Oldenburg School Records

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School in Rural areas[edit | edit source]

School expenses had to be carried largely by the community, i.e., manor lords or cooperations. Besides monetary contributions, school expenses were looked at as costs or charges divided among the properties of a community and had to be shared by the property owners. Often church parishes were responsible to carry the costs. If the wealth of a parish was not sufficient, the parishioners had to be enlisted for support.

The elementary schools belonged to so called Schulachten (school districts). They were divided into Protestants and Catholics. All members of the population within the Schulacht were also members of this particular school district. Members of other religions were free to educate their children at home or in private schools. If members of the community opted for this possibility, they did not come under the obligation to support the Schulacht.

Each Schulacht consisted of one elementary school. If more elementary schools were needed, or if schools were to be established by gender, permission had to be obtained from the school district. There was never any higher education offered within the Schulacht.

The Duchy of Oldenburg kept records of all administrative organizations having to do with incomes and expenses, also on the local level. It had been a long standing obligation to show such budgets to higher authorities. Therefore, the family historian can find so called “Schulrechungen” (school bills) and other school releated documents in the Oldenburg State Archive.

Information given in such records are for instance how much parents had to estimate as school expenses for their child/children per school year. Parents’names, professions and other expenses, such as property and income taxes are tallied. Not just semester expenses were part of parents' obligations but also maintenance and extension costs.

Die Kommunalbelastung im Grossherzogtum Oldenburg. Auf statistischer Grundlage dargestelltAuthor(s): Paul Kollmann Reviewed work(s):Source: FinanzArchiv / Public Finance Analysis, 1. Jahrg., H. 2 (1884), pp. 192-317Published by: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KGStable

School absences (Schulversäumnisse)[edit | edit source]

In 1846 the Consistorium of Oldenburg issued the following announcement:
It is brought to public attention that the announcements made December 31, 1833 and April 5, 1837 by the Consistorium Oldenburg re. punishment for school absences in the village schools of the Duchy is now being transferred to the Evangelical elementary schools in Delmenhorst, Wildeshausen, Vechta, and Cloppenburg and will be in effect this next winter.

School attendance in Oldenburg is compulsory since the 16th century and is overseen by the Church. Students‘ absences have to be recorded by the teachers in lists which have to be presented every three months to the school principal. The principal then makes new lists with the names of those students who do not have sufficient and reason for being absent, decides on a punishment and passes his findings on to higher authorities.

The State Archive of Oldenburg has archived lists of teachers reporting such absences. In the case of Sierhausen, the following information is available from such a list:

Name of school in the month of--------in the year of----------
Name of teacher

Number|name and residence of|school was missed|total days|remarks by|remarks by|verdict|
             child/parents                 from 1-31 days                      teacher     principal    fine/
                                                    month                                                                     prison

Most children were absent because of illness, but even then they had to pay a fine. One day of absence = One Groschen (currency)

Similar documents can be found in the archival records of the State Archive Oldenburg by going to AIDAonline, choosing Archive und Beständegruppen, Oldenburg, then Akten: Allgemeine Verwaltung, choose the Amt, then choose Gliederung and look for Schulsachen.

Gesetzsammlung 1834 S. 4 in Gesetzsammlung für das Herzogthum Oldenburg. Vol. 8