by Lois Jones - December 2002
I decided to end this history with the 1920 U.S. Census so as not to violate the privacy of those still living. If I spent more time on one family than another it was only because I had more information on some families. Hopefully others will add to the history of the Cochems and Zenz families.
This history is primarily based on Catholic Baptism records, German civil records, and U.S. civil records. I personally viewed most of these records on microfilm at my local LDS Library or ordered documents from civil authorities. Thank you LeeAnn Cochems for sending me Orange Co. material that I was not able to obtain myself. Some of the dates noted in this history came from family books put together by Fred Nicholson. The Latin phrases used in this history were obtained from the Ellenz/Poltersdorf Family Book prepared by Fred. Thank you Fred for all the help you have given me and for compiling the many family books for towns along the Mosel River. For those of you who might be interested in looking up some of these records I would recommend starting with Fred's family books which are on file with the LDS church.
If you are a perfectionist do not be alarmed if you find another recorded date that differs by a few days from a date I have used in this history. Since the records before 1800 are mainly baptismal records, at times the priest recorded the date of birth and the date of baptism. These two dates could of course vary by a couple of days. I have attempted to always use the birth date. Marriage dates can be even more confusing. In Germany in the Nineteenth Century a civil registration was required prior to the marriage. I don't know if the civil registration also included a marriage ceremony. However since all our ancestors in Nineteenth Century Germany were good Catholics, they would not have considered themselves married until a church ceremony took place. Therefore, if I have a civil marriage date and a Catholic Church marriage date, I use the Catholic Church date. For Lorenz Zenz and Margaret Heimes, I have three marriage dates - the civil marriage date, the date their marriage was recorded in her parish in Cond, and the date their marriage was recorded in his parish in Valwig.
This Cochems/Zenz history should not be considered completed. For instance Los Angeles Directories are available from 1873 to 1935 and I only looked at a few. A Chicago Directory was published between 1839 and 1929 and I only included the 1875/76 and the 1883 edition. Generally the Directories give the name, profession, business address and home address of those listed. There are also directories available for the small cities that some of our relatives lived in.
I tried to look at all the Federal censuses prior to 1930 but could not view them all, especially since there are so many descendents listed in this history. And now that the 1930 Federal census has been released to the public even more information about our families is available.
There are also records in Germany that are still to be looked at. In the State Archives in Coblenz there are immigration records, land records and deeds. These records are not indexed and it is not the duty of the municipal staff to research the material for you. Therefore you have to visit the archives in person or hire someone to do research for you. Land records are very important because they provide a paper trail from one generation to the next of who owned the land and how it was divided among siblings. Through land records it might be possible to trace our Cochems line prior to 1600. Hopefully in the future someone will transcribe and translate these German records.
I welcome your comments and input.