Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trippstadt, Germany Civil Death Records, Part One: 1806-1829

(Note: Originally I had planned only to do one post on the subject of Trippstadt's death records, but since I haven't had the time to write a long post, I've decided to split the topic into multiple posts so that I can actually get around to writing about the civil death records as I promised months ago.)

As you may or may not remember, over this past summer and the summer before I began researching my Kees and Cotta ancestors in the death records of Trippstadt, Germany. Of course, when I started, I ended up going through the 1860s death records first, and that was by accident because I ordered the wrong microfilm. (I seem to have a habit of doing that sometimes.) I did eventually work back to the earlier records since most of the Kees and Cotta relatives I was searching for were in the earlier records. Unlike how I started going through the death records, I will be starting from the earliest to later records in this post and future posts.

For this first post in the series, I will be focusing on the years between 1806 and 1829. From 1806 through 1816, the death records were recorded in French. Most of the death records consisted of a document with typed text that left space for the information on the deceased to be handwritten in, although there were a few death records at the ends of each death register book that were only in handwriting. Each year had a separate book, and at the end of the book, a handwritten index listing the names of the deceased was included with the record number of the death record. Additionally, the index also included the town the person had died because at that time, the death records for a few other villages or towns were recorded in Trippstadt's death records. Unfortunately, I did not copy any images of death records or indexes before the 1820s in Trippstadt since I did not have any ancestors living in Trippstadt before 1823. (At least that is what I know at the moment. Adolph Kees and Amelia Cotta's first child was born in Trippstadt in 1823 according to the Protestant church's baptismal records.)

In 1817, the language used to record deaths was switched from French to German. The preprinted forms were kept, and each year had its own book as it did when the records were kept in French. Handwritten indexes were also kept at the ends of the record books with the only difference being that the language was changed. Other towns and villages from the area near Trippstadt were still included in the record books, but unfortunately, I forgot to not when the death records stopped including death records from other towns and villages outside of Trippstadt.

After 1817 through the 1860s, the death records stayed the same, except for changes in the index and some of the wording in the pre-printed forms. The death record below is an example of the death records in the 1820s.
In 1828, Amelia gave birth to a set of twins, but unfortunately, one twin was stillborn and the other died within a few minutes after birth. Adolph and Amelia did not name the children, and as you can see from the above image, the area for the name is crossed out. Although there are two death records, one for each child, I have only posted one of them since the records were the same. Each death record took up half a page in the record book, so two records are listed on each page. In the upper left corner, the record number is listed, and the first portion of the typed text records when, where (down to the district and town of death), and who was reporting the death to the registrar. (In the 1820s, the providence Trippstadt was located was listed as Rheinkreise, but that would change by the 1830s.) Two people were required to inform the registrar of a death, and Adolph Kees and another man were the ones who gave the information on the death of the twins. Additionally, the age, occupation and relationship of the informants to the deceased was recorded in the death records. The name of the parents of the deceased, their occupations, the occupation of the deceased, and the house number of where the deceased died are recorded in the second half of the document. At the bottom, the informants and registrar had to sign their names attesting to accuracy of the information, and as you can see, the signatures for all three men are at the bottom. Strangely, the gender of the children, in lieu of names, were not recorded despite the amount of information the records required.

I did not copy the image of the index for these death records, and thus, I haven't included an image of the index for the 1820s. I did copy images of the indexes in the 1830s, 1840s, 1850s and 1860s, and I will include those in future posts. Stay tuned for a post on Trippstadt's death records in the 1830s! Enjoy!

Three Book Reviews Posted!

Within the past week or so, I just finished writing and posting the last three book reviews of books I read for the Summer Reading Challenge. These three reviews are shorter than the other reviews because I just wanted to get the reviews posted, so here are the links for these reviews:
I hope you enjoy reading this books as much as I did. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Genealogy Societies - My Thoughts

For this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I am supposed to write about my favorite genealogy society (or societies), or why I would or would not join a genealogy society.

I did write about my thoughts in regards to membership in genealogy societies over a year ago, but it is probably time for me to update my thoughts on the subject. At that time of that writing, I wasn't a member of a genealogy society, and I am still not a member over a year later. (Thus, I cannot list my favorite genealogy societies because I'm not a member of any society.) I'm not against or adverse to joining a society; it's just that I haven't joined a society yet for several different reasons.

My primary reason for not joining a genealogy society yet is that I am attending school. Over a year ago, when I first posted my thoughts, I was an undergraduate, and now I am a graduate student. My main focus, of course, is on my school work, so I really do not have much very spare time to go to genealogy meetings. If I were to become a member of a genealogy society, I would feel obligated to try to make as many meetings as I could, and at the moment, I would not be able to do so. Even though, I do have a job as a graduate assistant and could probably afford to join a genealogy society, I would not feel like I am getting my money's worth by not attending very many meetings (if I could even attend a meeting). Of course, I probably do not have to attend meetings to be a member; I just feel as though I should be active in any group or society that I join.

Secondly, I still do not have my own car, and thus, my ability to travel to a society's meeting is limited. If I were to attend a meeting, I would probably have to have a family member take me to the meeting because I don't have a car. Additionally, I am living out of the state of Michigan now, and once I am at school, I am pretty much stuck in the city. (The city does have mass transportation, but it is only for the city and is limited compared to the mass transportation of the area of my undergraduate university. There are also shuttles for the campus.) Again, though, unless the society met on campus of the university, it would be inconvenience for me to make a meeting away from campus.

So, as you can see, I would like to join a genealogy society, but as you can see, I either don't have the time or would have difficulty attending meetings. So, what do you think? As always, you can leave a comment. Thanks!