Welcome to the homepage of Johannislehn Family Foundation from May 17, 1376



On the following pages you will find many details about the foundation, its history and development.

This coat of arms sealed the charter of our foundation in 1376.

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In 2021, twenty years have passed since the big celebration of the 625th anniversary of the foundation. Here is a picture from the excursion on May 19th, 2001 to the small church in Chüden near Salzwedel.



The then patroness Lisa Kuhlmann, fifth from the left in the first row, had compiled the results of her historical and genealogical research in a commemorative publication. The texts on this homepage are essentially taken from this commemorative publication.

After her sudden death in February 2003, Kompatron Walter Bellingrodt, Syke, took over the continuation of the genealogy: The Lehn must be able to trace whether an applicant for a scholarship really belongs to the group of eligible families. Walter has almost completely updated the lists of descendants of the Johannislehn and the Meltzings Commende, which were merged with the Johannislehn in 1963.

However, it is also important for leaning that the family is familiar with the leaning. Walter intends to update the address list that Lisa Kuhlmann had worked with in the near future. To this end, he will ask members of the families known to the feud for help. However, it would also make his work easier if family members contact him of their own accord: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein.

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Ceremony in the Uelzen town hall on April 24th, 2019

The change in the management of the Johannislehn is complete. Dr. On April 1st, Fabian Heintze from Hamburg took over the position of patron from Horst Bellingrodt. Now the change of staff was officially carried out in a ceremony with the Uelzen mayor Jürgen Markwardt in the town hall.

Many have been invited who have had something to do with leaning recently, including the scholarship holders from the last 15 years and family members who are interested in leaning. About 30 people came together in the “small meeting room” and were greeted very warmly by Jürgen Markwardt, Mayor of the “Hanseatic City of Uelzen” - she has been able to call herself that for three years. It was particularly gratifying that the mayor had informed himself comprehensively about the history of the fief in advance. He emphasized that Uelzen is not only the founding city of the Johannislehn Foundation, but that one of the oldest foundations in Germany also has its historical and economic center in Uelzen.

Then Horst Bellingrodt presented the fief and his own commitment as patron in more detail. He reported on the many merits of his predecessor Lisa Kuhlmann for the fief and the difficult beginning of his patronage, which he had assumed after the sudden death of Lisa Kuhlmann.


 Erika Zander and Horst Bellingrodt


He thanked the other members of his patronage, especially Erika Zander, who also wanted to give up her position as Kompatronin, but also Kompatron Walter Bellingrodt and Provost Jörg Hagen, in whose office in the Uelzen Provosty the patronage takes place at the annual meetings met. As a sign of the change of patronage, he handed over an original of the Johannislehn's deed of foundation to his successor, Dr. Fabian Heintze.


 Mayor Jürgen Markwardt and the old and the new patron Horst Bellingrodt and Dr. Fabian Heintze


Compatriot Erika Zander was retired from the patronage. In his speech, Walter Bellingrodt handed over a loan book from 1717 to the Uelzen city archivist, Dr. Cooper. The city archives received most of the documents from the Johannislehn archive in 2018, will catalog them and make them available to interested parties for research.

In the end, the new patron, Dr. Fabian Heintze with the mayor, especially with Horst Bellingrodt and Erika Zander, and then invited them to a historical tour of the city followed by a meal.

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From the history of the Johannislehn

The medieval foundations, now called Lehns, as far as they survived the two German monetary devaluations (inflation, currency reform), were originally intended to expand and beautify the Catholic worship service in St. Mary's Church in Uelzen. It was exclusively members of the wealthy merchant families, the councilors, who decorated the church with side altars and donated the funds for the livelihood of a priest at these altars.

The so-called benefices consisted of interest on capital, leases, mortgages, cereal ducks from farms, saline shares in Lüneburg. The owner of salt pans in Lüneburg was, for example, the Martinilehn in Uelzen.

It was donated on July 23, 1365 by Gertrud de Esche, widow of Algard de Esche. The abbot Ludolph of the monastery in Oldenstadt certified this vicarie. The beneficiary of the income was the first vicar Sander de Esche, a son of Algard de Esche. Johannes de Redeber is known as the first patron. His second marriage was Wunneke de Esche, daughter of Algard de Esche. His descendants followed him.

The Martinilehn belongs to the Johannislehn from 1788, but it continued to exist under his name and was solely involved in the income from the saline in Lüneburg.

