So, last month, I signed up for a German language class with the intention of learning some German to help with reading genealogical records and for another potential future visit to Germany. After I met our instructor, a German-born retired teacher in his 70s (who couldn't quite give up his teaching, as evidenced by this class!), and explained why I was taking the class, he was interested in hearing about my German ancestors. Excellent!
First, I asked about the term "Pfründnerin" that was listed as the occupation of my 3x great grandmother Maria Margaretha Bauer at her death. He did a little research and found that these were people who lived in a Pfründenhaus, a church-run home for the elderly and invalids. They also took in widows and orphans, often as workers, and at the time, Maria was a widow.
After that first success, I told him about the Harburg bible and brought printouts of some of the bible pages as well as the loose papers from the bible to class:
|Loose Papers from the Harburg Bible|
It is an original full Luther-Bible, which came out for the first time in 1534, printed by Hans Lufft of Wittenberg. He reprinted it several times afterwards until 1584, selling something like 100,000 copies within these 50 years, a truly astronomical figure for those times.That agrees with much of what the folks at the Smithsonian had to say as well. :)