52 Ancestors: #27 The Dahm-Kimes Family and the History of a House Name

The small village of Moestroff in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg lies between Reisdorf and Bettendorf. It was once part of the parish of Reisdorf and from about 1763 was attached to Bettendorf. During the late 1700s to about 1804, there were, however, children of Moestroff being baptized in the parish of Reisdorf instead of Bettendorf. From 1794, when civil records began to be recorded, Moestroff has been part of the commune of Bettendorf.

Road into Reisdorf from Wallendorf, it’s German neighbor.

For the time period I am now researching, the history of the families is intertwined in the villages of Reisdorf and Moestroff due to the marriages of ancestors of my children from both towns.

Former train station in Reisdorf along the bike route to Moestroff

Several roads lead to Reisdorf. The main road from Echternach to Diekirch passes through Reisdorf. Roads lead down to Reisdorf from Beaufort, Larochette, and Vianden. There is also a “back road” from Wallendorf, Germany, to Reisdorf. The shortest route between Reisdorf and Moestroff is the bike path where the railroad used to run.

Chapel of Reisdorf

At the intersection of the road from Wallendorf and the main road to Diekirch is a small chapel which was built during the lifetime of the couple I am featuring this week. Above the doorway the year 1808 is chiseled in stone and highlighted with gold leaf paint.

Entrance of the little chapel of Reisdorf

A quick tour of the town of Reisdorf takes us to the church built in 1900.

Catholic church of Reisdorf

And behind the church is the town hall.

Town hall, Mairie de Reisdorf.

As seen in my last 52 Ancestors post when we visited Moestroff, my children’s 5th great-grandparents Franz ZWANK of Moestroff married Clara WELTER of Reisdorf. This is also the case of the next set of 5th great-grandparents, Pierre DAHM and Anna Catharina STRENG. Pierre was from Moestroff and Anna Catharina from Reisdorf. Both couples made their homes in Moestroff.

Pierre DAHM (1764-1830) and Anna Catharina KIMES (1762-1832)

Pierre DAHM, son of Jean DHAM (d. 1790) and Marie WELTER (d. 1814), was born and baptized on 14 April 1764 in Moestroff.[1] The baptism of Petrus Dham took place in Moestroff due to imbecillitatem infantis, or the child’s weakness. Children born in Moestroff at this time were baptized in the parish of Bettendorf which makes this entry for Pierre a bit unusual. The family surname at the time was spelled DHAM instead of the later DAHM.

1764 Baptismal Record of Petrus DHAM [1]
Pierre’s oldest sibling was his sister Elisabeth who was born about 1756. This is known as she was the informant for the death of their mother Marie Welter in 1814. It is not known if there were children born between Elisabeth and my children’s 5th great-grandfather Pierre but I suspect there must have been as they were eight years apart. Baptismal records for Bettendorf begin only in 1763 which explain the missing records, including that of Elisabeth’s baptism. A daughter Susanne was born in 1768, four years after Pierre. Death records are sparse for this period and no record has been found that Susanna survived or that there may have been other children.

Pierre married Anna Catharina KIMES, daughter of Nicolas KIMES (d. 1797) and Anna Maria STRENG (d. 1804), on 5 April 1796 in Bettendorf.[2] Anna Catharina was born on 8 December 1762 in Reisdorf,[3] likely their oldest child. She had three younger brothers who survived to adulthood. Wilhelm lived in Reisdorf, Martin in Bettendorf, and Theodor in Nusbaum-Stockigt (about 14 km from Reisdorf and in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany).

Pierre and Anna Catharina’s children

Pierre and Anna Catharina had four children, all lived to adulthood, but only two married and had issue.

Maria DAHM (1797-1859) was born on 10 July 1797 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[4] She married Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK, son of Franciscus “Franz” ZWANCK and Maria Clara “Clara” WELTER, on 22 October 1823 in Bettendorf.[5] Jacques was born on 17 May 1795 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[6] He died on 15 February 1858 in Moestroff.[7] Maria died nearly two years later on 28 November 1859 in Moestroff.[8] They were the parents of seven children and were featured in 52 Ancestors: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff in 2015.

Wilhelm DAHM (1799-1843) was born on 8 September 1799 in Moestroff.[9] He married Margretha STEFFEN, daughter of Nicolas STEFFEN and Elisabeth ZENNER, on 28 January 1830 in Bettendorf.[10] Margretha was born on 27 December 1807 in Erpeldange.[11] They had three children who all continued this line. Wilhelm died on 19 June 1843 in Erpeldange (Diekirch) at the age of 43 years.[12] His widow Margretha died on 26 January 1876 in Diekirch.[13] Her death was reported by her son-in-law Theodore BAULER. His relationship with her was not clearly stated. She was 71 years old (off by 3 years) and born in Erpeldange. All of this information “fit” however there was an error on the death record. Her deceased husband was listed as Michel DAHM instead of Wilhelm. After finding Margretha in Theodore BAULER’s 1875 household in the census, I believe this is the correct person. Her son-in-law did not know the name of her husband, a man he had likely never met as Wilhelm died when his daughter Maria DAHM, Theodore’s wife, was not quite four years old.

Mathias DAHM (1802-1829) was born on 31 July 1802 in Moestroff.[14] He died on 26 February 1829 in Moestroff at the age of 26 years.[15] He was a tailor or Schneider and never married.

Théodore DAHM (1804-1879) was born on 4 August 1804 in Moestroff.[16] He died on 2 February 1879 in Ettelbruck at the age of 74 years.[17] He was never married and outlived all of his siblings. Over the years he worked as a day laborer and a domestic servant.

The children’s father Pierre DAHM died on 1 February 1830 at 2 in the afternoon.[18] His widow and the mother of the children Anna Catharina STRENG died two years later on 10 January 1832 at 5 in the morning.[19] They both passed away at home in Moestroff. The informants for their deaths were their youngest son Théodore and their neighbor Nicolas WEYLAND.

Genealogy F.A.N. Club

The fact that Nicolas WEYLAND was the neighbor of the DAHM-STRENG family led me to a discovery concerning the home the DAHM family lived in.

Nicolas WEYLAND was the son-in-law of Franz ZWANK and Clara WELTER mentioned earlier. They were the parents of Jacques ZWANK who married Maria DAHM, daughter of Pierre DAHM and Anna Catharina KIMES. It would appear that the ZWANK and DAHM families were neighbors before their children connected the families by marriage, the N. (neighbor) part of F.A.N.

You may ask, what about the WELTER connection? This I cannot answer. Clara WELTER’s father Johann was born in Reisdorf about 1730 and Pierre DAHM’s mother Marie WELTER was born about 1729, location unknown. If Johann and Marie were siblings, then Pierre and Clara would have been first cousins, and Jacques and Maria second cousins. Maybe when the earlier generations are researched I will be able to answer this question on the F. (family) part of F.A.N.

House name for the DAHM-KIMES family’s home

Now that we see how close these families were to each other geographically, I’d like to discuss the home of the DAHM family.

When Pierre’s younger sister Susanna was born in 1768 her baptismal record[20] indicated the family lived in Moestroff in a house known as Scheuer. (the Latin being aedibus Scheur)

1768 Baptismal Record [20]
On 26 April 1790 when Pierre’s father Jean DAHM died, the priest wrote in Latin, pater familias in aedibus Scheur or the father of a family in house Scheuer.[21]

1790 Death Record [21]
No other birth, marriage, or death record was found which documents the house name of the family. However, the Luxembourg census included the house name during some of the census years, mainly from 1855 to 1875.

I began by following Théodore as he was the longest living child of the DAHM family.

In 1843[22] and 1846[23] Théodore was living with his sister Maria, her husband Jacques ZWANK, and their children. In 1847 he was not found. In 1849 Théodore was in the household of a WENANDY family and working as a domestique.[24] In 1851 he was again with the ZWANK-DAHM family.[25] In 1852 he had his own household but as with previous years, the house name was not listed.[26]

Those were the years the census did not include the name of the house.

1855 Census sheet for the Zwank-Dahm household including Théodore Dahm, brother-in-law of the head of household. The name of the house (maison dite in French) in the red box.

In 1855 the names of the houses were included on the census sheet. Théodore was in the household of his sister Maria and brother-in-law Jacques. The house name was Scheuer.[27] In 1858 Maria was widowed and living in Scheier (Luxembourgish version of Scheuer) house with two of her unmarried children.[28] Not only Maria but also two of her married children and her brother Théodore had households of their own and were listed on consecutive pages of the census in a home called Scheier. Maria, being the oldest child of Pierre and Anna Catharina, likely was the owner of the family home and her children and brother were all living with her but had their own households.

Maria died in 1859[8] two days before her daughter Marie ZWANK married Nicolas PEFFER Sr.[29] The PEFFER-ZWANK couple, my children’s 3rd great-grandparents, lived in Maria DAHM’s home from the time they married. In 1861 it was called the Peffers house[30], in 1864 Dahms[31], in 1867[32], 1871[33], and 1875 Scheier.[34] From 1880 to 1900 no house names were given on the census sheets of the PEFFER family.

