Since I came across the Gubenwirt for the first time I wondered what a Gubenwirt might be. It was mentioned as the profession of one of the settlers who left Württemberg in 1804 to live in the colony of Schroettersdorf. So I assumed that it must be some specific kind of Swabian profession.
When I later had the chance to view the Płock Church Books of 1809/1810 where the records were kept bilingual in German and Polish, my eyes suddenly caught the expression 'Gubenwirth'.
I was surprised to come across this profession in Poland; especially since it seemed that there were quite a lot Gubenwirths practicing in Schroettersdorf.
But a closer look revealed that the 'Gubenwirth' was just the normal 'Hubenwirth', the owner of a Hufe or Hube.
This was also confirmed by the Polish version of the records which used the expression 'gospodarz'.
Pastor Hevelke had used the old German 'H' which looks very much like a Latin 'G'.
Little mistakes like this wrong interpretation of the old german 'H' do happen all the time. No big thing! You correct the mistake and everything is fine again.
But this is not the case with the Gubenwirt!
What really worries me about the Gubenwirt is the fact that it comes back to me again and again and again!
It seems that there is some dubious source - maybe a server in Taiwan - producing Gubenwirt records in great scale and using modern communication methods like e-mail and searchable Internet databases to spread them in real-time across the unsuspicious genealogical community. Each member of this community sends the infected record unintentionally to every fellow researcher he knows.
So the Gubenwirt shows all characteristics of a Virus or a Trojan!
Or is it just our own carelessness in exchanging genealogical data that makes the dreadful Gubenwirt rise from the ashes again and again?
How many percent of the genealogical data that gets exchanged every day has really been checked before it gets forwarded again?
I'm afraid there is no Virus Checker for the Gubenwirt available for download.
The only effective measures against the Gubenwirt seem to be the awareness about the origin and the background of the data we load into our systems and a little bit of discipline in passing data along.