IV.1.3 The Exulant

IV.1.3 The Exulant

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Hofkirchen i.M. ~ 1890

Michael Hutsteiner, born 1590, likely was an Exulant – a protestant who was forced to leave the country, the Austrian empire. He migrated from the upper part of the so called “Mühlviertel” in Upper Austria to Hartmannsdorf, Saxony around the 1630s. First known documents there mention him on 26.09.1637 there, unfortunately the name of his first wife is still unknown, but notes by unknown source state that he married first time in 1615.

After the peasant war of mid 1626 triggered by counter reformation acts in and around the Mühlviertel, the north-eastern part of Upper Austria (occupied by Bavaria since 1620), Lutheran inhabitants of the Austrian empire had to decide to convert back to Catholicism or leave the country. During the time from 1626 to 1630 Heinrich Salburger, the guardian of Falkenstein and Rannariedl, a former devoted protestant who converted back to Catholicism in 1607, forced his population to change back to Catholicism or leave Austria.

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The Mühlviertl in Upper Austria

Actually we find a Michael Hutsteiner as a citizen of the small market Hofkirchen i.M. where he paid taxes in 1623 to the dominion Altenhof (Falkenstein). Whether this is our saxonian Michael is still unclear, but this Michael had full citizen rights in Hofkirchen i.M., so likely he had been a merchant or a craftsman there and already been married. Perhaps a shoemaker?

Also Michael Hutsteiner was recorded as “Michael Huttensteiner” in Hartmannsdorf, which probably pinpoints to a Falkenstein ancestry as only some Falkenstein records used the name Huttenstein instead of Hutstein for the small hamlet.

tax document 1623 dominion Altenhof (Falkenstein)

In the second half of the 16th century Protestantism spread in the area of Hofkirchen i.M. and many farmers and the entire market population converted to Protestantism. Lutheran preachers were first supported by the lord of Falkenstein and Lutherans also preached in the castle chapels of Marsbach and Rannariedl. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Counter-Reformation pushed Protestantism back, with a Catholic priest in Hofkirchen again from 1603 onwards.

Michael was still there in 1626 which is documented by a birth letter where he is mentioned as witness and with his age, 36 years, which is fully in line with our Michael in Hartmannsdorf, Saxonia.

Michael Hutsteiner 1626 in Hofkirchen i.M.

During these times many families left the area of Upper Austria, likely our Michael Hutsteiner, too. As an example Freistadt, at that time the only town in the Mühlviertel and an hot-spot of Lutheran life, lost about 50-60% of all inhabitants until 1630.

Somehow, this would confirm an old family legend which I was told by Ted Huthsteiner in the US, that his family originated by Huguenots who fled their country.

We can identify exulants from Hofkirchen who moved to Dresden or several families like the Kampmillers from Sarleinsbach (in Saxony as “Sorlasbach” recorded) who moved to Marienberg or Annaberg. It is also recorded that in Kirchberg and Hartmannsdorf exulants from Bohemia and Upper Austria settled between 1620 and 1630. Likely our Michael was one of them.

Emigration of protestant Bohemians to Saxony from Ludwig Richter 1834,
CC-BY 4.0

Actually, the only visible document: a summary of Michael Hutsteiner’s church records in Kirchberg with additional information from related court records – the original church records are still not available to the public, the court records did not reveal any further important information. 


first known court record about Michael Hutsteiner from September 1637


So, an old family legend uncovered by an american Huthsteiner, that the origin of their part of the family are protestant refugees is true, proved to be correct, but they did not flee France as supposed, but much earlier Upper Austria.

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