From 1768 until 1875 the name of the home the families were living in was Scheuer or Scheier. Both words mean barn but are also surnames. Were they living in a building which was once a barn, or could SCHEUER have been the name or occupation of one of Pierre DAHM’s ancestors?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to Reisdorf and the discussion of the house name of the DAHM-KIMES family of Moestroff.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 5 of 94. 1764 Baptismal Record (left page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-M9Y3?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accesed 31 July 2017).
[2] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 78 of 94. 1796 Marriage Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-M341?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 31 July 2017).
[3] Ibid., Reisdorf > Baptêmes 1725-1805, mariages 1763-1805 > image 19 of 59. 1762 Baptismal Record (left, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WS-H9MQ-4?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-RM8%3A1501010555%2C1501010556 : accessed 31 July 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[5] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 82 of 1494. 1823 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38177-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[6] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 57 of 94. 1795 Baptismal Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2824-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[7] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1462 of 1494. 1858 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36487-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[8] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1487 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39674-59?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1797-1800, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1797-1800, décès 1797-1800, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 189 of 222. 1799 (22 fructidor an VII) Birth Record (left bottom and right top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-MS31?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPK%3A1500974653%2C1500990942 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[10] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 211 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-D6F?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[11] Ibid., Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 951 of 1493. 1807 Birth Record (left page, middle). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D42Q-KQV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38%3A129628901%2C130575701 : accessed 2 Augut 2017).
[12] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1814-1881 > image 437 of 1379. 1843 Death Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D17S-7MM?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-FM9%3A129625001%2C1290913101 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[13] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1034 of 1358. 1876 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6XY7-BSK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL%3A129628901%2C129628902 : accessed 3 August 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 22 of 306. 1802 Birth Record No. 29 (12 Thermidore an X). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLP-R9?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DPD%3A129626601%2C129760501 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1084 of 1494. 1829 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-CWQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1335 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record NO. 64 (16 Thermidor an XII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2MS-BQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[17] Ibid., Ettelbruck > Décès 1879-1881 > image 3 of 119. 1879 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6F79-Q1Z?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-GPF%3A129625001%2C129625002 : accessed 2 August 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1093 of 1494. 1830 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38720-90?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1116 of 1494. 1832 Death Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37297-72?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[20] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 8 of 94. 1768 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd to last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-M9TY?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 1 August 2017).
[21] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 121 of 238. 1790 Death Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLY-K3?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 1 August 2017).
[22] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1843 > image 2 of 288. 1843 Zwank-Dahm household. “Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32360-26751-78?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-T3L:346114101,345863501 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1846 > image 325 of 334. Zwank-Dahm household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28692-50?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 286 of 343. Pierre Winandy household. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-FWGK?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW%3A346114101%2C345864801 : accessed 4 August 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1851 > image 359 of 386. Zwank-Dahm household No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32351-20262-71?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-446:346114101,345865601 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[26] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1852 > image 352 of 365. Theodore Dahm household No. 57. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-997B-ZRX?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-S58%3A346114101%2C345865501 : accessed 4 August 2017).
[27] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1855 > image 325 of 358. Zwank-Dahm household No. 28. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-20635-34?cc=2037957 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[28] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1858 > image 336 of 365. Zwank-Dahm household No. 45. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32359-9055-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-2JF:346114101,345867601 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 521 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35911-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[30] Luxembourg Census Records, Bettendorf > 1861 > image 118 of 367. 1861 Peffer-Zwank household no. 33. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32377-4921-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-MNL:346114101,345867101 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1864 > image 350 of 395. 1864 Peffer-Zwank household no. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-22900-4?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1867 > image 279 of 364. 1867 Peffer-Zwank household No. 19 maison dite Scheier. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32373-10122-70?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-3TR:346114101,345869101 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1871 > image 736 of 823. 1871 Peffer-Zwank houshold no. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32377-18258-50?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-J46:346114101,345869501 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[34] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1875 > image 246 of 789. 1875 Peffer-Zwank household no. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32380-14325-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-VZK:346114101,345870501 : accessed 17 February 2015).

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

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52 Ancestors: #26 A Visit of Moestroff, Ancestral Home of the Zwanck-Welter Family

I love it when I’m speculating about a relationship, searching for records to back it up, and end up finding the one document that brings it all together!

Remember doing jigsaw puzzles as a child? Did you try to connect the pieces even when they didn’t fit? The pieces of my puzzle were all spread out and I was sure they would come together into one picture.

Castle of Moestroff hidden behind walls and overgrown hedges and trees

Clara WELTER and Franz ZWANCK are another set of my children’s 5th great-grandparents in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Clara and Franz lived in the town my husband often visited while growing up. Being the oldest grandchild of Suzanne PEFFER and Fritz KREMER he would spend his summer vacation with his grandparents, running around the little village, and playing with the children there. Little did he know, his friends were most likely distantly related to him as many families have deep roots in the little hamlet.

The mill of Moestroff across the Sauer River from the castle and church.

Moestroff is a village which is on one of our main bike routes when riding north of Echternach and we stopped there to take a few photos this week.

The church of Moestroff (side view from back) with the priest’s entry door.

Franz ZWANCK (1750-1820)

Franciscus “Franz” ZWANCK was born about 1750 in Moestroff, commune of Bettendorf, district of Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His estimated date of birth was calculated from the age at death seen in his death record. I believe he may have been born several years after 1750. He was the son of Pierre ZWANG (d. aft. 1789) and Anne Marie HUSCHET (d. bef. 1789) per Franz’s 1789 marriage record. He died on 3 June 1820 in Moestroff.[1]

Clara WELTER (1766-1826)

Franciscus married Maria Clara WELTER, daughter of Johann WELTER and Anna Maria FELTES, on 26 October 1789 in Bettendorf.[2] Clara, as she was known, was born on 4 July 1766 in Reisdorf[3], the fifth of seven children. She died on 25 January 1826 in Moestroff.[4]

The steeple of the church of Moestroff

Franz and Clara’s children

  1. Catherine ZWANK was born on 2 August 1790[5] and died on 29 March 1852.[6] (more below)
  2. Peter ZWANK § was born on 19 August 1793 in Moestroff and was baptized the same day in Bettendorf.[7] He died at the age of 3 years on 8 September 1796 in Moestroff.[8]
  3. Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born on 17 May 1795[9] and died on 15 February 1858.[10] (more below)
  4. Johann ZWANCK was born on 26 April 1797.[11] He died on 28 February 1832.[12] (more below)
  5. Margreta ZWANG § was born on 22 April 1799 in Moestroff.[13] She lived only eight days dying on 29 April 1799.[14]
  6. Maria ZWANG § was born 26 May 1800[15] and died on 26 January 1815 at the age of 14 years in Moestroff.[16]
  7. Franciscus ZWANCK § was born on 28 April 1804
    [17] and died on 18 July 1804 at the age of nearly three months.[18] Both events took place in Moestroff.

§ is the symbol I use for children who are the end of the line. The additions of Margreta and Maria were only made today. I had found the death record of Maria who died in 1815 and was searching for her birth record when I found Margreta’s birth record. So close in age, I thought they may have been the same person. I continued to search and found the birth record of Maria and the death record of Margaretha proving they were two.

The children who survived to adulthood

Catherine ZWANK

Catherine ZWANK was born and baptized on 2 August 1790 in Moestroff. Catherine married Matthias ABENS, son of Théodore ABENS and Susanne HASTERT, on 29 May 1811 in Bettendorf.[19] Matthias was born on 2 January 1785 in Ralingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.[19] He died on 3 August 1819 in Moestroff.[20] Catherine and Matthias had two children: Christophe (1816-1880) who remained in Moestroff and Anna Maria (1819-aft. 1889) who moved to the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium.

Catherine also married Nicolas WEYLAND, son of Hubert WEYLAND and Marguerite ÖRNTZEN (I believe this name may have later been ERNZEN), on 22 January 1828 in Bettendorf.[21] Nicolas was born on 29 January 1779 in Örntzheim (Nommern).[22] He died on 25 June 1859 in Moestroff.[23] Catherine and Nicolas also had two children: Catharina (1830-1900) who went to live in Paris, France, with her husband and family and Jacques Hubert (1833-aft. 1909) who went to live in the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium with his family.

Catherine died on 29 March 1852 in Moestroff.

UPDATE: My friend Linda, a researcher in Luxembourg, confirmed: Örntzheim (Nommern) is in fact Ernzen, part of Larochette (also called Feels or in Latin Rupe, all meaning -Little-Rock). Larochette was in the parish of Nommern before the French Revolution.

Jacques ZWANK

 

The castle, with the steeple of the church in the background, in the town of Moestroff where Jacques ZWANK raised his family

Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born on 17 May 1795 in Moestroff and baptized the same day in Bettendorf. Jacques married Maria DAHM, daughter of Pierre “Peter” DAHM and Anne Cathérine KIMMES, on 22 October 1823 in Bettendorf.[24] Maria was born on 10 July 1797 in Moestroff and christened the same day in Bettendorf.[25] Jacob died on 15 February 1858 in Moestroff and Maria died on 28 November 1859 in Moestroff.[26] Their story was told in 52 Ancestors: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff. Jacob and Maria’s children remained in Moestroff.

Johann ZWANCK

The castle of Vianden, the town where Johann ZWANCK raised his family

Johann ZWANCK was born on 26 April 1797 in Moestroff. He died on 28 February 1832 in Vianden. Johann married Cathérine HIERTZ, daughter of Jean HIERTZ and Barbe WEYRICH, on 17 January 1826 in Vianden.[27] Cathérine was born on 2 October 1804 in Vianden[28] Her death record has not been located. Johann and Cathérine had four children: Johann (1826-aft. 1886), Jacob (1828-1898), Wilhelm (1828-1832), Agathe (1831-?).

Getting back to the jigsaw puzzle

What I do when I have a genealogy puzzle is to add assumed children with TEMPORARILY ATTACHED typed in at the top of their notes to a set of parents in my database. These parents may already have proven children whose timelines are helpful in determining if I am on the right track. I work through each “child” adding information as it is found. If they end up not being connected I can easily detach the child leaving all of the information in my database. I don’t delete the information because, even if it is not useful to me, it may help someone else with their research.

The puzzle the ZWANG family presented was partly solved in this way. As you can see in the genealogical information above, the family name was seen with several different spellings: ZWANG, ZWANK, and ZWANCK. I had to be careful that all of these spellings were variations of the same name and not another family name.

Before I found the one document that brings it all together! this was what I knew. Pierre ZWANG and Anne Marie HUSCHET may have had at least 4 children. This was speculation on my part. Records were found for a possible son Ludovicus (1748-1776), a possible daughter Irmina Catharina (b. 1750), and sons Franz (b. abt. 1750) and Nicolas (b. 1764). The baptismal records of the first two children DID NOT have the maiden name of the mother –  HUSCHET. For Franz, the subject of this post, no baptismal record was found however his marriage record gave the maiden name of his mother as HUSCHET. Nicolas’ baptismal record only had Anne Marie as his mother’s name.

One avenue I have not considered is that the ZWANG-HUSCHET couple may have had children in another town. In records found for the HOSCHEID family (which I worked through when I wrote A Priest Born in the 16th Century Leaves a Key to Open the Door in a Brick Wall) the surname HOSCHEID was also spelled HUSCHETE. I may have to re-visit the Brandenbourg records to see if there is a connection.

It must be mentioned here that early parish records for Moestroff were found in Reisdorf and later parish records were found in Bettendorf. Unfortunately, there is a period between the two where records are missing. Notably for Bettendorf before 1763.

Further speculation on my part was that Irmina Catharina went by Catharina and married Johann KELSCH on 9 March 1777 in Bettendorf. The marriage record does not list parents. Johann KELSCH was the godfather of Franz’s son Johann in 1797. As no age was listed, this Johann KELSCH could have been either the husband of Catharina ZWANG or her son. I found two researchers who list a date of death for Catharina’s husband. The date was 6 March 1798.

