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Adding umlauts and the like

This is definitely going to be snippet week around The Legal Genealogist.

I are a student!!

With the last-last minute decision of the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy to go virtual, I was able to snag a seat in Warren Bittner’s Gothic Script and Fraktur course — a class I’ve been wanting to take for ages — to try to help with reading the records of the 50% of my ancestors who all were in what is Germany today.

So between practicing reading the script and practicing writing the script, and — yeah — teaching a couple of sessions in other classes — I’m going to be pressed for time.

So… snippets.

Snippet 1-2022

And in honor of the German class and my own German roots, here’s a practical snippet: how to add those marks to the names and places of our German ancestors.

You don’t want Jurgen, you want Jürgen, with the umlauted u? On a Windows computer, type ALT+129; for the capital Ü, it’s ALT+154.

Each letter has its own set of ALT combos:

For Ä, it’s Alt+0196. For ä, it’s Alt+0228.
For Ë, it’s Alt+0203. For ë, it’s Alt+0235.
For Ï, it’s Alt+0207. For ï, it’s Alt+0239.
For Ö, it’s Alt+0214. For ö, it’s Alt+0246.
For Ü, it’s Alt+0220. For ü, it’s Alt+0252.
For Ÿ, it’s Alt+0159. For ÿ, it’s Alt+0255.

On a Mac, press and hold the Option key while typing the letter u (for umlaut). Then type the letter to which you want to add the umlaut, so for ü it would be Option+u, u. For Ü, it’s Option+u, shift+u.

The goofy-looking character that looks like a lopsided capital B but sounds like a double-S (the esszet) is a little different. On a Windows system, the ß character is ALT+225/ On a Mac, it’s OPTION+s.

Need more help? Check out the FamilySearch guide on special German characters.

Don’t wanna learn this but need the characters anyway? Try TypeIt, an online service where you just click the right button, the character appears and you can copy and paste it into your own document. The German characters are here.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Snippet: marking your Germans,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 10 Jan 2022).

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