Susanne KIEFFER was born on 25 March 1754 in Mamer to Nicolaus KEIFFER (1734-1796) and Susanna SCHILTZ (1737-1807). Earlier variations of the KEIFFER surname were KIEFER and KÜFFER. Susanne was the oldest of eight known children. The only reference available online is an alphabetical family group register of births/baptisms and marriages for the town of Mamer. Actual parish records for baptisms, marriages, and burials in Mamer are only available on FamilySearch for the years 1779-1793.
Susanne was my fourth great-grandmother. She married Michel KOLBACH on 17 February 1783. Michel was born about 1748 in Kehlen to Francisci KOLBACH and Maria KAYSER. His parents were deceased at the time of his marriage. Michel and his parents were not my ancestors.
Susanne and Michel were the parents of five children.
Margaretha born on 4 January 1784
Michel born on 31 March 1785
Catherine born on 29 November 1786
Peter born on 9 January 1789
Anna Maria born on 14 May 1791
These children are documented as they were born during the period in which actual parish records are available on FamilySearch for baptisms, marriages, and burials during the years 1779-1793.
Following the birth of Susanne and Michel’s fourth child, her sister Elisabeth married Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY (1743-1803) on 11 May 1789. Elisabeth was the only known sibling of Susanne to also marry.
When their youngest child had just turned two years old, Susanne was widowed when Michel KOLBACH died on 30 May 1793. He had been a linen weaver or linitextor and was about 45 years old.
A little over seven months later Susanne remarried. On 7 January 1794, she married Paulus FRANTZ. Paulus was the son of Nicolaus FRANTZ and Angela BARTEL of Senningen.
No marriage record has been found for Susanne and Paulus. Their marriage is recorded on a marriage index card. The information on the card points to Paulus being from Bergem in the parish of Schifflingen. Per the 1843 census, Paulus was born on 10 August 1763 in Senningen. On the 1846 census, the day and month were the same but the year was 1764. The place of birth on the 1846 census was blank. Although their names are known, his parents and siblings are at this time a brick wall.
Paulus was my fourth great-grandfather. When he married Susanne he took on a family of five children between the ages of 3 and 10 years. Like Susanne’s first husband Michel, Paulus was a linen weaver.
Susanne was soon expecting twins. Nicolas and Johannes were born on 21 November 1794. As no birth records are available for the twins it is not known who was the oldest. Nicolas or my third great-grandfather Johannes.
When the twins were seventeen months old their grandfather, Susanne’s father, Nicolaus KEIFFER died on 1 May 1796.
Susanne gave birth to another son on 10 January 1797. He was named Henri. Less than two months later Susanne’s youngest daughter from her first marriage, Anna Maria, died at the age of five years on 6 March 1797. The family may have been battling some kind of disease or the baby was not strong enough to survive as little Henri died on 6 June 1797 at the age of five months.
The children grew and by 1802 the Susanne’s oldest daughter was courting and the results were soon to be seen. Margaretha was 17 years old when she married Leonardus RÖELINGER on 18 November 1802. Three and a half months later, on 9 March 1803, she gave birth to a boy she named after her father Michel.
Susanne’s brother-in-law Nicolas CHRISTOPHORY died on 16 December 1803. His widow Elisabeth was 46 years old when she married Theodore HELLESCH on 7 May 1806. It was on this marriage record that the 1796 date of death for Nicolaus KIEFFER, the bride’s father, was found.
Susanne’s mother Susanna SCHILTZ died on 4 August 1807. Her son-in-law Paulus FRANTZ was the informant on her death record. A little over a year later, on 9 October 1808, he was once again at the city hall reporting a death. This time it was his wife Susanne KIEFFER who died at the age of 54 years. She left 4 KOLBACH children and the FRANTZ twins.
My 4th great-grandfather was now alone to care for his 13-year-old twin boys and three unmarried step-children who were in their twenties. Only his step-daughter Marguerite was married with two little boys but likely also living in the household as was her right as the oldest.
