Genealogists flourished in the Middle Ages because feudalism made status and the transference of possessions dependent on family lines. Family lineage was originally transmitted through oral tradition and later through written records. Stone tablets inscribed with family tables have been discovered among the remains of ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and other Oriental countries. The genealogical tables in the Bible are familiar examples of such records. In China some families have kept such extensive and careful histories of their ancestry that, for instance, all the present-day legitimate descendants of Confucius who died in 479 BC, identifying themselves by precise documentation.
When aristocratic descent was of political importance, as it is still in Great Britain, genealogists so influenced every phase of life that they often forged and falsified. Such forgeries have been corrected by the important European publication on genealogy such as Burke’s Peerage and the Almanach de Gotha, which lists all royal and princely families in Europe. Documentary evidence for research into recent family history is obtained from a variety of records; from church registers, showing weddings, christening, and burials; and from the flyleaves of family Bibles, old letters, and similar family papers.
In the United States, interest in Genealogy developed in the 19th century, when many fraternal orders and historical and patriotic societies were founded. The sharing of family genealogies is an integral part of the year-end celebrations for a number of European cultures. Our ancestors are an integral component of our personal heritage. By remembering past family members and their stories we better understand history and ourselves.
Our ancestors are an integral component of our personal heritage. By remembering past family members and their stories we better understand history and ourselves. Genealogy is a priceless heritage and a sacred trust.
This is the most ambitions version of the Heineman family genealogy to date. The contents of this website span 85 generations and more than 10,000 ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading their stories as much as I have enjoyed bringing them to you.