Lutheran Baptismal Records in German

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Reading church book records in German and Russian is the first challenge when researching Latvian ancestry. See below for visual help on deciphering baptismal records in German.

Tukums Lutheran Church. Photo by Ints Lūsis.

Below is an example of a baptismal record from Jaunpils Lutheran Church. Although the baptismal record column headings rarely change, the information given in the record entry may vary from church to church and writer to writer.


The text in red is the English translation of the headings, and the text in blue is transcript of the entry in German. The record below is an unabbreviated German text, followed by an English translation.

This record has a several abbreviations:  


T. - for "Tochter" (daughter) is a common one, as is Kn. for "Knecht" (farm-hand), and Tfz. for "Taufzeugen" (godparents). Also Mdch., or Mdh. in this case, for "Mädchen" (maid) is often used. There is an abbreviation before the name Henriette, that is ambiguous. It could be Buschw. for "Buschwächter" (forest-guard), meaning that Henriette could have been the wife of a forest guard.



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