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German Heritage --> History


The history of origins of a village

Temporal dates can vary obviously, depending on the regional relation. The following systematisation refers to the area of Northern-Germany.

The history of a village is divided in settlement stages:


With taking possession of land by the farmer , later called Hufner, Höfner or Vollhöfner, the settlement began (1. settlement stage) and with it started the beginning and the story of a village. Much earlier than in the year 1000, possibly even in the early langobardic-saxoniy period about 300 A.D.


also Kätner, Kossät, Kotsaß The second settlement stage covers, according to Pröve, the era between 800 and 1500. Their number in the several villages mostly is small. Differences between Gross- and Kleinkötnern (Big- and Small-Kötner) are documented since the middle of the 17th century. The group of Small-Kötner belongs to a later placed stage or grew out of the division of a Big-Kote, what happened time and again. The expression Kate mostly stands for a "little house or flat of a smaller owner", in the opposite to the house of a Kötner, a Kate. From the word Kate arised the term for the smaller farmer, the Kötner. The name "Kotsaß", in use in some areas, means "on a Kote sitting farmer".


also Brinkkötner The farmer of the village had to decide themselves, in agreement with the office, if this, in the later 16th century but mostly after the 30 year war appearing group was allowed to settle down (3. settlement stage). Therefore mostly seemed to fit the village-brink for building the Kate. The Brink was placed in the middle or on the edge of the village. At the beginning the Brinksitzer had none or litte land and, beside the work and help in the village amd farms, they often run errands like transporting letters or other messages between the village and the office.


also Neubauer (approxiamately after 1750) Settlers, whose name and possessions appear after 1750 in the registers (4. settlement stage) and especially emerge obviously in the records and contracts of the so-called coupling time of the 19th century. Among them there were the firste artisans too, except those who already had their place in the village in the time of the 2. and 3. settlement stage. These Anbauer took part on the special partition of the areas, alloted to the village from the division of the Allmende-area, and got a small area, however not the Abbauer belonging to the next settlement stage.


The 5. settlement stage began in the years, when the farmers got, by spezial partition, coupling and possibility of loosening their ground-manioral charges and services, possession of the ground where their ancestors had lived and worked partially for centuries. Now they could dispose of the land in their own discretion, could transfer land to the younger sons as child-portion, and assign doughters land as marriage portion. So these were portioned off from the farmstead, that's why the Abbauer form the 5. settlement stage, the last in the history of an old village.

[after a news-contribution of Hans W. Meyer]

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