The lecture was organized by my local genealogy association luxracines.lu. Prof. Dr. Peter GILLES explained in his lecture the procedure and results of several years of research. The project was supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) from 2009-2012 at the University of Luxembourg. The 2600 most frequent family names were published in Luxemburger Familiennamenbuch by Cristian Kollmann, Peter Gilles and Claire Muller in 2016. I have a copy of the book and mentioned it in my post How a Surname Had Me Spiraling Down a Rabbit Hole.
The PREISEN surname is unusual and, with the evolution of surnames on my mind, I wanted to add an unexpected end to this family’s story.
When Thomas, the father of this family, was baptized in 1753 his surname was spelled PREISER. When he married in 1779, the record showed the spelling PREUSEN. When his children were born between 1779 and 1799, PREISEN and PREUSEN were seen on the baptismal records. When Thomas died in 1801, PREUSEN was the spelling used by all of his children. By 1880, the descendants had gone back to using the PREISEN spelling.
The three sons of Thomas and Anna Maria who married, each had 8 to 9 children but only one son each. Peter and Joseph’s sons both lived to the age of 80 but never married.
Anton’s son had a son who had a son who had a son…
Anton was the only son of Thomas and Anna Maria who continued the male line, the line which kept the surname alive. Anton had a son:
Philippe (1822-1883) who had a son
Michel (1852-1945) who had a son
Michel Philippe (1889-1975) who had a son
Jean Pierre Christophe (1915-1944), known as Jempy to the family and friends.
There were no other male descendants other than Anton’s son, grandson, great-grandson, and great-great-grandson. Jempy was the last male PREISEN in the line.
Jempy died at the age of 28 years as the result of an accident. What terrible “accident” took his life?
Diekirch – Jempy Preisen † . The city of Diekirch has endured four years the Nazi tyranny and oppression with a strong heart and unflinching will. No wonder the day of our deliverance, September 11th, was a day of joy, enthusiasm, and rejoicing. Unfortunately, the victorious goddess demanded a sacrificial prize in the person of the 28-year-old Jempy PREISEN from Diekirch. This member of the Luxemburgish Freedom Organization was shot by a cowardly national traitor during the cleansing of our city. Jempy was always a noble friend to us all, animated by an ardent patriotism; it was rightly said of him: How tall stand today the women and men who did so much for our homeland — who like those from other large countries, put their lives on the line. The general interest of the town and the surrounding region of Diekirch may be a quiet consolation for the respectable PREISEN-THILLEN family, who have now sacrificed their only son and heir for the homeland. Jempy Preisen has entered into the long series of heroes who have sacrificed their lives for the liberty of Luxembourg; his memory will always be honored.
The underlined part is the translation of the quote used at the beginning of this post.
In 1880 the Luxembourg census had 9 persons enumerated with the surname PREISEN, a name no longer found in the telephone book in 2009. The last living male person to carry the surname PREISEN, Jempy’s father, died in 1975, nearly 200 hundred years after Thomas and Anna Maria started their family.
The Story is Not All Sadness
For those of you who have read the first part of this story, Thomas and Anna Maria’s story is not all sadness. Marie’s children lived short lives and Elizabeth had two stillborn daughters, but the other five children each had between seven and a dozen children. There were some who did not live to adulthood and others who chose to not marry, but the rest married and continued their lines although not with the PREISEN name.
One of these was my children’s 4th great-grandmother Margaretha PREISEN.
Her line went full circle when her granddaughter Elise FABER married François MEDER (half 3rd cousins) and had eleven children. In yesterday’s post I mentioned this unusual discovery which may have been a bit hard to follow. Amy Cohen of Brotman: A Family Journey suggested doing a chart (above, click to enlarge) to help “decipher your sentence about the sixth great-grandparents…” Does this make it easier?
I made an unusual discover while researching this family group. To weave it into their story, and hopefully make reading the post a bit easier, I wrote this differently.
Thomas PREISER was born and baptized on 23 September 1753 in Diekirch. His godparents were Thomas PREISER, likely his paternal grandfather, and Apolonia HOCHDÖRFFERS, a single person, of Diekirch. Thomas was the son of Joannis PREISER and Anna Maria FETH. He was their first child and only son.
Three and a half years later his sister Margaretha was born. She, however, was not his only sister. His mother Anna Maria had been previously married to Nicolai SCHEID (SCHOOD) with whom she had four daughters. I will write about them when I get to the next generation.
Thomas PREISER married Anna Maria SCHRANTZ, daughter of Petrus SCHRANTZ and Anne Marie HAMEN, on 15 February 1779 in Diekirch. Both the bride and groom signed their names on the marriage record.
Anna Maria was born and baptized on 3 January 1754 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Nicolaus SCHRANTZ and Anna Maria PROMMENSCHENCKEL.
Thomas, a farmer, and Anna Maria were the parents of ten children. Their first child, a son, as was the tradition of the time, had his paternal grandfather Thomas as his godfather and his maternal grandmother Anna Maria as his godmother.
The family grew over the years and in 1790, after 11 years of marriage, they had six children, two sons and four daughters, all living. But 1790, which brought the birth of their second son Anton, also saw the death of their youngest daughter Magdalena who was not quite four years old.
