This week’s writing prompt for 52 Ancestors is Lucky. I immediately thought of the girl’s name Felicitas. Surprisingly, I only have one direct ancestor in my tree with the first name Felicitas. The name Felicitas is the female form of male name Felix, which is from the Latin adjective meaning lucky, good luck, happiness, fruitful, blessed, or fortunate. It is the root word for the English words felicity and felicitate. I do have a few men named Felix in my tree, but they are not my direct relations.
My sixth great-grandmother is Felicitas (Felizitas) Grosshans (Großhans). Her name is found both as Felicitas and Felizitas in German church records. Felizitas is a German variant of the name. In Germany, the name is pronounced as Feh-LEE-tzee-tahs.
Was my ancestor happy, fortunate, or lucky in life? I do not know. All the records attached to her name are all linked to her daughter, my fifth great-grandmother, Anna Margretha Weinmann. What we do know is that she born about 1742 in or near Heuchelheim-Klingen in the Southwest Wine Route area of the Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany. I have been unable to locate her marriage record, but she would have married before 1763 to Michael Weinmann. I have not located any death or burial records for either she or her husband Michael Weinmann. I did not locate any other baptism, marriage, or burial records listing this couple as the parents. Although I cannot be sure, this could mean that they only had one child, and may have both died when she was a child.
DNA has helped me to learn a bit more about her family and origins. I do have DNA links to those with Grosshans ancestors from Landau and Godramstein, which are 6.7 miles (10.8 km) from Heuchelheim-Klingen, 8 miles (12.9 km) from Klingenmünster, and 11 miles (18.2 km) from Kapellen-Drusweiler.
My ancestor Felicitas may have actually been born in Godramstein. DNA strongly points to her being the related to Johann Georg Grosshans and Anna Maria Müller. She may have been their daughter, if this is the case, she actually was unlucky. Her mother died 14 January 1743 at the age of thirty-four, when Felicitas was a very young child. But if we are looking for name connections, she equally could be the daughter of Johann Jacob Grosshans and Anna Felicitas ____. Johann Georg and Johann Jacob Grosshans were relations.
Anna Margretha Weinmann, the daughter of Felicitas Grosshans and Michael Weinmann, was born and baptized on the same day, 19 August 1763 at the parish church of Heuchelheim-Klingen. She married 16 October 1792 to Johann Jacob Propheter, the son of Johannes Adam Propheter and Katharina Elisabetha LeBeau, in the parish church of Kapellen-Drusweiler. She died 26 November 1834 in Klingenmünster, and was buried two days later. The names of her parents are listed in her baptism, marriage, death, and burial records.
All of my great-grandmother Alice Elizabeth Nutick Armstrong’s maternal family were from or nearby to Klingenmünster, Germany. Felicitas Grosshans is one her ancestors. Heuchelheim-Klingen is 1.9 miles (3.2 km) from Klingenmünster and Kapellen-Drusweiler is 4.2 miles (6.7 km) from Klingenmünster.
In Roman mythology the goddess Felicitas was the personification of good luck. Felicitas was a goddess of abundance, wealth and success and presided over good fortune; her feast day was celebrated on October 9. Felicitas could refer to both a general’s luck and good fortune as well as a woman’s fertility.
Felicitas is a state of blessedness, productivity, or enjoyment inspired by God.
The name was also borne by a 3rd-century saint, a slave martyred with her master Perpetua in Carthage.
There are actually at least two saints of this name. Saint Felicitas of Rome (c. 101 – 165), also anglicized as Felicity, is a saint numbered among the Christian martyrs. Apart from her name, the only thing known for certain about her is that she was buried in the Cemetery of Maximus (Catacombe di Santa Felicita), on the Via Salaria on a 23 November. However, a legend presents her as the mother of the seven martyrs whose feast is celebrated on 10 July. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates their martyrdom on 25 January. Her feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is 23 November.
Saints Perpetua and Felicity (Latin: Perpetua et Felicitas) were Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Vibia Perpetua was a recently married, well-educated noblewoman, said to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant son she was nursing. Felicity, an enslaved woman imprisoned with her and pregnant at the time, was martyred with her. They were put to death along with others at Carthage in the area of Africa in the Roman province of Africa (now known as Tunisia). The feast day of Perpetua and Felicity and their Companions is 7 March.
- Felicitas Roman deity – Britannica
- Felicitas of Rome – Wikipedia
- Felicitas – baby names. babycentre
- Felicitas – Behind the Name
- Felicitas, the Goddess of Wealth and Success. Weird Italy
- “Calendarium Romanum” (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 146
- Perpetua and Felicity – Wikipedia
To read more about St. Felicity of Rome and Saints Perpetua and Felicitas of Carthage:
- Saints of the day: Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs by Susan Kehoe. WordPress Blog – A Deacons’ Wife.
- Perpetua and Felicitas by Mary Walker. WordPress Blog – My Lord Katie.
- St Felicitas of Rome – Feast Day – November 23. Catholic Readings.org
To read more about the goddess Felicitas:
- The Festival of Felicitas by shirleytwofeathers. Pagan Calendar. Shirleytwofeathers.com
- Saints Perpetua and Felicity. It is an Art Print by Lawrence Klimecki.
- Goddess related image. I give image, artistic, and graphic credit to original creators whenever possible. The origins of lovely graphic of the blond woman lounging in a tree made of branches is unknown. I have been unable to locate the name or any root information regarding the graphic. It is used on several sites discussing the goddess Felicitas, but where it originated is unknown. If you are the creator or artist of the above graphic, please let me know and I will, with great felicity 😃, give you credit.
If you’d like to learn more about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, please visit here:
Or join the Facebook group Generations Cafe.
If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2023. All rights reserved. Thank you.