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Topic : Luxembourg Genealogy Resources: Luxembourgers in Europe

A guide to conducting Luxembourg geneaolgy using the the resources found in the Bach-Dunn Collection at the University of St. Thomas

Census Recourds

Family Search provides a digital collection of the Luxembourg census which was taken approximately every three years. The records include all household members, places, names, ages (sometimes a full birth date), professions, genders, and marital statuses. Sometimes they also show nationalities, religions, places of birth, and family positions.

Note: You will beasked by Family Search to create a free account to access this collection.

Family Names

Family Names

Beginning family historians often know nothing of their Luxembourg background other than the fact that theirs is a Luxembourger surname.  The following work provides some information on Luxembourger surnames: 

Heraldry

Family historians often are interested in linking their name to a coat-of-arms.  One must remember, however, that grants of arms generally were given only to people with a certain amount of property (usually land).  At least through the beginning of this century, one had to come from what we would think of today as the prosperous middle-class in order to hold arms.  Two substantive texts on Luxembourg-related heraldry are:

Surname and Locality Databases


UST Special Collections staff members have compiled two significant inter-related database guides to Luxembourg demographic records, the "Tables Decennales, 1853-1863" database and the "Luxembourg Parish/Civil Records" database).  These databases are guides to  records microfilmed in Luxembourg by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the "Mormons") through approximately 1994.  The Department houses the microfilm rolls indexed in these databases in the microfilm cabinet on the west side of the Reading Room. 

 

Digital versions of many of the civil and church records for Luxembourg and Belgium can also be found on the Family Search websiteNote: You will be asked  by Family Search to create a free account to view these records.


Tables Decennales, 1853-1863 Database

The "Tables Decennales 1853-1863" database records civil birth, death, and Marriage records, organized initially by surname (please remember to check alternate spellings of your name).  This database is particularly useful to those who haven't been able to link their surname with a Luxembourg locality, since it consists of the decennial listing compiled closest to the period of greatest Luxembourger migration to the New World.  Surname records are organized by communes (groups of villages) and cantons (groups of communes).  These records were transcribed either in French or German.
   
Luxembourg Civil/Parish Database

Once you have located a locality linked with a given surname in the "Tables Decennales 1853-1863" database, you can check a wide variety of church and civil records for that locality over a period of three centuries (1590-1890) by employing the "Luxembourg Parish/Civil Records" database.

Parish Records (ca1650 to 1800) Parish records are one of the most significant primary sources for Luxembourg vital statistics and are crucial to family history search.  The record-types reflect the typical stages of church participation for individuals in a given: locality baptisms, confirmations, conversions, excommunications, marriages, etc.  Parish records, which were compiled at different times in Latin, French, or German, may be difficult to decipher because they generally are handwritten and various record-types are interspersed together by date.  There was no such thing as a standard approach to parish records keeping in Luxembourg, so some patience is required in working with these documents.
  
Civil Records (ca 1796 – ca. 1890)  During the years of Napoleonic rule in Luxembourg (1795- 1812), a new "Republican" calendar was utilized and a parallel set of state- gathered records was compiled in addition to (sometimes instead of) parish-based records (e.g. births rather than baptisms, deaths instead of burials).  In the post-Napoleonic era, the state continued to gather birth, death and marriage records (sometimes in French, sometimes in German).

Civil birth records may include the following: father's name, age, occupation, and residence as well as some information about the mother and other children, with signatures of the parents.  Civil marriage records may include the following: the names and ages of the individuals being married, their places of birth, names and residence of parents, names of witnesses, occupations of the principals, and signatures.  Civil death records usually contain the name and age of the deceased, names of surviving family members, and the place of residence of the deceased.

Local and Family Histories

Searching the UST Library's online catalog, you may be able to identify published works related to various Luxembourg communities, as well as family histories.

Examples of some of the books of this nature housed in the Special Collections Department include: