52 Ancestors: #9 Trierweiler-Hoffmann Family of Olk, Germany

Genealogy Sketch

Parents: Johann Gerard “Gerardus” TRIERWEILER and Elisabetha KERSCH
Spouse: Catharina HOFFMANN
Parents of spouse: Carl HOFFMANN and Angela ROSPORT
Whereabouts: Olk, Germany and Girst, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 4th great-grandparents

1. Nicolas TRIERWEILER and Catharina HOFFMANN
2. Johann SCHWARTZ
3. Johann SCHWARTZ
4. Catharina “Catherine” “Ketty” “Ged” SCHWARTZ
5. Marcel Mathias MEDER
6. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey


Nicolas TRIERWEILER was born on 6 April 1764[1] in Olk, a small German village located about 5.5 km (3.4 miles) from Rosport in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Nicolas was the son of Johann Gerard “Gerardus” TRIERWEILER and Elisabetha KERSCH. He had a brother and three sisters as well as five half-siblings from his father’s first marriage to Maria Magdalena “Madeleine” GANZ. It is not known at this time when his parents died.

Nicolas was a farmer (Ackerer) in Olk. The area had good arable fields and numerous streams; the wide valleys were well suited for grazing. The name of the village probably originated from the Roman-Celtic word Olca, a term for fertile farmland.

Nicolas married Catharina HOFFMANN, daughter of Carl HOFFMANN and Angela ROSPORT, on 8 March 1791[1] in Welschbillig, to which Olk belonged.

1764 Baptismal Record for Catharina Hoffmann[2]
Catharina was born and baptized on 18 January 1764 in Girst, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[2] Her godparents were Wilhelmus HECKER and Catharina MILBACH of Girst. When I found this baptismal record I was reminded that the information found in the family book compilations are wonderful for finding the families but events and dates have to be checked. The entry in the Family Book for Welschbillig, which includes families for Olk, incorrectly listed her date of birth as 1 August 1764.Catharina’s father died when she was about 16. A death record has not been found. His death has been estimated at before 1780 as this was the year of his widow’s next marriage. Catharina’s mother, Angela ROSPORT married Theodor ADAMS on 26 January 1780 in Rosport.[3] Two years later, Catharina, at the age of 18, became a godmother for her sister Anna Maria’s son Theodor NICOLAI on 20 September 1782 in Girst. Her step-father Theodor ADAMS was the godfather of the child.[4] The record is written in a beautiful handwriting.
1782 Baptismal Record in which Catharina was the godmother and her step-father was the godfather[4]
Nicolas was 26 and Catharina was 27 when they married. Two and a half months after their marriage Catharina gave birth to their first child. On 30 January 1793, three days after the birth of her second child, Catharina’s mother Angela died.[5]Nicolas and Catharina had the following children:

  1. Matthias was born on 23 May 1791 in Olk.[1] He married Anna (Angela) LUDOVICI before 1815. They had 10 children from 1815 to 1837. Matthias died on 4 May 1843 in Olk. His wife Anna died on 7 February 1856 in Olk.[6]
  2. Peter “Petrus” was born on 27 January 1793 in Olk.[1] He worked as a farmer (Landwirt). Peter married Susanna LUCAS, daughter of Bernardi LUCAS and Odiliae HAMM, on 1 March 1824 in Mesenich. He died on 19 November 1835 in Metzdorf. His widow remarried after his death.[7]
  3. Anna was born on 22 July 1794 in Olk.[1] She married Mathias SCHWARTZ, son of Lorentz “Laurentius” SCHWARTZ (1791-1860) and Magdalena HALER, on 17 January 1820 in Osweiler.[8] She died on 21 March 1853 in Osweiler. Anna and Mathias were my children’s ancestors.[9]
  4. Susanna was born on 19 April 1796 in Olk.[1] She married Matthias KIRSTEN (1801-1846) on 19 October 1825 in the parish of Welschbillig. She died on 3 October 1845 in Ruwer.[10]
  5. Klemens-Christoph was born on 1 November 1797 in Olk.[1] Nothing further is known.
  6. Maria Eva was born on 14 September 1800 in Olk.[1] She married Heinrich MERTES (1792-1859) on 10 February 1836 in Ruwer. Heinrich was a widower with four children. Maria Eva died on 1 October 1845 in Ruwer.[11]
  7. Peter was born on 9 April 1805 in Olk.[1] Nothing further is known.

