Numerous findings prove that the area around Haseluenne was already populated in the early stone age (4000 - 2000 BC). Tombs built of huge stones testify of these times. Therefore, we can assume that also the area of Eltern was populated at that time. However, it is not proven by reliable evidence.
Small Chapel in Eltern
According to Abels the name Eltern comes from the syllables el, eli and ter, dere. El and eli are determinatives and indicate a tree; either elder or alder. While there probably grew many alders in the marshy Ems-area it would not have been a suitable name to distinguish the village from other places. Therefore, it is supposed that the name stems from the unusual elder. Ter, dere is an Indo-Germanic word and means tree while deriun stands for growing or wood. Around 1000 Eltern was called Elidrun or Elderun and from 1276 Eltern. Thus, freely translated Eltern means settlement at the elder wood. Other scientists deduce the names of villages from rivers or lakes. Therefore, an exact determination of the name Eltern is not possible. Most probably, the ancestors of Eltern's inhabitants belonged to the Amsivarier tribe who occupied the Ems- and Hase-area during the Roman Empire. During the times of Charlemagne (742-814) the region was christianised and the monastery in Meppen was founded. In 834 Charlemagne's successor emperor Ludwig the Pious gave Eltern to the convent Corvey. Thereby, the convent became the largest landowner between the rivers Ems and Hunte. To facilitate the administration of the convey's goods, so called principal estates were founded. One principal estate was located in Andrup, another in Lotten. Farmers had to deliver their tributes to these estates. Eltern is mentioned in the registers documenting these tributes. According to one of these registers from 1107, Eltern had to contribute 42 bushels of rye, 7 bushels of oat and 10 bushels of barley. One bushel equals a measure of capacity of 20 kg. The inhabitants' names were not mentioned in these registers. Only in 1441 an inhabitant is mentioned the first time. On December 12, Hennynges Brummer sold a pension of one "malter" (= 95-100kg) rye to Konrad Schroders for a loan of 14 Rhenish Guilders. The contract, stating that the pension has to be paid every year on St. Michael's Day, was signed in the presence of judge Hermen Snuck in Haseluenne.
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