Heiner Home History
Our ancestor, Johann Martin Heiner's father, Johannes Heiner was born on 16 October 1777 in the town of Walldorf on the Werra in the Sachsen-Meiningen Kreis, state of Thüringen in what became Germany son of Johann Valentin Heiner and Kundgunda Barbara nee Fickel. At the time our ancestors lived in Walldorf it was ruled by Saxony thus Sachsen-Meiningen. After the World Wars, the area was controlled by Schmalkalden, thus known as Schmalkalden-Meiningen. The locations in the family records have been listed as they were at the time the event occurred, not the current boundaries.
The Heiner family were employed as farmers and linen weavers. Family stories said that the Heiner Family home in Walldorf had been in the Heiner ;possession for generations. This rumor has been confirmed through examining the mortgage books at the Kreisarchiv in Meiningen and the tax records at the Staatsarchive in Meiningen. The records show that the first owner of the land that became the Heiner home was Adam Heyner [sic]. It was referred to as the Kirfich farm or a farm near the cemetery in Walldorf. This is very true as you stand in front of the home and look upwards to the church directly above it. Adam paid annual taxes of one gulden, 12 groschen in cash, 2 chickens, 3 young roosters and 40 eggs for this property. Although the eldest son in most European countries usually inherits the land; the records show that the Heiner heirs repeatedly purchased the property from their fathers and bought out their siblings interest in it for their inheritance. On the 11th and 12th of December 1737, Johann Adam Heiner Sr. sold the Kirfich farm to his son Johann Adam Heyner Jr. with the consent of his children and grandchildren for 600 Gulden plus the additional fief taxes and recording fees.
On 24 August 1759, the four minor heirs of Johann Adam Heiner Jr. inherited the "fief" farm from their deceased father. The minor heirs were listed as Joh. Valentin Heiner, Johann Georg Heiner, Anna Maria Sybilla Heyner and Anna Catharina Heyner. Nicolaus Mittlesdörffer was listed as the legal guardian of the youngest minor child, Anna Catharina Heyner. Their mother was listed as marrying Hanss Jörg Heussinger after Johann Adam Heiner's death. The minor children paid 40 Gulden for the fief tax and recording fees.
Johann Valtin [sic] Heiner bought the Heiner Kirfich farm, except for the meadow area, from his siblings on 10 September 1776 for 800 Gulden plus the cost of recording the transaction. Valentin's brother, Johann Georg Jacob Heiner inherited the meadow area near the bridge by the Werra river on 10 September 1777, after an arrangement with his siblings. He paid the minor recording and fief tax for this land.
Johann Valtin [sic] Heiner sold the Heiner land to his son Johannes Heiner on 1 April 1808 for 800 Franconian Gulden and paid the additional fief tax and recording fees. He requested a copy of the fief certificate to prove he was the real owner of the farm. There was some dispute between Valentin Heiner and his son-in-law Christian Lind because Valentin wanted to sell the land to his son Johannes Heiner. Christian Lind protested this sale. The court case is close to 200 pages in length. This dispute over the property is probably why Johannes Heiner made sure to obtain a copy of the deed showing he was the rightful owner of the land. His brother, Johann Georg Jacob Heiner sold the meadow area near the Werra bridge for 120 Gulden to his two daughters, Barbara Elisabeth Marck and Anna Christina Heiner.
Johannes Heiner married Eva Maria Gögel on 1 May 1808 in Walldorf. They had two children together: Christine Marie Heiner and Katharine Elisabethe Heiner before Eva's death on 15 January 1814 in Walldorf.
Johannes Heiner married Susanne Elisabethe Hondorf on 13 September 1814 in Friedelshausen. They had four children but only three lived to adulthood: Johann Heinrich "Heinrich" Heiner, our ancestor Johann Martin "Martin" Heiner, Matthäus Heiner who died a month after his birth, and Eva Margarethe "Maria" Heiner.
Johannes Heiner died on 13 February 1837 in Walldorf. His son Heinrich Heiner bought the Kirfich farm in 1839 for 2125 Gulden. The property included a 2-story house with a barn and vegetable garden. Interestingly sometime in the early 1830's before Johannes' death the entire street of homes through number 44 were destroyed by fire, except for the Heiner home (home number 6). The 1836 map of Walldorf shows the results of the burned homes. Sometime afterwards the street where the Heiner home was located was renumbered and known as Fritz-Aßmus-Straße-1. This change of the street name and address is why the home has been so hard to find and identify.
The Heiner home as of 2016
A view of the Heiner home and property looking down from the Walldorf Church.
The Werra river is to the left & the Dittmar bakery to the right.