Favorite Place-52 Week Ancestors Challenge

This week from Amy Crow Johnson’s 52 Week Ancestors Challenge is Favorite Place. What has been your favorite place to research? Which ancestor came from there? I have been recently focusing on my ancestors from Luxembourg and there has been a wealth of information to find. Two of my Great map-luxembourg2Grandparents are from Luxembourg but they didn’t meet until they were in Chicago. I knew what they did in America but didn’t have any further information about their lives in Luxembourg. It turns out, there are 19 censuses between 1843 and 1900 which made it easy to pinpoint births, marriages, and deaths. Also, many of the censuses have 3 generations living in the home so I had the names of the older generation to help me verify the correct birth certificates.  Some of the censuses include the whole date of birth which led me to many birth certificates easily. I have only concentrated on my Great Grandmother’s line but so far I have been able to go back my 4x great grandparents. However, I would like to focus on one thing that I recently discovered. This is on the Guill side of the family who are from Grevenmacher.

Three generations in a row revealed that my great grandmothers were widowed with young children. I knew that my Great Grandmother Eva Guill was widowed secondary to a tragic accident her husband George Mangen was in. He was making his deliveries on a beer wagon and somehow he ended up falling onto the tracks and died. This was in 1903. Eva had 3 children under the age of 6. All of this occurred in Chicago. I decided it was time to look for her in Luxembourg records. I found Eva in 4 censuses and found her birth certificate in 1872. What I wasn’t expecting to find was that her dad, Michael Gill was no longer on the census after 1880. I started looking for a death certificate and found it in January 1881, 2 months before the birth of his 4th child. That left his wife Katherine Revenig a widow with an infant and 3 other children under the age of 9 to raise. Katherine’s father died in 1882 and her mother died in 1885 leaving her with no support system in place to help her. They immigrated to America in 1893 when the children were older.

I went back another generation and found the parents of Michael Guill. They are Michael Guill and Eva Modert. I found their wedding certificate and censuses. They were together on the 1843 and 1846 censuses with Michael’s father, another Michael. When I came across the 1847 census, there was a Michael who was 69 years old and a Michael who was 5 years old but no Michael who would have been 33 years old. Eva Modert was on this census along with a daughter but the oldest daughter Maria was no longer listed either. I looked in the death certificates and found that Eva Modert’s husband, Michael died in 1847 leaving her with 2 young children under the age of 5 to raise. In the 1850 census, Eva Modert was remarried and had an infant.

Things I have yet to figure out are the causes of death for the 2x and 3x great grandfathers. I hope it is written in the death certificates. I just need to learn how to translate it or find someone that can translate them for me. I would also like to have the birth certificate of Susanna Guill translated as she was the child that was born after her father died. There was significantly more writing on her birth certificate than any of the others.

I found out that my great grandmother Eva Guill was widowed with 3 children under the age of 6, and did not remarry. She opened a confectionary store and ran it while raising her kids. Her mother, my 2x great grandmother Katherine Revenig was widowed with an as yet unborn child and 3 other children. She did not remarry, her parents died shortly after her husband died, and she immigrated to America with her children. Finally, my 3x great grandmother Eva Modert was widowed with 2 young children and continued living with her father-in-law until his death. She remarried and had more children. Three generations of widows with young children to raise.


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