Feb 262011

Part of the fun of genealogy is discovering your ancestors.  And part of that process is uncovering old records like baptism and marriage records.  One record leads to an older record, and so on back in time.  What is the oldest record you have ever discovered related to an ancestor?

One of the oldest records I’ve uncovered is a baptismal record for my seventh great-grandfather, Joannis Martin Gossé.  He was baptized March 25, 1691 at St. Remi Catholic Church in Baerendorf, Alsace, France.

Baptism of Joannes Martin Gossé

What makes this record interesting is the signature (or mark) of his father, my eighth great-grandfather, Christian Gossé, seen as a figure-eight symbol at the bottom.  Years later in 1717 he used the same symbol to sign this son’s marriage record.

Of course it was not uncommon for people of the era to be illiterate.  Records from this time are filled with symbols representing the signatures of parents, brides and grooms.

See the Joannis Martin and Margaretha Gossé family group sheet.

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