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. In December 1890, Angelique was still living in her own household only a few doors away from her brother Nicolas.

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: #39 The ZWANK-DAHM Family of Moestroff

Week 39 (September 24-30) – Unusual: What is the most unusual record you’ve ever found? Or, who is the most unusual of your ancestors? (You can take that any way you want to!)

This was how I had planned to begin this post using the Unusual theme:

ZWANG, ZWANCK, ZWANK are the spellings I’ve found for this family’s unusual name. It seems to have evolved from ZWANG to ZWANCK and then the c was dropped and it became ZWANK.

An Unusual Meeting

On today’s bike ride with my husband, a third great-grandson of the couple featured in this post, we rode through Moestroff and were on our way to Bettendorf when I asked him if he knew where Steinesch was located. He’d never heard of it and we rode on.

As we rode through Bettendorf he swerved to the right and stopped at the building for the technical services of Bettendorf. A few workers were out front and we struck up a conversation with one of them. While researching the ZWANK-DAHM family I found one of their sons was listed on the census as living in a location by the name of Steinesch. We asked him about the location and he said he was not familiar with the place.

cows1
A field, near Stengescht, in Gilsdorf

During the conversation he said he also did genealogy research. He offered to ask around and took my name and number. We thanked him and continued our ride. Not five minutes later my husband’s phone rang. The man we’d talked to was calling to tell us he had found the place on a map, would make a copy, and leave it in an envelope behind a flower box at their building for us to pick up on our ride back home.

When we got home I had a look at the map and saw it could not be the same place. He had found Stengescht, a piece of land between Bettendorf and Gilsdorf. From records found for the son who lived in Steinesch I know he lived in Moestroff on the other side of Bettendorf – not the side where Gilsdorf lies. But good things came out of this unusual meeting. I met another person interested in genealogy and the map he left led me to a new-to-me website for Luxembourg.

The ZWANK-DAHM Family

Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was born and baptized on 17 May 1795[1] in Moestroff/Bettendorf. He was the son of Franciscus “François” ZWANCK (1762-1820)  and Clara “Claire” WELTER (1763-1826). They were married on 26 October 1789[2] in Bettendorf and had the following known children:

  • Child 1: Catherine (1790-1852)
  • Child 2: Peter (1793- ?)
  • Child 3: Jacques (1795-1858)
  • Child 4: Jean (1797- ?)
  • Child 5: Maria (1800-1815)
  • Child 6: Franciscus (1804-1804)

Jacques’ father Franciscus died 3 June 1820[3] in Moestroff and did not get to see his son marry three years later. Jacques married Maria DAHM on 22 October 1823[4] in Bettendorf.

Maria DAHM was the daughter of Pierre “Peter” DAHM (1764-1830) and Anne Catherine KIMMES (1762-1832). She was born and baptized on 10 July 1797[5] in Moestroff/Bettendorf. Her parents, who were married the previous year on 5 April 1796[6] in Bettendorf, and her siblings have not been researched.

It was a Wednesday when 28 years old Jacobus, as he was seen on the marriage record[4], and 25 years old Maria met with Nicolas RECHT, mayor of Bettendorf, at 8 o’clock in the morning to be married. Jacques’ mother Clara and Maria’s parents Peter and Anne Catherine were present and consented to the marriage. The banns had been published on the 25th of September and the 5th of October.

1823marriagepub
1823 Marriage Publication[7]
Also present at the marriage were four witnesses, none noted as being related, who signed the marriage record along with the mayor. The bridal couple and their parents were not able to write or sign their names to the document.

Jacques and Maria, both day workers when they married, made their home in Moestroff. Seven known children were born to them from 1824 to 1840, only one died in infancy.

  • Ch 1: Wilhelm ZWANK (1824-1905) was born on 23 December 1824[8] in Moestroff. Wilhelm married Cathérine BOCK (1829-1907) who gave him 13 children in 20 years with 6 living to adulthood. He died 21 January 1905[9] in Moestroff. Cathérine followed in 1907.[10]

Jacques’ mother Clara “Claire” WELTER died 25 January 1826[11] in Moestroff. Her death was declared by her son Jean who had also married and lived in Vianden. Clara lived long enough to see her grandson Wilhelm celebrate his first birthday. Soon after her mother-in-law’s death, Maria was pregnant with her second child.

  • Ch 2: Catharina ZWANK (1826-1862) was born on 23 October 1826[12] in Moestroff. She married Johann LAUTWEIN (1823-1857) and gave him two children. She had a child out of wedlock two years into her widowhood. The child lived only a month and  Catharina died, a month later, on 31 March 1862[13] in Moestroff.
  • Ch 3: Theodore ZWANK (1828-1829) was born 13 November 1828[14] in Moestroff. He died 17 April 1829[15] in Moestroff.

Maria’s father Pierre DAHM died on 1 February 1830[16] in Moestroff at the age of 63. His death was declared by his son Theodore.

  • Ch 4: Johann ZWANK (1830-1891) was born 26 March 1830[17] in Moestroff. He married Catharina SCHMITT (1842-1873) who gave him 4 known children. Catharina died 13 January 1873[18] and Johann died 19 March 1891[19]in Moestroff. This was the son who lived in Steinesch.

Maria’s mother Anne Catherine KIMMES died on 10 January 1832[20] in Moestroff. As was the case with her husband, her death was reported by her son Theodore DAHM.

  • Ch 5: Marie ZWANK (1832-1892) was born 8 December 1832[21] in Moestroff. She married Nicolas PEFFER (1833-1887) and gave him 7 children, 4 lived to adulthood. Nicolas died in 1887[22] and Marie died 6 May 1892[23] in Moestroff. Marie and Nicolas were my husband’s 2nd great-grandparents.
  • Ch 6: Henri ZWANK (1835-aft. 1858) was born 1 April 1835[24] in Moestroff. Henri was last seen in the 1858 census[25] when he was listed as single. No marriage or death record has been found for him. Later census records may help to trace him.
  • Ch 7: Nicolas ZWANK (1840-1864) was born 1 March 1840[26] in Moestroff. Nicolas was last seen in the 1864 census.[27]He was single and living in his oldest brother Wilhelm’s household. As is the case with his bother Henri, later census records may help to trace him.

Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK was seen on the censuses dated 23 December 1843[28], 15 December 1846[29], 31 December 1847[30] and 6 December 1849[31] in Moestroff. In his household were his wife and children as well as his brother-in-law Theodore DAHM (1843 and 1846).

Jacques and Maria’s oldest son Wilhelm married Cathérine BOCK (1829-1907) on 6 November 1850[32] in Bettendorf. Wilhelm and Cathérine already had a daughter born out of wedlock earlier the same year in February. Her birth record[33] had the surname ZWANK as Wilhelm declared being her father. Annotation to the birth record were also made at the time of the child’s marriage.

