This page is intended as an index of online and offline resources which may be of interest to those researching the history of the Marsh family (originally spelled Mersch) who immigrated to the United States from Strasshoscheid, Luxembourg in the 1850’s.
Marsh Memories is an informal, anecdotal genealogy of the Marsh family, primarily from Mathias Marsh on down. The book was created by Lura Mae Dibb Beckwith and Jean MacKenzie Kleinschmidt and distributed to family members starting in 1986. I’ve seen copies of this with somewhat varied titles and bindings in a number of Minnesota historical societies and in the hands of different family members. It contains narrative sections, family trees and pictures. The content has not been significantly updated since original publication and contains some errors. The most significant errors that I’ve found, for those looking to trace the family back farther, include:
- The Marsh family came from a village called Strasshoscheid in Luxembourg. The village name has been shortened in modern times to just Hoscheid. Marsh Memories lists the village as Straushosen, a placename I’ve been unable to locate under any variation of spelling. Luxembourg civil birth and marriage certificates, as well as the inscription on the tombstone of Michael Marsh (Mathias Marsh’s brother) in Marshan Township, Minnesota, confirm the place of origin of the Marsh family as Strasshoscheid. Luxembourg records further show that four generations of Mersch family members lived in a sub-village of Hoscheid called Unterschlinder.
- Marsh Memories only lists four Mersch siblings immigrating to the United States and does not contain the first name of one of the Mersch sisters. It also attributes to Nicolas Marsh deeds which are properly attributed to an unlisted brother named Michael. In all, five Mersch siblings immigrated to the US. They were, according to the name on their birth certificates:
- Mathias (to whom I can trace my descent)
- Anna Maria
I scanned my copy of Marsh Memories in July of 2008 and have made it available here as a .pdf file. It is ~54 MB in size, so you will need to be on a fast Internet connection in order to download it in a reasonable amount of time. You may also view the book in its entirety as a series of images in my genealogy image gallery.
My copy of Marsh Memories was accompanied by two companion photo books in similar bindings. The handwriting in the books appears the same, so I assume these were compiled by Lura Mae Dibb Beckwith and Jean MacKenzie Kleinschmidt as with Marsh Memories. The books consist mainly of greyscale photocopies of pictures, and a few color prints which had been pasted over the original greyscale photocopies, as well as family trees. Many pages consisted of four or 5 images with accompanying captions. In cases where I’ve felt it appropriate, I’ve scanned the images and their accompanying captions individually. Thus, the number of pages in my versions do not match the original, although they have been scanned and presented in their original sequential order.
Hoscheid aud der Strass – This is a book by a Nic Bosseler published in 1978. It chronicles the history of Hoscheid, Luxembourg from which the Marsh/Mersch family emigrated. It contains a number of maps and photographs of the area, and a lot of quantitative data on the history of the area, which can be of use to anyone, however the book is almost entirely in German. The Mersch name is mentioned on a number of occasions, so any help in translating select sections of the book would be appreciated. This book is difficult to find. I managed to pick up a copy via a German antiquarian book store located through AbeBooks. I’ve made a PDF copy of it, but will not be posting it online as the publishing date is still within copyright and I’ve been unable to find contact information for the author to seek permission. If you would like a copy, please contact me to make arrangements.