I am looking at a birth record from Alsace, 1751. In the margin is written the word "apostatavit". I have not been able to figure out what that means.

Any ideas?

  • 1
    Is it written in the same hand-writing as the original, or does it appear to be a later addition? Is the record a civil record or a church one? Can we see an image?
    – user6485
    May 17, 2018 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


Apostatavit is a Latin word meaning (roughly -- my Latin is a little rusty after 44 years) 'has forsaken his religion' -- i.e. it denotes an apostate. See Wikipedia for more on apostasy

As this was an annotation added later to a church record, I would interpret it as saying that the individual whose birth was recorded had themselves later become an apostate and was unlikely to appear later in the register. Other entries were annotated with the date the individuals died/obiit -- a pity this annotation was not dated.

When looking for marriage, birth of children and death, you should check both the church/faith which recorded the birth (as you can't know from this record when they apostatised) and other denominations. Civil registration in Alsace as far as I can discover began in 1792 (it belonged to France at the time) so you might find the registrations of a late marriage, birth of children and death in the civil records.

  • It is a church record, and the notation was clearly added at a later date. It looked very similar to several "obiit d. xxxx" notations that I had seen before. There is no date on this notation, but it presumably will influence the probability of finding a marriage record and subsequent birth records of children (or even a death record of the individual). I'll try to upload an image of the record. May 17, 2018 at 15:32

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