My second great-grandmother Marie MAJERUS (1850-1931) is like a knothole in a fence. She was the only child of her parents Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) and Maria TRAUSCH (1820-1875). On one side of the fence, she was the mother of ten children, eight of whom married and continued the line. On the other side of the fence, are her parents, grandparents, and other ancestors. Marie is a mitochondrial ancestress whose direct line goes back to my 6th great-grandmother Anna Catharina RONAS (b. abt. 1710).
When I re-visited my research this week for Marie’s paternal grandparents, Jean Baptiste MAJERUS (1797-1868) and Catharina CORNELY (1794-1871), I realized how much information was hidden behind the fence. She had many aunts and uncles and cousins.
Nearly all of my maternal fourth great-grandparents were born in the 1760s or 1770s. Jean Baptiste and Catharina were much younger being born in the 1790s. In turn, their children were born after civil records became required in Luxembourg. They lived long lives and were found on eleven censuses taken between 1843 and 1867.
Jean Baptiste MAJERUS
Jean Baptiste, son of Jean MAJERUS and Margretha BREGER, was born on 9 Germinal in the year V or 29 March 1797 in the Faubourg de Grund, a suburb located on the banks of the Alzette River in the valley below the center of Luxembourg City. In Luxembourgish, it is known as Gronn.
At the time of his birth, his parents were a legally married couple. The informants who accompanied the father to report the birth were Jean Baptiste BRETER, age 64 years, and Michel BRETER’s wife Anne Catherine GRASBERGER, age 36 years.
A marriage record for the couple has not yet been located. I suspect Jean Baptiste was their first child and the informants who accompanied the father were the child’s maternal grandfather and maternal uncle’s wife.
Jean and Margaretha had two more children born in the Gronn in 1799 and 1801 before moving their family to Strassen where their last known child was born in 1806. Jean MAJERUS was a draper in 1797, a wool spinner or fileur de laine in 1799 and 1801 as well as in 1823 and 1830 when two children married. He was no longer working by 1843 when the census was taken.
Catharina, daughter of Hubert CORNELY and Margaretha EVEN, was born on 24 April 1794 in Wickrange in the commune of Reckange-sur-Mess. She was baptized on 25 June 1794 in Reckange-sur-Mess. It is unusual, for this time period, for a baptism to take place two months after the birth. Normally the rite was performed the same or following day. Other baptismal entries on the same page of the register show delays. The priest may have had more than one parish under his jurisdiction and did not travel on a daily or weekly basis.
Catharina was the second youngest of nine known children. Her parents were married in 1779. When their first child was born on 17 June 1780 they chose a maternal uncle by marriage to be the godfather. Joannes ERPELDING of Kackerterhof, the husband of Catherine EVEN.
Kackerterhof was the ancestral home of my husband’s 5th great-grandparents Caspar ERPELDING (d. 1779) and Gertrudes JEHNEN (1724-1774). Joannes, the godfather mentioned above, was an older brother of my husband’s 4th great-grandfather Nicolas ERPELDING. When I worked on the ERPELDING line I wondered if the EVEN lady who married into the family could be related to my Margaretha EVEN. The marriage records of both EVEN ladies show their parents were Léonard EVEN and Marie IRY, my 6th great-grandparents.
Hubert CORNELY died on 29 August 1816 in Wickrange. Of his nine children, only his oldest son Jean and his two youngest daughters Catharina and Catherine have been researched. It is not known, at this time, if the six children born between 1782 and 1793 survived, married, or had lines which continue.
Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s Marry Young
My fourth great-grandparents, Catharina, 22 years old, and Jean Baptiste, 20 years old, were married on Friday, 25 April 1817. The bride and groom could not write but the father of the groom, Jean MAJERUS signed his name to the marriage record. The record officialized just in the nick of time as a month later their first child Jean, my third great-grandfather, was born on 24 May 1817 in Strassen.
The newlywed father Jean Baptiste complicated things a bit when he reported the birth of his first son. He may have been a bit nervous when he went to the city hall at four in the afternoon. The mother of the child on the birth record was seen as Maria CORNELY instead of Catharina – was it the father’s nervousness or an error made by the clerk? Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s son Jean was born at 11 o’clock in the morning. His father could not read and write and did not sign the record which was witnessed by two other persons who were present.
These were the children born to Catharina and Jean Baptiste:
Ch 1: Jean MAJERUS (1817-1887) born 24 May 1817
Ch 2: Mathias MAJERUS (1819-1895) born 29 Jan 1819
Ch 3: Jean MAJERUS (1821-1880) born 6 Aug 1821
Ch 4: Maria Catharina MAJERUS (1823-1823) born 27 Sep 1823. She died at the age of two months on 6 December 1823.
Ch 5: Jacques MAJERUS (1825-1900) born 12 Apr 1825
Ch 6: Jean Baptiste MAJERUS (1827-1893) born 8 Aug 1827
Ch 7: Marie MAJERUS (1830-?) born 12 May 1830
Ch 8: Peter MAJERUS (1832-1884) born 25 Dec 1832
Ch 9: Nicolas MAJERUS (1835-?) born 27 May 1835
Ch 10: Jean Pierre MAJERUS (1837- ) born 25 Sep 1837
Ch 11: Michel MAJERUS (1840-1906) born 14 Dec 1840
The maternal grandmother of the children, Margaretha EVEN died on 14 September 1839 in Wickrange before the youngest grandchild was born. Her death was reported by her oldest son who lived in the village. Her youngest daughter Catherine had married in 1824 and was raising a small family in Bertrange. Sadly, six of Catherine’s known eight children died infancy, unlike Catharina’s children who were strong and lived to adulthood. All except for one daughter who died at the age of two months.
A little over a half a dozen years later Catharina and Jean Baptiste’s nine sons and a daughter began to marry.
Ch 2: Mathias married Barbara SCHMIT (1819- ) on 6 May 1846 in Strassen.
Ch 1: Jean married Maria TRAUSCH (1820-1875) on 31 May 1849 in Mamer. They were my third great-grandparents and the only couple to not raise a family in Strassen.
Ch 3: Jean married Anna Maria HENGEN (1819-1881) on 24 Apr 1850 in Strassen.
Jean Baptiste’s parents died before the rest of the children married. His mother Margretha BREGER died on 1 April 1851 and his father Jean MAJERUS died on 5 July 1852, both in Strassen where they had lived since 1802. This census listing for 1847 shows they had been living in the commune for 45 years.
This census record, as well as the preceding and following ones, give Jean MAJERUS’s place of birth as France while the last he was seen on indicates he was born in Larochette (Felz). This same place was seen on his death record. Was he born in Boulay-Moselle in France (the only place I could find which sounded like Boulé seen on the 1846 and 1849 census) or in Larochette? Will this lead to his parents?
The children continued to marry:
Ch 7: Marie married Théodore JOST (1834- ) on 6 November 1855 in Strassen.
Ch 5: Jacques married Catharina GOFFINET (1826-1898) on 18 February 1857 in Luxembourg City.
Ch 8: Peter married Madelaine HOFFMANN (1827-1884) on 30 November 1857 in Strassen.
Ch 6: Jean Baptiste married Elisabeth HUBERT (1832- ) on 28 December 1858 in Strassen.
Ch 10: Jean Pierre married Anne KLEIN (1840- ) on 28 May 1862 in Strassen.
In 1865 Michel, the youngest of the children went to America. All of his living siblings [except perhaps Nicolas who has not been traced after the 1855 census] were now married and raising families. Birth records for 40 grandchildren of Jean Baptiste and Catharina were found – all except for one, my Maria MAJERUS, were born in Strassen. During some years there were between three to five MAJERUS grandchildren born within months of each other.
Due to the amount of time it took to look up, download, and correctly cite the birth records, I have not even begun to look for the death records of the spouses and children of the MAJERUS children of Jean Baptiste and Catharina. [Note: RootsWeb WorldConnect where I keep my GEDCOM is supposed to be back online within the next few weeks.]
Jean Baptiste MAJERUS died on 7 July 1868 in Strassen at the age of 71 years. His two youngest sons Peter and Jean Pierre were the informants on his death record.
Michel, the youngest of the bunch who had gone to America in 1865, married Mary MAUS about 1870 in Minnesota. Did he write to his mother, letting her know he was doing well, married, and living in St. Cloud, Stearns County, Minnesota?
Catharina CORNELY was 77 years old when she died on 10 June 1871 in Strassen. Her oldest and youngest sons who lived in Strassen, Jean and Jean Pierre were the informants for her death.
