 1990s I did not have internet access and concentrated on the families in Luxembourg, visiting, calling, and writing to the city/town halls for information. In 2000 I switched over to doing research on my American families when we got access to the internet. Fast forward to the early 2010s when I finally went back to working on the Luxembourg families using the records on FamilySearch. That is one of the reasons being able to use the “so far away” theme.

While preparing to write this, nineteen years after finding the original marriage record, I searched for the 1907 marriage entry that was noted in the margin. It was not a regular marriage record. It was a transcript of the court records that finally rectified the error on the marriage record. See page 1 and page 2 & 3 of the judgment transcript.[5] By the time that the courts got involved Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES had been married nearly 16 years and were the parents of 10 children.

Johann and Margaritha in the Luxembourg Census

In 1895 Johann and Margaritha are seen for the first time together on the Luxembourg census in their own household. Johann’s occupation was Tüncher Meister which could be translated today as a master plasterer.  In earlier days due to the overlapping of crafts, a painter was also called a Tüncher. This is the only record in which Johann was seen as Tüncher, a term that is no longer widely used. The word Tünch was a term used in the mid-19th century for a fine layer of plaster that was put on walls and ceilings. In the birth records of his children, Johann was seen as Weißer (literally, whiter) or Anstreicher (painter).

In the household were their four children Catherine, Marie, Josephine, and Johann. At the time that this census was enumerated Johann had only three living siblings: Heinrich, Nicolas, and Marie. A closer study of the census shows that Johann’s parents Johann SCHWARTZ and Catharina SCHMITT and his brother Nicolas were living with the young SCHWARTZ-GORGES family. Turning the page, on the back side of the sheet, are the names of two persons who normally would be living in this home but were away from home. Johann’s sister Marie had been working in Trier, Germany, as a maid (Dienstmagd) for 6 months. Johann’s brother Heinrich was in America and had been there 5 years.

1895census
1895 Luxembourg Census [6]
1895census2
1895 Luxembourg Census (back page)

By 1900 there were more children in the household of Johann and Margaritha SCHWARTZ-GORGES. Along with Catherine, Marie, Josephine, and Johann seen in the 1895 census we now see Magdalena, Angela, and Elise. Johann’s widowed mother Catharina SCHMITT is also in the household. His brothers Heinrich, back home from his stay in America, and Nicolas married during the year and have their own households.

1900census
1900 Luxembourg Census [7]
The Children of Johann and Margaritha SCHWARTZ-GORGES

1892birth
Catharina (birth)

Child 1: Catherine “Ketty” SCHWARTZ (1892-1974), my husband’s grandmother, was born 2 February 1892 in Osweiler.[8] At the time of her marriage on 15 June 1923 in Diekirch to Johann Peter MEDER (1888-1954), Ketty was working as a midwife.[9] Ketty and Johann Peter were married in a religious ceremony the next day. They were the parents of two sons, Fritz and Marcel. Ketty died 1 February 1974 in Ettelbrück, as annotated in her birth record.[8]

1893birth
Maria Anna (birth)

Child 2: Maria Anna SCHWARTZ (1893- ) was born 2 April 1893 in Osweiler.[10] She married Mathias “Metti” WOLF (1879- ) on 16 February 1917 in Echternach.[11] They were the parents of three daughters and two sons. The death date of both Maria Anna and her husband Metti are not annotated on their birth records which would suggest that they died before this became a practice.

1894birth
Maria Josephine (birth)

Child 3: Maria Josephine SCHWARTZ (1894-1982) was born 24 July 1894 in Osweiler.[12] She married Mathias SCHAMINÉ (1892- ) on 24 February 1919 in Rosport.[13] They were the parents of a son and a daughter. Maria Josephine died 8 November 1982 in Esch-zur-Alzette, as annotated on her birth record.[12]

1895birth
Johann Bernard (birth)

Child 4: Johann Bernard “Jean” SCHWARTZ (1895-1969) was born 20 August 1895 in Osweiler.[14] He married Sophie Cathérine LEHNEN (1896- ) on 29 August 1923 in Ettelbrück.[15] At that time his occupation was a caretaker of the ill (Kranken-Wärter). Jean and Sophie were the parents of two daughters. He died 3 January 1969 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on his birth record.[14]

1897birth
Magdalena (birth)

Child 5: Magdalena “Madeleine” SCHWARTZ (1897-1949) was born 16 January 1897 in Osweiler.[16] She married Pierre RECKING and they did not have children. Madeleine died 23 January 1949 after a long and painful illness in Luxembourg City per her obituary found in the Luxemburger Wort.[17]

1898birth
Angela (birth)

Child 6: Angela SCHWARTZ (1898-1983) was born 5 August 1898 in Osweiler.[18] She married August KRAEMER and they had one daughter. Angela died 25 May 1983 in Salzgitter, Niedersachsen, Deutschland, as annotated on her birth record.[18]

1900birth
Elisabetha (birth)

Child 7: Elisabetha SCHWARTZ (1900-1978) was born 15 March 1900 in Osweiler.[19] She married Nicolas RIPP and had a daughter and a son. Elisabetha died 3 November 1978 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on her birth record.[19]

1901birth
Florentine (birth)

