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