Those Dots Matter

It’s not a stray mark. It is an intentional dot and it is not the only one on the page.

As of this writing, in‘s interpretation of 6th name on this image is “Fred” sans dot. Before I looked at the actual record, I thought it odd that the pastor used the Anglicized diminutive Fred for my great-grandfather while using the low-German name of Trientje for my great-grandmother.

The pastor didn’t use Fred as the name for my great-grandfather. It was an abbreviation. Looking at other names on the same page made it clear that abbreviating names was a common practice in the baptismal register.

I have transcribed it as “Fred.”–with the period–in my records. Numerous other sources indicate that his actual name was Frederick/Frederich.

The reminders:

  • Look at the original record.
  • Look at other entries in the same

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  • and compare.
  • Transcribe as written.
  • Dots matter.