Child 8: Florentine SCHWARTZ (1901-1996) was born 15 September 1901 in Osweiler.[20] She married Pierre POOS. They had two daughters, one who died at the age of 12 years. Florentine died 24 October 1996 in Luxembourg City, as annotated on her birth record.[20]

1903birth
Anna Margaretha (birth)
1903death
Anna Margaretha (death)

Child 9: Anna Margaretha SCHWARTZ (1903- ) was born 30 July 1903 in Osweiler.[21] She died at the age of three months on 23 Oct 1903 in Osweiler.[22]

1905birth
Virginie (birth)

Child 10: Virginie SCHWARTZ (1905-1974) was born 8 October 1905 in Osweiler.[23] She married Michel WOLF (1894-1979) and had one son. Virginie died 17 December 1974 in Esch-sur-Alzette, as annotated on her birth record.[23] Her husband Michel WOLF was the brother of Mathias “Metti” WOLF who married her sister (Child 2) Anna Maria in 1917.

1907birth
Anna (birth)
1919death
Anna (death)

Child 11: Anna SCHWARTZ (1907-1919) was born 26 September 1907 in Osweiler.[24] She died 8 June 1919 in Osweiler at the age of 12.[25]

1910birth
Ernst Johann (birth)

Child 12: Ernst Johann SCHWARTZ (1910-1975) was born 23 September 1910 in Osweiler.[26] He married a Miss ROULLING, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. ROULLING-WEISGERBER. They had a daughter and a son. Ernst died 29 January 1975 in Esch-sur-Alzette, as annotated on his birth record.[26]

The Deaths of Johann and Margaritha

1920death
1920 Death Record No. 1 [27]
Johann SCHWARTZ, a painter (Anstreicher) was the first person in the community of Rosport to die in 1920 as is  reflected in his death record being the first in the death register for that year. He died on 4 January 1920 in Osweiler at 6 in the evening at the age of 53. His brother Nicolas, 51, and an acquaintance, the 71 years old Peter CLASSEN, reported his death the following day.[27]Johann’s widow lived nearly 19 years longer. Margaritha GORGES died 23 October 1938 in Osweiler after a short illness in her 71st year.[28] Ten of her twelve children survived her as well as 18 grandchildren. Only one grandchild was born after her death. Robert Pierre Schwartz, known as Roby, was born in 1950 and lived less than three months.

MRIN00004 1938-10-24 Marg. Schwartz-Gorges obit
Luxemburger Wort [28]

Funeral Notice
Mr and Mrs Pierre Meder-Schwartz and their sons François and Marcel; Mr and Mrs Mathias Wolf-Schwartz and their children Lisy, Ketty, Albert, Marguerite and Charles; Mr and Mrs Math. Schaminé-Schwartz and their children Marcel and Angèle; Mr and Mrs Jean SchwartzLehnen and their daughters Nelly and Marie-Thérèse; Mr and Mrs Pierre Reking-Schwartz; Mr and Mrs Aug. Kraemer-Schwartz and their daughter Yvonne; Mr and Mrs Nicolas Ripp-Schwartz and their children Marguerite and Fredy; Mr and Mrs Peter Poos-Schwartz and their daughters Thilly and Maisy; Mr and Mrs Mich. Wolf-Schwartz and their son Erny; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest SchwartzRoulling and their daughter Marie-Josée; the Gorges, Schwartz, and related families have the profound pain to share the irreparable loss they have experienced in the person of
Mrs. (widow of) Jean SCHWARTZ née Marg. GORGES their beloved and lamented mother, stepmother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, and cousin died piously in Osweiler, October 23, at 8 o’clock in the morning after a short illness, in her 71st year, provided with the last rites of the church.
Burial followed by funeral service to be held at Osweiler, Wednesday, October 24, at 10.30 am.
Osweiler, Diekirch, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette., Niedercorn, Pétange, Bettembourg, Belvaux, 24 October 1938.                         4954
This notice serves as a letter of participation.[28]

