52 Ancestors: #39 The Last of the German Fourth Great-Grandparents

The last set of fourth great-grandparents who lived in what is now Germany were Mathias KERSCHT and Anna EWEN. Mathias’ surname was spelled differently in several family books (Familienbücher=FB). As KIRSTEN in the FB Meckel1; KIRST, KIERSCH, and KIERSTEN in the FB Messerich2; and as KERSCH and KIRSCH in the FB Mettendorf3. For Anna’s maiden name EWEN, no variations were found.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Mathias KERSCHT
Parents: Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS
Spouse:  Anna EWEN
Parents of Spouse: Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIELEN
Whereabouts: Meckel, Messerich, Mettendorf (Germany)
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 4th great-grandfather

1. Mathias KERSCHT
2. Anna Maria KERSCHT
3. Magdalena WAGNER
4. Katharina “Catherine” PÖPPELREITER
5. Nicolas WILDINGER
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Mathias KERSCHT, the son of Peter KERSCHT and Eva SCHMIDS, was born on 28 March 1759 in Meckel, Eifel, Rheinland, Germany, and baptized the same day. His godparents were Matthias BERENS and Anna Maria SCHUL, both of Meckel. His godfather was likely a brother or relative of his mother Eva. Matthias BERENS went by his wife’s maiden name and was known as Matthias SCHMITZ before his marriage. Mathias KERSCHT had only one known sister Luzia who was two years older. It is not known if she married and had descendants.

Mathias married Anna EWEN, daughter of Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIELEN, on 26 November 1785 in Messerich. Anna was born on 6 June 1766 in Messerich. She was the fourth of ten children.

Mathias worked as a sheepherder (Schäfer) in Messerich until about 1795 and then moved to Mettendorf where he continued to work in the same occupation.

Mathias and Anna had the following children.

1. Margaretha was born on 9 September 1786 in Messerich. She was baptized the same day. Her godparents were Peter KIRST of Meckel and Margaretha BAUER of Messerich. Was the godfather also the child’s grandfather? The FB Meckel in which Mathias’ father was found as Peter KIRSTEN does not include a date of death.

2. Anna was born on 4 October 1788 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. Her godfather was Theodore EWEN, single, from Messerich, likely her maternal uncle who was 27 years old at the time. Her godmother was likely her paternal grandmother Eva. The entry in the FB Messerich shows Evan KIERSTEN of Meckel. The godmother’s first name may be a typo in the book and the child was not given the name Eva or Evan but Anna. She married Heinrich LUDEWIG on 23 January 1809 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of eleven children. Anna died on 8 January 1843 in Mettendorf.

3. An unnamed child was born on 19 December 1790 in Messerich and died the same day.

4. Catharina was born on 14 December 1791 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. Her godparents were Jakob WEILER, a sheepherder (Schäfer) and Katharina LOCH of Spangdahlem. Catharina married Joannes Friedericus LOCHEMES on 19 September 1811 in Mettendorf. Joannes Friedericus was born about 1784 in Dahlem. From the time of their second child’s birth, her husband was given as Theodore LOCHEMES on all births thereafter. They were the parents of seven children. Catharina died on 9 December 1851 in Mettendorf. Her husband died on 16 January 1864 in Mettendorf.

5. Matthias was born on 19 April 1794 in Messerich and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Mathias SCHMITZ, a pig herder (Sauhirt) of KIRCHWEILER and Luzia BICHELER of Messerich. Matthias married Angela ACHEN on 21 January 1818 in Mettendorf. Angela was born on 11 December 1793 in Mettendorf. She died on 21 December 1870 in Mettendorf and Matthias died on 16 November 1876 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of seven children, two of whom died young. Their three youngest children went to America in the 1850s and settled in Wright County, Minnesota. Two were sons and their descendants spelled the surname KIRSCHT.

The towns where this family lived. Cropped from a larger map from 1789. Courtesy of http://wiki-commons.genealogy.net/Datei:Rheinprovinz-1789-00-Uebersicht-kl.djvu

6. Anna Maria, my third great-grandmother, was born between 1795-1798 in Mettendorf. She is not included in the FB Messerich listing for her parents which suggests she must have been born after her brother Mathias. His birth in Messerich and her birth in Mettendorf places the relocation of the family from Messerich to Mettendorf during this time period. Anna Maria married Johann WAGNER, son of Matthias WAGNER and Maria Katharina HARTERT, on 22 February 1830 in Mettendorf. Johann, my third great-grandfather, was born on 19 June 1804 in Fließem and was baptized the same day. Johann worked as a shepherd. He died on 15 June 1858 in Mettendorf and was buried two days later. Anna Maria died on 21 July 1876 in Mettendorf.

