[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Rozyszcze Death Records and reminder about confirmations

Jerry Frank FranklySpeaking at shaw.ca
Thu Dec 8 09:39:41 PST 2005

Without seeing a copy of the actual record in question, I would suggest that the two dates on a death record might indicate death and burial.  This would be especicially true if the dates are a day or two apart as, in those years, you wouldn't wait a week or more for burial because there was no way to preserve the body.

If the dates are the requisite 12-14 days apart, it probably indicates the calender difference and that the Pastor was inconsistent in his record keeping.  The use of double dating like this is more prevalent in Russian Poland records than in Volhynian records.

Some records do indicate baptism of older children.  If at the age of 14 or 15, it would suggest that the baptism occurred at the same time as the confirmation.  I cannot explain why the child would not have been baptized as an infant except to say that the parents were not following good Lutheran practice.  Some might suggest that there was no pastor available to perform the baptism but why then would they not baptize at the next opportunity.  Such practice is evident in cases where a baptism occurs 6 months, or a year or two after the birth.  It is also possible that they had been influenced at the time by Baptist or Reformed teaching so did not baptize their infant, but later returned or turned to Lutheran practice.  

Having mentioned confirmations, I would remind everyone to look for these records as well.  They often give a place of birth for the confirmand which could lead you to earlier records if that place was in Russian Poland, East Prussia, or elsewhere.

Jerry Frank

----- Original Message -----
From: "karlann at juno.com" <karlann at juno.com>
Date: Thursday, December 8, 2005 8:58 am
Subject: Re: [Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Rozyszcze Death Records Revisited: Dates

> I am currently working with birth records from this parish and 
> have also looked at some of the marriage records. I have examined 
> Rozyszcze baptismal records in Russian and German. I would like 
> some clarification about the two dates being listed in the 
> records. William Remus suggests that the two dates represent the 
> Gregorian and Julian calendar dates, which by the 1890's should 
> reflects about 12-13 days difference, the Russian calendar being 
> behind, giving an earlier date.
> In examining the baptismal records, I see only one date listed in 
> the birth records for the birth, and one date listed for the 
> baptism. These seem to be consistent with just one calendar, 
> because often the date of baptism is only two days later than the 
> date of birth. In some cases, the date of birth is years earlier 
> (1875 for a baptism in 1890). I found my grandmother's birth in 
> these records for 1896, and her date of birth is given as February 
> 5; her date of baptism as listed February 10. Her American death 
> certificate and wedding certificate list her date of birth as 
> February 18. From this information, I conclude that the dates in 
> the Rozyszcze church records for this time period are based on the 
> Russian calendar exclusively.
> Thus I am wondering if the two dates William Remus describes in 
> the death records might be two different dates for a reason other 
> than a calendar difference. Might one date be the actual date of 
> death and the other date one for when the death was recorded in 
> the book?
> Karla Walters
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