Mar 262012

In my previous post, I describe my approach to surveying German church records  In this post I will look at portions of 5 records (the marriage record for Georg Friderich Brenner and Johanna Catharina Venningerin and the baptismal records for four of their children).  These records all come from the Kirchenbuch of the Evangelische Kirche of Adelshofen (A. Eppingen) Baden — FHL microfilm #s 1189093 and 1189094.

My primary goal for extracting these 5 records is to determine Georg Friederich Brenner’s occupation and year of birth, as well as any information that might open up a new lead to an expanded search.  Georg Friederich Brenner is one of my brickwalls.  First, a portion of the marriage record:

In the line following his name, Georg is listed as 28 years old (the date of the marriages is 5 May 1822).  This would mean that Georg was born later than 5 May 1793 and prior to 5 May 1795.  His religion is listed as Evangelical ??? (the word following the abbreviation for Evangelical is uncertain).  His is a citizen of Adelshofen (Bűrger) and his occupation is some kind of a smith (schmid).  The first part of the occupational listing appears to be “Ragel.”  The most helpful resource for identifying occupations  This webpage lists 80 categories of occupations, each including multiple subcategories and/or occupational titles.  (There are also multiple words for “citizens” and “nobility.”)  Since I am most interested in the identifying the type of “smith” listed for Georg Brenner, I notice that the website lists 18 separate sub-categories of smiths and, literally, hundreds of occupational titles and variants.

Comparing the listing of his occupation in the baptismal records (especially, the record for Johannes Brenner, #3 below) would suggest that “Nagelschmidt” (nail smith) would be Georg Brenner’s correct occupation.  All five records agree.  It is interesting to note that the Brenner surname (literally translated as “burner”) could indicate that the forebears were smiths.  (Nagelschmidt / NailSmith is an occupation that I am putting on my To-Do list for further research.)

The occupational designation is followed by “allhier” in four of the records and “Inhier” in the other (the third record below).  “Allhier”simply means in this place – that is, Georg Brenner was a NailSmith in Adelshofen. I have been unable to find the word “Inhier” in an online German-English dictionary or in Bablefish or Google translate.  It may just be a local variant for “allhier.”  The baptismal record of Johannes Brenner (containing “Inhier”) is written in a hand that is distinctly different from the others, perhaps accounting for the use of a different term.  At this time, however, the spelling and meaning of “Inhier” is not conclusively determined.  The other four records are in agreement that Georg Brenner was a small tool smith in Adelshofen who specialized in the making of nails.  

The marriage record and all four baptismal records agree that Georg Friederich Brenner was married to Johanna (nee Venninger).  They were Evangelical Protestants living in Adelshofen.  There is obviously much more that can be extracted from these records, but I have accomplished my primary goal (that is, identify Georg Brenner’s occupation (nail smith) and have narrowed the range for the expected year of his birth (1793-1795).

I have not found any record of Georg Brenner’s birth, baptism, or confirmation in Adelshofen.  There are at least two Georg Friederich Brenners, born in other localities in the proper year range.  A next step is to check out those other records to see if I can find a connection.  My basic question, then, is:  What led Georg Brenner to travel from the place of his birth to Adelshofen?  That is a topic for more research andm hopefully, a blog post for another day.

  3 Responses to “Extracting Data from German Church Records — Part 2”

  1. Hi Bart, I agree, it does look like "inhier" but I can't find a translation for it either. Although it doesn't come up in this, my German-speaking husband suggests as a very good translation tool.

    The only other letter variation I could come up with would be starting with a "d" instead of an "I", but that doesn't make sense either. : (

  2. You may find if you further transcribe the rest of the the record (especially the marriage one) you might parent’s names or hint to another place he was from. I found this out when looking at Westfalen church records. It’s too late now, but the staff at the International desk will do oral transcriptions for you when you bring up a film or printed page. Enjoyed both of your posts on these records. Found my way here via Randy Seaver.

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