Monday, October 31, 2016

Getting Help Translating an 1843 German Marriage Record

Although I didn't get a word by word translation, volunteers at the Facebook group "Genealogy Translations" helped me to translate the marriage record of Joachim Carl Otto Peters and Henriette Maria Magdalena Bünger, my third great grandparents who would later immigrate to America., Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1519-1969 (Lehi: Operations, Inc., 2016), online database,marriage record of Joachim Carl Otto Peters and Henriette Maria Magdalena Bünger, 21, July 1843, Dobbertin, Mecklenburg, page 12, item 49.

The page this entry was found on was for 1843. The first column shows the date which both the translator and Ancestry said read June 21st.

The second column the translator suspected was the "3 dates the banns were read in church." However, I don't see this yet, and I'm hoping to get more help on it.

The third column is about the groom, Jochim [sic] Peters. His profession is written after his name, and we had a horrible time transcribing this word. Thankfully, one of the volunteers transcribed it as "Müllergeselle" which means an "apprentice of the miller" according to European Roots Genealogy's "List of Old German Professions." This makes sense as Joachim was a master miller when he immigrated 16 years later in 1859. The record says he was a master's apprentice "to" [German word "zu"] the village of Bergfeld.

The fourth column just says the bride, Henriette, is from Klaber, not Thlaber as I had first read it.

The fifth column is about Joachim's father, Jakob, and says he is a "holländer." At first both the translator and I thought perhaps this meant he was Dutch. But, the same "List of Old German Professions" that I mentioned earlier defines holländer as a "cheese dairy owner." Interesting! Also, it shows his dairy is in Bergfeld.

The sixth column is about Henriette's father, Johann David Bünger. It says he is a Koch, or cook, in Klaber. I'd love to know more!

The seventh column indicates "whether bride or groom were unmarried, divorced or widowed before the present." This column has a line through it which I assume means they were both "none of the above."

And, the eighth and final column tells the "name of the priest performing the marriage." In this case, the priest was named Ludwig.

As I mentioned on my last post, this record helped my family reach beyond Joachim and Henriette to their fathers which had eluded us for decades! Now, records are just falling into place as has the Lutheran church records online.

I want to give a special thanks to the "Genealogy Translations" Facebook group and, in particular, to Carolina Meyer, Lisa Sheer, Anne Callanan, and Regula Wegmüller-Schreyer. Thank you!

Do we have ancestors in common? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at


  1. The Facebook groups are amazing. I have many German ancestors so I need to join that group so I'm ready when I need help!

    1. Debi, I have only recently started using Facebook groups to help me with genealogy. They are an amazing resource! And, this translation group is awesome! It's not just for German translations, either!

    2. I joined this morning and it looks like a great group. I've had a lot of success with the Random Acts of Photo Restoration group.


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