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I found this record of my great grandfather in a local church in Malaysia. Today, nobody use Latin anymore in this country. I should be much grateful if someone can help my family translating this document so that we can trace our root. My great grandfather's name on the certificate is Lam Fuk On.

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    I posted my translation, but the handwriting is a bit difficult: if you know what the fifth line is supposed to say, a transcription would be helpful. (The first thing on that line is a person's name.) – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 16:39

It's a record of a baptism, stating:

  • the date of the event (17 of April of 1887), which was four days after the baby was born
  • the minister officiating the ceremony (Father F.P. Sorin, a French missionary priest, buried at St. Anne's Church, just a few miles away from the church where the baptism took place) (more info about the priest here)
  • the place (the extinct Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Machang Bubok)
  • the name of the parents
  • the Christian name given to the baby (Justinus, or Justin, in English)
  • the name of the godparents (fifth line)
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    Isn't Lam Fuk On the name of the father? Specifically, the line looks like "filium legitimum Lam Fuk On et Virginiae"; my guess is both names are genitive, but "Lam Fuk On" is indeclinable. – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 16:36
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    Woah, nice findings! – Rafael Feb 25 '19 at 17:44
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    You actually found the priest in question?? Damn, impressive! – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 19:41
  • @Draconis No merit for me. Google did the finding! – luchonacho Feb 25 '19 at 20:47
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    I almost fell down from my chair seeing your findings. I am really amazed that you managed to track the details of Father F.P Sorin. The St Anne's Church is a globally well-known church (for its annual St Anne's Feast) near our community. This is also where my father's ash is sealed. I have never thought the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the abandoned/ruined church that I know. Our ancestors (at least 5 generations) are mainly buried here. – Lawrence L Feb 26 '19 at 17:29

This looks like a standard baptism record.

In the Year of Our Lord 1887, on the 17th day of the month of April, in this church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Machang-Bubok, I, Sorin, M. Ap., solemnly baptized the legitimate son of Lam Fuk On and Virginia, born four days ago; the name "Justinus" was given to him. Mian Ah Vu(?) and his wife, Lam Charlotte, were named as his godparents. [Signed,] F. Sorin.

I'm having a bit of difficulty with the handwriting, so I'm not sure I got the priest's name right, and I'm not even able to make a good guess at the godfather's name: it's the first handwritten thing on the fifth line.

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    @luchonacho From the context, I took the name as being in the genitive: compare to "et Virginiae" right after it. – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 16:36
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    The first letter in the second word in the godfather's name matches the A in Aprilis, so it could be [Mian?] An [Vu?] – Rafael Feb 25 '19 at 18:09
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    @Rafael That's as good a reading as any, and certainly better than mine! Added that tentatively to the translation. – Draconis Feb 25 '19 at 19:08
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    The "an/on/en vu" might actually be French (priest was French) "en vu", which would mean as much as "in sight". So then we get for the fifth line: "The godfathers were Mian, present, and Lam Charlotte, his wife". – HolKann Feb 26 '19 at 1:47
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    @HolKann That's an interesting idea! But Rafael's comparison to the first letter in "Aprilis" is convincing, and I'm not sure the priest would use French in an otherwise Latin document. – Draconis Feb 26 '19 at 1:52

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