Jacques and Maria’s oldest daughter Catharina married Johann LAUTWEIN (1823-1857) on 14 November 1851[34] in Bettendorf. Johann was a gardner from Trier, Germany. Present as witnesses were the bride’s brother Wilhelm ZWANK, her uncle Theodore DAHM, and the groom’s brother-in-law Niklas KAURICH.

Jacques was seen on the censuses dated 31 December 1851[35], 3 December 1852[36], and 2 December 1855[37] in Moestroff. As in 1843 and 1846 his brother-in-law Theodore DAHM lived with the family in 1851 and 1855.

Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK died at 4:30 in the afternoon of Monday, 15 February 1858[38] in Moestroff. His son Wilhelm and his brother-in-law Theodore DAHM reported his death the next morning.

The widowed Maria DAHM was seen on the census dated 3 December 1858[39] with her sons Johann and Henri. Johann was the one to report her death on 28 November 1859[40] in Moestroff. She died at 7:00 in the morning and her death was reported at 5:00 in the afternoon. It was noted on the death record that Johann did not know the names of his mother’s parents.

It is not known if Maria had been sickly or if her death was sudden. We know the marriage banns had already been published for her daughter Marie who married Nicolas PEFFER (1833-1887) on 30 November 1859[41] in Bettendorf, two days after her mother’s death.

Johann ZWANK, the son who reported the death of Maria DAHM, waited a bit longer to marry than his sister Marie. He married Catharina SCHMITT (1842-1873) on 16 August 1865[42] in Bettendorf. None of his relatives were present at the marriage. They were married less than 8 years when Catharina died[43] leaving him with two living children.

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour

This family is not finished!

Jacques and Maria’s two youngest sons were not found in Moestroff after 1858 (Henri) and 1864 (Nicolas). The tables décennales (10 years lists of birth, marriage, death) for Bettendorf (includes Moestroff) have been viewed for all ZWANK individuals from 1803-1922 and all have been accounted for.

I may have to take a look at southern Luxembourg were many young men went to work around this time. Wilhelm’s son Theodore (likely named after Theodore DAHM) went to Tétange in the commune of Kayl – I only learned this when I found his daughter who was born in Tétange visiting her grandparents (Wilhelm) in 1900.[44]

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 57 of 94. 1795 Baptismal Record (28 Floréal III). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32400-2824-51?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-SPJ:1500974653,1500923326 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 163 of 163. 1789 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-1079-40?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[3] 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. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37494-69?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[4] 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).
[5] Luxembourg Church 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).
[6] Ibid., Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 27 of 163. 1796 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-1274-42?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[7] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 75 of 1494. 1823 Marriage Publication, lower right. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-40292-24?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[8] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 243 of 306. 1824 Birth Record No. 57. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11571-20082-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DPD:129626601,129760501 : accessed 24 September 2015),.
[9] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 143 of 389. 1905 Death Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24816-86?cc=1709358 : accessed 25 September 2015).
[10] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 178 of 389. 1907 Death Record No. 36.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24601-62?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[11] Ibid., 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).
[12] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 283 of 306. 1826 BIrth Record No. 55. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11571-22212-50?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-DPD:129626601,129760501 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 39 of 465. 1862 Death Record No. 10.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-62212-56?cc=1709358 : accessed 25 September 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 24 of 1507. 1828 Birth Record No. 49. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5971-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1085 of 1494. 1829 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35616-85?cc=1709358 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[16] 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).
[17] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 53 of 1507. 1830 Birth Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7075-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 204 of 465. 1873 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60697-39?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 107 of 155. 1891 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-17928-85?cc=1709358 : accessed 25 September 2015).
[20] 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).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 103 of 1507. 1832 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-3911-1?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[22] 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).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 122 of 155. 1892 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-25158-66?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28F:1967249950 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 150 of 1507. 1835 Birth Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4288-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[25] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), 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).
[26] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 252 of 1507. 1840 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-2500-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 24 September 2015).
[27] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1864 > image 351 of 395. Zwank-Bock household No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32381-23624-85?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 27 September 2015).
[28] Ibid., 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).
[29] 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).
[30] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1847 > image 298 of 340. Zwank-Dahm household No. 288. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32355-22478-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-VZJ:346114101,345864101 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 280 of 343. Zwank-Dahm household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32355-6810-6?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW:346114101,345864801 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[32] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 423 of 1494. 1850 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36015-24?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 465 of 1507. 1850 Birth Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5348-80?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[34] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 440 of 1494. 1851 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36917-73?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[35] Luxembourg Census, 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).
[36] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1852 > image 305 of 365. Zwank-Dahm household No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32350-830-73?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-S58:346114101,345865501 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[37] 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).
[38] 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).
[39] Luxembourg Census, 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).
[40] 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).
[41] 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).
[42] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 582 of 1494. 1865 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36087-92?cc=1709358 : accessed 26 September 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 204 of 465. 1873 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60697-39?cc=1709358 : accessed 28 September 2015).
[44] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 751 of 793. Zwank-Bock household No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32396-9874-9?cc=2037957 : accessed 27 September 2015). See also front and back matter on images 750 and 752.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK
Parents: Franciscus “François” ZWANK and Clara “Claire” WELTER
Spouse: Maria DAHM
Parents of Spouse: Pierre “Peter” DAHM and Anne Cathérine KIMMES
Whereabouts: Moestroff, Bettendorf, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

  1. Jacques “Jacob” ZWANK
  2. Marie ZWANK
  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: #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: #20 The PEFFER-ZWANK Family of Moestroff 1832-1942

Week 20 (May 14-20) – Black Sheep: Each of us has an ancestor who was the troublemaker or the ne’er-do-well. This is their week.

It may be hard to work the Black Sheep theme into this week’s family. It doesn’t look too promising but I think I might have an ace up my sleeve. We’ll see how it turns out in the end.

The Births of Marie ZWANK and Nicolas PEFFER

1832birth
1832 Birth Record No. 51 [1]
In the year one thousand eight hundred thirty-two on the 7th of December at 7 o’clock in the morning Pierre Dondlinger, an officer of the civil office in the community of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the Province of Luxembourg, received Jacques ZWANCK, a day laborer in Moestroff age 33 years, living in this community, who presented us a female child born yesterday at 9 in the morning to him and his wife Marie DAHM and they declared their desire to give the name MARIE.
The declaration and presentation of the birth information was given in the presence of Nicolas Weyland, day laborer, 56 years old, and Nicolas Dondlinger, a farmer, 26 years old, both residents of the community, who signed the birth record after it was read to them. The father declared that he could not write and read. ~ followed by signatures of Nicolas Dondlinger, Nicolas Weyland, and P. Dondlinger.[1]

1833birth
1933 Birth Record No. 44 [2]
In the year one thousand eight hundred thirty-three on the 11th of August at 8 o’clock in the morning Nicolas May, an officer of the civil office in the community of Bettendorf, in the canton of Diekirch, in the Province of Luxembourg, received Antonius PEFFER, a linenweaver, age 29 years, living in this community, who presented us a male child born yesterday at 12 in the morning to him and his wife Marie GRASSER and they declared their desire to give the name NICOLAS.
The declaration and presentation of the birth information was given in the presence of Jean Weiler, school teacher , 30 years old, and Franciscus André, 28 years old, a day laborer, both residents of the community, who signed the birth record after it was read to them. ~ followed by signatures of J. Weiler, Anton PEFFER, J. Weiler, and N. May.[2]

annotation
Annotation at top of 1833 Birth Record No. 44

An interesting addition to the birth record of Nicolas PEFFER was the notation made above the record. The father Antoine was born in Obermertzig in Feulen on 2 prairial in the year XI. The handwriting is not at all similar to the rest of the page and makes me wonder why, when and who wrote this information. 

