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The Unwanted ChildThe Fate of Foundlings, Orphans, and Juvenile Criminals in Early Modern Germany$
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Joel F. Harrington

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226317274

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226317298.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

the Absconding Father

the Absconding Father

(p.73) Two the Absconding Father
The Unwanted Child
University of Chicago Press

On February 20, 1615, the bailiff of suburban Gostenhof reported to the Nuremberg city council that he had taken into custody three young girls “left sitting” by their father, soldier Christof “Stoffel” Baur of Nördlingen. This chapter explores the background of Stoffel and other absent fathers, looking at the frequency of their comings and goings, the reasons behind their departures, and the impact their decisions had on the wives and children they left behind. It describes the necessities of everyday life for such households, how these heads of households attempted to meet those necessities, and what happened when they failed. Most important, the relative roles of informal child circulation and of governmental intervention in sustaining the fatherless household receives special attention, particularly in the context of paternal responsibility and affection.

Keywords:   child abandonment, absent fathers, households, child circulation, child welfare, government intervention, paternal responsibility

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