Johann Thomas Nichter was born September 23 1712 in Breitenborn, Hanau county, Hessen-Nassau state. His father Nicolaus Nichtern, was a former citizen at Breitenborn in Hanau. His mother is Anna Margaretha. Unlike his father Thomas was never able to gain citizenship. It appears when Thomas Nichtern moved to Graben he either (1) did not apply to become a citizen of Graben, or (2) he applied to become a citizen of Graben but his application was denied by the powers-that-be.We don't have his mother's name and the records for Breitenborn are not available on FS.
Graben counted 78 households in 1742, Protestant, except for about 42 souls Roman Catholic. Number of school children: 80.
Robert Seal: Are you aware that with so many men having the first name "Johann", in every day life, most of them went by their second name, e.g." Johann Michael" probably went by "Michael", etc.
Thomas Nichter married Maria Katharina Obermeyer on the 18th January 1747. Seven months later Maria gave birth to Salome born 24 Aug 1746. Five years later Katharina Barbara was born 7 January 1751 and Maria Katharina 6 years later in 1757. The word Nüchter means sober. Thomas lived 56 years 11 months 4 days according to Graben pastor J. J. Ritter.
Where was Thomas Nichter born?
It's difficult to determine which Breitenborn the record refers to. There are two places called "Breitenborn" near Hanau. According to Meyers Gazetteer both are located in Gelnhausen, Cassel, Hessen-Nassau, Preussen.
Breitenborn: https://www.meyersgaz.org/place/10233011 This Breitenborn is located approximately 15 miles northeast of Hanau.
Breitenborn mit Lützel: https://www.meyersgaz.org/place/10233010 This Breitenborn is located approximately 16 miles east of Hanau.
Wikipedia: Breitenborn was first mentioned in a document in 1339. In the relevant document, the condominium in the Bieber office was between the Counts of Count von Rieneck and the Lords of Hanau regulated , after Hanau had received half of the Amt Bieber - and thus Breitenborn - from 1333 Kurmainz as a fief in . Historical forms of name were:
- Bretinborn (1339)
- Breydenborn (a 1450)
Perhaps the as early as 1542 Reformation was carried out . Most of the population became Lutheran . Around the same time, the village of the parish in Bieber and the local Laurentiuskirche was
added. Shortly afterwards, the Counts of Rieneck died out in 1559.
Their rights reverted to Kurmainz. The Bieber office - and with it
Breitenborn - was now a condominium between Kurmainz and
Hanau-Münzenberg. This also meant that the by Count Philipp Ludwig II "Second Reformation" carried out in the county of Hanau-Münzenberg, the introduction of the Reformed variant
of the Reformation, did not succeed and the Bieber office - and with it
Breitenborn - remained Lutheran, in complete contrast to the rest of
the county of Hanau-Munzenberg. In 1684 the condominium between Mainz
and Hanau was dissolved by a contract: The Bieber together with the office was Lohrhaupten office completely transferred to Hanau . Mainz received the also joint office of Partenstein in full. 1736 died with Graf Johann Reinhard III. the last Count of Hanau and the county of Hanau-Münzenberg fell to the Landgraviate of Hessen-Kassel (from 1803: " Electorate of Hesse "). In 1753, Breitenborn and the neighboring hamlet of Lützel were combined to form the new municipality of Breitenborn AB (where AB stands for Amt Bieber).(German Wikipedia)
- 1598: 15 households
- 1633: 18 households
- 1753: 30 households with 126 people (with Lützel)(This is when Thomas Nichtern lived in Breitenborn
Unlike most people in this line Thomas Nichter is identified as: Hintersass(e). Ernest Thode, German-English Genealogical Dictionary defines "Hintersass(e)" as: "non-citizen resident (with own household, no land, no major livestock, but no rights or obligations of citizen)".
What does it mean to be a non-citizen or a Beisasse?
A Beisasse or a non- resident (also resident, assessor , resident , protective relative, protection , back seat ) is a citizen citizen of a city with restricted citizenship . The difference between citizens and residents developed in medieval town law and existed until the 19th century, in Switzerland until the complete revision of the federal constitution in 1874. Spouses were originally the lowest social class in a village. They were only tolerated in the community. If they somehow became a burden, they had to move away.
As a rule, only those who were the son of a citizen or had a certain amount of property could become a full citizen of a city. Often only members of certain professions, for example to craftspeople capable of exercise guilds, and certain denominations were allowed citizenship. In Augsburg, for example, assessors were not allowed to acquire real estate or to exercise a guild trade, since admission to a craft corporation, but also to the gentleman's or merchant's room, required citizenship. Associated with civil rights was civil duty citizen's , such as tax and official duties, as well as taking a oath .
An aside was also subject to the protection of the city charter, but had to pay an attendance fee for “protection and umbrella”. As a rule, residents were subject to municipal jurisdiction, but were excluded from essential political rights, such as representation in the council . The epitome of the rights granted to them is the right to be seated, their constitutional charter is the person standing order, and the fee to be paid is the person's allowance. As a pledge for the observance of his obligations, the assassin used to take the advisor's oath.
The constitutional documents of the individual German states issued after 1848 almost entirely the difference between actual citizens citizens eliminated and , as had already happened in individual states, for example in Baden protected through the law of 1831. In Switzerland, the difference between full citizens and residents or residents still finds in the civil parish practical application . There is hardly a community there that does not contain a greater or lesser number of settled people in addition to the actual community members. (German Wikipedia)
Robert Seal sent me this regarding another daughter of Thomas Nichter: In the line immediately after Katharina Barbara's name, the second word is: "Beÿsassen". The word can also be spelled "Beisassen". Thode defines "Beisass(e)" as: "(rental) inhabitant without citizenship". I translated this simply has: non-citizen.
Here is the link to an article from the German Wikipedia which should provide more insight for the word "Beisasse": https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beisasse Use your browser's translate function to translate to English.
Kent: So how could a non-citizen, non-Bürger, be a juryman? What do you think?
The word Beysitzer (in modern spelling Beisitzer ) on the other hand is still in use today: it means a person that is member of a panel, board, jury or committee (but is not its chairman). I would think it had about the same meaning 250 years ago, but it is not always clear for which type of committee; it could be the community council or a local court. Generally, I suspect it was more a honorary title than a (full-time) occupation. The direct translation to English would therefore be "member", but without any specification (member of what?) that sounds odd, doesn't it?Ulrich: From the German Wikipedia article it sounds as if a person who is not a citizen is like a day laborer or a surf or someone without status. So the fact that he was a member of "something" is a good thing or something to be proud of. Thank you for your insights, your depth of knowledge is greatly appreciated! Kent
What happened during their lifetime?
|Thomas Nüchter marriage 18 Jan 1746 film 4137289 page 563|
1746, on the 18th of January, after early prayers were held [or after the early prayer hour/prayer meeting was held], were married Jo[hann] Thomas Nichtern, unmarried son of the late Nicolaus Nichtern, former citizen at Breitenborn in Hanau, and Cathar[ina], unmarried daughter of the late Georg Obermeÿer, former "Beÿsitzer" in Blankenloch.
Thomas Nüchter marriage 18 Jan 1746
The marriage was performed by Franc. Christian Henr. Beck. 18 Jan 1746 after the procumlamations Thomas Nichter surviving son of the deceased Nicholas Nichter former citizen in Breitenborn, Hanau county, Hessen-Nassau state, surviving unmarried son and Catharina unmarried daughter of the deceased Georg Obermeyer lived in Blankenloch
Notes: FS only has records from Breitenborn in the 1900s.
Ulrich Neitzel on Breitenborn location:
The original test is: zu Breitenborn im Hanauischen which can be translated as "belonging to the Hanau dominion". Only the second of these Breitenborns (Breitenborn mit Lützel) belonged to Lordship of Hanau until 1736. (German Wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breitenborn_(Biebergem%C3%BCnd)). At the time of the marriage (1746) it was already incorporated into the Landgraviate Hessen-Kassel, but from a historic viewpoint Thomas Nichter came from (was born in) that region under the previous reign. Preussen came much later into play. Meyers refers to the situation of the German Empire after 1871. Still it is remarkable that Thomas married in Graben, which is about 100 miles away. At that time this was quite a distance and the question is for what reason he moved so far from his home?
|Salome Nichtern or Nichter birth 24 Oct 1746
Mother Maria Catharina film 102078298|
1746: on the 24th of October a little daughter of Thomas Nichtern, local non-citizen resident from his wife Maria Catharina was born into the world, so thereafter was baptized and named Salome.
In right-hand margin is Salome's death date: 5 February 1820.
Presiding Pastor was Franc. Christian Henr. Beck.
|Thomas Nuchtern spon 1747 film 102078348 page 347|
1747, on the 3rd of October a little daughter of Phil[ipp] Heinr[ich] Heilmann, the citizen and farmer, from his wife Anna Barbara, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and named Catharina Barbara.
|Thomas Nuchter spon 1749 left film 102078348 page 378.|
1749, on the 9th of March a little son of Jo[hann] Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margaretha, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Jo[hann] Christoph.
|Thomas Nuchtern spon 1749 film 102078348 page 379|
1749, on the 1st of November a little son of Martin Wenz, citizen and mason, from his wife Eva Catharina, née Krunemeÿerin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Martin. Baptismal sponsors are Christoph Becker, citizen and "fidicen", with his wife Catharina. Thomas Nichtern, non-citizen resident with his wife Catharina.
Re: The Latin word "fidicen": Thode defines this as: minstrel. Other online sources define this as: lute player, lyre-player, harpist, minstrel.
|Thomas Nuchern 1750 film 102078348 page 382|
On the 2nd of October 1750, a little daughter of Philipp Heinrich Heilmann,, citizen and farmer, from his wife, Barbara Stock?, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Maria Salome.
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 10th of November 1750, a little son of Johann Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margar[etha], née Schollin, was born into the world, so thereafter was baptized and named Georg Adam. Baptismal sponsors are: Christoph Wenz, citizen and farmer, Thomas Nichtern, "Beÿsitzer", with wife.