Five years after the death of Susanne her daughter Catherine KOLBACH married Jacques HENTGES in Mondercange on 29 December 1813. This marriage was only found in the last few days.
Her brothers Michel and Peter KOLBACH would add some very interesting branches to my family tree.
Michel KOLBACH married Susanne HAMES (1786-1855) on 11 January 1815 in Mamer. Susanne was the sister of my 4th great-grandmother Catherine HAMES (1789-1864), my direct matrilineal line.
Petrus KOLBACH married Susanna FRISCH on 14 January 1818 in Mamer. Susanna FRISCH, daughter of Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. Jacob and Regina are also my fourth great-grandparents.
Confused? I hope this will help.
Less than three weeks later Nicolas FRANTZ, one of the twins, married Anna KÜNSCH (1795-1875) on 3 February 1818 in Mamer.
It would be another nine years before the other twin, my fourth great-grandfather, would marry Elisabeta FRISCH (1800-1880), daughter of the above mentioned Jacob FRISCH and Regina HUBERTY. They were married on 18 January 1827 in Holzem.
All of Paulus FRANTZ’s children, biological and step, were now married. I believe Paulus was living in the home he had shared with his wife Susanne with her oldest daughter Margaretha and her family. This is supported by the census taken in 1843 and 1846. But before the census was enumerated there were several deaths in the family.
Petrus KOLBACH, a father of three sons, died on 23 April 1837 in Mamer at the age of 48. His widow Susan FRISCH would live to the age of 93 dying on 20 October 1885.
The oldest of the bunch, Margaretha KOLBACH had given birth to ten children. She died on 16 December 1838 in Mamer. She left a widower and six children. During the years the family had changed the spelling of RÖELINGER to RELINGER and finally REDLINGER, the version seen when Margaretha’s widower Leonardus die on 20 March 1843.
In 1843 when the census was taken, Paulus FRANTZ was the head of a household in Mamer. Living with him was his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER, his wife Susana WAGNER and their four children. Both of Peter’s parents were deceased and he was likely the oldest of the REDLINGER children. The family home may have been passed on to him. In 1846 Peter REDLINGER was the head of household and Paulus FRANTZ, as well as three of Peter’s single brothers, was living with the family.
Paulus died at 8 in the morning on 27 July 1847 in Mamer at the age of 83. His death was reported by his step-grandson Peter REDLINGER.
Michel KOLBACH died on 18 April 1855 in Mamer at the age of 70. He had fathered six children, two of whom died at a young age. His widow Susanna HAMES died exactly a month later on 18 May 1855 at the age of 68.
The only living KOLBACH child, Catherine died on 30 October 1869 in Bergem. Until a few days ago I thought she may have died as a child. However, after finding her marriage record, I learned she was the mother of at least six children. Her husband Jacques died on the oldest son’s 15th birthday in 1830 leaving her widowed with children between the ages of 2 and 15.
Susanne KIEFFER’s KOLBACH children were now all deceased. Her twins, the sons she bore Paulus FRANTZ, lived into their eighties. Nicolas FRANTZ, father of seven children (at least two died young), died on 8 August 1879 at the age of 84 and my fourth great-grandfather Johannes FRANTZ, father of five children (one died young) died on 24 January 1880 at the age of 85.
One final note of interest and the reason for the peculiar title for this article. My 4th great-grandparents Paulus FRANTZ and Susanne KIEFFER were the 2nd great-grandparents of the famous Nicolas “Nic” FRANTZ, winner of the 1927 and 1928 Tour de France. He was not the first Luxembourger to win the Tour but he was the only one to win it twice and twice in a row.
P.S. Things are always busy this time of the year and I have not had the time to include the sources at the end of my last few articles. I relied on being able to point my readers to my online GEDCOM file, however, Rootsweb is currently unavailable and it is not known how long the downtime will last. Three more sets of 4th great-grandparents to go and then I will come back and add the sources later in January 2018.
