52 Ancestors: #30 Three Times a Wife – Angelique MICHELS of Bertrange

I have days when I’m ready to finish up researching a family and begin to write their story then something distracts me enough to set them aside for a day or two. When I come back to the research and begin or continue writing about them, I usually find something I’ve missed or was unable to find. Are there angels watching over our genealogy work?

The genealogies of the families of Bertrange in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg have been well researched by René KIRSCH who shares his work La Généalogie de BERTRANGE on his website. Using it as a guide, I was able to quickly find the records for Angelique’s family. However using other people’s work as a guide, even if you are able to confirm the research, may result in your not finding all records. I usually do the research first and then compare with research done by others. This works well for me. I should stick with this modus operandi as I ended up going through the parish records a second time to search for records I needed to prove relationships which were missed in La Généalogie de BERTRANGE.

Angelique MICHELS (1750-1825)  

On 15 April 1825 at eight o’clock in the morning Rosa WESTER, 47 years old, was at the records office in Bertrange declaring the death of her mother Angelique MICHELS, the widow of Johann RUCKERT, who had died only an hour earlier at the age of 77 years.[1] Angelique had led a long and interesting life. During her lifetime her first name was also seen as Angelica and Angela. The mother of nine children and grandmother of at least 38 grandchildren was one of my children’s many fifth great-grandmothers.

Angelique’s Parents and Siblings

Over a hundred years earlier her father Petrus MICHELS (1726-1776) was born in Bertrange on 12 September 1726.[2] He married her mother Susanna MARTIN (1727-1775) on 21 January 1750 in Bertrange.[3] Susanna’s maiden name would later be seen as MERTES in records produced when her children were born and when she died. Susanna’s father was living in Buschdorf at the time of the marriage in 1750. At this time, a connection to The Mertes-Donnen Family of Bertrange featured in What’s the secret of “maison dite” or house names in Luxembourg records? has not been found.

1750 Baptismal Record [4]
Nearly ten months to the day after Petrus and Susanna married they had their first child, Angelique, seen here as Angelica, born on 23 November 1750 in Bertrange.[4] The godparents chosen for this child were Jean MERTES (alias MARTIN) of Buschdorf and Angelica MICHELS of Bertrange. The godfather was her maternal grandfather and the godmother was her paternal grandmother.

Angelique would not grow up as an only child nor would she be the only child with this name. In 1753 when she was nearly 3 years old her sister Rosa was born[5] followed by Nicolas in 1756[6], Angelica in 1759[7], Joannatha in 1762[8], and Susanna in 1768[9].

Angelique’s First Marriage

1770 Marriage Index Card for Hansen-Michels marriage [10]
Angelique MICHELS married Petrus HANSEN on 5 February 1770 in Bertrange.[10] Petrus, the son of Jean HANSEN and Marie CLAUDT, was born on 21 December 1745 in Bertrange.[11] On the marriage record, her name was listed as Angela MERTES alias MICHELS. The marriage lasted only seven months as Petrus died on 15 September 1770 in Bertrange.[12]

Angelique was expecting her first child when her husband died. Anna Catharina HANSEN was born on 9 November 1770 in Bertrange.[13] Her godfather was her maternal grandfather Petrus MERTES alias MICHELS and her godmother was likely a sister of her deceased father, Anna Catharina HANSEN of Berdorf.

This daughter gained a playmate and uncle a year later when Joannes MICHELS was born on 30 October 1771 to Angelique’s parents Petrus and Susanna.[14]

Angelique’s Second Husband

1774 Marriage Index Card for Wester-Michels marriage [15]
Angelique was a widow for a little over three years. On 11 January 1774, she married her second husband Willibrordus WESTER.[15] Willibrordus, the son of Willibrord VESTER (also seen as WESTER) and Marie BRIMMEYER, was born on 12 November 1747 in Strassen.[16]

Willibrordus and Angelique’s first child Antonetta was born eleven months later on 4 December 1774.[17] The child was two months old when her maternal grandmother Susanna MARTIN aka MERTES died on 15 February 1775.[18] Her maternal grandfather, Petrus MICHELS, died nearly a year later on 1 February 1776.[19]

Angelique, widowed once, married for the second time, and mother of two young daughters was only 25 years old when her father died and she became the head of household in domo Michels.

Willibrordus and Angelique’s family grew with the birth of Rosa on 1 January 1777[20] and Joanna on 3 August 1779.[21]

1781 Baptismal Record for Barbara Wester [22]
On 6 August 1781, daughter Barbara was born in the Michels house, in domo Michels, in Bertrange.[22] This is the first reference to the home Angelique grew up in and, as the oldest child, now owned. Sadly, the next time the home was mentioned was when baby Barbara died six months later on 12 February 1782.[23]

Willibrordus WESTER was 35 years old when he died on 30 December 1782 in Bertrange.[24] Angelique was 32 years old, widowed twice, mother of four daughters, and expecting another child when her husband died. I found a possible error pertaining to his date of death. The parish records are in chronological order. The death entry is the first for December although he died on the 30th. I believe he may have died in November and the month was written incorrectly in the parish book.

Three to four months later, Willibrordus and Angelique’s son Peter was born on 11 April 1783 in domo Michels in Bertange.[25]

Angelique now had five little children: a newborn son and four daughters between the ages of 12 and nearly 2 years. She was still young. Both her parents had died before they were 50. Did she consider all of these things when she married for the third time?

Angelique’s Third Husband

1785 Marriage Record of Johann RUCKERT and Angelique MICHELS [26]
Angelique MICHELS married Johann RUCKERT on 7 February 1785 in Bertrange.[26] The marriage proclamations were made in Sandweiler and Bertrange. The groom signed his name to the marriage record while the bride declared not being able to write and left her mark.

Before continuing with Angelique and Johann’s life together, let’s take a look at Johann RUCKERT’s parents and childhood as he was my children’s fifth great-grandfather.

Johann, the son of Petrus RUCKERT (1715-1790) and Anna Catharina SPEYER (1718-1793), was born on 10 April 1754 in Sandweiler.[27] He was the seventh of nine children and was honored by having his uncle, Joannes RUCKERT, a Catholic priest, as his godfather.

Johann’s father Petrus was born and baptized on 15 June 1715 in Sandweiler.[28] He married Johann’s mother Anna Catharina on 29 November 1739 in Sandweiler.[29] She was born about 1718 in Burange (Dudelange). Petrus and Anna Catharina had nine children born from 1740-1759.

After going through the parish books of Sandweiler, I was able to deduct that Anna Catharina, who was having children with Petrus RUCKERT, was always the same wife. Some records show only her given name while others indicate her maiden name was SPEYER or KNEPPESCH, KNEPCHEN, KNEPGEN. In 1759 her daughter Maria’s godmother’s name was Maria SPEIER dicta KNEITGEN which shows the SPEYER family was also called KNEPPESCH (and several other spellings).

Johann and Angelique became the parents of three children in four years. Their births all took place in domo Michels, the house known as Michels, in Bertrange.

1785 Baptismal Record of Anna Catharina RUCKERT [30]
Their first child, Anna Catharina, born and baptized on 30 October 1785, was named after her paternal grandmother who was also her godmother. The godmother was not present at the baptism. The procuratrix Agnèse KIELL widow of Jean SCHINY represented the godmother Anna Catharina RUCKER alias KNEBGEN of Sandweiler per procurationem. The father and the godfather signed the record while the substitute godmother could not write and left her mark.[30]

1787 Baptismal Record of Jacob RUCKERT [31]
The second child Jacob was born and baptized on 23 July 1787. The godfather was Jacob RUCKERT, a farmer from Sandweiler and his paternal uncle, and the godmother was Margaretha RUCKERT alias KING from Hoën (Hagen) in the parish of Sterpenich.[31] Her relationship is unknown, however, I suspect she may be a grand-aunt, sister of Petrus RUCKERT. The father and the godfather signed the record and the godmother declared not being able to write and left her mark. The child Jacob was my children’s 4th great-grandfather.

