A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Last week I became curious about my “German” ancestors actually being Luxembourgers. I had finally found a map which helped me with the historical boundaries of the country I live in.

My maternal grandfather was born in 1906 in Mettendorf, Germany, and came to live in Luxembourg in July 1914, the month the First World War began. I have avoided seriously researching his line for nearly a quarter of a century. Last year I began writing about his parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and 4 sets of great-grandparents.

Now that I have access to the family books of the towns his ancestors lived in at the library of my genealogy society, I am revisiting what I have and what I need to locate. I knew that the towns were just across the border of Luxembourg to Germany but was not aware of exactly when this area belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Surprisingly, this week, I learned the records I have been avoiding researching are actually at my fingertips.

The Church Records for Echternach

While inputting data from the family books I noticed that the compiler of the Ernzen book included annotations concerning the marriage records of certain couples being found in the church records of Echternach. These records are online at FamilySearch.

I spent hours adding birth, marriage, and death records to this German branch of the family. I have not even scratched the surface. I will be busy for weeks, maybe months.

I want to have all information inputted before I do any more in-depth posts on my 4th great-grandparents and each generation back. But I couldn’t wait to share this wonderful discovery!

A 303-Year-Old Marriage Record Found for My 7th Great-Grandparents

Marriage records in Luxembourg have always been my favorite source for information. They were the first and sometimes the only records I obtained for ancestors in this country. Some habits cannot be broken. The first thing I did when I realized the records for the towns of Ernzen and Ferschweiler were located in Echternach for religious events which took place before the end of the French Revolution (1789-1799) was to check for marriages.

Title page of the Echternach church records of marriage from 1706
1713 Marriage Entry in Church Records of Echternach

Dabam Dimissoriales honesti Joannis Adami
Mayers ex Ernzen relicto legitimo filio
Joanni in ordine ad matrimonium contra=
hendu in honesti Adami Dietzen ex
Esseling relicta legitima filia Elisabetha

I gave the certificate to the honorable Johann Adam
Meyers from Ernzen’s surviving legitimate son
Johann in order to contract marriage
to the honorable Adam Dietzen from
Eßlingen’s surviving legitimate daughter Elisabetha

These five lines written in Latin give interesting information. The fathers of the bride and groom were both deceased in 1713. The bride Elisabetha DIETZEN’s father was from Eßlingen while the groom Johann MEYERS’ father was from Ernzen.

Elisabetha and Johann were married on Monday, 27 November 1713. One has to go back to the previous page to see that the marriage took place in November and leaf back to page 22 of the register to see that the year the marriage took place was 1713.

This is, so far, the oldest marriage record I’ve found for the “German” branch of my family tree. A branch which I have disregarded for too long.

Three hundred and three years ago this month my 7th great-grandparents married and their nuptials were recorded in the church records of the very same town my husband and I married in and live today.

Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 17 of 293. 1713 Marriage Dimissoriale, left page, first entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32399-12662-32?cc=2037955 : accessed 12 November 2016).


© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.



Johannes MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT Married in 1752 in Mersch

Last year during the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge I blogged about my children’s ancestors starting with their paternal grandparents back to their 4th great-grandparents. Nearly a quarter of their 5th great-grandparents were featured in 2014 as part of the American branch of the family tree but three quarters have not been written about. As the remaining are all European and mostly Luxembourgish families the records are available and the ancestors are waiting for their stories to be told.

In 1723 a baptismal record[1] was recorded in the church records of Ettelbrück in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Joes, the abbreviated form of Joannes (Johannes or Jean), a son of Adam and Elisabetha MEDERHANSEN of Ettelbrück was baptized. His godparents were  Joannes Petrus (Jean Pierre) Barthels of Elscheid and Joanna (Jeanne) Mederhansen of Ettelbrück. The record was not dated and other records on the page are not in true chronological order.

His baptismal record had this comment in the margin: n. b. non e ni ordine. This translate to “Take special notice, not in order.” The record therefore was not recorded in chronological order. His next sibling was born on 19 June 1724 which would mean Joannes had to have been born before September 1723. He was the oldest known child and his younger siblings were born with an average of about 3 years between births. When Joannes died on 13 February 1784 he was in his 65th year which places his birth at around 1720.

Baptismal Record of Joannes MEDERHANSEN [1]
In the church records Latin forms of the names were used. To avoid confusion I will mention the form used in records but for narration will use the German form of the names.

