About this collection
This collection contains records from Schwäbisch Hall concerning property settlements related to marriages and inheritances. The records cover more than 500 years from 1503 to 1949. They provide meaningful historical insights into the social settings and conditions surrounding marriage and inheritance.
Schwäbisch Hall is the largest city in the district of the same name in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Between 1802 and 1934 the official name of the city was Hall. It is situated along the Kocher river about 37 miles northeast of Stuttgart. Historically, the city was closely connected to the local saltworks industry and to an imperial coin mint establised in the Middle Ages. The half-penny coins produced there were called "Hellers." These coins were particularly widespread in southern Germany from the 13th to the 19th century and gave rise to the German idiom "auf Heller und Pfennig" meaning "down to the last penny." With such a diminutive value even the smallest of debts could be paid. During the time period of this collection until 1802, Schwäbisch Hall was a free imperial city. From 1806 to 1918, it belonged to the Kingdom of Württemberg.
What you can find in the records
Depending on the time period and on the individual formulations used in the different kinds of documents, you may generally find the following details in these records:
Heiratsbriefe: These are marriage contracts usually containing dowry arragements and clarifications about the estate during the course of a marriage. This documentation in particular includes dates, places and names of spouses. Often, documents for a new marriage will also include details about previously deceased spouses or about children from a former marriage. The related indexes are ordered by the surnames of the principal participants.
Inventar: This document, an inventory, contains only a few pages in regards to an indiviual case from 1777 about a church stall and clothing that was left behind.
Inventur- und Teilungslisten: These documents are property inventories and distribution lists. They are a kind of pre-nuptial agreement unique the to area which is now Baden-Württemberg. They were drawn up before a marriage in order to document the possessions of each spouse and govern any claims on a later estate by children from previous marriages or by surviving children of the new unioin. These records will often name several other family members, such as spouses and children. The related indexes are ordered by the surnames of the principal participants.
Testamente: These documents are wills which govern the distribution of the inheritance and the estate of the deceased. These records will usually name several other family members, such as spouses and children. The related indexes are ordered by the surnames of the principal participants.
More about using this collection
Under "Browse this collection,” select the Record Type and Year Range for the desired records. Often, a document is composed of multiple pages which are displayed one after the other. Usually, more family members can be found by looking within the documents. The indexes, created by the archive, refer to the main persons concerned.