1789 Baptismal Record of Johann RUCKERT [32]
Angelique and Johann’s third and last child was Johann born and baptized on 11 September 1789. His father was a farmer or agricola and, as with his other children, signed the baptismal record.[32]

Following the births of these three children, their paternal grandparents passed away. Their grandfather Petrus RUCKERT died on 13 June 1790 at the age of 74 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler.[33] Their grandmother Anna Catharina SPEYER died on 14 April 1793 at the age of 75 and was buried the following day in Sandweiler.[34]

Angelique’s Children Begin to Marry

Two of Angelique’s daughters from her second marriage married in 1800 and 1801. I stumbled on the marriage records while searching for birth records of the daughters’ children. The marriage records were mixed in with the birth records and out of order. They were included in one of three little notebooks kept by the priest during 1800-1801. Joanna WESTER married Michel KRIER (1778-1851) on 3 May 1800[35] and Rosa WESTER married Leonard WAGENER (1773-1823) on 3 January 1801[36], both in Bertrange.

1803 Death and Burial Record of “Joannes” RUCKERT [37]
Angelique’s third husband Johann RUCKERT died on 15 February 1803 in domo Michels, Bertrange, at the age of 48.[37] Widowed a third time at the age of 52, Angelique was left with three teenagers and two married daughters. No trace has been found of the daughter from her first marriage or the oldest daughter and the only son from her second marriage. A more thorough search of the parish books for marriages and/or death records is on my to-do list.

The daughter Anna Catharina RUCKERT who was born in 1785 was still living in 1803. She was the godmother of her half-sister Rosa’s daughter Anna KRIER born on 27 November 1803[38] as well as for her half-sister Joanna’s daughter Anna WAGENER born on 9 May 1801.[39] In both records, she was seen as Anna RUCKERT é domo Michels placing her in the household of Angelique. In future research, I will take into account the fact that her name may have been shortened to Anna.

Angelique’s youngest son Johann RUCKERT married Anna Catharina SCHUHMANN (1794-1862) on 18 December 1817 in Sandweiler.[40] Did he meet her while visiting RUCKERT relatives in Sandweiler? Although the bride was from Sandweiler the couple made their home in Bertrange.

1825 Death Record of Angelique MICHELS veuve RUCKERT [1]
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Angelique MICHELS died on 15 April 1825 in Bertrange and her daughter Rosa was the informant.[1] Rosa who had been widowed nearly two years declared she could not write and another witness had to sign for her.

Three years after Angelique’s death, her son Jacob RUCKERT married Margaretha SCHOLER (1802-1842) on 19 February 1828 in Bertrange.[41] The marriage produced eight children, five of whom were living when Jacob was widowed in 1842 shortly after the 14th wedding anniversary.[42] His wife died in childbirth and he likely needed a woman to care for his children as he married within eight months. His bride Magdalena SCHMIT (1811-1870) was 24 years younger and the single mother of a seven-year-old daughter. They were married on 26 November 1842 in Bertrange.[43] Magdalena was my children’s 4th great-grandmother. You can read their story here: How Jacob RUCKERT’s Brother-in-law Peter SCHMIT Became his Father-in-law.

Of the nine children Angelique gave birth to, one died young, four have not been traced, leaving four who married and had children. Joanna WESTER died at the age of 71 on 12 December 1850[44], Rosa WESTER died at the age of 78 on 6 January 1855[45], Jacob RUCKERT died at the age of 68 on 24 June 1856[46], and Johann RUCKERT died at the age of 72 on 27 May 1862[47]. All of these deaths took place in Bertrange.

I would love to hear from Angelique’s descendants. Are there any readers who descend from the children I have not been able to follow or who know more about them?

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 673 of 1416. 1825 Death Record No. 17. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-56264-53?cc=1709358 : accessed 2 April 2010).
[2] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 9 of 200. 1726 Baptismale Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1ZZS?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[3] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 133 of 200. 1750 Marriage Record No. 7 (left page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1C57?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[4] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 48 of 200. 1750 Baptismal Record No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C5K?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 7 September 2017).
[5] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 53 of 200. 1753 Baptismal Record No. 136. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1CRW?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[6] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 59 of 200. 1756 Baptismal Record No. 244. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CGD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[7] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 64 of 200. 1759 Baptismal Record No. 330. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1Z39?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017.
[8] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 69 of 200. 1762 Baptismal Record No. 419. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1ZSM?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[9] Ibid., -1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 84 of 200. 1768 Baptismal Record No. 647. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1ZMG?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[10] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 (index organisée par l’époux) > image 199 of 572. 1770 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32461-19970-46?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[11] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 37 of 200. 1745 Baptismal Record No. 570. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1Z7F?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[12] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 190 of 200. 1770 Death Record No. 611. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L971-1CK7?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[13] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 88 of 200. 1770 Baptismal Record No. 713. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C2M?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[14] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 90 of 200. 1771 Baptismal Record No. 745. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CR8?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[15] Ibid., Bertrange > Tables des mariages 1720-1796 Hassel-Z (index organisée par l’épouse) > image 174 of 376. 1774 Marriage Card. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-2184-12?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[16] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 41 of 200. 1747 Baptismal Record No. 634. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1C1W?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[17] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 96 of 200. 1774 Baptismal Record No. 840. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1C2S?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[18] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptême 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 193 of 200. 1776 Death Record No. 765. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CWD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[19] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 192 of 200. 1775 Death Record No. 726. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-8971-1C8Y?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[20] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 99 of 200. 1777 Baptismal Record No. 903. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G971-1CJV?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[21] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1723-1780, confirmations 1755-1767, mariages 1723-1780, sépultures 1723-1780 > image 107 of 200. 1779 Baptismal Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9971-1CPD?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-92Q%3A1500936901%2C1501072268 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[22] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 9 of 254. 1781 Baptismal Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZWL?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[23] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 9 of 254. 1781 Baptismal Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZWL?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[24] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 200 of 254. 1782 Death Record No. 22. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-SZTH?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[25] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 24 of 254. 1783 Baptismal Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SH1F?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[26] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 158 of 254. 1785 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-10044-69?cc=2037955 : accessed 10 October 2015).
[27] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 57 of 133. 1754 Baptismal Record (left page, 1st entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-S8?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[28] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 17 of 133. 1715 Baptismal Record (left page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-SHM?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[29] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes 1705-1778, confirmations 1750-1762, mariages 1726-1774, sépultures 1710-1740, 1748-1778 > image 111 of 133. 1739 Marriage Record (right page, last entry for 1739). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WM-S9VL?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-C6J%3A1501109439%2C1501109440 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[30] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 48 of 254. 1785 Baptismal Record No. 148. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SHGF?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-3T1%3A1500936901%2C1500936942 : accessed 6 September 2017).
[31] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 64 of 254. 1787 Baptismal Record No. 215. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32462-8679-85?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[32] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1781-1797, confirmations 1791, mariages 1781-1797, sépultures 1781-1797 > image 80 of 254. 1789 Baptismal Record No. 298 (first part). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32462-8481-82?cc=2037955 : accessed 11 October 2015). Second part on image 81.
[33] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 95 of 119. 1790 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WM-S99X?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZQ%3A1501109439%2C1500913302 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[34] Ibid., Sandweiler > Baptêmes, mariages, sépultures 1779-1793 > image 116 of 119. 1793 Death Record (right page, 2nd entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9WM-S1Z?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-HZQ%3A1501109439%2C1500913302 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[35] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 36 of 108. 1800 Marriage Record. “Luxembourg registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SC86?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 12 September 2017).
[36] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 52 of 108. 1800 Marriage Record (right page, first entry). (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SCXG?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : 9 January 2015).
[37] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 91 of 108. 1803 Death Record (right page, last entry). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-8929-70?cc=2037955 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[38] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 48 of 108. 1801 Baptismal Record (right page, bottom).(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99WS-SZ3V?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 8 September 2017)).
[39] Ibid., Bertrange > Baptêmes 1800-1807, mariages 1800-1807, sépultures 1802-1807, communions 1796, membres 1734-1816 > image 77 of 108. 1803 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89WS-SC8N?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-W3D%3A1500936901%2C1501012750 : accessed 12 September 2017).
[40] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Sandweiler > Naissances 1865-1890 Mariages 1797-1890 Décès 1797-1822 > image 796 of 1493. 1817 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-X46X-4B?cc=1709358&wc=9RYD-MNL%3A130336601%2C130552301 : accessed 9 September 2017).
[41] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 10 of 1416. 1828 Marriage Record No. 8. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-54990-54?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[42] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 907 of 1416. 1842 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-51891-68?cc=1709358 : accessed 6 October 2015).
[43] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 156 of 1416. 1842 Marriage Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57204-95?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[44] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1032 of 1416. 1850 Death Record No. 25. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X89-B91?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[45] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1069 of 1416. 1855 Death Record No. 1. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-6X8S-MVX?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-829%3A129622901%2C129640401 : accessed 8 September 2017).
[46] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1084 of 1416. 1856 Death Record No. 10. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-55634-51?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2DC:725853054 : accessed 10 Apr 2013).
[47] Ibid., Bertrange > Mariages 1828-1890 Décès 1796-1890 > image 1144 of 1416. 1862 Death Record No. 18. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12131-57342-52?cc=1709358 : accessed 7 October 2015).