Bride’s section on the 1820 Marriage Record of Anna TRIERWEILER and Mathias SCHWARTZ.[8]
Nicolas died five years after the birth of their last child on 2 November 1810 in Olk at the age of 46 years.[8] His widow Catharina died on 24 February 1815 in Olk at the age of 53 years.[8] Nicolas and Catharina’s dates of death were documented in their daughter Anna’s marriage record.Most of the information on this family was gleaned from the German Family Books. The Catholic church records for Welschbillig are held by the Bistumsarchiv Trier and have been microfilmed. They are not available for loan and access in Europe is limited to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Documenting this family will not be as easy as for families who lived in Luxembourg during the same time period.bestwishescathy1Sources:
[1] Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Peter Welschbillig 1800-1900 mit Möhn, Olk, Träg, Helenenberg, Aspelt, Schwarzkreuz und Windmühle, compiled 1998, page 319, family nr. 1488 from Olk. Trierweiler-Hoffmann family group.
[2] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Baptêmes 1740-1779, 1795-1796, confirmations 1740-1765, mariages 1778-1779, 1795-1796, sépultures 1779-1797 > image 27 of 79. 1764 Baptismal Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-S92L?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZ6%3A1501108227%2C1501108228 : 9 January 2015).
[3] Ibid., Rosport > image 22 of 172. 1780 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-S9ZN?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZV%3A1501108227%2C1501117286 : accessed 27 February 2017).
[4] Ibid., Rosport > Baptêmes 1778-1793, mariages 1778-1793, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 41 of 172. 1782 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WM-S9QK?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZV%3A1501108227%2C1501117286 : accessed 3 March 2017).
[5] Ibid., Rosport > Baptêmes 1778-1793, mariages 1778-1793, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 170 of 172. 1793 Death Record (right page, 4th entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-SKF?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZV%3A1501108227%2C1501117286 : accessed 27 February 2017).
[6] Family Book Welschbillig, page 320, family Nr. 1490 from Olk. Trierweiler-Ludovici family group.
[7] Heinrich Wagner, Familienbuch Mesenich 1705-1899 (Ortschaften Födlich (1705-ca.1800), Grewenich, Mesenich, Metzdorf und Moersdorf (Luxembourg) (1705-1807)), Mersch 1997 (Association Luxembourgeoise de Généalogie et d’Héraldique), page 319, family nr. 1170. Peter Trierweiler and Susanna Lucas family group.
[8] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1800-1815 > image 280 of 385. 1820 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11676-83258-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-JWL:130314401,130827901 : accessed 11 April 2013 and 22 July 2015).
[9] Luxembourg Civil Records, Rosport > Décès 1853-1891 > image 4 of 510. 1853 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11627-96341-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L62:1818144340 : accessed 19 May 2011).
[10] Armin Giebel, compiler, Familienbuch Standesamt Ruwer-Waldrach, (Stand: Sept. 2016), family nr. 8268. Matthias Kirsten and Susanna Trierweiler family group.
[11] Ibid., family nr. 11469. Mertes Heinrich and Trierweiler Maria Eva family group.
© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife

Week 2, King – January 8 is Elvis’ birthday. January 15 is the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Do either of these “Kings” remind you of an ancestor? Or, taken another way, do you have a connection to royalty? Did you ancestor flee from an oppressive king?

Since I hadn’t planned on using the themes I was surprised that once again this one works for my chosen ancestral couple. Mr. and Mrs. MEDER-SCHWARTZ married, worked, and raised their children in Diekirch, a city in north-eastern Luxembourg. According to old sources the town received its name when Charlemagne, King of the Franks, converted the pagan Saxons to Christianity in the late 8th century. A church was built and the settlement was given the name “Diet-Kirch” (people’s church).

The MEDER-SCHWARTZ Family (1888-1974)

MRIN00003 1923-06-15 Jean-Pierre Meder and Catherine Schwartz wedding

1923 Wedding Portrait of Jean-Pierre MEDER and Catherine SCHWARTZ

Jean-Pierre MEDER was born on 20 November 1888 in Diekirch, Luxembourg. He was the youngest of twelve children. His father Franz MEDER was 42 years old and his mother Elisabetha FABER was 43 years old at the time of his birth.

Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-105421-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 297 of 1492.]
Jean-Pierre MEDER was seen on the census (Volkszählungen) of Luxembourg in 1890, 1895, and 1900 with his parents and unmarried siblings. These census listings will be discussed in the Week #5 post for his parents.

Luxembourg, Census Records, 1843-1900
The Luxembourg census which was taken approximately every three to five years for the years 1843 to 1900. The records include all household members, places, names, ages (sometimes a full birth date), professions, genders, and marital statuses. Sometimes they also show nationalities, religions, places of birth, family positions, and information on persons who normally lived in the household but were living outside of Luxembourg.

Screenshot with annotations of the birth record (upper right). [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12165-230679-90?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6R:n2017357688 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Rosport > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 19 of 176.]
Catharina (also known as Catherine) SCHWARTZ was born on 2 February 1892 in Osweiler, a village belonging to the commune of Rosport, in the canton of Echternach in Luxembourg. She was the oldest of twelve children. Her father Johann SCHWARTZ was 26 years old and her mother Margaritha GORGES was 25 years old at the time of her birth.

