1490: birth of first known Hutsteiner

The first known Hutsteiner, is Tameln – likely the austro-bavarian pronounciation of ‘Thomas’ – living in Hutstein, Austria. He is mentioned in an old tax document of 1509 available in the states archive of Austria, Vienna, i.e. he was born before 1490 at least. In fact, in this document he is not really designated as ‘Hutsteiner’, as surnames did arise during these times only, but living in the hamlet of Hutstein made him an ‘Hutsteiner’, or in a more correct way a ‘Huetstainer’ in local dialect. 

It does not necessarily mean that all known Hutstein families descended from him – definitely not. It was common in this region that some people who changed their home / living place got the surname derived from this place or the name of the farm they occupied. I.e. if Tameln changed his location or farm he got a new surname afterwards. And this could happen several times. 

This also means that all known Hutsteiner families of the Austro-Bavarian lines do not implicitly be close relatives. They may have their origin in different families but once they lived in Hutstein, they got the surname ‘Huetstainer’ during the formation of surnames, too. And changing the home or living place was as common as nowadays. But as most people in this low populated area are related quite close to each other this is – for sure – the case for the Huetstainer families, too. 

By the way: this changing of surnames according to the living location obviously did stop in the Wegscheid parish district before the 1650s or even before the 1600s. But there are other areas in Bavaria and Austria where it was common until the 1730s.

During my researches I found families, which changed their surname 3 times within a decade during the 1690s. Fortunately, I could not observe any surname change of any documented Hutsteiner family.


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