7. Christoph was born on 19 June 1799 in Mettendorf. He married Elisabetha MERTES on 23 February 1824 in Sülm, also in the Eifel. Elisabetha was born in 1804 in Röhl. Christoph died on 30 September 1871 in Mettendorf. They were the parents of seven children, two of whom died young.

8. Anna Catharina was born about 1806 in Mettendorf. She died on 22 May 1824 in Mettendorf at the age of about 18 years and was buried the following day.

9. Heinrich was born on 8 August 1809 in Mettendorf and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Heinrich LUDEWIG, a sheepherder (Schäfer) of Mettendorf, and Margaretha ROCK, a servant (Magd) of Hisel. The godfather was his brother-in-law, newlywed husband of his second oldest sister Anna. He died 10 days later on 18 August 1809 in Mettendorf and was buried the following day.

10. Johann was born on 18 February 1811 in Mettendorf and was baptized the same day. His godparents were Johann WEYERS and Margaretha THEISEN, both of Mettendorf. Johann married Elisabeth ROTH on 7 January 1841 in Nusbaum. The family lived in Sinspelt, part of the Mettendorf parish. They were the parents of two known children, one of whom died young. No entry for his death was given in the FB Mettendorf which may mean he died after 1899.

The mother of these children, Anna EWEN died on 15 November 1828 in Mettendorf and was buried on the same day. Her widower Mathias KERSCHT died on 9 February 1841 in Mettendorf. He was buried on 11 February 1841 in Mettendorf.

As mentioned at the beginning, this is the last of my fourth great-grandparents who lived in the Eifel area of Germany. Next up will be the eight sets of fourth great-grandparents who lived in Rodange, Wiltz, Vianden, Echternach, Mamer, Capellen, and Strassen in Luxembourg. With only five weeks to the end of the year, it looks like I may not be able to get them done on schedule.

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

  1. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Meckel Dekanat Bitburg 1632-1900, (including Meckel, Eßlingen, Hof Badenborn, Kaschenbach) (1992). 
  2. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Messerich Dekanat Bitburg 1720-1900 (1992). 
  3. Werner Naumann, compiler, Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z, (including Mettendorf, Bierendorf, Burg, Halsdorf, Hisel, Lahr, Hüttingen, Nasingen, Niederraden, Niehl, Ober- und Niedergeckler, Sinspelt) (1992). 

52 Ancestors: #36 Bubelreiter, Boppelreuter, Peppelreuter, Pöppelreiter

What is the most interesting or unusual name in your family tree? Do you have one like PÖPPELREITER? It’s the maiden name of one of my two great-grandmothers named Catherine. For the three generations back to her great-grandfather (my fourth great-grandfather) Johann PÖPPELREITER, the name mostly remained the same. However, during his lifetime it was spelled several different ways, evolving from BUBELREITER to BOPPELREUTER to PEPPELREUTER to PÖPPELREITER.

Some people with this name emigrated from Mürlenbach, Germany, to America and the name lost the umlaut (the double dots over the vowel) and became POPPELREITER. The ones I have found were a father and son who came to America before 1860 and another family group who came in 1893. Further research is needed to prove their connection to my line which also comes out of Mürlenbach.


My fourth great-grandfather Johann PÖPPELREITER was the son of Peter BUBELREITER (abt. 1741-1793) and Gertrud LAMBERTI or BOSEN (abt. 1738?-1807). He was born and baptized on 15 February 1782 in Mürlenbach.[1] The extracted information from his baptismal record does not include his mother’s maiden name. She was seen as LAMBERTI when Johann’s brother Mathias married.[2] Later when she died her surname was given as BOSEN.[3] His father Peter may have been married twice, Gertrud being his second wife. His surname was spelled with B’s instead of P’s.

Johann’s father Peter was a Köhler or charcoal maker.[4] I believe this craft was passed down through the family as several PÖPPELREITER men during his time had the same occupation.

Charcoal kiln or pile photographed in Germany

Charcoal burning is perhaps one of the oldest forms of forest use. The coal plates were roundish pinnacles with a diameter of 6 to 8 meters. During the construction of the kilns, split logs of one to two meters length were set up in several levels into a hemispherical structure and covered with branches, sod, and soil to make it as airtight as possible. After firing, it took two to three weeks for all of the wood to become coal. From a fathom of wood (about three cubic meters) 600 kg of coal could be produced. With the same calorific value, the charcoal was much lighter and smaller than the wood.

Johann married Margaret BOMMES

Johann was 31 years old, could not write, and was living auf der Glasshütte near Utscheid when he married Margaret BOMMES, daughter of Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, on 28 October 1813 in Utscheid.[5] Margaret was born on 13 July 1791 in Grimbach and was baptized the same day in Neuerburg.[5]

It is quite possible Johann learned the Köhler trade from his father and left Mürlenbach to work in Utscheid auf der Glashütte (glassworks) where charcoal was produced. Johann and Margaret’s first two children were born auf der Glashütte near Utscheid. Lucia PÖPPELREITER was born in 1813[6] and her brother Wilhelm was born in September 1814.[6]

Sometime after the birth of their second child, the little family moved to Brimingen were their son Wilhelm died on 28 June 1815. Less than a month after his death Margaret gave birth to her next child, Nicolas on 23 July 1815 in Brimingen.[7]

A year and two days later my third great-grandfather Theodore PÖPPELREITER was born on 25 July 1816 in Brimingen and was christened the same day in Baustert.[8]

In the following two years, the family moved again to Mettendorf where their next four children were born. Catherine (the elder) was born on 27 December 1818[9], Barbara on 29 September 1821[6], and Matthias on 8 August 1824[6]. Matthias lived only one day. The fourth child born in Mettendorf, and the baby of the family, was Catherine (the younger) who was born on 21 October 1825.[6] The practice of giving the same name to more than one living child is confusing and the reason I distinguish between them with elder and younger.

Johann PÖPPELREITER died on 6 June 1827 in Mettendorf and was buried the following day.[10] He was 45 years old. He left a wife and six children aged between less than two years and 14 years.

The oldest daughter Lucia died on 23 February 1837 in Mettendorf at the age of 24 years. She had not married. Nothing is known of the next oldest child and oldest son Nicolas who would have been 21 years by this time.

Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, was the youngest son. He was working as a servant in Nusbaum when he married Maria Katharina GROELINGER, daughter of Johann GROELINGER and Anna Maria Benedikta MERGEN, on 20 January 1842 in Mettendorf.[11] Maria Katharina was born on 2 June 1814 in Holsthum and was working as a servant in Mettendorf.[12] She was my 3rd great-grandmother. Theodore and Maria Katharina’s story: The PÖPPELREITER-GROELINGER Family

Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder), now the oldest daughter of the widowed Margaret BOMMES, was 26 years old when she gave birth to a natural child, a son Theodore, born on 31 August 1844. For new readers, a natural child’s father’s name is not known or given. After his birth, Catherine married the widower Johann WAGNER (b. 1804) on 30 January 1847 in Baustert.[13]

The youngest daughter also named Catherine married Nicolas BLEY, son of André “Andreas” BLEY and Hélène Charlotte MAY, on 13 July 1848 in Echternach.[14] Nicolas was born on 17 November 1813 in Ettelbrück.

Following the marriages of Theodore and the two daughters named Catherine, Margaret BOMMES was likely left only with her daughter Barbara living at home as mention earlier, nothing is known of the oldest son Nicolas. On 19 January 1850 twenty-eight-year-old Barbara married Peter SCHNEIDER in Oberweis. Peter, a shoemaker, was born on 23 August 1814 and was seven years older than Barbara.[15]

Johann WAGNER, the husband of the elder Catherine, died on 22 December 1856 in Mülbach (not to be confused with Mürlenbach). They had been married less than ten years. Catherine was left with four children, her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER and two sons and a daughter she had with Johann.

Margaret BOMMES, the widow of Johann PÖPPELREITER, died on 5 February 1860 in Mettendorf. She was 68 years old. She left a son and three daughters.

Following the death of her mother, the elder Catherine lost her two youngest children. Her daughter Anna Maria died at the age of 10 in 1862 and her son Peter died at the age of 11 in 1867. Six years later her son Nicholas WAGNER went to America and she was left only with her son Theodore PÖPPELREITER. He had married the previous year in Baustert and lived in Mülbach where she was living.

My third great-grandparents lived in Mettendorf all of their married life as far as I can tell. However, for some reason, my third great-grandmother Maria Katharina GROELINGER, the wife of my Theodore PÖPPELREITER (not Theodore, son of the elder Catherine), died on 27 January 1877 in Schankweiler.

Catherine PÖPPELREITER (the elder) died on 5 March 1883 in Mülbach. She was buried on 8 March 1883 in Mettendorf. Her son Theodore likely took care of the burial arrangements as her only other living son Nicholas was living in Aurora, Kane County, Illinois with his four children and wife who was expecting their fifth child in less than two months.

Barbara PÖPPELREITER died on 24 March 1886 in Oberweis. She and her deceased husband Peter SCHNEIDER who died on 1 May 1882 were the parents of three children. A daughter died at the age of 5 years. Nothing is known of Maria born in 1858 or Michael born in 1861.

Theodore PÖPPELREITER, my 3rd great-grandfather, died on 2 May 1891 in Mettendorf. He left two sons who are known to have continued the PÖPPELREITER line.

Courtesy of Solange Coussement of Bollendorf from her Old Postcards website http://www.oldpostcardsluxembourg.com/index.html. Used with permission.

Nicolas BLEY, the husband of the younger Catherine, died on 27 October 1894 in the street called Mussgasse (above) in Echternach.[16] The houses in this street are built against the old wall of the town as can be seen by the tower in the background.

