Sunday, March 31, 2013

Time Travel at the Microfilm Machine - Part 2

Back in January I did a post showing some wonderful doodles I found in church records while at the microfilm machine.

It was such a treat to see those little drawings while scanning through pages and pages of Latin church records.  I thought a lot about the man who made those drawings.

Well - the other night I came across my friend again!  Back in January I was looking at church records for baptisms.  This time, for the same town, I was looking at church records for marriages - and when the year turned to 1777, there he was again!  My artist friend!

Handwriting matches and everything.  :-)  For the marriage book it looks to me like he drew a field of some kind of grain?  Also there is a young oak tree in a pot with acorns, and finally what looks to me like a pear tree with one pear hanging.  I'm not sure what he drew under the numbers of the year.

And yes, I know a lot more church Latin now than I did a few months ago.

Also, I thought I had come across populations that liked to use the same names over and over - for instance I have New England ancestors where it's Thomas, son of Thomas, son of Thomas, son of Thomas - I'm not kidding!  And the women are all named Elizabeth or Rebecca.

But these Germans who were living in Romania - holy cow did they use the same names over and over.  When I was looking at the baptism records - it seemed like the witnesses/godparents, whatever they were (I'm not yet an expert on 18th century Catholicism for Germans in Romania - but don't worry I'll get to that) - the child ALWAYS had the name of one of the witnesses, depending on gender.

So what if you were a creative sort and wanted to give your child a name other than Joannes, Henricus, Petrus, Magdalena, Maria or Anna?  Seems like you were out of luck.

Even the unusual names, like Casparius - sure enough, the male witness/godparent had that same given name.

I find it so interesting to look at the original records!  It opens up a million additional questions, but it's totally worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Leah, the second page with drawings is really interesting. If it's for a marriage, it almost looks like the priest is wishing a blessing on the couple: wheat for prosperity and plenty; acorn for a strong marriage; and a pear for children. I don't know that wheat, acorn, and a pear represent those things -- just my interpretation -- but gosh, those drawings are priceless! Thanks for sharing them with us.