Germany Handwriting

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Old German gothic handwriting and print are very different from the Roman script most English-speaking genealogists use. For examples of old German Gothic handwriting see Old German Handwriting (Gothic) and the Handwriting Guide: German Gothic.

A three-part online class called Reading German Handwritten Records is available on the website.

Another helpful learning tool is the German Script Tutorial. This section shows how letters are formed, provides practice exercises, and allows students to test their knowledge.

Sütterlin or Suetterlin writing ("old german hand") is a practiced style of writing similar to earlier styles. This is a script, created by the Berlin graphic artist Ludwig Sütterlin (1865-1917), which was taught from 1915 to 1941 in German schools. It is also called the "the German handwriting". The website allows you to type any word and see what it would look like in that script. This is a very useful learning tool.

The book Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents by Roger P. Minert is an excellent textbook for studying the German script. It can be purchased here

A useful chapter on German print and script is found on pages 204 to 217 of:

Schweitzer, George K. German Genealogical Research. Knoxville, Tennessee, USA: Schweitzer, 1992. (FHL book 973 D2sg.)

Another is on pages 171 to 197 of Smith's German Church Books. The chart in the next column shows how each letter of the alphabet looks in gothic handwriting and type.

A further really useful book for help is If I Can You Can Decipher Germanic Records by Edna M. Bentz.

The ISBN for the book is ISBN-10: 0961542004 or ISBN-13: 978-0961542009.  It can be purchased online.