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Archive for the ‘France’ Category

While Cathy Meder-Dempsey (Opening Doors in Brick Walls) gave me a tutorial in obtaining death records from Alsace, we incidentally found a marriage record from my ancestors. Cathy’s generosity in teaching me, as well as her translations of records, was so above and beyond. Cathy, thank you so much!

This marriage record is for my 2nd great-grandparents, Anne Riehr and Antoine Schirmer on 10 January 1842 in Steinbrunn-le-Bas, Haut Rhin, France. 

What follows is Cathy’s translation of this record.

Here is the translation of the French marriage record. You will notice at the very end that the witnesses and likely the couple and their parents may have spoken German.

 

In the year 1842, the 10 January at 9 o’clock in

the morning, before us Antoine Schweichler, mayor and civil officer

of the commune of Steinbrunn le Bas, canton of Landser, arrondissement

of Altkirch, department of Haut Rhin

 

appeared Schirmer Antoine, famer, age 28 years,

born and resident in this commune, of age legitimate son of Laurent

Schirmer, farmer, age 70 years and Anne Marie

Legibel, without a profession, age 71 years, married couple residing

in this commune, present and consulting in the projected marriage – of one part

 

and the damsel Riehr Anne, without a profession, age 24 years, born and

resident of Luemschwiller, legitimate of age daughter of Jean Thiebaud

Riehr, farmer, age 55 years et of Françoise Sutter,

without a profession, age 58 years, married couple and residents of the said

Luemschwiller, here present and consenting to the marriage – of the other part

 

who required of us to procede in the celebration of marriage

projected between them and of which the publication was made before the

door of our town hall and before the door of the town hall

of the commune of Luemschwiller, the first time on 26 December

1841 and the second time on 2 January 1842

at noon and there being no opposition to the said marriage

having been signified we granted their requisition after having

 

read 1. the extracts of the birth records, 2. the

two publications, 3. a certificate delivered by the mayor of Luemschwiller

on the date of 9 January of the current month constituting that

no opposition to the projected marriage was made, 4. chapter 6 of the

civil code concerning marriage, we asked the future husband

and the future wife if they wanted to take each other for husband and wife

each of them responded separately and affirmatively, and we declared

by law that Antoine Schirmer and Anne Riehr are united in marriage.

 

of all that we have draw up this record in the presence of Joseph Kauffmann,
farmer, age 46 years, Jean Kauffmann, farmer, age
38 years, the two brothers-in-law of the bride, Morand Richard

 

farmer, age 32 years, and Leger Zarsinger(?), farmer, age

38 years, the two residents of Luemschwiller, all

four witnesses, who after we read and

gave an interpretation in German, all signed with us and

the parties of the contractants.

signatures….

***

OK, German. We know that Alsace was pulled between Germany and France, but I’d love to know what the day-to-day lives of these people was like. How did they negotiate the language situation? Did they stubbornly cling to German even when they lived in France? I do believe that my grandfather who immigrated from Alsace was a German speaker. Did he know French? Do you know any novels that might show me a glimpse of what it was like to live in Alsace in the 1800s or the 1700s?

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In two previous posts I have published the death certificates of my 2 grandmothers, 4 great-grandmothers, and 4 of my 8 great-great-grandmothers. The 4 I did not have included two from Budesheim, Germany, and two from Alsace, which are now French records.

Thanks to Cathy Meder-Dempsey who writes the blog Opening Doors in Brick Walls I now have the death certificates of the two Alsatian great-greats.

When you enter the French archives you apparently have to agree not to publish the results online. I only know that because Cathy pointed it out to me. So I will post links and translations instead.

Madeline Groll was born 24 May 1816 in Muespach, Haut-Rhin, Alsace. But was that France or Germany in 1816?

If you don’t know this, Alsace has been a pawn between France and Germany for a long time. According to Wikipedia here is a more “recent” timeline of who controlled Alsace when. The languages spoken are in the far right column.

1618–1674 Louis XIII annexes portions of Alsace during the Thirty Years’ War Holy Roman Empire German; Alamannic and Franconian dialects (Alsatian)
1674–1871 Louis XIV annexes the rest of Alsace during the Franco-Dutch War, establishing full French sovereignty over the region Kingdom of France French
(Alsatian and German tolerated)[citation needed]
1871–1918 Franco-Prussian War causes French cession of Alsace to German Empire German Empire German; Alsatian, French
1919–1940 Treaty of Versailles causes German cession of Alsace to France France French; Alsatian, French, German
1940–1944 Nazi Germany conquers Alsace, establishing Gau Baden-Elsaß Nazi Germany German; Alsatian, French, German
1945–present French control France French; French and Alsatian German (declining minority language)

According to this table, 1816 found Alsace part of France, but Wikipedia gives more specific information for that time period:

In response to the “hundred day” restoration of Napoleon I of France in 1815, Alsace along with other frontier provinces of France was occupied by foreign forces from 1815 to 1818, including over 280,000 soldiers and 90,000 horses in Bas-Rhin alone. This had grave effects on trade and the economy of the region since former overland trade routes were switched to newly opened Mediterranean and Atlantic seaports.

Madeline passed away on 31 July 1847 in the same town at the age of 31. Although I have not done much research at this point on her life, she had at least one child before she died–my great-grandfather.

This appears to be a gorgeous old primary school in Muespach.

Here is the link to her death record:

MADELINE GROLL DEATH RECORD

According to Cathy, the death record “starts out with the date and mayor, followed by the names of the two persons who are the informants. Lists her parents, father deceased and mother still living, and her husband. Place of death. Followed by fact that the first informant was her husband and the second her brother. It is in French.”

Madeline’s father was Ignac Groll, deceased. Her mother was Margarithe Simon, and she was still alive. What is odd is that the date I show for Ignac’s death (possibly given to me by a genealogist years ago) is 29 July 1815, which is more than nine months before Madeline’s birth in May 1816! Maybe an error on Ignac’s death date. She was married to Antoine Scholler. I show his death date was 1839, so if he was an informant about her death in 1847, again, the male’s death date is wrong. I can see what I am going to be researching when the women are done!

My other 2x great-grandmother from Alsace was Anne Riehr (sometimes Reihr), born about 1816 in Luemschwiller, Haut-Rhin, Alsace. Although born in Luemschwiller, she married a man from Steinbrunn-le-Bas, Haut Rhin, Alsace, and had her children there.  The above photo is from Wikipedia of the town hall at Steinbrunn-le-bas. MAIRIE means TOWN HALL in French. I wish I knew when the building was constructed.

Here is the link to Anne’s death record (it actually begins at the bottom of the page before this):

ANNE RIEHR DEATH RECORD

And here is the translation from Cathy of that record:

Here is the 1866 death record and translation. The record begins on the bottom of the previous page. In the margin of the record is No. 3 Riehr Anne died the 19 January.

In the year 1866, the 19 January at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, in front of us Grienenberger Nicolas, mayor, officer of the (état civil) civil records of the commune (Niedersteinbrunn) Steinbrunn le Bas canton of Landser, arrondissement of Mulhouse in the department of Haut Rhin appeared Schirmer Antoine, farmer, age 53 years, husband of the deceased, and Betterlin Antoine, farmer, age 46 years, neighbor of the deceased, the two are residents in this commune, have declared that today at 10 o’clock in the morning, has died in this commune, Anne Riehr, without a profession, aged 50 years, native of Luemschwiller resident in the present commune, wife of the first registrant and daughter of Jean Thiebaut Riehr, farmer, age 84 years, resident of Luemschwiller et his wife Françoise Sutter, deceased in Luemschwiller. After being transported to the deceased to assure us of her death, we drew up the present record that the registrants signed with us after the reading and interpretation.

Anne was 50 years old when she passed away.

Now that Cathy has given me a tutorial on working with French records I will work my way through the other records in the lives of these women, their husbands, parents, and children. But don’t hold your breath. I find the handwriting coupled with the French very daunting.

What I do love about European records like the French and Dutch is that they are very thorough, and the records are very accessible online. Also, the fact that the women are recorded under their maiden names feels like a miracle in comparison with searching for American women through their married names.

Now for the German 2x greats. Yikes. They might have to be searched through the on site (as opposed to online) church records. Heaven help me. I don’t foresee a trip to Budesheim, Germany, in my near future. Any ideas?

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My last post was about the Bataille branch of the family from Etaples, France.

On 5 May 1836, Karel Mulder married Rose Melanie Bataille in Goes. It appeared that her family had immigrated to the Netherlands from France, but then it also seems that the Netherlands was part of the French empire at the time.

