Pomerania Occupations

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For two and a half centuries teachers in Kreis Demmin
     To regulate church and school business, so calledConduitenlisten were established. These were reports sent by the local priest to the responsible officials. The priest was the inspector over the schools in his parish. He would list the teachers and made an assessment about them. Teachers were more or less idealists. They could not earn a living just from teaching, therefore, they had to have other professions to make ends meet. In the county of Demmin most worked also as tailors and weavers, something they could do at home during the winter months. Often the school posts went from father to son, or a man would marry the school teacher’s daughter and inherit his teaching post this way. In former years the local pastor or the manor lord hired teachers; the appointment of positions was also regulated by the village council. That teachers were next to priest responsible to transmit the cultural heritage is no secret. Therefore, the Prussian authorities mandated compulsory education in 1717. In 1736 school laws were installed.
     The author, Max Bruhn, established a list of educators according to villages of the county of Demmin, covering the 1700 and 1800s. His research was published in Archiv für Sippenforschung, Jahrgang 44, Heft 71 (1978), starting with page 542. The periodical is accessible through FamilySearch, Family History Library, call number 943 B2as.

Diaries of midwives

With the rise of gynecology, the traditional role of midwifery came under scrutiny. In Germany the first maternity hospital was established in 1779 in Jena. In 1818 the first regulations for midwifery were published. Midwifes were appointed to certain districts for a length of time and came under the observation of the health department. They had to report their activities yearly to the health official, who would determine their salary and their competence. Midwives had to be trained and certified in order to take up their profession.

Midwives were encouraged to keep diaries, in which they recorded the procedures of the deliveries and their observations. This was necessary because not only the employer needed to gain an insight into the activities of the accoucheuse, the midwife herself would profit from keeping notes about her work. Her duty was not only to deliver a child and look after the wellbeing of the mother, but she had to report the child birth to the priest, the civil registration or the police officer. If she had taken careful notes, she would have no problem to report, names, addresses, and dates. If a midwife had to become a witness in a court procedure, she would also be well prepared with dates and facts.

The keeping of a diary would serve the midwife well, when she writes down her observations. She would be more precise in her recordings, since she has to explain what is happening. She would have to ponder the outcome and ask herself what could be done better and how a situation should be handled in the future.
A diary would enable the midwife better to recall certain cases, especially when she assists the same woman again and therefore can recall any problems in a professional manner. For the length of her professional life a midwife was encouraged to keep a yearly log of her activities.

The diaries of midwives were evaluated for statistical purposes, which on the other hand served as a base for improving the health of women.
An excellent diary would have the following information:

Day and hour of birth
Name of mother, her age and her domicile
Name of father
Delivery number
The child’s position at birth
The gender of the child
Did the child live or was it a stillbirth?
Was it a normal birth, a premature birth or a miscarriage?
Was the assistance of a physician required?
How much carbolic acid was used?
Did the mother stay healthy, did she get sick, did she die and when?

Midwife diaries may have been kept by health administrations (Gesundheitsamt) and archived


Ahlfeld, Dr. Ueber den Werth und den Gebrauch des Hebammen Tagebuchs in: Tagebuch der Hebamme Frau Henkel in Bruch vom 5. April 1895

Wikipedia: Hebamme

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