Some notes on early Heiney family history, by Paul Heiney

These notes were collected in the course of research in the Lancaster Historical Society library on July 14 and 15, 1992. They are also based partly on genealogical information provided by my father.

The family was originally located in Conestoga Township, especially the eastern part which in 1858 split off into Pequea (pronounced "Peckway") township. This is the Conestoga that gave its name to "Conestoga Wagons." Heineys were also located in Martic township just to the south. According to Klein, "The first settlement of Martic township was in the northern sections, along the Pequea creek ... The majority of the early settlers were Germans, from Hesse-Darmstadt." No Heiney's appear in the 1751 Conestoga Twp. Assessment list; the first mention of them appears in 1776 (see Jacob, below). They do not appear on typical lists of "substantial citizens" of the late 18th century, but they do appear on various tax and census records, as will be seen below.

There is a Christopher Heiney (more commonly Hainy and also many other spellings of the last name) who was a famous Lancaster Co. pewterer, who is not a relation; he came over from Germany himself at about the same time as Jacob.

Jacob Sr.: According to family history, he was the original immigrant from Germany. Jacob Heiney is cited in Ellis and Evans as being a male resident of Conestoga between the ages of 16 and 50 in 1776. The "Taxables of Conestoga" in 1780 include: Jacob Heiney, 50 acres, 1 horse, 2 cows, total value 400 pounds. (Ellis and Evans also mention that the land is "now" a part of Henry Warfel's farm). In the 1970 Census, Jacob Heiney is listed as a head of household in Conestoga Township. The household is listed as containing 1 free white male sixteen years and above (presumably Jacob Sr.), four free white males under sixteen, and two free white females. The 1798 Direct Tax for Pennsylvania lists in Conestoga Township a Jacob Hainey (also listed as Heiney and Heiny). The property consisted of: a) 1 Dwelling House, 45-21, log, 1 story, 4 windows, 12 lights, 1 acre, valuation $150. b) 1 Barn, 35x20, log, valuation $1364. c) 44 Acres. d) 1 Dwelling House, 24-21, log, 1 story, 2 windows, 12 lights, 1 Acre, valuation $140 (George Weisnit listed as occupant). e) 1 Stable--log, valuation $93. f) 3 acres. The adjoining land to both the first and second parcels was owned by Henry Rorer and others.

Joseph Sr. (son of Jacob Sr.): The 1800 Census has a Joseph Heiney in Conestoga Twp.. The household contained 3 males under 10, 2 males 26-44 (including the head of household), and apparently no women. The 1798 Direct Tax in Conestoga lists a Joseph Hainey. His property consisted of 1 Dwelling house--20 x 24, log, 1 story, 5 windows, 12 lights, 1 Acre, value $300. 1 Stable, 14 x 12, log, value $62. 2 Acres. The adjoining land was owned by Jacob Hainey and others.

An Elizabeth Hiney is listed in the 1840 Census in Conestoga. Her household contained 1 male under 5, 1 female 15-19, 1 female 40-49, and 1 female 60-69. It is tempting to assume that this Elizabeth, aged 60-69, is Elizabeth Greiter Heiney, the widow of Joseph Heiney; the ages work out more or less. However, in that case we have to explain why she wasn't in Joseph's household in 1800. Perhaps these are two different families, or perhaps they were separated.

Isaac Heiney: We know that Jacob Sr. had a son named Isaac. In the following, I will assume that this Isaac, Isaac the brick maker, Isaac the distiller, and Isaac the financier, are all the same person, although there is no direct evidence linking these different Isaac's. (In fact, it is plausible that there really at least two different people involved, since the banking mostly involves Lancaster Township, a good 20 miles from Conestoga.) Another researcher in the Society library told me that Isaac had been married to a Magdalene, had been a big man of business, but had been ruined in the "panic of 1823." He could not tell me where I could go to verify these statements, however. It does seem, however, that Isaac was a prominent businessman involved in mill-building, distilling (the two are connected, as we shall see), and banking.

