This document contains documentation during the Nazi time for the inheritable farm of Otto Albert Berthold Elert and his wife Erna Emma Martha Grützmann in Rarfin. While certain other files have pages from the Grundbücher attached, this one does not. Other sources indicate that Otto was a Bürgermeister, Bauer and Bauerhofbesitzer, Schulz, and Kirchenvorsteher in Rarfin.

The Ehrentafel from the Ziburski family history website.

Additionally, there are two titles underneath the same name in the archives. The other title must complement this document, as it provides additional information about the inheritance of the Elert property with attached sheets from the Grundbuch.

While the Ziburski genealogy site attaches the Ehrentafel shown below to William Otto Elert, his family had already immigrated to the United States, settling in North St. Paul, Minnesota by that point. It is far more likely and plausible that the plaque should belong to the above mentioned Otto Albert Berthold Elert who was born on November 27, 1892 in Rarfin. The Ehrentafel honored Otto as an inheritable farmer and was one of 131 recognized in 1934.

The Elerts were a prominent family in Rarfin, holding land there for several hundred years. Otto’s father, Heinrich Friedrich Johann Elert, was also a Bauer, Schulze, Gemeindevorsteher, and Bauerhofbesitzer before him. It seems that these duties and responsibilities were passed down through the generations, as his father, Friedrich Wilhelm Elert, was a Bauer, Altsitzer, Schulzen, and Kirchenvorstehers in Rarfin, whose father, Martin Friedrich Wilhelm Elert, was also a Bauer and Schulze (married to Christina Luise Neitzel). Consequently, his father, Johann Leopold Elert (married to Eleonore Müller), held the same status. His father, Hans Friedrich Elert (married to Christina Nimann), was a Bauer, and his father was Hans Elert (married to Maria Hedwig Dassow), a Kossäth and Rademacher. The father of Hans was Peter Elerdt, first known in 1684 in the nearby village of Groß Reichow and was in Rarfin by 1694.

A Confusion Between Sources

Here it is important to note several inconsistencies between sources. In most cases, I side with Hans-Georg Ziburski’s research and work, as it lines up very closely and consistently with secondary sources like land registers. The dissonance lies between Ziburski’s work and the Belgard-Schivelbein Ortsfamilienbuch which sourced its data from an article written for “Aus dem Lande Belgard.” While the data in the story appears to be factual, based upon the church books, I believe several individuals were assumed to have a direct relationship based upon the article for the OFB, whereas they were related distantly by blood instead.

The discrepancy begins with Martin Friedrich Elert death being listed in 1849 (this is a clear typo and should be 1840). The OFB also incorrectly states that he died of “Ruhr,” or dysentery. It was in fact his great-uncle Martin Elert who died of dysentery in 1807. Martin Friedrich Elert’s father was wrongly listed as Leopold Johann Friedrich Elert (1758-1807). This was actually his father’s first cousin. Additionally, this OFB places Eleonore Müller as this cousin’s wife instead of the wife of Johann Leopold Elert. The cousin’s wife should be Barbara Elisabeth Voigt. The father of the cousin, Leopold Johann Friedrich Elert, should have been Martin Elert (1724-1807), brother of Hans Friedrich Elert (1717-1761).  Going one generation further back, the information in the OFB should be correct, as Hans Elert (1679-1729) should have been the father to both of them. The only problem here is that he was listed in “Aus dem Lande Belgard” as dying on October 8, 1761 at the age of 56 years old. This makes it difficult because he would have only been twelve years old when Hans Friedrich Elert was born in 1717. It is important to mention that Ziburski includes Hans Friedrich Elert with a birth year of 1705. While there are numerous gap years between children, this could seem exceptionally possible that yet another generation of Elerts were compressed by the Belgard study from the 1930s. In this case, Hans Friedrich Elert could have easily been born as one of the oldest children of Hans Elert. Here, it appears that the OFB provides the correct information about the parental lineage but includes the dates for Hans Friedrich Elert for his father Hans Elert instead.

In any event and with very few exceptions, the Ziburski family tree should be trusted for most information about the Elert family. The Hufenklassifikation from 1717 to 1719 also gives a Hanß Elert in Rarfin as a Kossät during that time period.


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