Sunday, April 5, 2015

Amanuensis Monday: Clara STROESSER’s birth certificate

It was nearly a year after the passing of Catharina STROESSER before my great-great grandmother Barbara THINES gave birth to her eighth and final child, Clara. 

This image has been trimmed from the original at FamilySearch.

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

Im Jahre tausend acht hundert fünf und achtzig, den neunten
des Monats Januar um sechs Uhr Nach mittags ist vor Uns
Mathius Probst, delegirten Shöffen Beamten des Civilstandes
der Gemeinde folscheid , im Kanton Redingen , Groß=
herzogthum Luxemburg, erschienen Peter Streusser
alt vierzig acht Jahre Eisenhändler
wohnhaft zu Schweidelbruch , welcher Uns ein Kind weiblichen
Geschlechts vorgestellt hat, geboren Schweidelbruch gestern
um Zehn Uhr Nach mittags, im Hause Nr. ----- Gasse,
erzeugt von Ihre Comparenten und seine Ehegattin Barbara Thinnes,
alt dreizig acht Jahre, ohne Stand, wohnhaft im selben Orte
und welchem er den Vornamen Clara
geben zu wollen erklärt hat.
Diese Erklärung und Vorstellung sind geschehen in Gegenwart des Nicolas Wilmes
alt fünfzig drei , alt dreizig acht [unintelligible] Jahre Straßenwärter
wohnhaft zu Bondorf und des Johann Peter Stephany
alt dreizig neun Jahre Notar Gehilfe
wohnhaft zu Rambruch 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 eighty-five, the ninth
of the Month of January at six o'clock After noon is before Us
Mathius Probst, delegate Alderman Officials of the Civil State
of the Commune of folscheid , in the Canton Redange , Grand-
duchy of Luxembourg, appeared Peter Streusser
aged forty-eight Years Iron Merchant
residing in Schweidelbruch , which to us a child of the female
Gender has presented, born in Schweidelbrouch yesterday
at Ten O’clock After noon, in House No. ----- Street,
begat by The Appearing Party and his Lawful Wife Barbara Thinnes,
aged thirty-eight Years, without Occupation, residing in same Place
and which he the First Name Clara
has declared to want to give.
This Statement and Presentation are done in the Presence Nicolas Wilmes
aged fifty-three , aged thirty-eight [unintelligible] Years, Street Warder
residing in Bondorf and Johann Peter Stephany
aged thirty-nine Years Assistant Notary
residing in Rambrouch and have the Appearing Parties this
Deed, having been read to them, with us signed.

There is an area of confusion in the witnesses on this document: Nicolas WILMES seems to be assigned two ages, and the word which might explain it all is squished so tightly between “dreizig acht” and “Jahre” that I am unable to make it out. If anyone has any insight into this confusion, I would love to hear it!

With the birth of Clara STROESSER, the STROESSER household consisted of two parents: Peter STROESSER and Barbara THINES; and six living children: Michel, age 11; Baltasar, age 9; Anna, age 8; my great-grandfather Harry, age 6; Johann-Nicolas, age 4 (but who would be 5 the following day); and baby Clara.

Later, after the death of their parents, several of these children would make the long journey across the Atlantic to the New World. According to family lore, though I have not yet been able to find the ship manifest, Clara traveled with her brother, my great-grandfather, Harry STROESSER to the United States. Given the hint in the manifest of the S.S. Finland, which carried their brother Nicolas in 1907, and which I mentioned in my post on hisbirth certificate, I have been able to uncover some evidence that Clara, Harry, and Nicolas first settled in Estherville, Emmet, Iowa. Harry and Clara, at least, were both residing there in 1904.

Again according to family lore, Harry disliked Clara’s husband and moved to Omaha, Nebraska when they were married. What little evidence I have found supports this: Clara appeared in the 1905 Iowa state census and was married to Nicholas FANK that same year. I was unable to find Harry in that census, so he had likely already departed.

I have added a template for an 1885 birth certificate to the collection.


1905 Iowa state census, Emmet, Iowa, population schedule, Estherville Ward 2, p. 371 (population schedule card), Clara Strosser; digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Feb 2015); citing GS Film Number: 001430397, Digital Folder Number: 007486245, Image Number: 01524; State Historical Department, Des Moines; FHL microfilm 1,430,397.

FamilySearch, “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Feb 2015), entry for Nick Fank and Clara Strasser’s 1905 marriage; citing Estherville, Emmet, Iowa, United States, county courthouses, Iowa.

Folschette, Luxembourg, birth certificate no. 4 (1885), Clara Streusser; digital image #995 of 1489, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, “Naissances 1821-1890 Mariages 1800-1823, 1797-1830,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 21 Jul 2010).

Janet M. Young, “Estherville City Directory, 1904: Estherville, Iowa,” database, Emmet County, Iowa: IAGenWeb ( : accessed 25 Feb 2015), entry for Clara Strosser; Compliments of The Estherville Democrat, October 1904.

Janet M. Young, “Estherville City Directory, 1904: Estherville, Iowa,” database, Emmet County, Iowa: IAGenWeb ( : accessed 25 Feb 2015), entry for Henry Strosser; Compliments of The Estherville Democrat, October 1904.

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