Talk:World Archives Project: Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census, 1919

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Feel free to add to or edit information in this discussion tab as necessary. Please take time to become familiar with the General Keying Standards and be sure to read all instructions on the main project page. (Please note that in case of a discrepancy, project level instructions always trump general keying standards.)

Extra Keying Helps

For people born before 1900, any birth dates, places, or districts that are exceptionally hard to read may occasionally be cleared up by looking for the person in the LDS database of the 1900 census at FamilySearch. (Scroll down, click on Europe, then scroll through the resulting list for the entry under Germany for the 1900 Mecklenberg-Schwerin census.) Don't assume that the 1900 census' information is always the same as that in the 1919 census, though, as the person may have given different answers or the enumerator may have used a different spelling or abbreviation. Definitely do not use information from the 1900 census to fill in missing or truly illegible information here; just use it as a suggestion for what might be written here.


If the the head of the house's surname is hard to read, check the lower right corner of the page. It's often repeated there in a signature that may be easier to read.

For help figuring out Polish names, try: (particularly the sections on surname classification and Feminine forms) and


Most common:

Householder: Haushaltungsvorstand. It may also appear as: Haushaltsvorstand, Haushaltungsvorst, Haushaltungsvstd, Haushaltungsvst, Haushaltungsv, Haush. Vorstand, or any of a seemingly infinite number of other variations. Key it as it appears and ignore what's in the dropdown unless the dropdown happens to exactly match what's on the page--if what's on the page is "Haushaltsv", then key "Haushaltsv".
Wife: Ehefrau
Son: Sohn
Daughter: Tochter
Niece: Nichte
Father-in-law: Schwiegervater
Mother-in-law: Schwiegermutter
Grandson: Enkel
Granddaughter: Enkelin
Foster child: Pflegekind
Servants: Dienstmädchen, Dienstbote, Diener, Stütze, Verwalter, Wirtschafterin, Stubenmädchen, Knecht, Mädchen
Seasonal workers: Schnitter (male), Schnitterin (female), Arbeiter (male), Arbeiterin (female)
Visitor: Besuch, Besucher
Prisoner of war: Kriegsgefangener
Apprentice: Lehrling
Journeyman blacksmith: Schmiedgeselle

Birth Month

Common abbreviations of German months:

Janr, Febr, Mrz, Aug (or Agst), Septr, Okt, Novbr, Dezbr

Roman numerals are also commonly used for the months; be careful with V vs. X or II vs. V

Remember to always completely spell out the months' names within the keying tool.

Birth Year

Seasonal workers often have their age listed instead of their birth year. Do not key the age, and do not calculate what the birth year should be. However, be careful to check the brightness & contrast of the page; some pages have the age written clearly in dark ink with the two-digit birth year written very faintly next to it.

Birth Place/Birth District

The following links can be helpful for deciphering place names in Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

The following links can be helpful for deciphering placenames throughout Germany and some ex-German regions.

Do not key words or abbreviations that refer to a type of district, such as Kreis, Amt, R.A. (Ritteramt), or Bezirk.

Otherwise, key as seen, including abbreviations and misspellings. If the page says "Alt Kätwin", key it as "Alt Kätwin" (not as "Alt Kaetwin"); if it says "Mecklbg.", then key it as "Mecklbg"; if it says "Rostok", key it as "Rostok" even though the town's name really should be "Rostock". Note that town's prefixes and name endings are often abbreviated: Klein to Kl., Groß to Gr., Hinter to Ht., Kurz to Kr.; -burg to -bg, -hagen to -hgn, etc.

Be careful with the prefix "Kr.", which may mean either "Kreis" or "Kurz". When it means "Kreis", it should be omitted; when it means "Kurz", it should be keyed. For example, "Kr. Trechow" in the birth place column means "Kurz Trechow", so you should key it as "Kr Trechow"; "Kr Bützow" in the birth district column means "Kreis Bützow", so you should key it as "Bützow".