All of Jean Baptiste and Catharina’s children who married had children except for their youngest son Michel. He and his wife raised two of her MAUS nieces. Michel died in 1906 and his widow Mary died in 1923. She was a very religious woman who left bequeaths in her will for masses to be read for the soul of her husband, herself, and other poor souls. She also left bequeaths to a Catholic church, for an orphanage to be built ($5000), to a nephew who was studying for the priesthood, to the children of several of her deceased siblings as well as two godchildren. To her niece Mary A. MAJERUS (a MAUS niece she raised who took the MAJERUS name) she left $10,000, all real estate, and the residue and remainder of all property. Mary A. MAJERUS never married and died in 1960.
Until next week, when I will be writing about the last set of 4th great-grandparents, Michel TRAUSCH and Catharina HAMES of Mamer.
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.
I found a marriage that could match in Clemency, 28/08/1810, but I can’t access Family Search, it’s probably too busy. You could check yourself later.
I didn’t wait until later and was able to pull up the record she believed was the marriage of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER.
In 1810 on the 28th of August at 8 in the morning Pierre SCHMITT age 31 born in Bertrange the 3 April 1779, a domestic living in the commune of Fingig, the of age son of Pierre SCHMITT and Rose CLEMMENT, a married couple living in the commune of Bertrange…. and a young woman Anne Margaretha WEICKER age 25 born in Hagen the 7 September 1785, a servant living in the same commune of Fingig, the of age daughter of Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margaretha HARTMANN, a married couple living in the commune of Hagen… all were present and consenting to the marriage for which banns had been read before the entrance of the Clemency civil office.
The paperwork of the bride and groom was presented according to the legal requirements of the time. The bride and groom were declared husband and wife after affirming this was their choice. Four witnesses were present and signed along with the civil officer, the mayor of Clemency. The bride and groom declared not being able to write. The fathers of the bride and groom signed first as seen above.
Five and a half months later, Peter and Margaretha became the parents of their first child Magdalena, my children’s 4th great-grandmother.
One Record Leads to the Next
The marriage record led to the 1785 baptismal record of Anna WEICKERS [sic, Margaretha was not included on this record], daughter of Nicolai WEICKERS and Anna Margaretha HARTMAN. Why didn’t I notice abt. 1795 could not have been her year of birth? She would have been only 16 when her first child was born.
With the names of the parents, I was able to add three generations to the WEICKER line. I had suspected Nicolas WEICKER and Anne Margarethe HARTMANN were the bride’s parents because….
The godmother of Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s first child Magdalena was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Anna Margaretha HARTMANN was the widow of Peter KÜNSCH when she married Nicolas WEICKER. Was Magdalena KÜNSCH an older half-sister of Margaretha WEICKER? Further research may tell.
With the names of three new couples in the family tree, I will be busy finding the records to document them and may even be able to add more ancestral names.
Special thanks to my friend Linda for taking the time to read my posts, give me advice, and for telling me where to find the marriage record of Peter SCHMIT and Anne Margaretha WEICKER. *Linda has helped me out several times already. A Latin Rule You May Not Have Known was the result of one of her tips.
Happy Family History Month to all. Wishing you lots of keys to open the doors in your brick walls.
Sources:  Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Clemency > Naissances, mariages, décès 1804-1805 Naissances 1805-1890 Mariages 1796-1885 > image 1034 of 1491. 1810 Marriage Record (bottom left, top right). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XHPS-511?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-SP8%3A129628001%2C129815201 : accessed 30 September 2017).  Belgique, Luxembourg, Registres paroissiaux, (images), FamilySearch (original records at België Nationaal Archief, Brussels / Belgium National Archives, Brussels), Paroisse de Sterpenich (Luxembourg) now part of Autelbas, Luxembourg, Belgium > Baptêmes, mariages, sepultures 1779-1793 > Film/DGS 1658890 > Film # 008126375 > Item 8 > image 1106 of 1430. 1785 Baptismal Record (left page, last entry > right page, first entry). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSVK-Y8VF-9?i=1105&cat=203740 : accessed 1 October 2017).
In 1756 two children were born in Bertrange, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, one on September 20th and the other on October 2nd. Their baptismal records are on the same page in the parish register, the second right below the first. The twelve days between no children were born in Bertrange.
A little over twenty years later, on 10 February 1777, the two children were once again seen in the parish register, this time getting married – to each other.
Peter SCHMIT (1756-1816) and Rosa CLEMENS (1756-1815), the children who were baptized in 1756 and the couple who married in 1777, had ten children born between 1778 and 1799. Their second son Peter SCHMIT, my children’s 5th great-grandfather, was born and baptized on 3 April 1779 in Bertrange. His godparents were Petrus KREMER and Catharina SCHMIT. His father was present and signed the record in longhand.
Peter SCHMIT married Margaretha WEICKER before 1811. Their marriage took place before their first child was born however a marriage record has not been found. The couple was always referred to as legally married when their children were born. The marriage record was not found in Bertrange parish records from 1802-1811 or in the tables décennales (10-year lists) for the years 1802-1812 for Bertrange and Steinfort. Records were usually very well kept and I believe one day Peter and Margaretha’s marriage will turn up. Perhaps sooner than later as my genealogy society Luxracines has dedicated members working on a marriage project – indexing all marriages in Luxembourg from 1802 to 1923.
Why is Margaretha WEICKER’s Parentage Unknown?
Margaretha, my children’s 5th great-grandmother, was born about 1795 in Hoën (Hagen), Sterpenich, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The year of birth was estimated from her age at the time of death. Records for Hagen, a village in the Steinfort area, are not in the FamilySearch collection for Luxembourg for this period.
The Grand Duchy was under a double administration for about eight years before the Treaty of London was passed in 1839 when the present borders of Luxembourg were defined. Repatriation of the records (return to the country of origin) was not simple. Records for Steinfort for the period before the borders were changed can be found in Autelbas in the Province of Luxembourg in Belgium. Civil records beginning in 1796 for Autelbas are online at FamilySearch.
As Margaretha’s birth may have been earlier I checked the parish records for Sterpenich in the FamilySearch catalog. The parish records of Sterpenich for the years 1779-1793 are conformed copies made from the originals by the Luxembourg authorities and given to the Belgium government in December 1844 per the convention of Utrecht signed in 1843, i.e. repatriation. I have no idea where the records for the years 1794-1795 may be found and am at a standstill on my research for Margaretha, her birth, and parentage.
Not only are the records missing, Margaretha’s name has been found with several variations. Her family name was spelled WEIKER or WEICKER and also seen as WIKERT. Her first name was Margaretha in early documents and Anne Marguerite in later years. These are all things which need to be considered when future research is done on her parentage.
Peter and Margaretha’s Children
Peter and Margaretha were the parents of seven children. Two died before their 2nd birthdays while the five others grew to adulthood, married, and had their own children. These are the SCHMIT children:
Magdalena SCHMIT was born on 10 February 1811 in domo Donnen in Bertrange. She was baptized the same day. Her godfather was Joannes SCHMIDT from Bertrange and her godmother was Magdalena KÜNSCH from Hohen (or Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Was her godmother her grandmother, an aunt, or cousin? This may be a clue to solving the question of her mother’s parentage.
Rosa SCHMIT was born on 7 Feb 1815 in domo Bour in Bertrange and baptized the same day. Her godmother was her paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS. Her godfather was Nicolaus WEICKER of Hohen. Could he have been her maternal grandfather or an uncle?
Rosa’s godmother and paternal grandmother Rosa CLEMENS died only a few months later on 22 May 1815. Her paternal grandfather Peter SCHMIT died on 11 February 1816.
Rosa died two weeks later on 26 February 1816 in domo Donnen in Bertrange shortly after her first birthday. She was buried the following day. Her religious death and burial record has her mother’s name as Anna Margaretha Hinnicker instead of Weicker.
Nicolas SCHMIT was born at seven in the morning on 8 April 1817 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth two hours later. As baptismal records for Bertrange are only available online up to 1816 the godparents of Nicolas and his younger siblings were not found as they were for Magdalena and Rosa.
Michel SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 10 February 1819 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth eight hours later.
Following their youngest child Michel’s first birthday, Peter and Margaretha lost their second child, son Nicolas. He died on 21 February 1820 in Bertrange at the age of nearly three years.
Jean SCHMIT* was born at three in the afternoon on 12 July 1820. His father reported the birth two days later at eight in the morning on the 14th. This child’s birth record was only found after this post was ready to be published. While reading through the final draft I realized something was wrong and checked again on SCHMIT children born in Bertrange.
Maria Catharina SCHMIT was born at two in the morning on 25 February 1822 in Bertrange. Her father reported the birth the same day at nine in the morning.