The Marriage of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

1859marriage
1859 Marriage Record No. 21 [3]
When Nicolas and Marie were married in 1859 the civil office had run out of pre-printed pages in the marriage book and the marriage record had to be written completely in longhand. In the 1990s when I obtained a photocopy of the page from the marriage book in Bettendorf I was a novice in reading the old handwriting. There are advantages to being able to do research in the country you live in but in this case the images at FamilySearch were invaluable. Twenty years ago I had to rely on help from my father-in-law to read the old handwriting. Today being able to zoom in on digital images makes it easier to read the old text. I will not bore you with the entire translation of the record as the wording is the same as in all Luxembourgish marriage records.

On 30 November 1859 Nicolas PEFFER, his mother Maria GRASSER, and his bride MARIE ZWANK met with Hubert SALENTINY, the mayor of Bettendorf. The fathers of the bride and groom had both died the previous year. Sadly, Marie’s mother had died only two days earlier on 28 November 1859. As both of her parents were deceased it was noted in the marriage record that her grandparents were also deceased and all death records were to be found in the death records of the town of Bettendorf. The four witnesses to the marriage were not related to the bride and groom. The bride and the mother of the groom declared not being able to write. ~ signatures of the groom, 4 witnesses, and the mayor followed.[3]

Note: Marie’s surname was spelled ZWANCK on her birth record and ZWANK on her marriage record.

The Deaths of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

1887death
1887 Death Record No. 12 [4]
Nicolas PEFFER died 4 March 1887 at 7 in the evening in Moestroff at home. His older son Nicolas PEFFER, 21 years old, was the informant. Young Nicolas’ cousin Nicolas ZWANK accompagnied him.[4] At the time of his death he did not have an occupation. During his married life he worked as a day laborer and a stonemason.

1892death
1892 Death Record No. 24 [5]
Marie ZWANK died 6 May 1892 at 10 in the evening in Moestroff at home. Her younger son Johann PEFFER, 22 years old, was the informant. As was the case at the time of her husband death her nephew Nicolas ZWANK accompagnied his cousin Johann PEFFER to make the declaration.[5]

The children of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK

Nicolas and Marie had seven known children, five daughters and two sons. Three of their daughters, all named Margaretha, died in childhood:

  • Margaretha born 9 June 1860[6] died 24 April 1862[7]
  • Margaretha born 3 June 1871[8] died 8 July 1871[9]
  • Margaretha born 16 November 1874[10] died 30 April 1881[11]

The two daughters who lived to adulthood never married and lived to the ages of 66 and 51.

  • Margaretha born 5 January 1863[12] died 6 March 1929[13]
  • Marie born 4 November 1867[14] died 29 November 1918[15]

One of the two sons was my husband’s great-grandfather Nicolas PEFFER.

  • Nicolas born 9 February 1866[16] and died 31 December 1941[17]
  • Johann born 28 October 1869[18] and died after 6 May 1892

The Luxembourg census records of this family were found for the years following the marriage of Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK until their deaths in 1887 and 1892. Links to the census can be found in the sources for the census events of Nicolas PEFFER in my GEDCOM file.

Was There a Black Sheep in this Family?

Nothing is known of Nicolas and Marie’s younger son Johann PEFFER after he reported his mother’s death on 6 May 1892.[5] Like his brother Nicolas he was single and living at home when his mother died.

    • He was not present at the marriage of his brother Nicolas in 1895.[19]
    • He was not an informant on the death of his sister Marie in 1918.[15]
    • No record of marriage for the years 1892-1922 was found for Johann  PEFFER in Bettendorf or in Strassen where his brother Nicolas married.
    • No record of death was found for him in Bettendorf for the years following his mother’s death until 1922.
    • No articles were found in the Luxembourgish newspapers for a Johann PEFFER.

As long as the civil records of Luxembourg are not indexed at FamilySearch I will probably wonder about Johann PEFFER. What became of this illusive man? Was he a troublemaker or a ne’er-do-well? In terms of researching, yes, he caused a lot of trouble!

Afterthought – Who Wants a Black Sheep in their Family?

I did not like the fact that I couldn’t find my husband’s great-grand uncle Johann PEFFER after the death of his mother Marie ZWANK. This was ready to post but I had to give him one more chance. I searched for “Jean Peffer” instead of “Johann Peffer” on  eluxemburgensia, the National Library of Luxembourg’s newspaper site. And I hit the jackpot!

MRIN38411 1937 Jean Peffer death
Escher Tageblatt [20]
Jean PEFFER, also known as “de Naertzenger Jängel” died unexpectedly on 25 August 1937. He was from Moestroff and came to Tetingen when he was young making it his second home where he raised his family. He worked as a stonemason for G.L. and gave his best to bring his large family through life. Three of his children emigrated to America. His jovial life brought him many friends and had been retired for a few years. His funeral service was held at on Saturday the 28th at 5 in the afternoon.

MRIN38411 1937 Jean Peffer avis mortuaire
Escher Tageblatt [21]
I searched and found the 1897 marriage record[22] of Jean PEFFER and Marie JUNG in Kayl, the commune in which Tétange is located. The record shows that his parents were Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK.

