Specialty Areas

Genealogy and History

I work routinely with the following document types, whether printed, typed, or handwritten:

  • Correspondence with German archives
  • Family letters
  • Diaries
  • Vital records
  • Certificates
  • Marriage contracts
  • Local and family histories
  • Emigration records and passports
  • Military records
  • Employment records
  • Newspaper and journal articles
  • Obituaries
  • Wills, inventories, property transfers

I am comfortable reading the German black-letter typeface known as Fraktur, having learned it along with the language in the early 1960s. My adventures with German script began in 1975, when I was given a pile of letters my great-great-grandmother had received from relatives in Germany. What was initially a tedious code-breaking process is now an enjoyable daily routine. I have translated from German and Roman scripts dating as far back as the late 16th century, though most of my experience has been with texts from the 18th century to the present. Rest assured that your project will be in the hands of a qualified translator who also shares your passion for family history, who understands your elation when you find substantiation for a hunch or new material to flesh out your story.

Learn more about Fraktur and German script here.

Transcription Only

If you know the language but have trouble reading German script, I would be glad to transcribe the handwritten text for you without translating it. I normally retain the spelling, punctuation and format of the original, including line and page breaks. This makes it easy for you to follow along in the original and may help you learn to read the script yourself. Shorthand and symbols that cannot be reproduced on the computer are either spelled out or replaced with another common abbreviation. For anything else needing explanation, I insert a comment or footnote.