How to Use the Database

The explanation of the following categories may facilitate your search:


Christian Name:

name of the person, normally his or her first name
Surname:family name, description of descent or byname
Function:status and office hold by a clergyman, also worldly positions
Function (Ämterthesaurus):the search in the category function is supported by a "Ämterthesaurus" (Thesaurus of Offices)
Orders:according to the abbreviations of "Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche"
Institution:ecclesiastical Institution
Diocese:diocese or archdiocese
Image:number of card file

You may combine two search items via logical operations by the use of logical operators ("and", "or", "and not"). These two search items might belong to one or two categories.

The names searched for are always understood to be part of the names already entered into the database and do not need to be absolutely congruent with the existent data; the database does not differentiate between capital letters and lower case letters. The search for the name "Albert" also produces the result "Adalbert". Additionally, you can search for the phonetic value of the search items. Please read the explanation of the Soundex to learn more about the phonetic value.

You might further refine your search temporally (search the time within two dates, e.g. between 1400 and 1500, or before or after a specified year). However, you have to consider that the database contains information stemming from necrologies, which do not give any dates. Therefore, these entries will not be displayed if you use this function. Some of the dates - due to the source material - have been made available very imprecisely which is indicated by "ca." or "um". Some dates also contain specifications like "-1450 0 0" meaning that the person is documented before 1450. In reversed order, "1300 0 0-", means that the person searched for is documented after the given date.

Category "Names" [top]

Please note that the names have been entered into the database according to their spelling in the source material. If you are searching for "Johannes", it would be advisable to search also for the names "Johann", "Hans", "Hannes" etc. In order to facilitate your search, the search option Soundex has been developed. You only need to activate Die (Vor)Namen und Zunamen sollen nach Lautwerten durchsucht werden. (Christian names and surnames are to be searched according their phonetic value).
The Soundex is supposed to facilitate the search for names. The system is simple: All vowels are ignored and certain consonants are regarded as interchangeable. Double letters (e.g. "pp") are reduced to one letter. Lengthening letters, especially the "h", are being ignored as well. If up to four consonants are matching, the names are produced. The result of the search may include information for which you might not have asked (e.g. Hermann and Ieronymus). Therefore, the results have to be examined carefully. It might be useful to search one name twice: The first time by using the Soundex and the second time without.

Equated consonants in the Soundex:

d = t
m = n
c = k = g = j
b = p = f
w = v
s = ß = z
Category "Function" [top]

By using the category "function", you can search for ecclesiastical offices und dignitaries as well as statuses ("Mönch" [monk], "Novize" [novice], and "Konverse" [conversus]), or worldly officers and persons (e.g. "Amtmann" [bailiff] or "Stifter" [founder, benefactor]). The names of the dignitaries have been entered into the database as they occur in the sources in German, Latin, or older German (e.g. praepositus, prepositus, Propst, provest). We advise you to search for only one term and to avoid combinations as the chance increases to find your search item. Combinations are produced automatically.

Category "Function (Ämterthesaurus)" [top]

By making use of the "Ämterthesaurus" (Thesaurus of Offices), you can search for offices and dignitaries. Each office of the thesaurus has its own specified term which in most of the cases is the modern term: "Bischof" (bishop), "Abt" (abbot), "Propst" (provost) instead of "episcopus","abbas", "praepositus". By searching for the term "Propst", you will receive results for the following varieties: praepositus, prepositus, Propst, provest.

Category "Orders" [top]

List of Abbreviations of Orders:

CanACanonici Augustiniani
OAnnMO. de Annuntioatione Beatae Mariae Virginis
OCarmO. Fratrum/Sororum Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo
OCartO. Cartusiensis
OCistO. Cisterciensis
OESGOrdo Fratrum Eremitarum Sancti Guilhelmi
OFMO. Fratrum Minorum
OFMCapO. Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum Capulatorum)
OFMObsO. Fratrum Minorum (Regularis) Observantiae (de Observantia)
OFMRecO. Fratrum Minorum (Strictoris Observantiae) Recollectorum
OFSO. Franciscanus Saecularis
OMelO. Melitensis; O. Militiae Sancti Johannis Baptistae Hospitalis Hierosolymitani
OPO. Fratrum Praedicatorum
OPraemO. Praemonstratensis
OSAO. Sancti Augustini
OSBO. Sancti Benedicti
O. Sanctissimi SalvatorisO. Sanctae Birgittae
OSCO. Sanctae Crucis
OSClO. Sanctae Clarae
OSFO. Sanctio Francisci
OSUO. Sanctae Ursulae
OTO. Fratrum Domus Hospitalis Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum in Jerusalem; O. Teutonicus
SJS. Jesu
TORTertius O. Regularis Sancti Francisci

Category "Institution" [top]

In this category, you can search for place names as well as for the names of the institutions. Simple parishes, where no other ecclesiastical institutions existed, are registered under the name of the place (e.g. Herdecke). Monasteries and chapters are often either to be found under their main patron saint (e.g. St. Patroklus, Soest) or their colloquial name (e.g. Mariengraden, Köln). However, some could only be found by searching for the name of the place (e.g. Kamp/Camp/Altenkamp).

Category "Diocese" [top]

The arrangement of the dioceses follows the borders established by the year 1500. Therefore, the dioceses of Utrecht and Lüttich belong to the archdiocese Cologne.

Category "Image" [top]

If you are searching for the images of the file cards, you have to type in the number of the card file (e.g. iv.13.7.406), or at least a part of the number (e.g. iv.13.7). This may be necessary as the database works by cross referencing data.