German Handwriting for the Intermediate Learner – Katherine Schober

March 31st, 2019 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

German Handwriting for the Intermediate Learner

SESSION: F323, TIME & DATE: Friday, 10 May 2019, 11 a.m.

SPONSOR: SK Translations

Katherine Schober

Have German documents, but can’t read them? You’re not alone. This elusive script has caused many a genealogist to squint in confusion, wondering if the details of their ancestors’ lives must always remain in the dark. But it doesn’t have to be so!

In “German Handwriting for the Intermediate Learner”, we’ll take a deep dive into the old German script, providing you with the tools you need to decipher those precious words relating to your ancestors’ lives. This intermediate-level lecture assumes that you’ve had some exposure to the old German script, but do not consider yourself to be an expert by any means.

After a brief overview, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Kurrentschrift, learning to differentiate between tricky look-alike letters, sight-read common genealogical words, and recognize the “creative” spelling patterns some of our ancestors liked to employ. We’ll also look at the Denglisch (Germanized English) that peppers the genealogical documents of those immigrant ancestors in America, as well as certain challenges that arise when transcribing German genealogical documents.

Finally, we’ll explore the numerous tools and resources you can use to make deciphering the script much easier – and much more fun!

For any questions related to the lecture or your German documents, come visit Katherine Schober (SK Translations: German-English Genealogy Translations) at Booth 620 – hope to see you there.


Katherine Schober, author of Tips and Tricks of Deciphering German Handwriting, is a German-English genealogy translator. She translates the old German script in documents such as letters, diaries, church records, certificates and more to help you track down your German ancestors. Find out more at her website

German Handwriting Course:


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