GERWING - Early Records


My thanks to Karl Schulte for sending me the 
information that is included below. Thanks also to my friend Bix Biederbeck for assisting with the translation from German.

To view this page in German click here.

Willkommschatzung (Welcome Tax Assessment)

 The oldest references to the Gerwing - Gerwer family in Alstaette are found in the registers of the "Willkommschatzung" from 1498/1499 which were published in a 1976 study conducted by Joachim Hartig.

 In the late Middle Ages it was customary that a one time special tax called "Willkommschatzung" was granted to a newly elected bishop so as to cover the extra expenditures associated with church government.  This special tax had to be paid by all who were subjects  of the bishop of Muenster. The tax applied to all adults eligible to take communion. Therefore it applied to everyone 12 years of age and older. Excluded from this special tax were the members of the aristocracy (nobility), the clergy and civil servants. The head of the household was responsible for the payment of the "Kopfsteuer" (head tax). All households including the number of persons in the household were registered on this tax list except for the groups specified before. The "Willkommschatzung" list is recognized today as the standard directory of all the farms in Münsterland during the latter part of the 15th century.

 The legislature of Münsterland granted the bishop (Conrad von Rietberg) a head tax in the amount of 2 schilling 6 pennies, which was to be collected in two payments. The first payment had to be made in 1498, the second in the next year. Under supervision of the priest in each parish, a list of persons subject to the tax was developed. For the year 1498 the following person is recorded in the municipality of "Alstede" list:

 Bernt Gerwerdinck
 Six persons live in this household. The list of the following year records a household with four persons headed by:
Margareta Gerwertinck

  There is no reference to other families with the name Gerwer or Gerwing in the Alstaette "Willkommschatzung ". The recorded roots of the family Gerwing in Alstaette therefore begin in the year 1498. According to later sources it is clearly evident that this farm is the original farm of the Gerwing family in Alstatte.

 *note the later sources are:
- Church Register of Alstatte
- Census of 1749

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