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House of my great-great-great-grandfather
Christian Leonhard Bechtle in Höpfigheim,
where he lived with his wife2 and 8 children
before he emigratetd to Bessarabia
At the end of the 18th century (beginning the 19th centurz) my ancestors from
- Württemberg: Hiller from Nebringen, Bechtle from Höpfigheim, Blatter from Gundelfingen, Fieß from Mühlacker, Bosch from Asselfingen, Johs (Joos) from Loßburg, Kempf (Kämpf) from Walddorf (Altensteig, Calw,Württemberg), Stumm from Auingen, Groß from Oberstenfeld,
- Bavaria: Schmucker from Offingen, Fuchs from Wasserburg, Klein from Gundremmingen and
- Baden: Blatt and Gabert from Lützelsachsen at the end of the 18th century emigrated from those who were at that time Wirtemberg, Bavaria and Baden.
To be able to understand better the reason of their emigration and also of the other Germans, I want to try here to represent the situation of the population and especially of those in Wirtemberg. To do this it is necessary to go back in the German history.
In the 18th century the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation looked like a patchwork. The south-western part of Germany consisted of a large number of territories of different sizes. One of the stately sites was the Duchy of Württemberg. The smallest country estates just covered an area of one or a few villages.
Württemberg in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation around 1789
farmers at work
Around 90% of the total population was composed of farmers that still were serfs. Their life was marked by the hard job and by the continuous existential fear. They were bounded at their lords who exempted them from military service and protected them; in change they paid taxes and did socage. They were also oppressed by every Authority both secular and religious.
There was a great poverty because taxes had to be paid also in low incomes. Farmer families often lived at subsistence level.
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2 Christian Leonhard Bechtle was born on 7 november 1784; he was a manufacturer of wagon wheels and barrels and emigrated with his wife Dorothea Elisabeth Groß and 8 children from Höpfigheim (Württemberg) to Sarata (Bessarabia) in 1831.