[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] occupation WIRT / WIRTS

marmel marmel at pctcnet.net
Mon May 5 23:20:08 PDT 2014

Hi everyone,

Occupation Wirt -- I know the answer to this one!  Last November I attended 
a class in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, about decifering old-German handwriting, 
which was sponsored by the Max Kade Institute.  I was able to ask the 
instructor about this exact occupation of 'Wirt', as I also thought it was 
innkeeper but I could not imagine so many, many innkeepers in the same small 
village, ha, ha.

It is an abbreviated form of "Ackerwirt" meaning small farmer.  I see it in 
the Labishin, Schubin, and Exin [Kcynia], Poland Evangelische Kirchenbucher 
all the time -- those images are now online at Poland State Archive 
www. basia.famula.pl/en/

Interestingly, in Latin the occupation Wirt is "Colonus", so I think it is a 
small-farmer family descendant who had certain guarenteed rights by signed 
agreement with the gut, wasser-schloss, or manor nobility for a 100-year 
farming contract, to farm the land in exchange for a share of the harvest. 
At least, that is how Colono/Colonus was explained to me, that it expired 
after 100 years.

I have also seen it spelled WIRTS or WIRTH.

Hope this helps!

Linda W.
in Wisconsin, USA


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