52 Ancestors: #2 den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, a Brick Wall

Last week I introduced you to my 2017 New Season of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge with 52 Ancestors: #1 The WILMES-SCHOOD Family of Diekirch 1739-1825. As in 2014 and 2015, I have a plan for my posts in 2017. I will be writing about all of my children’s 5th great-grandparents who have not yet been featured. In 2014 their American ancestors in this generation were spotlighted.

We have 64 sets of 5th great-grandparents. In this pedigree chart, on the right, are the first 8 sets of my children’s 5ggp. The MEDER-LAMBERT family was featured in several posts last year so I began with the next couple, WILMES-SCHOOD.

5thggp
Pedigree chart generated using Ancestral Quest 15

I had planned to skip Théodore REIFFER‘s parents as they are unknown (as seen in the green boxes above) and continue with the parents of his wife Elisabetha CLOS. I even “announced” in the last post that Elisabeth’s parents would be up next. But one of the nice things about blogging is you can change your mind and re-schedule posts. 🙂

I didn’t expect to find a key to open a door in the REIFFER brick wall in the near future. However, why should I skip this set of 5th great-grandparents? By writing all I know and don’t know, I may find someone who’s already knocked down the brick wall or who may be able to help me open the door.

1831deaththeodorereifer
1831 Death Record Nr. 23 [1]
Théodore REIFFER was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] His age and place of birth were listed on his death record. I suspect he was not born in Gilsdorf and it was an error made by his son-in-law who was the informant for this death.

I searched page by page through the church records of Diekirch from 1768 to 1776. In later times the civil records for Gilsdorf would be found in Bettendorf. However, the church records for the village were recorded in Diekirch during the time period I am interested in.

I reviewed the records found for his children. None of the records included information on Théodore’s place of birth. His age was consistent with the estimated 1771 birth year in all records except for one where he was seen a little younger, born about 1774.

On all records found for Théodore, he was seen as a sheep herder which explains his moving around so much. Records were found starting in Landscheid and going to Wahlhausen, Tandel, Fouhren, Bastendorf, and Gilsdorf. His wife was from Körperich.

map
Google map

I consulted the Körperich Family Book[2] to see if there were any REIFFER connections in the villages of the area. A few REIFFER families were in the area for a later time period. One man, Johann REIFFER, born abt. 1767 in Gralingen to parents from Pütscheid seemed interesting.  If you look at the map these places are to the left and right of the arrow pointing from Landscheid to Wahlhausen.

I searched Rob Deltgen’s site for the parents, Nicolas REIFFER and Margaretha SCHMITZ. He has the couple with the son, found above in the Körperich FB, and several daughters. No other sons. What caught my attention was the place of birth of two of the daughters: Nachtmanderscheid. This lies between Landscheid and Wahlhausen. A coincidence, or could this REIFFER family be Théodore’s family?

I searched for the marriage record of the couple and found they may have married in Brandenbourg in 1759. The groom was named Nicolas REIFFER and was from Nachtmanderscheid. The entry for the marriage in the church records has only the groom’s name. It looks like the person writing the information was interrupted and never went back to write the name of the bride.

My next step is to search through the church records of Brandenbourg for baptisms from 1759 to 1780 for the children of this couple. I hope to find those mentioned on Rob’s site and perhaps some he has not found. Will Théodore be one of them?

If the children of this family are found in the Brandenbourg church records, I plan to check the same for the deaths of the parents.

For the time being, all I know is that den Här an d’Madame REIFFER, parents of Théodore, died before 31 January 1833. This is known as they were mentioned although not named in the 1833 marriage record of Théodore’s daughter Susanna. She married after the death of her parents and confirmed, along with a witness, that her grandparents were also deceased.

den Här an d’Madame = Mr. and Mrs.

bestwishescathy1Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Richard Schaffner, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Hubertus Körperich in der Südeifel mit Körperich, Niedersgegen, Obersgegen, Gentingen, Roth an der Our, Seimerich und Scheuerhof (später Neuscheuerhof) 1689-1899 (2002).

