Latin Words to Recognise
in old parish registers
|First, do not be in awe of old registers written in Latin. There are
only a few words to learn to recognise! Something that looks like "baptize"
is baptize, something that looks like "matrimony" is a marriage, and something
that looks like "mortus" is a burial. "Gemini" .... sure... is twins. There
are a few more, but you get the idea?
Baptisms filius son of (I remember this as: ends in "us" = male) filia daughter of (I remember this as: ends in "a" = female) (the same often applies to male and female names) et and baptizavi I have baptised natus born (male) nata born (female) gemelli, gemini twins trigemini triplets Marriages nupsit married matrimonium matrimony licentiam by licence bannum by banns Burials Any word that looks like mortuary or obituary! mortus died sepultavi I have buried dormit sleeping corpus the body General parochia parish in comitatu in the county of (I remember this as "community") in agro in the county of (literally in the field of) ibidem of the same place extraneus a stranger
So you see that when transcribing registers into a baptism database, we are just looking for key words such as "filia" (daughter) or "filius" (son), "baptizavi" plus the names. Don't worry about the latin grammar of names with "es" and "is" endings. You will recognise the names anyway. For example: "Baptizi Johannes filius Johannis et Joanna Smith". "I have baptized John son of John and Joan Smith".
Marriages have two surnames, and the word "matrimonium" or "nupsit" (married).
Burials have "sepultavi" or "mortus".
And bear in mind that a great number of clergymen didn't really understand Latin that well either, so they made mistakes. And when in doubt, wrote it in English and made it look like Latin !
If you want to refer to a really excellent booklet on Latin, look no further
Eve McLaughlin, Varneys, Rudds Lane, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP17 8JP
Copyright ©2000 Rod Neep