Johannes MEDER’s (1720-1784) parents were Adam MEDERHANSEN (1696-1774) and Elisabetha ESCH. They likely married about 1719 and continued to have children until 1740. To date no record has been found to confirm the date of marriage of his parents who lived in Ettelbrück nor dates of birth and death of his mother Elisabetha. Why the change in the surname from MEDERHANSEN to MEDER? This will be discussed in a later post.

Marriage Index Card for Johannes MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT [2]
Johannes MEDER, whose surname was spelled MEDERT, and Susanna LAMBERT, whose surname was spelled LAMBER, were married on 27 December 1752 in Mersch. Susanna was from Angelsberg. A remark on the above index card[2] in Latin ambo olim famulantes apud MEYERS im EHSINGEN translates to “both were formerly serving for the MEYERS in ESSINGEN.” Since Johannes was from Ettelbrück and Susanna was from Angelsberg they likely met while working for the MEYERS family in Essingen. The spelling of the town name is recorded incorrectly on the index card but written Essingen (the double s appears as fs in cursive) in the marriage record[3] below.

1752 Marriage Record of Joannes MEDERT and Susanna LAMBER [3]
As Susanna (1729-1803) was from Angelsberg, a town whose records are found in Mersch, I searched through all the baptisms between 1720 and 1735 for a birth record for Susanna LAMBERT. I found a Susanna born in Angelsberg and baptized on 2 January 1729. The only problem was her parents names were Joannis and Maria REINERS. I made a note of the location of the record for further reference.

While checking for the birth, marriage and death records of the children of Johannes and Susanna, to be discussed in my next post, I ran across one record with a different surname for Susanna. In 1779 Johannes and Susanna had been married 27 years and the first of their children, their oldest son Pierre married a young lady named Marie FABER from Mamer.

MRIN25783 1779 Pierre Meder and Marie Faber marriage index card
Marriage Index Card for Pierre MEDER and Marie FABER [4]
The index card[4] for the marriage has the mother of the groom listed as Suzanne REINERS. Using the index card as a guide I located the marriage record[5] in the church records. The mother’s maiden name was REINERS in the text as well as at the bottom of the document where all persons present at the marriage signed or left their mark.

1779 Marriage Record for Pierre MEDER and Maria FABER [5]
This marriage record had me going back to the record I found for the REINERS child named Susanna born in 1729 in Angelsberg to Joannis and Maria.[6]

1729 Baptismal Record for Susanna REINERS aka LAMBERT [6]
The LAMBERT family was also known as REINERS in earlier records. The LAMBERT name appears to have come into use after the death of Joannis REINERS in 1750. Both names were likely “house” names.

The marriage of Johannes and Susanna lasted 31 years, 1 month, and 17 days ending with the death of Johannes in 1784. Next week we will take a look at the records found for their children.


[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1640-1724 > image 227 of 229. 1723 Baptismal Record for Joannes Meder son of Adam and Elisabetha  (right page 3rd entry).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-2084-4?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[2] Ibid., Grand Duché du Luxembourg > Tables des mariages avant 1802 (Marcky, Kaiser-Meyers, Karres) > image 652 of 1622. 1752 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32464-15985-50?cc=2037955 : 6 August 2016).
[3] Ibid., Mersch > Mariages 1749-1772 > image 13 of 88. 1752 Marriage Record (2nd entry on left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-2935-92?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[4] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Tables des mariages 1725-1799 Gevell-Z (index organisée par l’époux) > image 289 of 761. 1779 Marrie Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-3135-43?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[5] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 17 of 328. 1779 Marriage Record (left page, bottom entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32468-7375-53?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).
[6] Ibid., Mersch > Baptêmes 1717-1772 > image 42 of 280. 1729 Baptismal Record (right page 3rd entry from bottom). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32461-2307-24?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johannes MEDER
Parents:  Adam MEDERHANSEN and Elisabetha ESCH
Spouse: Susanna LAMBERT
Parents of spouse: Joannis REINERS and Maria ERPELDING
Whereabouts: Ettelbrück and Angelsberg, Grand Duché of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather of husband

  1. Johannes MEDER
  2. Jean Nicolas MEDER
  3. Theodore MEDER
  4. Franz “François” MEDER
  5. Johann Peter “Jean-Pierre” MEDER
  6. Marcel Mathias MEDER
  7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband Living MEDER

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.