Catherine PÖPPELREITER, the youngest and only living PÖPPELREITER child of Johann and Maria Katharina, died on 18 November 1908 in Echternach.[17] She had given birth to ten children, five of whom died young. Two of her children married in the 1880s. Her oldest son André never married and was a professor at the Athénées Royaux (similar to middle and high school) of Arlon and of Ghent as well as the University of Ghent in Belgium. He died at the age of 87 in Ghent.

Catherine (the younger) would not be the only Pöppelreiter to live and die in Echternach. In July 1914 my great-grandparents Catherine PÖPPELREITER and Johann WILDINGER moved from Mettendorf to Echternach with their three children. Their story is Close to Home and Close to My Heart.

Please come back tomorrow for a little P.S.


[1] Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 475030. Joannes Boppelreuter, male, christened 15 Feb 1782 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preussen, Germany; father Peter Boppelreuter; mother Gertrudis. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NZMV-2L9 : accessed 27 OCtber 2017).
[2] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Mathiam Poppelreuter and Anna Maria Servatius married 10 Jun 1808 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father of groom Petri Poppelreuter; mother of groom Gertrudis Lamberti; father of bride Mathiae Servatius; mother of bride Catharinae Linden. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4J4-VP8 : accessed 30 October 2017).
[3] Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 546087. Gertrudis Bosen Poppelreuter, female, age 69, widowed; died 25 Sep 1807 and buried 26 Sep 1807 in Mürlenbach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; Spouse’s Name Petri Poppelreuter.
(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J43D-8L4 : accessed 27 October 2017).
[4] Heinrich Theodore Weber (+) / Thomas J. Schmitt, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei St. Lucia in Mürlenbach 1803-1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Bd. 177, Köln 2003), pg. 302, Family #1226. Poppelreiter-Lamberti.
[5] M.E. Hubsch, Heribert Ambros, K.G. Oehms, Familienbuch der katholischen Pfarrei Sankt Nikolaus mit ihrem Filialen Neuerburg/Eifel 1700 bis 1899 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V., Köln 2007), page 155, family number 271. Johann BOMMES and Anna Maria Luzia THIELEN, SCHOMERS.
[6] Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei Mettendorf Dekanat Neuerburg, Band 1 A-M Band 2 N-Z (compiled in 1992), p. 38, Family # M1958. Pöppelreiter-Bommes.
[7] Werner Naumann, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Maximin Baustert (bei Bitburg, Eifel) mit Brimingen, Feilsdorf, Hisel, Hütterscheid, Mülbach, Olsdorf, Family No. Br 830. Poppelreuter-Bommes.
[8] Germany Births and Baptisms, Theodorus Poppelreuter, christened 25 Jul 1816, parents Joannis Poppelreuter and Margarethae Bommes; citing Roemisch-Katholische, Baustert, Rheinland, Prussia.(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NPNR-SZG : accessed 4 November 2015).
[9] Ibid., Catharina Pepelerreuter, female, christened 28 Dec 1818 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Pepelerreuter; mother Margarita Bommes. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ74-SHC : accessed 1 November 2017).
[10] Germany Deaths and Burials, Joannes Peppelreuter, male, age 42, burial 7 Jun 1827, born abt 1785, married, spouse Margarita Bommes; citing v. 2 p.227. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4Z3-KL5 : accessed 27 October 2017).
[11] Germany Marriages, Theodorus Poeppelreiter; spouse Maria Catharina Groelinger; md. 20 Jan 1842 in Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father Joannis Poeppelreiter; mother Margaretha Bommes; spouse’s father Joannis Groelinger; spouse’s mother Maria Mergen; citing Mettendorf, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4LQ-4ZL : accessed 27 October 2017).
[12] Werner Neumann, Familienbuch der ehemaligen Pfarrei Schankweiler mit dem Pfarrort Schankweiler und den Filialen Holsthum und Peffingen, p. 60, Family # H370. Groelinger-Mergen.
[13] Familienbuch Baustert, Family No. 1225. Wagner-Poppelreiter.
[14] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 873 of 1462. 1848 Marriage Record No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-175616-83?cc=1709358 : accessed 4 November 2015).
[15] Alois Schleder, comp., Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Remegius Oberweis Dekanat Bitburg 1744-1899, 1999 (Westdeutsche Gesellschaft für Familienkunde e.V. (WGfF), Sitz Köln), pg. 132, Family #467. Schneider-Pöppelreiter.
[16] Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Naissances, mariages, décès 1894-1894 > image 17 of 23. 1894 Death Record No. 50. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12050-133644-0?cc=1709358 : accessed 12 January 2015).
[17] 21. Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1906-1923 Décès 1895-1912 > image 584 of 675. 1908 Death Record No. 66. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32043-12126-76?cc=1709358&wc=9RTB-6YZ:129623201,130153902 : accessed 12 January 2015).

