Can I get some help with a translation please.

+1 vote
I found a copy of what I think is an obituary for my ancestor and wonder if there is a kind soul here who could read it. She was from the Ostfriesland area of Germany so I don't think its dictionary German or Dutch.  So I'm having trouble making sure I get the  correct interpretation for it. I have attached it to Reenste Sleutel(Ottjes-10) rather than try to paste it here.

Thank you for looking
WikiTree profile: Rena Sleutel
in Genealogy Help by Kathy Wright G2G6 Mach 1 (10.2k points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer
Nah, that is proper High German.

I would translate it as: "To all relatives, friends, and acquaintances the sad news, that the Lord suddenly called to eternal life my dear wife and our faithful mother Reenste Sleutel, nee Ottjes, on 5 April 1906 at 4 a.m. at the age of 65 years 6 months and 20 days.She was born in Ihrhove, Kreis [County] Leer, Ostfriesland [East Frisia] on 15 September 1840. On 14 December 1865 she married Johann Sleutel. Out of this marriage sprang 13 children, of whom 9 preceded her to eternal life. In 1884 she went with her family to America, where they lived at first in Ill. [i.e., Illinois] and then, since 1892, near and in Ashton, Iowa. Her sudden departure hits us hard. Though having suffered for a long time, she was not lately bedridden; in the evening she went with husband and daughter to the family of Ben Pommer, where she suffered an attack of her illness and fell softly asleep without anyone suspecting that she was dying. The next morning she was brought home dead. On 8 April she was brought to her last rest from the Presbyterian church with a great following.

This is being reported by the grieving spouse John Sleutel and children of Ashton, Iowa."
by Living Geschwind G2G6 Mach 9 (90.7k points)
selected by Kathy Wright

Incidentally, if you are curious where Ihrhove is:

I also took a look at the baptismal record at to which you had looked (since it provides an image of the original record, I can read German, and I don't trust's transcriptions).

I read the entry as follows, in translation: "Reenste, daughter of Frans Janssen Ottjes and his wife Leentje Hinderks Greipenborg [or Greipenburg] of Folmhusen, was born there 15 September [1840] and baptised 20 September" [note the baptism was not 26 September, as the next entry is for a baptism on 21 September, and these were arranged in order of baptism].

This entry shows that the family was actually living in the village of Folmhusen just outside of Ihrhove (for Folmhusen on the map, see

And as for her marriage record at this is from the church records of Jemgum, which is located about 7 miles NNW of Ihrhove (see map).

Text (in translation): Sleutel, Jan, unmarried man-servant in Jemgum, born Jemgum 3 June 1842, son of laborer Tries [?, can't really make out first letter] Uilderks [?, again can't really make out first letter] Sleutel and his wife Slina Jansen nee Geiseman, AND Otjes, Reenste, unmarried maid-servant in Ihrhove, born Folmhusen (Ihrhove parish) 15 September 1840, daughter of laborer Frans Hinderks Otjes [the minister must have gotten the patronym / middle name wrong, as the baptismal record called him Frans Janssen; this is likely, as the family was not local to Jemgum, where this record was made] and his wife Leentje Hinderks nee Griepenborg. Intended future residence: Jemgum. Banns issued in Jemgum 26 Dec 1864 and 1 and 8 Jan 1865. No record of place or date of wedding. Note: Groom is Reformed [i.e., Calvinist or Presbyterian], bride is Lutheran. Recorded by Mr. Herborg, 8 Jan 1865."

You will note that they issued their banns at the very beginning of 1865, but per the obituary were not actually married until 14 December 1865.

Incidentally, local genealogists in Ostfriesland have already done intense research with these church books and written up their results. For ways to access their research, see

Thank you so much for all the additional information. That is more detail about their arrival than I had. I also found an obit for their daughter Christina which I posted on her page.

Could I bother you please for a second translation.
No problem.

"Herewith we announce to all friends and acquaintances that it pleased the Lord over life and death in his wisdom to call from our midst into eternal life our daughter Christina Sleutel after a long and severe illness on 28 December 1898.

Christina was born 24 May 1870 in Jemgum, Ofr. [Ostfriesland = East Frisia]. She enjoyed good health until 14 weeks before her passing. Heart problems then appeared, which were joined by edema. Despite all means and self-sacrificing care by the parents she was released from her pains by the Lord on the morning of 28 December. She endured her pains with patience and quiet resignation to God's will. She was a faithful member of the German Presbyterian Church in Ashton, Ia., and teacher in the Sunday School. Her mortal remains were amid a great audience given over to the earth on the 30th at Ashton cemetery to await resurrection. The choir presented some uplifting and fitting songs, whereupon minister Abels using Psalms 17:15 spoke words of comfort to the parents, her two brothers, and her so close, only and deeply sorrowing sister. She reached an age of 28 years 7 months and 4 days.

This is being reported by the sorrowing parents Jann and Reenste Sleutel and her siblings. Ashton, Iowa"

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