Monday, September 29, 2014

Legitimization of a child II. - Czech and Latin notes

We have already gone through the German notes which could be written to the legitimization of an illegitimal child. Let's take a look on another two languages used in the Czech Kingdom, which are - Czech and Latin. I originally intended to write two separate posts, one for Czech and one for Latin, but these two languages are often used together - part of the notes in Czech and part in Latin, so I decided to write one post for both of them.

Latin notes
Latin was often used as a church language - therefor those notes written in Latin are almost strictly connected to the fact of legitimization itself which had both civil and church validity. Almost all these notes say the same. First note is from southern Bohemia registry from 1886:

Transcription: Proles haec per subsecutum matrimonium legitimata. Matr. Copul. Tom VI pag. 50.

Translation: This child was legitimized by the following marriage. See marriage registry, volume VI, page 50.

Another example, ten years older than the one above, from the Arnoštovice parish in central Bohemia:
Transcription: Haec proles legitimata per subsequens matrimonium parentum. Vide Matr. Copulatorium anni 1876 fol. 4. 

Translation: This child was legitimized by the following marriage of parents. See marriage registry for year 1876, page 4. 

Quite easy, isn't it? :) 

Czech notes
Is there anything more to say what haven't been written in the German notes description? I'm afraid not... So here is the information contained in the Father column from the first record:

Transcription: Já Jan Tábor, nádenník z Dmejštic č 15, nemanželský syn Kateřiny Táborové, manželské dcery Josefa Tábora domkáře z Dmejštic č 15 a jeho manželky Veroniky rodem Burian z Přebrova č. 2 hlásím se za otce tohoto dítka, což potvrzuji svým a dvou svědků podpisem: otec: Ján Tábor. Václav Dvořák svědek. 

Translation: I, Jan Tábor, day-labourer from Dmýštice house no. 15, illegitimate son of Kateřina Táborová, legitimate daughter of Josef Tábor, house renter from Dmýštice house no. 15, and his wife Veronika born Burian from Přeborov house no. 2, confess as a father of this child, which I confirm with my and two witnesses signatures: father: Jan Tábor. Václav Dvořák, witness (other witness is written in mother's column).

Second example from 1876 shows two pieces of information written in Czech, one under the child's name, another in Father column - sorry both is a bit blurry, but the quality of the image was quite low: 
Transcription: Že otec přítomný byl a za otce dítěte Františka se prohlásil, ztvrzují nížepsaní svědkové: František Kodet učitel svědek, Wojtech Otradovec swedek

Translation: That the father was present and confessed himself to be father of the child František, is being confirmed by the undersigned witnesses: František Kodet, teacher, witness, Vojtěch Otradovec, witness.

Transcription: Za otce dítěte tohoto nemanželského prohlašuje se Josef Kubat, sin Jana Kubáta, krejčauského mistra a chalupníka z Arnoštovic č. 8 a matky Anny rozené Vilímové z Střelic č. 6 což svým podpisem před dvěma svědky ztvrzuje: Kubat Josef otec

Translation: That Josef Kubát, son of Jan Kubát, taylor master and cottager from Arnoštovice house no. 8, and mother Anna born Vilímová from Střelice house no. 6, confesses to be a father of this illegitimate child, he confirms by his signature in from of two witnesses: Josef Kubát, father.

Most of the legitimization notes are just like these few shown here. But if you find any more complex note - please let me know, I'll add it to this post. Thanks!


  1. Thank you, Blanka. Whenever I'm helping someone and they run into one of these, they really want the note translated word for word. This blog post will help us match up at least some of the words, and prove to them that the note is only a standard legal phrase that the father acknowledges his paternity, and does not contain anything over and above that..

    1. Mary, thanks for your comment. Please let me know if you bump into some more complex notes so I can add them here - sometimes there is a bit more, but not too often.

  2. I see that some of these notes are professions of paternity. I can understand that. The father is owning up to his fatherhood. But can a child be legitmized by a marriage even when the new husband is not the actual father? We cannot assume that the new husband is necessarily the biological father.

  3. I wonder what the illegitimate birth rate was in the late 1800s? I'm surprised by the number of such entries I see in my great grandmother's village (tiny place) in Okres Zlín.
    Was there a lot of social upheaval which may have contributed? Or were they just wild there? ;-)

  4. My ancestor's baptismal record dated 5 Feb 1823 contains the citation "Litterae baptismal traditae 5 Mar 1839", i.e. "Baptismal record delivered." Although the parents' names are cited, ancestral lore was that he was the son of Hapsburg royalty. Would this explain the citation?

    1. No. This means he or she asked to have issued a baptism certificate - because of marriage, work or anything else. Such lores are usually not true. :)

  5. So I have found the birth records of my Great Grandfather, except it list the mother but no fathers name was given. Does this mean he was illegitimate?