Let's go back to the 14th century. Priests, presbyters or mostly called vicars, were subordinate to the provost, who at the high age served with two, sometimes three chaplains. The founders reserved the power of disposal and the right to present themselves in such a way that when a vicariate was dealt with through death, another member of the family received the benefice, even if he had not yet been ordained a priest.

Far looking ahead, on May 17, 1376, the priest Dietrich Sten and his mother Hildegund made their joint will together with the then mayor and builder of the city wall Johannes Lembecke and his son Dietrich. This was placed and recorded in the Ellerndorf chapel on the St. John's altar. The Ellerndorf Chapel was donated by Provost Nigeburg in 1350 and consecrated on July 15, 1357 during the plague. By marriage, the patronage of the chapel came to the Ellenidorf family, who used it as a hereditary burial. Today it is called the Apostle Chapel.

The first copy of the Johannislehn's certificate, which we still receive today, is written in Latin, but it is easy to read and has three seals from the Stens, Lembeckes and the notary. (StU 139). We learn that the donors "give, give, forgive and leave their goods for the sole purpose of donation and for their salvation". So after their death masses should be held and they should be remembered.

The following were added to the foundation's assets: 1)

5 in (Mark) from 3 farms in Proitze / Lüchow district3 m (Mark) from Vicko Gewer's house in Uelzen

1/3 of the large and small tithe in Böddenstedt / Uelzen district 1 pound pfennigs from a farm in Könau / Uelzen district

8 shillings from a garden in front of your Veerßer gate in Uelzen.

6 Himpten rye and 12 shillings from 2 farms in Kahlstorf / Uelzen district.

1) 1 m (Mark) = 16 shillings, 1 shilling = 12 pfennigs, 1 pound = 20 shillings, 1 pound pfennigs = 240 pfennigs, 1 himpten rye = 30 liters = 20 kg.

From the income of the aforementioned goods, the heirs should be given direct consideration.

Vicars, who had to celebrate masses at least three times a week, also found financial support. But if there was excess money, the assisted vicar could freely dispose of it. This document was signed by the notary Segeband von Wittorf and several witnesses. On May 30, 1376, Bishop Heimich von Verden confirmed this document (StU 140).

This vicariate was improved in 1381 by Ludemann Goldschmidt, a citizen in Uelzen. He donated four pieces of garden. The vicar had to read soul masses for the Goldschmidt couple. (StU 161).

The letter of foundation of the Crucislehn zu Uelzen dated April 5, 1467 can no longer be found. Later records give us information about the originator, patron and donated goods. The foundation was confirmed on August 2, 1472 by Bishop Bertold von Verden. Ludolph Meltzing, the older brother of Heinrich Meltzing, is known to us as the founder. He was vicar at the All Apostle Altar in the Ellerndorf Chapel. Mortgages and leases from houses in Gudes and Schmiedestrasse as well as on Neuer Feld are among the assets of the Crucislehn. The descendants of the Meltzings, Agnaten and Cognaten are the patrons of this fief.

A second form of spiritual foundation, the Commende, developed later. This meant that a vicarie that had already been set up had to read more masses. This was ordered (commended) to her by enlarging the benefice. But memories and anniversaries were also to be held on the day of the death of one of the relatives.

In the period from 1493 to 1496, the vicar Ludolph Meltzing established a benefice foundation for a priest in the Marienkapelle. This Marienkapelle was built by him and was located on the north side of St. Mary's Church, but was demolished in the 17th century because it was unusable.

A certificate from this foundation, also called Meltzingsche Commende, is no longer available. However, on May 10, 1496, three Commendencies from Ludolph Meltzing were confirmed by Bishop Bertold von Verden (StU 626)

The founder's very extensive fortune consisted of capital, rents and property, as well as fields and meadows. Three-quarters of this income was to be distributed as alms, the rest received the Commendists.

Since 1467 6 acres of land on the Wulhop in Uelzen belonged to the Meltzingschen Commende. It was the last piece of land that this Commende still owned after the currency devaluations in 1946. During the air raid on the Uelzen train station on February 22, 1945, this area was badly affected. 31 large bomb craters had completely devastated it. Manual and tensioning services, as well as the procurement of filler material, would have cost the foundation dearly in order to re-use it. The tenant at the time convinced the patron and the property was sold for 5000 Reichsmarks. Unfortunately, this money was not reinvested immediately and was lost as a result of the currency reform in 1948.

