On Wednesday, 30 July 1817 my fourth great-grandparents Michel and Catherine met at the city hall in Pétange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg with two other couples. Michel was 39 years old and Catherine was 42 years old. At 8 o’clock the first couple was married, followed by Michel and Catherine at 9 o’clock, and the third couple at 10 o’clock. Michel witnessed the first and third marriage. This in itself is unusual but there is more to the story.
There may be another connection to Elisabeth MAMER as her mother’s parents were a BURKEL and a BERKIN, both surnames shared with my ancestors. But it is not the connections to the first couple which is so interesting. What did else did these couples have in common? The newlyweds – all three couples – had children who were legitimized at the time of marriage.
Michel and Catherine’s Marriage Record
Michel and Catherine’s record marriage record had notes in the margin showing they had children: 1. Marguerite, 2. Catherine, 3. Anne, and 4. Jean Pierre, all born prior to marriage. These were not the only children born to Michel and Catherine. They had had eight children in eighteen years, the last born in 1814. Only four were living at the time of their parents’ marriage in 1817. The marriage must have been blessed by the church in a religious ceremony at least eighteen to nineteen years prior to the civil ceremony in 1817. It must have so been believed to be legal by the civil servants who recorded the births of seven of the children as being born to a lawfully wedded couple.
In 1795 the Duchy of Luxembourg became the Département des Forêts following its surrender after a siege of over seven months by French Revolutionary troops. The anti-religious policy of the new government is one of the reasons a marriage record may not be found for a Luxembourg ancestor during this time period.
The people rebelled against the new laws continuing to be married by their priest, even if it meant having the ceremony performed in the kitchen, and refusing to have a civil record of the marriage recorded. When the Napoleonic Code was introduced in 1804 all persons were required to be married in a civil ceremony. Couples who had only been wedded by a priest since the introduction of civil records around 1796 had to be married in a civil ceremony to legitimize their children’s births. The children’s names were listed on the civil marriage record following the line in which the groom and bride were joined as husband and wife. Often the list was so long that it had to be continued in the margin of the marriage record. (see image above)
Michel PHILIPPART, the son of Jacques PHILIPPART (1749-1823) and Catherine SINGER also known as Catherine KETTER (1743-1835), was born and baptized on 16 October 1777 in Rodange. His godparents were his paternal uncle Michel PHILIPPART of Rodange and Nanette KETTER of Bettingen. His relationship to his godmother is still under investigation. [I couldn’t resist. Bettingen or Bettange-sur-Mess is a new parish for me and so far I have only found one SINGER/KETTER sibling named Barbara.]
Catherine MEUNIER, the daughter of Henri MEUNIER and Margaretha KILBOUR, was born in 1775 in Rodange. A birth/baptismal record has not been located. Catherine’s father was from Rodange and her mother from Esch-sur-Alzette where they married on 21 December 1774. Both Rodange and Esch parish records were checked for Catherine’s birth without results. Her 1775 year of birth was found on her 1817 marriage record without a month or date which suggests the officials also had difficulties finding a record for her. Variations of her year of birth (calculated from age at the time) on the census records in 1843, 1846, 1847, and 1849 and her 1851 death record ran between 1768 and 1780. The 1849 census had her date of birth as 5 June 1774. This is not reliable as the three other persons in the household had dates of birth which did not come close to being correct.
Michel was the oldest of four children while Catherine may have been an only child. Her father died before the 1 December 1793 as her mother remarried on Tuesday, 17 December 1793. The marriage banns were published before the marriage to André DOMANGE on three consecutive Sundays (1st, 8th, 15th) dating the death of the first spouse at before the first bann.
Michel and Catherine’s children
As mentioned Michel and Catherine had all of their children before their legal civil marriage ceremony. Their oldest daughter Marguerite was born about 1800. No record of birth was found for her. When the census was taken in 1849 her birth date was listed as 11 August 1802 which cannot be correct due to the date of birth of the next two children. Marie Catherine, my third great-grandmother, was born on 8 November 1801 and her brother Henri on 1 December 1802.
UPDATE (10 December 2017): My genealogy friend Linda (who has helped me out several other times with my families in Luxembourg) found the birth record of Michel and Catherine’s daughter Marguerite. She was born on 19 Nivôse in the year VIII (9 January 1800) to Catherine Meunier. The birth was reported by the grandmother Margaretha KILBOUR. No mention is made of the father. This helps to date the possible religious marriage of Michel and Catherine at between 9 January 1800 and 8 November 1801 when Marie Catherine was born to a legally married couple.
Daughter Anne was born 17 December 1804, followed by two sons, Jean Pierre on 25 October 1808 and Jean Baptiste on 29 January 1810. Jean Baptiste lived only a little more than a month dying on 2 March 1810. Their seventh child, Catherine was born on 17 April 1812. Before the birth of their last child, their oldest son Henri died on 9 August 1813 at the age of 10.
Michel and Catherine named their youngest child Michel when he was born on 2 June 1814. He lived a little over a month and died on 15 July 1814. His death was followed by the death of young Catherine on 20 November 1814 at the age of two years.
By 1817, when Michel and Catherine were legally married, they had lost four children while Marguerite age 18, Marie Catherine age 16, Anne age 12, and Jean Pierre age 10 were thriving. Michel was supporting his family working as a shoemaker or cordonnier.
The children are grown
Nearly four years later Catherine’s mother Margaretha KILBOUR died on 4 April 1821 at the age of 80.
Jacques PHILIPPART, the father of Michel, died on 23 March 1824 at the age of 75 years.
