52 Ancestors: #41 How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law

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

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).[1] Today Hagen is part of the commune of Schuttrange in the Grand Duché of Luxembourg.

1787baptismruckert
1787 Baptismal Record (bottom left page) of Jacobus RUCKERT [1]
1787baptismruckert2
1787 Baptismal Record (top right page) of Jacobus RUCKERT [1]
Angelique (1748-1825) of Bertrange and Johann (?-1803) of Sandweiler married two years before Jacob’s birth on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange.[2] 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[3] and to Willibrordus WESTER on 11 January 1774.[4]

1770michelmarriage
Marriage #1 for Angela Mertes aka Angela Michels [3]
1774michelsmarriage
Marriage #2 for Angelica Michels, a widow [4]
1785michelsmarriage
Marriage #3 for Angelica Michels, a widow [2]

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[5] and his mother Angelique died 15 April 1825[6], 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9] He died on 15 March 1863 in Luxembourg City.[10]
  • Ch 2: Johann RUCKERT (1832-1835) born 9 January 1832 in Bertrange.[11] He died 20 September 1835 in Bertrange.[12]
  • Ch 3: Elisabeth RUCKERT (1833-?) born 12 August 1833 in Bertrange.[13]
  • Ch 4: [–?–] RUCKERT (1835-1835) born 5 December 1835 in Bertrange.[14] He died 5 December 1835 in Bertrange.[15]
  • Ch 5: Jean RUCKERT (1836-?) born 9 December 1836 in Bertrange.[16] He may have died in Luxembourg City in 1865.
  • Ch 6: Catherine RUCKERT (1839-?) born 12 May 1839 in Bertrange.[17]
  • Ch 7: Franciscus RUCKERT (1840-1842) born 5 October 1840 in Bertrange.[18] He died 10 August 1842 in Bertrange.[19]
  • Ch 8: Catharina RUCKERT (1842-?) born 20 March 1842 in Bertrange.[20]

Margaretha SCHOLER died giving birth to her eighth child on 20 March 1842 in Bertrange.[21] Jacob was left with Henri, Elisabeth, Jean, Catherine and newborn baby Catharina.

Magdalena SCHMITT

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.[22] Her birth record, being in French, has Madelaine as her name.

1811madelainebirth
1811 Birth Record for “Madelaine” SCHMIT [22]
Her mother Anne Marguerithe died shortly before Magdalena’s 15th birthday, on 17 January 1826 in Bertrange.[23] Two years later Peter SCHMIT remarried and became the brother-in-law of Jacob RUCKERT.[9]

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.[24]

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.[25]

Jacob and Magdalena had four children:

  • Ch 9: Franciscus “François” RUCKERT (1843-?) born 10 July 1843 in Bertrange.[26]
  • Ch 10: Catharina RUCKERT (1845-1845) born 7 September 1845 in Bertrange.[27] She died 25 December 1845 in Bertrange.[28]
  • Ch 11: Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.[29]
  • Ch 12: Maria RUCKERT (1850-?) born 17 February 1850 in Bertrange.[30]

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.[31]

1851census
1851 Luxembourg Census [32]
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.[33]

Jacob RUCKERT died on 24 June 1856 in Bertrange. A neighbor reported his death.[34]

Marriages for two of Jacob’s children from his first marriage were found. Elisabeth married on 26 November 1857 in Bertrange[35] and Henri married on 6 May 1859 in Luxembourg City.[36]

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.[37] By 1861[38], 1864[39], and 1867[40] 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).[41]

Marie, the youngest daughter, had an illegitimate son Mathias two months before the 1867 census on 2 October 1867 in Bertrange.[42]

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.[43]

Margaretha married Jacob ANTON (1822-1871) on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange.[44] Eight days later her mother Magdalena died on 30 September 1870 in Bertrange.[43] Margaretha’s husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871[45] and she gave birth to their daughter Susanne ANTON nearly four months later on 28 July 1871 in Bertrange.[46]

On 22 April 1874, three years after the death of her first husband, Margaretha SCHMIT married Michel MERTES in Strassen.[47] She would give him seven children as seen in their story 52 Ancestors: #21 The MERTES-RUCKERT Family of Strassen.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 64 of 254. 1787 Baptismal Record No. 215. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-8679-85?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 417 of 572. 1785 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32461-18359-79?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 199 of 572. 1770 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-19970-46?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[4] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 Hassel-Z (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 174 of 376. 1774 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-2184-12?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[5] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 91 of 108. 1803 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-8929-70?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[6] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 673 of 1416. 1825 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56264-53?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 10 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54990-54?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 11 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 9.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54927-45?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 370 of 1480. 1830 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-106857-63?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[10] Ibid., Luxembourg > Décès 1856 > image 785 of 1516. 1863 Death Record No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11662-166376-78?cc=1709358 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[11] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 405 of 1480. 1832 Birth Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109195-60?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[12] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 805 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 40. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-58440-51?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 435 of 1480. 1833 Birth Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102982-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 808 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-53339-95?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[15] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 808 of 1416. 1835 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-53339-95?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 503 of 1480. 1836 Birth Record No. 77.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103346-89?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 559 of 1480. 1839 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103970-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 593 of 1480. 1840 Birth Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105897-85?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 914 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55046-3?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 633 of 1480. 1842 Birth Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105568-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 907 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51891-68?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 125 of 1480. 1811 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105176-7?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 684 of 1416. 1826 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52047-76?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[24] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 479 of 1480. 1835 Birth Record No. 69. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109235-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 156 of 1416. 1842 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57204-95?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 670 of 1480. 1843 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102051-57?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[27] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 725 of 1480. 1845 Birth Record No. 63. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105231-33?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[28] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 965 of 1416. 1845 Death Record No. 41. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56392-74?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[29] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 770 of 1480. 1847 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104061-29?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[30] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 834 of 1480. 1850 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104996-65?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 479 of 1480. 1835 Birth Record No. 69. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109235-17?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[32] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1851 > image 211 of 215. Ruckert-Schmit household. “Luxembourg Volkszählungen 1843-1900,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32358-27390-47?cc=2037957 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bertrange > 1855 > image 12 of 207. Ruckert-Schmit household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32378-10504-67?cc=2037957 : accessed 7 October 2015).
[34] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1084 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55634-51?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[35] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 279 of 1416. 1857 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52834-59?cc=1709358 : accessed 8 October 2015).
[36] Ibid., Luxembourg > Mariages 1847-1868 > image 808 of 1501. 1859 Marriage Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12576-91871-46?cc=1709358 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[37] Luxembourg Census, Bertrange > 1858 > image 91 of 215. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 86. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32359-27766-22?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[38] Ibid., Bertrange > 1861 > image 125 of 220. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 88. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32369-15777-10?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[39] Ibid., Bertrange > 1864 > image 214 of 258. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 196. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32379-36631-51?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[40] Ibid., Bertrange > 1867 > image 143 of 252. Ruckert-Schmit household No. 122. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-24540-26?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[41] Ibid., Leudelange > 1864 > image 24 of 123. Wester household No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-18449-52?cc=2037957 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[42] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1050 of 1480. 1867 Birth Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-107323-82?cc=1709358 : accessed 9 October 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1215 of 1416. 1870 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-58375-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 11 Apr 2013).
[44] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 372 of 1416. 1870 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56851-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[45] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1223 of 1416. 1871 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56358-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 25 May 2015).
[46] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1091 of 1480. 1871 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103996-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL:129622901,129854201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[47] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jacob RUCKERT
Parents: Johann RUCKERT and Angelique MICHELS
Spouse: Margaretha SCHOLER and Magdalena SCHMIT(*)
Parents of Spouse(*): Peter SCHMIT and Anne Marguerite WEICKER
Whereabouts: Bertrange, Grand Duché de Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Jacob RUCKERT
2. Margaretha RUCKERT

3. Maria MERTES
4. Suzanne PEFFER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #40 Happy Birthday to Michel of the MERTES-ERPELDING Family

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[1] 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[2] 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.