A daughter and a son were born in 1792 and 1794 bringing the total number of living children to seven. Then in 1795 their oldest child Joannes died at the age of 15. Two more sons were born to the couple in 1797 and 1799.
By the turn of the century Thomas and Anna Maria had 8 living children, 4 sons and 4 daughters. A year later, on 4 January 1801, Thomas died leaving Anna Maria with children aged between less than 2 and 19.
Life without Thomas meant his widow would not be sharing the milestones in the lives of their children with him. Anna Maria’s three oldest children married during the 1810s leaving her with four sons and a daughter still at home. In the 1820s daughter Maria gave birth to five children. She died in 1818 and the children all died between 1817-1819. There were, however, also good times in the 1820s with three of Anna Maria’s sons marrying.
By 1830 only daughter Elisabetha and youngest son Nicolas were still single. No record of death or marriage was found in Diekirch for Nicolas. He may have left the town to work or marry in an as yet unknown location.
In 1830 Elisabetha was working as a clothes presser (repasseuse) and gave birth to a stillborn daughter. No father was listed on the death record of the child and the stillbirth was reported by the midwife.
On 13 January 1832 Elisabetha’s brother Anton had the sad duty of being the informant on the death of their mother Anna Maria SCHRANTZ.
Almost a year later Elisabetha married Pierre LEY who was 17 years younger than she was. On the second anniversary of her mother’s death Elisabetha, who was nearly 42, gave birth to another stillborn daughter. Elisabetha and her merchant husband did not have any other children. The marriage may not have been a happy one. In 1856, when Elisabetha and Pierre had been married 23 years they owned in the Diekirch area a house with stable on the Place d’Armes, a barn with stable in the Watresgasse, several pieces of farmland and gardens, and a newly built house at Bleesbruck on the Heerstrasse from Diekirch to Vianden and Echternach.
All of the property was put up for auction on 20 July 1856. Three months later on October 16 Elisabetha filed an application for the separation of property.
Seven months later her husband was dead and she died three months later. Her brother Peter was the informant for her death on 14 August 1857. Their siblings Margaretha (the younger, my children’s 4th great-grandmother), Anton, and Margaretha (the elder) had already died leaving only Peter and his younger brother Joseph. Three years later in 1860 Peter once again acted as the informant for the death of his brother Joseph. Peter, the last living child of Thomas and Anna Maria, died two years later in 1862.
The Children of Thomas and Anna Maria
Thomas and Anna Maria had the following children with surnames as found on their baptismal/birth record.
Joannes PREISEN was born/baptized on 1 December 1779 in Diekirch. His godparents were Joannes PREISEN, married, and Anna Maria SCHRANTZ, married, both of Diekirch. He died on 6 June 1795 in Diekirch.
Margaretha PREISEN was born/baptized on 2 November 1781 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Josephus SCHRANTZ, single, and Margaretha PREISEN, single, both of Diekirch. She married Philippe BERINGER (1778-1849) on 26 May 1803 in Diekirch. She died on 10 January 1854 in Diekirch.
Maria PREUSEN was born/baptized on 7 Nov 1783 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Jacobus MERTEN and Maria BIAS, both of Diekirch. She married François MOLITOR (1784-1863) on 9 May 1808 in Diekirch. She died on 26 Mar 1818 in Diekirch.
Margaretha PREISEN was born/baptized on 13 July 1785 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Baptista FETH and Margaretha KESSELER, both of Diekirch. She married Mathias LORENTZ (1775-1822) on 28 November 1809 in Diekirch. She died on 17 November 1843 in Diekirch.
Maria Margaretha “Magdalena” PREISEN was born/baptized on 22 July 1787 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Michael GRASER and Maria Margaretha SCHRANTZ, both of Diekirch. She died on 28 November 1790 in Diekirch. Her name on her death record was Magdalena. Her baptismal record was recorded as Magdalena, then crossed out, and corrected to read Maria Margaretha, the name of her godmother.
Antoine “Anton” PREUSEN was born/baptized on 5 January 1790 in Diekirch. His godparents were Michael Schrantz who substituted for Antonius SCHRANTZ and Barbara JUTTEL, both of Diekirch. He married Marguerite CARMES (1790-1870) on 9 January 1821 in Diekirch. He died on 1 June 1847 in Diekirch. Antoine and his wife had 8 children, only one son lived to marry and carry on the surname.
Elisabetha PREISEN was born/baptized on 25 August 1792 in Diekirch. Her godparents were Maximinus HAMEN and Elisabetha SCHRANTZ, both of Diekirch. She married Pierre LEY (1809-1857) on 10 January 1833 in Diekirch. She died on 14 August 1857 in Diekirch.
Peter PREUSEN was born/baptized on 4 December 1794 in Diekirch. HIS godparents were Peter BUNGERT and Margaretha SCHRANTZ. He married Cathérine LORANG (1797-1866) on 5 March 1823 in Diekirch. He died on 6 July 1862 in Diekirch. Peter and his wife had 9 children, only one son who never married and died at the age of 80.
Joseph PREUSEN was born/baptized on 20 February 1797 in Diekirch. His godparents were Josepho SCHRANZ and Josepha BIAS. He married Susanne KLEIN (1798-1852) on 23 May 1827 in Diekirch. He died on 17 June 1860 in Diekirch. Joseph and his wife had 8 children, only one son who never married and died at the age of 80.
