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Aftægt means Retirement Support - Learn Danish Genealogy Words

Lene Dræby Kottal
Aftægt means Retirement Support - Learn Danish Genealogy Words

The Danish word aftægt means retirement support.

Aftægt was a kind of private pension in rural areas of Denmark. The retired person and the provider of the support entered a contract about the support. Often such contracts are very detailed, listing amounts of butter, milk etc. to be provided to the retired person. In most cases the retired person was the previous tenant or owner of the residence, and the provider of the support was the new tenant or owner. 

Information to be Found in an Aftægtskontrakt

An aftægtskontrakt (contract about retirement support) usually states the familial relationship, if any, between the receiver and the provider of the support, so this is a source of great value to genealogists.

Furthermore, you can get an idea of the living standard of your ancestors. Some retired persons were granted a room and a bare minimum of groceries, while others had their own house at the land of the farm and received cash in addition to an abundance of groceries. If you want to take it a step further, you might even compare the contracts of your ancestors to contracts of others in the same area to see whether your ancestors had better or worse conditions than their neighbors.

Where to Find an Aftægtskontrakt

Contracts about retirement support were typically publicized in court along with the deed to the new owner. The court books contain copies of the contracts. Local archives may have the original contract if the family passed it on to the archives, but most original contracts have not been kept. Sometimes agreements about retirement support were made during probates, and then a copy of the agreement can be found in the book of probates.

Words Related to the Danish Word Aftægt

Aftægtsmand - A man who receives retirement support

Aftægtskvinde - A woman who receives retirement support

Aftægtsenke - A widow who receives retirement support

Aftægtsfolk - A couple who receive retirement support

Aftægtshus / Aftægtsbolig - A separate house or a room inhabited by the persons, who receive retirement support

Aftægtskontrakt - A contract about retirement support


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Source Reference:

The image at the top of the post: Arkiv.dk (https://arkiv.dk/vis/99605), entry for "På aftægt," dated about 1880; the local archives Stevns Lokalhistoriske Arkiv. The photographer is unidentified. The image copy was provided by the archives, and permission to use it at this website was granted. Please contact the archives yourself if you want to use the image.

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