1806mertesbirth
1806 Birth Record of François MERTES (left) and of the JUNG baby girl (right) with the fathers and witnesses X marks.[2]
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 reading all above mentioned, as well as the title of Chapter Six of the Civil Code entitled the Marriage, we asked the future husband and the future wife if they want to take each other to be husband and wife; each responding separately and affirmatively, we declare, on behalf of the law, that François MERTES and Marguerithe ERPELDING are united by marriage.

All of this took place in the presence of witnesses named below, 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, signed with us, with the exception of the groom, the bride, and the mother and father of the groom who declared not knowing how to sign.[3]

marriagesignatures
Signatures from the 1834 Marriage Record No. 9 with translation of French text above.[3]

Margaretha, the Bride

Margaretha, seen above as Marguerithe, was born 10 Nivôse year IX[4] (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[5] – 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[6] 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[7] 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[8] they were living next door to François’ parents[9] 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[10] in Strassen.

1843censusmertes
1843 Luxembourg Census for the MERTES-ERPELDING family.[8]
The family of three, father, mother and son Michel, was seen in Strassen for the censuses taken on 20 December 1846[11], 31 December 1847[12], 7 December 1849[13], 31 December 1851[14], and 6 December 1852[15].

François’ parents were still living in Bartringen when his mother Marie Catherine DONNEN died on 24 January 1854[16] and his father Nicolas MERTES died on 19 October 1855.[17]

The MERTES-ERPELDING family was seen in Strassen on 3 December 1855[18] and 3 December 1858[19] when the census was enumerated.

Their only living child Michel MERTES married(1) Catharina HEIN (1834-1874) on 10 January 1861[20] in Strassen. When the census was taken in December 1861[21] Michel and his wife were living with his parents.

François and Margaretha’s first granddaughter Maria lived only 5 days, born 1 February[22] and died 6 February 1862[23] in Strassen. Their second granddaugher Margaretha was born in 1863[24] about a year before François “Franz” MERTES died on 15 March 1864[25] in Strassen.

Margaretha ERPELDING was seen as the head of household on 3 December 1864.[26] Her son Michel, daughter-in-law Catharina, and granddaughter Margaretha were in her household. On 3 December 1867[27] 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.[28]

Michel MERTES, widowed with three children in February 1874[29], married Margaretha RUCKERT (1847-1895) on 22 April 1874[30] 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[31] in Bertrange
  • Margaretha ERPELDING (b. 15 Dec 1795) married Jean SCHMIT (b. 1780) on 10 April 1839[32] 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.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1329 of 1480. 1803 Marriage Record (right page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-107050-84?cc=1709358 : accessed 5 October 2015).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 61 of 1480. 1806 Birth Record (left page). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-109075-23?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 63 of 1416. 1834 Marriage Record No. 9.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55620-99?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid., Contern > Naissances 1796-1835 > image 49 of 484. 1800 Birth Record (10 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12325-25034-93?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[5] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Oetrange > Baptêmes 1797-1836, 1741-1761, mariages 1797-1836, sépultures 1797-1835 > image 4 of 91. Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32461-8208-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[6]  Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 459 of 1480. 1834 Birth Record No. 58. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-105648-16?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 520 of 1480. 1837 Birth Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102810-32?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[8] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1843 > image 141 of 407. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32355-16960-73?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bertrange > 1843 > image 142 of 407. Mertes-Donnen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32355-17053-91?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 976 of 1416. 1846 Death Record No. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52441-82?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 October 2015).
[11] Luxembourg Census, Bertrange > 1846 > image 383 of 431. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32358-11205-4?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[12] 4. Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), <i>FamilySearch</i> (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > 1847 > image 230 of 448. Mertes-Erpelding household No.13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32349-25713-78?cc=2037957 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > 1849 > image 326 of 474. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32350-6186-25?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-7MY:346116301,345864801 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[14] Ibid., Strassen > 1851 > image 112 of 222. Mertes-Erpelding household No. 93. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32351-8545-20?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[15] Ibid., Strassen > 1852 > image 72 of 259. Mertes-Erpelding household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32368-16226-41?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1062 of 1416. 1854 Death Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56882-33?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1077 of 1416. 1855 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54541-99?cc=1709358 : accessed 3 April 2010).
[18] Luxembourg Census42-32375-912-15?cc=2037957 : accessed 3 October 2015).
[19] Ibid., Strassen > 1858 > image 239 of 297. Mertes household no. 57.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32372-17028-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-R97:346409101,345867601 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[20] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1221 of 1464. 1861 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-59528-4?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[21] Luxembourg Census, Strassen > 1861 > image 227 of 297. Mertes household no. 126. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32371-8385-74?cc=2037957&wc=M5LY-Y4G:346409101,345867101 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[22] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 450 of 1464. 1862 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61420-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[23] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 120 of 446. 1862 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-160448-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[24] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 466 of 1464. 1863 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57722-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[25] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 140 of 446. 1864 Death Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-166420-69?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[26] Luxembourg Census, Strassen > 1864 > image 210 of 293. Mertes-Erpelding houshold no. 152. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32569-16533-34?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-FMT:346409101,345868401 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[27] Ibid., Strassen > 1867 > image 31 of 312. Mertes household no. 15. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32380-28790-79?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-SPL:346409101,345869101 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[28] Luxembourg Civil Records, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 189 of 446. 1868 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165726-80?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNG:528766680 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[29] Ibid., Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 251 of 446. 1874 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-487-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[30] Ibid., Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 33 of 1416. 1831 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-52218-77?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 119 of 1416. 1839 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51841-94?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 October 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: François “Franz” MERTES
Parents: Nicolas MERTES and Marie Catherine DONNEN
Spouse: Margaretha ERPELDING
Parents of Spouse: Nicolas ERPELDING and Madelaine “Magdalena” KUNERATH
Whereabouts: Kackerterhaff, Bertrange, and Strassen
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. François “Franz” MERTES
2. Michel MERTES
3. Maria MERTES
4. Suzanne PEFFER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #38 Favorite Place: Moestroff, Home of the PEFFER-GRASSER Family

Week 38 (September 17-23) – Favorite Place: What has been  your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there?

Can you guess my favorite place to research? Without a doubt, in 2015,  it’s been the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as this year’s research and writing has been dedicated to families from this county! If I had to narrow it down to a specific canton it would be a toss up between Diekirch, where most of my husband’s families came moestrofffrom, and Echternach. Narrowing it down even further I’d say the commune of Bettendorf and the village of Méischtref (Moestroff) would win out.

When I met my husband in 1975 he had only one living grandparent, his grandmother Suzanne PEFFER. She lived most of her life in Méischtref where we often visited her on Sundays until her death in 1987. Her father Nicolas PEFFER (1866-1941) was born and raised there as was his father Nicolas PEFFER Sr. (1833-1887). The senior did not come from his having a son of the same name. It came from his being the elder of two boys named Nicolas in the family of Antoine “Anton” PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.

