Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz One Place Study

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Hayna, Kurpfalzmap
Surnames/tags: Metz Wingerter Winstel
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Purpose of this One Place Study

The village of Hayna was nearly destroyed by war more than once during its history. In 1679, it was reduced to just 7 households. While additional people came in from elsewhere after that point, these few surviving families remained at the core of the village and became very interrelated. Since these families are so interrelated, when a connection is made to one of these ancestors, it is likely that the others were related to the ancestor as well.

In times of economic distress, substantial groups of related people from the area emigrated to other countries and sired a very large number of descendants. While the descendants may now be only distant cousins, they do provide a good sized pool of genealogists potentially interested in this study.

Because of the naming customs followed, many of the residents had the same or very similar names making it more difficult to sort out the nuclear families without studying the whole village. That studying and sorting out is the purpose of this study, which is aided by the fact that the area was primarily Catholic throughout its history and most of the church records survived intact despite the repeated devastation of the area.

Where is Hayna

Hayna is located at 49°7′22.66″N, 8°12′14.59″E. As of 2018, it is part of the German municipality of Herxheim bei Landau in the Südliche Weinstraße district, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

History of Hayna

In 1057, Henry IV, Salic Emperor, gave five large properties to the Bishop of Speyer, including one on which the village of Herxheim was located.[1] Herxheim had its own Catholic Church by 1213.[1] The parish of Herxheim included the land where the villages of Hayna and Hatzenbühl later developed.[1]

The land was initially forest, but fields were cleared for the villages of Hayna and Hatzenbühl sometime around 1272.[1] The village developed along a single road (which is now the L542) with buildings along the road and fields behind the buildings a little further from the road.[1] This layout is still visible in current satellite maps.

Hayna was one of eight "King's-villages" in the area. Some of the residents were "King's people" who owed taxes and duties to the King or Elector and had the right to move from one King's village to another without paying the fees others would have had to pay. Residents who were not King's people owed fealty to the Bishop of Speyer. The Bishop's people had to pay "the large tithe" to the Domkantor and "the small tithe" to the priest of the Catholic Church in Hayna which was dedicated to St. Michel. The Bishop's people had to pay many other fees and taxes and were restricted in their freedom to marry and move to another place.[1]

The 1470 tax rolls show there were 33 houses in Hayna occupied by 44 adults. There was a priest and a chaplain, each with his own house which the villagers kept up. The villagers also had to keep the church-tower, and the graveyard in good condition.[1] According to 1530 reports, Hayna consisted of 33 houses occupied by 52 adults and 85 children.[1]

The economic situation of Hayna in the 16th century was dire. Church records show that between 1544 and 1548, the chaplain had left and the villagers were selling the grass growing in the graveyard and willow wands cut from the hedge next to the priest's house to try to raise enough to support the priest. But it was not enough and by 1585 the priest wanted to leave. Fearing they would lose their own parish church, the villagers wrote the Domkantor asking for help. The village had lost its rights to graze cattle and horses in the Insheim Forest, forcing them to reduce their livestock to just a few head and reducing the manure available to fertilize the fields.[1]

During the 30 years war in the early 17th century, the area was overrun with French, Spanish, and Swedish troops along with Croatian mercenaries. In 1636, the Croatian troops destroyed the nearby village of Hatzenbühl which was not rebuilt for 30 years.[1] Hayna did not escape the devastation of the war. It was totally ruined during the war and its population almost wiped out. The fields became choked with trees and bushes and the few families which survived fled. They did not return to rebuild the village until the end of the war around 1648 and rebuilding was slow.[1]

The population of the area was so decimated that the Bishop of Speyer issued a public call in 1652 and repeated the call in 1660 for refugees to return to their homes and for foreigners to come and settle the area. By 1667, Hayna had 77 inhabitants with a third being settlers from elsewhere.[1] But war did not leave them much time to rebuild. War returned in 1673 and by 1679 there was little to eat and not much to wear, and only seven households remained in Hayna.[1] The area was under the control of France, but Hayna had been so devastated that it could not pay the large tithe.[1]

Soon there was war again. During the Spanish War of Succession from 1701 to 1714, the area was occupied by imperial troops and changed hands at least four times.[1]

Despite this war, Hayna finally was able to rebuild permanently. In the late 20th century, inscriptions on the half timbered houses lining the street show most were built between 1700 and 1720. The oldest house is near the church and was built in 1701. [1]

From about 1680 to 1815, the area was under the control of France. During this period, Hayna grew considerably. In 1715, the church was enlarged, but it was still too small. So it was torn down and a new church was built and consecrated on 29 Sep 1722. The old church had been named for St Nicolaus, but the name was changed in 1722 for the new church to Holy Cross. By 1750, Hayna's population had increased to 550.[1]

Until 1750, the church records for Hayna and Hatzenbühl were kept with those of Herxheim. In 1750, the priest, Johann Kasimir Kelle, started a separate book for Hayna and Hatzenbühl. In 1785, Hayna and Hatzenbühl each became independent parishes. Anton Werner became the first priest for the parish of Hayna. In 1790, the villagers built the priest a new house which still stands across from the church.[1]

In 1813, the villagers of Hayna collected money to build a new church. However, they did not obtain permission to build until 1818 by which time the area belonged to Bavaria. The new church was finally completed in 1820. A schoolhouse was built in 1825. By 1836, the population had grown to 866 people in 130 families. The church was expanded in 1862, the main street was paved in 1839, and the post office opened in 1898 in the inn. In the mid 19th century, mayor Herr Weigel and others began growing tobacco and tobacco barns (many of which remain today) became a regular part of the landscape. Little changed in the village from this point until the mid 20th century.