Catherine, as her name was spelled on census, was with her parents, younger siblings, and her SCHWARTZ grandparents in 1895 and 1900.  These census listings will be discussed in the Week #6 post for her parents.

I have no idea how Catherine came to be living in Diekirch before her marriage. Echternach would have been a much closer town for her to work. Catherine, age 31, and Jean-Pierre, age 34, most likely met in Diekirch where they both lived and worked, Catherine as a midwife and Jean-Pierre as a brewery worker.

On the 7th and the 20th of May 1923 banns were read for their marriage which took place on the 15th of June 1923. The importance of the dates that the banns were read will be seen shortly.

1923 Marriage Record No. 9 [Source: “Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32037-28712-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 01 Apr 2013), Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923 > Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 461 of 661.]
Marriage records in Luxembourg are a treasure of information. The age, occupation, date and place of birth, and residence of the bride and the groom are listed. The names of the parents of the bride and groom are seen along with their occupation, place of residence, age if they are still living, and date and place of death if they are deceased. Four additional witnesses are also named with their age, occupation, residence, and sometimes even the relationship to the bride and groom.

When Catherine and Jean-Pierre married her mother and his father were present and agreeable to the marriage. Catherine’s father and Jean-Pierre’s mother were deceased. Also present were Jean-Pierre’s brother Joseph, Catherine’s brother Johann, and two innkeepers or publicans (Wirt). Joseph GORGES, one of the innkeepers, may have been Catherine’s cousin. This needs to be researched. All persons present signed the marriage record.

Catherine and Jean-Pierre were presented with their personal Family Book. They signed their names in it as “J.P. Meder” and “Ketty Schwartz” and took the book with them the next day when they were married in a religious ceremony in the church.

livret   livret

livretKetty and Jean-Pierre were the parents of two boys, François Jean born 21 February 1924 and Marcel Mathias born 26 September 1926, as seen in their Family Book on the page following the marriage information (left).

As I mentioned last week, I had pointed out to my father-in-law that his brother, who was known to us as “Fritz,” was born 8 months following the marriage. He was born on 21 February 1924 which would mean that he was conceived between 27 May – 4 June 1923. Now for the part that would have interested my father-in-law. The marriage banns were read on the 7th and 20th of May so this was NOT a shotgun wedding arranged due to an unplanned pregnancy. Ketty, being a midwife, most likely knew how to prevent a pregnancy. I believe they truly desired to marry and as they were already 34 and 31 years old did not care to wait to start their family.

Brauerei Diekirch ca. 1916 (Archives de la Ville de Diekirch) [Source: The History of Industry of Luxembourg]
Jean-Pierre MEDER worked for the Diekirch Brewery (above ca. 1916). This drawing was found on The History of Industry of Luxembourg website. For persons researching their families in Luxembourg this is a wonderful resource. Historical timelines of the industries are included as well as many old photographs of places and products.

MRIN00003 1952 Meder-Schwartz mergedJean-Pierre and Ketty’s older son Fritz married Anne GREGORIUS on 8 December 1950. Their younger son Marcel married Maisy KREMER on 6 June 1952. On the 7th of June after the religious ceremony as the bride and groom, their parents and guests left the church each couple was photographed on the steps of the church. Jean-Pierre left the church with the mother of the bride and Ketty left the church with the father of the bride. The photographer remained in the same place and I was able to make a composite photograph (at right) of Marcel’s parents Jean-Pierre and Ketty MEDER-SCHWARTZ. Below is another photograph of them together in 1953 working in their garden.

MRIN00003 1953 Jean-Pierre Meder and Ketty Schwartz in their gardenAs is seen in their Family Book, Jean-Pierre MEDER died on 23 February 1954, two days after his oldest son Fritz turned 30. Fritz’s wife Anne was expecting her first child and Jean-Pierre was never called Bop or Bopa by grandchildren.

Since Catherine was also known as Ketty, I wonder if Jean-Pierre was nicknamed “Jemp” as many men in Luxembourg with this name have that nickname.

After her children were grown, Ketty was referred to by her son Marcel and his family as “Ged” a shortened form of Gedel or godmother in Luxembourgish. Ketty was the godmother of Marcel’s son. Below they are visiting the Château de Colpach located near Ell in western Luxembourg. The castle dates from the beginning of the 14th century when it was a stronghold.

MRIN00003 1958 ca. Ketty Schwartz with Marcel and his family
Ketty with her grandson and daughter-in-law Maisy and with her son Marcel in the insert ca. 1957.

Ketty lived another twenty years and was the grandmother of three grandchildren. In her later years she lived in the rest home in Vianden and died in Ettelbrück on 1 February 1974.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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