The 1790 Lancaster Twp. Census lists an Isaac Heiney. The household contained 2 males 16 and above, and 3 females. It is unclear whether this is the same family. The first brick in Marticville was made by Isaac Heiney in 1813, although this brick making operation was supplanted by the much larger brickyard opened by D. S. McElhaney in 1847. An Isaac Heiney, miller, is on the original list (1814) of lot-owners in Hempfield. See the story of Burnt Mill, below, for further involvement of Isaac Heiney with mills. On Nov. 11, 1815, Isaac attended a meeting of distillers in Lancaster County. They met to prepare a petition to be sent to Congress praying for a repeal of the law imposing an additional duty on distilled spirits (Ellis and Evans v. 34, 283). On July 5, 1820, Isaac Heiney of Conestoga Township contributed 1 barrel of flour to disaster relief after the fire in Savannah, Georgia (Ellis and Evans v. 33, 86). From 1824 to at least 1830, but not in 1823 or earlier, Isaac was a subscriber to the Conestoga Lutheran Church (Journal v. 56, 13). The graveyard for this church still exists next to the present-day Reformed Church, but there are no tombstones identified with the Heiney family (however, most of the tombstones are apparently illegible).

Isaac was involved in banking. The history of banking in Lancaster County is described in an article by Paul R. Peel (Journal, v. 66, pp. 67-86). When the First Bank of the United States failed to have its charter renewed in 1811, many small banks sprang up around the country. Starting in 1814, the state of Pennsylvania passed a law regulating banks, which in part provided for the establishment of five banks in Lancaster County. Isaac Heiney was appointed with 12 others to a commission to direct the sale of the new institutions' capital stock. One of the new banks was the Lancaster Trading Company, which in 1818 became the Lancaster Bank. Isaac was one of the original 12 directors of this bank, which was chartered in 1814. He was still a director in 1819, but was no longer a director in 1843. (It is interesting to note, however, that one of the 1843 directors was Benjamin Eshelman; see Burnt Mill, below.) The bank failed in 1856, due to imprudent loans and lax oversight by its directors.

David Heiney: We have little direct information about David, son of Jacob Sr. It is possible that he was involved with Burnt Mill, but this is speculation. The 1810 Census shows a David Heiney in Conestoga Twp. The household contained 2 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, one male 26-44, and 3 females under 10. The 1830 Census also shows a David Heiney, with 1 male 10-15, 1 male 50-59, 2 females 15-19, and 1 female 50-59.

In the next generation there is a David Heiney, or several David's, who appear in a number of histories. The 1850 U.S. Census shows a David Heiney, Jr., male, aged 47, profession Cooper, as a resident of Conestoga. The value of his real estate was $500. In the same household were: Fanny, 53; Maria, 20; Samuel, 19 (Cooper); Isaac, 17 (Cooper); David, 15 (Cooper, attending school); George, 12 (attending school); and David Heiney Sr., 73. He is exactly the right age to be Jacob Sr.'s son, and it therefore seems likely that David the Cooper is the grandson of Jacob the Immigrant.

David Heiney III, from the above, quite likely served in the Civil War. A David Heiney served in the Civil War as a private in the Thirtieth Regiment (First Reserves), Company D. He was mustered in June 8, 1861, and mustered out with the company June 13, 1864. This regiment was active in many engagements, including Newmarket, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Spottsylvania.

George Heiney, most likely the brother of David Heiney III, also served in the thirtieth Regiment (First Reserves), Company D . Mustered in June 8, 1861, discharged on surgeon's certificate Feb. 13, 1863. Possibly the same George Heiney married Lizzie Good of Martic-Pequea on Oct. 18, 1866 (by Strine).

Another David Heiney is buried in the Lancaster Cemetery, City of Lancaster (E. Lemon and Park). He is buried in Section 18, the G.A.R. Lot (Soldiers and Sailors). The inscription (still clearly visible) reads, "David Heiney, Co. D, 1st PA Reg, 1899." In July of 1992 all the graves in this section were decorated with small American flags. Since this is a different regiment, this cannot be David III--perhaps a relative though?

Burnt Mill Several of the Heiney's were connected with an infamous flour mill on Pequea Creek. Here are some of the accounts of the mill.