Nicolaus PREUSEN was born on 25 Mar 1799 in Diekirch. It is not known when he died.
As this story was coming together, I attended a lecture on Luxembourgish surnames. The surname of this family is unusual and, with the evolution of surnames on my mind, I wrote an unexpected end to this family’s story. To be continued tomorrow….
Michel LORENTZ and Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) are the 5th great-grandparents of my children through their paternal line. Michel married Catharina on 21 November 1756 in Diekirch., 
The marriage index card for their marriage gives the date and parish but no information on the volume number of the register or the page. This means a bit more page by page searching but I am getting used to searching the church records.
Michael Lorens filius legitimus Mathias
Lorens p.m. in Ingeldorf et Catharina
Stengenfort filia legitima Petri
Stengenfort ex Naschem copulati
sunt 21t 9bris 1756.
The abbreviation p. m. (piae memoriae) after the name of the groom’s father is an indication that he was deceased at the time of his son’s marriage. This abbreviation is not found after the bride’s father’s name. His place of residence is Naschem which is Nagem (Luxembourgish: Nojem). Nagem belonged to the parish of Rédange-sur-Attert. I have not been able to locate a death entry for Petri or a birth record for the bride Catharina in these church records which begin in 1733. Her maiden name was spelled STENGENFORT on the marriage and death record; this was taken into consideration while searching for the baptismal record.
Michael LORENTZ was born on 6 December 1733 in Ingeldorf to Mathias LORENS and his wife Eva. Michel, as his name was later written, was baptized the same day in Ingeldorf; the godparents were Michael LORENTZ and Appollonia FRENTZ from “Nomeren”.
Victor Racine’s Le Petit Latin pour la généalogie au Luxembourg includes tidbits of information on parish records including the following (translated from German to English):
At baptism, a girl always gets the first name of the godmother, a boy that of the godfather. Baptism usually takes place on the day of birth, but at the latest the next morning. Substitutes are allowed for non-local sponsors. Godfather and godmother are very often for the first son of a couple, the paternal grandfather and the maternal grandmother and for the first daughter, the maternal grandfather and the paternal grandmother. In the case of a life-threatening condition, the midwife performs an emergency baptism. The absence of the father, “patre absente” in some cases is irrelevant, since besides the priest and the godfather, no man attends a baptism. Lords and other notables were very popular godparents with their staff and respected families.
Michel LORENTZ appears to be the first child of Mathias and Eva. I found one other child, a son Jean Philipp born in 1737. If I follow the rule for godparents, above, then Appollonia FRENTZ may be a maternal relative if not Michel’s grandmother.
I checked Thomas Webers’ Familienbuch Nommern und Cruchten 1637-1923 and found only one person of this name, a daughter of Nicolas FRENTZ and Gudula BRITZ. Appollonia’s parents were both deceased in 1733. She had a younger sister named Eva who was born 7 February 1698, a month after the death of her father, Nicolas FRENTZ. Mr. Webers does not have marriage information for the daughter Eva most likely because marriages for Nommern are only available for the years 1678-1719, 1751-1765, 1769-1797. The missing years between 1720 and 1750 may be the downfall of the research and evaluation that needs to be performed before I can add FRENTZ as the maiden name of Michel’s mother Eva.
Michel’s father Mathias LORENS died on 21 September 1753 in Ingeldorf. Death records were searched from 1737 to 1773 for a death record for Eva, wife or widow of Mathias LORENS. This search was not fruitful but I was not at the time on the lookout for Eva FRENTZ, her possible maiden name.
Michel’s wife Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) was, as seen in the marriage record, the daughter of Petri STENGENFORT of Nagem. If Michel and Catharina followed the naming pattern, the godparents chosen for their ten children, below, may lead to more information on Catharina’s family.
Eva was born and baptized on 10 December 1757 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Philippus LORENS and Eva LORENS, both of Ingeldorf.
Philippus was born and baptized on 21 December 1760 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Philippus LORENS from Ingeldorf and Anna Catharina STENGENFURT from Nierenhausen (an old form of the village named Nagem).
Maria Elisabetha “Maria” was born and baptized on 27 February 1762 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Petrus HONEN from Kruchten and Maria Elisabetha FRENTZ from Nommern.
Susanna was born and baptized on 22 April 1764 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Nicolaus JUTTEL and Susanna REIGER, both of Diekirch.
Catharina “Catherine” was born and baptized on 14 July 1767 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Petrus MERTEN of Diekirch and Catharina LINKELS of Ingeldorf.
Joannes “Johan” was born and baptized on 18 March 1769 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Joannes CLOSTER of Erpelding and Barbara MOSINGER of Bettendorf.
Eva was born and baptized on 27 April 1771 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Mathias WILLEMS from Mosinger Hof and Eva LINCKELS of Ingeldorf.
Anna Catharina was born and baptized on 13 February 1773 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Jacobus CONRADT of Diekirch and Anna Catharina HENGEN of Cruchten.
Mathias was born and baptized on 27 May 1775 in Ingeldorf. His godparents were Mathias MOSINGER of Bettendorf and Anna Maria PÜTZ of Nagem.
