Hi ...My name is Katie Heitert Wilkinson.  Welcome to our family page: WE ARE THE HEITERTS.  This site is a work in progress ....always new stuff to add.

 If you're a member of the Heitert clan, you can scope out the family tree to see exactly where in it you fit.  Sometimes you'll notice that I have only partial  information on someone.  If that's the case, I hope you'll contact me and perhaps help me out.  YOU CAN ALSO ADD INFORMATION AND PHOTOS.  You just have to become a site member.  IT'S FREE!!!!

The site will automatically alert you to birthday's,anniversaries, and other important dates.  The idea is to keep all the branches of our huge family informed about what's going on with everybody else. There are alot of great features associated with this site.  You  can also fill out your own personal profile with whatever you'd like your family to know. 

My goal is to link as many Heiterts as I can find across the nation who are related and encourage them to become members.  You can find me a facebook.com or use the message feature at this site.



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Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Mar 7 2010 23:38

Entire books have been written about the cultural and ethnic origins of surnames in nearly every country. Often surnames reflect the location in which our ancestors lived, especially if their home was close to an important historical site or was linked to significant geographical formations. Others suggest familial relationships ( such as son of ------). Still others give clues about social standing; in Germany, for instance, the prefix von indicates noble standing. Then there are those surnames that are linked to an ancestor's profession, i.e. Schumacher.

I asked my mother when I was still a child what the name Heitert meant. She replied that she didn't know for certain but thought she heard from someone in my father's family say that Heitert had something to do with horses ... and then she added, "maybe something about a horse's head." What a disappointing interpretation. I suppose I wanted a surname that was linked to valor, integrity, honor. Something with stature. On the other hand, my mother didn't link Heitert to the horse's back end. Thank goodness.

So I began searching in earnest for every website that claimed to be able to give the meaning of any possible surname. Thinking I would find the information for which I was looking in no time at all, I began with the first site on my list. All I needed to do was enter the name Heitert and click on Search.

When the initial search returned the comment "Sorry - we have no information on the name entered," I didn't panic. Surely one of the sites on my list would give me an answer. No, no, and no. Each search yielded a response similar to the one given above - even the German websites.

My next approach was to go to a German dictionary to see if our family name could be linked to a specific word. Nein! I did learn that the German word heiter, depending upon the word which precedes it, can be a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Whichever part of speech heiter takes on, all are somehow related to cheerfulness and lively spirits. I can't say any of this information was especially helpful.

So the search continues. If any of the Heitert clan can shed some light on our ancestral surname, I would be forever grateful.

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This Web site:ARE YOU A HEITERT?
Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 28 2010 19:28

How often has someone told you that you look "exactly like your sister" or "just like your brother"? Actually, you could probably turn that question into a fill-in-the-blank sentence: "You look as if you could be _________'s twin." Now, add any of your Heitert family members' names.

In my own little part of the Heitert clan, each one of my siblings and I have had the experience in which someone totally unknown to us walks up and says, "You must be a Heitert" or "Are you a Heitert?" The whole situation makes me laugh a little because the statements suggest that "a Heitert" must be a unique species of creature. When I visit St. Louis, I've not only been the target of these remarks, but I've also been mistaken for one or the other of my sisters numerous times.

If your're anything like me, you wonder what it is that others see in your face that makes you a clone of someone else in the fami...

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Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 26 2010 23:25

If there's good news in your family and you feel comfortable sharing it, I'd love to know. That way I can post the news on our family page andwe can keep up with each other and learn about what's happening in other branches of the ever-expanding Heitert family.

Here are some examples of things that would make great great family news:

* new babies *marriages * graduations * new jobs * promotions

* awards/ recognitions * retirements * birthdays * family gatherings

* new houses * moving to new locations * professional accomplishments

* anniversaries * athletic events * vacations etc...........

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Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 26 2010 21:24

Some of the most interesting online family trees are those that have photographs accompanying the name of each individual on the tree. Now I know that once you go back enough generations, there are no such things as snap shots of high school graduates or wedding day portraits. But in so many other cases, those precious jewels that allow us actually to see if we share any physical resemblance to an ancestor are buried out there --- some with families who no longer know the names that go with the faces, some tucked away in boxes that remain in attics, basements, or closets. And, tragically, some beautiful photos find their way to flea markets or vintage shops --- languishing like orphans.

Another important element should accompany family tree research: documentation or proof. Think of "telephone," the old birthday party game played in the 50s. All the children were lined up shoulder to shoulder; the first child whispered a secret message to the next, that child to the next, and so on. The idea of the game was to see how distorted the end message became, how totally different from the original. The same thing can occur in genealogical research. Inexperienced genealogists put names, dates, and relationships on trees that may be totally inaccurate or based only on memory or hearsay. In this day of online tree sharing, an error may be repeated hundreds of times over. Those serious about the genealogy of their family lines know that every detail given must be supported by actual documentation ... and the closer this documentation comes to the original source, the stronger the proof .