Today is Luxembourg National Day (Celebration publique de l’anniversaire du souverain). Grand Duchess Charlotte who ruled Luxembourg from 1919-1964 was born on 23 January 1896. The day was made a national holiday in 1941. The date of June 23 was set in 1961 by Ducal decree so that the weather would be nicer for celebrations.
During World War II on the evening of January 23 my grandmother’s neighbors met in her house to celebrate the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte. The windows were covered so that no light could be seen from the street but the German patrol could hear the celebrating. They knocked on the door and asked what was going on. Bomi, as we called my grandmother, told them they were celebrating her birthday. It’s a good thing they didn’t check her identification as her birthday was not until June 17. She asked the Germans to join them in a glass of wine. She would laugh when she told us how the Germans raised their glasses to the birthday girl, not knowing that they were toasting the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this with you since I’ve been blogging about my children’s fifth great-grandparents, who mostly came from Luxembourg, on Fridays under the theme of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. And, here is today’s post.
Antonia, Please Tell Me, Are You a STEFFEN or a GROEBER?
Antonia, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, is a bit of an enigma. I don’t know if I should list her as Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER in the family tree.
Antonia, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, is a bit of an enigma. I don’t know if I should list her as Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER in the family tree.
I haven’t found a birth or baptismal record for her. She was born in a time period and place where the church records are lacking. The likely substitute would be a marriage record. Yes! Antonia left more than one marriage record which, instead of simplifying matters, only added a complication.
A marriage took place in 1815
On 7 December 1814 Peter BERNARD, son of the deceased Jacob BERNARD (1764-1804) and his widow Johanna CAPPUS, and Antonia STEFFEN, daughter of Christina STEFFEN, made their intentions to marry public. The marriage banns were to be announced at the door of the town hall in Hoscheid on two Sundays, the 18th and 25th of December 1814.
The publication was the first entry in the 1815 register, likely filled out after the fact and perhaps at the time they married. Taken out of context, it looks like the publication of the marriage was filled out and signed on 7 December 1815 instead of 1814.
Peter and Antonia met with Jacob KOENIG at the Hoscheid town hall on 2 January 1815 at 10 o’clock in the morning. The record produced at the time is the first mentioning Antonia’s date of birth. She appears to have been born on 8 March 1790 in Hoscheid to Christina STEFFEN. No father is mentioned. Antonia has the same surname as her mother which could mean she was an illegitimate child. Four witnesses were present for the marriage. One was Franz DUMONG, a twenty-year-old young man whose name would continue to be seen throughout this family’s story.
Another marriage took place in 1823
Let’s look at the second marriage of Antonia. Two days before Christmas of 1822 Johan KAUFMAN and Antonia GROEBER made their intentions to marry known. Their banns were read on the 15th and 22nd of December. In this document, I found a new word, Wittib, which means widow. Antonia, the widow of the deceased Peter BERNARD, was the daughter of the widow Christina GROEBER.
How can I be sure this Antonia GROEBER is the same person as Antonia STEFFEN? Hopefully, the pieces will fall into place once all of her records are analyzed.
Johan and Antonia met at the Hoscheid town hall on 7 January 1823 at 9 o’clock in the morning before Frans AUGUSTIN. This record has the same date and place of birth for Antonia as seen in her previous marriage record — 8 March 1790 in Hoscheid (see box next to first arrow above). The difference from her first marriage record in 1815 is that she is listed as the daughter of the deceased Valentin GROEBER and his widow Christina STEFFEN. This explains why Christina was seen as Christina GROEBER on the 1822 marriage publication. Witnesses of the marriage were two men with the BERNARD surname and Franz DUMONG.