Since then I’ve gotten more information from my friend Adri.  This is what he provided.

Rose’s father, Philippus Franciscus Bataille (Philippe Francois Marie), was born on January 28, 1772 at Wimille (near Boulogne in  France). His parents were Pierre Philippe Bataille and Marie Nicole Austrebeth Fontaine. Philippus died on April 28, 1818 at Goes.

Philippus was married on November 28, 1802 at Waterdijk (Holland) to Rosalie Goduin, daughter of Jean Goduin and Marie Jeanne Oudaert.  Rosalie was born in 1780 at Bevercamp (probably Belgium), died on December 7, 1802 at Waterdijk (Holland).

Then Philippus  was married to a second wife on July 31, 1805 at Waterdijk (Holland). This wife was Rose’s mother, Melanie Regina Barthaux (Melanie Berthaudt), daughter of Adrien Joseph Bertaux and Marie Joseph Godart.  Melanie was born on June 28, 1782 at Meenen (Belgium) and died on October 18, 1853 at Goes.

Here are the children of Philippus and Melanie–Rose and her siblings:

1  Caroline Ugenie Stephanie Bataille was born on May 2, 1806 at Hoek (Holland), died on December 10, 1878 at Goes.

2  Maria Joseph Bataille was born on October 11, 1807 at Hoek (Holland) , died on February 3, 1873 at Goes.

Maria was married on May 15, 1834 at Goes to Jan de Munck, son of Pieter de Munck and Martijna Sloover.  Jan was born in 1803 at Goes, died on September 19, 1847 there.

3  Rose Melanie Bataille was born in 1809 at Etaples (France), died on July 10, 1887 at Goes.

Rose was married to Karel Mulder, son of Carel Mulder and Johanna Cornaaij.  Karel was born on December 3, 1812 at Goes, died on January 3, 1870 there.

4  Pierre Philippe Bataille was born in 1812 at Outreau (France), see III.

5  Angelica Louise Bataille was born on November 17, 1813 at Goes, died on February 8, 1857 there.

Angelica was married on August 15, 1839 at Goes to Leonardus Johannes Theuns, son of Pieter Theuns and Helena Briens.  Leonardus was born on September 11, 1813 at Kattendijke, died on November 22, 1867 at Goes.

Leonardus was married on July 2, 1857 at Goes (2) to Adriana Meulblok, daughter of Quinten Meulblok and Anna Elizabeth van Steveninck. Adriana was born on November 5, 1829 at Heinkenszand.

6  Catharina Johanna Bataille was born on May 28, 1817 at Goes, died on December 23, 1817 there.

Here is a little more information about Rose’s brother, Pierre:

Pierre Philippe Bataille, son of Philippus Franciscus Bataille (Philippe Francois Marie) (II) and Melanie Regina Barthaux (Melanie Berthaudt), was born in 1812 at Outreau (France), died on June 21, 1857 at Goes.

Pierre was married on November 22, 1849 at Goes to Victoria van Ranst, daughter of Adriana Francisca van Ranst.  Victoria was born in 1824 at Doel (Belgium), died on July 9, 1868 at Goes.

Victoria was married on July 22, 1858 at Goes (2) to Jacobus van Buijsse, son of Frans van Buijsse and Aleida Groeneveld. Jacobus was born on February 21, 1815 at Goes, died on February 17, 1876 there. Jacobus was before married (1) to Maaijke van Brakel.

From the marriage of Pierre and Victoria:

Pierre Philippe Bataille was born on April 16, 1853 at Goes.

Here is the information that I wanted to know about Rose’s father.  

In 1802, Philippe was an “employ de la douane”. This means that he was a customs officer. In 1805, he was listed similarly.  In 1817, Philippe was a laborer. 

His father, Pierre, was “sous Lieutenant a la Douanes.”

Look at how the French empire is all in darker green and includes the Netherlands (and therefore Belgium, too)

Now go back and look at the birth places of Rose and her siblings. Her older siblings were born in Holland, not France. So either the father has been assigned to various customs ports and moves around and is clearly French. Or the family is more Belgian (see Rose’s mother’s birth place), which would have been part of the Netherlands at that time. Or the family could have been the descendents of Huguenots.

One last thing: Karel Mulder, the husband of Rose Bataille, and the great-great-grandfather of Grandma, is the brother of Grandpa’s great-grandmother.

