This is an extract from my great-grandfather's birth certificate. The official had suprisingly nice and clear hand-writing, but I have trouble identifying the first letter in my great-great-grandmother's surname. I have reproduced the relevant section here:

birth certificate extract

The text reads:

wohnhaft in Burg, Coloniestraße No 9,
evangelischer Religion, und zeigte an, daß von der
Wilhelmine Kühne geborenen
?arl, seiner Ehefrau

The letter looks like a 'G' to me, but could be a 'H' or even a 'C'. Given that the rest of the handwriting is very neat, my hope is that this is some variant of Kurrentschrift that I'm not familiar with and there's a definitive answer to which letter it would be.

  • I think you have a typo: 'Relition' should be "Religion". Doesn't help your question, though. Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 0:36
  • Looks very like the C in ColonieStrasse but an answer would be better coming from an expert -- I might be missing something significant.
    – user6485
    Commented Jan 29, 2020 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


I think it is a "G" based on the observation that the rest of the surname "arl" like above "Kühne" is not written in Kurrentschrift but in Latin handwriting. If you look at Schreibschrift at Wikipedia then the letter has some resemblance to the G in "Deutsche Normalschrift" and "Lateinische Ausgangsschrift" which of course might have been created later than this certificate. The letter is too high and misses the end of the loop in the finish.

Handwriting comparison

I don't know why the accent-like tick though. Maybe some leftover from Kurrentschrift which the author was used to.

Interestingly, the letter "C" in "Coloniestraße" is also in Latin handwriting I think. The author might have switched to Kurrentschrift one letter too late after writing "Burg".

(I'm not a handwriting expert.)

  • The certificate is from 1901, so the Deutsche Normalschrift was created far later. I agree though that the lettering is all over the place when it comes to the names. The first names are in Kurrent, the last names clearly meant to be in latin script. Perhaps the official was new and not yet used to switching scripts like that or he was just very bad at it. I guess, I'll just have to start searching for Garl and see how far I get. Thanks for your input though! Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 9:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.