Jean SCHMIT was born at 9:30 in the morning on 3 September 1825 in Bertrange. His father reported the birth the same day at eleven in the morning. As was the case with all of his children’s births, Peter declared not being able to write. I found this strange, his being the second born of a father who was able to write as seen above at the time of his own baptism in 1779.
Margaretha WEICKER’s Death in 1826
The mother of the five living children, Margaretha WEICKER, died on 17 January 1826 in Bartringen. She was 31 years old at the time of her death. Her youngest child was only four months old and her oldest would shortly be turning fifteen. Her name on the record was Anne Marguerithe WEICKER. The addition of Anne to her name was also seen on the birth records of her two youngest children.
Widowed Peter Remarries
Following the death of his wife, Peter waited two years before taking a second wife. This seems unusual as he had been left with five children, one still a baby. Magdalena, his oldest child, likely took on the responsibilities of a little mother, helping care for her younger siblings.
Peter married Anne Marie SCHOLER, daughter of Jean SCHOLER and Susanne BOURENS, on 22 March 1828 in Bertrange. Anne Marie was born on 4 June 1792 in Obersyren (Schuttrange).
Peter and his second wife Anne Marie had only one child, a daughter, Madelaine born four years into the marriage on 16 July 1832 in Bertrange. Her half-siblings were by this time 7, 10, 12, 13, and 21 years old. She did not, however, grow up without a playmate.
Peter’s oldest daughter Magdalena gave birth to a natural daughter on 7 November 1835. Anne’s father’s name was not on the birth record. Natural was the term used for children born out of wedlock. Anne appears to have been raised in her maternal grandfather’s household as she was listed with Peter and Anne Marie on the 1843 and 1846 census.
Peter’s second wife Anne Marie had a sister Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) who was married to Jacob RUCKERT (1787-1856). Margaretha gave Jacob eight children, six of whom were living when she died after giving birth to the last on 20 March 1842.. Peter’s brother-in-law Jacob became his son-in-law eight months later.
At eleven in the morning of 27 March 1847 Peter SCHMIT age 22 reported the death of his father Peter SCHMIT who had died only two hours earlier at his home in the neighborhood called Eichels in Bertrange.
I have a small problem with this death record as Peter did not have a son named Peter. Both of Peter’s wives are correctly named on the death record. Is the signature of the informant that of Jean SCHMIT the youngest son who was 22 years old at the time? The younger Jean was the only child to remain in his father’s household in 1843 and 1846 and was seen with his step-mother in 1847. Due to the fact that I found another son named Jean born in 1820, I believe the younger son may have been known as Johann Peter (Jean Pierre) to distinguish him from his older brother Jean.
Widow Anne SCHOLER last seen in 1847 census
In the 1847 census, Peter’s widow Anne SCHOLER was the head of household with her stepsons Michel, Jean (26), Jean (22) and stepdaughter Maria Catharina (children from Peter’s first marriage) and her only child, daughter Madelaine from her marriage to Peter. This entry in the census led me to search once again for children of Peter and Margaretha but only after I had finished the research and written this post.
Michel, the elder Jean, and Maria Catharina were not in their father’s household in 1843 or 1846. This was not unusual as they were of an age to be working outside of the home. I had wrongly assumed the elder Jean found in the 1847 census was an error or relative other than child.
Peter’s widow Anne Marie SCHOLER and their daughter Madelaine have not found after the 1847 census.
The SCHMIT children lived in the three districts of Luxembourg
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is divided into three districts: Luxembourg, Diekirch, and Grevenmacher (dark gray areas in the maps below). Each district is divided into cantons (red areas in the maps below) and each canton is divided into communes. Several towns and villages may be part of a commune.
The District of Luxembourg
Peter SCHMIT and Margaretha WEICKER’s children grew up in the town of Bertrange. Peter had deep roots in the town as his parents and grandparents all came from the town.
Their oldest daughter Magdalena SCHMIT raised her family in Bertrange. She was likely the first of the siblings to pass away.* She died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange. Other than her natural daughter Anne, she had a son and three daughters with Jacob RUCKERT. The son has not been found after he turned 21 in 1864. One daughter died as an infant. The youngest daughter had a natural son (1867-1868) and it is not known if she ever married or where she lived after her mother’s death. The older daughter Margaretha, my children’s 3rd great-grandmother, married but there is still the mystery of what happened to her and of her family after 1895. It is only through the marriage of her daughter Maria MERTES in 1894 and the census of 1895 that I know that Margaretha and her husband Michel MERTES were still living in 1895.
Peter and Margaretha’s youngest son Jean SCHMIT (b. 1825) also spent his married life in Bertrange. But before this, he was living and working in other places. One residence was Mondercange where he was in May 1852 when his brother Michel married. He was one of the four witnesses and signed “Jang Schmit.” Six years later he was living and working in Noertzange (Bettembourg) when he made plans to marry. Jean married Maria RISCHARD on 20 January 1858 in Schuttrange. Maria was born on 16 March 1827 in Uebersyren (Schuttrange), the same place Jean’s step-mother was born. They lived in Bertrange their entire married life. They were the parents of 6 children, three of whom died at a young age. Of the three living children, a daughter married and had children. The two sons were working in Lothringen (France) in the late 1890s – they have not been traced.
Jean SCHMIT died on 28 November 1892 in Bertrange. His death record has the right wife but the wrong parents. The information was given by his son-in-law Mathias HANSEN. Jean’s wife died six years later on 30 April 1898 in Bertrange.
The District of Diekirch
The second daughter of Peter and Margaretha, Maria Catharina married Joseph POECKER on 20 February 1852 in Bettendorf. Joseph was born on 25 February 1819 in Bettendorf.
How Maria Catharina came to marry in Bettendorf is unknown at this time. She and her husband raised their family on Fooshof. They had seven children, four of whom died in infancy. A daughter who never married died at the age of 38 years. The youngest living son born in 1864 was unmarried at the time of the 1900 census. He was living with his brother Nicolas who had married in 1893 and continued the line.
Maria Catharina died on 1 September 1879 on the family farm, Fooshof in Bettendorf. Her husband Joseph died on 19 January 1895 on Fooshof.
The District of Grevenmacher
Peter and Margaretha’s oldest son Michel married Anna Margretha BRAUN on 5 May 1852 in Waldbillig. Anna was born on 12 May 1826 in Bettange-sur-Mess (Dippach). Michel and Anna Margretha started their family when they were working on the Wolperhof in the commune of Consdorf. Three of their children were born here.
The District of Diekirch
The third child’s birth at Wolper was followed by a move to the western part of Luxembourg in the commune of Bettborn. Three more children were born in Pratz, part of the commune of Bettborn.
Michel and Anna Margretha lived in Horaz from 1885. Not far from Pratz, Horaz, which is also spelled Horass, only had two households.
Michel SCHMIT was the oldest son and last living child of Peter and Margaretha. He died on 26 December 1898 in Horaz. His wife Anna Margretha predeceased him on 12 November 1890 in Horaz.
Still Not Quite Done
* Due to my only learning of the existence of the elder son Jean born in 1820 after writing this post, I have not had the time to research where he may have lived and worked, if he ever married and had children, and when and where he died. Considering his name Jean SCHMIT – just another John Smith – the search may take a while.
This is the last post on my children’s paternal 5th great-grandparents. I already wrote about half of their maternal 5th great-grandparents (my paternal 4th great-grandparents) in 2014 when I did the first round of Amy Johnson Crow‘s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.
Next up will be 16 sets of my maternal 4th great-grandparents. The first eight being from small towns and villages which are now part of Germany near the Luxembourg border. The last eight will be from Luxembourg. I hope to finish up this series by the end of the year even though there are only 13 weeks left. Wish me luck and lots of free time.
Maps used are in the Public domain (Wikimedia Commons) and were annotated using Evernote.
I have days when I’m ready to finish up researching a family and begin to write their story then something distracts me enough to set them aside for a day or two. When I come back to the research and begin or continue writing about them, I usually find something I’ve missed or was unable to find. Are there angels watching over our genealogy work?
The genealogies of the families of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have been well researched by René KIRSCH who shares his work La Généalogie de BERTRANGE on his website. Using it as a guide, I was able to quickly find the records for Angelique’s family. However using other people’s work as a guide, even if you are able to confirm the research, may result in your not finding all records. I usually do the research first and then compare with research done by others. This works well for me. I should stick with this modus operandi as I ended up going through the parish records a second time to search for records I needed to prove relationships which were missed in La Généalogie de BERTRANGE.
