Old German Writing

Genealogy has held its popularity for generations, allowing us to uncover the intriguing stories of our own past. However, when it comes to old German documents, whether printed or handwritten, the unique writing styles they contain can present an additional challenge.


One of the old German scripts is ‘Kurrent’. Based on late medieval cursive writing, it was mainly used until the first part of the 20th century.

Sütterlin (Suetterlin)

This script, also known as the ‘deutsche Schrift’, was created by the German graphic artist Ludwig Sütterlin (1865–1917) and was taught at German schools from 1915–1941. Technically, Sütterlin is just a variation of the older Kurrent script.


Fraktur is calligraphy style that emerged in Germany during the 16th century. It is a version of the 12th century French blackletter style of writing and became the standard way to write in many parts of Europe. The name Fraktur comes from Latin and means ‘fractured’ or ‘broken script.

» Legibility is the politeness of handwriting.«
Friedrich Dürrenmatt