Antonia died in 1843
Antonia produced one more record which infers her parentage. Her 1843 death record. On 11 March 1843 Nicolas GROEBER and Franz DUMONG were the informants for the death of Antonia STEFFEN. Her parents are not listed on this record. She died on 9 March 1843, the day after her birthday, at the age of 53 years. By now the name of the second informant, Franz DUMONG, is familiar. More important here is the relationship of the informants to Antonia. Nicolas GROEBER was 43 years old, from Hoscheid, and the brother of the deceased. His 1830 marriage record confirms his parents were Valentin GROEBER and Christina STEFFEN. Both Antonia and Nicolas were children of Christina STEFFEN, but was Valentin GROEBER the father of both of them?
Nicolas was ten years younger than Antonia and he carried the GROEBER surname and not STEFFEN as he claimed was his sister’s surname. Does this mean Antonia’s mother Christina STEFFEN married after Antonia’s birth in 1790 and before Nicolas’ birth abt. 1800?
GROEBER and STEFFEN surnames
I looked into the GROEBER-STEFFEN marriage. I did not find the actual record. It is very likely hidden away in the parish of Brandenbourg as I found a marriage index card citing the marriage.
The card gives the names of the groom (époux) and bride (épouse) as well as their parents’ names with alternate spellings than were found in later records. The marriage took place on 29 January 1794 in Hoscheid. Missing on the card, at the bottom, are the volume number and page in the Brandenbourg parish register where the record would be located. The date of marriage converts to the 10 pluviôse in the year II of the French Republican calendar. I may be looking in the wrong place for the marriage record as these index cards are known to have been filled out using information found on actual marriage records.
Were Christina STEFFEN and Valentin GREVES (or GROEBER as the name was seen later) a couple when Antonia was born in 1790? Very often in civil records in Luxembourg children born to a couple before their marriage are mentioned in the marriage record to make them legitimate. I have not seen this in church records. Valentin GROEBER died on 1 March 1806, a week before Antonia turned 16 years old. His wife Christina STEFFEN reported the death.
Antonia’s first marriage and children
What other records can be found with Antonia’s full name? Did she have children whose birth or marriage records would include her name?
Following her first marriage to Peter BERNARD in January of 1815 the couple had a daughter Margaretha born on 2 November 1815 in Hoscheid. The birth record shows the mother of the child was Anthonia STEFFEN. The same name was listed at the time of the next child Marie Cathérine’s birth on 12 September 1817.
Who was Peter BERNARD and when did the marriage end?
Antonia’s first husband Peter BERNARD was born on 11 March 1790 in Holzthum. He was the second of seven known children born to Jeanne CAPPUS (1763-1833) and Jacob BERNARD (1764-1804) in Buckelsbei Hosingen, Bockholtz near Hosingen in the canton of Clervaux (and not Bockholtz near Goesdorf in the canton of Wiltz).
Peter died on 4 June 1820 in Hoscheid in a house called Christen. Jacob KOENIG who officiated at the marriage of Peter and Antonia only five years earlier was one of the informants on the death record and he gave the widow’s name as Antonia STEFFEN.
Antonia’s second marriage and children
Following Peter’s death, Antonia married Jean KAUFMAN on 7 January 1823. An interesting discovery was made when analyzing this marriage record (see image of 1823 Marriage Record above). Antonia’s brothers-in-law from her first marriage, Michel BERNARD and Nicolas BERNARD were two of the four witnesses at the marriage. This would suggest there was a close bond with the BERNARD family who did not live in Hoscheid but in Holzthum. Franz DUMONG was another witness.
Antonia’s second husband Jean KAUFMAN was ten months younger than her having been born on 1 January 1791 in Pettingen (Mersch) to Théodore KAUFMAN and Marguerite SCHILTZ.
Ten months to the day they married Antonia gave birth to twins, Anna Maria and Elisabetha, at four in the morning on 7 November 1823 in Hoscheid. The father Jean went to the town hall the same day, at five in the evening, to report the births. The twins shared a birth record. Their mother was listed as Antonia GROEBER – the same name found on her second marriage record.
Antonia’s first mother-in-law Johanna CAPPUS (1763-1833), paternal grandmother of Margaretha and Marie Cathérine, died on 21 January 1833 in Holzthum.
