I've run into two marriage records from the 1650s, from Mihla, Germany, describing someone as being from "Brunfelt". It could perhaps also be read "Branhalt". However, I cannot find any place matching "Br*n*lt", or even "B*t", in Meyers Gazetteer, nor is it a nearby location I can find on more modern maps or on the web.

Does anyone know where this location is/was?

Entry #2 here from 1651: enter image description here

And from 1653: enter image description here

  • 1
    Did you look in the register for any other instances of the name?
    – Jan Murphy
    Oct 17, 2021 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


I think the place name is Birnfeld (written as Birnfelt): https://s.meyersgaz.org/search?search=birnfeld

  • The closer of the two possibilities there is still 133 km away from Mihla; it seems a bit unlikely that two of the 11 marriages in Mihla between 1651 and 1653 would be so far flung...
    – BrianFreud
    Oct 17, 2021 at 14:41
  • I agree, this looks very much like "Birnfelt". I couldn't find any other place with similar spelling. The author does not give additional hints, so I would guess that the name is (more or less) unambiguous in that context. As for 133km... why would it be unlikely? There are many reasons why people would move far, be it in 1650 or in 1850. Have studied the history of Mihla and the surrounding region in more detail? Maybe there are religious, economic or other relations that link the places.
    – jadepx
    Oct 17, 2021 at 17:22
  • 1
    As to Jan's question, I've not noticed any other references to a Birnfeld. I'm thinking perhaps "Beuernfeld" was intended, though not written. I found forum.ahnenforschung.net/showthread.php?p=1401462#post1401462 which references a MyHeritage entry that looks to be the same 1653 marriage entry as included here. I can find nothing to connect either Birnfeld to these people, or to Mihla, but Beuernfeld is quite close; I'll look in the church book from there to see if there's anything there that's helpful.
    – BrianFreud
    Oct 17, 2021 at 19:38
  • 1
    This might indeed be the case here, Birnfeld = Beuernfeld = Beerfelden. See the place register from Die matrikel der Universitat Heidelberg, for example: books.google.ee/…
    – CuriousM
    Oct 17, 2021 at 20:19
  • Just skimming through the Beuernfeld 1640-1709 KB, it's quite a mess, especially in the earlier years, but the contemporary spelling does appear to have been "Birnfeld". (Top of Bild 22, from 1655, for example). It's getting quite tangental to my personal research, but more digging into the Hasert-Arnold connections turns up other likely leads in Berka v.d.H, which is in the same area as both Beuernfeld and Mihla.
    – BrianFreud
    Oct 17, 2021 at 20:57

Summarizing, as the likely answer is only found in the comments above.

Beuernfeld, or as it was known at the time (late 1600s-early 1700s), "Birnfeld", does seem the most likely location for what was mentioned here. Meyers doesn't list the Beuernfeld under a 'Birnfeld' listing, as Meyers is focused more on 1871-1918. Of the two Birnfeld entries in Meyers, the second is a farm, which would be very unlikely to be the right location. The first is a town 133 km away from Mihla:

  • Birnfeld, Hofheim in Bay., Unterfranken, Bayern
  • Birnfeld, Mainburg, Niederbayern, Bayern

Beuernfeld, on the other hand, is only 9 km away from Mihla, and also within the northern area of Eisenach-land.

enter image description here
Mihla is the red circle. Beuernfeld is the upper red diamond, while Birnfeld, Bayern is the lower red diamond.

  • Could you trace the respective persons to church records from Beuernfeld?
    – jadepx
    Dec 26, 2023 at 18:35

The correct name of the village is Beuernfeld. This is a small village in the municipality of Hörselberg-Hainich in the Wartburgkreis Eisenach. Eisenach is the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach.

  • Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! Statements about names being "correct" or "incorrect" are not necessarily helpful for historical research, since it does not take into account the time a place was called at a particular time. If you mean that the modern name of the village is Beuernfeld or that it was the name at the time the record was created, or both, please say that.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 22, 2023 at 1:56

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