Why do we blog about our genealogy research and our ancestors? For me, it began with wanting to tell their stories, one post at a time. As I’m coming to the end of my fourth year blogging, I’m amazed at the number of distant cousins who have found my blog.
As genealogy bloggers, we can’t just sit back and wait for our posts to bait a new cousin. We also need to actively search for and contact cousins who may help us with our research.
In my post, Surprising Discovery Made While Researching the Schramen-Schmitt Family I wrote about the Ferschweiler Family Book having information about the emigration of the SCHRAMEN a.k.a. SCHROMEN family to America. Werner Lichter, the compiler of Familienbuch der Gemeinden Eisenach und Gilzem 1550-1900 as well as works on emigration, was cited as the source for the name of the ship they traveled on and the year they went.
I contacted Aaron, a SCHROMEN descendant who has his family tree on Ancestry. Although the information in the FB Ferschweiler seemed to be a match, we needed more information to prove Aaron and I descend from the same ancestor. Best bet would be to go to the original source.
Werner Lichter had recently commented in a Luxembourg genealogy group so I knew he was on Facebook. I sent him a message asking for help and a friend request just in case he didn’t notice the message.
Werner accepted my friend request about the same time I took my latest 100 km bike ride. We chatted about riding, the weather, that his great-grandfather lived in Echternach for a while, and that he has a PÖPPELREITER connection. Yes, to the family I wrote about yesterday.
I’d gotten in touch with Werner to help Aaron trace his immigrant back to Germany. By reaching out to both of them I ended up with not one but two new cousins. Aaron is my 4C1R through Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. Werner and I are 5th cousins as we descend from Johann PÖPPELREITER and Margaret BOMMES.
When was the last time you reached to a cousin or a cousin reached out to you?
Whenever we rode by the fisher sculpture I had to think of cousin bait and how I could work it into a post. Special thanks to my husband for doing the photoshoot with me.
Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT were my 4th great-grandparents. They lived in Ferschweiler, a small village in the Eifel in Germany.
Elisabetha SCHMITT’s Parents and Siblings
Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG (1756-1818) was born in November 1756 in Berdorf, Duchy of Luxembourg. Her father, Sebastian SCHMITT (1764-1825) was born on 7 December 1764 in Hoffmanns Backhaus in Schankweiler in the Eifel (present-day Germany).
Sebastian was with his family in 1766 in Schankweiler (above). His father was a shepherd or berger. Four persons made up the family: father, mother, brother Hubert, and Sebastian. Maria was found on the 1766 census in Berdorf with her family (below). The LORANG family was with a THILL couple and a young DEFRANG man. The men’s occupation was listed as plower or labourent.
Elisabetha’s parents, Sebastian and Maria were married on 27 December 1784 in Echternach. By this time Sebastian’s family had moved from Schankweiler and taken up residence in Ferschweiler where he would also set up his household with Maria. They were the parents of three known children: two daughters named Elisabetha born in 1786 and 1790 and a son Nikolaus born about 1791 and died at age 19 on 9 March 1810. [Note: the burial records from 1786-1790 need to be checked for a possible death of the first daughter named Elisabetha.]
Their second daughter Elisabetha was my 4th great-grandmother. The FB Ferschweiler (Familienbuch or family book) lists her birthday as 4 March 1790 in Ferschweiler and mentions her baptism on 9 April 1790. This is unusual for the time period when children were baptized the same day or at latest the next day. I wonder if the date of birth was recorded or transcribed incorrectly in the source used by the author/compiler of the family book. Her baptismal record clearly states she was born “on the ninth day of the fourth hour of the morning” and baptized the same day.
Michael SCHRAMEN’s Parents and Siblings
Michael’s father Matthias SCHRAMEN (1742-1809) was born and baptized on 10 March 1742 in Ferschweiler. His mother Anna Barbara LEIBRICH also known as BURG (1744-1810) was born and baptized on 21 May 1744 in Menningen.
Mathias’ parents were using his mother’s maiden name SCHMIDT in 1766 when the first census was enumerated. Mathias was working as a weaver or tisserand at the time. Anna Barbara was living with her mother in the household of her brother-in-law Guillaume MOSSAL. They were enumerated as BURG instead of LEIBRICH.
Barbara, as she was more commonly known, was found in the FB Edingen. However, the proper connections were not made by the author/compiler of this family book. In fact, there was a glaring error in the book. A second marriage in 1771 for her mother born in 1704 to a 21 years old man already in my database. The marriage was unlikely due to his age and known births of children between 1773-1796 for this man and his wife born in 1750.
Further research to clear up the error led to an amazing discovery.
My husband and I are 8th cousins!
Barbara’s maternal grandparents (my 7th great-grandparents) were Mathias and Katharina FEILEN (FEYLEN). They are also my husband’s 7th great-grandparents. This is the first and only time I have found common ancestors for my husband and myself.
Barbara LEIBRICH and Matthias SCHRAMEN married on 11 January 1770 in Ferschweiler. They were the parents of seven children all born in Ferschweiler: Katharina bp. 22 January 1771; Johann bp. 5 December 1773; Magdalena bp. 18 November 1776; Margaretha bp. 31 March 1780; Jakob bp. 11 July 1783; Michael bp. 5 October 1786; and Nikolaus bp. 4 October 1789.
Matthias saw the marriage of his three oldest children and the death of his youngest before he passed away on 12 May 1809. His widow Barbara followed a little over a year later on 26 September 1810.
Michael and Elisabetha marry and have a family
Michael SCHRAMEN married Elisabetha SCHMITT on 27 November 1811 in Ferschweiler. Michael whose parents were both deceased may have had siblings present while Elisabetha’s parents would have been consenting to the marriage. During the first thirteen years of their union, they became the parents of five children.
Ch 1: Catherine (1812-1869) born on 23 October 1812 and baptized the following day.
Ch 2: Johann (1817-1894) born and baptized on 14 January 1817.
Ch 3: Catharina (1820-1842) born 21 February 1820 and baptized the next day.
Ch 4: Margaret (1821-1822) born and baptized on 7 November 1821. She died nearly a year later on 22 October 1822.
Ch 5: Nicolaus (1824-1875) born and baptized on 31 October 1824.
Elisabetha’s mother Maria LORANG died on 11 February 1818 a little over a year after the birth of the second SCHRAMEN child. The maternal grandfather, Sebastian SCHMITT died after the birth of the last child, on 12 January 1825. Both of these deaths took place in Ferschweiler.
Elisabetha’s husband Michael SCHRAMEN died on 20 September 1833 at the age of 46 years. He left a widow and four children aged between 8 and 20.
Soon after Michael’s death, his oldest child turned 21 and planned to marry. Catherine SCHRAMEN married Nicolas WILDINGER (1798-1874) on 18 January 1834 in Ferschweiler in a civil ceremony and then on 21 January 1834 in a religious ceremony. They were my 3rd great-grandparents.
Michael’s widow Elisabetha may have had her three unmarried children in her household for nearly a decade. Her second daughter Catharina married on 18 January 1842, after turning 21 years, to Johann MARX. Her marriage took place on her sister Catherine’s 8th wedding anniversary. Both girl’s names were found to be Catharina on the German Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 index,  and I am using Catherine for the oldest to keep them apart. Catharina gave birth to a son Theodor on 8 November 1842; she died less than two weeks later on 24 November 1842.
During the next decade, Elisabetha’s two sons Johann and Nicolaus may have still lived at home and cared for their mother. Times were hard for most families in the area and many were emigrating to Luxembourg and America. Elisabeth’s youngest son Nicolaus was 27 years old and unmarried when he went to America in 1852 likely leaving her in the care of his older brother Johann.
Johann, the only unmarried child of Michael and Elisabetha still in Germany, was 35 years old when he finally married. His brother Nicolaus’ departure may have been a deciding factor in his decision to marry. His bride Katharina ADAM was 29 years old when she married Johann on 15 November 1852 in Ernzen. The religious ceremony took place in St. Lucia Catholic church in Ferschweiler two days earlier. Like his older sister Catherine, Johann named his first daughter Elisabetha after his mother.
Further research into census records, etc. needs to be performed to learn where the mother of this family lived. Elisabetha had two married children in the same town, two children were deceased, and her youngest was in America. Did she live with her son Johann following his marriage? Did he remain in the family home? Or did she go to live with daughter Catherine and son-in-law Nicolas WILDINGER? Elisabeth died at the age of 79 years on 20 May 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried two days later.
Elisabetha’s daughter Catherine died nearly six months later on 2 November 1869 at the age of 57 years and was buried two days later in Ferschweiler.
The last living child of Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT was their oldest son Johann. He died on 20 January 1894 in Ferschweiler at the age of 77 years.
What became of the son who went to America?
Did Elisabetha, Catherine, and Johann know anything of the youngest son/sibling Nicolaus who went to America? Did they exchange letters? What became of him?
The compiler of the FB Ferschweiler cites Werner Lichter’s work on emigration for at least 5 persons from Ferschweiler who went to America on the ship Clotilde in 1852 including Nicolaus SCHRAMEN. The Clotilde left from Antwerp, Belgium around late May 1852 arriving at the port of New York on 3 June 1852. Nicolaus SCHRAMEN is said to have been on this ship. He likely traveled in steerage, similar to a cargo hold where many passengers were accommodated but with poor conditions. Steerage was the most common class of travel for immigrants.
While doing research on Nicolaus in US records I found there were two men of the same name and close in age. I contacted Aaron D., a great-great-grandson of Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dubuque County, Iowa. While trying to learn the parentage of his immigrant ancestor he had also looked into the other Nicholas SCHROMEN of Dupage County, Illinois, but did not know if there was a family relationship. Aaron had no proof of where in Germany his ancestor came from but had searched for the surname and found a concentration in the Ernzen/Ferschweiler area. He had not connected his Nicholas SCHRAMEN to my Michael SCHRAMEN and Elisabetha SCHMITT. I checked the FB Ferschweiler again and found Michael’s older brother Johann also had a son named Nicolaus born in 1819 and married to Katharina EWEN. His year of birth and the first name of his wife were a match for the man from, Illinois. Apparently, he did not remain in Ferschweiler as no children are listed nor is another family book referenced. It is a possibility the two men living in America were first cousins.
