11 March 2014

Gaspard Weiss was married twice!

It had been right there under my nose (in his autobiography, though in my defence it is in German and French), but it was only the other day that I realised that my 4x great grandfather (Jean) Gaspard Weiss remarried after the death of his first wife (my 4x great grandmother) Marie Baumgarten.

On 25 November 1800, two years after the death of his first wife Marie, Gaspard Weiss married Judith Risler, daughter of Jean Risler and Marguerite Lauttenbourg, in Mulhouse. She was aged 59, he was 61. Unsurprisingly at their age, Gaspard and Judith produced no children. They were together until Gaspard's death in 1815. It's nice to think he had someone to share his life with again after the death of Marie.

Edited on 22 March 2014 to add:
I found a copy of the marriage certificate today in the Archives Départementales Du Haut-Rhin, and although it is handwritten, in French, I've worked out that his brother-in-law Paul Blech (married to his late wife Marie's sister Lucinda Worrall Baumgarten) was one of the witnesses. It would be interesting to know if other Baumgartens had attended the wedding, apart from Lucinda. Of course, I'll never know that!

The other interesting thing I noted was that Gaspard signed the marriage certificate using German script, using the German variation of his name - Caspar Weiß. I have only ever seen him sign his name as Gaspar(d) Weiss before, quite legibly in normal English-style lettering. I wonder if after Mulhouse reunited with France in 1798 whether he became "more German" and emphasised his German heritage. Below is a comparison of his signatures, the first from his marriage to Marie Baumgarten ("Gaspar Weiss", aged 36), the second on the death certificate of Marie ("Gaspard Weiss", aged 59), and the third at his marriage to Judith Risler ("Caspar Weiß", aged 61). If I didn't know it was definitely him I would dismiss the third signature as by a totally different person!


  1. Some times we miss things under our noses Prue ;-) I agree that those signatures would be a challenge but I guess it's all about environment and context. Good discovery.

  2. Thanks for making me feel better about missing the obvious Pauleen!