Anna Maria was born and baptized on 28 December 1777 in Ingeldorf. Her godparents were Henniricus MATHAI of Ingeldorf and Anna Maria RIEGER of Diekirch.
The godmother of child #2 Anna Catharina STENGENFURT and of child #9 Anna Maria PÜTZ, both of Nagem, will be researched for the connection to Catharina STENGENFORT. A handwritten genealogy of the families from Nagem written in 1880 by the parish priest Martin BLUM may also provide missing pieces.
Ch 3: Maria Elisabetha “Maria” LORENTZ married Mathias STERES (1753-1826) of Bettendorf, son of Michel STERES and Susanne CARIERS, on 27 January 1778 in Diekirch.
Ch 2: Philippus LORENTZ married Catharina GRASSER (1768-1829), daughter of Georgii GRASSER and Anna Maria DENNEWALT, on 11 January 1785 in Bettendorf. Philippus’ father Michel worked as a ploughman in Ingeldorf at the time of son’s marriage.
Ch 4: Susanna LORENTZ died on 16 October 1789 in Ingeldorf at the age of 25 years. She never married or had children.
The father of this family, Michel LORENTZ died 9 November 1791 in Ingeldorf. He lived long enough to see two children marry and give him seven grandchildren. He was followed by his wife Catharina STENGENFORT (STEINFORT) on 14 April 1793 in Ingeldorf.
Five of Michel and Catharina’s children were still single. Two of their daughters, both named Eva, may have predeceased them. No record has been found for their deaths. After the deaths of the parents, the family timeline continued as follows:
Ch 5: Catharina “Catherine” LORENTZ married Jean MOHNEN (1776-1817) on 30 December 1793 in Diekirch.
Ch 6: Joannes “Johan” LORENTZ married Cathérine ROBERTY (1772-1819) of Warken on 16 July 1797 in Ettelbrück.
Ch 8: Anna Catharina LORENTZ married Simon TIRARD (1780- ) on 12 May 1802 in Ettelbrück. Simon was from Thionville, Meurthe et Moselle, France.
Ch 2: Philippus LORENTZ died 30 April 1803 in Bettendorf. His widow remarried after Philippe’s death to Michel KAYSER on 12 March 1804 in Bettendorf.
Ch 10: Anna Maria LORENTZ married Johann WEIMERSKIRCH (1769-1832) on 18 July 1803 in Weimerskirch. The 1803 record of marriage was likely lost as a new record was written up on 17 June 1826 in Neudorf (Eich). I examined the church records of Weimerskirch; the marriages for the year 1803 are missing. The civil marriage record created on 17 June 1826 includes information about Johann WEIMERSKIRCH’s parents and their deaths; his first marriage; the death of wife in 1803; the marriage to Anna Maria LORENTZ on 18 July 1803 performed by Jos. MATHIEU in Weimerskirch; and the 4 children with their dates of birth born during the marriage to Anna Maria LORENTZ, legitimizing the children. The 1826 marriage record is very difficult to read.
Name:Gangolf “Gangolphe” WILMES Parents: Michaelis WILMES and Barbara JACQUEMIN Spouse:Anne Marguerite SCHOOD Parents of spouse: Nicolai SCHEID (SCHOOD) and Anna Maria FETT Whereabouts: Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather of husband
All records for this family were found in the church and civil records of the town of Diekirch. Births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths mentioned below occurred in Diekirch unless otherwise stated.
Gangolphus WILMES, the son of Michaelis WILMES (1700-1783) and Barbara JACQUEMIN (1705-1751), was born and baptized on 5 April 1739. His godparents were Gangolphus Walbrüll and Margaretha Juttels. The church record shows the surname spelled WILLEMS. He was the middle child of the nine documented children found for his parents.
His mother, Barbara, died on 25 October 1751. On 5 March 1753, a little over sixteen months later, his father married his second wife, Marie THOBES (1727-1792). They were the parents of four documented children.Further research (page by page viewing of the church records) needs to be performed to confirm the number of siblings and half-siblings Gangolf actually had.Anna Margaretha SCHOOD, daughter of Nicolai SCHEID (SCHOOD) and Anna Maria FETT, was born and baptized on 24 November 1741. Her godparents were Joannis Feth, Synodalis (a church counselor) and Anna Margaretha, frate olim (sibling of old) Feth.Anna Margaretha’s surname was seen as Schoodt, Schood, Schod, Schoed, and Schoedt in records found for her and her children. Different spellings of surnames was not unusual during this time period. To avoid confusion I have used the spelling found when her parents married: SCHOOD.When I started to look into the WILMES-SCHOOD couple I did not have Anna Margaretha’s parents, siblings, or her date of birth/baptism. I will share how I found the records in another post. For now, I would like to point out that FETT and FETH are very likely the same family name, only a different spelling. I will be able to confirm or refute this claim after I have done further research on Anna Margaretha’s mother’s FETT family.
Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha – The Marriage
My children’s 5th great-grandparents, Gangolphus WILMES and Anna Margaretha SCHOOD, were married on 29 October 1764. No further information was included in the entry for the marriage in the church record. No parents of the bride and groom, no age for the bride and groom, and no witnesses. Other entries made on the same page, in a different handwriting, have a bit more information on the parents of the bride or groom. It looks like two persons were keeping the records. My children’s ancestors’ marriage was recorded by the one who wrote short entries with little more than the names and date.
Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha – Become Parents
Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha’s first child was born less than two weeks before their first wedding anniversary. Susanna WILMES was born and baptized on 18 October 1765. Her godparents were Joannes Preusen and Susanna Schodt. The godmother was likely her 21 years old aunt Susanna, her mother’s sister.
Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha did not wait long for their second child who was born thirteen months later. Elisabetha was born and baptized on 23 November 1766. Her godparents were Christian Flick and Elisabetha Schoodt. The godmother Elisabetha was likely a sister of the mother of the child, however I cannot say if she was Elisabetha age 27 or Maria Elisabetha age 20. Births of these two ladies have been found but marriages and/or deaths records have not been searched for.The third child of this couple was of my children’s 4th great-grandmother Apolonia WILMES. She was born and baptized on 27 February 1769. Her godparents were Nicolas Theys and Apolonia Scholtes.Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha finally had a son when their fourth child was born. Nicolaus WILMES was born and baptized on 19 February 1772. His godparents were Nicolaus Unden and Maria Barbara Clemang.The fifth child was once again a girl. Anna Margaretha Wilmes was born and baptized on 5 July 1774. Her godparents were Michel Wilmes, a brother of the father, and Anna Margaretha Preuser.On 16 February 1777, two and a half years later, the sixth child Margaretha WILMES was born and baptized. Her godparents were Nicolas Wilmes, a brother of the father, and Margaretha Frison.Four years later another daughter joined the family and was given the same name as the last child. Margaretha WILMES was born and baptized on 7 January 1781. Her godparents were Joes (Joannes) Schumacher of Hollenfels and Margaretha Preuser of Diekirch.The baptismal record of this child is the first record showing a signature for the father “Gangolff Wilmes” as he signed above, on the right side near the bottom. It is 1781 and Gangolphus would soon turn 42.
An Aside Concerning Godparents
As seen above, godparents included both the mother’s and the father’s siblings. What of the other godparents? Preusen and Preuser, names seen for three godparents of the children mentioned above, are likely the same surname. Were they also relatives?
Further research is planned as this is a name which is already in my children’s family tree. Thomas PREISEN (PREUSEN) and Anne Marie SCHRANTZ were the parents of their 4th great-grandmother Margaretha PREUSEN. It will be interesting to see if there is a connection.
The Children’s Mother Dies
Gangolphus’ wife Anna Margaretha died on 12 January 1781, five days after giving birth to Margaretha. Her age was given as 34 although she had turned 39 the previous November. Gangolphus was left with seven children to care for. The youngest was only 5 days old when her mother died and the oldest was 15 years old.The widower waited six weeks to remarry. He married Maria Catharina Colman, daughter of Andreas Colman and Catharina Wevers, on 24 February 1781. The fact that he was the widower of Anna Margaretha SCHOOD is included in the entry. His brother Damian WILMES was one of the witnesses. Once again we see the signature “Gangolff Wilmes” which would suggest that in day to day life he went by Gangolff while the church authorities concerned his name to be Gangolphus.
Further Deaths in the Family
Sadly, the death of Gangolphus’ wife and mother of his children was not the last during the year. His youngest, baby Margaretha died at the age of seven months on 14 August 1781. The death entry includes the name of her deceased mother.
She was followed two weeks later by her sister who was also baptized with the name Margaretha. The death record of the second child has the correct age at death but when she died on 31 August 1781 her name was given as Elisabetha. As with her baby sister, the name of her deceased mother was included in the entry.The five remaining WILMES children lost their paternal grandfather Michaelis WILMES on 21 November 1783 at the age of 80 years.Three years later Gangolphus buried his only son Nicolaus Wilmes who died on 19 April 1786 at the age of fourteen.
Four Remaining Daughters
Of the four remaining daughters, two have not been traced. The oldest Susanna and the youngest Anna Margaretha. It is not known if they married or even died young. They were not found in the index of marriages for Diekirch which could mean they died young, married in another town, or never married.
The first of Gangolphus and Anna Margaretha’s daughters to marry was Apolonia “Apolline” WILMES. She married Johann Nicolas “Jean Nicolas” MEDER (1766-1844) on 13 January 1794.
Apolonia’s older sister Elisabetha married André KOENIG (1769- ) on 20 June 1796.
Apolonia and Elisabetha gave Gangolphus ten grandchildren, three of whom predeceased him.
Gangolphus is Again Widowed
On 31 March 1811 “Gangolffe Wilmes,” a 77 years old day laborer was the informant for the death of his wife, Marguerithe THOLMANG who was 76 at the time of death.This name does not match the name seen for the woman he married in 1781. The marriage record shows her name as Maria Catharina Colman, daughter of Andreas Colman and Catharina Wevers. Was this the same lady he married in 1781 or was he married three times? Hopefully further research will solve this question.Gangolphus WILMES outlived his last wife by fifteen years, long enough to see two of his grandsons marry in 1821 and 1822.His daughter Apolonia, my children’s ancestor, died on 26 November 1824.