I believe Michael and Elisabetha’s Nicolaus was Nicholas SCHROMEN from Dubuque County, Iowa. He married Elizabeth GROSSBUSCH (1827-1896) on 28 February 1854 in Dubuque. The marriage record found by Aaron does not mention parents. Nicholas died on 13 January 1875 in Dubuque County, Iowa. The photo on FindAGrave for Nicholas’ grave marker is hard to decipher. What I can read is his date of birth was 1 Nov. The date found in the FB Ferschweiler was 31 October 1824. Aaron’s mother and my brother would be 3C2R – can this relationship be proven with their DNA?
Last year my brother had his DNA tested and turned the results over to me. As I write these last articles on my maternal 4th great-grandparents, I will be checking his matches to see if any hold the key to open a door in a brick wall on this side of the family tree. These brick walls being mostly descendants of my maternal ancestors who have not been traced mainly due to emigration.
I have been waiting impatiently to write about this couple, Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER. This is what I know about their lives and where I found information which has not all been documented.
Where the Information Was Found
Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER of Ernzen, Germany, were my 4th great-grandparents. The bits and pieces I have for them come mostly from Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 – such a long title for the family book of the town of Ernzen and environs. I call it simply FB Ernzen.
Church records are available online at FamilySearch for Ernzen up to 1797 as it was then part of the parish of Echternach in Luxembourg. Civil records for births from about 1798 to 1907, marriages from 1798 to 1937, and deaths from 1798 to 1987 are not online. Although a short 20 minutes drive from where I live, the Kreisarchiv in Bitburg, Germany, houses these records. Tentative plans are being made to visit the archives with my genealogy society Luxracines next spring.
From WILTINGER to WILDINGER
Wilhelm WILTINGER was born about 1770 in Ettelbrück, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He was the son of Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG of Ettelbrück. These two “facts” were likely taken from his 1849 death record. As he died in Ernzen, this record will have to be obtained from the archives in Bitburg. I am hoping the person who took the information off of the death record may have made an error in noting both parents were from Ettelbrück.
I have tried to shed more light on Wilhelm’s parents. I am inclined to think Margaretha DIESBURG was not originally from Ettelbrück. My guess is she is from the DIESBURG line which originated on Diesburgerhof near Ferschweiler, the next village over from Ernzen. I found a child with the same name born in 1744 who would be a perfect match. Her family group is recorded in the FB Ferschweiler and I found her in the 1766 census living with one of her married sisters. She was not yet married. This leaves me with a four year period from 1766-1770 when Michel and Margaretha could have met and married. But where? Marriages in Luxembourg have been indexed for the time period and I have tried all variations of the names without locating a marriage. It has crossed my mind that a different surname may have been used by the groom, i.e. a house name.
As for Wilhelm’s father I have searched all available GEDCOM files online to find persons with the WILDINGER name – the spelling which has been used in my family from 1798 to present. It is my mother’s maiden name. The only hits I get on the Luxracines website (members only access to GEDCOMs) are my own file. I am beginning to suspect that while my ancestor’s name may have been WILTINGER and changed to WILDINGER, the original surname may have evolved to the more common and widespread WILDANGER. Most were found in the Girst and Dickweiler area and spread out to Echternach. These are all in Luxembourg.
For now Michel WILTINGER and Margaretha DIESBURG, the parents of Wilhelm WILTINGER will remain a brick wall. A more time consuming one-name study of the WILDANGER individuals in Luxembourg and the nearby German area may the only way to solve this brick wall. Or could DNA also be part of the solution?
The WELTER line
Margaretha WELTER was the daughter of Michael WELTER and Katharina KLEIN. Michael and Katharina married in Ernzen on 22 November 1764.
They had not yet had any children when the 1766 census was taken. Their names were spelled Michel and Catherine and they were living in a KLEIN household.
Their first child was born the year the census was enumerated, followed by a set of twins in 1768, a son in 1770, another set of twins in 1773, and finally their youngest in 1777. Both sets of twins were a boy and a girl.
Margaretha was their youngest, born and baptized on 18 April 1777 in Ernzen (present-day Germany). Her godparents were Margaretha KLEIN and Nicolaus HUSS, both of Ernzen.
A Marriage Before 1798?
Margaretha married Wilhelm WILTINGER before 1798. The marriage is estimated from the time their first known child was born. No marriage record has been found. Church and civil records were checked in Ettelbrück and Echternach to no avail.
Wilhelm and Margaretha had the following children, all born in Ernzen:
Nicolas born on 29 September 1798.
Elisabeth born on 21 August 1805.
Franciscus “Franz” born on 6 Aug 1810. He died on 8 December 1812 in Ernzen.
Bernardus born on 12 May 1813.
The only daughter Elisabeth married Dominik WEBER (1803-1840), son of Johann WEBER and Katharina PETRI of Hoesdorf, on 13 December 1831 in Ernzen. Hoesdorf (Luxembourgish: Héischdref) is a village in the commune of Reisdorf, in eastern Luxembourg.
Margaretha WELTER, the mother of Nicolas, Elisabeth, and Bernard, died on 8 January 1833 in Ernzen. Her oldest son Nicolas was 35 years old and still single. Her youngest son Bernard was going on 20. Her daughter Elizabeth had been married a little more than a year.
On 12 October 1833, nine months after the death of her mother, Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, a daughter Maria. She chose her brother Nicolas to be the godfather. Maria THEIS of Hoesdorf was the godmother.
My third great-grandparents, Nicolas WILDINGER and Catherine SCHRAMEN married on 18 January 1834 in Ferschweiler. Catherine was the daughter of Michael SCHRAMEN and Elizabeth SCHMITT. She was born on 23 October 1812 in Ferschweiler and was baptized the next day. Their story can be found here: 52 Ancestors: #42 The WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN Family of Ferschweiler .
Elisabeth’s husband Dominik WEBER died on 9 May 1840 in Ernzen and was buried two days later. He left Elisabeth with four children.
Wilhelm WILTINGER, likely now using the WILDINGER spelling, died on 28 September 1849 in Ernzen and was buried two days later.
Where Are the Children?
Wilhelm’s death came at a time when many were thinking about moving across the newly established border to Luxembourg or even further abroad, to America. Elisabeth’s brother-in-law Theodor JARDIN went to America with all of his living children after the death of his wife Katharina WELTER, sister of Dominik, in 1855. Elisabeth and her brother Bernard had been close to the JARDIN family, both being godparents to JARDIN children.
Elisabeth WILDINGER was 53 years old and had been widowed seventeen years when she obtained an Auswanderungsgenehmigung (emigration approval) on 9 October 1857 for herself and her two children, Mathias, born on 10 November 1840, and Maria, born on 12 October 1833. The petition was admitted to the hearing without a stamp due to poverty. Elisabeth made her mark on the petition.
There is no mention of where the family immigrated to or of the other two children, Anna Katharina born 1835 or Theodor born in 1838. However…
Richard Schaffner was not the first to compile a family book for the parish of Ernzen. A copy of Familienbuch Ernzen 1 (1823-1900) is in the parish of Ernzen according to Schaffner. He does not mention the compiler’s name. In the entry for Elisabeth WILDINGER in Schaffner’s version, he notes on page 45 of the first book the following information was found: “Die Witwe Elis. Weber zog im Jahr 1857 mit ihren 4 Kindern und ihrem Bruder Bernard Wildinger nach Nordamerika.” The widow Elisabeth WEBER moved in the year 1857 with her four children and her brother Bernard Wildinger to North America.
Early on I searched for Elisabeth and her brother Bernard WILDINGER in the USA but never found either of them or her WEBER children. Perhaps they went to Canada or Mexico. Not having experience with these countries I left this research problem for another day.
My third great-grandparents Catherine SCHRAMEN and Nicolas WILDINGER had five children born between 1835 and 1852. Catherine died on 2 November 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried on 4 November 1869. Four and a half years later Nicolas, the only child of Wilhem WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER to remain in Germany, died on 3 June 1874 in Ferschweiler. They left three living children, two of whom have been traced. All that was known of their youngest son Peter is that he fled from military service – “militärflüchtig laut Anzeiger z. Amtsbl. Trier 1873, Seite 243.”
Let’s Talk About DNA
As mentioned earlier I now manage my brother’s DNA. As our mother is from Luxembourg (and all of her ancestry is centered in this tiny area) the DNA we share with her is either not getting many matches or is difficult to find within the thousands of matches showing on AncestryDNA.
There are several ways to sort matches on AncestryDNA. The most obvious (easiest) are those who have matching ancestors in their trees followed by matching surnames. Many users have private trees. When you search for a surname, matches with private trees will turn up in the list but you cannot access the information and therefore do not know who their ancestor is with the surname.
Even today searching for the WILDINGER surname on AncestryDNA turns up zero hits. Checking the box to Include similar surnames is not helpful as it turns up too many matches. I tried the known spellings and still had no results.
Then in April 2017, a match was found which looked promising.
This predicted 4th cousin match showed PETERS as a shared surname. This match’s PETERS line appears to be German, unlike mine which is believed to be English. There were no Shared matches with this person which raises the possibility of this being a maternal match as opposed to a paternal match. It must be noted that shared matches are only listed up to 4th cousins.
Clicking on Location I found he had a WEBER ancestor from Ernzen. This is not one of my ancestral surnames and at the time I was not expecting a match to a family on our maternal side. Taking a closer look at the attached tree I realized the connection could be WELDINGER on his tree. A spelling I had not tried.
Predicted 4th cousin is a 4C1R
The year of birth for the daughter of the WEBER-WELDINGER couple in the pedigree chart above is 1818. My 3rd great-grand aunt Elisabeth WILDINGER was born in 1805 and would have been only 13 when this child was born. Even with this error, it looked promising as the husband’s name matched that of Elisabeth’s husband and the location fit.
I got to do US research – checking census, BMD, etc. – and found Elisabeth WILDINGER had emigrated to America before 1860. She was living in Berwick in Seneca County, Ohio, with her married daughter Catherine in 1860. She was listed with the surname WEAVER. Her daughter was only 24, born abt. 1835, and a good match for the child seen in the pedigree chart above with year of birth being 1818. Although she was still living, I have not found Elisabeth in the 1870 or 1880 census. She died on 10 March 1891 in Big Spring, Seneca County, Ohio, at the age of 86 years.
Two of her children were also found. Catherine, who was the ancestor of the match with my brother, and her younger brother Mathias. I have not found the older daughter Maria or the son Theodor nor have I found the immigration records. I entered this match’s line back to my WILDINGER ancestor into the tree I have attached to my brother’s DNA.
This was done only after confirming this match’s line back to my WILDINGER ancestor. The tree has only the direct ancestors – no siblings, children, etc. I am considering the pros and cons of adding each confirmed match’s line back to the MRCA (most recent common ancestor). This tree includes sources but I have not attached records from Ancestry. I don’t usually work with it and have not considered the hints (shaky leaves) that are showing up.
2nd Great-Grand Uncle Discovered
However, while entering this match’s line, I took the time to check the hints for Ancestry Member Trees. I was surprised to find Wilhelm WILTINGER and Margaretha WELTER’s grandson Peter WILDINGER through their son Nicolas (my third great-grandfather) in four trees. All four had my Nicolas as the earliest known ancestor. No mention of Wilhelm and Margaretha. One member tree has for Peter: “Killed in WWI Action on the German Lines” in 1873. That is not what I would call a reliable statement.
The other three member trees are for a Peter WELDINGER who married in Illinois, had children there, and later moved to Iowa. The 1900, 1910, and 1920 census show he came to America in 1870 and was naturalized in 1880 (U.S. Naturalization Record confirms 30 October 1880). If this Peter WELDINGER is my second great-granduncle (there is presently no match or the owner/descendant has not done a test) then he must have fled from military service by emigrating to America.
Another DNA discovery was made as several new matches showed up when I did a new search for the locations Ernzen and Ferschweiler while writing this. I will have to work through these first but it looks promising as one of them may be the key to unlock the door in the DIESBURG brick wall.
Sources:  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach undteilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 246, Family #869. Wiltinger-Welter.  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) 1680-1899, PDF (Kordel, 1999), p. 43-44, Family #193. Diesburg-Schmitt.  Luxembourg, Dénombrement, 1766 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Archives Générales du Royaume, Bruxelles), Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Feischveiler (paroisse d’Echternach) > Image 250 of 753. Household Nr. 13, Mathias Petri. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DK-Y?i=249&cat=1184675 : accessed 6 October 2017).  Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages, décès 1706-1778 > image 145 of 293. 1764 Marriage Record, right page, 1st entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32399-12418-50?cc=2037955 : 9 January 2015).  Luxembourg 1766 Census, Decanat de Bittbourg v. 1 A-K > Erntzen (paroisse d’Echternach) > Image 245 of 753. Household Nr. 7, Jean Klein (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSLL-M7DL-W?cat=1184675 : accessed 6 October 2017).  FB Ernzen, p. 240, Family #846. Welter-Klein.  Luxembourg Church Records, Echternach > Baptêmes 1761-1797 > image 83 of 131. 1777 Baptismal Record, left page, 7th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-12819-27?cc=2037955 : accessed 9 November 2016).  FB Ernzen, p. 246, Family #869. Wiltinger-Welter.  Ibid., p. 225, Family #800. Weber-Wildinger.  FB Ferschweiler, p. 349, Family #1625. Wildinger-Schramen.  Ibid., p. 295, Family #1378. Schramen-Schmitt.  FB Ernzen, p. 117-118, Family #380. Jardin-Welter.  Josef Mergen, Die Amerika-Auswanderung aus dem Kreis Bitburg im 19.-Jahrhundert  “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6CM-WJX : accessed 5 October 2017), Elizabeth Weaver, 10 Mar 1891; citing Death, Big Spring, Seneca, Ohio, United States, source ID v 4 p 216, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 388,771.
Week 42 (October 15-21) – Proud:Which ancestor did something that made you proud? Which ancestor are you proud of finding?
I’m proud to be able to share photos taken last week of the road into Ferschweiler, the town sign, the catholic church, and the Luzienturm (tower) from the year 1538. It was wonderful to walk the church grounds where my ancestors are buried and see the church they were baptized and married in. The graves are no longer there but their spirits remain.
The WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN Family of Ferschweiler
My third great-grandfather Nicolas WILDINGER was born on 29 September 1798 in Ernzen, Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He was the son of Wilhelmus WILTINGER (1770-1849) born about 1770 in Ettelbrück, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Margaretha WELTER (1777-1833) born 18 Apr 1777 in Ernzen. It is not known at this time when his parents married.
