52 Ancestors: #12 The One Who Went To Paris

Week 12 (March 19-25) – Same. What ancestor is a lot like you? What ancestor do you have a lot in common? Same name? Same home town?

To give me a little break from serious research and writing, I’m sharing documents my husband’s cousin re-discovered a few weeks ago while cleaning out their Rumpelkammer or débarras [one of those catch-all rooms].

JohannPeterIIIIn 52 Ancestors: #5 The MEDER-FABER Family of Diekirch 1846-1954 I wrote about my husband’s great-grandparents Franz MEDER (1846-1930) and Elisabeth FABER (1846-1915). They had three sons with the same name – Johann Peter MEDER. The middle one was born 14 October 1876 and died 29 September 1877, shortly before his first birthday. The two other sons, with the same name, lived to marry and have children so it was not the case of a child being named after a child who had died. The youngest of the two was my husband’s grandfather (left) Johann Peter MEDER (1888-1954) who I wrote about in 52 Ancestors: #2 The Brewery Worker and the Midwife. The other one was . . .

The One Who Went To Paris

Johann Peter, the elder, remained in Paris, married and had at least one child, a daughter Pierette who was born ca. 1920-1925. I suspected this but needed confirmation. I met Pierette and her husband in the late 1970s or early 1980s when they came from France to visit with my husband’s uncle Fritz and we saw them several times before Pierette’s death. At the time I knew that she was Fritz’s and my father-in-law’s cousin. By process of elimination I figured out that she had to be the daughter of the elder Johann Peter. My husband’s cousin confirmed that Pierette was the daughter of the brother who lived in Paris but she does not know when he died.

After talking to my husband’s cousin, she and her husband began cleaning out a room in their house and found documents that she share with me. What a find!!

As mentioned above, the elder Johann Peter MEDER, born 12 June 1873, lived and worked in Paris. He was known as Jean MEDER and worked as a Maître d’Hotel or butler for the family of the Marquis Gustave Lannes de Montebello (1838-1907), French Ambassador, like his father before him, to Russia in Saint Petersburg in 1891-1902. Following the death of the Marquis, Jean remained in the employ of the Marquise de Montebello and her family.

1915Dominica 1915Jean








In Paris, France, on 27 September 1913 Jean MEDER married Dominica PEYRÉ. At the time she was without an occupation. Jean’s parents François MEDER and Elisabeth FABER gave their consent on 30 August 1913 in Diekirch, Luxembourg, in an Acte de Consentement à Mariage:

1913acteAn extract of the original 1913 marriage record obtained on 31 May 1940 by Jean and Dominica for an unknown purpose.

1913marriageOn 16 August 1915, during World War I, Jean and Dominica obtained permission to travel in Switzerland, Italy, and France from the Consulate of the Netherlands in Geneva. The Consulate issued these papers.


1915DominicapassThey appear to have then travelled to Paris, France, where on 27 September 1915 they obtained a passport for travel in Switzerland for a one year period.

1915passfrontReverse side of the passport with the stamps from Paris and Lausanne.

1915passbackOn 7 July 1920 Jean, maître d’hotel,  and Dominica, femme de chambre or maid, became the parents of a daughter Marie Pierette MEDER born in Paris, France. This is an extract they obtained on 29 May 1940.

1920birthThe extract of the 1913 marriage record, this extract of the 1920 birth record of the daughter, as well as Dominica’s extract of her 1878 birth record (below) were all obtained the end of May 1940. As this was during World War II it is very likely that the family was once again in need of passports to travel with their employer.

1878birthFollowing the war Pierette married René MEYER on 27 October 1947. It is very likely that they met in the diplomatic circles that her parents’ employers belonged to. René and Pierette lived in Russia while René served a tour of duty there.

1947marriageI located Dominica’s original birth record in the Archives des Pyrénées-Atlantique in Biarritz > Naissances 1873-1882 > image 200 of 379. These records cannot be reproduced without permission. In the margin of the birth record her date of marriage to Jean MEDER as well as her date and place of death were recorded. Dominica died on 29 January 1952 in Kremlin-Bicêtre, Val-de-Marne, Île-de-France, France. It is not known when her husband Jean died.

Pierette, the only child of Jean and Dominica, and her husband René did not have children and this line ended with her death in October 1986.

© 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.

Hans Jacob HONEGGER – not really a brick wall

Door 10Few families know their history as well as the descendants of Hans Jacob Honegger (Honaker), a Swiss-German immigrant who sailed to Philadelphia in 1749. Credit is given to:
– Nadine W. Larson who researched Honegger’s ancestors and wrote “Hans Jacob Honaker – From Switzerland to America”, 1987, 249 pgs.
– Frieda Patrick Davison who edited “Honaker Family in America” (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD, Copyright 1998 by The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families)
– The National Association of Hans Jacob Honaker Families as they continue to make annual updates to the above book as well as publishing a quarterly newsletter.

My line is through Hans Jacob’s son Frederick Honaker who married Rachel Wiseman. They are buried in Rehoboth Church Cemetery, Union, Monroe County, West Virginia.

**I’m hoping someday FamilySearch.org will have the images of the Swiss records online so that I can see the documents that Nadine used to add 8 generations to his family tree back to the 1500s.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.