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Paper Trail (census, draft registration, daughter's obituary)

Clara and her family are mentioned in the following letters: 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs and 9-16-1932 Irene.


Clara Christina Wachdorf Roster

born c. June 1883*, died before 1966



  1884-Kitty Hochertz

  1886-Harry H. Wachdorf

  1888-Edward Wachdorf

  1892-Joseph Wachdorf

  1895-Lettie Myers

  1897-Mae Wachdorf

  1899-Frances Stevens

  1902-Madge Wachdorf


Note: Clara's middle name is her maternal grandma's. Wonder if her first name was significant to her father's unknown family.

married c. 1905*


Henry Roster




   c.1906-Charlotte (married c. 1925 George Pekarek)


   c.1907-Gertrude (Miller)


   Cecilia (never married)

6-1-1908 to4-18-1982


   c.1914 Madeline


   1916  Dorothy

(married Charles Lebo)



By census info, Gertrude was apparently born in MO.

her parents:

Anton Wachdorf


Anna Klein

spouse's parents:

Michael Roster



Her maternal grandparents:

John Klein and Christina Alberg Klein


Her paternal grandparents: unknown

Her maternal aunts & uncles:

Mary Klein Falkenthal & Charles, Henry Klein, Catherine (Sr. Mary Anthony), Christina Klein Lehman & George, George Klein & Laura

*The International Genealogical Index lists Clara Christina Wachdorf as born 1-20-1883 and married 6-1-1904. I don't know where those dates come from, and seek verification. It also lists her parents as Anton Wachdorf and "Ana Klain."

There is another photo that includes Clara and her sisters on her 80th birthday, which I will scan later. Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again.

Clara Wachdorf (standing) with her brother Harry (center) and sister Kitty around 1887 (Harry born 8-1886)

wedding photo of Clara Wachdorf and Henry Roster c. 1905

Clara's sister Mae with the Roster girls and their cousin, Irene "Sis" Wachdorf and, on the far left, Ed Wachdorf Jr.

another pose with the Roster girls, labeled if you click on it (Art is Art Wachdorf).

Clara on right with (from left) sister-in-law Irene and sisters Madge and Mae. Photo courtesy of Joe's granddaughters, Shirley and Laurie.

Clara's daughter Celia on far right, with Clara's mother & sisters Kitty Hochertz and Midge Wachdorf, and nephews Eddie & Tony Hochertz

Cecilia Roster's mass card 1982

Cecilia Roster's obituary 1982

Paper Trail


1900 census, Chicago Ward 30, District 945, 418 W. 58th St.

Anton Wachdorf, age 39, born May 1861, married 18 years, immigrated 1865, naturalized, engineer-loco

wife Annie, age 39, born May 1861, mother of 8 of whom 8 are living

daughter Clara, age 17, born June 1883, milliner

daughter Katherine, age 15, born Aug 1884 (no profession listed, nor "at school")

son Henry, age 13, born Aug 1886, at school (Harry)

son Edward, age 11, born Aug 1888, at school

son Joseph, age 8, born June 1892, at school

daughter Coletta, age 5, born May 1895

daughter "Mary," age 2, born July 1897 (Mae)

daughter Frances, 10 months, born Aug 1889

(NOTE: neighbor is John C. Miller, policeman, with sons John F. born in 1887 and Andrew born in 1894. John F. is witness on marriage certificate of Edward Wachdorf and Andrew is witness on marriage certificate of Joseph Wachdorf)


She married in about 1904 to Henry Roster.


1910 census, Chicago Ward 33, District 1637, 544 E. 89th St.

Henry Roster, age 31, married 6 years, molder--foundry, born in Indiana, father born Germany, mother Ohio

wife Clara, age 28, mother of three all of whom survive, born in IL of parents born in Germany (actually her mother born IL)

daughter Lottie, age 5, born in IL

daughter Gertrude, age 3, born in MO

daughter Celia, age 2, born in IL

mother Barbara Roster, age 62, widowed, married 44 yrs, mother of 10 of whom 5 survive, born in Ohio of German parents

sister Anna Roster, age 34, single, no occupation, born in Indiana


1915 Clara was named the godmother of Arthur Wachdorf (son of her brother Edward) according to baby calendar kept by her sister-in-law.


1917 draft registration, Henry Roster of 544 E. 89th St, born Indiana on Dec. 10, 1876, age 41, foreman doing structural work for Midland Steel Co of 1308 So. 54th Ave, Cicero. Nearest relative: Clara Christina Roster of 544 E. 89th St. Tall, of medium build with blue eyes and light hair. Reason for exemption: left ear affected.


1920 census, Cook County, Oak Park Township, Precinct 20 Disctrict 170, 1133 S. Taylor St. (renting)

Henry Roster, age 42, born Indiana, father born Germany, mother born Cincinatti, mother tongue--German, iron worker--structures

wife Clara, age 36, born IL, father born Germany, mother born IL

daughter Charlotte, age 14, born IL

daughter Gertrude, age 12, born MO

daughter Cecilia, age 11, born IL

daughter Magdaline, age 6, born IL

daughter Dorothy, age 3 years 3 months (census taken January 1920), born IL

mother Barbara Roster, age 72, widow, born Cincinatti, of German parents

sister Anna Roster, age 46, single, born IN, no occupation


1930 census Cook County, Oak Park Township District 2285, 1133 S. Taylor (owns, value $4200, has radio)

(birthplace info same for everyone, including Gertrude still born MO)

Henry Roster, age 53, married at 27, iron worker--structures, veteran--no

wife Clara, age 47, married at 21

daughter Gertrude, age 22, stenographer--title and trust

daughter Cecilia, age 21, assembler--electical

daughter Madeline, age 16

daughter Dorothy, age 13

mother Barbara, age 82, widow, married at 19 (maybe--it's crossed through)

A letter 9-9-1932 has passing reference to Clara's family as her brother Ed and his wife Irene both close their sections of the letter by beggin off because the Roster clan just arrived. That's the full mention, but to read the rest of the letter, click here: 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs

9-16-1932 letter written by Irene Pfleger Wachdorf (Edward's wife, Clara's sister-in-law) to her daughter, said, "We were out to Aunt Clara's last night, took Larry and Dolores along, had quite a nice visit, wanted to know how you were and whether they too could come out on visiting Sunday." (Her son, Art adds in reference to his family's new Nash automobile, "I rode home from Oak Park in it and Dad promises to let me drive it when it has gone 500 miles.") (This is the full mention of Clara, but to read the entire letter, click here: 9-16-1932 Irene).

When exactly Clara and Henry died, I don't know, but she was listed in the 1966 obituary of her brother Edward as "the late Clara Roster."

Her niece's address book from 1970s included Cecilia & Madeline Roster: 1133 S. Taylor, Oak Park.

1982 obituary of Cecilia Roster in photo gallery above.