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Many of these records are preserved on microfilm, particularly in the LDS archives at Salt Lake City. Where?” Apparently the priest saw no need to record any of the wheres, but he did record Johann’s birthdate for us, 27 July 1827. Author’s Note: If you would like the entire translation reference guide for your marriage certificate, it can be found here. 1. I had no idea what the initials here are supposed to indicate; they seemed to be “L.R.” in most cases. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Marriage and possible banns (formal announcements), if they were read prior to the marriage. This is often the beginning sentence of the marriage certificate, underneath the city and date it was issued. If you find a corrections or an addition to the descriptions you wish to add, please note the file name associated, revision level and the book name with the comment and e-mail to So after all this, my best (first) attempt at translation can be summarized as follows: I never did come to any resolution with bits of it, but I can always ask a German friend, or post the record in the Genealogy Translations Facebook group to get help with those little bits, and to have them correct my translation. 7. Possession is indicated as follows: 1) die Tochter des Johann Bachs means “the daughter of Johann Bach”, or 2) Johanna, Heinrich Messerschmidts means “Johanna, daughter of Heinrich Messerschmidt”. I’m sure that Shea and Hoffman’s book will be invaluable to you. After much back-and-forth between the alphabet chart showing the letter formations in Kurrent, and comparison of all the other entries, I concluded that Johann Maier must be a Häusler, which Hoffman and Shea define as, “cottager, peasant with a small house and garden and a livestock (e.g., a goat), but not enough to support a family.”. Witnesses:  Georg Maier, ?? 4. You may need to translate your search terms first using Google Translate, which is an approach that is always fraught with peril when working with inflected languages, so keep your searches simple. Notoriously difficult to read, the Fraktur form of blackletter has been giving German genealogy researchers fits for centuries. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The global genealogical community is a very generous one, and there are people who are willing to help you along the way. If someone can help please ... Help reading/translating to English this 1670 German marriage record. Are there other forms that they had to fill out before getting married that I could possible get that would have their parents names listed? Reading Old German Church Records Early German church records (Kirchenbuch) contain a wealth of family information for those who have ancestors from that country. In my experience, usually the parents’ names are listed, but it depended on the parish. wo?, which we understand to mean, “Born when? Each letter has an upper case version first followed by a lower case. Volunteers in that group, or in one of the groups targeted to your ethnic group of interest (German Genealogy, Polish Genealogy, etc. The one exception to this is the 8th marriage record down from the top (immediately above the record for Johann Maier and Anna Maria Urban), for Wolfgang Niklas and Elisabeth Niklas. Remember that I’m starting from the same place as many of you. Hi Gregory, — possibly abbreviated because by now, the priest’s hand was no doubt cramped from the effort of writing such tiny letters with any degree of precision. So what are some general tips to keep in mind when learning to translate documents in a foreign language? I have several hand written birth certificates from Bromberg, present day Bydgosz, Poland, that I would like translated from German to English. Since I didn’t do that, I struggled for a bit with the fact that the Fraktur 𝕭 (B) is almost identical to the Fraktur 𝖁 (V), especially when viewed at a small size. German Death (Toten/Gestorben) Record - The key words you're looking for are: tag alt - for babies, "days old". If you don’t speak German, however, these records may seem a bit overwhelming. When researching your genealogy, marriage certificates can be a gold mine of clues to your ancestors’ lives. The first column on the right page is Landgericht Aufenthalts-Ort, although this time the word bisheriger, meaning “previous” or “up until now” is inserted after Landgericht. The alphabet is the same an american english except for the 'beta' letter after 's' which stands for a double 's' typically. I think this one ought to be obvious, but it’s really critical to familiarize oneself with ... Use the familiar to decode the unfamiliar. This line is normally followed by the occupation of the father, the father’s name, his wife and his wife’s name. The more you work with foreign-language records, the more things will start to make sense to you. 3. “der Persönlichkeit nach bekannt/der Persönlichkeit nach _______ anerkannt”: “His (or her) identity known”/”His (or her) identity verified by_________”. Thanks for this great post. ?h, Math. I am not looking for translations but someone who can read/transcribe the old handwriting. (geboren, i.e. née) Meinzinger. The Final Clue: Tracing the Wagners Back to Germany. We use cookies to customize content and give you the best experience possible. – From Shepherds and Shoemakers, Follow From Shepherds and Shoemakers on, Parents’ Names:  Christoph and Walburga née Meinzinger, Occupation:  Häuslerstochter (daughter of a Häusler), Parents’ Names:  Johann and A. Maria née Ederer, Date and Place of Birth:  11 October 1832 in Kalsing, Parish Representative:  Pa? German birth