Rhineland (Rheinland) Language and Handwriting
|Rhineland (Rheinprovinz) |
|Major Rhineland (Rheinprovinz) Record Types|
|Reading the Records|
|Additional Rhineland (Rheinprovinz) Record Types|
|Rhineland (Rheinprovinz) Background|
|Local Research Resources|
|Germany Record Types|
Because of the French influence during the Napoleonic years, many records will be written in French. As a result of this it is also the time when the French Republican Calendar was in use in Rheinland.
Early Civil Registration beginning in 1792 often had preprinted French formats requiring specific information.
There are several interesting and helpful articles on the linguistic situation in the Rheinland.
Click here for languages in the Lower Rhein, here for Spelling Variants in the Northern Rheinland
here for dialect basis of spelling variation in German names|, and here for Low German.
Reading the Records[edit | edit source]
- It's easier than you think! You do not have to be fluent in German to use these records, as there is only a limited vocabulary used in them. By learning a few key phrases, you will be able to read them adequately. Here are some resources for learning to read German records.
- These video webinars will teach you to read German handwriting:
- Also online interactive slideshow lessons are available to help you learn to read these records:
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 1: Kurrent Letters
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 2: Making Words in Kurrent
- Reading German Handwritten Records Lesson 3: Reading Kurrent Documents. In this lesson, you will explore several types of German genealogical records, including birth, baptismal, marriage, and death records.
- German Script Tutorial
This converter will show you how any phrase or name might look in German script:
- List of Names in Old German Script A comprehensive list of German given names, written in old script, with possible variations.
- Old German Script Transcriber (alte deutsche Handschriften): See your family names in the script of the era. Type your name or other word into the font generator tool. Click on the 8 different fonts. Save the image to your computer and use it as you work with old Germanic records.
Downloadable Handouts[edit | edit source]
- Print these handouts for ready reference when reading German Handwriting:
Latin Records[edit | edit source]
Records of the Catholic church will usually be written in Latin:
Feast Dates[edit | edit source]
- Calendar Changes in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Low Countries--class
- Each day of the year had several patron saints and was a feast day to honor those saints. Some vital events are recorded in church records only by the holy day (feast day) on the church calendar. For example, the feast day called “All Saints Day” (Allerheiligentag) is “1 November.” An online feast date calculator may be found at the Albion College website. Simply enter the year and click "Calculate."
Reading French Records[edit | edit source]
- There is a three-lesson course in reading French Records: