Before posting this question, I glanced through meta (especially Are questions on reading of old handwritings on topic?) and judged this to be on-topic: please let me know how I can improve if that is not the case.

I am currently working on deciphering a marriage certificate that appears to use Kurrent handwriting:

marriage cert

(You can click to enlarge somewhat: I blurred out the actual names.)

The headers are obvious to me, but I am really struggling with the handwriting. I've come up with the following so far, with (?) representing a dubious previous section and "?" representing a completely indecipherable word.

  1. 2
  2. October 13
  3. Proclamation dispensirt durch (?) ? ? ? d.d. October 8, 1865
  4. Dienst (?) zu ?, geboren November 13, 1837
  5. Mädchen zu ?, geboren July 28, 1834
  6. Tagslöhner (?) zu Wischner (?)
  7. Tagslöhner (?) zu ?
  8. ? ? zu ?

I noticed that the same phrase ("zu ?") occurs four times, for the groom, bride, father of the bride, and presiding cleric. Based on these marriage records from a similar time period, I assume the "banns" column just indicates a series of Sundays, and I'm presuming that most of the content under the names is employment + employer.

Any help would be most welcome!

  • I can't read much, but it's "Juli" not "July".
    – Iris
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:38
  • Is the "zu" perhaps a "hierselbst"? This would mean "at the same location" (village, city,...).
    – IQV
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:43
  • 1
    And the last column is then "(Name) Pastor hieselbst".
    – IQV
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:06
  • 5
    "Name des kopulierenden Predigers" hört sich heute irgendwie falsch an ;)
    – tofro
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:15
  • 1
    in former times people were more identified by their profession than their birthdate and there was a phrase in old german which indicated the profession at what location or at what employer: "Tagelöhner zu Wischner" = 'peon at (the property of) wischner'. The "hieselbst" (or "hierselbst") means 'at this place'. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:13

1 Answer 1


So I'll try it:

  1. 2.
  2. October 13.
  3. Proclamation dispensirt durch den Oberkirchenrath d.d. 6. Octbr 1865.
  4. Knecht hieselbst geboren 1837 Novbr. 13.
  5. Mädchen hieselbst geboren 1834 Juli 28.
  6. Tagelöhner zu Wischner.
  7. Tagelöhner hieselbst.
  8. -
  9. Kahl(?) Pastor hieselbst

Edit: I changed dispensirt, Oberkirchenrath, Knecht and Kahl as suggested in the comments.

  • 1
    d.d. means "dies dominae", by the way: day of the Lord, i.e. Sunday. Oct 8,1865 happened to be one.
    – Ingmar
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 13:50
  • @Ingmar: I actually think it is de dato, i.e. "dated." Assuming that nothing weird has happened to the Gregorian calendar between now and then in Germany, 6 October is a Friday...though 8 October is a Sunday.
    – brianpck
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 14:09
  • @user1583209 Note that the document uses two different scripts. The script used for "October", "Novbr", "Juli", "Wischner", and the name in the last column is different from the Kurrent script used for the rest. Compare the "h" in "hieselbst" and the "h" in "Wischner".
    – Uwe
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 14:24
  • @Uwe: But neither the "h" in "hieselbst" nor the "h" in "Wischner" looks like the last letter in the pastor name to me. Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 14:30
  • Now the only open question seems to be what profession Mädchen is? Is it short for "Dienstmädchen" or is it a way to express "no profession"? Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 11:25

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