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Thielman, Sarah (1878–1968)

Proper Title

Sarah Thielman fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

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.

In 1911, Sarah married David Thielman of Molotschna, a teacher and lay minister. 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.

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.

Scope and Content

The Sarah Dekker Thielman fonds consists of a journal book written by her 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 giving birth. It could be called a gynecological manual. The table of contents for this section has been transcribed. The second part of her book is a record of some 1,400 births that Sarah helped deliver from 1909 to 1941. A translation of Sarah's journal was done by Agatha Klassen in 2004 for a project supervised by Dr. Marlene Epp of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. The translation is included in the fonds.


  • Volume 1057.
  • Title based on contents of fonds.

File List

Volume 1057

  1. A journal book created by Sarah Dekker Thielman about gynecology, logging the cases of over 1,400 births that she attended 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.
  3. Translation of Sarah's journal book done by Agatha Klassen. -- 2004.
  4. Obituary and short biography of Sarah Thielman by Alf Redekopp. -- 1987.
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