Berent Heineken is the earliest known ancestor of the Heineken Mayor's Branch with his documentation in Bremen of taking the Citizen's Oath in 1624.  Since there were no Heinekens present as witnesses during the ceremony, naturally, it is assumed that he had no living relatives.  It has also been documented that Berent was buried at St. Ansgari Church Parish in Bremen on February 24, 1668.  According to undocumented sources, Berent's estimated year of birth was between 1594 and 1600, which if these dates are correct, would mean that he lived to be between 68 and 74 years old.

In August of 2000, Monika, my half 6th cousin twice removed, who was first mentioned on this web site at http://www.hennekes.com/cadwolf/archive99.htm, informed me that her uncle in Germany had found a letter written to his mother (Monika's grandmother.)  The letter was addressed from the "Niedersachsen Staatsarchiv - Stade" in answer to her grandmother's request for Heineken information made on January 8, 1971.  The letter stated that:

"The older files holding personal history would be taxation registers of various kinds.  They generally only show the name of the taxpayer and rarely show a view of the family relations.  Our search for ancestors or possible ancestors of Berent Heineken has led us to the following conclusion:

In the treasury registers of the years 1560, 1568, and 1575 there were no people registered by the surname Heineken, Heincken, or similar names in Lesum, St. Magnus Church Parish.  In 1586, a Berent Heineken is listed in Lesum, but not St. Magnus Parish (!!).  He was mentioned again in 1595 in Lesum.  In the Treasury Register of 1635, Johann Heineken is mentioned in the register in Lesum, St. Magnus Parish.  After 1635, there is no Heineken mentioned in Lesum.  From 1595 to 1635, there are no registers available for Lesum.  Further searches in the years 1638 and 1641 were negative for the surname Heineken.  The above mentioned names are the only ones provable through documentation for the years from 1560 to 1635 in the St. Magnus Parish."

Apparently, the Berent Heineken mentioned in the 1586 Lesum tax register must have been of legal age to hold property, according to the opening two sentences of the letter.

Although nearly thirty years had gone by, I decided to follow-up on the above letter, and made an email request to the Niedersachsen Staatsarchiv - Stade.  In my inquiry, I asked for more information about the Berent Heineken mentioned in the 1586 Lesum tax register.

They declared that the name had actually been recorded as Berendtt Henneken.  His age wasn't given, but the Staatsarchiv did  state that the minimum age for the tax liability was 12 years.  And according to the "Sachsenspiegel - Saechsisches Landrecht"   that was written between 1220 and 1230, and translated in the Repertorium by Dr. Karl Robert Saxe (edited 1848 in Heidelberg), it is mentioned that the majority was reached at the age of 21.  {---Saechsisches Landrecht literally means Saxon (Germanic) Land Rights, based upon ancient civil laws, regarding various types of property---}

Therefore, it's evident that Berendtt Henneken, who was mentioned in the 1586 Lesum tax register, was born somewhere between 1565 and 1574.  Whether or not he is related to Berent Heineken, the oldest-known ancestor of the Mayor's Branch, is still not known.