Who Is The Top Dog In A West Prussia Village?

The following is based on a book by Willi Wojahn, "Der Netzedistrikt und die Sozialökonomischen Verhältnisse seiner Bevölkerung um 1773" = The Netze district and the socio-economic conditions of its population around 1773). This book analyses in great detail the Land Registry findings for Krojanke (near Flatow) and three or four of the nearby villages, and the following gives some idea of what the social hierarchy was in this area at this period.

Wojahn lists the social categories in the villages as follows (in descending order):

  1. Schulz - village head
  2. Farmers (Zinsbauern - those who owned their buildings and livestock)
  3. Farmers (Scharwerksbauern those whose livestock were the property of the landowner and who received seed corn from the landowner)
  4. Millers and Krügers (grain processors and brewers)
  5. Cossäten & Häusler tenants holding only a small amount of land, not enough for a farm, therefore often working as day laborers for others
  6. Smiths and craftsmen
  7. Schoolmasters
  8. Shepherds
  9. Laborers and maidservants.