Note: The compiler of the Ernzen Family Book wrote Ehe nachprüfen (check marriage) followed by oo vor 1798 (married before 1798).
Nicolas was most likely the oldest of 4 children. His three younger siblings were born during the Napoleonic Wars (18 May 1803-13 Sep 1815):
Elizabeth WILDINGER (1805- ) born 21 August 1805 in Ernzen. She married Dominik WEBER on 13 December 1831. As a widow with 4 children she immigrated to America in 1857.
Franciscus “Franz” WILDINGER (1810-1812) born 6 August 1810 in Ernzen and died 8 December 1812 in Ernzen.
Bernardus WILDINGER (1813- ) born 12 May 1813 in Ernzen. Immigrated to America in 1857.
Nicolas’ mother Margaretha WELTER died 8 January 1833 in Ernzen too early to see her oldest son Nicolas marry.
The Road to Ferschweiler
Nicolas WILDINGER married Catherine SCHRAMEN on 18 Jan 1834 in Ferschweiler. Their religious marriage took place on 21 January 1834 in the Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler.
Catherine SCHRAMEN was born 23 Oct 1812 in Ferschweiler and was baptized the next day on 24 October 1812 in the Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler. She was the daughter of Michael SCHRAMEN (1786-1833) born 5 October 1786 in Ferschweiler and Elisabetha SCHMITT (1790-1869) born 4 March 1790 in Ferschweiler. They were married on 27 Nov 1811 in Ferschweiler. They had six known children, Catherine the eldest and:
Johann “Joannes” SCHRAMEN (1817-1894) born 14 January 1817 in Ferschweiler. He married Katharina ADAM (1823- ) on 15 November 1852 in Ernzen. Joannes died on 20 January 1894 in Ferschweiler.
Catherine “Katharina” SCHRAMEN (1820- ) born 21 February 1820 in Ferschweiler and was baptized the next day on 22 February 1820 in the Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler. She married Johann MARX ( – ) in 1842.
Margaret SCHRAMEN (1821-1822) born and baptized on 7 November 1821 in Ferschweiler. She died on 22 October 1822 in Ferschweiler.
Nicolaus SCHRAMEN (1824-1852) born and baptized on 31 October 1824 in Ferschweiler. Nicolaus Schramen went to America about 1852 and may have lived in Illinois from 1855-1880.
Catherine’s father Michael SCHRAMEN died 20 September 1833 in Ferschweiler four months before she married Nicolas WILDINGER.
Ferschweiler, The Birthplace of the WILDINGER Children
Catherine and Nicolas had the following children:
Ch 1: [–?–] WILDINGER (1835-1835) born and died on 25 March 1835 in Ferschweiler.
Ch 2: Elisabetha WILDINGER (1836-1882) born 10 July 1836 in Ferschweiler.
Ch 3: Bernard “Bernhard” “Bernardus” WILDINGER (1838-1893) born 7 November 1838 in Ferschweiler, baptized two days later on 9 November 1838 in the Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler.
Ch 4: Elisabeth WILDINGER (1844-1867) born 11 August 1844 in Ferschweiler.
Ch 5: Peter WILDINGER (1852- ) born 5 August 1852 in Ferschweiler and baptized three days later on 8 August 1852 in the Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler. Per the Ferschweiler Family Book he was fled from military service – “militärflüchtig laut Anzeiger z. Amtsbl. Trier 1873, Seite 243.“
Nicolas’ father Wilhelmus WILTINGER died 28 September 1849 in Ernzen and was buried two days later on 30 September 1849 in Ernzen. He did not live to see his youngest grandson Peter WILDINGER’s birth or baptism.
St. Luzia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler, first built in the years 1826-28 and rebuilt in 1947-49.
Two of Nicolas and Catherine’s children married:
Elisabetha WILDINGER married Nikolaus ROOS (1831-1879) on 8 January 1861 in Ferschweiler.
Bernard WILDINGER married Maria WEIMANN (1839-1915) on 25 January 1866 in Ernzen. They were married in a religious ceremony on 3 February 1866 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen., 
Following these marriages at least 14 grandchildren were born, two of the six ROOS grandchildren and four of the eight WILDINGER grandchildren died very young.
And There Were More Funerals
Nicolas and Catherine’s second daughter Elisabeth, not to be confused with her older sister Elisabetha, died at the age of 23 on 28 December 1867 in Ferschweiler and was buried two days later on 30 December 1867 in Ferschweiler. Hardly a year and a half later Catherine’s mother Elisabetha SCHMITT died 20 May 1869 in Ferschweiler at the age of 79. She was buried two days later on 22 May 1869 in Ferschweiler. Less than six months later at the age of 57 years, Catherine SCHRAMEN died 2 November 1869 in Ferschweiler and was buried two days later on 4 Nov 1869 in Ferschweiler.
Nicolas WILDINGER lived a little over four years as a widower before dying on 3 June 1874 in Ferschweiler at the age of 75.
He left two children, the elder Elisabetha and my 2nd great-grandfather Bernard. It is not known if his youngest son Peter was still living. Elisabetha died 29 September 1882 in Ferschweiler and Bernard died 14 October 1893 in Ernzen.
