Want to know a secret?
You can learn the old German handwriting. Yes, you.
How do I know? Because I did. And if I can do it, you can too.
It's time to believe in yourself! You CAN read your ancestors' documents.
Why? Because in this course, there is a style of learning for everyone, so no matter how you learn, you will find the method that best fits your own individual needs:
Video Lectures - Flashcards - Matching Games - Reading - Writing - Tests & Quizzes - Practice Words - Discussion Forum - All Self-Paced
The Course Also Includes:
- In-Depth Look at the Individual Letters of the Alphabet + Tricks on How to Recognize Them
- Guide to Common Letter Combinations in the German Script + How to Sightread Them
- Practice Section on Deciphering Short Words from Actual Genealogical Documents
- Deep Dive into the Vocabulary on German Records, such as:
- Milestone Words
- Causes of Death
- Practice Section on Deciphering These Words from Actual Genealogical Documents
- Lessons on Reading Specific Genealogical Records (Videos and Text)
- Actual Genealogical Records to Decipher + Answer Keys
- Downloadable Articles on the Best Tips and Tricks for Reading the Old German Handwriting
- Discussion Forum to Discuss Struggles and Victories with Fellow "Classmates"
Sound fun? It is!
But don't take my word for it - check out the testimonials below.
With over 100 students and counting, people are loving - and learning from - Reading the Old German Handwriting Online Course.
Are you ready to join us? Ready to read your ancestors' documents all by yourself?
Let's get started!
Get started now!
One of the best genealogy decisions I've ever made:
After 20+ years of dealing with German Catholic records that primarily used Latin script, last September I connected to a Lutheran line that used Kurrentschrift which I've always found challenging (to say the least). While I could pick out names, dates and places I knew that I was missing a great deal of detail.
Katherine's course is aimed at keeping learning Kurrentschrift not only enjoyable but achievable. I truly would recommend the course to anyone who is serious about being able to get the most detail out of their family's documents.
I'm not done with the course yet but I've noticed an improvement in what I can read and understand. The course is one of the best genealogy decisions I've ever made. - Kurt Cook, Salt Lake City, UT
Amazing "aha" moments:
I’m now well into this course and I remain absolutely delighted! I can see how much care Katherine has put into the planning of the course and its progression. I love the variety in the teaching formats: powerpoint lessons, games, quizzes, vocabulary downloads and the practice sessions. All these help to reinforce the teaching and facilitate learning.
I’ve noticed such an improvement in what I can read and understand of my ancestors’ records. There have been some amazing “aha” moments when I’m now able to recognise the shape of a particularly tricky letter, or a cause of death. Along the way Katherine has also provided tips and tricks, together with links to some really helpful websites….. the total package! - Lis Drew, Australia
Could not recommend it more highly:
I started this course frustrated that I couldn’t even decipher the signatures of my ancestors on documents. By the time I had finished, I felt confident enough to study and begin translating the entire record! What an empowering experience! Katherine Schober’s unique approach to education encompasses multiple learning styles, allowing each student to absorb information in the way that suits him or her best. The variety of options for review – a combination of videos, flashcards, games, and printable vocabulary lists – keeps study time interesting. I could not recommend “Reading the Old German Handwriting” more highly! - Katie C., New Jersey
Loads of fun:
I love Reading the Old German Handwriting class! I am very much a "hands on learner" and also need visuals, so being able to do this on my own time and feeling the security of going back to reinforce what I have learned has been really great. I love the matching and flashcard games. They really reinforce the presentation; and they are loads of fun! There are a number of samples that have been very helpful; especially with Katherine vocalizing and pointing out the letters. I also like the helpful hints. All of these things combined have made this a great learning experience for me. - Sandy J.
