My interest in the Kroll family was prompted by my friend R.M. who, as a child, had met William (Wilhelm, Guillaume) Kroll in the 1950s. William Kroll used to visit his 2 brothers living in the rue des Fleurs in Grevenmacher, a few houses down from where R.M. used to live. When William came to Grevenmacher (in his silver Mercedes car with a “red” Belgian number plate) to visit his 2 brothers Adolphe and Paul, he brought chocolate for the children in the neighbourhood … Adolphe and Paul had been living in Grevenmacher since the 1930s and were well known and respected.
In the course of my initial investigation I found out that I grew up close to William Kroll’s laboratory in avenue Gaston Diderich in the Belair suburb of Luxembourg City. William Kroll lived in number 44 (which later became number 54) and I lived in number 132 of the avenue. My school was situated opposite his laboratory and I vividly remember collecting chestnuts from the huge tree in front of the villa William Kroll had lived in. This was after 1952, when William Kroll had already closed his laboratory, so I could not have come across him on my way to school.
Lastly, when I recently visited with R.M. the Kroll family grave in the Cimetière Notre-Dame in Luxembourg and when I found out that as recently as 2018 the Lycée technique of Esch-sur-Alzette had been renamed Lycée Guillaume Kroll, I decided to find out more about William Kroll and his family in Luxembourg.
I started my investigation of the Kroll family with Carl Friedrich August Kroll, William’s grand-father.
Carl Friedrich August KROLL
Carl was born in 1808. On 4 August 1835 he married in Münster Regina LAPORTE, born in 1811. The marriage Register in Münster gives a minimum of information on the couple (empty spaces in the Register form), as compared to other marriages celebrated at the time .
The later events show that bride Regina was pregnant at the time of the wedding since her first child Joseph Carl is born only 3 months after the wedding, namely on 8 November 1835. Joseph Carl was declared as being the legitimate child of Carl and Regina
Judging from the birth records of the successive children, it can be deduced that the family moved around 1841 from Münster to Dorsten (about 60 km away) and around 1848 from Dorsten to Bocholt (about 60 km away) in a triangular region north of Duisburg. A list published on Wikipedia (Liste der Bürgermeister der Stadt Dorsten) confirms that Carl was mayor of Dorsten from 1842 to 1848. He was thus a professional full-time mayor as shown in the 1849 Census report of Bocholt. The composition of the Kroll-Laporte family at the time was the following :
Mayor Carl (Friedrich August) KROLL’s family is composed of the parents and of 7 children. The family employed 2 servants.
The KROLL-LAPORTE couple had an eight child in 1839 (Ferdinand) who only reached the age of 3.
The last-born of the family, Hermann, was born in 1852 as can be seen in the Bocholt Census of 1855. This Census also reveals that the 2 oldest children Joseph Carl (aged 20) and Paul (aged 18) had left home, Bertha now being the oldest child in the household .
The genealogical records of the UK show that the oldest son Joseph Carl moved to the United Kingdom where he married Agnes TOOTELL in Manchester on 13 December 1860. In the wedding records Joseph Carl is now referred to as Charles KROLL LAPORTE as he took on the name of his mother to create a double family name. In 1861 the first child born to the couple took on the family name LAPORTE (dropping the name KROLL) and all the children born later took on the name of LAPORTE. Charles himself became Charles LAPORTE in the census of 1881. He was a language teacher.
(It may never be known why Charles did not wish the name KROLL to be passed on to his children. LAPORTE is not exactly a family name that is more acceptable in the UK than KROLL. Maybe he did not believe that he was a genuine KROLL!)
Among all the children of Carl and Regina, only Adolph Maria Gustav is to be found in the genealogy databases. The descendants of the other 6 children of Carl and Regina seem to have had little interest in their family tree.