Paul Budde
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Ancestry of Paul Budde (Wietmarschen)

Wietmarschen

Wietmarschen is a small village in the county of Bentheim. The town is mainly known for its monastery ‘Sünte Marienrode’. It was only after the foundation of this monastery that the village of Wietmarschen, at the border of the impregnable Bourtanger Moor, started to develop. The political and economic power of the monastery ensured that the Reformation did not get a hold on the town and its inhabitants and until today the township still has a very tightly knit Catholic community.

The secular power in the area belonged to the County of Bentheim. The Bishop of Munster held the ecclesiastical power of the region

Map Wietmarschen 1851

Map Wietmarschen 1851

 

During the crusades large estates were donated to the church. Throughout the ages these estates grew larger and larger, became powerful and were fundamental in the rise of the bishop-monarchies. The church properties in Wietmarschen (and beyond) were managed by Sünte Marienrode.

 Sünte Marienrode

A POWERFUL MONASTERY

Sünte Marienrode was built in 1152 by the Crusader Knight Hugo von Buren from the county of Gelria (now Gelderland – the Netherlands). At this time the Netherlands and Germany were both part of the Holy Roman Empire. Bernard von Clairvaux, founder of the Order of the Cistercians, inspired Hugo Von Buren. Hugo also built a monastery in Weerselo (1142). For the first 100 years both laymen and laywomen formed the core of these two religious communities.

Countess Gertrude of Bentheim granted Hugo the land on which the monastery could be built. As an anecdote; thirty years later another family member Otto van Buren burnt down Ootmarsum. After this the present town was rebuilt where it is now, the name Oud (old) Ootmarsum reminds of the early position of this community.

When the monastery received the land at Wietmarschen from the countess they at the same time received the rights to levy the tithes and were exempt from government taxes. Monasteries were not only bastions of religion – they also held strong political and economic powers. Especially remarkable for this time is that the abbess of the Monastery (a woman!!), also was the secular commander and had elastically – and secularly-jurisdiction powers.

The monasteries institutionalised old traditions dating back to the Germanic times of the farming communities (naoberschops). Age-old traditions were Christianised. However, several of these traditions are still very much alive in the region. Easter bonfires and midwinter-horns might well date back to Germanic times.

Godmothers at Stift Marienrode

In Joanna’s time the monastery was changed into a ‘stift’ for ladies of high nobility (1675). These ladies started a tradition of godmothers for the local children. In the book Sünte Marienrode – Wietmarschen by Christa Brinkers one of the god children mentioned is a Helena (Laintke) a name that keeps on coming up in the Wietmarschen Budde family tree until this very day. However, no direct link has been established with the Budde family.

 EARTHLY WEALTH THROUGH SERFDOM

Over the years the monastery received donations and grew bigger and richer. Farms and other properties such as mills, breweries, bake houses, etc were all added to the monastery and the ‘ownership’ extended to the actual people living there. In communities not ruled by monasteries, the counts or landowners formed feudal systems along similar lines – in the beginning Ootmarsum had a Marken (commons) system but overtime this developed into a small protected group ruling over a powerless majority. They established a feudal hierarchy of homesteads (Hofstatten). Under hereditary law these homesteads were subdivided into smaller properties. They remained as legal entities under the original homestead. In other words the smaller farmers were made subordinate to the homesteads. Often these feudal rights were hereditary and rulers could live hundreds of kilometres away from their subjects. These rulers didn’t have any obligations towards their subjects. The properties of Sünte Marienrode extended far into what is now the Netherlands (Ootmarsum, Coevorden, Groningen, Weerselo). Ties were maintained with these areas long after official country borders were drawn.

THE SYSTEM OF SERFDOM

In most parts of Europe serfdom was abolished between 1300 and 1600. The Reformation was a key driver behind the liberation of serfs. Farmers started to lease land and operated their farms independently from the big land owners. However, these tenant farmers were in general terms economically no better off than their feudal counterparts. The feudal system did provide some protection in economic downturns (eg foregoing of tithes) and could enable them, when managed properly to profit from their combined economic powers. On the other hand the remote properties often simply did not pay their tithes in the knowledge that it would be very hard for the remote ruler to come and collect them.

In many situations the situation of a serf can be compared to that of a slave, it actually grew out of this system from the Roman Empire. The Catholic Church rapidly incorporated the system of serfdom into their organisation. Through an elaborate system of ‘rents and taxes’ it was nearly impossible for these serfs to obtain freedom. They not only paid taxes based on their income (harvest, animals, etc). They also paid death and marriage taxes, furthermore a range of other services were required by the monastery throughout the year.

It has been estimated that on average a serf in Germany had a vocabulary of not more than 600 words and that in his whole life he would not see more than a thousand people.

SERFDOM IN WIETMARSCHEN

Monasteries, feudal landowners and counties fixed the annual rents. In Wietmarschen this was done every 6 years (Garben Jahr). Over the centuries most of the farms in Wietmarschen were the property of the monastery, including their inhabitants. The Budde farm formed part of the newly started peat-colony in the Ostermoor. This was colony was probably established by the Monastery around 1650. The farm is mentioned in the various taxation documents so they clearly formed a part of the property of the monastery, they had few rights, many duties and very limited freedom.

While the feudal systems in most parts of Europe tarted to disappear after 1500, it flourished in some parts of Germany and France for another 300 years. The Monastery in Wietmarschen didn’t loose its feudal rights until after the French occupation at the end of the 18th century (1795), but it took decades before the remnants of feudalism were truly abandoned. Key dates in this process of democratisation of this area include, as we will see later,  1848, 1866 and 1871.

CLASHES WITH SECULAR POWERS

As indicated above, the land as well a range of privileges was donated to the monastery by the political powers of the day, the counts of Bentheim. There were few differences between the secular and the clergy until, in 1544, the count converted to the Reformation. First he tried to persuade the monastery to convert to the new religion, but when that failed the county started in 1573 a process to force the monastery to pay taxes. This ended a 400-year-long close relationship between Sünte Marienrode and the counts of Bentheim. The monastery now needed a new patron and for that purpose they turned to the Diocese of Munster. Mainly because of this newly acquired protection they were able to stall dozens of legal processes, in 1754, they finally, after 181 years, signed a tax treaty with the new secular power, the Kingdom of Hanover.

The  animosity between the Monastery and the Counts is also clearly noticeable in the peat-wars (see below).

SERFDOM FINALLY COMING TO AN END

Count Friedrich Karl of Bentheim died, without male heirs, in Paris on February 17th 1803. Before his death he had given the County for a period of 30 years as collateral to the King of Hanover, who in turn paid his debts and gave him an annual payment. After his death hit title passed on to his successor Count Ludwig from Bentheim-Steinfurt.

After the French had successfully beaten English, Prussian and Hanoverian troops in 1793, the French fought back and very quickly conquered large parts of Europe. French troops arrived in North Germany in 1795. In Wietmarschen French soldiers were billeted at the Budde farm.

In 1804 conservative groups tried to restore the good old countship and wanted to ‘liberate’ the county of Bentheim from the Hanoverian kingdom. These conservatives thought that people would want to return to the protected period before these turbulent times, back to the security of the benign feudal rulership of the count. Count Ludwig signed a treaty with France and bought the county back for 800,000 franks. Napoleon also granted the Monastery to the count of Bentheim

On the 15th of August the Count was received in state in neighbouring Nordhorn. However, this was very short-lived as in 1806 the French had already dethroned Count Ludwig. On September 19th 1811 the county was finally incorporated into the Lippe Department.  The Monastery had successfully held on to its secular powers for five more years but now also they saw  Napoleon taking their privileges away.

Slowly but surely medieval privileges were replaced by more democratic rights and obligations. City councils were established, guilds were dissolved and the freedom of profession, trade and competition were introduced. Compulsory education arrived, linked to an extensive plan to build schools. And for the first time since Roman times large-scale road building projects were undertaken.

Throughout Europe there was remarkably little resistance against the French occupation. This was also the case in  Nordhorn, as long as the local supporters involved in the social reforms were not too pro-French. The changes of course involved enormous social, cultural and economic upheaval. The upper and middle classes of the population in general embraced the reforms and used them to improve their own level of personal freedom and living standards.

