[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Twins in Latin records

Richard A. Stein ra_stein at telus.net
Fri Jan 20 14:52:16 PST 2006

How are twins recorded in Latin records?  I am extracting German names from a Catholic parish in the years 1780 to 1800.  Out of some 300 baptisms so far, there are no instances where two children born at the same time, i.e., twins, have their baptisms recorded separately.  However there are cases where two given names are stated.  

There is one instance where the word "alteri" is used, i.e., "Eva alteri Rosalie".  The index, compiled years later in Polish, lists "Ewa i Rozalia, bliznieta" with a curl under the e.  The Polish word bliznieta means twins, so this case is clear.

There are some 20 instances where the two names are separated by "et".  18 are females with Anna as the first name, e.g., "Anna et Christine".  The two males have Johann as one name, in one case Johann is the first name, in the other it is the second name.  In addition, there are 11 cases (10 female, one male) where there are two names, such as Anna Christine, without any separating word.

My question is  Should any of the cases using "et" be interpreted as twins?  For these cases, only one name, almost always the first name, is listed in the index.   I looked carefully at the records but can't see anything else that indicates twins, but possibly I am missing something.  The poor handwriting and abbreviations of some words compounds the problem.  But in 300+ births, I would have expected several sets of twins.

Any help will be appreciated.

Dick Stein

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