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German Genealogical Word List


Even if you don't speak or read German, you can still make sense of most genealogical documents found in Germany with the understanding of a few key German words. Common English genealogy terms, including record types, events, dates and relationships are listed here, along with German words with similar meanings (i.e. words commonly used in Germany to indicate marriage, including marry, marriage, wedding, wedlock and unite).

Common German Words Found in Genealogy Documents:

Record Types
Birth Certificate - Geburtsurkunde, Geburtsschein
Census - Volkszählung, Volkszählungsliste
Church Register - Kirchenbuch, Kirchenreister, Kirchenrodel, Pfarrbuch
Civil Registry - Standesamt
Death Certificate - Sterbeurkunde, Totenschein
Marriage Certificate - Heiratsurkunde
Marriage Register - Heiratsbuch
Military - Militär, Armee (army), Soldaten (soldier)

Family Events
Baptism / Christening -Taufe, Taufen, Getaufte
Birth - Geburten, Geburtsregister, Geborene, geboren
Burial - Beerdigung, Beerdigt, Begraben, Begräbnis, Bestattet
Confirmation - Konfirmation, Firmungen
Death - Tot, Tod, Sterben, Starb, Verstorben, Gestorben, Sterbefälle
Divorce - Scheidung, Ehescheidung
Marriage - Ehe, Heiraten, Kopulation, Eheschließung
Marriage Banns - Proklamationen, Aufgebote, Verkündigungen
Marriage Ceremony, Wedding - Hochzeit, Trauungen

Family Relationships
Ancestor - Ahnen, Vorfahre, Vorfahrin
Aunt - Tante
Brother - Bruder, Brüder
Brother-in-law - Schwager, Schwäger
Child - Kind, Kinder
Cousin - Cousin, Cousins, Vetter (male), Kusine, Kusinen, Base (female)
Daughter - Tochter, Töchter
Daughter-in-law - Schwiegertochter, Schwiegertöchter
Descendant - Abkömmling, Nachkomme, Nachkommenschaft
Father - Vater, Väter
Granddaughter - Enkelin
Grandfather - Großvater
Grandmother - Großmutter
Grandson - Enkel
Great-grandfather - Urgroßvater
Great-grandmother - Urgroßmutter
Husband - Mann, Ehemann, Gatte
Mother - Mutter
Orphan - Waise, Vollwaise
Parents - Eltern
Sister - Schwester
Son - Sohn, Söhne
Uncle - Onkel, Oheim
Wife - Frau, Ehefrau, Ehegattin, Weib, Hausfrau, Gattin

Date - Datum
Day - Tag
Month - Monat
Week - Woche
Year - Jahr
Morning - Morgen, Vormittags
Night - Nacht
January - Januar, Jänner
February - Februar, Feber
March - März
April - April
May - Mai
June - Juni
July - Juli
August - August,
September - September (7ber, 7bris)
October - Oktober (8ber, 8bris)
November - November (9ber, 9bris)
December - Dezember (10ber, 10bris, Xber, Xbris)

Other Common German Genealogical Terms
Archive - Archiv
Catholic - Katholisch
Emigrant, Emigration - Auswanderer, Auswanderung
Family Tree, Pedigree - Stammbaum, Ahnentafel
Genealogy - Genealogie, Ahnenforschung
Immigrant, Immigration - Einwanderer, Einwanderung
Index - Verzeichnis, Register
Jewish - Jüdisch, Jude
Name, given - Name, Vorname, Taufname
Name, maiden - Geburtsname, Mädchenname
Name, surname - Nachname, Familienname, Geschlechtsname, Suname
Parish - Pfarrei, Kirchensprengel, Kirchspiel
Protestant - Protestantisch, Protestant, Evangelisch, Lutherisch

For more common genealogy terms in German, along with their English translations, see German Genealogical Word List at FamilySearch.com.

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