Church Death/Burial Registers

1772 - Roman Catholic Burial Records including Lutherans

This register is from the Roman Catholic Church in the town of Beled in Sopron county. During most of the 18th century, the Lutheran church in this primarily Lutheran town was closed. Most baptisms and marriages for Beled's Lutherans were performed in at the Lutheran church in nearby Vadosfa. But, burials were required to be done locally and the Vadosfa Lutheran pastor was not permitted to officiate at burials outside his own village. Therefore, some Lutheran burials were performed by the local Catholic priest, and some without the benefit of clergy. Whether or not burials of Lutherans by the Catholic priest were recorded in the church register seems to have been at the whim of the particular priest. In the deaths recorded here, two -- Mariana Szarka and my 6th-great-grandfather, Martin Letenyei -- were identified as Lutherans. This register was in the Latin language.

Format: Simple-list, with minimal identifying information. Religion of non-Catholic decedants is included.
Preview of 1772 Death Register.
Click to See Enlarged Document.

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Content of Register.

For this example, I will discuss the first entry in detail (because it is the best example on the page) and then go down the page noting differences and interesting features.
  • 17 September: Death of Mariana Szarka.
    • Note that the dates are trimmed on the left edge of the page. It is apparent from the previous page that the entries we see here cover 17-26 September of 1772.
    • Each entry begins with "defuncta e^" or "defunctus e^" -- the e followed by a little squiggle is the abbreviation for est. Therefore, this entry can be read literally as "The woman Mariana Szarka is dead on the 17th" -- the Latin gender endings "us" for male and "a" for female could help identify the sex of the decedent in the event the given name is illegible.
    • The Latin ending "iensis" typically is used with town names and indicates the person is a resident of that town. Therefore "Belediensis" indicates that Mariana Szarka is a resident of Beled.
    • The priest identifies her as a Lutheran woman -- "Lutherana". Click to See Note. for comments on handwriting anomalies.
    • The words "consort condam" are used throughout this register to mean "spouse of". But, only the spouses of women are identified, not those of men.
    • The age of the deceased is given following the word "annor" -- 61 in this case.
    • So the entire entry can be read as: On the 17th Mariana Szarka died. She was a Lutheran resident of Beled and wife of Stephen Takács. She was 61 years old.
  • 18 September: Note that this woman was from the neighboring village of Vicza. The three words following the town name are unintelligible to me ... but they obviously have something to do with Roman Catholic sacraments.
  • 21 September: This entry is for a male -- "defunctus" -- I am uncertain of his age.
  • next entry though cut off, this and the entry following that of the 25th are abbreviations for "eodem" meaning same as above (ie. ditto marks): this girl is apparently three years old. Note how the priest builds the number into the flourish at the end of this and the next entry.
  • 24 September: this boy was from the neighboring village of Edve; the squiggle that looks like an "N." might be an abbreviation of the boy's given name -- it probably is not an abbreviation for the Magyar word Nemes (nobleman) since this register is in Latin and the Latin abbreviation usually used for a nobleman is "D." for Domini. He was 2 years old, again note the flourish!
  • 25 September: this is the entry for my ancestor. The word between "annor" and his age of "50" is rather illegible, but I believe it to be some form of "circa" meaning "about." Here his Lutheran religion is abbreviated as "Luth". So this entry reads: On the 25th Martin Letenyei died. He was a Lutheran resident of Beled who was about 50 years old.