Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Finding Wrongly Transcribed Surname in a German Record

I spent hours looking for the baptismal record of my great, great, great grandmother, Henriette Maria Magdalena Bünger. I believed she was born on July 15, 1817 in the present day state of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in Germany. I knew her father's name from her marriage record, Johann David Bünger, but I could NOT find her. I was trying every trick I knew. Then, I remembered MyHeritage and how it had helped me with another German family.

I went to the site and put in Henriette's name. Immediately, I found her on someone's tree! It not only had her parents full names and dates, but also listed seven siblings! And, it gave Henriette's place of birth: Dobbertin.

So, I went back to Ancestry, but I STILL could not find her baptismal record! So, I thought I'd look for one of her siblings. I found her oldest brother's birth, Theodor, who was born in 1813 in Dobbertin. From there, I scrolled through the pages until I got to July 1817 where Henriette should be listed. And, there she was!!!

Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1519-1969 (Lehi: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), Evangelische Kirche Dobbertin, baptismal record of Henriette Maria Magdalena Bünger, born July 4, 1817, baptized July 9, 1817, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 1 November 2016).
So, why hadn't I been able to find her? Just like with records written in English, the family's surname had been wrongly transcribed! It listed their last name as Bürger instead of Bünger.

Now I have Henriette's exact date of birth and baptism! And, I know her mother's maiden name. I spent a few hours last night adding all of her siblings to my tree, too, and locating each of their baptismal records. I have also sent a message to the owner of this MyHeritage tree - a potential cousin who appears to be German - and hope to be able to share more information with him. It's exciting!

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