Lewis Henry Steiner.

The genealogy of the Steiner family, especially of the descendants of Jacob Steiner online

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Especially of the Descendants of







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Among the papers of my father, the late Lewis H. Steiner,
were several pages of notes towards a genealogy of our family.
These have been taken up and much amplified, and the work is
now issued, as it is not likely that further delay would elicit many
more facts of importance. It has been a pleasant task to me to
search out the various branches of the family tree.

Almost all to whom application was made have been helpful;
but especial thanks are due for time spent and interest shown in
the work, to Miss Alice V. Derr, Mrs. Marcus A. Woodward,
Miss Ola Michaels, Gen. John A. Steiner, Mr. Thomas C. Stoner,
Mrs. Wm. H. Lewis, Miss Rachel L. Eader, Mr. Edward T.
Schultz, Mr. John G. Wilson, Mr. Charles A. S. Steiner and Mr.
Paul Wisenall. We have not been famous; but, to quote my
father's words, we have been a " family whose members have lived
and died as plain, honest, law-abiding, citizens."

Bernard C. Steiner.



(Translated by Lewis H. Steiner.)

The 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, bear-
ing the name Maxmylian Steiner in red ecclesiastical letters.
The whole constitutes a true representation of the arms which
Ludw'ig 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, con-
tain, 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, w4iich 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 (Hals-
gerichtsordnung), from which it appears that Ludwig von Stein-
dorf had been cited from his family seat at Steindorf in the
Oberlausitz in consequence of a quarrel with Ufifo von Bonken-
burg, by the Superior Court at , Regensburg, for a breach of the
Landfriede, and that, through the management of Anselm, the
Bishop of Wiirzburg, who was a brother of Ufifo von Bonken-
burg, 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 Ufifo.

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 Wiirzburg, who bore the
responsibility of the same readily on account of the great influ-
ence he possessed at court.

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


He was made a knight (Ritter) on the 26th of November, 131 1,
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 (Riis-
tung) and a costly shield, the arms of which exhibited a red hear
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 Gunther, the Bishop of
Wiirzburg, at (Brettspiele) draughts. This Maximilian made his


family castle (Stammschloss), and changed its name from Giin-
thersburg, 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 Miihldorf 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, Decem-
ber 29, 1 312.

Her only son,


in accordance with the wish of his grandfather, was surrendered
to the same, who managed also most faithfully his castle of Stein-
dorf. 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 Lud-
wig von Steindorf would marry Gertrude, the only daughter of
Ufifo. But Steindorf married a poor but virtuous maiden, the
daughter of the sacristan (Kiister) of the cathedral of Sancta
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 irrec-
oncilable enemy broke out anew.


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 be-
queathed 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 Uflfo 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 Wiirzburg, 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 Wiirzburg, to his brother Uffo, whilst Ludwig died in
the cloister. Before he had determined to carry out this so in-
comprehensible 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 super-
intendence of their education to his tried friend Oscar Benti-
voglio, 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.


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.



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

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

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


filled the office, for some years in Speyer, of Stadthauptmann, a
very respectable position sought after by many of the most patri-
cian 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.


the eldest son, withdrew from the world and took the place of
monastery steward (Klostervogt) in Speyer. He married Ger-
trude von der Miihlen, 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.


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



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 Hussiten-
kriege, 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.


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. Ernst,^
XIV. Julius,' XV. Ludwig,' XVI. Winrfried ' and XVII. Chris-
tian ; ' Ernst and Julius entered the army, the others and XVIII.
Friederich,' XIX. Johann ' and XX. Leopold,' of the first mar-
riage, dispersed to Bavaria, Suabia, and on the Rhine, so that we
are unable to find any further connected information about them,


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,' XXIII. Ludwig' and XXIV. Herrmann,' who
moved with their mother to Ghent.

XXIX. wilhelm;

the youngest son of Theodor, remained in Speyer; owned a very
extensive commercial business, and was the president (Vor-


stand) of the Merchants' Guild. His wife, Isabella Horst,
lamented for years the loss of her husband, who died, in conse-
quence of a cold, on his return from a business excursion to the
Netherlands, at Aachen, in 1480, leaving two sons,


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 him-
self in the then newly-discovered diamond diggings. Shortly
after his return he died in 1498, and left his large family consid-
erable possessions. (This story is, of course, incorrect, but I
know not how to correct it. — B. C. S.) He had five sons —
Martin,' Albert,' Friedrich,' Moritz ' and Adalbert.'


was established as a goldsmith in Niirnberg, where he died, 1509,
a mysterious death, and when his corpse was examined it ap-
peared that he had been poisoned. Very weighty and unequivo-
cal grounds of suspicion rested on his wife, who had had secret
intercourse with a Doctor Bonefacius, who was universally feared
in Niirnberg. 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. Gotthardt' — who. however, died before he had
attained his majority. The very considerable property left be-
hind 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 claim-
ants for the treasures of the inheritance.


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. Markus" Edler was one of them.


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, Oswald,^ who dedi-
cated himself likewise to the theological profession, and, while
pastor in Liitzen, was killed in a revolt of the peasants.


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 ofif victor. In the battle of Pavia, 1525, he very
particularly distinguished himself, and it was attributed princi-
pally 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.



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 Niirnberg, 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, Adalbert," Johann," Carl," Leopold " and Adolph." The
first two settled at Tubingen; Carl died without male offspring
in Wiirzburg, 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 refer-
ence to separate persons, but are based on personal searches.


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


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


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 (Ritters-
mann) young knight,


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 Lud-
wig 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 Fried-
rich 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,


It is known that this one was a brother of the murdered Lud-
wig, 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.


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 Steindorf,"
who fell in the fight at Nancy, and that his two brothers, XXIII.
Ludwig' and XXIV. Herrmann,' lived in Aschaffenburg. Lud-
wig was City Syndic (Stadtsyndicus) at that place and afterwards
Burgomaster of Aschaffenburg. Herrmann was the head man-
ager (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 Carl," the
elder, died when a boy, and the younger, whose name was


moved to Niirnburg 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 per-
mitted 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 con-
sequence 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


who often declared that his grandmother was the sister of the
celebrated Agnes Bemauerin, but he was in possession of no par-
ticular account of his family, and only knew that his father had
died at Cologne in 15 16. When Markus von Steiner died, it was
discovered from his papers that he had several brothers, of whom
two lived in Regensburg; another, XXXIX. Thomas" in Zwei-
briicken and XL. Reinhardt" 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 Steiner' and a grandson of XXXI.
Martin ^ 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

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Online LibraryLewis Henry SteinerThe genealogy of the Steiner family, especially of the descendants of Jacob Steiner → online text (page 1 of 8)