The Name Game: Week 1

Welcome to the first edition of the Name Game at What’s Past is Prologue.  Names are integral to genealogy, and very quickly researchers discover that it really doesn’t matter whether the records are in English, Latin, Russian, Italian, or any other language – bad handwriting is bad handwriting! So, to help you sharpen your handwriting deciphering skills, each week I’ll pick a particularly ugly example for you to interpret.  Post your guesses in the comments – first one who gets it right wins! Wins what, you ask?  Uh, well, the bragging rights and the esteem of the genealogy blogging community, that’s what! I will post the game on Wednesday and edit the post the following weekend with the correct translation and source information for the record from which the name was excerpted.  Try your luck and impress us with your scribble-reading skills!

Week 1 Hint:  Maximilian II reigned in the time and place this record was written.

And the name is…?

Update 10/10/10 – Kreszenz Bergmeister

Kreszenz is a German female name – the Latin form is Crescentia.  This particular Kreszenz was born Kreszenz Zinsmeister on 01 April 1776.  She married a miller, Josef Bergmeister, on 30  November 1800.  The couple had 12 children – at least two lived to adulthood.  The name above comes from Kreszenz Bergmeister’s own death record, shown in full below (click on the image to see a larger view).  She died on 8 June 1852 in the town of Puch (Pfaffenhofen, Oberbayern, Bayern)  She died at the rather old age (for the time) of 75. Unfortunately, my own handwriting-deciphering skills don’t allow me to read or translate her cause of death, which is shown in the fifth column of the record.

The full record for the death of Kreszenz Bergmeister, who is shown on the third line. Source: Katholische Kirche Puch (BA. Pfaffenhofen). Kirchenbuch, 1612-1900. FHL Microfilm 1981574, Tote 1803-1888.

Page 2 of the record showing the date of death and burial, and the age of death.

Stay tuned next week for another edition of The Name Game and thanks to those who “played”!



6 thoughts on “The Name Game: Week 1

  1. I don’t like the first letter as a W looks more like an R to be, but agree with the *g**g Bergermeister.

  2. And the winner is… My cousin Suzanne came the closest with a half-correct guess. She may not be a genealogist, but she *is* a Bergmeister so she correctly guessed the last name. The first name was a bit tricky – see the updated post above for details. Thanks for playing along – I’ll find another tricky example this coming week.

  3. Hello Donna,

    I didnot take part in your game, because I didnot want to present the solution and finish the game.

    The cause of death is “Altersschwäche, Wassersucht, Dauer 12 Wochen, ohne Arzt”

    Kind regards

    Cousin Armin

  4. Thanks, cousin Armin! So the cause of death was “old age”. I will have to make sure I don’t tell my parents’ that since they are that age right now. But 160 years ago, 75 was like today’s 95!

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