Antoin PEFFER

feulenmap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Feulen.PNG

Antoin PEFFER was born on 20 May 1803[1] in Obermertzig which at that time was in the commune of Feulen, canton of Diekirch. His parents were Adam PEFFER (1777-1848) and Marguerite PIERRET (1777-1843). They had married the previous year on 28 June 1802[2] in Feulen. He had six known siblings: Nicolas (1805-1896), Eve (1808-1808), Christian (1809-1883), Christine (1811-1866), Susanne (1814-1826), and Angélique (1817-1891).

Antoin lived with his parents and siblings in Obermertzig until about 1811-1814 when the family moved to Gilsdorf in the commune of Bettendorf.

Maria GRASSER

bettendorfmap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_Bettendorf.PNG

Maria GRASSER (1802-1882) was born about 1802-1803 in Moestroff to Michel GRASSER (1772-1821) and Elisabetha HOSCHEID (1772-1831).[3] Her parents were married on 2 January 1796[4] in Bettendorf. She had eight known siblings: Nicolas (1796-1801), Margaretha (1797-1848), Jean (1799-1803), Anna Catharina (1801-1821), Phillippe (1804-1805), Cathérine (1805-aft 1855), Nicolas (1807-1852), and Nicolas (1809-1867). It is interesting to note both of Maria’s brothers who were named Nicolas lived to marry and have children. Did her growning up with two brothers named Nicolas influence her and her husband to name two of their sons Nicolas?

Marriage of Antoine and Maria

Antoin PEFFER married Maria GRASSER on 17 February 1830[5] in Bettendorf. When they married the date of birth of Maria’s deceased sister Anna Catharina[6] was given on the marriage record instead of her own. I have not been able to locate a birth record for Maria. Not only did the civil servant get the wrong date of birth for Maria, he forgot to include her age AND he gave her deceased father Michel GRASSER’s date of death as 7 June 1809 instead of 26 February 1821.[7] The death record for Michel GRASSER who died on 7 June 1809[8] was for a child who died at the age of 3 years. Was the civil officer who checked for the supporting documentation for this marriage having a bad day or did rushing cause the errors?

Although records were very well kept in Luxembourg
mistakes in documents were not unknown as seen in
“You’d think they’d get that part right!”

Working Out the Estimated Birth of Maria

Since the marriage record had the incorrect date of birth and no age for Maria I wanted to find a document which would have the missing information. She is not listed in the Tables Décennales for the years 1803-1812 leaving a small window in 1802. There is one other record with a date of birth for Maria – the 1846 census[9] has 2 May 1802. This record is not very reliable. First it is too close to the date of birth of her sister Anna Catharina who was born on 15 December 1801. Second the dates of birth of all other persons in the household were compared with the dates found in their birth records. Not one of them is correct! Her husband was born in May but has July listed. Maria has May listed – could she have been born in July?

1846censuspeffer
1846 Luxembourg Census [9]
Where else could I find her date of birth? Church records! Yes. Wouldn’t you know it? It’s Sunday and FamilySearch is DOWN!! Three hours without access to the Luxembourg records – I had to take some more drastic measures! I made a list of every record with an age for Maria:excelI compared the dates of birth of her siblings and Maria most likely fits in as child #5 in the list of children for Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID:

Mariabirth
Screenshot of Family View in AncestralQuest 14

When the FamilySearch site was working again I checked the church records and the civil records for Bettendorf and found there are records missing for the 1802-1803 period Maria was born in. Unless there are other, yet to be discovered, records for Maria GRASSER which state her birth date this may remain an unknown. For now I am using abt. 1802-1803 as her year of birth.

Antoin and Maria Move to Méischtref (Moestroff)

While his two brothers and two sisters who also married chose to remain in Gilsdorf, Antoin moved to Moestroff, Maria’s hometown, sometime after the birth of their first child and before the birth of their second child, between 1830 and 1833. Bettendorf lies between Gilsdorf and Moestroff and both villages are part of the commune of Bettendorf.

The children of Antoin and Maria were: (§ = end of line)

Ch 1: Marguerithe (1830-1892) born 6 October 1830[10] in Gilsdorf
Ch 2: Nicolas, the elder, (1833-1887) born 10 August 1833[11] in Moestroff
Ch 3: Nicolas, the younger, (1836-1911) born 28 July 1836[12] in Moestroff
Ch 4: Marie (1836-1843) born 28 July 1836[13] and died 20 April 1843[14] in Moestroff §
Ch 5: Catherine (1839-1839) born 24 July 1839[15] and died 19 September 1839[16] in Moestroff §
Ch 6: Catherine (1840-1840) born[17] and died 4 December 1840[18] in Moestroff §
Ch 7: Michel (1842-1910) born 23 June 1842[19] in Moestroff

Antoin PEFFER and his wife Maria GRASSER and their living children Marguerithe, Nicolas the elder, Nicolas the younger, and Michel were not found in the 1843 census. It was enumerated on 23 December 1843 in Moestroff. Antoin’s mother died on 22 December 1843[20] in Gilsdorf. His father’s household was enumerated on the day his wife, Antoin’s mother, died. Adam was listed as married. This was then crossed out and changed to widowed.[21] It is strange Antoin and his family were missed. I wonder if they had gone to Gilsdorf for the funeral and the person visiting the families for the census information forgot to go back when they got home.

Antoin, Maria and their four children were found in Moestroff when the census was taken on 15 December 1846[22], 31 December 1847[23], 5 December 1849[24], and 31 December 1851.[25]

Before the next census the oldest child and only daughter Marguerithe married Jean REITER (1827-1878) on 29 September 1852[26] in Bettendorf. The couple lived with the bride’s parents at the time of the census taken on 3 December 1852.[27] The first grandchild was Nicolas REITER (1855- ) born on 2 July 1855[28] in Moestroff. Following his birth Marguerite and her husband continued the tradition of naming two son Nicolas when their 2nd son was born in 1857. The REITER-PEFFER family continued to live with Antoin and Maria when the census was taken on 3 December 1855[29] and 3 December 1858.[30] The two son named Nicolas and son Michel were also still living at home.

1858censusnicolas
1858 Luxembourg Census [30]
Antoin PEFFER died three weeks after the 1858 census on 26 December 1858[31] in Moestroff. He may have been weak and ill when the census was taken as his daughter Marguerithe signed the census.

Less than a year later the first of the sons married. The elder of the two sons named Nicolas married Marie ZWANK (1832-1892) on 30 November 1859[32] in Bettendorf.

Maria GRASSER had in her household her two unmarried sons, Nicolas the younger and Michel, as well as her daughter Marguerite and her family when the census was taken on 3 December 1861[33] in Moestroff.

Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, married(1) Margaretha SCHMIT (1836-1865) on 21 January 1862[34] in Wallendorf, Germany.

After the younger Nicolas married, his mother Maria GRASSER was seen for the last time on the census of 3 December 1864[35] in Moestroff as the head of household which included her youngest son Michel and her daughter’s REITER-PEFFER family.

Nicolas PEFFER, the younger, was widowed on 29 June 1865[36] and married(2), only three months later, Margaretha MORETTE (1840-1911) on 9 October 1865[37] in Bettendorf.

From 1867 on Maria, the widowed mother of this family, was seen as a member of her son-in-law and daughter’s REITER-PEFFER household on 3 December 1867[38], 1 December 1871[39], 1 December 1875[40], and 1 December 1880.[41]

Michel PEFFER was still living at home at the time of the 1867 census and several weeks later on 23 December 1867[42] he married(1) Anna MÜLLER (1840-1876) in Bettendorf. Following Anna’s death on 17 November 1876[43] Michel married(2) Elizabeth FRISCH (1849- ) two months later on 24 January 1877[44] in Bettendorf. His mother Maria was present at both marriages.

Maria GRASSER died on 4 January 1882[45] in Moestroff. Her 48 years old son Nicolas was the informant and gave her age as 81 years. The age of the son matches that of Nicolas the elder. To be sure I compared the signature on the death record with the signatures on the marriage records of Nicolas the elder and Nicolas the younger. Signature comparison proves Nicolas the elder was the informant.

Maria left four living children. They all died in Moestroff in the following order: Nicolas, the elder, on 4 March 1887[46]; Marguerithe REITER-PEFFER on 5 September 1892[47]; Michel on 27 September 1910[48]; and Nicolas, the younger, on 30 November 1911[49]. They gave her at least 30 grandchildren, 1/3 of whom died young. This ratio may go up as further research is done on the grandchildren of Antoin PEFFER and Maria GRASSER.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Feulen > Naissances 1797-1816 > image 160 of 423. 1803 Birth Record No. 31 (1 Prairial XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12155-31454-48?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2PW:n1261300829 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[2] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 49 of 163. 1796 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-1492-17?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[3] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 221 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36020-39?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[4] Luxembourg Church Records, Bettendorf > Tables des mariages 1764-1797 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 49 of 163. 1796 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-1492-17?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-N3L:1500974653,1501141688 : accessed 17 February 2015).
[5] 1. Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 221 of 1494. 1830 Marriage Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36020-39?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1800-1827 > image 6 of 306. 1801 Birth Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11571-26449-5?cc=1709358 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[7] Luxembourg Parish Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1000 of 1494. 1821 Death Record (lower left). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36863-68?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[8] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 903 of 1494. 1809 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38721-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 21 September 2015).
[9] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > 1846 > image 287 of 334. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28753-26?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[10] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 62 of 1507. 1830 Birth Record No. 67. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-2596-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 19 March 2010).
[11] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 116 of 1507. 1833 Birth Record No. 44. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6643-72?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 03 Apr 2013). Note: birth was registered in Bettendorf but the record does not give the place of residence or birth.
[12] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 179 of 1507. 1836 Birth Record No. 54. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5927-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[13] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 179 of 1507. 1836 Birth Record No. 55. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5927-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[14] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1274 of 1494. 1843 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36805-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[15] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 237 of 1507. 1839 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4093-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 6 September 2014).
[16] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1222 of 1494. 1839 Death Record No. 43. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35707-93?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[17] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 264 of 150. 1840 Birth Record No. 54. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6907-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[18] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1238 of 1494. 1840 Death Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38281-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 22 March 2010).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 304 of 1507. 1842 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-791-50?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 21 March 2010).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1280 of 1494. 1843 Death Record No. 34. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-39436-79?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 2 September 2011).
[21] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1843 > image 139 of 288. Adam Peffer household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32360-28545-74?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-T3L:346114101,345863501 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1846 > image 287 of 334. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32356-28753-26?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-BZ9:346114101,345858602 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1847 > image 283 of 340. Peffer-Grasser household No. 272. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32355-22572-78?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-VZJ:346114101,345864101 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1849 > image 327 of 343. Peffer-Grasser household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32355-6692-53?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-TQW:346114101,345864801 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[25] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1851 > image 332 of 386. Peffer-Grasser household No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32351-22404-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-446:346114101,345865601 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[26] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 447 of 1494. 1852 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37645-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[27] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1852 > image 346 of 365. Peffer-Grasser household No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32350-732-75?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-S58:346114101,345865501 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[28] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 569 of 1507. 1855 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6853-64?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1855 > image 307 of 358. 1855 Peffer-Grasser household no.10.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32379-21661-46?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-C6R:346114101,345866501 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[30] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1858 > image 319 of 365. 1858 Peffer-Grasser household no. 28. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32359-8860-48?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-2JF:346114101,345867601 : accessed 18 February 2015).
[31] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1471 of 1494. 1858 Death Record Nr. 45 (part 1). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-38836-65?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 09 Apr 2013). Note part 2 on image 1472.
[32] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 521 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-35911-81?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[33] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1861 > image 117 of 367. Veuve Peffer-Grasser household No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-5585-58?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-MNL:346114101,345867101 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[34] Mathias Emil Hubsch, Die Pfarrei St. Peter und Paul in der Grenzortschaft Wallendorf (Kreis Bitburg-Prüm) mit den Filialen Ammeldingen und Biesdorf 1744 – 1899 sowie den heutigen luxemburger Filialen Dillingen, Pfarrei Befort 1744 – 1807 und Hösdorf, Pfarrei Reisdorf 1744 – 1822, families number 1575 and 1576.
[35] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1864 > image 375 of 395. Veuve Peffer-Grasser household No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32381-22784-58?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-2J7:346114101,345868401 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[36] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 77 of 465. 1865 Death Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66134-61?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 27 August 2011).
[37] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 583 of 1494. 1865 Marriage Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37701-87?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[38] Luxembourg Census, Bettendorf > 1867 > image 287 of 364. Reiter-Peffer household No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32373-9845-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-3TR:346114101,345869101 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[39] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1871 > image 793 of 823. Reiter-Peffer household No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32377-18879-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-J46:346114101,345869501 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 792 and 794.
[40] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1875 > image 287 of 789 . Reiter-Peffer household No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32380-13880-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-VZK:346114101,345870501 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 286 and 288.
[41] Ibid., Bettendorf > 1880 > image 715 of 793. Veuve Reiter-Peffer household No. 20.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32390-6801-1?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-JWR:346114101,345872201 : accessed 15 September 2015). Note: front and back matter on images 714 and 716
[42] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 599 of 1494. 1867 Marriage Record No. 6.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-40558-99?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 265 of 465. 1876 Death Record No. 35. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60694-30?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-82S:129626601,129626602 : accessed 23 September 2015).
[44] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 708 of 1494. 1877 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-36493-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-SP8:129626601,129729901 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[45] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 348 of 465. 1882 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-66484-26?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 09 Apr 2013).
[46] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1860-1890 > image 422 of 465. “.” 1887 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11711-60202-94?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZR:n1595569028 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[47] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances, mariages, décès 1882-1894 > image 125 of 155. 1892 Death Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11578-26576-80?cc=1709358&wc=9RYW-2NT:129626601,130263301 : accessed 15 September 2015).
[48] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 224 of 389. 1910 Death Record No. 35. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24473-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 14 September 2015).
[49] Ibid., Bettendorf > Décès 1895-1923 > image 242 of 389. 1911 Death Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32048-24118-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-926:129626601,129623802 : accessed 14 September 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Antoin “Anton” PEFFER
Parents: Adam PEFFER and Marguerite PIERRET
Spouse: Maria GRASSER
Parents of spouse: Michel GRASSER and Elisabetha HOSCHEID
Whereabouts: Obermertzig, Gilsdorf, Moestroff
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Antoin “Anton” PEFFER
2. Nicolas PEFFER
3. Nicolas PEFFER
4. Suzanne PEFFER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #35 MERKES-HASTERT Family – Back to School or Back to Work?

Week 35 (August 27 – September 2) – School Days: Many kids have returned to school by this time. What do you know about your ancestors’ school days? Do you have any yearbooks? Have you found him or her in a local school census? (Certainly nobody knows about any senior pranks they pulled 😉 )

A School Teacher for the MERKES Children

On 1 September 1863 Jean THOMES, the mayor of Bastendorf, placed an advertisement in the Der Wächter an der Sauer for a teaching job in Bastendorf, Luxembourg. Adam (14) and  Mathias (12), the youngest sons of Peter and Anna Catharina MERKES-HASTERT, may still have been going to school at this time.