Angelique MICHELS (1750-1825)
On 15 April 1825 at eight o’clock in the morning Rosa WESTER, 47 years old, was at the records office in Bertrange declaring the death of her mother Angelique MICHELS, the widow of Johann RUCKERT, who had died only an hour earlier at the age of 77 years. Angelique had led a long and interesting life. During her lifetime her first name was also seen as Angelica and Angela. The mother of nine children and grandmother of at least 38 grandchildren was one of my children’s many fifth great-grandmothers.
Angelique’s Parents and Siblings
Over a hundred years earlier her father Petrus MICHELS (1726-1776) was born in Bertrange on 12 September 1726. He married her mother Susanna MARTIN (1727-1775) on 21 January 1750 in Bertrange. Susanna’s maiden name would later be seen as MERTES in records produced when her children were born and when she died. Susanna’s father was living in Buschdorf at the time of the marriage in 1750. At this time, a connection to The Mertes-Donnen Family of Bertrange featured in What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records? has not been found.
Nearly ten months to the day after Petrus and Susanna married they had their first child, Angelique, seen here as Angelica, born on 23 November 1750 in Bertrange. The godparents chosen for this child were Jean MERTES (alias MARTIN) of Buschdorf and Angelica MICHELS of Bertrange. The godfather was her maternal grandfather and the godmother was her paternal grandmother.
Angelique would not grow up as an only child nor would she be the only child with this name. In 1753 when she was nearly 3 years old her sister Rosa was born followed by Nicolas in 1756, Angelica in 1759, Joannatha in 1762, and Susanna in 1768.
Angelique’s First Marriage
Angelique MICHELS married Petrus HANSEN on 5 February 1770 in Bertrange. Petrus, the son of Jean HANSEN and Marie CLAUDT, was born on 21 December 1745 in Bertrange. On the marriage record, her name was listed as Angela MERTES alias MICHELS. The marriage lasted only seven months as Petrus died on 15 September 1770 in Bertrange.
Angelique was expecting her first child when her husband died. Anna Catharina HANSEN was born on 9 November 1770 in Bertrange. Her godfather was her maternal grandfather Petrus MERTES alias MICHELS and her godmother was likely a sister of her deceased father, Anna Catharina HANSEN of Beauforterhof between Bertrange and Dippach.
This daughter gained a playmate and uncle a year later when Joannes MICHELS was born on 30 October 1771 to Angelique’s parents Petrus and Susanna.
Angelique’s Second Husband
Angelique was a widow for a little over three years. On 11 January 1774, she married her second husband Willibrordus WESTER. Willibrordus, the son of Willibrord VESTER (also seen as WESTER) and Marie BRIMMEYER, was born on 12 November 1747 in Strassen.
Willibrordus and Angelique’s first child Antonetta was born eleven months later on 4 December 1774. The child was two months old when her maternal grandmother Susanna MARTIN aka MERTES died on 15 February 1775. Her maternal grandfather, Petrus MICHELS, died nearly a year later on 1 February 1776.
Angelique, widowed once, married for the second time, and mother of two young daughters was only 25 years old when her father died and she became the head of household in domo Michels.
Willibrordus and Angelique’s family grew with the birth of Rosa on 1 January 1777 and Joanna on 3 August 1779.
On 6 August 1781, daughter Barbara was born in the Michels house, in domo Michels, in Bertrange. This is the first reference to the home Angelique grew up in and, as the oldest child, now owned. Sadly, the next time the home was mentioned was when baby Barbara died six months later on 12 February 1782.
Willibrordus WESTER was 35 years old when he died on 30 December 1782 in Bertrange. Angelique was 32 years old, widowed twice, mother of four daughters, and expecting another child when her husband died. I found a possible error pertaining to his date of death. The parish records are in chronological order. The death entry is the first for December although he died on the 30th. I believe he may have died in November and the month was written incorrectly in the parish book.
Three to four months later, Willibrordus and Angelique’s son Peter was born on 11 April 1783 in domo Michels in Bertange.
Angelique now had five little children: a newborn son and four daughters between the ages of 12 and nearly 2 years. She was still young. Both her parents had died before they were 50. Did she consider all of these things when she married for the third time?
Angelique’s Third Husband
Angelique MICHELS married Johann RUCKERT on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange. The marriage proclamations were made in Sandweiler and Bertrange. The groom signed his name to the marriage record while the bride declared not being able to write and left her mark.
Before continuing with Angelique and Johann’s life together, let’s take a look at Johann RUCKERT’s parents and childhood as he was my children’s fifth great-grandfather.
Johann, the son of Petrus RUCKERT (1715-1790) and Anna Catharina SPEYER (1718-1793), was born on 10 April 1754 in Sandweiler. He was the seventh of nine children and was honored by having his uncle, Joannes RUCKERT, a Catholic priest, as his godfather.
Johann’s father Petrus was born and baptized on 15 June 1715 in Sandweiler. He married Johann’s mother Anna Catharina on 29 November 1739 in Sandweiler. She was born about 1718 in Burange (Dudelange). Petrus and Anna Catharina had nine children born from 1740-1759.
After going through the parish books of Sandweiler, I was able to deduct that Anna Catharina, who was having children with Petrus RUCKERT, was always the same wife. Some records show only her given name while others indicate her maiden name was SPEYER or KNEPPESCH, KNEPCHEN, KNEPGEN. In 1759 her daughter Maria’s godmother’s name was Maria SPEIER dicta KNEITGEN which shows the SPEYER family was also called KNEPPESCH (and several other spellings).
Johann and Angelique became the parents of three children in four years. Their births all took place in domo Michels, the house known as Michels, in Bertrange.
Their first child, Anna Catharina, born and baptized on 30 October 1785, was named after her paternal grandmother who was also her godmother. The godmother was not present at the baptism. The procuratrix AgnèseKIELL widow of Jean SCHINY represented the godmother Anna Catharina RUCKER alias KNEBGEN of Sandweiler per procurationem. The father and the godfather signed the record while the substitute godmother could not write and left her mark.
The second child Jacob was born and baptized on 23 July 1787. The godfather was Jacob RUCKERT, a farmer from Sandweiler and his paternal uncle, and the godmother was Margaretha RUCKERT alias KING from Hoën (Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich. Her relationship is unknown, however, I suspect she may be a grand-aunt, sister of Petrus RUCKERT. The father and the godfather signed the record and the godmother declared not being able to write and left her mark. The child Jacob was my children’s 4th great-grandfather.
Angelique and Johann’s third and last child was Johann born and baptized on 11 September 1789. His father was a farmer or agricola and, as with his other children, signed the baptismal record.
Following the births of these three children, their paternal grandparents passed away. Their grandfather Petrus RUCKERT died on 13 June 1790 at the age of 74 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler. Their grandmother Anna Catharina SPEYER died on 14 April 1793 at the age of 75 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler.
Angelique’s Children Begin to Marry
Two of Angelique’s daughters from her second marriage married in 1800 and 1801. I stumbled on the marriage records while searching for birth records of the daughters’ children. The marriage records were mixed in with the birth records and out of order. They were included in one of three little notebooks kept by the priest during 1800-1801. Joanna WESTER married Michel KRIER (1778-1851) on 3 May 1800 and Rosa WESTER married Leonard WAGENER (1773-1823) on 3 January 1801, both in Bertrange.
Angelique’s third husband Johann RUCKERT died on 15 February 1803 in domo Michels, Bertrange, at the age of 48. Widowed a third time at the age of 52, Angelique was left with three teenagers and two married daughters. No trace has been found of the daughter from her first marriage or the oldest daughter and the only son from her second marriage. A more thorough search of the parish books for marriages and/or death records is on my to-do list.
The daughter Anna Catharina RUCKERT who was born in 1785 was still living in 1803. She was the godmother of her half-sister Rosa’s daughter Anna WAGENER born on 27 November 1803 as well as for her half-sister Joanna’s daughter Anna KRIER born on 9 May 1801. In both records, she was seen as Anna RUCKERT é domo Michels placing her in the household of Angelique. In future research, I will take into account the fact that her name may have been shortened to Anna.
Angelique’s youngest son Johann RUCKERT married Anna Catharina SCHUHMANN (1794-1862) on 18 December 1817 in Sandweiler. Did he meet her while visiting RUCKERT relatives in Sandweiler? Although the bride was from Sandweiler the couple made their home in Bertrange.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Angelique MICHELS died on 15 April 1825 in Bertrange and her daughter Rosa was the informant. Rosa who had been widowed nearly two years declared she could not write and another witness had to sign for her.
