The Weinkaufprotokolle des Amtes Esens, a record of property transfer fees from 1554 to 1811, shows that in 1587 the Weinkauf on Benser Vogtei Herd 8, a 65-Diemat parcel of farmland previously owned by Hayo Bremers, is paid by “Haye Bremers Sohn Haike” (Hayo’s son Haike), suggesting that Hayo has died, and the farm has passed to the next generation. (The Weinkauf is a kind of title transfer tax.)
A scant two years later, in 1589-90, a 200 Tl Weinkauf on Benser Herd 8 is paid by Tiarck Bremers. The likely interpretation is that Tiarck is a brother of Haike, both of them sons of Hayo Bremers, and that Tiarck is paying the transfer tax and taking over the farm because his brother Haike has died.
A German note attached says “Das übrige stehet, deweil er das fenlein ingedingt und nit bekommen.” I am not sure of the translation, but it suggests that he didn’t have to pay the full Weinkauf (“the rest stands”), because part of the land was rented, and he would not receive it.
Heyko Heyken, who collected, edited, and in 1998 published the Weinkaufsprotokolle, suggested that Haike in 1587 paid the Weinkauf also on Seriemer Vogtei Herd 13, a 43-Diemat parcel at Kleinholum (close to Benser Herd 8). This reading, while not impossible, is problematic. (See discussion elsewhere on this site.)
It seems more likely that Tiarck Bremers married Rinnolt Remmers around 1592, shortly after Haike had died and shortly after her father had died. (Adjacent Seriemer Herd 14 and possibly 15 may also have been intertwined with the family history.)
The two parcels continue to be taxed and recorded separately. They are in separate Vogtei, or bailiwicks (in this case, separate tax districts).
In 1597, when Tiarck pays the Weinkauf on Seriemer Herd 13, no new Weinkauf is paid for Benser Herd 8. It appears that Tiarck’s first wife, Rinnolt, has died, and he is paying the Weinkauf to transfer her family farm to their son Hayo. Tellingly, Tiarck does not pay to transfer ownership of the larger Bremer farm that his father and grandfather (and brother) had owned.
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Herd 13 in the Seriemer Vogtei is described as the farm of Remmer Koncken, even as late as 1632, long after he has died and no longer owns the farm. (Remmer may be a brother of Pecke Koncken, who owns Herd 24 at Bettenwarfen in 1600, and of Folkert Koncken, making all three the sons of Koncke Remmers.) Remmer is listed as the owner of Seriemer Herd 13 at the time of the 1570 “All Saints Flood.”
About 1590, his daughter Rinnolt pays the 180 Rt Weinkauf on his 43 Diemat (4.19 Rt/Dt), which means the property transfers into her hands. It seems fair to understand that he has died, and she is taking over the family farm.
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Tiarck’s brother Haike dies in 1589, and Tiarck takes over the Bremer farm. After Rinnolt and Tiarck have each paid their Weinkauf and come into their separate properties, it appears, they marry, and the two farms come under one ownership.
In 1597, Tiarck Bremer pays the 180 Rt Weinkauf on Rinnolt Remmers’ Seriemer Herd 13, “wegen seines Sohnes Haye” (“on behalf of his son Haye”). This is probably when Rinnolt dies. She and Tiarck had two sons. Their son Hayo inherits the farm, as the Weinkauf record shows. The other brother later moves to Esens.
In the 1632 Deichrechnung, Seriemer Herd 13 is still listed under the name Remmer Koncken, although he probably died around 1590. In 1635, the name Hayo Bremers is attached to the farm. In the 1650 “Designation und Erkundigung,” a roundup of Weinkauf records from years past, the property is described as belonging to Haye Bremers:
“43 [Diemat], wurde vor ungefähr 60 Jahren auf ihn [verweinkauft]. Er weiß sonst keine Nachricht, da er damals noch ein Kind von 3 oder 4 Jahren war.”
[43 Diemat, was “Weinkaufed” for him about 60 years ago. He knows no other information, because he was then still a child of 3 or 4 years.]
At some time between 1658 and 1696 (possibly in 1670), the Seriemer farm passes to Hayo’s son Tjarck, whose death is recorded in 1696, at which time the farm is passed to his son Haye.
The names Rinnolt and Remmer are both carried down among Tiarck Bremers’ descendants.
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Returning to Ostbenser Herd 8, the Bremers family farm: The 1600 Landbuch (a “treasury book or register”) identified the property with Haio Bremers, although the last one to pay the Weinkauf was Tiarck Bremers, 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 (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.