View of Luzienturm in Ferschweiler from the Church
Sources:  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) 1680-1899, PDF (Kordel, 1999), p. 349, Family #1625. Wildinger-Schramen.  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 246, Family #869. Wiltinger-Welter. Familienbuch Ernzen, p. 225, Family #800. Weber-Wildinger.  Familienbuch Fershcweiler, p. 295, Family #1378. Schramen-Schmitt. Familienbuch Ferschweiler, p. 294, Family #1374. Schramen-Adam.  Ibid., p. 250, Family #1167. Roos-Wildinger.  Familienbuch Ernzen, p. 245-246, family #867. Wildinger-Weimann.  Familienbuch Fershcweiler, p. 349, family #1624. Wildinger-Weimann.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.
Week 22 (May 28 – June 3) – Commencement:Countless schools will be having their commencement ceremonies around this time. Think not only about school, but also about commencement meaning “a beginning.”
Following a cruise of the Mosel River on a Roman ship and lunch at a typical German “Gasthaus” we visited Peter Daus’ private library above the Restaurant Daus in the Haus Daus in Wittlich.
The library had about 2000 Familienbücher (family books) for towns in Rheinland-Pfalz, Pfalz and Saarland. Ortsfamilienbücher or Familienbücher are compilations of information extracted from civil and parish registers for all families of a town or village and arranged in alphabetical order. Information on occupations, military service and emigration can also be found in these books.
I pulled the books on the villages my ancestors came from and began taking pictures of the covers/title pages and all entries for surnames that matched mine with my Nikon Coolpix (macro and without flash). Although time was short and work space a bit cramped, I took nearly 120 photos – some (below) came out a bit blurry but still useful for citing sources.
The WILDINGER-WEIMANN family was the very first family I looked up. I knew Bernard WILDINGER was born in Ferschweiler and found him in Richard Schaffner’s 1999 compilation Familienbuch Ferschweiler.
My second great-grandfather Bernard WILDINGER is listed under family number 1624 with his wife Maria WEIMANN. Next to Bernard’s name the number <1625.3> links him to family number 1625 (his parents and siblings) in the same book (next entry) and as the 3rd child of the couple.
Abbreviations used in family books: * geboren / born ~ getauft / christened + gestorben / born bgr or ¨ begraben / buried oo Ehe / marriage o-o außerehelich / extramarital S standesamtlich / civil K kirchlich / religious ? fraglich / questionable v vermutlich / presumably e errechnet / estimated NN Name(n) unbekannt / unknown name P. Paten / godparents Q. Quelle / source u. und / and zw. zwischen / between lu lutherisch / Lutheran rk römisch-katholisch / Roman Catholic
Not only were Bernard and Maria listed in Ferschweiler but also in Ernzen where they were married and had their children. These entries helped me to write the following story of this family.
The WILDINGER-WEIMANN Family of Ernzen, Germany
Bernard WILDINGER was born on 7 November 1838 in Ferschweiler to Nikolaus WILDINGER und Catharina SCHRAMEN. He was baptized Bernardus on 9 November 1838 in Sankt Lucia Catholic Church in Ferschweiler.
Bernard married Maria WEIMANN on 25 January 1866 in a civil ceremony [Source: St.A. (Standesamtliche=civil) Heirats-Act Nr. 5] in Bollendorf/Ernzen. They were married on 3 February 1866 (Source: Kirchenbuch 4/152/2) in a religious ceremony in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen.
Maria WEIMANN was born on 18 June 1839 in Ernzen to Hubert WEIMANN and Elisabeth WELTER. She was baptized on 19 June 1839 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen. Her godparents were Maria WELTER and Anton PROMMENSCHENKEL, both of Ernzen.
Bernard and Maria had eight known children:
Hubert was born on 23 December 1866 in Ernzen. After Christmas, on St. Stephen’s Day, 26 December 1866 he was baptized in the catholic church. His godparents were Hubert WEIMANN from Ernzen and Kath. SCHRAMEN from Ferschweiler. He died at nine months on 20 September 1867 and was buried two days later in Ernzen.
Peter was born 19 October 1868 in Ernzen. He was baptized on 21 October 1868 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen. His godfather was Peter WILDINGER. Peter did not marry and died at the age of 31 years on 11 May 1899 in Ernzen.
Elise was born unknown and died 14 May 1870 in Ernzen.
Peter was born 7 August 1871 in Ernzen. He was baptized 8 August 1871 in the Sankt Markus Catholic Church in Ernzen in the presence of his godparents Peter STEIL and Marg. DEUTSCH. He was deaf and dumb (taubstumm), never married and died in 1952 in Ernzen.
Johann was born on 25 February 1874 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Johann WEIMANN and Elis. WILDINGER. He was a mason (Maurer), married Katharina PÖPPELREITER on 16 September 1874 in Mettendorf where the family moved in 1904. Johann and Katharina were my great-grandparents.
Nikolaus was born 3 May 1876 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Nik. ROOS and Elis. SCHRAMEN. He died in 1948 in Ernzen.
