The Weinkaufprotokolle des Amtes Esens, a record of property transfer fees from 1554 to 1811, shows Tiarck Haigen (“or Bremer”) as the owner in 1556 of Herd 8 (Farm 8) in the Ostbense area of Ostfriesland, near Esens. Today this location falls within the borders of Germany.
Tiarck’s Herd is listed in the Benser Vogtei (literally “bailiwick,” a local tax district), but the farm touched up against (and may have crosssed into) the neighboring tax district to the east, called Seriem (the Seriemer Vogtei). Both of these are north of Esens, between Esens and the North Sea Dike (Nordseedeich). Bense is a small location on the edge of the North Sea; its Vogtei includes West Bense, East Bense (Ostbense), the Benser Siel, and several small communities, sometimes made up of only a few farmhouses. The Seriem tax district, immediately to the east and also on the coast, includes Klein Holum, Groot Holum, Seriemer Mühle, the old and new Harlinger Siels, and many other small communities.
Benser Herd 8 is described as being made up of four distinct parcels. Tiarck paid the Weinkauf on 30 Diemat (about 42 acres) “zu Betgenwerve,” plus 5 Diemat, plus 40 Diemat of rented land (Heuerland), plus another 5 Diemat. Except for the 40-Diemat parcel, it is all described as owned land (Eigenland). The total area described adds up to 80 Diemat, but the farm is generally listed as taking up 65 or 70 Diemat.
(“Zu Betgenwerve” is described in a footnote in the 1998 edition of the Weinkaufsprotokolle as meaning Bettenwarfen. Bettenwarfen is about a mile and a half away (2.4 km), nearby but probably too far to be the location of a piece of this farm. It seems more probable that “zu Betgenwerve” here means that the parcel butts right up against the stream that today is called the Bettenwarfer Leide, which makes up the boundary of the Regemort map of the Benser Vogtei. The Bettenwarfer Leide runs to Bettenwarfen. In 1587, when Tiarck’s son Haike pays the Weinkauf for this Herd, a note indicates that part of the Weinkauf is for “Seriem,” suggesting that the 30 Diemat “zu Betgenwerve” may have been in the Seriemer Vogtei.)
Tiarck’s land is described as Marsch (marsh land), in other words low-lying farm soil, constrasted with Geest, a more gravelly soil that rises up somewhat above the bottomland and is better suited for building houses, less perfect for agriculture.
The parcel divisions exist to this day, so this particular farm can still be located. The land surveys done at the time were perfectly respectable and accurate, and maps from the time do not differ much from satellite images captured in this century.
In 1570, the farm is described as belonging to Hayo Bremers, so presumably Tiarck was no longer around to own it.
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.