Gerda Martine Vadsager (Wadsager), confirmed in Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer, Iowa, 1921


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Gerda Martine Vadsager (Wadsager), confirmed in Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer, Iowa, 1921.


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Confirmation: Coming of Age in Denmark and the US

Gerda was born in 1905 in Bjergby parish, Hjørring County, the daughter of laborer Jens Christian Pedersen and Ane {Martinussen} Vadsager. She immigrated with her pregnant mother and 5 siblings in 1911 to join Jens Christian, who had gone ahead. A few years after her graduation Gerda moved to Chicago, where she met her future husband, Waldo Starr, and lived the rest of her life, an active member of Siloam and Our Savior's Danish Lutheran Churches. The keepsake certificates presented to confirmands often contained a Bible verse of special meaning for the confirmand, such as the one shown here.

Gerda's daugther Betty is also featured in the exhibit.


  • Gerda Martine Vadsager (1st person on the right) with confirmation class and Pastor I. Gertsen, Bethany Lutheran Church, Spencer, Iowa, March 20, 1921 (photo, certificate and related material courtesy of Betty L. Svendsen, Grayslake IL).

  • Confirmation certificate of Gerda Martine Vadsager, Spencer, Iowa, 1921.


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