Sachsen-Altenburg Court Records
Erbkauf, Lehnschein, Verschreibung, Verzicht, Geradekauf, Pachtcontract, Hypotheken are all legal documents registered with the lower court. Our ancestors were able to buy and sell land in order to cultivate it. They did not own it, they only had a right of use. The landowner (manor lord) remained the owner and was in charge of all the major developments and decisions pertaining to the ground. The right of use was inheritable or could be sold, usually to a relative (the oldest or youngest son or a son in law). The proceedings were recorded in Erbkaufverträge (sales). When a father/mother was ready to retire, he/she would either give the child the farm or sell it to him (daughters usually were paid off). In such sales were also build-in stipulations of how the conditions of the retirement of the outgoing farmer should be handled.
Other records pertaining to the land are “Lehnscheine” (deeds), “Verschreibungen” (bonds), “Verzicht” (waiver), “Hypotheken” (mortgages). A “Pachtcontract” was issued when ancestors leased a piece of property (a house). A “Geradekauf” is a record of female possessions either brought into or acquired during marriage and then being sold, given away or bequeathed to her family. Erbkaufverträge and Geradekäufe would yield information pertinent to family research, since names, dates and places are included in such records.
To view an example of a Erbkaufvertrag click https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/images/f/f6/Kaufkontrakt.pdf
To view an example of a Geradekauf click https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/images/0/00/Gerade.pdf
Court records for Sachsen-Altenburg prior to 1866 are available in the Thuringia State Archive for the following administrations:
Courts of Sachsen-Altenburg before 1866
Gerichtsamt I Altenburg
Gerichtsamt II Altenburg
Landgericht mit Staatsanwaltschaft
Courts of Freistaat Sachsen-Altenburg 1866-1920
Landgericht Altenburg mit Staatsanwaltschaft
For an inventory of archival records see
For other archives in Thuringia sorted by cities see