Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jean-Georges Grossholtz

Bickenholtz is a commune in the Moselle department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in northeastern France. In the 18th century there was a Mennonite commune there and one at Buchenhof, and another at Schwabenhoff. The area of this town is 608 acres. In 962, when Otto the Great restored the Empire (restauratio imperii), Lorraine became the autonomous Duchy of Lorraine within the Holy Roman Empire until 1766, after which it became annexed under succession law to France, via derivative aristocratic house alliances.
 On 30 October 1717 Jean-Georges Grossholtz and his twin brother, Jean-Pierre was born in this small town of Bickenholtz. Their parents Jean-Michel Grossholtz who was born in 1688 and mother Marie Catherine Schild was born in 1700. Their father Jean-Michel was a public executioner in Lutzelbourg a commune in the Moselle department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is located on the Marne-Rhine Canal, near where the twins were born. Lutzelbourg is located just over three kilometers from Phalsbourg, surrounded by no less than four hills. Lutzelbourg is named after the Middle High German Lutzel burg, meaning small castle. The village had indeed once a castle perched 322 meters above sea level. Lutzelbourg and has the same etymology as the city of Luxembourg in the Grand Duchy of the same name.Former stronghold of the Middle Ages, the village of Lutzelbourg still has several remains of this rich era. Founded in the eleventh century by Pierre de Lutzelbourg on a rocky promontory at 322 meters altitude, the castle overlooks the Lutzelbourg Zorn valley and the village. Classified historic monument, it remains today only ruins with an incredible panorama. It is still possible to admire a large square tower built in the twelfth century, 24 meters high and various walls and other doors.

In the village of Lutzelbourg, you can admire two beautiful churches in the typical architecture of the Zorn valley. The Church of St. Michael, built in the eighteenth century with stones Castle Lutzelbourg, replaced the old early seventeenth century. Stained glass windows, broken during World War II, were replaced in the early 50. Lutzelbourg village also has a beautiful Protestant church, built between 1907 and 1909. Of great simplicity, it was built in link in memory of the great musician Albert Schweitzer. On the territory of the municipality are also the remains of an ancient farm, recalling the glorious past of Lutzelbourg, as well as traces of a Roman tower.

The Jean-Georges lived in Lutzelbourg all of his life where he died at age 70 in 1787. At age 2 the twin's sister Marie Ursule Grossholtz was born and two years later another sister Marie Elisabeth was born on 02 March 1722. Another set of twin boys were born to the family on 03 March 1724. Their names were Jean Michel and Frederic. At Age nine Jean-George's sister Anne Catherine Grossholtz was born the day after Christmas in 1726. At the age of 11 Jean-Georges mother gave birth to another daughter, Marguerite Grossholtz on December 29. One year later in November his sister Anne Catherine passed. In those days it was a tradition when you lost a daughter or son you would name with the same name. On January 29, 1731 the birth of a new daughter gave Jean-Georges parents and opportunity to name their new daughter Anne Catherine. Another brother, Jean Paul was born on July 3, 1733. When the twins turned 16 their second sister called Anne Catherine died in 1733 at the age of two. By 1735 Jean-Georges married Marie-Madeline Schild. At age 25 his first daughter Marie Madeleine Agnes was born in 1743. As far as I can tell he separated from his first wife and married Marie Barbe Stoeckel on January 8, 1743. The couple had one child a girl born in 1744 and baptized Anne Marie. Marie Barbe Stoeckel died on November 10, 1744.

 Jean-Georges married a third time on May 20, 1756 to Barbe Rhein in the commune of Herrlisheim. Herrlisheim is positioned on the rich alluvial farmland to the west of the River Rhine, north of Strasbourg. The town is part of the canton of Bischwiller and the district of Haguenau and is located on the road from Strasbourg to Lauterbourg along the A35 motorway .  When Jean-Georges was 39 his wife Barbe Rhein gave birth to a son Valentin on February 15, 1757. The name meaning is strength or health. The next year Barbe gave birth to a daughter Catherine on April 20, 1758. Another son, Joseph was born on July 9, 1759. On October 1, 1761 Jean-Michael the twin's father passed away in Lutzelbourg at the age of 73.