The Weinkaufprotokolle des Amtes Esens, a record of property transfer fees from 1554 to 1811, shows that in 1589-90, a 200 Taler Weinkauf on Benser Herd 8 is paid by Tiarck Bremers. This probably shows Tiarck, Gate’s father, paying the transfer tax and taking over the farm because his brother Haike has died.
Tiarck then married Rinnolt Remmers, daughter of Remmer Koncken. When she died, he passed her farm to the eldest son they had together, Haye Bremers, who was 3 or 4 years old at the time.
Then Tiarck married Tette, the mother of Gate. Probably he was named for Tette’s father. This would be typical, but it is so far not supported with any documents describing her family. She brought a large dowry to Tiarck, who was well off already: He owned Benser Herd 8, a sizable family farm, and he was no doubt also farming the Remmer Koncken property his wife had owned.
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The 1600 Landbuch (a “treasury book or register”) identified Benser Vogtei Herd 8 with Haio Bremers, although the last one to pay the Weinkauf had been Tiarck Bremers, Gate’s father, in 1589-90. Haio Bremers here could refer to three distinct individuals by that name: Tiarck’s father Haye, who owned the farm until he died in 1587; Tiarck’s brother Haike, who paid the Weinkauf when Haye died; or Tiarck’s son Haye (Gate’s half-brother, named for Tiarck’s father), 4 or 5 years old at this time, for whom Tiarck had paid the Weinkauf for Seriemer Herd 13, the family farm of the little boy’s mother. The most likely explanation is that Haio here refers to Tiarck’s father.
The 1600 Landbuch generally describes land as belonging to the most recent individual to pay the Weinkauf. Occasionally an irregularity crops up. Farms are frequently described according to who the owner was a few generations ago, but the 1600 Landbuch seldom resorts to these descriptions.
In 1600, the farm is described as 9 Diemat of owned Marsch, and 68 Diemat of leased Marsch.
At any rate, on 19 May 1624, the record clearly shows that Tiarck Bremers has died, and he must have been the owner of the Herd, because his inheritance is here described in considerable and intriguing detail:
“Er gebrauchte anderthalb Land, 77 [Diemat]. Das Land gibt anderthalb ‘Küchengerechtigkeit.’ [Seine Gnaden] erhält jährlich an Heuer 1 1/2 [Goldgulden]. Das übrige Land ist verschiedenen Hausleuten zuständig. Nachgelassen aus 1. Ehe 2 Söhne, von denen der ältere, Haye, bereits ein anderes Land beweinkauft hat. Der andere, Remmer, ‘tut in der stadt Esens seine bürgerliche nahrung.’ Aus 2. Ehe hinterlassen 3 Söhne und 1 Tochter. Der Vater hat in seinem Letzten gebeten, daß das Land ‘auf eines der letzten kinder möchte beweinkauft werden, in ansehung deren mutter einen großen brautschatz, als 2400 [Taler], zu ihm eingebracht.’ 1583 [verweinkauft] mit 150 [Reichstaler]. Der älteste Sohn Gate bietet ‘mit belieben seiner mutter’ 150 [Reichstaler]. Verehrung schuldig.”
He had a farm and a half [?], 77 Diemat. The farm is one and a half by “kitchen justice.” [?] His Grace receives yearly in rent 1 1/2 gold florins. The rest of the farm is under the responsibility of different people. [I.e. they are the landlords, or they are tenants?] He leaves behind from his first wife two sons, of which the elder, Haye, already has “Weinkaufed” a different farm [see previous discussions of Seriem Herd 13]. The other, Remmer, “in the city Esens makes his bürgerliche nahrung” [probably runs an inn or alehouse]. From the second wife he leaves behind three sons and one daughter. The father has asked in his will that the farm “would be ‘Weinkaufed’ to one of the last children, in consideration that their mother had brought him a big dowry, as 2400 Taler. In 1583 [the farm was Weinkaufed] with 150 Reichstaler. The oldest son, Gate, offers “with the blessing of his mother,” 150 Reichstaler. Due respect.
The previous Weinkauf records, from 1587 and 1589, show that the farm was “Weinkaufed” for 200 Taler, not 150. So Gate got a deal here.
