Dutch term: knecht

print showing a carpenter at work

Carpenter at work (1690)

A knecht is a term used to describe the occupation of somebody who works for somebody else. The term does not have an exact English equivalent, but terms like servant, hand, apprentice or assistant come close. Often, the type of knecht is specified, for example timmermansknecht (carpenter’s hand), bakkersknecht (baker’s hand) or landbouwersknecht (farmhand). Most men started out working as a knecht to learn a trade. Some became masters in their own right, others remained a knecht for the rest of their lives. 

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Yvette Hoitink is a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. She has been doing genealogy for 20 years. Her expertise is helping people from across the world find their ancestors in the Netherlands. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.

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