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Monday, June 18, 2012

Figuring out a Dutch Word in Church Records

Liz asked about a word in a Dutch church record

I recently found your site while researching some Dutch ancestry for a friend and wondered if you knew what the abbreviations "Get."meant in a birth record

"Elisabeth, d. van Samuel NUTMAN en syn huisvrow (!). Get. Jan Knokkaerd, &ce."
Dear Liz

You can start with a list of translations of words in Dutch church records  at the New Netherland section of Olive Tree Genealogy. Translations of Dutch phrases in Church Records will take you directly there.

However I believe I overlooked the specific abbreviation you asked about. Here is a tip for anyone who can't find a foreign language word in any lists or dictionaries.  Study the record at its source. It always helps to see a record in context and see other records in that record set.  When I say "at its source" I don't necessarily mean you need to see the original record (although that is always best). I mean take a look at the microfilm or online site where you found the record. Look at all the records in that database. Analyze what you see.

Since you didn't tell me where you found this record I searched and  found it online at http://www.at16home.demon.nl/COLCHESTER.htm. Studying the other baptisms and births that were recorded with the record you are interested in, and looking at the context of the word, it becomes clear that get. is the abbreviation of the word getuige which means witness, thus the sponsor of the child.

So your record above is simply recording the baptism/christening of Elizabeth, the daughter of Samuel Nutman and his wife (her given name is not recorded). Sponsors are Jan Knokkaerd, etc.


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