Anna Maria was born 25 November 1878 in Ernzen and was baptized in the catholic church. She married Michael RAIER, an ironworker (Hüttenarbeiter) from Bollendorf on 3 September 1907.
Bernhard was born on 19 June 1881 in Ernzen. He was baptized in the catholic church in the presence of his godparents Bernard SCHRAMEN and Kath. HANSEN. He married Marg. HANSEN on 30 January 1908. His wife was born 20 May 1888 and died in 1915. Bernhard and his family lived in Ernzen and had six children between 1908-1921.
Bernard WILDINGER was a stonemason (Steinhauer). He died at the age of 55 years in Ernzen on 14 October 1893 in Ernzen. His wife Maria was a widow for 22 years before dying on 2 September 1915 in Ernzen.
The Next Step
Although Mr. Schaffner has facilitated my research of this family this is only the beginning for German families. I still need to obtain the records he used for his compilations. The next step is to visit the Rhineland Archives (Landeshauptarchivs) in Koblenz where I hopefully will be able to access the original or digital copies of the church and civil records.
Thanks to my Luxracines membership I’ll be making the trip to Koblenz, Germany, to visit the archives of Rhineland on June 25th. When I registered to participate on this trip I had to give advance notice of the records I’m interested in seeing – birth, marriage, and death records for Ernzen and Ferschweiler for the years (range) the WILDINGER-WEIMANN and the WILDINGER-SCHRAMEN families lived in those towns.
The original documents ordered by researchers are made available for viewing four times a day. The information from the documents may be copied (transcribed) or the page(s) can be scanned on their in-house scanner and saved to a USB flash drive. The use of digital cameras is not permitted.
I am looking forward to this trip to the Landeshauptarchivs in Koblenz and will definitely be blogging about it!
Sources:  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 1 der Pfarrei Sancta Lucia Ferschweiler 1680-1899, mit: Diesburgerhof (ab 1803) und L(a)eisenhof (ab1830) (compiled in 1999), p. 349, family #1624. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].  Richard Schaffner, compiler, Familienbuch 2 der Pfarrei St. Marcus Ernzen bei Irrel, Daten bis 1798 aus den Kirchenbüchern der Pfarrei Echternach (damals fur Ernzen zuständig); mit: Ernzen-Hof, Fölkenbach und teilweise auch Prümzurlay (Häuser der rechten Flußseite) 1680-1899 (compiled in 2000), p. 245-246, family #867. [Pages of book photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013].  “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 463,565. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NDZ1-H61 : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Wildinger; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.  “Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929,”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JH8P-DXT : accessed 23 February 2015), Bernardus Weldinger and Maria Weimann, 03 Feb 1866; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.  “Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898”, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 462,714. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-54C : accessed 23 February 2015), Maria Weiman, 19 Jun 1839; citing Sankt Lucia Katholisch, Ferschweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.  Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2CB-2JL : accessed 23 February 2015), Peter Wildinger, 21 Oct 1868; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.  Ibid, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-V9B : accessed 23 February 2015), Petrus Wildinger, 08 Aug 1871; citing Sankt Markus Katholisch, Ernzen, Rheinland, Prussia.
This is my weekly entry for Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. It was so successful in 2014 that genealogists wanted to continue or join in on the fun in 2015. Be sure to check out the other great posts by visiting Amy’s blog No Story Too Small where she’ll be posting the weekly recap on Thurdays and allowing all participants to leave a link to their post(s) in the comments.
March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
My first name is Catherine and I share it with the following 27 ancestors (mostly maternal, only 5 are paternal and marked with an *):
mother, Catherine Josette WILDINGER
great-grandmother, Catherine PÖPPELREITER great-grandmother, Catherine FRANTZ 3rd great-grandmothers, Maria Katharina GROELINGER 3rd great-grandmothers, Catherine SCHRAMEN
3rd great-grandmothers, Marie Catherine PHILIPPART 4th great-grandmother, Maria Catharina SCHUMACHER 4th great-grandmother, Catharina HAMES 4th great-grandmother, Catharina CORNELY 4th great-grandmother, Anne Catherine HENNES 4th great-grandmother, Catherine MEUNIER 5th great-grandmother, Katharina KLEIN 5th great-grandmother, Maria Katharina HUSS 5th great-grandmother, Catherine Barbara NOLL *
5th great-grandmother, Catherine SINGER 5th great-grandmother, Catherine ARENT 5th great-grandmother, Marie-Cathérine HASTERT 6th great-grandmother, Catharina RONES 6th great-grandmother, Catherine PLICKENSTALVER *
7th great-grandmother, Marie Catherine [–?–] HUSS (descended from her twice)
7th great-grandmother, Catherine SETON 7th great-grandmother, Anne-Catherine ECKART 8th great-grandmother, Catharina KUENZ *
8th great-grandmother, Katharina B. [–?–] BLICKENSDOERFER *
8th great-grandmother, Catherine LEPINE 9th great-grandmother, Catherine RATZEN 12th great-grandmother, Katherine (Honeywood) FLEETE *