Bas-Rhin Civil Records (Etat Civil)
I’ve been working on going through the records of Waldhambach through the online Bas-Rhin Etat Civil, and it has been TREMENDOUS. I’ve sorted out a lot of the Ensminger and Philippi lines and marriages, which had been really bothering me–there’s a good deal of intermarriage, but I wasn’t sure where. I’ve filled in a lot of blanks.
I’ve also had a crash course in understanding Kurrent German handwriting. Waldhambach records are fairly easy to understand, even without any real knowledge of German or Latin. I’m having a bit more trouble where the records are not in table form–Wolfskirchen and La Petite-Pierre (Lützelstein) come to mind!
One thing that I did figure out is that I probably will not be able to sort out the Quirin family. There are two Quirin families that have intermarried with my Ensmingers and Philippis: children of Britz Quirin (aka Bricius Quirin) of Wolfskirchen and children of Quirin Quirin (aka Quirinus Quirin) of Bettwiller. Quirin seems to be a somewhat popular surname in other parts of Alsace and in Lorraine, and the records I have found do not go back far enough to make a good connection. I’ll be posting what I have found hopefully later this evening or tomorrow.
I’ve also been looking for hints towards Maria Christina Cleiss, wife of Johannes Philippi who emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1750. I thought I had found her, as I found the baptism of Maria Christina Clauss, daughter of Hans Nickol Clauss and Anna Maria Windstein, on 14 Aug 1693 in Waldhambach, but then I also found her burial at age 11. I’ll be posting what I did find out for that family, though.
On a side note, although I definitely appreciate and am eternally grateful for these records to be put online and freely accessible, there is no way that this could have come cheap, and no way the maintenance is cheap. Whether we get them for free on the internet or not, things still have costs, and I have to wonder how many people are getting use of them and where those people are from. I’m certainly not paying French or Bas-Rhin taxes, but yet I’m using it heavily. I just have to wonder how sustainable this will be. I would definitely pay a subscription fee.