Monday, October 20, 2014

Amanuensis Monday: Harry STROESSER's birth certificate

After so many years of research, I have mountains of paperwork recording sources, and uncounted megabytes of images saved on my hard drive. Yet, all that information has not necessarily been attached to my gedcom file. That poor gedcom has all sorts of names, dates, and other facts that appear to be sourceless until you tackle my mountains and megabytes. But I am working on it!

Currently I am working to put together good source citations for my numerous Luxembourgish records, including transcriptions and translations. (And in the process I am discovering more facts than I realized I had!) The Amanuensis Monday daily prompt will be a helpful tool in this project, if you will forgive my inelegant amateur translations.

I begin this week with the birth certificate of my great-grandfather, known in the U.S. as Harry STROESSER. But on his birth certificate in Luxembourg, he is known as Johann.

This image has been trimmed from the original at FamilySearch.

Transcription (the italicized parts were handwritten on the record):

Im Jahre tausend acht hundert acht und siebenzig, den neunzehnten
des Monats Oktober um zehn Uhr Vor mittags ist vor Uns
Theodore Welbes Bürgermeister Beamten des Civilstandes
der Gemeinde Wahl , im Kanton Redingen , Grossher=
zogthum Luxemburg, erschienen Peter Stroesser Eisenhändler
alt vierzig vier Jahre
wohnhaft zu Heispelt , welche Uns ein Kind männlichen
Geschlechts vorgestellt hat, geboren zu Heispelt Gestern
um sechs Uhr Nach mittags, im Hause Nr. Erzeugt von seiner Ehefrau
Thines Barbara ohne Gewerb alt dreißig vier Jahre wohnhaft zu Heispelt
und welchem er den Vornamen Johann
geben zu wollen erklärt hat.
Diese Erklärung und Vorstellung sind geschehen in Gegenwart des Biver
Peter Ackerer , alt fünfzig zwei Jahre
wohnhaft zu Kuborn und des Simon Peter
Pächter , alt fünfzig ein Jahre
wohnhaft zu Kuborn und haben die Comparenten diese
Urkunde, nachdem sie ihnen vorgelesen worden, mit Uns unterschrieben.

Line by line Translation:

In the Year one thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight, the nineteenth
of the Month of October at ten o'clock Before noon is before Us
Theodore Welbes Burgermeister Officials of the Civil State
of the Commune of Wahl , in the Canton Redange , Grand-
duchy of Luxembourg, appeared Peter Stroesser Ironmonger
aged forty-four Years
residing in Heispelt , which to us a child of the male
Gender has presented, born in Heispelt Yesterday
at six O’clock After noon, in House No. Begat by his Wife
Thines Barbara without Occupation aged thirty-four Years residing in Heispelt
and which he the First Name Johann
has declared to want to give.
This Statement and Presentation are done in the Presence of Biver
Peter Farmer , aged fifty-two Years,
residing in Kuborn and Simon Peter
Leaser , aged fifty-one Years
residing in Kuborn and the Comparents have this
Deed, having been read to them, with us signed.

You may notice the unfamiliar word “Comparents.” That is my interpretation of the German legalese word “Comparenten.” The word, as far as I have found, has no direct translation. It refers to the person reporting the event as well as all the witnesses. (*Update: I have since found that “Comparenten” translates to “Appearing party or parties.”)

Harry STROESSER later immigrated to the U.S., where he married and raised his family, so this is the only Luxembourgish civil registration record I have for him.

And just in case you want to try your hand at transcribing and translating a birth record from Luxembourg, I have begun to post some templates I developed for myself. Just keep in mind that I am very much an amateur!



Wahl, Redange, Luxembourg, birth certificate no. 20 (1878), Johann Stroesser; digital image #153, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, "Naissances 1867-1890-- RINDSCHLEIDEN: Mariages 1796-1797, 1800-1804, 1805-1823 -- WAHL: Mariages 1796-1803, 1805-1890 -.," FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 May 2010).

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