01:15 Sep 15, 2019
This question was closed without grading. Reason: No acceptable answer

German to English translations [PRO]
Social Sciences - History / Burial Customs
German term or phrase: Zehnsleiche
This word appears frequently in the burial register of Tönning, Germany, but I can only find one occurrence of the word online: "N.N. ist in aller Stille als eine Zehnsleiche beerdigt worden." It seems that virtually every death/burial entry lists the deceased as "Zehnsleiche II," "Zehnsleiche III" or "Armenleiche." I'm assuming the latter refers to the body of a pauper, which was probably buried at public expense, but can't figure out what a "Zehnsleiche" would be...
Local time: 20:56

Summary of answers provided
4Pauper burial
Charles Rothwell
5 -1ten-corpse burial
Cillie Swart
Summary of reference entries provided
Burial customs
Helen Shiner
Kim Metzger

Discussion entries: 27



15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
ten-corpse burial

A burial where 10 corpses are buried at a time.

    Reference: http://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/dokumente/a/a088885.pdf
Cillie Swart
South Africa
Local time: 04:56
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Kim Metzger: Where does it say that in your reference?
23 mins
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13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Pauper burial

As far as I can work out, the term refers to destitute paupers who were to be buried "at 10.00" and the remuneration to paid to the presiding priest for speaking over the burial etc. There are also references to others buried at other times ("Eins-leiche", "Zwölf-leiche". It seems the destitute were to be buried at times when other funerals were not taking place.

Note added at   14 godz. (2019-09-15 15:29:46 GMT)

I have come across another instance: "9. Metta Christina

- Kollmar (Elbe) 30.03.1729. Sie bleibt unverheiratet. t T0nning 07.02.1783,

0 Tl>nning 14.02.1783 ,,..... zur abends Zeit in aller stille als eine Zehnsleiche

beerdigt worden." (There is also a reference two pages earlier in the same text to an "Einsleiche"). The fact the burials took place "in aller Stille" would still seem to suggest pauper burials (with no existing family or other mourners) BUT the other reference (to the "Einsleiche") refers to burial at 5.00 AM. UNLIKE my first thought, therefore, I think the term is less to do with the TIME the burial took place, but could well be the NUMBER of corpses being buried ("1", "10" etc.) at any time? (The original translation ("pauper burial") would, however, still apply.

t Tonning 26.05.1779, □ Tonning 30.05.1779 ,,... ist in der hiesigen Kirche im

Chor als einer Einsleiche Morgens wn 5 uhr in alle stille beerdigt worden."


Note added at 1 dzień   7 godz. (2019-09-16 08:48:35 GMT)

To pick up on two points: 1) In the source I referred to (http://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/dokumente/a/a088885.pdf), the references are on PAGES 12 and 14; 2) the latter does not give a specific TIME of the burial. but just states "zur abends zeit [sic] in aller Ruhe". The reference on Page 12, however, states: "..ist in der hiesigen Kirche als einer [sic] Einslieche MORGENS UM FUENF UHR in alle stille beerdigt worder." As per a previous posting by me, therefore, I do not think the "eins", "zehn", "zwölf" etc. can refer to the TIME of burial (but my thinking is now the NUMBER of internments conducted at a particular time).

Charles Rothwell
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:56
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Notes to answerer
Asker: If the word "Zehnsleiche" does indeed refer to a pauper, then virtually everyone in Tönning was a pauper at that time. On one sample page from the burial register, containing 12 death records, 3 are listed as "Armenleiche" and the other 9 as "Zehnsleiche."

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Reference comments

11 mins peer agreement (net): +1
Reference: Burial customs

Reference information:
This might help you: https://de.wikisource.org/wiki/Zur_Frage_der_Leichenbestattu... It mentions burying ten bodies together or in the same plot in a variety of circumstances. If you search for the word ‘zehn’, those instances should come up. Not sure if this is what is meant, but I hope it helps.

Helen Shiner
United Kingdom
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 105

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Charles Rothwell: Agree. I think the term refers to the NUMBER of people being buried at once ("one", "ten", "twelve" etc.) Given the fact the burials were conducted "in aller Stille" would suggest pauper burials to me?
14 hrs
  -> Thanks, Charles. 'In aller Stille' might just be a formulaic thing, intended to give the deceased some dignity, whether a pauper or not. Difficult without seeing the text, of course.
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11 hrs
Reference: Einsleiche

Reference information:
Cross symbol Tönning 26.05.1779 - 30.05.1779 ist in der hiesigen Kirche im Chor als einer Einsleiche um 5 Uhr in alle Stille beerdigt worden. http://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/dokumente/a/a088885.pdf

2) Für sogenannte Einsleiche, wo nur 4 Glocken geläutet werden, erhält der Prediger, die die Woche hat, für die Predigt 5 Rthlr

Note added at   14 godz. (2019-09-15 15:53:57 GMT)

Auch ist es wichtig, dass in einer Läuteordnung, die der Kirchengemeinderat festgelegt hat, genau bestimmt ist, zu welchen Gottesdiensten und Läuteanlässen mit wie vielen Glocken geläutet wird.
Das Vollgeläute bleibt dem sonntäglichen Hauptgottesdienst vorbehalten, dagegen werden zu kleineren Werktags- oder Nebengottesdiensten entsprechend kleinere Geläute zusammengestellt. Es sollten möglichst auch Trauungen und Beerdigungsgottesdienste deutlich von einander unterschieden werden.
Während der ganzen Zeremonie, vor allem aber während sich der Trauerzug zur Kirche bewegte, läuteten die Glocken. Wie für den Versehgang war auch dieses Läuten genau geordnet. Für eine
erwachsene Leiche sollten, mit der grossen Glocke drei mal geläutet werden. Für die Kinder wurde nur mit der dritten Glocke geläutet. Entsprechend abgestuft waren auch die Tarife. Für die dritte Glocke bekam der Siegrist zehn, für die grosse Glocke aber zwanzig Schillinge. Für den feierlichen Zug zum Friedhof waren bestimmte Massnahmen zu beachten. http://tobtom.info/inhalt/doku/2000_exit_dok.pdf

Kim Metzger
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 204
Note to reference poster
Asker: Thanks, Kim! So, it seems that Zehnsleiche may also refer to the type or extent of funeral services that were provided. It's odd that the ONLY place these terms seem to be found is in the town of Tönning, Germany. The word doesn't appear in Grimm's dictionary or any other dictionaries I've checked.

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