[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Land Inheritance
dabookk54 at yahoo.com
Thu May 11 06:29:15 PDT 2006
Good question. Based on what I know of my ancestors it seems to depend on the circumstances. I have one confirmed case where the farm was given to the oldest son. There are other cases where I can track families in one town from the 1850s to 1940 and there it seems the oldest son may have been given preference. If the oldest son moved elsewhere or started another farm on his own obviously the farm would go to a younger son.
Another case you may not have thought of is that if the father had enough land he could have divided his land up among his children. I have a legal 1909 document handwritten in Cyrillic where my great-grandfather had stated he was dividing his land up between his 5 sons and one unmarried daughter. My grandfather acted as like the "executor of the estate" accounting for why this document ended up with my grandmother - then my aunt - then into my hands. This document survived the WW I deportation, the resettlement to Warthegau, the refugee flight at the end of WW II, and finally settled safely in West Germany until my aunt's death. You can imagine how thankful I am to my grandmother for preserving this and many other important documents and pictures. Many other families lost precious things like this through these tumultous times.
Christopher Menke <menke5616 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
In various reading about the German farmers in E. Europe I have seen some that said land was passed on to the oldest son, and some say it was passed on to the youngest son. Was there a set custom, or did it just depend on the circumstances?
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