Journal, vol. 56, pp. 7-8, "Stories Radiating out of Conestoga Center"by M. Luther Heisey. "The area had a full quota of the old- time mills; some to good purpose, some to evil ... Approaching Marticville from the north, we find the Pequea, once spanned by another old covered bridge, now crossed by a wide, modern concrete structure, erected in 1935. On the north side, to the right, was a mill widely known as `The Burnt Mill,' a name bestowed upon it after a disastrous fire. As a flour mill it operated legally; as a distillery illegally, for it brought upon itself the suspicions of government revenue agents, and for good reasons."

"Into a legally-stamped barrel the whiskey was poured to the brim, but other barrels, unstamped and skillfully concealed over the waters of the Pequea, were also filled and constantly drawn from as consumes appeared. But on the approach of revenue agents the contents of the barrels were quickly dumped into the stream, and away flowed the evidence of illegal manufacture and possession. Two of the operators of this flour mill were Christian Keeports and David Heiney."

"Others, not involved in the manufacture of liquor, suffered losses through this incident. Benjamin Eshleman, 5th, lost his entire fortune, which included all real estate and personal possessions, by sheriff's sale; as learned from information told by the family and also by John Good, of Rohrerstown, who was the grandson of John J. Good (Gentleman John Good) of Conestoga Township, who lost everything he possessed at the same time and in the same manner."

"The Burnt Mill, of Pequea Township, and the Horse Hollow Mills, of Conestoga Township, were operated by Jake, Bill and Ben Good, who were in no way related to Gentleman John Good. For the illicit making of whiskey the court placed upon them a heavy fine, which they were unable to pay. Both Gentleman John Good and Benedict [sic] Eshleman, 5th, signed the bond for Jake Good on his request, as they were friends, and possessed of large land holdings. The fine caused the three operators and their bondsmen to lose their entire possessions."

"On August 19, 1872, the sheriff, Frederick Myers, sold property of Martin Good, John J. Good and Benedict Eshleman, for $1100 to Jacob Bausman. On April 26, 1873, three properties of Benedict Eshleman were sold by the sheriff, Amos Groff, the sale realizing nearly $31,000."

"Another version would have us believe that a humble workman, pleading guilty to illicit manufacturing was sentenced by the court, and languished in durance vile, having been assured by the real operators that his family would be well cared for."

The same article has a synopsis of what various maps of the early nineteenth century show. A "Burnt Mill" shows up on an 1851 map, and "David Heiney's (Burnt) Mill" shows up on an 1870 map. From this we can infer that the mill burning preceded the 1872 raid. However, the two events are connected, at least by inference, in many of the accounts, as will bee seen below.

The connection between milling and distilling is not as remote as it might seem. As explained by C. O. Wittlinger (Journal, v. 59, pp. 148- 167), milling, distilling, and pig-raising often went together. In a time when transportation facilities were very poor, it was more profitable to transport the coarser grains such as corn and rye in the concentrated distilled form. Distillation and flour milling were respectively the first and second largest industries of Lancaster County in the early nineteenth century. The distillation residue was used to fatten hogs, and in many cases the profits from hog raising were comparable to those of the distillation itself. Thus, it seems likely that David Heiney, Jake Good, and company were swineherds as well as millers and moonshiners.

"From the Historical Past: The Annals of Marticville," by Larry E. Hess. "The Burn Mill was built in 1814 by Jacob Heiney and was sold to John Keeports in 1828."

"On September 30, 1842, John Keeports sold the mill, saw mill, water rights, house, barn and 7 acres of land to Jacob B. Good, who spent more time in distilling liquor than in the feed business. In later years the mill was operated by his son Henry."

"It has been said that the name of the mill came from it being set afire to destroy the evidence of illegal distilling. Barrels of rum and whiskey are supposed to have been buried across the road from the mill; never to be retrieved to this day."

"Later operators of the mill were: Ed Diffenbauch, Abram Hess and George Hess. Abram Hess and his wife Susan built the house located at the mill."

"Today the property is owned by Raymond Pollick, and the mill has been renovated into apartments."

Ellis and Evans: "In 1814, Isaac Heiney built a brick mill about a mile below the one now owned and run by Thomas Baumgardner. It had four runs of stones and did a large business. It became the property of the Lancaster Bank, and in 1830 it was purchased by John Keeports, who owned it till 1842, when it was purchased by Joseph Good, and by him solid in 1849 to John K. and Jacob Good. They owned it till 1860, when it was sold to Jacob B. Good, and was owned by him till it was burned, some twelve years since [i.e., in 1883-12=1871?]. The property is now owned by Thomas Baumgardner."

Klein: "Near the [mill] built by Jacob Smith, about a mile further down the Pequea Creek, Isaac Heiney erected a mill of brick about 1814. It had four runs of stones, and a good business was done; but Heiney seems to have become financially embarrassed, and the property passed to the Lancaster Bank. In 1830 the mill was bought by John Keeports, who owned it for twelve years, then disposing of it to Jacob B. Good. Twelve years later [i.e., in 1854?], while the property of Mr. Good, the mill was burned. It was rebuilt and eventually passed to Thomas Baumgardner." Note that this account substantially agrees with (and perhaps in places was plagiarized from?) Ellis and Evans except for the date of the burning. It is possible that Ellis and Evans have confused the burning with the revenue raid; it also possible that the mill burned more than once.

The "Lineage of the Benjamin Eshleman's of Conestoga Township Lancaster County Pennsylvania"by Irene Ramsay Donovan, residing in the Society library, gives an interesting account of the results of the raid on the mill. "As to why Benjamin Eshleman (5th.) lost his entire fortune, which included all Real Estate and Personal Possessions, by Sheriff Sale, as told by the family and also by Mr. John Good, of Rhorerstown Pa. Who's Grandfather was John J. Good (Known as Gentleman John Good) of Conestoga Township, who lost everything he possessed at the same time and in the same manner."

"There were two Mills on the Pequea Creek, known as The Burnt Mill of Pequea Township, and Horse Hollow Mill of Conestoga Township, they were run by three men, namely Jake Good, Bill Good, and Ben Good, but they were not related to Gentleman John Good."

"In addition to grinding grain they made whiskey, for which they had to get a license from The Government, Evidently they made more whiskey than specified, or for some unknown reason Goverment [sic] Inspectors came around one day and they were subject to a heavy fine which they could not pay, Gentleman John Good also Benjamin Eshleman (5th.) both signed the Bond for Jake Good on his request, as they were all large land owners and friends. The fine was so heavy that the three men who run the Mills and also the men who endorsed their Bond, lost their entire possessions."

Bridges Atlas of Lancaster, published in 1864, shows a lot owned by David Heiney at the point where the road crosses the loop in Pequea Creek, on the northwest side of the creek. Across the road, on the northwest side, is the "G. & S. Mill Distillery." About a half a mile north is a property owned by J. Warfel--possibly the original Jacob Heiney farm? South of the creek most of the land is owned by F. Eshelman and Mrs. Eshelman.

A modern map of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, published by The National Survey in 1982, shows a solid dot for "Burnt Mills" at the point where route 324 intersects with Goods Road just north of the Pequea Creek, a short distance north of the village of Marticville. Route 324 is a winding, 2-lane country road, going through a mixture of farms and wooded areas. Pequea Creek is quite a small stream, although the solidity of the bridge across it indicates that it may sometimes flood. There is no sign to indicate when one is at Burnt Mills, but there is a 4- or 5-unit apartment building or condominium just north of bridge across the creek. It is in fact rather incongruous to find an apartment building in such a rural area. The building itself is approximately the size and shape of a mill, and could very well be constructed from the shell of the original mill.

John, son of Jacob Sr.: John appears to have been the black sheep of the family. He died intestate in 1824, and his Inventory (on file in the Society library) is quite interesting. It states: "An Inventory of the goods and Chattels, rights and Credits which were of John Heiney late of Conestoga Township Lancaster County deceased. The deceased having left his family several years before he died left no personal property except as divided in the Estate of Jacob Heiney his father which is in the Hands of Isaac Heiney the administrator amounting to about $900. Exhibited into the Registers Office Jan. 17 1824." Was he thrown out? Did he run off?