1798 Death Record of Pierre ZWANG found on pages 345 and 346 of the civil register of Bettendorf.[29]
While searching for the death record of Johann KELSCH (I still have not found it!) I found a death record I had not expected to find.

The early civil records for Luxembourg begin in 1796. This is the period in which the Republican Calendar was being used. The date I was searching for, 6 March 1798, would have been 16 Ventôse in the year VI. I found records dated the 3rd and the 20th of the month of Ventôse in the year VI but none in between.

One of the death records for the 3rd included the name KELSCH but it was the name of one of the informants and not the person who had died. The civil servant who was likely not very well educated in French made many spellings errors. They were errors he repeated in other entries and therefore likely how he thought they were written.

The handwriting and the spelling made it difficult to decipher the document, a death record for Pierre ZWANG, the father of Franz ZWANG. The record clearly states Franz was the son of Pierre but the relationship of Johann KELSCH who was the second informant is not given. However, his age was given as 21 which could only mean he was the son of Catharian ZWANG and Johann KELSCH.

From this record, I now know Pierre ZWANG was born about 1728 as his age was 70 years at the time of death on 21 February 1798.[29]

The family name ZWANG is a German word which means force. In the end, I did not need to use force to piece the puzzle together. The pieces fell into place although it did take hours of looking through the Luxembourg records, adding the records to my database, and citing the sources.

Do you have a similar way of solving the problems you run into in your genealogy research? I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit to Moestroff with the ZWANCK-WELTER family.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 993 of 1494. 1820 Death Record (age at death 70). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37494-69?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 112 of 238. 1789 Marriage Record (left page, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLB-BM?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[3] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Reisdorf > Baptêmes 1725-1805, mariages 1763-1805 > image 20 of 59. 1766 Baptismal Record (left page, 5th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-H9M2-Z?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-RM8%3A1501010555%2C1501010556 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[4] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1045 of 1494. 1826 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35658-79?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[5] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 47 of 94. 1790 Baptismal Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-1478-56?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[6] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1388 of 1494. “.” 1852 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37526-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 7 Sep 2011).
[7] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 53 of 94. 1793 Baptismal Record (last entry on right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2766-52?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 94 of 94. 1796 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-MS17?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ%3A1500974653%2C1500923326 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 57 of 94. 1795 Baptismal Record (left, top). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2824-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1462 of 1494. 1858 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36487-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[11] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[12] Luxembourg Civil Records, Vianden > Mariages 1834-1890 Décès 1797-1866 > image 918 of 1406. 1832 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DTQS-LJ6?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-DP8%3A130504801%2C130555401 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 198 of 238. 1799 (3 Floreal year VII) Birth Record part 1 (right, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLT-2L?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017) See also image 199 for part 2.
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 216 of 238. 1799 Death Record ( 9 Floreal year VII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLL-B8?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 227 of 238. 1800 Birth Record No. 19 (6 Prairial year VIII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRLB-RV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 950 of 1494. 1815 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35621-4?cc=1709358 : accessed 25 September 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1328 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record No. 46 (8 Floreal an XII). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-175-20?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1328 of 1507. 1804 Birth Record No. 46 (8 Floreal an XII). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-175-20?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1439 of 1507. 1811 Marriage Record (left page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2MW-CV?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 985 of 1494. 1819 Death Recod (left, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-DJV?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 166 of 1494. 1828 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-6C4?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[22] Luxembourg Parish Records, Nommern > Baptêmes 1744-1787, confirmations 1750-1789, mariages 1751-1765, 1769-1787, sépultures 1752-1787 > image 68 of 170. 1779 Baptismal Record (part 1, right page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-9SWR?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-L2V%3A1500981117%2C1501018978 : accessed 29 July 2017). See also image 59 for second part.

[23] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1481 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-FQH?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 27 July 2017).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 82 of 1494. 1823 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38177-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[25] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1763-1797 > image 60 of 94. 1797 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32400-2625-75?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[26] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1487 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39674-59?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[27] Ibid., Vianden > Naissances 1793-1828 > image 113 of 484. 1804 Birth Record (10 vendémiaire an XIII). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-XCWW-SC?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-SPD%3A130504801%2C130707001 : accessed 29 July 2017).
[28] Ibid., Vianden > Naissances 1829-1890 Mariages 1797-1833 > image 1437 of 1493. 1826 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DTCS-W58?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-929%3A130504801%2C130760501 : accessed 24 July 2017).
[29] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1779-1812 > image 179 of 238. 1798 Death Record part 1 (3 ventôse an VI) (right, bottom).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DRL1-Y1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DP8%3A129626601%2C130236801 : accessed 29 July 2017). See also image 180 for second part.

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

A Priest Born in the 16th Century Leaves a Key to Open the Door in a Brick Wall

On Sunday I was checking my post, 52 Ancestors: #25 A Family on Two Continents, and doing miscellaneous searches for descendants of this family from Luxembourg when I made a fantastic discovery.

While searching the newspapers and periodicals on eluxemburgensia, part of the National Library of Luxembourg site, I got a surprising hit for Elisabetha HOBSCHEID and Michel GRASSER, my children’s 5th great-grandparents who I wrote about in the above article.

The hit brought up the book Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois, published in 1858. Imagine my surprise. Michel died in 1821, Elisabetha in 1831, and this book was from 1858. A manual of scholarships available to Luxembourgers written by Jean-Pierre Koltz (1804-1880), a teacher.

Unlike the newspapers where you are taken directly to the page the name is found on, this search took me to a chapter in the book. It was not immediately obvious why I was getting a hit in the chapter titled Penninger Foundation. I leafed through until I found Elisabetha and Michel. Their names were on a list of genealogical information. I slowly went back through each generation to find myself at the beginning of the family tree of Pierre PENNINGER.

It took me a few days to get my thoughts together and figure out how to share this discovery. This morning we took a bike ride to Brandenbourg to take pictures which I’ve added throughout this post. I’d like to thank my husband for sharing my enthusiasm through his photography. I hope you enjoy and they don’t distract too much from the rest of the story.

Who was Pierre PENNINGER?

Pierre PENNINGER, a native of Diekirch, took his vows for the priesthood and was the pastor of Brandenbourg at the time of his death.

On 4 June 1632, he donated 2,500 écus to the Jesuit priests. On the 1st of December of the same year, the Conseil provincial (Provincial Council) approved the donation to be used for two scholarships for the seminary in honor of the Holy Trinity.

The road into Brandenbourg with the castle on top of the hill.

In his last will and testament dated 5 January 1636 Father Penninger added the sum of 700 écus for a total of 3,200 écus (7,680 francs in 1848) for the scholarship fund to benefit three students of the Jesuit seminary. Relatives of Pierre PENNINGER, the founder, were the first eligible for the scholarships. If no relatives applied then the scholarships would go to poor young men of the Brandenbourg parish or its environs.

Kapell Brandenbourg (Chapel)

The original capital of the Penninger Foundation was 2,500 écus. The revenue of the capital was enough to fund two students during their stay at the seminary. The wars of the times caused the value of the scholarships to be reduced by nearly half so that only one scholarship for offered.

Inside the Chapel of Brandenbourg

However, through the wise administration of the capital, the fund increased in value to 12,698 francs in 1848. By a royal decree in 1848 it was decided to increase the number of scholarships to two.

Cornerstone of the Chapel of Brandenbourg

As the terms of the will were that the scholarships should go to the priest’s relatives, a family tree, in the possession of the Société Archéologique du Grand-Duché, was kept for consultation by candidates for the scholarships.

Brandenbourg Castle

Why all the excitement?

In my last post about Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID, I wrote:

Elisabetha’s family lived in Brandenbourg. This parish’s records are lacking and those which are included are out of order. I have not gone through them to find her parents’ family group.

I did not even try to go through the records. The genealogy information in the chapter about the Penninger Foundation in the book mentioned above turned out to be the key I needed to open the door, or maybe a window, in this brick wall.

Stained glass window in the chapel of Brandenbourg

The PENNINGER Family Tree from 1672 and 1705

What follows are extracts of the Penninger family tree pertaining to my children’s direct line from Pierre PENNINGER’s parents to Elisabeth and Michel.

  • All screenshots (below) are from Jean-Pierre Koltz’s Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois. Link to the book (public domain) is found at the end of this article.

The genealogical information for the grandfather of Pierre PENNINGER was certified by the aldermen of the town of Diekirch on 7 April 1672 and 21 April 1705.

The grandfather of the founder, Pierre PENNINGER, had two sons. One of the sons was the father of a son and a daughter: Pierre PENNINGER, a lawyer in Diekirch, who was already deceased at the time his cousin, the pastor of Brandenbourg, made his will on 5 January 1636 and Elisabeth PENNINGER who married Regnard HERMAN.

The other son of the grandfather had three children. 1. Pierre, the pastor of Brandenbourg and founder of the scholarship foundation in his name. 2. Hélène, referred to as Hildegarde in her brother’s will, married Pierre FUNCK of Brandenbourg. 3. Marguerite married Jean KLEIN of Bockoltz who the founder referred to as Mercatoris (merchant) in his will.

The descendency of the two sisters of pastor Penninger of Brandenbourg.

My children’s line goes through the second sister Marguerite PENNINGER who married Jean KLEIN and had the following children:

  1. Jean KLEIN
  2. Dominique KLEIN, who was mentioned in Pierre PENNINGER’s will
  3. Jean KLEIN married Eve FLORENTZ
  4. Nicolas KLEIN married Odile BERNARD of Wiltz

The descendency of the KLEIN-PENNINGER couple was certified on 11 August 1768 by the mayors and aldermen of the high justice of Wiltz. The information was later complemented by information found in the civil records.

Jean KLEIN and Eve FLORENTZ had a daughter Hélène KLEIN who married Nicolas BOCK.