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

52 Ancestors: #10 The SCHMITT Family of Kalberger Hof

Kalberger Hof

Kalberger Hof is a farm just 1 kilometer northwest of Erlenbach near Hetzerath in Germany. On the map below, it’s location is marked with a little house icon in a green circle. This is about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from Echternach where I live.

The farm was first mentioned in documents in 1409 when Heinrich Muil von der Neuerburg, declared he had signed over to his wife Metzen an annual pension of 50 florins on half of the villages of Zemmer, Gransdorf, and Rodenerden, the estate of Kallberg, and other estates belonging to the Abbey of Echternach. Lease agreements for the years 1533 and 1541 and 1547 document the farm’s ownership and administrators. After the death of Jakob von Rheineck in 1541 the farm went to his son-in-law Johann von Warsberg.

Until the middle of the 17th century, Kalberg consisted of one household. Towards the end of the 17th century, the farm was apparently divided and a second farm, Emmerichs Hof, was established. Three generations of the SCHMITT family leased Kalberger Hof over a period of nearly 100 years.

Kalberger Hof, photo courtesy of Thomas Eifel, used with permission.

Philipp SCHMITT, the father of Friedrich (featured later in this post), administered the Kalberger Hof from 1748 until his death. In 1769, Johann SCHMITT, his oldest son, was given the stock of the Kalberger Hof and the Emmerichs Hof to manage for nine years. Philipp died in 1783; his son Johann died six years later. The widow Appolonia MATHES (or MATTES) administered the farm from 1789 until 1796. Her son Friedrich SCHMITT, the then oldest living son, took over the farm in 1796 until his death in 1829. After his death, Kalberger Hof continued to be managed by his widow, Maria Elisabeth PLEIN, and their oldest son. In 1842 Nikolaus SCHMITT and his mother, the widow of Friederich SCHMITT, paid taxes to the parish. The charges were calculated in bushels and pecks, in old fruit dimensions for cereals and potatoes, and in hundredweight and pounds for straw. The level of these charges was calculated from the total tax revenues of individual persons. In 1855 the Kalberger Hof had one residential building and 15 inhabitants. In the years 1845-1848, the present house and the stable were built.

From 1844 to 1917 there is a gap in the list of names of the persons who were managing Kalberger Hof per the research of Thomas Eifel seen under Kalberger Hof on his website Heckenmünster. On 30 July 2011 I received permission from Mr. Eifel to include his article (in German) with source citation on the farm in my database. I would not have been able to write the history of Kalberger Hof during the time the SCHMITT family managed it without his research.


Philipp SCHMITT and his wife Appolonia MATTES were my children’s 6th great-grandparents. My children descend from the second son Friedrich featured here with his wife and children.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Fridericus “Friederich” SCHMITT
Parents:  Philipp SCHMITT and Appolonia MATTES
Spouse: Maria Elisabeth PLEIN
Parents of spouse: Matthias PLEIN and Margaretha VALERIUS
Whereabouts: Kalberger Hof, Diesburgerhof, Osweiler, Echternach
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 4th great-grandparents

2. Fridericus “Friederich” SCHMITT and Maria Elisabeth PLEIN
2. Nicolaus “Nicolas” SCHMITT
3. Catharina SCHMITT
4. Johannes “Johann” “Jean” SCHWARTZ
5. Catharina “Catherine” “Ketty” “Ged” SCHWARTZ
6. Marcel Mathias MEDER
7. husband of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Friedrich “Fridericus” SCHMITT was born[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] about 19 June 1761 on Kalberger Hof, Burgermeisterei Heidweiler, Kreis Wittlich, Preußen (Germany). The son of Philipp SCHMITT and Appolonia MATTES was baptized[6] the same day in Heidweiler, the closest (parish) town to the farm his parents managed. He died[1],[2],[7],[8] on 5 March 1829 on Kalberger Hof.

Friedrich married[1],[2],[3],[9], [10], [11] Maria Elisabeth PLEIN, daughter of Matthias PLEIN and Margaretha VALERIUS, on 8 June 1790 in Heidweiler. Maria was born[1],[2],[3],[12] on 2 November 1766 in Niersbach (Bernkastel-Wittlich, Germany). She was baptized[13] the same day in Arrenrath. Her godparents were Maria Elis. WEBER and Nik. HEGENER from Niersbach. She died[1],[2],[3],[14] on 22 January 1845 on Kalberger Hof.

