Tuesday, November 12, 2019

People in the parish books: Priests

There is quite a lot of data that can be found in parish books and are often ignored and/or might confuse the researcher - most common is a situation when the word after mother's first name is thought to be her surname but it is not, because surnames of mothers were not that important and the record simply proceeds to further information.
Michaela made a list of those data and also suggested how to use them, if possible. Here is the first blog post about priests.

Especially the older records that use whole sentences contain a lot of information about priests (and churches). It may easily be a half of the record. Unfortunately this information is completely useless for genealogy in most cases.
Exceptions are when the priest is somehow related to the people the record is about. Sometimes you can see notes about a particular priest having a permission from consistory and/or the main priest of the parish (farář - I translate it as vicar, but I am still not sure it is correct) to provide church services - it might be baptism, more often a marriage and of course a funeral. I saw a few records where the priest was allowed to conduct a ceremony during funeral of his mother or father.

There are different "ranks" of priests:
farář / Pfarrer / parochus - vicar
kaplan / Kaplan / capellanus - chaplain
kooperátor / Kooperator / cooperator - cooperator
administrátor / Administrator - administrator
děkan / Dechant / decanus - dean

You may also see D. or R.D. before their names (or "ranks"). It's an abbreviation of dominus and reverendus dominus and both can be translated as reverend.

Priests might be also members of monasteries, then they are often using only their first name and maybe their position in monastery hierarchy and/or a name of the order they belong to. It's not that common and it's no very useful, so it might be enough information :)

Priests might use various synonyms for their occupation, the most common ones are "duchovní správce/pastýř" and "Seelsorger" or "Pastor" and all this means pastor.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this information. What is the role of a sexton (kostelník)?