Gangolf “Gangolphe” WILMES died on 22 January 1825 at the age of 85, outliving his father by five years. His death was reported by his grandson, Jeangout KOENIG. Jeangout is the French version of the name Gangolf. Gangolphus’ name was given as Jeangout WILLMES and his age as 82 years. According to the death record, he was the widower of Marie TOLLMAN – similar to Marie Catherine Collman seen in 1781 but not a match. Could her maiden name on the marriage record have been transcribed incorrectly and did this influence my interpretation of the handwriting?
At the time of his death, the only known living child of the WILMES-SCHOOD couple was Elisabeth WILMES who died ten years later on 10 December 1835 at the age of 70.
Next week, I will continue with another set of my children’s 5th great-grandparents, the parents of Elisabetha CLOS. The parents of her husband, Théodore REIFFER are at this time unknown and I am not expecting to find the key to a door in his brick wall in the near future.
Week 29 (July 16-22) – Musical:There seems to be a musician in every family. Who is the one in yours? Don’t have a musician? Which ancestor has a lyrical name or reminds you of a song?
How many songs have been written for a lady named Josephine and what is it about this name?
“My Girl Josephine”
“Not Tonight Josephine”
“I’ll Be Right Behind You, Josephine”
“Yes Tonight Josephine”
“Come Josephine in My Flying Machine”
“Goodnight Sweet Josephine”
Before I have you humming or singing one of your favorite Josephine songs, let me tell you about the LORENTZ-PREUSEN family.
The LORENTZ-PREUSEN Family of Diekirch
Mathias LORENTZ was born and baptized on 27 May 1775 in Ingeldorf, Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His parents were Michel LORENTZ (1733-1791) and Cathérine STEINFORT (1733-1793), both of Ingeldorf. His godparents were Mathias MOSINGER of Bettendorf and Anna Maria PÜTZ of Nagem.
Margaretha PREISEN was born and baptized on 13 July 1785 in Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Her parents were Thomas PREISEN (1753-1801) and Anne Marie SCHRANTZ (1754-1832). Her godparents were Joannis Baptista FETH and Margaretha KESSELER, both of Diekirch.
Mathias LORENTZ married Margaretha PREISEN at 8 o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, 28 November 1809 in Diekirch. Only the mother of the bride was present at the wedding as the parents of the groom and the father of the bride were deceased. The marriage was published on the 12th and 19th of the month.
Mathias and Margaretha were the parents of seven children. Unusual for the times, all of their children lived to adulthood. Two daughters died in their 30s while the rest of the children lived to until their late 60s.
Ch 1: Anne Marie LORENTZ (1810-1841) born 24 March 1810.
Ch 2: François LORENTZ (1812-1880) born 14 June 1812.
Ch 3: Maria “Marie” LORENTZ (1814-1851) born 1 April 1814.
Ch 4: Marie Joséphine LORENTZ (1816-1884) born 16 July 1816.
Ch 5: Elisabetha LORENTZ (1819-1884) born 18 January 1819.
Ch 6: Joséphine “Cathérine” LORENTZ (1820-1890) born 14 September 1820.
Ch 7: Philippe LORENTZ (1822-1892) born 12 March 1822.
Mathias LORENTZ died 12 December 1822 in Diekirch at the age of 47. On the death record the informants were listed as Mathias BERINGER, 46 years old farmer in Diekirch and brother-in-law of the deceased, and Anton PREUSEN, 33 years old farmer in Diekirch and brother-in-law of the deceased.
I could not fit Mathias BERINGER in as a brother-in-law. I took a closer look at the document and the signatures and found the first informant signed as Philippe BERINGER and not Mathias. Philippe was a known brother-in-law, husband of Marguerite PREUSSEN, a sister of Mathias’ widow Margaretha PREUSEN. Anton PREUSEN was the brother of Marguerite and Margaretha. Discrepancy solved!
When Mathias died his oldest child Anne Marie was 12 years old and his youngest child Philippe was 9 months old. Mathias had been a day laborer. What did his widow Margaretha do to support her family of seven young children? Did the children remain at home with their mother? Did the older children work as servants to supplement their mother’s income? The pre-1843 census which I need to access at the National Archives of Luxembourg may have the answers to these questions.
Ten years after the death of Mathias LORENTZ his first child Anne Marie LORENTZ married Mathieu KOENIG (1808- ) on 26 December 1832 in Diekirch. She had six children, four boys and two girls. She named her daughters Joséphine and Marie Joséphine. Four days after the birth of her last child, Anne Marie LORENTZ died on 22 February 1841 in Diekirch at the age of 30.
The day before Anne Marie’s youngest child was born her brother François LORENTZ married Marguerite JUNGELS (1815-1848) on 17 February 1841 in Diekirch. Marguerite gave François four children before she died on 26 July 1848.
Five months after François married, his sister Maria “Marie” LORENTZ married Johann “Jean” FABER (1813-1873) on 28 July 1841 in Diekirch. Maria became the mother of two sons and three daughters. She was the second of the LORENTZ children to die on 11 February 1851 in Diekirch at the age of 36.
The FABER-LORENTZ marriage was the last the mother of this family would live to see. Margaretha PREUSEN, died 17 November 1843 in Diekirch at the age of 58. She left 7 children and 7 grandchildren.