Friedrich and Maria had the following children:

  1. Appolonia was born[15] about 8 July 1791 on Kalberger Hof. She was baptized[16] on 8 July 1791 in Heidweiler. She married[15] ,[17] Johann THIELEN on 4 February 1812 in Hetzerath (Wittlich, Germany).
  2. Nicolaus was born about 28 April 1793 on Kalberger Hof. He was baptized[18] on 28 April 1793 in Heidweiler. It is possible this child died before 12 July 1795 when the next son was born and named Nicolaus at baptism.
  3. Nicolaus “Nicolas” was born[2],[15],[19] on 11 July 1795 on Kalberger Hof. He was baptized[18] on 12 July 1795 in Heidweiler. He died[15],[21],[22],[23] on 17 October 1852 on Kalberger Hof. Nicolaus was seen on a tax list in 1842 on Kalberger Hof as seen in the narrative below. He married[15],[19],[24] Anna Maria “Marianna” WOLLSCHEID, daughter of Jacobus “Jacobi” WOLLSCHEID and Catharine BARTHELMES, on 17 January 1827 in Longuich (Trier-Saarburg). Anna was born[19] on 24 December 1800 in Kirsch (Longuich). She was baptized[25] on 25 December 1800 in Longuich. She died[22],[23],[26] on 3 November 1857 in Osweiler (Rosport, Luxembourg). Nicolas and Anna Maria were my children’s 4th great-grandparents.
  4. Anna Margaretha was born[15] about 20 October 1798 on Kalberger Hof. She was baptized[27] on 20 October 1798 in Heidweiler. She married[15] Christophorus “Christof” LOOS (1803-1850), son of Jakob LOHR and Margaretha SCHUSTER, on 2 February 1826 in Salmrohr (Germany).
  5. Catharina was born[15] about 17 May 1801 on Kalberger Hof. She was baptized[28] on 17 May 1801 in Heidweiler. She married[15] Jacob KREMER on 9 July 1830 in Heidweiler.
  6. Anna was born[15] about 12 December 1803 on Kalberger Hof. She was baptized[29] on 12 December 1803 in Heidweiler.
  7. Elisabetha was born[15] about 14 October 1807 on Kalberger Hof. She was baptized[30] on 14 October 1807 in Heidweiler. She married[15] Heinrich BRAND on 28 February 1832 in Dudeldorf.
  8. Maria was born[15] on 25 November 1809 on Kalberger Hof. She died[15] two days later, on 27 November 1809, on Kalberger Hof.

Maria Elisabeth PLEIN died in 1845. Friedrich, who died in 1829, and Maria Elisabeth’s daughters Appolonia, Anna Margaretha, Catharina, and Elisabetha married and left the family farm. Nikolaus, the only known son to have lived to adulthood, remained on the farm until his death in 1852. His widow Anna Maria WOLLSCHEID moved to the Diesburger Hof (Ferschweiler) before January 1855 and then to Osweiler before December 1855 where she lived with her daughter Catharina and son-in-law Johann SCHWARTZ until her death in November 1857.


