One does learn quickly that one has to rely on and make contact with many individuals
in order to have any success in the research. There is a reward in meeting so many helpful,
and interesting people. I want to thank especially the following individuals.
Deceased Aunt Lillian who gave me part of the family history which was given to her by
a relative a long time ago. It was a good start for me.
Jacquie Capesius Feyder from Hesperange, Luxembourg responded to one of the 24 letters
that I wrote in December, 2001, in which I inquired if there was any relationship to my family
line. Jacquie responded as she had been an exchange student in Iowa and volunteered to help us even thought we weren't related. We visited Luxembourg in April, 2002. She arranged for hotels, introduced us to officials who were able to give us copies of birth certificates and a marriage certificate. Together we visited Birelerhaff where our ancestors very likely lived. She even invited us to dinner which happened to be on her husband's birthday. Also invited were her father, Pierre Capesius and his wife.
Paul Kridel from the city administration of the city of Hesperange was not able to find any Capesius from our line in his files. Later he did send us a copy of the Repbulican Calendar which explains why birth dates were often falsely interpreted. He forwarded the name of Roland Schumacher who gave us very helpful information.
Northrum Patrick from the city administration of Sandweiler was able to give us copies of birth certificates for Nicholas Capesius (1834), Anna Catherine Capesius (1828), John Peter (Frank) Capesius (1831) and the marriage certificate of John Peter Capesius (1794) and Anna Bechen (1792). What excitement! A year later upon my request he sent the marriage certificate of Anna Marie Capesius (1822) and Dominque Forret (1823) which was dated March 4, 1850. This was then sent to Steve Campbell who is a descendent of the Forret line.
Ronald Schumacher from the University of Luxembourg forwarded much information and history about the Abby. He sent the address of the Sandweiler Historical Society. He also sent information about the National Archive and Cultural Center in Luxembourg City.
Joseph Feller from the Historical Society of Sandweiler upon request sent important information concerning our forefathers. He was able to trace the family back to approximately 1740. According to what he was able to learn, the Capesiuses probably lived at Birelerhaff.
Susan Lucke of Ames, Iowa visited the Birelerhaff in 1988. When we visited there, we discovered her letter that she had written to Mrs. Smitz, the owner, thanking her for her help. In the hopes that I would be related to her, I wrote to her. After several emails, it was decided that we come from different lines that emigrated to Iowa. She gave me the name of Steve Campbell who lives in Massachussetts. He had been doing Capesius research at the Bellevue Library and left his name and address. Susan wrote a well-documented book, The Bellevue War. We met in Ames, Iowa in December, 2003 and exchanged information.
Steve Campbell left his name at the Bellevue Library probably in 2000 or 2001. As a long shot, I wrote to him and much to my surprise he answered me right away stating that we are related through Anne Marie Capesius (1822-1889) who married Dominick Forret. He sent me a huge packet of Capesius Forret information.
Kim Simon is the innkeeper of the Gehlen House in St. Donatus, Iowa. She was very helpful in giving me the names of contact people, particularly Sue Deppe. Through email we were able to reserve the whole Gehlen House for the descendents of Frank Capesius (1900), Caroline's father, for the extended family reunion in June, 2005.
Sue Deppe from Bellevue, Iowa worked in the gift shop at Gehlen Inn. She offered to send me information concerning Capesius births, marriages, and deaths which she did in the fall of 2002. This information was very helpful. In return, I have tried to find information on Caspar Deppe, born in 1817 in Munster, Prussia. We met her in December, 20003 at Potter's Mill Restaurant. She volunteered to help with our family reunion.
The staff at the Bellevue Library in Bellevue, Iowa was most helpful.
The staff at Maquoketa Historical Society in Maquoketa, Iowa gave us assistance in finding information concerning the property of our forefathers.
Thanks to Marcelline Capesius, wife of Ray Capesius, who lives in LaMotte, Iowa. We visited St. Donatus in September, 2002, as we had discovered it was a historical Luxembourg village. We learned through a person working in his yard that a Capesius lived in the neighborhood. We knocked at her door and stated that we were looking for Capesiuses. She mentioned she didn't know much about her ancestors, but her mother did. After a call to her mother, we invited ourselves to her home. Marcelline was most hospitable and helpful. She showed us the ship list in which our family was listed. This was especially exciting information. We promised to keep in touch. Later I did send her my family tree. We discovered that through her husband we are definitely related.
Mary Ellen Capesius of LaMotte, Iowa answered one of the many letters that I wrote to Capesiuses in early 2003 that I discovered through the White Pages. Mary Ellen, wife of deceased Robert Capesius gave me much information concerning her husband's brothers and sisters. We met her and the extended family during December, 2003. It was exciting to find some of our Capesius relatives.
Jeremy Capesius wrote to me on 7/28/03 via email. He is the grandson of Mary Ellen Capesius. He was curious to learn about my history. Through email it was quicker to send messages to Mary Ellen.
Julie Capesius (wife of David Capesius, son of Mary Ellen Capesius) has been very helpful in accepting family trees via fax and receiving and messages via email. As the reunion time comes closer, I shall rely on her to give messages to the LaMotte family.
My husband, Horst Ostertag, has been with me through this whole genealogy research journey. He got excited with me when we found the headstones of our 1850 Capesius emigrants. He has been helpful with finding names and addresses in the White Pages, setting up the Web page, and doing editing for me. Most of all, he encourages me and gives me ideas for the search of my family. I am sure he will continue to be a great help as our family reunion time comes closer.