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Local heritage book Heiningen
Heiningen (originally spelled Huningen) is an early founded municipality in southern Germany at the base of the Swabian Alps. The first mention of the town is in an archive of the Abbey of St. Gall on a parchment dated 29 March 1228, in which “F. Plebanus de Huningen”, the priest of Huningen is mentioned.
The most important document of Heiningen is the “27 Aug 1284 Freedom Letter”, from King Rudolph of Hapsburg at the request of Duke Konrad von Teck, to whose sovereignty Heiningen belonged. The letter bestowed on Heiningen the same rights as Freiburg. In principle, all the privileges of a medial town: city walls, moat, free citizens, market rights, jurisdiction over its laws, and coat of arms and official seal.
Unfortunately, Heiningen’s legal status as a city was fleeting, although its city-rights were never revoked. After the deaths of King Rudolf in 1291 and Duke Konrad von Teck in 1292, the impoverished sons of Konrad sold their holdings to Count Eberhard I of Württemberg. Heiningen was absorbed into the Göppingen district and was reduced to the rank of a small market town. But it continued its jurisdiction for a long time, coat of arms, official seals and there was no serfdom. The Heiningen Market became an entrenched tradition which continues until the present time.
Under the administration of the Counts of Württemberg, they began the reconstruction and fortification of the gothic Michael’s church. The Counts endeavoured to build up and secure towns on the border of their territory.
The late gothic choir with its beautiful vaulted arches and the ornamentation of the Michael’s church originated without a doubt due to the cloister Adelberg, which was quite well off and had authority over the church matters of Heiningen. The Priest House from 1493 had the same builder.
In 1534 Duke Ulrich introduced the Lutheran religion to Württemberg. The Heiningen priest began keeping the register of baptism and marriages in 1595 and the death register in 1652.
The town had its share of war and calamity. The worst disaster came during the 30 Years War after the battle of Nördlingen in 1634 when the emperor’s troops swept through the city like a roaring flood. The troops completely plundered the town and perpetrated horrible atrocities on the habitants. Due to famine and a horrible plague, the population dropped from about 1000 people to about a fifth of that after the war. At the end of the war houses stood empty and fields were abandoned.
The church registers give us an approximate picture of the life and death of the population. We get information about their everyday life, their problems, their professions, the many children who died early and much more. We are astonished how old the people grew if they survived the “critical” years. The death register tells us about the bad conditions of their life, their maladies and the cause of their death.
In the Heininger Ortsfamilienbuch the Heininger families can find their roots for about 14 generations. The family registers A, B, I-III (inclusive soul’s register and gender register were revised.) The data from the 16th and 17th century were taken from the baptism and marriage registers. Birth data from 1575 – 1630 do not exist; instead of we used the baptism data. The actual birth date may have been earlier then the baptism date.
Because Heiningen has been Lutheran since the 16th century, we indicated the religion only for those people who did not belong to this religion. The death register exists since 1652. Confirmation register since 1834.
Other documents which were helpful:
Archive of the Evangelischen Landeskirche in Württemberg
Registry office of Heiningen RG II und III
Responsible: Gudrun Klose, Hans Müller, Siegfried Wittlinger
Compliments or corrections (please indicate exact data which needs to be corrected) should be directed to email@example.com
This OFB is also available in print. Its singleness consists in many family photos of the Heiningen families. They give interesting insights to the local life in former time.
Editor: municipility Heiningen, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ISBN Nr. 978-3-00-049165-8
Deutsche Ortssippenbücher Nr.833
Band 109 der Württembergischen Ortssippenbücher
(translated by Gudrun Klose)