Research for the Family
COAT-OF-ARMS / WAPPEN
When you receive a letter in the mail telling you that they have found your family's coat-of-arms, this is usually from a company which is making a profit off of your hunger to discover more about your family and giving you the idea that you might be from a family of nobel birth who held a coat-of-arms. I know, because when I first started doing genealogy, I received the same kind of mail and, of course, I sent off my money and received the following for the Hein Family:
Document from HALBERTS #44210 - Hein
What Halbert and other companies like them do is use a book, "Rietstap Armorial General" which is free for all of us see in libraries. They pick out one of coat-of-arms, copy it, place it on a piece of paper, write down a few words that go with this name and the coat-of-arms and send it to people like myself. At the bottom of the document is the sentence:
"No genealogical representation is intended or implied by this report and it does not represent individual lineage or your family tree."
This means exactly what it says. It may or may not be your family coat-of-arms.
About the same time, my mother received in the mail another advertisement of a Heritage Book for my father's family, the Remmicks. We agreed it was probably another "false pander" like the Halbert's document. But to see what people would get for their money, my mother sent for the book.
The Family Heritage Book
Like the Halbert's document, the Heritage Book had hedged on the contents. The book was not about the Remmick Family. True, there is a couple of pages sprinkled sparsely with Remmick family data found at the back of the book. It was called a director of Remmick names which resemble more like typed names from some old phone book or census of some kind. It had my Dad's name twice. One was at their present address, which was the address to which the book was mailed, and the other was at an address where they haven't lived since the 70s, which matched old addresses of some of the other Remmicks I recognized. The data was far to old to be of any use in the mid-1990s. The rest of the pages held introduction, blank documents to fill in our own family names, "How to Search for Family Ancestors", "History of Ethnic Origins and Activities..... Well, you can guess the rest. It was just general information which can/ could be sent to any family with any name. A "RIP OFF!" In my opinion it was.
This pandering of this kind of general data doesn't just occur here in the USA. These companies reach out across the world This was received by another Hein who lives in Germany. He sent the wappen [below] to me just the other day:
In Germany the word for coat-of-arms is "WAPPEN".
Since I'm using the Hein name, let me continue with this surname as I continue to explain research for a family's coat-of-arms.
Some of the information from Halbert's, hold good data about the surname which is, of course, a person's "primary source". Surnames are what are handed down from generation to generation. It is what tells us that we are from a particular family. If the surname is not of English origin, then we must discover is Polish, Russian.... German...., and, if the name means anything when translated which might indicate our ancestors occupation or a location or something personal about an ancestor who had red hair (an example)..... Some names are "patronymical" which means we are descendants of particular person. A name which would be more familiar to you would be MacDonald, son of Donald. Hein is the latter, a "patronymical". Of course, there may be more than one Hein. For examples here is a list:
The reason I showed the people with the Hein name above, is: These people had descendants who carried on the name. Remember, this is a "patronymical" surname. So, it may be possible that my Hein ancestor took on this name because they were descendants of one of the men above. So, how do we go about discovering if my Hein is linked to one of the men above? Find out what you can about your own ancestry and carried the family back as far as you can. Find out what you can about the Hein men mentioned above and see if there is any records of their descendants. If you're lucky, the two were link at some point in time. More likely than not, because of the lack of records you may fall short and what remains are the so-called "missing links".
With missing links for my Hein family and probably your own, where do we continue our research?
Many times, the name can even disclose a family's religious origin. However, the name Hein stretches across the religious tapestry. There are Heins found to be Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Memmonite and a few Baptists before the year 1900. Perhaps this explains the variety of spellings: Hein, Heine, Heino, Heinoe, Heinos, Heinoes, Heijn, Heyn, Heyne, Heins..... Added to this are the families connected to the Hein as relatives or are people who worked for a Hein. They are: Heinfrid, Heinrich, Heinhard, Heinman... Heynmann... If a person sees the name Heinsius, this is the Latin form of Heins / Hein. The German translation of Hein is "young estate owner". Heinman would mean Hein's man, or a man who worked for Hein. The Hebrew word is Chajim. The "C" is dropped and becomes Hajim or Heim which was often changed to Hein. Hein is different than Heim which means "home". Sometimes Hein is spelled Hehn which differs from Hahn which means "rooster". The name Heintz has a twist. It means a Hein who's estate is hedged.
Sometimes, a family name was taken from the mother's first name. One was Hannah which became Hahnman. If from the father, Hann is Johnan or Hanne is Johannes. This gives the name a completely different meaning.
Sometimes, letters are interchangeable.
B and V
D and T
Y and J and I
F and P
V and W
F and V
C [hard] and K
Ch and Sh; in Russia there isn't a letter for "H" and was often written as "X" so Hein = Chein = Xein
S and C [soft] and Z
Our own names are very personal and touches each of us one way or another. It is up to you to discover which branch of Heino [the root word] your family has descended.