The second of four marriages took place on 20 September 1826 when Anne, the youngest daughter, married her first cousin once removed Jean Baptiste PHILIPPART (1798-1828). Jean Baptiste died on 6 April 1828 and his widow Anne gave birth to a son she named Joseph on 29 May 1828.
The oldest daughter Marguerite married her first cousin once removed, Joseph PHILIPPART (1801-1864), brother of Jean Baptiste, on 12 September 1828. Jean Baptiste and Joseph were the sons of Joseph PHILIPPART and Susanne SCHMIT. The men’s grandparents Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL were the great-grandparents of their wives, Anne and Marguerite.
Catherine’s step-father André DOMANGE died on 17 December 1833 at the age of 69 years.
The last of the children to marry was the youngest and only son Jean Pierre PHILIPPART. Until I began to review and research this family for this post I had no idea if Jean Pierre was still living or had married. I found his marriage in my genealogy society’s database for Luxembourg marriages for the years 1796-1923. It is still a work in progress and not yet online but as a member of the board of Luxracines, I have access to the beta version.
Jean Pierre was working as a border guard in Stadbredimus when he married Barbara GOVERS (also seen as GOUVERS) on 27 February 1834.
A year later Catherine SINGER, mother of Michel PHILIPPART, died on 9 February 1835 at the age of 91.
Michel and Catherine likely did not expect to outlive any of their remaining children. However, their daughter Marie Catherine, wife of André FOURNELLE, died on 20 July 1843 at the age of 41 years. She was the mother of eleven children, the last having been born only nine days earlier. André, my third great-grandfather, was left to raise the children on his own. He never remarried.
Michel PHILIPPART died at the age of 71 on 23 September 1849. His death was reported by Joseph PHILIPPART who was erroneously listed as his son instead of his son-in-law. Three months later Joseph reported the death of his wife Marguerite, daughter of Michel, who died on 31 December 1849 at the age of 50.
Catherine MEUNIER, Michel’s widow, died on 24 May 1851 at the age of 76 years. Once again it was Joseph who reported the death and was seen as her son and not son-in-law. She left two living children, Jean Pierre and Anne.
Jean Pierre and his wife had a daughter born in Osweiler in 1837. This event in the commune of Rosport gave Jean Pierre, his wife, and child an entry in Thomas Webers’ family book for Rosport. The daughter’s marriage was included – an event which took place in Namur, Belgium in 1862. This tiny tidbit along with her date and place of death was enough to trace the family further. The marriage record included the date and place of death of the bride’s father. Jean Pierre died on 21 October 1861 at the age of 52 in Hondelange, Province of Luxembourg, Belgium. He was a Belgian customs employee or employé des douanes belges, sous brigadier. He left a wife and a son who was the informant for his death. With each new record, a new clue was found and I learned he had at least five children and his widow was still living in 1875.
By 1861, after Jean Pierre’s death, the only living child of Michel and Catherine was their daughter Anne who was also known as Nanette. As mentioned earlier her husband died while she was pregnant with their son Joseph who was born nearly two months later. But Anne and her father Michel PHILIPPART left a puzzle I have not been able to figure out.
On 30 September 1832, Anne gave birth to a male child who was given the name Jean HOUTTEN (seen as HOULTEN on the index). Michel PHILIPPART, the grandfather, was the informant and named Jean HOUTTEN of Robelmont in Belgium as the father and his daughter Anne as the mother. They were not married. No trace of this male child has been found after the birth. In the census records, as early as 1843, Anne is seen with her son Joseph and a daughter named Catherine. This daughter married twice and both times she was listed as born on 25 September 1832, five days before the male child. Only her mother Anne PHILIPPART was named on her marriage records. No father’s name was given. Was an error made at the time of birth? Was the child born to Anne in 1832 a daughter and not a son? Are there any other possible scenarios?
Anne died on 24 January 1871 at the age of 66 years. Her death was reported by her son Joseph and her son-in-law André HILBERT, the second husband of her daughter Catherine.
I found many new records for this family group while reviewing my database. I added several generations to the PHILIPPART and MEUNIER branches of the family tree as I discovered marriage records for Catherine MEUNIER’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Nearly all the families who lived in the area during the 1700s appear to be related to each other and to my families of Rodange. Lots of loose ends to tie together. But they will have to wait for now as this ends my visit to Rodange – next stop will be Vianden.
Sources: I’m taking the easy way out this week. I’ll be uploading my updated GEDCOM file to RootsWeb a.s.a.p. All sources have been found and can be referred to by clicking on the names in the box below.
The FOURNELLE family is one of my favorites to research. I spent nearly a year working exclusively on finding the records for every tiny branch of the descendants of my 7th great-grandparents Jean FOURNEL and Catherine SETON in 2013.
This set of fourth great-grandparents, Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT take me back to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
For the time period this couple, their parents, and their children lived, the status and borders of Luxembourg changed. Pierre’s father was born in 1713 when the country was “only” a duchy. Pierre’s last living child died in 1870, fifty-five years after Luxembourg became a grand duchy and lost territory to France, Germany, and Belgium.
A genealogist’s work is never finished
The family group lived in Rodange in Luxembourg on the border to France. For the period before 1767 the parish of Rodange, where this family lived, was attached to Herserange which today lies in France. The baptismal, marriage, and death records for the years up to 1766 were found in the Archives départementales de Meurthe-et-Moselle in the collection for the parish of Herserange. Images from the French archives’ sites are not allowed to be used on the internet or for commercial purposes without permission. When I did the research in 2013 the image viewer or visionneuse did not have an option to save the link to the image. My source citations have enough information to quickly locate the record again on the Archives’ site to obtain the permalink which is now available on the visionneuse but the task is huge. I have over 500 citations for records found in the Meurthe-et-Moselle area which need to be re-visited to obtain the links.