Nicolas BOCK and Hélène KLEIN had the following children:

  1. Ludovine BOCK married Jean-Michel REULAND
  2. Marguerite BOCK married Jean KETTELS of Niederwiltz
  3. Jean-Grégoire BOCK married Marie LEMMAER of Brandenbourg
  4. Jean-Nicolas BOCK, a notary from Merzig-sur-la-Sarre, was a Penninger scholar

Jean-Michel REULAND and Ludovine BOCK had the following children:

  1. Marie-Marguerite REULAND married Guillaume FISCHBACH (conflicting information – this daughter is also seen in the line down from the founder’s sister Hélène)
  2. Anne-Marguerite REULAND married N. Fischbach
  3. Jean-Philippe REULAND
  4. Jean-Nicolas REULAND
  5. Marie-Catherine REULAND married Léonard HOSCHEID of Brandenbourg

Léonard HOBSCHEID (sic, HOSCHEID) and Marie-Catherine REULAND of Brandenbourg had the following children:

  1. Marie-Catherine HOBSCHEID (sic) married(1) Philippe FISCHBACH and married(2) Michel LIMES of Brandenbourg
  2. Michel HOBSCHEID (sic) of Brandenbourg married an unknown lady
  3. Elisabeth HOBSCHEID (sic) married Michel GRASSER of Moestroff

Children #1 and #2 continue with another generation while my children’s 5th great-grandparents Elisabeth HOSCHEID and Michael GRASSER of Moestroff do not have children listed.

Have you counted through the generations found for this family? I had the names of Elisabeth HOSCHEID’s parents and, with the above, I have been able to add four more generations back to my children’s 10th great-grandmother Marguerite PENNINGER, sister of Pierre PENNINGER, the pastor who set up the scholarship fund for his relatives or needy young men of the parish of Brandenbourg and environs.

The church of Brandenbourg with the cemetery on the sides and back.

Although the Brandenbourg parish records aren’t complete, I have been able to find baptismal, marriage, and death/burial records for several of the person’s named above as well as for children who were not included in the list. The genealogical information lacks dates and can only be used as a guide until records are found to confirm the line back to the PENNINGER grandfather of Pierre, Hélène, and Marguerite and their cousins Pierre and Elisabeth.

As I began to look for records to support the information found in the published family tree, I learned I was not the first to make this discovery. It kind of burst my bubble but I still feel really good about this since I came across it on my own – even if it was a bit by chance.

Sources:

Auguste Neÿen, Biographie luxembourgeoise: histoire des hommes distingues …, Volume 2, Luxembourg 1861; pg. 40 and 105; online https://archive.org/stream/biographieluxem00negoog#page/n45/mode/2up/search/Penninger

Koltz, Jean-Pierre, Manuel des fondations de bourses d’étude instituées en faveur des Luxembourgeois; V. Bück , Luxembourg, 1858; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=2828373&search_terms=Elisabeth%20Hobscheid#panel:pp|issue:2828373|article:DTL3386|page:107|query:Elisabeth Hobscheid

52 Ancestors: #25 A Family on Two Continents

Michael GRASSER (1772-1821)

Michael GRASSER was born on 8 July 1772 in Moestroff, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He was the son of Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS and Elisabetha WINANDY. Michael was the oldest of eight children born as follows: Michael 8 July 1772, Maria Margaretha 3 April 1774, Michael 24 February 1776, Susanna 26 September 1777, Wilhelm 11 February 1780, Joannes 26 October 1782, Mathias 12 November 1784 (d. 5 March 1785), and Philippe 24 July 1786. Baptismal records were found for all of these children. Their father was often referred to as Nicolas GRASSER vulgo REUTERS.

1772 Baptismal Record for Michäel GRASSER [1]
Michael’s baptismal record was more revealing. The priest wrote:

Nicolai et Elisabetha Grasser conjugum in aedibus Reuters x Moestroff

This indicated the parents were a married couple who lived in a house known as Reuters in Moestroff. Reuters was their house name but the family would keep the GRASSER surname.

Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831)

Michael married Elisabetha HOSCHEID, daughter of Léonard HOSCHEID and Marie REULAND, on 20 January 1796 in Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Elisabetha was born about 1772 in Brandenbourg.

Elisabetha’s family lived in Brandenbourg. This parish’s records are lacking and those which are included are out of order. I have not gone through them to find her parents’ family group. However, it is interesting that both her parents’ surnames are also names of town in Luxembourg. HOSCHEID variations are Hoscheit, Hoschet, Hoschette, Houschette; REULAND variations are Reiland, Reyland. Both names may have originated from town names. Did their families originally come from Hoscheid and Reuland? This thought went through my mind as I was climbing the hill up to Reuland, a village in the commune of Heffingen in central Luxembourg, yesterday on my bike. This was the view we were rewarded with after riding through the village to the top of the hill.

A field outside of Reuland on the way to Heffingen

Elisabeth and Michael marry in 1796

1796 M;arriage Record of Michael GRASSER and Elisabetha “HOSCHET” or HOSCHEID

Michael married Elisabetha on 20 January 1796 in Bettendorf. The marriage index card gives 2 January 1796 but the record clearly is for the 20th. More interesting is the name of one of the witnesses for this religious marriage. Nicolas MERCKES of Bettendorf signed the entry making it easier for me to prove who he was. The signature matches those found on the baptismal records of his children. Nicolas was the great-great-grandfather of Fritz KREMER (1905-1972) who would marry Suzanne PEFFER (1910-1987), the great-great-granddaughter of Michael and Elisabetha, one hundred and thirty-five years later, on 7 January 1931. They were the parents of my mother-in-law Maisy KREMER (1931-1986).

Pedigree chart of Suzanne PEFFER (1910-1987 )

The children of Michael and Elisabetha

Michael and Elisabetha had the following children:

  1. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 11 November 1796 in Moestroff and died on 18 February 1801 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
  2. Margaretha GRASSER was born on 31 December 1797 in Moestroff and died on 24 April 1848 in Moestroff. She married Pierre RAUSCH, son of Mathieu RAUSCH and Marie SCHMIT, on 25 January 1820 in Bettendorf. Pierre was born on 27 July 1796 in Consdorf (Canton Echternach). He died on 17 December 1875 in St. Nicholas, Stearns County, Minnesota. [8 children]
  3. Jean GRASSER was born on 13 February 1799 in Moestroff and died on 19 November 1803 in Moestroff at the age of 4 years.
  4. Anna Catharina GRASSER was born on 15 December 1801 in Moestroff and died on 6 December 1821 in Moestroff, a week before her 20th birthday.
  5. Maria GRASSER was born about 1801 in Moestroff. Her birth record has not been found and when she married her sister Anna Catharina’s date of birth was listed. Maria died on 4 January 1882 in Moestroff. She married Antoin “Anton” PEFFER, son of Adam PEFFER and Marguerite PIERRET, on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf. Anton was born on 20 May 1803 in Obermertzig (Feulen) and died on 26 December 1858 in Moestroff. Maria and Anton were my children’s 4th great-grandparents. [7 children]
  6. Phillippe GRASSER was born on 26 July 1804 in Moestroff and died on 12 March 1805 in Moestroff at the age of nearly 8 months.
  7. Cathérine GRASSER was born on 12 November 1805 in Moestroff and died on 1 March 1862 in Luxemburg, Stearns County, Minnesota. She married Michel LESCH, son of Jean LESCH and Elisabeth MAJERUS, on 28 March 1832 in Bettendorf. Michel was born on 15 April 1807 in Biesdorf, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany, and died on 27 June 1878 in Rockville, Stearns County, Minnesota. [8 children]
  8. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 4 July 1807 in Moestroff and died on 1 June 1852 in Moestroff. He married Anne Cathérine STAUDT, daughter of Jean STAUDT and Madeleine SCHILTZ, on 2 March 1835 in Bastendorf (Diekirch). Anne Cathérine was born on 16 January 1808 in Brandenbourg and died on 24 November 1859 in Moestroff. [4 children]
  9. Nicolas GRASSER was born on 23 April 1809 in Moestroff and died on 8 May 1867 in Lultzhausen (Neunhausen). He married Madeleine LENTZ, daughter of Jean LENTZ and Anne Marie MARTEN, on 9 June 1832 in Bettendorf. Madeleine was born on 17 February 1814 in Moestroff and died on 7 August 1844 in Moestroff. Following her death, Nicolas married Marguerite FRISCH, daughter of Michel FRISCH and Susanne WEBER, on 11 December 1844 in Bettendorf. Marguerite was born on 2 March 1820 in Beaufort (Echternach) and died on 22 May 181 in Lultzhausen (Neunhausen). [10 children]

This is a long list of children but, sadly, not all survived childhood. Daughters Margaretha, Maria, and Cathérine, and the two sons named Nicolas were the ones who would marry and continue the line.

Michael dies at the age of 48

Michael and Elisabetha would only be present at the marriage of their oldest daughter Margaretha who married in 1820. A little over a year later, on 26 February 1821, Michael GRASSER died at 11 o’clock in the morning. His wife Elisabetha went to the records office in Bettendorf the following afternoon at 2 o’clock to have his death recorded. She was not able to write and left only a mark on the death record. Mathias HESSE, the secretary, was the second witness and Nicolas RECHT, the mayor, was the civil official.

1821 Death Record of Michael GRASSER

How close was the family after Michael’s death?

Elisabetha HOSCHEID lived another ten years. Did all of her unmarried children live with her and support her?

On 17 February 1830 Elisabetha made her last appearance in a legal document when she was present and consenting to the marriage of her her oldest single daughter Maria, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.

1830 Marriage Record of Anton PEFFER and Maria GRASSER

Reviewing the marriage record (once again) I found things I had questioned earlier. Maria’s age was left off and her date of birth was incorrect as mentioned above under #5. Her father was deceased and his date of death on the marriage record was the date for a child of the same name who died in 1809 and not for Michael who died in 1821.

Looking at the record now, in relation with the GRASSER family, it seems strange that neither of the bride’s brothers named Nicolas GRASSER nor her brother-in-law Pierre RAUSCH were present at the marriage. In the section for the witnesses, there is room for four persons and only three are listed, two PEFFER men – an uncle and a brother of the groom – and an unrelated man. I believe this is the only marriage record I have come across which does not have all four witnesses listed. Further, the marriage record appears to have been prepared in advance or at least by two persons. Notice the light handwriting at the top and bottom, while the middle section is darker and a different handwriting.

Were Maria’s family not happy with her choice? Or, was she in a family way and the rush to get her married caused errors to be made on the marriage record? Maria gave birth to her first child less than eight months after the marriage. Cutting it close or a premature birth, did it really matter as Maria was nearly 30 years old when she married?

Elisabetha dies at the age of 59

Her son-in-law Pierre RAUSCH was the informant of her death on 17 September 1831 in Moestroff. She died at 7 in the morning and Pierre was at the civil records office by 11. The record shows she died at the home of the RAUSCH family which makes me wonder if all of the family was living together at the time – Elisabetha’s unmarried children as well as her married daughter and grandchildren.