Jacob Jr., son of Jacob Sr.: We know very little about this Jacob. The 1810 Census shows a Jacob Heiney in Conestoga. This could be either Jacob Jr. or Jacob Sr. The household included 2 males under 10, 2 males 10-15, 1 males 16-25, 1 male 26-45, 1 male over 45, 1 female under 10, 2 families 16-25, and 1 female 26-45.

Samuel, son of Jacob Sr.: We know little about Samuel. The 1810 Census shows a Sam Heiney in Conestoga. The household contained 4 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 16-25, 1 male 2- 45, 1 female under 10, 1 female 10-15, and 1 female 26-45.

Isaac (or Jacob?) the Innkeeper: According to Ellis and Evans, "In 1830, [New Danville, Conestoga Twp.] consisted of eleven dwellings, a tavern, and two smitheries. The tavern was kept by Christian Zercher, in the same building where Jacob B. Miller now keeps a store ... Mr. Zercher's successors in the tavern were John Zercher, Jacob Heiney, Michael Zercher, and Daniel Grofft, who was the last landlord in the house." However, I think that John Zercher's successor may have actually been an Isaac Heiney, since the 1850 Census in Conestoga shows Isaac Heiney, 40, Innkeeper. Residing in the same household were Elisabeth, 50; Martha, 10; and Isaac, 8. The household also contained, in addition to two unrelated men, Ann Eliza Zercher, 18, and Michael Zercher, 23, Sawyer. Thus, it would seem that Isaac either married into the Zercher family or bought into the business, and acquired the inn, but that it later passed back to Michael Zercher, who was perhaps John Zercher's son but who in any case remained living in the same house. According to the Daily New Era (Lancaster), Nov. 22, 1883, Isaac Heiney died on Nov. 22 of age 74. This Isaac was therefore the same age as the innkeeper.

Miscellaneous other Lancaster County Heineys:

John Heiney: listed in 1830 Martick Twp. Census. 1 male 30-39, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 20-29.

John Hyney: listed in 1840 Conestoga Twp. Census. Household contained 1M 20-29, 1M 40-49, 1F 10-14, 1F 20-29, and 1F 40-49.

Isaac Heiney, listed in 1830 Census, Martick Twp. Household contained 1 male under 5, 1 male 10-14, 1 males 50-59, 1 female 5- 10, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 30-39. I can't make the age of this Isaac agree with any of the other Isaac's I know about.

William Heiney: A private in the rifle company commanded by Capt. George Muster, First Regiment, Second Brigade (War of 1812).

James Heiney: A private in the same rifle company as William Heiney.

Isaac Heiney served in the 9th Pa Cavalry, Co. F, in the 1839-1912 garrison.

Isaac Heiney was a private in the Ninety-Second Regiment (Ninth Cavalry), known as the Lochiel Cavalry, Company F. Mustered in Oct. 19, 1861; promoted to corporal Feb. 1, 1865; mustered out July 18, 1865. Eli Heiney was a private in the same Company. He was mustered in Oct. 19, 1861, but there is no date for his mustering out--perhaps he died in action?

Yet another Isaac was a private in the One Hundred and Thirty-Fifth Regiment, Company C. Mustered in Aug. 11, 1862; mustered out with company May 24, 1863.

Mary Heiny married Jacob Hildebrand, a butcher in East Lampeter and Paradise townships. One of their children, Jacob Hildebrand (b. 1822) became a "substantial and useful" citizen of Strasburg; several of the history books have long biographies of Jacob.

Jacob Heiny married Catharine Redman of Manor on Aug. 26, 1852. (Service performed by J. J. Strine.)

Samuel Hiney married Christiann Hess of Pequea on Jan. 5, 1858 (Strine).

Daniel Heiney and his wife Catharine had two children born in the Lutheran Church in Conestoga: Barbara, b. Jan. 16, 1833, and Elizabeth, b. Feb. 19, 1834.


Ellis and Evans: "History of Lancaster County Pennsylvania with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men," F. Ellis and S. Evans, Evers and Peck (Philadelphia), 1883.

Klein: "Lancaster County Pennsylvania: A History," H. M. J. Klein, Ph.D., Lewis historical Publishing Co., New York and Chicago, 1924.

Journal: "Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society."

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