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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: 12 June 2021

The State Wards

The State Wards

(p.229) Five The State Wards
The Unwanted Child
University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes the story of orphaned twins who entered into governmental care at the age of nine. On March 7, 1647, nine-year-old twins named Eberhardt and Susanna Schier were admitted into the Nuremberg Findel. The two children had lost their father, Stephan, before they reached their first birthday and their recently deceased mother, Sibylla, had never remarried during the intervening years. All the Findel children shared the same unwanted status, at least in terms of the normal channels of child circulation, but each of their stories reflected a different subjective experience of life in the Findel. Records of some 3,600 children who crossed the Findel's threshold between 1560 and 1670 provide a statistical context for the twins' experiences and reveal patterns by age, gender, and the nature of admission. Statistical data can also reveal which characteristics gave a child a higher probability of survival and post-Findel productivity, but cannot predict whether individuals who fit into all the most favorable statistical categories would in fact live to see adulthood.

Keywords:   orphans, twins, Nuremberg Findel, child circulation

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