Three years after Angelique’s death, her son Jacob RUCKERT married Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) on 19 February 1828 in Bertrange. The marriage produced eight children, five of whom were living when Jacob was widowed in 1842 shortly after the 14th wedding anniversary. His wife died in childbirth and he likely needed a woman to care for his children as he married within eight months. His bride Magdalena SCHMIT (1811-1870) was 24 years younger and the single mother of a seven-year-old daughter. They were married on 26 November 1842 in Bertrange. Magdalena was my children’s 4th great-grandmother. You can read their story here: How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law.
Of the nine children Angelique gave birth to, one died young, four have not been traced, leaving four who married and had children. Joanna WESTER died at the age of 71 on 12 December 1850, Rosa WESTER died at the age of 78 on 6 January 1855, Jacob RUCKERT died at the age of 68 on 24 June 1856, and Johann RUCKERT died at the age of 72 on 27 May 1862. All of these deaths took place in Bertrange.
I would love to hear from Angelique’s descendants. Are there any readers who descend from the children I have not been able to follow or who know more about them?
A decade before America declared its independence Maria Theresa of Austria implemented the first modern cadastre and census in a large part of the territories under the rule of the House of Habsburg, including the Netherlands which encompassed present-day Belgium and Luxembourg.
The 1766 census was grouped by villages and towns with each of these belonging to a paroisse or parish. Parishes were classified in a decanat or deanship (diocese). In a village or town, the names of all persons in a household were classified into four groups by age: men were listed as 16 or older and under 16 while women were seen as 14 or older and under 14 years. A column for occupations was only available for men 16 and older. On the last page of each village was a list of occupations of the inhabitants divided into several categories: public service jobs, merchants, laborers (including servants), craftsmen (masters and journeymen), and clergy.
ERPELDING of Kackerd
The ERPELDING family lived and worked on Kackerterhaff near the village of Oetrange in the parish of Oetrange in the decanat of Remich.
1766 Census for a place called Kackerd in the Paroisse of Oettringen (Parish of Oetrange)
Caspar Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs occupation laboureur or farmer
Jean Erpeldingen male over 16 yrs
Gertrude Erpeldingen female over 14 yrs
Jean Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Nicolas Erpeldingen male under 16 yrs
Barbe Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
Maria Erpeldingen female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household
CONRADT of Uebersyren
The CONRADT family (written CONRADE on the sheet) lived in Uebersyren in the parish of Hostert not far from the parish of Oetrange.
1766 Census for the Village of Ubersyren in the Paroisse of Hostert
Pierre Conrade 16 yrs or older occupation tisserand or weaver
Ann Catherine Conrad 16 yrs or older
no males under 16 yrs
Elizabeth Conrad female under 14 yrs
Madlene Conrad female under 14 yrs
Marie Conrad female under 14 yrs
Catherine Conrad female under 14 yrs
1 married couple in household
Twenty-two years later…
Nicolas ERPELDING, 22 years old, married Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT, 29 years old, on 7 July 1788 in Schuttrange. Nicolas, the youngest son of Caspar ERPELDING (d. 1779) and Gertrude JEHNEN (d. 1774), was born 7 November 1765 in Villa Kackert near Oetrange. Magdalena, the second oldest daughter of Peter CONRADT (d. 1789) and Anna Catharina ROEDER (1736-1791), was born 2 June 1759 in Uebersyren.
The young couple made their home in Uebersyren during the first years of their marriage and this is where their first child Mathias was born on 27 March 1791.
Following the birth of Matthias and before their next child was born they left Uebersyren and made their home auf dem Kackert, in the home Nicolas had been born and raised in. The move may have followed the death of Magdalena’s mother in Uebersyren six months after the birth of Mathias.
When daughter Catharina was born on 15 October 1793, Nicolas and Magdalena were seen as a legally married couple and operariorum commorantuim in Kackert – workers residing at Kackert. Nicolas’ parents had died in 1774 and 1779 and the farm likely went to their oldest son Jean ERPELDING. Catharina’s baptismal record lists Jean as her godfather and agricola habitans in Villa Kackert – a farmer who lives on the Kackert farm. Villa in Latin has several definitions including villa or country house, village, farm, or premises. As later documents refer to Kackerterhaff, and it is still known as such, the translation would be a farm.
At this point in the family timeline, there is a discrepancy which I have not been able to resolve. From marriage records found, it appears that there were two daughters named Catharina. No baptismal record has been found for the second daughter named Catharina. Her marriage record is a religious marriage record which names her parents but does not include her date of birth. No civil marriage record, which normally includes the date and place of birth, has been found. All birth records of her children and her death record place her birth at about 1793, the same as the first daughter named Catharina. Due to records found, they cannot be the same person.
Nicolas and Magdalena’s fourth child Margaretha was born and baptized on 15 December 1795. Her parents were seen as operariorum in Kackert – operators of Kackert.
Pierre, the next child, was born on 15 January 1797 and the entry in the parish records was the first for the new year. No godparents were listed. The parents were seen as a legally married couple living in Kackert.
The second daughter named Margaretha was baptized on 16 November 1800 and born on 1 January 1801. That is not a typo. The records show she was baptized six weeks before her birth! While the church records continued to be kept using the Gregorian calendar, the civil records at the time used the French Republican calendar. A difference of a day or two could be explained but six weeks cannot be an error in calculation. The discrepancy in the church record vis-a-vis the civil record was brought to my attention by Cyndi Speltz Gipp 14 years ago. Cyndi is my husband’s 7th cousin through Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents.
The last child of Nicolas and Magdalena was Barbara born on 25 February 1804. As with all of her siblings, except for her oldest brother Mathias, she was born on the Kackert farm.
The Middle Years
All of the children Magdalena gave birth to survived to adulthood. The seven children remained on Kackerterhaff until they began to marry.
In the meantime, Nicolas’ brother Jean ERPELDING (his second brother named Jean) died on 20 May 1806 on Kréintgeshaff, a farm near Kackerterhaff. His place of death has helped to differentiate between the two brothers named Jean.
On 15 December 1814, the first of Nicolas and Magdalena’s children married. Catharina married Nicolas GLODT (1793-1858) on 15 December 1814 in Oetrange.
Madelaine “Magdalena” CONRADT did not live long enough to see any of her other children marry. She died on 28 January 1818 on Kackerterhaff.
Six years later the oldest son of the ERPELDING-CONRADT couple, Mathias, married Margaritha GROSS (1796-1872) on 25 February 1824 in Oetrange. Mathias, being the oldest, remained on the farm.
A little more than a year later, the younger son Pierre married Margaretha KRUCHTEN (1797-1859) on 21 March 1825 in Contern. They would make their home in Oetrange in the commune of Contern.
Four years later Nicolas ERPELDING died on 10 May 1829 at Kackerterhaff. He left two married sons, a married daughter, and four unmarried daughters. His youngest daughter Barbara was 25 years old and expecting a child. The male child was born and died on 28 December 1829. No father was listed on the birth record.
The oldest daughter Catharina married Johann BOUR (1772-1855) on 26 February 1831 in Bertrange. She was 37 years old and he was 58 and had been a widower for two years. Catharina was living on Kackerterhaff up until the time of the marriage. It would be interesting to learn how she met her husband as two of her three sisters would also marry in Bertrange and live in Strassen, at that time part of the commune of Bertrange. What brought these women to Strassen and Bertrange which both lie on the other side of Luxembourg City from Kackerterhaff?
Nicolas ERPELDING’s oldest brother Jean died before 1833 as his widow Catharina EVEN’s death was declared by her nephew Mathias ERPELDING on 13 December 1833. She died on Kackerterhaff. To date, no children have been found for this couple which may be the reason the farm was now seen in the hands of Mathias.
The younger Margaretha, my children’s ancestress, married François “Franz” MERTES (1806-1864) on 25 February 1834 in Bertrange. Both of her brothers, Mathias and Pierre, were present and signed as witnesses to her marriage.
Five years later, the older Margaretha who was still living on the home farm married Johann SCHMIT (1780-1856) on 10 April 1839 in Bertrange. Margaretha was 44 and Johann, widowed only four months earlier, was 58 years old. None of the witnesses were relatives of the bride, however, Michel BRIMEYER, one of the witnesses, was listed as her acquaintance.
Finally, on 11 February 1846, the youngest child of Nicolas and Magdalena married. Barbara married Peter ENTRINGER (1801-1867) on 11 February 1846 in Sandweiler. Barbara’s son Mathias ERPELDING, born illegitimately on 29 May 1835, was 10 years old. The marriage legitimized his birth as Peter ENTRINGER recognized him as his son. Between the time of Mathias’ birth and the marriage, the groom had been married to another woman and widowed.
The Later Years
Catharina ERPELDING who married Nicolas GLODT died on 6 January 1848 at the age of 55 in Oetrange. She had given birth to at least eight children.