certificates, Vital Records, German marriage certificates from Standesamt: Official documents from Germany. In my last post, I wrote about my excitement over my brand-new copy of Hoffman and Shea’s recently published German genealogical translation guide, In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russian Documents: Volume IV: German. Thank you! With the mother, also the Family Name.” So what we should see in this column are the names of the groom’s parents, with his mother’s maiden name specified. Given their shared surname, they were probably relatives by blood or marriage, whose marriage would necessitate a dispensation. However, it’s clear from the examples in the book that the first word in the third column is Stand. Note that will provide different (and more appropriate) results than English-language Google, and for Polish records, is the preferred search engine. While most of the documents he obtained were in Latin, there were a few that were in German, and I’ve been saving the German-language ones for this moment. My new best guess was that the surname might be Kappis, but the fact that this surname does not exist in Cham County today doesn’t bode well for that hypothesis. Some marriage records will list the bride and groom's birth year and possibly full birth date. But I think this valuable guidance for people trying to do it themselves (God bless them!). Did it help that I already knew what these names should be? There are even some styles of handwriting that were not taught in schools, but by notaries or others to their helpers. Printing the notice gave the newspaper readers plenty of time to put in a claim if they were owed money by the person leaving. German (in Additions) English Eheschliessende married person (1 or 2) (Namens)Führung the use (of a name) gestattet worden been permitted geschieden divorced anerkennen acknowledge erzeugt begotten Civil Marriage Records: Layout Tips If there are two numbered people on a civil registration record, it is a marriage record—the first The middle two letters that seem to be repeated contain a downward stroke that suggests either the letter p, g, or z; it doesn’t look like y, f, or h. I tried playing with versions of this surname on a German-language surname distribution site, and even on Google. For details and registration, please visit, Framingham Public Library, 49 Lexington St, Framingham, MA 01702, USA, Co-sponsored by the Polish Genealogical Society of Massachusetts and the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. And if I can do that, you can, too! The records are ususally written in the old German script, which many researchers find difficult to read. A short handy reference guide with an alphabet, reading tips, and record samples is found here. FamilySearch has an online German Genealogical Word List … this has helped no end. Old German gothic handwriting and print are very different from the Roman script most English- speaking genealogists use. Again, I was without a safety net. ?il or Pa? Secular Marriage License:  LR (whatever that means), Marriage dispensation with or without denunciation:  Not applicable. The first witness was easy, Georg Maier, but the next line was not so easy: F???? The database has a few records from as early as 1823, but most of records are from 1832 to 1873. Your email address will not be published. Reading These Records You will find that some German church records are in German, while some Catholic records will be in Latin. The letter forms used are an old German cursive script called Kurrent which is sufficiently different from our cursive script that it’s not just a matter of reading bad handwriting. Required fields are marked *. I know the document I have is my great grandparents marriage certificate but I cannot read what the last name of my great grandmother is. Below are a few clues that may help you out when facing a document wi… The next column heading was also discussed previously, as it’s the one that reads, Ledig oder Wittwer, dessen gestorbenes (geschieden) Weib. The final column, Getraut mit oder ohne Dispens in den Graden, mit oder ohne Denunziationen, seemed to translate as, “Married with or without dispensation in degrees, with or without denunciation,” and some Roman Catholic canonical context is needed to understand this. So in the case of most of the marriages recorded on these pages, there were no impediments to the marriage that were reported, and therefore there was no need for any dispensations. Later records often include a column for the pastor’s name. Prussian State Archive samples- in German only. Can you send me an e-mail to and we can go from there? Easy enough so far. For more information about membership, please see Now, as it turns out, Hoffman and Shea spell it out on page 232 that, “What we see under Stand will usually be occupation.” However, since I was skipping around in the book, I managed to miss that part initially, so I had to prove this for myself. Moreover, there’s a period after Stand. Since the writing in the 3rd column is completely dissimilar, we know that Stand can’t mean Standesamt in this context.Â. That being said, I’ve translated a good number from Berlin, and I usually do see the parents there. When you think you’ve deciphered a surname found in a record, test your theory by plugging it into a German language surname distribution database. If the surname exists in Germany today, you may be on the right track, and you score bonus points if the surname is also found in your county of interest. Thank you, Mente. Many of my ancestral lines root in Germany and I have copies of numerous signatures, birth and marriage records, etc. Especially with different letter forms like Cyrillic and Kurrent, it seems like a certain amount of time has to be spent in the beginning in staring at alphabet charts, committing the letter forms to memory and learning the sounds that each letter makes.  