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German Language/Question about "eine" and "gebohren"


I have several questions about one sentence.
In a German death record from 1808, I have found this sentence:
"Sie war eine gebohren Hofmann."
Is "gebohren" an old form of "geboren"?
And is the word "eine" used correctly here?
Is there a difference between "Sie war eine gebohren Hofmann" and "Sie war gebohren Hofmann"?
And lastly: Could the sentence "Sie war eine gebohren Hofmann" possibly mean that her MOTHER, and not she herself, was born a Hofmann?
Thank you very much for your help.

Hello Ronald,

thank you very much for your question.

You're right, "gebohren" is an old form of spelling "geboren". German spelling has gone through quite some changes since the 19th century.
Still today, the phrase "sie war eine geborene Hofmann" means that the woman was born with the family name Hofmann. If the woman got married, she dropped the name Hofmann and took her husband's family name as that was the rule in that time.
The woman's mother still goes by the name of Hofmann, but the daughter lost that name when she got married. However, the woman's mother was (most probably) not born a Hofmann. The mother had a different family name when she was born, that of her parents. Then, she married a Mr. Hofmann and changed her name. Then they had a daughter who was born a Hofmann.
It is common to say "Sie ist/war eine geborene Hofmann." "eine" is used correctly here, and one would not say "Sie war geboren Hofmann".

I hope this helps.

Kind regards

German Language

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As a native German speaker working professionally with languages, I can answer questions concerning German grammar, spelling and punctuation. I can also help with understanding and short German-English translations. As I also speak French, I might also be helpful concerning German-French translations. Translation only refers to short texts here.


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