The archives in Koszalin have a book containing the birth dates, parents, and residences for children who underwent a formal process for guardianship. It’s a rare find for those researching in Belgard, and I’m not sure if books like this exist for other Kreise. It’s unfortunate that only one book in the series survives in the archives since the rest of the collection would open new doors to family historians. This book covers the first part of the alphabet and clocks in at a hefty 606 pages.

It was tucked away underneath a Polish description, as the cover had worn off: [Alfabetyczny spis spraw kuratelskich i opiekuńczych A-F]. The original German might have mentioned the words “Vormundschaft” or “Curatel.”

While it might seem like an occurrence only if both parents were deceased, the implications for research stretch a little further than that. In some cases, guardianship was appointed after a spouse passed away in what seems to be a process to alleviate the burden on the surviving spouse for care-giving. As such, we can glean more information about who the families kept in close contact with.

Most importantly, these registers serve as an alternative source of information for villages in Belgard where church books and civil registry did not survive. While this list of guardians does not guarantee information on every person in the county, it can act as a smaller piece to the larger puzzle. When other data sets like this one are compiled, it can offer hope for those whose primary registers were destroyed.

Here is a quick reference guide for how to understand these columns:

  1. Laufende No. – the entry number. Two numbers appear; the top is the number for how many entries there are for the given letter, and the bottom number is how many entries are in total. This pattern doesn’t continue throughout the whole book.
  2. Angefangen im Geschäftsjahre – starting in the fiscal year.
  3. Des Vaters oder der unehelichen Mutter der minderjährigen Mündel – the father or the unmarried mother of the minor ward.
    a. Name und Stand – name and status, the latter typically being the profession or social standing of the person indicated.
    b. Wohnort oder Aufenthaltsort – residence or dwelling place
    c. Todestag – date of death
  4. Der Mündel – the ward
    a. Name
    b. Geburtstag (bei Nachlaßpflegschaften der Todestag des Erblassers) – birthday (in the case of inheritance, the date of death of the testator)
  5. Name, Stand und Wohnort
    a. des Vormundes oder Pflegers – the guardian or caregiver
    b. des Gegen-Vormundes – the counter-guardian (a special form of legal representation, which serves the control of the actually appointed guardian in the area of ​​wealth protection. The counter-guardian has control and monitoring obligations and thereby relieves the family court (in guardianship) or the child-care court (with childcare).
  6. Rechnungslegung – financial reporting.
    a. Befreit – exempt
    b. Ohne Verwaltung – without administration
    c. Jährlich – annually
    d. Alle 2-3 Jahre – every 2-3 years
  7. Die Kosten sind berechnet bis Blatt – the costs are calculated to sheet.
  8. Die Akten sind im Geschäftsjahre – the files are in the financial year.
    a. reponiert – repositioned
    b. kassiert – cashed/collected
  9. Grund der Vormundschaft über Großjährige oder der Pflegschaft und Bemerkungen – reason of guardianship over those of the age of majority or the fostering and comments.

This collection has not been transcribed yet.

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