The Red Bear
Maximilian Steiner ca. 1290, Germany - Genealogy and Biographies

Preface.

This is a piece of work we found, and thought it was colorful and entertaining, informative and insightful. It is not intended to offer ancestry of a direct line, but is offered instead as an ancestrial history of Steiner/Stoner decendants from Germany.

- Nick and Kristin Stoner


Family Arms of Maximilian SteinerThe family arms of the family of Steiner von Steindorf consist of a silver shield, in the middle of which is displayed a red bear in an erect posture. A closed helmet covers the shield, having, as a crest, a red bear's head looking to the left. The ornaments of the arms consist of foliage, half red and half gold, the same being placed on a red stelle with small white pearls. Below the shield there sweeps a white band (Wappenband) with a red back, bearing the name Maxmylian Steiner in red ecclesiastical letters. The whole constitutes a true representation of the arms which Ludwig of Bavaria presented to the ancestor of the Steiner family at the tournament of Goslar.

The diploma of nobility, as well as the letters, which were confirmed by Emperor Sigismund in 1397 and announced at Erfurt, July 26, 1397, are to be found in the original in the Imperial Chamber at Wetzlar. A copy is in the archives of family arms (Familien-Wappen-Archiv) at Vienna.

The imperial archives of the nobility of the empire at Wetzlar, and registry office of family ancestry and arms at Vienna, contain, with reference to the origin of the noble family of Steiner, the following material, the correctness of which is made clear and evident by reference to the books of heraldry and tournaments at Speyer and Frankfort-on-the-Main.

These show that the family of Steiner appears for the first time as a noble house in one of the archives of the Reichskammer of the Elector of Saxony, which is dated "Regensburg, 22d of the month of August in the year of our Saviour 1340." As the cause of this record appear the decrees of the Criminal Court (Halsgerichtsordnung), from which it appears that Ludwig von Steindorf had been cited from his family seat at Steindorf in the Oberlausitz in consequence of a quarrel with Uffo von Bonkenburg, by the Superior Court at, Regensburg, for a breach of the Landfriede, and that, through the management of Anselm, the Bishop of Würzburg, who was a brother of Ufifo von Bonkenburg, he was placed under the imperial ban, and, in consequence of this, his family castle was confiscated and the possession of the
same was adjudged to the complainant Uffo.

Ludwig von Steindorf went into a monastery at Goslar and died in the same, March 27, 1342, from grief and anguish at the rendition of so unjust a judgment. It appears that after some months, the Emperor, by a decree of December 31, 1341, three months before the death of the condemned, had annulled the imperial ban. But the edict was concealed and held back by the trickery of the revengeful Bishop of Würzburg, who bore the responsibility of the same readily on account of the great influence he possessed at court.

It appears from the records of this court that the father of Ludwig von Steindorf — the head of a family (Stammvater) so widely distributed — was named


I. MAXIMILIAN STEINER.1

Lugwig of BavariaHe was made a knight (Ritter) on the 26th of November, 1311, by Ludwig of Bavaria. A singular occurrence was to be thanked for this good fortune. He was a squire (Knappe) of the Count of Mannsfeld, and saved the life of his royal highness, Ludwig of Bavaria, in a bear-hunt, having freed him from great peril of life by seizing a bear that rushed at him and strangling it with both hands. The king created him knight (Ritter) at Goslar, at the next tournament, and presented him with a silver armor (Rüstung) and a costly shield, the arms of which exhibited a red bear on a silver field. But as Maximilian was without property and possessed nothing besides his gigantic strength and bravery, his brave and fearless heart, his king and lord gave him a knight's castle which he had won from Günther, the Bishop of Würzburg, at (Brettspiele) draughts. This Maximilian made his family castle (Stammschloss), and changed its name from Günthersburg, which it had been called before, to Steindorf.

