Latin abbreviations – Part 3: Word contractions


For simplicity’s sake we will categorize every abbreviation form as a contraction when one or more letters are omitted inside a word. I.e. it is not at the beginning or end of a word, which we have written about in our former posts (click the words to read them) and it is not a one-letter abbreviation which we will write about in future. There are two groups within this category: Abbreviation of nasal consonants and Word specific contractions. Let’s see the examples! One less nasal consonant It was usual to write only one n or m instead of two or [...]

Latin abbreviations – Part 3: Word contractions2019-04-02T15:41:39+00:00

The column date in Latin birth registers


Have you already searched for your ancestors in Latin church registers? You may have noticed that in birth registers, there are sometimes two dates in one row or column. There may be separate columns set up for them named “dies nativitatis” and “dies collati S. baptismi/baptismae/baptisationis/baptismus”. If however there is only one column “dies” (day), there may be two dates in the same column. These two dates are always those of the birth and the baptism. (Or there may be only one date, we will write about this in a next post). Why is it that these two dates are sometimes the same [...]

The column date in Latin birth registers2019-01-15T10:05:18+00:00

Why is it so hard to read old handwriting? Part 4.


Latin abbreviations found at the end of words. Read the first part of this series about abbreviations at the beginning of words here. The most common things abbreviated at the end of words are: -us, -m (two endings), -que (English meaning: and, put before the word to which it is glued) Hover over the images to see the transcription! The sign for the ending -us resembles a 9 at the end of the word. The abbreviation sign for -m can look like the last letter's hook or flourish was prolonged upwards like an ornament [...]

Why is it so hard to read old handwriting? Part 4.2019-02-20T11:22:10+00:00

Reading Latin


Reading Latin You are eager to research your family tree. Perhaps you have already found or plan to search for your Christian ancestors in church registers written in Latin. Maybe you have already found your ancestors in the searchable database of Familysearch, in the vital records collections on Ancestry or any local database by searching for their surname. If the entry is indexed, you may have the full name, location and date. But did you look at the record itself? Is it indexed correctly? Not always! (Did you know that indexing volunteers often don't speak the language of the records [...]

Reading Latin2019-02-15T11:03:11+00:00

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