52 Ancestors: #14 SCHERFF-STEIMETZ Family of Born, Luxembourg

After five weeks of posts on five sets my children’s 5th great-grandparents who lived in what is now Germany, this week’s couple takes me back to research in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. [What can I say, I love Luxembourg research!]

However, before we go to Luxembourg, I’d like to share a little bit about the ancestry of the male actor in this week’s post. Joannes SCHERFF was born in Waldrach, Trier-Saarburg, Rhineland, Germany, abt. 1754 to Nicolaus and Helena SCHERFF. Period.

This was all I knew when I started this post. Now, having access to the German family books at my genealogy society’s library, I was able to add several generations to Joannes’ pedigree. His parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and four of his great-great-grandparents were born, lived, and/or died in Waldrach. They have names. They have dates of birth, marriage, and death. They have descendants. Missing, however, are the records to back all of this up. For now, they are placeholders in the family tree, waiting to be researched.[1], [2]

Joannes SCHERFF of Waldrach in Germany

Joannes SCHERFF, the son of Nicolaus SCHERFF and Helena OTTO, was born on 20 September 1754 in Waldrach.[1], [2]

I learned from the family books that Joannes’ mother Helena first married in 1743, at the age of 33, to Nikolaus SCHUH who was only 25. She gave him two children. A son Matthias was born in 1744 and a daughter Margaretha was born in 1745, four months after Nikolaus SCHUH died. A year after her first husband’s death, Helena married Nicolaus SCHERFF. Helena was 36 and Nicolaus was 22. [Note to self: What was going on in the Kingdom of Prussia or in Waldrach that made it necessary for a woman to marry, both times, a man much younger than she was?]

Helena’s son Matthias from her first marriage may have died before age four as she and her second husband named their first child Matthias in 1748. It is unknown if Helena had any other children before Joannes was born six years later. Helena died in 1755 when her youngest son Joannes was only 14 months old. Her widower Nicolaus married again in 1757 to Katharina OTTO, Helena’s first cousin once removed.

Joannes’ father Nicolaus SCHERFF died between 1764 when his last known child was born and 1791 when his son Joannes married.

Anna Maria STEIMETZ of Born in Luxembourg

Anna Maria STEIMETZ, daughter of Dominique STEIMETZ (1737-1799) and Magdalena “Helena” KOCH (1739-aft.1799), was born and baptized on 25 May 1763 in the village of Born in the Duchy of Luxembourg. Her godparents were Anna Maria BERSCHENS and Petro WERNER. On her baptismal record, her name was given as Anna Maria. Later, in other records produced during her lifetime her name seen as Maria without Anna.[3]

1763 Baptismal Record of Anna Maria STEIMETZ [3]

The Connection Between Waldrach and Born

We have two people, a young man from Waldrach and a young woman from Born. How they came to meet is unknown. The straight distance between Waldrach, to the east of Trier, and Born which lies to the west of Trier is about 17 km. A short distance in today’s world.

If you zoom out enough on the above map to compare with the one below, you will see that Waldrach belonged to the area of Germany which was not part of Luxembourg during the time period.

By Spanish_Inquisition (LuxembourgPartitionsMap_english.jpg), via Wikimedia Commons

Joannes and Maria Marry in Born

1791 Marriage Record of Joannes SCHERFF and Maria STEIMETZ [4]
Joannes married Maria on Thursday, 5 May 1791 in Born. At the time of their marriage, Joannes’ parents were both deceased. Joannes and Maria signed with a +, Maria’s father Dominique signed with a D, and Joannes’ brother “Niclas SCHERFF” left an F as his mark on the marriage record. The witness Paulus SCHÖLER and the pastor signed the record as they were the only persons able to write. [4]

On the marriage index card an obvious transcription error was made, given her first name as Margaretha.[5]

1791 Marriage Index Card for the SCHERFF-STEIMETZ marriage [5]
Joannes and Maria had four children during their first eight years of marriage.

1792 Baptismal Record for Michel SCHERFF [6]
Michel SCHERFF was born on 2 July 1792 in Born at two in the morning and was baptized seven hours later. His godparents were Michael BRAUN of Givenich and Catharina STEIMETZ, his maternal aunt from Born. Michel was my children’s 4th great-grandfather.[6]

1794 Baptismal Record for Nicolaus SCHERFF [7]
Nicolaus SCHERFF was born on 6 December 1794 in Born at three in the morning and baptized in the afternoon. His godfather came from Waldrach and was his paternal uncle Niclas SCHERFF, half-brother of his father who had also been a witness at the 1791 marriage. His godmother was his maternal grandmother Helena STEIMETZ. Helena would normally have been seen with her maiden name KOCH however in this case she was named with her husband’s surname. Nicolaus was the last child baptized in the year 1794. Directly below his entry, we see the pastor has likely transcribed births for the year to the parish register after the fact and makes note that this is a conformed copy.[7]

1797 Baptismal Record of Anna SCHERFF [8]
Anna SCHERFF was born on 18 September 1797 in Born at three in the morning and was baptized the same afternoon. Her godparents were her paternal uncle Peter SCHERFF from Waldrach and Anna TRIERWEILER from Born.[8] Peter was not a name found in the family books for Waldrach. Is there an error on Anna’s baptismal record? Was Peter a full sibling or only half-sibling of the father of the child?

1799 Civil Birth Record of Dominique SCHERFF [9]
Dominique SCHERFF was born on 15 Thermidor in the 8th year of the Republic or 6 December 1799 in Born. His birth was recorded in the civil register by the acting mayor of Born, Michel KINN who lived in Girst where the register entry was made. The child’s father, in the record written in French, was listed as Jean SCHERFF. He was an ouvrier de la commune de Born meaning he was likely working for the town in some capacity.[9]

This last child was very likely named after his maternal grandfather Dominique STEIMETZ who died earlier in the year, on 9 April 1799 at his own home. He was in his sixties. His death was reported by his widow Helena KOCH.[10]

Six years after the loss of her father, Maria was widowed and left with four children between the ages of six and twelve. Her husband Joannes SCHERFF died on 20 January 1805 in Born. He was fifty-one years old.[11]

It is not known how long Maria may have had the support of her mother Helena as no death record has been found for her. Helena was the mother of eleven children: seven died young, one son has not been traced, a son married and went to live in Dahnen (Germany), leaving Maria and her sister Catharina who has not been traced after the birth of an illegitimate child in 1796.

On 2 October 1818 Maria’s daughter Anna died at the age of twenty-one. Her death was reported by two of their neighbors.[12] Census records are only available online from 1843 making it difficult to determine where her two older brothers were and why they didn’t report her death. It is possible they were working away from home. No trace of Nicolaus, the younger of the two, who would have been 24 by this time, has been found. No marriage record. No death record.

Michel, the oldest son, married Elisabetha CLEMENS (1796-1870), daughter of Joannes “Jean” CLEMENS and Suzanna “Susanne” WEBER, on 12 February 1827 in Born.[13] Michel (34) and Elisabetha (30) were my children’s 4th great-grandparents and were featured in my post 52 Ancestors: #33 SCHERFF-CLEMENS, A Family Dependent on Each Other.

Maria STEIMETZ died on 12 January 1833 in Born at the age of sixty-nine.[14] She lived long enough to see her first grandchild Johann celebrate his fourth birthday, having been born on 8 April 1828.[15] She must have known her daughter-in-law Elisabetha was pregnant with her second child who would be born on 24 June 1833[16], a son Peter. Later census records indicate Michel and Elisabetha lived in the STEIMETZ family home, a home which would remain in the family for several generations.

Michel and Elisabetha had a third and last child, Catharina SCHERFF (1836-1908) born on 25 October 1836 in Born.[17]

The youngest child of Joannes and Maria SCHERFF-STEIMETZ, Dominique married Anne WEISEN (1804-1885), daughter of Michael WEISEN, on 13 January 1846 in Mompach.[18] They were both in their forties when they married. The marriage lasted only a little over five years as Dominique died on 12 August 1851 in Born.[19]

The oldest son, and only known living child at the time, Michel SCHERFF died on 2 January 1865 in Born at the age of 72.[20] His widow Elisabetha CLEMENS died five years later on 17 June 1870 in Born.[21]

Dominique’s widow Anne outlived him by 34 years dying on 11 November 1885 in Born.[22] As they did not have any children, her only survivors on her husband’s side of the family were the three children of her brother-in-law Michel SCHERFF.

Pushing Back Another Generation

Not only did I look into Joannes SCHERFF’s ancestry, as seen in the beginning of this post, but also into Maria STEIMETZ’s. Hers was not as simple. I had the years of birth for all of her siblings as well as the links to their baptismal records but needed to download the documents, add the information, and cite the sources.

While doing this I noticed an annotation in the margin of the baptismal record of the youngest child Henricus born to Dominique STEIMETZ and Magdalena KOCH. It read, Submersus Surlippe Mesenich. At first, I could not read the first two words but I knew Mesenich was a location. Submersus means drowned. This annotation may mean Henricus died by drowning possibly in the Sauer River in Mesenich, today a part of Langsur.

I have a few digital copies of German family books and Mesenich is one of them. I checked for Steimetz in the book as I thought I might find information on the child named Henri/Heinrich. What I found was an entry for his parents: Dominic STEINMETZ of Born and Helena KOCH of Mertert married on 4 March 1759 in Mesenich.[23] There is no further information concerning their children. However, now knowing where they were from, at the time of their marriage, may help to push back yet another generation.

While I was at home finishing up this post, my husband went on a 100 km bike ride through the Luxembourg and German countryside and came back with this photograph.

