Welcome to Tuesday Tips! You may be asking what are Tuesday Tips? Well, Tuesday Tips are little tips I will give every Tuesday. My main goal with Tuesday Tips is to educate young or not so young genealogists about the small details often hidden or overlooked in a record.
This week’s question is “What is the plus next to my relative’s name?”
First, this plus sign is called a crutch cross or cross potent. They have historically been used in medieval heraldry and other religious organizations like the Teutonic Order or the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
So what does the cross mean? The cross signifies that the baptized died. Sometimes there’s a date accompanying the cross but most of the time there isn’t a date, the date shown next to the cross is the death date.
Both Catholics and Protestants used this symbol in their baptismal records. Do baptismal or birth records in your country or religion use the crutch cross? Or do you have a completely separate symbol? I’d love to know! You can Tweet us at @thehiddenbranch.