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

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52 Ancestors: #35 MERKES-HASTERT Family – Back to School or Back to Work?

Week 35 (August 27 – September 2) – School Days: Many kids have returned to school by this time. What do you know about your ancestors’ school days? Do you have any yearbooks? Have you found him or her in a local school census? (Certainly nobody knows about any senior pranks they pulled 😉 )

A School Teacher for the MERKES Children

On 1 September 1863 Jean THOMES, the mayor of Bastendorf, placed an advertisement in the Der Wächter an der Sauer for a teaching job in Bastendorf, Luxembourg. Adam (14) and  Mathias (12), the youngest sons of Peter and Anna Catharina MERKES-HASTERT, may still have been going to school at this time.

Concurs
am 2. September nächsthin, Vormittags halb neun Uhr im Schulgebäude zu Diekirch, für die Lehrerstelle der Knabenschule zu Bastendorf, mit welcher:
a) Ein jährlicher fixer Gehalt von Fr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
b) Die Schulgebühren der nicht schulpflichtigen Kinder von circa Fr. . .50
c) Eine freie geräumige Wohnung und
d) Das Holzrecht 
verbunden sind.
Bastendorf, am 21 August 1863.
Der Bürgermeister: Jean Thomes.

school
Advertisement for a new teacher [1]
Competition
On September 2 next, in the morning half past eight clock in the school building in  Diekirch, for the teaching job of the boys’ school to Bastendorf which includes:
a) An annual fixed salary of Fr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .600
b) The school fees of (non-compulsory) children of approximately Fr. . . .  50
c) A free and spacious dwelling
d) The right to collect firewood
Bastendorf, on 21 August 1863rd
The Mayor: Jean Thomes.

In the three-quarters of a century before World War II only three teachers taught school in the village due to the good conditions offered them. The teacher hired in 1863 very likely was the first of the three. Mr. Hermes, who was the school teacher in 1949, had been teaching in Bastendorf since 1916. During the time he held school in Bastendorf the town was hard-hit by the Germans – twice, during both world wars.

The Rundstedt or Ardennes Offensive ended on 19 January 1945 for the people of Bastendorf leaving their town in ruins. The Bastendorfers’ once beautiful “village Cathedral” as they thought of their church was disfigured, leaving only the church tower standing. The school building which hardly differed from a stable was in ruins. It took nearly five years to rebuild the damaged buildings. A new church and school building were inaugurated on Sunday, 28 August 1949. The new school building was a modern promise to the children of the town. 

Inauguration of the New School in Bastendorf Next Sunday
Zur Einweihung der neuen Schule in Bastendorf am nächsten Sonntag

School Inauguration in Bastendorf
Schuleinweihung in Bastendorf

Pierre “Peter” MERKES 1805-1867

nicolasmerkes
Nicolas Merkes

Pierre “Peter” MERKES was born at one o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, 10 September 1805 in Bettendorf to Nicolas MERKES (b. 1763) and Magdalena WAGENER (b. abt. 1773). His father was 40 years old at the time, a farmer, and was able to sign his name on the birth record.[2] Peter was the 6th of a dozen children.

Anna Catharina HASTERT 1810-1888

christophehaster
Christope Haster

Anna Catharina HASTERT was born at three o’clock in the morning of Saturday, 15 December 1810 in Niederglabach, commune of Nommern, to Christophe HASTER(T) (1778-1852) and Barbara “Barbe” SCHMIT (1784-1861). Her father was 35 years old, a day laborer, and was able to sign his name on the birth record.[3] I have not researched Anna Catharina’s siblings.

Peter and Anna Catharina Marry in Nommern

On Tuesday 28 February 1832 in Nommern a marriage took place between Peter MERKES and Anna Catharina HASTERT. Peter was 27 years old, a tailor (Schneider) and lived in Bettendorf. Anna Catharina was 22 years old, a day laborer (Taglöhnerin) and lived in Niederglabach. The parents of the bride and groom were present and consenting to the marriage. Banns had been proclaimed on Sunday the 12th and 19th of February in Bettendorf and Nommern. Four witnesses from Schrondweiler and Nommern were present. Their relationship to the bridal couple was not given. The groom and his father signed their names to the marriage record. The bride, mother of the bride and the mother of the groom declared not being able to write and did not sign.[4]

petermerkes
Peter Merkes
nicolasmerkes2
Nicolas Merkes

The inability of the ladies present to sign their names to the marriage record in 1832 makes me wonder when girls were allowed and/or required to attend school. The 1863 advertisement seen above was for a boys’ school and children who were not required to attend school had to pay for their attendance.

The Children of Peter and Anna Catharina

Peter and Anna Catharina’ s first child was born 10 months after their marriage. Barbara, also called Barbe, was born on 21 December 1832 in Niederglabach in the commune of Nommern.[5] Sometime after her birth the family moved to Obereissenbach in the commune of Hosingen where their second child, Anna Maria (1835-1920) was born on 14 August 1835.[6] The family of four then moved to Bastendorf were the rest of the children were born. The move must have taken place when Anna Catharina was expecting her third child as the 1851 census indicates the family had lived in Bastendorf for 12 years. Their third child, Nicolas MERKES was born on 17 November 1838 in Bastendorf[7] and died there on 30 December 1838.[8] Two more children were born before the 1843 census: Pierre on 27 October 1839[9] and Marie, also known as Margaretha, on 26 April 1842.[10]

On 16 December 1843 Pierre, his wife “Catharine” and their children Barbe, Pierre, and Marie were enumerated on the census taken in Bastendorf.[11] Their daughter Anna Maria who was 8 years old at the time was not listed with the family. Was this an omission or was Anna Maria visiting with her grandparents? I have not done census work on the parents of Pierre or Anna Catharina.

Mathias MERKES was born 18 July 1846[12] and was listed with his parents Pierre and “Catherine” on the 24 December 1846 census along with his siblings Pierre, “Anne Marie” and “Marguerite”.[13] His sister Barbe was 12 years old and working as a servant for farmer Pierre Steichen and living with his family.[14] It is not unusual to see the given names written in French on one census and in German the next time.

Little Mathias died at the age of 2 years on 11 November 1848 in Bastendorf.[15] By the time the next census was taken on 3 December 1849[16] another son Adam had been born to Pierre and Anna Catharina on 5 July 1849.[17] The MERKES-HASTERT household included father Pierre, mother “Cath.” and children Pierre, Adam, Barbe, and Marie. Their 14 years old daughter Anna Maria was not with the family and has not been located in another household.

On 7 October 1851 Pierre and Anna Catharina’s 8th and youngest child, a son, was born.[18] They named him Mathias after their 6th child who died in 1848.

On 31 December 1851 the MERKES-HASTERT household included father Pierre, mother Anne Cathérine, and children Pierre, Adam, Mathias, Barbe, Anna Marie, and Marie.[19] A peculiarity of the census, also seen in other years, was the listing of the sons in order of birth followed by the daughters in order of birth. A remark was added concerning Anna Marie – she was absent from home and working as a servant in Tandel, a neighboring village.

On 2 December 1852 when the census was taken Pierre and Anna Catherine had 5 of their 6 living children living at home: Pierre, Adam, Mathias, Barbe, and Marie.[20] Anna Maria was not living at home and her location at the time is unknown.

In 1855 the MERKES-HASTERT family appears to have been missed when the census was taken on 3 December.  Their oldest son Pierre was found in the Schroeder-Schütz household. He was 16 years old and working as a shepherd (berger).[21]

The first grandchild was born on the last day of 1856 in Bastendorf. The oldest daughter Barbe who was 23 years old gave birth to an illegitimate son she named Johann. The grandfather Pierre did not wait for the New Year to have the birth registered. The child was born at 6 o’clock in the evening and Pierre met with the Johann Thomes, the mayor, an hour later.[22]

By 3 December 1858 the oldest son Pierre had “disappeared” from the MERKES-HASTERT household and from Bastendorf. His brothers Adam and Mathias were still at home with their parents who were also keeping Barbe’s young son “Jean”[23] while his mother was in the Fonck-Bourg household in a house called Mühlen and working as a servant.[24]

Pierre and Anna Catharina’s second daughter was also missing from the 1858 census but she did not disappear like her brother Pierre. On 1 September 1859 Anna Maria MERKES married Anton KREMER (1836-1918) in Bettendorf.[25] Anna Maria could not sign her name on her marriage record. Could this mean she did not attend school?

Barbe and her son “Jean” were living with her parents on 3 December 1861 in the MERKES-HASTERT household along with her brothers Adam and Mathias.[26] The household remained the same on 3 December 1864[27] with the exception of Adam who was living with the Kremer-Zenner widow and working as a house servant (domestique).[28]

Peter and Anna Catharina’s third daughter Marie “Margaretha” MERKES had also been missing from MERKES-HASTERT household since being enumerated with them in 1852. She was once again found when she married Dominique “Dominik” HEUARDT (1836- ) on 3 May 1865 in Bastendorf.[29] As was the case for her sister Anna Maria, Marie could not sign her name on her marriage record.

The next marriage in the family was on 7 January 1867 in Bastendorf. The oldest daughter Barbe MERKES married Nicolas KELLER (1837-1878).[30] Her son Jean MERKES was not mentioned on their marriage record and his surname remained MERKES. As was the case for her sisters Anna Maria and Marie, Barbe could not sign her name on her marriage record. Did the girls in this family not attend school because their parents could not afford to pay the school fees?

Not long after Barbe married, her father Pierre “Peter” MERKES died on 22 February 1867 in Bastendorf.[31] He left his wife, three married daughters, two unmarried sons, and a son whose whereabouts are unknown.

Whereabouts of the Family After the Father’s Death

On the 3 December 1867 census the mother of this family was seen as Anna Maria HASTERT  and had in her household son Adam and oldest daughter Barbe, son-in-law Nicolas KELLER, grandchildren Johann MERKES and Margaretha KELLER.[32] Her son Mathias was living in Tandel in the Nicolas KELLEN household and working as a servant (Knecht).[33]

On 1 December 1871 Anna Catharina HASTERT was alone on the census in Bastendorf.[34] Her son Adam and Mathias were listed on the back page as working in Rumelange. This remark came in very handy during further research as Anna Catharina was seen by herself on 1 December 1875.[35]

Very early in my research I called the civil records office in Bastendorf for more information on the MERKES-HASTERT couple. The person on the phone was very helpful but was not able to find the death record in Bastendorf for Anna Catharina HASTERT. At the time all I knew was her daughter Anna Maria was living with her husband Anton KREMER and their children in Bettendorf. I did not know about her other children and had no idea where to search futher.

Nearly twenty years later while preparing to write this post I searched for the all of the birth, marriage, death, and census records. The information on the location of the two youngest sons in 1871 was the breakthrough I needed.

From Rob Deltgen’s site I knew Adam MERKES married Anne Marie KUNNERT on 22 December 1873 in Consthum in the canton of Clervaux.[36] I found their marriage record as well as that of his brother Mathias MERKES who married Susanne KAUFMAN on 11 August 1875 in Bastendorf.[37] Adam and Mathias were both able to sign their names on their marriage records.

adammerkes
Adam Merkes[36]
Mathiasmerkes
Mathias Merkes[37]
Mathias was living in Bastendorf in 1880[38] however his mother, his sister Barbe, and his brother Adam were missing.

The notation on the 1871 census about Adam and Mathias MERKES working in Rumelange brought all the pieces together. It’s a good thing that I checked the Tables Décennales for Rumelange before jumping into the birth and death records. At the very front of the book was this remark:

remark
Remarque: Rumelange records begin in 1891, avant 1891 s’était la commune de Kayl!

It pays to be able to read more than one language. Before 1891 Rumelange was part of the commune of Kayl. In the Kayl records I found Adam MERKES living in Rumelange in 1880[39], 1885,[40] and 1887[41] per the census. His mother Anna Catharina HASTERT was in his household. His sister Barbe was living in Rumelange at the same time and has, so far, only been found in the 1885 census.[42] His brother Mathias also moved to Rumelange by 1885. His sister Marie “Margaretha” MERKES died on 30 December 1884 in Rumelange in the commune of Kayl.[43]

The birth records of the children of Adam MERKES show his re-location from Bastendorf to Rumelange very likely took place following his marriage in 1873. Children were born in Rumelange between 1874-1891.

Adam’s sister Barbe went to Rumelange before 1871. She had three children born between 1871 and 1876 in Rumelange and her husband Nicolas KELLER died there on 27 October 1878.[44]

Anna Catharina HASTERT died in Rumelange on 9 May 1888.[45] She had been living with her son Adam; her daughter Barbe and son Mathias were living in the same town. Only my husband’s 2nd great-grandmother Anna Maria MERKES, who was the first to  marry in 1859, remained in Bettendorf, her husband Anton KREMER’s hometown. But this didn’t mean her ties to her family were broken. Three of her sons went to Rumelange to work in the mines, most likely along side their uncles Adam and Mathias.

And the Search Continues….

The census records for the children of Anna Catharina HASTERT and Peter “Pierre” MERKES who lived in Rumelange still need to be found for the period 1890-1900. Adam died in 1924[46]; the deaths of Barbe and Mathias are unknown. Another question which remains to be answered is: what happened to son Peter after 1855?

