Friday, January 22, 2010

Today's Lesson - 22 Jan 2010: Understanding Latin Part 2

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog dedicated to understanding dates in Latin. This blog will be a helpful list of the most common and helpful Latin words used in baptisms, marriages and deaths in church parish records. The list is sorted alphabetically by the Latin words.

anno in the year
anno domini in the year of our lord
annus year
banni marriage bann
baptismi christening
cognomen surname, family name
consors wife
conjux husband, wife
copulatio marriage
defunctus death
die on the day
dies day
ex from
filius son
filia daughter
filiae daughters
genitores parents
gentius birth
infans child
mariti marriage
marita wife
maritus husband
mater mother
matrimonium marriage
mensis month
mortis death
mortuus death
nati/natus birth
nobilis noble
nomen name
oppido town
oppidum town
parentes parents
pater father
patrini godparents
patrinus godfather
proclamationes marriage bann
sepulti burial
sepultus burial
sponsus husband
susceptores godparents
uxor wife
vidua widow

That's the beginning of what you should need to get a basic understand of what the record states. You can find an amazing more extensive list on FamilySearch's website under Research Helps.

Record Search Findings: 1819 Death for Joseph Wenzel

I stumbled upon the 1819 death record for my 6th-great-grandfather today. His name was Joseph Wenzel, and he was born in the town of Graber, Bohemia (now Kravaře, Litoměřice, Czech Republic) to Christoph and Elisabeth Wenzel. He died on 07 Mar 1812 and was buried 09 Mar 1812. His occupation listed was "fleischhauermeister", which translates out to be "master butcher". I thought that was pretty interesting! On previous records, he was only listed as a "gärtner", or "gardener".

Joseph Wenzel was married to Anna Dorothea Munzig-Seeman on 06 Nov 1754, in Graber. They had six children: Johann Christoph (03 Dec 1756), Anna Maria (02 Jan 1759), Joseph (31 Jul 1762), Anna Maria (04 Sep 1763), Franz Joseph (29 Sep 1765) and Rosalia (26 Mar 1768). I only know of two of their children that married. First of which was their son Joseph, who married a Rosalia Görner from the neighboring town of Bleiswedel. Then their daughter Rosalia, my 5th-great-grandmother, who married Joseph Kasper from Graber.

Follow Friday - 22 Jan 2010

I've been following an interesting blog for about a month or two now. It's called Royal Musings, and it's devoted to news and/or commentary about the reigning houses of Europe, as well as the former monarchies. The most interesting items she posts are the old family portraits of the royals, and old newspaper clippings with gossip and news on the then royals in the public eye. If you're as fascinated with royalty and nobility as I am, give it a read. It's definitely a plus knowing I'm related to these royals too!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today's Lesson - 17 Jan 2010: Understanding Latin Part 1

I've recently been helping a friend index some Italian church records. If you've ever seen Roman Catholic church records, then you've encountered Latin before. Some find it daunting and challenging, but it's the complete opposite. I find it rather easy. Well, it is easier when you compare it to the Hungarian language. With some patience and a knowledge of basic genealogical words, you can understand those Latin records in a cinch!

Today I'm going to help you understand dates. Before we begin, you should know that endings can vary for words. They can vary from -a, -o or -us. The numbers will remain the same no matter which ending is used. Let's start off with the most basic information: numbers.

1 - unus
2 - duo
3 - tres
4 - quattuor
5 - quinque
6 - sex
7 - septem
8 - octo
9 - novem
10 - decem
11 - undecim
12 - duodecim, or decimo secundo
13 - decimo tertio
14 - decimo quarto
15 - decimo quinto
16 - decimo sexto
17 - decimo septo
18 - decimo octavo
19 - decimo nono
20 - viginit, or vicesimo
21 - vicesimo primo
22 - vicesimo secundo
23 - vicesimo tertio
24 - vicesimo quarto
25 - vicesimo quinto
26 - vicesimo sexto
27 - vicesimo septo
28 - vicesimo octavo
29 - vicesimo nono
30 - triginta, or tricesimo
31 - tricesimo primo
40 - quadragesimo
50 - quinquagesimo
60 - sexagesimo
70 - septuagesimo
80 - octogesimo
90 - nonagesimo
100 - cento, or centimo
1000 - millo, or millesimo

Hopefully you you caught onto the pattern of the numbers repeating. If you look closely at 40-90, you'll notice the endings begin -agesimo. Numbers in the 100's have endings with -gentesimo. Example: quadragentesimo (400), quingentesimo (500).

Now onto months. The latter months can be quite confusing for some. January to August are written as is, except for various ending variations: Januario, Januari, Juni, Junio, Juno. September to December are a different case. As they CAN be written as they appear, they'll more than often appear in number and letter form. Here is the explanation:

September - 7bris (note: 7 in Latin begins with sept)
October - 8bris (note: 8 in Latin begins with oct)
November - 9bris (note: 9 in Latin begins with nov)
December - 10bris, or Xbris (note: 10 in Latin begins with dec; also sometimes shown as Roman Numeral X for 10.)

Now if you've ever seen a year written out in Latin, you know it can be long, confusing and intimidating. But, it's actually pretty easy. Take what you have learned about numbers above, and you'll master it quickly! Use the above numbers as a guide, to help you out. Here are a few examples that we'll now analyze knowing what we already learned:

1: (millesimo centesimo sexagesimo septo)
mill. =1000
cent. = 100
sex. = 6
sept. = 7
The date is 1167.

2: (millesimo quingentesimo quarto)
mill. = 1000
quingen. = 500
quart. = 4
The date is 1504.

3: (millesimo sexcentesimo quadragesimo secundo)
mill. = 1000
sexcent. = 600
quadrag. = 40
secund. = 2
The date is 1642.

4: (millesimo octingentesimo quinquagesimo primo)
mill. = 1000
octigen. = 800
quinqua. = 50
prim. = 1
The date is 1851.

5: (millesimo nongentesimo septuagesimo octavo)
mill. = 1000
nongent. = 900
septua. = 70
oct. = 8
The date is 1978.

I hope this has helped someone out there. If you have questions or need help with any Latin documents, feel free to comment or email me at