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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52 Ancestors: #27 The Sheep Herder’s Family

Week 27 (July 2-8) – Independent: This is the week for Independence Day! Which one fought for (or against) America’s independence? Or which of your ancestors was independent?

The REIFFER-CLOS Family

Théodore REIFFER, my husband’s 3rd great-grandfather, was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.[1] His parents are at this time still unknown. His place of birth was listed on his death record. I suspect he was not born in Gilsdorf and it was an error made by his son-in-law who was the informant for this death. I will have to begin searching the towns around Gilsdorf (parish records were checked for this location and nothing found) and other places where he was known to have lived. This brick wall will have to wait for now as searching the browse only parish records is time consuming.

Théodore married Elisabeth CLOS. The religious marriage ceremony may have taken place around 1799, definitely before 1803, however I am still searching for a marriage record. As with Théodore’s birth/baptism I will have to come back to this at a later time.

Elisabeth CLOS, my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother, was born and baptized on 9 March 1774 in Körperich, Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prüm, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Her parents were Michel CLOS (b. abt. 1747 d. 1775) and Elisabeth THEVES (b. abt. 1750). At her baptism, Elisabeth’s godparents were Elis. KLEIN from Körperich and Michael WINDANDY.[2] Elisabeth’s father Michel died on 20 December 1775.

While checking the information in the Körperich Family Book[2] on Elisabeth’s family I came upon entries for several REIFFERs which leads me to believe the “Théodore brick wall” may be solved using German records instead of those in Luxembourg. I have one ace up my sleeve. While on the field trip to Koblenz to visit the archives one of the other participants proudly showed his draft of the Family Book for Bastendorf, a town Théodore’s family lived in. He may have the information I need to open the door in this brick wall. Wish me luck!

The Children

cannotwrite
1810 Birth Record No. 47 [6]
While searching for the birth record of Théodore and Elisabeth’s daughter Susanna, my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother, I found the birth of a son (above) who had not been included on Rob Deltgen’s site, the first place I look for clues in the greater Diekirch area.

These are the known children of Théodore and Elisabeth:

  • Anne Marie born 4 February 1803 in Landscheid.[3]
  • Johann or Jean born 17 May 1805 in Landscheid. His birth has been documented using his marriage record.[4]
  • Susanna born on 6 April 1808 in Wahlhausen. Her birth has been documented using her marriage record.[5]
  • Jean born 12 November 1810 in Wahlhausen.[6] No further trace of this child has been found.
  • François born 19 June 1814[7] in Tandel and died 9 December 1819[8] in Tandel.

On all records found for Théodore he was seen as a sheep herder which may explains his moving around so much.

Whereabouts

map
Google map

The whereabouts of the family is a bit spotty. Elisabeth, the mother of the family, was born in Körperich. The entries in the Körperich Family Book for her family group do not continue into a new generation which suggests her widowed mother may have moved the family to another town and/or remarried. The place of marriage of Théodore and Elisabeth is unknown and not mentioned in the Körperich FB. They lived in Landscheid in 1803 and 1805. In 1808 and 1810 they were in Wahlhausen. In 1814 and 1819 they were in Tandel. By 1826 and 1828 they were in Fouhren when the first of their children married in 1826 and 1828. In 1829 Théodore and Elisabeth were in Bastendorf and in 1831 Théodore was in Gilsdorf.

Grandchildren

Their son Johann married Catharina EISEN on 30 October 1826.[9] The young couple’s first two daughters were born in Fouhren in 1827[10] and 1829.[11] Johann had the same occupation as his father which may be the reason for possible missing records for children during the time period from 1830-1834. The next child was born in Bastendorf in 1835[12] as were five more children between 1837-1847.[13][14][15][16][17] During this time the father’s occupation was day laborer. Johann may have given up on sheep herding when his father died in 1831.

