JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Wealthy in Hildesheim, Germany? #general

Roger Lustig <julierog@...>


First, keep in mind that until emancipation (i.e., at least until 1810),
many records were kept separately for Jews. So there might be
separate censuses (including servants), lists of houses owned by Jews, etc.

Second, let me add some statistics to the discussion, which has been
excellent. When Prussia granted its Jews citizenship in 1812 (east of
the Elbe, at least), the legal gazette in each province published a list
of heads of households and the surnames they'd adopted. The list for
the Kurmark (i.e., Brandenburg west of the Oder) is fascinating,
especially the 60% or so devoted to Berlin. For Berlin, probably
because there were enough people with similar names/patronyms to cause
confusion, the list also included occupations. Here goes:

There are 1042 men and 591 women on the list. Only those women who did
not belong to a household headed by a man were listed. Among the 591
women we have:

158 widows
237 listed as unmarried
136 maids
27 with no occupation given
11 separated
10 Judentoechter: "daughters of Jews", probably orphan/foster children
3 housekeepers
2 cooks
1 seamstress
1 governess

and a few other occupations. The "unmarried" category is interesting:
were these simply daughters above a certain age? I don't think so,
because the list is more or less alphabetical by new surname and the
"unmarried"s aren't listed beside someone who could be their father or
mother. Perhaps they're more servants. (Only two cooks? Can't be.)

Over on the male side, the most common occupational designation is
"Handlungsdiener"--shop assistant or the like--with 187. This is
followed by:
173 Kaufmann (merchant/businessman)
106 Handelsmann (also merchant)
37 bankers
36 moneychangers
35 bookkeepers

and all manner of other occupations. Some things make one wonder: where
are the schochets and butchers? I see only 4 on the list. And did Jews
have the entire lottery-agent concession for the city? 14 of them.

Everything >from 2 day laborers to 10 courtiers; 10 doctors, an "academic
artist", 2 art dealers, a podiatrist specializing in corn removal, a
dancing master, three manufacturers of trouser suspenders (called braces
in England), two of cigars, two of parasols; and on and on.

All this information will someday be on-line as part of the NALDEX (Name
Adoption List inDEX) project at GerSIG (German Special Interest Group).


At a guess, I'd say there were about 1000 Jewish households in Berlin in
1812, and perhaps 500 servants among them, if you count the shop

That's a lot of servants, and I'm sure the number only grew during the
century. I suspect that, among city-dwellers, having a cook and perhaps
other servants was part of the definition of being middle-class.

Roger Lustig
Princeton, NJ

Elodee Gates wrote:

Does anyone know how common it was for a Jewish family to have a maid in
19th century Germany? I am researching POPPER, NACHTIGAL, APPEL and
SILBER families in Hildesheim, Germany between 1800 and 1880. A few of
them had maids listed in the census. Since only moneyed families had
wills and real estate, I'd like to know if having household help
indicated wealth before I pay a researcher to study Wills and Court
Records in Hildesheim.

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