Thursday, November 10, 2016

Great Great Grandfather Quirin Choice to Work as a Farmer

Quirin is the French version of the German name Quirinus.  Quirin was born in Lutzelbourg on July 13, 1809. Lutzelbourg is a commune in the Moselle department in Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine in north-eastern France. It is located on the Marne-Rhine Canal as shown in the photograph. The Grosholtz family had resided in Lutzelbourg since 1680. Lutzelbourg is now part of Alsace-Lorraine since Alsace-Lorraine was the name given to the 5,067 square miles (13,123 square km) of territory that was ceded by France to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-German War.

Quirin's father, Georges Grossholtz was a farmer. He passed down his trade to his son. Quirin was the fifth child born to Marie Madeleine Cler and Georges Grossholtz. They had five daughters and two sons. The family moved from Lutzelbourg to Neuhaeusel between 1813 to 1820. Joseph worked as a Customs Officer in Neuhaeusel while Quirin worked as a farmer.

The origins of the Neuhaeusel dates back to the end of the eighteenth century. In 1720, the municipality was known under the name of Neuhof and was in possession of the lords of Fleckenstein. In 1725 it appeared under the name of Neuhaeusel. The village population was between a 181 to 280 people at the time that the Grosholtzs move to Neuhaeusel. The early inhabitants of Neuhaeusel played a decisive role in the construction of the Vauban fortress Fort -Louis, by producing bricks and tiles and delivered. The village church of St. Luke ( Église Saint- Luc ) was constructed in 1724 on the foundations of an old chapel. Until the mid- 20th century, the inhabitants of the village lived mainly on fishing and inland shipping.

By the mid 1800s they saw changes within rural France. Although agriculture was a dominant occupation, one can see the emergence of new kinds of professions. Through work with censuses of the period, one sees that as the population increased so did the number of craftsmen and merchants. The percentages of people in agriculture decreased due to these changes. One of the reasons why the agricultural community may have decreased was the straying of the youth. Often times a farm was passed down from generation to generation. The younger generations would take on the responsibilities that their parents had. 

Another question arose from the census: what specific occupations made up the broad agricultural group? Most importantly was the proprietor; this was the land owner of the group. Then came the cultivator; this person was a peasant who owned some land and may also have rented some. Third, the fermier was a tenant farmer. The manoeuvrier was a landless or land-poor farmer that had to also work for wages. Last, the wage workers were day laborers that worked on the richer farms. Quirin was listed in his children's birth certificates as both a cultivator and a plougher during his lifetime.

 According to an article entitled, "History and Statistics: Patterns of Family and community Life in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century France" written by Robert Schwartz and Harriet Pollatsek. In the past, artisans could not live on their trade alone; they also had to work as wage workers on farms. This had changed with the industrialization and the modernization of fanning. Now there were things needed on the farm that the artisans could provide. The artisans were no longer part-time wage workers on the farm.

According to the Wikipedia article on "The Economic History on France", "The French Revolution (1794 - 1799) abolished many of the constraints on the economy that had emerged during the old regime. It abolished the guild system as a worthless remnant of feudalism."[8] It also abolished the highly inefficient system of tax farming, whereby private individuals would collect taxes for a hefty fee." It abolished tithes owed to local churches as well as feudal dues owed to local landlords. The result hurt the tenants, who paid both higher rents and higher taxes.[11] It nationalized all church lands, as well as lands belonging to royalist enemies who went into exile. It planned to use these seized lands to finance the government by issuing assignats. With the breakup of large estates controlled by the Church and the nobility and worked by hired hands, rural France became permanently a land of small independent farms. The rural proletariat and nobility both gave way to the commercial farmer.[12]

Of course all of this effected Georges and Quirin decisions to work as a farmer.  

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