Their daughter Anne Marie married Jean POTT on 16 December 1828.[18] This couple made their home in Gilsdorf where they had four children between 1830-1838.[19][20][21][22]

In 1829 Théodore and Elisabeth were living in Bastendorf. Théodore, a shepherd, reported the death of his wife Elisabeth in Bastendorf on 27 December 1829.[23] After her death Théodore may have gone to live with his eldest daughter in Gilsdorf or was visiting with her family when he died in 1831. His death on 7 May 1831 was reported by his son-in-law Jean POTT. Per the death record Théodore died in the town he was born in. As already noted, this is the only record found for his place of birth.[24]

Two years later in 1833 Susanna, the last of their living children, married Théodore MEDER on 31 January 1833 in Diekirch.[25] At the time of her marriage Susanna was living in Bastendorf. Susanna and her husband were the parents of a dozen children. From 1846 to 1855 Susanna’s husband, like her father, worked as a shepherd.

Was Théodore an Independent Man?

Did Théodore’s occupation make him independent man? As a sheep herder he did not live permanently in one place. His moving around from place to place did not make it easy to document his family. All records found show Théodore, his wife Elisabeth, and the three children who lived to marry could not write. I don’t believe this would be a hinderance as his occupation did not rely on his being literate.

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[2] Richard Schaffner, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Hubertus Körperich in der Südeifel mit Körperich, Niedersgegen, Obersgegen, Gentingen, Roth an der Our, Seimerich und Scheuerhof (später Neuscheuerhof) 1689-1899 (2002), p. 73 family #319 and 320, p. 247 family #1153.
[3] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 193 of 1476. 1803 Birth Record No. 7 (15 Pluviôse XI). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-141568-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 16 August 2011). Note: Mother’s maiden name seen as Claes.
[4] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 84 of 167. 1826 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-91346-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[5] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[6] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1798-1822 > image 217 of 395. 1810 Birth Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12341-64341-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-4W5:129905301,130379001 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[7] Ibid., Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 1178 of 1493. 1814 Birth Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-124220-54?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38:129628901,130575701 : accessed 24 June 2015).
[8] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1388 of 1493. 1819 Birth Record, lower left. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49804-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 24 June 2015).
[9] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 84 of 167. 1826 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-91346-10?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[10] Ibid., Fouhren > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 182 of 325. 1827 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12160-34223-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-RM9:129626001,129804701 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[11] Ibid., Fouhren > Naissances 1798-1850 > image 194 of 325. 1929 Birth Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12160-30445-88?cc=1709358&wc=9RY3-RM9:129626001,129804701 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[12] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 421 of 1476. 1835 Birth Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-143702-49?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[13] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 451 of 1476. 1837 Birth Record No. 36.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-146834-2?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 477 of 1476. 1839 Birth Record No. 26. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-141935-22?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[15] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 498 of 1476. 1841 Death Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-144884-12?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 524 of 1476. 1843 Birth Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-139652-13?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[17] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 562 of 1476. 1846 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-143208-54?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[18] Ibid., Fouhren > Mariages 1820-1830 > image 110 of 167. 1828 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11564-84810-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-YWL:129626001,129715601 : accessed 1 July 2015).
[19] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 46 of 1507. 1830 Birth Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-6341-1?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 100 of 1507. 1832 Birth Record No. 40. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4194-92?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 150 of 1507. 1835 Birth Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-4288-81?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[22] Ibid., Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 220 of 1507. 1838 Birth Record No. 43. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-123-56?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-FM9:129626601,129945501 : accessed 5 July 2015).
[23] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 14 of 305. 1829 Death Record No. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-256460-30?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2CM:n117549397 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[24] Ibid., Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 1109 of 1494. 1831 Death Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-41136-19?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[25] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1312 of 1492. 1833 Marriage Record No. 9. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-99298-93?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Théodore REIFFER
Parents: unknown
Spouse: Elisabeth CLOS
Parents of Spouse: Michel CLOS and Elisabeth THEVES
Whereabouts: Landscheid, Wahlhausen, Tandel, Fouhren, Bastendorf, Gilsdorf
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Théodore REIFFER
2. Susanna REIFFER
3. Franz “François” MEDER
4. Johann Peter “Jean Pierre” MEDER
5. Marcel Mathias MEDER
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.

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