Margaretha ERPELDING who married Johann SCHMIT was widowed on 29 December 1856. It is unknown when or where she died. She remained childless.
Catharina ERPELDING who married Johann BOUR was last seen in the census in December 1861 in Strassen. She was widowed in 1855 and also remained childless. No death record has been found.
Pierre ERPELDING died on 23 December 1865 in Oetrange. He outlived his wife, who had given him seven children, by six years. Two of these children died as infants. His oldest son Theodore, after being widowed twice, would emigrate to America in 1884 with his sons John and Nicholas and his daughter Angelique to join his older son Peter who had emigrated the previous year. The line would continue in Nebraska.
The youngest daughter Barbara ERPELDING was widowed on 10 Sep 1867. She was not found between the time of her marriage in 1846 and her husband’s death in 1867. It is unknown if they had other children and what happened to the son Mathias who was legitimized at the time of the marriage.
My children’s 4th great-grandmother Margaretha ERPELDING died on 1 November 1868 in Strassen. Widowed in 1864, she left only one child, a son Michel who fathered thirteen children.
Following Margaretha’s death, the only known living child of Nicolas and Magdalena was their oldest son Mathias ERPELDING. He died on 31 December 1871 on Kackerterhaff. His wife followed him four months later. They were the parents of eight children. Sons Peter and Mathias never married but worked the farm until their deaths on Kackerterhaff in 1897 and 1916. They are the last known ERPELDINGs to have lived on the home place.
Although I have spent the past two weeks attaching (and citing sources for) birth, marriage, census, and death records to all individuals in this family (several generations), the largest part of the research was done by my husband’s 7th cousin Cyndi. She ordered the FamilySearch microfilms and viewed them at her local Family History Center fourteen years ago. Not only did she research her line down from Gertrude JEHNEN’s parents Christophori “Stofel” JEHNEN and Maria SCHINGEN but also this ERPELDING family and shared all with me. In 2015 I got in touch with her again when I wrote 52 Ancestors: #40 Happy Birthday to Michel of the MERTES-ERPELDING Family and now we keep up via Facebook. Thank you, Cyndi, for all the work you’ve done on this branch of the family.
P.S. Kackerterhaff is Luxembourgish for the German Kackerterhof. So for those of you who noticed, I made the featured image first. While writing the post I decided to be consistent by using Kackerterhaff throughout and forgot I’d used the German version in the image.
Christophe HASTERT and Barbara SCHMIT did not make it easy to research this set of 5th great-grandparents for my children. To begin with Christophe’s date of birth was not listed on their 1810 marriage record. He was thirty-two years old, born in Grevenmacher, and his parents Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN were day laborers living Hollenfels.
The Groom’s Family
Mathias HASTERT (1750-aft. 1810) and Anne NIEDERKORN (1755- aft. 1810) were the parents of two known children. No births of children were found in Grevenmacher in 1773 to 1777. On 1 April 1777 a daughter Catharina was born. Twenty months later, a son Christianus was born on 13 December 1778. This fits the age and place of birth for Christophe as seen in his marriage record. Were they the same person?
Both of the HASTERT-NIEDERKORN children were born in Grevenmacher, the town the father Mathias was born in on 25 January 1750. Although I have been able to find more information on the next generation back, I did not find a marriage record for Mathias and Anne. I suspected the family may have done some moving around after Christophe’s birth. How could I prove my suspicions and would any records found help to learn more about Christian/Christophe’s parents?
Let’s Analyze the Marriage Record
Christophe HASTERT married Barbara SCHMIT on 28 November 1810 in Nommern in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The groom’s father Mathias was present and consenting to the marriage. Down at the bottom of the marriage record were four witnesses. The fourth was a young man named Philippe HASTERT age 25 and from Mühlenbach.
Who was Philippe HASTERT?
Mühlenbach is part of the commune of Eich. This is on the outskirts of Luxembourg City and quite large compared to the towns and villages I have been researching. I took the chance that if he was living there in November 1810 he may, in time, also marry there. Surprisingly, I found Philippe married earlier in 1810. His parents were listed as Mathias HASTERT and Anne NIEDERKORN of Hollenfels, both present and consenting to the marriage which took place on 3 March 1810. Christophe was not present or a witness to the marriage. The parents’ names and place of residence confirmed Philippe and Christophe were brothers. Did this help in locating other siblings?
Philippe was born 29 September 1784 in Dudelange. His baptismal record was enlightening. Mathias HASTERT was listed as militis incliti Regimis Kaunitz. Did this mean Mathias was in Franz Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg’s infantry regiment? Being in the militia would explain his not remaining in Grevenmacher were his parents were from. Christian, as Christophe was seen in his baptismal record, was born in 1778 and Philippe in 1784. Six years in which one or two children could be missing. And for the years following Philippe’s birth until his marriage, where did the family live? This question will remain to be answered.
Getting Back to the Marriage Record
Christophe’s bride Barbara SCHMIT was the daughter of Jean SCHMIT (1752-1810) and Maria LENTZ (1759-1824) of Nommern. Barbara was born on 4 December 1783 in Schrondweiler, a part of the commune of Nommern. Her father was not present at the marriage on the 28 November 1810 as he had died only four days earlier.
In the last paragraph seen in this part of the marriage record above, the banns were read on November 11 and November 18 which shows the wedding was planned before the bride’s father passed away.
Barbara’s parents had been married only a little more than three months when she was born. She was the first of nine children born to them. Four of these died very young and only two of Barbara’s sisters are known to have married.
Only Daughters Born to the Couple
Christophe and Barbara were the parents of five daughters. Their not having sons makes it all the more difficult to follow possible descendants who may have already researched the family.
Ch 1: Anna Catharina was born on 15 December in Schrondweiler
Ch 2: Catharina was born 16 July 1815 in Niederglabach
Ch 3: Susanna was born 17 May 1818 in Niederglabach
Ch 4: Apollonia was born 31 March 1821 in Niederglabach
Ch 5: Margaretha was born 30 October 1823 in Niederglabach
The girls’ maternal grandmother Maria LENTZ lived long enough to witness their births. She died on 4 April 1824 in Oberglabach. Niederglabach, Oberglabach, and Schrondweiler were parts of the commune of Nommern.
Christophe and Barbara lost their youngest daughter Margaretha on 22 March 1827 at the age of nearly three and a half years. Five years later their oldest daughters began to marry.
Barbara and Christophe’s second daughter Catharina married Johann Nicolas STROESSER on 19 January 1836 in Nommern. Their third daughter Susanna married Johann RITGEN on 10 August 1841 in Nommern.
The Family Moves to Oberglabach
In 1832 and in 1836 when the first two daughters married Christophe and Barbara were living in Niederglabach. At some time before the 1841 marriage of their daughter Susanna their residence changed to Oberglabach.
On 16 December 1843 when the census was taken in Oberglabach as expected we see Christophe and Barbara with their only single daughter, Apollonia, living at home. However, their married daughter Susanna was listed as well as a young boy named Nicolas RITGEN who was born in 1842 in Useldange. The birth record confirms he was Susanna’s son. The whereabouts of her husband are unknown.
On the 6 December 1846 census Apollonia age 24 was still living with her parents Christophe and Barbara in Oberglabach. Susanna was no longer in the household.
Apollonia HASTERT married Joseph GALLION (1823-1854) on 26 September 1847 in Nommern. She and her husband remained in her parents home and were seen with them on the 31 December 1847 census. The enumerator omitted the location on this census record. The grandson Nicolas RITGEN who had been with his mother in Christophe’s household in 1843 was listed but then marked out.
On the December 1849 census no distinction was made between Niederglabach and Oberglabach and we see only that Christophe and Barbara were living in Gladbach. Apollonia, her husband Joseph, and their nine months old son Nicolas were living in the home as a second family.
Apollonia had another son six months before the 31 December 1851 census. He was listed with the same name as his three years old brother Nicolas. They were living with their parents in their maternal grandparents’ home in Oberglabach. This would be the last time Christophe would be seen on the census. He died on 1 October 1852. His death was reported by Peter LENTZ, a relative of his wife Barbara.
Lenzen House in Oberglabach
In December 1852 the widowed Barbara SCHMIT was living in the household of her son-in-law Joseph GALLION and daughter Apollonia. The two sons were both identified as Nicolas.
Barbara and Christophe’s daughter Susanna at some time went to Paris as she died there on 22 May 1854. Not only Susanna but also Apollonia’s husband Joseph GALLION died while in Paris. Joseph was a mason living in the 9th arrondisement in impasse Putigneux No. 2 and died at 7 in the evening of 1 July 1854 at Parvis Nôtre Dame No. 4.
