Johann Heinrich Geier – Finally a few answers…..

11 Mar
Johann Heinrich Geier

The church books located at St. Michaelis in Hof, Bavaria, Germany have confirmed that Johann Heinrich Geier (my great-grandfather) was indeed born out-of-wedlock:

St. Michaelis Church – Hof, Bavaria, Germany

Hof Baptisms 1867 – No. 240:  Kroetenhof (now simply known as Hof) – House No. 1 – midwife Soellner – Johann Heinrich, illegitimate son of the unmarried Margaretha Geier in Kroetenhof (Margaretha is a daughter of Rosina Geier in Moschendorf, Evangelical – Lutheran), was born on Saturday March 30 in the morning at 7 o’clock, baptized on Monday April 22.  The Godfather was Johann Heinrich, oldest son of Rosina Geier in Moschendorf. The Godmother was Anna Barbara, oldest daughter of Johann Wolf, master weaver in Joditz.”  Notations subsequent:  According to the Royal District Court of Hof with date of 1867, June 12, file no. 438 the unmarried servant Johann Gottfried Wolf from Joditz acknowledged as father of the child.”  The surname is written “Geyer” in a letter from Mylau [town in Saxonia] in 1889.”

 The history of the church St. Michaelis at Hof goes back to around the year 1230.  With the city fire of 1823, the church burned down, including the surrounding walls and towers.  It was subsequently rebuilt.  The altar of the church dates to 1884.  The organ of St. Michaelis Church was built by the brothers Heidenreich in the years 1828-1834.

Hof is a city located on the banks of the Saale in the northeastern corner of the German state of Bavaria, in the Franconia region, at the Czech border and the forested Fichtelgebirge and Frankenwald upland regions.  The settlement was first mentioned 1214 and became a town in 1319.  After a rather uneventful history, the town became Prussian in 1792, French in 1806 and finally Bavarian in 1810.  In 1823, the town was virtually destroyed by a fire.  In 1945, it suffered minor destruction due to aerial attacks. From 1945 to 1990 Hof lay very close to the border between East Germany and West Germany.  

Hoff, Bavaria, Germany

This baptismal record confirms some of the information I had and it also raises several questions.  We now know that he was named after his uncle Johann Heinrich Geier.  We also know that Johann Wolf had an adult daughter named Anna Barbara.  Does this indicate that Johann Wolf was married to another woman?  We also know that Johann Wolf was a master weaver living in the town of Joditz, which is also in Bavaria.  (A weaver, in pre-industrial Germany, was a highly respected craftsman.)  It was also indicated that the surname was spelled “Geyer,” in a particular letter.  This could indicate that this particular family line originated in Austria. 

So much more to learn about my German family!  Thank you to German researcher Karl Greim for doing this look-up for me.


Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Geier


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2 responses to “Johann Heinrich Geier – Finally a few answers…..

  1. Heath Vogel

    April 25, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for blogging this! Just found my family went to this exact same church…

    from St. Michaliskirche records: Georg Christian, son of master Johann Heinrich Adam Martin Vogel, Local citizen and shoe maker and his wife, Carolina Christiana Antoinette née Riedel from Münchberg, (both Evangelic Lutheran religion) was born on Thursday 29 April at night at 9:15pm, christened on 7 May. The godfather: master Georg Christian Vogel, local citizen and shoe maker.

    Both his father and grandfather were christened in this same church as well. Also came across a copy of the above Johann Heinrich Vogel’s journal from 1837 – 1873. He mentions his travels throughout Franconia, Pruess, Fichtelgebirge, etc. We are still translating so I’ll keep a look out for Geyer or anything interesting related to this church and the area.

    Surnames: Vogel, Riedel, Fischer, Friedrich & Clauss.

    • Judy Curbow

      April 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Hi Heath: Thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to send me a note. So far, my German genealogy is slow going. I’m just beginning to familiarize myself with what types of records they kept and where. I’d really appreciate your letting me know of the interesting things you come across in the diary. Our family name was spelled Geier but I’ve seen it spelled Geyer as well. And I’m also following the Wolf family from that area. Thanks again for writing. And good luck! Judy Curbow


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