The reference to a large dowry suggests that Tette Gathen came from a wealthy family. There is not much record locally up to this time of anyone with the name Gate or Gathe. Tette and variants (Tetje, Tadke, Tade, Teite, et al.) are common names in this area at the time, for both men and women. It is possible that Tetke Gathen came from outside of the area. It is also possible, though a bit of a stretch, that Gathen is a misnomer for Galtissen or Galten. The name Galtit is prominent in the area just east of here, around Großholum, for a few generations. The question of Tette Gathen’s heritage merits further study.
A separate entry in 1624 confirms that Gate Tyarckes is paying the Weinkauf for the farm. “Er restiert 1627-1628 mit 30 [Reichstaler] jährlich,” it says: He’s paying in arrears 30 Reichstaler yearly.
In 1632, in the Deichrechnung, the farm is still listed under the name Tiarck Brehmers. Its size is now registered at 60 Diemat.
In 1658, the official record shows Claeß Johanßen as the “Landgebräucher” (land user). This is from the “Empfang und Ausgaben der zur ‘Einteichung [der] durch gottes milden segen ahngewachsenen Wittmunder Grode’ vom 21.4 bis 29.8 angesetzten und bis dahin in 14 Terminen oder 4 2/3 Monaten fälligen ‘Zähentägigen zulagegelder.’” In other words, that’s the “Receipts and expenditures of the reclamation [i.e. dike-building] of the Wittmunder Grode, by the grace of God’s mild growth, scheduled from 21 April through 29 August, 14 weeks or 4 /23 months, taken from the ten-day meeting collections [?].”
On 10 November 1659, Claeß Johansen has apparently died. The Herd, now listed at 64 Diemat of Marsch and 5 Diemat of Groden, is “auf die älteste Tochter Pelde zu [verweinkauf] angegeben”: It is given to the eldest daughter, Pelde, to [pay the] Weinkauf.
The passing of the farm from Claeß to Pelde is itself interesting, and a story for a different place. But there is an intriguing shift here from 1624, when the land is registered to Gate Tiarcks, to 1658, when Claeß Johanßen is shown as the land user. No Weinkauf transfer fee has been paid in between those dates. But when Claeß Johansen dies in 1659, the property transfers from him to his daughter. What happened?
Probably what happened was the turmoil of the Thirty Years’ War, from 1618-1648, which ranged throughout Germany and involved at various points most of the countries in Europe. Ernst von Mansfeld tromped all over the area and took up quarters in Ostfriesland for some time, ravaging the countryside and wreaking general havoc. Records may not have been well kept, and land transfers may have been overlooked.
We do know that Gate (a.k.a. Gathe) Bremer did not die during these years; his death is recorded in the Esens church record for 13 October 1668, when he is described as 67 years old.
We do know that Tiada, described as the wife of Claass Johansen (“Witt-Claass” is spelled out clearly in the record of her passing), is recorded in the Esens church book as having died 21 March 1647.
Tiada appears to be the sister of Gate and his two brothers (Gate’s wife is present at the baptism of one of Tiada’s daughters), and we can see that she married Witt-Claeß Johanßen (they baptize several children together, and are linked in other references).
So we assume that somewhere in the intervening years, Gate transfered his ownership of Herd 8 to Tiada and Claeß. The circumstances are not clear from the record.
We also know that Gate’s mother, Tette (Gathen), was alive through 14 May 1656, and she may have exercised some influence over the property transfers in the family. Tette had brought in a large dowry, so she had some of her own family wealth at stake in the estate. In 1624, she gave her blessing to Gate as he took over her deceased husband’s family farm, but by 1659, with Gate still alive, that farm seems to belong to Gate’s brother-in-law.
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The Weinkaufprotokolle itself has an intriguing history, best covered in a separate article.
At this period in local history, it is unusual for a family name to be entered in the records. Most people were identified by their given name plus their patronymic: Tiarck Haigen[son], or Tiarck, the son of Hayo. It is noteworthy that for several decades of successive generations of this family, the records identify them as Bremer or Bremers.