Sunday, June 21, 2009

Church Record Sunday: Reading Church Records in Latin

Part of researching records is being able to actually read the records. I know that I am intimidated when forced to read records that are not in English. But please, don't let the prospect of another language stop you from acquiring documents on your family.

Have some Catholic records that are written in Latin? Well, don't go off and buy an expensive foreign language program, here are some other ideas for getting them translated.

1. Find a High School or College/University Latin instructor. Ask them to help you translate the records that you have.

2. Try A Word List. FamilySearch Wiki has a work list for Latin at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Latin_Genealogical_Word_List. Other Latin word lists can be found at http://www.bmi.net/jjaso/Latin_Terms_and_Phrases.html and http://www.genealogy.com/00000012.html.

3. Use an online Latin dictionary. One from Notre Dame can be found at http://archives.nd.edu/latgramm.htm and http://www.sunsite.ubc.ca/LatinDictionary/.

1 comment:

Circlemending.org said...

I love Latin records! Besides making me put my jr. high Latin back into use, it is really a logical language. So many English words have latin roots that reading words is not as hard as it may appear at first. Now, the fact that many priests apparently didn't pass their penmanship tests is another issue altogether! And as they got older, the handwriting would get worse.