Schleswig-Holstein: SerfdomEdit This Page

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Adlige Güter and Serfdom in Schleswig-Holstein

Farms owned by nobility were called “Adlige Güter” (manors). They were mainly located in Angeln, Schwansen, Dänish Wohld, around Westensee, East Holstein and the Duchy of Lauenburg. To the manors belonged the so-called “Hofland” and the “Bauernland”. Bauernland was the soil the farmers cultivated but did not own. It all belonged to the manor lord. For the privilege to farm the Bauernland, the farmer in return had to provide his services re. the Hofland. Until 1804 farmers were serfs. They had no right to move away, they were not able to choose a profession, they were not allowed to marry whom they wanted or when. In return, the manor lord had to make provisions for health and poverty issues. He had to provide seed and wood. When there was a crop failure he had to render assistance. The manor lord was judge, church and school patron as well as the highest level of administrative issues.

How severely such rules were handled, depended on the manor lord and the increased demand of service re. the Hofland. This left the individual farmers with little time to cultivate their own land (Bauernland). Serfdom turned out more and more to be unprofitable until in 1805 it was abolished.


An history of serfdom found in this essay


Wulf, Peter. Güter in Schleswig-Holstein um 1800 – Gutsherrn, Güterverkauf, Güterspekulationen

Cord, Alix-Johanna. Bäuerliche Besitzverhältnisse in Gutsherrschaften

Lorenzen-Schmidt, Klaus-Joachim. Bäuerliche Besitzverhältnisse in Schleswig-Holstein vom 15.-20. Jh.

Drygalla, Peter. Das Verzeichnis der Leibeigenen im Amt Einfeld 1744. FamilySearch Catalog call number 943.512/E3 D2d

Drygalla, Peter. Das Verzeichnis der Leibeigenen in den Ämtern Plön und Rethwisch 1744 FamilySearch Catalog call number 943.512 X2d


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  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 17:15.
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