1831 Death Record of Elisabetha HOSCHEID

The years after Michael and Elisabetha

Following the death of their mother, Cathérine was the first to marry in March 1832 followed by the younger Nicolas in June 1832. The elder Nicolas married in March 1835.

Two families go to America

In 1848 [many family trees incorrectly list 1840] the oldest child Margaretha died. Her death was followed by the elder Nicolas GRASSER’s death in 1852. This appears to be a turning point in the family history.

Margaretha’s husband Pierre RAUSCH and five of their children emigrated from Luxembourg to Stearns County, Minnesota. Only the oldest daughter remained in Moestroff. A county history places the immigration at the latter part of the 1850s. They may have been the first to go to America but others would follow.

Cathérine and her husband Michael LOESCH (as the name was seen from 1852) also went to Stearns County. The move can be placed at after December 1855 when they were last seen in the Luxembourg census. The LOESCH family also had two sons named Nicolas. The elder was not with his parents in 1855 and likely accompanied Pierre RAUSCH and his children to America. From the History of Stearns County, Minnesota, Volume II by William Bell Mitchell:

Nicholas [Loesch] set out for America in 1854. In 1855 he started for the West with a party of eight young men. They were among the first to pass through the canal at Sault Ste. Marie. Through swamps and woods they pursued their course and finally reached St. Paul. From there Nicholas came to St. Cloud. He first took a homestead in Rockville township, but allowed his right to lapse. His parents obtained a homestead in Rockville township, where they ended their days. Nicholas finally secured a location in section 3, near Pearl lake in Maine Prairie township. Here he erected a log cabin, and with a yoke of oxen and a cow started farming operations.

Two families remain in Luxembourg

While the families of Margaretha and Cathérine went to America, Elisabetha and Michael’s last living son Nicolas remained in Luxembourg but moved away from Moestroff to Lultzhausen. Only Maria, my children’s ancestress, remained in Moestroff as did several generations of her descendants until Suzanne PEFFER died there in 1987.

Genealogical Jackpot!

While checking the National Library of Luxembourg site for newspapers and periodicals for further information on the grandchildren of this couple I made a fantastic discovery concerning Elisabetha HOSCHEID. She and her husband were mentioned in a book written in 1858. I am overwhelmed and will share as soon as I get my thoughts together in a few days.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
Sources will be added during the week as the remarkable discovery I made today kept me from adding the footnotes and citations.

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

52 Ancestors: #24 The Peffer-Pierret Family of Feulen and Gilsdorf

Sometimes when I start to search for information on a family it looks like it will be quick and easy. This family was supposed to be one of these. I did much of the preliminary research two years ago when I wrote about the oldest son Anton PEFFER and his wife Maria GRASSER. They were my children’s fourth great-grandparents.

I put off writing the post the end of June because it fell on the same day I planned to publish my Slave Name Roll Project article. My readers took me up on my offer to explain how I found the records with the names of the slaves and I wrote a very successful spin-off Step by Step Guide to Accessing Browse-only Records on FamilySearch.

The weather finally improved and my husband and I were able to get back on our racing bikes for some much-needed exercise. Two of our rides took us through the town of Gilsdorf where this family lived.

I delayed doing the post again in preparation for my visit to the State Archives of Arlon in Belgium and instead wrote Luxracines on Tour in Belgium and France.

This family had me searching through browse-only church records, civil records, and census records for a period of 150 plus years. This takes time. Not only to browse but to download the images, cite them, analyze them, and attach them to the events of each individual. Each time I put off writing this story, I picked up the research again and I found more records which had to be dealt with.

I now have a nearly complete timeline for the family with so many records that my citation list would be longer than the story. I’m going to leave it up to you to visit my GEDCOM file to consult the sources if you are interested. As the family’s story develops, I have linked each person at the time of their death to his or her individual page on RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project: Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

The PEFFER-PEIRRET Family Story

Dominique PEFFER (1743-1813) and Marguerite SINTGEN (1750-1821) married on 8 January 1775 in Diekirch. He was from Niederglabach (Mersch) and she was from Gilsdorf, a neighboring town of Diekirch. This couple would have nine children born between 1775 and 1797. All were born in Gilsdorf likely in the ancestral home of the mother. Marguerite was the oldest child and, as was the custom of the time, she may have inherited the family home. Of the nine children born to Dominique and Marguerite, three are known to have married and had children. One of these was Adam PEFFER born on 25 July 1777.

Nicolas PIERRET (1740-1808) and Anna Maria ROBINET (1747-1785) were married on 14 March 1761. The marriage record has not been located. The marriage index card indicates it took place in Eischen/Arlon. This may mean the marriage took place in Eischen and the record will be found in the Arlon parish records. What a strange coincidence when only last Saturday I was visiting the archives in Arlon. Nicolas and Anna Maria were the parents of ten children born between 1764 and  1784 in Eischen (Capellen). Their seventh child was Marguerite PIERRET who was born on 4 August 1777 in Eischen. Anna Maria ROBINET died in 1785 and her widower remarried in 1786. His second wife gave him a daughter in 1787 before dying in 1793.

The PEFFER and PIERRET Union

Adam PEFFER married Marguerite PIERRET on 28 June 1802 in Feulen (Diekirch). Why Adam, who was born and raised in Gilsdorf, and Marguerite, who was born and raised in Eischen, ended up marrying in Feulen is not known. They would remain in the Feulen area, living in Obermertzig where their first five children were born. When Adam had the births of these children recorded his occupation was seen as Taglöhner or day laborer.

  • Antoin “Anton” born 20 May 1803
  • Nicolas born 23 October 1805
  • Eva PEFFER born 4 February 1808 and died 19 March 1808
  • Christian Peffer born 7 May 1809
  • Christina born 15 April 1811

Two days before the birth of their first daughter Eva, Marguerite lost her father Nicolas PIERRET who died in Eischen on 2 February 1808.

Sometime after the birth of daughter Christina, Adam and his family moved back to his hometown of Gilsdorf. This may have had something to do with the death of Adam’s father Dominique PEFFER who died on 11 April 1813 in Gilsdorf. His death was reported by his second oldest son Theodore. At this time it is not known if Adam and Theodore’s older sister was still living. It’s possible that Adam was now the oldest child and may have come home to care for his mother and work in the occupation of his father.

Town sign at the entrance of Gilsdorf via the road coming from the bridge which crosses the Sauer River.

Back in Gilsdorf, Adam and Marguerite added two more children to their family. Both daughters.

  • Susanne born 21 August 1814
  • Angelique born 11 February 1817

In 1814 and 1817 when Adam reported the births of his daughters his occupation was Leinenweber (tisserant in French) or linen weaver – the same occupation as his father Dominique PEFFER.

Five days before Angelique was born, her father Adam’s next oldest brother Théodore married Marie Cathérine KAISER on 6 February 1817 in Stegen. Their youngest brother Peter was a witness. Did Adam stay home to be with his wife Marguerite who was ready to give birth to their last child?

The entrance of the Gilsdorf cemetery where the family is likely buried. We did not walk the cemetery to check for the names.

Adam’s mother Marguerite SINTGEN died four years later at the age of 68 years on 22 February 1821 in Gilsdorf. Her son Théodore reported her death.

The chapel of the Gilsdorf cemetery.

Adam and Marguerite’s family of eight would be reduced to seven on 17 August 1826 when their daughter Susanne PEFFER died four days short of her 12th birthday. Her father reported the death. No longer seen as a linen weaver, his occupation was Ackerer (farmer) at the time of her death.

Adam and Marguerite’s oldest son, my children’s 4th great-grandfather, Antoin “Anton” PEFFER married Maria GRASSER (1801-1882) of Moestroff on 17 February 1830 in Bettendorf, the commune to which Gilsdorf and Moestroff belonged. Adam was a Taglöhner when his son Anton married.

The Catholic church of Gilsdorf. Likely the place the religious marriage ceremonies took place for the children who lived in Gilsdorf and married (civil) in the commune of Bettendorf.

It was another 7 years before the next child of this couple married. Their second oldest son Nicolas married Susanna SCHARLÉ (1810-1873) of Gilsdorf on 6 January 1837 in Bettendorf.

Four years later, Adam and Marguerite’s oldest daughter Christina who was 30 years old married Johann SCHEUER (1794-1875) on 15 February 1841 in Bettendorf. Johann who was 47 years old and widowed with several children.

On 22 December 1843 when the census was taken Adam PEFFER had in his household his only unmarried son Christian and his youngest daughter Angelique who was also still single at the age of 26. Adam and Christian were day laborers and Angelique was seen as having no profession. Where was Adam’s wife Marguerite? The person who filled out the sheet wrote marié (married) as Adam’s marital status and then struck it out replacing it with veuf (widowed). Marguerite PIERRET died the same day as the census sheet was filled out and signed. She died at 9 in the morning at home. Adam and his son-in-law Johann SCHEUER went to the records office at 4 in the afternoon the same day to report her death. Her occupation was listed as day laborer and her place of birth was seen as Eischen in Belgium near Arlon.A month later on 20 January 1844 and on 4 February 1844 the banns were read for the marriage of Adam’s youngest daughter Angelique PEFFER and Nicholas POTT (1815-1873). They married on 10 February 1844 in Bettendorf.

A month later on 20 January 1844 and on 4 February 1844 the banns were read for the marriage of Adam’s youngest daughter Angelique PEFFER and Nicholas POTT (1815-1873). They married on 10 February 1844 in Bettendorf.

When the next two censuses were taken in December of 1846 and of 1847 Adam was had in his household his son Christian in Gilsdorf. His son Anton was living in Moestroff with his wife who was from Moestroff. Adam’s children Nicolas, Christina, and Angelique were in their own households in Gilsdorf.

Adam PEFFER died a few weeks after the 1847 census at the age of 70. He died on 16 January 1848 in Gilsdorf at noon. His death was reported the next day by his oldest son Anton PEFFER and his son-in-law Johann SCHEUER. He died at his home in the “first” street of Gilsdorf. Was this the name of the street or only an indication of where the street was located in the village?

The Years After Adam and Marguerite’s Deaths

Town sign at the entrance from Diekirch. The PEFFER family lived on this side of the village, on a street behind the pink house seen in the center between the two signs.

