I'm trying to properly interpret Protestant communion/confirmation records from 1606 in Sontra. According to https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sontra, in 1602 Sontra had 402 households and around 2000 people, and (at least by 1885) the population was 83+% Protestant (Lutheran); this was a mostly Protestant area of north-eastern Hesse. 1606 covers 4 pages. Each page includes a list of names, and each page appears to be from the same day.

NOTE: The headers have been edited to reflect the answers given below.

Page 1: (81 people) - First Monday after Easter (21 April 1606)

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Page 2: (75 people) First Tuesday after Easter (22 April 1606)

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Page 3: (33 and 29 people) Dominica Quasimodo/Quasimodogeniti (27 April, 1606)

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Page 4: (33 people) First Monday after Pentecost (June 9, 1606)

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Page 4: (39 people) First Tuesday after Pentecost (June 10, 1606)

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Based on the "Festo Pentecost" on page 4, it looks like that would be June 8th, according to https://kirchenkalender.com/ .

  1. Is there anything in the header text that would help date the other 3 pages?
  2. I'm having difficulty understanding the headers' text; it seems that the top list on pages 3 and 4 are possibly lists of people being confirmed? Would the other lists be simply lists of people receiving communion, or people having their first communion? For a numbers comparison, the communion listing is from a 1607 Christmas service, and lists over 300 people.
  • I don't understand yet which pages you are interested in, could you express that more clearly?
    – jadepx
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 6:47
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    You have edited and added your conjecture about the dates. I believe the first two are wrong: page one says "primis in feriis", the second "in secundis feriis": I think that these are the first weekday [Monday] and the second weekday [Tuesday] - and from the "Ostorn" it must be Easter week - especially as the third one is clearly the Sunday after Easter. Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 8:01
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    If you look at the Calendar you link to you will see that the Monday and Tuesday of Easter Week are "special", they are Ostermontag, Osterdienstag. The Monday, Tuesday after Pentecost are likewise special, and your page 4 seems to have another "secundis feriis". [I have no knowledge of Lutheran practice at all, but know that Anglican usage after the Reform preserved these two "half-octaves".] Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 8:08

1 Answer 1


As a partial answer: People were typically confirmed/communed in "batches" on selected Sundays or special feast days, typically in Spring.

To summarize what has been established in the commnts so far:

  • Page 1: "An ostern primis in ferÿs" -> Easter Monday, 21. April 1606
  • Page 2: "In secundis ferÿs pascha(...)" -> Easter Tuesday, 22. April 1606
  • Page 3: "Dominica cuasiodogeniti" -> Quasimodogeniti, first Sunday after Easter, in modern times "Second Sunday of Easter", 27. April 1606
  • Page 4a: "in festo pentecostes ferÿs primis" -> Pentecost Monday, Whit Monday, 9. June 1606
  • Page 4b: "in secundis ferÿs pentecost" -> Whit Tuesday (Tuesday after Pentecost), 10. June 1606
  • Page 3 actually gives which Sunday it is: but in latin, Dominica Quasimodo. (Think "the Hunchback of Notre Dame"; traditionally Sundays were labelled by the start of the introit for the day.) Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 7:49
  • Page 1 is Monday of Easter week, page 2 is the Tuesday. Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 7:52
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    It's worth remarking perhaps that "Second Sunday of Easter" is a very modern way of describing things: before 1960ish this would be "First Sunday after Easter", "Low Sunday". Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 9:46
  • I got this from wikipedia, I'm not very familiar with the English terms for Christian feasts.
    – jadepx
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 10:26
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    jadepx, in reference to your update to the answer, for page 4, I think it would be 9 June, rather than 8. "communicanteo in festo Pentecostes feriis ps[...?]", so if I understand correctly, that's referring to the day after Pentecost, rather than Pentecost itself.
    – BrianFreud
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 2:47

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