Nuggets and Pearls


Once in awhile a researcher finds or discovers a set of facts that should be shared with other researchers who are to follow in his/her footsteps. Would you like to contribute to this collection any key nuggets or pearls you have found in your research that are applicable to Bessarabian research? Contact Bessarabia email graphic



Swabian Dialect

Hamburg records

Land in Bessarabia



Contributed by:    Dale Lee Wahl

Date:                   12 Jan 2007

Subject:               Brienne HINZ/HINTZ/HINSZ


Those of us who have spent any time doing family research, have seen spelling differences over time with some of our ancestors on our pedigree chart.  My personal story here goes back to the HINSZ of Brienne.  My great-grandfather Karl HINSZ tended to every once in awhile leave a trace of his name in the records in America as "HINZ" . . .   most of us have had to learn that the tz and sz is often replaced by just z, so this was not surprising.    But when the earliest church family book for Brienne became available and I decided to dig in on how the name was spelled there, I found from the first generation to come to Brienne, to the 3rd generation, that being Karl, the name was used in one family book with three spellings from one generation to the next in this line.  Karl's grandfather was there as HINZ, Karl's father as HINTZ and Karl as HINSZ.

This has kept my surname spelling antenna's especially tuned ever since making this discovery!



Contributed by:   see Source

Date:                    1981

Subject:               The Swabian Dialect

"The Swabian dialect is as diversified as Swabian geography. Professor Ernst C. Helmreich of Bowdoin College calls Swabia "an indefinite area in southern Germany, bounded by the Rhine in the west, by the Lech River in the east, by Vorarlberg and Switzerland in the south, and by the Palatinate in the north." A true Schwob, such as my friend Dr. Rudolf Wandel in Goeppingen, takes exception to that broad description. He claims that based on similarity of dialect, the area from Heilbronn in the north to Tuebingen in the south, and from Calw in the west to Geislingen an der Steige in the east (see map above) is the real Swabia or Schwabenlandle, as it is lovingly called by the natives. Outside of that nucleus there are many scattered enclaves with regional variations in speech."

from page 9, "Your Swabian Neighbors" by Bob Larson – published 1981 by Verlag Schwaben International, Charlottenplatz 6, 7000 Stuttgart 1.


Contributed by:   see Source

Date:                    1996/1997

Subject:               Hamburg Records

If your ancestor emigrated through the port of Hamburg, he may have lived and worked in that city for up to six months while awaiting passage. The Hamburg Police Reports would record when he registered with the police upon arrival. These reports have been microfilmed and indexed by the Family History Library and are available at LDS Family History Centers across the country.

With permission from The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree (ISSN 1076‑4809)

Volume VI Number 6  --  December 1996/January 1997


Contributed by:   Translation [02/2007] by Allyn Brosz, VC

Date:                    1983

Subject:               Land in Bessarabia

From the Heimatbuch Alt-Posttal: Geschichte der Gemeinde Alt-Posttal (Bessarabien), by Herbert Gäckle, öningen, 1983.

(p. 24)


"At the founding [i. e., in 1823], the allocated parcel of land (steppe) was divided into 69 farmsteads and farms, each with 60 dessiatines (65.555 hectares). In each of these, 8,200 square meters was for a farmyard with work area and 8,200 square meters for a kitchen garden, orchard, and vineyard. According to the colonist law, farmsteads and farmlands could not be subdivided. The youngest son was named the heir if he met certain conditions. He must have achieved his majority (21 years of age) on the day of his father's death and must be capable of working the farm himself. Otherwise the next [oldest] son in the house who was of age and capable would be named the heir. If there were no male heirs, then whoever married the widow or a daughter would be appointed the heir with the permission of the community. If there were no heirs, then ownership rights could be transfered to another colonist through the decision of the local community. Later these legal conditions were not  applied as strictly and thus the subdivisions began. First the farmsteads were divided into two or three. Then many divided their entire farmlands, including their shares in the surrounding fields, into halves, thirds, fourths, and eighths to pass on to heirs. During the Rumanian period [i. e., after World War I] there were no restrictions at all on the division of land and individual shares in the outlying fields could be sold off. In 1940 only Eduard Seitz had an entire farmstead and farmlands as laid out in the original "

(p. 124)


"In the beginning the colonists had too much land, so that they couldn't even work everything because they lacked workers, draft animals, machines, and tools. When the many children grew up and economic conditions improved, a shortage of land soon became noticeable in the old colonies (mother colonies). According to the law, in most cases the youngest son inherited the entire farm. The others had to become craftsmen or learn other occupations. Later the legal requirements were eased and finally suspended entirely, so that the division of farms ensued, often creating disadvantages. Most farmers' sons aspired to become self-sufficient farmers and wanted to own as much land as possible. At that time Russian and other large landowners still had many estates with thousands of dessiatines of land. Since they often lived the good life and fell into indebtedness, they sold one estate after the other. The German colonists and their sons used these opportunities and purchased large  parcels of land. Many worked the acquired estates themselves or put renters on them. Others divided them into farms and sold them to colonists, thus giving rise to new colonies "

The author then goes on for more than a page to list the residents of Alt-Posttal who made such land purchase throughout Bessarabia over the years.


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