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The name Henning is indigenous to the North German areas Mecklenburg, Hannover, Hamberg, Holstein and Pommern. Especially the towns Stralsund and Greiffswald, in Mecklenburg, near the Baltic Sea is well known as places where the name originated. Both towns formed part of Denmark up until the Thirty Years War (1618 — 1648).

Between the years 1300 and 1500 the name HENNING was used as a popular nickname for "the Son of John (Johannes)". In the old Baltic dialect a rooster was called a "Hen" (hen = male, henne = female). The Baltic (or North German) "ing" was added to indicate that it was a name deduced from the name of a father or ancestor.

The name originated amongst noblemen and knights, such as1:

During the 13/14th centuries the descendants of these first Hennings spread over the areas today known as Germany, Denmark and Norway. All records from this time unfortunately were destroyed.

The name Henning originated approximately in the year 1290 near the town STRALSUND, in the North of Germany. In the year 1305 the name was found in KOLBERG in the present Poland — today known as Kolobrzeg and in 1326 near GREIFFSWALD at DEMMIN.

Until the Thirty-Years War (1618 — 1648) Stralsund and Greiffswald was still part of Denmark, but Kolberg was part of Pruisse. In due course Karnin (25 kilometres from Stralsund) became the farm of these Henning families.

Lippstadt is the birthplace of Peter Henrich Henning, progenitor of most of the Hennings in South Africa

During the 17th and 18th Centuries several Hennings moved elsewhere — also to the new world. Today we find one of the biggest Henning clans in South Africa. However, we find Henning families in almost every civilised country in the Western world.

A few Henning descendants, however, remained in the vicinity of Stralsund and Greiffswald. It is known that Jacob Henning (the old) was born during 1635 at Demmin (near Greiffswald). Jacob Henning and his descendants became known as the Henning Family of Karnin. Karnin is approximately 25 km from Stralsund. Jacob Henning and his descendants were big and wealthy property owners, who lived in a castle. This castle was confiscated during 1945, during the Second World War, by the communist government who took over Eastern Germany. Consequently this family spread over Western Germany.

The Henning castle at Karnin

The Peter Henrich Henning Family League of South Africa is the owners of this website.

The Henning families of South Africa have been documented almost completely and their family trees and history can be consulted on this website. The Peter Henrich Henning Family League maintain a Family Museum and Documentation centre/Archive and distribute a Newsletter every three months (February, May, August and November) to members. News reports of interest to the family are published in the newsletters.

Hennings from other countries are envited to contact the League Secretary of the Peter Henrich Henning Family League for insertion of the particulars of their family on the website.

1Bahlow H.: "Deutches Namenlexikon". Familien und Vornamen nach Ursprung und Sinn erklärt. München, 1977, p228