Thanks, Aida for your input. I had forgotten about that Rootsweb site.
Fortunately, I have actually seen some of the Hofs and the areas were my Anspanner
relatives lived. In one instance it was sold before they came to America and I was
privileged to meet the widow who now lived there. The gate post still had a horse on it.
The sale actually specified that he would have use of some of his cattle and a horse for
traveling until he left.
In another instance I have a copy of the many pages of a will where the personal effects
and the farm were divided. In that case one son bought the farm from the others.
My Gaertner information is not so clear, because I have not seen the property. But in the
German records he is called a Buerger which I understand meant he had to have a certain
financial standing so he probably owned a small farm.
It does make me realize how difficult it is to take a word and just give it one meaning.
--- On Thu, 8/20/09, Aida Kraus <birchbaylady(a)gmail.com> wrote:
From: Aida Kraus <birchbaylady(a)gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [GERMAN-BOHEMIAN] Specific names for farmers
Date: Thursday, August 20, 2009, 4:49 PM
The explanation given for
EINSPAENNER -farmer with one horse; outsider; odd character;
grass widower ------------ should not be taken literally, as listed
here. Because the meaning for "Einspänner" is also a bachelor, or an
unmarried man, or one whose wife was gone for a visit for a few days.
It was also used for a hermit, etc. But generally it is a person who
uses his one horse-cart for taxi services.
ANSPAENNER - is also not quite correctly described, because while the
person of such a name could be a horse groomer, he would also be the
"driver of the team" : i.e. for a brewery, a transport company, or as
a farmer logging his land, pulling out tree trunks, loading his carts
with heavy loads........before the time when there were engines. In
fact, some horses were still used when they had steam engines, because
they were not adaptable to all terrains. A horse was!
Also, do not presume that the farming was the main occupation of your
ancestors, it was mostly - like in the case of a "gardener" - just the
provision for food for which no money was spent. The income of the
small farmer or gardener was less from his crops and more likely by
the services of his profession. They lived in the country side, had a
small farm, but worked as waiters, cooks, chefs, tailors, shoemakers,
leather workers, horse groomers, railroad employees, postmen, delivery
men, blacksmith, coopers, weavers, glassblowers, tanners, carpenters,
well drillers, masons, bricklayers, lumberjacks, transport persons
using their horses, and much more.
When in doubt, write to me for a more accurate description.
On 8/20/09, Aida Kraus <birchbaylady(a)gmail.com> wrote:
La Verne, there is a glossary on rootsweb for this. Anspänner can
both, firstly, a farmer, and secondly, that he uses his horse-team for
transport of goods, also. Most farmers had a profession besides
their farm, and an Anspänner is definitely a person who uses his
horse-team and wagon for transport. There is another word
"Einspänner" which means that a single horse is used like a taxi
pulling a coach, and that use is mostly for local or short distances.
Like from the railroad station to the home, or pickup of luggage.
"Anspänner" use more hefty drafthorses and would be hired out for
harder work. You can compare it to a car (taxi) or a truck
(transport). I have posted links of various profession before on
this site, so if you look in rootsweb and archives, you will find the
various professions in both languages. Otherwise you can go there:
On 8/20/09, LaVerne <ltboehmke(a)sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> My dictionaries are failing me.
> I am looking for the specific German words used to describe farmers of
> various kind. At some point I learned that an Anspanner was a farmer with
> full size farm with draft horses.
> Now all the dictionaries seem to say is that an Anspanner is a farmer.
> Then there is Gaertner which is translated as gardener. But some where I
> learned that while a Gaertner might be a gardener in our sense of the
> it might also mean that he had a small farm, sort of a market Gardener.
> I know there were half farmers, which I believe was a Halbbauer, and even
> quarter farmers. And of course there where hopbauer, weinbauer
> Does anyone know of a site that discusses the various possibilities?
> German-Bohemian Heritage Society web site http://www.rootsweb.com/~gbhs/
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