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Germanic Genealogy

Vocabulary for Finding Your Germanic Roots

Part 2: Addresses, Birth, Baptism

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Contents > Germanic Names > Vocabulary > Old Occupations

In Part One of our German genealogical glossary we've listed first and last names that one might encounter in a Germanic family-history search. In this section we concentrate on general vocabulary related to Germanic genealogy and related resources.

You may also want to see: (1) German Names, our feature on names: first, last, and geographic, and (2) Die Familie - The Family, our English-German glossary with vocabulary concerning the family and relatives.

Note that a few terms have more than one translation. The German words are in alphabetical order in each category.

Addresses - Letters:

Allee avenue, boulevard
an to
Brief postal letter
Briefmarke postage stamp
Chaussee road, avenue, boulevard, highway
Einschreiben registered mail
Frau Mrs./Ms.
Fräulein (abbr. Frl.) Miss
Gasse lane, way
Herr Mr.
mit Luftpost/mit Flugpost via air mail
Platz square
PLZ (Postleitzahl) postal code
Straße (abbr. Str.) road, street
von from, of
Weg lane, way

Note: In German addresses, the house number comes after the street and the postal code is placed in front of the town. Example:

Fr. Johanna Schmidt
Goethe-Str. 34
76133 Karlsruhe

Sometimes a country-code letter is placed in front of the postal code: D-86134 Augsburg (Germany), A-8101 Graz (Austria), or CH- for addresses in Switzerland. Until German reunification in 1991, German postal codes were only four digits long, with East and West Germany having separate code systems.

Geburt birth
Geburtsort birth place
Geburtsurkunde birth certificate
Standesamt office of vital statistics, civil registry

NOTE: Older German documents are usually written in the old Sütterlin script that is difficult even for contemporary Germans to decipher and you may need help, even if you can read German. (See the article German Roots: A Personal Search for sample documents in Sütterlin.)

Church / Baptism:
A.B. (Augsburger Bekenntnis) Augsburg Confession, of the Protestant/Lutheran faith
EKD (Evangelische Kirche Deutschlands) the Protestant (Lutheran) Church of Germany
evangelisch Protestant, Lutheran
getauft baptized, christened
katholisch Catholic
Kirche church
Kirchenbuch/Kirchenregister church register
Pfarrbuch pastoral register
Taufbuch/Taufschein baptismal certificate
Taufe baptism, christening
taufen to baptize, christen

NEXT > Dates, Death, Marriage

MORE > Germanic Names

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  Contents > Germanic Names > Vocabulary > Old Occupations

Related Pages

Genealogical Vocabulary - Part One
German names, first and last.

Historic Place Names in German
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Germanic Genealogy: Contents
All of the genealogy pages for German.

German Roots: A Personal Search
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Germanic Surname Lexikon
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English-German Glossaries
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