Jul 242012

Yesterday, Lisa Gorrell left a comment on a previous post that has helped me break down a brick wall — “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.”.  Thanks, Lisa!   (See: “Extracting German Church Records,” Part 1  and  Part 2.)

My 3g-grandparents (Georg Friderich Brenner and Johanna Catarina Venningerin) were married at the Evangelisch Kirche in Adelshofen, Baden, on 5 May 1822.  I had been able to extract some of the data from the entry in the Kirchenbuch, but I obviously had not gone far enough.  Lisa’s suggestion sent me back to the copy of the original record I had made last February while at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Because my facility with German and the old German script (especially in handwritten form) is quite limited, I missed some of the gems contained in that marriage record.   First, here is the record:

Georg Friderich Brenner (son)…
Georg Friederich Brenner (father)…
Elizabeta nee Fenchlin (mother)

The name of my 3g-grandfather, Georg Friderich Brenner, is clear. Not so clear to me was the fact that his father’s name is listed three lines below.  I was able to read “Georg,” but the rest of the name was unclear.  The lack of clarity was partially due to the fact that it uses a different formation of many of the letters. The name of Georg (the son) seems to be in modern script while the name of Georg (the father) is in old German Fraktur script. The “F” in the father’s middle name and the mother’s birth surname didn’t easily compare to the “cheat sheets” I use, but it became clear as I did a little bit of calculation and a search on FamilySearch.org.

The marriage between Georg Friderich Brenner and Johanna Catarina Venningerin  [Note: the surname of a German woman before marriage has “in” added to the end] occurred on 5 May 1822.  At the time Georg and Johanna were both 26 years old.  I had previously conducted a search on FamilySearch.org and found a couple of baptismal records that were possible for Georg.  Since none of them were from Adelshofen (or nearby towns) I had no idea which (if any) of the records would be for this Georg.  I ran the search for “Georg Friederich Brenner” again this morning.  [Note: I had originally entered Georg into my RootsMagic database as Georg Friederich, because he is listed as “Friederich Brenner” in the baptismal records of his son Johannes, my 2g-grandfather.]  One of the results listed the birth of Georg Friderich Brenner on 15 November 1795 and his baptism two days later at Hausen /Zaber (OA. Brackenheim), Württemberg, Germany.  Parents are listed as Georg Friderich Brenner and Elisabeth Katharina Fenchel.  [Note: for future reference, FHL Microfilm # 1184780.]  Running these birth and marriage dates through the date calculator yields a result of 26 years, 5 months, and 20 days which is in agreement with the marriage record.  I am a little “shaky” on the transliteration of “Brenner” in Georg’s father’s name.  His mother’s birth surname is listed as Fenchlin, which tends to agree with the birth/baptismal record (“Fenchel”), only missing the “e” as the penultimate letter.

Johanna Catarina Venninger (daughter)
Johann Venninger (father)
Elisabeta nee Fleckin (mother)


Johanna Catarina Venninger’s parents were not in question, as I have records for the Venningers going back about 12 generations from Johanna.  This record merely confirms them.  My records have the father as Johannes Venninger and the  mother as Elisabetha Margaretha Fleck.


Two witnesses are listed:  Heinrich Fleck (perhaps an uncle of Johanna’s??) and  ??? Mueller.  Obviously, I have more transliterating and translating work to do on this record. I have to admit that any more attempts to decipher the record today and my brain will likely turn to mush.

What is exciting, however, is that I have likely found my 4g-grandfather and 4g-grandmother Brenner.

My last task was to check where Hausen / Zaber (OA Brackenheim) Wuerttemberg is in relationship to Adelshofen, Baden.  My search on Google Maps indicates that they are only about 12 kilometers apart.  That is within the same range of the other towns nearby to Adelshofen, Baden, from which Johanna Venninger’s ancestors came.

It’s time to to do the genealogy happy dance.



  One Response to “Extracting German Church Records – A Brick Wall Comes Down!”

  1. I was running a search for Hausen au der Zaber and came upon your page. I was just in the town Sept 29, 2013. My 5 x great grandfather was born there.
    How did you get the original records from the church? I am trying to decipher some conflicting information from family search. It would help if I could see the original entries.
    Beth Mitchell

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