Times were hard for the poor Harz population during that time.
I have read a lot about the area in recent months, especially about the working and living conditions in the mining villages of the Harz Mountains, since a branch of my mother's ancestors came from the Eastern Harz Mountains.
Many families had 10 or more children, hardly any of whom reached adulthood. Men hardly ever reached the age of 45 - 50 years due to the hard working conditions. Due to the many births and the catastrophic hygiene conditions, many women died in childbed.