My fourth great-grandfather Pierre FOURNELLE was born on 12 December 1748 in Rodange and was christened the following day. He was the third child of Pierre FOURNEL (1713-1765) and Jeanne NEU (1823-1783). They were married in 1743 in Aubange, Belgium, where Jeanne lived with her widowed mother.
Pierre and Jeanne had eight children from 1744-1763, all born in Rodange. All of their children lived to adulthood. Six are known to have married and had children while the two youngest sons have not been traced. They were last seen as godfathers of two children of their brother Pierre when they were still single and in their twenties.
Pierre’s mother died 9 March 1783 less than a month before her son Pierre married. Her death record included interesting information about her occupation.
Jeanne NEW was a fermière (farmer) for the Baron d’HUART. Baron Jean-François-Henri-Gérard d’HUART, known as Baron Henri d’HUART, died 1 January 1781 two years before Jeanne. His son Charles-Elisabeth-François, known as Charles, inherited the forges of Lasauvage and Herserange and was likely the owner of the land in Rodange which were farmed by Pierre’s mother Jeanne NEU.
Young Pierre’s wife was Marianne SCHMIT, daughter of Jean SCHMIT and Eve DECKERS of Niederkorn. The SCHMIT-DECKERS couple has had not been researched. They were seen living in 1783 when Pierre and Marianne married and had died by 1795 when another daughter married – according to index cards with information on the marriages. A brother and a sister of Marianne turned up as godparents for two of Pierre and Marianne’s children. Pierre was the godfather of an illegitimate child born to one of Marianne’s sisters. These are all individuals I hoped would help to open the door in Marianne’s brick wall.
How I opened the door
Pierre FOURNELLE married Marianne SCHMIT on 1 April 1783 in Rodange. For years I have had her birth listed as 1 January 1763 in Rodange. I had found this date in a GEDCOM on Geneanet owned by a descendant of Pierre FOURNEL and Jeanne NEU. However, no sources were given. Over the years I’ve used it as a guide but have found errors which were corrected using the online records for Luxembourg at FamilySearch.
In all this time I never was able to find a record to support the date and place of birth for Marianne SCHMIT. While writing this and reviewing the records I realized there was information in the 1783 marriage record I had overlooked due to the almost impossible handwriting.
Parish marriage records for Luxembourg have been indexed on cards which were microfilmed and accessible on FamilySearch. Two copies are available for the marriage of Pierre FOURNELLE and Marianne SCHMIT. One is for the marriage record I found in Rodange.
The other was for a marriage record which appears to have been included in the Herserange parish records.
I have gone over and over the Herserange collection and cannot find the record on the second index card.
I took yet another look at the marriage record (above) and realized Marianne was 22 years old at the time of marriage. This would place her birth at 1760-1761. Her father is referred to as deceased but not named while her mother is named Eve DECQUESSES. Both of her parents were from Niederkorn in the parish of Oberkorn. If they lived in Niederkorn, could it be that Marianne was born there and not in Rodange?
Armand Logelin-Simon’s family book of Oberkorn compiled from the parish records for the years 1637-1804, a popular publication in the online library of Luxracines, is available as a free pdf download to members of the society. The compilation is handwritten and includes a family which appears to be that of Marianne SCHMIT.
Joes (Joannes) SCHMIT and Eva DICKEN (Dücker, Ducker, Dick) had seven children born between 1756 and 1769 including a daughter Maria born 20 December 1760. There was a second daughter named Maria born in 1765. I am certain this is the right family and the older daughter named Marie is Marianne. I found the baptismal records of the seven children born in Niederkorn in the parish records of Oberkorn. Also included in the entry for the family are the dates of death for the father and mother as well as their date of marriage. Joannes died in 1777 and Eva in 1792. The records of death and marriage need to be looked up.
The children of Pierre and Marianne
With this research problem out of the way, I will give a brief run-down of the children of Pierre and Marianne.
i. Michael FOURNELLE was born on 27 April 1783 in Rodange. Michael was baptized the same day and his godparents were Michael FOURNELLE, his uncle (one of the brothers of Pierre who has not been found after this date), and Marianne NICOLAY. He died on 30 August 1784 in Rodange.
ii. Jean Baptiste FOURNELLE was born on 13 November 1784 in Rodange. Jean was baptized on 13 November 1784 in Rodange; the godparents were Jean Baptiste SCHMITZ, uncle (this brother of Marianne is seen only as Jean in the Oberkorn compilation), and Jeanne FELTEN. He died on 17 January 1864 in Niederkorn.
Jean married Marie Anne HEINRICH on 30 January 1825 in Differdange. Marie was born on 30 September 1795 in Niederkorn. She died on 23 November 1855 in Niederkorn. They were the parents of three children.
iii. Susanne FOURNELLE was born on 14 March 1786 in Rodange. Susanne was baptized on 14 March 1786 in Rodange; the godparents were Christophel FOURNELLE, her uncle (the other brother of Pierre who has not been found after 1792), and Susanne SCHMIT, her aunt. She died on 20 June 1845 in Rodange.
Susanne married Jean Pierre LUCAS, son of Théodore LUCAS and Margueritte MEUNIER, on 27 December 1804 in Pétange. Jean was born about 1773 in Rodange. He died on 18 June 1852 in Rodange. They were the parents of at least six children.
iv. Pierre FOURNELLE was born on 5 May 1787 in Rodange. He was baptized the same day. His godparents were Pierre FOURNELLE, his cousin, and Jeanne LADURELLE. He worked as a stone mason, bricklayer (maçon, Steinmetz). He died on 12 August 1856 in Rodange.
Pierre married Appoline WESTER, daughter of Jean Baptiste WESTER and Anne Catherine HANSEN, on 18 August 1812 in Pétange. Appoline was born on 14 November 1781 on Bouferterhaff (Beaufort farm) near Bertrange. She died on 13 February 1827 in Rodange. They were the parents of five children.
Pierre also married Marie ARENDT, daughter of François ARENDT and Claire SCHILTZ, on 5 December 1827 in Pétange. Marie was born on 23 September 1783 in Pétange. She died on 29 November 1843 in Rodange. They did not have children.
v. Henri FOURNELLE was born on 12 November 1788 in Rodange. Henri was baptized the same day; the godparents were Henri LUCAS and Marie SCHMITZ, his aunt. He worked as day laborer (journalier). He died on 8 October 1861 in Rodange.
Henri married Anna Catherine FEYEREISEN on 22 February 1819 in Pétange. Anna was born on 21 October 1789 in Nobressart (present-day Commune d’Attert, Province de Luxembourg, Belgium). She died on 11 September 1828 in Rodange. They were the parents of five children. She brought a son into the marriage who used the FOURNELLE name when he was in the militia.
Henri also married Marie Jeanne DOMMANGE on 25 February 1829 in Pétange. Marie was born on 10 October 1801 in Sepfontaines. She died on 3 September 1866 in Rodange. They were the parents of four children, two of whom went to America, one before 1885 and the other in 1890.
vi. Jean Baptiste Fournelle was born on 8 November 1791 in Rodange. He was baptized the same day with his godparents being Jean Baptiste FOURNELLE, his uncle, and Marie Julienne MATTHIEU, his aunt. A record of marriage or death has not been located for this child.
vii. Marie FOURNELLE was born on 2 January 1793 in Rodange. She was baptized the same day; the godparents were Nicolas MEUNIER and Marie FREDERIQUE. She died on 15 November 1860 in Sélange, Messancy, Belgium.
Marie married Pierre Joseph MONNET on 2 June 1824 in Villers devant Orval, Belgium. Pierre was born about 1780 in Bastogne, Belgium. He died on 28 December 1854 in Sélange, Messancy, Belgium. They were the parents of one known son.
viii. Philippe FOURNELLE was born on 8 November 1795 in Rodange. Philippe worked as a stone cutter (tailleur de pierres). He died on 17 January 1840 in Rodange, Grand Duché de Luxembourg.
Philippe married Anne-Marie JUNGERS, daughter of Pierre JUNGERS and Gertrude CUIR, on 10 October 1834 in Pétange. Anne-Marie was born on 23 April 1791 in Belvaux, Commune de Sanem. She died on 13 April 1874 in Rodange. Their marriage lasted only a little more than five years ending with the death of Philippe. They had no children.
ix. Jacques FOURNELLE was born on 26 September 1797 in Rodange. Jacques worked as day laborer (journalier). He died on 5 July 1870 in Rodange.
Jacques married Catherine PHILIPPART, daughter of Jacques PHILIPPART and Catherine SINGER, on 9 December 1822 in Pétange. Catherine was born on 23 April 1789 in Rodange. She died on 24 December 1856 in Rodange. They were the parents of two sons.
x. André FOURNELLE, my third great-grandfather, was born on 21 August 1799 in Rodange. He died on 2 August 1866 in Rodange.
Note: Marie Catherine PHILIPPART’s aunt Catherine PHILIPPART was the wife of Jacques FOURNELLE.
They raised their children farming
Both of Pierre FOURNELLE’s parents and his paternal grandfather were farmers. Did Pierre own the land he farmed or did he take over the farming job his mother Jeanne NEU held with the Baron of HUART before her death? Pierre was seen as laboureur (plow man) in the baptismal/birth records of nine of his children, as a cultivateur (farmer) when his son André was born in 1799 and as an Ackersmann (tiller of the soil) when he died in 1816. André, the youngest of the FOURNELLE sons, was the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps. André worked as a farmer while his brothers were laborers, stone mason, and stone cutter.
Marianne SCHMIT was an informant for the death of her husband Pierre FOURNELLE on 17 October 1816 in Rodange. As mentioned above, Pierre and Marianne’s daughter Marie married Pierre Joseph MONNET on 2 June 1824 in Villers devant Orval in Belgium. Marianne may not have been well enough to attend the marriage. She gave permission for her daughter Marie to marry via a document drawn up by a notary. She died twelve days later on 14 June 1824 in Rodange.
Marianne left eight living children and was the grandmother of 37 grandchildren many of whom were born years after her death.
Week 46 (November 12-18) – Changes. Highlight an ancestor that went through many changes or that you had to change your research strategies to find.
After writing about the German half of my maternal third great-grandparents I am now changing over to the Luxembourgish half which was much easier to research. In this post I left a note about how I had to change research strategies and why I did not make changes to the numbering of the footnotes.
For this week’s set of third great-grandparents I would like to begin with the wife as her family history includes a strange twist and the numbering problem.
Marie Catherine PHILIPPART
My third great-grandmother Marie Catherine PHILIPPART was born on the 19th day of the month of Brumaire in the year 10 of the French Republic, that is to say, on 8 November 1801, in Rodange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, to Catherine MEUNIER (1775-1851) and Michel PHILIPPART (1777-1849). Both of her parents were born in Rodange. They were the parents of 8 children:
Child 2: Marie Catherine (1801-1843) born 8 November 1801.