Candidates for the 7 Surviving Families of Hayna in 1679

The exact identity of the 7 surviving households is not known. However, based on the church records, the most likely surnames are:

  • Baron
  • Knoll
  • Metz
  • Rang
  • Weigel
  • Winstel
  • Wingerter

Other Connected Surnames

  • Ducar
  • DeGarde
  • Dudenhoeffer
  • Eichenlaub (most from Herxheim)
  • Faust
  • Felix
  • Flick
  • Foellinger, Fellingerin, Voellinger, Vaellingerin, Vellingerin
  • Hirsch
  • Höffle
  • Kerner
  • Kuntz
  • Joner
  • Nickel
  • Riedel, Riehl, Rhill, Rhil, Riedel, Reil
  • Schultz
  • Steiner
  • Trauth

Categories for/and Cities, Towns, and Villages in the Region

Resources and Known Genealogists Working in this Area

  • Carol Saint-Clair, of Osnabrueck, Germany did much of the initial groundbreaking research on this village in the 1990's while researching the Winstel family. She usually cites her sources and often quotes from them.

Participants in this One Place Study


In January 2020, Jason Metz visited Hayna and took pictures of a memorial plaque at the Catholic Church showing many familiar names.

Teaser: Information recently received concerning someone else planning a visit to Hayna soon, so maybe we will have some new photos soon.

Ideas for Profile Completion Goals

From Mary Jensen: As of September 2023, we now have more than 2,000 profiles in the study. Since I created a lot of those profiles, my watchlist was getting overly full, and I had to start thinking about letting go of some profiles. I decided to start with profiles of people who had died young. In the process, I discovered a set of categories for infant mortality (under 1 year) and child mortality (over 1 year but still children). That is an interesting aspect of life for the time period of this study and also for areas as war torn as Hayna. So I've created some new categories and come up with a protocol for when I will orphan a profile I created in the study.

The protocol I have in mind currently looks like this. A profile is considered complete when it has all the following:

  • source to support birth and parentage
  • ideally a source to support death, but if the source is not readily available I'm willing to go with another child born later of the same parents and given the same name or probably solid evidence that the spouse married again under circumstances that would require death of the earlier spouse, but we have to be careful to make sure this is really the case given the number of people with the same name in this study.
  • the location category Category: Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz. Note that the autobio generator does not add this category as it does with some other locations.
  • biography - if you use the autobio generator, it will automatically add the place study sticker if Hayna is either the place of birth or death or marriage. It will also add the Died Young sticker if the person died young. If you do not use the autobio generator check for the following:
    • a narrative biography
    • the place study sticker {{One Place Study|place=Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz|category=Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz One Place Study}}
    • appropriate name study stickers (I've seen Flick, Metz, and Schultz ones pop up with the autobio generator)
  • if applicable, add other appropriate location categories
  • if applicable, add appropriate Mortality categories (so far I've only created Category: Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz, Infant Mortality for people who die before their first birthday and Category: Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz, Child Mortality , but additional categories will likely include Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz, Maternal Mortality in the future. There are some other possibilities as well, but I'm not sure the information is readily available or as suitable to this locale as these are.
  • when I get beyond people who died young, my idea is that I will only orphan profiles when it gets to the point where I'm reasonably confident I've found all the sources for parentage, birth, death, all marriages and all children or have a reason to believe the sources do not exist. In other words, when I think they are genealogically complete and I'll likely not add anything further.

I'm thinking in the direction that projects usually go when they create their goals and/or to do lists for profiles to consider them reasonably complete.

Add comments to this page if you have other thoughts on when a profile is likely complete enough that it does not need continuing active management or if you disagree with any of my thoughts on the subject.

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Mary Jensen and One Place Studies Project WikiTree. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Comments: 6

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Hello Mary,

Great study! I'm doing project maintenance and a check-in.

One Place Studies now has a Project Profile: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/WikiTree-121

Please add it as a co-manager of this study page. wtoneplacestudies <at> googlegroups.com

Thank you!


Project Leader - One Place Studies

posted by Azure Robinson

I am working on my "Bengert" line They are form Hayna. I see surnames of Weigel,Kitt,Ducar,Schwatz, In the branches. I just added the parents to Christinia Kitt. Please let me know how you would like to interact with the Hayna Name Category Thanks George Morstadt

posted by George Morstadt
George, Welcome to the Hayna One Place Study.

When you add a profile for a person who experienced a major life event (birth, baptism, marriage, birth of a child, death, etc) in Hayna, we add

{{One Place Study|place=Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz|category=Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz One Place Study}}

to the profile. That adds the Hayna Place study sticker and puts the profile in the category for the one place study. We presently have 1,476 profiles in the study. But there are many more to be added. Work on whatever draws your interest.

posted by Mary (Brandt) Jensen
edited by Mary (Brandt) Jensen

Where can I find the list of profiles in the study? George

posted by George Morstadt

If people added the sticker properly to their Hayna profiles, you should be able to find them all under Category: Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz One Place Study. As a cross check, every profile under the location category Category: Hayna, Rheinland-Pfalz should have the study sticker and be part of the study.

posted by Mary (Brandt) Jensen
Adding a What links here link gives a report listing all the profiles that mention this page.
posted by Pat (Fuller) Credit