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Friday, June 24, 2011

Church Records for Suchy Grunt - lesson in latin

Momentum has been picking up for research on my side of the tree.  My paternal grandfather was born in Suchy Grunt and I checked out the LDS microfilm catalog website and sure enough they had a microfilm of the Roman Catholic parish records for Suchy Grunt.  It was a little intimidating because the records were entered in Latin but I bit the bullet and ordered the film online here.  It took a few weeks but it finally arrived last week at my LDS center.  I headed over there this week and what an experience.  The microfilm actually contains records for Zabrnie, Dabrowica  and Suchy Grunt.  I found an entry for someone in Zabrnie who *may* be a relative at the bottom of the first page (I haven't been able to trace back to 1790 yet which is when the death entry was made).  In the first 11 pages, I found 17 more.  My maiden name is a fairly uncommon polish surname so I am really hoping I can find a connection.

Anyways,  I tried to do some latin prep work before I went and found a few latin resources on the web and printed the pages out beforehand:
Latin Genealogical Word List (familysearch wiki)
Deciphering Records in Latin (
Latin Keywords list (familysearch wiki)

I went to the center on Tuesday night fully expecting to have a bit of a challenge and while it was, it really could have been worse.  The microfilm reader is one of the old manual ones with the film loader above and the light shining down on the smooth surface of a carroll.  No printer attached and I left my camera in the hallway of my house so I transcribed my findings.  The guides I printed beforehand were helpful but there were some column headers which stumped me (Nrus Domus & Dies Vitae). I was pretty sure that Dies Vitae was age but I couldn't figure out some really odd entries for age like "hebd 20" (which I now know is short for hebdomadum - 20 weeks old)

Last night I decided to do more research to prepare myself for the return trip today.  The handwriting was a bit hard to read at times and particularly harder when I don't know the language and am not a good guesser....  Luckily I hit a windfall of information at, a genealogy website for Halychyna/Eastern Galicia.  This site is a must for people researching Polish and Ukranian Ancestors.  This website contains extremely descriptive details on how to read Baptismal/birth, marriage and death records for the parish records complete with sample images of the records and full explanations of the latin column headers as well as sample entries and common latin terms used in each column. 

Death Records: (part 1) and (part 2)
Marriage Records:
Birth/Baptismal Records: (part1) and (part 2)

There is also an excellent writeup about the value in the column "numerus domus" (in my case "nrus domus") which does mean house number and how it may be possible to find information about the house tied to this number in the cadasters

Other websites for Polish/Ukranian research of interest:
TUGG (This site is pretty useful too, I plan on becoming a member)
Eastern European Genealogical Society (I just recently became a member)

Using these docs were a huge help deciphering what I was seeing and made transcribing I hope more accurate.

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