On the other side there was, particularly amongst the farmers, resistance against these changes. Especially in Wietmarschen do we see this happening. Why, they argued, should we replace age-old ways of life, unchanged for hundreds of years, with new ways nobody, which knows, will work. Also the fact that farmers now suddenly could decide their own future was not easy. For centuries they had been used to doing exactly what their rulers told them to do; they were poor but had sufficient food and shelter to survive and, as mentioned before, were protected against severe economic downturns. During a 1,000 year period they didn’t have to make any major decisions. These were all made for them by the feudal rulers. It would therefore take decades after the French Revolution before the feudal system was totally dismantled.

After Napoleon defeat, Hanover regained its powers. A 7-year war followed between Hanover and Bentheim. However, in the end the Count did not get back his County. During this prolonged period of political confusion life went on as usual at the Monastery.

It was not until 1831 that the Kingdom of Hanover passed a law setting out a regime that would see the pay-off the serfdom. Those farmers who had the money could pay off their serf dues immediately. However, most of them decided to wait, hoping for further changes that would see them acquiring their freedom without having to pay anything. However, this never eventuated and slowly they started to pay off their serf dues. They were amongst the last serfs in Europe. The last farmer in the Bentheim-county (not in Wietmarschen) paid off his dues in 1870.

THE ‘URBAR’ AND THE ‘WESSELBOOK’

The family data of serfs and the properties belonging to the monastery in Wietmarschen are recorded in the ‘Urbar’ (from about 1430-1580). This was written by an administrative person employed by the Abbess.

An urbarium ( German: Urbar) is a register of fief ownership and includes the rights and benefits that the fief holder has over his serfs and peasants.

An important part of this document is the ‘Wesselboek’, a book where they recorded ‘changes’ (Wessel) of serfs. The purpose of writing such things down was to keep track of their properties … and people were a part of this, too.

THE WESSELBOEK

An example of this is as follows. Say the farm belonged to the Knights Budde in Hange. Now, the second son or daughter of this farmer (mostly the eldest son, sometimes the eldest daughter) becomes the new farmer on this farm. First of all the landowner must agree with this. The same approval was required if a person wanted to marry someone on a farm that belongs to the landowner. If the person came from a property that belonged to another landowner, then both had to agree. If that was the case the two landowners than ‘exchanged’ (verwesselten) two persons: ‘I give you one of mine, you have to give me one of yours’. And this was written down in the ‘Wesselboek’. Sometimes a free person (someone who had formally paid for a ‘Freibrief’ to become free from the landowner) married a farmer who was not free. If so, he or she then became unfree. But there were rules – that his/her first son or daughter was free.

There is indeed a recorded change involving the knights Budde in Hange that was recorded in 1531 on pages 67b and 219a of the Urbar des Klosters Wietmarschen, entitled:

W o l t e r s H u i s t oB i d e n – 1531

To Biden by dem Schultenhove iß ein Kotte, genant to Woltershuiß, de Frauwe, genant Hille, geboren van des Schulten Hoff to Biden, uns egen, hadde dre Kinder, einen Sone, Hinrich, eine Dochter, wont to Linge, is vrigelaten – Grete. Noch eine Dochter, Swenne, van unß verwesselt an Budden ten Hange, wy hebben aver geine Widderwessel kregen.

This translates as follows: At Biene at the burgomaster farm there is a cottage, called at Wolters house, the wife, born at the burgomaster farm at Biene, is our guarantor, she has three children, a son, Hinrich, a daughter who lives in Lingen, was released out of serfdom. Yet another daughter, Swenne, we exchanged her to Budde at Hange, we have not yet got another exchanged back to us.

It indicates that Swenn Woltershuiß from Biene (a few kilometres north of Lingen), was exchanged with Budde from Hange.

The Budde family in Wietmarschen is not listed in a comprehensive overview of all the properties that belonged to the monastery. A confirmation that at that time the Budde family was not living in Wietmarschen.

THE LINK BETWEEN SÜNT MARIENRODE AND HANGE

The landlords in the exchange mentioned in the Urbar, are on one side Sünt Marienrode and on the other side the Buddes in Hange. The Knights Budde (also referred to as von Budden) originally had, as we saw before several castles in the area.

One of the knights of this branch of the family, Lambert von Budden, married Gertrud von Hange and after the death of his father-in-law became the owner of the castle in this township a few kilometres from Freren, east of Lingen which in turn is 20 kilometres east of Nordhorn. Together they bought three farms in the parishes of Voltage and Recke. Swenn (as mentioned in the Urbar) was exchanged for a person who lived on one of the farms that belonged to the von Budden’s in Hange.

THE PEAT-COLONY

Until the beginning of the 20th century fuel in medieval times came mainly from the moors in the form of peat. Especially in areas without woods such as Holland and north-Germany there was a significant trade in this product. At the same time these mostly inaccessible areas were great frontiers for farming colonists.

Wietmarschen is situated on the border of one of the largest moors in north Europe and it was an obvious area to play an important role in this industry. According to local historic sources, the peat areas were an ideal place to grow buckwheat. This is not very suitable for baking bread but was used to make porridge and pancakes. As buckwheat was cheaper as cereals, demand for the produce grew when cereal prices were high, but of course demand collapsed when there was a surplus of cereals.

Buckwheat is an undemanding produce and grows well in poor soils. The peat moors were good enough for that. The peat surface was burnt off and roughly cut open and the seeds were sown directly into the top layer. This was not without risk. Late night frosts killed many crops and the peat-moor fires often got out of hand and created enormous pollution. There are records out these times indicating that this sometimes reached the cities on the Dutch coast, 150 kilometres to the east.

Directly following the period of the Eighty Year War in the Netherlands (Thirty Year War in Germany) there were significant new developments:

  • The now independent Republic of the Seven Provinces (Netherlands) was full of energy and economic activity – the start of the Golden Age of Holland, creating demand for lots of products, including peat.
  • No longer hampered by war the sea trade picked up again, bringing in amongst other produce cereals from around the Baltic Sea.
  • The price of cereals consequently dropped and buckwheat was no longer in great demand.
  • New land had to be reclaimed to satisfy demand for one of the latest additions to the food chain, the potato.

It is in this period that the Monastery in Wietmarschen started the push to reclaim more of the Bourtanger moor. The moor itself, however, belonged to the Counts of Bentheim. They had bought these lands in 1380 from Hermann Golenkamp. The result was ongoing property and management disputes between the two local powers.

The first parts that were reclaimed were situated immediately north of the town. This area was known as ‘Ostermoor’. Among the early pioneers here was the Budde family. Together with another 11 settlers they are mentioned as the pioneers of the ‘Ostermoor’. From this it can be concluded that the Budde farm that is still situated on this same spot dates from these years. It is during this colonisation period (around 1650) that we come across the first-known ancestor of our family Joanna Budde as well as Eilert.

The peat wars

Not long after the Buddes established their farm in Ostermoor, other peat colonies were established, under the leadership of the Dutch physician and church minister Piccard. Ernstdorf (Alte-Piccardie) was established in 1663, Georgsdorf (Neu Piccardie) in 1724 and Adorf in 1795. This immediately caused friction between new and old settlers.

As early as 1664 a defence wall was thrown up between the two communities. In 1709 this led to the ‘goosewar’ between Wietmarschen on one side and Veldhausen and Neuenhaus (colonists in Piccardie) on the other side. Geese from the two communities were confiscated by those from Wietmarschen as they were believed to have crossed the border between the two communities. In a ‘counter-attack’ six cows from Wietmarschen were taken by the new colonists.

The legal adviser of the Count of Bentheim joined the two communities and accused the monastery of starting the problems by allowing new colonists to establish themselves in the same area called ‘Fuchten’. This made life more difficult for the original Ostermoor-colonists, who now had to share the same land.

The quarrels between the Monastery and the County continued and flared up again in 1748 and 1763 and were not resolved until another full century later! Squatters were settling themselves, in the more remote parts of the moor, and competing for the same land, without the permission of the count or the monastery.