A fourth Commende was attached to the three Meltzingschen on June 22, 1497 (StU 627). Its founder was Dietrich von Witzendorf. He served as canon at St. Blasii in Braunschweig, was provost of Sehrrega and chancellor of the Principality of Lüneburg. From 1490 to 1500 he held the office of chaplain and secretary to Duchess Anna von Nassau in Celle. He died in 1525. He donated two capitals totaling 1250 guilders. In later years the capital grew to 7,000 marks and was invested in four bonds. The interest was used to buy clothes that were distributed to the poor on the anniversary of the donor's death. This happened in front of the altar in the St. Marienkirche in Uelzen in the presence of the provost. The remaining money went to the capital of Meltzingschen Commende for foundation purposes.

On May 6, 1506, the priest Didericus Lembecke founded the so-called St. Vitilehn (StU 669). He was vicar at St. Marien in the St. Viti Chapel, the hospital for lepers in Uelzen. This chapel is in front of the Lünebuger Tor. The ecclesiastical confirmation took place on July 17, 1509 by Bishop Christoph von Verden (StU 681). Grain rents from farms in the surrounding villages, land and houses were part of this legacy. Patrone were the sister of the founder, Geseke Meltzing, and her heirs. Dietrich was the last male bearer of the Meltzing family's name.

It should be noted that the patrons of the Crucis and St. Viti feuds exercised civil rights over the farmers who were obliged to do so. This stopped during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71. After the re-establishment of the government, jurisdiction was transferred to the royal offices.

The number of foundations has been dependent on the ups and downs of the economic situation over the centuries, which was particularly favorable in the last quarter of the 15th century.

When the citizenry joined the Lutheran Reformation in 1527, there were 16 side altars with 47 vicarages and commends in the church, which were spread across the church itself with its main altar and seven chapels. The Reformation was not just a religious affair, but a rebellion against it the concentration of vast fortunes in the hands of the Church. After the estates, which included clergy, knights and cities, had decided on the Reformation at the Landtag in Scharnebeck near Lüneburg, the city of Uelzen also converted to the Lutheran faith. In 1529 the mayor Albert Meltzing, his son-in-law Tile Hagemann and the businessman Hennann Schart were the leaders of the township.

Since the then provost Herbert von Have refused to resign from his office, he was forcefully forced to leave the city of Uelzen. In 1529, Duke Ernst, the later confessor, appointed a new provost, it was Henricus Weimaring. He comes from Delden in the Netherlands. As an Augustinian father of the Georgenkloster in Stade, he studied with Martin Luther and left the University of Wittenberg with a master's degree. He was one of the visitors that Duke Ernst used to gain clarity about the ecclesiastical assets. The duke had the entire church property confiscated. The side altars in St. Mary's Church have been removed. After a long time, he returned the spiritual glue, vicarages and corm ends to the donor families. These included the Martini-, Johannis-, Crucis-, St.Viti-Lehn and the Meltzingsche Commmende. The income should now go to students, be it as theologians, lawyers or medical professionals. The eldest sons usually became clergymen, and the younger was given a house and business. The benefice was now called Lehne because it was given to students.

In the course of the time that followed, there were few students among the descendants who could use the proceeds from the armchairs. The surpluses grew and in 1690 provost Johann Ernst Stille formed the "New Lehn" also called Beneficium novum from it. The funds were invested in town houses and in the Mecklenburgische Casse.

The five armrests were administered individually until 1788, so that the student was invested separately. In 1788 the postmaster Ludolph Friedrich Stintmann (patron 1788 to 1810) wrote down the first regulative. It combined all five glues, but each glue was self-administered. The students were invested separately and six of them received a scholarship every three years. In order to become a candidate, the students often had to come to Uelzen under the most difficult circumstances, "in order to be properly examined by the provost". Everything was done in Latin. The following were examined:

1) Scientific knowledge: religion, ethics

2) Earth description: globe

3) History since the 15th century

4) physics

5) German language: orthography, style, form

6) Latin language: Julius Caesar, Virgil

7) Greek language: Homer, Plato

The students also had to complete compulsory studies in Göttingen for a year. After passing the provost's examination and paying 7 rthl. Courant they were given the investiture certificate as well as their scholarship.

