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Donnerstag, 28. April 2011, 15:09

Im Vertretung-What does it mean?

I found this expression in the baptism of my great-grand-mother here in Brazil (Lutheran Church).

Vor und Zuname der Tautzeugen-Ulrich Ulrichsen in Vertretung Ernst Böse

Could a Tautzeugen be in Germany and be substituted in the ceremony by another person? I say that because some of the persons (Tautzeugen)seem never have been in Brazil.

Thank you


Donnerstag, 28. April 2011, 17:11

I think you are quite right in assuming that one Taufzeuge (not being able to participate in the ceremony personally) was substituted by another person.
MfG, J. Steffen


Freitag, 29. April 2011, 07:36


I totally agree with J. Steffen.

In some places, the function of Taufzeugen was not only to verify the birth event, but included a lasting relationship and resposibility, e. g. to provide good education if the actual parents were unable to. To choose a certain one might have been a matter of his social and financial status, but just as well to pay respect to someone, or to strengthen family ties.

I found an dessen Stell, für ihn and similair remarks for substited witnesses at several periods, churches and locations in European church books and civil registers.


Freitag, 29. April 2011, 18:08

Im Vertretung-what does it mean?

Thank you very much! Now a problem is solved.In the baptisms of many children in Brazil there were names of persons that weren´t in the German passenger lists. The children received the names of the Taufzeugen as a tribute to those who remained in German.

Another question-did the first-born boy receive his grandfather's name?Was there a pattern to choose the name of the chidren?




Freitag, 29. April 2011, 20:25


Most boys received the name of their father or grandfather or,in some cases also one name of the father, the second of the grandfather and another name.