She shared her whole toolbox with us:
First of all, I was excited to find an in-depth online course for translation of old German documents. I found the course challenging and comprehensive. I appreciate Katherine’s Powerpoints with the careful and measured instruction and explanations appropriate for even the least experienced students. With the games, challenging practice documents, plus tips and links to online assistive sites, it felt like she shared her whole toolbox with us. This includes some of the more tricky workings of the German language, like word order and alternate spellings. The vocabulary lists of BMD, occupations, causes of death, include some not found in other sources. Having studied the language in the past, viewed webinars and practiced the handwriting, I’ve had some success with translation. I have also been left with pages of German words (not all BMD documents) for which this course has provided context, enabling me to better understand my documents and to more skillfully transcribe them into English. - Josephine L.
I can really see the difference:
I would highly recommend this course for beginners to advanced genealogists who want to learn or improve their abilities to read Kurrentschrift. I am about half way through the course but have already noticed improvement in reading Kurrentschrift. I will still need to practice and this course allows you to practice, test yourself, and review. I have already tested myself against other documents that I have on hand and can really see the difference. The coursework is relevant and aimed towards the genealogical terms you will encounter and there are many tips and tidbits along the way. - Sherri T., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Well worth the time and monetary investment:
I was excited when I learned about the option of taking the Old German Handwriting Course. Many of my ancestral lines root in Germany and I have copies of numerous signatures, birth and marriage records, etc. Also, I studied German for three years in college and have traveled to Germany several times. So that prior study and travel gave me some familiarity with German although not with the Kurrentschrift.
The course became a review of some German study previously (i.e. months of the year), and it allowed me to review the signatures of German ancestors. In one of those signatures from 1812 in Virginia, an ancestor signed for permission for his son to marry. The family name in the United States became Troxell. However, the signature was nothing like this. Then an “aha” moment happened when I recognized the German “D” in the signature. I already knew that the German name was Drachsel. The “D” in the signature was the first letter in the last name. He had signed in his native German. Amazing!
I commend the course to anyone with German ancestral connections. Do the lessons and exercises and then review the lessons. When I reached the end of the course, I went through all the lessons (lectures) again in sequence. Then I began to make connections that were very helpful. When I did the letter exercises (reading handwritten letters sent between people) in the last lesson, I was amazed at how I could recognize letters and some of the words, given my previous acquaintance with German.
The lectures are interesting and can be followed easily.The format allows a person to review each one easily. There are numerous tips and hints for connecting the letters and words. The print-outs are useful for future references. A very student-friendly course.
The course is well worth the time and monetary investment. - Robert A.
My world has expanded:
I recently completed the handwriting teachable German online course after experiencing difficulty with the Kurrentschrift when looking at family letters. I have searched for the ones with the least messy handwriting and am slowly tackling them one by one just like a detective. Katherine does a wonderful job in the course with explaining the common pitfalls and strategies to discover the words using many useful techniques. It really is like learning a second alphabet so be patient with yourself and try each exercise in the program. I have not mastered reading every word in my family letters because individual writers have their own styles, however I am close to 90%.
I plan to revisit the course every few months which is an excellent feature of the program to review and practice, practice, practice! We all know the old adage-How does one get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice practice....I am able to decipher more of the letters from the late 1800’s to 1930 or so, and my world has expanded to understand the daily lives of my relatives, their hopes, and fears. It allows me to stand tall knowing where my roots come from. Thanks to Katherine Schober for creating this amazing online class for learning the Kurrentshrift along with her accompanying book. - Christianne R., Mission Viejo, CA
Moves My Research Along Faster:
My eyes used to glaze over when I looked at the old German handwriting on parish and civil records, on postcards and letters.
NO MORE! After working through 75% of the course, I find myself pushing back at that glaze, starting to sight-read the handwritten words, or at least recognizing/transcribing individual letters/words written in those less-than-perfect handwriting styles, to actually reveal a word. Now I don't have to wait days and weeks for those vital records translations to learn what is in them, which moves my research along faster. - Don R.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Katherine Schober is a German-English genealogy translator who has translated for both The History Channel and PBS' Finding Your Roots. She works with the old German script in letters, diaries, certificates, church records, and more, helping people like you decipher the clues to their ancestors' lives. With a Master's Degree in German coupled with a passion for history and language, Katherine truly enjoys working with the documents of the past - and knows this course will enable you to do the same!
Contact: [email protected]