The Buddes in Wietmarschen

ANCESTRY EILERT BUDDE

The first recorded Budde in Wietmarschen is Eilerus Budde (born approx. 1623 – died 10 March 1693). His name is mentioned in ‘status animarum’ from 1663, together with that of his wife Hilda (born approx. 1626). They married in 1649. Their children are also listed in that status animarus: Hermann (born 1649) and Angela (born 1659).

Hermann dies on 3rd January 1685, aged approx. 35 years. Angela marries on 21st April 1689, Reiner Otten Jansen (born around 1649 in Wietmarschen). She dies on 25 April 1729.

Another recorded Budde in Wietmarschen is Gerhard Petrus (Peter) Budde born around 1625.

I have traced the origins of our branch of the Budde family back to Joanna Helena Budde. She must have been born around 1650 in Wietmarschen. Perhaps Joanna was another daughter of Eilert who was no longer in the household of Eilert in 1663, but working on another farm or in another household. She married Konrad Wöste – in the Catholic church of Wietmarschen on 27th October 1677. Another hint that there might be a link between these two Buddes is that one of Joanna’s grandchildren is also named Eilard. Furthermore Angela Budde (see above) is also a witness at the baptism of Joanna’s son, Bernhard.

It looks like Joanna lived at the Budde farm in Wietmarschen. It was common practice in the region around Wietmarschen – and in Westphalia as a whole, as well as in Twente – that the male or female who married and moved to another farm took the name of the farm. So the landowners (in this case the Stift Wietmarschen) didn’t have the ‘inconvenience’ of having to change the names after each marriage. As in the case of Joanna Budde, when she married Konrad Wöste the Budde farm stayed the Budde farm. This tradition was outlawed in 1828.

Konrad most probably came from Lohne in the parish of Schepsdorf, a few kilometres west of Wietmarschen. Johanna and Konrad had six children. When their son Bernhard (born 1678) married Catharina R”ckers in 1708, her parents are recorded as Wigbolt R”ckers and Anna Wöste – perhaps Konrad’s sister?

Another interesting detail is that when Konrad married a Wicbold Kupers was mentioned as a witness. When Anna married a Bernhard Kupers was a witness. The Kuper’s family could have had a certain link with the Woeste family. The other witness at Anna’s wedding was Bernhard Woeste. A Bernhard Woeste is mentioned in 1653 as a ‘colon’ in Nordlohne, baptised in Schepsdorf around 1620. Could he be the father of Anna and Konrad?

Lohne fell within the area controlled by the monastery in Wietmarschen; it formed the eastern border.

Catharina Budde (R”ckers ) dies on the 24th August 1720. A year later, Bernardus remarries with Gesina Hangbers. The monastery records show that on the 25th October 1721 Bernd pays for himself and for his 2ndwife Geese Hanckbers the appropriate taxes. In a Wietmarschen document of 1663 Herman Hangbers (born 1600) and his wife Angela (born 1607) are mentioned as well. As we will see further on, their son Gerhard left Wietmarschen and married in Nordhorn with Maria Wolterinck.

One of their children was Helena (Hille) she was baptised on 12th April 1682. One of the two witnesses was Engelle Budden. Could she have been a sister of Johanna?

All baptisms, marriages and burials of the Buddes in Wietmarschen took place in the St Johannes Apostle church. Originally a timber church, it was built in 1152, according to oral tradition, next to the old oak tree that stood here when the monastery was founded. The stone church was built in 1210. The oak tree finally went down in a storm in 1830. The archives of the church, from which most data on the Buddes have been researched, are currently in the Diocese archives in Osnabrück.

FROM KÖTTERS TO LANDOWNERS

The Budde farm is mentioned in several documents relating to rent and other payments to the monastery. The farm is situated a few kilometres north of the village and this was in those days a remote spot. Close to the moor, the land was very wet and the sandy roads were not well maintained and were often impassable. The Budde families who lived in Wietmarschen during the 17th and 18th centuries were serfs. The land they worked and lived on, were not their land. They were not allowed to leave the village and had to ask permission for marriages, etc.