1          Richard Schaffner, Familienbuch der Pfarrei St. Alexius Arenrath und Niersbach etwa 1658-1905, 2006-2008, page 207, family 1056. Schmitt-Plein family.
2          Armin Giebel, Ortsfamilienbuch des StA Longuich bis Okt. 1931 (June 2013), page 1799, family 8740. Schmitt-Plein family.
3          Albert Schwickert, Familienbuch Heidweiler 1709-1805 Orte: Dodenburg Greverath Münster (heute: Heckenmünster) Heidweiler, 1994, pages 523-524. Book viewed and pages photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013. Mathias Plein and Magaretha Valerius family.
4          Ibid., page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family; KB 2/2.
5          Ibid., page [unknown]. Philipp Schmitz and Apollonia Mattes entry; church register 2, page 2.
6          Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 / Deutschland Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 846,155. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NX5H-D9Z : accessed 1 August 2015), Fridericus Schmitz, baptized 19 Jun 1761, father Philippi Schmitz, mother Appollonia; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
7          Familienbuch Heidweiler, page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family; Civil register 1829, record 20.
8          Ibid., page [unknown]. Philipp Schmitz and Apollonia Mattes entry; civil register 1829, record 20.
9          Germany Marriages, 1558-1929, FHL microfilm 849,155. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JHVR-KPF : accessed 26 December 2014), Fridericus Schmitz and Elisabetha Plein, 08 Jun 1790; citing Katholisch, Heidweiler, Rheinland, Prussia.
10         Familienbuch Heidweiler, page [unknown]. Philipp Schmitz and Apollonia Mattes entry; church register 2, page 133.
11         Ibid., page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family; Church Register 2/133.
12         Ibid., page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family; Arenrath Church Book 3, page 109.
13         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 849,147. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VH9L-XWV : accessed 1 August 2015), Maria Elisabetha Plein, baptized 02 Nov 1766, father Mathias Plein, mother Margarita; citing Roman Catholic records of Arrenrath, Rheinland, Prussia.
14         Familienbuch Heidweiler, page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family; Civil Register Heidweiler 3/1845.
15         Ibid., page 586. Friedrich Schmitz and Maria Elisabeth Plein family.
16         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 585,850. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NKDV-DL6 : accessed 1 August 2015), Apolloniae Schmitz, baptized 8 Jul 1791, father Friderici Schmitz, mother Elisabethae; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
17         Germany Marriages 1558-1929, FHL microfilm 584,862. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JHH7-47F : accessed 1 August 2015), Joannem Thielen and Apollonia Schmit, married 04 Feb 1812; citing Katholisch, Hetzerath Wittlich, Rheinland, Prussia.
18         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 585,850. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N6SN-GP1 : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmit, baptized 28 Apr 1793, father Friderici Schmit, mother Elisabethae; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
19         Familienbuch Longuich, page 1812, family 8792. Nikolaus Schmitt and Marianna Wollscheid.
20         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 846,155. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NTXK-T6X : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmid, baptized 12 Jul 1795, father Friderici Schmid, mother Elisabetha Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
21         Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Naissances 1889-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1853 > image 643 of 1410. 1855 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11613-10947-44?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L6L:n1038283664 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
22         Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 1067 of 1462. 1860 Marriage Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-167828-84?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-C68:129623201,129776101 : accessed 28 July 2011).
23         Luxembourg Civil Records, Echternach > Mariages 1809 > image 1154 of 1462. 1866 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11670-166074-78?cc=1709358&wc=9RYS-C68:129623201,129776101 : accessed 28 July 2011).
24         Germany Marriages 1558-1929, FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TYK : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmidt and Maria Anna Wolschett, married 17 Jan 1827, parents of groom Friderici Schmidt and Elisabethae Plein, parents of bride Jacobi Wolschett and Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
25         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NC1V-N84 : accessed 28 July 2015), Maria Anna Wolschett, baptized 25 Dec 1800, father Jacobi Wolschett, mother Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
26         Luxembourg Civil Records, Rosport > Décès 1853-1891 > image 52 of 510. 1857 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11627-97505-85?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-L62:1818144340 : accessed 05 Apr 2013).
27         Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, FHL microfilm 584,863. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N6SR-66X : accessed 1 August 2015), Anna Margaretha Schmitz, baptized 20 Oct 1798, father Friderici Schmitz, mother Elisabethae Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
28         Ibid., (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N6SR-63X : accessed 1 August 2015), Catharina Schmiz, baptized 17 May 1801, father Friderici Schmiz, mother Elisabethae Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
29         Ibid., (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NPN7-Q2L : accessed 1 August 2015), Anna Schmiz, baptized 12 Dec 1803, father Friderici Schmiz, mother Elisabethae Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.
30         Ibid., (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NKDG-G3X : accessed 1 August 2015), Elisabetha Schmit, baptized 14 Oct 1807, father Friderici Schmit, mother Elisabethae Plein; citing Catholic records of Heidweiler, Rheinland.

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


Adding 3 Generations to the Family Tree

logo_klengI was on duty a week ago Saturday at my genealogy society’s library in Walferdange, Luxembourg. This new library is open to the public on Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5. Three members of the board of Luxracines were present and six visitors dropped in to research and to become familiar with our collections.

As it was not yet too busy, I was able to get some research done while on duty.

  • I opened up my genealogy software (AQ14), went to my maternal grandfather’s pedigree and checked for the closest unknown sets of ancestors. One by one I pulled the family books of the towns they were from and looked up the families.
  • I used Evernote’s Scannable app on my iPhone to scan the images of the pages of the German family books concerning the families I was interested in.
  • I attached the names of 5 sets of NEW ancestors to my family tree, as placeholders. I did not input any further information.
  • To the Research Manager of AQ14, I added a To Do/Research Item for each placeholder person:
    Check the images from the [name of town] family book taken at Luxracines library on 29 Oct 2016
  • I included a red tag for good measure.
  • At home, I sent the images to Evernote. Each image became a note which I titled with the town name, page number, family number(s), surname. The notes were filed in a temporary notebook.

The next step was to begin inputting the information, citing sources, and adding the cropped images to my database. I began with the Familienbuch der Pfarrei Messerich, Dekanat Bitburg, 1720-1900 compiled by Werner Naumann. It covers the towns of Messerich, Birtlingen, Niederstedem, and Oberstedem.

messerich2015Last year I wrote 52 Ancestors: #45 The WAGNER-KERSCHT Family. My third great-grandmother Anna Maria KERSCHT, wife of Johann WAGNER, was the daughter of Mathias KERSCHT (1759-1841), a sheep herder, Schäfer, and Anna EVEN (1766-1828) who were married 26 November 1785 in Messerich in the Eifel. Anna Maria’s parents, my 4th great-grandparents, would be the next logical couple to write about. The Mettendorf FB entry M1158 for them indicated that they had not always lived in Mettendorf. Their first six children had only estimated years of birth indicating the information was not to be found in Mettendorf. Their seventh child, born in 1809, was documented as being born in Mettendorf.

