Alma Elizabeth Bischoff, born in Washington D.C. 1885

click on photo for a larger image - no birth record found in Washington, D.C.
No birth record was located for Alma Elizabeth Bischoff, born in Washington, D.C. March 23, 1885. It should be noted that her death certificate incorrectly lists 1884 as her birth year, but her 1889 christening, 1900 census, 1909 marriage record, 1912 son's birth record and even her tombstone all confirm an 1885 birth year.

The Concordia German Church was founded in 1833, serving a congregation of German immigrants or first-generation-born Americans, and all the services and meetings were conducted in the German language. There were Saturday classes "Samtag Schule" in the speaking and writing of German, important because confirmation instruction was conducted in German too. This only started to change in the fall of 1898, when English services were begun on the first Sunday of every month. Before Washington existed as a national capital, Jacob Funck attempted to found a small settlement in the vicinity of Georgetown, which he called Hamburg, and he sold a lot at 20th and G Streets for the Lutheran church. The church changed its name in 1880 to the German Lutheran Evangelical Concordia Congregation, and in 1891 started the building of the new church. Alma's mother Elizabeth Stiebeling lived in DC as of 1874, and her father Charles Bischoff since his emigration in 1872, so they would have worshipped at both the old and the new churches. The new church is on the national register of historic places.

Alma Elisabeth was christened with her brother Hermann, with the godparents for both being Aunt Anna Martha (Damm) Stiebeling and Uncle Hermann Stiebeling, Elisabeth Stiebeling Bischoff's brother and his wife. Uncle Hermann will die unexpectedly this October -- October 20, 1889.

click on photo for a larger image - Concordia Church christening entry
This is the Concordia church record for the baptism of both Alma and her brother Hermann in 1889. Alma Elisabeth, born 23 March 1885 in Washington D.C., christened 24 March, 1889. Parents: Carl Christian Bischoff of Braunschweig, Germany and Elisabeth Stiebeling of Hesse-Darmstadt, godmother Anna Martha Stiebeling.