He married shortly afterwards Margaretha von Bassenheim, the daughter of his neighbor, Gottfried von Bassenheim. But in the midst of the happy days of his marriage, the duty of gratitude and the voice of his fatherland called him to the battle-field for his king. He collected from his neighborhood a small company (Fahnleinschaft) of 60 brave lancemen, and, as their captain (Feldhauptmann), fought under His Majesty Ludwig, and fell in the battle given against Frederick of Austria at Muhldorf at the head of his faithful followers. His widow renounced the pleasures of the world and entered the nunnery of Wunsiedl, known as Maria Schutz, where, in a short time, she gave birth to a son, to whom she gave, at baptism, the name of the king in whose cause her faithful spouse had fallen. Grief for her lost husband did not permit her to live to see the coming year, and she died, December 29, 1312.

Her only son,

II. LUDWIG,2

in accordance with the wish of his grandfather, was surrendered to the same, who managed also most faithfully his castle of Steindorf. But Ludwig had scarcely attained the age of youth when this grandfather, Gottfried von Bassenheim, died, and, as no other heirs had legal claims, the knight's estate of Bassenheim fell to him. Uffo von Bonkenburg set up unfounded and illegal claims to a part of the landed property belonging to Bassenheim, which Ludwig would not recognize. This state of affairs led to much quarrelling and contention. His antagonist at length knavishly played the part of peace-maker, and declared that all ill-will should be done away with and all claims be relinquished if Ludwig von Steindorf would marry Gertrude, the only daughter of Uffo. But Steindorf married a poor but virtuous maiden, the daughter of the sacristan (Küster) of the cathedral of Santa Clara, and gave, as a bridal gift and as dower at the same time, the castle of Bassenheim with all its enclosures, grounds and cattle. From this time on the quarrel with his ancient and irreconcilable enemy broke out anew.

Battle of Muhldorf c.1322
The Battle of Muhldorf c.1322

Ludwig's spouse, Adelgunde, bore him three sons — Ludwig, Bernhardt and Roland — and died at the birth of the last two, who were twins. As if anticipating her own death, she bequeathed to her children, two days before the day of their birth and her death, the castle of Bassenheim with all the grounds thereto belonging, by a will written by the abbess of the Sancta Clara Chapter. Her corpse was scarcely interred in the convent vault when Uffo von Bonkenburg once more broke his solemn oath with Ludwig von Steindorf, and he, the continual disturber of the Landfriede, relying on the power which, at that time, his brother Anselm, the Bishop of Würzburg, possessed with the court, stepped forth as complainant, knowing he could not affect his courageous opponent by force of arms. As was mentioned before, Ludwig lost, by the declaration of the imperial ban, his family possessions, and these fell, by the cunning influence of the Bishop of Würzburg, to his brother Uffo, whilst Ludwig died in the cloister. Before he had determined to carry out this so incomprehensible resolution — to terminate his life within the walls of a monastery — he committed the care of his children to the abbess of the neighboring convent of Sancta Clara, and the superintendence of their education to his tried friend Oscar Bentivoglio, whom he constituted guardian of the same, and who, for some years, had been castellan of the castle at Steindorf. He faithfully performed his duty as friend, and died at an advanced age, after he had experienced the pleasure of having the twins that had been entrusted to his care educated and accomplished in
tournaments and the use of arms.


Emperor Carl IVIII. LUDWIG,3

the eldest of the sons, on the day of his wedding with Agnes von Hohenberg-Kolbina, gave his lawful name of Steindorf to the castle heretofore called Bassenheim. He had with his consort two daughters and one male heir.

VI. WILHELM4

who studied jurisprudence in Worms, sold the castle of Steindorf and died unmarried.

The castle of Steindorf was afterwards owned by the Lord von Kitzbüchel, and was later, in the religious wars, entirely destroyed.

The name of the family Steiner was only perpetuated by Roland, as IV. Bernhardt3 died without leaving male offspring
by his spouse Octavia Fehland.

V. ROLAND STEINER3

filled the office, for some years in Speyer, of Stadthauptmann, a very respectable position sought after by many of the most patrician citizens. He was sent as deputy to the imperial election at Ghent, when Carl IV. was elected. The coronation took place in Aachen, and Roland was presented by the emperor with a gold chain of honor, to which his portrait was attached. He was immediately married to Conradine Schauenstein, to whom he had already been affianced. The burghers of the city gave him a banquet of honor, which was celebrated with princely splendor and lasted for three days. His offspring consisted of two sons and three daughters. He died in the year 1374, and his wife followed him in the same year.