We are getting closer with this wonderful information! The more I know, the more I want to know . . . .

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As you know if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, a lot of my ancestors were Dutch people from the town of Goes in Zeeland, the Netherlands.

When I read the family tree information on these branches, I see that generation after generation comes from this one town–or from near by. But one ancestor stands out from the others, like an iris in a bouquet of tulips.

Her name was Rose Melanie Bataille, and she was born about 1810 in Etaples, France.

How did she wind up in Goes, 200 miles away and why?

Her father was François Marie Bataille. He was also known as Philip François Bataille. He died before 5 May 1836 in Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands, which means that he must have immigrated with his family to the Netherlands from France. Rose’s mother was Melanie Berthany, who was born about 1782.

On 5 May 1836, Rose married Karel Mulder, a shoemaker. He owned 3/8 of a house and yard in the “Papegaaistraatje [Parrot Street]” district C nr. 97 on 3 January 1870 at section D nr. 278 in Goes. On the wedding document, Rose was listed as a servant and her mother  Melanie was listed as a laborer.

On 22 April 1881, Rose was still living in Goes, and she died there on 10 July 1887 at the age of 77, having outlived her husband by eleven years.

Here is the timeline:

Rose was born in Etaples, France, in 1810.

The family was living in Goes, the Netherlands, by 1836.

The family stayed in Goes and all died there.

So at some point between 1810 and 1836 the Bataille family left France for the Netherlands. Why?

Because I had always been told we had French Huguenot ancestry, I first thought of them. But a quick refresher on their history showed that their emigration from France to the Netherlands (and other countries) would have stopped by the time the Batailles moved.

Was it a reason to leave France or a reason to go to Holland?  I checked out the history of the Netherlands during this time period and guess what I found? That the French, thanks to Napoleon, kind of appropriated the Netherlands!  This is according to Wikipedia:

The United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1839) (DutchVerenigd Koninkrijk der NederlandenFrenchRoyaume-Uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name used to refer to theKingdom of the Netherlands (DutchKoninkrijk der NederlandenFrenchRoyaume des Pays-Bas) during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empireand before the new Kingdom of Belgium split off from it in 1830. This state, a large part of which still exists today as the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was made up of the former Dutch Republic (Republic of the Seven United Netherlands) to the north, the former Austrian Netherlands to the south, and the former Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The House of Orange-Nassaucame to be the monarchs of this new state.

Since the Netherlands was for a short period part of France at the time Rose was growing up, it might not have been a stretch for the family to move to Zeeland.

Without knowing her father’s occupation, it is hard to tell if it was easier to make a living in Goes than in Etaples, but Rose married Karel Mulder who was a shoemaker (it wouldn’t be a leap to guess that her father might have had a similar occupation).

Let’s take a look at Etaples.

The first thing I discovered is that Etaples has a Dutch connection from its very origins.  According to Wikipedia, “Étaples takes its name from having been a medieval staple port (stapal in Old Dutch), from which word the Old French word Estaples derives.”  So Etaples is a port city and Goes is also on a river and somewhat close to the sea. In 1807, the population of Etaples was 1,507. Goes was a much larger town. Perhaps the job opportunities were greater for Philip/François in Goes.

What is more puzzling is Rose’s religion. To marry Karel Mulder, she would have been Protestant, no doubt. But the period when France made it impossible to be a Protestant in that country meant that the Huguenots had either converted to Catholicism (about 3/4 of them) or had emigrated to other countries. How would the Batailles have still been Protestant in France?  Does anyone have any ideas about this?

Descendents of Rose Melanie Bataille and Karel Mulder

Karel Mulder and Rose Melanie Bataille had nine children. The oldest, Karel Mulder, was born 21 February 1837, Goes, Zeeland, the Netherlands and died 22 April 1881 in Goes. He and his wife, Johanna Boes, had several children, and Pieter Philip Mulder, born 1865 was my great-grandfather’s father, the generation to immigrate to the United States.

Karel Mulder and Rose Bataille

*

Karel Mulder and Johanna Boes

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Pieter Philip Mulder and Neeltje Gorsse

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Karel Pieter Philippus Mulder and Clara Waldeck

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Lucille Edna Mulder and Adrian Zuidweg

(Yup, that’s my grandparents!)

Traditional Dutch clothing and house furnishings circa 1830

Traditional Dutch clothing and house furnishings circa 1830

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