In the history of Wietmarschen the Budde family is recorded as kötters. These were smaller than the homesteads or the Vollerbe, of which there were only a few. The monastery owned them all. Within this feudal system there were some important differences:

Feudal hierarchy in the country

  • Vollerbe (total heir) – they were allowed to have 4 heuerleute (tenants)
  • Halberbe (heir of half the land)
  • Viertelerbe (quarter of the land) also called kötter (most common title for Buddes in Wietmarschen)
  • Colon was the term for a farmer who had the right to let one of his children become the new farmer and he ‘owned’ farmland. (In later years Johan Heinrich Budde [1879 – 1915] was titled ‘Colon’ in an official document.)
  • A ‘Heuermann’ (Heuerleute) had no farmland but only a little house and perhaps a garden on the land of a Colon.
  • A ‘Brinksitzer’ was allowed to have a house and some land (not his own) at the border of the village (the ‘Brink’).

THE BUDDES IN THE HISTORY OF WIETMARSCHEN

The fact that the farm was situated outside the daily hustle and bustle of the township will have played a role in the fact that the Buddes were not all that involved in ‘city life’. Furthermore their economic situation was such that they wouldn’t have had much time to spare to do anything else other than looking after their livelihood. Despite this there are still several records that maintain names of the Budde family.

The first one dates back to the 1653 when Eilert together with 35 other farmers signs a letter of protest in relation to the corn tax (see below: Schatzungsregister). He signs this letter as: Buddehen Eilert”.

The next record dates back to the middle of the 18th century. The management of the properties of the monastery was done by a secretary; he executed the decisions made by the monastery, he was responsible for the legal affairs and in charge of police. The secretary around 1700 was Johan Cötting. He was rich and powerful and was in 1740 accused by the Abbess of corruption. She wanted to quickly dismiss the man but a court order prevented her from doing so. It is in this context that I have come across the first Budde family in the historic civil documents of Wietmarschen. On Sunday 27 October 1743 a number of citizens demonstrated against Cötting, by scoffing and nagging him in front of his house. They hoped that this would make him move out of Wietmarschen. The result however was that soldiers from (Protestant) Bentheim were despatched on the request of Cötting. They camped at the local cemetery from where they patrolled the village.

Slowly democracy crept into the local society. In 1746 representatives from the farmers were informed about the financial affairs through a so-called council bill. In 1755 Jan Buden was one of the representatives and in 1760 another Budde is listed in these records. In a legal document of 22 April 1790 Bernd Budde is summoned as a representative of the farmers to be present to establish an act of partnership (say) between the local authorities and the community. It is only after the French occupation (1795) that these representatives received the right to vote against council bills.

Another mention of the Budde family in the local history dates from 24 August 1795. During the Napoleonic wars the allied forces of England and Hanover, consisting of 600 soldiers and 200 horses, were billeted in Wietmarschen. The Buddes were compensated for their services and received an amount of 30 gulden for this.

BUYING ON TICK

Another interesting source of history was presented to me by Clemens Honnigfort, he is also the author of Wietmarschen – Kloster, Stift und Dorf which has been a major source of information on the history of Wietmarschen. I have summarised his information as follows.

The farmers in Wietmarschen shopped according to custom, or for credit reasons, always with one and the same shopkeeper, they seldom switched between them. Their purchases were usually put down for them and payed after they had sold some of their farming produce. In the records of the three major merchants in town, Genegel, Schmitz and Osseforth. Hermann Budde is listed with Johan Heindrich Schmitz, he had the nickname ‘Schluter” (Locker) as he lived in the old gatekeepers tower of the monastery (burnt down in 1927). “Schluter” brewed beer, and made vinegar and also operated a shop and a bakery.

I have Herman listed in our family tree #368 b.1805 +1836. Schmitz could be related to the family of his mother.

