Jewish household structure in an early modern town: The Worms ghetto census of 1610

TitleJewish household structure in an early modern town: The Worms ghetto census of 1610
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsFriedrichs, CR
JournalThe History of the Family
Volume8
Pagination481-493
ISBN Number1081-602X
Keywordsarticle, Census, Family Structure, Germany, Ghettos, Households, Jewish ghetto, Jews, Seventeenth Century, Worms
Abstract

Abstract:  In July 1610, municipal officials of the German city of Worms conducted a visitation of the city's Jewish ghetto. The visitation resulted in a remarkably precise census of this Jewish community, which was one of the largest in early modern Germany. In 1610, the Jewish community of Worms had a total of 759 inhabitants living in 95 households plus some additional indigents living in communal institutions. A total of 619 of those living in households (81.6%) belonged to the householders' own families while 140 (18.4%) were students, servants, or other nonrelatives. Households ranged in size from 1 to 21 inhabitants. The median household size was seven persons. Thirty-three percent of the Jewish households of Worms included more than one conjugal unit, typically the householding couple plus one or more married children.