52 Ancestors: #43 A Draper and Four Seamstresses

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

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

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

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

Eva LANSER (1777-1862)

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

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

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

Vincent van Gogh 0141

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

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

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

Henri CONSBRÜCK (1775-1850)

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

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

Eva and Henri’s Marriage Record

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

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

The years after their marriage

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

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

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

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

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

Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815)

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

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

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

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

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

Years after the wars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The extended family in the census

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

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

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

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

More deaths in the family

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

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

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

The four seamstresses

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

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

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

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

Chiseled in stone: “Veuve Schloesser 1800-1889”

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

Genealogy Sketch

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

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

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

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

Bommenzënnes

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

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

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

Saint John of Nepomuk

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

Czechowicz St. John NepomukJean-Népomucène SCHLOESSER

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

1764 Baptismal Record of “Joannes Nepomucenus Schloesser”

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

Margaretha TRAUDT

1766 Baptismal Record of Margaretha Traudt

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

Jean-Népomucène and Margaretha

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

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

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

Jean-Népomucène’s second marriage

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

The children marry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 1)

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

1835 Marriage Record No. 34 (part 2)

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

Two more marriages take place

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

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

Deaths in the family

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

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

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

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

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

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

Genealogy Sketch

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

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

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

I Hit the Jackpot with Four Births and a Death!

or How to use the (online) Municipal Archives in Metz, France

Things have been a lot busier than normal for me since the New Year. I haven’t had the time to go to my WordPress Reader and read the blogs I usually follow. Luckily most of my favorite bloggers use Facebook, Google, and Twitter and I see them as I go through my feeds. A few days ago I had a bit of time and began reading the most recent (unread) posts on my Reader.

I follow Laura Aanenson’s where2look4ancestors. In her post Catherine Brun; My 6th Great-Grandmother she mentioned her favorite French website to go to and wrote:

Then a funny thing happened.

The Moselle Departmental web site was completely revamped!

This is a site I’ve used and it’s bookmarked on my Firefox toolbar as 57, the number the department is known by. Less than two months ago I consulted the site when working on  52 Ancestors: #47 The SCHLOESSER-CONSBRÜCK Family. I wrote:

It wasn’t very sporting of my 3rd great-grandfather Johann Joseph SCHLOESSER to spend the last years of his life in Metz, France. It’s not fair he chose to work, live, marry, have children, and die in Metz. You ask why?

While most French departmental archives I’ve consulted have civil records online, at this time, the Archives départementales de la Moselle doesn’t. They have the Tables décennales from 1792 to 1952 (10 years lists of births, marriages, deaths) and the pre-1792 parish records online but no vital records.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel as an article I found online suggests they were to go online before 2015. On the Archives de la Moselle homepage there is a message which translates: Gradually, the microfilms of vital records will be unavailable from 17 November 2015. Users are advised to inquire before planning a trip to the archives. None online and may not be available in the archives? Hopefully this means they are pulling the microfilms to make digital copies for the internet. I’ve subscribed to their newsletter so I won’t miss the big announcement when they go online. I promise to be a good sport until they do!

So far I haven’t received any newsletters but thanks to Laura’s post I went to the site for a quick look around. I clicked on: Recherches > Archives en Ligne > Registres Parroissiaux > Concernant Metz et ses nombreuses paroisses. I was surprised to find a notice about the municipal and departmental archives being complementary and only the images of the departmental archives were on the 57 site.

For the municipal archives of the city of Metz I followed their link which took me to the Ville de Metz – Archives Municipals. I had to jump through more than a few hoops before I got to the page which took me to the records I was interested in. The site is entirely in French (I did not find a Translate button) so I’d like to share with you how I found my way to the records.

How to get from A to B on the City of Metz’s Archives Municipals Site

metz1sm
Click 1
metz2sm
Click 2
metz3sm
Click 3
metz4sm
Click 4
metz5sm
Click 5 to open parish & civil records and ten years lists.
metz6sm
Click 6 to open the registers of the civil records.
metz7sm
Click 7 to choose the civil records for Metz.
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Click 8: scroll down to correct year and click Etat-civil 1840-1842.
metz9
Click 9 until….

This is where it starts getting interesting. Metz was divided into 5 sections so there are 5 batches of birth, marriage and death records for each year. I was searching for Jean Joseph SCHLOESSER’s death record. I knew from the 10 years lists (Tables Décennale) that he died on 24 November 1841 in Metz but not which part of Metz. We can leave out a few clicks here (I checked section 1, then section 2 and would have continued through 5).

Note: If at this point you realize you are not in the right time period and you use your back button or their Page précédente button to go back to the Plan de classement des Registres you will have to repeat clicks 5 through 8 as the list collapses when you go back.

metz9a
Click 10 to see the death register for section 2 of Metz for the year 1841.
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Click 11 and 12

Click 11: Most registers have an index at the end. The site is not slow but it’s faster to click on 1 (see image above) and choose the last or second to last image to get to the end of the book. Click 12: After choosing the image number you have to click on 2 (see image), an “eye” to view the image.

metz12smThis is a screenshot of the the 2nd to last page (zoomed and pixelated*) in the register of deaths for 1841. The index shows my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record is number 194. Since he died the end of November I chose a page I thought would be in the area and then went forward/backwards until I found record number 194. This is similar to using images on FamilySearch (before their new feature was added) where you had to “play the numbers” to get to the page you were looking for.

*Due to the terms and conditions of the archives a license (free) must be obtained for non-commercial online use of images. I have pixelated parts of the index page to be on the safe side since I have not applied for a license.

After finding my 3rd great-grandfather’s death record I went on to search for the birth records of his four daughters who were born in section 2 of Metz in 1836, 1838, 1840, and 1841.

Now the work begins. I’ve picked out the most important items in the records (to be sure they are for the correct individuals) but a full transcriptions of each might turn up some little known clue. On item I found very interesting was the name of the street the family lived on was mentioned in each record. I’ve already taken a virtual visit of the street, rue Saulnerie in Metz, courtesy of a French blogger, Marc de Metz.

Un grand merci à Laura Aanenson for mentioning her favorite French website where I found the information about the Municipal Archives of Metz!

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey