52 Ancestors: #16 A Door Opens in the KREMER-WINANDY Brick Wall

Before I begin writing my 52 Ancestors posts, I review the information I have, revise notes, check for missing information, and add or fix source citations. The process has twofold results. I’m getting my stories written and my database is being cleaned up at the same time.

For the family group featured this week, I had the baptismal record for one daughter, marriage records for the daughter and three sons, and death records for the mother and five known children. I was stuck and thought I would end up doing only a short recap of the information I already shared in my post 52 Ancestors: #34 KREMER-FRIEDERICH Family – Using Substitutes to Tell Their Story.

But the parents and siblings of Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867), my children’s 4th great-grandfather, still deserved a few hours of research.

A Key to Open the Door in this Brick Wall

Let me introduce you to Joseph CREMERS who had the key in his baptismal record[1] which led to my finding the missing information.

12 December 1798 Baptismal Record of Joseph CREMERS.[1]
Today the 23rd day of the month Frimaire in the 7th year of the French Republic at 9 o’clock in the morning came before me, Pierre Peters, agent of the commune of Hosingen … Wilhelm CREMERS, herder, resident of Wahlhausen, assisted by Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis, both of age and residents of Wahlhausen, and declared that Magdelene VENANDY, a native of Fouhren in the canton of Vianden and his legal wife gave birth yesterday the 22nd day of the present month at [illegible] o’clock in the evening at his home in Wahlhausen, a male child who he presented and gave the name Joseph, …. the citizens Jacob Meyers and Peter Theis confirmed this was true …. they signed in the presence of the agent and the father declared not being able to write.[1] (a rough translation)

The Wall Came Tumbling Down

Joseph’s baptismal record led to my searching the church records of Fouhren for the baptismal record of the mother who was a native of the town. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I had no idea how old the mother was and soon became frustrated with viewing the old script. I asked myself, “If she was a native of the town, did she marry there?”

I checked the marriage index cards and found the marriage of Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDY in Fouhren.[2]

1793 Marriage Index Card for CREMERS and VINANDI.[2]
I was ecstatic when I found this card with the names of the bride and groom as well as their parents’ names. My excitement dwindled as I read through the actually entry in the parish records for the marriage event.[3]

1793 Marriage Record for Wilhelmus CREMERS and Maria Magdalena VENANDI.[3]
On the 3rd of June 1793 after proclamation in the church parishes of Fouhren and Stolzembourg and, there being no impediment to the marriage, were joined in marriage of mutual consent Wilhelmus CREMERS of Arsfeld, a parishioner of Stolzembourg, and Maria Magdalena VENANDI, daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg who attend the Walsdorff parish of Fouhren and have their fixed domicile in Stolzembourg. Witnesses were Joannes Urhausen, a married man of Stolzembourg, and Joannes Lentz, a widower from Walsdorff. The bride and groom signed with their mark and the witnesses with their names.[3] (a rough translation)

The marriage record brought to light two things. First, the parents of the groom were not mentioned on the record. Did the person who typed up this index card “know” the names of the parents or did he misread the record as it is on the bottom of one page and top of the next? Second, the couple had a reason for marrying. Since the until now earliest record for this couple was the birth of their daughter Eva on 10 September 1793, we can imagine the reason they were married on 3 June 1793.

And Then I Found More Children

With the discovery of the son Joseph and the marriage record, I searched again for other children born in Hosingen and Weiler area, where previously found children were born. From Joseph’s baptismal record I knew Wilhelm was a herder and the family may have wandered around. I found two more baptismal records and two death records. Two sons were discovered in the GEDCOM file of a Luxracines member on my genealogy society’s site however I was not able to find the records to support the dates and places. After sending him a query, Rob Deltgen pointed me in the right direction. Using his tip I found three of the four missing birth records and three death records. I now have all marriages and deaths for the family documented as well as the births of seven of the nine children. For the two missing birth records I have marriage records, secondary evidence of the births.


Wilhelm CREMERS married Maria Magdalena VENANDI on 3 June 1793 in Fouhren. Madelaine, as she would be known in later years, was the daughter of Joannes VENANDI and Maria HOSINGER of Stolzembourg.[3]

1793 Baptismal Record of Eva KRIEMER. [4]
Three months later at 9 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday, 10 September 1793 Maria Magdalena VENANDI gave birth to her first child. The father Wilhelmi KRIEMER reported the birth of the female child who was baptized the same day and named Eva. Her godmother was Eva VENANDI of Stolzembourg and her godfather was Joannes SCHNEIDERS of Putscheid.[4] [The godparents have been tagged for future research.]

The second known child of Madelaine and Wilhelm was their son Nicolas KREMER (1797-1867) born in Hosingen on 1 March 1797. The birth and/or baptism of this child was not found as records for the years 1794-1797 appear to be missing for Hosingen. The date and place of birth were found on his 1830 marriage record.[5]

On Wednesday the 22nd day of the month of Frimaire in the 8th year of the French Republic (13 December 1798) Madelaine gave birth to Joseph CREMERS (1798-1822) in Wahlhausen. The father Wilhelm’s occupation at the time was herder or pâtre. The birth record was a civil record, not a church record, and did not include names of godparents.[1]

Marguerite CREMERS (1801-1803) was born at 4 o’clock in the morning on the 9th day of the month Floreal in the 9th year of the French Republic or 29 April 1801 in Wahlhausen. Two farmers from the town were witnesses and the father declared not being able to write.[6] Marguerite died at the age of 23 months on the 13th day of Pluviose in the 11th year or 2 February 1803 in Wahlhausen. At the time of her death the father Wilhelm was working as a day laborer or journalier.[7]

Madelaine likely conceived shortly after her daughter Marguerite died. Marie CREMERS (1803-1840) was born at 8 in the evening of the 20th day of Brumaire year 12 or 12 November 1803 in Wahlhausen. Her birth was recorded in the commune of Hosingen and witnessed by two farmers from that town.[8]

The sixth child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born at 5 in the morning on 26 April 1806 in Nachtmanderscheid. Mathias was the name his 40 years old father, a herdman or bouvier gave him.[9]

A son named Paul was born on 30 May 1808 in Weiler. The record found to document the birth of Paul KREMER (1808-1859) was his 1830 marriage record.[10]

On 20 February 1811 at 8 in the morning another son born in Weiler was given the name Mathieu, the French version of Mathias, even though the first son with this name was still living. His father was listed as a 46 years old cowherd or Kühhirt.[11] Did the parents make a mistake when naming their son or did they know one or both would not survive the year?

On 14 October 1811 the elder Mathias died in Weiler.[12] His baby brother, also named Mathias died on 27 December 1811, also in Weiler.[13] The family was reduced to two daughters and three sons.

Two years later the last child of Wilhelm and Madelaine was born in 9 November 1813 in Weiler.[14] The father, a 50 years old cowherd, declared his son Jacob was born at 8 in the evening to his wife.

On 29 January 1814 at 9 o’clock in the morning Madelaine and a neighbor went to the commune of Landscheid to declare the death of her husband Wilhelm KREMER who died the previous day in Weiler in the Hintner Haus. Madelaine, who could not write, left her mark on the death record. Her age was given as 42 years (b. abt. 1772).[15]

The mother of two daughters and four sons between the ages of 20 years and less than 3 months may have tried to keep the family together for the next 8 years. Her second oldest son Joseph was in his early twenties when he died at 6 o’clock in the morning on 20 February 1822 in Wahlhausen in a house called Schneiders. His mother and a farmer named Theodor SCHNEIDERS reported his death. Joseph had been working as a day laborer, likely in service with the farmer.[16] [Further research is planned as the eldest daughter Eva’s godfather was also a SCHNEIDERS, i.e. a possible relation to the KREMER, WINANDY, or HOSINGER families?]

Eva KREMER married Nicolas DIFFERDING (1792-1869) on 15 October 1822 in Landscheid.[17] In retrospect, the location of her marriage should have lead me to the records of her missing siblings. Records for Weiler and Nachmanderscheid for the period the siblings were born and died were kept in Landscheid and found in the Bastendorf collection.

Following Joseph’s death and Eva’s marriage things were quiet until 1830. The oldest son Nicolas had moved to Bettendorf sometime prior to his marriage on 17 February 1830 to Elisabeth FRIEDERICH (1802-1871). His mother came to Bettendorf for the marriage from Eisenbach where she was living at the time.[5]

A little more than a month later Nicolas’ brother Paul who was living in Hosingen married Marie DIEDERICH on 27 March 1830 in Bettendorf. His mother Madelaine was living in Merscheid but came to Bettendorf for the marriage.[10]

Madelaine may have taken ill soon after the wedding or planned on staying in Bettendorf as she did not go back home to Merscheid. Four days later on 31 March 1830 at 7 o’clock in the morning she died in the house of Christian DIEDERICH, Paul KREMER’s father-in-law. Christian DIEDERICH was the informant on her death record and listed as her neighbor. The age given on the death record was 74 years (b. abt. 1756).[18] She was more likely about 58 years old. The only record with an age for her was the death record of her husband Wilhelm in 1814 when she was listed as 42 years old. Another discrepancy on her death record was her place of birth which was listed as Bettendorf, the town she died in. No birth or baptismal record was found for Madelaine however her marriage record indicates she may have been from Stolzembourg or according the baptismal record of her son Joseph she was a native of Fouhren.

Five years after the marriages of Nicolas and Paul and the death of their mother, their youngest brother Jacques was marrying Cathérine KORB (1813-1895) on 27 February 1835 in Bettendorf. Jacques was living in Weiler at the time and Cathérine was from Bettendorf.[19] They made their home in Bettendorf after the marriage.

The marriage record of Jacques KREMER erroneously listed his mother’s death as taking place on 30 March 1814 in Weiler instead of in 1830 in Bettendorf. Marriage records in Luxembourg are full of important genealogical information however the primary source is needed to substantiate the information which is only secondary evidence. It took me a while to learn this lesson in the early years of my genealogical research as I relied heavily on marriage records.

After the marriage of the youngest KREMER only the oldest daughter Eva was not living in Bettendorf. She lived and raised her family in Gralingen. Her three married brothers Nicolas, Paul, and Jacques were raising their families in Bettendorf where their sister Marie also lived. At the time of Marie’s death she was living in the home Christian DIEDERICH and did not work. She died on 12 May 1840 at the age of 36 years (the death record indicates 39) and her death was reported by her oldest brother Nicolas.[20]

Eight years later the youngest of the KREMER siblings, Jacques, died on 23 July 1848 in Bettendorf. His death was reported by his father-in-law.[21] Jacques who was only 34 when he died, had lived with his wife and children in the home of his father-in-law. His wife Cathérine outlived him by 47 years.

NIne years after Jacques’ death the now youngest living sibling, Paul KREMER died on 9 March 1859 in Bettendorf. His son-in-law Johann THEIS reported his death and did not know the names of the deceased parents. Paul’s age on the record was 52 years although he was only 50.[22]

From 1859 until 1867 the only living children of Wilhelm and Madelaine were their two oldest children Eva and Nicolas. On 8 February 1867 Nicolas KREMER died in Bettendorf at the age of 69. His son Anton reported the death and added 10 years to his father’s age.[23]

This must have been a family trait as Eva’s son Johann DIFFERDING reported that his mother Eva KREMER who died on 3 July 1867 in Gralingen was 80 years old when her true age was only 73.[24]

Wilhelm CREMERS later known as Wilhelm KREMER and Maria Magdalena VENANDI later known as Madelaine WINANDY were a challenge to research. I began with five known children and very few records and ended up with nine children and records to document nearly all important dates in the family’s life other than the births of Wilhelm ca. 1766 and Madelaine ca. 1772, my children’s 5th great-grandparents.


[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Hosingen > Naissances 1798-1822 > image 7 of 395. 1798 Birth Record (22 Frimaire An 7). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-GST?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4W5%3A129905301%2C130379001 : accessed 15 April 2017).
[2] Ibid., Fouhren > Tables des mariages 1726-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 43 of 198. 1793 Marriage Index Card. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SPY?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-DPR%3A1500942601%2C1501164506 : 9 January 2015).
[3] Ibid., Fouhren > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 141 of 245. 1793 Marriage Record (right, last entry – continued on next image). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-9QNT?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-BZW%3A1500942601%2C1500913302 : 9 January 2015).
[4] Ibid., Putscheid > Naissances 1779-1831 > image 141 of 299. 1793 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11541-110845-43?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-4WL:130227001,130321101 : accessed 18 August 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 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).
[6] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1798-1822 > image 55 of 395. 1801 Birth Record (9 Floreal year 9). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-XZJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4W5%3A129905301%2C130379001 : accessed 15 April 2017).
[7] Ibid., Hosingen > Mariages 1863-1890 Décès 1798-1876 > image 367 of 1487. 1803 Death Record (13 Pluviose 11). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DKRS-PGJ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-W38%3A129905301%2C130182001 : accesed 17 April 2017).
[8] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1798-1822 > image 95 of 395. 1803 Birth Record (20 Brumaire an 12).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6L8S-ZRH?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4W5%3A129905301%2C130379001 : accessed 17 April 2017).
[9] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 211 of 1476. 1806 Birth Record (right page, bottom). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6277-MD6?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL%3A129624201%2C129879301 : accessed 20 April 2017). Continued on next image.
[10] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 212 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6RW9-FCD?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8%3A129626601%2C129729901 : accessed 13 Apr 2013).
[11] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 247 of 1476. 1811 Birth Record No. 4. (bottom left, top right). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-627Q-1J4?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL%3A129624201%2C129879301 : accessed 20 April 2017).
[12] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1798-1823 > image 81 of 143. 1811 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PQC-HSK?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-827%3A129624201%2C129649901 : accessed 20 April 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1798-1823 > image 82 of 143. 1811 Death Record No. 14 (lower right, next image upper left). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PQC-F7Z?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-827%3A129624201%2C129649901 : accessed 20 April 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 265 of 1476. 1813 Birth Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6277-9S6?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL%3A129624201%2C129879301 : accessed 20 April 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1798-1823 > image 95 of 143. 1814 Death Record No. 1.  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6PQC-FQQ?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-827%3A129624201%2C129649901 : accessed 20 April 2017).
[16] Ibid., Putscheid > Naissances 1839-1890 Mariages 1798-1890 Décès 1798-1858 > image 1143 of 1481. 1822 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-69G8-8Q?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-K68%3A130227001%2C130423701 : accessed 18 April 2017),.
[17] Ibid., Bastendorf > Mariages 1800-1823 > image 184 of 196. 1822 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-249592-40?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2CG:n1464610767 : accessed 13 Apr 2013).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1095 of 1494. 1830 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38474-75?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 14 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 269 of 1494. 1835 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-40497-91?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 13 Apr 2013).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1235 of 1494. 1840 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39485-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1346 of 1494. 1848 Death Record No. 40. ((https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41065-23?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1478 of 1494. 1859 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41053-41?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 118 of 465. 1867 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-67192-17?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).
[24] Ibid., Putscheid > Décès 1859-1890 > image 108 of 381. 1867 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-48433-11?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L84:n1201975605 : accessed 01 Mar 2013).

