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Old German vocations

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  • mikemctoo
    Hi, Would like to know if anyone in the group can provide a translation of a vocation for an ancestor. I recently received back a response to a letter I wrote
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
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      Hi,

      Would like to know if anyone in the group can provide a translation of a vocation for an ancestor. I recently received back a response to a letter I wrote to a church in Crimmitschau, Germany where I had requested information from the church books of the local Evangelical Lutheran Church about ancestors that I knew had lived in Crimmitschau in the 1840s and 1850s.

      In the response I received back, I was provided transcripts of the marriage of my great-great-grandparents, as well as the births of 6 siblings of my great-grandfather. This represented a breakthrough for me since I was finally able to positively identify a child that only a first name was known and nothing else because this child had died soon after the family immigrated to the U.S., and death records for this child have never been found in the U. S.

      In the transcript, my g-g-grandfather's occupation(s) were variously listed under both his marriage transcription and the transcriptions of the births of his 6 children born in Germany.

      The various occupations were listed as:

      1. Leineweber
      2. Tuch-, Lein-, und Wollenweber
      3. Leineweber und Schnitthandler (the 'a' in Schnitthandler an umlaut)
      4. Leinwebermstr. (Leinwebermeister?) und Schnitthandler
      5. Webermstr. (Webermeister?) und Schnitthandler

      My attempts at translating are as follows:

      1. Ropeweaver
      2. CLoth-, rope, and wool weaver.
      3. Rope weaver and cloth merchant
      4. Rope weaver foreman and cloth merchant
      5. Weaver foreman and cloth merchant

      In the case of the translating "rope weaver" this is a literal translation and I am not really sure I got it right. Perhaps its more like yarn or thread weaver?

      In any case, the occupations listed in the Kirchenbuch don't agree wiht stories passed down by word-of-mouth (surprise! surprise!) which stated that my g-g-grandfather was a wool dyer, but they are related.

      Can anyone confirm whether or not my translations are accurate?

      Thank you.
    • Gerald Perschbacher
      I would offer this explanation: the occupation was linen weaver which fits much better with the weaver of wool that also appears. Yes, this could mean
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
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        I would offer this explanation:  the occupation was “linen weaver” which fits much better with the “weaver of wool” that also appears.  Yes, this could mean the person also sold the items they made, or that they made them for some business that sold them.  Linen weaving was an in-demand job over the centuries, at least back to the 1500s.  Ropes could also have been made by workers of linen (flax) but I think the evidence leans toward cloth-making.  If this does not fit with what your family tradition previously indicated, it could be that the jobs changed over the years, that your ancestors preferred not to be known for this type of work, or that more important work came in later years.  Linen making was not a high-level job, but it wasn’t as low as a “day laborer.”

         

        Whey trying to determine jobs like this, don’t rely merely on translation of the words.  Check online and in books re: the jobs themselves to see how these fit with society and the centuries. 

         

        Gerry

         

        From: GermanSpecialinterest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GermanSpecialinterest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of mikemctoo
        Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:04 AM
        To: GermanSpecialinterest@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [GermanSpecialinterest] Old German vocations

         

         

        Hi,

        Would like to know if anyone in the group can provide a translation of a vocation for an ancestor. I recently received back a response to a letter I wrote to a church in Crimmitschau, Germany where I had requested information from the church books of the local Evangelical Lutheran Church about ancestors that I knew had lived in Crimmitschau in the 1840s and 1850s.

        In the response I received back, I was provided transcripts of the marriage of my great-great-grandparents, as well as the births of 6 siblings of my great-grandfather. This represented a breakthrough for me since I was finally able to positively identify a child that only a first name was known and nothing else because this child had died soon after the family immigrated to the U.S., and death records for this child have never been found in the U. S.

        In the transcript, my g-g-grandfather's occupation(s) were variously listed under both his marriage transcription and the transcriptions of the births of his 6 children born in Germany.

        The various occupations were listed as:

        1. Leineweber
        2. Tuch-, Lein-, und Wollenweber
        3. Leineweber und Schnitthandler (the 'a' in Schnitthandler an umlaut)
        4. Leinwebermstr. (Leinwebermeister?) und Schnitthandler
        5. Webermstr. (Webermeister?) und Schnitthandler

        My attempts at translating are as follows:

        1. Ropeweaver
        2. CLoth-, rope, and wool weaver.
        3. Rope weaver and cloth merchant
        4. Rope weaver foreman and cloth merchant
        5. Weaver foreman and cloth merchant

        In the case of the translating "rope weaver" this is a literal translation and I am not really sure I got it right. Perhaps its more like yarn or thread weaver?