In December 1849, when the census sheets were once again being filled out, the children of Adam and Marguerite were found mostly where they had been the previous years. Only Christian, the son who had been living with Adam, was now staying with his sister Christiane and her husband Johann SCHEUER.

The single son Christian became my focal point in this family. Would he marry or remain single? In December 1851 he was single and living alone. In December 1852 he was not found alone nor with Angelique, Christina, Nicolas, or Anton. Perhaps he was living with another family in Gilsdorf and the census sheets need to be more closely examined. In December 1855 he was again found alone in his own household.

In December 1858 Christian was now seen with his sister Christina and his brother-in-law Johann SCHEUER. Angelique, Nicolas, and Anton were still in their usual places. Three weeks after the census was taken, the oldest of the siblings, Anton PEFFER, died in Moestroff the day after Christmas. He left a wife and four children.

In December 1861 Christian was 50 years old, still a bachelor, and once again not found in the census. Three years later, in December 1864, he was in his brother-in-law Johann SCHEUER’s household.

His sister Christina PEFFER died on 28 March 1866 leaving a husband and two daughters. By the next census in December 1867 her oldest daughter Margaret had married Markus REIFFER and in the household were her single uncle Christian and her widowed father Johann SCHEUER.

In December 1871 the configuration of the PEFFER-SCHEUER-REIFFER household changed only with the births of REIFFER children. Where their father had been the head of household in 1867, their grandfather Johann was seen as the head in 1871. Christian was still with the family even though his sister was deceased.

By December 1875 Johann SCHEUER had been dead for nine months. His son-in-law Markus now was the head of household and had Christian PEFFER living with the family.Markus’ wife Margaret SCHEUER died on 25 August 1877. By the time the next census was enumerated in December 1880 her widower Markus had remarried. Christian PEFFER was not found with his niece’s widower or with either of his living siblings Angelique POTT-PEFFER or Nicolas PEFFER.

Markus’ wife Margaret SCHEUER died on 25 August 1877. By the time the next census was enumerated in December 1880 her widower Markus had remarried. Christian PEFFER was not found with his niece’s widower or with either of his living siblings Angelique POTT-PEFFER or Nicolas PEFFER.

On 6 March 1883 Nicolas, 78 years old, was the informant for the death of his 74 years old brother Christian PEFFER who died the same day at noon in Gilsdorf. At the time of his death, he did not have a profession and likely was too old or feeble to work.

Angelique and Nicolas were now the last surviving children of Adam and Marguerite PEFFER-PIERRET. Angelique had been widowed in 1873. In 1875 and 1880 she had her two youngest children, sons Jean and Mathias, still living at home. By 1885 they had “disappeared.”

On the February 1887 census, Angelique, as in December 1885, was seen alone in her household. However, on the back page of the census her son Jean was mentioned as being in St. Paul (America) and he had been gone for eight years. With this census listing, I discovered both her sons went to America. John and Matt, as they were later known, had emigrated to America in 1882 and 1883. Matt was married by the 1887 census and therefore not mentioned on his mother’s census sheet. In December 1890, Angelique was still living in her own household only a few doors away from her brother Nicolas.

During our second ride through Gilsdorf, I was on the lookout for the street sign for the Ahlstrasse or Aalstrasse and found “Am Aal” a street which is on the outskirts of Gilsdorf.

In December 1885, February 1887, and December 1890 Nicolas PEFFER was living in the household of his son Adam, who had been named after his grandfather. The PEFFER home was the same as it had always been. Over the years the name of the street was Ahlstrasse or Ahlgasse with Ahl also being seen as Aal.

Angelique PEFFER died on 31 December 1891 in Diekirch in the Bürger Spital (hospital). Her death was reported by her son-in-law Mathias MEITER of Stegen. He gave her age as 79 although she was only 74 years old. Her residence was seen as Diekirch which could mean she may have been a resident of the hospital for some time during the year 1891 until her death.

Nicolas PEFFER, the only living child of Adam and Marguerite, was seen as the head of household on 2 December 1895 in Gilsdorf. He was still living with his son Adam and his family. A year later, on 6 December 1896, he died in his home in Gilsdorf. His son Adam reported his death, gave the name of Nicolas’ deceased wife but did not know the names of his parents. Nicolas was 91 years old and his parents had been dead for around 50 years. Sad but maybe no wonder his 59 years old son Adam did not know their names.

Where will the research go from here?

For now, I believe I have wrapped up this family group. There are still the missing census records for son Christian – he may have been missed or I may have overlooked them. More important to this family’s story may be the emigration of the two grandsons, Jean and Mathias POTT, to America. What became of them and are there descendants waiting to be found? This task is not on the immediate schedule but, if I hear from a descendant, I could be convinced to speed up the research.

bestwishescathy1

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

52 Ancestors: #17 Mathias Friederich dite Thivels and Maria Olsem of Dillingen

Sometimes I am amazed at the discoveries I make when I sit down to write about these ancestral couples. Of course this only happens when I do a new round of research to learn more about the couple, their children, their parents and siblings, and any other possible connections.

While working through this family group, I discovered the father of the nearly 20 years old Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS had not died in 1791 as believed. The discovery of his death record started an avalanche of records which I will work through when I do the next generation. You’ll get a tiny peek below.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Mathias FRIEDERICH dite TIVELS
Parents: Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH and Catharina FEDERSPIEL
Spouse: Maria OLSEM
Parents of spouse: Martin HUNTGES aka Martin OLSEM and Margaretha MAY
Whereabouts: Dillingen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 4th great-grandfather

1. Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS
2. Elisabeth FRIEDERICH
3. Anton KREMER
4. Nicolas KREMER
5. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
6. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
7. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

My children’s 4th great-grandmother Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was the daughter of Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS and Maria OLSEM. As seen in the post I wrote about her and her husband Nicolas KREMER, 52 Ancestors: #34 KREMER-FRIEDERICH Family – Using Substitutes to Tell Their Story, she was the only child of Mathias and Maria known to have grown to adulthood and marry. This is her parents’ story.

Mathias and Maria Marry in Wallendorf

The parish church of Wallendorf built in 1748. Photo credit: Egon Meder.

After the marriage banns had been read in Wallendorf and Bissen, and there being no objection to the marriage, a minor young man named Mathias FREDERICH and a young woman who was of age named Maria OLSEM were married on 7 February 1791 in the parish of Wallendorf. At the time Wallendorf was part of Luxembourg; after 1815 it became part of Germany.

Mathias was the legitimate son of Joannis FREDERICH, a farmer who was present, and the deceased Catharina FEDERSPIEL, both of Dillingen. Maria was the legitimate daughter of the deceased couple Martini OLSEM and Margaretha MAY of Colmar. Witnesses to the marriage were J.P. MAY from Bastendorf (could he have been a maternal uncle?) and Franciscus CONCEMIUS from Bettendorf. The groom, bride, and father of the groom left their mark while the two witnesses to the marriage signed their names. [Names are given as found in the marriage record.]

1791 Marriage Record of Mathias and Maria [1]

Mathias’ Parents

Mathias’ parents were Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH (1741-1811) and Catharina FEDERSPIEL (1746-1785). Catharina died on 30 November 1785 in Dillingen.[2] She left her husband Johann with three sons and a daughter between the ages of 2 and 15 years. Records for this family were found in Wallendorf-Pont and Beaufort.

Maria’s Parents

Maria’s parents were Martin HUNTGES also known as Martin OLSEM (1722-1782) and Margaretha MAY (1727-1789). They were the parents of six known children who carried the OLSEM surname and were born in Colmar between 1756-1773. When Martin OLSEM died on 13 October 1782 in Colmar and was buried in Berg,[3] he left his wife with five children at home. Their oldest son had married earlier in the year. Margaretha, Maria’s mother, saw her two oldest daughters marry before she died on 6 June 1789 in Colmar and was buried in Berg.[4] Maria was now the oldest unmarried child with a younger brother and sister.

The First Clue to an Error

1791 death entry in the parish register of Wallendorf [5]
Following the marriage of Mathias and Maria in 1791, a Johann TIVELS died on 20 August 1791 in Dillingen.[5] The record was misinterpreted by an earlier researcher who attributed the death to Mathias’ father Johann TIVELS. When I viewed the death record, I questioned it being for the father as it read Joannes infansis Joannis Tivels (Johann child or infant of Johann Tivels). Johann Sr. was, I thought, a widower at the time and would have been seen in the parish register entry as viduus.

Mathias and Maria’s Children

Mathias and Maria lived in Dillingen their entire married life. They likely attended the little church seen above in the background. The old cobblestone paved bridge which crosses the Sauer River, the border between Luxembourg and Germany, leads into the town.

The first known child of Mathias and Maria was a male stillborn on 5 July 1794 in Dillingen.[6] The information is attributed to the Familienbuch der kath. Pfarrei St.Peter und Paul in Wallendorf by Mathias Emil Hubsch. The family book of Wallendorf includes the towns of Hösdorf (1744-1822), Ammeldingen and Biesdorf (1744-1899) and Dillingen (1744-1807). I’ll check the book when I visit the Archive Luxracines tomorrow.

Maria and Mathias’s second child, a daughter Maria FRIDERICH was born on 14 April 1796 in Dillingen.[7] Her birth was found in the index to the microfilm records Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898.

1846 Census for the KREMER-FRIEDERICH family of Bettendorf [8]
On 14 April 1802, exactly six years later Elisabeth FRIEDERICH, the last known child of Mathias and Maria, was born in Dillingen. Her birth record has not been located. The date of birth was found on the 1846 census.[8] Or should I use 15 April 1803, the date found on the 1849 census?[9] Normally a date of birth would be found on her marriage record but, in this case, her age and date of birth were omitted on the record. At the time of death on 28 October 1871, she was listed as 70 years old.

Mathias’ Father Dies

Château de Beaufort by N. Maroldt, Diekirch. From a series of ten framed photographs of castles in Luxembourg, private collection of the Meder-Dempsey Family.

Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH, father of Mathias, lived twenty years longer than first believed. Mathias was 39 years old when he went before Johann Georg EVEN, mayor of Beaufort, and reported the death of his father in Dillingen on 4 August 1811 in his home known as Thivels. The death record had a surprising detail. Johann left a widow named Maria BOUR.[10]

1811 death record for Johann THIVELS alias FRIEDERICH [10]
Further research showed that due to the nature of the surnames used in different records [changing surnames and house names] the connection had not been made by others who have researched the areas of Wallendorf, Dillingen, Colmar, and Beaufort. I believe this is due to the difference between research done for family books of towns and research done for families. Town family books are wonderful references but verification of the dates and places for the individuals and family groups needs to be obtained by accessing the records.
Marriage Index Cards for the marriages of Tivels-Federspiel [11] and Friderich-Boor [12]
Johann THIVELS married Catharina FEDERSPIEL[11] and Johann FRIEDERICH married Maria BOUR.[12] Since the Johann who married Catharina was believed to have died in 1791 the connection to Johann who married Maria BOUR was not made. The son Mathias from the first marriage is the common denominator and led me to the records which I believe prove only one Johann married both ladies. His second marriage[12] took place three and a half months after his first wife’s death.[2] I am still working on the children of the second marriage. The death record[13] of a son Peter who lived less than a month and died in 1786 lists the father as Joannis FREDERICH vulgo TIVELS and shows the connection between the two names as is later seen on Johann’s death record.[10]

Mathias Dies

A year after he was seen as the informant on his father’s death record, Mathias FRIEDERICH dite THIVELS died on 16 August 1812 in Dillingen.[14] He left a wife, Maria OLSEM, and a daughter Elisabeth who was just ten years old.

Other Connections

Château de Berg by N. Maroldt, Diekirch. From a series of ten framed photographs of castles in Luxembourg, private collection of the Meder-Dempsey Family.

So little is known of the FRIDERICH-OLSEM couple that I focused my research a bit more closely on the siblings of Mathias and Maria. Although I knew Maria lived another 16 years after Mathias died and would die in Dillingen, I wondered if there may be stronger connections between her and her family in Colmar. This turned up a strange intertwined connection.

Maria’s brother Dominique OLSEM was 38 years old when he married the 26 years old Susanne HAMES on 18 May 1806 in Berg. [15] They had four children.

Mathias’ youngest sibling and only sister Marie TIWELS married Joseph KOOB on 11 January 1808 in Bettendorf.[16] She was 26 years old. They had a son.

Dominique OLSEM died on 28 Mar 1813 in Colmar[17] and Marie TIWELS died on 16 May 1815 in Moestroff.[18] Dominique’s widow Susanne HAMES and Marie’s widower Joseph KOOB married on 29 November 1815 in Berg.[19] Perhaps Marie played matchmaker for her sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Or the matchmaker could have been her older brother Nicolas OLSEM who was a witness to the marriage in Berg.

Marie Dies

Marie OLSEM died on 1 April 1828 in Dillingen. [20] The informant gave her age as 73 years but she was only 64. She was survived by her daughter Elisabeth and one living sibling, Maria Barbara OLSEM who died on 16 December 1829 in Wiltz.[21]

Elisabeth FRIEDERICH was not yet married and celebrated her 26th birthday a little over two weeks after her mother’s death. Almost two years later, on 17 February 1830, she married Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) in Bettendorf [22] to begin her own little family. It would not be a happy first year of marriage…. Her story continues here.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 88 of 438. 1791 Marriage Record (second entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-5216-23?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F:1501154317,1501199302 : accessed 19 August 2015).
[2] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 47 of 438. 1785 Death Record (left page, 4th entry).  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-975T?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : 9 January 2015).
[3] Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes 1779-1784, mariages 1779-1784, sépultures 1779-1784 > image 45 of 68. 1782 Death Record (left page, 1st entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-QQRD?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-DPN%3A1500938201%2C1500938202 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bissen > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1785-1793 > image 99 of 186. 1789 Death Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-9W7K?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-FMS%3A1500938201%2C1500938228 : accessed 24 April 2017),.
[5] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 87 of 438. 1791 Death Record (left page, 6th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-975C?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[6] Mathias Emil Hubsch, compiler. Die Pfarrei Sankt Peter und Paul in der Grenzortschaft Wallendorf (Kreis Bitburg-Prum) : mit den filialen Ammeldingen und Biesdorf 1744-1899 sowie den heutigen Luxemburger filialen Dillingen, Pfarrei Befort 1744-1807 und Hosdorf, Pfarrei Reisdorf 1744-1822
[7] Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 530,206. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NLBY-1BV : accessed 25 April 2017), Maria Friderich, born and christened 14 Apr 1796, father Mathias Friderich, mother Anna Maria Olsem; citing Wallendorf, Rheinland, Preussen.
[8] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1846 > image 27 of 334. 1846 Kremer-Friederich household.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32356-27262-77?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 33 of 343. 1849 Kremer-Friederich household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-21299-31?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW:346114101,345864801 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[10] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890  > image 427 of 1474. 1811 Death Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRY7-FHY?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38%3A129623701%2C129687501 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[11] Luxembourg parish records, Wallendorf-Pont > Tables des mariages 1746-1802 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 197 of 210. 1769 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SKC7?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-K6P%3A1501154317%2C1501154318 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[12] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont >  Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 63 of 210. 1786 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-S29P?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-K6P%3A1501154317%2C1501154318 : accessed 26 April 2017).
[13] Ibid., Wallendorf-Pont > Naissances 1799-1814, baptêmes 1779-1793, mariages 1779-1793, 1799-1814, décès 1799-1814, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 54 of 438. “1786 Baptismal Record (left page, 4th entry).” 1786 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-97PC?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-92F%3A1501154317%2C1501199302 : acccessed 26 April 2017).
[14] Luxembourg Civil Records, Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890 > image 440 of 1474. 1812 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11577-147496-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38:129623701,129687501 : accessed 17 August 2015).
[15] Ibid., Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 24 of 270. 1806 Marriage Record , part 1 (right page). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-NCR?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : accessed 25 April 2017) cont. on next image.
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1409 of 1507. 1808 Marriage Record (first part on right page).  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X2M3-GF?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9%3A129626601%2C129945501 : accessed 25 April 2017) cont. on next image.
[17] Ibid., Berg > Décès 1796-1830 > image 80 of 167. 1813 Death Record (right page, top). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-K29?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6X%3A129623401%2C129623402 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 953 of 1494. 1815 Death Record (left page, bottom). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-6XM?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 25 April 2017).
[19] Ibid., Berg > Mariages 1796-1858 > image 65 of 270. 1815 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62YQ-P4D?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-C6J%3A129623401%2C129709001 : 17 July 2014).
[20] Ibid., Beaufort > Mariages 1864-1890 Décès 1799-1890 > image 676 of 1474. 1828 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11577-141484-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-W38:129623701,129687501 : accessed 17 August 2015) Note: May be an error on record as she was listed as age 73 therefore b. 1755.
[21] Ibid., Wiltz > Mariages 1886-1890 Décès 1797-1862  > image 587 of 1390. 1829 Death Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-62TJ-G1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-4WL%3A130592301%2C130900801 : accessed 24 April 2017).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 220 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39950-62?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).

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

52 Ancestors: #38 Favorite Place: Moestroff, Home of the PEFFER-GRASSER Family

Week 38 (September 17-23) – Favorite Place: What has been  your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?

Can you guess my favorite place to research? Without a doubt, in 2015,  it’s been the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as this year’s research and writing has been dedicated to families from this county! If I had to narrow it down to a specific canton it would be a toss up between Diekirch, where most of my husband’s families came moestrofffrom, and Echternach. Narrowing it down even further I’d say the commune of Bettendorf and the village of Méischtref (Moestroff) would win out.

When I met my husband in 1975 he had only one living grandparent, his grandmother Suzanne PEFFER. She lived most of her life in Méischtref where we often visited her on Sundays until her death in 1987. Her father Nicolas PEFFER (1866-1941) was born and raised there as was his father Nicolas PEFFER Sr. (1833-1887). The senior did not come from his having a son of the same name. It came from his being the elder of two boys named Nicolas in the family of Antoine “Anton” PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.

Antoin PEFFER

feulenmap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Feulen.PNG

Antoin PEFFER was born on 20 May 1803[1] in Obermertzig which at that time was in the commune of Feulen, canton of Diekirch. His parents were Adam PEFFER (1777-1848) and Marguerite PIERRET (1777-1843). They had married the previous year on 28 June 1802[2] in Feulen. He had six known siblings: Nicolas (1805-1896), Eve (1808-1808), Christian (1809-1883), Christine (1811-1866), Susanne (1814-1826), and Angélique (1817-1891).

Antoin lived with his parents and siblings in Obermertzig until about 1811-1814 when the family moved to Gilsdorf in the commune of Bettendorf.

Maria GRASSER

bettendorfmap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Bettendorf.PNG

Maria GRASSER (1802-1882) was born about 1802-1803 in Moestroff to Michel GRASSER (1772-1821) and Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831).[3] Her parents were married on 2 January 1796[4] in Bettendorf. She had eight known siblings: Nicolas (1796-1801), Margaretha (1797-1848), Jean (1799-1803), Anna Catharina (1801-1821), Phillippe (1804-1805), Cathérine (1805-aft 1855), Nicolas (1807-1852), and Nicolas (1809-1867). It is interesting to note both of Maria’s brothers who were named Nicolas lived to marry and have children. Did her growning up with two brothers named Nicolas influence her and her husband to name two of their sons Nicolas?

Marriage of Antoine and Maria

Antoin PEFFER married Maria GRASSER on 17 February 1830[5] in Bettendorf. When they married the date of birth of Maria’s deceased sister Anna Catharina[6] was given on the marriage record instead of her own. I have not been able to locate a birth record for Maria. Not only did the civil servant get the wrong date of birth for Maria, he forgot to include her age AND he gave her deceased father Michel GRASSER’s date of death as 7 June 1809 instead of 26 February 1821.[7] The death record for Michel GRASSER who died on 7 June 1809[8] was for a child who died at the age of 3 years. Was the civil officer who checked for the supporting documentation for this marriage having a bad day or did rushing cause the errors?

Although records were very well kept in Luxembourg
mistakes in documents were not unknown as seen in
“You’d think they’d get that part right!”

Working Out the Estimated Birth of Maria

Since the marriage record had the incorrect date of birth and no age for Maria I wanted to find a document which would have the missing information. She is not listed in the Tables Décennales for the years 1803-1812 leaving a small window in 1802. There is one other record with a date of birth for Maria – the 1846 census[9] has 2 May 1802. This record is not very reliable. First it is too close to the date of birth of her sister Anna Catharina who was born on 15 December 1801. Second the dates of birth of all other persons in the household were compared with the dates found in their birth records. Not one of them is correct! Her husband was born in May but has July listed. Maria has May listed – could she have been born in July?