Child 3: Henri (1802-1813) born 1 Dec 1802 and died 9 Aug 1813.§
Child 4: Anne “Nanete” (1804-1871) born 17 Dec 1804.
Child 5: Jean Pierre (1808- ) born 25 Oct 1808 Possibly § ?
Child 6: Jean Baptiste (1810-1810) born 29 Jan 1810 and died 2 Mar 1810.§
Child 7: Catherine (1812-1817) born 17 Apr 1812[9a] and 20 November 1814.[9b]§
Child 8: Michel (1814-1814) born 2 June 1814[11a] and died 15 July 1814.[11b]§ § – end of line.
The parents of these children apparently were not legally married as Michel PHILIPPART age 40 and Catherine MEUNIER age 43 were joined in a ceremony on 30 July 1817 in Pétange. Marguerite, Catherine, Anne, and Jean Pierre, their four living children, were mentioned in the marriage record. The marriage took place at 10 o’clock in the morning. The couple must have been there early as Michel witnessed the marriages which took place at 9 and 11 o’clock. The three bridal couples who were married that day were about the same age and had annotations concerning their children. Is it possible they needed legal proof of marriage and the records were missing for the time period they actually married?
Marguerite, Catherine, Anne, and Jean Pierre were the children listed on the marriage record. My ancestress was Marie Catherine who definitely was living in 1817. This led me to believe the daughter Catherine born in 1812 must have died before 1817. I couldn’t find a death record for her and wondered if an error had been made. Then I realized another child’s surname was spelled Flippart instead of Philippart on a death record in 1814. A change in research strategy: I went back to the Tables décennales and found three Flippart children who died in 1814, including young Catherine. Sources had already been numbered and cited when I found the 1814 records. Since I manually add the html codes for the numbering of the citations in my posts I decided to use 9a, 9b, 11a, and 11b instead of changing all of them up to 83. Am I forgiven?
Five years after their marriage the first of Michel and Catherine’s children was getting married. My third great-grandparents, Marie Catherine PHILIPPART and André FOURNELLE, married on 23 April 1823 in Pétange, Canton of Messancy, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Marie Catherine’s sisters married in Pétange in 1826 and 1828 to their first cousins once removed, brothers whose common ancestors with the sisters, their wives, were Jacques PHILIPPART and Elisabeth BURKEL. Anne “Nanete” PHILIPPART married Jean Baptiste PHILIPPART (1798-1828) on 20 September 1826. Marguerite PHILIPPART married Joseph PHILIPPART (1800-1864) on 12 September 1828.
Nanete’s marriage ended in 1828 when her husband died. She never remarried but in 1832 she had a daughter out of wedlock. She and her two children lived with her parents until their deaths.
Jean Pierre PHILIPPART, the only living brother of the three girls, was mentioned when his parents were legally married in 1817. Nothing is known of him after this date. No marriage was found for him in Pétange nor were any census records or a death record found.
Marie Catherine PHILIPPART died 20 July 1843 in Rodange. Both of her parents outlived her. Her father Michel PHILIPPART died 23 Sep 1849, her sister Marguerite Philippart died 31 Dec 1849, and her mother Catherine MEUNIER died 24 May 1851, all in Rodange. Marguerite’s husband/widower Joseph PHILIPPART, who remarried in April 1851, was the informant at the time of the death of his parents-in-law. On both records he was erroneously named as their son instead of son-in-law.
Following these deaths and as no information was found on Jean Pierre, his sister Nanete was the last known living child. She lived to be 66 years old, dying on 24 January 1871 in Rodange.
My third great-grandfather André FOURNELLE (1799-1866) was born on the fourth of the month of Fructidor in the 7th year of the French Republic or the 21 August 1799 in Rodange. He was the youngest child of Pierre FOURNELLE (1748-1816) and Marianne SCHMIT (1763-1824) who married on 1 April 1783 in Rodange where they were born and raised. They were the parents of at least 10 children. A gap in the births of the original 7 children had made me wonder if I was missing some children. After browsing one batch of church records I found I had missed their first born son, a child born less than a month after their marriage and their 6th and 7th child. The years between births for the children now look as they should but there is another batch of church records I have not gone through. They appear to be duplicates made by the priest at the time and may contain information left out or illegible in the first record found.
Child 1: Michael (1783-1784) born 27 April 1783 and died 30 August 1784 in Rodange
Child 2: Jean Baptiste (1784-1864) born 13 November 1784 in Rodange
Child 3: Susanne (1786-1845) born 14 March 1786 in Rodange
Child 4: Pierre (1787-1856) born 5 May 1787 in Rodange
Child 5: Henri (1788-1861) born 12 Nov 1788 in Rodange
Child 6: Jean Baptiste (1791-?) born 8 Nov 1791 in Rodange
Child 7: Marie (1793-1860) born 2 Jan 1793 in Rodange
Child 8: Philippe (1795-1840) born 8 Nov 1795 in Rodange
Child 9: Jacques (1797-1870) born 26 Sep 1797 in Rodange
Child 10: André (1799-1866) born 21 August 1799 in Rodange
Timeline of events in André’s life from the time of his birth to his marriage
27 Dec 1804: His sister Susanne married Jean Pierre LUCAS (1773-1852) in Pétange.
18 Aug 1812: His brother Pierre married Appoline WESTER (1781-1827) in Pétange.
17 Oct 1816: His mother Marianne SCHMIT was the informant for the death of his father Pierre FOURNELLE.
22 Feb 1819: His brother Henri married Anna Catherine FEYEREISEN (1789-1828) in Pétange.
9 Dec 1822: His brother Jacques married Catherine PHILIPPART (1789-1856) in Pétange. 
André and Marie Catherine Marry
My third great-grandparents André FOURNELLE and Marie Catherine PHILIPPART married on 23 April 1823 in Pétange, Canton of Messancy, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
There are discrepancies on the marriage record concerning the dates of birth of both the bride and groom. The marriage record shows André was born on 24 April 1799 in Lamadelaine while his birth record had his birth date as 4 Fructidor year 7 or 21 August 1799 in Rodange (Département des Forêts, Canton de Bascharage). The dates of birth listed on Marie Catherine’s birth records (two were found) are the 17 and 18 brumaire an X which convert to 8 and 9 November 1801 while the marriage record lists 1 June 1802.
[Source of the 2nd birth record: Luxembourg Civil Records, Pétange > Naissances 1796-1803 Naissances, mariages, décès 1803-1805 Naissances 1805-1815 Mariages 1796-1798, 1800-1803, 1805-1815 Décès 1796-1803, 1806-1815 Publications de mariage 1796-1800, 1802-1805, 1807-1808, 1810-1812 > image 53 of 455. 1801 Birth Record (18 brumaire an X). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32022-6975-37?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LZR:n1914806713 : accessed 27 Mar 2013).]
During their first year of marriage there were times to rejoice and times to mourn. Their first child Michel Nicolas was born on 23 January 1824 and died less than three weeks later on 11 February 1824. André’s sister Marie married Pierre Joseph MONNET, a widower, on 2 June 1824 in Villers devant Orval in Belgium. Less than two weeks later his mother Marianne SCHMIT died on 14 June 1824.
The year 1825 saw the birth of André and Marie Catherine’s second child Anne Marie on 29 January 1825 in Rodange. The next day André’s oldest brother Jean Baptiste married Marie Anne HEINRICH (1795-1855) on 30 January 1825 in Differdange, Grand Duché de Luxembourg.
Their third child Suzanne was born on 8 May 1826 in Rodange. Suzanne’s paternal uncle Pierre FOURNELLE married Marie ARENDT (1783-1843) on 5 December 1827 in Pétange.
Philippe, their fourth child, was born on 8 January 1828 in Rodange. The following year his paternal uncle Henri FOURNELLE married Marie Jeanne DOMMANGE (1801-1866) on 25 February 1829 in Pétange.
Marguerite, the fifth child of this family, was born on 20 December 1829. Less than a year later son Philippe died on 20 October 1830. André and Marie Catherine named the next child, a son, after their deceased son. Philippe was born on 14 January 1832.
In 1834 another birth and marriage were celebrated. A daughter, Marguerite “Marie” was born 9 March 1834 in Rodange and her paternal uncle Philippe FOURNELLE married Anne-Marie JUNGERS (1791-1874) 10 October 1834 in Pétange.
The family was now made up of four daughters and a son. But Marie Catherine was not finished bearing children to her husband André. She gave birth to son Jean Pierre on 9 February 1836, a son they named after his father André on 25 August 1838, a daughter Catherine on 4 August 1841, and finally a son Joseph Peter born on 11 July 1843.
The birth of her youngest child most likely contributed to Marie Catherine’s death a little over a week later on 20 July 1843.
After his wife’s death André did an amazing job keeping the family together and raising his children Anne Marie, Suzanne, Marguerite, Philippe, Marguerite “Marie”, Jean Pierre, André, Catherine, and Joseph Peter. They were seen with him on the census on 21 December 1843, 7 December 1846, 31 December 1847, 5 December 1849, and 31 December 1851. By the time the census was taken on 5 December 1852 two of the daughters, Suzanne and the elder Marguerite, had left home, most likely to work.
Anne Marie, also known simply as Anne, was the first to marry. She married Maurice ALZIN (1826-1880) on 27 July 1853 in Pétange. The couple remained in the André FOURNELLE household, very likely as Anne was needed to help her father continue to raise the youngest children. When the census was enumerated on 3 December 1855 all of André’s children had left home except for Anne who remained with her husband Maurice and their children.
During the late 1850s three of André’s children were seen marrying in Pétange. The elder Marguerite married Charles GAGET on 2 February 1856. The younger Marguerite, also known as Marie, married Georges LECLERC on 14 April 1858. On the same day her brother Philippe married Rosalie FROGNET (1834-1892).
André FOURNELLE had in his household his married oldest daughter Anne and her family and his single son Jean Pierre when the census was taken on 2 December 1858.
By 1861 the census was now showing Maurice ALZIN, André’s son-in-law, as the head of household. André was in the ALZIN household on 2 December 1861 and 3 December 1864. In 1864 I nearly missed finding him on the census as he was erroneously given the surname PHILIPPART, his deceased wife’s maiden name.
André FOURNELLE died on 2 August 1866 in Rodange at the age of 67 years. He had been a widow for 23 years and raised his nine children without help from outsiders.
Daughter Suzanne FOURNELLE, who had never married, died on 17 July 1868 in Rodange. Her brother-in-law Maurice ALZIN and her 28 years old brother “Jacques” were the informants on her death record. A comparison of the signatures of “Jacques” and of the only Jacques FOURNELLE of the same age living in Rodange at the time shows the informant was NOT Suzanne’s brother. He was her 2nd cousins 1 time removed. Their common ancestors were Pierre FOURNELLE and Jeanne NEU, Suzanne’s great-grandparents. This would suggest the FOURNELLE descendants living in Rodange at the time were very close.