Be patient with yourself. Your email address will not be published. Good old Wikipedia has a solid overview Kurrentschrift: Kurrent is an old form of German-language handwriting based on late medieval cursive writing, also known as Kurrentschrift , Alte Deutsche Schrift (“old German script”) and German cursive . The next columns pertain to the bride, starting with the column that reads, Der Braut Vor – und Geschlechts-Name, which is, “The Bride, given and family-name.” In the relevant entry, the bride’s name is recorded as Anna M. Urban, but her Stand doesn’t make sense to me. The first part of the word looks exactly like Häusler as it’s written in the groom’s column, but it looks like it ends in “𝖘𝖙,” i.e., “Häuslerst.” This isn’t possible. Häuslerin would be a female Häusler, but those final two letters clearly aren’t “𝖎𝖓.” I left this alone for a while and moved on, but after further consideration, I’m wondering if perhaps those final letters really are “𝖘𝖙,” and this was intended to be an abbreviation for Häuslerstochter, “daughter of a Häusler.”. 6. “geboren den_____ des Jahres_____”: “Born on the (day, month) of the year____”. The next column heading is Landgericht, Aufenthalts-Ort, meaning, “District Court, place of residence.” This is where the word Obertrübenbach was recorded, which helped me determine the context for Stand in the previous column heading. The second column is Bräutigame Tauf- und Zuname, Bridegroom, given- and surname. The Arbeitshelfe also contains some good historical maps. But when you’re just starting out, using every scrap of information available to you is fair game. Webinar hosted by the Worcester Chapter of the Massachusetts Society of Genealogists. Similarly, if you think you’ve deciphered the priest’s name, try Googling the history of the parish to see if this particular priest was mentioned. The names of the newly-married couple, as well of the names of the witnesses, are signed underneath this phrase. In the third column, you’ll notice that the Fraktur 𝕾 looks rather different from our S, and the final 𝖉 in the first word looks almost like a 𝖇, and I found myself referring frequently to Hoffman and Shea’s handy German alphabet chart on page 1, where they show Fraktur, Cursive, and Roman letters all side by side for comparison. Figure 1b: Right page of marriage record for Johann Maier and Anna M. Urban, 27 October 1857.1 The entry pertaining to them is the second one from the bottom. If you’re interested in having it translated, feel free to send me an e-mail at These documents pertain to my Meier family from the village of Obertrübenbach, presently located in Cham County, Oberpfalz, Bayern (Bavaria),. A good exercise for me will be to go through the list of places of residence mentioned in this document and see if I can translate them based on the names of villages close to Roding. Sure enough, in the entry for the marriage of Johann Maier and Anna Maria Urban (second from the bottom), “Obertrübenbach” appears in the 4th column on the left page. I need help transcribing this marriage record. This made it difficult to look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. Would you be able to help and if so, what is your price? Let’s start with looking at the column headings on the left page: The first thing I did was to check Hoffman and Shea’s section entitled, “Marriage Entries and Certificates: Columnar-Form Original Entries in Registers” to see if this exact form was reproduced. meant Standesamt, I checked the Meyers gazetteer for Obertrübenbach, which reported that the Standesamt was in Obertrübenbach itself.  I knew I should be able to locate this word in this document, since I knew that Wenzel Meier’s family came from Obertrübenbach. Next comes Eltern. Otherwise, perhaps searching for birth certificates would be best! It does not include, however, records from historic Baden. I love the way you take the reader through your thinking as you work the process. Hoffman and Shea’s German Genealogical Translation Guide is Here At Last! For more information, please visit, In Their Words: A Genealogist’s Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russian Documents: Volume IV: German, German-language surname distribution site. Of course, did you expect me not to love a blog saying nice things about the book? It has saved me the tiring process of translating the printed text on the form. At this point, I had no more lifelines, in that I didn’t know in advance what the name should be here. and then Religion is easy to read. This makes sense; in a register from a Catholic parish, presumably all or most of the brides and grooms would be Catholic, so perhaps religion was recorded only in cases where one party was of a different faith.  I spent a few minutes wondering whether any of the entries in this column could possibly be ledig (single, unmarried), but then I skipped ahead to the column heading a few columns over, and realized that it reads, Ledig oder Wittwer, dessen gestorbenes (geschieden) Weib, or “single, or widower whose wife is deceased (or separated).” Although the glossary defines geschieden as “separated,” in this context I think we can understand it to mean “divorced.” This column heading is interesting in light of the fact that this is a Catholic parish register and the Catholic church does not permit remarriage after divorce.

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