The address Joseph died at is likely that of Paris’ Hôtel Dieu hospital which is on the square of the Nôtre Dame. Joseph’s death record was acquired in 1860 and recorded in the Nommern death register at the time of his widow’s remarriage. The records for Paris for the years prior to 1860 are missing however some have substitutes in the form of cards with the name, date, and arrondisement. Susanna’s card indicates she also died in the 9th arrondisement. Could she have also been a patient in the hospital? During 1854 there was a cholera epidemic within the walls of the city of Paris.
On 1 December 1858 the widowed Apollonia was the head of household with her three sons and her mother Barbara SCHMIT. Since the 1852 census the house they were living in was named Lenzen. This was very likely the home of Barbara’s mother’s LENTZ family.
The name GALLION is seen (above) as GALGON. Last week while working on the marriages in the 52 Ancestors: #18 The Merckes-Wagener Family of Bettendorf, one of the Merckes sons married a GALION lady. Her name was also seen in some records as GALGON. There may even be a connection between these two individuals who married into the Merckes and Hastert families.
Apollonia married Johann SCHAUS (1830-1869) on 29 December 1860 in Nommern. It was at the time of this marriage that the death record of her first husband was sent for in Paris and recorded in the death register of Nommern.
Barbara SCHMIT continued to live with her daughter Apollonia in the Lenzen house until death. She died at 3 in the afternoon on 29 August 1861 in the home. The death was reported by her new son-in-law Johann SCHAUS. Johann, or the official who recorded the death, incorrectly gave the place of residence of Johann as Niederglabach but correctly noted Lenzen house being in Oberglabach.
Apollonia remained in the Lenzen house after her mother’s death. She gave her second husband two sons, a third was stillborn. Johann SCHAUS died in 1869 leaving her to raise her sons on her own. She died on 30 October 1878. Her death was reported by her son Jean GALLION.
Ten years later the oldest daughter of Christophe and Barbara, Anna Catharina HASTERT, died on 9 May 1888 in Rumelange.
None of the daughters had children who carried on the HASTERT name. Their children were born with the surnames MERKES, RITGEN, GALLION, and SCHAUS. Catharina, the second oldest daughter, married a STROESSER but nothing has been found for her after her marriage. Were there also grandchildren with the STROESSER surname? If you know of any, please get in touch.
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.
Week 41 (October 8-14) – Colorful.Everyone has at least one “colorful” ancestor. Share the story of one of yours. 🙂
I didn’t expect this story to fit the “colorful” ancestor theme until I discovered an illegitimate child (and then another) in the family. I was not surprised and wondered if this would be colorful enough to fit the theme. Since I’m writing about an ancestral couple two people are involved, six when I add their parents, and the number increases when children (and most families had quite a few) and their spouses are added. What I’m getting at is – when researching a person or a family you need to look at all persons involved. And that is how I discovered my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather Jacob RUCKERT’s brother-in-law became his father-in-law. Colorful enough?
Jacob RUCKERT was born and baptized on 23 July 1787 in Bertrange. His parents were Johann RUCKERT, a farmer, and Angelique MICHELS. Present at his baptism were Jacob RUCKERT, a farmer, from Sandweiler and Margaretha RUCKERT alias KING from Hagen in the parish of Sterpenich (Province of Luxembourg in Belgium). Today Hagen is part of the commune of Schuttrange in the Grand Duché of Luxembourg.
Angelique (1748-1825) of Bertrange and Johann (?-1803) of Sandweiler married two years before Jacob’s birth on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange. This was Angelique’s third marriage. I found the marriages on marriage index cards and need to locate the actual documents in the parish records which are online at FamilySearch. As the first two marriages are new to me I haven’t had time to work through possible siblings of Jacob RUCKERT. While searching through the census I found his brother Johann RUCKERT (1789-1862) who was born 2 years, 1 month, and 18 days after him. Jacob and his brother Johann may have had full siblings and half-siblings with different surnames as their mother was married to Petrus HANSEN on 5 February 1770 and to Willibrordus WESTER on 11 January 1774.
These index cards are a treasure trove of information. By following the names of the parents listed for Angelique MICHELS I discovered the names of her paternal grandparents and great-grandparents giving me three new generations to research. Also I see an unexpected MERTES connection which needs to be looked into.
Jacob’s father Johann died on 15 February 1803 and his mother Angelique died 15 April 1825, both in Bartringen. It was only after the death of his mother that Jacob at the age of 40 years married Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) on 19 February 1828 in Bertrange. Margaretha was born on 15 September 1802 in Obersyren in the commune of Schuttrange per the marriage record.
Margaretha’s sister Anne Marie SCHOLER married a month after Jacob and Margaretha on 22 March 1828 in Bertrange to Peter SCHMIT. Peter had become a widower in 1826. This is when Jacob RUCKERT and Peter SCHMIT became brothers-in-law.
Jacob and Margaretha were the parents of at least eight children:
Ch 1: Heinricus “Henri” RUCKERT (1830-1863) born 8 February 1830 in Bertrange. He died on 15 March 1863 in Luxembourg City.
Ch 2: Johann RUCKERT (1832-1835) born 9 January 1832 in Bertrange. He died 20 September 1835 in Bertrange.
Ch 3: Elisabeth RUCKERT (1833-?) born 12 August 1833 in Bertrange.
Ch 4: [–?–] RUCKERT (1835-1835) born 5 December 1835 in Bertrange. He died 5 December 1835 in Bertrange.
Ch 5: Jean RUCKERT (1836-?) born 9 December 1836 in Bertrange. He may have died in Luxembourg City in 1865.
Ch 6: Catherine RUCKERT (1839-?) born 12 May 1839 in Bertrange.
Ch 7: Franciscus RUCKERT (1840-1842) born 5 October 1840 in Bertrange. He died 10 August 1842 in Bertrange.
Ch 8: Catharina RUCKERT (1842-?) born 20 March 1842 in Bertrange.
Margaretha SCHOLER died giving birth to her eighth child on 20 March 1842 in Bertrange. Jacob was left with Henri, Elisabeth, Jean, Catherine and newborn baby Catharina.
As mentioned earlier Peter SCHMIT,a widower, married Jacob RUCKERT’s sister-in-law. Peter had first married Anne Marguerithe WEICKER (date and place unknown at this time) and they had one known child, Magdalena SCHMIT born 10 February 1811 in Bertrange. Her birth record, being in French, has Madelaine as her name.
Her mother Anne Marguerithe died shortly before Magdalena’s 15th birthday, on 17 January 1826 in Bertrange. Two years later Peter SCHMIT remarried and became the brother-in-law of Jacob RUCKERT.
At the age of 24 Magdalena SCHMIT had a daughter born out of wedlock. Anne SCHMIT was born on 7 November 1835 in Bertrange. A midwife reported her birth and only gave the name of the mother. There was no mention of the father, known or unknown.
When Magdalena was 31 years old she married the widowed Jacob RUCKERT. The wedding took place on 26 November 1842 in Bertrange, eight months after the death of Jacob’s first wife. None of the four witnesses present were related to the bride and groom. The bride’s father Peter SCHMIT was present at the marriage and became his brother-in-law Jacob’s father-in-law.
Jacob and Magdalena had four children:
Ch 9: Franciscus “François” RUCKERT (1843-?) born 10 July 1843 in Bertrange.
Ch 10: Catharina RUCKERT (1845-1845) born 7 September 1845 in Bertrange. She died 25 December 1845 in Bertrange.
Ch 11: Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.
Ch 12: Maria RUCKERT (1850-?) born 17 February 1850 in Bertrange.
Although I was able to find the birth records of the children of Jacob RUCKERT and his two wives, I had a difficult time with the census. Browsing the images at FamilySearch is tedious and time consuming. I didn’t have the time to go through the 1843, 1846, 1847, and 1849 census images especially after viewing ALL images for 1852 and not finding the family in Bertrange. I did find them in the 1851 and 1855 census. The 1851 was surprising and brought to light one “family secret” I may not have found otherwise.
As SCHMIT is such a commmon surname I have not even begun to look at the SCHMIT births, marriages, and deaths in Bertrange. But the 1851 census had a 16 years old girl Anne SCHMIT listed in the household of Jacob RUCKERT and Magdalena SCHMIT. The relationship was not listed so I checked for her birth record and found she was the daughter of Magdalena.
By 1855 Jacob and Magdalena’s three children Franciscus, Margaretha and Maria were still at home as well as both of Jacob’s two daughters, both named Catherine from his first marriage.
Jacob RUCKERT died on 24 June 1856 in Bertrange. A neighbor reported his death.
Marriages for two of Jacob’s children from his first marriage were found. Elisabeth married on 26 November 1857 in Bertrange and Henri married on 6 May 1859 in Luxembourg City.
