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New Netherland, New York Genealogy
Obsolete Occupations of the Netherlands© Cor Snabel
Seat Caretaker (plaatsbewaarster)In the chilly Dutch climate the temperature within the church could be as low as outside. There was no heating and Mass could take a long time.
Some churches took good care of their members by renting pre-heated footstoves. The women who provided this luxury were called “plaatsbewaarster”.
In a large room within or next to the church was a big fireplace, as big as in a forgery, where hundreds of small pieces of peat could smoulder at the same time. In the same room piles of “tests” were stored, small boxes, made of clay, which had to be filled with the smouldering peat. After they were filled they were brought to the church is large baskets and within the church the “tests” were put in the footstove. The plaatsbewaarsters were busy all Sunday, before Mass with heating the peat, filling the tests and distributing the footstoves. After Mass they had to collect all the footstoves, remove the tests and empty them and clean the footstoves. It is obvious, that every Sunday a few footstoves fell between the pews, so they had to remove the still smouldering peat and clean the church too. You could smell it in the whole church.
>Choose from the following ancient occupations
Seat Caretaker |
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Baker | Beachcomber | Beguine | Candlemaker | Dumpman | Executioner | Fanmaker | Fireman | Gravedigger | Innkeeper | Laundrywoman | Nightwatch | Peddlar | Porter | Seat Caretaker | Ship Shanghai | Soapmaker | Streetpaver | Tolltaker | Pharmacist
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