What is a „Heuermann“?
means a hired man ?
A literal translation of hired man is correct but that is not what the word really MEANS.
Very briefly, a farm by the law of the land could not be divided at the time of inheritance. Only one son could get it and as a last resort a daughter who would soon have to marry if she was single.Point is what were the other siblings supposed to do?
Some could marry into a farm elsewhere but most simply had no place to go and stayed on at their brother’s farm as hirelings if you will. They could be Knechte and Mägde (farm workers) in the deirect employ of the owner or they could do their share of the work on the farm in return for a place to sleep and a small piece of land. Initially the place to sleep was anything with a roof like a stable or bakinghouse. Later some special Heuerhäuser were built – even double onces for two families. Without such a living arrangement these people really couldn’t start a family so they took whatever they could get. Eventually the children of these people would be born into the state of the Heuermann who typically owned nothing. He contracted for a small piece of land but rarely could he survive off it.
That is why most Heuerleute worked other jobs wherever they could find them. It is this landless class that formed the vast bulk of the emigrants who left the the area for something better. Their longing was to own a piece of land they could call their own and America offered that chance.
4788 Corian Court
Naples, FL 34114