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Décès 1815-1823 Naissances 1797-1888 > image 1067 of 1499, 1866 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11618-14115-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6K:n1548117469 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Mompach > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1797-1814, 1796-1809, 1799-1830 > image 337 of 1393, 1868 Birth Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-132414-2?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LHS:2047330937 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Rosport, Registres d’état civil (originals), photocopy of 1891 Marriage Record No. 12 obtained in person in 1996.
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 84 of 176, 1891 Marriage Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-230927-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6R:n2017357688 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[5] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > images 577 & 578 of 823, 1907 Marriage Record No. 16 (court rectification). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-4821-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 5 February 2015 and https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32046-4613-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 5 February 2015
[6] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > 1895 > image 218 of 677. Schwartz-Gorges household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32393-11394-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5GZ-RM6:346331501,345878001 : accessed 04 Aug 2014).
[7] Ibid, Rosport > 1900 > image 354 of 690. Schwartz-Gorges household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32396-11815-30?cc=2037957&wc=M5GX-J4V:346331501,345873901 : accessed 04 Aug 2014).
[8] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 19 of 176, 1892 Birth Record No. 9; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-230679-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6R:n2017357688 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[9] Ibid, Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 461 of 661, 1923 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32037-28712-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[10] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 40 of 176, 1893 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-232142-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-92Q:130314401,129717601 : accessed 21 May 2011).
[11] Ibid, Echternach > Mariages 1906-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 161 of 675, 1917 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32043-11426-91?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2VR : accessed 2 February 2015).
[12] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 64 of 176, 1894 Birth Record No. 25; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-229965-68?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-92Q:130314401,129717601 : accessed 21 May 2011).
[13] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 664 of 823, 1919 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32046-4513-34?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6G:2025664037 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[14] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 13 of 823, 1895 Birth Record No. 40; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-3928-15?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed ‎11‎ ‎January ‎2013).
[15] Ibid, Ettelbruck > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 481 of 731, 1923 Marriage Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-27338-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-SPD:129625001,130043302 : accessed 3 February 2015).
[16] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 42 of 823, 1897 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-3763-41?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed ‎11‎ ‎January ‎2013).
[17] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 1949 January 25, page 5, column 3. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=813930&search_terms=Recking#panel:pp|issue:813930|article:DTL532|query:Recking : accessed 8 February 2015).
[18] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 70 of 823, 1898 Birth Record No. 35; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32046-3755-6?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accesed 11 January 2013).
[19] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 104 of 823, 1900 Birth Record No. 13; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-3497-16?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[20] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 129 of 823, 1901 Birth Record No. 41; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-5430-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[21] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 168 of 823, 1903 Birth Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-6150-60?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[22] Ibid, Rosport > Décès 1903-1923 > image 8 of 262. 1903 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32039-4575-3?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-7MC:130314401,129640001 : accessed 8 February 2015).
[23] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 207 of 823, 1905 Birth Record No. 60; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-5842-19?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[24] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 244 of 823, 1907 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-5402-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[25] Ibid, Rosport > Décès 1903-1923 > image 212 of 262, 1919 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32039-5909-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-7MC:130314401,129640001 : accessed 15 Aug 2014).
[26] Ibid, Rosport > Naissances, mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 295 of 823, 1910 Birth Record No. 41, includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32046-5633-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-YWL:130314401,130635602 : accessed 11 January 2013).
[27] Ibid, Rosport > Décès 1903-1923 > image 218 of 262, 1920 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32039-6540-19?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-7MC:130314401,129640001 : accessed 15 Aug 2014).
[28] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 1938 October 24, page 8, column 5. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=747094&search_terms=gorges#panel:pp|issue:747094|article:DTL629|query:gorges : accessed 3 February 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann SCHWARTZ
Parents: Johann SCHWARTZ and Catharina SCHMITT
Spouse: Margaritha GORGES
Parents of Spouse: Johann GORGES and Catharina SCHERFF
Whereabouts: Osweiler, Rosport, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

1. Johann SCHWARTZ and Margaritha GORGES
2.Ketty SCHWARTZ
3. Marcel Mathias MEDER
4. Cathy’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #5 The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954

Week 5, Plowing throughWe will likely be plowing through a lot of snow by this time. What ancestor had a lot of struggles to plow through? Or take it more literally… It’s up to you :)

It has always been said that my husband’s grandfather Jean-Pierre MEDER was the youngest of twelve and married the oldest of twelve, Ketty SCHWARTZ. I had to plow through census, birth, marriage, and death records to prove/disprove that the MEDER-FABER family, as tradition goes, had a dozen children.

Slow Down, You Move Too Fast

red-do-over-button - smallI’m following Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over and the discussions in the Facebook group of the same name.  I’m not an “All-in” participant or even a modified participant. I’m willing to learn new things and have already slown down a bit.

My blogpost this week became a family group study. I went through every document and extracted as much information as possible. I cited the sources (one of the topics in Week 5) and attached the documents in my genealogy program. I did this slowly, and extractions of the information in the records is reflected in the account below for the family.

The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954

Records for the Meder-Faber family of Diekirch in the beautiful country of Luxembourg span the period from 1846, the year that both of my husband’s great-grandparents were born, until 1954 when their youngest and last living child, my husband’s grandfather, died.

1846faberbirth
Elizabetha

Elisabetha FABER was born on the 19th of February 1846 in Diekirch, Luxembourg. Her father Johann FABER, 33 years old stonemason (Steinhauer), reported her birth at 11 o’clock in the morning the following day. Elise, as she was later seen in some records, was born at 11 o’clock in the morning. Her mother Maria LORENTZ was 32 years old. Anton PREUSEN, 55, farmer, and Franz LORENTZ, 34, uncle of the child, were witnesses. Johann-Baptiste DIDIER was the civil officer who recorded the birth.[1]

1846mederbirth
Franz

Franz MEDER was born on the 17th of May 1846 in Diekirch, Luxembourg. His father Theodor MEDER, 37 years old day laborer (Taglöhner), reported his birth at at 11 o’clock in the morning the following day. Franz was born at 11 o’clock in the morning. His mother Susanna REIFFER (Reifer on birth record) was 37 years old. Nikolas FOOS and Damian WILLMES were witnesses. Johann-Baptiste DIDIER was the civil officer who recorded the birth.[2]

The Marriage of Franz MEDER and Elisabetha FABER

1869marriage
Meder-Faber marriage

Franz MEDER and Elisabetha FABER were married at 6 o’clock the evening of Monday, 20 September 1869 in Diekirch by the mayor Ernest FRANÇOIS. Franz was 23 and a day laborer (Taglöhner), Elisabetha was 23 and a seamstress (Näherin). Both of Franz’s parents and Elisabetha’s father were present and agreeable to the marriage. Elisabetha’s mother had died in 1851 a week before little Elise’s 5th birthday. Her date of death is seen in her daughter’s marriage record. Marriage banns had been read Sunday the 5th and the 12th of September. The four witnesses to the marriage were all known to the bridal couple: Franz KREMER, [illegible] WEBER, Mathias WENGLER, and Peter GOEBEL. All persons present, except for the parents of the bridal couple who could not write, signed the marriage record.[3]

