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Sarah Thielman (1878–1968)

4 cm textual material.

Biographical sketch

Sarah Dekker Thielman was born on April 14, 1878 in Kleefeld, South Russia. In her youth, the Dekker family moved to Samara with wagon and horses, to make a new beginning. On May 16, 1894, Sarah was baptized at Lugowsk, Samara. Sarah learned the art of midwifery, to which she gave her time and talents with great satisfaction, particularly during her time in Siberia where she delivered babies not only for Mennonites but also for Russians and other peoples in that country. In the later years, between 1909 and 1941, she kept a record of her work as a midwife.

Sarah married David Thielman of Molotschna, a teacher and lay minister, in 1911. In 1919 they left South Russia for Siberia. In 1929, the Thielmans came to Canada, first to Glenbush Saskatchewan and then to Beamsville, Ontario where they owned a small fruit farm. They were members of the Vineland Mennonite Brethren Church. Sarah’s husband, David, died in 1959. Sarah died in 1968.

Scope and content

The Sarah Dekker Thielman fonds consists of a book, created by her, written in the German Gothic script. The first part of the book is a description of the female anatomy and various remedies for illnesses peculiar to women. It could be called a gynaecology manual. The table of contents for this section has been transcribed and is in the fonds. The second part of her book is a record of the births over which Sarah presided, from 1909 to 1941.

Custodial history

It is not known how Thielman’s book came to Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. Alf Redekopp, archivist, found this material among donated hymn books.

File list

Volume 1057
  1. A book, authored by Sarah Dekker Thielman, about gynaecology and records of her activities as midwife in Russia and later in Canada. – 1909 to 1941.
  2. Transcript of the table of contents of Section I of the above book, done by a volunteer at Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies.