Der Weinkaufsprotokolle und Bauernregister des Amtes Esens:
The Weinkauf Records and Farmer Lists of the Amt Esens
(translation by Doug Bradley)
The oldest individual records of Weinkaufs have survived since 17 October 1554. [See Thunum Herde 3, 10, 11, 13, 19.] The oldest Weinkauf book, “Weinkauf Boek Anno funfzig funf uf Michaelis” [Rep. 4 B IV n 190], dates from 1555. From 1557 to 1570, no Weinkauf records were maintained. They must have been lost very early on. In any case, they no longer existed by around 1644, when the data from earlier records were compiled [Rep. 4 B IV n 191].
Particularly helpful for the farm history of the Amt Esens is the directory of losses from the All-Saints Flood of 1570 [Emder Jahrbuch (Emden Yearbook), 1942, pp. 24-55]. For all farms that were affected, the list presents how many people and animals were lost in each house, and how many were saved. From this, we know the livestock on these farmsteads. So for example Hayo Stilfs in Seriem [see Seriem Herd 25], on his farm of 66 Diemat, lost all 28 cows and 4 pair of oxen; he was able to save only 6 horses, 7 one-year-old steers, 7 sheep and 5 pigs. Places that were farther away from the sea suffered less. Johann Harmens, on the farm later called Great Werdum Grasshouse [see Werdum Herd 4a, also Rep. 4 B IV n 259], kept nearly all his livestock, namely 27 cows, 3 pairs of oxen, 7 two-year-old steers, 10 one-year-old steers, 8 horses, 5 sheep, and 7 pigs. He lost 9 sheep, 7 pigs, and one one-year-old steer.
After the flood of 1570, on Palm Sunday in 1573 (15 March 1573) a new dike book was published [Rep. 4 B II p 99 No. 1]. The document served as a dike record, but it was [created] at the command of the well-born Frau Agnes, née von Bentheim und Steinfort, Countess of Hoya and Bruchhausen, “ordered through Hermann Prunsken, judge; Wessel von Bolißwinkel, City-Count of Esens; and Josten Wetter.” [?][Msc A 112] Thus it dates from the time before 1571. Both dike books contain no data about the sizes of farms, but only the names of the dike agents with the specified length in rods (“Roden” or “Ruten”) of the stretches of dike that they had to maintain. On the last page of the dike book of 1573 are general instructions, such as:
“Who with his farmland approaches too close to the dike,
his grain shall be forfeit to the government.”
On the instigation of Erich von Hoya, at the beginning his reign (1571) of Jost Wetter [?], Agnes was appointed Chancellor for the Harlingerland, and a new Weinkauf book was created [Rep. 4 B IV n 192]. This book also “reported some excesses” that were negotiated and received in “Josten Wetter’s worthiness.” [?] The Werdumer and Seriemer Grodenland farmers are described with the remark:
“Keep in mind, when death befalls any of these people, that then the occupants meet and for every one Diemat, they pay 1 guilder in rent, or otherwise for 4 Diemat they give a guilder.” [?]
The Weinkauf book ends with the year 1581.
In the late 16th century, a new Weinkauf book was undertaken, the list of “Weinkauf memorandums [?] of the government of Esens and Wittmund from 26 September 1597 to the end of the year 1606” [Rep. 45 No. 523]. In this book, which also contains Wittmund Weinkaufs [which are published in: Heyken, Die Einwohner des alten Amtes Wittmund], much personal information is included. It is therefore of great value for family histories of both Amts.
In 1644, data from older records were compiled, of which we have already spoken, to obtain a basis for future Weinkaufs. Most of the time the original records are still available. The same situation in 1650 owes its origin to the “Designation and inquiry [into] how in past years the farm sites in Amt Esens have been Weinkaufed” [Rep. 4 B IV n No. 288 a I].
It would take too long for anyone to go through all the Weinkauf recordsfrom the 16th and 17th centuries have come 60 volumes of “Akten.” Only one further comprehensive collection of records should be mentioned. Aside from some Wittmund records from the years 1652, 1692 and 1702, it contains only Esens Weinkauf records from the years 1651 to 1743 [Rep. 4 B IV n No. 288 a II].
When the records are incorrect or inaccurate, geographic data can be corrected by the Bauernregister, the farm census or farmer lists. To bridge gaps that exist in spite of the rich source material, many records have been provided with extracts from the farmer registers. Although these have the disadvantage that most farms, long after the death of an owner, will continue to be listed under the same name, with the help of the farmer lists, of the approximately 55 farms in the Werdumer Vogtei, for example, about 40 locations’ histories have been traced back to 1556including sites on the salt marsh [Grodenland].
The following farm lists have been included:
1571 Directory of Werdum and Seriem Grodenland tenant farmers
1600 Land book (Schatt book or Register)
[Rep. 4 B VI a 176]
1617 Dike Register
[Rep. 4 B IV n 154]
1622 Land and Cattle Treasury
[Rep. 4 B IV n 259]
1632 Dike Bill
[Rep. 4 B II p 99 No. 4]
1658 Receipt and Expenditure from the “Diking through God’s mild blessing the increase of Wittmunder Grode [salt marsh]” from 21 April to the following 29 August and due therefor in 14 payments or 4 2/3 months of “Tough-Day allowance funds” [Zähentägigen zulagegelder]
[Rep. 4 B IV n 171]
1670 Register of those lands of the Esens Amt as measured and put on maps in the year 1670 and following by the engineer Regemort
[Rep. 241 Msc B 30a]
1699-1700 Dike Register
[Rep 4 B II p 122]
For Dunum, which was probably subject to the Sielgeld but did not carry a dike burden and therefore lacked any dike invoices, the Siel Bill [Sielrechnung, a Siel “reckoning”] of 1633/1635 and the capital estimate registers of 1688 were used as a replacement.
When in a record only the amount of tax was recorded, while data about the size of the property were missing, then the rent registries for the years 1622, 1648, and 1712 [Rep. 4 B VI b 25, 26, 28] provide valuable information when matched with the Weinkauf record, because under the provisions of the Osterhusen Accord [see Wikipedia article] from 24 November 1611, fee amounts from now on were no longer allowed to be increased. For example, in 1622, Bette Egen in the Werdumer Vogtei paid 17 guilders in rent [see Werdum Herd 26: a 76-Diemat parcel at Nordwerdum]. His great-grandson Meppe Betten 90 years later paid the same 17 guilders. The other taxes he also paid at the same level as his great-grandfather had. [The Weinkauf described over this period was much greater than the rent, ranging from 150 to 250 Reichstaler, depending on negotiation.]
In the years from 1571 to 1700, the 55 farms in the Werdumer Vogteiwithout considering the ones that were only in the farmer listswere named 275 times [in the Weinkauf records], so each farm on average was named five times. From 1700 to 1810, this figure increased by about 200. Thus each of these places is named on average eight and a half times. It should be noted that here almost every mention is summarized from two or often three individual records [Protokollen], namely one that registers each Weinkauf case and others on the negotiation and determination of the amount of the Weinkauf to be paid. For the period from 1700 to 1743, the records of Rep. 4 B IV n No. 288 and Rep. 46 No. 857 were also analyzed. For the period up to 1810/11 the following records already named in the Foreword were evaluated: Rep. 6 Nos. 854 and 855, and Rep. 46 Nos. 857 and 858.
With that, all the surviving sources for the payment of Weinkaufs in Amt Esens have been fully analyzed and recorded.