Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Translating an 1821 Luxembourg Militia Record

Below is a militia record pertaining to Nicolas Petit (1802-1869), husband of Anne Maria Hauer (1804-1877) who was, according to calculations made by my Legacy database, my 3rd great grand-aunt. I've been working on the translation of this document and have used two colors to add what I have to the image below.

I'm fairly certain about the lines which appear in turquoise, but would appreciate corrections if I'm wrong. Also, I don't understand what is meant by "Sr." in the second line of text where it says "Sr. Petit, Nicolas."

I need help with the red items from someone who is familiar with the French language. I've included my guesses in brackets, but again, would appreciate corrections from anyone who knows better!

Update: I've adjusted the translation of this document to the best of my ability. To translate the physical description terms for Bouche (mouth) and Menton (chin), I used Google Translate in the English-to-French mode. I typed in a variety of English descriptive terms one might use until I hit upon terms for which the French translation appeared to be written or abbreviated on the document. For the mouth, my English word average translated to the French moyenne (abbreviated moy on the document). For the chin, when I tried the English word strong, Google gave me the French word fort, obviously not what is written on the document, but Google also provided a list of alternatives, one of which was raide. Used here, it seems to mean strong, sharp, or steep.

Using that method for the hair and eyebrows, I didn't come up with anything appropriate, so I got out my French-English dictionary and looked up my best guess about what the handwriting appeared to be, chat. Working through the list of French words that begin with chat-, I found the word chatain, for which the English translation was (chestnut-) brown; brown-haired (pers).  Below is the document as it stands now:

Please leave a comment if you are able to correct or improve my translation.

Note: I belong to a Facebook group called Genealogy Translations. Member Mike Hilton explained this to me: Sr. is the abbreviation for Sieur, which is basically the equivalent of "Sir" and which is often left untranslated. Good to know! 

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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