Sources:
[1] Der Wächter an der Sauer, Tuesday 1 September 1863, No. 104, p. 4, col. 1. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=1621505&search_terms=#panel:pa|issue:1621505|article:DTL45  : accessed 29 August 2015).
[2] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bettendorf > Naissances 1828-1890 Mariages 1800-1816 > image 1371 of 1507. 1805 Birth Record No. 46. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-13200-5228-3?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-28S:1346120346 : accessed 08 Apr 2013).
[3] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1796-1850 > image 120 of 502. 1810 Birth Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12663-22222-64?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LC5:n75022555 : accessed 08 Apr 2013).
[4] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1851-1890 Mariages 1797-1823, 1796-1890 Décès 1796-1823, 1796-1849 > image 729 of 1477. 1832 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12870-29072-7?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-LCR:n1552617334 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).
[5] Ibid., Nommern > Naissances 1796-1850 > image 319 of 502. 1832 Birth Record No. 27. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12663-24211-27?cc=1709358&wc=9RY7-GP6:130145901,130237801 : accessed 1 September 2015).
[6] Ibid., Hosingen > Naissances 1823-1890 > image 271 of 1477. 1835 Birth Record No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11690-153577-57?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2BG:675906683 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[7] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 467 of 1476. 1838 Birth Record No. 33. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-140257-53?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[8] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 92 of 305. 1838 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-252035-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[9] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 92 of 305. 1838 Death Record No. 21. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-252035-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[10] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 513 of 1476. 1842 Birth Record No. 23. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135070-57?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[11] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Bastendorf > 1843 > image 18 of 186. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32360-13201-64?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-L2D:346178801,345863501 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[12] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 565 of 1476. 1846 Birth Record No. 15.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-134278-21?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[13] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1846 > image 161 of 195. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32345-5752-80?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-G5L:346178801,345858602 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[14] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1846 > image 11 of 195. Steichen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32345-5881-90?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-G5L:346178801,345858602 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[15] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Décès 1828-1862 > image 181 of 305. 1848 Death Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-248477-38?cc=1709358&wc=9RYZ-82Q:129624201,129667901 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[16] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1849 > image 38 of 2054. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32348-13720-30?cc=2037957&wc=M5L5-RMT:346178801,345864801 : accessed 2 May 2015).
[17] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 603 of 1476. 1849 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-138821-0?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[18] Ibid., Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 631 of 1476. 1851 Birth Record No. 38. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135267-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[19] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1851 > image 41 of 210. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32356-11818-60?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-PYF:346178801,345865601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[20] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1852 > image 32 of 218. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32379-29324-2?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-C6B:346178801,345865501 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[21] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1855 > image 49 of 216. Schroeder-Schütz household No. 47. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32377-13474-32?cc=2037957&wc=M5L1-DPJ:346178801,345866501 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[22] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Naissances 1800-1823, 1798-1823, 1828-1890 Mariages 1778-1823 > image 695 of 1476. 1856 Birth Record No. 51. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12305-135699-20?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-MNL:129624201,129879301 : accessed 24 August 2015).
[23] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1858 > image 66 of 229. Merkes-Hastert household no. 60. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32371-9032-83?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6YP:346178801,345867601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[24] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1858 > image 42 of 229. Fonck-Bourg household No. 36. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32371-8904-89?cc=2037957&wc=M5LT-6YP:346178801,345867601 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[25] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bettendorf > Mariages 1817-1890 Décès 1800-1859 > image 516 of 1494. 1859 Marriage Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12456-37146-86?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ZY:2071013250 : accessed 02 Apr 2013).
[26] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1861 > image 10 of 234. Merkes-Hastert household no. 73. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32399-11548-23?cc=2037957&wc=M5GS-FM6:346178801,345867101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[27] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1864 > image 20 of 242. Merkes-Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32373-29321-65?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-DPV:346178801,345868401 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[28] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1864 > image 5 of 242. Household of Widow Kremer-Zenner. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32373-28924-30?cc=2037957&wc=M5LB-DPV:346178801,345868401 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[29] Luxembourg Civil Records, Bastendorf > Mariages 1851-1871 > image 109 of 162. 1865 Marrige Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132767-61?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2C1 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[30] Ibid., Bastendorf > Mariages 1851-1871 > image 124 of 162. 1867 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132660-15?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2C1 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[31] Ibid., Bastendorf > Décès 1863-1871 > image 62 of 109. 1867 Death Record No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-133034-91?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2CC:27255400 : accessed 07 Apr 2013).
[32] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1867 > image 43 of 238. Anna Maria Hastert household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-12002-92?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-VZN:346178801,345869101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[33] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1867 > image 96 of 238. Nicolas Kellen household. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32383-11982-85?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-VZN:346178801,345869101 : accessed 1 May 2015).
[34] Ibid., , Bastendorf > 1871 > image 279 of 517. Merkes-Hastert household no. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32383-2576-71?cc=2037957&wc=M5G3-T3N:346178801,345869501 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 278 and 280 for front and back matter.
[35] Ibid., Bastendorf > 1875 > image 58 of 496. Merkes-Hastert household no. 19. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32380-27253-85?cc=2037957&wc=M5GM-C6B:346178801,345870501 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 57 and 59 for front and back matter.
[36] Luxembourg Civil Records, Consthum > Mariages 1872-1890 > image 4 of 88. 1873 Marriage Record No. 4. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11553-132194-14?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-DPN:129626301,129707601 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[37] Ibid., Bastendorf > Mariages 1872-1890 > image 33 of 148. 1875 Marriage Record No. 6. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12394-249348-34?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2Z3:1619369468 : accessed 27 Sep 2014).
[38] Luxembourg Census, Bastendorf > 1880 > image 69 of 488. Merkes-Kaufman household no. 31. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32390-2963-79?cc=2037957&wc=M5GW-6T1:346178801,345872201 : accessed 1 May 2015). See also images 68 and 70 for front and back matter.
[39] Ibid., Kayl > 1880 > image 714 of 1108. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 20. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32380-21590-67?cc=2037957&wc=M5G9-T38:345861401,345872201 : accessed 30 August 2015). See also images 713 and 715 for front and back matter.
[40] Ibid.,, Kayl > 1885 > image 714 of 1775. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 48. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32391-1100-17?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-GP6:345861401,345873701 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 713 and 715 for front and back matter.
[41] Ibid., Kayl > 1887 > image 202 of 1089. Merkes-Kunnert household No. 97. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32393-16810-84?cc=2037957&wc=M5G4-FM9:345861401,345875201 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 201 and 203 for front and back matter.
[42] Ibid., Kayl > 1885 > image 642 of 1775. Keller-Merkes household No. 12. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32391-1631-93?cc=2037957&wc=M5G7-GP6:345861401,345873701 : accessed 29 August 2015). See also images 641 and 643 for front and back matter,
[43] Luxembourg Civil Records, Kayl > Décès 1879-1890 > image 173 of 393. 1884 Death Record No. 128. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11017-120898-4?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-T3D:129946501,129623502 : accessed 25 August 2015).
[44] Ibid., Kayl > Mariages 1866-1890 Décès 1797-1878 > image 1476 of 1489. 1878 Death Record No. 55. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12324-17170-96?cc=1709358&wc=9RYQ-7M9:129946501,130034601 : accessed 30 August 2015).
[45] Ibid., Kayl > Décès 1879-1890 > image 290 of 393. 1888 Death Record No. 49.  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11017-120661-19?cc=1709358&wc=9RT1-T3D:129946501,129623502 : accessed 25 August 2015).
[46] Escher Tageblatt, digitized by the Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg, http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu (Verlag Editpress S.A., Esch-sur-Alzette), No. 118 20 May 1924 p. 7 col. 4. Death notice: Adam Merkes, 74 J. alt, Taglöhner, Rümelingen. (http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=428797&search_terms=adam%20merkes#panel:pa|issue:428797|article:DTL109|query:adam merkes.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Pierre “Peter” MERKES
Parents: Nicolas MERKES and Margaretha WAGENER
Spouse: Anna Catharina HASTERT
Parents of spouse: Christophe HASTERT and Barbara SCHMIT
Whereabouts: Bettendorf, Niederglabach, Bastendorf, Rumelange
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: husband’s 3rd great-grandfather

1. Pierre “Peter” MERKES
2. Anna Maria MERKES
3. Nicolas KREMER
4. Franz “Fritz” KREMER
5. Marie Françoise “Maisy” KREMER
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.

52 Ancestors: #26 Halfway: The MEDER-WILMES Family of Diekirch

Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?

Halfway finished with 2015 and this year’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. What better time to switch gears and begin on a new generation. The 3rd great-grandparents will take me through to the end of the year. Sixteen paternal and maternal sets for my husband and 8 maternal sets for myself.  My paternal sets were discussed during the first year of the challenge in 2014.

This generation of ancestors will be take me into a time period which has only been researched halfway. Civil record keeping in Luxembourg began ca. 1796 while the country was under Napoleonic rule (1795- 1812). During the first half of this year I featured many state-gathered records (births, marriages, deaths). The church records (baptisms, marriages, burials) for Luxembourg went online at Family Search at the beginning of this year. At the time I made a resolution to focus on the planned families each week and not check for church records for earlier generations and families until it was time to write about them.

I admit it was hard to keep this resolution, knowing the database was there for the pickings. I went in a few times to check on this or that ancestor and I told myself it was only a practice run. The family I’m doing this week gave me the first opportunity to really dig in and work with the church records. I was only halfway done when I began cleaning up source citations, etc. and adding records for this family.

The MEDER-WILMES Family of Diekirch

Jean Nicolas (Johann Nicolaus) MEDER and Apolonia (Apolline) WILMES were my husband’s 3rd great-grandparents. Due to the nature of the civil and church records in Luxembourg their names were spelled differently over time. It is hard to choose the correct spelling as records were in German, French and Latin. The different spellings, however, did not make it difficult to find the records as I have become familiar with  FamilySearch’s browse-only databases.

1766 Baptism of Johann Nicolaus MEDER

1766baptism
Baptismal record of Johann Nicolaus MEDER [1]
Johann Nicolaus MEDER was born and baptized on 26 October 1766 in Ettelbrück. His parents were Joannis MEDER and Susanna LAMBER. His godparents were Johann Nicolaus BEQUINET and Barbara WAGENER.[1] In later records the father’s name was seen as Johannes and Jean and the mother’s maiden name was spelled LAMBERT.

1769 Baptism of Apolonia WILMES

1769baptism
Baptismal record of Apolonia WILMES [2]
Apolonia WILMES was baptiszed on 27 February 1769 in Diekirch. Her parents were Gangolphe WILMES and Anna Marguerite SCHODT. Her godparents were Nicolas THEYS and Apolonia SCHOLTES, both of Diekirch.[2]

1794 Marriage of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES

1794marriage
Marriage record of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES [3]
Normally I don’t have much trouble reading the old handwriting in these documents however this marriage record for Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES was an exception.[3] I knew the date of marriage as it was found in the Family Book of Diekirch compiled by Rob Deltgen, Komplettes Familienbuch der Gemeinde 1796-1923. The names of the bride and groom were underlined which helped me find the record. I can make out the names of the bride and groom’s parents and witnesses however a complete transcription would take more time.

Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths, Burials of Children

1794birth
Baptismal record of Elizabeth MOEDERS, sic MEDER [4]
1795death
Burial record of Elizabeth MEDER [5]
Jean Nicolas and Apolinia’s first child was a daughter Elizabeth born and baptized on 16 November 1794 in Diekirch.[4] Her godparents were her grandfather “Gangolphus” WILMES and her aunt Elisabeth MEDER, wife of Jacques BROCHMAN, all of Diekirch. The record has the surname spelled MOEDERS instead of MEDER. Little Elizabeth lived only two months, dying at midnight from the 27th to the 28th of January 1795. She was buried on the 29th.[5]

1795birth
Baptismal record of Christina MEDER [6]
1795birth2
Baptismal record (continued) of Christina MEDER [6]
The second daughter of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 3 December 1795 at 7 in the evening and was baptized the next day. Christina MEDER’s godparents were Pierre GOSSENS and Christine MOCHY, both of Diekirch.[6]

1798birth
Birth record of Antonius (Anton) MOEDER [7]
The first son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born on 30 Pluviose year VI.[7] Antonius MOEDER, as the name was written, was born during the Napoleonic rule when the Republican calendar was in effect. The date was 18 February 1798. No baptismal record was found however his name is on a list of baptisms performed in 1798. The church did not use the Republican calendar and his date of baptism was seen as 17 February 1798.[8] Was this an error on the list of baptisms or on the part of the civil servant using the Republican calendar? In any case he could not have been baptized the day before he was born.

1799death
Death record of Christina MEDER [9]
Three year old Christina MEDER died on 7 March 1799. Her death record filled an entire page of the register.[9]

1800civilbirth
Birth record of Mathias MOEDER [10]
1800birth
Baptismal record of Mathias MEDER [11]
Mathias MEDER, the second son and fourth child of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 30 December 1800. In the civil record his surname was spelled MOEDER[10] while in his baptismal record it was spelled MEDER.[11]

1804baptism
Baptismal record of Elisabeth MEDERT [12]
Elisabeth MEDER was born on 10 Pluviose year 10 to Jean Nicolas and Apolonia. Her baptismal record shows she was baptized the same day and gives both dates: 30 January 1804 and 10 Pluviose year 10. Her godparents were Mathias WILMES and Elizabeth WILMES, both of Diekirch.[12]

1807baptism
Baptismal record of Theodore MEDERT[13]
The third son of Jean Nicolas and Apolonia was born and baptized on 14 July 1807 in Diekirch.[13] Theodore MEDER’s godparents were Theodore RITSCHDORFF and Eva KNEIP, both of Diekirch.

1810birth
Birth Record of Anne Marie MEDER [14]
Jean Nicolas and Apolonia’s youngest child Anne Marie was born 12 September 1810.[14] No baptismal record was found for Anne Marie MEDER. Baptismal records for 1810 were not available at FamilySearch as of 23 June 2015.

1821marriagepublication
Marriage publication for Antoine MEDER and Maria Catharina WAGENER [15]
At the end of 1821 the first of Nicolas and Apolonia’s children made plans to marry. The marriage of Antoine MEDER married Maria Catharina WAGENER was “published” on the 23rd and 30th day of December 1821.[15] The civil marriage took place on 8 January 1822 in Diekirch.[16]

1824mathiasdeath
Death record of Mathias MEDER [17]
The year 1824 was not a happy year for the MEDER-WILMES family. Son Mathias MEDER died at the age of 23 years on 29 July 1824 in Diekirch.[17]

1824apoloniadeath
Death record of Apollonia WILLMES [18]
Four months later Apolonia WILMES died at the age of 55 years on 26 November 1824. Her death record however gives her age as 62.[18] At the time of her death she left a husband, two sons, two daughters, and two grandchildren.

1833marriagepublication
Marriage publication for Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER [19]
On the 20th and the 27th of December 1832 the marriage of Theodore MEDER and Susanna REIFFER was published – read out loud and posted on the door of the city hall.[19] They married a month later on 31 January 1833 in Diekirch.[20]

1838marriage
Marriage record of Elisabeth MEDER and Mathias BOCK [21]
Nicolas and Apolonia’s oldest living daughter Elisabeth married 24 January 1838 to Mathias BOCK.[21] Elisabeth had been an unmarried mother since 22 June 1829 when her son Mathias MEDER was born.[22] Mathias BOCK had the permission of his reserve regimental commander to marry. The publication of the marriage was noted on the marriage record and not on a separate document as seen when Antoine and Theodore married.

1843census
1843 Census [23]
In December 1843 Jean Nicolas MEDER was seen on the Luxembourg census in the household of his married son Theodore. This census sheet included dates of births of the persons in the household. Jean Nicolas’ birthdate was incorrectly listed as 1 April 1763.[23]

1844marriage
Marriage record of Anne Marie MEDER and Heinrich KNOPS [24]
On 28 August 1844 the youngest child of this family married. Anne Marie MEDER married the widowed Heinrich KNOPS who was 21 years older.[24]

1844death
Death record of Jean Nicolas MEDER [25]
When Jean Nicolas MEDER died on 22 Dec 1844 he had seen all four of his children marry. His son Theodore was the informant on his death record. Nicolas’ age on the death record was 75 although he was actually 78 as calculated from his birth record.[25]

1861death
Death record of Elisabeth MEDER [26]
Elisabeth MEDER died on 7 December 1861 in Diekirch.[26] She was survived by her husband Mathias BOCK, son Mathias MEDER and possible a daughter Anne Marie BOCK (last seen with her parents in 1858 on census, no marriage record or further trace of her found).

1866death
Death record of Anton MEDER [27]
On 6 Sep 1866 the oldest child of this family, Anton MEDER, died in Diekirch.[27] He was survived by his wife, two sons, two (?) daughters, and four grandchildren. The daughters were last seen 10 years prior to his death and no further information on them has been found.

1890death
Death record of Anne-Marie MEDER [28]
The youngest child of this family, Anne Marie MEDER died on 15 April 1890 in Diekirch.[28] She remained childless and had been widowed for 30 years.

1898death
Death record of Theodore MEDER [29]
Theodore MEDER, the last of living child of Jean Nicolas MEDER and Apolonia WILMES, died on 29 July 1898 in Diekirch at the age of 91 years.[29] Theodore had been widowed for 20 years and left 5 known children. Two daughters have not been traced further and may have also still been living.

As can be seen by the records above and the sources cited below, nearly half of the records used came from the Luxembourg Church Records, 1601-1948 which have only been online since the beginning of the year. I can honestly say this family was only researched halfway before I got everything ready for this blogpost.

bestwishescathy1Sources:
[1] Luxembourg, registres paroissiaux, 1601-1948 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Ettelbruck > Baptêmes 1748-1792 > image 59 of 147. Jean Nicolas Meder baptismal record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32462-751-39?cc=2037955&wc=STH8-ZJ4:1500939401,1501045912 : accessed 23 March 2015).
[2] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1743-1790, confirmations 1768-1789 > image 149 of 373. 1769 Baptismal record, entry 4 left page. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32421-7593-86?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-ZNL:1500890501,1500918030 : accessed 22 June 2015).
[3] ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1743-1794 > image 116 of 122. 1794 Marriage Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32400-5311-96?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-B87:1500890501,1500891002 : accessed 28 June 2015).
[4] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 59 of 243. 1794 Baptismal record No. 84. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32467-5084-87?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[5] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 103 of 243. 1795 Death Record, left page 5th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-4892-39?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[6] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1791-1795, mariages 1794-1798, 1800-1803, sépultures 1794-1795 > image 95 of 243. 1795 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32467-5031-88?cc=2037955&wc=STHD-2JW:1500890501,1501017982 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[7] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1796-1802 > image 82 of 311. 1798 Birth Record No. 36 (30 Pluviose an VI).  (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-32401-14704-80?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-MNP:1500890501,1500941302 : accessed 23 June 2015),.
[8] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 10 of 133. 1798 Baptismal Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-10780-42?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[9] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1796-1803 > image 71 of 203. 1799 Death Record. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32401-15764-70?cc=2037955&wc=STH6-4WY:1500890501,1500953084 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[10] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1796-1802 > image 261 of 311. 1800 Birth Record No. 30 (9 Nivose IX). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-16888-72?cc=2037955&wc=STHZ-MNP:1500890501,1500941302 : accessed 23 April 2010).
[11] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 19 of 133. 1800 Baptismal Record, right page last entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-10802-46?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[12] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1797-1805, mariages, décès 1797-1807 > image 34 of 133. 1804 Baptismal Record, left page 6th entry. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32401-10492-39?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-1XS:1500890501,1500998368 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[13] Ibid., Diekirch > Baptêmes 1805-1807 > image 25 of 29. 1807 Baptismal Record, right page, 3rd entry.(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-32401-10382-45?cc=2037955&wc=STHC-16Y:1500890501,1501023134 : accessed 23 June 2015).
[14] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1793-1923 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > Tables décennales 1803-1892 Naissances, mariages, décès 1797-1800 Naissances 1800-1823 > image 1036 of 1493. 1810 Birth Record No. 102. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11030-124370-89?cc=1709358&wc=9RYM-W38:129628901,130575701 : accessed 24 April 2010).
[15] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1064 of 1492. 1821 Marriage Publication (lower left). (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-98975-97?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[16] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1093 of 1492. 1822 Marriage Record No. 2. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-97291-62?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-W38:129628901,130301801 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[17] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1483 of 1493. 1824 Death Record No. 16. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-48739-34?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-929:129628901,129848701 : accessed 29 April 2010).
[18] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 1487 of 1493. 1824 Death Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49769-12?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ND:n1913802954 : accessed 04 Apr 2013).
[19] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1300 of 1492. 1832 Marriage Publication, upper left. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-104226-22?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 01 Apr 2013).
[20] 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).
[21] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1879-1890 Mariages 1796-1842 > image 1400 of 1492. 1838 Marriage Record No. 5. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11618-102794-77?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2N2:1627336735 : accessed 21 April 2010).
[22] Ibid., Diekirch > Naissances 1823 > image 152 of 1507. 1829 Birth Record No. 32. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-11681-26885-70?cc=1709358&wc=9RY4-BZ9:129628901,130131601 : accessed 17 April 2010).
[23] Luxembourg, Volkszählungen 1843-1900 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Diekirch > 1843 > image 332 of 444. Meder-Reiffer household (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-32349-22719-47?cc=2037957&wc=M5LR-MJ4:345999901,345863501 : accessed 25 January 2015).
[24] Luxembourg Civil Records, Diekirch > Mariages 1843-1890 Décès 1797-1824 > image 34 of 1493. 1844 Marriage Record No. 7. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12052-49245-53?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2ND:n1913802954 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[25] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 335 of 1358. 1844 Death Record No. 56. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-167581-60?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NH:n538876208 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).
[26] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 640 of 1358. 1861 Death Record No. 64. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-160895-71?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 23 May 2011).
[27] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 820 of 1358. 1866 Death Record No. 303. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-169081-69?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 22 May 2011).
[28] Ibid., Diekirch > Décès 1825-1890 > image 1342 of 1358. 1890 Death Record No. 30. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-267-12147-163369-82?cc=1709358&wc=9RYC-2NL:129628901,129628902 : accessed 23 May 2011).
[29] Ibid., Diekirch > Mariages 1895-1923 Décès 1895-1902 > image 550 of 661. 1898 Death Record No. 53. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-32038-1425-70?cc=1709358&wc=M9M6-2NF:21518491 : accessed 17 Feb 2013).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jean Nicolas MEDER
Parents: Johannes “Jean” MEDER and Susanna LAMBERT
Spouse: Apolonia “Apolline” WILMES
Parents of spouse: Gangolf “Gangolphe” WILMES and Anne Marguerite SCHODT
Whereabouts: Diekirch, Grand Duché of Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather of husband

1. Jean Nicolas MEDER
2. Theodore MEDER
3. Franz “François” MEDER
4. Johann Peter “Jean-Pierre” MEDER
5. Marcel Mathias MEDER
6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey’s husband Living MEDER

© 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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52 Ancestors: #9 Close to Home and Close to My Heart

Week 9 (Feb 26-Mar 4) – Close to Home. Which ancestor is the closest to where you live? Who has a story that hits “close to home”?

The WILDINGER- PÖPPELREITER Family (1874-1984)

The Wildinger-Pöppelreiter Family (ca. 1909). From left to right: mother Catherine Pöppelreiter, daughter Marie, son Jean-Pierre, and father Johann Wildinger. The little boy in front of Marie and Jean-Pierre is their son Nicolas, my maternal grandfather.

The WILDINGER-PÖPPELREITER family couldn’t get any closer to home. They lived in Echternach, Luxembourg, my hometown, the place I’ve lived for the past 40 years.

My great-grandfather Johann WILDINGER was born on 25 February 1874 in Ernzen, Eifel, Rheinland, Preußen (Germany) to Bernard WILDINGER (1838-1896) and Maria WEIMANN (1839-1915). Johann’s godparents were his maternal uncle Johann WEIMANN and his paternal aunt Elisabeth WILDINGER.[1][2]

My great-grandmother Catherine PÖPPELREITER was born on 16 September 1874 in Mettendorf, Eifel, Rheinland, Preußen (Germany) to Mathias PÖPPELREITER (1843- aft. 1891) and Magdalena WAGENER (1842-1884).[1]

1901marriageJohann WILDINGER and Catherine PÖPPELREITER were married in Ernzen on 4 June 1901.[1] Nine months later their first child, a daughter Marie, was born on 21 March 1902 in Ernzen[3] were the bridal couple lived after their marriage. Almost a year later, on 16 March 1903 Marie’s brother Jean-Pierre was born, also in Ernzen.[4]

The family moved from Ernzen to Mettendorf in 1904.[1] That is where their third child, a son Nicolas, my grandfather, was born on 25 August 1906.[5]

When Nicolas was 8 years old times were getting harder and harder for his father Johann, a mason. In July 1914 the family moved to Echternach, Luxembourg. Johann found a job in Wasserbillig and worked as a mason for ten years in Luxembourg until his death in 1924.

Johann WILDINGER died on 11 January 1924 in Echternach in their house in the Neigass. He was only 49 years old. Two of his neighbors were the informants on his death.[6] His children at the time were 21, 20, and 17 — old enough to support their mother who was also 49.

1924death
Photocopy of original death record in Echternach.

After Johann’s death, life went on and in the 1930s his sons married. Jean-Pierre married Suzanne WAGNER before 1933 and went to live and work in Esch-sur-Alzette and then Schifflange. Nicolas married Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE on 26 July 1935[7] and lived next door to his mother and sister Marie.

Jean-Pierre and Suzanne had a daughter F. in 1933. Nicolas and Marcelle had a daughter J. in 1936. These are the only grandchildren born to this family.

010 Papa (back) et Josette (front)
Nicolas WILDINGER playing with his niece Felicie (middle) and his daughter Josette (front)

Wartime came to Europe and Luxembourg in 1939. In 1940 the Germans occupied Luxembourg.

And while life was getting more and more difficult, Catherine PÖPPELREITER, the mother of this family, watched her youngest son get weaker and weaker from tuberculosis. Nicolas WILINDINGER died on 25 October 1941[8] in the hospital in Echternach leaving his widow Marcelle, their daughter J., his mother Catherine, his sister Marie, his brother Jean-Pierre, his sister-in-law Suzanne, and his only niece F.

MRIN01117 1941 Nicolas Wildinger death
1941 Death Record

 

During World War II Catherine’s oldest child Marie was seriously thinking about renouncing her German citizenship and becoming a Luxembourg citizen. She wrote to family in Germany asking for information on the genealogy of the family and received a reply in July 1942 from her mother’s half-sister Regina. There is one word in the letter that I am not quite sure about and have marked it with question marks in the transcription.

regina1
Photocopy made in 1996. Need to scan the original!

Mettendorf den 17.7.42
Liebe Verwandte!
Euern lb. Brief haben wir dankend und mit Freuden erhalten. Wir hätten Ihnen schon länger geschrieben wir wußten die Adresse nicht richtig. Uns geht es noch sehr gut was wir ja auch von Euch hoffen und auch bestens wünschen. Jetzt will ich Ihnen schnell das schreiben was Sie wissen wollen, von Vater seinen Eltern und Großeltern haben wir gestern noch von ?Steuerbuch? bekommen.
Geburturkunde             Standesamt Körperich
Mathias Pöppelreiter ist am 22 Juni 1843
in Mettendorf geboren.
Vater: Theodor Pöppelreiter, Taglöhner
Mutter: Maria Katharina Groelinger.
Geburturkunde                    Standesamt Körperich
Magdalena Wagener ist am 21 März 1842
geboren in Mettendorf.
Vater: Johann Wagener, Schäfer
Mutter: Anna Maria Kaerscht

regina2
Photocopy made in 1996.

Sonst kann ich Ihnen ja nicht viel schreiben. Hoffentlich ist der Krieg bald zu Ende.
Also seid hiermit recht herzlich gegrüßt von uns allen besonders von Regina.