What kinds of things are considered legitimate documentation in family history research? My list here is certainly not exhaustive, but it identifies the kinds of things that may be available in many families --- although they may be spread over several families. Here we go: family bibles with inscriptions of births, marriages, and deaths; birth and death certificates; baptismal certificates; millitary papers; diplomas; marriage licences or certificates from the church; first communion memorial certificates; memorial prayer cards from funeral; obituaries; deeds to homes, property, burial lots; wedding invitations; graduation invitations; diaries or journals; letters, immigration documents; news paper articles or pictures; photos of cemetery headstones; photosof military medals; wills; courtdocuments. The list could be endless, but this certainly should give you an idea of what items are considered important to family historians.

So -- what does all this have to do with my work on the Heitert family tree? If you take a look at the photgraphs I've posted on this site, you'll note quickly that the majority of them come from the line of the family descended from Robert George Heitert. Through the efforts of several of my Poehling cousins, we been able to resurrect some early photos of Elizabeth Jones Heitert, wife of William Heitert, of Helen Anna Wethmar Heitert, and her mother Rose Anna Geissmann Wethmar. We've found no photographs of the earliest Heitert men in St. Louis, nor documents or any kind. The absence of such information makes reasearch all the more difficult.

Thus, I'm asking for help. If you are of the family Heitert and are descended from the the lines created by William J. Heitert, Frank A. Heitert, or Elmo Heitert and know of the existence of any photographs of these gentlemen, their wives, their sons and daughters, or of any type of document, please contact me through facebook.com. Such precious family heirlooms can be shared these days through scanning and e-mailing. Good quality digital cameras can take superb photos of the originals.

And --if a miracle should occur --- and you have knowledge of any information related to the five original Heitert males who settled in St. Louis, again please contact me. I would be so grateful.

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Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 19 2010 20:07

I've always been somewhat amused by folks who crow about how they can trace their family blood line "all the way back to the Mayflower" or by those who steadfastly assert that theyre' somehow connected to American historical icons like Sam Houston, Daniel Boone, or Robert E. Lee. Truth is, most of will never uncover any linkages quite as showy. On the other hand, many families have whispered stories about a family black sheep who might have lived generations ago, the kind of person that most of us would rather forget or deny.

For years in the Heitert family there had been a tale of a distant relative who had been a horse theif. I remember hearing the story for the first time when I was I little girl. From whom I heard it, I don't remember. There was never a specific name given the thief or any revelation about how far back in the family line this individual could be found. Years later I'd tell myself that I was probably just a victim of a chi...

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Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 18 2010 16:41

In the notes that Will Heitert, son of William Heitert and Elizabeth Jones Heitert, compiled about the male members of the Heitert family in St. Louis, Missouri, he included a single page with the following heading:


Born[ed] in Germany

Below the heading he listed a series of five names and birthdates of Heitert men. No documentation is offered to substantiate the birthdates nor is any specific birthplace noted. Using only the information Will Heitert gave on this page, it is not possible to validate authentically the realtionship of the five men.

  • John Henry Heitert ...............................1822
  • Henry Heitert Heitert* ...........................1824
  • William Heitert ......................................1835
  • Herman Heitert .....................................1845
  • Frederick Heitert ...................................1846

When looking at the tentative birth dates, one might possibly assume that the first two men are related, the dates being only two years apart. This type of birth order is typical of most families. With that in mind, we might conclude the final two men are somehow related since only one year separates their births. The "Wild Card," of course, is William, whose birth date falls 11 years after John Henry and Henry and 10/11 years earlier than Herman and Frederick. Though it's not impossible that there might be such a large gap in time between children in a family, it is certainly unusual .

Will Heitert left no notations about how he came by these birth dates. To date, I have found no solid documentation to support them, nor have I found any evidence indicating what the familial relationship among the five men might be. His brother, R. G. Heitert - my grandfather - lived for a short time with his daughter Dorothy Heitert Poehling and her family following the death of his wife. Though the Poehling granddaughters resurrected some wonderful vintage photos of R, G, and his wife Helen, no one has found anything like birth certificates, wedding certificates, or immigration papers.

Perhaps those precious items are held by the families of one of the other original Heitert men. I can only hope that some day they will surface and provide the information needed to answer some important genealogical questions.

If anyone who visits this site has information that would fill in the historical gaps, please contact me at my page at Facebook.com

* The name Henry Heitert Heitert appears as it was written by Will Heitert. I have no way of knowing if the name represents an error or whether it is correct.

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Genealogy:Where I Fit into the Picture
Posted by: Katie Heitert Wilkinson on Feb 17 2010 17:05

I'm a granddaughter of Robert George Heitert and Helen Wethmar Heitert. My grandad was most often called "R. G." by friends and "Pop" by his son, my father. R. G. 's parents, William Heitert (1861 - 1920) and Elizabeth Jones Heitert (1861 - 1944) had four sons. Interestingly enough, all the Heiterts I've communicated with through FaceBook are descendants of one of these four: William J. Heitert (1884 - 1971) ....I grew up calling him Uncle Will because that's how myparents referred to him; Frank A. Heitert (1888 - 1944); Robert George (1890 - 1963); and Elmo Heitert (1895 - 1968).

Uncle Will Heitert must have been the one in the family interested in leaving some accounting of who belonged to the Heitert family. About a year ago, my mother and one of my younger sisters found a sad looking, dog-eared manila envelope that literally gotten shoved back and d...

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