Honestly I am not very religious at all but I started to want to thank more than the Lord when I discovered that the following things are rooted in faith:
Sacraments (including last rights)
Burials and cemetery hard copies
It seems odd to the faithless but our families of the past were so rooted we forget places we can look other than paper copies of government registrations.
Family Bibles in several sect including Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon and Anglican keep records in the bibles they pass down like the one below:
Parishes from all over the world can look in their records. When my grandfather took a course in the 1980s it went so far as to provide templates in foreign languages to formally request in trade for a donation.
In cases in the olden times- the church and state didn’t communicate and the only one keeping records was the church- especially during transitional government areas. The French German boarder where I enjoy the hunting actually only has records from the parish. This link is http://archives.bas-rhin.fr/registres-paroissiaux-et-documents-d-etat-civil/ is for that area. I have been hunting the old areas.
Translation and that conversation will be coming soon. But once you see the jigsaw puzzle pieces shapes the family puzzle can become very clear.
Side entry: Anna Margaretha Sengerin, age 36
In the year above [apparently, 1766, to gauge by the next entry] on Feb. 16 there piously died, fortified with all the sacraments of the church and with general absolution, Anna Margaretha, wife of Johannes Senger, local citizen and tailor, at the age of thirty six. The next day, she was buried in the local cemetery. In attestation of this, the following signed: [signatures] Johannes Senger, Jörg Cohn, J.C. Dietz parish priest [with some ecclesiastical abbrevations I don’t know]
The Lord knows thy name.. Government records may be signed with an X but the priest used the whole name especially since the family may reuse names or better use only colloquial to differentiate family members.
In several cases I have also found the Parish records more effective than the local records since the government ported the bodies or re-used the graves.
Who bought the internment plot- are they related? Perhaps they are executor
Who signed off on the death? – See the family or a professional from the area who can attest the body
Faith is perspective too. I have read journal entries where faith isolates families and prevents unions. Faith can show what the options are if you want to change towns.- Not going there as they are ____. Follow the faith trail- like minded tend to stay together even now.