My fourth great-grandmother’s name was seen as Anna EVEN in the Mettendorf FB (Family Book). Since Anna and Mathias married in Messerich this was the logical place to look further for this family line.

To put this in perspective, Nicolas WILDINGER was my maternal grandfather. His line back to Anna is through his mother Catherine PÖPPELREITER, her mother Magdalena WAGNER, her mother Anna Maria KERSCHT, her mother Anna EWEN.

nicolaswildingerpedigreeThe first thing I noticed when I looked up EVEN, the name found in the Mettendorf FB, was that the name was spelled EWEN in the Messerich FB. I had suspected this may be the case as I had found Anna’s parents listed as Gerardus EWEN and Barbara THILIEN on Thomas A. Pick’s Homepage for Eifel Birth and Marriage Data. The data was transcribed from an unknown source and the town of Messerich is seen as Mefserich (clearly a transcription error). This made me question the correctness of Pick’s use of the names EWEN and THILIEN.

In the Messerich FB, Mr. Naumann included the book number, page number, and record number of the church records he viewed. He also mentions other spellings of names or name changes. Although records will have to be obtained as proof, I will, for now, go with the spelling found by Mr. Naumann.

The parents of Anna EWEN (1766-1828) were Gerhard EWEN and Barbara THIL, also seen as THIELEN. Anna had nine siblings born between  1761 and 1780. Not only did I find her parents but also her paternal grandparents, maternal grandfather, and both sets of paternal great-grandparents. The new names in the family tree are seen below in generations 8 and 9 in white.

annamariakerschtpedigreeWhen I finish all of the towns scanned, I will go into AQ14 and re-set the standard ancestral colors so that these new ancestors on my mother’s paternal line will also be pink.

An interesting name change was seen for Anna EWEN’s parents. Her father Remigius was born EUPERS. At the time of his marriage to Margaretha EWEN in 1733 he lost his surname as they lived in the EWEN home and their children were all baptized EWEN. He was known as Remigius EUPERS vulgo EWEN. Vulgo means “alias” or “also known as” and shows his association to the EWEN family and property.

The Mathias KERSCHT and Anna EWEN family group were included in the Messerich FB. However, there are still discrepancies. My Anna Maria KERSCHT is in the Mettendorf FB with birth being circa 1793. She had five siblings born between 1786 and 1794 in Messerich but she was not in the Messerich FB.

When I wrote 52 Ancestors: #45 The WAGNER-KERSCHT Family I discussed my doubts about Anna Maria being born abt. 1793 which would mean she was nearly 50 when her last child, my 2nd great-grandmother Magdalena WAGNER, was born. I didn’t have the WAGNER-KERSCHT family’s entry from the Mettendorf FB when I wrote the post a year ago. At the time the theme of the post was “nur nicht verzweifeln” or don’t despair due to all the missing information. I still don’t have the entry and have added it to the Research Manager as a To Do/Research Item for my next visit to the library.

Messerich, Germany

The first documented mention of the town Messerich, Miezriche, was in the year 1066. In 1852 remains of Roman settlements were found thus proving that the place existed nearly one thousand years before it was first mentioned. In 1473 Messerich had 15 Feuerstellen, or houses which were lived in; in 1525 there were 12; in 1541 there were 14; and in 1624 there were only 5. The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), one of the deadliest conflicts in European history, and the Black Death, which repeatedly struck the Nimstal area in 1620-1633, were the cause for the decline in population. Today there are over 400 residents and 100 houses in Messerich.

Map courtesy of maps.google.lu

On the map above Messerich is a bit south of Bitburg. The closest towns to Messerich are Masholder, Birtlingen, Oberstedem, and Bitburg. Echternach, Luxembourg, the town where I live, lies 17.5 km or 10 miles to the south.

By Spanish_Inquisition (LuxembourgPartitionsMap_english.jpg) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Until the end of the 18th century, Messerich belonged to the Bitburg Provost District of the Duchy of Luxembourg. The borders of Luxembourg, before 1659, are seen above as black lines including areas of present-day France, Belgium, and Germany. The area where Messerich lies belonged to the Duchy of Luxembourg until the dark green area went to Prussia in 1815.

Although Messerich today lies in Germany, during the time my ancestors lived there it was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg. Now I am curious to find out which of my other “German” ancestors were actually Luxembourgers.

The entries from the Messerich FB have all been inputted and cited in my family tree. Schankweiler, Mettendorf, Neuerburg/Eifel, Mürlenbach, and Fliessem family books remain to be done. Hopefully I will have finished them by November 26th when it is once again my turn to be on library duty.


© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.