VII. ALOYSIUS,4

the eldest son, withdrew from the world and took the place of monastery steward (Klostervogt) in Speyer. He married Gertrude von der Mühlen, the daughter of a Holland merchant, and met his death in 1403 in the waters of the Rhine, his boat, during a night passage, having been dashed on a concealed rock and sunk. He left two sons; a third, X. Johann or Hans by name, was abducted from the paternal mansion when a child without any one afterwards being able to secure information as to his enigmatical disappearance or his further fate.


IX. ANDREAS GOTTFRIED5

was the younger son, and died as Dean of the Cathedral in Mayence. He stood in high estimation on account of his learning, and was for a long time the right hand of the Archbishop.

VIII. THEODOR5

the eldest son of Aloysius Steiner, married Antonia Splinter, and as even in his early years he showed a taste for military life, entered in the imperial service; fought later in the Hussitenkriege, and died in the year 1449, in a fall from his horse. He left behind three sons, who, on account of their numerous off-spring, deserve to be called the proper (Stammhalter) heads of the Steiner family afterward so numerous.

XL FRIEDERICH THEODOR6

the eldest son, studied law in Vienna, entered into the Austrian imperial service, and was afterwards made Imperial Councillor (Kaisersrath). He married Maria Schweppe, daughter of the burgomaster at Vienna, and had four sons. After she died, in 1460, Friederich married the young widow Amalie, Baroness von Einsiedel, who bore him five other sons, named XIII. Ernst7, XIV. Julius7, XV. Ludwig7, XVI. Winrfried7 and XVII. Christian7; Ernst and Julius entered the army, the others and XVIII. Friederich7, XIX. Johann7 and XX. Leopold7, of the first marriage, dispersed to Bavaria, Suabia, and on the Rhine, so that we are unable to find any further connected information about them,


XIL GEORG6

was the younger brother of Friederich Theodor, and the second son of Theodor; he entered the service as page (Leibpage) at the court of "Charles the Bold " — Duke of Burgundy, and as the latter made him a knight, he remained in his train. He married Elisabeth Durand, the daughter of a rich merchant of Ghent, and perished at the battle of Nancy, 1477. He left three small sons, XXIL Georg,7 XXIII. Ludwig7 and XXIV. Herrmann7, who moved with their mother to Ghent.

Charles the Bold as a child with his father. c.1447
Charles the Bold as a child with his father c.1447

XXIX. WILHELM6

the youngest son of Theodor, remained in Speyer; owned a very extensive commercial business, and was the president (Vorstand) of the Merchants' Guild. His wife, Isabella Horst, lamented for years the loss of her husband, who died, in consequence of a cold, on his return from a business excursion to the Netherlands, at Aachen, in 1480, leaving two sons,

XXX. ADOLF7 AND XXXI. MARTIN7

The former died some weeks after his marriage. Martin, having learned the business of goldsmith, went to Coblentz and settled there as a jeweller. On a journey to Suabia, Leopold Bernauer released him from the hands of highway robbers, who attacked him with the view of plunder. He formed the most intimate friendship with his deliverer, purchased a small estate for him, and married his sister Amalie, to whose family the celebrated Agnes Bernauer, who met an unfortunate death in the Donau, belonged. Martin ofterwards went to Brazil and enriched himself in the then newly-discovered diamond diggings. Shortly after his return he died in 1498, and left his large family considerable possessions. (This story is, of course, incorrect, but I know not how to correct it. — B. C. S.) He had five sons —
Martin8, Albert8, Friedrich8, Moritz8 and Adalbert8.


XXXII. MARTIN8

was established as a goldsmith in Nürnberg where he died, 1509, a mysterious death, and when his corpse was examined it appeared that he had been poisoned. Very weighty and unequivocal grounds of suspicion rested on his wife, who had had secret intercourse with a Doctor Bonefacius, who was universally feared in Nürnberg. Public opinion designated him as a magician, and every one shunned his neighborhood. But satisfactory evidence could not be produced; even the application of torture wrung no confession from her. She was banished by public opinion from the country; all the costly stones and ingots of gold secretly put away by her at the death of her husband were taken from her and she was driven over the borders. The people attacked the house of the doctor, tore it down, burnt the great books out of which he, as they asserted, invoked the evil spirits, and hunted him with dogs from the precincts of the imperial city. Martin left a son — XXXVII. Gotthardt9 — who. however, died before he had attained his majority. The very considerable property left behind melted away under the fearful law costs, which were only terminated after 60 years, during which more than 30 Steiners von Steindorf, male and female bearers of the name, were claimants for the treasures of the inheritance.

Nurnberga c.1493
Nürnberg c.1493

XXXIII. ALBERT8

lived first in Frankfort-on-the-Main, and came to Cologne-on-the-Rhine, where he died, 1516. He left seven sons and five daughters, of whom the former, after the death of their father, mostly left Cologne without our being able to give an account of them. XXXVIII. Markus9 Edler was one of them.

XXXIV. FRIEDRICH8

had early studied theology at Meissen and distinguished himself by his spirited defense of the principles of the Lutheran faith at the Diet called by the Elector John of Saxony at Schmalkalden. He died in Meissen, having only one son, Oswald9, who dedicated himself likewise to the theological profession, and, while pastor in Lützen, was killed in a revolt of the peasants.


XXXV. MORITZ8

entered into military service after he had squandered his estate in Italy. He stood in great favor with the Princess of Anhalt, and very different accounts were given in those days of the nature of the connection in which he stood to her. He had many love intrigues, through which he was involved almost weekly in duels, but always came off victor. In the battle of Pavia, 1525, he very particularly distinguished himself, and it was attributed principally to him that the king, Francis I., was taken in the same. He married Bianca Graselli of Brescia, celebrated for her beauty, and from that time forward changed his dissolute mode of life. He lived several years in Lothringen and died, 1555, at Colmar, where he had been a widower for four years before his death. He left four sons, concerning whose career no records are left.

XXXVI. ADALBERT8

was the youngest brother, and Consistorialrath in Augsburg. From the deepest and most sincere conviction of evangelical truth, went to Wittenberg; was a friend of Luther s, and was in correspondence with him long afterwards, when he returned to Augsburg. He contributed very much towards the religious peace determined at Nürnberg, 1552, and was, until his death, the court theologian (Hoftheologe) of Moritz of Saxony. He fell in the last capacity in the battle of Seivorshausen, in 1554, leaving five sons, Adalbert9, Johann9, Carl9, Leopold9 and Adolph9. The first two settled at Tubingen; Carl died without male offspring in Würzburg, and the younger brothers died without our being able to find anything further about them, notwithstanding the zealous searches of their brothers. Nothing is extant also wdth reference to the families of the two eldest.

Hitherto we have only been able to give the succession of the heads of the Steiner family; the following notices are with reference to separate persons, but are based on personal searches.


XVIII. FRIEDRICH VON STEINER7

was professor of medicine in the university founded at Tubingen on October 9, 1477, by Count Eberhardt mit dem Bart. He was afterwards rector of this high school, and died in 1491. He left only two sons, but many daughters. From his family papers, which were in possession of his sons, it appeared that he was a son of Friederich Theodor Steiner von Steindorf. Both of his children, one of whom was named

XXVII. HUGO8

lived for some years in Tubingen, which is all that is known of them. His name does not appear on the baptismal register, whence it is to be supposed that they were not born in Tiibingen. Their mother died some years before their father.

