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Deciphering handwriting in German documents: Analyzing German, Latin, and French in vital records written in Germany Paperback – 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: GRT Publications (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967842077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967842073
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,361,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German, French, Latin

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Electronics for Dogs on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
For anyone who needs or wants to read German documents written before 1943, this book is an excellent resource. Unfortunately, the typical price of the hardcover edition (new or used) is about four times what the soft cover edition costs postpaid from the American Association of Teachers of German and other online sources, so compare prices before buying.

As the subtitle implies, this book is aimed at those who wish to read German vital records for genealogical research, but it is also useful for reading historical documents, manuscripts, or family letters written in German.

The German handwriting taught and used before the mid-20th century was radically different from any script used to write English or most Romance languages. Further, there were at least as many individual variations, slips, and blots as occur in American handwriting.

The book introduces the "standard" forms of the letters as written in various times, then uses many examples from parish records and other original documents to illustrate the difficulties they present. Common abbreviations, variants, and special forms are described, as well as hints on letter combinations not usually found in German.

There are also many useful hints on older German spelling, and the use of Latin and French in German records. Useful appendices list common Latin, French and German genealogical terms. These terms are also provided in "reverse alphabetical" lists, since it is sometimes easier to decipher the end of a word than the beginning!

The only criticism I have of the book is the legibility of a few of the illustrations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By happyman on May 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a much needed, valuable research aid for those who are searching for ancestors in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Austria, Northern Italy, and a few other places that use variations of Kanzlei, Suetterlin, Gothic handwriting styles.
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