But then the next year when André’s youngest daughter Catherine married Peter STEFFEN on 9 August 1869 in Pétange no FOURNELLE family members witnessed her marriage record. Her brother Philippe had moved to Mont Saint Martin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, and her brother André was living in Surré in the northern part of Luxembourg. The whereabouts of her brothers Jean Pierre and Joseph Peter and the two married sisters named Marguerite are unknown.
The oldest daughter of this family, the girl I think of as their “little mother,” Anne Marie “Anne” FOURNELLE died on 17 January 1882 in Rodange. The oldest son, Philippe FOURNELLE died 14 December 1882 in Mont Saint Martin, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.
The last known living child of this family was my second great-grandfather André FOURNELLE who died on 21 November 1908 in Echternach and was buried on 24 November 1908.
This 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.
André FOURNELLE, my 2nd great-grandfather, was born at 11 o’clock on the morning of 25 August 1838. The following day his father André FOURNELLE (1799-1866), 40 years old and a farmer, went to the records office of Rodange, Canton of Messancy, Province of Luxembourg, at 8 o’clock in the morning to inform the officials of the birth. Marie Catherine PHILIPPART (1801-1843), 38 years old and without an occupation, was the mother of André.
Odile Lucie SCHLOESSER, my 2nd great-grandmother, was born on 16 February 1840 in Metz, Department Moselle, Region Lorraine, France. She was the daughter of Johann Joseph SCHLOESSER (1807-1841) and Anna Maria CONSBRÜCK (1810-1897). Odile’s father was from Vianden (Luxembourg) and her mother from Echternach (Luxembourg). They may have met while working in Metz as this is where they married in 1835. Following her father’s death Odile moved to Echternach with her mother and sisters to live with their CONSBRÜCK family.
It is not known how André and Odile came to meet. Since Echternach is a border town it is possible André was stationed there for a time as a border guard. From his military accounts book, we know he saved a man’s life on 25 June 1866 from drowning in the Sauer River which is the border between Luxembourg and Germany and passes by Echternach.
When André and Odile married on 28 September 1867 in Echternach the groom was a resident of Surré (Syr or Sarre) a village belonging to the commune of Boulaide, a town in northern Luxembourg. André was 29 years old and his parents were both deceased. Odile was 27 years old and her date and place of birth were listed on the marriage record. Her father’s death in Metz was mentioned; her mother was living, present, and consenting to the marriage. The banns had been read in Boulaide and in Echternach on four consecutive Sundays: the 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd of September. The four witnesses present, Laurent KIESEL, Mathias Gaspard SPOO, Johann HERR, and Peter LANSER, were cousins of the bride. All persons present signed the marriage record.
A little over two months later on 3 December 1867 the census was enumerated in the village of Surré in the commune of Boulaide where André and Odile were living as newlyweds in a house known as Hannes. André signed the census slip in the lower right corner.
On 17 February 1869 André went to the records office of Boulaide to have the birth of his first child recorded. It was 6 in the evening when he met with the mayor Johann Reding to have the birth record filled out. Maria was born only an hour earlier to André’s wife Odile. He must have been anxious to get the formalities taken care of!
On 20 Feb 1871, two years and 3 days later, André was once again meeting with Johann Reding to register the birth of his son Johann Joseph. The child was born at 6 in the morning to Lucie SCHLOESSER in Surré. Lucie being Odile’s second name. André waited a bit longer than he did following the birth of Maria, until 1 in the afternoon, to go to Boulaide.
On 1 December 1871 the entire family was auf Besuch (visiting) in Elsaß (Alsace, France) when the census was enumerated in Surré. André’s wife’s name was incorrectly listed as Louise Schneider by Mr. Thilmani who gave the information. Beside André’s name in the second column he noted as the father of the family group and in Alsace. I have not been able to decipher the word before Elsaß.
In 1875 the family was in Surré. The person who recorded the names used the German spelling. Andreas, Audile, Maria, Joseph FOURNELLE as well as Odile’s sister Anna SCHLOESSER were in the household. In line 4 my great-grandfather Joseph, who was 4 years old, is listed as normally NOT being a member of the household and had been auf Besuch (visiting) for 10 days. I believe the recorder meant for this to be in line 5 for Odile’s sister Anna. She was also listed on the census with her mother in Echternach.
A year and a half later André and Odile’s third child Marie Josephine was born on 29 May 1877 in Winseler, Wiltz, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Both of the parents are listed as 39 years old although Odile was only 37 years old at the time. The birth record helps to place the family in Winseler in 1877. André was still working as a border guard but we do not know when the family made the move to Winseler or how long they stayed there.
Because of André’s occupation the family may have moved around more than I know of. I did not find them on the control lists for the commune of Winseler in 1880. They were not in Winseler or Echternach in 1890. In 1895 and 1900 they were found in Echternach. This leaves a gap of 16 years between 1877-1895 which I haven’t found records for.
In 1895 André was living in Echternach with his wife and their three single children. His wife Odile was now using her middle name Lucie. André was now retired from his job as a border guard.
When Marie Josephine married in 1902 to Aloyse BAUER her brother Johann Joseph and her brother-in-law Émile MONNIER were witnesses. Émile was from Lille, France, and was the husband of the oldest FOURNELLE daughter Marie. Did Marie leave Luxembourg to work in a city in France? Did she meet Émile and marry him in Lille where she raised a family of 4 sons?