Jacob’s widow Magdalena raised their children as well as Jacob’s two youngest daughters at least until the end of 1858 when they were with her on the census. By 1861, 1864, and 1867 only Magdalena’s two youngest daughters were at home.
Magdalena and Jacob’s son François was mentioned on the 1864 census as being in Leudelange and I was able to locate him with a family in Leudelange and working as as servant (domestique).
Marie, the youngest daughter, had an illegitimate son Mathias two months before the 1867 census on 2 October 1867 in Bertrange.
Events in the life of Jacob and Magdalena’s daughter Margaretha, my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother and the only child I found marriage records for, took a fast pace before and after the death of Magdalena SCHMIT.
Margaretha married Jacob ANTON (1822-1871) on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange. Eight days later her mother Magdalena died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange. Margaretha’s husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871 and she gave birth to their daughter Susanne ANTON nearly four months later on 28 July 1871 in Bertrange.
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 40 (October 1-7) – October:What ancestor has a birthday or anniversary in October?
François, the Groom
François “Franz” MERTES (1806-1864) was the son of Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN (1783-1854). Franz’s parents were married on 21 February 1803 in Bertrange (Bartringen). François, the name given to him at birth, is believed to have been their first born child. He was born at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 5 April 1806 in Bertrange. On Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. when Nicolas reported his son’s birth another father, Martin JUNG was at the city hall to report his daughter’s birth. Martin JUNG witnessed Nicolas’ son’s birth record and Nicolas witnessed JUNG’s daughter’s birth record. Both men did not know how to write and signed with an X.
François had the following known siblings: Anne 1808, Catherine 1811, Nicolas 1814, Joannes 1817, and Nicolas 1821. Their marriages and children have not been researched.
While doing François’ census work I saved the links in Evernote of all pages with the MERTES name from 1843 through 1855. “Census work” for families in Luxembourg during this time period means viewing every image in the batches at FamilySearch as they are browse only and don’t have a list or index similar to the later census years. It is very time consuming but usually helpful when developing a timeline for the family.
François marries Margaretha ERPELDING
In the year eighteen hundred thirty-four, the twenty-fifth of the month of February at 9 o’clock in the morning, there came before us, the mayor, civil officer of the commune of Bertrange in the province of Luxembourg, François MERTES, single, age twenty-seven years, born in Bertrange in this commune on the fifth day of April eighteen hundred sixteen (sic, 1806), a civil day laborer, resident of Bertrange, adult son of Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN who are both present, consulting to this marriage.
and the demoiselle Marguerithe ERPELDING age thirty-three years born on the Kackerter farm in Oetrange in the commune of Contern on the eleventh day of the month of Nivôse in the ninth year of the French Republic, corresponding to the first of January eighteen hundred and one, without an occupation, resident of Kackerter farm, adult daughter of Nicolas ERPELDING and Madelaine KUNERATH who died at the named Kackerter farm, the mother on the twenty-eighth January eighteen hundred eighteen and the father on the ten May eighteen hundred twenty-nine, during their lifetimes civil day laborers.
Who requested that we procede in the celebration of this marriage planned between them, and banns were published in Contern on Sundays the second and ninth of the month of February and in Bertrange on the ninth and sixteenth of the same month.
No opposition to the marriage was given us,granting them the right of their request, after readingallabove mentioned, as well asthe titleof ChapterSixof the CivilCode entitledthe Marriage,we asked thefuture husbandand the futurewife if they want totake each other to be husbandandwife; eachresponding separately andaffirmatively, we declare, on behalf of the law,that François MERTES and Marguerithe ERPELDING are united by marriage.
All of this took place inthe presence of witnessesnamedbelow, namely Mathias Erpelding, age forty years, farmer, resident of the said Kackerter farm, brother of the future bride Pierre Erpelding, age thirty-five years, residing abroad, weaver, brother of the future bride Jean Reichling, age twenty-five years, farmer, resident of Bertrange, acting as a friend of the future groom And Nicolas Goergen, age twenty-five years, farmer, resident of Bertrange, acting as a friend of the future groom
Who after it was read to them,signedwith us, with the exception of the groom, the bride, and the mother and father of the groom who declared not knowing how to sign.
Margaretha, the Bride
Margaretha, seen above as Marguerithe, was born 10 Nivôse year IX (1 January 1801) on Kackerterhoff (Kackerterhaff) in Oetrange in the commune of Contern to Nicolas ERPELDING (1765-1829) and Madelaine “Magdalena” KUNERATH (1759-1818). Her date of birth was recorded in the civil records using the French Republican Calendar. Church records were kept using the Gregorian or Christian calendar and her baptismal record shows she was baptized on 16 November 1800 – six weeks before her birth! Civil records are the legal records used in Luxembourg. I am not sure how this discrepancy in the church records came about but it was brought to my attention by Cyndi Speltz Gipp.
A dozen years ago Cyndi, my husband’s 7th cousin, got in touch with me about her JEHNEN line. She spent hours at her local Family History Center viewing microfilms she ordered for her research of the JEHNEN descendants, including Nicolas ERPELDING whose mother was a JEHNEN. Cyndi found 5 siblings for Margaretha: Mathias 1791, Catharina 1793, Margaretha 1795, Petrus 1797 and Barbara 1804.
François and Margaretha’s Little Family
Ten months after their marriage, at 6 o’clock in the evening of Christmas Eve, François and Margaretha welcomed their first child into the family. François reported the birth of his daughter Marie Catherine MERTES on Christmas Day 1834 in Bartringen. As was the case at the time of his marriage, he was not able to sign the record.
Their second child and only son, Michel MERTES was born on 6 October 1837 at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in the commune of Bertrange. His father reported the birth two hours later. The place of birth is not specifically stated. Later when Michel married in 1861 his place of birth on his marriage record was Bertrange but when he married a second time in 1874 his place of birth on the marriage record was Strassen.
Happy Birthday Michel MERTES
Tomorrow is the 178th anniversary of the birth of Michel, François and Margaretha’s only son, and only child to live to adulthood and marry.
Census Records Help to Fill in the Timeline
Census records were found for the little family. On 23 December 1843 they were living next door to François’ parents in Bertrange. Following this census, the only one with the entire family listed, Marie Catherine died at the age of eleven years on 6 July 1846 in Strassen.
The family of three, father, mother and son Michel, was seen in Strassen for the censuses taken on 20 December 1846, 31 December 1847, 7 December 1849, 31 December 1851, and 6 December 1852.
François’ parents were still living in Bartringen when his mother Marie Catherine DONNEN died on 24 January 1854 and his father Nicolas MERTES died on 19 October 1855.
The MERTES-ERPELDING family was seen in Strassen on 3 December 1855 and 3 December 1858 when the census was enumerated.
Their only living child Michel MERTES married(1) Catharina HEIN (1834-1874) on 10 January 1861 in Strassen. When the census was taken in December 1861 Michel and his wife were living with his parents.
François and Margaretha’s first granddaughter Maria lived only 5 days, born 1 February and died 6 February 1862 in Strassen. Their second granddaugher Margaretha was born in 1863 about a year before François “Franz” MERTES died on 15 March 1864 in Strassen.
Margaretha ERPELDING was seen as the head of household on 3 December 1864. Her son Michel, daughter-in-law Catharina, and granddaughter Margaretha were in her household. On 3 December 1867 Michel MERTES was the head of household in Strassen. His mother Margaretha was in his household and died less than a year later in Strassen on 1 November 1868.
Michel MERTES, widowed with three children in February 1874, married Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) on 22 April 1874 in Strassen. Their story can be read here.
New Connections Found in the Census
While researching this small family I found two ladies with the maiden name ERPELDING and Oetrange as their place of birth in the Bertrange and Strassen census. They were both married to older men and did not have children. Their marriage records were found and proved they were sisters of Margaretha:
Catharina ERPELDING (b. 15 Oct 1793) married Jean BOUR (b. 1772) on 26 February 1831 in Bertrange
Margaretha ERPELDING (b. 15 Dec 1795) married Jean SCHMIT (b. 1780) on 10 April 1839 in Bertrange.
These marriages were unknown to Cyndi who concentrated her search in the Oetrange, Contern area. Finding these records however brings up new questions. The birth dates above were found in the marriage records and match dates of birth found by Cyndi. Unfortunately not only were there two sisters named Margaretha, there was a second sister named Catharina b. abt. 1793 who married in 1814 and died in 1848. Both Cyndi and I have her listed with the birth date 15 October 1793. But which of the two Catharina’s was born on this date? I’ll have to add this research question and all it entails to my to-do list.
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.