On December 26th 1832, Herman Budde paid his bills but still owed Schmitz at that time, two guilders and 18 stuivers (pennies). Op April 15th he buys rusks and asked to put another 6 stuivers down for that. The same was bought on 21 June and 7 stuivers were added. On May 2nd 1836 he buys a fruit loafs (crinte wege) for 18 stuivers. The total amount owed had now risen to 2 guilders and 49 stuivers, as one guilder is 20 stuivers, this is the same as 4 guilders and 9 stuivers. This debt isn’t paid until March 19th 1848, after that payment he still owes Schmitz 1 guilder and 5 stuivers.

BUDDES LISTED IN THE SCHATZUNGSREGISTER

There’s a tax register (Schatzungsregister) where all farmers who belonged to the Stift Wietmarschen were listed with the amount of tax they had to deliver every year to the Stift. Known as the corn tax, this was reviewed every 6 years (Garbenjahr – Garbe = sheaf). Originally this form of taxing had been established by Charles the Great to provide money for the clergy (tithes). Every fourth corn sheaf went to the monastery. Farmers were not allowed to harvest the sheafs before they were counted in the field by representatives of the monastery.  If this representative did not show up, they were still not allowed to bring the harvest in. This of course created often a lot of anxiety as these activities rely heavily on the unpredictable weather. At regular intervals we come across farmer-revolts against this rule. The corn tax in Wietmarschen also applied to other produce. Apart from this tax, kötters such as the Buddes had to work for the landowners. One day during harvest time with the sickle (only one person was needed) and one day, with two persons, with the scythe. Children were recruited and had to do shopping, pick berries and were ordered to do other light tasks. I haven’t come across information that indicated that Budde kids were involved in this. Apparently it were only the Volerben that had to provide child labour, it is unclear why this was only limited to them.

Next is an overview of listings of the Buddes in the Schatzungsregister:

  • In 1795 a field inspection took place amongst the farms belonging to the monastery. They noted that in the previous eleven years no reclamation of new peat grounds had taken place at the Budde farm.
  • The register of 1802 includes for Budde: two free and four taxable persons, two fireplaces, 3 horses, 8 cows, 2 pigs , 5 sheep, no bees and 3 geese. In its ranking list of 1829, 45 farmers were listed, Budde was no. 33.
  • In 1829 the annual corn tax noted: no rye, 5 Scheffels (old content-based measurement) of barley and 5 Scheffels of oats.

The most likely owners at those times were:

1795, 1802 and 1829: Johan Hermann Budde (Poling)

FINALLY FREE IN 1854

Most probably it was Johan Heinrich Budde who in 1854 finally bought the family free (paid their final serf dues) in 1854. Like many others in Wietmarschen that had been hoping since 1831 that their serf dues would be xx. However, the Monastery insisted it would pursue these dues. Most remaining serfs in Wietmarschen, including the Budde family decided in 1854 that enough was enough and paid their dues. After this he was classified as a landowner.

The Buddes finally paid off the annual corn tax on 27 September 1854. They paid: no rye, 1 Malter (= 8 Scheffels) and 1 Scheffel of barley, 1 Malter and 1 Scheffel of oats, and 5 Florins and 7 Stuber for Prast (unknown what this is). Furthermore he had to pay 118 Reichstaler, 11 Goldgroschen, 9 duit, 134 florijn and 10 Stuber. (The reason for this mixture of German and Dutch money is the fact the count of Bentheim didn’t like to receive only German money for these payments. This system slowly started to change when the new empire also introduced the Mark, divided into 100 Pfennig).

Weights and Measurement

In the 1800s the Mudde used in Wietmarschen was compared to the weights and measurement used in Cologne. From this it has been calculated that a Malter of rye would be 159 kilogram in current measures and a Malter of oats 65.4 kilogram. The complex system was ‘simplified’ in 1856 and all measurements contained the same names but represented different volumes/weights.

When in 1887 the Wietmarscher Marke (common) was divided into private land, 49 farmers received a part of it. The Buddes are ranked as number 27 and received 28 hectares. The total farm was valued at 8699,61 Mark. By this time the farm had passed hands to Bernhard Heinrich Veddern (Budde).