Watch out for "desgl." or "dgl.". It is not a town name; it is short for or "desgleiches", which means "ditto".

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

When keying the Volume number and the number is followed by a letter like A, B, C ect, key the letter as part of the number, no spaces.

When a married woman's maiden name is given as well as the married name, create a second line for the maiden name.

Household lists (Haushaltungsliste): The Haushaltungsliste has three sections. Key all names etc from all three sections, but do not create sections.

Do not use period (Fullstop) for abbreviations.

Questions and Answers

If you have a keying question that is not answered on the project page or in any of the information above, click “EDIT” and ask it here. (If you click on Rich Editor you won't have to worry about formatting your entry.) Then click “WATCH” at the top right on this page and you will be notified via email when an update has been made.

Question: when a volume number is followed by a slash /2 such as in 4561/2 , is the slash keyed as seen, or the Volume number recorded as 45612 ???

A: Key as seen 4561/2 --Elisabeth power 21:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: I'm having a difficult time with the Relationship and Birth Location and Birth District fields.  The drop downs don't really help without seeing the handwritten samples next to them.  I'm trying to use the Sutterlin help pages, but it's more theoretical than practical.  I have some knowledge of German, but the handwriting is always the hardest to master.

It would sure help if you could provide actual samples of the handwriting and what is transcribed.  Your sample pages are too vague.  

A: The best advice I can give with handwriting is to practice. It gets easier. There are a lot of different styles, and almost no one has a perfect textbook handwriting. And even textbook Sutterlin is miserable, it has a lot of ambiguities. One thing about German documents in particular, is they tend to write names in a more familiar hand, and then revert to Sutterlin for relationships, occupations, and less important stuff. So a lot of pages will mix styles. Some will mix Sutterlin characters with more familiar lettering styles, in the same words. --Paulmd199 04:49, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Q: How do we key birth places that are written over both the location and district fields?

A:  If the birthplace is written across both columns, then key the birthplace twice:  once in the location field, and once in the district field.  For example, if the word "Güstrow" is written across so that it fills up both columns, you would type "Güstrow" for the birthplace, and then "Güstrow" again for the district.  --Kristinbhamilton 03:48, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Sample keyings

Click images for larger view.

Example 1 Mecklenburg 1919 transcription example 1.jpg

Heinrich Strübing Haushaltungsvorstand Männlich 8 Oktober 1869 Güstrow Güstrow
Marie Strübing Ehefrau Weiblich 4 September 1869 Güstrow Güstrow
Paul Strübing Sohn Männlich 29 Mai 1895 Güstrow Güstrow
Hedwig Strübing Tochter Weiblich 20 Dezember 1899 Güstrow Güstrow

Example 2 Mecklenburg 1919 transcription example 2.jpg

August Nettel Haushaltungs Männlich 26 Mai 1859 Dömitz [Blank]
Wilhelmine Nettel Ehefrau Weiblich 16 August 1860 Dömitz [Blank]
Wilhelmine Clifrin Ehefrau Weiblich 16 August 1860 Dömitz [Blank]
Heinr Talg Schwiegersohn Männlich 4 Oktober 1889 Hamburg [Blank]
Frida Talg Tochter Weiblich 5 August 1903 Dömitz [Blank]
Frida Nettel Tochter Weiblich 5 August 1903 Dömitz [Blank]
Gertrud Talg Tochter Weiblich 20 Juni 1919 Dömitz [Blank]

Note that the two women with maiden names marked with "geb." are each entered twice--once under each surname.

Example 3 Mecklenburg 1919 transcription double-m example.png

Emma Melz Ehefrau Weiblich 10 Oktober 1890 Alt Schwerin Parchim

The bar over the "m" in column 1 indicates that the "m" should be doubled; compare with the signature from the lower right corner of the page. Also note the swoop to the upper right of the zero in 10 that can make it look like a 5 or a 6 in low-quality images.