After 1812 the number of candidates changed due to a cash surplus. Investiture was also made easier for students. The obligation to study in Göttingen for a year was omitted, as was the strict examination at the provost in Uelzen.

The council members occupy a special occupational group in the armchairs. It is they who have guided the fate of the city through wars, fires and epidemics. In the Middle Ages there were certain families from whose midst the councilors and mayors emerged. We know Johannes Lembecke as Proconsul (1st Mayor) from the Johannislehn. In 1357 he first served as consul (councilor), became second mayor in 1359 and first mayor in 1372 of the city of Uelzen. He was followed by his son Diric in 1391 as councilor and from 1396 to 1409 as second mayor. In the line of succession, it was Diric's son Cord who held the offices of mayor in 1439 as councilor, in 1440 as second and from 1457 to 1462 first mayor.

The council members were lap-free. The ability to give advice remained hereditary for many generations. In order to become advisable, it was sufficient to marry a councilor's daughter or councilor's widow. Hans Redeber married the daughter of Mayor Cord Lembecke Ilsabe Lembecke. Hans Redeber joined the council in 1468 and became 1st mayor in 1492.

Another example: Whoever paid the most taxes could become a council member. It was Johann Bock, who was a merchant in Gotland and later in Uelzen. In 1571 he became councilor and in 1594 1st mayor.

In 1658 there were disputes between the citizens of Uelzen and the council. A settlement was finally reached in front of the princely chancellery in Celle. The rights of the councilors were now formulated more precisely. In addition, no one should be admitted to the council of the city of Uelzen who was already a member of it or was related to him in the second or third degree or by marriage. This put an end to the council succession. But we still encounter some names of the old council families in the following centuries, e.g. Heinrich Ernst Versmann (died December 3rd, 1768), a descendant of Johann Versmann (died April 5th, 1657). Another example is Joachim Heinrich Roffsack (died April 2nd, 1718), descendant of Albert Roffsack (Ratmann 1610, 2nd mayor 1626).

Let's come back to the wills of the Sten / Lembecke families. With this document from 1376, the third part of the entire large and small tithe in Böddenstedt belonged to the Johannislehn Family Foundation. In the course of the following 450 years the ownership changed. The farmers had to pay 106 square rods out of a total of 1232 acres and half of the natural, meat and lard tithes to the Johannislehn zu Uelzen and the von Bülowsche Gut zu Göddenstedt. By the redemption order of 1833 a redemption was made by paying a capital of 8,250 rhtl each. to the Johannislehn as well as to the Göddenstedter Gut.

The other farmers belonging to the glue in Kahlstorf, Nateln, and Könau also released themselves from their obligations through payments.

The incoming large sums of money put the cartridge in mortgages, bonds and the like. at. Due to the inflation that started in the 20th century, these funds were devalued more and more. Only on Wulliop and in Oldenstädter Straße from ancient times remained land. They were leased and used for agriculture.

During the National Socialist era, voices were raised to dissolve the family foundations. The funds available should

1) serve for school or vocational training,

2) flow to the NSDAP or one of its branches,

3) People received who have not yet reached the age of 24.

The aim was to "move the dead forefathers' capital in favor of the youth in order to achieve the most beautiful and fair conclusion of the foundation tradition." But the then patron Otto Kefersein, the compatriots Werner Kraut and Leo Siemens decided against a proposed dissolution of the two foundations.

The Reichsjugendehrung did not rest either and sought to dissolve the foundation in favor of the construction of HJ homes. But the three Patrons also rejected this. In 1938 the district president received the relieving news that the foundations would not be dissolved, as they could serve their purpose again in the foreseeable future.

As a result of the currency reform of 1948, the remaining capital of the foundations was further reduced, and the district president proposed the dissolution or amalgamation of the foundations. The patronage decided to merge. New leasehold agreements with the tenants of the land in Oldenstädter Strasse were concluded in 1961. In 1963 the Johannislehn was merged with the Meltzingschen Commende. A new statute was created and the name was chosen:

Family foundation Johannislehn zu Uelzen from May 17, 1376

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The Johannislehn today

With the drafting of a new statute (November 4, 1964) the course was set for the survival and a fresh start of the family foundation.