1846censuspeffer
1846 Luxembourg Census [9]
Where else could I find her date of birth? Church records! Yes. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s Sunday and FamilySearch is DOWN!! Three hours without access to the Luxembourg records – I had to take some more drastic measures! I made a list of every record with an age for Maria:excelI compared the dates of birth of her siblings and Maria most likely fits in as child #5 in the list of children for Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID:

Mariabirth
Screenshot of Family View in AncestralQuest 14

When the FamilySearch site was working again I checked the church records and the civil records for Bettendorf and found there are records missing for the 1802-1803 period Maria was born in. Unless there are other, yet to be discovered, records for Maria GRASSER which state her birth date this may remain an unknown. For now I am using abt. 1802-1803 as her year of birth.

Antoin and Maria Move to Méischtref (Moestroff)

While his two brothers and two sisters who also married chose to remain in Gilsdorf, Antoin moved to Moestroff, Maria’s hometown, sometime after the birth of their first child and before the birth of their second child, between 1830 and 1833. Bettendorf lies between Gilsdorf and Moestroff and both villages are part of the commune of Bettendorf.

The children of Antoin and Maria were: (§ = end of line)

Ch 1: Marguerithe (1830-1892) born 6 October 1830[10] in Gilsdorf
Ch 2: Nicolas, the elder, (1833-1887) born 10 August 1833[11] in Moestroff
Ch 3: Nicolas, the younger, (1836-1911) born 28 July 1836[12] in Moestroff
Ch 4: Marie (1836-1843) born 28 July 1836[13] and died 20 April 1843[14] in Moestroff §
Ch 5: Catherine (1839-1839) born 24 July 1839[15] and died 19 September 1839[16] in Moestroff §
Ch 6: Catherine (1840-1840) born[17] and died 4 December 1840[18] in Moestroff §
Ch 7: Michel (1842-1910) born 23 June 1842[19] in Moestroff

Antoin PEFFER and his wife Maria GRASSER and their living children Marguerithe, Nicolas the elder, Nicolas the younger, and Michel were not found in the 1843 census. It was enumerated on 23 December 1843 in Moestroff. Antoin’s mother died on 22 December 1843[20] in Gilsdorf. His father’s household was enumerated on the day his wife, Antoin’s mother, died. Adam was listed as married. This was then crossed out and changed to widowed.[21] It is strange Antoin and his family were missed. I wonder if they had gone to Gilsdorf for the funeral and the person visiting the families for the census information forgot to go back when they got home.

Antoin, Maria and their four children were found in Moestroff when the census was taken on 15 December 1846[22], 31 December 1847[23], 5 December 1849[24], and 31 December 1851.[25]

Before the next census the oldest child and only daughter Marguerithe married Jean REITER (1827-1878) on 29 September 1852[26] in Bettendorf. The couple lived with the bride’s parents at the time of the census taken on 3 December 1852.[27] The first grandchild was Nicolas REITER (1855- ) born on 2 July 1855[28] in Moestroff. Following his birth Marguerite and her husband continued the tradition of naming two son Nicolas when their 2nd son was born in 1857. The REITER-PEFFER family continued to live with Antoin and Maria when the census was taken on 3 December 1855[29] and 3 December 1858.[30] The two son named Nicolas and son Michel were also still living at home.

1858censusnicolas
1858 Luxembourg Census [30]
Antoin PEFFER died three weeks after the 1858 census on 26 December 1858[31] in Moestroff. He may have been weak and ill when the census was taken as his daughter Marguerithe signed the census.

Less than a year later the first of the sons married. The elder of the two sons named Nicolas married Marie ZWANK (1832-1892) on 30 November 1859[32] in Bettendorf.

Maria GRASSER had in her household her two unmarried sons, Nicolas the younger and Michel, as well as her daughter Marguerite and her family when the census was taken on 3 December 1861[33] in Moestroff.

Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, married(1) Margaretha SCHMIT (1836-1865) on 21 January 1862[34] in Wallendorf, Germany.

After the younger Nicolas married, his mother Maria GRASSER was seen for the last time on the census of 3 December 1864[35] in Moestroff as the head of household which included her youngest son Michel and her daughter’s REITER-PEFFER family.

Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, was widowed on 29 June 1865[36] and married(2), only three months later, Margaretha MORETTE (1840-1911) on 9 October 1865[37] in Bettendorf.

From 1867 on Maria, the widowed mother of this family, was seen as a member of her son-in-law and daughter’s REITER-PEFFER household on 3 December 1867[38], 1 December 1871[39], 1 December 1875[40], and 1 December 1880.[41]

Michel PEFFER was still living at home at the time of the 1867 census and several weeks later on 23 December 1867[42] he married(1) Anna MÜLLER (1840-1876) in Bettendorf. Following Anna’s death on 17 November 1876[43] Michel married(2) Elizabeth FRISCH (1849- ) two months later on 24 January 1877[44] in Bettendorf. His mother Maria was present at both marriages.

Maria GRASSER died on 4 January 1882[45] in Moestroff. Her 48 years old son Nicolas was the informant and gave her age as 81 years. The age of the son matches that of Nicolas the elder. To be sure I compared the signature on the death record with the signatures on the marriage records of Nicolas the elder and Nicolas the younger. Signature comparison proves Nicolas the elder was the informant.

Maria left four living children. They all died in Moestroff in the following order: Nicolas, the elder, on 4 March 1887[46]; Marguerithe REITER-PEFFER on 5 September 1892[47]; Michel on 27 September 1910[48]; and Nicolas, the younger, on 30 November 1911[49]. They gave her at least 30 grandchildren, 1/3 of whom died young. This ratio may go up as further research is done on the grandchildren of Antoin PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Feulen > Naissances 1797-1816 > image 160 of 423. 1803 Birth Record No. 31 (1 Prairial XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12155-31454-48?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2PW:n1261300829 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[2] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 49 of 163. 1796 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-1492-17?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[3] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 221 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36020-39?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[4] Luxembourg Church Records, Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 49 of 163. 1796 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-1492-17?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[5] 1. Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 221 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36020-39?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 6 of 306. 1801 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11571-26449-5?cc=1709358 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[7] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1000 of 1494. 1821 Death Record (lower left). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36863-68?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[8] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 903 of 1494. 1809 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38721-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 21 September 2015).
[9] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1846 > image 287 of 334. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28753-26?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 62 of 1507. 1830 Birth Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-2596-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 19 March 2010).
[11] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 116 of 1507. 1833 Birth Record No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6643-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013). Note: birth was registered in Bettendorf but the record does not give the place of residence or birth.
[12] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 179 of 1507. 1836 Birth Record No. 54. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5927-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[13] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 179 of 1507. 1836 Birth Record No. 55. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5927-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1274 of 1494. 1843 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36805-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 237 of 1507. 1839 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4093-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 6 September 2014).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1222 of 1494. 1839 Death Record No. 43. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35707-93?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[17] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 264 of 150. 1840 Birth Record No. 54. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6907-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1238 of 1494. 1840 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38281-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 304 of 1507. 1842 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-791-50?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1280 of 1494. 1843 Death Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39436-79?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 2 September 2011).
[21] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1843 > image 139 of 288. Adam Peffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32360-28545-74?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-T3L:346114101,345863501 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1846 > image 287 of 334. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28753-26?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1847 > image 283 of 340. Peffer-Grasser household No. 272. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32355-22572-78?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-VZJ:346114101,345864101 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 327 of 343. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32355-6692-53?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW:346114101,345864801 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[25] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1851 > image 332 of 386. Peffer-Grasser household No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32351-22404-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-446:346114101,345865601 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[26] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 447 of 1494. 1852 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37645-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[27] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1852 > image 346 of 365. Peffer-Grasser household No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32350-732-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-S58:346114101,345865501 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[28] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 569 of 1507. 1855 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6853-64?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1855 > image 307 of 358. 1855 Peffer-Grasser household no.10.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32379-21661-46?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-C6R:346114101,345866501 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[30] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1858 > image 319 of 365. 1858 Peffer-Grasser household no. 28. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32359-8860-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-2JF:346114101,345867601 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[31] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1471 of 1494. 1858 Death Record Nr. 45 (part 1). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38836-65?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013). Note part 2 on image 1472.
[32] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 521 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35911-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[33] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1861 > image 117 of 367. Veuve Peffer-Grasser household No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-5585-58?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-MNL:346114101,345867101 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[34] Mathias Emil Hubsch, Die Pfarrei St. Peter und Paul in der Grenzortschaft Wallendorf (Kreis Bitburg-Prüm) mit den Filialen Ammeldingen und Biesdorf 1744 – 1899 sowie den heutigen luxemburger Filialen Dillingen, Pfarrei Befort 1744 – 1807 und Hösdorf, Pfarrei Reisdorf 1744 – 1822, families number 1575 and 1576.
[35] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1864 > image 375 of 395. Veuve Peffer-Grasser household No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-22784-58?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[36] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 77 of 465. 1865 Death Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66134-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[37] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 583 of 1494. 1865 Marriage Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37701-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[38] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1867 > image 287 of 364. Reiter-Peffer household No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32373-9845-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-3TR:346114101,345869101 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[39] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1871 > image 793 of 823. Reiter-Peffer household No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-18879-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-J46:346114101,345869501 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 792 and 794.
[40] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1875 > image 287 of 789 . Reiter-Peffer household No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32380-13880-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-VZK:346114101,345870501 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 286 and 288.
[41] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1880 > image 715 of 793. Veuve Reiter-Peffer household No. 20.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32390-6801-1?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-JWR:346114101,345872201 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 714 and 716
[42] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 599 of 1494. 1867 Marriage Record No. 6.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-40558-99?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 265 of 465. 1876 Death Record No. 35. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60694-30?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[44] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 708 of 1494. 1877 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36493-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[45] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 348 of 465. 1882 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66484-26?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[46] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 422 of 465. “.” 1887 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60202-94?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[47] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 125 of 155. 1892 Death Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-26576-80?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2NT:129626601,130263301 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[48] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 224 of 389. 1910 Death Record No. 35. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24473-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[49] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 242 of 389. 1911 Death Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24118-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 14 September 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Antoin “Anton” PEFFER
Parents: Adam PEFFER and Marguerite PIERRET
Spouse: Maria GRASSER
Parents of spouse: Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID
Whereabouts: Obermertzig, Gilsdorf, Moestroff
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

  1. Antoin “Anton” PEFFER
  2. Nicolas PEFFER
  3. Nicolas PEFFER
  4. Suzanne PEFFER
  5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

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: #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 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.