Stories which have been passed on to us

Wedding Customs from Bernard Kertesz

Fellow Banat listers,
My dad managed to save only one really old document when he left for Australia as a refugee. This treasured document is a dowry contract for my gggrandfather's wedding. He translated it for me; I hope you find it interesting and it contributes something to this thread. Note; the various spellings for Billed are the ones in the document and the witnesses/officials names are attempts at deciphering their signatures.

Cheers, Bernard

Marriage Contract, which today, at the date and time listed at the end of document, between the father Martin on behalf of his son Johann Glass on the one [hand], and between the bride Susanna Welder and her guardian [uncle], Peter Welder on the other side, is agreed upon and settled; as follows-

1stly For bride-gold [dowry] the bride Susanna Welder brings to the house of Martin Glass the following valuables: 1,362 florint 10 Krone W.W. in cash, also a chest of drawers and a fully equipped feather-down bed.

2ndly The young couple must work for 6 years in the father's [Martin's] house, for which they receive, in the 1st year, 1 yoch of grazing land and 1 yoch of arable land, -and for the other 5 years 2 yoch for their use and 1 yoch of completely cultivated summer-field; [they receive] their clothing; and as wages they receive a quarter [?] of land for building and 2 yoch in its vicinity for use. This land will be worked with the father's draught animals.

3rdly After 6 years have passed, the parents, Martin and Elizabeth Glass will hand over the house in their possession, House No. 2645 , as well as the whole groundland [the property], four horses together with harness, one ironed short [wagon] and one long wagon, one plough with what belongs with it, one cow, one sow, 12 Metzen of wheat, half of the planted garden, and all the land that is already planted to winter and summer acreage, as inalienable property to the young married couple, without any debt; pay [also to] the young pair 1200 golden W.W. money in cash.

4thly When the ownership of the household is handed over, the parents keep the ownership of the rooms they live in, and the use of half of the grounds for as long as they shall live. Besides this they also keep 2 yoch of winter acres and 1 yoch of summer acres and a one quarter part of the lands in the vicinity. The arable fields will be sown with the parent's grain but worked as necessary [by the young couple] till the crops are ready and delivered in. They [the couple?] also have to submit the necessary tithe. They have to carry the grain to market for sale. Two animals may be kept on the place. The young couple are to assist in the feeding of [the parents'] livestock and the gathering and maintenance of straw and the chaff for calves and the feeding of poultry. The parents keep one of the pigstys and one quarter of the small garden for their own use.

5thly In the event that, of the young couple, the bride should die earlier and without issue, then half of that which she brought should fall to the bridegroom. In the event that the groom should die and without issue, the bride will receive two thousand twenty three goulden and 15 kr. instead of [the "bride-gold" of] 1,362 fl. 10 kr., as well as what she brought in natura and that which she has accumulated over time.

This document will be written in two identical copies, with the contract parts and also the undersigned witnesses and the Billieth stamp attached, and will be submitted to the high government kindly and obediently for ratification.

Billieth on the 12th January 1845.
Johann Glass the bridegroom
Susanna Welder the bride

Joseph Gaindcat   Judge
Johann Fernbach   Adv.
Peter Eichart   Adv.
Johann Dornbach
as participants and witnesses
Martin Glass
Peter Schultheiss
Nicolaus Paulus
Franz Welter
Johann Glass
Jakob Welter
Michael Glass

For the herein mentioned payment I have from my children, [amount unclear] gulden W.W. under todays's date, here rightly received, in our town Billet the 15th February 1845.
Martin Glass money receiver.
In the presence of
Joseph Gaindcat   judge
Johann Fernbach   adv.
Peter Eichart   adv.


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