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.
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.
Théodore REIFFER was born about 1771 in Gilsdorf in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 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.
I consulted the Körperich Family Book 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.
Sources:  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).  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).
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. 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. Elisabeth’s father Michel died on 20 December 1775.
While checking the information in the Körperich Family Book 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!
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:
Johann or Jean born 17 May 1805 in Landscheid. His birth has been documented using his marriage record.
Susanna born on 6 April 1808 in Wahlhausen. Her birth has been documented using her marriage record.
Jean born 12 November 1810 in Wahlhausen. No further trace of this child has been found.
François born 19 June 1814 in Tandel and died 9 December 1819 in Tandel.
On all records found for Théodore he was seen as a sheep herder which may explains his moving around so much.
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.
Their son Johann married Catharina EISEN on 30 October 1826. The young couple’s first two daughters were born in Fouhren in 1827 and 1829. 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 as were five more children between 1837-1847. 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. This couple made their home in Gilsdorf where they had four children between 1830-1838.
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. 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.
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.
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.