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Measure of land area

 
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roger.pape
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 385
Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Measure of land area Reply with quote

If any of your ancestors were farmers, you may have found records showing the size of their farm. Having ancestors in Germany, I came across land measurements listed in “morgen” and was wondering how much that was compared to acres.

If you are not aware of it, the measure of land area supposedly was derived from plowing a field. One acre of land was defined as the amount of land that a farmer could plow in one day with an ox pulling a wooden plow. The Germans on the other hand were a little more practical. They reasoned that an ox was only good for about a half day of work. So the German measure became the “morgen” or the land plowed in one morning.

The size of a morgen varied in different provinces of Germany. In the north flatlands where my ancestors lived, it was larger than in the hillier areas of the southern provinces where land was more difficult to plow. However, when the provinces were united in the First Reich, the measure was standardized across all of Germany.

The morgen became 0.617763453668 acres. (In modern times most farmland is now measured in hectares, which is 10,000 square meters or about 2.47 acres.)
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