Now I’m off to find the birth records of the children, search for the three who went to American, and hope to find some new American cousins who’ll forgive me for suspecting a Black Sheep in the family.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 103 of 1507. 1832 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-3911-1?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[2] 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).
[3] 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).
[4] 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).
[5] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 122 of 155. 1892 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-25158-66?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28F:1967249950 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 668 of 1507. 1860 Birth Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1625-14?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 39 of 465. 1862 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-62212-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[8] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 879 of 1507. 1871 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1561-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 186 of 465. 1871 Death Record No. 70. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66815-15?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[10] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 940 of 1507. 1874 Birth Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-983-44?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 334 of 465. 1881 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66596-11?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 719 of 1507. 1863 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6303-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[13] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), No. 94, Thursday, April 4, 1929, p. 6 column 3. Zivilstand der Stadt Ettelbrück, Margaretha Peffer age 66 yrs of Moestroff.
(http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=1362224&search_terms=avis#panel:pp|issue:1362224|article:DTL404|query:avis : accessed 19 Feb 2015).
[14] Civil records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 815 of 1507. 1867 Birth Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5306-94?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 334 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23908-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 849 of 1507. 1869 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4385-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[19] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[20] Escher Tageblatt, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlag Editpress S.A., Esch-sur-Alzette), Nr. 201, Friday, 27 August 1937, p.5 column 3. Death Announcement. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=654384&search_terms=jean%20peffer#panel:pp|issue:654384|article:DTL82|query:jean peffer : accessed 18 May 2015).
[21] Ibid, Nr. 200, Thursday, 26 August 1937, p. 7 column 4. Avis Mortuaire. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=654117&search_terms=jean%20peffer#panel:pp|issue:654117|article:DTL440|query:jean peffer : accessed 18 May 2015).
[22] Civil records, Kayl > Naissances 1913-1923 Mariages 1895-1912 > image 414 of 767. 1897 Marriage Record No. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-12961-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-MJM:129946501,130450502 : accessed 18 May 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas PEFFER
Parents: Antoine PEFFER and Marie GRASSER
Spouse: Marie ZWANK
Parents of spouse: Jacques ZWANK and Maria DAHM
Whereabouts: Moestroff, Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

  1. Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK
  2. Nicolas PEFFER
  3. Suzanne PEFFER
  4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  5. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 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: #8 The PEFFER-MERTES Family (1866-1995)

Week 8 (Feb 19-25) – Good Deeds. Does this mean a generous ancestor or one you found through land records? You decide :)

2002obit
Newspaper clipping of the obituary of Maria POLFER-PEFFER from the 18 April 2002 issue of the Luxembourger Wort.

Maria POLFER-PEFFER, daughter of Francis PEFFER and granddaughter of Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES, is the person in this family who stands out for her good deeds which resulted in her being interned and deported. What good deeds did she perform? She was a part of the resistance movement in Luxembourg during World War II. The Résistance worked in secrecy against the German occupation of the country. They helped political refugees and those being conscripted into the German forces. They printed patriotic leaflets and flyers by hand or machine to encourage the people of Luxembourg and promote patriotic spirit. More about the Luxembourg Resistance and Luxembourg in World War II.

Maria was awarded the Médaille de la Résistance, a medal awarded to civilians for distinguished services to Luxembourg during World War II. She was a member of the Conseil national de la Résistance, a member of the central committee of the LPPD (League for Luxembourgish Political Prisoners and Deportees), an umbrella group of the Resistance groups, and President of the Bettembourg section of the  LPPD.

Yesterday, 22 February 2015, was the Nationalen Dag vun der Resistenz, National Day of the Resistance in Luxembourg. In 1997 the Conseil national de la Résistance made the decision to have an annual remembrance day on the Sunday in February closest to the 25th. A day to remember all those involved in the Résistance and who lost their lives while interned and deported. Especially remembered are the 23 members of the Résistance who were shot in the Hinzerter Bësch 71 years ago on 25 Februar 1944, as well as the victims killed during the general strike in September 1942 on Hinzert, a German concentration camp located in Germany, 30 km from the Luxembourg border.

The PEFFER-MERTES Family (1866-1995)

Early on in my research I knew that my husband’s great-grandparents Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES had three children. I personally knew two of the daughters, Bom and Tattes, and the only son’s daughter Maria POLFER-PEFFER.

On 29 November 2000 I received a telephone call from the son of a third, at that time unknown daughter. He found me through my GEDCOM file at RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project. I still have the notes I scribbled while on the phone with him.

I always wondered why this couple did not have children during the first five years they were married. They married in 1894 and, being Catholic, birth control was not an option or even available. Last month when I began taking a new look at this family, checking for them in the census, I nearly missed looking for birth records for more children.

I found Nicolas and Maria in the 1895 census as newlyweds, I thought, enjoying their second year of marriage, and in 1900 with their 5 week old son Franz. No other children!

1895census
1895 Luxembourg Census, household of Nicolas PEFFER and his wife Maria MERTES.[1]
1900census
1900 Luxembourg Census, household of Nicolas PEFFER and his wife Maria MERTES with their son Franz.[2]
Records are very well kept in Luxembourg, however, for this time period, they did not include the cause of death on the civil death record. This has often bothered me as I’ve found many death records for children. I wondered if this family may have also had a child who died young.

So back to the birth and death records I went. What did I find? Nicolas and Maria had 4 children before Franz came along and all four died young.  Eight months, two months, two weeks, and less than a month. That is how long Maria’s babies lived.

The next three children were born in 1900, 1902, and 1904 followed by the youngest in 1910. These were the 4 children that I knew about and they all lived to marry and have children. Could there also be more children, siblings of my husband’s Bom, born between 1905-1909?

My husband’s grandmother Suzanne, known to him as Bom, was their youngest child. She was not born in Moestroff where all the other children were born. Her father, a shepherd (Hirt), had moved with his family to Wecker sometime after 1904 and before Suzanne’s birth in 1910.  Not finding any other children in Moestroff I looked in Biwer, the commune that Wecker belongs to. And I found another child’s birth and death records. A son born in 1907 died in his fourth month. Maria was 35 years old and still young enough to have more children.

I did not find any more records in the communes of Biwer or Bettendorf. The family may have lived in other towns however the census is only available until 1900 at FamilySearch and in any case only browable making it impraticable to search all areas. Without a lead to a town I would have to check through the Luxembourg Civil Registration database which would mean browsing through 767,518 images or at least checking the Tables Décennales (ten year lists of births, marriages and deaths) for the time period 1905-1922 of each of the 145 communes. Perhaps one day the records for Luxembourg at FamilySearch will be searchable, until then….

I know that Maria carried nine children to term, gave birth to them, and cared for them. Maria and Nicolas buried five of these children between 1895-1907.

Maria saw three of her grown children marry and held two of her grandchildren before she died in 1929 at the age of 54. Only her youngest daughter Suzanne would marry after her death. Her widower Nicolas died at the age of 75 on the 31st of December 1941.

I don’t have a copy of his death record. I have three sources for his death – that should be proof enough. On the other hand, the three sources have conflicting information.