In the letter, Regina, who was 45 at the time, greets her relatives saying how happy she and the family were to hear from them. She would have written sooner if she had had an address to write to. She says that they are doing very well (which surprised me) and wishes and hopes the same for her relatives in Luxembourg. She gives information on her father and his first wife (Regina was from his marriage to his second wife). She goes on to say that she doesn’t have much to talk about but hopefully the war will soon end. She sends heartfelt greetings from all, especially from Regina. Imagine! Regina wrote to her sister Catherine’s family living in German-occupied Luxembourg and this letter survived the war and was saved by Marie all these years.

1950death
1950 Death Record[9]
Johann WILDINGER’s widow Catherine Pöppelreiter died in Echternach in house number 24 in the rue André Duchscher on 4 September 1950 at 6 in the evening after a short and painful illness. She was 76 years old.[9]

MRIN01118 Catherine Wildinger-Pöppelreiter obit
Obituary from the Luxemburger Wort 6 September 1950[10]
The funeral service was held Thursday the 7th  at 9:30 a.m. She was survived by her daughter Marie, her son Jean-Pierre and his wife and daughter, and her widowed daughter-in-law Marcelle Fournelle and daughter. Catherine’s deceased husband’s name is seen as Jean instead of Johann as French names were more commonly used following World War II.

On 17 October 1950, the family placed an announcement in the Luxemburger Wort thanking everyone for the prayers, flowers, and cards of condolence received following her death.[11]

After the death of her mother, Marie continued to take steps to become a naturalized Luxembourg citizen. By the law of 18 December 1950, naturalization was granted to Miss Marie WILDINGER, born on 21 March 1902 in Ernzen, Germany, and a resident of Echternach. The naturalization was accepted on 23 December 1950, as noted in a report drawn up the same day by the mayor of the town Echternach. This became effective three days after publication on 6 January 1951.[3]

In 1962 Marie’s brother Jean-Pierre WILDINGER who was living and working in Schifflange was also naturalized.[4]

In 1957 when my mother married my father Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY she was the first of the grandchildren of Johann and Catherine WILDINGER-PÖPPELREITER to marry. Her cousin F., the older of the two granddaughters, married the following year in 1958 to Jean-Joseph “Ernest” HOFFMANN (1932-2002).

Everyone in the family was now married except Marie, the oldest child and only daughter of Johann and Catherine. Marie or Tata, as we called her, was never married. She was the person in this family who was closest to my heart and close to home as she lived on the same street we lived.

sewing
Tata’s well-used treadle powered Singer sewing machine.

Tata, my mother’s aunt and my grandaunt, became a seamstress and made her living by making, mending, and altering clothes, sheets, tablecloths, napkins, anything made of fabric. She was skilled enough to make coats, suits, and dresses for women from her own patterns. When times were hard she would take apart old pieces of clothing and make a new outfit out of the scraps for clients who needed new clothes but did not have the money to buy new fabric. She had a young woman apprentice, Margarete, who worked for her from a very young age until 1984.

1957 003
Marie WILDINGER standing in the doorway of her home, house number 24 in the Rue André Duchscher in Echternach in 1957.

She turned the living room of her house into her atelier where she sewed for and fitted her clients. It was a long, narrow room with only one window (on the left of Marie in the photo above) which looked out on the street. Two Singer sewing machines with treadle power were set up by the window, facing each other. Near the door that opened into the front hallway was a coal stove that was used to heat the room. Different sized irons used to iron open seams, more fragile fabrics, and press suits and coats were heated up on the top of the stove. Along the opposite wall was a long table that she used as an ironing board as well as a workspace to lay out, pin the patterns, and cut out the material. Against the back wall was a small bench usually filled with bolts of material. In the back corner of the room, she had a little closet to hang the clothes that were being worked on or were finished and waiting to be picked up by their owners.

irons
Irons, scissors, thimbles and darning eggs.

During the many years that Marie worked as a seamstress, there were plenty of people who were happy to pay for her services. Enough for her to support herself and her mother even though her sister-in-law Marcelle, who lived next door, also worked as a seamstress.

From 1962-1966 when my siblings and I were young and living in France we would visit Tata whenever we were in Luxembourg. While she sewed and visited with Mom, she would let us play with her collection of buttons on the floor in front of the oven. Wooden buttons, metal buttons, covered buttons, glass buttons, pearly buttons, sew through buttons, shank buttons, old buttons, plain buttons, pretty buttons, even ugly buttons – none were thrown away. To keep us busy she would also give us a large magnet. We would crawl around her work area picking up pins and needles that had fallen on the wooden floor and into the cracks.

In 1973 Jean-Pierre’s wife Suzanne WAGNER died and was buried in the cemetery of Echternach in the WILDINGER family plot where her parents-in-law and brother-in-law Nicolas were buried.

Tata did not like to have her picture taken. I think this was because she was always working, wearing her apron which was usually covered with pieces of thread, pins and threaded needles, or lint from running the sewing machine. Here she was all dressed up, even wearing a brooch, when she came by for coffee and the traditional Bûche de Noel, at Christmastime in 1978.

1978-12 Tata_edited
Coffee and the traditional Bûche de Noel at Christmastime in 1978
1984-03-22 Marie Wildinger
Clipping from the Luxemburger Wort

My grandaunt Marie WILDINGER died the day after her 82nd birthday. The funeral service was held at the basilica in Echternach on Saturday, 24 March 1984 at 4 in the afternoon. She was buried in the cemetery in Echternach. She was survived by a brother, two nieces, 3 grandnieces and 5 grandnephews.

1984-10 Jean Pierre Wildinger
Clipping from the Luxemburger Wort

The last surviving child of this couple, my granduncle Jean-Pierre WILDINGER died in October 1984. His funeral service was held in the church of Schifflange on Tuesday, 23 October 1984, at 4 in the afternoon. He was survived by his only daughter, his son-in-law, three grandchildren, a niece, 2 grandnieces and 3 grandnephews.

Although his name is on the plaque with the WILDINGER family, he is not buried in Echternach.

MRIN01117 Wildinger grave closeup
Closeup of Wildinger family grave marker.
MRIN01117 Wildinger grave
Wildinger family grave in the cemetery of Echternach, Luxembourg.

Sources:
[1] Richard Schaffner from Kordel, 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), page 245-246, family #867. Book viewed and pages photographed in Archiv Peter Daus (Wittlich) on 4 May 2013.
[2] “Deutschland, Geburten und Taufen, 1558-1898,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NFD4-6LB : accessed 23 February 2015), Joh. Wildinger, 25 Feb 1874; FHL microfilm 462,714.
[3] Mémorial (Journal Officiel) du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, A N° 1, Samedi, le 6 janvier 1951, online http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/1951/0001/a001.pdf
[4] Mémorial (Journal Officiel) du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, A N° 40, 24 juillet 1962, pg. 617, online http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/1962/0040/a040.pdf
[5] Commune d’Echternach Nr. 13/1935, Wildinger-Fournelle Family Book. This is an official document given to the bride and groom at the time of their civil marriage. It is used to record births, christenings, and deaths of children as well as death of one or the other spouse. Scanned copy of the original, in possession of their daughter.
[6] 1924 Death Record No. 12, photocopy of original page in the death register at the records office at the city hall in Echternach obtained 10 July 1996.
[7] 1935 Marriage Record No. 13, photocopy of original page in the marriage book at the records office at the city hall in Echternach obtained 21 Jun 1996.
[8] 1941 Death Record No. 49, photocopy of original page in the death register at the records office at the city hall in Echternach obtained 10 July 1996.
[9] 1950 Death Record No., photocopy of original page in the death register at the records office at the city hall in Echternach obtained 10 July 1996.
[10] Luxembourger Wort, digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=833934&search_terms=catherine%20wildinger#panel:pp|issue:833934|article:DTL387|query:catherine wildinger
[11] Luxembourger Wort, digitized by Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg; online http://www.eluxemburgensia.lu/webclient/DeliveryManager?application=DIRECTLINK&custom_att_2=simple_viewer&pid=835266&search_terms=catherine%20wildinger#panel:pp|issue:835266|article:DTL332|query:catherine wildinger

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann WILDINGER
Parents: Bernard WILDINGER and Maria WEIMANN
Spouse: Catherine PÖPPELREITER
Parents of Spouse: Mathias PÖPPELREITER and Magdalena WAGENER
Whereabouts: Ernzen and Mettendorf, Germany, and Echternach, Luxembourg
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: Maternal Great-grandparents

1. Johann WILDINGER and Catherine PÖPPELREITER
2. Nicolas WILDINGER
3. Mom
4. 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.