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RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND
Depending on whether your subjects were Catholic or Evangelic, you may be reading church records that are written in either Latin or German. The handwriting will be the first obstacle, though. Some scripts are so indecipherable that you may not even know which language you are reading! However, it is indeed sleuth work that pays off after gaining familiarity with the particular writer's work. The most helpful knowledge is that the entries for a particular section are often formulaic.

For reading Latin, there are a few sites that may help, although they are primarily dictionaries. The grammar of Latin provides lots of keys to understanding : the endings of nouns indicate their relationships to other words in the sentence, and the endings of verbs, as in German, indicate the noun or pronoun that is the subject of the sentence or phrase.

Thomas Kohn

   

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Updated 04/25/03 by SAB