  1. Photocopy of the 1866 birth record No. 11 located in the birth register of Bettendorf at the town hall. This record includes the annotation in the left margin of his death on 31 December 1941 in Moestroff as well as the location of the death record, No. 1 in the 1942 death register. This birth record was obtained in 1995.[3]
  2. Digital image of the birth record located in the Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg, microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993 at the Archives in Luxembourg. This record includes an annotation in the left margin indicating that he died in Moestroff, no date, and the death record is No. 11 from 1942.[4]
  3. Digital image of the marriage record of Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES located in the Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg, microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1993 at the Archives in Luxembourg. This record includes an annotation in the left margin made by the Landessippenamt. At the time of Nicolas’ death the civil records offices in Luxembourg were in the hands of the Germans. The official of the Landessippenamt wrote that Nicolas died on 31 February 1866 and that the death is recorded in the 1941 Sterbebuch (death register) as record No. 1. The annotation on the marriage record was made on 10 August 1941.[5]

photocopy
1. Annotation on the photocopy of the original birth record in Bettendorf.[3]
digital
2. Annotation on the digital copy of duplicate of original birth record in the archives.[4]
digitalmarriage
3. Annotation on the digital copy of the duplicate of the original marriage record in the archives.[5]
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that the first record is the most reliable. If protocol was followed the civil registrar would have issued the death record, recorded it in the death register or Sterbebuch in Bettendorf, made a duplicate to be lodged in the Courts of Justice in Diekirch and Luxembourg City, and included the annotation to the original birth record which was housed in Bettendorf. The duplicate sent to the Courts of Justice would have been the source for the annotation made on the records 2. and 3. that were later digitized.

Now on my to-do list is a visit to the Bettendorf town hall to acquire copies of the records that are not available online for 1923 and later and specifically for a copy of the death record of Nicolas PEFFER.

Three Generations in a Photographic Series

Maria and Nicolas PEFFER-MERTES’ children were quite close as can be seen by this series of photos taken in the latter part of 1956 of two of their daughters and a daughter-in-law with their daughters/daughter-in-law and the grandchildren.

3generationsLeft to rigth: Baby B. with her mother Maria PEFFER and grandmother (Maria’s mother) Mrs. Francis PEFFER; Baby M. with her mother E. and grandmother (E.’s mother-in-law) Marguerite “Tattes” PEFFER; Baby E. (my husband) with his mother Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER and grandmother Suzanne “Bom” PEFFER.

granddaughters and great-grandchildrenLeft to right: Maria with her daughter B.; E. with her daughter M.; and my mother-in-law Maisy with my husband E.

grandmothers with babiesHere the grandmothers switched places. Left to right: Marguerite PEFFER with her granddaughter M., Francis PEFFER’s wife with her granddaughter B., and Suzanne PEFFER with her grandson E.

Who Were They, Nicolas PEFFER and Maria MERTES?

Nicolas PEFFER, my husband’s great-grandfather, was the third child of seven known children of Nicolas PEFFER Sr. ( or “der Ältere“) and Marie ZWANK. His father Nicolas b. 1833  had a younger brother also named Nicolas b. 1836 who was known as Nicolas Jr.

Nicolas PEFFER was born 9 February 1866 in Moestroff, Commune of Bettendorf, District of Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His parents were both 32 years old when he was born. His father Nicolas was a day laborer.[6]

Maria MERTES, my husband’s great-grandmother, was the oldest of seven children of Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT. She had 13 known siblings as her father had six children with his first wife. It was a second marriage for her mother as well but the first marriage lasted only 6 months, due to the death of the groom, and there were no children.

Maria MERTES was born 14 February 1875 in Strassen, District of Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father was 38 and her mother was 28 years old.[7]

The Marriage of Maria and Nicolas

As with all of our ancestors I wondered how Maria MERTES and Nicolas PEFFER met. They were not born and raised in the same town or even the same community. What brought them together? I can only guess and by studying their marriage record I found a connection and reason why Nicolas would meet a young lady named Maria from Strassen.

Before I get to the actual marriage let’s take a look at the witnesses of the marriage. Two of the witnesses were listed as relatives:

    • Nicolas REITER, Maurer, 39 years old, living in Moestroff. cousin of the groom
    • Mathias GLODT, Taglöhner, 26 years old, living in Strassen, cousin of the groom

The Reiter connection is easy: Nicolas’ paternal aunt Marguerite PEFFER married Jean REITER and Nicolas REITER was their son. Census listings for Marguerite show that another one of her sons, Jean married Maria GLODT of Strassen. Mathias GLODT was Maria’s brother. This would not make him a cousin to Nicolas PEFFER. Further research led to the marriage of Mathias GLODT to Marie REITER, a daughter of Marguerite PEFFER and cousin of Nicolas PEFFER. So Mathias was a cousin-in-law!

Could this be the answer to how Nicolas PEFFER met Maria MERTES? In 1890 Nicolas PEFFER’s cousins Jean and Maria REITER were marrying the GLODT siblings Maria and Mathias.[8],[9] In May 1890 when Maria married Mathias her brothers Jean and Nicolas were present and named as witnesses. Both of these men were masons (Maurer), the same occupation as Nicolas PEFFER.

At six o’clock in the evening on the 19th of February 1894 Nicolas and Maria were married in Strassen. Nicolas was 28, worked as a mason and lived in Moestroff. Nicolas’ parents were both deceased as were his grandparents. Maria was 19, underage, did not work and lived in Strassen. She had recently returned to Strassen after living in Livange in the commune of Roeser. Both of her parents were present and agreeable to the marriage. The banns had been read in Bettendorf and in Roeser, both of the communes that the bride and groom lived in prior to their marriage, on the 4th and the 11th of February, both Sundays.[10]

The Children of Maria and Nicolas

Nicolas and Maria lived in Moestroff following their marriage. Maria was pregnant when the couple married. This may be an explanation for her recently having lived in Livange. She may have been working there, was dismissed for being pregnant and unmarried, and returned home to her parents. She gave birth to their son Johann on 12 June 1894, four months after the marriage.[11] Maria was pregnant with her second child when Johann died on 10 February 1895.[12] The first wedding anniversary was not a happy occasion with their mourning the death of their first child.

Daughter Margaretha was born on 11 August 1895[13] and lived a little less than two months, dying on 1 October 1895.[14] In 1895 when they were enumerated on the census they had been married 22 months. There is no field on the Luxembourg census for number of children born and number of children living as seen on the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census.

On 8 February 1897 their son Jacques, most likely named after both of the parents’ maternal grandfathers, was born.[15] They may have raised their glasses on the 19th to celebrate their third anniversary and their son’s birth but days later little Jacques died on 23 February 1897.[16]

Their fourth child Wilhelm was born 4 March 1899[17] and died less than a month later on 1 April 1899.[18] So much heartbreak and loss.

Finally on 26 October 1900[19] a son, François, was born – the first child who would survive infancy. The pattern of their lives was changing. On 2 August 1902[20] their second daughter, named the same as their first Margaretha, was born followed by Maria on 15 September 1904.[21] These children were healthy and striving.

During all this time Nicolas’ occupation was seen as Maurer or mason on the birth and death records of his children. After 1904 his occupation changed. In 1907 Nicolas and his wife Maria were living in Wecker in the commune of Wecker. Nicolas’ occupation was seen as Hirt or shepherd. On 9 August 1907 their son Nicolas was born.[22] How sad it must have been for both of the parents, especially to Nicolas, to have to report the death of their son Nicolas, named after his father, on 21 November 1907.[23]

Maria and Nicolas’ little family of five was not complete until Suzanne PEFFER was born on 18 February 1910 in Wecker.[24] Nicolas was still a shepherd. How many years of Suzanne’s childhood were spent in Wecker is not known. The family of six was back in Moestroff by the time Suzanne’s oldest siblings began to marry.

Nicolas and Maria’s oldest child François, also known as Francis, PEFFER was most likely the first to marry. I have not done research on his marriage however believe that the marriage took place 1928 or earlier as his daughter Maria PEFFER was born about 1928 (she was 74 when she died on 16 April 2002).

Maria PEFFER was the first of the daughters to marry. She married Louis LONGATTE (1904-1996) on 2 May 1928 in Bettendorf. This date of marriage has not been confirmed with a marriage record.

A year later Marguerite PEFFER married Jean REUTER (1903-?) on 10 February 1929 in Bettendorf. This date of marriage has not been confirmed with a marriage record.

Maria MERTES, the mother of this family, died 6 August 1929 in Moestroff. Her date of death was found on the marriage record of her youngest daughter Suzanne PEFFER who married Franz “Fritz” KREMER (1905-1972) on 7 January 1931 in Bettendorf.[25]

In 1931, when Suzanne married, her 64 years old father Nicolas was once again seen in the occupation of mason (Maurer). During World War II (1 Sep 1939-14 Aug 1945) Nicolas PEFFER died on 31 December 1941 in Moestroff[3], [4], [5] as discussed earlier in this post.

Daughter Maria LONGATTE-PEFFER was the first to pass away after the death of the parents. Her son André, also known as Ender, said his mother died of cancer at the age of 40. He also said she died in 1956. There is some discrepancy in his statements as she was born in 1904 and not in 1916. It is my understanding that André was her only child. His father remarried to a French woman.[26]

The three remainging PEFFER children lived longer lives.

  • François “Francis” PEFFER died 20 July 1974 in Ettelbrück at the age of 74.[19]
  • Suzanne KREMER-PEFFER died 13 June 1987 in Moestroff at the age of 77.[24]
  • Marguerite “Tattes” REUTER-PEFFER died 27 June 1995 in Esch-sur-Alzette at the age of 92.[20]
Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1895 > image 695 of 810. Peffer-Mertes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32467-9673-13?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-FM4:346114101,345878001 : accessed 26 December 2014).
[2] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 743 of 793. Peffer-Mertes household No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32396-9937-99?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NL : accessed 14 January 2015).
[3] Zivilstandes der Gemeinde Bettendorf im Kanton Diekirch, Großerzogtum Luxemburg, Photocopy of the 1866 Birth Record No. 11 obtained in 1995 from the town hall of Bettendorf
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[5] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 783 of 1507. 1866 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-7084-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[7] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 645 of 1464. 1875 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58599-17?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[8] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1458 of 1464. “.” 1890 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61343-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 February 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 841 of 1494. 1890 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38052-5?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 20 February 2015),.
[10] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 59 of 155. 1894 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-20242-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2NT:129626601,130263301 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 4 of 389. 1895 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-22801-16?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[13] Ibid, Bettendorf > Tables décennales 1893-1902 > image 8 of 29. NOTE: The records for 1895 are missing on FamilySearch as of 15 Jan 2015. This entry was found in the Tables décennales 1893-1902.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-20951-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2JH:129626601,129745501 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[14] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 14 of 389. 1895 Death Record No. 52. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-22723-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 25 of 777. 1897 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-6350-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 36 of 389. 1897 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32048-23240-11?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 60 of 777. 1899 Birth Record No. 14. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-6751-2?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 62 of 389. 1899 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24868-86?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[19] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 87 of 777. 1900 Birth Record No. 49; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-6345-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[20] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 121 of 777. 1902 Birth Record No. 47; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-6408-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014),.
[21] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 157 of 777. 1904 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-6109-75?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[22] Ibid, Biwer > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 146 of 293. 1907 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32024-6424-50?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-FMZ:129627101,129648901 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[23] Ibid, Biwer > Décès 1895-1923 > image 95 of 216. 1907 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32037-102-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-YWB:129627101,129623802 : accessed 15 January 2015).
[24] Ibid, Biwer > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 176 of 293. 1910 Birth Record No. 9; includes annotation of death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32024-6158-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-FMZ:129627101,129648901 : accessed 27 December 2014).
[25] Zivilstandes der Gemeinde Bettendorf im Kanton Diekirch, Großerzogtum Luxemburg, Heiratsurkunde No. 1 Kremer Franz mit Peffer Susanna. Mothers of the bride and groom were deceased at the time of the marriage and their dates of death are listed on this record.
[26] Telephone conversation between Cathy Meder-Dempsey and Mr. André Longatte on 29 November 2000.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas PEFFER
Parents: Nicolas PEFFER and Marie ZWANK
Spouse: Maria MERTES
Parents of spouse: Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT
Whereabouts: Moestroff and Strassen, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

  1. Nicolas PEFFER
  2. Suzanne PEFFER
  3. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  4. Cathy’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: #7 The Railroad Switchman’s Family

Week 7 (Feb 12-18) – Love. Which ancestor do you love to research? Which ancestor do you feel especially close to? Which ancestor seemed to have a lot of love?

The KREMER-GRISIUS family had a lot of love. Two daughters loved enough have sons without marrying. A daughter loved God and the Catholic Church enough to become a nun. A daughter was killed in the City of Love during World War II in the bombardment of a train. A daughter married and moved to Manosque, a town in the heart of the French Provence. A son died in his 6th month only days after Valentine’s Day. Son Fritz, who loved to fish, married and had two children he dearly loved, one of them was Maisy, the mother of my husband, the love of my life.

The KREMER-GRISIUS Family of Bettendorf and Moestroff (1875-1996) 

marker

1875birth
Nicolas

Nicolas KREMER, son of Anton (Antoine) KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES, was born at one o’clock in the morning on 18 November 1875 in Bettendorf, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His parents were 40 and 39 at the time of his birth.[1]

1879birth
Catherine

Catherine GRISIUS, daughter of Heinrich GRISIUS and Elisabeth WECKERING, was born at 5 o’clock in the afternoon on 7 September 1879 in Hoscheid, Canton Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her parents were 40 and 29 when she was born.[2]

In 1895 Nicolas was with his brother Peter working as a servant (Dienstknecht) in France. Nicolas had been there a year and a half while his brother Peter had been there five years. By 1900 Nicolas was back in Luxembourg and planning to marry.[3]

An Early Marriage for Nicolas and Catherine

1900marriage
1900 Marriage Record No. 21

Catherine, a 22 years old maid (Dienstmagd), and Nicolas, a 25 years old worker (Arbeiter) must have gotten up very early to get married at 8 o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, 28 November 1900. Banns had been read only once on Sunday the 18th of November in Bettendorf as both the bride and groom had their residence in that town. They brought with them a copy of the birth record from the register of Hoscheid for the bride. Catherine’s parents were from Hoscheid, a village about 17 km from Bettendorf, and Nicolas’ parents were from Bettendorf where the marriage took place. Nicolas’ brother Pierre KREMER, one of the witnesses, lived in Mersch, 26 km from Bettendorf. Another witness was the 63 years old Nicolas KREMER, a first cousin once removed of the groom. The two other witnesses were not related to the bridal couple. The mother of the groom and the parents of the bride did not sign the marriage record and it was noted they they could not write.[4]

What gifts, if any, did the bridal couple receive? What would they need to buy for their life together? Did they need or own a bedroom, living room, or dining room set?

ad4
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they have to buy a matress for their bed? Would the bride bring sheets, duvets, pillows, and blankets to keep them warm in their bed?

ad1
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they have a fancy oven to heat their home?

ad3
Ad in the Dec 1, 1900 issue of Luxemburger Wort.[5]
Would they even have their own home from the begining? Apparently not, as Catherine was seen with her parents-in-law in the 1900 census. This was taken three days after their marriage and Nicolas was seen as not living with his bride and parents. He had been in Oberanven, a town near Luxembourg City, for two days on business. What a way to spend a honeymoon![6][7]

1900census
1900 Luxembourg Census. Persons in the household.[6]
1900census2
1900 Luxembourg Census. Persons absent from household.[7]

 The Children of Catherine and Nicolas KREMER-GRISIUS

1901birth
Elise

Child 1: Elise KREMER was born 26 September 1901 at 11 o’clock in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. It is very probable that this was the home of her grandfather Anton KREMER was was one of the witnesses on her birth record. Elise’s parents were 25 and 22 at the time. Her father Nicolas, a worker (Arbeiter), was the informant. Elise’s grandfather, also a worker, signed his name Antoine KREMER rather than Anton as his name was written on the record by the second witness Georges MORES, farmer (Ackerer).[8]

1903 birth
Anna

Child 2: Anna KREMER was born 20 November 1903 at 9 o’clock in the evening in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, a railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth the next day at 9 o’clock in the morning. Her grandfather Anton KREMER, town crier/messenger (Gemeindebote), was one of the witnesses. The other witness, Georges MORES, was the secretary who did the clerical work for the mayor, Michel CONZEMIUS. Anna’s parents were 28 and 25.[9]

1905irth
Franz

Child 3: Fritz KREMER was born 6 March 1905 at 2:30 in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. His father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth the same day at 10 o’clock in the morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor who was listed as Michel CONZEMIUS. The mayor may not have been available as the record was signed by M. ERNZEN. The parents were 29 and 25.[10]

1907birth
Margaretha

Child 4: Margaretha KREMER was born 11 February 1907 at one o’clock in the afternoon in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth four hours later. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. As was the case when her first three siblings’ births were reported, the 71 years old grandfather Antoine was a witness. The parents were 31 and 27.[11]

1909birth
Marie

Child 5: Marie KREMER was born 7 December 1909 at 2:30 in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 10 o’clock the same morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. Grandfather Antoine was a witness. The parents were seen as 33 and 30. In 1996 a civil official annotated the record in the left top margin with the date and place of death and the death record number.[12]

1910birth
Johanna

Child 6: Johanna KREMER was born 2 December 1910 at 3 o’clock in the morning in the Kremer house in Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 10 o’clock the same morning. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. Grandfather Antoine was not present this time. Instead Franz GRISIUS, named as an acquaintance, actually the brother of the mother of the newborn child, was the witness. The parents were 35 and 31.[13]

1912birth
Theresia

Child 7: Theresia KREMER was born at 7 o’clock in the evening of 13 July 1912 in Moestroff, the neighboring village to Bettendorf. Her father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at 9 o’clock the next morning in Bettendorf and his 76 years old father Antoine was present as a witness. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. The parents were 36 and 32. In 1987 a civil official annotated the record in the left margin with the date and place of death and the death record number.[14]

1913birth
Nicolas, birth
1914death
Nicolas, death

Child 8: Nicolas KREMER was born at 11 o’clock in the evening of 14 September 1913 in Moestroff. As with Theresia, the name of the house he was born in is not given. His father Nicolas, railroad official (Eisenbahnbeamter), reported the birth at one o’clock the next afternoon in Bettendorf. Georges MORES, secretary (Sekretär) took care of the paperwork for the mayor Michel CONZEMIUS. The parents were 38 and 35.[15] A little over five months later his father Nicolas had the sad duty of reporting little Nicolas’ death at 7 o’clock in the evening of 20 February 1914, an hour after the death took place. A railroad colleague, Nicolas MULLER from Moestroff, came with the father to report the death.[16]

UPDATE: On 2 May 2015 I found the birth and death record of another child.
Child 9: Théodore KREMER was born 7 April 1916* and died nine months later on 22 January 1917**. Both events took place in Moestroff.
* Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 365 of 777. 1916 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-7600-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 2 May 2015).
** Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 315 of 389. 1917 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32048-24224-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 2 May 2015).

 Child 10: Catherine GRISIUS gave birth to a stillborn female child at 3 o’clock in the morning of 19 April 1918 in Moestroff.[17] An hour later she died at the age of 38. Her husband Nicolas KREMER had the responsibility of reporting the deaths of his wife Catherine and their 9th child at 3 o’clock that afternoon. Nicolas’ occupation was a bit different than it had been when he reported the births of his children from 1903-1913. He was now seen as a switchman (Weichensteller). Theodore Doffing, a farmer and acquaintance of Nicolas, accompanied him to the town hall in Bettendorf and served as a witness.[18]

1918deaths
Deaths of Mother and Child

Transportation Between Moestroff and Bettendorf

My husband and I have ridden through Moestroff and Bettendorf many times on our racing bikes. It’s a short distance between the two towns, less than 2 km. The building (below) is the former train station of Moestroff and is now a private home. The bike route follows the path where the railroad tracks used to be.

Below the bike route is a rural road, now strict access only, used to connect the two towns. The main road used today is on the other side of the Sauer River which runs through both towns.

moestroff
Train station in Moestroff. Photo used with permission.

While writing this I wondered if Nicolas walked or rode a bike on the rural road from Moestroff to Bettendorf when he went to register the births of the children born in Moestroff and his wife’s death. Or, since he was a railroad worker, did he take the train from Moestroff to Bettendorf?

bettendorf
Train station in Bettendorf. Photo taken and used with permission.

We took a special trip to Moestroff and Bettendorf this morning to take these photos of the former train stations. The building in Bettendorf is also now a private home. A person who was at home gave us permission to take this picture as well as one of the back side of the building where the railroad tracks used to be. A collections of photos of the stations in Luxembourg can be found on The Railways in and around Luxembourg (D’Eisebunn zu an ëm Lëtzebuerg) and includes some older photos of the stations in Moestroff and Bettendorf.