Margaretha’s maiden name was spelled PREISEN on her baptismal/birth record and marriage record. When her first three children were born the name was also spelled PREISEN. At the time of the births of her last four children (1816-1822), the death of her husband in 1822, the marriages of her three oldest children (1832 and 1841), and her own death in 1843 her name was seen as PREUSEN. Even though her maiden name was PREISEN for the first 30 years of her life, I prefer PREUSEN as it was more commonly used, especially by her brothers who lived to adulthood.
A little more than a month after Marguerite’s death her now oldest single daughter prepared to marry by publishing her marriage banns on the 24th and 30th of December 1843. Marie Joséphine LORENTZ married Théodore MOHR (1814-1887) on 10 January 1844 in Diekirch. They did not remain in Diekirch, moving to Harlange in the commune of Wiltz. This is where their first child, Maria Joséphine MOHR was born on 3 November 1844. They also had four sons. The family moved to Echternach, the town of Théodore’s birth, in the late 1840s or early 1850s. They remained there until their deaths.
Grandchildren continued to be born and sadly some died. François LORENTZ who had lost his wife in 1848 married Gertrude KINNEN (1827- ) on 14 January 1850 in Diekirch. They were the parents of six boys and a girl named Joséphine, born on 14 August 1852 in Diekirch.
Joséphine “Catherine” LORENTZ was the next of Mathias and Margaretha’s children to marry. She married Vincent MEDERNACH (1823-1866) on 4 March 1852 in Diekirch. They became the parents of 3 boys and 3 girls, including Joséphine born 4 October 1860 in Diekirch.
The baby of the family, Philippe LORENTZ married Catharina POECKER (1824-1866) on 11 January 1854 in Diekirch. She gave him four sons, one named Joseph, and two daughters before she died on 2 April 1866 in Diekirch.
This was during the virulent time of the cholera epidemic in Luxembourg. In Diekirch there were 95 deaths in 1865, 314 in 1866, and 54 in 1867. Philippe did not wait long to find a new bride. He married Elisabeth GETH (1836-1914) on 21 November 1866 in Diekirch. She gave him a son and two daughters.
During the 1880s three of the LORENTZ children died. François, the oldest son, died 15 November 1880 in Fouhren at the age of 68. His sister Elisabeth, the only child to remain single, died 11 June 1884 in Diekirch at age 65. Their sister Marie Joséphine died 23 November 1884 in Echternach at age 68.
Only the two youngest LORENTZ children remained to see the 1890s. The youngest daughter Joséphine “Catherine” died 4 September 1890 and the youngest son Philippe died 17 January 1892, both in Diekirch and at the age of 69.
Musical Theme Connection
Did you notice the red thread of music running through this family’s story? Josephine was a favorite name in the LORENTZ-PREUSEN family. They named two daughters Marie Joséphine and Joséphine. They had five granddaughters named Joséphine KOENIG, Marie Joséphine KOENIG, Maria Joséphine MOHR, Joséphine LORENTZ, Joséphine MEDERNACH, and a grandson named Joseph LORENTZ.
An Aside Turns Up Another Musical Tidbit
In my eagerness to use Josephine for the musical theme I nearly missed this tidbit about the Pfälzer Musikanten returning from their gig in America! What does America have to do with the LORENTZ-PREUSEN family?
While searching the old Luxembourg newspapers for articles on members of the family I learned one of Mathias and Margaretha’s grandchildren emigrated to America in 1886. Their youngest son Philippe’s youngest son from his first marriage, Antoine LORENTZ crossed the Atlantic in 1886 on the Waesland of the Red Star Line. In the 2-3 October 1886 issue of the Luxemburger Wort there was a short article about 125 persons travelling from Luxembourg to Antwerp by train and from Antwerp to America by ship. The names, ages, and destinations of the five Luxembourgers in the group were listed and included Anton LORENTZ from Diekirch, age 22, destination San Francisco, California.
In 1900 “Antone LAURENCE” was boarding with a Miller family in Nightingale Precinct, San Joaquin County, California, and working as a farm laborer. He was an alien and single. Antoine LORENTZ died 8 January 1907 in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, and was buried on 10 January in the Rural Cemetery in Stockton. His death certificate shows he was still single when he died of typhoid fever with a contributory factor being pneumonia.
The last paragraph in the newspaper article (above) contains the interesting information I nearly missed. During the week 95 persons returned from America on a Red Star Line ship and passed through the train station in Luxembourg City. Included in the count were 4 Luxembourgers and 50 Palatine musicians (Pfälzer Musikanten). Imagine the sound of music crossing the Atlantic on the trip home….
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.
Week 15 (April 9-16) – How Do You Spell That?What ancestor do you imagine was frequently asked that? Which ancestor did you have a hard time finding because of an unusual name?
Jean FABER was born on 25 April 1813 in Diekirch, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Two days after the birth of his son, the father Jean FABER, age 25, went to the townhall to register the child born to his wife Marguerithe SCHENTEN. They wanted to name him after his father. The birth record was recorded in French as were the names. The father however signed his name Johann FABER, using the German version of his name.
