1. A man of rank, especially a feudal lord in the ancient régime.
The records we've depended on so far to document Hesch origins were kept by the Catholic Church, and I kind of figured those were the only statistics about their lives...but no. When you think about it, a landowner had good reason to keep his own separate records about the serfs in his service. With those records, he kept track of debts, plus births and deaths, and granted or withheld permission for marriages. He could stack the deck in his own favor and our ancestors simply had to live with it. Even if the landowner was fair and benevolent, it was still unpaid servitude. No wonder they left in droves when they could.
Johann and Marya Hesch probably didn't use the word seigneurial, but they knew the concept--it referred to the "rights" of the feudal landowner they worked for. Remember, there were only seven families and the Catholic Church who owned most of the arable land in Bohemia. The rest was forest, mountains and lakes.
Now, 'comes the dawn', we're finally aware of those records. (Mr Incredibly Patient Discoverer of Such Stuff showed them to me a while ago, but I filed em in My Pictures since I'd just discovered the Atlases...sigh--poor Larry!☺)
So, ok, here's the oddly mild description of Seigniorial records from Family Search:
Seigniorial authority was granted by the Emperor to individuals who reigned as lord over their manor within a given village or community. Civil records created within a manor are referred to as Seigniorial records.Seigneurs created these records to record the events in the life of the people in their communities and to help in the administration of their manors.
This particular record was written in 1827 by a scribe who was a much more legible writer than the parish priests at the time. See house # 11? That's Franz Hesch and his wife Agnes; kids are son Franz, 11, Maria, 12, and Theresia, 5.
Franz was a brother to MARTIN, our great great great grandpa. Martin and Elizabeth Hesch lived at #24 with sons JOHANN, 6, Thomas, 2 and Ignatz, 1, and daughter Maria, 8.
Now here's an intriguing page from the nine pages of Oberschlagles accounts: The "Widows and Orphans" page:
If you click the image, it'll open (huge) in a new window, so you can see every word. I've typed what I could translate in the first column but stopped before Mathias Hesch at the bottom. Obviously, we haven't figured this page out yet (people aren't orphans if they're over 40, even back then).
MORE thanks to Larry ☺