Concurs
am 2. September nächsthin, Vormittags halb neun Uhr im Schulgebäude zu Diekirch, für die Lehrerstelle der Knabenschule zu Bastendorf, mit welcher:
a) Ein jährlicher fixer Gehalt von Fr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
b) Die Schulgebühren der nicht schulpflichtigen Kinder von circa Fr. . .50
c) Eine freie geräumige Wohnung und
d) Das Holzrecht 
verbunden sind.
Bastendorf, am 21 August 1863.
Der Bürgermeister: Jean Thomes.

school
Advertisement for a new teacher [1]
Competition
On September 2 next, in the morning half past eight clock in the school building in  Diekirch, for the teaching job of the boys’ school to Bastendorf which includes:
a) An annual fixed salary of Fr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .600
b) The school fees of (non-compulsory) children of approximately Fr. . . .  50
c) A free and spacious dwelling
d) The right to collect firewood
Bastendorf, on 21 August 1863rd
The Mayor: Jean Thomes.

In the three-quarters of a century before World War II only three teachers taught school in the village due to the good conditions offered them. The teacher hired in 1863 very likely was the first of the three. Mr. Hermes, who was the school teacher in 1949, had been teaching in Bastendorf since 1916. During the time he held school in Bastendorf the town was hard-hit by the Germans – twice, during both world wars.

The Rundstedt or Ardennes Offensive ended on 19 January 1945 for the people of Bastendorf leaving their town in ruins. The Bastendorfers’ once beautiful “village Cathedral” as they thought of their church was disfigured, leaving only the church tower standing. The school building which hardly differed from a stable was in ruins. It took nearly five years to rebuild the damaged buildings. A new church and school building were inaugurated on Sunday, 28 August 1949. The new school building was a modern promise to the children of the town. 

Inauguration of the New School in Bastendorf Next Sunday
Zur Einweihung der neuen Schule in Bastendorf am nächsten Sonntag

School Inauguration in Bastendorf
Schuleinweihung in Bastendorf

Pierre “Peter” MERKES 1805-1867

nicolasmerkes
Nicolas Merkes

Pierre “Peter” MERKES was born at one o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, 10 September 1805 in Bettendorf to Nicolas MERKES (b. 1763) and Magdalena WAGENER (b. abt. 1773). His father was 40 years old at the time, a farmer, and was able to sign his name on the birth record.[2] Peter was the 6th of a dozen children.

Anna Catharina HASTERT 1810-1888

christophehaster
Christope Haster

Anna Catharina HASTERT was born at three o’clock in the morning of Saturday, 15 December 1810 in Niederglabach, commune of Nommern, to Christophe HASTER(T) (1778-1852) and Barbara “Barbe” SCHMIT (1784-1861). Her father was 35 years old, a day laborer, and was able to sign his name on the birth record.[3] I have not researched Anna Catharina’s siblings.

Peter and Anna Catharina Marry in Nommern

On Tuesday 28 February 1832 in Nommern a marriage took place between Peter MERKES and Anna Catharina HASTERT. Peter was 27 years old, a tailor (Schneider) and lived in Bettendorf. Anna Catharina was 22 years old, a day laborer (Taglöhnerin) and lived in Niederglabach. The parents of the bride and groom were present and consenting to the marriage. Banns had been proclaimed on Sunday the 12th and 19th of February in Bettendorf and Nommern. Four witnesses from Schrondweiler and Nommern were present. Their relationship to the bridal couple was not given. The groom and his father signed their names to the marriage record. The bride, mother of the bride and the mother of the groom declared not being able to write and did not sign.[4]

petermerkes
Peter Merkes
nicolasmerkes2
Nicolas Merkes

The inability of the ladies present to sign their names to the marriage record in 1832 makes me wonder when girls were allowed and/or required to attend school. The 1863 advertisement seen above was for a boys’ school and children who were not required to attend school had to pay for their attendance.

The Children of Peter and Anna Catharina

Peter and Anna Catharina’ s first child was born 10 months after their marriage. Barbara, also called Barbe, was born on 21 December 1832 in Niederglabach in the commune of Nommern.[5] Sometime after her birth the family moved to Obereissenbach in the commune of Hosingen where their second child, Anna Maria (1835-1920) was born on 14 August 1835.[6] The family of four then moved to Bastendorf were the rest of the children were born. The move must have taken place when Anna Catharina was expecting her third child as the 1851 census indicates the family had lived in Bastendorf for 12 years. Their third child, Nicolas MERKES was born on 17 November 1838 in Bastendorf[7] and died there on 30 December 1838.[8] Two more children were born before the 1843 census: Pierre on 27 October 1839[9] and Marie, also known as Margaretha, on 26 April 1842.[10]

On 16 December 1843 Pierre, his wife “Catharine” and their children Barbe, Pierre, and Marie were enumerated on the census taken in Bastendorf.[11] Their daughter Anna Maria who was 8 years old at the time was not listed with the family. Was this an omission or was Anna Maria visiting with her grandparents? I have not done census work on the parents of Pierre or Anna Catharina.

Mathias MERKES was born 18 July 1846[12] and was listed with his parents Pierre and “Catherine” on the 24 December 1846 census along with his siblings Pierre, “Anne Marie” and “Marguerite”.[13] His sister Barbe was 12 years old and working as a servant for farmer Pierre Steichen and living with his family.[14] It is not unusual to see the given names written in French on one census and in German the next time.

Little Mathias died at the age of 2 years on 11 November 1848 in Bastendorf.[15] By the time the next census was taken on 3 December 1849[16] another son Adam had been born to Pierre and Anna Catharina on 5 July 1849.[17] The MERKES-HASTERT household included father Pierre, mother “Cath.” and children Pierre, Adam, Barbe, and Marie. Their 14 years old daughter Anna Maria was not with the family and has not been located in another household.

On 7 October 1851 Pierre and Anna Catharina’s 8th and youngest child, a son, was born.[18] They named him Mathias after their 6th child who died in 1848.

On 31 December 1851 the MERKES-HASTERT household included father Pierre, mother Anne Cathérine, and children Pierre, Adam, Mathias, Barbe, Anna Marie, and Marie.[19] A peculiarity of the census, also seen in other years, was the listing of the sons in order of birth followed by the daughters in order of birth. A remark was added concerning Anna Marie – she was absent from home and working as a servant in Tandel, a neighboring village.

On 2 December 1852 when the census was taken Pierre and Anna Catherine had 5 of their 6 living children living at home: Pierre, Adam, Mathias, Barbe, and Marie.[20] Anna Maria was not living at home and her location at the time is unknown.

In 1855 the MERKES-HASTERT family appears to have been missed when the census was taken on 3 December.  Their oldest son Pierre was found in the Schroeder-Schütz household. He was 16 years old and working as a shepherd (berger).[21]

The first grandchild was born on the last day of 1856 in Bastendorf. The oldest daughter Barbe who was 23 years old gave birth to an illegitimate son she named Johann. The grandfather Pierre did not wait for the New Year to have the birth registered. The child was born at 6 o’clock in the evening and Pierre met with the Johann Thomes, the mayor, an hour later.[22]

By 3 December 1858 the oldest son Pierre had “disappeared” from the MERKES-HASTERT household and from Bastendorf. His brothers Adam and Mathias were still at home with their parents who were also keeping Barbe’s young son “Jean”[23] while his mother was in the Fonck-Bourg household in a house called Mühlen and working as a servant.[24]

Pierre and Anna Catharina’s second daughter was also missing from the 1858 census but she did not disappear like her brother Pierre. On 1 September 1859 Anna Maria MERKES married Anton KREMER (1836-1918) in Bettendorf.[25] Anna Maria could not sign her name on her marriage record. Could this mean she did not attend school?

