Casefile Clues

03 May 2013

A 1906 Christening in Coatsburg

This is another reason why I wish there were full-text searches (or full-on browse capabilities) in the digital images of church records of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) on Archives.com.

This baptismal entry is from the St. Peters Lutheran Church in Coatsburg, Illinois. The child being baptized in this entry is Tjode Anna Janssen, daughter of Friedrich and Bertha (Dirks) Janssen. Tjode Janssen was born on 12 November 1905 and was baptized on 29 December 1905. Her godmothers were Tjode Goldenstein and Anna Reuschel. The residence of the godmothers is not listed, but there's little doubt who the Tjode Goldenstein is--the name is fairly uncommon. Tjode Goldenstein is my great-grandmother. The Tjodes in this entry were first cousins as their mothers were sisters.

I found this entry while searching for various members of the Dirks family who attended this church. But the indexes are only to the names of the individuals being baptized, not to all the names on the records. Searching for family members in these records is one thing and was how I found my great-grandmother as th sponsor.  If Tjode was a sponsor for someone other than a family member, I'm not going to find it as I have no idea what the those names would be in order to search for their baptism. Tjode never lived in Coatsburg as her mother left after her marriage. I would never have thought to look for her in the records of a church she never attended in a town in which she never lived.

 It is still an interesting record. Now off to find other members of the Dirks family.