When “Jean FABER” married the record was in German. Johann FABER married Maria LORENTZ, daughter of Mathias LORENTZ and Margaretha PREUSEN, on 28 July 1841 in Diekirch. Johann was 28 and Maria was 27. Of the four parents of the bridal couple only the father of the groom and the mother of the bride signed the marriage record. The groom’s mother could not write and the bride’s father was deceased. All of the witnesses were relatives of the bride – makes me wonder if the bride’s family was making sure that they went through with the marriage. Three of the witnesses were her uncles and the fourth was a brother-in-law.
As with Jean FABER, his wife Maria’s birth record is in French. Marie LORENTZ was born at 7 in the morning on 1 April 1814 in Diekirch. Her father Mathias LORENTZ only waited until after the mid-day meal to go to the town hall at 3 in the afternoon to register the birth of his daughter born to his wife Marguerithe PREISEN. Mathias LORENTZ was literate as he signed his name on the birth record.
How do you spell that?
Here is where the theme for this week comes into the picture. How was the mother of the bride’s maiden name spelled? PREISEN or PREUSEN? It was interchangeable in the census records. I believe that this is mostly due to the fact that this family lived during a time that house names were often used instead of their surnames. In this case, PREISEN most likely was the house name. I checked the phone book for Luxembourg and both spellings of the name appear to have died out. There are a few people named PRUSEN in Luxembourg but none who spelled their name PREISEN or PREUSEN. It would be interesting to follow all the collateral lines of this family to see if all male lines of the family died out or if they changed the spelling of the name sometime during World War I or II as Preisen is an offensive term for Germans.
The Children of Jean and Maria FABER-LORENTZ
Jean FABER and Maria LORENTZ had the following children.
Johann “Jean” FABER was born on 1 January 1842 in Diekirch. He died on 20 May 1880 in Diekirch. Johann married Marguerite DAHLEM, daughter of Nicolas DAHLEM and Elisabeth BERINGER, on 6 December 1876 in Diekirch. Marguerite was born on 28 January 1848 in Diekirch. She died on 27 April 1922 in Diekirch. They did not have children.
Catharina “Cathérine” FABER was born on 8 January 1844 in Diekirch. She was not with her father in 1864 or 1871 when the census was taken. She was listed on the 1867 census in her father’s household but marked out with the notation that she married in Metz, France. No further trace has been found.
Marguerite FABER was born on 27 April 1848 in Diekirch. No trace of this child after 1871.
Peter “Pierre” FABER was born on 25 July 1850 in Diekirch. He died on 18 March 1851 in Diekirch.
The mother of this family Maria “Marie” LORENTZ died on 11 February 1851 in Diekirch. Jean was left to raise his four living children under the age of 10 on his own. Less than a year after the death of his wife he found a new partner and step-mother for his children.
The Second Marriage of Jean FABER
Jean FABER married Cathérine GIVER, daughter of Conrad GIVER and Cathérine PROBST, on 4 February 1852 in Diekirch. Cathérine was born on 8 October 1823 in Medernach.
They had the following children.
Marie FABER was born on 18 August 1854 in Diekirch. She died on 10 May 1855 in Diekirch.
Pierre FABER was born on 30 January 1857 in Diekirch. He died on 1 February 1858 in Diekirch.
Marie FABER was born on 15 January 1859 in Diekirch. No further trance of this child was found after 1871.
Jean’s second wife Cathérine GIVER died on 19 February 1862 in Diekirch less than two weeks after their 10th wedding anniversary. She gave Jean FABER three children, only the youngest Marie, who was only 3 years old, lived.
Jean, once again widowed, had five children aged 3 to 20 years. His oldest daughter Catharina may have gone to Metz, France, to work soon after her step-mother’s death as she was not in her father’s household in 1864. By 1867 a note was made on the census that she had married in Metz. The Tables Décennales (10-year lists) for Metz is online however marriages are listed in alphabetical order by groom making it tedious to find a bride with such a common name. When I have some spare time I plan to run through the marriages in hopes of at least finding a date of marriage and a name for the groom.
Jean was counted in Diekirch on the Luxembourg census in the following years and households:
29 December 1843 in the Faber-Lorentz household.
5 December 1846 in the Faber-Lorentz household.
31 December 1847 in the Faber-Lorentz household.
3 December 1849 in the Faber-Lorentz household.
31 December 1851 in the household of the widower Jean Faber.
1 December 1864 in the household of the widower Jean Faber.
3 December 1867 in the household of the widower Jean Faber.
1 December 1871 in the widower Jean Faber and Meder-Faber household (two families).
The father of this family Jean FABER, seen as Johann FABER, died on 26 April 1873 in Diekirch.His death was declared by his son Johann FABER who signed Jean FABER. The names of both of his wives are included on the death record.
His son married in 1876, died in 1880 and did not have children. His two youngest daughters, Marguerite and Marie, were single in 1873. They have not been located in the census after 1871, no marriage records or death records were found for them in Diekirch. Could they have followed their oldest sister Catharina to Metz, France?
This leaves only one child of Jean FABER and Marguerite LORENTZ, as far as records have been found to date, who had children to continue this line: his daughter Elise, my husband’s great-grandmother, who married Franz MEDER and had 11 children. Six of these children did not marry or have children. The other five children, all sons, married and continued the line.
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.