André FOURNELLE didn’t sit back and do nothing after his retirement. He had several fruit orchards in Echternach which he cared for after he was pensioned. He entered is prize fruits in the local agricultural exhibition which took place in Echternach on 28 September 1904. André received honorary mentions for his table apples and a second place with a silver medal, for his table pears.
On 21 November 1908 at 11 a.m. André was one of four witnesses at the marriage of his niece Maria-Josephine MAAS and her groom Johann MISCHAUX. That evening at 6 p.m. he died at his home. I wrote about this in The Very Last Signature of André FOURNELLE. My great-grandfather Johann Joseph FOURNELLE and Johann MAAS, father of the bride, were the informants on André’s death record.
Less than three years later André’s widow died at nine in the evening at home in Millenoacht. Her son Johann Joseph FOURNELLE and her nephew-in-law Johann MISCHAUX were the informants on her death. Odile SCHLOESSER was the name seen on her death record. She was seventy-one years old.
The prayer cards printed after her death had the name favored by my 2nd great-grandmother Lucie.
This 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.
March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
My first name is Catherine and I share it with the following 27 ancestors (mostly maternal, only 5 are paternal and marked with an *):
mother, Catherine Josette WILDINGER
great-grandmother, Catherine PÖPPELREITER great-grandmother, Catherine FRANTZ 3rd great-grandmothers, Maria Katharina GROELINGER 3rd great-grandmothers, Catherine SCHRAMEN
3rd great-grandmothers, Marie Catherine PHILIPPART 4th great-grandmother, Maria Catharina SCHUMACHER 4th great-grandmother, Catharina HAMES 4th great-grandmother, Catharina CORNELY 4th great-grandmother, Anne Catherine HENNES 4th great-grandmother, Catherine MEUNIER 5th great-grandmother, Katharina KLEIN 5th great-grandmother, Maria Katharina HUSS 5th great-grandmother, Catherine Barbara NOLL *
5th great-grandmother, Catherine SINGER 5th great-grandmother, Catherine ARENT 5th great-grandmother, Marie-Cathérine HASTERT 6th great-grandmother, Catharina RONES 6th great-grandmother, Catherine PLICKENSTALVER *
7th great-grandmother, Marie Catherine [–?–] HUSS (descended from her twice)
7th great-grandmother, Catherine SETON 7th great-grandmother, Anne-Catherine ECKART 8th great-grandmother, Catharina KUENZ *
8th great-grandmother, Katharina B. [–?–] BLICKENSDOERFER *
8th great-grandmother, Catherine LEPINE 9th great-grandmother, Catherine RATZEN 12th great-grandmother, Katherine (Honeywood) FLEETE *
One of my 15 known (of 16) great-great-great-grandmothers was a PHILIPPART from Rodange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. I have her line documented back through 5 generations in Villers la Chèvre, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, between the 1660s until 1744 and Rodange, Pétange, Luxembourg, from 1744 until her death in 1843 and her parents’ deaths in 1849 and 1851:
Marie Catherine Philippart 1801-1843 (3ggm)
Michel Philippart 1777-1849 (4ggf) md. Catherine Meunier
Jacques Philippart 1749-1824 (5ggf) md. Catherine Singer
Jacques Philippart 1714-aft 1764 (6ggf) md. Elisabeth Burkel
Jean Philippart 1678-1755 (7ggf) md. Jeanne Dorion
I have birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records from France and Luxembourg for the 1600s to 1800s to document these five ancestors.
The PHILIPPART line goes back further with the name changing to PHILIPPART DE FOY and earlier to DE FOY. At this point, I have names and approximate dates for 11 generations back to the 1300s (18ggf) but have not been able to document the information which was found on the website of Dr. Robert L. Philippart. I share with him PHILIPPART, MEUNIER, BURKEL, FOURNELLE, and NEU ancestors (4C1R, 5C2R, and 5C1R). It is not known if Dr. Philippart is the person who researched the earlier generations or if it was done by another researcher. Unfortunately, the genealogy information has been removed from Dr. Philippart’s site http://robertphilippart.eu/accueil.htm.
[To-do list: contact Dr. Philippart to determine the source of his information]
The surnames PHILIPPART DE FOY and DE FOY are Belgian nobility according to the list found on the Europedia website. The giveaway, when looking at surnames, is that families issued from the old nobility typically have a particle, such as de, de la, du or le in French. The PHILIPPART DE FOY and DE FOY lines are at the bottom of the nobility totem pole being esquires and preceded by knights, barons, viscounts, marquises, princes, and dukes. Does this mean that I can trace my ancestry, like other families of nobility, back to Charlemagne (742-814), and by doing so also to Clovis (466-511) and older Merovingian kings?
[Europedia, online http://www.eupedia.com/belgium/belgian_nobility.shtml#Esquire]
“The idea that virtually anyone with a European ancestor descends from English royalty seems bizarre, but it accords perfectly with some recent research done by Joseph Chang, a statistician at Yale University. The mathematics of our ancestry is exceedingly complex, because the number of our ancestors increases exponentially, not linearly. These numbers are manageable in the first few generations—two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents—but they quickly spiral out of control. Go back forty generations, or about a thousand years, and each of us theoretically has more than a trillion direct ancestors—a figure that far exceeds the total number of human beings who have ever lived.”
~ Steve Olson, “The Royal We”, Atlantic Magazine published May 2002, online http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/05/the-royal-we/302497/ : accessed 9 Dec 2013.
“You can ask whether everyone in the Western world is descended from Charlemagne, and the answer is yes, we’re all descended from Charlemagne. But can you prove it? That’s the game of genealogy.” ~ Mark Humphrys, a computer scientist at Dublin City University