Kent Note: Thomas Nichtern is a witness at a birth 10 Nov 1750 of the child of Adam Koehler. Now look at the bottom of the document you see Thomas Nichtern's child Catharina Barbara Nichtern. We find that Adam Koehler served as Thomas child's godparent and visa versa. Small world.
The Pastor here is Franc. Christian Henr. Beck his daughters godfather see above document they are the godfathers of each other's children.
|Thomas Nuchtern 1751 film 102078348 page 386|
Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 2nd of December 1751, a little daughter of Johann Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margretha, née Schollin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Eva Elisabetha. Baptismal sponsors are Thomas Nichtern, non-citizen resident, and Christoph Wenz, citizen and farmer, with their wives.
Left margin: died 8 July 1830.
|Thomas Nuchern spoon left dn 1751 film 102078348 page 384|
On the 9th of May 1751, a little daughter of Martin Wenz, citizen and mason, from his wife Eva Catharina, née Crünemeÿerin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Maria Catharina.
Baptismal sponsors are Christoph Becker, citizen and farmer, and Thomas Nichtern, non-citizen resident, with their wives.
On the 7th of January 1751, a little daughter of Thomas Nichtern, ______, from his wife Cathar[ina], née Obermeÿerin, was born into the word, so thereupon was baptized and named Cathar[ina] Barbara. Baptismal sponsors are: P[h]ilipp Heinr[eich] Heilmann, citizen and farmer; Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer; Martin Wenz, citizen and mason, with wife. Death date: 11 Feb 1811
|Thomas Nuchtern spon 1751 film 102078348 page 386|
On the 2nd of December 1751, a little daughter of Johann Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margretha, née Schollin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Eva Elisabetha.
Left margin: died 8 July 1830.
Note: Did you notice that one of Thode's definition for "Beisitzer" (on page 27) is: inhabitant without land [and] citizenship rights? Note: Because we know from other records that Thomas Nichtern was a non-citizen resident, that is how I am translating "Beÿsi(t)zer" after his name in this record.
[On the] 24th of September 1753, a little daughter of Philipp Heinrich Heilmann, citizen and farmer, from his wife Barbara, née Stockin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Magdal[ena].
Right margin: + [died].
Comment: Just to break up the monotony, here is a translation of the first part of the same record strictly following word order:
24 September 1753, was Philipp Heinrich Heilmann, citizen and farmer, from his wife Barbara, née Stockin, a little daughter to the world born, so thereafter baptized and Magdal[ena] named was. [The baptismal sponsors statement remains the same.]Translation by Robert Seal:
On the 16th of January 1754, a little daughter of Johann Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from Margaretha, his wife, née Schollin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Anna Maria.
Left margin: + [died].
On the 29th of November 1754, a pair of twins, two little sons, of Jo[hann] Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margaretha, née Schollin, were born to the world, the first alive, the other dead, he [the first twin] thereafter was baptized and named Friedr[ich] Jacob.
Comment: The note at the end was challenging but I think it gives you a general sense of what occurred with the twin that was stillborn.
|Thomas Nuchern left mid 1756 look film 102078348 page 400|
On the same day [28 August 1756], at the hour of 9:00 am, a pair of twins, a little son and a little daughter, of Adam Koehler, citizen and farmer, from his wife Maria Margaretha, née Schollin, was born to the world, who thereafter were baptized and the little son was named Johann Jacob and the little daughter was named Anna Maria.
Left margin: + [died]. [Since it is written opposite the male surname, I assume it refers to the male twin.]
|Maria Katharina born 17 Mar 1757 film 4137289 page 492|
1757 d. 17. Martii, Thomas Nichtern became a daughter to the assessor ex uxore Maria Catharina noctu hora 10: born, then baptized and given to Maria Catharina. The godfathers are Philipp Heinr: Heilmann civis et rusticus, Johann Adam Koehler civis et rusticus, cum uxoribus.
[in the left margin] + d 10 Novb 1825
Translation by Ulrich:
On 17 March 1757 at 10 o'clock at night a little daughter was born to Thomas Nichter, the juryman, from his wife Maria Catharina, so thereafter was baptized and named Maria Catharina.
[in the left margin] + (died) 10 November 1825
Translation from FHL SLC:
17 Mar 1757 was born Thomas Nüchter and Maria Catharina, the god parents are Heim Heilmann, civ, meaning citizen and same occupation, Johann Adam Koeler, and civ (citizen) and Latin job listed and his wife.
Notes:Maria Katharina born 17 Mar 1757, death date Nov 10 1825 look for more on her. born at 10pm the next day baptized. Godparents: Philip Heinrich Heilmann and Johann Adam Koehler
Died on the 27th of August  in the morning after 6:00 am and was buried on the 28th [of August 1769].
Johann Thomas Nüchtern, former non-citizen resident here, at the age of 56 years, 11 months, and 4 days.
Comment: Johann Thomas Nüchtern is described as a "Hintersaß" (= non-citizen resident) in this record.
Kent: Johann Thomas Nüchtern was born September 23 1712 based on this document.