Barbe and her son “Jean” were living with her parents on 3 December 1861 in the MERKES-HASTERT household along with her brothers Adam and Mathias.[26] The household remained the same on 3 December 1864[27] with the exception of Adam who was living with the Kremer-Zenner widow and working as a house servant (domestique).[28]

Peter and Anna Catharina’s third daughter Marie “Margaretha” MERKES had also been missing from MERKES-HASTERT household since being enumerated with them in 1852. She was once again found when she married Dominique “Dominik” HEUARDT (1836- ) on 3 May 1865 in Bastendorf.[29] As was the case for her sister Anna Maria, Marie could not sign her name on her marriage record.

The next marriage in the family was on 7 January 1867 in Bastendorf. The oldest daughter Barbe MERKES married Nicolas KELLER (1837-1878).[30] Her son Jean MERKES was not mentioned on their marriage record and his surname remained MERKES. As was the case for her sisters Anna Maria and Marie, Barbe could not sign her name on her marriage record. Did the girls in this family not attend school because their parents could not afford to pay the school fees?

Not long after Barbe married, her father Pierre “Peter” MERKES died on 22 February 1867 in Bastendorf.[31] He left his wife, three married daughters, two unmarried sons, and a son whose whereabouts are unknown.

Whereabouts of the Family After the Father’s Death

On the 3 December 1867 census the mother of this family was seen as Anna Maria HASTERT  and had in her household son Adam and oldest daughter Barbe, son-in-law Nicolas KELLER, grandchildren Johann MERKES and Margaretha KELLER.[32] Her son Mathias was living in Tandel in the Nicolas KELLEN household and working as a servant (Knecht).[33]

On 1 December 1871 Anna Catharina HASTERT was alone on the census in Bastendorf.[34] Her son Adam and Mathias were listed on the back page as working in Rumelange. This remark came in very handy during further research as Anna Catharina was seen by herself on 1 December 1875.[35]

Very early in my research I called the civil records office in Bastendorf for more information on the MERKES-HASTERT couple. The person on the phone was very helpful but was not able to find the death record in Bastendorf for Anna Catharina HASTERT. At the time all I knew was her daughter Anna Maria was living with her husband Anton KREMER and their children in Bettendorf. I did not know about her other children and had no idea where to search futher.

Nearly twenty years later while preparing to write this post I searched for the all of the birth, marriage, death, and census records. The information on the location of the two youngest sons in 1871 was the breakthrough I needed.

From Rob Deltgen’s site I knew Adam MERKES married Anne Marie KUNNERT on 22 December 1873 in Consthum in the canton of Clervaux.[36] I found their marriage record as well as that of his brother Mathias MERKES who married Susanne KAUFMAN on 11 August 1875 in Bastendorf.[37] Adam and Mathias were both able to sign their names on their marriage records.

adammerkes
Adam Merkes[36]
Mathiasmerkes
Mathias Merkes[37]
Mathias was living in Bastendorf in 1880[38] however his mother, his sister Barbe, and his brother Adam were missing.

The notation on the 1871 census about Adam and Mathias MERKES working in Rumelange brought all the pieces together. It’s a good thing that I checked the Tables Décennales for Rumelange before jumping into the birth and death records. At the very front of the book was this remark:

remark
Remarque: Rumelange records begin in 1891, avant 1891 s’était la commune de Kayl!

It pays to be able to read more than one language. Before 1891 Rumelange was part of the commune of Kayl. In the Kayl records I found Adam MERKES living in Rumelange in 1880[39], 1885,[40] and 1887[41] per the census. His mother Anna Catharina HASTERT was in his household. His sister Barbe was living in Rumelange at the same time and has, so far, only been found in the 1885 census.[42] His brother Mathias also moved to Rumelange by 1885. His sister Marie “Margaretha” MERKES died on 30 December 1884 in Rumelange in the commune of Kayl.[43]

The birth records of the children of Adam MERKES show his re-location from Bastendorf to Rumelange very likely took place following his marriage in 1873. Children were born in Rumelange between 1874-1891.

Adam’s sister Barbe went to Rumelange before 1871. She had three children born between 1871 and 1876 in Rumelange and her husband Nicolas KELLER died there on 27 October 1878.[44]

Anna Catharina HASTERT died in Rumelange on 9 May 1888.[45] She had been living with her son Adam; her daughter Barbe and son Mathias were living in the same town. Only my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother Anna Maria MERKES, who was the first to  marry in 1859, remained in Bettendorf, her husband Anton KREMER’s hometown. But this didn’t mean her ties to her family were broken. Three of her sons went to Rumelange to work in the mines, most likely along side their uncles Adam and Mathias.

And the Search Continues….

The census records for the children of Anna Catharina HASTERT and Peter “Pierre” MERKES who lived in Rumelange still need to be found for the period 1890-1900. Adam died in 1924[46]; the deaths of Barbe and Mathias are unknown. Another question which remains to be answered is: what happened to son Peter after 1855?

Sources:
[1] Der Wächter an der Sauer, Tuesday 1 September 1863, No. 104, p. 4, col. 1. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&amp;custom_att_2=simple_viewer&amp;pid=1621505&amp;search_terms=#panel:pa|issue:1621505|article:DTL45  : accessed 29 August 2015).
[2] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1371 of 1507. 1805 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5228-3?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 08 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1796-1850 > image 120 of 502. 1810 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12663-22222-64?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LC5:n75022555 : accessed 08 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1797-1823, 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1823, 1796-1849 > image 729 of 1477. 1832 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12870-29072-7?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LCR:n1552617334 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).
[5] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1796-1850 > image 319 of 502. 1832 Birth Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12663-24211-27?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-GP6:130145901,130237801 : accessed 1 September 2015).
[6] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1823-1890 > image 271 of 1477. 1835 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11690-153577-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2BG:675906683 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[7] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 467 of 1476. 1838 Birth Record No. 33. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-140257-53?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 92 of 305. 1838 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-252035-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 92 of 305. 1838 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-252035-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[10] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 513 of 1476. 1842 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135070-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[11] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bastendorf > 1843 > image 18 of 186. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32360-13201-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-L2D:346178801,345863501 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[12] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 565 of 1476. 1846 Birth Record No. 15.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-134278-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[13] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1846 > image 161 of 195. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32345-5752-80?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-G5L:346178801,345858602 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1846 > image 11 of 195. Steichen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32345-5881-90?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-G5L:346178801,345858602 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[15] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 181 of 305. 1848 Death Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-248477-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[16] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1849 > image 38 of 2054. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32348-13720-30?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-RMT:346178801,345864801 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[17] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 603 of 1476. 1849 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-138821-0?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 631 of 1476. 1851 Birth Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135267-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[19] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1851 > image 41 of 210. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32356-11818-60?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-PYF:346178801,345865601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1852 > image 32 of 218. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-29324-2?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-C6B:346178801,345865501 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1855 > image 49 of 216. Schroeder-Schütz household No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32377-13474-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-DPJ:346178801,345866501 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[22] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 695 of 1476. 1856 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135699-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[23] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1858 > image 66 of 229. Merkes-Hastert household no. 60. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32371-9032-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6YP:346178801,345867601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1858 > image 42 of 229. Fonck-Bourg household No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32371-8904-89?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6YP:346178801,345867601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[25] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 516 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37146-86?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[26] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1861 > image 10 of 234. Merkes-Hastert household no. 73. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-11548-23?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-FM6:346178801,345867101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[27] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1864 > image 20 of 242. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32373-29321-65?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-DPV:346178801,345868401 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[28] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1864 > image 5 of 242. Household of Widow Kremer-Zenner. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32373-28924-30?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-DPV:346178801,345868401 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Mariages 1851-1871 > image 109 of 162. 1865 Marrige Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132767-61?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2C1 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[30] Ibid., Bastendorf > Mariages 1851-1871 > image 124 of 162. 1867 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132660-15?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2C1 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1863-1871 > image 62 of 109. 1867 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-133034-91?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2CC:27255400 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).
[32] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1867 > image 43 of 238. Anna Maria Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-12002-92?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-VZN:346178801,345869101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1867 > image 96 of 238. Nicolas Kellen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32383-11982-85?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-VZN:346178801,345869101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[34] Ibid., , Bastendorf > 1871 > image 279 of 517. Merkes-Hastert household no. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-2576-71?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-T3N:346178801,345869501 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 278 and 280 for front and back matter.
[35] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1875 > image 58 of 496. Merkes-Hastert household no. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32380-27253-85?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-C6B:346178801,345870501 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 57 and 59 for front and back matter.
[36] Luxembourg Civil Records, Consthum > Mariages 1872-1890 > image 4 of 88. 1873 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132194-14?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-DPN:129626301,129707601 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[37] Ibid., Bastendorf > Mariages 1872-1890 > image 33 of 148. 1875 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-249348-34?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2Z3:1619369468 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[38] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1880 > image 69 of 488. Merkes-Kaufman household no. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32390-2963-79?cc=2037957&wc=M5GW-6T1:346178801,345872201 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 68 and 70 for front and back matter.
[39] Ibid., Kayl > 1880 > image 714 of 1108. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32380-21590-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-T38:345861401,345872201 : accessed 30 August 2015). See also images 713 and 715 for front and back matter.
[40] Ibid.,, Kayl > 1885 > image 714 of 1775. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32391-1100-17?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-GP6:345861401,345873701 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 713 and 715 for front and back matter.
[41] Ibid., Kayl > 1887 > image 202 of 1089. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 97. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32393-16810-84?cc=2037957&wc=M5G4-FM9:345861401,345875201 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 201 and 203 for front and back matter.
[42] Ibid., Kayl > 1885 > image 642 of 1775. Keller-Merkes household No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32391-1631-93?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-GP6:345861401,345873701 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 641 and 643 for front and back matter,
[43] Luxembourg Civil Records, Kayl > Décès 1879-1890 > image 173 of 393. 1884 Death Record No. 128. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11017-120898-4?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-T3D:129946501,129623502 : accessed 25 August 2015).
[44] Ibid., Kayl > Mariages 1866-1890 Décès 1797-1878 > image 1476 of 1489. 1878 Death Record No. 55. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12324-17170-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-7M9:129946501,130034601 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[45] Ibid., Kayl > Décès 1879-1890 > image 290 of 393. 1888 Death Record No. 49.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11017-120661-19?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-T3D:129946501,129623502 : accessed 25 August 2015).
[46] Escher Tageblatt, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlag Editpress S.A., Esch-sur-Alzette), No. 118 20 May 1924 p. 7 col. 4. Death notice: Adam Merkes, 74 J. alt, Taglöhner, Rümelingen. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=428797&search_terms=adam%20merkes#panel:pa|issue:428797|article:DTL109|query:adam merkes.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Pierre “Peter” MERKES
Parents: Nicolas MERKES and Margaretha WAGENER
Spouse: Anna Catharina HASTERT
Parents of spouse: Christophe HASTERT and Barbara SCHMIT
Whereabouts: Bettendorf, Niederglabach, Bastendorf, Rumelange
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Pierre “Peter” MERKES
2. Anna Maria MERKES
3. Nicolas KREMER
4. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
6. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors: #21 The MERTES-RUCKERT Family of Strassen

Week 21 (May 21-27) – Military: This week, the United States will be observing Memorial Day. Do you have any military ancestors? Were any ancestors affected by the military or by war?

Luxembourg was considered a neutral country during the time period the MERTES-RUCKERT  family lived. They did not have a father, mother, sister, brother, son, or daughter who died while serving the country.

The Luxembourg Crisis, a diplomatic dispute and confrontation over the political status of Luxembourg between the French Empire and Prussia almost led to war between the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London signed on 11 May 1867. The immediate effect of the treaty was the reaffirmation of the neutrality of Luxembourg and the union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg under the House of Orange-Nassau.

To ensure Luxembourg’s neutrality, the fortifications of Luxembourg City, known as the Gibraltar of the North, were to be demolished and never to be rebuilt. Dismantling the fortifications required the destruction of underground defences, casemates, batteries, barracks, etc. Fortunately some remains of the fortress survived and can be visited today.

casematesLet’s Begin With A Ridddle

My husband’s great-grandmother Maria MERTES, a first born child, was the seventh child of Michel MERTES and the second daughter of Margaretha RUCKERT. She was the oldest of seven children? How many siblings did she have?

Michel MERTES, Maria’s father

Michel MERTES was born on 6 October 1837 in Strassen.[1] His birth was registered in the commune of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. His father François MERTES, a 31 years old day laborer, did not sign the birth record as he was unable to write. Michel’s mother’s name was given as Marguerite ERPELDING, no age was listed.

Michel married Catharina HEIN on 10 January 1861 in Strassen[2]. By this time the town of Strassen was a commune and no longer a part of the Bertrange commune. Catharina gave Michel six children before she died on 14 February 1874[3]. At the time of her death five children were living, their first born child had died at the age of six days.

  1. Maria MERTES born 1 February 1862[4] and died 6 February 1862[5]
  2. Margaretha MERTES born 11 April 1863[6]
  3. Johann MERTES born 16 November 1865[7] and died 26 February 1875[8]
  4. Maria MERTES born 11 October 1867[9] and died 24 June 1877[10]
  5. Barbara MERTES born 5 January 1870[11] and died 12 March 1900[12]
  6. Jacob MERTES born 24 April 1872[13]

All of the above children were born in Strassen.

Margaretha RUCKERT, Maria’s mother

Margaretha RUCKERT was born 4 May 1847 in Bertrange.[14] Her father Jacob RUCKERT was 59 years old and her mother Magdalena SCHMIT was 37 years old. On the birth record her mother’s maiden name was spelled with two T’s. Her father was literate and signed the birth record.

Margaretha, at the age of 23, married Jacob ANTON on 22 September 1870 in Bertrange.[15] Anton was a 49 years old widower – over twice her age. The father of the bride, the parents of the groom, and the first wife of the groom were deceased at the time.

Margaretha was married a little over six months when her husband Jacob died on 2 April 1871 in Bertrange.[16] At the time Margaretha was carrying his child. On 28 July 1871 she gave birth to their daughter Susanna ANTON.[17] As the father of the child was deceased, the midwife Susanna TIMMESCH (sic, THIMMESCH), who delivered Susanna, declared the birth.

Susanna ANTON has only been traced until 1890 when she was unmarried and working as a servant possibly in Belgium.

The Widower Michel MERTES Marries the Widow of Jacob ANTON

Michel had only been widowed two months when he married Margaretha RUCKERT, the widow of Jacob ANTON, on 22 April 1874 in Bertrange.[18] The parents of both the bride and the groom were deceased. The dates of death of six persons were listed on the marriage record: 4 parents and 2 deceased spouses. None of the witnesses were related the the bridal couple. Michel and Margaretha were both able to write and signed their names to the marriage record.

signaturesThe Children of Michel and Margaretha

Michel’s and Margaretha’s first child Maria was born on 14 February 1875 in Strassen[19] exactly one year after the death of Michel’s first wife Catharina HEIN.