        In any case, the occupations listed in the Kirchenbuch don't agree wiht stories passed down by word-of-mouth (surprise! surprise!) which stated that my g-g-grandfather was a wool dyer, but they are related.

        Can anyone confirm whether or not my translations are accurate?

        Thank you.

      • mikemctoo
        Mr. Persbacher, Thank you for your input. I am inclined to agree that linen weaver is a more appropriate translation. I have been searching online and
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
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          Mr. Persbacher,

          Thank you for your input. I am inclined to agree that linen weaver is a more appropriate translation. I have been searching online and researching available texts to get a better translation. I also consulted the Beolingus on-line dictionary because often it gives a number of variations on the meaning of terms which give better meanings. Being nearly 30 years out of practice speaking German (I lived there during the 70s for a few years) I have lost a lot of vocabulary through dis-use. Also, given how meanings may change over the years, its always a bit dicey when translating documents over 160 years old using modern dictionaries.

          Given that our oral family traditions were that my g-g-grandfather was a wool dyer, I believe you are correct in saying the linen weaver fits that description better.

          Clearly he was involved in textiles if our oral traditions are correct and given the other vocations that appeared in the Taufbuchs and Traubuch that these transcriptions came out of.

          Once again, thank you for your valuable comments.

          Peter Lessing
        • KDAUBEL@aol.com
          Mike, In reply I am recalling what my father told me over the years about early Germany and Prussia. Dad came from Germany right after WWI. He said that
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 23, 2011
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            Mike,
             
            In reply I am recalling what my father told me over the years about early Germany and Prussia.  Dad came from Germany right after WWI.  He said that linen weaving was in part a home based craft that could be practiced or worked at by many members of a family.  It was a source of income for the family.  Many families were subordinate to some land owner and needed to pay their way for many things.  Families had some things that were property of their superior person and some things were allowed to be their own.  In this way linen weaving was their part of ownership and earnings. 
             
            Linen weaving was significant to everyone as the was there clothing and bedding etc.  Now when I think of Linen weaving it makes full sense that not just vegetable fibers but animal hair (wool) was vital.  So there things go hand in hand in making "tuch"  fabric.  Also, it was beneficial to make it in various colors.
             
            Then came the industrial revolution where weaving machines came into being.  Soon the home craft was put out of existence.  The home craft could not compete with the machine.  As other things change soon the families come into real hardship.  Emigration was in part the cure for this situation. 
             
            People learned their basic trade and in time they became more proficient, productive and had greater skills.
             
            The Occupations given for your ancestor clearly demonstrate that progression. 
             
            To place this work at home together with the Linen Weavers Guild takes some real history research. 
             
            After you review some of the information below I think you will find that you are very close in your translations.
             
            Karl
            -------------
             
            Try these Google search words  --  History of Prussian Linen weaving
             
            Take a look at hits 1 and 3.  They provide some interesting background.
             

            Search Results

            1. The Cambridge modern history - Google Books Result

              Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton Acton, Sir Adolphus William Ward, George Walter Prothero - 1907 - History
              Even in 184G not four per cent, of the cotton-looms in Prussia were automatic ; and there ... There were three linen-weaving businesses in Berlin in 1846. ...
              books.google.com/books?id=ndcsAAAAIAAJ...
            2. History of Silesia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              The history of Silesia can be traced for many millennia, although only the last ...... Especially Silesian linen weavers suffered as Prussia's free trade ...
              en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Silesia - Cached - Similar
            3. Linen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

              There is a long history of linen in Ireland. The discovery of dyed flax ...
              en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linen - Cached - Similar
            Now try this string of  Google search words         Prussian linen weaving gild
             

            The following is from a Wiki about Göttingen.

            Reason for the progressive power increase in the late Middle Ages was the growing economic importance of the town. This depended largely on its good connection to the north-south trading route, particularly the north-south trading route that followed the Leine valley, which greatly aided particularly the local textile industry. Next to the guild of linen weavers, the guild of wool weavers gained in importance. The wool for the weaving originated in the immediate surroundings of the town, where up to 3000 sheep and 1500 lambs were herded. Woollen cloth was successfully exported all the way to the Netherlands and Lübeck. From 1475, textile production was augmented by the addition of new weavers who brought novel weaving techniques to Göttingen and solidified the position of the town as a textile exporter for three generations. Only at the end of the 16th century came the decline of the local textile industry when Göttingen could not compete anymore with cheap English textiles.

            This link has some history about linen weaving and the Guilds that were involved.  Scroll down quite a bit to get to it.

            http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/pabacker/history/middle.htm

             

             

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