At this point we would like to thank Edgar Much, Bremen, for his work as a genealogist. In a laborious process, he created a three-volume genealogy of the Johannislehn and the Meltzingschen Commende. From her we learn, among other things, that the Africa explorer Gustav Hermann Nachtigal (* 1834, died 1885) and Wilhelm Moritz Keferstein (* 1833, dated 1870) belong to our ancestors as collaborators at Brehms Tierleben.

Another well-known personality is August Julius Siegfried Grotefend (* July 28th, 1885 in Marburg), family researcher and author of the book "Grotefend and Diederichs from Lower Saxony".

The genealogy of the Chüden family occupies a very large area. She comes from Gr. Chüden near Salzwedel. Your council members and mayors were in office in Salzwedel. Professor Johann Michael Heintze (* March 24th, 1717 in Langensalza, died October 6th, 1790 in Weimar) married Sophie Catharine Chüden on January 25th, 1752 as a second marriage in Lüneburg. His third marriage was with her sister Katharine Dorothee Chüden. Because of these connections, the many "Heintze families" belong to the Johannislehn.

On December 6, 1991 a new statute was created. There were changes in the content of the list of assets.

Special thanks go to Hans-Gottlieb Wesenick, Superintendent in Göttingen. In the last years of his life he collected death and birth dates and addresses of the descendants of Claus Heintze with great dedication. Prof. Gottfried Heintze was able to fall back on this for his invitations to Heintze family days in Göttingen, Hamburg, Langensalza and Weimar. Many scholarship holders in recent years appear in the small print 160-page edition from 2006 "Descendants of Claus Heintze. Langensalza 1484" by Hans-Gottlieb Wesenick.

The Johannislehn archive was handed over to the Uelzen city archive in summer 2018. The documents can be viewed there.

The Johannislehn is currently managed by Patron Dr. Fabian Heintze, the two compatriots Walter Bellingrodt and Burkhard Sievers and the Ueltzen provost Jörg Hagen. The patronage meets once a year in autumn to discuss, among other things, the amount of scholarships to be distributed.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the city of Uelzen for keeping the family names Lembecke, Alewin and Hoefft. Streets in the city of Uelzen were named after them. Johannes Lembecke (Johannislehn) was mayor of Uelzen in 1372 and builder of the city wall. Ernst Alewin (t March 16, 1610), Meltzings Commende, was a councilor in 1600. Dr. Jur. Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hoeffl was mayor and patron of the Johannislehn in 1852.

What you have inherited from your fat hers, acquire it in order to own it [Goethe, Faust],

a word that also applies to the Johannislehn Family Foundation.

And so we should continue to work vigorously and no effort should be spared to let our family foundation continue to exist in the sense of the Ahmen.

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Support measures

Applications from family members can be submitted to the until September 1st of the current year

Johannislehn Family Foundation

Patron Dr. Fabian Heintze

c/o Hauskrankenpflege Behrens

Kirchstrasse 3, 29439 Lüchow

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Students can receive a scholarship three times.

The students

1) provide evidence of their family affiliation.Proof of ancestry from a family member who had already been supported by the loan is sufficient. They are also sufficient for an initial application

2) a tabular curriculum vitae with details of the maiden names of both parents

3) a copy of your high school diploma

4) a copy of your certificate of enrollment from the current year

5) a passport photo

6) and a text on family history. *

Applications can be submitted in German or English.

To facilitate correspondence within the patronage, it is expected that the application documents are printed out and sent digitally to the above address.

After receiving these documents, the patronage checks the family affiliation.

For a second and third application, the current certificate of enrollment is sufficient.

A decision on the applications is made once a year in autumn. There is no legal entitlement to a scholarship.

* Explanation to point 6) "Text on family history":

At the 2019 patronage meeting, it was decided to change the application process. There is no handwritten curriculum vitae. From now on, the first-time applicants should contribute to researching their own family history and thus indirectly to the history of the fiefdom. Therefore, every application must be accompanied by a text that you have written yourself. This text can either report an interesting incident or development from the history of the families associated with the Johannislehn - gladly also with general historical and social references - or something self-experienced that may be of general interest. For example, the personal perception of a special person or a political or scientific event or development can be reported. The aim is to obtain many different building blocks for a contemporary historical compendium of the Johannislehn families.

The texts should have a maximum of five, at least one DIN A4 page. Additional pictures or graphics can be useful. The Johannislehn receives the right to publish the texts, unless the authors oppose it.


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