There lived in Fulda, quite retired from the world, an old man, concerning whose family no one had any knowledge. He died in 1479 and left a considerable estate. He was in possession of a small house, never sufifering himself to be seen, and holding no communication with his fellow-men, appearing to live as though he had an aversion to the living. He gave no alms to the poor, and was only known by the name of "der alte Steinmarder." It was discovered after his death that his name was

X. HANS VON STEINER5

and that he had been enticed away from his parents' house by a woman when a boy five years old and taken to Poland. Here he was educated and travelled to Palestine, Jerusalem, Egypt, from whence, thirty years before his death, he came to Fulda and lived secluded from the world. Who removed him from his father's house, if he ever had a wife, whence came his wealth, why he shunned mankind with so much enmity, and why he never returned to his home, — a veil enshrouded these questions and no one ever learned the answer to them. He owned many Eastern manuscripts which no one could understand. It is an undeniable fact that he was the son of Aloysius Steiner — the Klostervogt who died in 1403 — who, when a child at Speyer, had disappeared in so mysterious a manner. As Hans von Steiner died without a will, considerable property fell to the exchequer, since no heirs appeared.

In 1520, forty years after this, there arrived at Fulda a (Rittersmann) young knight,


XLI. LUDWIG VON STEINER,8

and proved from his baptismal certificate (Taufschein) and other documents that he was a relative of the deceased Hans von Steiner, and then instituted a process for the inheritance so long unclaimed. Some of the most distinguished jurists appeared on his side, but that which the exchequer ever seizes is not given up for slight reasons. Ludwig carried his case to the Emperor, Charles V., at the Imperial Diet of Worms. We learn that Ludwig himself was afterwards murdered, and the suit thus naturally came to an end. With reference to the mode of his death, the following appears in an old chronicle of Worms. At Worms, at the Imperial Diet, which was opened April 18, 1521, a Ludwig Steiner von Steindorf was present, who was so transported by the defense of Luther that he embraced Luther, and, in the fullness of his conviction, cried out: "Man of God! from now on shall my heart and my sword hearken unto thy doctrines, and may I be condemned (verflucht soil Ich sein) if I do otherwise than I say and feel !" Two days later Ludwig was found with five stabs in his body, murdered on his bed at the inn, and his corpse was denied a lodgment in consecrated ground. From various letters and other papers it appeared that his grandfather was XL Friedrich Theodor von Steiner — the Rathsherr who died at Vienna, May 3, 1468 — and that his father lived in Torgau. He had six brothers and four sisters ; of the former nothing definite is known, excepting of one, a true adherent of Sickingen,

Diet of Worms
Diet of Worms

XLIL. BERNHART VON STEINER8

It is known that this one was a brother of the murdered Ludwig, and that Bernhart fell — 1523 — by the side of Sickingen, who was shot in his castle of Landstuhl when beleaguered by the Elector of Treves.

XXII. GEORG TRAUGOTT STEINER7

A cathedral scholastic, was for many years in the Chapter at Regensburg and died there, 1522. It was ascertained from his papers that he was the eldest son of XII. Georg von Steindorf6, who fell in the fight at Nancy, and that his two brothers, XXIII. Ludwig7 and XXIV. Herrmann7, lived in Aschaffenburg. Ludwig was City Syndic (Stadtsyndicus) at that place and afterwards Burgomaster of Aschaffenburg. Herrmann was the head manager (Oberverwalter) of the possessions of Thurn and Taxis. From the church records it is seen that Ludwig had no male heirs; Herrmann, however, had two sons, of whom Carl8, the elder, died when a boy, and the younger, whose name was


XXVI. HEINRICH8

moved to Nürnburg and there became a merchant. In the church books of that place is found the record of his wedding
day, when he married Kunigunda Gebhardt of Anspach; he permitted his spouse, however, in a few weeks to separate from him, because he went over to the EvangeHcal confession of faith. He had no children, and, moreover, did not marry again. He was forced to take refuge in flight — 1582 — with many others, in consequence of animosities. Nothing further was heard of him, and his very large property was confiscated.

The Margrave of Anspach had a physician-in-ordinary by the name of

XXXVIII. MARKUS9 EDLER VON STEINER,

who often declared that his grandmother was the sister of the celebrated Agnes Bemauerin, but he was in possession of no particular account of his family, and only knew that his father had died at Cologne in 1516. When Markus von Steiner died, it was discovered from his papers that he had several brothers, of whom two lived in Regensburg; another, XXXIX. Thomas9 in Zweibrücken and XL. Reinhardt9 Steiner in Strasburg, the last one being likewise a doctor, and many letters were found from him. We conclude from these facts that Markus was one of the sons of XXXIII. Albert von Steiner8 and a grandson of XXXI. Martin7 Steiner, who died at Coblentz. During the religious wars, and particularly the Thirty Years War, many of the Steiner descendants were driven from their estates, and, in those times, most of the records and church registers were destroyed in the pillaging and conflagrations of the churches and town-houses, whence also many genealogical tables were destroyed or made defective.

Magdeburg c.1631
Magdeburg c.1631

At the siege of Magdeburg, under General Tilly, and the massacre connected with it. May 10, 1631,

XLIII. ERNST VON STEINER10

a prominent burgher and Rathsassessor, came to his end in a terrible manner. He was suspected of being a Protestant, and the brutal Walloons literally quartered him, his head was stuck on a halberd, which was planted with a great many others before the town-house. The slaughter was so terrible that of 38,000 inhabitants scarcely 5000 were left alive. The wife of the murdered man saved nothing but her life, and fled, after an infant had been torn from her breast and stabbed before her eyes, with the four remaining children. Nothing further is known of the unhappy family. Some of the old burghers said that the grandfather of Ernst von Steiner had lost his life in a horrible way in Worms, so that it is to be presumed that this Ernst was a descendant of one of the six sons of XLI. Ludwig8 von Steiner, who, during the Imperial Diet at Worms, in 1521, was assassinated.

Gustavus victory at Breitenfield
Gustavus Adolphus victory at Breitenfield

From some Swedish sources, as well as from extracts of chronicles, which different students of history had collected, there are old manuscripts in the archives of Vienna which date 1640, 1642, 1645, wherein several Steiners von Steindorf are mentioned, who fought in the Swedish army under Gustavus Adolphus against Germany, being driven by a detestable persecution to this course. Indeed, it is founded on history that the so-called "Blauen Dragoner" — an universally feared regiment of horse — was commanded and led by a German named

WINFRIED12 VON STEINER.

When Wallenstein, in 1628, made a fruitless attack on Stralsund, the same Winfried, whom the Swedes, from this time on, called the "Deutschen Eisenfresser," fell in such a manner upon the flank of Wallenstein's army, that the soldiery, otherwise so victorious, were obliged to enter upon a swift retreat, and in a renewed attack were completely put to flight with great loss. The same regiment, under the command of Winfried, who bore the title of a Field-Colonel (Feldobersten), in an invasion of Upper Silesia, took a large number of prisoners. A foolhardy leader of a small but courageous band rushed upon Winfried, and, notwithstanding the smallness of his squad, the former was cut to pieces in a moment, and its leader, accompanied by a few, was forced, with desperate opposition, even to the outside of the camp of the enemy. When he had succeeded in getting within sword's reach, the leader threw the murderous weapon that he had drawn on the chief awav from him and threw himself in the arms of his parent with the exclamation: "Great God my father! " It was

FRIEDRICH VON STEINER13

the son of Winfried. There live at present, both in Stockholm and Nykiobing, in Sweden, several families which have descended from this period. Winfried died in 1650 at Stockholm in very prosperous circumstances, and left only one son — Friedrich, Notwithstanding his zealous investigations as to the fate of his other two sons — Johann and Heinrich — who had been left in Germany, nothing could be learned. Winfried at the close of this mischievous war took a journey to Hahnheim at Amberg in Luzern, where he owned large estates, but the whole Steiner family, which had existed there, was deceased, and the mournful mounds which he met there were the only sad testimonies of their former happy past. An only daughter, who was married to a butcher (Metzger) named Huber, who had perished likewise in the desolations of the war, he found at Baireuth, and she asserted that both her brothers, Johann and Heinrich, were killed in the Saxon battles. Winfried returned to Sweden without being able to bring along with him satisfactory information as to his relatives. So much is only known of his own descent, that he was descended from XXXIII. Albert von Steiner8, who was his great-great-grandfather. Winfried's father was Johann11, and was established in Tübingen, where he died in 1604, and Winfried acted as merchant in Amberg after his father's death.

Friedrich, his son, married a Swede and had several children, whose descendants still live in Sweden. A Steiner possesses at present important iron-works in that country, and has considerable commercial transactions with Russia and England.


