Genealogical Records and Names in Latin

Q: What’s worse than sloppy written records in French?
A: Sloppy written records in Latin!

In the old European world, the Catholic Church parishes were the registry for all vital records; baptism, marriage and burial, until the French Revolution that is. Parish Priests were well versed in Latin, and certain parts of France and in Wallonia, records were written by them in either in Latin or French. In French Canada, older records are also written in Latin. Not only indicator words; date, type of record, relationships, and even the names of countries and towns. So what to do? Here are a few things:

Download this Latin translation list from Wallonia asbl website here

Here are some common Latin to French first names:

Anna – Anne
Antoinii/Antonius/Anthonius – Antoine

Aegidius – Giles

Bernadus = Bernard

Carolus – Charles

Catherina – Catherine

Franciscus = Françoise
Francisco = François

Jacobus = Jacques
Joanna = Jeanne
Joannis – Jean
Josepha – Joséphine

Ludovicus – Louis
Ludovica = Louise

Maria = Marie
Marguerita = Marguerite
Michael = Michel

Petrus = Pierre
Philippi = Philippe

Stephanus = Stephane, Etienne

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