Yes, he listens when I ask about places (even when I really mess up the pronounciation) and surprises me with new photo content for my blog.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Armin Giebel, compiler, Familienbuch Standesamt Ruwer-Waldrach, (Stand: Sept. 2016), page 3036, family nr. 15422. Scherff-Otto family group.
[2] Leo Schuh, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Sankt Laurentius in Waldrach mit Kasel 1681 bis1899 (2002), page 436-437, family nr. 2214. Scherff-Otto family group.
[3] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Born > Baptêmes 1761-1797, mariages 1761-1797, sépultures 1762-1797 > image 7 of 88. 1763 Baptismal Record part 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-4460-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 12 August 2015) and image 8 of 88. 1763 Baptismal Record part 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-4285-31?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 12 August 2015).
[4] Ibid., Born > Baptêmes 1761-1797, mariages 1761-1797, sépultures 1762-1797 > image 65 of 88. 1791 Religious Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-3792-9?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 12 August 2015).
[5] Ibid., Born > Tables des mariages 1764-1800 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 31 of 46. 1791 Scherff-Steimetz marriage card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-25635-70?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-TQ9:1500965969,1501369362 : accessed 12 August 2015).
[6] Ibid., Born > Baptêmes 1761-1797, mariages 1761-1797, sépultures 1762-1797 > image 44 of 88. 1792 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-4066-61?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 10 August 2015).
[7] Ibid., Born > Baptêmes 1761-1797, mariages 1761-1797, sépultures 1762-1797 > image 48 of 88. 1794 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-4183-49?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 16 August 2015).
[8] Ibid., Born > Baptêmes 1761-1797, mariages 1761-1797, sépultures 1762-1797 > image 51 of 88. 1797 Baptismal Record, part 1 (right page, bottom) (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-3883-9?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 12 August 2015) and image 52 of 88. 1797 Baptismal Record, part 2 (left page, top)  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32399-3761-17?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJQ:1500965969,1500965970 : accessed 12 August 2015).
[9] Ibid., Born > Naissances 1796-1802, mariages 1797-1800, décès 1796-1802 > image 51 of 59. 1799 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-4707-30?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJ7:1500965969,1501017588 : accessed 12 August 2015).
[10] Ibid., Born > Naissances 1796-1802, mariages 1797-1800, décès 1796-1802 > image 44 of 59. 1799 Death Record ((20 Germinal An 7), part 1(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-176D?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJ7%3A1500965969%2C1501017588 : 9 January 2015) and image 45 of 59. 1799 Death Record ((20 Germinal An 7), part 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-17ZM?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-MJ7%3A1500965969%2C1501017588 : 9 January 2015).
[11] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Mompach > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1797-1814, 1796-1809, 1799-1830 > image 713 of 1393. 1805 Death Record part 1 (lower right hand corner). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-131175-10?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LHS:2047330937 : accessed 12 Apr 2013) and image 714 of 1393. 1805 Death Record part 2 (upper right hand corner). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-130091-27?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LHS:2047330937 : accessed 12 Apr 2013).
[12] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 865 of 1480. 1818 Death Record (left page, top). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-17833-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-MNL:130097801,130138901 : accessed 13 August 2015).
[13] Ibid., Mompach > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1797-1814, 1796-1809, 1799-1830 > image 1061 of 1393. 1827 Marriage Record No. 2.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-134204-2?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LHS:2047330937 : accessed 7 Apr 2010).
[14] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 1116 of 1480. 1833 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-14665-65?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L4B:1262051718 : accessed 12 Apr 2013).
[15] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 510 of 1480. 1858 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-22567-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-MNL:130097801,130138901 : accessed 10 August 2015). Note: The date of birth was found on the tables décennales however the birth record has not been located.
[16] Ibid., Mompach > Naissances 1799-1834 > image 267 of 272. 1833 Birth Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12332-98522-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-ZNP:130097801,130378501 : accessed 27 April 2015).
[17] Ibid., Mompach > Naissances 1834-1890 Mariages 1797-1814, 1796-1809, 1799-1830 > image 33 of 1393. 1836 Birth Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-131830-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-C68:130097801,130406101 : accessed 21 Nov 2014).
[18] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 442 of 1480. 1846 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-20696-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-MNL:130097801,130138901 : accessed 27 April 2015).
[19] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 1241 of 1480. 1851 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-XCQP-3G?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-MNL%3A130097801%2C130138901 : 17 July 2014).
[20] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 1339 of 1480. 1865 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-13264-86?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L4B:1262051718 : accessed 05 Apr 2013).
[21] Ibid., Mompach > Mariages 1831-1890 Décès 1796-1814, 1799-1830, 1799-1880 > image 1393 of 1480. 1870 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12874-16490-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-MNL:130097801,130138901 : accessed 9 August 2015).
[22] Ibid., Mompach > Décès 1880-1891 > image 48 of 90. 1885 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DBBQ-LDP?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-DPF%3A130097801%2C130097802 : 17 July 2014).
[23] Heinrich Wagner, Familienburch Mesenich 1705-1899 (Ortschaften Födlich (1705-ca.1800), Grewenich, Mesenich, Metzdorf und Moersdorf (Luxembourg) (1705-1807)), Mersch 1997 (Association Luxembourgeoise de Généalogie et d’Héraldique), p. 302, family nr. 1104. Entry for Dominic Steinmetz of Born and Helena Koch from Mertert.

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

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