THE GOOD CITIZEN OF WIETMARSCHEN

The personal history of the Buddes in Wietmarschen is of course interwoven with that of the other good citizens of this rural community. Going through the baptism and marriage records of the St Johannes Apostle church several names are mentioned in relation to the Budde family. Over the centuries they cover a very large number of the total population. By 1600 the township and surroundings counted around 500/600 inhabitants. If we only look at the spouses families we come across: Ossefort, Gelinck, Tor Haar (Haarman), van de Becke, Honberge, Freesen, Schurman, Hangbers, R”ckers, Dreyer and Gravel.

Ossefort relates to one of the four original homesteads which were named around 1200 after the four directions of the wind; Northoff, Westhoff, Osthoff (Ossefort) and Sudhoff. A document from 1442 mentions tor Becke (van de Becke) as one of the eleven homesteads that at that time were part of the monastery. They had donated their farm in 1518 to the monastery and moved in that same year into the monastery, which provided them with board and residence. Gravel (Gravelman) moved in 1541 into the monastery but left it again shortly after. In 1442 tor Haar (ter Haar) is mentioned. This property shows up on old maps as being situated at the Ostermoor, not far from where later on the Buddes built their farm.

Eight years later kötter Röckers appears in the records. Hageborn (Hangbers) is listed in the Urbar in 1532 and so the lists and appearances of the names come and go.

The anecdotes mentioned in relation to these families paint a picture of the life in this small rural village in the county of Bentheim, with lots of links to Ootmarsum, Weerselo, and many other towns and villages in the border region.

MISSING LINK

Our joint ancestors (see note below)  are Eilerus (Eilart) Budde (1623), his daughter Johann Helena (1653-1693) and their son Bernhardus (1678 – 1738).

Bernhardus marries Catherina Rockers (1678 – 1720). From this branch the existing Budde’s in Wietmarschen descend. After her death Bernhardus marries Gesina Hangbers (1696 – 1770) and from this branch our family descends.

As I have already my branch sorted out I will now continue with the Wietmarschen branch.

  • Johan Konrad (1713 – 1783) son of Bernhard and Catherina.
  • His son: Johan Bernhard Heinrich Budde (1749 – 1794)
  • His daughter: Catherina Anna Margaretha Budde (1782 – 1839) marries to Johann Hermann Poling (but takes the name Budde).
  • Their son Johan Ludwig moves to the USA and that’s where Don Feldmann fits in.
  • Another son, Johan Heinrich (1808 – 1861) takes over the farm
  • His son Hermann Bernhard Budde born in 1846 is the last known member of the Budde family. He had two sisters and one brother who all 3 died at a young age. We don’t know much more about Herman Bernhard but apparently he didn’t take over the farm.
  • The farm went to Bernhard Heinrich Veddern who marries Anna Gertrud Dreier. He also takes the name Budde.
  • Their son is Johan Heinrich (1879 – 1915) and via their son Jozef we arrive at the present time with Herman and Helena and their children.

The next bit of the puzzle is to see if we can find out what and/or if there is a relationship between Veddern and Budde?

All Buddes belonged to the catholic parish of St Johannes Apostle.

THE OLD BUDDE FARM

The current Budde family of Wietmarschen lives on a farm on the Buddendiek (previously called Grotenfehl and Kirchweg). The old parts of the current farm date back to approximately 1870. Before this time the original farm was situated some 200 metres further away on a mound.

The Bourtanger Moor, consisting of large peat grounds, starts only a few kilometres further north. Chronicles of Wietmarschen talk about large-scale flooding. While the situation has vastly improved over the 20thcentury, flooding is still very much part of the landscape. In the winter of 1997/1998 the water again came very close to the Budde farm. In 1994 I visited Wietmarschen and met Hermann and Anni Budde who now live at this family homestead with their four children: Manfred, Silvia, Erika en Karin. Four years later we organised a family reunion between the Buddes from Oss and those from Wietmarschen. During that event Geert ten Tusscher, husband of Monique Budde found a potsherd from the old farm. Hermann told us that during ploughing they have come across many of these potsherds.

It would appear that 350 years of farming the agriculture history of the Buddes is nearing its end. Hermann has reduced these activities to a bare minimum and it doesn’t look like any of his children is going to continue the farm.