Less than two weeks after the birth of their first child Maria, Michel’s son Johann from his first marriage died at the age of ten years.[20]

Their second child, a son Franz, was born 9 March 1877.[21] Three months later, another of Michel’s children from his first marriage, Maria, died on 24 June 1877. As with her brother Johann in 1875 Maria also died at the age of ten years.[22]

Five more children were born to Michel and Margaretha:

  • Catharina born 3 January 1880[23] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Maria “Margaretha” born 10 March 1882[24] and died unknown (after 1895)
  • Jacob born 24 October 1885[25] and died 9 June 1886[26]
  • Barbara born 23 December 1887[27] died 3 January 1888[28]
  • Susanna born 4 January 1889[29] and died unknown (after 1895)

In 1890 the Michel MERTES household was made up of Michel, his wife Margaretha, and their children Franz, Catharina, Margaretha, and Susanna. Three children were listed on the back of the census as working away from home. Michel’s son Jacob MERTES was  in Belgium learning the carpentry trade. Michel and Margaretha’s daughter Maria MERTES and Margaretha’s daughter Susanna ANTON were working as servants at an illegible location.

What Happened to this Family after 1890?

On 19 February 1894 Maria MERTES, oldest daughter of Michel and Margaretha, married Nicolas PEFFER.[30] Her parents were living in Strassen at the time.

In 1895 Michel and Margaretha were in Strassen with three daughters: Catharina, Margaretha and Susanna. None of these young ladies were old enough to be married. Michel’s son Jacob from his first marriage had been working in Belgium for four years per this census. Michel and Margaretha’s son Franz was not at home and had been in Dudelange for 8 days.[31] Michel’s daughter Barbara, wife of Jean Pierre PARRAGE, was also living in Strassen with her husband and their son Jean Pierre who was born in Belgium in 1891.[32]

In 1891 Michel’s daughter from his first marriage, Barbara age 21 married Jean Pierre PARRAGE[33] a 47 years old widower who had lost his wife while living in Dippach. Barbara died 12 March 1900 in Hautcharage[34] and it was only due to her death being registered in Strassen[35] that I was able to trace her to Hautcharage. Her widower was found in the 1900 census[36] in Hautcharage with his older children from a previous marriage, their son Jean Pierre born in 1891 in Messancy (Belgium) and their son Nicolas born in 1897[37] in Steinfort.

This census information lead to the birth records of Nicolas and a daughter Anna Maria born in Steinfort in 1899.[38] She was not with her father in 1900 and no record of death was found in the communes of Steinfort or Bascharage where they were known to have been living. Was this young child with her MERTES grandparents in 1900?

Michel and Margaretha have not been located in the 1900 census in Strassen. Control lists give only the names of the head of household. If the MERTES family was living with another family each page of the census needs to be viewed to find them. No MERTES marriages were found in Strassen between 1895-1923. No death records were found for this family in Strassen between 1895-1923. The family appears to have disappeared from Strassen after the 1895 census, but where did they go?

Answer to the Riddle

Maria had 13 siblings: 6 half-siblings through her father, a half-sister through her mother, and 6 full siblings.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 520 of 1480. 1837 Birth Record No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-102810-32?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1221 of 1464. 1861 Marriage Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-59528-4?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 251 of 446. 1874 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-487-59?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 17 May 2015).
[4] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 450 of 1464. 1862 Birth Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61420-66?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[5] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 120 of 446. 1862 Death Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-160448-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[6] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 466 of 1464. 1863 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57722-32?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[7] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 504 of 1464. 1865 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57972-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[8] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[9] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 528 of 1464. 1867 Birth Record No. 39. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61010-8?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[10] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[11] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 563 of 1464. 1870 Birth Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60560-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010).  Note: mother is listed as Margaretha Hein instead of Catharina Hein.
[12] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[13] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 594 of 1464. 1872 Birth Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-61213-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 2 April 2010),.
[14] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 770 of 1480. 1847 Birth Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-104061-29?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DX:1319414221 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[15] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 372 of 1416. 1870 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56851-48?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[16] Ibid, Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1223 of 1416. 1871 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56358-72?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829:129622901,129640401 : accessed 25 May 2015).
[17] Ibid, Bertrange > Naissances 1796-1890 Mariages 1796-1827 > image 1091 of 1480. 1871 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12703-103996-63?cc=1709358&wc=9RY8-YWL:129622901,129854201 : accessed 20 May 2015).
[18] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 1336 of 1464. 1874 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60372-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 03 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 645 of 1464. 1875 Birth Record No. 11. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58599-17?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNP:1592332876 : accessed 01 Apr 2010).
[20] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 272 of 446. 1875 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3569-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[21] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 684 of 1464. 1877 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-58094-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[22] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 308 of 446. 1877 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11741-3865-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[23] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 731 of 1464. 1880 Birth Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60407-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[24] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 760 of 1464. 1882 Birth Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-60698-90?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[25] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 805 of 1464. 1885 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57425-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[26] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 403 of 446. 1886 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-165545-91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[27] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages 1796-1823, 1850-1890 > image 834 of 1464. 1887 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12588-57481-98?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-N38:130458601,130573201 : accessed 1 April 2010).
[28] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[29] Ibid, Strassen > Décès 1850-1890 > image 419 of 446. 1888 Death Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11740-164328-74?cc=1709358&wc=9RYH-6T5:130458601,129625702 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[30] Ibid, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 65 of 117. 1894 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19061-71?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LNR:27729865 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[31] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Strassen > 1895 > image 335 of 648. Mertes household no. 145. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-20646-31?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 334 and 336
[32] Ibid, Strassen > 1895 > image 503 of 648. Parrage household no. 229. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32395-19554-40?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-NQF:346409101,345878001 : accessed 25 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 502 and 504.
[33] Civil records, Strassen > Naissances, mariages, décès 1891-1894 > image 49 of 117. 1891 Marriage Record No. 3. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12396-19882-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-N3D:130458601,129717601 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[34] Ibid, Bascharage > Décès 1895-1923 > image 52 of 300. 1900 Death Record No. 13. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32025-16034-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RTY-N3X:129625601,129623802 : accessed 21 May 2015).
[35] Ibid, Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 > image 53 of 263. 1900 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32044-16629-65?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-J4W:130493401,129657201 : accessed 21 May 2015). Note: When this was cited there was an issue with the death records of Strassen. Tuntange > Décès 1895-1912 are really Strassen > Deces 1895-1923. being mislabelled Tuntange.
[36] Luxembourg census, Bascharage > 1900 > image 599 of 738. Parrage household no. 29. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32395-18055-43?cc=2037957&wc=M5GD-2JW:346198501,345873901 : accessed 24 May 2015). Note: For front and back matter see images 598 and 600.
[37] Civil records, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 25 of 410. 1897 Birth Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32046-11964-73?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).
[38] Ibid, Steinfort > Naissances 1895-1923 > image 60 of 410. 1899 Birth Record No. 37. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32046-12405-17?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-RMQ:130395201,129648901 : accessed 24 May 2015).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Michel MERTES
Parents: François “Franz” MERTES and Margaretha ERPELDING
Spouse:  Catharina HEIN and (*) Margaretha RUCKERT
Parents of spouse(*): Jacob RUCKERT and Magdalena SCHMIT
Whereabouts: Strassen, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 2nd great-grandparents

  1. Michel MERTES and Margaretha RUCKERT
  2. Maria MERTES
  3. Suzanne PEFFER
  4. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
  5. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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