Beyond History Blog

The meaning of calendars in genealogical research in Germany

Andrea Bentschneider - 15. December 2016 - General, Genealogy, Historical Documents, Knowledge

Dates are basic for doing genealogical research. By knowing specific dates we as genealogists are able to look for searched persons and to create complete ancestral charts. While doing genealogical research, the different calendrical systems need to be considered.

Different calendrical systems 

In history there were always calendars, already in older civilizations systems were elaborated to classify time and the unit of a ”year” systematically. Hence different calendrical systems were established: The Romans brought in the Julian Calendar, in France the French Republican Calender was established in 1792. Moreover, every religion has its own computation of time which is guided by the holidays among others.

Though the Gregorian calendar is generally valid in most parts of the world nowadays, we as genealogists needs to consider other calendar systems as well. Since we often do research by looking up German church books from earlier centuries, it is indispensable to know the ecclesiastical calendar among others. Otherwise some church records could not be deciphered.

Often the dates in old church book entries are not given in a way we know today - consisting of day - month - year; Instead there are abbreviated and Latin indications that are to decode. The marriage entry of Jacob BARMBROCK und Ilsabe LÜNZMANN who married in 1822 is an example. The date is mentioned as:

„d. 17. Nov. Dom. 24. und 25. P. Trin“.
(see church book record below)

To decipher this entry it is useful a) to be proficient in Latin, b) to know the church calendar, and c) to be good in arithmetic.

The above-mentioned entry stands for “17th November 1822, Dominica 24. und 25. post (Dominica) Trinitatis“ which means that the couple was married on 17th November 1822 and that their marriage was proclaimed on the 24th and 25th Sunday after Sunday Trinitatis". According to the church year, the feast of Trinitatis is celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost in honor of the Trinity; this Sunday is called "Sunday Trinitatis" (Latin: "Dominica Trinitatis").

Since the ecclesiastical holidays - like the Feast of Pentecost - shift from year to year in our today's Gregorian calendar, first step would be to find out when in 1822 Pentecost was celebrated and from this date we then would calculate the 24th and 25th Sunday after Sunday Trinitatis.

Regarding the budgets of our clients, that kind of approach would of course be much too costly, therefore we are grateful for any website or literature that give us hints. For example, we like to go back to the website

If we enter “1822” as the year, we learn (without complicated calculation!) that the 24th and 25th Sundays after Sunday Trinitatis were the 17th and 24th November in 1822 and that the proclamation took place these days.

While doing your family research, has a date ever attracted your attention, but you were not able to decipher it? Or have you ever noticed strange dates that you would like to share with us? We are looking forward to your comments.



New comment


Beyond History

12. April 2024

Dear Lottie,


sorry for the late reply. Both entries are marriage entries. In the first one, Johann Andreas HÄNEL married Johanna Sophia VIEHWEGIN.


According to the 25th Sunday after Trinitatis in 1788 was 09 Nov 1788 and the 23rd Sunday after Trinitatis in 1790 was 07 Nov 1790.


These are probably the dates when the marriages were proclaimed, since afterwards the date of marriage is given.


We hope this helps.


Best regards,

Your Beyond History Team


Lottie Aston

29. March 2023


This was another one.




Domin. 23. p. Trinit. copulated the 22. Nov. H. Schönfeld the honorable and experienced Johann George Rothar, former High Countess of Einsiedeln art and pleasure gardener in Wolkenburg, now however the same in princely Waldenburg. Services at Lichtenstein, a widower, and the wonderful and virtuous wife virtuous Mrs. Maria Elisabeth Schimpf in the because honorable and respectable Mr. Traugott Leberecht Schimpfs, former Electorate of Saxony well-disposed bridges Thorschreiber all here hinterl. Widow.

Lottie Aston

29. March 2023

Hello! Trying to decipher what I think is the death date for my 5th great-grandfather in 1788.


Dom. XXV. p. Trin. cop. 24. Novembr.


Full entry is below.




Dom. XXV. p. Trin. cop. 24. Novembr. der H. Diac. Schönfeld

der Ehrenwohlgeachte und Wohlbenahmte Mstr. Johann Andreas

Friedrich Hänel, Bürger und Schuhmacher allhier, des weil. Eh-

renwohlgeachten und Wohlbenahmten Johann Jacob Hänels, Richters

in Rittersgrüne nachgelaßener ehel. dritter Sohn, ein Jungge-

selle und die Ehrbahre, und Tugendreiche Jfr. Johanna Sophia

Viehwegin, des Ehrsamen und Nahmhaften Johanng Gottfried Vieh-

wegs, Einwohners und Handarbeiters in Altpenig ehel. älteste

Tochter anderer Ehe.”

Beyond History

15. September 2022

Dear James,

This should be 12 August 1804 (according to We hope, this helps!

Best regards,

Your Beyond History Team

James Anderson

02. September 2022

11th Sunday after Trinitatis in the year 1804 in Bornholm, Denmark

Beyond History

08. June 2022

Dear Jeannie,

thanks for your question. This is nearly the same as the information mentioned above. It is the 18th Sunday after Trinitatis. In order to find out the exact date, you will need to know the year (since the holiday shifts from year to year) and find out when Trinitatis was in that year and count from there, or you can just use the website mentioned in the text ( where you can enter the year. It lists the sundays after Trinitatis for the given year and also some other dates.

I hope, this information helps.

Best regards and good luck in your research!

Your Beyond History Team

Jeannie Robertson

06. June 2022

German Marriage Date

I ran into a marriage date in German record that I am totally mystified by. The date is “ 18 Post Trinitatis”.


Can you help me?



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