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

52 Ancestors: #2 den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, a Brick Wall

Last week I introduced you to my 2017 New Season of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge with 52 Ancestors: #1 The WILMES-SCHOOD Family of Diekirch 1739-1825. As in 2014 and 2015, I have a plan for my posts in 2017. I will be writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents who have not yet been featured. In 2014 their American ancestors in this generation were spotlighted.

We have 64 sets of 5th great-grandparents. In this pedigree chart, on the right, are the first 8 sets of my children’s 5ggp. The MEDER-LAMBERT family was featured in several posts last year so I began with the next couple, WILMES-SCHOOD.

Pedigree chart generated using Ancestral Quest 15

I had planned to skip Théodore REIFFER‘s parents as they are unknown (as seen in the green boxes above) and continue with the parents of his wife Elisabetha CLOS. I even “announced” in the last post that Elisabeth’s parents would be up next. But one of the nice things about blogging is you can change your mind and re-schedule posts. 🙂

I didn’t expect to find a key to open a door in the REIFFER brick wall in the near future. However, why should I skip this set of 5th great-grandparents? By writing all I know and don’t know, I may find someone who’s already knocked down the brick wall or who may be able to help me open the door.

1831 Death Record Nr. 23 [1]
Théodore REIFFER was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] His age and place of birth were listed on his death record. I suspect he was not born in Gilsdorf and it was an error made by his son-in-law who was the informant for this death.

I searched page by page through the church records of Diekirch from 1768 to 1776. In later times the civil records for Gilsdorf would be found in Bettendorf. However, the church records for the village were recorded in Diekirch during the time period I am interested in.

I reviewed the records found for his children. None of the records included information on Théodore’s place of birth. His age was consistent with the estimated 1771 birth year in all records except for one where he was seen a little younger, born about 1774.

On all records found for Théodore, he was seen as a sheep herder which explains his moving around so much. Records were found starting in Landscheid and going to Wahlhausen, Tandel, Fouhren, Bastendorf, and Gilsdorf. His wife was from Körperich.

Google map

I consulted the Körperich Family Book[2] to see if there were any REIFFER connections in the villages of the area. A few REIFFER families were in the area for a later time period. One man, Johann REIFFER, born abt. 1767 in Gralingen to parents from Pütscheid seemed interesting.  If you look at the map these places are to the left and right of the arrow pointing from Landscheid to Wahlhausen.

I searched Rob Deltgen’s site for the parents, Nicolas REIFFER and Margaretha SCHMITZ. He has the couple with the son, found above in the Körperich FB, and several daughters. No other sons. What caught my attention was the place of birth of two of the daughters: Nachtmanderscheid. This lies between Landscheid and Wahlhausen. A coincidence, or could this REIFFER family be Théodore’s family?

I searched for the marriage record of the couple and found they may have married in Brandenbourg in 1759. The groom was named Nicolas REIFFER and was from Nachtmanderscheid. The entry for the marriage in the church records has only the groom’s name. It looks like the person writing the information was interrupted and never went back to write the name of the bride.

My next step is to search through the church records of Brandenbourg for baptisms from 1759 to 1780 for the children of this couple. I hope to find those mentioned on Rob’s site and perhaps some he has not found. Will Théodore be one of them?

If the children of this family are found in the Brandenbourg church records, I plan to check the same for the deaths of the parents.

For the time being, all I know is that den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, parents of Théodore, died before 31 January 1833. This is known as they were mentioned although not named in the 1833 marriage record of Théodore’s daughter Susanna. She married after the death of her parents and confirmed, along with a witness, that her grandparents were also deceased.

den Här an d’Madame = Mr. and Mrs.

[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Richard Schaffner, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Hubertus Körperich in der Südeifel mit Körperich, Niedersgegen, Obersgegen, Gentingen, Roth an der Our, Seimerich und Scheuerhof (später Neuscheuerhof) 1689-1899 (2002).

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