Handy German Translations for Genealogy

Thought I’d start a document of German vocabulary words here I can refer to when working with genealogy documents.  A very good list can also be found at http://www.stemwedegenealogy.com/terminology.htm#9.

Another good list of old occupations is here:


Please to enjoy:

Ackermann           Plowman
Arbeitsmann         Laborer
Aufgebotene         Notices of intended marriage
Ausgeberin          Household manager (e.g. a woman who manages 
                    other domestic servants)
Ausgedinger         Retired farmer
Bauer               Farmer
Beerdigungen        Funerals
Beide               Both (e.g. 'both resident in...')
Böttcher            Cooper, barrel-maker
Bürger              Townsman
Daselbst            "In that place", i.e. "from the town mentioned"
Dienstknecht        Servant
Dienstmädchen       Domestic servant (maid)
Drechsler           Turner, wood-worker
Ehemaligen          Former
Eheschließung       Wedding
Eigentümer          Business owner / Proprietor
Einlinger           Worker living on the farm where they serve
Einwohner           Resident
Eltern              Parents
Evangelische        Lutheran/Evangelical
Feldwebel           Sergeant
Fleischer           Butcher
Friedhof            Graveyard
Früher              Previously, earlier, formerly
Gastwirt            Restaurant or inn-worker
Geboren             Birth/Born
Geburten            Births
Geburtsurkunde      Birth Certificate
Gefreite            Private (rank in the military)
Gestorben           Died
Getauft             Baptized
Gewerbe             Trade / Occupation
Grabstein           Gravestone
Großmutter          Grandmother
Großvater           Grandfather
Gutspächter         Tenant farmer         
Häusler             Cottager.  Someone who owned a small home.
Hebamme             Midwife
Heiraten            Marriage
Heiratsurkunde      Marriage Certificate
Instmann            Farm laborer on an estate or large farm.
Jahr                Year
Junggeselle         Bachelor
Jungfrau            Single woman (maiden)
Kind                Child
Kinder              Children
Kirche              Church
Kirchenbuch         Church records
Knecht              Assistant or lower-level worker.  
                    (e.g. schäferknecht for shepherd's assistant)
Koloniste           Settler/Farmer
Konfirmationen      Confirmation
Kossäte             Resident of a small hut in the countryside, who 
                    was a gardener, peasant or something similar.
Kossitge            See "Kossäte".
Kossäth             Worker on a farm or estate.
Krankheit           Cause of Death [lit. "disease"]
Küster              Sexton (looks after a church)
Leibgedinger        One who is guaranteed a house and income 
                    in return for turning over his estate to the 
                    heir of his estate, usually the most senior 
                    of his children.  Usually translated as
                    "pensioner" or "retired-farmer".
Leineweber          Linen weaver
Lohgerber           Tanner, leather worker
Maurer              Mason, stonemason
Meister             Master (usually of a profession)
Mittman             Tenant farmer who paid rent, or day laborer
Modistin            Milliner (hat-maker)
Monat               Month
Mühlenbescheider    Apprentice miller
Müller              Miller (someone who works at or runs a mill)
Nagelschmidt        Nail smith.  Someone who makes nails.
Pantoffelmacher     Slipper maker
Pathen              Godfather
Patin               Godmother
Schneider           Tailor
Schneiderlein       Tailor/Seamstress
Schäfer             Shepherd
Schäferknecht       Herdsman
Scharfrichter       Executioner
Schuhmacher         Shoemaker
Standesamt          Civil Registry
Tagelöhner          Day-laborer
Taufe               Baptism
Tischler            Carpenter/Cabinetmaker
Tochter             Daughter
Tod                 Death
Todtgebornen        Stillborn
Tote                Dead
Tuchmacher          Cloth-maker, clothier, tailor, cloth merchant
Uhr Abend           p.m.
Uhr Morgen          a.m.
Uhrmacher           Watchmaker/clockmaker
Vaters              Father
Verehelichte        Married name
Verstorben          Deceased
Vormalige           Former (deceased)
Weichhäusler        Inhabitant of a special small house at the edge 
                    of, or outside, a city that is involved in 
                    city defense.
Witwe               Widow
Witwer              Widower
Zeugen              Witnesses (e.g. to a marriage)
Zimmergessel        Journeyman Carpenter
Zimmerman           Carpenter
Zuletzt wohnhaft    Last resident (in)
Zwilling            Twin
Zwillinge           Twins

About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

One response to “Handy German Translations for Genealogy

  • Vickie Harper Rivet

    Love your work. My name is Vickie Harper. My grandmother was Rebecca
    Hammond Harper. She was the daughter of Alexander Hammond and Agnes Sharp. Would love to know more about the Hammond family. Any pictures of them please let me know. I am building a tree on the Hammond side.

    Vickie Harper Rivet

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