A Family for Franz and Elisabetha

1870johannbirth
Johann

Child #1: Johann MEDER was born on 10 Mar 1870 at 10 o’clock in the morning in Diekirch. His father Franz, a day laborer (Taglöhner), was 23 and his mother Elisabetha was 24. Witnesses to the birth record, filled out the next day by Ernest FRANÇOIS, were Mathias WENGLER and Johan BETTENDORF. The three men were city hall employees.[4]

1871antonbirth
Anton

Child #2: Anton MEDER was born at 10 o’clock the evening of 14 October 1871 in Diekirch. The following morning at 11 o’clock his father Franz, 24, day laborer (Taglöhner), informed Nicolas MERGEN that his wife Elizabetha, 25, had given birth to a son who they wanted to name Anton. Mathias WENGLER and Johan BETTENDORF were witnesses.[5]

1871 Luxembourg Census

1871census
1871 Luxembourg Census for the FABER and MEDER-FABER families who lived in Diekirch.

In 1871 Franz (1847) and Elisabetha (1846) are seen for the first time on a census in the same household.[6] The census was enumerated for the night between the 30th of November and the 1st of December and shows two households in one home. Franz and Elisabetha and their two sons (bottom group) are living in the same home as Elisabeth’s parents and two of her sisters (top group). Franz is seen as a day laborer and Elisabetha has no occupation. The sons are listed as Jean (1870) and Joseph (1871). Jean is the French equivalent of Johann but Joseph is not the same as Anton. Joseph and Anton are the same child, Joseph possibly being a baptismal name.

It must be noted that Elisabetha was born in February 1846 and Franz in May 1846 making Elisabetha 3 months older than Franz. From May until February the couple would have the same age however in most records, as will be seen here, Elizabeth was seen as being one year older than Franz.

1873johannbirth
Johann Peter (the elder)

Child #3: Johann Peter MEDER was born at 10 o’clock the evening of 12 June 1873 in Diekirch. Two day later his father Franz, 26, day laborer (Taglöhner), went to the city hall at 11 o’clock in the morning to have the birth of his child by his wife Elizabeth, 27, registered by the mayor Johann JUTTEL. Mathias ZENNER, 30, carpenter (Schreiner), and Mathias WENGLER, 46, city hall secretary (Sekretär), were witnesses.[7]

1875theodorebirth
Théodore

Child #4: Théodore MEDER was born at 5 o’clock the evening of 20 Apr 1875 in Diekirch. The following day his father Franz, 28, day laborer (Taglöhner), went to the city hall at 2 o’clock in the afternoon to have the birth of his child by his wife Elizabetha, 30, registered by the mayor Johann JUTTEL. Johann Baptiste KESSLER, 60, church officer (Köster) and Johann BETTENDORFF, 60, town crier/messenger (Gemeindebote), were witnesses.[8]

1875 Luxembourg Census

1875census
1875 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 80 in Diekirch

In 1875 Franz (1847) and Elisabetha (1846) are seen on the 1875 census with their four sons: Johann (1869), Joseph (1871), Joh. Peter (1872), and Théodore (1875). Franz’s occupation was listed as Gerbergesell or tanner. All members of the household were born in Diekirch, of Catholic faith, and Luxembourg nationals. The census was enumerated for the night between the 30th of November and the 1st of December. The years of birth do not all match the birth records found but are within a year of the true date.[9]

1876johannpeterbirth
Johann Peter (birth)

Child #5: Johann Peter MEDER was born at 1 o’clock in the morning of 14 October 1876 in Diekirch. His father Franz, 30, day laborer (Taglöhner), went to the city hall at 11 o’clock the same day to declare his birth to Johann JUTTEL, mayor. The mother Elisabetha was 31. Witnesses were the city hall secretary Mathias WENGLER, 50, (Sekretär), and his brother Johann Baptiste WENGLER, 35, who appears to have been visiting as his residence was listed as Antwerp (Belgium).[10]

1877johannpeterdeath
Johann Peter (death)

Eleven months later Franz, 30, once again made a visit to the city hall at 11 o’clock to declare the death of his second son named Johann Peter on 29 September 1877 in their home in Diekirch at 9 o’clock in the morning. Franz LEYDER, 59, forester (Förster), accompanied him, or was present in the city hall, and Johann JUTTEL was the person who filled in the death record. Elisabetha, the mother, was listed as 32.[11] Whent his child died Elisabetha was pregnant with her next child.

1878elisebirth
Elisabetha

Child #6: Elisabetha MEDER was born at 7 o’clock in the afternoon of 17 April 1878 in Diekirch. Her father Franz, 32, worker (Arbeiter), went the next day at 11 o’clock to the city hall to declare the birth to Johann JUTTEL. The mother Elisabetha was 33. Witnesses were Franz LEYDER, 54, forester (Förster), and Peter VAN KAUVENBERG, 37, coacher (Fuhrmann).[12] The next record in the birth register was for Peter Van Cauvenbergh’s son Peter which would explain his presence when Franz registered his daughter. It is interesting to view records recorded the same day as they can help to answer questions about the relationship of the witnesses to the claimant.

1880philippebirth
Philippe (birth)

Child #7: Philippe MEDER was born on 4 April 1880 at 10 o’clock in the evening in Diekirch. Franz, 34, worker (Arbeiter), gave the information to Johann JUTTEL two days later at 11 o’clock in the morning. The mother Elisabetha was 35. Witnesses were Mathias WENGLER, 54, secretary (Sekretär), (note: Mr. Merten signed, not Mr. Wengler) and Johann Peter DELOOS, 35.[13]

1880philippedeath
Philippe (death)

Philippe died at noon on 8 November 1880 in his parents’ home. His father Franz, 34, day laborer (Taglöhner), made the declaration on the 9th. Philippe was in his 8th month at the time of his death and his mother Elizabetha was 35. Witness was Mathias WENGLER, secretary (Sekretär), who was listed as age 30, most likely an error as the person of the same name who has been seen as city hall secretary was older and listed as 54 in the next death record. Johann JUTTEL was once again the person who took the information for the record.[14] Elisabetha may have already been pregnant with her next child.

1880 Luxembourg Census

1880census
1880 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 85 in Diekirch

In 1880 the census was again taken for the night of 30 November to 1 December 1880. Along with Franz, Elisabetha, and their five living children (Johann, Joseph, Johann Peter, Théodore, and Elise) we see Franz’s widowed father Théodore living in the household.[15]

1881helenebirth
Hélène

Child #8: Hélène MEDER was born at 11 o’clock in the evening on 1 June 1881 in Diekirch. Her father Franz, 35, worker (Arbeiter), went to the city hall two days later, on the 3rd at 11 o’clock in the morning and once again met with Johann JUTTEL to register the birth of the child born to his wife  Elisabetha, 36. Witnesses were Mathias WENGLER, 54, secretary (Sekretär), and Johann Baptiste KESSLER, 68.[16]

1883heinrichbirth
Heinrich

Child #9: Heinrich MEDER was born the morning of 2 March 1883 at 5 o’clock in Diekirch. Johann JUTTEL was the civil servant who filled out his birth record the same afternoon at 2 o’clock with the information the father Franz, 36, tanner (Gerbergesell), gave for the child and the mother Elisabetha, 36. Witnesses were Mathias WENGLER, 56, secretary (Sekretär) and Johann KORT, 49, a police officer.[17]

1885annebirth
Anna

Child #10: Anna MEDER was born at 10:30 in the evening of 12 July 1885 in Diekirch. Her father Franz, 39, tanner (Gerbergesell) met with Johann Peter SCHOLTES the next morning at 11 o’clock to register the birth of the daughter born to his wife Elisabetha, 40.  Witnesses were Johann KORT, 51, a police officer, and Jacob MERTEN, 39, church officer (Köster).[18]

1885 Luxembourg Census

The quality of the census sheet for the 1885  Luxembourg census [19] is poor. Instead of including the image I choose to make a short transcription of the information listed (omitted below: all persons in household were born in Diekirch, were Catholic and of Luxembourg nationality; only the parents were married):

1885 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 8 in Diekirch
Verzeichniß aller in der Nacht vom 30. November zum 1. Dezember in der Wohnung anwesenden Personen.
(List of all person present in the night of 30 Nov to 1 Dec in the home)
Vorname-Familienname-Verwandschaft-Geschlecht-Geburtstag&Jahr-Beruf
First name-Surname-Relationship-Gendwer-Birthdate-Occupation
1. Franz MEDER Vater männlich 24 März 1846 Gerbergeselle (tanner)
2. Elise FABER Mutter weiblich 20 März 1845 Haushälterin (housekeeper)
3. Jean MEDER Sohn männlich 10 März 1870 Zuckerbäcker (confectioner)
4. Joseph MEDER Sohn männlich 18 Februar 1872 Zuckerbäcker (confectioner)
5. Jean Pierre MEDER Sohn männlich 5 Juni 1873 ohne Stand (without occ.)
6. Théodore MEDER Sohn männlich 18 April 1875 ohne Stand
7. Elisabeth MEDER Tochter weiblich 10 April 1878 ohne Stand
8. Magdalena MEDER Tochter weiblich 15 März 1881 ohne Stand
9. Ignatus MEDER Sohn männlich 3 März 1883 ohne Stand
10. Anna MEDER Tochter weiblich 11 Juni 1885 ohne Stand
Key: Vater (Father), Mutter (mother), Sohn (son), Tochter (daughter), männlich (male), weiblich (female)

When compared to the birth records seen above all of the birthdates are off except for the oldest son Jean. Daughter Hélène is seen with the German variation of her name, Magdalena. Son Heinrich is now seen as “Ignatus” which may have been one of his baptismal names. As will be seen in later census records this son was only seen as Heinrich on his birth record and as Ignatius (or some form of this name) in all other records.

1887 Luxembourg Census

1887census
1887 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 66 in Diekirch

In 1887 the census was taken on the 1st of February instead of the usual 1st of December. The persons in the household did not change from 1885 to 1887 although some names had different spelling variations. Ignatus name was listed as Ignace.[20]

1888birth
Johann Peter (the younger)

Child #11: Johann Peter MEDER was born at 1 o’clock the morning of 20 November 1888 in Diekirch. His father Franz, 42, tanner (Gerbergesell), went to the city hall the same morning at 10 o’clock to register his son with Johann Peter SCHOLTES. The mother Elizabetha was 43. Witnesses were Mathias WENGLER, 63, secretary, and Johann KORT, 55, a police officer.[21]

Note: This is the second living son with this name. In the census in 1890 and 1895 he is seen as Peter and then as Johann Peter in 1900 when his older brother Johann Peter was  living and working in Paris, France.

1890 Luxembourg Census

1890census
1890 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 78

On the 1890 census Franz and Elise, as Elisabetha was listed, had in their household their children Joseph, Joh. Peter, Elise, Hélène, Ignace, Anna, and Peter. Their oldest sons Johann and Théodore were not at home.[22]

The Luxembourg census has Control Lists with the names of the heads of household. These are helpful when finding families however when young persons were apprenticed they may have lived with the employer’s family. FamilySearch has nearly 1,700 images for  the town of Diekirch for 1890. I have not gone through page by page for the missing sons as they show up once again in later years.

1895marriage
Meder-Zimmer Marriage

Franz and Elisabetha’s oldest son was the first to marry. Johann MEDER was 25 and a confectioner (Zuckerbäcker) when he married Cathérine ZIMMER, 21 and a maid (Dienstmagd) on 23 September 1895 at 7 o’clock in the evening. Both of Johann’s parents, Cathérine’s mother, four witnesses, and the alderman who performed the civil ceremony were present and all appear to have signed the marriage record (below) except for Johann’s mother Elisabetha FABER.[23]

1895marriage1895 Luxembourg Census

1895census1
1895 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 84 in Diekirch
1895census2
1895 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 84 in Diekirch. Page with persons who belonged in the household but were not living in it at the time of census.

On the 1895 census we see that the person who filled out the form had to marked out things and start over. Franz, now seen as François, and Elizabetha, seen as Eliza, have their children Joseph, Théodore, Elisa, Hélène, Ingnatz (sic), Anna, and Peter in the household. Their son Johann Peter (the elder) has been working in Paris, France, for a month.[24] Their oldest son Jean, married in September that year, was in his own household next door to his parents. Household No. 83

1900 Luxembourg Census

1900census1
1900 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 82 in Diekirch.
1900census2
1900 Luxembourg Census: Meder-Faber household No. 82 in Diekirch. Page with persons who belonged in the household but were not living in it at the time of census.

By the time the 1900 census was enumerated the children of Franz and Elisa were older but still living in the parental home. Joseph, Théodore, and Ignace were workers. Anna and Johann Peter, the youngest, most likely were still in school as they did not have an occupation listed. Three of the children, although they belonged in the household, were now in Paris, France: Johann Peter (the elder) had been working there 3 years; Elise had been in service for a  year and Hélène for 4 months.[25] Son Johann was living next door or perhaps in the same house in household No. 81 with his wife and three children.

1904marriage
Meder-Zimmer marriage(2)

Théodore MEDER, 29, a worker (Arbeiter) married Magdalena ZIMMER, 26, no occupation, on 28 May 1904 at 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Magdalena was the sister of Cathérine ZIMMER who married Théodore’s brother Johann in 1895. Théodore’s parents Franz and Elisabetha and Magdalena’s mother were present and consenting to the marriage. The four witnesses were not relatives of either the bride or groom.[26]

1907ignace
Ignatus (death)

On the morning of 23 March 1907 at 10 o’clock in the morning Franz MEDER, 60, tanner (Gerber), and his oldest son Johann MEDER, 37, confectioner (Zuckerbäcker), went to the Hotel de Ville (city hall) in Diekirch to declare the death of Ignatius who had died at 2:30 in the afternoon the previous day. Friedrich FRANÇOIS was the civil servant who took the information.[27]

1908marriage
Meder-Winter marriage

Anton MEDER, 34, a worker (Arbeiter) married Marguerite WINTER, 25, were married 29 August 1908 at 11 o’clock in the morning by Felix REDING, alderman (Schöffen) as the mayor was not available. Anton’s parents Franz and Elisabetha were both present and consenting to the marriage. Marguerite’s parents were both deceased and their dates of death were given on the marriage record. Two of the witnesses were not relatives and the other two were Anton’s brothers Johann, 38, and Théodore, 32.[28]

Note: As all persons present signed the marriage record, this document has the signatures of the parents, Franz and Elizabetha, and three of their sons.

signatures
Signatures on the marriage record of Anton and Marguerite

 

1910death
Elise (daughter) death

Elisabetha MEDER died at 4 o’clock in the afternoon of 21 February 1910 in her parents’ home in Diekirch. Her father Franz, 63, worker (Arbeiter), declared the death the next day at 9 o’clock in the morning to the mayor Peter PEMMERS of Diekirch. Johann BOEHM, civil servant (Apparitor) was a witness. The deceased was listed as Elise MEDER age 31 and without occupation. The mother was listed as Elise FABER age 64 and without an occupation.[29]