Life After Catherine’s Death

Nicolas was left with 7 children, 6 daughters between 6 and 17 years of age and a 13 years old son Franz. Nine days later Nicolas once again reported a death, his 81 years old father Anton KREMER.[19]

Elise, Nicolas and Catherine’s oldest daughter, raised her siblings in place of her mother. Her son Nic. was born out of wedlock in 1919 and raised along with her siblings who considered him a brother. Elise never married and died at the age of 40 in 1941.[20]

MRIN14674 1941 Elise Kremer death
Luxemburger Wort[20]
Elise’s sister Anna went to Paris to work and during World War II was killed when the train she was on was bombarded. This is a family story and no record has been found as yet to support it. Paris was listed in Elise’s death notice as one of the residences of a family member. This could mean that Anna died after 7 April 1941 and before the end of World War II in 1945. Another of Elise’s siblings was living in Sfax in Tunisia, most likely Johanna, who went by Jeanne, and was married to Frédéric DE GIORGIO.

World War II brought many changes. In Nicolas’ case it meant that the first name he was given at birth was changed to Nikolaus. I would not have known this if I hadn’t obtained a photocopy of his original birth record from the town hall in Bettendorf in 1995. During World War II Luxembourg was occupied by the Germans and all administrations were headed by them. They went through the birth records of the people living in a town and placed a stamp in the margin changing the name to the German equivalent. Luckily KREMER was German enough for them not to change it. After the war the Luxembourg authorities added their own stamp making the first nul and void.

1875birth
Photocopy of the original birth record found in Bettendorf birth register.
1943stamp
Stamps seen in the left margin of the birth record

Translation (first stamp):
Due to the
regulation of the C.d.Z.*
from 31 January 1941 to change the first
and 
surnames in Luxembourg the
designated person (in this record)

Name: Nikolaus
Certificate of Diekirch District
from 21 December 1942
Diekirch, the 1 March 1943

Registrar: representative
signature of the registrar
Translation (second stamp):
Declared nul and void
in Bettendorf on [date omitted]
The civil officer:
signed J. Pierre Goebel

*C.d.Z. = Chef der Zivilverwaltung or Head of Civil Administration.

Nicolas KREMER died in 1951.[21] The year of death was found on the family gravemarker in the cemetery (Kirfecht) in Moestroff. I have not taken steps to obtain his death record. He left a son, four daughters, three grandsons, a granddaughter, and two great-grandsons.

MRIN04944 1971-01-08 François Kremer obitHis son Franz KREMER married Suzanne PEFFER on 7 January 1931 and died in 1972.[22]

Nicolas’ daughter Margaretha, also known as Gréit, died in 1975 as seen on her birth record.[11] I have not been able to find out if she ever married. She did not have children living in 1987 when her sister Thérèse died.

His daughter Theresia, or Tatta Thérèse, became a nun when she was young, left the order at some time, and worked as a nurse with the same doctor she had worked for as a nun. Tatta Thérèse died on 2 November 1987 leaving two sisters, Jeanne and Marie.[14]

1996obitJeanne was living in Manosque, a town in the heart of the French Provence, at the time that Thérèse died.[23] No trace of her has been found after 1987 when the succession of Thérèse’s estate was settled.

Jeanne must have died before 1996 as she was not mentioned in the obituary her sister Marie, Tatta Marie, as she was known to her niece, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. In her obituary at right the surname Schneider is an error and should be Schleider. Tatta Marie never married and had a son.[24]

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 969 of 1507. 1875 Birth Record No. 68. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-1624-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Hoscheid > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1800-1890 Décès 1798-1826 > image 282 of 1491. “.” 1879 Birth Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11672-57323-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2B6:1412473990 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[3] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1895 > image 305 of 810. Kremer-Merkes household No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-10959-35?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-FM4:346114101,345878001 : accessed 11 February 2015).
[4] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 530 of 777. “.” 1900 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-7034-74?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[5] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 1 December 1900, page 4 (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=1033115&search_terms=#panel:pp|issue:1033115|page:4 : accessed 11 Feb 2015)
[6] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch, (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1900 > image 85 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household with Kremer-Grisius. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32396-11048-31?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NN : accessed 13 January 2015).
[7] Ibid, Bettendorf > 1900 > image 86 of 793. Kremer-Merkes household with Kremer-Grisius. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32396-10670-43?cc=2037957&wc=M9MJ-1NN : accessed 13 January 2015).
[8] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 104 of 777. 1901 Birth Record No. 42. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-6214-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[9] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 >  Image 141 of 777. 1903 Birth Record No. 49. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-5949-12?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 2 Mar 2013).
[10] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 168 of 777. 1905 Birth Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32044-5938-16?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28W:n1332603780 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[11] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 206 of 777. 1907 Birth Record No. 6;  includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-6057-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[12] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 257 of 777. 1909 Birth Record No. 50; includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-5705-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[13] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 296 of 777. 1910 Birth Record No. 52. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-5744-18?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[14] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 307 of 777. 1912 Birth Record No. 23; includes annotation concerning her death. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32044-5778-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[15] Ibid, Bettendorf > Naissances 1896-1923 Mariages 1895-1923 > image 323 of 777. 1913 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32044-5960-9?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-2NG:129626601,130150302 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 275 of 389. 1914 Death Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24390-77?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 13 January 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 328 of 389. 1918 Stillbirth Kremer No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23912-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
[18] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 328 of 389. “.” 1918 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-23912-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 26 Sep 2014).
[19] Ibid, Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 329 of 389. 1918 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32048-24192-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[20] Luxemburger Wort, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlage der St-Paulus-Druckerei, Luxembourg), 7 April 1941, No. 97, page 12, top of column 2. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=770518&search_terms=elise%20kremer%20moestroff#panel:pp|issue:770518|article:DTL340|query:elise kremer moestroff : accessed 10 Feb 2015).
[21] Moestroff Kierfecht, Moestroff, Luxembourg. KREMER-GRISIUS family gravemarker (photo © 1995 Egon Meder)
[22] Luxemburger Wort, 8 January 1971, clipping
[23] Lucien Schuman, Notarial Act No. 1839 dated 13 November 1987 concerning the succession of the estate of Thérèse Kremer.
[24] Luxemburger Wort, 4 October 1996, clipping

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Nicolas KREMER
Parents: Anton KREMER and Anna Maria MERKES
Spouse: Cathérine GRISIUS
Parents of Spouse: Heinrich “Henri” GRISIUS and Elisabeth WECKERING
Whereabouts: Moestroff, Bettendorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s great-grandparents

  1. Nicolas KREMER and Cathérine GRISIUS
  2. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
  3. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  4. Cathy’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.