Auswanderung nach Holland


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contributed by W.H. Hilgedieck

Colonus is latin and means farmer, but generally not land-owner. In olden times the landowner was mostly the king, the earl, the baron, the church etc. A Heuerling or Heuermann is more than a hired hand on a farm, even if "heuern " means " hire ". A hired hand on a farm is a male "Knecht" or female "Magd".

The Heuerling system is a special kind of agricultural working relationship from the 17th century till the end of WW II. The Heuerling leased a part of farmland and instead of paying his lease he worked on the farm. He was a self-employed farmer, in parts a hired hand and often a skilled workman as well.

The reason for this system was that it prevented division of farmland and public property could not be bought or sold, it belonged to the sovereign. This was a cause of overpopulation and resulting emigration. The sons who didn't inherit the farm or couldn't marry into a farm had to go into the "Heuer" on the parental or mostly a neighbor-farm. Obtaining a household of their own was not an option for Heuerlinge. Around 1850 more than half of the population in some Westphalian areas belonged to the Heuerling class.

Heuerling houses, sometimes as double-houses with a common fireplace (taxes were levied per fireplace) were rebuilt from former baking-houses or from the small houses designated for retired farmers, who now
stayed longer in the farmhouse. Mostly these houses were situated on the edge of the farmland. A description of a house in 1840: 38 feet long, 33 feet broad, 10 BD feet high. One hall and kitchen, 2 rooms, stables for 4 cows, 2 pigs, 1 massive chimney.(at that time the Germans measured in foot). Normally Heuerlinge owned around 2-3 cows, 3-5 pigs, chicken, 1 or 2 acres land

Nearly every man had a second job. All Heuerlinge made linen in the winter time, but not only for themselves. Most of their linen was sold in England for the sailing ships. After 1806/07 when Napoleon defeated Prussia, he closed the border as part of a a boycott against England. This was a very bad time for the Heuerleute (hiret people), because they could not sell their linen. They got poor and poorer. By the time Napoleon was defeated in 1812, the linen's price had dropped, because in at htis point England had invented the steam engine and used steam driven looms.

At that time Heuerleute from this area went to the Netherlands for cutting grass and peat during the summer, other made these dutch wooden shoes. Several Heuerleute didn't return to Germany and stayed in the Netherlands. Around 1830 the emigration to Amerika began. There people could buy land for little money and build their own farm. So the reason for emigration for most people was economical reason, but some
emigrated for political or religious reasons.

The article below comes from the librarian in Lengerich. Up to 1800 seasonal workers of the area would go to the Netherlands to work there for usually a 6-month period. They would bring 3 months of provisions from home and if necessary somone would come from home with more. Most went to the peat regions and to the major cities as there was much work there.

Auswanderung aus dem Tecklenburger Land

Die Auswanderung vor 1800 war gering und als Ziel kamen die Nierderlande im Frage. Alljährlich zog eine große Anzahl von Heuerlingen und Kötter als Wanderarbeiter zum Torfstechen und zur Grasmaaht in die Niederlande. Diese "Hollandgängerei" war für die heimische Bevölkerung eine wichtige Erwerbsquelle. Von den Hollandgängern blieb mancher dauerhaft in den Niederlanden und einige benutzten die Niederlande auch als Durchgangsstation für die Auswanderung in die niederländischen- oder anderer Länder Kolonien. Infolge der Napoleonischen Kriege 1806 bis 1818 und des Niederganges der Hausleinenindustrie kam es zur allgemeinen Verschlechterung der Lebensbedingungen. Das Bevölkerungswachstum bis 1880 tat ein überiges. Schlagartig richteten sich das Interesse und die Hoffnungen der armen Bevölkerungsschichten auf Amerika.

In der Auswanderung sah man einen Weg aus Not und Elend. Weitere Gründe waren Abenteuerlust, Befreiung vom Militärdienst und allgemeine
Unzufriedenheit mit den politischen Verhältnissen. Von 1830 bis 1840 sind schätzungsweise 10-15% der Einwohner der Orte Lengerich, Ladbergen, Lienen und Westerkappeln ausgewandert.

Emigration from the Tecklenburg Region

Emigration before 1800 was slight and the Netherlands were the main destination. Every year large numbers of peasants and small farmers left for the Netherlands to cut peat and make hay as migratory workers. For the people of Tecklenburg this was an important source of income. A fair number of these Hollandgangers stayed for good and some used the Netherlands as a transit point to continue to the Dutch or Foreign Colonies. As a result of the Napoleonic wars of 1806-1818 and the decline of the home weaving industry a general worsening of living conditions occurred. The population growth up to 1880 was the other factor which caused the poor to vest their interest and hope on the shores of America.

Emigration offered a way out of this misery. Other reasons were lust for adventure, escape from military service and dissatisfaction with the political situation. From 1830 to 1840 it is estimated that 10-15% of the population of Lengerich, Ladbergen, Lienen en Westerkappeln emigrated.

Emigratie vanuit het Tecklenburger land

De emigratie voor 1800 was gering en Nederland was het belangrijkste emigratieland. Elk jaar trokken grote aantallen knechten en keuterboeren naar Nederland
als rondtrekkend arbeider om te gaan turfsteken en te gaan hooien. Het werken in Nederland was voor de lokale bevolking een belangrijke bron van
inkomsten. Verscheidene van deze Hollandgangers bleven voorgoed in Nederland en een enkeling gebruikte Nederland als doorgangshaven voor de
emigratie naar de nederlandse- of buitenlandse koloniën. Als gevolg van de Napoleontische oorlogen van 1806 tot 1818 en de ondergang
van de thuiswevers vond er een algemene verslechtering van de leefomstandigheden plaats. De bevolkingsgroei tot 1880 zorgde voor de rest.
Ogenblikkelijk richtte zich het interesse en de hoop van de arme lagen van de bevolking op Amerika.

Emigreren bood een weg uit deze ellende. Andere redenen waren zucht naar avontuur, vrijstelling van militaire dienstplicht en ontevredenheid met de
politieke situatie. Van 1830 tot 1840 zijn naar schatting 10-15% van de inwoners van de plaatsen Lengerich, Ladbergen, Lienen en Westerkappeln geëmigreerd.