1915death
Elisabetha (Elise) FABER death

Five years later the mother of this family, Elisabetha FABER died at 12:30 in the early morning of 28 February 1915 in her home in Diekich. Her husband Franz MEDER, 68, street worker (Strassenarbeiter) and her youngest son Johann Peter MEDER, 26, brewery worker (Brauarbeiter), declared her death to Peter PEMMERS the same morning at 10 o’clock. She was listed as Elise FABER, 69, without occupation, daughter of the deceased Mr. and Mrs. (Eheleute) Johann FABER-LORENTZ and wife of Franz MEDER.[30]

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

Eight years later the youngest son of Franz and Elisabetha, Johann Peter MEDER, brewery worker, married his Ketty SCHWARTZ, midwife, on 15 June 1923 in Diekirch. The groom’s father Franz MEDER was present[31]

Although the title is Luxembourg Civil Registration 1662-1941 for the FamilySearch database, most records are availabe only for up to 1923. I haven’t taken the time to visit the city halls for records after 1923 and have to rely on other sources. Rob Deltgen has compiled information for Diekirch for the time period 1796-1923 and has a website (access only with password) with information on persons who died beyond this period.

Franz’s oldest son Johann  MEDER died 13 May 1928 in Eppeldorf.[32] He left six living children and his widow who remarried in 1936 and was widowed again in 1950.[33]

Seven years after he was present for his youngest son’s marriage Franz MEDER died 7 September 1930 at the age of 84 in Diekirch.[34]

MRIN00136 Helene Meder
Luxemburger Wort

The next death in the family was that of Miss Hélène MEDER who died on Thursday 17 April 1943. She was buried two days later in the cemetery in Diekirch. Her date of death was annotated on her birth record and an announcement was found in the Luxemburger Wort. She was 61 years old.[35]

MRIN00136 Anna Meder
Luxemburger Wort

Hélène’s sister Miss Anna MEDER died later the same year on Sunday, 7 November 1943 in Diekirch of a short, painful illness at the age of 58. She was buried two days later in the cemetery in Diekirch. [36]

MRIN25263 1947-01-22 Théo Meder obit
Luxemburger Wort

Théodore MEDER died on Tuesday, 21 January 1947, at 9:30 in the evening after a long illness. He was in his 72nd year. He left a widow, five sons, and two grandchildren. At least 4 more grandchildren would be born.[37]

In the three death announcements the places that the families lived begin with Diekirch, were they lived, and is followed by Paris. As you will remember from the census records discussed earlier, three of the children went to Paris to work. The girls, Hélène and Anna, returned to Diekirch but until I made a phone call to my husband’s cousin I had no idea what happened to the elder son named Johann Peter b. in 1873.

Johann Peter, the elder, remained in Paris, married and had at least one child, a daughter Pierette who was born ca. 1920-1925. I suspected this but needed confirmation. I met Pierette and her husband in the late 1970s or early 1980s when they came from France to visit with my husband’s uncle Fritz and we saw them several times before Pierette’s death. At the time I knew that she was Fritz’s and my father-in-law’s cousin. By process of elimination, I figured out that she had to be the daughter of the elder Johann Peter. My husband’s cousin confirmed that Pierette was the daughter of the brother who lived in Paris but she does not know when he died.

While on the phone I asked her if she knew when Anton died. She offered to call his grandson for more information and get back to me. We both believe that Anton and the elder Johann Peter died before their youngest brother. [Note: About an hour after publishing this, Anton’s grandson confirmed that Anton was called Joseph by the family and that he died at the age of 82, i.e. about 1953.]

My husband’s grandfather Johann Peter (also known as Jean-Pierre) MEDER was the last of the 11 children. He died 23 February 1954 in Diekirch.[38]

What was that I said in the beginning about plowing through the records to prove there were a dozen children? Looks like there were only eleven!

As the years went by the son Anton was always seen as Joseph on the census with his parents. It is possible that Joseph was one of his baptismal names. Luxembourg, Church Records, 1601-1948 went online earlier this month however the time period for this family is not yet available. The Luxembourg census is not always very reliable when it comes to dates of birth as was seen above. The birth year of “Joseph” as he was seen on the census varied from 1871 to 1874. Later when he married and when his children were born he was seen as Anton.

The son who was registered as Heinrich was later seen as Ignatius on the census and this is the name which was used on his death record. I believe that family members who have said that the family had a dozen children may have counted Anton (Joseph) or Heinrich (Ignatus) twice. I know that at one time I had all of these names listed and the number of children was 13.

Finally, while I was talking to my husband’s cousin I asked her about the number of children. She said that she remembered tales of a child who died at birth. So back to the death records, I go to check if there may have been a stillbirth that I missed.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Franz MEDER
Parents: Théodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER
Spouse: Elizabetha FABER
Parents of Spouse: Johann FABER and Maria LORENTZ
Children: Johann, Théodore, Johann Peter, Théodore, Johann Peter, Elise, Philippe, Hélène, Ignatius, Anna, Jean-Pierre
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