Jean and Antonia spent 16 years together raising their twin daughters and Antonia’s two daughters from her first marriage.
Three deaths in the family
On 6 June 1839 at eight in the evening Jean died in the house called Christen in Hoscheid. This was the same house where Antonia’s first husband Peter had died. Franz DUMONG and Mathias THIEVES were the informants for Jean’s death. They gave his widow’s name as Antonia STEFFEN. Finally, there is a record showing a relationship to Franz DUMONG. Both of the men listed as informants on this record were neighbors of the family who lived in the house called Christen in Hoscheid.
Later in the year, on 7 November 1839, the day the KAUFMAN twins would celebrate their 16th birthday, their maternal grandmother Christina STEFFEN’s died in the house called Christen. I wonder if she owned the house and this was the reason it was called Christen. Her son Nicolas GROEBER went to the town hall at one in the afternoon to declare the death took place the same day at seven in the morning.
Antonia was now alone with her four daughters: Margaretha (24), Marie Cathérine (22), and the twins Anna Maria (16) and Elisabetha (16). Four years later her brother Nicolas and her neighbor Franz reported her death on 9 March 1843.
What happened to her daughters?
Antonia and Peter’s first child, Margaretha BERNARD was my children’s 4th great-grandmother. She married two months after her mother’s death. On 30 May 1843, Margaretha married Anton WECKERING (1781-1857) in Bourscheid. Anton was 61 years old and had been widowed in 1841. Their marriage record lists the bride’s parents as Peter BERNARD and Antonette STEFFEN. Their story can be read in this post: Antoine WECKERING Becomes Father of his 13th Child at Age 72!.
Margaretha’s sister Marie Cathérine BERNARD and her half-sisters, the twins Anna Maria KAUFMAN and Elisabetha KAUFMAN lived together and worked as day laborers in 1843 when the census was taken in Hoscheid.
Marie Cathérine BERNARD married Pierre ROMMES on 12 February 1846 in Hoscheid. Her parents were listed as Peter BERNARD and Antonette STEFFEN.
Anna Maria KAUFMAN married Johann DUMONG (1824-1892) on 12 July 1849 in Hoscheid. Johann’s father Franz DUMONG, who played a large part in the lives of Antonia and her family, died the previous year. He had been their neighbor as well as an informant and witness to many major events which took place from the time he was old enough to sign until his death. The DUMONG-KAUFMAN marriage record listed Jean KAUFMAN and Antoinette STEFFEN as the bride’s parents. Ten months later, like her mother Antonia, Anna Maria gave birth to twin daughters who shared a birth record. They were not her only children.
Anna Maria KAUFMAN died on 26 April 1865 in Merscheid. Her death record lists her parents as Johann KAUFMAN and Antoinette STEFFEN.
The oldest daughter, Margaretha BERNARD died on 15 April 1878 in the Central Hospiz in Ettelbruck. Only the name of her deceased husband, Antoine WECKERING was noted on her death record.
Marie Cathérine BERNARD died on 17 January 1880 in Hoscheid. Her parents were not mentioned on her death record, only her deceased husband Peter ROMMES.
Anna Maria’s twin, Elisabetha KAUFMAN, never married and worked as a seamstress. After the death of her twin, she took in Catharina DUMONG, one of her sister’s twin daughters. They were found together on the census in 1867, 1871 and 1875. Elisabetha died on 11 April 1880 in Hoscheid. Her death was reported by her niece’s husband, Jean WECKERING. He gave her parents’ names as Johann KAUFMAN and Anna GRÖBER. He was a nephew of Antoine WECKERING who married Margaretha BERNARD.
Antonia STEFFEN or Antonia GROEBER?
After looking at all of these records I’ve come to this conclusion. Antonia STEFFEN was her maiden name and Antonia GROEBER will be added as an alternate name. Antonia’s father may have been Valentin GROEBER or he may have been a man whose name will remain a mystery.