These are places where we believe our ancestor August Arndt b. circa 1853 and his wife Wilhelmine Justine (Sill) Arndt lived while raising their family in Pommern. It helps us follow their footsteps through history and get an impression of their lives. Some of these towns are shown south of Stolp on the 1871 map on this site.
Scharsow, Kr. Stolp is the birthplace their oldest son Franz b, April 16, 1881. Smaller living places near Scharsow are Eisenhammer and Hohenscharsow.
Much of the area was forested as shown on this 1945 Ortsplan place map. The entire area of die Loitz comprises 2,062 hectares.
We believe that August was also born in die Loitz, probably on a farm. The major village of the area was also named Loitz. In 1871 the town of Loitz had twenty-one families.
The merchant von Clawes Taßitze and his son Teßkaff established the town in 1370. This is where the post office and public documents were.
In those days the land owners owned large farms, usually about 1,000 acres. (Note that in Pommern, these knightly estates were called Kniephof). About 20-30 families would work for the land owners. The owner provided the working farmer's family with a house and a small plot of ground (usually 5-7 acres) for the farmer's private use. This plot provided them with their personal food. They could also raise geese, pigs and cows. It was usual for the farmers to stay about 10 years at one location. Each year the farmer and the land owner signed a contract for the crop planting.
Our family was living in a small circle of houses used by this German version of sharecroppers. The houses faced each other forming a circle with a common well in the middle of the circle and the land allotted to them by the estate owner fanned out behind them.
The houses were usually of stone, a few were brick. The floors were lime and during the winter the farmer and his family wore wooden shoes with felt linings. The roofs were high and the loft provided a cool place to store food. The two or three rooms were large and the farmer usually had large families. The Arndt residence was two stories tall with room on the first floor to shelter the farm animals from the cold northern winters.
The farm child started school at age seven. Education was compulsory and they risked being caught by the police if they missed school. Two weeks during the summer planting time and two weeks during fall harvest were the only vacations the farm child had. He/she attended school seven years and then at the age of fourteen was expected to learn a trade or return to the farm. The farm family worked hard, but the family always ate well and a large family was better off on the farm then if living in the city.
Names of Wohnplatz (living places) found for the settlements in die Loitz are Dargatzhof, Loitzerhaf, Loitzerbrück, Quandtheide, and Ulrichshof. Our Arndts may have lived in one of these.
Gaffert, Kreis Stolp, where (their middle son) Ernst was born April 14, 1891 was a village of 41 families according to the 1871 census. It also has small Wohnplatz. Among them are Hedwigshof, Malenz, and a Grünheide founded in 1670. We think Ernst was born in Grünheide.
Marienfelde, established in 1569 is a Wohnplatz in the area of Labüssow. The houses are in a circle just like grandfathers described. It's possible this is the farm they described.
Granzin, Kreis Stolp is where records show that August and Wilhelmine were living from 1910 - 1918. It is also where August died. There are no small Vohnplatz near Granzin and that's what one would expect. It's likely that August and Wilhelmine gave up farming by this time and retired to live in town.
There are eleven Grünheides in Kreis Stolp, two Marienfeldes, and die Loitz is an area embracing many small settlements. What is interesting about what we put together here, is that all of these places are close together and chronologically fit the moves required for completion of the seven-year written contracts our grandfathers told us about.