Heidelberg Castle in 1650
Heidelberg Castle in 1650

At the end of the Thirty Years' War, whose bloody effects left traces for more than half a century afterwards, a general census was taken in Germany, and it appears from various summaries and registers that there then lived, 1652, in the German States, 94 male and 109 female owners of the name of Steiner von Steindorf.

The desolation produced by the French towards the end of the 17th century, and especially the invasions into the Rhinelands in 1686, called forth such horrors as all wars are accompanied with. Among the unfortunate who lost their property and estates and were obliged to seek their safety in flight were to be found many descendants of the Steiner family; many of these filed to Switzerland, and at the present time some of this family still live there.

Furthermore, these are to be met with very numerously in Bavaria, Würtemburg, Saxony, Rhine-Prussia and in the Aus- trian monarchy; but the numerous researches which have been conducted by separate members of the Steiner family can detect no connected line of descent, as most of these had lost their records in the war periods since 1625. It appears from old documents that many of the Steiner family living in the Rhine Palatinate, as well as in Austria and Steiermark, at the end of the last century or the beginning of this, emigrated to America.

The separate notices which have been collected together in this narrative are partly the result of labor and investigations into extracts from old documents and family papers, into verbal copies of chronicles where descendants of the Steiner family are named. They relate to persons who have been prominent, although it is further known that many unfortunate members of the Steiner family, in consequence of misfortune, have been forced to occupy themselves with agriculture and have lived in the darkness of obscurity.

Heidelberg Castle under construction 2009
Heidelberg Castle under renovation ~2009

Between the years 1680 and 1685 there lived a large number of the Steiner family scattered about in the Rhine Palatinate, at Worms, in the country along the Neckar and in Hesse. But when the horrible devastations of the French threw the firebrand of bloody war among the peaceful provinces, when the castle of Heidelberg was blown into the air, Worms and Speyer burnt, and murder, robbery and pillage drove thousands of families away, then the Steiner family also was so scattered that any further connected account of it cannot be given. Many Germans from the dififerent crown-lands of the monarchy wandered into Austria under the Empress Maria Theresa, as well as under the government of Joseph II., and also from Würtemburg to Hungary, where several families yet live having the name of Steiner. From partial notices which have been handed down from children to children, as well as from genealogical tables found in a Bible which had been owned for over 200 years by a Steiner family, it is to be concluded that most of the owners of this name were descendants of Rathsherr Friedrich Theodor von Steiner, who died in Vienna, 1468. But the most of these had emigrated from necessity and during the war periods, and under no prosperous circumstances, partly country people or mechanics, who were securing for themselves a new asylum by their activity and diligence.

These facts were prepared from the records in Germany for Mr. Jacob Steiner of Philadelphia about 1855.

Included in 1896 "Sketches from the Early History of the Steiner Family in Germany" as translated by Lewis H. Steiner 1855 and as part of: "The Genealogy of the Steiner Family Especially of the Descendants of JACOB STEINER" by Lewis H. Steiner, M. D. and Bernard C. Steiner, PH.D. - BALTIMORE PRESS

Images added by Kristin Stoner 2009.

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Fun Facts by K. Stoner found on Wikipedia 2009

When the Quaker William Penn established the colony of Pennsylvania, he opened it to all religious faiths, allowing complete religious freedom and worship. He sent agents into the Rhine Valley and the Rhineland-Palatinate announcing the opportunities for settlement in his colony and assuring emigrants they would be allowed freedom of worship. Germans of all faiths came to the new colony by the thousands. They found their way down the Rhine River to Rotterdam, the great Holland port, and embarked on slow sailing boats for Philadelphia. Between 1700 and 1775 more than sixty thousand Germans came to America.

After taking the oath of allegiance to the English Crown, the Germans spread out into the area of southeastern Pennsylvania, looking for good land and places to make their new homes. They settled first in what are now Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster, and Berks Counties.

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Steindorf is a municipality in the district of Aichach-Friedberg in Bavaria in Germany.

Steindorf 2009
Steindorf


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Last updated: December 2009
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