I have a birth certificate of Isaac [Epstein] but I can't translate it and understand what is written there. Can you help me? enter image description here

  • Welcome to german.SE! The question is likely to be considered off-topic on this site and to be closed. But it is a much better fit for genealogy.SE and I encourage you to post it there (with tags "german" and "palaeography"). The users there have the specific kind of expertise needed.
    – marquinho
    Jan 25, 2022 at 21:13
  • 4
    @marquinho; I modified the tags but don't agree concerning closing and have some doubt in respect to genealogy. We have a number of comparable questions here. It would not hurt, if left and right margins were a bit further outside, or possible locations.
    – guidot
    Jan 25, 2022 at 22:03
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    @marquinho I agree with guidot. Also see the relevant post on meta: german.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/579/…
    – Jonathan Herrera
    Jan 25, 2022 at 23:00
  • What have you tried so far? Have you checked the related handwritten alphabet? Jan 25, 2022 at 23:55
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    @guidot and Kirill, I'm sorry. I actually intended to warn OP that some close votes were coming (as has happened in the past and did happen this time), but my wording was not ideal – it might have come across as a rejection. Sorry about that. (Personally, I'm in favor of transcription requests!) As for genealogy.SE, they get frequent requests of this kind (the tags [palaeography] and [birth-records] are both in the 200s) and they are usually good at illuminate the context (provenance, place names), so I do think that'd be a good place to ask. But our own community did a good job here! :)
    – marquinho
    Jan 27, 2022 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Ester geb Epstein ledig
in [Ipcźien], Tochter des Simon
und der [Feigel] Epstein
gewesene Schänker in

I'm not sure about some of the names and place names, hence they are in square brackets. Bratocice might be Bratucice, maybe? "geb" is short for "geborene" (née). "Schänker" probably refers to the parents job, running a bar/tavern.

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    This page suggests, that Feigel (instead of Teigel) is valid first name, translating to Zipora.
    – guidot
    Jan 26, 2022 at 8:05
  • Thank you but can you write meaning of all of this in English, please? Jan 26, 2022 at 9:15
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    If ledig (English: single) is correct, this raises some doubts, whether the document from the question can be a birth certificate of Esther and why it is necessary to state her birth name.
    – guidot
    Jan 26, 2022 at 14:45
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    @guidot: To take your reflections further: All of this would make sense if the snippet were from a marriage register. Prior to this marriage, she is "ledig" (as opposed to, say, "verwitwet") and the (soon to be changed) birth name is stated.
    – marquinho
    Jan 26, 2022 at 14:50
  • This is Isaak's borth certificate and this is information about his mother and her parents Jan 26, 2022 at 15:17

I compile all facts from answer and comments plus some corrections into a community wiki.

Ester geb Epstein XXXX [Ester née Epstein XXXX]
in Jaśien, Tochter des Simon [in Jaśien, daughter of Simon]
und der Feigel Epstein [and Feigel Epstein]
gewesene Schänker in [defunct inn-keepers in]

I can't decipher the word after "Epstein" in line 1, but I doubt that it is "ledig" [unmarried] which would contradict the fact née Epstein. Perhaps the first character is not a letter but a "/". As regards contents, it could stand for "born" or "resident".

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    In context, "ledig" makes perfect sense. OP said the snippet is part 2 of this birth certificate. There, the father was given as "E. S. Epstein, ledig, Schenker in Jaśien": largely the same format as Ester's info. The child was born out of wedlock, which checks with the parents being ledig. True, if Ester is unmarried, strictly speaking her maiden name is not needed. I assume the clerk 1. made a slip of the pen, out of habit, or 2. chose to state that Epstein is her own name, regardless of the husband's name (also "Epstein").
    – marquinho
    Jan 27, 2022 at 13:28
  • @marquinho You should include your interpretation into the community wiki. If I understand correctly you suspect that Isaak was the son of "Efraim Samuel Epstein not-married innkeeper in Jaśien" and Ester Epstein (the geb = née being a mistake of the registrar) not-married in Jaśien. Okay, probably the name "Epstein" had a high occurence, thus it may have been a pure coincidence that both unmarried parents had the same family name. Or they could have been relatives (e.g. cousins or something more distant) which could suggest that Ester's parents
    – Paul Frost
    Jan 27, 2022 at 19:53
  • (who have been inn-keepers) transferred their inn to Efraim (perhaps a nephew) while Ester worked in the inn. Pure speculation ...
    – Paul Frost
    Jan 27, 2022 at 19:55

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