1. Franz MEDER and Elisabetha FABER
2. Jean-Pierre MEDER
3. Marcel Mathias MEDER
4. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 562 of 1507. “1846 Birth Record No. 13.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-35573-94?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NV:n960823085 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[2] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 569 of 1507. “1846 Birth Record No. 39.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-27954-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NV:n960823085 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 562 of 1493. “1869 Marriage Record No. 12.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48904-35?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ND:n1913802954 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1246 of 1507. “1870 Birth Record No. 16.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-32541-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[5] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1287 of 1507. “1871 Birth Record No. 79.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-31930-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[6] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1871 > image 1358 of 1420. “Faber-Lorentz and Meder-Faber households No. 18 & 19.” https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32382-18356-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-ZNP:345999901,345869501 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[7] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1333 of 1507. “1873 Birth Record No. 40.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-35167-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[8] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1389 of 1507. “1875 Birth Record No. 38.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-33342-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[9] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1875 > image 305, 306, & 307 of 1488. “Meder-Faber household No. 80.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32379-21229-50?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-SPK:345999901,345870501 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[10] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1439 of 1507. “1876 Birth Record No. 83.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-30199-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[11] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1065 of 1358. “1877 Death Record No. 55” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-169082-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 5 January 2015).
[12] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 1482 of 1507. “1878 Birth Record No. 30.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-29947-67?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[13] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 43 of 1492. “1880 Birth Record No. 25.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-100350-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[14] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1130 of 1358. “1880 Death Record No. 67.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-165690-56?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[15] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1880 > image 320, 321, & 322 of 1562. “Meder-Faber household No. 85.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32389-5849-2?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-GPL:345999901,345872201 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[16] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 73 of 1492. “1881 Birth Record No. 32; includes annotation of death.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-106519-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[17] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 131 of 1492. “1883 Birth Record No. 21.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-105020-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 18 March 2010.
[18] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 200 of 1492. “1885 Birth Record No. 66.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-98266-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 18 March 2010).
[19] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1885 > image 916, 917 & 918 of 1613. “Meder-Faber household No. 8.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32390-14261-68?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-W38:345999901,345873701 : accessed 2 January 2015).
[20] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1887 > image 1197, 1198 & 1199 of 1594. “Meder-Faber household No. 66.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32391-13967-28?cc=2037957&wc=M5G4-3YM:345999901,345875201 : accessed 2 January 2015).
[21] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 297 of 1492. “1888 Birth Record No. 100.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-105421-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[22] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1890 > image 1560, 1561 & 1562 of 1663. “Meder-Faber household No. 78.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32392-7974-98?cc=2037957&wc=M5GZ-N36:345999901,345876401 : accessed 2 January 2015).
[23] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 9 of 661. “1895 Marriage Record No. 12.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32038-1152-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-92Q:129628901,130043302 : accessed 16 January 2015).
[24] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1895 > image 378, 379 & 380 of 1738. “Meder-Faber household No. 84.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32395-3034-5?cc=2037957&wc=M5G8-W38:345999901,345878001 : accessed 2 January 2015).
[25] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1900 > image 1177, 1178 & 1179 of 1812. “Meder-Faber household No. 82.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32397-6228-58?cc=2037957&wc=M9MV-MLX:709480180 : accessed 2 January 2015).
[26] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 133 of 661. “1904 Marriage Record No. 7.”  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32038-898-6?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-92Q:129628901,130043302 : accessed 27 January 2015).
[27] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 96 of 500. “1907 Death Record No. 17.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32027-18954-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 5 January 2015).
[28] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 201 of 661. “1908 Marriage Record No. 21.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-427-64?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-92Q:129628901,130043302 : accessed 7 January 2015).
[29] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 180 of 500. “1910 Death Record No. 11.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32027-19615-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 5 January 2015).
[30] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Décès 1903-1912 > image 292 of 500. “1915 Death Record No. 12.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32027-19436-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-J4Q:129628901,129787701 : accessed 11 January 2015).
[31] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 461 of 661. “1923 Marriage Record No. 9.” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32037-28712-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[32] Rob Deltgen, Diekirch : Komplettes Familienbuch der Gemeinde 1796-1923; Family book compiled from civil records. Covers the locality of Diekirch and, until 1823, also the localities of Bastendorf, Bleesmühle, Clairefontaine, Erpeldange, Gilsdorf, Ingeldorf et Tandel. Period: 1796-1923.
[33] Escher Tageblatt; digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Luxembourg); 6 March 1950. Death announcement of Mr. George Dillmann : accessed 1 Feb 2015
[34] Enders-Meder information
[35] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Luxembourg), Friday, April 16, 1943. Death announcement of Fräulein Hélène Meder.
[36] Luxembourger Wort, digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Luxembourg), Monday, 8 Nov 1943. Death announcement of Fräulein Anna Meder.
[37] Luxembourger Wort, digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Luxembourg), Wednesday, 22 Jan 1947. Obituary of Théodore MEDER.
[38] Commune de Diekirch Nr. 9/1923, Meder-Schwartz Family Book, page 1, full page. This is an official document given to the bride and groom at the time of their civil marriage. It is used to record births, christenings, and deaths of children as well as death of one or the other spouse. Information on groom and bride; date of death of groom annotated on this page. Original in my possession.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #3 The KREMER-PEFFER Family (1905-1987)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Family and Town Tradition

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

 

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

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

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

2015-01-19 canned

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

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

The Death of a Spouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife

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

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

The MEDER-SCHWARTZ Family (1888-1974)

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

1923 Wedding Portrait of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

livret   livret

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

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

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

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

The MEDER-KREMER Family (1926-1996)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

The Wedding Portrait

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

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

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

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

MRIN04646 1960 ca. Marcel Meder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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